AMD FX-8350 4Ghz Black Edition and all the trimmings

I don’t really like building computers because I have this horrible fear I will make the wrong connection hit the power and there will be sparks, smoke and tears. I have no problem tearing machines apart, but that motherboard makes a touch nervous. I’ve only built two machines previously and both of those were done under adult supervision.

But today that changes…

Today I put the finishing touches on the fastest machine I’ve ever built. While this won’t be considered a hardcore by many standards, I brought to bare some pretty decent parts. For the heart is the AMD FX-8350 Black Edition with 8 cores running at 4Ghz. I coupled that with 32GB of RAM. AMD has been my choice for my last three machines and I’m going for it again.

I’ve decided to use an NVidia GTX 630 video card, an LG DVD burner and an LG Blu-Ray Burner. I also added 2 x 3TB Seagate Barracuda drives and a 120GB SSD drive. It’s all wrapped up in a pretty hefty Silverstone case running Windows 7 Professional. I need Pro for the 32GB of ram. It’s good to still be in the biz and get your hands on a copy.

And what do I plan to do with this rig? Well, it’s sole intent in life was so that I could play Pac-Man and Asteroids. Mission Complete.

Actually, besides the answer of any damn thing I want to do with it, it was built to handle Virtual Machines. I need to run Windows Server 2008 (2013) and Exchange Server 2010 (2013). I will probably run some games on it, just to see how it works, but it’s main function in life will be to serve as a lab.

Since I have the Dell XPS 8300 6-core machine with 16GB of ram, I plan to run a couple machines of that as well and have the two systems talk to each to simulate different sites or just multiple machines within an environment. That XPS 8300 has been running a virtual instance of Windows Server 2003 for quite some time without any issues. It’s been a solid workhorse, but I plan to squeeze a little more out of it soon. There are MCP exams I need to pass. You know, review time is coming up, time to justify my existence.

Some may ask, why doesn’t this machine have Windows 8?

I went with Windows 7 for two simple reasons. One, I don’t like Windows 8. Not at all. Not in the least. To say it’s hideous would be kind. It will be part of my life in the near future, but I will hold that off for as long as possible.

Second, I don’t have Windows Server 2008 at my disposal. If I did, I would have gone that route and used Hyper-V to get better performance and memory management. Server 2008 might be a possibility by the end of the year, but it’s not here now so I have to go with what I have.VirtualBox will serve my needs and let me run multiple machines at the same time. These aren’t production boxes. They are meant to be beaten senselessly and undergo rather bizarre experiments all in the name of science.

But so far this build has gone exceptionally well. The case has plenty of room and includes 10 drive bays. There are plenty of fans to keep things running smoothly and the 8 Cores of the FX-8350 are shockingly fast. I haven’t done any benchmarking or even loaded up enough software to tax the system. That time will come. For now, only the essentials have been installed. I plan to keep this system stripped down and running as fast as possible. My 4-core Dell Inspiron will continue to be my workhorse and handle a great deal of the mundane tasks. I plan to keep buying drives for that like I’ve always done. If anything, I will remove some of the software of that machine and turn those duties over to the new one. Working with images using 8-cores should work out quite nicely.

Just as an aside, all the parts came from Amazon. They have a pretty impressive catalog of parts and the two day shipping is hard to beat. The case was ordered first, then everything came that same day or the next day. That gave me plenty of time to assemble it over the weekend and make sure no sparks would fly and the smoke wouldn’t get out of the box.

Now that I have it, I just have to come up with something awesome to do with it.

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