Friday, August 2, 2013

My New Desktop PC - The Processor

I've been doing research on what I need to purchase to build my next desktop. For those you who don't know, you can actually get a higher quality machine for roughly the same price as a PC purchased at a retail store if you build your machine. Please understand, I only recommend this for ADVANCED users. If you can't reliably speak about things like BUS speeds, processor cores, or L1/L2 caches, then DO NOT try to build a machine on your own. GET EXPERIENCED HELP. I'm serious. I blew up $500 worth of electronic equipment when I built my first PC because I didn't know what I was doing and connected things incorrectly. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! That was two months of saved paychecks at the time. Talk to any Tech nerd, and they will ALL give you stories of badly built systems either frying out instantly or with a couple of months of being built.

Now, you're probably wondering why I'm building a Desktop PC when it seems the trend is mobile computing: smartphones, tablets, etc. Well, there are a couple things about that where I'm concerned. First, I'm a big guy. So, the current push to make things smaller is REALLY fucking annoying. If you want a laugh, imagine me with hands that can engulf most human faces, trying to use a blackberry style keyboard on a phone. And using an iPhone? Don't make me laugh. In my hands, an iPhone looks like a stick of gum. In either case, the point is I need larger electronics. My current laptop has a 17in. screen and a full size keyboard. It's actually inconvenient to travel with because it's so large. Then there's the fact that I can't reliably use track pads on laptops (don't get me started on touch screens), so I need a mouse. Second, I store a lot of information digitally, so I use not one, but TWO external hard drives, a bunch of smaller flash drives and a variety of other peripherals. Taking all that stuff with me isn't a really great idea, So, guess where my "portable" computer stays 90% of the time? ON MY DESK! So if I'm not using my laptop to travel why in the name of all gods binary do I need a mobile computer??

And now you understand why I'm building a desktop PC.

Anyway, it's been a little while since I built my last PC so I started doing my due diligence on what the current state of the art is in terms of hardware. First step is the brains of the system: the CPU (Central Processing Unit). There has been an eternal battle in the CPU market between the two top companies: AMD & Intel. It's nice to see that in an industry where everything changes in as little as 3 months, THAT particular battle is still on going. (Oh, and I just got an idea for another "Eternal Arguments" post! Haven't done one of those in awhile!) Personally, I've used CPUs from both companies and it's basically a trade off. There are pluses and minuses to each company's products. More on that in another post.

After spending some time looking into the latest products for both Intel & AMD, I decided to go with an AMD processor this go 'round. The specific processor being the FX-8350. It clocks .5 GHz faster than Intel's i7-4770K, and has 8 cores instead of the i7's 4 cores. Now here's the kicker, the AMD processor costs $130 LESS than Intel's CPU! That is what finally clinched it for me.

Some details on the CPU I chose.
And now that the CPU has been chosen, I move on to the next step, choosing the motherboard to go with it. Back to the research!

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