Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hardware upgrade due to availability of software

Got MSDN subscription. All OSes starting from MS-DOS to Windows Server 2008 R2 are available there. And lot many other MS applications.

Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 has virtualization technology. But, my AMD64 processor does not support that. I went to CTC near paradise circle and ended up buying following configuration

1> Intel core 2 duo processor E7500 in INR 5500.

2> DP45SG Intel Motherboard that supports DDR3 RAM, but no onboard VGA support. Cost 7000 in comparison to 3000 for DDR2 support motherboard with onboard VGA card. Right now, this motherboard is meant for extreme gamers and that’s why they gave Ghost Recon 2 game also free with this. But, I have never played games any seriously more than the solitaire genre :-)

3> 1 GB NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT graphics card in 2500.

4> 2 GB Transcend DDR3 RAM in INR 2600. I cannot afford 4 GB with all this upgrade. But, this motherboard supports only speed up to 1066, hence difference from DDR2 (with maximum speed of 800) will not be so much it seems :-(

This motherboard does not have support for IDE in-built, hence I had to take a PCI to IDE card for supporting existing IDE HDD and IDE DVD writer. That card makes these devices look external to BIOS. Which means old OSes (Vista & XP) installed on the IDE drive are no longer coming in boot menu, nor IDE DVD writer will show up in BIOS. That means I had to add another SATA DVD writer (LG in 1100) to be able to install OS at any time on the other SATA HDD. Since Processor is of higher capacity and there is 1 GB graphics card also, I had to upgrade my SMPS from 400 Watt to 450 Watt. That may have been bad decision, but who knows.

Total bill 19625 + 325 (1.8% credit card charge). That’s impulsive shopping at its height ;-)

If I had went for Intel Motherboard with DDR2 support only, The cost would have been 12800 (Motherboard 3000 + DDR2 2 GB RAM 1800 + CoreDuo2 Processor 5500 + SATA DVD 1100 + 400 PCI to IDE card). Adding another 1800, I could have got 2 GB more RAM.

Sold my old Gigabyte motherboard, 2 GB DDR1 RAM, a bad IDE DVD writer, SMPS and AMD64 Athlon 3000+ processor in Rs 3100 to some other shop in first floor. After taking out everything, I only had 2 HDD and 1 DVD writer left with an old, but sturdy cabinet.

When I had first entered that shop and asked to upgrade my machine, first question that was popped was “what is the problem”. My response “no problem at all” and since then everyone in that shop would smile gently seeing my seeming foolishness in upgrading a perfectly running machine.

Now, I need to find full use of all this added power as well as lot of new software that got added in the system. Many of them that came free with motherboard may not get used ever also, but lets see how long this configuration is relevant. Earlier one lasted 3 years and I felt it was reaching limit. When would this configuration reach that stage? But, I may extend its lifetime by going for more RAM and CoreQuad processor in future. There is still ma lot of room left in the motherboard for further upgrades including more than half USB slots unused and only one PCI slot in use.

Surprisingly, this configuration is making much lesser sound compared to old AMD64 configuration. Perhaps, they were good when saying that AMD64 makes more noise.

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