(ed. Note: The following post has nothing to do with cycling, and only involves geeky computer jargon, you’ve been warned)
Yes friends, I had to make the ultimate decision recently, this decision was so ultimately profound and yet subtle in its minute Idiosyncrasies. I had to decide what CPU to put in my new computer.
Most normal people don’t have to think about these things, when they need a computer they just go buy one already put together that fits their budget, crazy people like me can’t live life that simply.
The story begins while I was away on Tour de Kota, that wonderful Tracphone I was encouraged to take started ringing and my wife told me the computer connected to our TV was refusing to start. This is not that unusual because this computer is old and has several things wrong with it. When I say things wrong with it,
I don’t mean what people usually think is wrong with their computers which is software problems like Malware or viruses, I mean like several onboard hardware devices don’t work and the CMOS likes to clear itself every now and again.
When the usual tricks wouldn’t get the computer to boot I realized it had more serious problems and was time for it to retire, which left me in need of a new computer for the TV. We need a computer for the TV because everything we watch is from the internet and broadcast television makes my stomach ache.
So now the Ultimate Decision, time to hit newegg.com for some research. I could go el cheapo and spend about 200 bucks for a crappy Pentium dual core kit, but the technology has improved a great deal since I bought my last computer, a Core 2 Duo E7200 chip, for a little more money I could buy myself a faster new system and put my current system out to pasture in the TV room.
I started by going through all of newegg’s DIY barebones bundle kits, which provide you with all or some of the parts you need at a discount. I wasn’t happy with any of them so I started picking out my own parts. I wanted to spend around 350, when I got done I had picked out 700 dollars worth of parts. I settled on a Bundle system with a Core i5 2400 CPU, 4 Gigs of RAM, a 1 TB hard drive, and a cheap case and power supply for about 380 dollars.
Now here are a couple of interesting charts I’ve compiled.
These graphs show the computers I’ve owned from my first one, all the way up to the one I just built, the first graph shows their price, the second shows their clock cycles per second in the millions. My first computer 25 million cycles per second, seemed pretty good at the time. My latest CPU clocks 3100 million cycles per socond on 4 seperate CPU cores which means that all together the CPU is actually making 12400 million cycles per second.
As you can see the cost of computers has fallen dramatically, the cost graph isn’t a very good representation since my first computer was from Best Buy which is exactly opposite of what the name implies. The second computer was from a local builder and after that they were all bought online and built by me. The 250 dollar anomaly in the middle of the price graph was used parts I bought from a friend. That just happens to be the computer that recently crapped out on us. Intel Core 2 Duo was more expensive because I bought a higher quality case and motherboard thinking that this machine would be with me for a long time, I won’t make that mistake again.