Video games. It's my real only purpose for a home PC. Sure I like email and the web, but they do not afford the real computing meat that comes from gaming, the entrée or substantial repast, if you will. Don't misunderstand, I do enjoy the occasional You-Tube side dish, but what is rice without a savory curry of RPG, FPS or RTS? Hollow. Wanting. Mac like, if you will.
Anyway. So I have an older PC that I've tried to keep current over the years. Maxed out the RAM in 2008. Bought a cutting edge GPU in 2009, upgraded to 1Tb 2010... blah blah. You know, $100 here and there over 3 years is pretty painless. Over all it has allowed me to keep up with my gaming habit with little issue. Save one little issue. My CPU. It is a sad and pitiful 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4 with almost no L2 cache. I'm ashamed to admit it, but there it is. I feel like a computing failure.
Knowing that I still didn't have a lot of coin, I thought I would just upgrade a notch to a simple dual core processor. This one specifically. I figure for $150 I could stave off the upgrade fairy for another year and still get enough power to play some newer games. Oh gentle reader, I must admit to you that I have been a long time removed from my hands in computer cases. I haven't build a computer from scratch since 2001 and had no notion of ever undertaking the endeavor again. So, it never occurred to me that my Dell mainboard with a Socket 775 wouldn't run this processor.
The resulting bios beeps where deafening. Especially since there is no return policy on processors. Ah yes, a familiar path. If you recall my GPU upgrade a couple years ago. So here I am with thermal paste on my fingers wondering what to do next?
I did what I always do. Take a bad situation and juggle it with massive amounts of poorly thought out decisions mix that with potential disaster! It's my MO!
So I shelled out for a brand new outdated mainboard and cheap unfiled computer case! I spent $89, which brought my total up to $240 something and left an astounding $6.34 in my paypal account. How stupid can one man be? It was that or have a $149 processor paperweight.
Anyway. So last night saw me trying to recall over a decade of lost skills. I felt like I was back in geek bootcamp, "Drop down and find that jumper switch pasty!!" I forgot how tedious computer builds really were. Still I did alright. Started at 7:00 and finished getting all the new drivers installed by 10:30 or so.
BTW if you upgrade your motherboard, Windows XP needs to be reactivated. It will not let you install your NIC driver first, so you must punch in two hundred thousand digits on the telephone to an electronic operator. If you weren't aggravated before you got to this point, you soon will be.
I can't complain too much. I do have a working system that is clocking about 3.4Ghz on Core 2 Duo. It is certainly a step up from where I was. And tonight? Well I think it might be time for a little DragonAge...