Just a few of the things that I’ve learned (or re-learned) while putting together the preliminary info on preparing to design a first draft for my potential eventual build! Preparation is the key to success in general. I live in Baltimore and just moved from Bon Air to Harford – some say that isn’t even a move. I discovered that the amount of stuff I have to move is embarrassing and keeping track of it all was overwhelming. And I know that preparation for success means organizing your situational awareness! So by the time the Baltimore moving company’s guys arrived, everything was boxed or packed compactly and the contents of every box was recorded. But I’ve learned that even when you think you’re prepared, expect to be blindsided. The movers really appreciated my work, and the move went smoothly, except for the closing of I-95 due to an outage, which added 3 hours to the event.

Putting this draft together reminded me of the time I had to have some major dental work done on my teeth. I was living in Nevada at the time and did a search for orthodontics in Las Vegas to find a specialist. I had been told that Orthognathic surgery might be necessary if orthodontic treatment couldn’t correct the problem. I was able to use the Invisalign system to get my teeth aligned properly. The Invisalign System combines advanced 3-D computer graphics technology to move your teeth in small steps to the desired final position. The orthodontist takes x-rays, pictures and impressions of the teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image. of them. The Invisalign lab uses their advanced computer technology to translate the measurements into a sequence of finely calibrated aligners — as few as 12 or as many as 48. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks and only taken out to eat, brush and floss. Your teeth begin to move gradually until finally, you’ve got great looking teeth. But the steps that were involved reminds me a lot of the steps I had to go through for my first build. Anyway…

  • micro-stuttering: oh good. Multi-card setups (i.e., Crossfire and SLI) have a totally new way to screw with your gaming FPS. Apparently the two cards fail to synchronize properly, and you get a stutter even when your FPS looks like it should be fine or better. So there’s a big plus for getting one more powerful card rather than two less powerful ones.
  • Socket 1366: is taking over…maybe. The usual advice is that any current mainstream mobo will be obsolete in a few years anyway, so there’s little need to worry about future-proofing socket choices. On the other hand, a multi-GPU rig will definitely benefit from the extra PCIe lanes of the 1366…but a single-card setup on a P55 board could be just as good, for less money.
  • SATA 6G: is here. Do I need it? The SATA 3G would already be a step up for me (no, really), and it’s certainly a cheaper and more readily-available option (for both mobos and drives). But will it be obsolete in the next 3-4 years? Will I be using RAID? Will I be using SSDs?
  • USB 3.0: is here. Despite Intel dragging its feet on implementation, we have 1156 and 1366 mobos with USB 3.0 controllers. So that’s not a problem, except for the fact that I’ll pretty much need to get one. And if I’m getting USB 3.0 (which I am, unless I find an incredibly good reason not to do so), I’ll probably end up having to get SATA 6G because they tend to be offered on all the same new boards.

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