Well, I finally did it. I decided it was time to upgrade my P4 1.2 Ghz to a shiny new Athlon 64 Dual Core 3.2 Ghz. This was brought on because of a couple of problems. First I only had 1GB of RAM in my old system, and on certain occasions I found myself running out of memory when editing images. Also, I was becoming tired of waiting on my IDE drives to give me what I asked for. Plus, my install of Windows XP Pro was almost 2 years old and was in need of cleaning.
So I shopped and studied to find out the newest news about the current hardware, compatibilities, and speeds. I finally settled on an Athlon XP 64 4600+(65W) Windsor dual core(AM2 socket), 4 GB Crucial RAM, Asus Motherboard with SLI bridge, and MSI video cards(yes two, and I don’t know why), Antec tower, and Western Digital 250 GB SATA drives (3). The reason was that I chose all of this is because of compatibility, and also because I wanted the newest technologies, and also to keep my heat and noise down. The reason for the poor quality Western Digital drives was price, as they were under $80 each.
Another requirement that I had for my new system was the desire to run a Linux Desktop as a secondary boot option. All of the hardware above met that requirement.
The next step was to price shop, and I was pleased that Newegg was the cheapest on every product that I chose. Also, I loved the fact that their site has so many reviews on the products. I knew every problem that I would have before I even bought. (Ex. – Two out of three Western Digital drives were bad out of the plastic, and the stock power supply in the Antec case went bad after two weeks. RMA’s took care of it all with no problem.) I love the fact that Newegg seems to get everything to you in about 3 days, even though my parts came from three different places.
Once I received everything I was like a kid at Christmas time opening the new boxes and playing with all of the new hardware. It all went together as quickly and trouble free as I had planned. The Windows XP 64 bit install was uneventful, and all went well. Then it was time to install applications and other things that I needed. HA
I would like to say that I was 100% prepared, but there are just too many variables to consider when it comes to applications. One of the things that I liked is that Windows 64 bit has two Program Files areas, and one is named “Program Files(x86)”. I think you can guess that this is for the programs that are not 64 Bit.
Programs that worked fine:
Dreamweaver, Fireworks ( version 8 )
MS Office 2003, along with Visio, Project, and Publisher
Photoshop, Imageready, Illustrator (all CS)
Ultramon (64 bit edition)
Firefox 1.5, and now 2.0
UltraEdit and UltraCompare
MS Money 2002
Programs that failed:
Apache 2.2.3 (couldn’t get permissions to work)
PHP 5.2.? (couldn’t get it running mysql extension)
MySQL 5.2.? (couldn’t get it to start)
Acrobat 6 (works fine as a program, but printers do not install)
Efax (printers will not install)
Symantec Antivirus 2007 (will not install)
Quickbooks 2002 (installed, but had problems with some reports)
Nero CD and DVD Burning
The only real hurdle I had was that I use Acrobat, PCAnywhere, and Quickbooks very often. Plus I needed Antivirus for obvious reasons. The hunt was on for something to give me these applications, or something similar. After some hunting I ended up using Remote Desktop that is built into Windows to connect remotely. I upgraded Quickbooks to 2007, which was a needed upgrade in any way. I found an antivirus program called Avast! that has proven to be wonderful, and is free for home desktop use.
Another change I had to make was changing to PDFCreator as my Acrobat replacement as a PDF printer. Overall it is not bad, but it does not create links or do some of the other things that the Acrobat printer does. I may end up purchasing Acrobat 8 now that it is out, but I am not sure it will work either.
The last programs that I have not found a fix for Efax, or CD/DVD burning. Yes the Efax program works, but without the printer drivers it does make it hard to create faxes. Plus Quickbooks cannot fax without the Efax printer driver. If anyone knows of a fix for this please let me know. I have still not found a good 64 Bit alternative for CD/DVD burning yet, but will be forced to find something once I have a CD/DVD that I need to burn.
Overall it has been a great upgrade, but I recommend that anyone else please take the time to research. I have not installed Linux on this new system yet, but according to my research that should not be a problem.