The New Set Up

August 2, 2010

Here you go. As you can see, nothing fancy like those gaming rigs with six screens or anything like that, but it’s a huge upgrade from my Dell XPS laptop. People are right; after sitting behind that 24″ monitor, I don’t think I can ever go back to laptop gaming.

My husband doesn’t have a spare desk and the study is currently taken up by boxes and boxes of his books and electronics, so there’s not and inch of room in there. Hence my computer is currently set up on a tiny old writing table in his work out room, sandwiched between his elliptical trainer and the weight bench. This house is pretty much one big man cave and clearly I’m still trying to work on fitting my life into his, but this is great for now. Guess what, if I want to tone a few muscles between raids, the home gym is just right behind me.

Intel Core i7-920 processor, 12GB RAM, Radeon HD 5770…I’m guessing these are some of the specs people will be interested to know. My knowledge in computers and technology is adequate but not extensive (hubby’s the IT expert in the family) especially when it comes to the internal workings of the machine. I nearly had a heart attack when the computer booted up and did not recognize the hard drive, but it just turned out it had to be screwed in tighter. Beside the monitor is my precious 12WX Wacom Cintiq, the tablet/screen hybrid that I use to “draw”.

And as you can see from the above photo, I’m currently downloading the high-res version of Lord of the Rings Online. Because of my better half’s ISP, this 10GB download has so far taken around 3 days of downloading at an average of 120KBps. For a guy who’s an avid gamer, always interested in the latest gadgets and who works in the tech industry, it boggles my mind how he could stand to live at such speeds (it’s so frustrating that it’s become a running joke in our household to liken each other to our internet when someone is being sluggish). Now that there are two people sharing the service, we may have to look into making a switch. Not looking forward to downloading the Age of Conan client before that happens!

So far, I’m very pleased with how graphics look on this machine. On the gaming front, the two games I’ve tested so far are World of Warcraft and Star Trek Online because I have the retail boxes. The latter looks simply amazing — I for one never knew explosions in space could look so glorious.


  1. I can’t believe you’re sitting in that chair. Personally I have a cushioned lazy boy-esque chair and i just put the keyboard on my lap and type away. most comfortable gaming setup i’ve ever had, the monitor is about 4 feet away, so i can put my feet up, stretch, relax, curl up in this huge chair, put the keyboard on the box and just mouse through the internet. I don’t know why so many people make their pc setup so formal. you don’t need a desk, my box doesn’t even fit on the coffee table its on, both its ass and front are hanging over the side. the mouse is on the arm of the chair and works perfectly.

    • I’ve been using laptops for the last 8 years on a couches, beds, or coffee tables. I need a good desk. The chair you see there goes with the writing table, which is decades old and could be an antique by the looks of it. It’s not the best because I barely have room and the monitor is not high or far away enough, but it’s still better than a lap! I’d love a nice cushioned office chair but it’ll have to wait. My body and bones can still take the abuse 😀

    • If you’re playing a first person shooter, you might need the stability that a desk top affords 😛

      Also, cool system! Btw, does your system support full speed CrossfireX if you wanted to add another Radeon HD 5770 in the future?

      • I’m really not sure…this is what I mean why I say my knowledge is adequate but not extensive, I have no clue of the inner workings 😛 I just asked my husband though, he said yes.

      • Oooh, cool. Full speed CrossfireX would be a great option for the future, because your system is more CPU and RAM power heavy than it is GPU heavy (aka. I think your video card is probably the bottleneck for your system, as compared to your CPU and RAM which are pretty much state-of-the-art).

        CrossfireX is ATI’s system for running two video cards in parallel in one system.

      • Oh that’s great to know! Yeah, I really wanted to splurge on the video card, but it was a difference of a couple hundred dollars for the next step up. Glad there will be a choice to upgrade to full speed CrossfireX at a later date if that’s what I choose.

