After almost 2 years, I did an almost complete computer upgrade.  It started off simple.  My friend Rick and I had been kicking ideas around about upgrading our computers when prices got cheaper.  Well, recently, AMD lowered their prices on almost all of their chips.  So, it seemed like a good time to upgrade.  With the 4400+ chips selling for approximately $260, a cheap upgrade could be had.  My machine that I had before the upgrade wasn’t a slouch, 3200+, 1 Gig RAM, 250 gig SATA drive, ATI 9800 Pro card, but almost everything I had on the system was not compatible with the ‘latest-and-greatest’.  The motherboard I had was 754 socket, so I was going to have upgrade the motherboard to support either a 939 chip or an AM2 chip, as the chips I was interested in were only 939s or AM2s.  The motherboards that support those chips usually only supported PCIe graphics cards, so my AGP video card was going to have to be replaced.  I chose to be cheap, and went with a 939 board, so that I could at least keep the RAM that I had bought.  That allowed me to get a higher end video card and keep the upgrade ‘reasonable’.

So, I ended up replacing the processor, motherboard, and video card.  That went pretty well, but my Win XP 64-bit wasn’t real thrilled with the new combination.  I was having crashes left and right, and I thought that it must be the OS (more on this later).  So, to set up a copy of Windows XP 32-bit, I ordered a new hard drive.  I ended up getting one of the new Seagate 7200.10 drives.  What an amazing drive!  Fast and quiet.  What a nice combination!  So, I installed Windows XP 32-bit fresh, and everything seemed to be running fine. 

Until… I installed and tried to run FarCry.  I wanted to see what my brand new processor and video card could do.  I found out what it *would* do…  I had just started playing a game, when I started to smell something burning.  I didn’t really pay attention to the smell, as sometimes new components will go through ‘burn-in’.  Bad idea.  So, I’m playing, just starting, and the entire system goes dead.  Whoops.  Nothing I could do would get it back up and running.  I had bought the same case/powersupply for a friend, and his powersupply had recently died.  So, I figured it was a dead powersupply.  I had throught that a 400 watt powersupply would handle the new hardware.  Boy, was *I* wrong.  Ran to a local computer store, bought a new 520 watt powersupply.  Now, everythings happy.  And FarCry looks *amazing*.

Moral of the story?  Get a Mac Pro and forget the headaches!

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