Well, I finally built a new computer. The old one is still hanging on, but it is time to go big. I bought the old one slightly used for $300, over 5 years ago and have only had to upgrade it’s RAM and video card. But, it’s days are numbered. Rather than wait, I got the pieces and parts and put together a decent system for not too much money.
Here’s the system (all parts purchased from zipzoomfly.com):
Case: old Antec full tower (like 8 or 9 years old)
Processor: Intel E8400 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo
Motherboard: Asus P35 chipset P5K-E
RAM: 4GB OCZ DDR2 1066
Video Card: Asus 512MB DDR3 HD3850 PCIe x16
Power Supply: CoolMax CUG-600B Green Power 600W
Hard Drives: (3) Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 500GB 7200RPM Serial ATA II w/16MB Buffer (I’m running the 3 drives in a RAID 5, so they are fast – but I also have drive failure protection. Basically, if any one of the 3 drives fail, I can change it out with a new blank drive and the information will be rebuilt from the other two drives. Pretty slick, huh.)
And, I believe, that’s the main stuff. After the combo drive, case fans, processor fan, LCD fan controller and card reader, etc. (oh, and shipping)… I spent about $1200. The computer benchmarks pretty high.
However, I’ve already learned a couple lessons, and if I could go back and do it again already – I’d get a different motherboard. I had originally purchased 2 of the Asus 512MB video cards, planning to do a dual CrossFire system. However, the P5K-E, though it advertises that it supports CrossFire and has two PCIe x16 slots, doesn’t support two cards at x16. Confusing, huh. Apparently the fine print states that the second PCIe x16 slot only runs at x4. So, what a waste. I sold the second video card and am only using one.
Here’s where my system benchmarks for a popular game, Call of Duty 4 (which I don’t play – but was told to check my system against it):
And here’s a couple of screenshots from Flight Simulator X. I can’t believe how much better this runs. It is truly amazing!
So, that’s it! What do you think? I’m pretty happy with it…