One of the joys/problems/challenges of modern technology is how fast any particular piece of equipment becomes obsolete, or at least less capable of running the latest in software and hardware. Keeping your computer upgraded can be a challenge.
It’s been two years since my last upgrade to my main computer (my desktop). At that point, I replaced a notebook (which had been my primary computer) with a homebuilt desktop computer.
No, it’s not obsolete at that point, but some of my other computers are. I’d rather upgrade my desktop that I use every day, instead of upgrading one of the other special purpose (e.g., backup) computers.
By switching to a desktop computer from a notebook, I can now do minor upgrades, or at least upgrades that don’t require replacing everything.
My plan is to upgrade the motherboard, CPU and memory, while keeping the same hard drives, video card, power supply and case. The current motherboard, CPU and memory will move to another case, upgrading that computer.
At that point, I’m going to retire two computers, my old Windows XP computer and my Linux box. Both of those have hardware failing that is turning out to be difficult if not impossible to find. I’ve been using the Linux computer as a network backup for files, but it’s drives are too small to be good for on-going use for backups.
So, what am I going to use for the upgrades?
I’m not sure yet. That’s the challenge.
With the current pricing of memory modules, I’ll either go with 8 GB of RAM as before, or increase to 16 GB. Brand – I don’t know yet.
Motherboard: probably a GigaByte motherboard. I’ve used those on four computer builds. Which one depends on which processor I buy.
Processor: I expect to pick one of the new Intel "Ivy Bridge" models of the Core i7.
What’s Ivy Bridge? It’s Intel’s project name for the third generation Core™ processors, the replacement for its current Sandy Bridge chips.
Intel’s practice the last few years has been called a tick-tock. On the tick, Intel makes major changes to the manufacturing processes for the chips and fewer changes to the chip’s functionality. On the tock, they focus on microarchitecture — the internal programming code of the chip that makes it work, including adding features such as hardware-supported video transcoding.
One of the major features of this tick is a significant shrinking of the die’s process area, with a corresponding decrease in the watts consumed by the processor. Fewer watts means that there’s less heat from the CPU, too.
See the Parts I Used For My Computer Upgrade.