Narrowing Down

Published on August 2, 2006

Since early February and March, I’ve been talking (and thinking) about upgrading my home computer. And I’m finally making some inroads to the situation. For whatever this is worth, here are the components I’ve firmly decided on:

  • Asus A8N5X: This motherboard has great reviews at NewEgg, and the socket 939 platform from AMD is way more mature (and stable) than the new Intel stuff (or even AMD’s socket AM2, as far as I know). It looks like this isn’t available anymore at NewEgg. 🙁
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+: A great processor for a very reasonable price (although it went up $15 just today). Dual core should be fun to play with.
  • CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM: Going from 1GB of RAM to 2GB will certainly be an improvement.
  • Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply: I’m going to try a modular power supply and see how well I like it. Antec makes quality units, so I don’t doubt that I’ll be pleased.
  • Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA 3.0GB/s: I’m planning on getting two of these, doubling my available storage (not that I need double the storage mind you). My current Maxtor drives really suck; they’re loud, slow, and I’m tired of dealing with them. Hopefully these Seagate’s will do better. These drives are no longer available at NewEgg. 🙁

I’m also looking at upgrading my video card (preferably to a GeForce 7900GT), but I don’t know which brand to go with. I currently have a card manufactured by eVGA, and as I have mentioned before, it runs a tad warm. I’ve also been reading about a number of stability problems with eVGA 7900 cards, although they recently did a 7900 series reload to fix some of the issues. As a result, I’ve been focusing on the XFX GeForce 7900GT (470MHz). The XFX model comes with stock speeds (most 7900 cards come factory overclocked, something I’m thinking I’d like to avoid) and it has fairly good reviews at NewEgg. The price, around $225 after rebate, isn’t bad either!

Had I fully made up my mind about a video card earlier this week, I would have gone ahead and ordered these components. But I’d rather spend some more time weighing my options. Suggestions? Comments? As always, they are welcome.

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