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Geek Alert: PC Upgrade that delivers
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Geek Alert: PC Upgrade that delivers

In the past few years I have upgraded my PC just so I could have the latest and greatest. Good for my inner geek but, performance improvements were hard to find and the improvements there were hardly justified the cost. Things were different however with my latest upgrade.

I started off with the latest Intel Z68 motherboard an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro $209 at Microbytes Pointe-Claire is reasonably priced yet delivers a solid feature set and performance..as measured by people equipped to do these things..at least as good as the top of the line so-called performance motherboards. Look at these features:

  • Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM Digital Power Design
  • UEFI BIOS (EZ Mode) – Flexible & Easy BIOS Interface
  • LucidLogix® Virtu (Universal Switchable Graphics) – Auto Switching between Integrated Graphics and NVIDIA/AMD Cards
  • Intel® Smart Response Technology – SSD Speed with HDD Capacity
  • BT GO! (Bluetooth) – Diverse BT Enjoyment, New Technology Lifestyle
  • GPU Boost – Push the Limits with iGPU Level Up!
  • Quad USB 3.0/SATA 6Gb/s Support
  • Quad-GPU SLI and Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support!

I matched this motherboard with Intel’s latest  second generation core i7 2600K 3.5 GHz processor. Some may call this a bit of overkill but I wanted the hyperthreading because I wanted the best possible video transcoding performance possible.  If you don’t plan to do a lot of video then the i5 2600K would be a good buy.

I combined this with my existing 8GB of DDR3 memory and Crucial RealSSD C300 hard drive and the result is a computer that literally flies. The SATA III 6Gbs enabled my SSD drive to really show its stuff most noticeably on startup. My PC is now pretty much instant on..10 short seconds to boot Windows 7. Applications load almost instantly and it just feels fast.

But video transcoding is where this machine really shines..converting videos to use on this blog is now done in a third of the time it took on my previous setup and uses less power so I can do other things while the video is processing. On my old setup the very short clip I am converting here took two minutes and 100% of all 8 CPU threads while you can see above it will take considerably less time and use fewer resources on my new setup..definitely worth the upgrade investment.

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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