Monday, March 31, 2014

New Desktop Up and Running!

This isn't my new PC, but it does show how clean the inside of Corsair Carbide 300 can be!

I'm happy to say I now again have a desktop computer!

It took me three months to assemble the components (as I could afford them), and then I made a push and grabbed everything and finished the project.

So, I have an Intel i7 Haswell (latest) 4770 processor which can be overclocked, an MSI gaming motherboard (which allows overclocking), 16 GB of RAM, a solid state boot drive, and a 2 TB hard drive for data (and a second for backup). The power supply generates 850 watts, plenty if I should ever want to run dual video cards. It's all in a Corsair Carbide 300R case with spaces for lots of fans, should I need them. Inside the case is amazingly neat-- all the cables and wires are routed behind the motherboard so no ugly spaghetti mess. There are all sorts of USB 3.0 outlets in the back and two in the front. I'm running an nVidia 520 video card which is a big improvement over the nVidia 9400GT in my old box. An nVidia 760 (which will cost far more than any video card I've ever purchased) is in my computer's immediate future. I even picked up a wireless N router to replace my 10-year-old G model-- for only $19 at Frys! And I retired my 20-year-old Hewlett-Packard Laserjet, replacing it with a Brother all-in-one model with a scanner that works far faster than that of my 15-year-old Brother inkjet.

Even better, I've even installed the many programs I use regularly (I think I'll do a separate post on them in the future).

I planned to put everything together myself, but the great electronics big-box store Frys had a special for assembling new computers. It cost just $49 for them to mount the processor and CPU cooler and RAM and video card to the mother board, put the mother board and drives and an LED lamp into the case so it would be all glowy, route all the wires, and make sure everything worked. And indeed it did!

So yay!

My old Sony VAIO desktop was noisy and tended to run hot. The new computer is whisper quiet and the CPU is staying cool. And it's fast!

The video card is the weakest link in the system, but it's adequate, and as I said, I hope to soon replace it.

My own disappointment was in transporting my Firestorm settings from my laptop to the new computer. Somehow I messed up and wiped out the settings on my laptop.That meant I had to go through some 90 minutes of setting the many switches and buttons in the control panel of the new computer.

Things aren't perfect yet-- my external data drive seems to lose connection with the USB port for a second or two on occasion, and I get an occasional video glitch in Second Life, but for the first time in months I can cam around and move about with ease. That means I can both build and explore more easily-- and I hope to! For six months my in-world activities ,and Sweetie's, have been limited primarily to going to hear D.J. Sparrow Letov spin.

I'm going to take my laptop to the shop to add another 4 GB of RAM and to get the processor removed and re-mounted. When it was new it ran Second Life just fine; it's probably running hot because of dust.

Again:  yay!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Quiet Night at Whimsy

It was another beautiful, uneventful night at Whimsy... so of course Sweetie had to disrupt it. She whipped out her motorized bathtub.

I mean, everyone has one, right?