Getting New Boxen
Well, after some considering and waffling I’ve decided to upgrade the computers in my office. Unlike the last time this will not be the main workstation (which is humming along just fine) but the “secondary” windows box and Firefly’s system as well. I found Discovery Computers, a new store in town (to me, it’s two years old) which seems to have decent build your own system and as a bonus, is 5 minutes down the road. I’d even pay their $50 assembly fee to not have to deal with putting it all together myself (maybe). At least they give you the option of paying the Microsoft tax or not.
As a bonus of course, is that these systems would be erhm…. used for the business, meaning that a) it’s a write off, and b) it’s not really “my” money, which is nifty.
I spent some time yesterday putting together a decent middle of the road system for Firefly (AMD 2600+, 120G, 512M, CDRW, undetermined video card at this time) and a slightly better system as a development server (1G ram, 8M cache on the 120G hard drive, unknown video card). Basically hitting the price point on each item as I went along. Still not sure what video cards to get though. I haven’t stayed in the loop as far as that goes, so I’m undecided. For Firefly I almost went for the A7N8X-VM with integrated video, but the benchmarks seemed to say that it just wasn’t there, and while her games aren’t the most graphics intensive, having that system as a spare for LAN parties would be a bonus.
So I’m told by my buddy Oneiros that ATI is the way to go (though the benchmarks say that if you have $700 to spend on a nVidia FX-5900 ultra that’s the way to go… however, “real” money or not, and company write off or not, that sort of cost offends me :). He suggested the ATI Radeon 9700 (not the newer and higher priced 9800) but they don’t show that card in their web store. It’s not Linux so I don’t have to worry about getting something that’s got good Linux support like the nVidia cards. I’m going to talk to them tonight though, so we’ll see how it is. I may just throw caution to the wind and get a good video card. It may be a “Windows development” computer for the company (which it will be), but if it’s a shit hot gaming box that’s just a nice bonus <g>
For the motherboard I’m still trying to find the real differences between the A7N8X, and the A7N8X-X. The -VM has integrated video, the A7N8X-DX (which I have on my Linux box) has Dolby sound and dual ethernet ports), but not sure about the other two.
Other than that the rest is pretty standard. Just need to really figure out what video cards to put in them.
And after it’s all done I will have two “spare” boxes to do with as I please (already spoken for, sorry faithful readers… and no, I haven’t gone through my other old hardware yet 🙂
So today after work I’ll go there, present my printout from their webstore, see if they can do it and in what sort of time frame (ie: can I pick them up tomorrow night), get suggestions on the MB and video card, and then go home.