Saturday, July 02, 2005

Preparing for 64-bit computing

Yes, I finally took the plunge and ordered Windows XP Professional x64 Edition via Microsoft's Technology Advancement Program. To be eligible for the program, the x64 machine must be purchased or built between March 31, 2003 and June 30, 2005. International shipping charge is US$22.

Friday, July 01, 2005

My first AMD

For the past 7 years or so, I've been chugging along with a Pentium II machine cruising at a "speedy" 266Mhz. Yeah.....right. ;-) Seriously, it's not really that slow. It just proves having a good memory, storage and video subsystem can help boost overall system performance. With 320MB SDRAM on board, a good Leadtek AGP video card, a 7200RPM Seagate drive, it "feels" just as fast as some of the newer generation machines with under-equipped subsystems.

Today, I took delivery of my first AMD desktop machine (after having owned 4 Intel desktops) The one I got is an Athlon 64 3000+. Not really the high-end one, but just enough to get me into 64-bit computing. The motherboard hosts the aging but proven 754-socket and is AGP only i.e. it doesn't come with PCI Express. I'm not a gamer, or rather, I'm just a casual gamer; so, I don't really care much about frame rates. 8X AGP does fine for me.

For the video card, I chose an ATI Radeon 9550-based card -- pretty much an entry-level DirectX9 card with cool multi-monitor support. For the hard drive, I've decided to break away from the tradition of using Seagate drives and move on to something fresh. Guess what? It's a Samsung SATA drive! Err...I gave a blank look at the sales person who recommended me this drive. What? Samsung makes hard drives too? I remember. They have been in this business for quite a while but have kept a low profile. Samsung is not the fastest performing drives but is one of the coolest and quietest around. To be continued...