June 7th, 2011
As my last post may have hinted, I’ve made a few changes to my system lately. Just before a very busy weekend, with impeccable timing, the hard disk in my desktop gave out. I’ve been eyeing an upgrade for it for a while, and was hoping to hold out until the wider range of new-gen Intel CPUs comes out later this year, but this was too good a sign to ignore. So, I went out and spent a bit of money:
I originally got a Corsair Force 3 SSD, but there’s an ongoing issue with SandForce 2200-based SSDs with recent firmware and Intel P58 motherboards that made it unusable (don’t buy the Corsair or OCZ third-gen SSDs for a new P58-based system!), so I went to the Crucial. Crucial actually has a C400 line as well, but they seem to have lower random read speeds than the C300 series, which I didn’t like.
The graphics card is still a Geforce 9600 (there’s no real need to change this, since I don’t play any games on it) and the case and PSU are also unchanged, they’re both Antecs, Sonata III and EarthWatts 500W. There’s a 500GB hard disk in there in case I need it, and a DVD+-RW drive. Keyboard and mice are my old standbys, a 1990-vintage IBM Model M and a Logitech MX510 respectively.
Today, I replaced my mismatched Acer 20″ 1680×1050 displays with two Dell U2211H 22″ 1920×1080 IPS displays. I’m running the CPU overclocked to around 4.4GHz via the automatic OC tool in the Asus BIOS. Very very happy with the upgraded system: it’s ridiculously fast (boots in 8 seconds and does a complete kernel RPM build in 29 minutes), and the new monitors are fantastic. I still wish someone made desktop displays with a higher pixel density, but no-one really does (there’s some very niche ones from years ago, but they’re practically impossible to buy). These are the best option you can really get at present.