I last put together a new workstation several years ago, and although I have steadily upgraded it (CPU, sound, video, drive capacity) its technology has fallen too far behind my needs.
Besides, my wife just started musing about a new sewing machine and that was my cue.
My current beast is a Silverstone Temjin TJ06 case housing an ASUS K8N-DL dual 2.6 Ghz AMD Opteron motherboard, an ATI HD 2600 video card and an Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 HiFi soundcard. I’ll be keeping the beautiful monster case (it’s just flat awesome) and the soundcard, but everything else will be relegated to a media server I’ll be building alongside my next workstation (again using a Silverstone case, this time a Lascala LC17). I’ve got an old Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeGamer audio card I was about to auction but I’ll probably keep it for the media server.
So far I’m looking at AMD Phenom II X4 processors, probably the 620 (3.2 Ghz). For the motherboard I’m leaning toward the ASUS M4A78-E. Ram will be at least 3 GB and likely gaming-grade from Kingston or Corsair. My next video card will undoubtedly be the ATI 5870— if I can afford it! Fortunately the ASUS motherboard comes with a decent onboard GPU (ATI 3300).
Lacking any sort of credit card, I usually research for the best components, scrounge around for the best deals on them, and start buying a piece at a time. It makes sense then to acquire the LC17 case first and move my existing setup into it, then buy the new motherboard and take it from there.
Odds are I will be building a Windows 7 machine since my development needs still dwell largely in that world– but I plan to also make room for Ubuntu and begin learning more about Linux. Thankfully there are so many easy ways to achieve multi-OS environments now, I could even go with any of a number of lightweight operating systems run from thumb drives if I wish.
Along with the core PC stuff I really need to upgrade my entire computing ecosystem. My old Sony CRT failed so it’s definitely new monitor time (I’m currently using a 19 inch backup CRT) and I’m looking at Samsung 24 inchers, especially any with a TV tuner. My beloved Logitech G15 keyboard has some sticky keys but maybe a good cleaning will restore it to decent use. On the other hand, my Logitech MX518 mouse has developed attitude so I may teach it a lesson by moving to one of its newer descendents.
Bottom line I need to maintain the ability to perform 3d solid modeling work as well as support my musical ventures. The current dual Opteron setup isn’t cutting it; certain audio mixing operations peg the CPUs and overload the software. Hopefully a quad CPU system will suffice.
I’m like a kid in a candy store when I build a new machine so please bear with me as each piece arrives. I’m going to be going nuts until I first power it up. I’ll journal the process here.
Part suggestions welcome! Just note I’m fairly committed to AMD… 😉