Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Time for a new PC

My PC died yesterday, I was happily playing a game of iRacing trying to get my D license before the end of the season this week. When I quit out I had some weird messages about my backup software being unable to connect to my D:\ drive (which is my data drive, my C:\ is an SSD that runs the OS).

When I opened Explorer the D:\ was indeed missing... "odd" I thought, "that's never happened before". I'd only just used the D:\ drive to save a couple of pictures before I started playing iRacing, so I knew it had connected on boot up.

I thought I'd try a quick reboot to see if something weird had occurred in the drivers. When the PC booted into Windows I instantly got a BSOD with a KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error message. Oh.....

My only option was another reboot, but this resulted in another BSOD and another KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error. Mild panic began to set in, I know my backups will be okay, I have three separate copies stored elsewhere as well as the data on the disc itself. But fixing PCs is no fun!

Eventually Windows figured out there was a problem and offered to fix it... unsurprisingly it failed. So then I had the option of rolling back to an earlier restore point, so I did. I had one from just a week ago.

Sadly that didn't work either, and neither did any of the previous restore points going back six months. The next option is to try a "refresh" which keeps your files but re-installs Windows... but I was scuppered because you need the Windows install disc.

There are ways around all this, I could probably have re-installed Windows if I'd persevered long enough. but I'd been seeing the early signs of hardware failure for a while and I'd sort of ignored them. Random crashes, display glitches etc... When the PC died it made me remember a lot of things and they all made me come to the conclusion that I needed to update my system.

When I bought my current system I didn't have my three screens, I also did almost all my gaming on my XBox 360. But since I got an Eyefinity setup and the "next-gen" of consoles have been released that's all changed. I don't have an XBox One or a PS4 and every game I've played in the last 6-12 months has been on the PC.

I decided I needed a computer that could handle anything I wanted to throw at it, so I went about choosing components for a new build. Something I've not done for 10 years or more... The last two PCs I purchased were off the shelf offerings from Dell.

I figured I could get a lot more for my money by doing it myself, so without further ado please let me present you with the components I've purchased for my gaming rig 2015:

- Case: Cooler Master Cosmos SE Mid Tower Case
- Power Supply: SuperFlower Leadex Platinum 1000W Fully Modular "80 Plus Platinum" Power Supply - Black
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.00GHz (Devil's Canyon) Socket LGA1150 Processor - Retail
- Cooler: Cooler Master V8 GTS High Performance CPU Cooler
- Memory: Kingston HyperX 16GB (2x8GB) PC3-19200C11 2400MHz Dual Channel Kit - Black/Red (HX24C11BRK2/16-OC)
- Graphics: MSI Radeon R9 295 X2 8192MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
- Primary Storage: Samsung 1TB SSD 840 EVO SATA 6Gb/s
- Data Storage: Seagate Barracuda 4TB 5900RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache

The price tag associated with all this is rather scary coming in at, wait for it......  £1987.85!!!!!


So that's Christmas for everyone else cancelled then! It will all be delivered tomorrow by DPD, so I just have to remember how to build a PC now!

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