Unshelved comic strip for 10/31/2005

My New Desktop PC

My Y2K-vintage Dell desktop has served me well, but I have been asking more of it than it is able to give. In particular, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign use every spare microprocessor cycle and byte of RAM that they can, especially now that I'm doing more large-format color work. Since I draw the strip directly on the computer with no hardcopy, the potential for data loss is everpresent. I do daily backups, but a hard-drive crash can potentially lose 24 hours worth of art. Finally it must be said that the computer is rattle-your-brains loud.

So I'm moving up. And, because of the way these things work, I'm spending half what I did last time, and getting many times more.

Specifically I'm getting:

  • A Shuttle SN25P Small Form Factor (SFF) barebones pc
  • powered by an AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+ dual-core CPU
  • with 2GB of fast OCZ RAM
  • running Windows XP Professional 64-bit edition.
  • The boot/swap drive is a 74GB Western Digital 10,000RPM "Raptor"
  • and the data drive is two Seagate 250GB drives acting as a single drive using RAID0 data mirroring.
  • Since I'm not a gamer I'm getting a simple Nvidia Quadro NVS 285 workstation card - heatsink cooled, no fan.
  • Add a fast Plextor DVD burner for put-it-in-the-safe hard backups and I'm done.

I believe this is one of the fastest Photoshop machines that can be built in its price range (under $1600).

My deal with Gene is that I can't open the box until I finish a to-be-announced coding project for the website. So you can expect to hear about that being done very soon now.

P.S. Yes, I did think about getting a quad-core Mac G5. I grant you that it is very sweet. But ignoring the fact that it's a zillion times more expensive, I have philosophical problems moving to a single-provider hardware platform. The power of the free market gave us machines like Shuttles and my beloved Fujitsu ultraportable - Macs are beautiful machines but they are seldom just right for my needs. It's a shame.

This Unshelved strip

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