Friday, January 18, 2008
A few months ago, I wrote about how there had been a big price break in the Ultimate Developer Rig presented by Jeff Atwood and Scott Hanselman. About a month later, I went ahead and built my own version of this glorious box.

Since the price had fallen so low ($1,503.88), I decided to increase the amount of ram from 4GB to 8GB. This was due in part to a conversation that I had with my good friend and DevExpress colleague, Oliver Sturm. We were discussing the well-known limits of ram in 32-bit Windows. Oliver made the point, "I'd rather have 4GB on 32-bit Windows than 4GB on 64-bit Windows." The thinking is that, while 32-bit Windows may not be able to fully access 4GB of ram, 4GB on a 64-bit machine might seem cramped since applications use more memory due to wider pointers. Besides, ram is cheap! There's no reason not to purchase a little more elbow room—especially since the price of the machine had already dropped by $400.

The final build that I settled on is below:

Component Price Paid Current
Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $149.99 $139.99
MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $139.99 $139.99
MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail (2) $299.98 $279.98
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM $179.99 $169.99
Western Digital Caviar RE WD3200YS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $89.99 $89.99
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M - OEM $260.00 $260.00
ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail $47.99 $44.99
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply - Retail $124.99 $124.99
OCZ Gold 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2G8004GK - Retail (2) $319.98 $207.98
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM $28.99 $30.99
  $1,641.89 $1,488.89

As you can see, the price has dropped even further, and the cost of 8GB of ram is now around $200!

Full Disclosure: I had a negative experience with the MSI P6N SLI Platinum motherboard. It was dead on arrival. After installing the CPU, RAM and a video card, the motherboard refused to POST. Newegg's RMA service did a fantastic job of replacing the board. However, there's nothing worse than removing a CPU, cleaning off the thermal paste and hoping that it works the next time it's installed. Fortunately, the second motherboard worked fine and has been running well for nearly two months.

The time I've spent developing with this machine have been nothing short of pure joy. Builds are faster, multiple VMs don't drag me down, virus scans occur without my knowledge... it's complete bliss. I can even watch every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 1 simultaneously without a hiccup.

Quad core in action

Quad core in action

I should also mention that my trophy wife, while OK with the initial purchase, is grumbling a bit after seeing the current component prices. ;-)

posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 12:42:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [3]

kick it on