Monday, August 11, 2008

Finally - A New Computer

Finally at the end of last week the computer repair guy brought our computer back and functional. It is blazing fast compared to our 6 year old Dell system and has a ton more memory. The system, after rebates, cost us around $1350. Then we had to spend $400 to get it working. But still, for less than $2000 we've got a pretty advanced system.

We chose the pieces based on some research we did using computer builder magazines. We started with finding their recommendations for fast motherboards that weren't going to cost us an arm and a leg - motherboards that were the best performance for the dollar - and then built the rest off of that, trying to find the fastest compatible parts.

What have we got?

The case, pictured above, is an NZXT Tempest ATX Mid Tower - a large & pretty fun looking case that was quite affordable.

The Motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-EP35C-DS3R Intel

An Intel Core 2 QAuad Q Yorkfield processor

Our video card is the ASUYS EN9600 GT

Our RAM is made up of 4 Corsair Dominator 1 GB Dual Channel SDRAMs

We really cook with our Western Digital VelociRAptor 10000 RPM SATA Hard Drive. Sure it's only 300 GB, but with plenty of RAM we've got great speed with this - and we can always add more gigs internally or externally if we need it later.

We bought a Sony DVD/CD player/recorder.

We have a 750 W power supply so that there are plenty of plugs to connect anything else we throw into the system.

We had to put a firewire into it and wireless internet.

Then of course Windows Vista, Microsoft Office, and AVG anti-virus.

According to the computer repair guy, one of our biggest problems is that the Corsaire RAM doesn't work well with the Gigabyte motherboard - even though it is listed on the Gigabyte website as being compatible. The repair guy had to change up some voltages and things, underclocking the RAM slightly, to get the system to stabilize and use all of the RAM without crashing. But we've been using it now for a few days and other than finding that he wireless internet disconnects itself every time the system goes into sleep mode, we've found it to be a nice improvement over our old Dell.

We already bought a game for it - Civilizatin IV Gold Edition. Now we just have to figure out how to play it.

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