Had a final run-in with the laptop being not enough machine to handle the software-- that was the fourth run-in in four days.
So I built a new machine.
I splurged a bit. When I was looking at it originally, I was thinking of a satellite machine for basic browsing and e-mail and such, but with the problems I've been having with the editing and compositing software on the studio machine, I decided to bite the bullet. And it really wasn't bad, all things considered.
Dual-core 3.0 GHz Pentium.
500G SATA drive
Intel mobo, D975XBX. 3 PCI-E slots. I need one for the new video capture card when I get it.
2G of 800MHz FSB DDR2 RAM. Holy crap is that fast.
And an ATI Radeon X1800 GTO video card. I think I may have heard saveau drooling from here.
So far I've been pretty much installing software. Not nearly as much as I need to, but the core stuff. And a couple of games. C'mon, I have to.
You should see FarCry with this machine. Oh, my. DVI out from the card into the LCD monitor is a beautiful thing.
I'm installing F.E.A.R. as well, because it is the most graphics intensive game that I have. It actually choked the Black Box, which isn't exactly a slouch of a machine. There's a nifty visual test that comes with it that's just impressive as hell.
And the fans...
I got a case that was on sale. It's aluminum, powder-coated black, and it has a big plexiglass window on the side. It actually looks pretty cool, but more importantly it has something like 8 drive bays in case I want to create a SATA RAID array. With 500G drives, that would be four terabytes of disk space in the box. It also has some pretty major cooling issues it has to deal with: I figure half the weight of this machine is heatsinks. So I added three fans. And they're unbelievably quiet, mostly because they're not running at high speed yet. One of them has UV LEDs in it that are attached to the PWM drive, so they flash on and off faster and brighter as the fan speed increases. Another one is actuall mounted to the side of the case and has a shroud that feeds directly to the CPU fan, so the CPU has a fresh cool air supply going to it. It's quiet enough that the laptop is louder, six feet away.
600W power supply.
This will be the new studio machine when I get it up and running. For now it's taking the place of the laptop, which has been serving primary duty as my bedroom machine. This means that I'll actually be able to do CAD work without crashing, work on the DVD while Barb works on her own project, and eventually get rid of the Perception card and Speed Razor. Then the old studio machine will become my personal/media PC.
I think I needed this, just to alleviate the frustration. And hey, since I don't have a girlfriend, this is the next best thing.