I was a little heavy-handed a month or two ago when swapping some of my hard disks around. It is a little known fact, but nevertheless true, that if you rip the SATA socket off your motherboard, it has a tendency to (a) spark, fizz and behave slightly alarmingly; and (b) fail to work at all thereafter.
As a result of my clumsiness, I’ve been running everything on a Core 2 Duo, circa 2006. I beefed it up with 8GB of RAM -and it’s been surprisingly useful. But ripping a Blu-Ray on it takes something like 28 hours! Time to replace it with something a bit nippier, therefore. Here’s what I’m getting:
I’m getting four sticks of the RAM, 16GB in all, so I finally have room to breathe when I’m running multiple virtual machines.
It’s because I do a lot of virtualisation and not much over-clocking, too, that I’ve opted for the i7 2600 CPU, rather than the i7 2600K. The ‘K’ chip overclocks a lot more, but it doesn’t have support for Intel VT-D extensions (“Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O). (Neither does any of the current crop of desktop virtualization products, so I suppose the issue’s moot, but that might change and my CPU will be ready for it if it does!)
The hard disk is really irrelevant: I’ll be booting off my existing solid state one and I’ve got 12TB of disk space available of the network, so I don’t really care what goes in the Shuttle case: the Western Digital 1TB happens to provide a useful amount of ‘local’ storage whilst remaining the cheapest currently-available hard disk from my particular supplier (AusPC).
The Other Half got the same Shuttle case not so long ago (although only with an i5 CPU) and it’s pretty good: it’s not a silent PC at all, but the noise is fairly minimal. It looks quite slick, so having it ‘on show’ to visitors is not out of the question. It’s best feature, as far as I’m concerned, is that it can sit unobtrusively on the desktop: that means it’s not close to the floor, which in a house with a couple of cats, has a tendency to attract dust and fibres like crazy! Last time I cleaned the PC innards, it was positively revolting: maybe not quite as bad as this, but close! I’ll be really pleased if a higher, off-ground placing means this PC doesn’t clog up so much!!
I haven’t decided on an operating system yet: it could be Scientific Linux 6.1, or I might just go with Windows 7. I suspect the requirement for Blu-Ray processing means the latter will get the nod in the end.
Anyway, the order went in today and I should be picking it all up, built and tested, on Friday. I am looking forward to it!