Poppa’s got a brand new rig.

Old & Busted:

  • AMD Athlon64 3400+ (Single Core, 2.2Ghz I think it was?)
  • 1.5 gigs of RAM
  • Nvidia 6800 series (Ultra I think?) 256M Video Card
  • Three seperate drives… 2 120gigs and a 100gig I think.
  • XP Pro / Gentoo dual boot goodness

New Hotness:

  • MSI GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB PCI-e Video Card
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processer (4 2.4Ghz cores, and we goin higher eventually)
  • Tuniq Tower 120 Cooler
  • 4Gb of PC2 8500 RAM
  • 500Gb Drive, 80Gb Drive (For Swap and Linux Dual Boot-ease)
  • Vista 32-bit Ultimate, and Gentoo dual boot goodness.
  • Assorted required goodies (Power Supply, beastly black Lian Li case, replacement fans, 4gig flash drive, etc)

My old rig is nice, but it’s starting to show it’s age in alot of ways. (The machine was built in 2004, so I got to cut it a little slack)… Don’t get me wrong, it plays WoW just fine, but the current generation of games were really putting a hurting on it in some cases. (Crysis? Don’t even think about it…)

I’d been pondering a new rig for the last couple of months, and last week I took the plunge and ordered everything I need to get the new machine off the ground. (Sadly, my old machine, being AMD/AGP based, is pretty much a write off. I could have used the case (Shiny Lian Li goodness), power supply, and hard drives.. but 120gig drives are so small by todays standards (500gig drives for $90, you cant go wrong), and if I kept my old case/power supply, I’d have to:

a) Tear apart old system entirely.
b) Rebuild new system in old case.
c) Suffer without a system at all during the period between a and b

And since the new machine is going to be my first venture into the murky lands of Vista.. I figure better safe then sorry. (Translation: This way I get to keep my old machine up and running while I figure out the hells of Vista)…

The bulk of the goods arrived Friday and Monday, and have already been mostly assembled. (Drives are in the case bay, motherboard mounted, processor socketed, cooling tower of power pasted/mounted up, etc).. Just have to wait until tonight (according to UPS the power supply is waiting for me at home) to actually put all the pieces together.

The plan now is simple:

  1. Get home. (Always a chore, depending on traffic)
  2. Install Power Supply into case.
  3. Attempt to slide motherboard tray back into case. (Could be tricky.. the Tuniq Tower is THAT big, it may not fit.)
  4. Plug in 40 thousand various connectors to motherboard.
  5. Place drive carrier back into case.
  6. Plug in another 20 thousand various connectors.
  7. Double check to make sure the case and cpu fans are truly plugged in, and not forgotten.
  8. Remove Mac Mini from work table.
  9. Plug in new beast (as of yet un-named) where the mini was.
  10. Power Up new beast, see what happens.

Hopefully, nothing is DOA, hopefully everything will power up okay. If it does, I’m going to load vista on with everything stock, do some burn-in testing, make some notes (processor core temps, etc) and see how it goes for a bit. If everything works out, I’ll be disassembling the machine enough to yank the processor and tuniq tower, lap the hell out of everything, re-paste and mount, then start the overclocking fun to see just how far I feel comfortable pushing an air-cooled Q6600.

(Yes, I’ve seen the tales of people getting to 3.4Ghz (and even 3.6) on air cooling with a Q6600, no, I will not be getting that crazy; I don’t want a chip burn out in 9 months. If I can get it to 3ghz, I’ll consider myself very happy and content..)