Monday, March 28, 2011

Byte: Lurch

Somehow the zombie PC continues to lurch along (albeit rather worryingly, constantly accessing the RAID array even when it doesn't appear to have any reason to) - but the good news is that my shiny new PC has already been put together by the tech-wizards at PC Specialist and is in testing. Fingers crossed it will be sitting in my bedroom by lunchtime on Saturday, gobbling up all manner of software and drivers voraciously.

I can't wait to see what a 64-bit, Windows 7 Pro system runs like on a 3.2GHz 6-core processor with 8GB of RAM. Should be... SPEEDY.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Byte: Time to upgrade

Something very odd happened with my games rig last night. I went to turn it on to have a pleasant evening's trash mob bashing on Dragon Age II and... nothing. Not a beep, hoot or poot. A few whirrs from the PSU cooling fan, but otherwise no life at all. Kind of ruined my evening, really.

Then this morning, as I was about to take the thing to bits to do a little diagnostic poking (since it wasn't even POSTing, and I'd previously had a problem with a dead motherboard battery, my initial prognosis was a dead motherboard), I decided to give it one last check. I prod the power button and... it worked. Hmm. Something definitely strange going on here, thinks I. A computer lurching back to life after showing all the signs of permanent death? What the...? There's only one possible conclusion: MY PC IS A ZOMBIE! AIEEEEE!

Fearing another repeat of PC death, I've left the PC on all day, and instead of doing the mountain of work I have to do today to prepare for next week, I've been configurating and ordering a new PC. As usual, I'm getting it from my preferred supplier, PC Specialist - this will be the third PC I've bought from them.

Here's the spec:

CPU: AMD PHENOM II X6 1090T (3.20GHz/9MB CACHE)
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz
GPU: 1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 460
HDD: 1TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD10EARS, SATA 3 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE

Plus all the usual odds and sods, for near as dammit £700, plus a little extra for a fast track build and a Saturday delivery, but that's fine, since I'm saving £100 because I don't have to buy an OS (as I have the Win7 Pro disk I bought when I was doing my PGCE).

Not quite a ravenous monster spec, but it should cope with most things on max settings fairly easily. It quite comprehensively makes what I've got now look rather old and sad - which it is, to be fair - my dead/dying/undead PC is clocking on for four years old now, so I think I was due an upgrade. Of course, a spec like that is total overkill for playing WoW, but at least now I can think about getting Shogun 2 or Crysis 2 (if I had either the time or the inclination) without thinking 'nope, not going to run'.

Though the really nice thing is that my nice, shiny new PC will be ready and waiting for when Witcher 2 shows up in a couple of months. It'll be nice to play that without having to tone down the details.