So here I am ready to drop down some major dollars on a Mac Pro but I have this uneasy feeling that Apple is going to upgrade it sometime between now and late winter 2008. I hate getting screwed like that especially since we're talking major dollars. My decision is to "hold" on the Mac Pro acquisition until I get a better fix on Apple's plans for that model.
Do I pursue the Ultimate Windows PC concept? After much study and investigation plus talking with a few IT professionals the answer is no, it's better to wait for prices to drop on the Intel Quad Core CPU chip, wait for more software that can operate on a 64 bit machine [not an issue with the Mac pro] but most of all wait for MS Vista SP2
Unfortunately I know that my current PC, the hard working, fully rigged out, Dell Dimension 8400 is going to crash and deliver up a Blue Screen of Death pretty soon. I'm backing up to an external hard drive as well as uploading files to my server to protect my data. All this is taking a lot of time and I'm also wasting an hour or more each week tweaking the system to get rid of any "garbage" slowing down performance or causing occasional glitches. This is why Microsoft Sucks.
I've decided that the best thing to do right now is to do a clean install of Windows XP and reconfigure the Dell with some hardware I can also use for the future Ultimate PC.
- Intel Pentium 3.4 Ghz CPU
- 256 MB nVIDIA GeForce 6800 Graphics Card - 2 DVI inputs
- 4 MB Crucial Ballistic RAM sticks
- 160 MB Western Digital Hard Disk
- 500 MB Maxtor Hard Disk
- LaCie 160 MB [Maxtor] External USB Hard Drive
- LaCie 250 MB [Maxtor] External Hard Drive (networked)
- Generic DVD-R, CD-R/W Drive
- NEC DVD-R/W CD-R/W Super Drive
- 3.5" Floppy Drive
- 7 USB 2.0 Ports
- 1 Firewire IEEE1394 Port via PCI Card
- Network Adaptor: Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigbit Controlller
- SoundMAX Digital Audio (MOBO integrated)
- Logitech 5.1 Surround Sound System
- 20" Dell LCD monitor [1680 x 1050 display resolution]
- 24" Dell LCD monitor [1920 x 1200 display resolution]
- Intel V9x PCI modem
Here's Step 1 of the "plan," if anyone has some advice or warnings before I start, let me know.
Purchase a 2nd 500MB Maxtor Hard Disk and a PROMISE FastTrak TX4310 PCI SATA II Controller RAID Card
. During the XP clean install I will set up the two 500MB disks as RAID 1 (Mirrored). I will use the current 160 hard disk as well.
Step 2 (later): Purchase (pix above) a dual link DVI, PNY GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported HDCP Video Card.
(I will have to remove the Intel PCI Modem card to make some room in the case for this double size video card.) Although I'm currently using Dual Monitor displays I will purchase the 30" Dell LCD monitor
(2560 x 1600 resolution) which needs the dual link DVI. The current 20" Dell LCD will be temporarily mothballed.
Once or whenever MS releases Vista SP2 my plan is to build the "Ultimate PC" by using components from the Dell, the two 500 MB hard disks, the PNY GeForce 8800 GTX, the Promise RAID Controller card, two of the four 1 MB Crucial Ballistic RAM sticks and reconfiguring the Dell to "normal" with the original nVIDIA 256 MB GeForce 6800 Graphics Card, the Western Digital 160 MB Hard Drive and the 20" Dell LCD monitor.
The rumor mill says that MS should release Vista SP2 by the spring of 2008 which would be perfect timing since by then Genevieve Sophia should have the PC I gave her a few months ago totally corrupted with spyware and malware that I'll just throw it away and give her the Dell.
All Comments, Advice & especially Warnings are Welcome