Desktop Repair

I have not built systems from scratch for years, but it's a skillset that does not go away. Almost like riding a bike. This is useful to me, as I had the motherboard on my desktop system die the other day, and I've come to rely on it as a primary system over the past few months. This system was purchased to run my TV a few years back, and I paid as little as I could to get it, around \$300 for the tower only. Oddly, at that price it came with a SSD drive(a small one). This upgrade let me watch content at full resolution on my projector, which was an upgrade from the then 10 year old system I had been using. When it died I really wanted to get a system that could do some more work that I wanted to get into, so it was the perfect time to upgrade!
Workstation My currently running workstation system.

A bit of research, and some recent experience building a system for a coworker, and I was off. I decided to replace the motherboard, upgrade the RAM and get a video card that could accelerate my graphics work(Therefore it had to be a CUDA device, so NVidia chips, I would have preferred ATI as I have been a fan of them for years). Went and did some research and pickup up a 4th Gen i5-4670, cheap motherboard, 8GB of 1600MHz RAM and a GTX 750 video card. I figured I could save the rest of the system(power, case, drives).

Brought the package of new parts home, and installed them. Everything worked fine, well, except it would not boot windows. I expected this, as drivers for drive controllers can lead to some real issues. I was able to work around it by downgrading the mode of the hard drive controller to emulated IDE in the BIOS, and was planning on fixing the issue. Turns out I need to reinstall the OS for other reasons, so I will just fix the issue when I reinstall.

Speaking of reinstall, I had forgotten that I had a 32 bit version of Windows on this system. I don't really know why I installed that, as I generally go 64 bit, but that is what I had and it was not a problem. That is, until I had 8GB of RAM in the system, and could not access it all. Guess it's time to upgrade the OS. I'm really comfortable with Windows 8.1 these days, so I will go with a copy of that from my license collection.

Finally, I had to get my monitors hooked up. I had been using one screen, mostly because I didn't have a long enough video cable(just found one the other day). With the new system I used that cable and hooked up two screens. And only that one worked. Lots of fiddling and I found that the analog port(via DVI adapter) generally did not like to share with any of the others, I have no clue why, but I was able to hook up via HDMI to the other monitors and get things working. I grabbed a flaky monitor that was hanging around and put it in the middle, since it's large and high resolution, plugged in more cables and we were looking quite good. (The flaky monitor overheats after about 4 hours of constant use, I rarely do that, so I should be fine for now.)

Add in the peripherals and we are good to go. New workstation, it accelerates Photoshop and CAD functions and looks great. Plus it plays my very small game collection better. Once I've upgraded the OS I should be good to go for a while. My windows experience score went up to 5.5, but that is probably due to being unable to access all the RAM and that score bringing things down. Anyone want a probably working socket 1155 chip, on the low end, and 4GB of 1333 MHz RAM cheap?

Jared

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