Home Lab Needs Replacing…

So this evening I decided to hook up my second monitor to my Dell Dimension E520 that has a Q6600 processor and 8 GB of DDR2 RAM and 1 TB of hard drive space spread out across two drives.  Things seemed to be working nicely with Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 edition running as the core operating system.  I decided, “Why not change over to Windows XP Professional x64?”  That’s when the problems began.

Not only is the PC not rebooting properly, but I’ve hit a BSOD after running the Windows updates.  I’m uncertain as to if this is the OS not understanding how to start up in S3 or if it’s something else.

So the Desktop is having some issues – not good for any of the virtualization work that I need to do…

Onward to my Dell Latitude D820 with T7600 processor with 4 GB of RAM that I’ve had for about 1.75 years now.  The battery unfortunately lasts all of about 8 minutes before it dies.  Unfortunately CompleteCare from Dell doesn’t support the degredation of battery, only the core PC and its components that were procured in the original purchase.  Something seems not so complete about the care Dell, what’s up with that?

Lastly, I’m curious as to whether or not to buy the 2408 Dell Ultrasharp monitor – Full HD…

So where does this lead me?  I ponder, Vostro, yes, no?  I also ponder replacing this D820 with a Latitude E6400.

With the economics of the current time that we live within of course I’m wondering if I should just sit and wait on the upgrades for my home lab… perhaps Windows Vista Ultimate x64 will fix some of the problems with the E520.  Unfortunately the battery in the D820 looks like it will be a constant battle of finding a power outlet.

Q6600 Upgrade and RAM… lots of RAM…

A few weeks ago I happened upon Dell’s support manual for the Dell Dimension E510.  I was doing a little investigative research to check out how much RAM they supported and scratched my head when I saw that they supported 8 GB of RAM.  How could this be?  My Dell Dimension E520 only supports 4 GB, or at least that’s what the Dell manual states.

After a little more investigation, and looking at Intel’s G965 Express Chipset tech documents, it appears that Dell’s documentation is lacking as the chipset will support 8 GB of RAM and will support various quad core processors as well.

So what did I do?  I upgraded from my Intel E8400 Core 2 Duo Dual Core 2.13 GHz Processor to an Intel Q6600 Core 2 Duo Quad Core 2.4 GHz Processor.  Oh, and for kicks, I upgraded from 4 GB of RAM to 8 GB of RAM and installed Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard Edition as the core operating system.  Needless to say, it’s screaming.

What’s next on the shopping list?  Samsung SpinPoint F1 750 GB 32 MB Cache SATA II hard drives… it’s time to ramp up the space that’s available to work with Virtual Machines.

Where does these lead me?  Basically it provides a decent platform to be able to actual do some real testing and code development for a few different things that have been mulling around in the back of my head for the past few months.

We’ll see how this ends up working out… I think I might prolong procurement of any Mac products for the foreseeable future.