Thursday 23 April 2009

Technology: Which Intel Processor should I choose?

A day before the Easter holiday, my old computer was busted. Similar things always happen when I have too much time, or at least when something thinks I have too much time. Life is just simply amazing! How would anything knows that I have time? They are non-living! They have no feelings! As far as I can recall, the last 2 holidays I have fixed my old computer two times.

The first time was due to the fact that I was too clever and went to create a removable hard disk of my own, using a non-removable hard disk by pulling the SATA wire out of the case and having the hard disk placed on the floor instead of mounting it inside the steel casing. As a result, it couldn’t transfer the static electricity and blew itself up which cost me another $400+ to get a replacement and the valuable data inside. The lesson learnt was:

“Never put your hard disk on the floor without mounting it to metal casing.”

The second time was due to the clash of video card driver because I went to update the driver from the official website. Bad move! The installation of new nVIDIA drivers led to a clash with old ATI drivers and I had to buy a new outdated video card in order to invoke the display again and roll back the driver. Ka-ching! $500+. The lesson learnt was:

“Don’t ever install drivers before removing the old one.”

Despite the two unfortunate cases, I managed to extend the life of my old computer for about a year, until it finally reached the end of the road on the 9th Apil.

Since I have invested quite a bit on the spare parts, and I guess only the motherboard has problems, I have to buy a new computer in order to save the spare parts (stupid isn't it?), so I have ridden a tiger and I am afraid to dismount.

After going to Wan Chai Computer Centre to get my new computer this afternoon, I returned home to check out my collection of warrantee cards and receipts. I then found out that my old computer has been with me since 5th August 2004. I have never expected it to have lasted so long and have never thought I would be getting a new one to replace it so soon. It was still working very well before the Easter holidays. Reading through the warrantee cards both impressed me with the long life span of this computer and saddened me because it eventually has to leave (partly, because I will keep the parts for reuse). This is exactly the meaning for the word 'nostalgia".

I also found out that my computer in use was bought on the 28th June 2008, so it is almost one year old, but the technology has changed so much in less than a year’s time! If times flies when you are having fun, technology must be travelling at a speed of light. This one-year-old is Intel Dual-Core E2180 (2 GHz, 1024 kb L2-Cache, socket LGA 775), but the one I went to buy is already Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 (2.8 GHz, 3 Mb L2-Cache, socket LGA 775). Last time, the configuration cost me $3580 (+ $400 on an extra display card), and this time $4270, but already much much faster and better.

It does make me feel kind of stupid to buy a new one when I already have a good one, but if I don’t buy a new one, I can’t possibly play any DVDs on the TV (The old computer was meant to be an entertainment centre, for the sake of playing DVDs, VCDs, songs and other videos, it replaces all traditional VCD and DVD players) and take out the data from my old computer again.


Anyway, when you have to spend, you have to spend. I guess life knows well why I can never save up my money.

Updating my computer hardware knowledge once in a while may be a good thing, and I won’t do it unless I have to buy a new one.

There are many reviews on the internet, but this is the best, most comprehensive and most detailed. The tests are the most thorough.

Author Carl Nelson rocks!

Coming soon: A lot more will come very soon because I have not been writing hard enough.

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