Finally the time has arrived to upgrade my main workstation. I should rather say ‘forced to upgrade’ Friday last week my trusty old Windows box decided it had given 25 000 hours of reliable service and wanted to retire. Of course this was on start-up in the morning. I knew I should have finished the quotation I had been working on the night before, but wanted to ‘sleep on it’ before finishing off.
A New System
I was tempted, really tempted, to go the dual XEON processor on a top range motherboard (server board) route, but common sense (and my bank account) prevailed. For the same reason that Mac Pro I’ve been eyeing for months had to take a back seat.
Several days spent researching various products; Intel or Gigabyte motherboard, graphics cards, operating systems and so on. Decision made, I can live with a Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 motherboard. Specifications are good enough, will accept 24GB RAM in 6 slots (and I have respect for products from this stable). The CPU – no contest! Intel’s i7 3.4GHz processor (as I mentioned, 2 Xeons are just too expensive…)
Graphics cards – well anything with 1GB memory will do – as long as it has connectors for two displays. The only games likely to be installed are MS Flight Sim, Half Life 2 and MYST… And those run fine on an old nVidia 6800 card. (And seldom get used anyway… I’ve had Half Life 2 since it came out – still only on the 2nd level… My cousin blasted thorough 5 levels in an afternoon the first time he played it!