Thursday, August 23, 2007

I think I'll Build My Own Computer

I do need a new computer in the office; mine is a slow eight-year-old Gateway 600 MHz, with upgraded memory, disk, and operating system. It's time for a new one that can grow with the times. Here are some specifications:
  • Quieter than my old Gateway tower, which itself really isn't too bad but is the noisiest thing in the room when the TV is off.
  • Speedy (modern) but not "extreme". The idea is to have a computer that will last a while and be upgradable for a while. We're talking dual processor for sure, but maybe not quad.
  • It doesn't have to be small - it sits on the floor next to the desk.
  • At least 2 Gb RAM, 800 MHz or more.
  • At least 250 Gb hard disk, 3 Gb/sec.
  • Windows XP Professional (preferred), Windows Vista Business otherwise.
  • Vista Business compatible for sure. I don't even know what that means yet.
  • CD/DVD read and write dual layer.
  • Floppy (yes, I really do want a floppy, even if I never use it).
  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports (I like my existing keyboard & mouse).
  • Vanilla audio and graphics. This machine means business, not games or entertainment.
  • Modem. Occasionally we need dialup when DSL fails.
  • Serial port.
  • Lifetime warranty. By me.
There are plenty of companies offering to build computers to specification, so why would a person build a more-or-less-ordinary computer himself?
  • Price: Probably not a good reason. I've done some internet pricing of parts already, and I doubt there will be much of a cost saving.
  • Quality: Might be a reason. For example, I'm thinking of the Antec Sonata III case, because it is supposed to be very quiet. It's a little expensive, but certainly worth the difference if it really is quieter.
  • Experience: I've been putting together computers for over 30 years now, but not modern ones. The experience will be invaluable.
  • Serviceability: If I build it, I can fix it!
  • Entertainment: It's fun to learn and do.
  • Bragging rights.
More later. I hope.

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