Monthly Archives: December 2013

A new year, a new computer.

Okay, technically it’s still December 31st, but it’s New Years somewhere. Just thought I’d make one last blog post for 2013.

Christmas came and went quick this year, and I got a bunch of games, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops IIDead Rising 2: Off the Record, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist among many others. But that’s just gravy, because I got this thing a few days after Christmas:

Cue Also sprach Zarathustra…

This wonderful beast here is my new PC. I was long overdue for a new one, my previous PC was an HP Pavilion PC that had an AMD Athlon 64X2 4400+, 2GB of RAM with a 250GB HDD running Windows Vista. I got that PC in 2007 as an emergency replacement PC, as the previous PC died due to a fried motherboard. While it was serviceable for the first few years, over the past 2 years it’s been less than stellar. Even with a Radeon HD5770 in the box, the old computer struggled to run anything. Crysis ran in single digits even on low settings. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive would suffer from hitches, unusual texture glitches and random crashes. I’d have to lower graphical settings on games constantly to keep a decent framerate. Other games I didn’t even bother to try because the hardware was just woefully underpowered. Even Chrome and other programs would just start freezing randomly for no reason. It was a mess, and I suffered with it for years.

After some prodding from my dad over the year, I decided to finally get a new PC. This one’s considerably more powerful: An Intel i5 4570, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD running Windows 7. After taking my HD5770 out of the HP and putting it in the new box, the differences were obvious. Games ran faster, loaded quicker, and ran smoothly.


The difference between the old and new machines are obvious, even with 2011's Saints Row the Third. It's literally night and day. The difference between the old PC and the new PC are pretty obvious, even with an older game like 2011’s Saints Row the Third. It’s literally night and day.

Since I got the thing I’ve been throwing many games at it to see how they run. From recent games like Borderlands 2 to older games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV.  GTAIV was surprising, considering I heard the game wasn’t well optimized for computers. Even running Doom under the GZDoom source port and playing resource-intensive levels like Scythe with the Terrorists mod were not a challenge for this new PC.

and yes. I did test Crysis under this machine. Though, Crysis 2 or 3 would be a better benchmark in this day and age.

Yes, I did test Crysis on this machine. Though, Crysis 2 or 3 would be a better benchmark in this day and age.

I went with a local shop in Portland called ENU. There are reasons why I did this instead of building it myself or going to a place like iBuyPower:

  • I don’t feel super-confident in building a PC without breaking something in the process.
  • I didn’t want to order a custom-built PC from out-of-state because I’ve heard of too many horror stories of people’s machines getting damaged in transit.
  • I want to support local businesses, and it’s easier to order a machine from somewhere local and it prevents the above situation from happening.

The machine cost $840 overall, drastically more than an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 with all the trimmings but this setup means I won’t have to upgrade for the next several years. The only thing I waited on was a new video card, because the card I want (a GeForce GTX 760) is a bit out of my price range at the moment.

This new PC helps me out in many ways: I shouldn’t have as much trouble capturing and rendering videos now. This’ll give me an incentive to play more of my PC games. Maybe this will give me the push to write more things, who knows? But this is something I definitely needed to do, because that old PC was nearing the end of its lifespan, and I’d rather have a new PC ready than wait for the old one to die. My previous PC lasted me six and a half years, and I hope this machine lasts that long.

As 2013 winds down, my goals for next year will be to write more. I was doing well early in the year, but it tapered off as the year went further along. Yet surprisingly, I’ve been updating the Secret Area at least once a month since its inception. I will push to write more about my travels and experiences next year compared to this year’s, among many other things. And if I start slacking off on that, feel free to yell at me to write more. Maybe that’s the motivation I’m missing. 😛