Another Monday Afternoon

Another Monday

Sitting here on a Monday afternoon, it’s another cold and rainy November day in Ottawa. The dog is crashed out on the couch and I can’t see a cat anywhere in sight. Nothing to watch on television other than the usual afternoon talk shows. Managed to get out to Cornwall this morning and then cross over into New York for a bit, before heading back to Ottawa. I don’t think it will be long before we have snow on the ground and the car accidents go through the roof for a few weeks like it does at the start of every winter here.

Time for an Upgrade

The weekend before last, I decided I would start doing some upgrades on my desktop as it’s starting to show its age and getting a bit slow with the ever-increasing size of programs. Five years ago, my desktop was cutting edge and was extremely fast. Now, not so much, and some programs that use to open in a couple seconds are now taking several times longer. Seems that every year, programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, which I use often, get much larger in size and complexity with more and more features. Some of the features I will never use, but there are those that will, and so there isn’t much any of us can do about the increased size of the program. As for games, they can be unbelievably huge. Years ago, games came on floppy disks, now they would be too expensive to ship on media because they would consume several DVD’s or a few Blu-Ray discs. A game like World of Warcraft exceeds 70 Gigabytes of space on your hard drive, with newer games like Call of Duty taking even more space. Updates of games like these can sometimes be over 20 Gigabytes.

I Should Have Done the Research

New Radeon RX580 graphics card and 750 watt power supply
New graphics card and power supply

With the upgrades, I decided to start with the video card as the processor I would like to upgrade to, is still on the expensive side and I know over the next few months it will drop in price. How much, I can’t predict, but with the new processors out by AMD, the older Ryzen 7 processors should drop in price. With the graphics card, I had an AMD Radeon in the HP Elite desktop and thought I would go to a Nvidia card but found out rather quickly that the old motherboard wouldn’t provide the power needed to power it through the PCI Express slot. Luckily, the store I bought the graphics card from allowed me to return it and buy a different card without a restocking fee. So, I ended up going back to a Radeon card that gets its power from the power supply directly and not through the PCI Express slot.

More Research Not Done

I got the new graphics card installed and learned rather quickly that the power supply in my desktop was not enough to power the new graphics card. The newer graphics cards are power hungry compared to the ones from a few years ago. So, it was another trip to the store to get a new power supply and then tearing the computer case apart again to get it installed. The new power supply was bigger than the old one and I ensured that it would also handle the larger power requirements of a more power-hungry processor. The 750-watt power supply should be more than enough for any processor and motherboard upgrades I do. I plan on also going to solid-state drives, so that should lower power consumption as well in the final build. It’s been awhile since I’ve done any computer upgrades other than putting in new hard drives, which I seem to go through a lot in recent years. Hard drives seldom last more than a couple years for me, and I’ve tried several brands, with generally the same results. I guess photo and video editing is hard on disc drives as that is what I do the most and now I do a lot of audio editing since I took up guitar a couple years ago.

Sound Advice

So, if you are planning to do some computer upgrades soon, do your research first so you can get the parts you need without having to run back for something else and then having to open up your computer multiple times. I just learned recently about the newer M.2 solid state-drives and will definitely be getting a motherboard that has at least two ports to add those type of drives to it. As mentioned earlier, disc drives don’t seem to last long for me and putting in a new drive every two years and going through the hassle of having to restore backups. So before I finish the upgrades, I will be looking for the motherboard and memory that will be best for the applications I will be using. The graphics card is now up to date and allows me to run my monitor in HD mode now, which I couldn’t do with the previous graphics card.

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