Posts Tagged ‘building computers’

Brain transplant for my flagship computer.

January 4, 2009

I’ve been agonizing over what to do about my dying computer.  Normally, I would put it out to pasture as a backup and build a new machine from scratch.  I did some Core i7 pricing tonight.  While the processors themselves are quite comparable to the Penryn chips, the motherboard and memory prices are out of sight.

So I got to thinking.  Is this the right time to go crazy on hardware?  I decided that it’s not. So I just bought a new motherboard, chip and RAM with a Zalman cooler.  I’m going to replace these parts only in my main machine and keep the video card and raptor hard drives and everything else.

I did splurge on the Q9550.  I think with the Zalman, I should at least get 3.6 GHz.  It will easily be the fastest computer I’ve ever worked with.  It will be faster than my kids’ computers and the upgrade cost me less than $600.  It would have been over $2000 building a new Core i7 system.  I think, for now, this was the smart way to go.

Building computers for my kids.

December 7, 2008

This weekend I spent every waking hour building computers.  For me, this is as close as heaven on earth as it gets.  The time passed so quickly, that I am astonished that it is Sunday night already.  My hands are sore and cut up from the cases, but the computers are finished.  I wish I could do that every weekend.  Here’s a picture of the parts at the beginning of the build:

I used Asus P5Q motherboards because 1) I love Asus and 2) they were on sale.  I chose the ATI 1 GB Sapphire cards because they were also on sale and more importantly without rebates.  I hate rebates.  I’d rather not buy something with a rebate if I can help it.  I’ve never used G-skill memory before but it worked fine.  Both builds got 4 GB.  I saved money by using old hard drives I had lying around as well as reusing the XP licenses from the girls’ old machines.  I had one extra case and so I only had to buy one new one (and my daughter wanted pink anyway).

I had a little trouble with the first build.  It posted but then I had a grounding error on the USB ports.  I fixed that and it worked fine.  I bought Zalman fans because I wanted to overclock a little.  It turns out that the e8400 (which was also on sale) is an overclocking dream.  Here’s the 5 year old’s screen:

As you can see, her computer can do 4.05 GHz on air easily.  Crazy.  I remember the trouble I had 2 ½ years ago on my build and I used water.  It’s funny.  I’m still using that machine as my main rig, but my daughters’ new computers crush it.  I might spend some more money on a build for myself at year end.  We’ll see.

Another fun thing we did was to shoot a lot of video while the girls and I worked on the computers.  I’m sure I’ll put it up on YouTube after I get a chance to edit it.

Why aren’t I producing more?!

November 8, 2008

This blog means a lot to me, believe it or not.  I can express my thoughts here and actually find an audience.  In real life, my audience pays me to talk about stuff that isn’t really that fun, but that is important to those who employ me.  I’m not complaining about it, it’s part of my living.  However, my job is all consuming and it takes me away from creative fun stuff.  So my videos suffer and Friday Night Party Line goes on hiatus.

The end is in sight, however, for this year at least.  By the end of next week, my travels will be over for this year.  This means I can spend more time doing fun internet stuff.  I have an idea for a video involving moding a broken laptop using power tools!  I also have 3 computers I want to build  And of course FNPL will be back.

So it’s just a matter of time really and then I’ll be having fun again.