Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Time To Rebuild

My desktop computer has been giving me problems. It all started when my UPS (uninterruptible power supply) died. Uninterruptible, by the way, doesn't seem to be a real word, the spell checker doesn't like it and it's not in the dictionary - anyway, but that's the word they use. Apparently, it suffered a power surge that took it out. It's not a dead battery, it smells burnt and it's completely dead. I just plugged the computer into the wall and it worked, sort of. It kept crashing and I had to slow down the CPU to keep it going. Eventually it just stopped working altogether. That's the second UPS I lost this way and the first time it took out the computer, too. The first was an APS and the last a Belkin.

I've been looking into surge protectors - what a confusing mess. I settled on a Panamax, I hope it works out. Everyone claims to be the best and they trash the rest. I might get another UPS but I will plug it into the surge protector. I wouldn't mind a sacrificial UPS if it saved the computer but they don't offer very good surge protection.

I built this computer not too long after Windows XP came out. It was long before the SP2 update. It has an AMD Athlon 1400 processor, Asus A7V-133 motherboard and 1500 megs of PC133 ram. The only thing I'm keeping is the case (Lian-Li aluminum), probably the power supply and the DVD burner - maybe.

I'm going with an Intel processor this time - E6600 Core 2 Duo. There are so many choices in the PC world it makes choosing the components a chore. I wanted a firewire and an eSata port on the motherboard - I decided on the MSI P35 Platinum. I chose a SAPPHIRE 100166L Radeon X1650XT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - that's a mouth full. I'm not looking for bleeding edge performance, I just want a good system. 2 Gigs Kingston DDR 667 ram - could've went with 800 but it costs twice as much and I don't think it's that much faster. I went with 2 Sata hard drives, 80 gigs for the operating system and programs and 320 gigs for storage - both Western Digital. I have a 320 gig eSata drive for back ups. I'll be sticking with Windows XP for now, can't really afford to upgrade to Vista now anyway and I don't want to waste the money if it doesn't work out.

I enjoy putting these together, I wish I could do it more often. I'll have my fun next week and hopefully everything goes well and I'll have a good, reliable system for years to come.

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