Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's official, I finally switched to Windows 7

I completed building my new computer today (was off) and installed windows 7.

There is still tons of stuff to install and configure, but things are falling together.  Lot of the common apps like Firefox and Thunderbird are fairly easy as I can just copy over the profile and it takes it.

Overall I'm quite happy with 7.  Some stuff is different, but it's not that hard to find things, and the annoying stuff (like UAC) is easy to turn off.

I switched it to Windows classic, then decided to switch it back, the default is kinda growing on me, I think I'm actually going to stick with it.  The computers I had tried it on before were slow so it was really choppy, but on this machine that's the least of my worries.

I'm only using about 2GB/12GB of ram.  I freaked a bit when I saw that 80GB of my 120GB SSD was used, turns out it was the page file, disabled that, with 12GB of ram I wont need it, and I would rather put it on a spindle (or at least separate SSD) drive if I did end up using a page file.

I will post pics of the actual PC later.  I'm still waiting for my 1000w power supply to come in. I gave up waiting and bought a 600w to get me by as it was the only missing part.  So I did not hookup the SLI cable just yet, I'll wait.

After 5+ years since my last build I have to say lot of things changed hardware wise.

1. Everything is so HUGE.  The video cards, heat sink, even the ram now has huge heat sinks on it.

2. It's still hard to find a case that has proper ventilation in mind.  I still found one though.  Decided to go for a full positive pressure setup, all intakes, no exhausts.  What would be exhaust ports are left open obviously, and the air naturally goes out of them.  That way the combined air flow of the fans is higher than if I had some intake and some exhaust. 

3. Instructions don't get very in depth.   It took me a while to figure out how to install the cpu and the heat sink.  I had a feeling I knew how as it's not very hard, but when you're dealing with over $500 of equipment (the cpu and motherboard specificly) you don't want to "think" you are doing it right, you want to "know".  After a bit of research I confirmed I was doing it right, so I went ahead, no issues. 

4. Included accessories: there is much less now.  CPUs used to always come with a heatsink/fan, not anymore!  Found that out the hard way.  Also I did not even get an Intel Inside sticker. :( I want my sticker!  It makes the computer go faster.

A bit more on point 1:

When I got the heat sink on, I found out the hard way that I could only put 2 sticks of ram not 3 or 4.  At first I was going to settle with 8GB but the more I got thinking, the more I realized I can't just settle for 8, when my 5 year old server has 8.  I want to go a step ahead of things here!  I analyzed the situation and tried to figure out what I can do.  Turns out if I turn the heat sink around I can fit the ram.  Cool!  It was VERY close to not fitting that way because one of the video card though.   Speaking of which, I was not able to add the sound card, because there are only 2 of the 16x slots that actually run at 16x.  One of which interfere with the only PCI slot.  So I decided to leave out the sound card for now. If I find the onboard is not good enough (they tend to be bad when gaming) I will get a USB one.  I do have an available PCI-e 1x slot but I may want to put a network card in there.  I like having two network cards so I can connect to my external network directly if I have to, without disconnecting from my main.

At the end, everything went fairly smooth.  Best part: no DOA parts!  I think this is my first build where every part actually works!  First time I run into issues where stuff does not fit, but it turned out to not be so bad.  Only left with no sound card.

I'm still installing and configuring everything, I can't wait to actually game on this!  I also need to find some kind of widget to monitor the temperatures, I always like having that visible.


Marcis said...

You just keep buying stuff. I do read your blog occasionally. As far as I've gathered you are an IT support kind of dude.

2k for a computer, server rack before that and even paying for a mortgage. Not to mention server rent.

How much do you earn dude???

Red Squirrel said...

I make about 60k which is decent for my age, most of these projects were done over the course of a long enough time so I could save up the money. It probably helps that I'm not married, haha!