  2. Call me weird, I work on desktops and game on laptops. This is why I take screenshots in 1440×900 and 1280×800.

    That is one of the Logitech VX mice, right? I need something that can track on a deskpad that has become so shiny after years that optical infrared tracking is no longer sufficient. Might need darkfield lasertech… or a new pad. But my MX500 is getting old, lost 2 pads within the last few days. Still working well since 2002. I had other mice die during that period.

    • I had to work and game on a laptop, so now just being able to be on a desktop feels like heaven.

      And I’m not sure what mouse this is (it actually came with the keyboard) but I did choose it because it was one of the newer logitech ones. All my mice have been Logitech, I do like their computer accessories a lot.

  3. I know how happy you are with that new machine!!! I was too when I got mine, that monitor looks similar to the one I have now. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it!

    That set up isn’t the worst I’ve seen. I had a really bad set up before we moved and finally made my husband get me a nice desk and chair haha. Took awhile though, we’ve had some really funky desk/chair combos in the past! Currently we have three desks crammed into the living room now. Gaming family ftw =p

    • That’s what we have planned too. We want to make the study into a computer room so we’ll have both our machines in there and we can game together in the evenings. It’s just too much of a hassle to set that up right now though; I’m not exaggerating, his study is a MESS! It’s got a shelf in there, a couple filing cabinets, and the rest is all boxes.

  4. That sounds like a snazzy new rig. Hope you have fun with it. I always love going back to old games so that my new machine can tear them apart. 🙂 My least favorite part is reinstalling all of those games.

    • Yes…it’s taking ages. Age of Conan is going to be a bitch to download. What pisses me off is that my husband actually has the retail discs, but for some reason my dvd rom drive doesn’t read it. From reading the forums, it seems that many people have this problem too, especially with newer drives. GG Funcom 😛

  5. I would kill for that much ram. Let alone the Core-i7. Grats on the new machine, even if your internet took a hit by moving to the states. My suggestion is cry a lot and scream at the modem, that’s what I do.

    • The internet is generally adequate for our every day uses…it’s just when you’re trying to download, it makes you want to tear your hair out…I’m going to hate patch days 😛

  6. Wow, looking nice! I’m glad STO plays awesomely.

    I’ve been meaning to ask – just exactly how do you ‘draw’? All electronically? A rough, scanned, then touched up? Pray tell!

    • I specialize in traditional art, so for the most part I’m doing things hands on, whether it’s a painting, an pen-and-inks piece, etc. If I can scan it, I will touch it up on the computer (sometimes it’s not possible with some of the larger or irregular shaped pieces).

      Some of the recent comic art I’ve done, I pencil and scan and I touch it up and “clean” the lines with the tablet because you can get really fine with the detail like that. Traditionally, I’ve never done colors, but I’m going to have to start doing that one of these days. More and more, I’m also starting to create art with the tablet, but my preference is still doing art the old school, traditional, get-your-hands-dirty way 🙂

      • Sweet! Was your title image done in in traditional-then-scanned way?

      • Yep, it was drawn on a comic board, then scanned. I altered it on the computer, making some lines more prominent, others less, as well as cleaning them up. Then I also tinted it to match the color scheme of the blog.

      • The tablet looks cool, I was going to ask about it.

        I understand about the desk setup. I have had some pretty interesting configurations myself.

  7. Man, that computer makes me jealous! I seriously need to upgrade my own gaming rig. I’m not that keen on the tech stuff either, so I’m getting my boyfriend to help me out. Thank goodness for tech-y hubbys/bfs!

    • Oh I know, I can handle most things, but anything beyond general hardware/software stuff I’ll need help from him!

  8. That is some awesome specs. I want one:)

  9. You’re making my rig feel inadequate! But its okay because I built him and love him so. ❤ Welcome to Desktop gaming!

  10. Wow… that is indeed an old desk 😛 And 12GB RAM! Cripes! 🙂

    • Yeah, I got a good deal for the machine, for the price I paid 12gigs was actually really surprising! I was pleasantly shocked 😀

  11. Good looking machine, although that chair looks very uncomfortable. I have the same speakers, too. 🙂

    As far as 24″ and then back to laptop, yeah sorry about that.

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