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Upgrading my PC

July 4, 2009

Every 12 to 18 months i go thru the process of upgrading the motherboard and CPU. For a small cost I get a performance upgrade. Depending I my needs and what I have changed since the last upgrade there may also be an upgrade in memory, graphics card and HDD. In the last upgrade I did all this plus installed a bigger power supply. I have been using the same Antec case for the last 3 years. Its big and give me plenty of room to move.

The specs before my upgrade were

  • O/S – Vista Ultimate (64 bit)
  • Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo – 6600 @ 2.40GHz
  • Memory – 3GB
  • Video – Nvidia GeForce 8600GT – 512mb
  • HDD – 1 x 120GB SATA (Primary) – 1 x 500GB SATA  – 1 x 1TB SATA
  • DVD/CD Combo reader/writer
  • Memory Card reader
  • Monitors – 21″ Samsung 215tw(1680 x 1050) – 24″ Dell (1920 x 1200)
  • Keyboard & mouse – Logitech MX3200 wireless
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Altec Lanseng 621 Speakers

The specs after the upgrade are (new parts in bold)

  • O/S – Vista Ultimate  SP2 (64bit)
  • Processor – Intel Quad Core Q8300 2.5 GHz
  • Motherboard – MSI P45 Neo3
  • Memory – 8GB DDR2
  • Video 9800GT – 512mb
  • HDD – 1 x 150GB 10,000rpm (Primary) 2 x 1TB SATA (1 of the TB drives is new)
  • DVD/CD Combo reader/writer changed from IDE unit to SATA unit
  • Memory Card reader
  • Monitors – 21″ Samsung 215tw(1680 x 1050) – 24″ Dell (1920 x 1200)
  • Keyboard & mouse – Logitech Wave 2.4 /  Logitech MX1100 Mouse  both wireless
  • Altec Lanseng 621 Speakers
  • Power Supply -OCZ StealthXStream 500W SLI

IMG_2660

It runs nicely and scores 5.9 in all categories on the Windows Experience Index. The fast primary makes program opening very snappy. One of the TB drives is a “Green” drive and there is a 1-2 second delay before the drive spins up. Not a major issue but I wouldn’t use one as a primary.

A majority of the parts where sourced online or from a local contact. For online I can recommend PC Case Gear.  Great prices and great service.

My next upgrade may or may not be to Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. The pricing of Windows 7 upgrades (I want to do 3 other machines as well as this one) is on the high side. I was running Windows 7 RC on my HTPC (built between main PC upgrades) and really liked it but I have not had any issues with Vista on any of the 3 PCs that run it (one older one runs XP – this will upgraded later this year) and with the pricing on 7 I find it hard to justify the OS upgrade. It will be a wait and see on the OS upgrade.

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