Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New: A PC Upgrade Story

Before I get into the details of the new rig I'm about to put together, let's take a trip down remembrance lane.

I first heard about EVE Online sometime circa 1999-2000. At the time I was working at IBM and had jut gone from a Mac to an IBM PC300 tower. I could run Diablo at an average setting, but that machine wasn't what you would call a PC Gamer's Dream Machine, far from that! Really far... as in far far away in an other galaxy kind a distance.

Fast forward to 2002, when I finally got EVE and put it onto that machine, I believe it ran at about a frame a minute. And I'm being generous here! Suffice to say, this gamer needed a better rig. And so began the quest to build myself a PC. After reading profusely various computer power user magazines and books, I finally put together a decent system (at the time). It ran a P4, 500Mb of RAM and a Radeon 9800 Pro (after an early upgrade from a 9200).

Over the next few years, the system would see some much needed improvements, as well as an unforeseen mobo replacement. The last major upgrades being a replacement of the 9800 Pro for an XFX GeForce 7600 GT, 256 MB DDR3, 580MHz, AGP 8x and then maxing out the P4 with a 3.2GHz. Suffice to say when the system finally failed a few months ago, I was in need of a much better gaming rig!

Which brings me to earlier this week, when I finally placed my order with NCIX.com. Having discussed my needs with a few gaming buddies at work, and after getting the advice of Mathieu Bourgie (@MathieuB), author of Hardware Revolution, I finally placed my order for the following:
Add that the 3 items I'm keeping from my old PC:
Before placing my order, I checked for the best pricing using PriceCanada.com and then using NCIX's price matching, was able to save $60! Too bad for NewEgg.ca which doesn't offer price matching!

Everything shipped last night, except for the processor. Hopefully it'll be on its way soon!


MathieuB said...

Hey CrazyKinux,

Glad to hear that you checked for the best pricing and that you saved $60, that's really great!

Needless to say, this will be quite a big improvement in performance compared to your previous setup.

I'm sure that it will perform very well and you don't have to worry as you can upgrade your CPU and video cards for more powerful ones in the future without having to replace the motherboard. Same goes for adding RAM.

Let me about it once it's assembled =)

Dierdra Vaal said...

Nice rig. Did you consider a Western Digital Raptor (10000rpm) drive to run your games on? I have two of them in raid0 and that seriously decreases my loading times :D

Rakanishu said...

Cool Rig CK. You should see a performance increase of at least 50fps I would think.

Shuttler said...

Hey CK

Firsty, those are some great choices.

Ironically I have gone from a decent gaming rig to playing EVE on an imac. Surprisingly it runs like a dream so far.

Oh and I am back in trying EVE again a noob for the 5th time maybe?

CrazyKinux said...

@MathieuB - Will certainly let you know how things go once she's running!

@Dierdra - That's one nice fast drive and setup you've got there!

@Rakanishu - I'm hoping to see one hell of an improvement! Just booting under a minute will be sweet enough!

@Shuttler - 5th times eh? Don't worry, eventually you'll figure it out!

Spectre said...

I cringed when i saw the "Windows Vista" part but the Windows 7 upgrade probably makes it worth it. You make me really want to go out and upgrade my PC... some of the stuff on my current machines is 10+ years old (go go SB Live! Value).

Blue Kae said...

Congratulations on the upgrade. Unfortunately I'm now the last gamer on the planet still using a P4 3.2Ghz processor. Guess I need to start working on getting an upgrade approved by the purchasing department.

CrazyKinux said...

@Blue Kae - I feel for you! Let me know and I'll send you a few tips on how to get through all the red tape! :p

Blue Kae said...

@CrazyKinuk - So getting 15fps in Champions Online with minimal settings was the last straw for me, I finally braved the wife aggro and built a new PC. Jumped from a P4 3.2ghz to an i7 920. I'm in tech heaven now.