The new PC

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December 28, 2012 by Wayne.

So I finally got around to buying a computer after somehow surviving a month without my Macbook. I initially wanted to put it together myself but the dude at Lowyat said he’d do it for free anyway. Got myself a fairly decent budget build in the end, nothing particularly great but at least I can gradually upgrade/add parts as I make more money.

The build:

  • i3 3220 3.3GHz 
  • MSI B75-MA P45
  • Sapphire HD6670 (had to compromise and go for this cheap one instead of the HD7770 I initially wanted, thanks to the inflated component prices in Malaysia)
  • 7200rpm 500GB HDD
  • 60GB SSD
  • DVD writer
  • 8GB RAM
  • Cooler Master 520W power supply

And for peripherals:

  • Gigabyte keyboard that clicks and clacks cos it’s not one of em posh ones with mechanical keys and membrane coverings
  • Altec Lansing VS2621 (pretty damn great, reminds me of my old speakers)
  • AOC e950Swn (quite crappy actually, my old MBP had a much better screen, this one just feels really low res. Only saving grace (not really) is it’s an LED monitor. Going to get a better one soon – hopefully!)
  • Some off-brand webcam
  • Using a rocketfish (lol what) mouse I found lying around and I’m in the process of transferring shit over from my Lacie 1TB external hard drive.

That’s about it, I think.

The transition from Mac to Windows was pretty smooth actually. The new Windows 8 (actually got a legit copy!) is much better than the previous iterations in my opinion. Once you get over the whole ‘no Start ribbon?!’ thing and settle into the new interface, everything works pretty well. One gripe I have, though, is the apps that run in the Metro interface don’t show up in the ‘normal’ desktop interface. For example, I could have two different Internet Explorers running in the desktop and Metro interface, with each opening different tabs. It’s annoying and stupid, basically feels like an entire virtual OS for touchscreen was tacked on.

I’d much rather have the Metro interface act as the ‘Start’ menu, which is pretty much how I use it now. When I want to open an app that’s not in the taskbar below, I tap the Windows button and start typing. Pretty much like using a launcher app. Putting the PC to sleep/rebooting/switching it off is as easy as moving the mouse pointer to the lower right corner and clicking Settings -> Power.

Thanks to the SSD + Windows 8 new improvements, starting up takes about 5 seconds to get to the Metro interface if I don’t require a password to log in. Everything’s fairly snappy so far but I haven’t used anything too resource-intensive yet.

Oh, and the new Task Manager is very impressive. Lots of detailed breakdowns of each running activity. Windows Defender is also great, running unobtrusively in the background (and supposedly it does a good enough job without needing an additional antivirus on top of it. I added on Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for a bit more protection).

I’ve already moved over all the data I planned on moving, so the only step left is to reformat the external hard drive. And, well, to re-rate 13,000 songs because I lost all the ratings and the play counts. What a pain.

It’s been a nice couple of days though. Probably the lull before a storm.

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