Thursday, October 27, 2005


Hard drive to good deals.

My current PC has served me well for two years or so, but it's time to take it to the next level. Some good early bird deals have been showing themselves, so I jumped on some. Just put an order in for the following from

eVGA Geforce 7800GT 256-P2-N518
The 7800GT is the affordable 7th generation nVidia card. This card is not the mega overclock version, but is overclocked and can reportedly reach the higher speeds. This was purchased as part of a combo package with the video card. In addition, eVGA is offering a $25 rebate, $25 eVGA store credit, and free Call of Duty 2 ($45 savings), which I was going to buy anyway.

eVGA 133-K8-NF41 ATX AMD Motherboard
It's not the best nVidia Athlon board, but it has received good reviews and everything I need. Ok, almost everything. I was disappointed to read it does not have a Firewire port. I never really use the one on this PC, but if I actually had the time to import digital video from the camcorder, it's nice to know it's there.

The motherboard and video card were $400 together before rebates.

Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
I debated whether to implement RAID again and ended up with one drive this time. I am still debating it. From everything I read, RAID improves performance in particular cases. Running the type of software I do, I might fall into that category. The RAID I have has been very reliable and has not lived up to the warnings I read in the reviews. Hats off to Silicon Image for a great controller and driver!

I bought the platinum version of these in July for only $2 more. This will bring total system memory to 2 gigabytes. Sweet. Well, when running virtual machines via VMware, each machine will take 1 gig of memory. The memory will go quick.

So what's missing? The CPU! I have settled on the AMD X2 CPU. I am deciding between X2 3800+ for ~$330 and X2 4200+ for $400. That's a big price difference and wouldn't normally be an issue for me, Mr. Frugal. :o) Right now, ZipZoomFly is offering the chip plus Nero 7 Ultra, free DVD media, and a "wine stopper" for free with the chip. My plan would be to buy the chip and sell Nero 7 hoping to get at least $50. If I really want Nero 7, I would qualify for a much lower upgrade price anyway. So, $400 - $50 = $350, very close to $3800+'s price.

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