Thursday, April 19, 2007

New machine

I guess I come from Jeff Atwood's school of thought on PC purchases. Dell has some pretty nice deals for most people, but if you want to know exactly what you're getting, build it yourself.

Here's the one I just built:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
ASUS P5B-E Motherboard
2GB OCZ Special Ops
PC2-6400 DIMM Dual Channel
HIS Radeon Isilence II X1650 XT
Antec Solo
Quiet Mini Tower
Antec Neo HE500 High Efficiency 500W
Seagate Barracuda
7200.10 320GB

I don't have the budget of Jeff Attwood or Scott Hanselman, but I think this machine will serve me well.

It's certainly a step up on the Duron 700 I've been using! The power supply fan died on that machine and for the last month, the case has been open with a big floor fan blowing into the case!

So here are my reasons for the parts. I wanted Core2 for obvious reasons. I just went with the cheapest one that isn't crippled in some way.

The ASUS motherboard and the OCZ RAM were based on the Anandtech midrange article.

The Radeon Card - no gamers in our house, I just wanted something that will give a decent Aero experience. I chose the HIS ISilence card because it's passivly cooled, and I wanted a quiet machine.

Likewise the Antec case and power supply. These are relatively quiet parts. The high efficiency power supply was important to me - we're treehuggers in this house.

The Barracuda came from the Anandtech article. I really wanted a Raptor after reading Jeff's article, but I was trying to do this on the cheap. Might be a nice upgrade someday.

I get a Vista score (Windows Experience Index) of 5.0, limited by the processor. The next lowest score is 5.5, for gaming graphics.

By the way, Jeff's article generated a lot of comments about wasting time building machines instead of software. But if you order your parts from the right place, they will put it together for you and test everything. That saved me a few hours of headaches.


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