Friday, October 20, 2006

Stage 26: Decisions, Decisions

I don't know what it is about me and tech-toys, but I certainly enjoy the prospect of spending my hard earned (well, earned, anyways) money on them.

Anyhoo - I have once again found myself wondering which iteration of the 2.5 PCs I now own will find its way into the MAME cab and which one will be living on my desktop as my actual PC.

Having cloned my old 80GB IDE HDD to the new 250GB SATA one, I totally formatted the old one and reinstalled Windows fresh. Waving a magic wand to make that annoying Microsoft Validation thing go away (*ahem*), I began to diligently put my massive collection of games onto the virgin platform and buckle down to get this thing ready to put into the MAME.

But soon I came to realize that for all it's fanciness and cool new super-quiet case, my old PC was still markedly more powerful than the one I got off Ward.

Not by a lot, but after some benchmarking the differences were signifigant enough for me to think that the benefits of 2GB of RAM in Ward's PC vs. the max 1.5GB I could have in my original PC was not worth the slower CPU (my 2.4 gHz vs. Ward's 2.01 gHz) nor the seemingly slower graphics card I had (my Radeon 9600 XT 128 MB vs. Ward's ATI Radeon X1300 PRO PCIe 256 MB). It's amazing the difference you can find in reality vs. the differences you see on paper, heh!

This leaves me with the following choices:
a) Continue with current plan.
My old PC will go into the MAME and the one I got off Ward will be my new desktop computer.

b) Get an IDE to SATA Converter and swap the HDDs.
My old PC (with some of Ward's RAM & the 250GB SATA HDD) would remain on my desk and Ward's PC (with the 80GB IDE HDD) would go into the MAME. Converters cost around $20-35, so this isn't such a bad idea, moneywise. Unlike ....

c) Buy new IDE HDD and don't switch at all.
A new 250GB (or more) HDD for my old PC, which would remain my desktop computer with the extra RAM mentioned above and the now extra 80GB IDE HDD installed as a 2nd drive. Ward's machine would go into the MAME with a massive 250GB SATA HDD loaded with the MAME stuff.
I have to confess to being torn between options B & C. It's not like I play a ton of PC games or anything on my PC as it is, but the idea of having a more powerful PC in the cab dedicated to playing 20 year old arcade games doesn't sit well with me.

So I guess the choice now is as follows: $35 for an IDA-SATA converter or $100 for a new IDE HDD? The difference sounds like a lot of money, but for the extra $60 I could get a hell of a lot more space and a lot less hassle. But do I really need all that space? Hrmmmmm ...

Until I decide, I am continuing to sort through the massive pile of games and prepare them for their final destination. I have all the Intellivision, MAME, Atari, NES, Daphne and Sega Master System games sorted and in sync with their screenshots and preview movies.

I still have to go through the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo folders, and it's slow going indeed. Last night alone I found over 230 duplicate snaps/movies in the Genesis folder! A long haul now, but once everything is setup I can copy them all to DVDs for future reference and won't have to worry about this kind of crap ever again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Don't tell everybody that piece of crap ATI card was mine! I wouldn't be caught dead with that in one of my systems!
God, I'm such a geek...

The Illusive Warden

4:58 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Yes, yes, we all know you're a confirmed Nvidiot, so don't get your panties in a bunch.

I only call it "Ward's" because I haven't assigned proper names to my two machines yet. So "old PC" and "Ward's PC" it is until then.

5:00 PM  

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