Thursday, March 4, 2010

New home computer

It's been several years since I updated my computer. I have built my own computers for the last 20 yrs. This time, I wanted a good 64bit Processor and MB with room to grow. Here is what I decided own:
 
Motherboard MB GIGABYTE  GA-MA790GPT-UD3H RT
Video Card VGA GIGABYTE GV-R435OC-512  HD4350
CPU AMD  ATH II X2 240 AM3 2.8G RT
MEMORY 2Gx2     OCZ OCZ3G10664GK R
Internal HD 500G    SEAGATE ST3500418AS
WINDOWS HOME PREM 7 64-BIT ENG 1PK DSP
CPU COOLER CM RR-H101-22FK-RA RT
 
I ended up buying a power supply from BestBuy to get much needed power and SATA connectors. I also had problems with the Seagate HD, so I returned it (at a loss) and picked up a Western Digital 250g HD.
 
The initial build did not go well. The Seagate HD was the culprit. W 7 is a bit different that XP on the install and it took me awhile to get up to speed with it. After replacing the drive - I got the OS installed and functioning. I had a problem rebooting. It usually took 3 or 4 tries to get the software to reboot. Sometimes I would get the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). I suspected the OCZ memory due to the low reviewer ratings on NewEgg, so I bout some Kingston memory.
 
The onboard video for the GA-MA790GPT is really pretty good. It even has it's own memory. However, I went ahead and installed the Radeon 4350 card. I had purchased a DVI to DSUB adapter for the purpose of dual monitors. The card comes with a VGA DSUB output, and I was going to use the adapter for the second monitor. Windows would not boot with both monitors connected. If I disconnected the adapter, let windows boot, then connected the adapter, it would work. Geez. I ended up getting a monitor with a HDMI input. The system will boot with the HDMI and VGA DSUB connected.
 
After updating drivers the system seems pretty stable. I haven't changed the memory, but haven't had the BSOD lately. Time will tell.
 
I have loaded 64bit Lightroom 2 and 64bit Photoshop. No problems there.
 
The processor I purchased is on the low end of what this board can handle. So there is room for improvement there. If I add the extra memory I'll be up to 8G.
 
Now that the reboot problem has died down and the dual monitors are working, I can say I am happy with the performance of this system.
 
Most components were purchased at www.newegg.com, my favorite electronics store. Visit Gigabyte at www.gigabyte.us