Thursday, June 23, 2005

Off Topic: Building a New PC

I've felt guilty not updating in so long, but unfortunately I haven't contributed a lot to the cause lately. Moved to a new state, new job, and I've had some other stuff going on that's knocked me out for a while.

I titled this article "Off Topic" 'cause it doesn't exactly relate to development. I'll pepper the blog with some off-topic articles now and then. This one is about my effort to upgrade my PC.

Need a new processor.

Need a new motherboard.

Need new RAM.

Need a new graphics card.

I tried playing the Half Life 2 demo the other day, and my computer was chewing on it like dry pork chops. Looks like a cool game, and I want to be able to play it. But I had to turn down all the graphic detail settings just to get the audio to play correctly.

I built my current PC in December 2001, and got my video card in early 2002. Here are the specs I want to upgrade from:

Motherboard:Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Black
CPU:Athlon 1600 XP
RAM:512MB Samsung 266MHz 2?00
Graphics:Nvidia GeForce4 Ti4600

It's lasted for almost 4 years now, and all things considered it's done pretty well. But it's suffering from an odd problem right now that I don't know how to fix. (Has to do with excessive hardware interrupts during hard drive activity.) Anyway, 4 years is an eternity for even an amateur enthusiast like me, so it's time to upgrade.

My philosophy when upgrading a computer is this: buy the best, last the longest.

I'm reading up on Intel's and AMD's dual-core processors, and the motherboards that love them. But most of my attention now is focused on what GPU to get. Nvidia just releasted their 7800 GTX, and it looks pretty slick. So far, at least until ATI makes their announcement later this week, Nvidia's on top of the heap. And I've always liked Nvidia, and never cared much for ATI. I think Nvidia makes better drivers and have more reliable hardware in general. ATI's come a long way since their All-In-Wonder days, but something about them tastes bad to me. And generally, their hardware doesn't outperform Nvidia.

Anyway, I'll be keeping my hard drives (unless this odd problem turns out to be a symptom of some kind of failure), and my DVD-RW, and my case. Probably my fans, too. The power supply might need to be replaced.

Haven't done a lot of pricing yet, but I figure this effort have a substantial cost attached to it. Good thing there are a lots of articles to be read, 'cause I'm not gonna be spending a lot after this. :)


Post a Comment

<< Home