Hardware shopping

It’s that time of year again… I went hardware shopping.
Actually, I went twice. First a PC upgrade a month ago, which I didn’t post about (and not going to except for the list, due to a lack of time and because I forgot to take photos before installing everything) and secondly a week ago.
Here are the lists:
List 1

  • Antec Sonata III 500W case (it’s a good power supply and I could use the extra case;) )
  • ASUS P5K-E mainboard
  • ASUS 8600GT Silent 256MB
  • Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4Ghz
  • 4 GB DDR2 RAM
  • Western Digital 3.5″ 320GB SATAII hard disk

List 2

  • Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Extreme Gamer
  • Icy Box 2.5″ portable hard disk case
  • Seagate 2.5″ 120GB 7200rpm SATA hard disk
  • Logitech Wave keyboard
  • Linksys NAS200 Network Attached Storage
  • Western Digital 3.5″ 500GB SATAII hard disk
  • Belkin KVM (monitor + 2 USB)
  • Samsung Dual Layer DVD-RW SATA

The first buying-spree was a real update of my workstation, which had been running a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz for 2 years and was due a little attention. The hardware speaks for itself I think and works wonderfully. With one downside on the mainboard’s part. At bootup, it can take up to 15 seconds to detect IDE devices, because of the PCIexpress to SATA/IDE emulation. But since almost all my devices (Except for the DVD and DVD-RW drives) are SATA, it isn’t that big of a problem.

The reason for buying the hardware (the 2nd time) was just a little “hardware maintenance” 😉
The Samsung DVD-RW is an update of my current LiteOn DVD-RW (which didn’t support dual layer), the Icy Box and Seagate 2.5″ is an update of my current Western Digital Passport 2.5″ external hard disk. The size is the same (which is more than enough for portable use) but the speed of the disk went from 5400rpm to 7200rpm, which is a little boost that especially helps with my needs, namely using them for my VPC images at work and for Vista ReadyBoost (which surprisingly works quite well). Ow and it comes with a nice fake-ledder binder. The only downside can be that your PC doesn’t supply enough power and you need the 2 USB cords. My portable at work (an HP Compaq 8710p) works just fine with 1 cable.

The new sound card is bought to replace the on-board sound hardware that came with my mainboard. It worked, but sucked! Nothing can top a good Creative card! Spend a few euros on that, you won’t regret it! (if you have more than average speakers that is, with standard build-in monitor speakers, the on-board stuff will do.)

As a result of the first update, I had an almost complete 2nd PC lying around. This was too tempting to resist. So I bought an extra case to house all that “old” hardware, added a the Belkin KVM and voila 2 PCs for the price of an upgrade.

I also updated my keyboard, since my previous one didn’t work too well with Windows Vista. In case you’re in the market for a new one yourself, I strongly recommend the Logitech Wave. It takes a small amount of time to get used to the curvature, but once you get used to that, it is a real joy to use it, with actually useful quick-buttons!

And finally, the 500GB Western Digital hard disk is for the Linksys NAS, but more on that in a later post ;).

A few pictures:
Icy Box 2.5inch casing boxed

Icy Box 2.5inch casing binder

Icy Box 2.5inch casing binder open

Icy Box 2.5inch casing

Icy Box 2.5inch casing open

Western Digital 2.5inch Passport

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi boxed

Linksys NAS200 boxed

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