Saturday, February 5, 2011

I want to buy a new computer..

So this has been circling in my mind for months, when apparently I bricked my desktop about 2 months ago. The reason of this bricking is in fact due to overclocking. This was my desktop(right out from my memory):

  • Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition (Deneb)
    • Stock was 3.0GHz
    • Stable OC was 3.4GHz with via unlocked multiplier with no change in anything else. 
  • MSI KA790GX-M Motherboard
    • AMD 790GX Chipset
  • 2 X 2 GB Kingston HyperX DDR2-800
    • Stock was DDR2-800 4-4-4-12
    • Stable OC was DDR2-1066 5-5-5-18
  • Asus EAH4670 1GB
    • ATI HD4670 Graphics
  • FSP Group 450W Power Supply Unit
That was the last stable configuration because I was using the stock cooler. It was very stable: I've used it without any hiccups for a year or so before I bricked it while intending to overclock it higher. Reason was because that I bought a new cooler; and I read on the web that Deneb processors can easily reach a 4.0GHz OC on air. All the while I've however forgotten about the wattage of my PSU, and hence that lead to a catastrophic failure of the motherboard and PSU(maybe processor... I don't know yet).

I was only stress testing the system at 3.6GHz with a slightly OC-ed Southbridge and Hypertransport, and a little over-voltage . The temperatures actually hovered around 62 Degrees before the system suddenly suddenly blacked out(as if somebody pulled the plug)

So my motherboard actually came back from warranty(my mum insisted on sending it for warranty), I've yet have a chance to test anything yet(I don't have a PSU with enough 12V wattage to try to power on  that 125W TDP Processor).

That happened, unfortunately, when my internship was about to start. So I went to buy a cheap(really cheap 50-60USD?) Intel Atom motherboard and have been using this system since.

When I build gnome shell on my old system it only took about 25 minutes to complete building. However, now it takes like 3.5 hours! =_=..

So I am kinda like all bent to buy a new computer. However I didn't have enough money for that, not until recently Gnome Foundation just paid me ._.

With the new Intel Sandy Bridge Processors released not long ago, there are emerging laptops with Sandy Bridge processors as well. I originally considered the new Alienware M11X; however I've just identified a better system at a cheaper price. Which is why I am making this post trying to ask for some feedback from you guys. This laptop is Acer Aspire AS 5750G-2634G64Mnkk. Specifications are as follows:

  • Intel Core i7-2630QM (Quad-Core Sandy Bridge)
    • 2.00GHz, Turbo Boost up to 2.90GHz
    • 6MB L3 Cache
    • 45W TDP
    • Intel Graphics HD3000 (12 EUs)
      • 650MHz, Turbo Boost up to 1100MHz
    • DMI 2.0
    • Up to Dual Channel DDR3-1333
  • Intel Mobile HM65 Express Chipset
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 640GB SATA HDD
  • 4GB DDR-3 RAM
  • 15.6" HD 1366 x 768 resolution, high brightness(200-nit) Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD
  • Nvidia GeForce GT540M
    • 1024 DDR3 Dedicated VRAM
    • Nvidia Optimus (seamless switching between Intel Graphics HD3000 and Discrete)
    • Nvidia CUDA
    • PhysX
    • PureVideo HD
    • OpenEXR High Dynamic-Range (HDR) technology
    • Shader Model 5.0
    • Microsoft DirectX 11
  • Integrated 8X DVD Super Multi Plus Drive
  • Multi-in-1 card reader
  • Acer Crystal Eye Webcam
  • 1-Year Limited International Traveller Warranty
  • Exclusive Designed Traveller Bag
This is priced at MYR2899(USD952). I've yet to find any reviews on this laptop so I am asking for some comments. :(

I've quite a lot of blog drafts awaiting for publishing(ie. I will talk again soon =D)


  1. Dont buy a Sandy Bridge machine, wait some months until theyve fixed the S-ATA issue. Could be that your Laptops Mobo fails to boot your harddisc or that you loose data.

    Other than that the laptop looks fine.

  2. Oh thanks! I didn't know about that issue. I've read about it here Too bad HM65 Express Chipset is affected as well :(.

  3. Are there any laptops shipping an SSD as the primary disk?
    I'm going to buy a desktop PC with an SSD. I think that the SSD will help (apart for the transfer rate) thanks for its access times.

  4. Bernhard: Read the article:

    The problem will only happen if you use the external, slower SATA links.

    And I hope your mistake will stop you from trying to overclock your computer to gain very little speed :)

  5. @hadess: Actually it's because that I forgot about the PSU wattage. However I wouldn't OC ever again unless I got a unlocked multiplier CPU :p. So I guess I have to ask the techicians to see if the laptop is affected huh? Or is it DEFINITELY not.

    @marcolazzz: you said laptops. Macbook Air cheapest at 999 is pretty good.

  6. @hadess Who knows where the HD is attached :P
    Id root for a Thinkpad which has excellent Linux compability or building your own PC. You can build a PC with 4gb Ram, 1TB HD and 3,2Ghz Quadcore from AMD for around 400€ here in Austria, quality components included.

    I suppose youve also got a monitor left.

  7. I suggest you not to purchase Intel graphics.
    AMD ATI or NVIDIA, even integrated ones are much better.

    For a cheap computer gigabyte 880gm-ud2h and athlon II x3 450 with DDR3 you'll have a good computer price / perfomance of course the higher processor Phenom II would give you best performance with the very good price/perfomance specs.

  8. I just came to realize that the CPU itself is working OK. (Despite that's the part I overclocked)

    Seems like the PSU got fried and it in turn fries the motherboard as well. :(

    That gives me some reasons to keep my 'old machine'. As it is an ATi Chipset motherboard naturally you would choose an ATi card. But for linux usability it's still best to choose an Nvidia card.

    Can I really use an Nvidia card with a ATi Chipset? That's the question -_-.

    Basically guys, I know what to get because I know quite a lot about computer hardware. I ain't just overclocking totally without experience but like I said I forgot the PSU wattage so...

    I admit AMD systems are way cheaper compared to Nehalem/Clarksdale(Sandy Bridge is a real competitor though). But AMD is inferior in compatibility to linux and now I am wondering over my previous question.

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  11. I also somehow recently sat with the same thoughts about buying a new laptop!)) My friend helped me to choose a new model, because I'm not very good at these sense. Also, he found a site on which I could installed latest ATI driver I would not have said anything about that before))) But now, I already know, that this is a driver for the video card!)) I can say, that I am absolutely satisfied with the quality of the video on my new laptop!

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