We use a gaming grade desktop PC in the shop. During the day we use productivity tools. On the weekend we like to play games. The flexibility of the PC makes this possible.
This 2008 machine was assembled in January from OEM components. The Raidmax chassis was an available box in the shop. The 8600 GT combined with the PhysX card provided entry level gaming capacity which is adequate for games through about 2007.
While the M2NBP-VM CSM included a Windows Vista support CD. We found the RTM version of Vista to be very slow with the Athlon CPU. For that reason we returned to using Windows XP. Vistas SP2 brings the performance up to par with Windows 7.
Shortly after we procure the Athlon64 X2, AMD began to offer new processors for the AM2+ platform. Asus did not update the BIOS to support the new processors which limited the upgrade potential. We continued to to use Windows XP x64 which runs well in the AMD CPU. When Windows Vista was released we found it to be way to slow to be practical
This machine is more powerful than 7th generation consoles (Xbox and PS2). The 8600 GT with the PhysX card runs well at 1280×1024 and 1280×720 resolutions.
Classic games like Halo: Combat Evolved is very playable at 1280×1024. Running games at higher resolutions can be very taxing for a video card quickly. HD panels are still very expensive and video cards are generally inadequate to play games at 1920×1080 even with dual graphics cards. Many still used a CRT in 2008.
Other classic titles are also very playable on this machine. Vietcong 2 and Quake 4 both run fine on the machine. Many of these classic games still work with more recent versions of Windows so they are not a bad investment.
THE CURRENT SETUP
|MB||Asus M2NBP-VM CSM|
|CPU||AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+ 65W|
|RAM||8 GB DDR2|
|GPU||Zotac 8600 GT + Asus PhysX P1|
|KB/M||Microsoft Digital Media Pro|
|HD||Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS|
|OS||Windows XP x64|
This machine was badly damaged by a bad video card driver (196.75) which cause the 8600 GT to overheat and the motherboard failed subsequently. When NVIDIA bought Aegeia the PhysX P1 card became obsoleted too.
The door was the main gripe with the RaidMax Smilodon. The aluminum was also hard on the fingers when repairing the machine.
Due to these faults we junked this chassis when the motherboard failed and purchased a new chassis for a new build.