Friday, August 27, 2004

How A Computer Upgrade Can Go Horribly Bad In A Good Way

As you all know, my motherboard died on me a few weeks ago. If you didn't know this, now you do, way to go. Since that time I have been trying to figure out what was going to replace the huge void left in my case from the lack of a mobo. The solution came to me several days ago and I think I have finally figured everything out. Here it goes.

I am part of Intel's RetailEdge training group and as such I get to snag a very good purchase bundle from them once a year. This year, the purchase bundle will become available in October and will be as follows. (1)Intel P4 550 CPU In nerd speak, this thing is the second fastest Prescott CPU Intel has released so far. It clocks in at 3.4ghz and makes me very happy. (2) Intel D915PBL This will be the motherboard that will accompany the CPU. The beautiful thing about this board is that it can run DDR2 533, PCI Express x16 and x1, and SATA hdds. (3) A copy of Windows XP Pro. Not that this matters, I think I have like four copies of this right now, not that another one will hurt though. And how much is this whole bundle, you ask? $200.00 Yup, you heard me, $200.00 for the whole package. XP Pro goes for this amount usually. So in the beginning I thought to myself, this will be a nice upgrade from an Athon XP 2400 and a Gigabyte board. Oh, how I was wrong.

As the hours went by, I started thinking about what parts could be salvaged from my old machine to run in this new one. My DDR 2700 won't work on the new mobo, nor will my Radeon 9000 AGP card. My PSU does not have SATA connectors and my sound card is getting rather old, as are my optical drives. Is all of this stuff a problem? No! It is an excuse. No longer am I really upgrading my system, I am building a new one in the same case I have now.

As it stands now, these are the specs for my new machine that will be built in October:

1) P4 550 CPU 3.4ghz
2) Intel D915PBL mobo
3) 1gig of Crucial DDR2 533
4) Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
5) Sony DRU700A Dual Layer DVD Burner
6) 16x DVD Drive
7) PSU yet to be decided.
8) I would like to get a pair of Western Digital Raptors and Raid 0 them. We will see
how the money situation is before I get these.

You are probably wondering about what video card will be in the machine. You see, there comes a time for every man when they just want to blow a lot of money on something really cool just once to say that they have the best of something that money can buy. Some men like cars and would get a Ferrari. Others like real estate. Me, I like video cards. The video card will be, unless something for the same amount of money comes out between now and then that is cooler, a Radeon X800 XT Platinum PCI Express Edition with 256 megs of GDDR3 on it. Ahh....Half Life 2 here I come.

I am sorry if this sounds like I am bragging but I am. My computer has been nice but never great and this is probably as close to great as I am going to come for a long long time. If anyone has any other suggestions as to what to add feel free to drop me a comment. At this point in time I am open to other suggestions. Just writing about this new machine puts me in a good mood so now I am going to go to bed happy and dream of running Half Life 2 and The Sims 2 in all of their spectacular glory. Nite!


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