Several months ago I bought a desktop PC primarily for photo and video editing. It’s a pretty sweet system: 2.5 Ghz quad core, 8 GB DDR2-800, 750 GB HDD, etc… I originally hooked it up to the HDTV in the living room but that didn’t work out all that well since I didn’t have a wireless keyboard or mouse. I really didn’t use it all that frequently so it just sat there for a while until one day it started rebooting. A lot.
At first I thought it was just installing updates but then I noticed it was happening too frequently for that to be the case. After a few days of periodic troubleshooting I narrowed it down to a bad memory module. I left it at 6 GB and let it run unused for anything but a file server.
A few of the guys at work have been upgrading existing or building new computers and got me thinking again about replacing that dead chip. It also reminded me that despite the fairly beefy specs the overall experience index was only 3.4. The rating was being held down by the graphics components coming in at 3.4 and 3.5. Today I decided to join in the fun of hardware upgrades and not only replace that memory module but pick up a decent video card too.
The new module is a Corsair XMS2. Adding the memory module went as painlessly as expected. Pop it in, power up the system, viola – 8 GB.
As for the video card I picked up an XFX Radeon HD 5770 based on a handful of reviews and some friend recommendations. This installation didn’t go quite as smooth as I’d hoped. I installed the card without any problems but the drivers were a pain! Every time I tried to run the installer it would crash. Google revealed that I wasn’t the only one with the problem either. I ultimately stumbled upon a post that said I needed to install a Visual C++ redistributable component. After installing the redistributable the install went on without any problems.
With the upgrades complete I was finally able to rerun the experience index assessment. I wasn’t expecting to see any boost on the memory rating of 7.2 since I didn’t run the assessment after the module failed but I did expect to see a slight boost with the new video card. The result was more than I hoped for:
Now the weakest link is the primary hard disk but at 5.9 I’m not complaining. With the memory is back where it should be and a decent video card in there maybe I’ll start using it a bit more. Any good game recommendations?