Thursday, April 15, 2010


A few weeks ago, something impossible happened to my primary rig. When I say "primary" I mean it's the one I do most of my gaming on, as opposed to the workstation in the basement that serves as my grinding-out-articles PC.

The impossible event originated in the keyboard, a Logitech G11. There was a distinct, but very quiet, popping sound, and then it quit working--lights out and all. It also smelled like roasted electronics.

Here's the impossible part: Somehow, this itty-bitty spike blew out the entire USB bus on my computer, which was then powered by a Gigabyte EX58-UD3R.

Long story short, that's not supposed to ever happen, ever, due to the fact that there are several failsafes between a USB device and the USB ports on the computer, all of which failed, but both Gigabyte and Logitech came through for me and sent new parts. I built up a new-ish rig, which is configured as such (some links provided for less-common parts; the others are easy to Google):

Case: Thermaltake Element G (lots of fans in lots of adjustable colors, but still relatively quiet and very cool)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58-UD5 (complete with SATA 3 and USB 3.0)
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 overclocked from 2.6Ghz to 3.2GHz with a Thermaltake air cooler of some sort (I forget the model, but any decent aftermarket cooler will allow such a modest overclock)
Memory: 12GB (6x2GB) of 1333MHz OCZ Gold triple-channel +
--Dell S2409W 1920x1080 monitor (an oldie, but a goodie)
Graphics: ASUS's version of an Nvidia GTX 285, with an old Nvidia 8800 dedicated for PhysX. (Not sure if that second card is worth even having, considering the heat and wattage factors.)
Audio: ASUS Xonar Essence STX (simply the best headphone-centric sound card available) +
--Phiaton PS 300 NC headset (wow, just wow) and
--Logitech Z-5500 connected w/optical cable (too loud for my living room--which is a good thing)
Input: Logitech G500 mouse + G110 keyboard (because I take gaming seriously)
OS: Win7 x64, natch.

I gotta say, I'm pretty satisfied with this system so far, except that I can't play Metro 2033 at full bore. I'm not even sure that a 400 series Nvidia/5000 series ATI card can do that, though.

Oh, and another note: I've been talking with Michael Brown over at Maximum PC, and it looks like I'll be doing reviews there soon. That's almost like going home; back when it was called boot Magazine, I sat on the other side of a partition from the editors whilst I worked as Tech Ed for PC Gamer.

1 comment:

  1. That's a pretty nice config. you have there... Can Win7 64bits version manage your 12GB RAM? The 32bits only recognizes up to 3GB if my memory serves me well... It would be a pretty big difference.

    As for peripherals, I personally use a Razer Death Adder, Ideazon Merc Stealth keyboard and Steelseries Siberia v2.

    Cool that you're gonna write reviews over there, give us the heads up when the first one will be available.