The Daily Parker

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Finally replacing an elderly desktop machine

The computer I'm using to write this post turns 8 years old on April 6th. It has served me well, living through thousands of Daily Parker posts, two house moves, terabytes of photographs, and only one blown hard drive.

So I have finally broken down and ordered a new one: a Dell Precision 3460 that will sit on my desk instead of under it, and will run Windows 11 with TPM 2.0 instead of warning me that it doesn't have the right hardware to get the latest OS.

The new computer will have an 13th Gen Intel Core i5-13600 processor with burst speeds up to 5 GHz, an nVidia T1000 graphics card with 3 DP outputs right on the chassis, a 512 GB SSD as a boot drive, and a pair of 32 GB 4800 MHz DIMMS that I ordered separately. Plus, instead of decrypting and re-encrypting my 4 TB, 7200-RPM data drive, I'm just going to get a 4 TB M.2 2280 SSD, because they're actually less expensive and use less power than the one in my 2016 box.

Unfortunately I'll need to completely replace my 14-year-old Dell monitor, and get an HDMI-to-DP conversion cable for my newer (2018-vintage) monitor, but neither of those things is terribly expensive these days.

I've also updated the math on the March 2016 post announcing my previous computer, to show the progression of computing technology over the past 8 years:

Bought Config, Processor, Ram, HDD $ then $ 2024
Jan 2024 Desktop, Core i5 5.0 GHz, 64 GB, 512 GB SSD + 4TB SSD Data $2009 $2009
Mar 2016 Desktop, Xeon 6C 2.4 GHz, 40 GB, 512 GB SSD + 2TB Data $3406 $4406
Dec 2013 Laptop, Core i7 2.4, 12 GB, 512 GB SSD $1706 $2247
Nov 2011 Laptop, Core i5 2.2 GHz, 8 GB, 256 GB SSD $795 $1078
Nov 2009 Laptop, Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz, 4 GB, 250 GB $923 $1309
Oct 2008 Desktop, Xeon 4C 2.0 GHz, 8 GB, 146 GB $1926 $2728
Feb 2007 Laptop, Centrino 2.0 GHz, 2 GB, 160 GB $2098 $3163
Jun 2005 Laptop, Pentium M 2.8 GHz, 2 GB, 60 GB $1680 $2650
Oct 2003 Laptop, Pentium M 1.4 GHz, 1 GB, 60 GB $1828 $3031
Oct 2002 Laptop, Pentium 4 1.7 GHz, 512 MB, 40 GB $2041 $3453
Mar 1999 Desktop, Pentium 3 500 MHz, 256 MB, 20 GB $2397 $4457
May 1995 Desktop, Nx 586 90 MHz, 32 MB, 850 MB $2206 $4446
Oct 1991 Desktop, 80386 33 MHz, 4 MB, 240 MB $2689 $6003

I mean, wow. I fully expect to be amazed at the speed—and the video.

I will say that my hope that the computer I bought in March 2016 would last at least 4 years came true twice over. In fact, from 1991 to 2016, I upgraded my main computer about every 2.7 years on average. Only two made it past 5 years, but only by 4 and 6 months.

It's been a really great machine. And I'm sure I'll discover that it can do one or two things that my new box can't, just like this one lost a couple of features I still sometimes miss. (My 2008 desktop could make mix CDs. I've never set this one up to do that.)

Comments (1) -

  • David Harper

    1/27/2024 7:44:06 AM +00:00 |

    By 1995, your desktop machine was already more powerful than the IBM 3081 mainframe that I used for heavy number-crunching in my Ph.D. a decade earlier.  That was the core of Liverpool University's computing service, so I was sharing it with hundreds of people.  And, unlike the 3081, I'm guessing your desktop didn't draw 23 kilowatts.

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