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
gcc build on new FX-8120
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.