Archive for the ‘computer’ Tag

…new computer upgrade…

Yes, I was already unhappy with one aspect of my new system as soon as I was done building it. The video card. I originally bought two 3850’s to run a crossfire setup, but ran into problems due to the motherboard I selected.

Anywhoo, the single 3850 was working out great (as you can see from the pics in my previous post), but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. So, I upgraded.

I have now installed a Radeon HD 3870×2! That’s a dual GPU card with 1GB of RAM. Upgrading to this card has more than tripled my 3DMarkVantage score from the low 2100’s to over 7400.

I’m also running dual monitors now. This single video card can support up to four monitors! For now, I’m getting used to two.

Here’s some pics so you can see how huge this thing is:

3870x2

These are the 3870×2 and 3850 cards side by side.

3870x2

Here you can see the four ports for the monitors.

I had to move some things around in the case (like move my hard drive cage up higher) to make room for this monster.

Oh, and here’s my new Call of Duty 4 Game-O-Meter score:

…new computer…

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):

Call of Duty 4 benchmark

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…