...into the arms of the Dark Lord.
For her entire life, my PC, Sprocket, has been an AMD girl.
Starting with a lowly Athlon 2200+, through Barton core 2500's, a quick side trip to s754 and finally, the dual core Opterons, AMD chips and nVidia chipsets have been the basis of her goodness.
She has watched with increasing sadness as Intel has whomped up on AMD and has hoped for nearly two years that the Green Team would strike back with a combo as potent as the s939/NF4 of yore.
Alas, this has not happened and there is no indication that it will anytime soon.
AMD has piddled around with sAM2 and a mediocre selection of new chips that barely outperform Sprocket's Opteron 180.
If there was going to be an upgrade, it had to be dramatic enough to justify the cost and AMD just wasn't providing the goods.
A few weeks ago whilst perusing Microcenter, I saw a new Intel chip- the e8400. For a mere $189 (since raised to $199 and easily available at etailers for @$240), Intel was giving 6MB of L2 cache and a dual core chip running @3GHz.
Enough is enough I said, and the chip became Sprocket's Valentine's Day gift.
On the journey home I stopped at the local going-out-of-business CompUSA and scored a Corsair 620w modular PSU for $94 (normally $150+), and we were off to the races.
Sprocket was pleased but we needed a new motherboard and memory to actually use the new chip.
Life used to be so simple- just get a good Nforce4 motherboard, DFI for overclocking or Gigabyte/Asus for stability- but things on the Intel side are bewildering for the BlueNoob.
So many chipsets...aargh!
Finally settled on the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 because it was reputed to work with the 45nm Intels out of the box and ran the amazingly cheap DDR2 memory.
Picked up 2 x 2GB of fast G.Skill RAM to start with.
Decided that a new platform deserved a new vid card as well, so we added a eVga 8800GT (512MB) to the order.
The parts arrived yesterday and the build commenced last night.
In the frenzy of anticipation I only took a few pics- and the ones I did get are pretty crappy- but I'll share what I have and take better ones after I go back and pretty things up.
First up is the memory- 4 gigs of DDR2 for the system and the newly repopulated (4 x 1GB) iRAM for the OS...
Now for the heavily festooned motherboard...
New boards sure come with more sophisticated cooling than they used to.
And finally, a shot of the motherboard tray ready to slot back into the case...
She POSTed first time and I was into the BIOS where I quickly realized that I knew nothing about new Intel settings.
I actually had to go through and read the manual to get myself oriented.
Still not sure what half this stuff is, so I'm sure I'll be toying around for a while but I did manage to get XP Pro x64 installed.
Four times so far, in fact.
First thing I did (after wiping the drool off my keyboard) was build a slipstreamed nLite disc and started experimenting with storage setups.
Still working on the variants, will report back after I finalize.
Currently writing with the OS on the iRAM and 2x 250GB Seagate SATAII in Matrix RAID as storage.
Have yet to play with any memory timings or overclocking the chip.
Even at basically default settings though, this setup is fast as shit.
Sprocket is a happy girl.