Comparison of my work PC, home PC and laptop

For a while I’ve thought that my PC at work (which I acquired in February 2008) was flagging a little. An upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 certainly helped but subjectively I felt that compared with my home PC and my laptop it wasn’t running particularly quickly, as I was waiting quite a while for files to open or applications to start.

So I used the AusLogics BenchTown benchmarking application to put all three computers to the test:

  1. Work (Dell Precision 690, Xeon 5120 @ 1.86 GHz, 4GB RAM, 64-bit OS)
  2. Home (Cube 24/7, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz, 4GB RAM, 32-bit OS)
  3. Laptop (Acer Aspire 5630, Intel Core 2 T5500 @ 1.67 GHz, 2GB RAM, 32-bit OS)

Now, I’m not particularly familiar with the various benchmarking applications available, or which one is better than the next but I felt it important simply to use the same application on all three computers so that it gave me a fair comparison.

These were the results, and compared with fastest results submitted to the BenchTown website, from some seriously overclocked, high-spec machines:

Work Home Laptop Fastest
CPU 840 2179 786 10073
Memory 346 494 551 2130
HDD 365 625 311 5161
Graphics 2D 168 272 131 804
Graphics 3D 202 1253 98 4504
Overall 325 645 255 2619

2011-10-01-benchtown

As you can see my suspicions were justified: my work PC isn’t that much faster than my laptop.

I got a phone call on Thursday to say that I’m getting a new PC ordered for me at work.

Can you run it?

Screenshot of Can You Run It showing that Battlefield 2 passes
Battlefield 2 passes with flying colours on my laptop

Downsizing and upsizing

By the recent photographs of my study in various states of disarray you probably know by now that I’m in the process of reorganising a few rooms in our house.

And by now you probably also know the reason why I’m doing it, judging by the recent scan of a 12 weeks and 3 days old baby currently gestating in my wife’s tummy.

Yes, we need to make room for another minor human some time in late January 2011.  So, I’m downsizing some of my … well, stuff, while Jane’s tummy is … well, I guess upsizing.

(She doesn’t read my blog, so don’t worry about that last sentence.)

Battlefield 2

In my study I have two PCs.  One is on my desk, the other is on Jane’s desk/our-old-dining-room-table.  One gets used almost every day, the other gets used only when Valley Boy Rich comes to visit, to play Battlefield 2 over the network.

But the time has finally arrived for my trusty Nethighstreet PC (MSI K7N2 Delta, 2.8 GHz Athlon CPU, 2GB RAM, Creative X-Fi soundcard) to be retired to the PC graveyard that is either Freecycle or eBay (I haven’t quite decided yet). Which obviously leaves us one PC down for our mildly regular death-matches.

Can you run it?

So there I was thinking, if only there was some way of discovering whether Battlefield 2 will run on my laptop when I discovered Can you run it? from System Requirements Lab.

It requires the Java runtime environment to be installed but it’s pretty simple to use:

  1. Visit Can you run it?
  2. Type in a game, or select one from the drop-down list.
  3. Click on the Can you run it? button.
  4. Can you run it? tells you whether you can run it. Or not. Any why.

Genius!  Within a few seconds I was given the good news that Battlefield 2 will run successfully on my laptop.  And what’s more it will do so at a pretty high spec.

I also discovered that it will not run Call of Duty 4, isn’t entirely sure about Lego Star Wars or Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts and hasn’t even heard of Heaven & Hell.

It’s alive!

Laptop with PC on a desk.
My PC is back up and running — it’s the double-monitor wonder to the right of the laptop.

It would appear that my PC had completely burned out the CPU as after an evening of educated tinkering beneath my desk — and no, that’s not a euphemism — my PC is alive once more.

Eager to tell someone I fired up Windows Live Messenger and chatted with my good friend Simon.

Gareth: Hey! Great news! My PC is alive again.

Simon: It’s alive. It’s aliiivvveeee! Very good news. Not as good as the news that Jesus died for your sins, but a close second.

A fair point, I suppose, all things considered.

So now my PC is back up and running, which is great news. But I’m still feeling a little cautious around it, wondering if it will fail on me again.

I imagine that it’s a bit like when you’ve been invited to an important and prestigious ball by your girlfriend, and you spend ages getting ready, and it’s quite a big deal and you arrive and everything is going well and you’re meeting loads of great people and the food is good and you’ve having a great time — in fact you are literally ‘having a ball’ — but then you get separated from your girlfriend but it doesn’t matter because you trust her and she trusts you and you get involved watching some entertainment, but then the entertainment ends and you go looking for your girlfriend and you discover her in a darkened room with another boy. And they are kissing. And then the next morning in the light of day you’re not quite sure if you do trust her any more, even though nothing has actually changed. Apart from the kissing another boy bit. I imagine that it might be a bit like that. I guess.

Only time will tell. That and good ventilation.