Gaming My Way

26 Jul

Musings on My New Computer

My old computer kicked the bucket, and won’t be fixed for awhile, so I decided to go out and get a new one. Still on the low end compared to what’s out there, but a huge step up from what I had before in most respects. For those who care, this is what my old computer looked like:

AMD Athlon XP 2300 2.0 GHz CPU
ATI Radeon 320M IGP (128 MB shared video memory)
1 GB RAM
30 GB HD
Windows XP






My new one, on the other hand:

AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 1.9 GHz CPU
ATI Radeon X1250 (896 MB Shared Memory)
2 GB RAM
120 GB HD
Windows Vista

Now, as you may have read before, I never had any intention of switching to Vista. Unfortunately, no place around here will sell computers with XP preinstalled anymore, and I’m not really feeling like I want to pay out another 100 dollars for Windows XP right now. At some point, I very well may do just that though. I’d like to see what the performance difference is like.

That said, having actually used Vista now, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I still like XP better, but Vista could be worse. I do like the new start menu, it way more compact and no longer sprawls across the entire screen whenever I’m looking for a program.  While this isn’t a huge deal, it is a nice change.

Unfortunately, wireless internet seems to be a bit more spotty, and I still haven’t found the option to enter in a password for networks that are password protected, rather than protected through WEP or WPA encryption setups. Would it have been so hard to put this option right next to encryption?

Also, Vista is, in fact, a resource hog, though it isn’t as bad as I expected it would be. (Vista is currently using about 750 MB of my system RAM, with just having Firefox open to post this, along with AIM 5.9 and the task manager.) And with all the hardware improvements this computer has over my last one, it still runs way better, so I’m happy with it. I will most likely get XP when I’m looking for another performance boost before I bother to get a new computer though.

In short, if I had a really good computer, I actually wouldn’t mind having Vista on it. However, I think XP should be installed by default on any computer that isn’t top of the line, or that has 3 GB or less of RAM. Then, people could ask for an upgrade to Vista if they wanted it on a lower end model.  But given the resources Vista uses, it’s just gimping PCs that don’t have oodles of resources to spare.

Be that as it may, I actually have a computer that will play moderately new games, say, about a year old, moderately well. Now I can play Neverwinter Nights 2, Oblivion, and Unreal Tournament 3, among many others. They even run well on my computer with decent graphic settings. Well, ok, Unreal Tournament 3 chugs a little, but it’s still very playable. I’ve actually been having the most fun with Psychonauts though, but I expect as time goes on and I settle into a persistent world in NWN2 that will be my big game for awhile. Time will tell though.

In the meantime, I’m just looking around at all the games I couldn’t play before and trying out the old ones that now run a lot better than they used to. It’s always a great feeling to have a new system, whether it’s a new PC or a new console.


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One Response to “Musings on My New Computer”

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