So I decided about a year ago that my socket 939 based AMD system would not keep up in the new Vista DX10 world. I started picking and choosing components, sometimes waiting for deals whilst trying to stay away from compromising on any piece of hardware. Objective: best bang for the buck with a decent upgrade path in mind. I think it turned out all right. So without further ado, on to the hardware. (Photo’s available on my Flickr Stream)
A quick Copy Paste of my PC hardware Section
Motherboard: Gigabyte P-35 DS3R (Intel P35)
Case: Lian Li v1200B
CPU: Intel Core 2 DUO E6700 @2.70ghz
CPU Cooling Solution: Zalman CNPS9500-LED
GPU: Geforce 8800 GTS 640 MB
GPU Cooling Solution: Stock
RAM: Corsair 4 GB DDR II 667MHZ (PC 5400)
Soundcard: Creative Soundblaster: X-Fi Extreme Music
Optical Drive: Plextor PX-750A
HDD(’s): Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache S-ATA *2
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
Speakers: Creative Gigaworks Progamer G500 5.1
Not the fastest system on the block, but nothing to laugh at either, with an easy future upgrade path. The P35 chip will support Intel’s 45nm Penryn processors, PCI-Express isn’t going away anytime soon and DDR3 is still a ways off from being the mainstream. The choice of PC5400 memory may seem strange but I have my reasons. First and foremost is the fact that I will be running this configuration at stock speeds. This eliminates the need for ultra high-end memory (the only overclocking I did on my E6700 was rounding up the clock speed to 2.7 Ghz). I don’t know about you, but when you have a high-end gaming system, I don’t think you’d want your experience marred by noisy fans in an effort to keep your temperatures down. So no overclocking for the foreseeable future. This will of course change eventually, since I intend to milk this system for every last drop of performance it has, but for now, with all my games running smoothly, I see no need for it.
ON Vista: It’s the prettiest OS Microsoft has ever shipped and certainly the most stable and for the time being the most secure. It does however have the same compatibility issues XP had on it’s introduction. particularly when it comes to sound devices. DirectSound as it once was is gone, rendering many old Sound Cards useless and turning Creative’s flagship (the X-FI) into a crippled beast. In my opinion Microsoft and Creative should be ashamed for not addressing the many issues that consumers have been complaining about. Although the majority of the market seems to be heading towards integrated sound on the motherboard, there is still a minority who care for quality sound, who aren’t satisfied with putting on a couple of crappy headphones to ‘enjoy’ the auditory experience. In my case, my problems were so severe (hissing/popping/crackling or no sound at all) that I was forced to downgrade to the 32-bit version of Vista which miraculously solved all the problems. This wil of course cause it’s own issues in the future but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I just find it strange that my crappy 6 year old printer works perfectly fine but the top soundcard on the market won’t work decently with the top OS on the market
Other than this I have nothing but praise for Vista and I believe it would be impossible for me to return to XP as my main OS. How some people demand this exact thing is beyond me.
So there you have it, my write-up. It was hurried, I’ll admit, but now at least I hope I will be able to return to a semi regular blogging schedule.