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System History

So while I might be able to write pages on the intracate track record of all of the various computers I've own, I'll try to do more of a summary.

Generation 1: 2001-2002
Computer Designation: JAG

The first system I truly put together was over-priced (of course) and I didn't understand what did what. I even ordered from the wrong type of vender. The original case is actually still in use in our family - taking care of enclosing my step mom's brother's computer. The system was a speed demon of its time, and actually is still reasonably good compared - it debuted with an Athlon XP 1900+, 512 mb of PC2100, and an original ASUS nForce chipset. This motherboard was actually remarkable for its time - not only was it fast, but it had 5.1 surround sound audio that I hadn't the fogiest idea how to use. The hard drive, a 60 gb IBM served the system well along side the 6 year old at the time floppy drive, and what was then a fast CD-RW drive, a 16x Mitsumi. I used a nice Altec Lansing 4.1 speaker set, and somewhere in here actually upgraded to a full GB of RAM via the tides of Ebay. I had already recieved my 21" viewsonic as a graduation present before this point, so it went it service as soon as this machine was operational. The power supply started out as a 300 watt that came with the Cool Master case. I existed on the built-in GeForce2 MX quality video for a while, until Ebay afforded me an upgrade to a screaming GeForce4 Ti 4400.

Generation 2: 2002-2003
Computer Designation: Mojo

After pushing together my first rig I soon became caught up in the whole constantly upgrading feeling of the computer industry. I summoned my money together to get a KT333 ASUS board - all because I wanted RAID (that I couldn't use), USB 2.0, and firewire. Oh it probably had AGP 8x too, but my card didn't do that. The board ended up having troubles and got replaced by a Chaintech one - which still serves until today in another friend's computer. At the time that board then moved to my dad's computer, and I moved up to a KT400 Giga-byte board, where I actually stayed for a short while. My RAM moved up to PC2700 CL2 Corsair, and I gained another 2 hard drives - an old 30 gb Western Digital, and a newer 75 gb IBM. I shifted through two cases during this period, both Maxtops, one which TBox now has, and the other Nate uses. The second one was pretty nice - the same model was used by a number of my friends and sister. I thought the old power supply wasn't enough so added a CompUSA 500 watt within the confused upgrade folds of this year. I completed the system with an AVer TV tuner too. Somewhere in here I jumped up to add an LG 16x DVD-rom drive, and my processor was upgraded at the beginning of Sophomore year to an Athlon 2600+ which I later sold to TBox.

Generation 3: 2003-2004
Computer Designation: Mojo

You'd think all of the previous shuffle was enough, but I really didn't settle down for long. After shifting around family resources and parts the machine moved into yet another new home - a giant blue Thermaltake case that could probably resist your average hydrogen bomb. The thing had 8 speed controlled fans and weighed almost as much as I do. It did have a swanky plastic window and front USB/audio/firewire. I think the front had titanium and may have helped satellites orbit the earth. The blue speed control fans weren't enough - I added a 480 watt Antec TrueBlue power supply after the CompUSA one blew out. The DVD-rom was sold to Jesse and my Mitsumi burner died one day - they were replaced by an 8x Plextor burner and an LG combo drive. Finally after throwing parts back and fourth between my friends and the family computers I upgraded to a Ledtek nForce2 board with two golden sparkly Geil 256 PC3200 RAM modules. The processor that went with it was an Athlon XP 3000+, which I paid 60$ too much for (I could have nabbed an ever so slightly slower 2700+ for so much less...) Within the first few months of the year I also dropped in my Audigy 2 Platinum, and celebrated by controlling it with my roommate's remote. Trends continued, and two other major jumps occured. First, I started using two monitors - at first with a 17" Dell Trinitron, and later with a Gateway 19". To do this, though, I had bought an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro - a beautiful card which still operates speedily today in another friend's computer. The end of this generation also featured a SATA add-in card - which initially controlled just one Western Digital Raptor 2, and later two in a RAID array. These bad ass drives slowly replaced the other three over time. This rack managed to stay stable and operational for quite some time, surprisingly.

Generation 4: 2004-2005
Computer Designation: Elix

Another year rolled around and I began to itch for another upgrade. The Athlon was great, but couldn't haul ass on some multimedia, video, and gaming applications. Plus Ishan had jumped into a new pair of pants with his P4 3 ghz and I just couldn't have that. After browsing for entirely too long for Intel board, I got an MSI PT800 board... which turned out to have a bad IDE controller chip (for both PATA and SATA...booo). I returned it, frustrated with computers that wouldn't work, and steped up to the plate to get the fastest most stable most fucking sweet chipset in existence at the time, and Asus P4C800 - based on the Intel 875P chipset. Along with this upgrade came another two chips of identical Geil RAM, bringing my up to a full Gig of overkill. The matching processor was a beautiful 3.2 ghz Pentium 4 - a Northwood core, I wouldn't have any of this Prescott bullshit (plus it wasn't out at the time). The computer once again moved homes, this time into a suble Antec alluminum case - which I modded with some more powerful speed controlled fans - but this time they could shut up and be silent most of the time. I sat on the rig as was for a while - only adding a 19" Viewsonic monitor until the school year hit. Last, but best, was the graphics card that I blessed my system with in the beginning of the fall semester - a GeForce 6800 GT - which I overclocked until it started leaking heat and replaced with a new one of the same type.

