New Box Build

Originally, this year was the year to get a new laptop or a tablet (ASUS Eeepad Transformer). However, due to another rash of BSoD’s and memory issues with the desktop, and a real lack of laptops worth buying (more on this later) it was time to replace the desktop. Part of me really wanted to push this off until AMD’s Bulldozer launched this summer, but I needed a stable desktop.

Truth be told, this wasn’t a fully new build. I only updated the following components:

  • CPU: C2D E8500 => i7 2600K
  • Memory: DDR2 800 4GiB XMS2 with DHX => DDR3 1600 8GiB Vengeance
  • Motherboard: DQ35JO => GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3
  • SSD: 80GB x-25m G1 => 120GB Intel 320

Is it fast? Of course. The processor and memory upgrade is the most noticeable, especially for tasks such as video trans-coding. However, the transition from the x-25m to the 320 was not a big upgrade. Under load, the system runs significantly cooler than the old C2D based system. Part of this may be due to replacing the front exhaust fan (the PC-A05NB vents to the front) with a PWM controlled one that can move much more air if needed.

Overall, I’m enjoying this new build, and can once again rely on my desktop for important tasks such as programming.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

2 thoughts on “New Box Build

  1. Sounds like a killer system! Keep us posted as you continue to use the new system. :-)

    I am thinking when Sandy Bridge-E hits I may have to bite the bullet… but actually when the time comes I hope I can resist the urge. Because I don’t really need more performance than what I already have.

    • Moving to the regular SB architecture works well for an every other year upgrade cadence for me. While IB will be good for battery power (if I need a new laptop next year, I’ll be looking at IB), for the desktop it isn’t very interesting. Now, Haswell with the FMA3 instruction (combines A += B * C into a single operation) will be something worth getting for the desktop.

      The other thing I don’t really like about the workstation/super-high-end consumer platform is the increased TDP (130W vs 65W to 95W). This requires more cooling, which means a louder system. Right now the spinning hard drive in my laptop is the loudest thing at my desk until its fan spins up, I’d like to keep it that way. ;)

      -John Havlik

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