5 years on

My old computer is unupgradeable . One hard disk has quit. I tried and at some expense ( I bought RAM ) found nothing worked. I bought a copy of Windows 7 so i have upgraded to 64 bit which is somewhat a waste of time as i only have 4 gigs of memory. My Windows experience dropped to 5.9 on two fronts, hard disk and memory. When there were(momentarily) 8 gigs if RAM this went up to 7.2, 7.9 being the maximum.

This all began over Firestorm, the Second Life viewer, issuing a 64 bit version. I have long thought of upgrading to 64 bit and i discovered a couple of years ago that my system could handle 64 bit o/s. I am very stupid. I was given the opportunity to get 64 bit windows at launch but i went for the 32 bit. AND it worked well but I felt Windows 64 bit was the was forward. “You can never have enough RAM” is an old maxim. I had 4 RAM slots with 2 x 2 gigs. so two empty slots. Another set of 2 x 2 would bring it up to 8. AND it worked for a time then crashed while in Second Life. Buying RAM has to be done carefully. A good site like Mr Memory or better http://memoryc.com have a memory picker for your model. After two failed attempts with different 2 x 2 i decided to try 2 x 4 gigs of RAM. This worked for a while then crashed the system. This would always happen in Second Life and then started when i watched a movie. I ran every test you could think of. You can find them with Google. They are all free.

Tested and tested and tested some more. I could find no errors I reinstalled Windows 7 Pro into a newly formatted hard disk. Same result. Out of ideas I turned to the forums and had no luck, though one person : 968120designed a new system for me.

The Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool and its 33 page pdf about it. This does a complete test of your processor. SpeedFan shows the core temperatures.

Memtest86 Tests your memory from a CD start. You down load the system image and burn it onto a CD. Its the best. I’ve heard of people running it for hours. I only run one pass. You can always escape (ESC) out of it.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z will tell you all about your graphics card.

Dell Diagnostics Handy enough will test the whole system however it failed to spot any difficulty of RAM on my system so my feeling is its not as stressful as it could be.However a good suite to use to test everything if you have a dell of course.

CPUID has a few programs HWMONITOR shows temperature as does CORE TEMP.

nCleaner will clean up your registry and hard disk.

There are more, you can find free programs to test everything.

After tearing my hair out for a couple of weeks and nearly giving up my job in Second Life I got a stable 64 bit system with 4 gigs of RAM.

My computer is 5 years old, one of my RAID disks failed and the RAM fiasco has left me with no confidence that the machine will last. 5 years is about right for upgrading. So a new computer is in order.

A Dell:

Base is an XPS 8700

Processor: i7 – 4770 4th Gen 3.7 GHz, which can be overclocked to 3.9 GHz. Just about the fastest processor on the market.
Memory 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz – 4 DIMMs Plenty of RAM with room to expand to 32 gigs
Video Card AMD Radeon HD R9 270 2GB GDDR5. Got good reviews and is GDDR5 the fastest memory going. with DisplayPort (v1.2), DVI, VGA and 4x USB ports
Hard Drive 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive + Intel SRT 32GB SSD Cache.  A solid state cache and two terabytes make this a good choice.

Dell 27 Monitor, P2714H, 27″ . Hmmm A second monitor to go next to the 22 inch. An extravagance? Perhaps but when I had two monitors before I loved it. There is a 40% increase in productivity. And if you are going to upgrade…

An exciting bit of kit : Dell TP713 Wireless Multi-touchpad . I wasn’t bothered about getting Windows 8 as I like Windows 7 a lot and I don’t wan a touch screen. So  The Dell Wireless Touchpad has been designed to give you an outstanding Windows® 8 touch experience with easy swiping, smooth scrolling and a full surface touch experience; all wrapped-up in a slim-line modern design that looks stylish in virtually any workspace, Works up to 32 meters. Sore kara . (its Jananese meaning it follows logically doesn’t it) I can have 8.1.

I might get new speakers and a sub woofer.

Getting the money will take four months or i might go for finance.  Will my current system hold up? I dunno.