Generation 5: 2005
Computer Designation: Elix

The beginning of this year saw a 200 gb Western Digital hard drive added as storage to suppliment the RAID array, as well as a third Acer 17" LCD monitor and shitty GeForce MX4000 PCI card to control it or a TV. I decided Dual-layer was a happy idea, and picked up a fast as fuck Plextor 16x SATA DVD-burner. I traded Will my RAM for a new set of dual screaming fast Geil PC4000 chips. And this, folks, is the computer as it stands to date. I refuse to upgrade to 64-bit until 64-bit windows is readily available and worthwhile. This means I'm probably not looking at doing anything about it until the beginning of next year at earliest. In the meantime I have a screaming fast P4 that I can overclock to 3.52 ghz and a GeForce 6800 GT that's itching to run at the speed of an Ultra. Honestly my rig is still faster at many tasks than the Athlon 64's out there, and the new P4 chips are a collective joke. There's no good reason to upgrade - plus it's running stable, and faster than it ever has before. It's time to slow down the upgrade pace, I think.

Generation 6: 2005-2006
Computer Designation: Megassa

Well a lot changed about the system since the last history update. So much for slowing down. I'm no longer using three videocards, but have gone through an x850 xt pe to now upgrade to my current 7800 GT. I'm up to 3 Western Digital Raptor 2's, and built a media center PC to house the big hard drive, 9800 AIW, and some other stuff. I'm up to 2 GB of RAM now with a couple of 19" LCD monitors (one with good response time). Before those was a series of CRT's and the previous 17" LCD. I upgraded my mainboard to a Gigabyte nForce4 SLI board and bought an Athlon 3700+ San Diego core after selling my P4 to Mitt. The chip has been fairly consistently overclocked to 2.4 or 2.6 ghz. On the horizon is a Raptor 3, and maybe a Athlon X2 4200 or some other dual core chip. I'd like to stick with the 7800 for a while, I think. We'll see.

I later upgraded the videocard to a 7900 GT after the 7800 failed. I also completed the massive RAID0 array, with 4 Raptor 2's. This machine was later transferred to my MCPC and retired.

Generation 7: 2006
Computer Designation: Epoch

A very short 'generation', this was just an upgrade to an Athlon X2 4800+, my first dual-core processor! I actually shifted the RAM around a few times, from 2 GB of PC3200 or 1 GB of PC4000 until all of that was ebayed to pull together for my new rig. Kept with the dual 19" LCD displays. I actually switched out the RAID0 array in favor of a single perpendicular storage Seagate drive. The interface speed was faster, drive ops quicker except access time, and with a womping 750 GB of space, about 3 times as much space! I could now start backing up the entire MCPC on my main machine.

Generation 8: 2006-2007
Computer Designation: Aeon

This was the first truly revolutionary upgrade since the switch to the P4. Not only did I upgrade my processor to a Core 2 Duo 6600, I added in 2 GB of DDR2 800 mhz OSZ RAM. Add to this a reasonably sweet Gigabyte chipset - i965, which has been pretty stable for overclocking, my Conroe stably working between 2667/2880 mhz. My 7900 GT started to fail (no OCing this time, weird), and so I replaced it with a 7950 GT, with 512 mb of RAM onboard. In addition I removed the ZIP 250 drive and started running Windows Vista x86 full time. I traded a 19" monitor to my dad for another matching 19" Fuji display for color uniformity. As usual I'm planning to stay on this for quite some time.

Generation 9: 2007-2008
Computer Designation: Epoch II

I love reading the predictions I make for myself. They're generally not too far off, but always absurd. Last time I said there was no reason anyone outside of server and AV people would need 4 GB of RAM. Something else proved me wrong: Gaming on Vista. That's right, with the 1 GB overhead in order to rock the latest titles you gotta be hauling that kind of memory. So after some hubub dealing with switching parts around the MCPC and friends' computers I finally settled on a new rig to sit on top of for a while, the upgrade motivated almost completely by Vista game and a little interest in loading the massive audio patches for various DXI synths. The new deal sports a Core 2 Quad, native 2.4 ghz but easily stable up to 3.00. 4x1 GB modules of lower latency OSZ adorn the deck and for the time being a 320 mb 8800 GTS leads the battle, though games like Crysis are quickly showing that this card doesn't cut it. I've come back to the Raptor 2 RAID 0 array, and plan to add a matched 500 GB drive for a RAID 1 for the important stuff. And of my predictions - I'm still thinking on replacing the old Plextor 708A. The hardware minus the videocard is about as cutting edge as I can go so for now no plans to upgrade in sight. The soundcard is still having troubles with Vista's drivers but again I'm not sure if Creative has anything to deal with it. Oh, and so the 19" monitors might be switched out for a couple of 22" widescreen displays.

Pretty close on the predictions. No major changes later, just an Audigy X-Fi Xtreme Music card (so it works with Vista now!), two Philips 20x/48x DVD-RW's though these are just place-holders until Blue-ray and Plextor drives come down in price. I now fill my desk with two 24" LCD monitors... next item on the list is the videocard, but I'm waiting for nVidia or ATI's next gen...

Generation 10: 2008 (9?)
Computer Designation: TBA, something having to do with time

Now the fun part - predicting! Okay so god I look over all that stuff I wrote above and have trouble thinking I could ever need anything more. So for real 4 GB of RAM is enough for a long time, but who knows DDR3 might be on the warpath. Also it's likely I'll get a faster quadcore chip at some point but really the current one rocks the house. What I do know for certain is that the videocard is doomed. Some sort of fancy-dancy DirectX 10.1 512 mb card will rise up to fill the open spot. Might as well go balsy and predict a new soundcard and blue-ray or HD-DVD optical drive.


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