…and it’s a screamer! I can’t believe I lived with my other one for this long. The new one is so much faster it’s not even funny. I’ll be keeping the old one as a backup so I got a Belkin swicth to use the same keyboard, mouse and monitor with both and plugged them into a router. That way I’ll always have a backup. Now I just have to figure out how to network them together..
If you’re interested, here are the key components I chose to build my new power machine.
First, I went with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Dual Core processor. I figure the only reason my old 2001 era 1 GHz machine remained workable for this long (it even runs all the CS3 apps very well except for start time) is the AMD Athlon chip in it. The new Dual core chip is another beast altogheter though. I can’t wait to install CS3 and my other creative and productivity software but mostly I can’t wait to see how my music software will run on it.
To run the Athlon 64 X2 chip, the sales rep at the store that built my machine recommended the ASUS Crosshair motherboard. Hard to get excited about a mobo you’ll say but this one is a thing of beauty. Things have evolved quite a bit in the last 6 years since I was in the market for a new computer. If I had more desk space, I think I’d run that machine on top of it with the side panel removed just to look at the beautiful lights on that board… 😉
This motherboard is also a technological marvel with an LCD at the back that gives you error messages and codes as well as the status of the PC in human readable form. It’s also a tweaker’s and overclocker’s delight. If you are in the market for a new machine and you thought of getting an AMD processor, take a hard look at that motherboard. The reviews I have read were all overwhelmingly positive. Follow the link above and look at the specs. You’ll want one too. To complement the motherboard and processor, I had them put 4 Gb of Kingston 800MHz DDR2 Ram on it. No more problems running Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Studiometry, Skype and other apps at the same time… And my music software will run so much smoother.
Storage is handled by two Seagate Barracuda SATA 7200 hard drives, the system one is a 250 Gb NCQ and the other is a 500 Gb (media, backup, data, etc).
Next and following a dicussion of my needs with the rep, he recommended the NVidia GeForce 8800 GTS 640 Mb video card. I actually got the EVGA version but it’s the same card. I haven’t run any graphics heavy app or game on the machine yet but the display is absolutely beautiful. I don’t play that many games but I’m a huge fan of two series: the Legacy of Kain / Soul Reaver series but especially the Thief series. THose are the most immersive game "worlds" I have experienced and the Thief 1 and II Looking Glass Studios legacy lives on through a large community of fan mission makers and players. My old machine could handle Thief I and II no problem but I really didn’t have the specs to run the much newer Thief III Deadly Shadows. Not an issue anymore so I ordered Deadly Shadows this morning… 😉
Last in the major components, I chose the SoundBlaster X-Fi Elite Pro from Creative. If I only did music I would have bought a dedicated music creation sound card like an M-Audio but since I’ll also be gaming and using the PC to watch DVDs for example, I decided on the SoundBlaster. The X-Fi Elite Pro has Digital Analog Converters that are very high quality which rival those in medium range dedicated audio cards, and the break out box is very useful to plug my different instruments into and to control the card itself. I just hope the low latency ASIO driver works well with my music recording and authoring appplication (Sony Acid Pro 6).
But the bottom line is, getting a new powerful computer is so much fun! 🙂