David and I went to Fry’s on Monday to pick up parts for three new computers. We’ve been plugging away on this project for the last two months using our personal machines and some castoffs, and started bumping into hardware limitations. Time to upgrade.
The new machines are Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.4 gigahertz with 4 MB L2 cache. We put 4 gigabytes of RAM on two of the machines, and 8 gigs on the other. We’re going to need lots of memory.
We put two 750 GB Seagate SATA drives on each machine, striped so that Windows sees them as a single 1.36 terabyte drive. It takes approximately half of forever to format the dang thing.
I’ve installed Windows XP Pro, x64 edition. Haven’t had a chance yet to put the machine through its paces. I’ll have to find some kind of benchmark to see what it can do.
Perhaps the best thing about the new machines is the case: Antec Sonata II. With the CPU fan, power supply fan, standard case fan, and the additional front fan, the thing is still whisper quiet. It’s by far the quietest computer I’ve ever owned–including my laptop. And working on it? It’s a joy. Everything is well laid out, solidly constructed, and just plain done right. You can buy a cheaper case but as far as I’m concerned the 85 bucks for one of these is money well spent.
More once I’ve had a chance to work with the machine a bit. I can’t wait to allocate a 2 gigabyte array.