Saturday, March 13, 2010

Home PC upgrade - part 2

The home PC upgrade is making progress.  The next item on the shopping list after the CPU and power supply upgrades consisted of a video card upgrade.  I accomplished that two weeks ago.  I put in an ATI based 5770 graphics card with 1GB of RAM on board.  I wanted a 5830 based card, but the graphics chip for that card is relatively new and cards are hard to come by.  So I went with the older 5770.  It isn't too bad.  It is significantly more powerful than the GeForce 7600GT that it replaced.

So have I noticed any differences?  Yes.  My son and I play flight simulator.  We have Microsoft's FSX and also X-plane 9.  With both games, we can crank up the complexity and the video card eats it like a goat will eat grass.

So what's next on the list?  I need the following:

  • More RAM
  • Two 1TB hard drives to replace the 250GB and 500GB drives in the system
  • Windows 7
The drives will probably come next.  The RAM and Windows 7 purchase will be made at approximately the same time.  The computer currently has 4GB of RAM.  I'm going to max it out with 8GB and then get Windows 7 64-bit installed.  Windows XP can't use the addtional 4GB of RAM, but I can use the extra 2TB of disk space.  Eventually one of the new hard drives will be used as the master hard drive for Windows 7.  Western Digital makes a 2TB drive, but that drive is still expensive.  If it drops in price, I'd like that drive to be my main drive.  So I may end up with a 2TB and 1TB drive instead of two 1TB drives.  I currently have two 1TB drives in the system and I love it.  You can never have enough disk space.  And when you do, you just end up using it.

Last night I was thinking to myself, why am I spending so much money on an upgrade?  I was at Wal-Mart the other day and I saw a pretty decent eMachines computer for just under $400.......  It had a multi-core CPU, 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive.....  Hmmm....  Why am I doing this?  I guess I like building stuff.  I don't know.  A frustrated Lego builder?  I haven't purchased an assembled computer in probably a dozen years.  All the other computers that I have, I have pieced together myself.  Yup.  I'm a geek.  Pure and simple.

1 comment:

Murr Brewster said...

Jeez, this is why I should have had children. I need that auxiliary brain to operate my computer. Too late now.

If you like to let other people build stuff, and get paid a living wage for it, maybe even right here in this country, don't shop WalMart, though.