Back to the PC

Last July I built myself a quad core Windows 7 PC as described here and here. I thought it might be of some interest to reflect on the experience with the benefit of more time, and to cover off the improvement made since…

Build your own – hit or miss?

Hit I would say, the machine has been stable, performs well and was interesting to build. Windows 7 has some constraints if you buy Premium but in the main I am pleased with the machine and would definitely build another machine in the future.

What were the constraints?

The main constraint was budget followed by size then quietness; I also wanted some performance hence the Core I5 and the graphics card – overall these constraints have been met though there was some tweaking along the way.

What has changed since?

I quickly replaced the inherited mouse and keyboard with a Microsoft Arc Mouse and Microsoft keyboard. The keyboard I saved some money on by going wired, although I have several USB ports I am already using more than I expected (speakers, mouse dongle, printer, camera, something else that I don’t want to unplug) and didn’t need to use it away from the desk.

I recently also swapped out the  IDE DVD burner I salvaged from the previous system (it broke) for a nice SATA Samsung SH-S223C drive; I was initialed disappointed with the level of noise until I installed the tuning software from Samsung to slow the drive down (in read mode), it still makes a noise but it is bearable.

I am very pleased with the new case fan, a Noctua NF-B9 92 mm whisper quiet (and that is on default settings) which has made an already not loud system quieter.

I am also in the midst of setting up a Synology DS110j NAS and powerline networking with Comtrend 9020 adapters which is going ok so far but does need some more design.

What next?

At some point I need to stop adding technology organically and put a proper design in place based on proper requirements (e.g. music distribution, video storage, backup / archive) and the desktop may have gone as far as it needs to  – it as ample memory, disc space (thanks to the NAS) and only really lacks a bigger widescreen display.

I also have smartphones integrated into the environment and ambitions to get an Android tablet at some stage. I’ll keep you posted!


About Tony Jones
Big Finish writer, reviewer and blogger, I'm interested in science fiction and Doctor Who. I review for CultBox, The Doctor Who Companion and others. I am also Audio Drama editor for Starburst Magazine, and write the occasional piece for Vortex, the BSFA critical magazine.

2 Responses to Back to the PC

  1. Bruvva says:

    Dual screens… you want dual screens. Oh yes, and a Mac.


  2. helmstone says:

    A Mac – it isn’t raining?


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