My old one had been showing signs of age for a while (it was over 5 years old after all which is a lot for computer hardware) and recently it had decided to reboot itself every so often.
Actually it had always seemed to have been assembled on a Monday morning with a few glitches here and there but recently the manifestation of these glitches had accelerated.
Apart from being it highly annoying when the PC decides to reboot under your feet it totally screwed all my over night jobs I have set up distributing copies of my important documents and my photo albums to my NAS drive and the backup drive attached to my office PC for off-site backup.
I had been looking around with a view to get a new one but I had not really made up my mind yet. However, last Thursday when I discovered that none of the jobs had run … again… I got rather pissed off so I went onto the HP site and checked out the models that I was considering as possible buys. There was one that I quite fancied so…click…and less that 48 hours later, that it last Friday, one was delivered to my home.
It is a reasonable high end model with a 3.4 GHz I7 (3770) CPU, 8 Gb of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX680 graphics card. What makes a good deal of difference in speed is that it got a SSD device for boot drive with a 2 Tb conventional hard disk tucked in as a data drive.
So far I am quite happy. Apart from not rebooting all the time (it would be rather disappointing if it did) it is a lot snappier than my old one.
It got Windows 8 pre-installed on it though which is both good and bad as I have written in a couple of previous posts. One good thing is that Windows 8 is not region specific in that you can select any display language you wish. With Windows 7 you had to buy the rather expensive Ultimate version to do that which was just silly. Actually, when you boot the machine for the first time you actually get the option to choose between French and English. Very non-French (I did buy it from the French HP store) but I certainly appreciate it.
Naturally HP had pre-installed a bunch of garbage (DVD and music players) on it which I promptly uninstalled. One thing which is a bit of a nuisance is that there is a recovery partition pre-installed on the machine. That is fine but the plonkers at HP have mapped it as the D: drive. That is where my data drive on my old machine used to be as well as the data on my office workstation. That is just being stupid and lazy. Why not tuck it away on some rarely used drive letter? Since I now have to map the data drive to E: Adobe’s Lightroom is unhappy and cannot find the originals any more so I have to go through all the catalogues and relink all my photos. Sigh!
I actually got a new screen as well. The old one was never the one I intended to buy but one that I bought because it was available at the time (and the one I wanted to have was not). It turned out the the colour reproduction on the one I got was substandard to say the least so I had to mentally correct every time I processed my photos and a lot of the time the results where less than perfect. So when I plopped down the money for a new PC I though that this time I would get a decent screen as well.
Thus, I am now spending this Saturday afternoon re-installing all the software, moving back all the data and re-linking photos in Adobe Lightroom … and enjoying the smell of fresh hardware and the speed of my new PC :-).