Sunday, 4 August 2013

New motherboard

It's been a very long time since I buoght a new motherboard - several years, in fact. I standardised on one particular board, and bought 30 of them, plus processors and memory. I did that because I was fed up with playing motherboard roulette - each time I bought a board, it was different from the others I had, and I didn't know whether it would have all the properties I need, or how well it would work. So I've been slowly working my way through that stock - and I still have a whole bunch of them.

But the computer I use as a workstation could be faster. It only has 1 gb of memory, and it runs out, and starts swapping to disk, and they whole thing starts to run slowly. And I get a bit fed up. I thought, I know, I'll upgrade the memory to 4 gb, but when I looked, I just could not find 2 gb memory modules that would work in the boards I use. Not anywhere. Which tells you how obsolete the stuff I use is - just as well I bought everything I needed when I did the mass purchase.

So I had a look on a few of my favourite web sites. First Bluepoint, But, despite them phoning me from time to time to solicit more sales (despite me asking them not to), when I went on to their web site, my password no longer worked. So that ruled out Bluepoint. Scan were ruled out because I couldn't find anything on their web site remotely like what I wanted.

Aria was a lot better. They sell barebones systems (mother board, CPU and memory) and I can add a hard drive (I'll probably use an SSD drive for speed), put it in a case with a power supply, and I have my workstation. The one I went for is an AMD 4.1 Ghz processor, six cores (which means it can do six things at once, and Linux will make use of that), 8gb memory (and I think I could add more). I was surprised to see that it doesn't have an IDE header, so none of my CDs or DVDs will work on it, and I do need to attach a DVD so that I can load Linux. So I ordered a Sata DVD. The system was £234, the DVD £11. I'm expecting it to be a few times faster than my current system. Maybe 300% faster.

I also ordered a 4tb hard drive - not for that system, but because at some time in the future, I'll be needing to use those, so now would be a good time to start experimenting with it.

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