I’m a bad dork. For the first time since my parents bought a Tandy 1000 and then some Acer with a Pentium 60, I’ve purchased a computer instead of building my own from parts. I’ve been running my last homebuilt computer for over five years now and loading a simple video now takes five steps:
1) Shutdown all other programs
2) Fire up Task Manager
3) Kill any rogue process that is taking up more than 10% of the CPU (I’m looking at you, trustedinstaller.exe! Hey, svchost, pipe down!)
4) Fire up the video and pause it after it thrashes for 20 seconds like a fish outta water.
5) Promote the wmplayer.exe priority to High, but NOT real-time. High allows the player to suck up enough resources to play a video properly, real-time seems to override the scheduler causing… problems.
After watching the first four seasons of The Sopranos in this fashion, I decided enough was enough and started trolling for deals on new computers. After realizing that buying a pre-made system was cheaper than assembling one, I focused on Dell deals. Finally, I picked up this system for only $520:
- Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33 GHz)
- 1 GB RAM
- 80 GB SATA drive
- 20″ LCD
That processor stuffed in a mini-tower with those other components sorta seems like stuffing an AMG 6.2L V8 into a Festiva (…if only engines were free, I’d have a great LeMons car there) but my old computer has a DVD burner and I’ll upgrade the new computer over time. That processor retails for $200 on its own, same with the monitor!
I barely booted the computer before reformatting the drive and installing a fresh copy of Vista Ultimate. So far, I’m happy with the box and the 2 GB of RAM I have coming my way will only improve the situation.