In 2002, I built my first computer. I don't remember the exact specs, but I know it had 512megs of RAM and the processor was 1.4GHZ. At the time, I built the best I could afford, without spending so much that I'd be crushed if I blew something up. I tried using parts from an old Dell computer that was given to me, but everything in it was proprietary, and after I managed to slice open my finger tips almost to the bone on the motherboard (I'm still not sure how; all I did was pick it up!) I salvaged the hard drive and built what my first computer. I promptly named it Darklord. Why? Because I'm a fierce creature of the night and the blood of wombats flows through me. Or something. At the time, considering the spoken word performances I was doing, as well as the run-down hovel of an apartment I was living in (I will never, ever miss the feeling of cockroaches crushing under my back at night!) it seemed appropriate. And the beige case was the height of computer fashion!
A few months later, I ended up with a second computer from somewhere; I think it was Andy's old one that he gave me when he got his laptop. With it, Darklord, and andy's laptop, I also put together my first home network. I also named the secondary computer Minion, as in "The minion of the Darklord."
Remember, blood of wombats.
Various small upgrades were done over the years to Darklord, such as new power supplies, bigger harddrives, etc. In 2005 I built Darklord Mk 2.0. Again, I don't remember the exact specs, but I think it started with a 2.2 GHZ Intel processor. The case also had a carrying handle in the top, which was nice for awhile, but I quickly got tired of not having a flat surface to set things on. It was an improvement over Darklord Mk 1, however, because by the end, that poor beige case was sticky and smelled like pee (Using a solution of water and fabric softner on a computer case to cut down on static is actually a HORRIBLE idea!)
By the end of 2008, even though Darklord 2.0 was up to a 2.8 GHZ processor with multiple harddrives and 3 gigs of RAM, the flaky power supply was causing problems and instability, and the video card wasn't working so well with the motherboard, and I was just fed up. The case hadlost its luster to me as well.
It was time to build Darklord Mk 3.0. Dun dun dun.
I knew what I wanted. A dual-core 64-bit processor. A new case. 4 gigs of RAM. And the ability to run dual video cards. But I needed to do so on a budget.
Here's what I was able to put together for $450:
A simple, budget case in a lovely color. t's a little flimsy but it doesn't have any extra bells-and-whistles that I really don't need or want.I lucked out with this motherboard; I bought it as a combo with the processor below. This motherboard has so many features that are so easy to use.
I've used Intel processors for a long time, but this AMD gave me what I needed at a much lower cost. So far, so good, too. Buying it as a combo with the mobo saved me $25.
A nice boost in power for me. The only shortcoming this psu has is a lack of harddrive connections. But splitters work fine.
Mmmm.... RAM. Sweet, sweet memory. 4 GBS that only take up 2 of 4 slots on the mobo, which means I can add another 4 gigs in the future. And at this price? Probably soon. Because I am a computer size queen. Windows 7 is going to run with no problems.
So, with shipping, I ended up spending $324.36. My budget was as far under $500 as I could do while still making a worthwhile upgrade.
I currently had a Sapphire ATI Radeon 2600XT PCI-E video card with 512mbs of memory
, a hand-me-down girt from Andy. Since this was my first time setting up a Crossfire video system, I wanted to get a second card that was exactly the same. And for two long weeks, I tried to do exactly that, only to order time and time again from different websites, only to get emails that the card was no longer available. The last site I ordered from took a week to let me know, but they were gracious enough to offer me a card that was the same except for the manufacturer, and to give me $10 off. I did some research, and found out that I could combine different manufacturer's cards as long as the chipset was the same. So, I spent $94 on the card, and nearly paniced with it arrived, because it didn't have a Crossfire connection! However, the awesome Biostar mobo I got? Turns out it's able to do Crossfire right on the motherboard. Sweet. AND, even though Crossfire is limited to being able to drive only one montior, I was able to connect my second monitor to the onboard video controller. Double sweet.
And now, for some pictures:( Hawt amatuer g33k pr0n!!!!111 )
Darklord runs like a dream. The Crossfire video cards makes video games an entirely new experience for me- no lag or hiccups, even with the graphic settings set as high as possible in World of Warcraft and Unreal tournament 3. Windows 7 Beta is smooth as silk, and in many ways i find Ilike it better than Windows XP, which is causing a few problems with the hard drive controllers (Copying to the main drive takes an insanely long time, and freezes the computer while doing so. I'm working on that, however. It may be because I turned off write caching, but I'm not sure.)
I'm very pleased with this computer. Seeing that I upgrade every three years, this should do me nicely until Darklord 4.0 comes along in 2011.