Upgrade blues

I bought my previous workstation/gaming pc in spring 2007, which would be five years next May — an eternity in terms of how pc and gaming hardware in particular evolves. As I do not have much of a budget for this (a family man has surprisingly plenty of money outlets), I’d be happy to just get the utility software and OS to run more speedily; the current situation is so laggy it is just unacceptable. The most efficient way to achieve this would be to install an SDD. Checking my old hardware, I realized I should upgrade also the motherboard in order to get SATA III bus, which is necessary if upgrade to SSD would make any sense. In a modern motherboard there would be a new CPU socket, thus: a CPU upgrade. My old DIMM memory modules would no longer be a match to the new CPU; thus: a memory upgrade. At that point, it also becomes apparent that the old GeForce 8800 GTS would be the bottleneck of the new system — thus: also a graphics card upgrade.

Something like ten years ago I would still had loved the challenge, and been eager to build spreadsheets to run various comparisons to gain the ultimate value for money and a future-proof solution. Today, the workload to do such an operation properly just depresses. There will always be some incompatibility or driver issues when you set up a PC system from separate components. Yet, getting a pre-installed box from HP, Apple, or some other major manufacturer does not make much sense either. Recycling the best components (like the Blu-ray optical drive, case, possibly the power source) from the old machine would mean that the “half-new” setup would be c. half the price of comparable manufacturer-made PC. Paying the premium on the other hand would pay towards some kind of peace of mind — perhaps, depending on the quality of system and its guarantee. Having two, three grand extra, I would go for a readymade, high-end setup, no questions asked. Trying to be thrifty while still being able to game and edit videos means that one should be able to invest plenty of time into tweaking — another scarce resource  these days. Sigh…

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the Tampere University, Finland. Occasional photographer and gardener.

2 thoughts on “Upgrade blues”

  1. “Program does not respond.” I am just hating using my desktop these days.

    After reading some reviews and forum threads, here is my current selection for upgrading the core components:

    – mobo: Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 Intel Z68 LGA1155 ATX
    169,90 € at Verkkokauppa.com: http://www.verkkokauppa.com/fi/product/9996/ddhcn/Asus-P8Z68-V-GEN3-Intel-Z68-LGA1155-ATX-emolevy

    – system memory: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB Kit PC3-15000, 1866 MHz, 2×240 DIMM 8 GB Kit(2×4096 MB)
    70,90 € at Verkkokauppa.com:

    – CPU: Intel Core i5-760 2.8 GHz, boxed
    195,90 € at Verkkokauppa.com:

    – SSD: OCZ Agility 3 120 GB 2.5″ SSD SATA III
    165,90 € at Verkkokauppa.com:

    Total: 602,60 €

    This does not include graphics card, so no gaming boost for such upgrade. But I should at least be able to load the OS and see my files before I fall to sleep… Oh yes, OS. To address more than 3 GB of system memory, I’d need a 64-bit Windows, and I own only 32-bit licence. Darn. Maybe I need to move to Linux wholetime.

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