New Computer Coming

We’ve been wanting to get a new desktop for quite some time, as our ol’ Dell has been increasingly slowing down and showing its 8-year age. Add in our new love of the digital homelife — photos, music, videos, etc — and the urgency was getting high. So, on Sunday eve, we broke down and took the plunge on a new desktop, justifying it as a stimulus package for the economy. ‘Tis a small thing, but if the markets start recovering this week you’ll know who to thank.

Once we made the decision to upgrade, the question naturally became what computer to get. And, in my case, that question boiled down to whether I should get one pre-built or buy all the various computer bits and build it myself. While pre-built is a lot easier, a build-it-yourself job tends to result in more bang for the buck — and better quality components overall — plus it ought to be a lot of fun. So that was my first impulse.

I’ve built a couple computers from scratch in my years, but I confess the last time was as an undergraduate. I was shocked at how much easier a build is these days. Things are much more plug and go than they once were. Not nearly so much jumper judging and what-not, which was a pleasant surprise. It took me a couple days, but eventually I settled on the components and price I was looking for, piecing a little beast together via It was awfully tempting.

In the end, though, I opted for a pre-built machine. It’s a bit disappointing — I really love playing with electronics — but in the end the self-built rig wasn’t going to be a lot cheaper, and the time I’d need to devote to the build cannot be spared. Our new computer, therefore, will be an Acer Aspire AX3200-EF9100A (why can’t electronics be more simply named?).

It will be here soon.


  1. And the OS?

  2. 64-bit Vista SP2. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that yet, but it is what I would have installed on a self-built computer, too. I’m currently running XP and Ubuntu on the home machines. Tough to get away from Windows with work and all.

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