My production machine so far..

.. is working as expected.

The Gigabyte GA880GM-UD2H has no faults or problems after installation. Performance is generally way better than the dual core ‘939’ system that it replaced, but some items still take their time appearing, especially Network Monitor II which has always been a little intransigent.

All applications other than Outlook and MS Accounting 2009 start up more or less instantly, and I can open as much as I like without incurring a performance penalty. All pretty good stuff, eh.

The most impressive part of the new setup is the Cooler Master 690 II case. It isn’t small, and it only just accommodates a flash drive in the top mounted USB ports when pushed under the desk but, other than that, you would hardly know it was there. The two standard 120mm fans and the 140mm fan in the top really are very silent, and it is much less harrowing to sit beside it than the previous system. The base mounted mounted power supply is also equipped with a 120mm fan, and there is no appreciable noise from that either. The external SATA drive bay which has proved useful for checking laptop drives before I boot a laptop up on my network.

This brings me to a topic which is missed by many. It is all very well having a high performance system, but if it is noisy and you are working with a cheap keyboard and mouse off a desk or some other platform which is not designed well, your overall computing experience will be poor.

Get yourself a decent keyboard and mouse. Don’t just look at the price and the style. Do a hands on test. See how the key spacing is, and how the mouse feels in the palm of your hand. If you have misgivings, don’t get it. if it is bad in the store, wait until you have been using it for a while. It will be way worse.

Avoid desks with hutches (the storage part on top). The pigeon holes are often too small to hold much, yet get in the way of easy clear desk usage. Something else to watch is small keyboard trays which don’t hold your keyboard AND mouse. Having to stretch forwards to move the mouse is ok at first time, but can get tedious over time. 

Anyway, overall, I am a happy bunny and my overall computing experience is on a definite high presently.

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