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c340 update / new computer


In March '07 there was an update released that updated the system software for the Garmin StreetPilot c340 from version 3.70 to 3.90. Found out about it yesterday. The bug where the daylight savings time didn't update properly is fixed. Yee-haw. 🙂

what is an "intel 2 core duo", anyway?

I finally had to face the fact that my computer is old, out of date and struggling to keep up with all the video editing I'm asking it to do.

So I'm building a new one.

Before I get into the specifics of what I bought, I'll say first that I make darn sure I get my mileage out of my tech before I give it up for something newer. The box I'm using now is the computer I built back in April 2004, just a few days shy of three years ago.

Yeah, that long ago. 🙂

The video card has been upgraded a few times, hard drives were added and removed as were optical drives. But the core of the computer has always been a 1.9GHz AMD Athlon XP with 512MB of PC3200 400MHz DDR RAM.

Here's the stuff I'm keeping.

BenQ 20.1" monitor. Ordered that back in December of '06. Hardly old.

Logitech USB optical mouse. I bought this a long time ago at Wal-Mart. Works great and has never failed.

Standard Microsoft keyboard. No, it's not one of those "natural" curvy ones. Just a plain stock keyboard I bought from CompUSA for fifteen bucks. This isn't old either as I bought it only a few months ago.

Altec Lansing audio speakers. Don't be impressed by the title. This is a cheap pair of ten-dollar speakers. Not old. Bought them right around the same time I got the keyboard.

Lite-On DVD burner. Bought this very recently, so it's going in the new case.

Here's the new stuff.

Intel Core 2 Duo BX80557E4300 Processor. This is the first non-Pentium chip I will be owning since the i486. This also marks my return back to Intel processors. AMD has served me well, but this time I'm going Intel.

MSI 945P Neo3-F motherboard. First time using MSI. Reviews are generally good for them. This is uncharted territory for me.

EVGA 256-P2-N541-T2 video card. I'll be totally honest: I have NO IDEA whether this video card will work with the motherboard I just bought. I'm assuming it will. This is very new territory for me because I have zero experience with PCI Express x16 video cards.

WINTEC AMPO 240-pin DDR2 667 RAM. Again, unfamiliar territory in the world of computer memory for me. The MSI mobo states it will run DDR2 667 RAM, so that's what I bought.

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS. Even though there are hard drives much bigger than this, this is the first 250GB drive I've ever had. It also marks my return to WD hard drives. For years I avoided them like the plague due to a bad experience with them years ago. However, it seems that people like them now, so I'm giving it a go. The new thing about this is that it's a SATA 3.0Gb/s interface. No four-prong connectors and no IDE cables. My last experience with this type of connector was bad, however, the tech was very new back when I tried it.

Building a box is a pain in the ass and I don't like doing it.

So why am I doing it again?

One reason: Price.

Originally I was intent on buying another Dell PC. I know how their support system works (I used to do field repair for them) and the product is decent overall. Unfortunately I didn't see anything in the Dell Outlet Store that suited me at all.

The problem is that Dell, as well as all other manufacturers, are whoring out pushing Microsoft Windows Vista like crazy. I don't want Vista. Windows XP Pro really works for me and I don't want to deal with any software or hardware issues Vista would bring.

Finding a box with Windows XP Pro on it at Dell Outlet is a challenge to say the least, unless you're looking for an OptiPlex model.. but I don't like those. I wanted a Dimension or an XPS.

So I threw my hands in the air and said "Fuggit, I'm building a box."

Before end of week I should have all my computer parts. Once this rig is put together I'm hoping I don't have to upgrade for a while.


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