Out with the old, in with the new

A few blog posts ago I talked about my overheating laptop issue. To review, the GPU on my otherwise awesome Dell e1705 (don't forget to add the upgraded 4GB of memory to its awesomeness) is sadly overheating to the point of a complete burnout. If I do not get this fixed in the new couple of months, my hands will go up in flames as the laptop decides right then and there to spontaneously combust.

So, I've decided to balance the price of fixing this laptop with the price of a new system here in China. I've decided... neither. Instead, I went out shopping a few days ago and bought a nice medium sized floor fan that is currently blow a gust of air at its maximum rate alongside the laptop's surface. This has effectively cooled the laptop from an idle temperature of 85c down to an idle temperature of 78-80c. Enough for now... (although intensive games are still a no-go).

The long-term prospects are much more interesting. As long as I can keep this laptop on its last legs, I am quite looking forward to a new system back at home when I return at the end of June. First, I want to briefly mention the problems in China with getting components for a new computer system. Add to that statement a footnote that it is sometimes difficult to get any sort of electronic device to the exact specifications you want.

You see, there is no NewEgg, no Best Buy, no major retail computer stores of any kind that come even close to the aforementioned. You either have a) small outlets that sell misc. items, or b) major electronic "flee markets". The outlets hardly have enough to satisfy building a new system, let alone getting the exact components you want. The flee markets are almost worse. While they have more components, some are outdated and even "used" when sold new. Bargaining is a necessity here to get a decent price as well. Even when you find new components that you want, don't count on a satisfactory customer service support center when something goes wrong.

Back at home I plan to order straight from NewEgg.com. What a wonderful system NewEgg is to the PC enthusiast. If you are a PC enthusiast and can't imagine not being able to effectively shop for specific computer components, just come to China (or most of Asia for that matter). Keep your fingers crossed, hold your breath, and wish that in three months I will have a new system built specifically for my needs.

"What are your needs?" you might ask...

I am glad you asked, because I love talking about them. This summer/fall we will be seeing a new Intel CPU coming out based on the Penryn architecture (if I start to lose you here in a technical way, then just stop while you can...) codenamed "Nehalem". This new architecture, combined with DDR3 memory support, will significantly increase computer program speeds beyond what my current laptop is capable of. A leap in CPU architecture this significant hasn't come out since the Pentium named was branded.

Of course, I am a gamer at heart so I need a good GPU to backup that raw CPU horsepower. This is where the new upcoming Radeon HD 4870x2's come in. I will NEVER pay $600 for a video card, a.k.a. the Nvidia 9800GX2. If the Radeon HD 4870x2's are also too pricey, or disappointing in the performance category, I will settle for a 'Crossfire' configuration of two Nvidia 9600GT's. Throw in a Blu-ray DVD writer, 8GB of DDR3 memory (or DDR2 if DDR3 is still pricey in the summer), couple all that with a few 24" Dell monitors, and I'm set for a fresh fragging experience!

"Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use." - ME


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