Stu Emerges from the Computer Dark Ages

Finally, after a three-year hiatus, I’ve decided to upgrade my computer. Just for the record, this is the first time I’ve gone more than a year without upgrading since my college days.

For the geeks, here is a comparison of my old and new parts:

Motherboard: nForce4 to nForce650i
CPU: Athlon64 3200+ (1.8 GHz) to Core2Duo E6550 (2.33 MHz)
Video: GeForce 6800 to GeForce 8800GT @ 700 MHz (both 256 MB RAM)
RAM: 1 GB to 2 GB (both running dual channel @ 800 MHz)

Basically, we are looking at a processor that is (based on benchmarks) about 3x more powerful and a video card that is about 11x more powerful. Here’s a comparison of the two systems using 3DMark2006 as a benchmark:

#DMark 2006 Comparison

Based on 3DMark, overall the new system is about 6x more powerful. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much money as I would have like to spend on this, otherwise I would have gotten a much faster quad core CPU and a 512 MB overclocked GeForce8800GTX.

Nonetheless, I’m just happy I’m able to crank up the image quality in Ghost Recon 2.

5 thoughts on “Stu Emerges from the Computer Dark Ages

  1. Wendy

    I’m not a geek so bear with me on this quetion, but how do you upgrade every year? Don’t you reach a point where you can’t upgrade anymore? Last year I upgraded (I think this is what you’d call it) my laptop by installing more memory from after running their diagnostic test. But now when I run the test it tells me I have the maximum amount of memory I can have. So is that it for me, am I as upgraded as I can be? ‘Cuz if I had my way, I’d keep going till I was on par with NASA. Or you.

  2. Stu

    Wendy: I consider any improvement over the current system an upgrade. In my case, I essentially build a whole new computer. I keep stuff like the case, maybe the hard drive, and peripherals like the monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. All motherboards have an upgradeability limit (the CPU can only be so fast or must be of a certain type, it only takes up to a certain amount of memory, it can’t handle new technologies, etc.) Once that limit is reached, the only option is to get a new motherboard, which usually requires that everything that plugs into the motherboard be upgraded too which gives you a whole new system. So in your case, buying a whole new laptop is pretty much your only option to upgrade.

    Mikal: I tried to hide it for as long as I could, but the call to tweak my computer became much too strong.

    Here’s an excellent example of my height of geekiness.

    Wow… those were the days!

    My only redemption is that I never used Linux… no really! Okay, I have :(

  3. Stu

    I can hardly believe I was ever that smart myself! I read that and wondered if it was even really me talking about IRQ conflicts, chipset compatibility, super bypass and the like. Huh???


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