owes my computer an apology. Never has one man inspired so much poking and prodding into a computer system. Though I've never met the guy, I am a regular reader of his blog. His posts are extremely thourough and span bloth software and hardware. If my bloglines
reader is showing a new post, I'm salivating to read it.
Awakening a Sleeping Giant
Jeff's recent series on How to Build a PC (Part I
, Part II
, Part III
) has awakened my desire to have a new computer. Once an avid computer builder, I've not played with hardware/building in many years. My current computer is going to be six years old in a few months and is starting to show it's age. The once bleeding-edge, costly technology now probably wouldn't fetch more than 150 bucks on eBay. Since I'm not in the market for a new computer right now (read: I can't afford it) I have decided see what I could do to my aging system in terms of maintenance and speed to allow it to perform up to its potential.
The Root Cause
In the past year my computer has been somewhat flaky. I used to after every "fix it" session put the case back together and all drives back in their bays. My frequent diagnostic trips into the case drove me to leave my PC open for easy access. My system's outward appearance has since deteriorated to power connectors and IDE cables strewn about. As unsightly as it is I tell myself that in addition to easy access it also allows my PC to cool more effectively (more on that in Part II).
A Cause For Intervention
Over the next few days I'm going to dig in my 6 year old computer and see if I can't find some benchmarks and interesting stuff worth sharing. While the majority of us enjoy new technologies and tinkering, many of us simply can't afford to buy the latest and greatest every new release. I hope to:
- Get back into my machine, reaffirming my familiarity and knowledge of the system
- Get comfortable again working with hardware in tight spaces in preparation for building my next PC.
- Share semi-scientific information/data with readers of this post.
Current PC Specs
While my computer is nearly 6 years old it still does it's job. Mainly because I purchased top end components literally days after they were release to the public, paying hundreds of dollars more for a 100MHz bump in CPU speed. The summary of the specs of the computer are as follows:
- CPU - AMD Athlon XP 1900+ (Clock speed is 1.6GHz)
- Ram - 1.5 GB of Ram (3 Sticks - 1GB, 256MB, 256MB) - Upgrade - The original system only had the two 256MB sticks.
- MotherBoard - some MSI mother board - Upgrade? - The original system had a Gigabyte motherboard that died.