July 27, 2013

New PC

After five years in production, my Q6600 based PC is feeling a bit sluggish. It's a quad-core Q6600 (gen-1 Core architecture) over clocked to 2.8Ghz with the associated P35 motherboard. From a launch date perspective, its tech is six years old, so I'm quite happy with the lifetime value I got out of it. I did some mid-life upgrades in terms of more RAM, SSD, better video card, etc., and the system is still pretty darn good for games at 1080p (1920x1080). The box was ok for 1080p Handbrake work (20-32 fps), but nothing to write home about. I recently retired an eight core 2008 Mac Pro that could eat 1080p video transcoding at easily double that rate, and I really want one ultra-fast system. Apple decided that it doesn't want (at least yet) to make easily expandable workstations ("trucks"), so my fastest computer will be a Windows machine. Again. Here are the specs of my new PC:
  • Intel 4770K processor
  • Intel DZ87KLT-75K motherboard
  • Seasonic 660W Platinum power supply
  • Corsair H90 liquid CPU cooler
  • Corsair Dominator Pro 16 GB (8x2) DDR3-1866 memory
  • Corsair Obsidian 550D case
  • eVGA Nividia 680 GPU
  • Acer GD235HZ 24" 1920x1080 120hz monitor
  • OCZ Vertex 4 512GB 6Gbs SSD
  • Seagate 3Gbs 1.5 TB drive
  • LG Blu-ray + HD-DVD read/write drive (SATA)
  • Astro A40 Gaming headphones
  • Logitech 9000 web camera
  • Logitech G110 keyboard
  • Razer DeathAdder 3.5G (left hand edition)
I've only got a few hours in-flight with the new machine and almost no time in games or video transcoding, but the new machine boots Windows 8 at warp speed. The build process was relatively simple with spikes of "gosh I wish there was a manual for this". The only significant issue I've seen so far is the RAM is only clocking at 1366Mhz, so I'll have to dive into the BIOS (which is beautiful, BTW) and figure out what is going on. This box is super scalar, with USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, plenty of 6 Gbs SATA ports, etc. It was built to be over-clocked, though I'm not through initial bring-up yet so over-clocking will occur later. I'm spending most of my time bringing apps and games to the new box from my old PC. More reports as the system is fully outfitted with software and actually is used to play games, etc. The only changes I'm going to make are:
  • Move the 256GB SSD from my old PC to new when I'm ready to de-commission my old PC
  • I have one of those crazy inexpensive LG IPS panels (CROSSOVER NEW 27QD LED BLADE ​27" 2560x1440 QHD DVI-D Dual LG S-IPS PC Monitor) on order from Korea. I have a full NVidia 3D gaming rig but almost never use it. I decided it was time to prioritize resolution over 3D gaming now that I have the CPU to support higher resolution gaming
  • I really don't like the spacing on the G110 (keys are too tight together), so I need to find a new keyboard
  • Switch to a 6Gbs HDD for maximum performance
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