Saturday, June 21, 2008

My New Desktop Computer

Recently I got a new desktop computer - an impressive new computer to say the least. Its specifications are:
Processor: Core2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz - 8MB L2 cache)
Motherboard: Intel Q35
RAM: 8GB DDR2 @667MHz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT w/ 512MB GDDR3 Dedicated RAM
Hard Drive: 500GB SATA @7200rpm
Monitor: 20" widescreen LCD

The total cost of the computer was 1300 JDs (around $1700)... I based it on an offer of a computer priced at 990 JDs and added a few upgrades that made the sum 1300 JDs. The first upgrade was the GeForce 9600GT priced at 215 JDs, the original offer contained GeForce 8400GS priced at 80 JDs. While GeForce 8400GS is a very good graphics card, but for an impressive computer, we need an impressive graphics card... I recommend this graphics card to anyone considering buying a new PC. Sure enough, that isn't the best graphics card... But for the big cash pockets, there is the GeForce 9800 GX2 (not sure about the price, but expect it to be around 500 JDs - Thats if you found it anywhere in Jordan) or even having two such cards in SLI mode for the ultimate performance (1000 JDs, OMG you can buy a computer at the price of this setup of graphics cards!).

The other upgrade was the 8GB DDR2 RAM. The original offer was 2GB DDR2 RAM, but I thought that 8GB would be best. The reason is simple: DDR2 RAM prices are at the lowest point they will get! The other choice was RAM DDR3, but consider this: 1GB of DDR2 costs 20 JDs, while 1GB of DDR3 costs 124 JDs!! So I bought 8GB DDR2 at a price slightly higher than 1GB of DDR3...

There was another upgrade that I wished to have, but I couldn't find it anywhere!! In honesty, the Jordanian market for electronics sucks... The prices are higher than they should, and the good quality equipment cannot be found (even if you were willing to pay more). Consider the GeForce 9800 GX2, sure its expected price would be around 500 JDs, but you will not find it anywhere! Even if you were willing to pay 500 JDs for a graphics card, there is no where you can get it... Thats pathetic! Even the GeForce 9600 GT was really tough to find.... I went to many computer stores, and only found it in one store... I almost lost hope of finding the GeForce 9600 GT, and when I found it, it was like I found a gem!

Back to the upgrade that I couldn't find, its the processor... The best processor that can be found in Jordan is the Core2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz - 8MB L2 cache)... Better models were no where to be found, although there are models that run at 3.2GHz!! The processor I bought was priced at 230JD, I was willing to pay a bit more for a higher clock speed, but that was a gem not to be found! Again there are processors that cost around $1200 (around 900 JDs) which is the Core2 Extreme QX9770, but thats beyond the Jordanian market!

All in all, I am pretty much satisfied about my new computer. I was especially satisfied that it got a Windows Experience Rating of 5.5 (the maximum being 5.9). All my components are rated at 5.9, except for the RAM which is rated at 5.5 (probably the maximum ratings go to the DDR3 RAM).

Finally, I installed Windows Vista 64-bit Edition w/ SP1. It worked perfectly fine. I am glad that my transition to the 64-bit computing was flawless as I want to be one of the early adopters of the 64-bit computing as I believe it is an important advancement in the computers world. Any computer with a "Core2" processor is 64-bit capable. And for those who have that, I recommend that they try the 64-bit OS, and move permanently to 64-bit if things work out fine (and it probably will).

32-bit computing is almost over. It reached its limit! I think that in two years 64-bit will become mainstream... 32-bit OS'es and computers can handle a maximum of 2GB to 3.5GB of RAM depending on the specifications of the computer. With 2GB of RAM being common these days, and RAM requirements doubling almost every 1.5 years, this means that 4GB of RAM should be pretty common in a year or so... But 32-bits can't handle all that RAM, so computers will have to move to 64-bit computing. After that, 8GB of RAM will be due, which would mark the end of 32-bit computing. In short, it is expected that 8GB of RAM to become common within 3 years, and moving to 64-bit will be necessary before that time!

Supporting more RAM is not the only advantage of 64-bit computing. But for the average computer users, RAM requirements will be the driving factor that makes 64-bit computing popular...