Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back again

Hey, everyone. It's been awhile since my last post here. I'm going to be posting more regularly from now on. I've got a lot to say about my upgrades (I've been pretty active with it recently), and some others on the way.

After moving everything into the new case, and installing a 500W power supply, I got new cables to connect to everything. UV blue cables that glow with the UV lights I installed in the case. After that, things stood still for awhile. Then after about a month, I installed a new motherboard, the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P. It's got tons of options in the BIOS, including bus speed, memory multiplier, and CPU clock multiplier (if it's unlocked). It's probably one of the best socket 775 motherboards available (in DDR2 form). After that, I put a new air cooler on my CPU (nothing to write home about, but it's better than the stock one). For a couple months, nothing changed. I ran at a little over 2GHZ, and was happy with that.

Eventually, I realized that the reason I could only OC from 1.8 to 2GHZ was because my memory couldn't handle a bus speed any higher than that. I pulled it out, and now I'm running 800MHZ RAM at 900MHZ. I also pulled out the old processor, a 1.8GHZ Core 2 Duo E4300. I replaced it with a 2.66GHZ Core 2 Quad, and OC'd to 3.6GHZ.

Video wise, for some time, I was rocking an NVidia Geforce 7800GTX. I have two, but I could only use one, because the motherboard I have doesn't support SLI (quite possibly it's only drawback). After awhile, I "upgraded" to a 9500GT (I say "upgraded" because, even though it could handle more, Windows actually rated it lower than the 7800GTX). It was around that time that the new ATI cards came out. For Christmas, I ended up getting a Radeon HD5770. It could put out some FPS, that's certain. Using the Unigen Heaven benchmark, I could put out around 36FPS with it. I had wanted to go X Fire with a second one, but that specific video was out of stock everywhere. Instead, I sold the one I had. It was about $160, and buying a second one would have cost around $320. I realized that buying the next model up, the HD5850, would cost about as much, and would only take up two slots on the back of my computer, as opposed to the four slots taken going XFire on two 5770s.

Now, we're up to date. Here are the current specs:

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P motherboard
Intel Q8400 2.66GHZ processor OD'd to 3.6GHZ
2GB Kingston 800MHZ RAM OC'd to 900MHZ
ATI Radeon HD5850 video card
500W Thermaltake PSU
320GB, 250GB, 160GB Hard drives

and my WEI numbers:
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8400 @ 2.66GHz 7.4
Determined by lowest subscore
Memory (RAM) 2.00 GB 5.5
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series 7.0
Gaming graphics 1783 MB Total available graphics memory 7.0
Primary hard disk 234GB Free (298GB Total) 5.7

Now, as you can see, my memory and HDD scores are significantly lower than the CPU and video scores. These are what my next posts will be about. But first, some more benchmarks. In the Unigen Heaven Benchmark that I mentioned earlier, I can now put out 56FPS (this is with tesselation disabled, as is the 36FPS earlier with the 5770). I also got 3DMark Vantage, and I'm able to put out 13285 Points.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Look for my next posts, when I will be putting in some upgrades that I'm very excited about. I'll leave you with some pictures: