Gradual Epiphany

On the Importance of Being Entish

If you’ve read the “Lord of the Rings”, you know that there is one part which talks about tree-like beings — ents. A characteristic that Tolkien attributed to ents was extreme patience. Personal experiences with my home computer of late have taught me that such patience can be overrated. :)

About four weeks ago, my desktop machine (P4 2.4GHz) suddenly froze while using Linux. I rebooted it, only to find that it would no longer POST. After a good deal of diagnosing, I determined that the motherboard and/or processor was no longer functional. Being the impatient person I was, I decided to try a new (faster) processor, so I rushed out and bought a P4 Prescott 2.8GHz chip. That didn’t remedy the problem, and I realized how hasty I was being, so over the course of the next 2 days I got an RMA number from Asus and shipped the motherboard back to them.

Three weeks later, I get the motherboard back from Asus. I decide to start out with my old chip and see if it’s working again. No go. Thinking the CPU must have died, I decide to try the new CPU — it gets farther but still no POST. A call to ASUS turns up nothing of interest — their diagnostics passed — it must be my CPU (or some other component). I eventually take the motherboard and processor to a local shop and have them try one of their own CPUs (for a price, I might add) — still nothing. I tried and tried to avoid acting hastily (after the initial reactive buy) and spending money on a new motherboard/cpu, but this is starting to get ridiculous. So, three and a half weeks into the ordeal, I realize that being “entish” is overrated. So I order up a new motherboard/processor and one week later I have a functional computer…finally.

My P4 lasted about 1.75 years and in the past 3 months had been hanging periodically for no apparent reason. My new processor is an AMD64 — it’s wicked fast. It also runs a lot cooler than the P4 and has some nifty powersaving features, wherein it auto-throttles down (from 2.2G –> 1.0G) when not in use. In general, this means my office is significantly quieter and cooler, but the system seems everybit as responsive. Intel could take a page from AMD’s book.

By the way, I have a new, but opened, 2.8GHz Prescott CPU that I no longer need. Drop me a line if you’re interested in acquiring it. :)