For a project I’m working on, I’ve had to convert my laptop and my desktop/server to Windows 2003 Enterprise. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that video performance completely sucks under W2K3. For example, I haven’t been able to get Direct3D hardware acceleration working at all on my laptop. This has been making it painful to write my Direct3D tutorial series, as I can get at best three frames per second. On top of that, I want to do a little digital music work, and because Creative sucks when it comes to drivers, none of the advanced features of my Live! Platinum 5.1 work under Windows 2003, either. None of which was a problem with Windows XP on the same hardware.
I downloaded the trial of VMWare, but it didn’t help – 3D performance was still pitiful even running Windows XP, and the Creative XP drivers won’t install on a virtual machine. “Oh well,” I thought, “Time to get another computer – they’re cheap these days.” With the kind help of Brad Wilson, I was able to figure out what I wanted. A little poking around on the ‘net, and pretty soon I had found a winner:
INTEL, D865GBFL Motherboard Kit (Starts w/ INTEL P4 2.4 GHz)
* INTEL, D865GBFL, Socket 478, Intel 865G, , DDR-400, HT, Lan. Audio, Retail
* INTEL, Pentium 4 2.4B GHz, Socket 478, 512K, 533MHz, Retail
* GENERIC, None Selected ( Fan is included if purchasing Retail CPU!)
* MICRON, 512MB PC3200 DDR, 400MHz, Non-ECC
* WESTERN DIGITAL, 80.0GB Caviar Ultra DMA/100 7200rpm, 8MB Cache, oem
* ANTEC, Full Tower, Alluminum Deluxe, Black, 400 Watt PS, ATX
All for only $600 including shipping, assembly, and testing, and this machine is twice as fast as anything I currently own, from Alvio. Intel motherboard, (and therefore Intel chipset), Intel CPU, so it’s quality parts.
Ordered Monday, arrived on Thursday. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a desktop from Dell again. I am a very pleased customer.
I also picked up a GeForce Ti 4200 for about $100. That has yet to arrive, but in the meantime the new machine has onboard video so I can get on with installing the OS.