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A new desktop PC in over a decade
Created on: 28-01-2020 By Gee
When I was at college studying computing tech support, I built a PC with the best of things that I could reasonably put on my credit card and not feel too bad about the debt. I was young and stupid, now I'm just stupid.
That PC had a (brand spankin' new at the time) core 2 quad Q6600 2.4Ghz CPU in a XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard. I fitted it with 2GB of DD3 RAM (which was fairly decent in 2008 AND DDR3 was quite rare to use then), Two XFX GeForce 8800 GS Graphics cards running in SLI and no idea what HDD I was using. This was a time when 4:3 aspect monitors were still available and that's what I was using for a while (until I bought something from a college friend). Windows XP was still king. Windows Vista was on the cards but I didn't buy it.
Once the beast was built, it felt ridiculously fast.
This was the PC to last me for an age, but I never knew that at the time.
As we go through the years, I replaced some broken parts or upgraded bits n bobs (CPU,PSU,GPU's and RAM etc) and changed the case a couple of times. The computer just kept going and I never thought I'd really need to replace it. It done everything I needed as I no longer used it for gaming, Which is ironic as that is what I built it for in the first place.
It ended up with over 2TB of HDD space, 8GB RAM and I want to say it was a Q9600 CPU, but I could just be making up a sequence of letters and numbers.
After coding this blog CMS I thought I'd try my hand at making some video's and firing them on YouTube. Something I'd still like to do. However the PC was starting to show it's age a little. I had been using Ubuntu on it for a long time as it ran so smoothly and if i tried to use windows 10 on it, it would take half an hour to load (maybe not quite, but it was a long time). Using Ubuntu made using web cameras a little more difficult to use for recording. Still do-able, but a tiny bit more work (until i discovered OBS Studio). The issue lay when I was trying to figure out how to record footage from my Amstrad(s). Getting a capture device that would work on Linux was proving quite difficult, So I downgraded to Windows 7 on a drive and tested things out from there. My newly acquired, second hand, Elgato HD capture device worked quite well under Windows. I even managed to get it to work under Linux using a video guide on installing Elgato HD capture on Linux (video is in German).
Some recordings I made for a video idea I had were edited down to around the 9 minute mark, and then exported as a test. Exporting took over 40 minutes. I didn't think too much about it at the time. Just thought that's how long it should take.
Around Christmas time I was researching the best computer components to use for video editing and then set about using ebuyers website to find things that I could afford and would let me have another computer to last me a decade or so.
I hummed and hawed at several builds that would do what I was after and came up with the following new PC build parts list. The delivery was slow as I had accidentally chosen the super saver delivery, no idea how. I was sure it was set to next working day. As I was working on the day I thought it'd be delivered, I had asked my mum if I could have it sent to her house instead. Bits finally arrived in dribs and drabs and I went to pick them up. Got home. Built the PC. Where's the RAM?
So.. no RAM arrived with the delivery and I checked my order. It was there on my order, but not in the delivery. It showed up a day later and all was well with the world. Sorry Mum!
The decision to use Windows 10 on this build wasn't a difficult one as I knew that it'd work well with my capture software, the PC was fast enough to deal with Windows 10 and I'd have access to more applications for recording. I did consider trying to make a hackintosh but decided against it as it didn't really give any benefits.
Windows now loads in under 20 seconds thanks to my SSD. Encoding the same test video also dropped considerably. I managed to export the footage in 13 minutes or so, then noticed on Shotcut that I didn't have hardware encoding selected. After selecting this, the encoding time dropped to just over 3 minutes! After some more editing, I had an export time of just over 1 minute!
PC Gaming became an option if I found I had the time again. I did get into a game for a couple of weeks, but have since dropped it again. Must be an age thing. I'd much prefer to code or play on the Amstrads and other ancient computers with any free time I have.