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New Computer!

So it’s finally happened. My computer of 4 years (yes 4 years!) has died. Actually, it died about 2 years ago when the motherboard failed. I don’t know exactly what happened. It seemed that something shorted out. I did want to upgrade at the time, but thought better of it and instead invested in a replacement of the same model. It was an Asus P4P800. RIP.

At the time I didn’t think much of it, and thought it simply was its time, until even the replacement board failed 2 years later. I began to think that maybe the power supply is the one to blame. Everything worked good until my video card fan broke down and I had to buy one of those giant Arctic Cooling fans. I also replaced the CPU heatsink as well along the way, but something in there wasn’t right. Perhaps the wattage on my power supply just wasn’t cutting it anymore, it most likely is the case.

This time, instead of simply going through the effort and cost to get back to pretty much the same state as before, I shelled out for a new PC. It was time, really. The only thing I managed to keep actually, were my hard drives, and the case… I had originally wanted to just simply replace the motherboard with a newer model, but since motherboards nowadays all use PCI-Express, and all I have is an AGP video card, it also meant I would have to get a new video card with the motherboard. One thing lead to another… In addition, my power supply is only 360watts, which isn’t enough to power current gen hardware (and also lacks the supplemental plug for the video card). My DVD drives are also IDE, and current motherboards only have one IDE port (which I’m currently using with my one IDE hard drive) which meant I had to get a new SATA DVD drive as well. My computer case is an Antec Sonata, and the power supply has a “quiet feature” which monitors the case fan as well. Unfortunately, my new power supply doesn’t have that feature, so I had to replace my case fan as well. Also, my RAM was outdated. Though it might have been compatible with my new motherboard, it probably would have slowed the system down. Also, because I was getting a new motherboard, it also meant a new CPU as well.

In the end, my shopping list wound up to be fairly big:

  • Antec Earthwatts 500w power supply
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
  • E VGA Nvidia 8800GT
  • OCZ RAM (2 gigs)
  • Asus P5K ATX motherboard
  • Pioneer DL DVD +/- SATA
  • Scythe Slipstream case fan

For the first time in my life, I took apart my own computer, and installed a new one in its place. I’m still praying that everything will remain fine and working…

I have to say though, that it was much easier than I thought. Only light cursing (and mostly in humor) was the highlight of the process. Every plug has pretty much been dummy-proofed so there’s no real way you can plug it in wrong (except for the Firewire and USB plugs, that is). Overall, I’m quite happy with the performance, especially with the Scythe Slipstream. It’s inaudible! Same with the power supply fan! Right now, the loudest fan I have is the Zalman CNPS7500-CU, which in its own right is probably one of the quietest CPU heatsink fans already!

So now, everything’s all closed up, and my system is re-installed. It pretty much looks the same as before, but now it’s improved significantly. It’ll prolly last me for another 4 years before I need another replacement, but in terms of my needs, this will probably do for the rest of the computer’s life.

  1. February 20, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    4 years, that’s still not old enough. is the old one a p4 computer?

    how much did you spend for this new one? nice setup, get another video card and make them run SLI 😀

    it’s easy to build pc nowadays, the only mistake usually on the LED cabling ^^ but I use all macs now (imac and macbook), so I’m abit rusty on building PC ^^;

  2. shino
    February 21, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    After reading through the post, I think I’m in a whole lotta trouble should my PC ever die on me, and judging by the time frame, my PC is just about at the right age to keel over on me T_T

    Why am I in trouble? Well after reading and seeing the terms you toss out and the hardware names, I think I can sort of understand why the elderly avoid all things PC, dammit, I’m getting too old for this now! Since I never was too into the whole tech scene, I wouldn’t have any clue on what’s the new thing, what goes with what, and even what my needs are. Yeps, I’m in trouble alright :p So do you hire yourself out? You know, when my PC dies on me, I’ll probably be looking for you :p I’ll even let you curse me lightly for being the dimmest bulb on the block.

  3. February 25, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    @ron : 4 years is pretty old, I think. It’s almost half a decade old! Technology changes so fast nowadays! Yeah, it’s a p4 computer. I spent about $1400 back then for it. This new one, I only spent about $900. A bit of savings with the hard drives and case I suppose.

    I’ve already spent enough on my system, and it’ll do what I need it to do. I don’t think SLI is the best bang for buck for me right now anyway.

    You’re right, PC building is super easy. The LED cabling is quite simple now too with Asus’ “Q connect”, which is essentially an extension adapter with labeling on it. You plug all your stuff onto the extension adapter, and then you plug the adapter to the mobo.

    @shino: As ron put it, it’s really not that hard. There’s only one way to plug it in, so chances are, you won’t screw it up. What helped me figure things out was actually dismantling my PC, while looking at the old mobo’s instructions. It helped me identify what cable is for what as I was unplugging it. It’s all pretty straight forward. The basic components of a computer are still the same. If you just read up on some things, you’ll quickly get the hang of it. If you start with one component, it eventually leads you to the rest of the components you need. From my shopping list, you can tell that I pretty much bought a new machine.

    If your computer breaks down and you need a new one, let me know and I’ll help you out.

  4. May 5, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Hmm. Nice component choices, I approve. In hindsight you may think it wasn’t the best timing, but you picked great components and good brands. Hope it worked out.

  5. May 6, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Oh yes most definitely! My computer hasn’t had any problems so far, and hope that it will remain that way. Mind you, I haven’t exactly utilized it’s full potential yet – (IE intensive Maya rendering, or Gears of War). Maybe I should try that out today. 🙂

    Mind you also, that buying a computer is like a marriage to me. I don’t look in hindsight and am just happy with what I have. Prices always drop, so there’s no point in feeling bad. I’ve stopped upgrading my software now, so I really see no point. And since I’m mostly a console gamer, I can have the same PC for quite the number of years without complaint.

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