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The New Beast (A New Computer for Justin)

Many of you will remember how 6 years ago (almost) I got a new computer… In fact, there’s even a post about it on this website.

Well I finally decided it was time to upgrade again… Below again is the comparison of where the beast stood when started, when it ended, and compared against Beast 2.

Beast Start Beast EOL New PC
OS WinXP 32 Pro Vista 32 Ult. Vista 64 HP
Processor 3.0ghz 3.0Ghz HT 2.6Ghz i7 Quad w/HT
HD Space 1tb (4×250) 1.7tb (R1 4×250,
1x1TB, 1×200)
1 tb (R1, 2x1tb)*
Ram 1gb 2gb 6gb
CD/DVD 4xDVD 12x DVD Burner 16x DVD Burner
Capture Cards TV Card TV Card None*
Vid Card Hercules 9800
ATI 9800
MSI Nvidia 260, 756mb
Sound Card Onboard 5.1 SB X-fi Onboard 7.1

So as you can see… on paper, doesn’t look like *to much* of an upgrade from the “end-of-life” beast… However, it really shines now, doing everything I want it to do… So here’s a summary of the upgrades over time, and why I got what I got.

OS – I like to stay on top of the latest OS for my primary OS. That said, beast was never capable of handling a 64 bit OS until now, so I was limited to 32bit ultimate. I went with Home Premium on the new beast primarily because I already had a purchased license for it (I had bought extra at one point in time), but also because Ultimate really doesn’t get me anything I need that I couldn’t get in Home Premium. If I ever need to upgrade, I can always do that through MS’s tool. So yes, I’m on to Vista 64-bit… and other than a compatibility issue with Cisco VPN software, it runs better than ever.

Processor – This was the real reason for the upgrade. OS’s and software have long been using dual cores to their advantage. My single core with Hyperthreading was paying a steep price for it. Now I have a bigger L2 cache, 4 cores with HT (so it shows at 8)… Needless to say… the processor is no longer holding things up.

Ram – Ram is so cheap these days, there’s no reason not to go excessive. I put 6gbs (3x2gb). It runs in triple channel mode (so basically triple the speed), and thanks to 64 bit, I can actually use all of it… I have 1 more slot, so someday I can go to 12Gb (or if I want to pay more, I can take it all the way to 24gb).

HDD – So the new beast actually has less storage than the old beast… At least for now. The old beast had 4 drives in raid 1 for 500tb. That was my primary drive. I then had a 200gb drive on the side for my OS, and a 1tb drive for storing video footage. The new beast has 2, 1tb drives, again in raid 1 for performance and redundacy, so technically less usable, but more redundant space. I may take the 1tb video footage drive out of the beast and move it into this computer eventually… But with Gigabit ethernet in both computers, there isn’t much of a need thanks to network file sharing.

DVD and TV Capture Cards – Not much to say here other than, for $25.00, you can get a nice burner with lightscribe from newegg. I didn’t get a TV card with this PC… but that has more to do with my viewing habbits than anything else. I can always take the old card and move it into the new computer.

Sound Card – The old beast got a new sound card because I needed powered output for my headphones, something my motherboard didn’t do on all 5 channels (yes, I have 5.1 headphones). That said, it still probably has the nicer sound card… However, I didn’t feel the need to move it, because the onboard card has proven already to be more than I need… Supporting multiple inputs, auto-detection, 7.1 powered output, etc. So Unless something comes up, I don’t plan on moving the card.

Case – As soon as I get pictures online of this stuff… The case is probably my favorite improvement… Namely, it has handles and weighs about 10 pounds less. Airflow is also about 100 times better, which means I may do that overclocking I’ve always wanted to :-). I’ll post here when I get the pictures up to smugmug.

All in all, it has been a great 6 years on the old machine… and I’m sure I’ll still get some use out of it (maybe as a multi-media pc, or file server). In any case, welcome new beast.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alex April 28, 2009, 10:05 am

    6 gigs of ram will make video editing downright tolerable! Enjoy!

  • John April 30, 2009, 10:50 am

    I can be the first to say that "I saw it FIRST." Okay, probably not first but pretty close 🙂