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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default New Year, New Computer

Finally decided it was time to retire my 10 year old Dell, and upgrade to something more in keeping with new internet service which isn't horribly slow. In the past, I have looked around carefully and found that it is generally less expensive to buy a system than to build one with the same specs, and that is what I did. This time, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and build one, even if I spend more money, just for the experience, and the 'bragging rights'. I am quite pleased with the results.
I know it isn't the fastest machine, bit it is pretty fast, with a six core processor and 8 GB Ram, 1TB hard drive, and a video card with it's own 1GB Ram. 24X DVD burner and 19" widescreen monitor, and I am in business.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the Win7 install to be so easy. I just sat back and watched it go. Yes, Win7 and not 8. My wife's laptop has 8, and it's a messy kluge.
Next order of business is to add a Blu-ray burner, a front panel card reader, and a fax modem for those times I need to send and receive fax messages. It will also double as an answering machine and voicemail, keeping a digital record of those annoying phone spammers, to pass along to the State AG office.
BTW, I'm 63, and this is the first computer I have built from scratch. It turned out to be a lot easier than I expected, and a lot of fun. Anybody need a custom built box?

Brian
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 1:40 PM   #2
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Good to learn that your build appears to be a success and that so far you are happy with the result. The issue typically with building from scratch is selecting hardware (with its attendant software drivers) that works well together. (Typical problem area is the video card selection.)

You probably should still run some performance stress tests to ensure no surprises. Once I get my builds tailored to satisfaction, I will use windows performance monitor (tailor the output display for CPU, disk and memory usage) then conduct my own inspection (look and feel) something as follows:

Simultaneously conduct the following operations:

- Surf the internet (eg, play a YouTube) while,
- Rip a DvD to hard drive while,
- Play a movie from the hard drive while,
- Photo Shop is open and doing some edit/processing while,
- Having open some Office documents (some Word, Excel and Access applications) while,
- Doing some typing
- While copying some folders from one location to another

If the system can do all of the above concurrently reliably and not fault or lock up (but just runs slow), then you should be good.

Last edited by sdromel; Jan 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:20 AM   #3
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My top priorities were Photo Editing, Audio Editing, and some Video transcoding, but not all at the same time . It does these jobs very much better. With the old machine, applying a filter to a three minute audio track, took about 30 seconds to complete. With this new machine, I barely have time to release the key and it's finished.
I did try to stress it some, by streaming a movie to the HDTV for my wife to watch while I did some photo editing on the monitor. No strain at all. The movies was seamless, and there were no glitches in the photo edit program. Not much more that I will be asking from it.

What is really interesting to me, is that with the new Blu-ray burner, and the 4-layer BD-R discs, I can store 128GB on one disc, which is the entire capacity of the old Dell.

brian
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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I am a huge fan of build your own computers, unfortunately I can't justify one any more as my work give me a workstation at work and a laptop for home. Since they swap my laptop every couple of years it makes no sense to get my own, also since I have a tablet too.
Long story short I am a little jealous.

The one thing I would highly recommend is a SSD, something like this older 120GB solid state drive for the OS and other program files can make a huge difference in your experience even with all the other good stuff you got in there.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...CODE=WEM3522TO

The last PC I did anything with at home is my home theater PC and I found that putting even a 64GB SSD in there made a huge difference in the speed with which applications launch and menus function. SSD for the OS and applications and keep the terabyte drive for the storage.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:03 PM   #5
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Agree fully, but Im also a big fan on the Anandtech computer technical forms. Am seeing a good number of experienced issues related to addition of SSD. Recommend reading anandtech forum experiences before choosing any SSD then proceeding to install.
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