My life with hardware

I’m watching a test run on my computer as I type this. It’s one designed to max out and capture the capabilities of my graphics card, ram, processor, etc. called 3DMark06. I’ve been obsessed lately with the performance of mine and my wife’s computers. This happens every couple of months, it seems: I get a little too involved with electronics and whatnot. I’m actually moving into overclocking with this latest round, though: that’s further than I’ve ever gone.

My goal is not to have the most powerful beast of a computer, though. My goal is to make sure that I can find ways to enjoy as much as possible the games and software I want while on a budget. Can’t afford a new video card? Overclock the one you’ve got! That’s the point of view from which I start on these little ventures. Anyhow. On to the numbers.

My main computer at home is an eMachines T5234 with a 2.1 GHz AMD 64 X2 4000+ processor and 2 GB of RAM. I’m running an nVidia graphics card from PNY with 256 MB of VRAM and have a dual monitor setup. I’ve tweaked the stock speed of the AMD processor to get another 300 MHz out of it, for a new speed of about 2.4 GHz. I’ve also edited the timings of the RAM so that the latency is down to about 56ns from a stock response time of ~70ns. The graphics card is a little hard for me to describe, but suffice it to say that I’ve improved my framerate on World of Warcraft by about 3 – 5 FPS while being able to increase the graphics settings a little bit. To be honest, I think I’m hampered by the stock Motherboard that came with the computer: I don’t have as much access to the options for the card that I would like.

Well, my score just came in from 3DMark06. It’s not sexy at all. The fastest system has a score of 34247, and mine is at 1700. I’ve overclocked as much as I can, so if I want anymore juice out of this machine, I’ll need to start replacing parts. At least, though, I know I’ve done all I can with what I’ve got.

That’s it for now. I’m off to watch some Conan!