Friday, October 9, 2009

System Specs

After all these months that the blog has been up, I still haven't said anything about the system that I'm running WoW on. At this point I believe it might be a good thing to mention a few specs, especially considering that a couple of new upgrades have just arrived today.

Bear in mind that I'm not bragging. In fact, my system is rather mediocre for this day and age. It so happens that I've always been happy with my WoW experience. My framerate is good and I run the game at 1280x1024 resolution and close to full detail. The only thing that spoils it occasionally is lag. Dalaran in particular acts up sometimes and it's not my system that's at fault but the damn lag.

Up until a year ago I had an AMD processor and motherboard but the motherboard went kaput on me. It simply died. So I switched to Intel. Here's what I have right now:
  • Mainboard: Asus P5K SE
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad (Kentsfield) Q6600 @2.4GHz
  • Video: ATI Radeon X800 XL with 256MB. The video card is really old (in computer terms). I bought it in winter of 2005 but I'll be damned if it doesn't run just fine. I even played Crysis on it without a hitch.
  • RAM: 2GB DDR2 in DualChannel @800MHz
  • HDD: a bit over 1TB spread over 3 hard drives. My main drive is a trusty Western Digital with 16MB of cache and 7200rpm but I run WoW from a Seagate that has similar specs except that I can no longer install any operating system on it due to the probable fact that its boot sector is fubar-ed. I can store crap on it just fine though.
  • Monitor: a Samsung 19" with 1280x1024
  • Operating System: Windows XP Home 32bit
As you can see, there's nothing fancy here, except perhaps the processor but even that one is trumped by more recent ones such as Intel's i7. There's nothing that I desperately lack and that's largely due to the fact that WoW is the only game that I play. For 2 years I haven't found any game to attract me the way WoW does. I can state with certainty that the only other game beside WoW that I will definitely play will be Diablo 3. Until then, my current system still rocks.

It's a funny thing with Diablo in general. When Diablo 2 came out, I had 64MB of RAM. The game was so damn good that it made me upgrade to 128MB. When Lord of Destruction came out, I upgraded again to 256MB. My prediction for Diablo 3 is that I will upgrade my video card for the occasion. Perhaps I'll do it even sooner if another game catches my attention but somehow I doubt it.

Speaking of upgrades, I am actually going through a few upgrades as we speak. At the end of this month Windows 7 will be officially released. I've pre-paid for a copy and I took advantage of the upgrade deal that they had so for $50 I'm upgrading from XP Home to Windows 7 Home Premium. I decided not to go with Professional because I doubt I'll use all the features and in 2 years time there will be a Windows 8 that I might be interested in.

Since Vista/Windows 7 likes a lot of RAM, I also bought some more memory. I got another 4GB (2x2GB) such that now I have 6GB total waiting for Windows 7. Of course, Windows XP 32bit only sees a little over 3GB out of the 6 due to the limitations of 32bit addressing. Windows 7 won't have the same limitation, especially since I'm gonna install the 64bit version.

To prepare for the Windows 7 upgrade, I also bought another hard drive. I chose a 1TB Samsung with 32MB of cache, running at 7200rpm. Unfortunately, I can't just upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7. The installation process will force me to do a clean install, even though I am purchasing an "upgrade". So I need to back up everything that I have on my main drive, which isn't a hell of a lot of stuff but I do have many applications that I need to re-install and that's a big bummer.

Here ends the presentation of my exceptionally awesome system. I have to tell you, being a computer geek is a curse when it comes to upgrades. We all try to go overboard in times like these. The trick is to be able to tell if you really need that upgrade. One thing's for certain: I could always use more storage space.


Bloodshrike said...

Looks like a nice system! Better than my home computer.
I built mine about 8 years ago, with a 1.4 Ghz processor, and 750 megs of Rambus (the half-step between SD and DDR). Lucky me.

My work laptop is an Intel Core Duo CPU P8600 @2.4Ghz 2.39Ghz with 3 gigs of ram. I don't know how much ram the built in video card has, but as an indication of the improvement, I finally saw the crashed zeppelin in STV while flying down from Stormwind, after 2? years of playing.

It's always nice to be able to run around Dalaran without freezing between each step.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, please do let us know how Windows 7 goes - I'd have my new machine by now but I don't want to buy another with Vista and then have to bother upgrading it, so I'm waiting to buy a system with 7 already installed. I do hope it's worth the wait!

Plus, everyone hates Vista.


Darth Solo said...

@Bloodshrike I'm actually happy with WoW's graphics, even if they are "outdated" and cartoonish. That's why it has such a big appeal. You don't need a mainframe to run it.

@veliaf from what I keep hearing for months, Windows 7 should be pretty quick and efficient. The key is to have lots of RAM and a fairly modern processor. I was initially thinking of getting a total of 8GB but I figured that's too much because in 2 years I might upgrade my entire machine and my 8GB won't fit the new board. Meh, 6GB should be more than enough.