~  Meow.  ~
Friday, August 28, 2015
A technological upgrade
I finally DID IT! I upgraded my home PC!
I know, i know. You would think that someone as TECH SAVVY and on the FOREFRONT OF TECHNOLOGY would have the latest, shiniest toys in his abode, no? Well, i am also (thankfully) both intelligent and prudent. Meaning i buy quality vs price, take care of it, and make it last.
Please divert your attention to Exhibit A.

My last computer was built in August of 2008, with a minor hard-drive upgrade 3 months later. TWO THOUSAND EIGHT! That's seven years, boys and girls, for those that are counting. Alexander was a mere 3 months old at this time! A pretty DARN impressive accomplishment in a time when technology is moving at the speed of light.

None the less, what prompted me to do this, asks you? Well, i turned it on a few days ago, and it just shuts off. Like immediately. Here are the steps:
1) Press the ON button.
2) Computer lights up
3) half a second later, the computer turns off

A bit anti-climactic, if i may say so myself. So using a free Saturday (which are literal GOLD in my current situation) i assume it's a power supply issue, as these things are the usual ones to go first. Of course i forget that i knew that when i built the beast, and had splurged on a higher-quality and higher-cost power supply. I switched out the power supply with a backup and..... exactly the same result. Power supply vindicated.

And so... there could only be one culprit. With no beeps to indicate a failed video card or bad memory, the mother board was the ultimate suspect.
Game over.

And yet..... an opportunity to enter into the 2010 decade! I took it with OPEN and optimistic arms, and visited my favorite online computer parts retailer, NewEgg with some immediate satisfaction from my local Fry's Electronics.

So without any further adoooo..... i present to you my new (upgraded) Centurion!

ASUS Z97-A/USB3.1 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard ($159.99)

Intel Core i5-4690K Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 88W BX80646I54690K Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4600 ($238.99)

Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PVL316G160C9K ($109.99)

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler ($29.99)

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 04G-P4-1970-KR 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 G-SYNC Support Video Card ($329.99)

Now i know that the video card was a bit over kill. My last one still works just fine. But i wanted to be PREPARED for any and all future games the 'verse would throw at me. And now i am in spades. I also needed a new keyboard. The full out ABUSE my last one took from too much SMITE pounding should land me in FPS jail. I gave it a final kiss, and then handed it off to my offspring along with a screwdriver to see what he could do with it. It wasn't pretty.

Perixx PERIBOARD-106US, Performance wired keyboard ($21.49)

I'm using the existing monitor, Centurion case, power-supply and DVD-write drive as before because, well, they're great and... why not?? :)

Total cost of system upgrade: $890.44

You may think this is excessive, but when this computer lasts me another seven years, we'll see who's the last laugh!

Ok. So it's all well and good. But how does she PERFORM?? Well, feast your eyes on this! I first ran the benchmarks using the middle-of-the-line video card from seven years ago. Here are the results.

- Cinebench single : 7,567 +130%
- Cinebench multi : 25,294 +120%
- Everest Mem Read : 12,233 MB/s +53%
- Everest Mem write : 17,784 MB/s +110%

- 3DMark06 : 18,113 (1280 x 1024) +17% , 14,886 (1920 x 1200)
- 3D Mark Cloud Gate : 9,432
- 3D Mark Sky Diver : WNR
- 3D Mark Fire Strike : WNR
- 3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme : WNR

And then, i plopped in the new GeForce GTX 970 to see how this beast would increase the visual performance of the system. WOW. Impressive, and well worth the $$$!

- 3DMark06 : 32,171 (1280 x 1024), 31,624 (1920 x 1200) +112% (SM2.0=12,448,SM3.0=16,902,CPU=7,099)
- 3D Mark Cloud Gate : 19,345 +105%
- 3D Mark Sky Diver : 15,951
- 3D Mark Fire Strike : 6,099
- 3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme : 3,371

So, what is worth it? In short, HELLs yea! I have yet to play a game to bring this system to it's knees. But! I've smartly left multiple avenues for upgrades. I can at any future double the memory and max it out at 32 GB. The motherboard supports an upgrade to an I7, so if i need more processing power, it's a simple swap.

None the less, i fully expect this computer to last me through 2020 and beyond.

Arthur C. Clarke would be proud.

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