December 10th, 2016

laptop, mouse, keyboard

The Dreaded Upgrade


Its been happening from time to time - the random, "freezes" and the occasional CPU/MEMORY/DISK spikes. The DISK ones are the worst. And here lately - probably related to those spikes, well...my games haven't been nearly as responsive. Lower frame rates, intermittent hangs. It was time, though I really haven't been looking forward to this day. Upgrades are rarely as joyous as they sound; they are overwhelming upheavals of your entire way of life. Unfortunately, entropy affects us all.

And I hate this part, the deciding upon. I've pretty much compared everything for six hours straight, and here's my second configuration, which puts me close to $400 over my artificial budget (most places will sell you a mid-range gaming rig for just over $1000, this will be significantly better than those):

8-Core 4.0GHz AMD FX-8370 w/Wraith Cooler
32GB DDR3-2133MHz RAM
MSI 990FXA Gaming Mobo
MSI GTX-1060 Graphics
Fully Modular EVGA SuperNOVA GOLD 750W Power Supply
Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card
4TB 7200 RPM/128MB Cache WD Gold Datacenter HDD
Cooler Master Storm Stryker Full-Tower Case

I really wanted a smaller form factor case, but I have too many drives to stuff into that fucker. and this one operates almost like a test-bench which is nice for all the impromptu configuration when you have to stuff your mitts in the internals. Surprisingly, perhaps, my circa-2004 36GB 10k Raptor is still running (fantastic for VM guests) and I plan to have not only a hot-swap SSD boot drive, but also a tertiary SSD drive, as well as a separate volume just to host my iTunes music (mostly for ease of backup/recovery purpose). The impressive stats of that enterprise-level 4TB harddrive should perform flawlessly for photo storage/manipulation & gaming, and while everyone in my household would love the GTX1080, dropping $300 instead of $600 for a graphics card seems prudent, especailly knowing PhotoShop & PowerDirector both can still benefit from ancillary usage of its GPU.

So that's where we are. If I get it before the end of the year, I think I should be able to write-off the upgrade to EHOWTON PHOTOGRAPHY.