I have spent almost the entire day today building a couple of computers.

This is something I really enjoy doing, and collapsing prices on CPUs and motherboards made it possible for me to do an upgrade. I always remain a cycle or two behind the most up-to-date innovations precisely to get the most bang for the buck, and also relentlessly recycle older components with newer.

Thus I am still operating in the world of single core CPUs and DDR. Next year will no doubt bring the introduction of multiple cores and DDR2, but I can wait for those to become plentiful and cheap. At this stage, I can still continue using Windows 2000 too, a wonderful operating system that has served me with almost unbelievable reliability over the past few years. Once I move beyond single core, it will have to be Windows XP or Vista, alas.

So today I played with two new chipsets, the Uli chip that allows both AGP and PCIe video cards and the ATI chipset with integrated graphics, the former for AMD socket 939 processors, the latter for an AMD socket 754. Setting up the ATI was effortless, the Uli less so as it is less friendly to Windows 2000 and has rather poor driver support. In the end I had to resort to using an older IDE drive as my boot, and not a SATA unit, as I simply could not get the SATA to work properly as C drive. But the problem was of little consequence in the end, as I got it working and made use the SATA drive as extra storage.

So two new revamped machines, both a lot faster and quieter than the old Athlon XP machines that they replaced, but still using the same memory and making use of an old Radeon X800 All-in-Wonder video card.

Very satisfactory. 🙂

Now to bed.