November 2012

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As a loyal eBay user for quite some time, I’m ready to see someone else take the helm.  The fees have gotten too high.

The fees on eBay for the last couple items I have sold is over 11% of the final value price.  Here is some information on the fees from my last sales on eBay.

Final price: $68.00 (Auction) Final Value Fee $6.12
Gross: $78.00 Fee: $2.56
Total in fees: $8.68 % of sale price = 11.1%

Final price: $292.28 (Auction) Final Value Fee $26.31
Gross: $304.78 Fee: $9.14
Total in fees: $35.45 % of sale price = 11.6%

Most things on eBay appear to be of the “buy it now” variety.  They are not auctions, just listings to buy something at a fixed price.  They need someone to take them out of the personal auction business all together.

Lots of great stuff going on.  The one that I’m writing about today is my desktop system upgrade.  There is a stark reality when buying computer hardware now-a-days.  “You are not fast enough to keep up with your computer.”  It’s true.  There is nothing I can do to keep up with the speed of my computers.  If you are not into gaming or some other really resource intensive activity, I really cannot recommend that you go out and buy a $200+ processor.

Being that I am not the normal computer user, I don’t abide by the previous stated rule.  My main system has been running an Intel Q6700 for some time.  What a great processor it was! But, the time to change was now.

There comes a time when computer equipment gets old.  Old is, of course, relative.  In this case, old meant that it did everything fine, but after 5 years, something better has come along.

The operating system I run is built from scratch.  Everything that is installed is run through a compilation process that can take quite a while to complete.  This allows me to gain insights into how my computer runs that is useful for someone in my field.  The problem is that this process takes a significant amount of time.  A rebuild from scratch can easily take over a day.  That process needed to be faster.

To measure the speed difference on the new setup, I timed the building of one of the most important components of the system:

gcc build on old Q6700

real    28m7.051s
user    62m49.460s
sys    5m35.580s

gcc build on new FX-8120
real    18m57.720s
user    72m16.450s
sys    4m44.720s

It’s a single measure, so don’t take it as authoritative.  What I took away from this simple test is that my system is roughly 33% faster on this task.

So why choose Bulldozer CPU when all of the reviews say it is a disappointment?

Two of the reasons are already listed.  It’s faster for my uses, so it didn’t matter that it wasn’t the fastest.  The kicker was the price.  Sometimes, when you find a good deal, you get tilted in a specific direction.  This is especially true when I can’t max out the capability of either of the options anyway.

$333.33 went to the purchase of the FX-8120 CPU, ASUS Sabertooth Motherboard, and 8GB of ram (purchased in May of this year. Yeah, it took a while to get this post out of my head)

$179.99 was gained through the sale of old equipment

After subtracting some fees involved, I have about $175 invested in the upgrade.

Knowing that AMD is going to keep the same CPU socket for a few years and also knowing that the Sabertooth motherboard is still one of the best out there.  I am happy with the future prospects of this setup.