Hardware Upgrades, 2012

So after going along with what I had, I figured that I would upgrade a few things. I have new toys!

Back around July-ish, I decided to replace my two aging 24" BenQ monitors from 2008 or so. They were decent TN panels, with a 1920x1200 native resolution. Now I've got two 24" Acer B243PWL monitors. These have desirable IPS panels, and are LED backlit. Also, they are among the few and rapidly shrinking 1920x1200 models. I understand what makes 1920x1080 (1080p HD) so wanted, but 1920x1200 was the coveted resolution five years ago, and the popular resolutions have only decreased since then. Not only that, it can fit the previously coveted resolution, 1600x1200, just fine. I still use the old monitors, as I have brought them to work.

I decided to upgrade my GTX 285. Since GTX 680s are in prevalent supply, I went and jumped on one of those. I have an EVGA 680 SuperClocked Signature with 2GB. It is about half an inch shorter than the 285, and is more than twice as fast in everything.

And after much consternation, I have splurged on an SSD. I went for an OCZ Vertex 4 512 GB. With it, I can go from off to usable desktop in about 30 seconds. You know the swirly animation that Windows 7 does when it's loading? It cuts off while it's still going around. I took the opportunity to reinstall Windows as well, and I hacked the install procedure to get the Users directory onto my existing hard drive. Not only do I not worry about filling up my SSD with MP3s and moving stuff around constantly, if the SSD dies, all my data will be easily rescued from the hard drive.

I have considered getting a third monitor, just so I can use that NVidia Surround feature, but I could not justify that cost as much as I could the others. I use the other monitor maybe half the time as it is.

That's a great upgrade. You must have spent a lot all things considered.

Two things:

What made you pick a 680 versus a 670? And then, any particular reason you went with an EVGA?

Why such a large solid state drive? Windows would never need that much. I suppose games take a lot, which would be a good answer.

Posted by Ryan Rampersad.

I like.

I'm going with the Zotac Amp! 670 and a single 27" 3D monitor. I'll let you know how cool that is when I finish it.

Posted by Ian Buck.

@Ryan: yeah, about $1000.

I considered a 670, but I could afford a 680. It's still smaller and (probably) uses less power than my existing 285. That old card was EVGA, and they have nice service and warranties (as mentioned previously). I did consider an ATI card though.

I got the large SSD is mostly because of games. After I installed Borderlands 2 and the latest Humble Indie Bundle last night, I'm using over half of my drive.

@Ian: Cool! I was just about to ask you which card you have on Steam.

Posted by the Andrew Bailey.

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