I finally got a new PC:
The CPU is 9x faster than my old one and the GPU is 16x faster than my old one (according to Passmark).
I tend to agonise over potential purposes (since I don’t like wasting resources by getting something that I won’t use). In this case, I made a spreadsheet with a bunch of possible computer configurations and their respective prices. I noticed that even a (quiet, low power) basic system gets me a massive performance increase, and that performance gains reduce quickly thereafter.
Anyhow, I ended up spending around $800 for the following:
- Core 2 Quad Q8400
- Intel G31 chipset motherboard
- 2x 2GB DDR2 800
- 1TB Samsung “Eco” hard drive
- 512MB DDR3 Geforce 6800GT
- Antec case with 430W power supply (>80% efficiency)
- DVDRW drive
Unfortunately, they couldn’t tell me if the graphics cards was a low-power (59w) version; turns out that it isn’t.
Overall, I’m very happy with the purchase. It’s nice and quiet, everything is much more zippy, and there are no compatibility problems with Ubuntu. I used some of the money I saved to buy a new tablet (6″x4″ Wacom Intuos3 for $277, discounted now that the Intuos4 is out).