My desktop has been something that is a daily drag for me. It’s been around for so long, I actually cannot remember when I built it. But over the past year, something had really gone south and I literally had blue screens every time I opened certain programs or did certain tasks. It was predictable and thus I didn’t want to use it anymore unless I just had to.
The motherboard was a salvage job from where a customer upgraded theirs and I literally replaced the capacitors. At the time, I didn’t need performance so their upgrade was good for them and I got to work on my soldering skills on something that might not pan out. It was a Core2Duo CPU, with 8GB of DDR II memory – the max it would hold. This configuration was the type that put the SATA1 ports right where the long PCIE video cards end, so there was always pressure on the sata cables. I was using 2 1.5TB drives in a mirror config for my OS. Simple storage and protection at the same time. All of this was powered by a mega 1250 watt modular PSU that was just unstoppable.
So everything was slow. No matter how you dressed it, it was fucking slow. And it had to go. A guy at work had posted up a for sale thread about some things. I had worked with his brother until he left the team, so I knew I wasn’t messing with some one shady and should be reasonable on pricing. He had listed a few things, many I totally had no interest in, some I did.
He had listed 2 motherboards free with purchase of CPU, some CPU’s, some coolers, etc. It was like a second hand candy store and the prices were just right. I ended up spending $300 for 2 CPU’s, a CPU cooler, 16GB of DDR3, and the motherboards came free as the deal. One of those motherboards was a MSI Krait Edition Z97S. It was coupled with the Core i7-4770K CPU, and I was excited. From Core2 to i7? YES MA’AM!
The hard part of the build would be to determine the OS. Linux had become my default but wouldn’t support my gaming, which this was totally meant for. I would likely do more media engineering on this than gaming, so Mac OS was also an option since it was Intel based. But I decided on going with Windows 10, only so that I could keep it simple. It was going to be left on the TV, mostly for games and video editing, seemed reasonable.
After pulling out all of the junk from decades ago, I spent the next several hours carefully cleaning and installing the new build. I used a 240GB SSD I had tried to get working with the old setup but never helped.
After getting everything installed physically, I moved on to installing Windows. It was a typical deployment. That means lots of updates and a few reboots. What absolutely blew me away was the 5 second boot time of this machine. It was so bloody fast, I wasn’t even sure I had rebooted it. The cooler I had gotten was also a new experience. It was louder than expected, but very nicely fit for my case.