I recently decided it was time to upgrade to a new computer so I thought I’d provide some details.

I’m quite the technology fanatic and that holds true with computers. I hadn’t had much of a reason to upgrade my (now several years old) Dell 8400 which has been doing a great job. And I’m almost embarrassed to say that the primary reason I wanted to upgrade was for PC gaming. Sure I also do video editing and encoding which is another reason to upgrade. In fact you can now encode video faster than real-time with the CPU I chose. But this is not as necessary a reason to upgrade as the latest gaming requirements are.

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The planets have lined up just right for the release of a slew of amazing games (links below) for the PC platform that haven’t been matched in recent history. One of the compelling aspects of these games is their video quality. This is largely due to the new graphics technology built into Windows Vista in the form of Direct X 10.

My last 2 computers have been Dell’s but because I decided to go with some bleeding edge tech this time, and Dell hadn’t yet built systems around what I wanted. So it was back to building a machine on my own this time around. In Doing so, it was time to choose from a menu of components to provide the exact recipe for my needs. Here’s the highlights of the system I ended up with:

CPUIntel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz (Best price/performance choice right now)
MotherboardIntel DP35DPM (1333 FSB)
CaseAntec Sonata III (Amazingly quiet!)
Hard Drive(s) – 2 Western Digital WD5000ABYS 500Gb in RAID 1 Configuration + Another WD5000AAKS 500Gb for additional storage & backup
Video CardeVGA Nvidia 8800 GTS 320Mb (mid-range DX10 card)
Memory
– 4Gb of PC-6400 800MHz RAM
OS – Windows Vista Business 32bit (almost went 64bit)

I’ve had the system for about a month now and it’s awesome. I’m amazed by how quiet the system is. Everything is also soooo much faster. Of course I’m not using any of the fancy Vista stuff. In fact one of the first things I did was revert to the Windows Classic Theme and use a Classic Start Menu. I’m not a fan of all the fancy look and feel crap…I like it old school and simple.

I’ll post more details on some of the Vista setup quirks I came across and methods to get around them as well as my current software suite. But for now, here’s the amazing slew of games that prompted me to upgrade.

(In order of anticipation)

Crysis, Call of Duty 4, The Orange Box, Bioshock, Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War, and Medal of Honor Airborne

…and this doesn’t include being able to run my current favorite game Battlefield 2 maxed out.

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