Monday, May 13, 2013

Geek post: my computer

A post like the following is probably long overdue. I am a geek/nerdy girl --- how have I not talked about my awesome little computer yet!? Four years ago I built myself a computer. It was my first solo build and it was so much fun to select every piece and see it come together. I'd done a couple of builds prior to this for other people and had help. For this to be mine, it was going to be truly my own.

It all started with the case. The case is just like a perfect outfit, a perfect frame, or the perfect car design. It's all for show but its only purpose is to house the real masterpiece which may be hidden from view. I really hadn't thought of what I wanted in a case when I started looking. At first I considered going all flashy with LED lights and colors as I'd never owned my own desktop. Why not go the really fun way?

But then I saw a case in a size I wasn't aware it existed - a miniATX. It was small - just 9 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and 14 inches deep. It was made of red steel. I was in love.

Sure, things are VERY cramped on the inside, especially since I originally purchase a graphics card that took up two PCI Express 2.0 slots... I barely fit in my wireless card. Cords were crammed into every corner, one even pinching itself underneath the graphics card so it could just fit across the case for front USB support.

I didn't care. The whole thing was ridiculously small and cute, something I thought was perfect for a 5 foot geeky girl like myself who loves red. The outside is very simple. There's no LED lights or visible fans. Just a couple of buttons and USB slots.

After four years, I've done nothing but wipe the hard drives and re-load just to refresh the computer. Oh, and I upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7. But finally, the need for an upgrade really came when my graphics card could not keep up with the gaming graphics and FPS that I needed (that's frames per second, NOT first person shooter). My game is LOTRO and running a 12 or 24 man raid as the tank while everyone is doing the robot is... well, not a very good way to make a good impression as a tank. I muddled my way through with a couple of tries and then gave up. It was just time to upgrade.

In my search for a new card, I came across one where the onboard fan looked a little bit like the Millennium Falcon. I was a bit swayed by this as I'm a huge Star Wars nerd and why shouldn't I want this graphics card!? (If you are just now discovering my love for Star Wars, you need to look at my May the 4th posts from this year and last year). Actually, for my price range it had everything I needed. And, well, the pics will tell you the rest...

One of the best types of package to get in the mail! Newegg!

Oooh. It says "Dragon" on it. It must be cool!

A look inside my case with old graphics card, hidden behind all the wires!

Old card, opposite view. Wires barely reach in some places!

I may have overdone it on the RAM...

It's shiny!

Size comparison, old card to new. Isn't that red steel gorgeous?

New card all snugly inside. Rumored to run graphics in 12 parsecs or less.
And yes, the card can now handle those 12 mans. No more robot dancing in Middle Earth. Geek girl has saved herself once again!

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