My PC, my everyday tool!

Who says digital leisure, says computer. At some point, it is necessary to buy one, which constitutes an adventure ūüôā

 

Welcome in a jungle of components populated with a hostile crowd of assemblers, big brands, hypermarkets, advertisements and I pass as it. The choice is not lacking and nobody simplifies you the task!

Generally, the first thing has to do is to identify needs (type of use), the budget and the evolution forecasts (replacement of certain parts). Then, it is necessary to inhale a big blow, to clench teeth and charge in ūüėÄ

 

Here I am thus two years ago (in 2009) in search of a PC of developer / gamer. At this level, it is the needs for the gamer PC that take it.

What does it mean? Mainly that it is going to hurt the wallet ūüėČ Then, that it is necessary to favor a “tower” (big case) which we can be open at the end of the guarantee and¬†change some components to maintain¬†acceptable performances.

For home computer (mainly internet, word processor and sometimes video), I would rather¬†recommend a transportable¬†laptop (16 to 18 inches of diagonal): everything is integrated, it can be transported¬†easily in the house and to insure the¬†maintenance¬†is much easier ūüėČ

 

Little technical tip for a laptop computer:

  • Buy a ventilated support, it increases the life expectancy(cycle);
  • Avoid fragile renowned brands!

Sources:http://www.ordifacil.com/blog/files/images/SquareTrade_laptop_reliability_1109.pdf

 

Having¬†buid¬†up my previous configurations from A to Z, I wanted for once to take a PC “from brand”. I did not want to complicate things to verify the compatibility of the various components, to choose quality / price on everything and I had in sights the release of Windows 7.

Certain manufacturers proposed the “free” migration for the purchase of a system under Vista a few months before the release of Windows 7, I thus peeled their catalogs first and foremost.

I also had in sights Intel i7 processors, because to buy a configuration, I wished that the basis (case +¬†motherboard + memory + processor + DVD) lasts “to the end”, the rest being brought to evolve, but not before 2 years.

According to the tests and the forecasts,¬†the duet i7¬†and Windows 7 was capable of a good energy management (” downclocking¬†” in low load, optimized setting in a stand-by mode, etc.). This aspect “energy saving” pleased me well.

 

At Acer (what did Isay for loptop?), I fell on a rather surprising configuration, Aspire M7720-8N7L:

Acer Aspire M7720-8N7L

My PC bought in 2009

  • Intel I7¬†920 (quadcore, hyperthread, 2,66 Ghz), seen as 8 cŇďres, so, by rule¬†: 1 Go of ram by core¬†;
  • 12 Go ram (ram DDR3)¬†;
  • 1To¬†HDD (7200 rpm), an¬†Itachi¬†HDT721010SLA360¬†;
  • Graphic card ATI HD 4850 (from Acer), good middle range GPU in 2009¬†;
  • Audio HD 7.1 (Realtek)¬†;
  • Gigabits network card¬†and¬†Wifi¬†antena¬†;
  • Windows¬†Vista 64 bits (necessary to manage more than¬†4 Go¬†ram)¬†;

And¬†a lot of “gadgets”:¬†two system stands to connect hard disks, panel of tactile control for Media Center, various card readers,¬†USB¬†everywhere, the whole in a sober, discreet case and silent in¬†use.

All¬†for a¬†“reasonable” price for what there is inside… With more money I would have bought Asus.

You should not¬†delude yourself, for a similar price, the economy was made on certain components: the graphics board, the¬†motherboard (Acer FX58M), Ram, DVD engraver and power supply (LiteOn 450 watts, a little bit light and not certified 80 +, that is to say the power supply is always the weak point of PC “of brand”).

Finally, nothing surprising at Acer (and others). The important it’s to know it (searches on the Internet) and to say to himself that we shall never fire the “maximum” of a configuration “restrained” as that one.

 

On-line ordered PC in a hypermarket. The price of the configuration fell between the moment when I order it and the moment when I receive it. As a result, small e-mail in the¬†store (polite and courteous) and here I am presented with a purchase voucher equivalent to the difference, it is always that ūüėČ

 

I had three inconveniences in two years on this configuration:

The first one of them was the update towards Windows 7, Acer not having sent the good operating system (32 bits instead of 64 bits). A small complaint, a little follow-up and everything eventually settled. The migration towards Windows 7 passed well, that of the happiness!

The second comes from the graphics board which gave signs of fatigue at the end of 6 months (restart of the driver, the blocking in height games, etc.). Well, 6 months of Mass Effect, all the same ūüėČ There, the phone support Acer is a little bit heavy (as all, in the end) it ends systematically by a reinstallation of factory a series of questions then a return to the After-Sales Service… It is painful, but in the end rapids, the PC being back within a week.

Result: change of the graphics card. After tests, even new, this card warms far too much (it exceeds very fast 90 ¬įC). Then, to avoid the breakage, I restrained the frequencies via the Catalyst Control Center. The second card held so far.

The third comes from the “constraint” of the guarantee not to open the case. Meanwhile, the dust accumulates and blocks the ventilations… Eventually damaging components (stoking) and silence (ventilators turn more)… Even air sprays are not sufficient. Return to normal at the end of guarantee.

 

In conclusion:

In the use, this PC has very good performances. For a “supermarket” PC, I am very satisfied with it. Connected to a screen 22 inches http://wp.me/p3sSjf-y,¬†adapted to the HD 4850, I was able to take advantage of my¬†preferred games with a certain comfort and to work in good conditions (Visual Studio is very greedy, but not enough for this configuration ūüėČ ). While I think of it, for a desktop PC, you should not forget the inverter against the small electricity concerns, especially when we are in a “stormy” region http://wp.me/p3sSjf-H

The most mattering, it is because for two years, the heart of the PC is always correct and widely above the average configurations (except the graphics card, this part move quickly).

 

See you soon for the continuation ūüôā

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About Sylvain Bories

Software Developer (.Net, C#) and hobbyist game programmer (Unity 3d, XNA/MonoGame, DirectX). Interested in Green IT, Windows ecosystem, Technology and Science Fantasy.

Posted on September 18, 2011, in Hardware, PC and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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