So I think it has been three or so years since my last upgrade. That time I bought this current AMD Phenom II x4 940, which has been an excellent rig. The motherboard which i still have, the Gigabyte GA-MA79o is also an excellent buy that i can recommend to anyone. The graphics card, a Radeon 4850 has been my baby for about two years maybe? But now it’s time to let them go, and get something a bit fresh..er.
After some consultation with A, I decided to go with an Intel rig. But also because I didn’t find anything earth-shatteringly great in AMDs current lineup. Nothing that would warrant an upgrade anyway. I was looking at their Bulldozer-lineup, the FX-series. I was looking at either a quad, hex or octo-core models, but I’m pretty sure the octocores are pretty much useless, unless you are doing virtualization and the likes. And the actual benefit from switching from my 940 -> FX.. say FX-4100 is minimal. Sure, the clock-frequency goes up a bit, but performance is pretty much the same. It would have been a moot upgrade I think.
So, as I said, I settled for an Intel build. It is noteworthy to mention that the last time I bought an Intel build was 1997. I was in junior-high, and it was my first build that I paid for mostly by myself (of course this was far from my first machine, as I’ve detailed in previous posts). I couldn’t afford a real Pentium II, so i ended up with a Celeron 300 MHz. How much ram did i have? 128MB? 256? Something like that. An Intel 740 graphics card because I couldn’t afford a GeForce or whatever was the thing back then. It was a hobo-build. But it was my hobo-build.
This new build will kick ass on a metric scale. I never buy the latest shit, because it costs way too much in proportion to what you get, but here is my build:
- Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 motherboard (123€)
- Intel Core i5 2500 processor (quad-core 3.3 GHz), Sandy Bridge (199€)
- Sapphire Radeon 6850 (160€)
- 8GB DDR3 (45-55€)
Now, a few notes here. 8GB because that’s about the cheapest over-4GB-set you can get. It consists of two 4GB sticks. Probably Kingston Hyper-X 1600MHz, because I’m not after that added .00004% added performance from some expensive memory (you get the point). The Asus was picked with A’s assistance, since I had no (ok still don’t but i’ve read some now!) working knowledge of Intel-based platforms. Apparently, the Z68 is the successor to P68. Then there’s the Z77 which is bleeding edge, but really, this Asus board promises all of the main features that tha Z77 boasts: Support for the 3rd generation Core processors (Ivy Bridge), and there were some added things like integrated graphics support, and PCI Express 3.0 standard support. All of these are present in the Z68. I could have gotten a similarly priced Z77 (Jimms has one for 129 euros at Assembly Summer 2012), but I want my stuff before Assembly kicks off, which is on Thursday the 2nd.
The processor. I looked long and hard at the i3, but once again, A convinced me to go quad core, so i picked the 2500. Surprisingly, the 2400 was a few euros more expensive, for reasons unknown. I did not get the K model (an extra 20 bucks) because I have no intentions of overclocking my hardware. I seldom do, and when I do, it’s for thrills and testing. The i5 2500 has VT-x support for virtualization, no hyper-threading (which is present in the i7 models), and contains integrated Intel 2000-series graphics. I’m down with this.
The parts will arrive tomorrow, and I’ll post something about it, I’m sure. My current parts go to H for her Assembly build. And her current components go to my dad who had a funny mishap with his computer. The clip that holds the CPU-cooler in place broke off. The cooler (all 500 grams of it) fell down on the graphics card and then to the bottom of the case. Interesting! He needs at least a mobo change, but i figured, what the hell. He can get a whole set while we’re at it.
Ok more on this tomorrow.