Thursday, August 16, 2007

Assembly Line

Nerds (or geeks, if you prefer) tend to have some degree of cross-training. That is to say, someone who focuses on console gaming may also have interest in sci-fi or fantasy. Or a videophile may also branch out into computing. And regardless, they likely have a decent working knowledge of classical mechanics, i.e. Newtonian physics. Well, at least my nerd friends are like that. And myself of course.

Nowadays I pigeonhole myself as a figure otaku. This status is relatively recent, as the obsession only started about November of last year. Prior to that I was primarily a PC gamer, and before that a console gamer. The whole time, I've been collecting anime DVDs and Magic cards.

None of these interests, primary or secondary, have really gone away, merely waxing and waning over time, usually tied to some real life change. My console gaming days were largely numbered when my sister left for college; no consistent audience/partner. My PC gaming days passed by as my laptop's wonderful Radeon Mobility 7500 could no longer run anything made in the last 2 years; it was a small miracle KOTOR 1 & 2 could crawl along enough for me to finish them! And even now, I can see my figure otaku days being numbered as the increasing cost and decreasing living space both crunch down on me. My laptop will make 5 years old next month. I love little Lysandra very much, but it is time for me to move on. It's a pretty good time to be getting a new system, as multi-core CPUs are now mainstream and can be had on the cheap.

I've missed playing Guild Wars also; the graphics upgrade implemented in Nightfall murdered my playability. But instead of a preconstrct, this time I am venturining into the wonderful world of computer self-assembly. Naturally, I am an all-or-nothing person, so I'm going to make it harder on myself and do two machines at once: my average gamer's machine and my sister's budget gamer's machine. Being new and really paranoid, no overclocking is planned at all until pretty well into the lifecycle (i.e. when it starts to really suck). No aftermarket coolers for now. Acronyms aplenty follow.

My parts:

  • CPU: Intel C2D E6550
  • MB: MSI P6N SLI Platinum
  • RAM: 2GB OCZ
  • GPU: 8800GTS 320MB
  • HD: WD Raptor 150GB
  • PSU: Silverstone ST75ZF 750W
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 330
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Other: Lite-On 20X DVD Burner Lightscribe, Scythe S-Flex fans
Sissy's parts:

  • CPU: AMD X2 4600+
  • MB: MSI K9AG Neo2-Digital 690G
  • RAM: 2GB Patriot
  • GPU: 8600GT 256MB
  • HD: WD Caviar 500GB
  • PSU: Antec 380W (included with case)
  • Case: Antec NSK 4400
  • OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Other: Pioneer 16X DVD Burner
I know for a fact that my PSU is currently overkill, but the price difference with 500-600W models was pretty small and I plan to use this computer for around 5 years. Consider the excess an allowance for age. Connections permitting, it may even be usable in the next build with the "green" computing craze for low-power parts.

These parts are already ordered. If FedEx delivers a miracle, it'll be here tomorrow. More likely it will be Monday. I'll solicit reactions anyway and post the results of the build when they're done.

(No RMA, no RMA, no RMA, no RMA, no RMA, no RMA...)

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