Goal #4: Computer Upgrades

I forgot another goal when I was doing goals a couple of days ago so I thought I’d talk about that one today. Essentailly my 4th goal is to build a totally new computer for Windows Vista. I know I know, Vista is just OSX, but damn that OS is pretty and I’m SICK of the 9x look, it is just so stale by this time. Honestly I wish that they would take a cue from MMO games and winamp and just allow people to skin the entire OS to make it look how you want it. But alas they don’t.

Also while the Vista plans for games don’t seem huge, it does seem to be better suited for gaming than the current kernel. I’ve heard that it has the ability to shut down temporarily all the background programs so that your game will run faster, I also heard somewhere that they have some functionality to make it so that you won’t have to have a CD in the drive to play a game anymore, and then just having a more standardized DX minimum specs may help games advance better as well.

So I am slowly building a brand new system to be spankin hot. Right now my system is an old Athlon XP 2000+ I think or somewhere around that with an older nvidia FX video card. What I am aiming to get is a Dual Core Intel, SLI Nvidia cards, 2GB of RAM, wireless TiVo like features for my TV and 2 flat screen monitors all in a small box.

First off the box. I’m sick as hell of the ginormous towers I’ve had the last decade. I want a small and stylish box that doesn’t take up room. I’ve considered going microATX for this next system but this is going to largely depend on if I can find a DX10 SLI mATX mobo by the time Vista launches. The fact that there remain no DX10 cards on market make this unlikely.

I have a fairly nice 21″ flat-screen CRT monitor, but again I am sick of the clunkiness of it so this is why I plan on making the leap to LCDs. I’ve never been fond of the quality of LCDs in the past and that is why I bought this monitor 3 or 4 years ago, but supposedly the quality has gotten better and cost has gone down. I’m hoping to find a decent HD ready 19″ widescreen LCD for my main monitor and then get a 15-17″ normal LCD with perhaps a swifel to make it page length for the secondary screen. I’ve always wanted 2 screens, 1 for games, 1 for everything else so I think this will be nice addition.

The Dual Core I think will be a good deal by the time I buy it in a few months, and the Quad will be coming out soon. I am not trying to be SOTA, I’m just trying to make it competitive again. I have been noticing quite a bit of lag in some of the newer games and my system just can’t handle it anymore. Plus I heard that with Vista, Microsoft will consider any new motherboard a new system so you will have to get a new copy of Vista if you get a new mobo so it seems the oppropriate time to buy a new system.

I already got a new soundcard… I upgraded a couple months ago from the Audigy to the X-Fi, got the fidel1ty version really cheap even though there aren’t many games that really work with the x-ram I figured it couldn’t hurt to have it and more games may be added for it in the future. I also have bought a new DVD burner with lightscribe on it. I previously have had just a CD burner that didn’t even really work that well for the last couple years so I am in need of an update there. I really wanted to get a slot drive but there was only 1 on the market and it was substantially more expensive so I deemed it not worthy.
I’m thinking my next purchase will be either the smaller LCD screen (because I figure I should let the bigger one drop in price if I can get it) or the hard drive. I decided to just get a new hard drive with SATA instead of bringing along my old ones because I want to start with a clean slate and I’m giving this computer to a friend free so I’ll just leave the hard drives on it. I’m looking at a Western Digital with either 350GB or 500GB. I can’t decide which I want. On one hand I think 350 will likely serve me well for a very long time, but then I think if I am going for tivo functionality I’ll likely need the bigger drive. I got a couple weeks left so if a sale goes on in one of them that makes it hard to say no to I’ll probably buy it based on the deal.