GIT-335, Computer Systems Technology
24 July 2012
In a glowing Fairy Tale Forest of computers on a limitless budget I hesitate entering on fear of getting caught in its web. Surrounded by sidelined CPUs, I never owned a computer that I’ve thrown away. My most powerful desktop dragon uses a 400 watt power supply and Intel 2.8 GHz dual-core; the monster breaths feet searing heat. A Dream Machine of the past evolved from the most powerful to the most efficient.
I ramped up from a Commodore 64 to Insight XT to HP Pavilion 6600 to Insignia 400a then 2 self-assembled boxes and a Fry’s GreatQuality laptop; I now use a cooler conservative 65 watt sipping Compaq Laptop during the summer’s sweltering heat. When winter comes, the dragon’s breath will fire up and warm a 306 sq.-ft. above garage Fonzie-fied apartment. During intense video processing and photo gallery webpage making modes, 3 and 4 boxes light up to roll through film. My Dream Machine uses none of APS’s electricity; it lives on the 5.7 kWh/day power I collect from the sun.
Beginning the investigation in PC World’s Top 10 Performance Desktops  a complaint of the 3rd place choice’s 550 watt power supply being weak, brought me from the year 2006 to 2012. The Top performer included a 1200 watt power supply with a water cooled 4.8 GHz clocked Intel Core i7 3960X. Yesterday I thought i7 indicated the processor integrated 7 cores; this model has 6.
For the i5, I learned the number of cores could vary between 2 and 4 for mobile (laptop) and desktop dedicated processors. Intel lays their complex processor comparison matrix out by dividing it between Laptops, Desktops and Servers, then by Processor names . Their website allows a head-to-head comparison of 5 processors simultaneously.
I looked at Aleutia’s $1667 fanless i5 2390T Relia Fanless Industrial PC and know of some work applications I might use it for. They offer a Solar Classroom in a Box that includes the solar cells and batteries with 10 rugged PCs, a Server and 3G connection that only consumes 370 watts for a cost of $11328.
I found a machine fitting my desires at TopTenReview.com Multimedia Computers. The sexy HP Touchsmart 610xt’s low 180 watt power consumption and integrated design landed me. Learning it was out of stock led me to a beefed up i7 version at nearly the same price. The i7 uses up to 230 watts, but, hey, I shouldn’t need to have it on as long. Mmm, once again, I’ve been seduced by power.
The web I feared snagged my foot and has lured me to place an HP TouchSmart 610-1280qd Desktop PC into the online shopping cart. Will I resist hitting the button to buy it with 12 Months of No Payments or Interest through hpdirect.com?
My HP TouchSmart 610-1280qd multimedia Dream Machine includes Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit], a 2nd Generation Intel Core i7-2600 quad-core processor with Turbo-Boost [up to 3.8GHz, 8MB cache], 8GB DDR3-1066MHz SODIMM, 2TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive, Microsoft Office Word & Excel w/ ads, 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6450A, Blu-Ray writer, Premium Wireless-N LAN card and Bluetooth, 6-in-1 memory card reader, 4 total USB (2.0), Beats audio, TV tuner, ATSC-NTSC with PVR, remote, Integrated sound, HP wireless keyboard and wireless optical mouse, HDMI Game Console, HDMI input [for discrete graphics] and may ship on the 31 July with a few button clicks at the cost of $1300.99 with tax.
Free internet access puts the “Wet” in my Dream Machine. To avoid paying Century Link, Road Runner, and Verizon, I’m willing to stand on my head, contort, and arrange a parabolic dish for the thrill and pursuit of an unbilled link. I’ll connect through the $60 HWDN3 Hawking Hi-Gain Wireless-300N USB Dish Adapter Network adapter to an available Yuma Heritage Library Wi-Fi Hot Spot.
To compensate for the extra power draw, I’ll install an additional 1 kW Solar System on my Guest House for an estimated after Federal Tax rebate cost of $3600. The solar system should cover a year round uninterrupted 230 watt power use.
For Application Software, I’ll purchase Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional ($118.95), Adobe CS6 Production Premium ($449.99), SoThink Video Encoder for Flash 3.2 ($45), Adobe Creative Design & Web Premium ($416), Cyberlink Power Director 10 ($49.95)
I’ll add 4, 1.5 Terabyte Seagate FreeAgent Goflex Ultra-Portable USB Hard Drives ($119.95 ea) for saving Photo & Video Data to round out the Dream Package.
The Total Solar Powered Wet Dream Machine cost adds up to $6520.68
1. PC World, Top Ten Performance Desktop PCs, http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/collection/1645/top_10_power_desktop_pcs.html
2. Bright Hub, Core i3 vs i5 vs i7: A Summary of Intel’s Processors, http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/65861.aspx
3. PC World, What’s the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?, http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/386100/what_difference_between_an_intel_core_i3_i5_i7_/
4. Intel Processor Comparison, http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processor-comparison/compare-intel-processors.html?select=desktop