It’s upgrade time again. This time around though, it’s not really about performance; although it’s over two years old, my Athlon system is still pretty much fast enough for the games I want to play. No, this time around the upgrades are focusing on getting some
FRIGGING PEACE AND QUIETstability and noise abatement.
Upgrade #1: Power Supply
I’ve been experiencing a number of weird crashes and spontaneous reboots recently, and I think a large part of the problem was that the power supply simply wasn’t keeping up. 300W might have been good enough when I originally put the case together, but a lot has been added to it since then. Thus, the first step was to replace it with an Antec TruePower 480 unit.
It’s hard to tell whether it’s helped with the stability or not yet since the crashes were rather sporadic, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. It’s also has low-noise fans, which help a bit, but not entirely (see below).
Upgrade #2: Memory
Bumping the memory from 512M to 1G has vastly improved playability in a few cases, and EverQuest in particular. No more choppy framerates or disk thrashing leading to facing the wrong direction, casting too late, timing out while zoning, etc.
Upgrade #3: CPU
Okay, this round *is* partly about performance… Since it wasn’t really a priority I didn’t want to have to go all the way and do complete memory and motherboard replacements as well at a much higher cost, so instead I just went from an Athlon 1700+ to an Athlon 2400+, the highest Socket A CPU this same motherboard supports. Not really necessary, but it was cheap. According to the sensors it runs cooler than the old one too, so maybe that’ll also help with stability.
Unfortunately, my noise problems still aren’t fully resolved. It turns out that the vast majority of the noise is from the hard drives, and replacing them is a bit iffier. Partly because a) I don’t really need more space right now, b) there’s nothing else really wrong with the drives and if I want to reduce noise then I can’t even reuse them in another system, so they’re wasted if I replace them, and c) I hate reinstalling stuff. One of the drives is only 12G, so I could probably take it out without much hassle, but it’s also the primary boot drive…
Ugh, it just had to be the hard drives that were the major noisemakers.