New Hardware

March 26, 2009

When Warhammer Online’s 1.2 patch came out earlier this month, I was reminded of how old and underpowered my computer was.  I bought it in early 2005, when I was becoming heavily invested in playing WoW and was sick of trying to play on my perpetually over-heated laptop.  I tried resting the laptop on frozen food boxes, but it seemed worthwhile in the long run to just spend the money on a new desktop and save the laptop for my classes.

I bought a customized machine from Dell then, but, since WoW was not a very graphically taxing game, I skimped on many of the components.  Boyfriend determined that, since I was only playing WoW and not FPS games or similar, something mediocre would suffice.  For the past four years I’ve been gaming with a single core processor, a truly terrible graphics card (one that ultimately was switched two years ago for a hand-me down from a friend), and 1GB of RAM, upgraded to 2 when Age of Conan was released and my computer couldn’t run it.

Boyfriend built a new computer for himself last Christmas and recently upgraded his graphics card (he was having terrible issues playing WAR, we’ve decided it may have been a defective card).  I’ve been watching his screen longingly, wondering why my version of Avelorn (a beautiful region in the game) isn’t full of tall, fluffy grass and why I can barely see my own spell effects, never mind those of my friends or enemies.  So I gave in and indulged myself in a new setup.

The computer arrived today and I am pretty happy with the new setup.  Boyfriend spent about two hours installing all the parts and getting me setup; I’m extremely grateful to him for doing so.  I logged on WAR for a while and set my graphics to the maximum settings available.  Everything looked beautiful!  I was able to see things I never could before.  It’s hard for me to be terribly excited about the new computer, though.  Since I already had an upgraded hard drive, all my programs, my operating system, and my files were already in place when the new computer was built.  I didn’t have that new computer experience of reinstalling games and programs.  That process is a hassle, of course, but it really hammers home the feeling of having a new machine in a way that my experience today didn’t.

For those curious, here are the specs for the new setup:

  • 4GB RAM, DDR2 1066
  • Radeon HD 3870 graphics card
  • 650 watt power supply
  • Quad Core processor, 2.66 GHz, overclocked to 3.2
  • Motherboard
  • and a beautiful new case

The case and power supply came as a combo, which meant a nice $20 discount.  The graphics card might not be the best out there, but Boyfriend uses it and it had good user reviews.  I was fortunate in that everything fit, there were no missing screws, and nothing was dead on arrival.  I’m hoping that this computer will last me at least as long as my old rig.