My New/Old PC is up and running. All the parts came Friday, except the TV Tuner card which arrived on Thursday. I put the main computer together on my bed while I watched the season finally to Lost last night. I installed the TV tuner card this morning.
I don’t want to give away too many details on the components I purchased (I am saving that for an article on my main column). I hit some limitations with the motherboard. I went with the cheapest motherboard from ASUS or GIGABYTE that met my minimum requirements. These are two companies I trust, and I wanted a motherboard that could support gaming performance later. I got a GIGABYTE board and I realized why I saved money. For 1, there are only two memory slots. Not a problem yet because I bought 2 GB of memory with 2 memory sticks. Should I upgrade the memory I will have to replace my current memory. Not a huge deal, but something to consider if you know you will upgrade.
The next issue hit right away. The motherboard only has 1 IDE connector. And this connector only supports two devices. Damn. I was collecting all my hard drives and optical drives to install in this rig. I have a 100 GB SATA hard drive, a 120 GB IDE hard drive, a 20 GB IDE hard drive, a Plextor DVD/RW drive and an old ASUS 52X CD-ROM drive. I was hoping to use each hard drive as a bootable drive to play with other operating systems (Vista, XP, Linux). Well, I was left with only being able to install the 120 GB IDE hard drive and the DVD burner on the sole IDE connector. This not too bad, but it was kind of disappointing. I still have three SATA connectors left, so any future hard drives will go right in.
Overall the performance is very good running Windows Vista Home Premium. I have not activated it yet, because I have not made up my mind if I will stick with it. There is always Windows XP or Windows XP Media Center Edition (to go with the TV tuner card).
I’ll keep you posted.