Finally! A PC Upgrade!

Posted On: January 5, 2009
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Comments: 15 Responses

Despite some misgivings about spending money now, when my Dell Dimension 4700 rebooted on me for the umpteenth time, I told myself that I have had enough. The time had come for a much needed upgrade, that I had put aside for the longest time, despite the encouragements of my buddy Wilfrid, who had upgraded his home PC back in May 2008.

So when one of Warden’s friend’s Dell Dimension 4700 (I’m not putting across a point, it is a real coincidence) “died”, apparently due to a terminal hard disk failure, I decided to pass her my pretty new hard disk, plus 1 GB of RAM, since I was helping her to resuscitate the machine. In doing that, I decided to replace the Xpert Vision nVidia 7300GT graphics card, the motherboard and CPU, the hard disk, the memory (RAM), the power unit as well as the casing.

Vista Welcome Center

Thus, during the last weekend, Warden and I went on a multi-purpose “excursion” to relieve a couple of itches:

  1. The laptop that Warden has been using needs fixing.
  2. I was to get the hardware for my upgrade.
  3. Warden wanted to do some shopping.
  4. I might drop in on Alan Photo to get a circular polariser filter.

My Warden has been putting up with a laptop screen that started having a single vertical line, and grew to multiple lines, that could not be read properly. As we walked around Sim Lim Square, the first shop that we found quoted us $250 with 9-months warranty (after Warden’s persistent bargaining), for a glossy screen. The second shop quoted $220 with 1-month warranty for a non-glossy screen. The third shop turned out to be under the same management as the first shop, but after some bargaining, gave us $230 for a glossy screen with 9-months warranty. To put things in perspective, Dell wanted to charge us about $550 for a year of extended warranty.

Next, after collecting all the promotional materials from various shops, we sat down for a cup of coffee, and an ice kachang for Warden. I looked for the hardware that I sought, and did the maths, which did not look too pretty at around $1,400. The shops seem to be priced around the same, so I just chose one that looked decent and checked with a friendly sales guy. I told him what I wanted, and he quickly pieced together the components after I told him I had a budget of $1,000. Warden actually asked him, “$800 can or not?” and the guy actually said it could be done. But we all know where that’s headed. I did not want something that I will throw away in less than a month. This must have been one of those quick and dirty shopping experience – just hit and run. Here’s a quick run through of what I got for $1,095 (incl. the damn GST):

  1. Intel Q6600 Core 2 Quad (2.4 GHz)
  2. MSI P43 NEO3-F – LGA775 motherboard
  3. Team Elite 800 – 4GB Kit (RAM)
  4. Western Digital 500GB/16MB SATA2 (Hard disk)
  5. Palit GF9800GT 512MB PCI-E (Graphics Card)
  6. Andyson 500W Power Plus (Power Supply Unit)
  7. GZ-X1 ATX Casing
  8. Microsoft Vista Home Premium 64-bit (OEM Operating System)

Yes, after much hesitation, I have finally upgraded to Vista.

Intel Core 2 Quad & MSI Motherboard

Since we were waiting for the laptop to be repaired and the desktop to be pieced together, we went over to OG to look around. Then went for some food at the nearby market/hawker centre, plus some more shopping around the area. After which, it was time to pick up the goods and head for home. Since I had spent all my budget on the PC, I decided to give Alan Photo a pass. Sigh… another time, another month perhaps… but I’m a happy man 😛