Holy crap! I actually got a new(ish) PC!

Chris Brooker
June 12, 2009

It’s true. I know I’m a tech nerd and don’t usually get so far behind on technology. But money has been tight and mortgages payments and such seem to take precedence over PC upgrades. Especially when I use my laptop for almost all my PC needs.

My desktop computer was an aging Intel P4 2.8ghz with 2gb of DDR ram and an AGP ATI Radeon x850. This beast served me well and I’m sure will continue for years to come but in a completely different capacity.

I had given up on playing modern PC games a while ago when I couldn’t play Bioshock and the upgrade path was basically everything had to go. All gfx cards were now PCI-Express so new mobo. PSUs required different and additional connectors, so new PSU. RAM was all DDR 2 now, so very little could be reused to build a modern system.

The main reason I wanted something with a little more power was video editing. I’ve been shooting a lot of h.264 720p video lately and all of the computers I owened could not playback that format in real-time while editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Click play, hear the audio and watch a 1 frame every 10secs slide show. Terribly frustrating.

I setup a Craigslist search feed for PC in my price range and waited. Finally after a few weeks I found this;

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz Processor
ASUS P5LD2 Motherboard
4 Gig Corsair DDR2 XM2 800Mhz RAM
160GB SATA2 7200RPM Western Digital Cavair Hard Drive
EVGA Nvidia 8500 GT PCI-e Video Card
Trendnet Wireless Ethernet Card
450 Watt Power Supply
Hewlett Packard Lightscribe 48X DVD Burner
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz Processor
ASUS P5LD2 Motherboard
4 Gig Corsair DDR2 XM2 800Mhz RAM
160GB SATA2 7200RPM Western Digital Cavair Hard Drive
EVGA Nvidia 8500 GT PCI-e Video Card
Trendnet Wireless Ethernet Card
450 Watt Power Supply
Hewlett Packard Lightscribe 48X DVD Burner

For $325 🙂

I went and got it. Throw on Windows 7 RC1. It totally flies in comparison to my P4.

W00t, it’s not the best. I would prefer an Intel i7 920 with 6gb of DDR3 and SLI nVidia GeForce GTX 295’s. But there is no budget for that. I’m just happy that I’m finally able to edit my video!

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Update – June 17, 2009

After some tweaking, BIOS updates and installing Windows 7 RC 64-bit gutting the PC and rebuilding it in a better case with a better PSU. I’ve managed to get those numbers increased (if they really mean anything).

CPU, Memory and HD data rate are now 5.9
Bumped Graphics up to 5 and Gaming graphics up to 4.7.

All I need is a decent Graphics card and I’m good to go again.

Not bad at all for  $325! 😀

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