While my computer was OK, it was starting to show its age.
It was a quick build after the previous computer up and died. I think the motherboard was at fault. I replaced the power supply, and it failed to power up.
At that point, there was no reason to continue put any more money into a Pentium IV-powered PC.
The most recent was powered by an AMD Athlon III 3.1 Ghz CPU and a 1GB NVidia 520 video card. The computer had 8GB RAM and was dual booting nicely on Windows 7 on a 256GB SSD and Linux on a second 256GB SSD with an internal 500GB hard drive for file storage. I keep hardly any working files on either SSD - just the operating systems and programs.
However, when trying to render a video, the computer couldn't handle it and usually shut down from overheating. My solution was to remove the side of the computer and point a small powerful fan into the side.
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The new computer uses an AMD Ryzen 7 1700x CPU, double the amount of RAM at 16GB and a 4GB AMD Radeon RX 550 video card, although that might get replaced next year. The motherboard is an ASRock X370 Taichi. I kept the hard drives, although I plan to swap out the 500GB, which is starting to run short on space.
Since building the last computer in 2011, quite a bit had changed, and I spent a solid month deciding on the components.
Some of the fans have LED lighting, but that didn't mean as much to me. Although it's a gaming PC, I'm using it for productivity. If you don't know it, a gaming PC will give you the best performance, because games push the hardware far harder than most consumer and business applications.
Actual assembly took me longer than expected - nearly 90 minutes, because I had to keep referring back to the motherboard manual (thankfully, a printed manual) to make sure that I was connecting various wires to the right headers on the motherboard.
This computer also has liquid cooling for the CPU.
Total price: Just over US$1,000, paid for by selling off a bunch of things (including cameras).
Most of the parts were bought from Newegg, although a few were from Best Buy.
The performance of this computer is very good. Definitely, the fastest computer that I've ever owned and a huge energy sucker with an 850-watt power supply. The previous computer had a 450-watt power supply, and I thought that was excessive.
The case is the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2, which I really like. It has an understated design, but it's rather massive - four inches longer and two inches taller and wider than my previous case.
One irritating note: Microsoft somehow convinced AMD (and Intel) to not support any other Microsoft OS except Windows 10. Getting Windows 7 up and running was such a pain that I caved and installed Windows 10. I use Windows primarily for video and audio editing and some photo editing.
Linux was easy to install on the other SSD. If you do a dual-boot system, install Windows first and then Linux. I live in Linux about 90% of the time now.
Linux has support for my older Epson scanner, which is no longer recognized under Windows 10. Corel offers AfterShot 3 Pro for Linux, and it works very well.
I do nearly all of my writing in LibreOffice, and I can install Opera, Firefox and Chrome (Chromium) on the Linux side. I use Opera as my main browser, because I can create Speed Dial folders that I categorize according to site content.
I also added a new keyboard: a Lenovo mechanical gaming keyboard (on a closeout sale from Amazon for $35) and a Logitech G403 gaming mouse, which was low cost and feels really nice.
I'll post a photo of the new computer on the weekend.