** Updated at 8:36:48 on 2005/07/02 **
I thought I killed the old desktop computer last Friday or was it Saturday. Bought a 256MB RAM stick to add to a 128MB 933MHz P!!!. Ended up detecting only 256MB, so after playing around with the position of the sticks I decided to do a BIOS update after all the motherboard supported an option to update the BIOS throught Windows and it even had a backup option. Everything was easy especially since it detected that there was only 1 possible option for the update as it was an Internet BIOS update where it retrieves the latest BIOS from the Gigabyte servers. So thinking I had nothing to lose I decided to format it.
Flashing and programming went fine though I was nervous being the first time I ever flashed a BIOS and hoping the power wouldnt cut out leaving a useless BIOS chip there and thus an almost useless computer. So reboot the computer to be greeted by a few BIOS beep codes. Thinking “oh crap, now what’s gone wrong” I go look for the translation of the error code. It corresponded to a graphics error, so I check that the graphics card was properly in place but still gave the same beep code. Worse part was that it had 2 extra beeps that did NOT seem to be mentioned in any website that I referred to for the BIOS beep codes. Even tried changing the graphics card with an old 1. So I thought that maybe the BIOS update compeletly screwed up. So obviously I was in a bad mood.
So kind of gave up on it and decided to start looking for parts to build a computer for my bro. So when he converts over to that computer I can get his 80gb laptop hard disk for myself :P So I can finally dual boot Windows and Linux in peace, hopefully :D Anyway realising I don’t really know much about building a computer I go research up on it. The hardest thing is custom building a computer here. First of all most of the prices are so high compared to Singapore but what do you expect? Then looking at which graphics card to possibly get. Bro said he wanted to be able to upgrade the computer later on so I was planning to get a P4 with a motherboard based on the latest 775 Socket. Pondering over DDR2 support as well. PCI Express graphics card obviously as well. Then looking at the prices… ahhhhhhhhh
Tom’s hardware helped be a lot and I especially liked the following articles
Benchmarks: PCI Express Graphics Cards | AGP Graphics Cards. These are pretty good comparisions for a whole lot of graphics cards, based on the standard GPUs.
The Mother of All CPU Charts Part 1: Basically telling the history of how the CPU and its sockets changed over the years.
I admit I should know most of these, as I am a Computer Engineer but I guess my main dislike for reading gets to me… Aaaaaahhhhh. Well anyway its not too late to learn now is it? :D
Anyway back to the story. So it was Thursday night that I actually dawned on me. I thought that the BIOS was dead, but then why was it giving beep codes!!! That must mean that the BIOS was alive just something was wrong. Then another light bulb lit up and thought that it could have been trying to display the video on a PCI slot as the graphics card I had installed on it was an AGP one. Found a graphics card courtesy of my dear dear :D She gave me her old computer after I got her sister a $200 laptop (P4 1.6Ghz 256MB). No I did not buy this laptop at a black market of anything, my friend was willing to give it to me but I thought I should at least pay him so $200 it was. Anyway put the PCI graphics card in and viola the computer booted up to display an error message!!! One of the rare times I was happy to see an error message. The BIOS was still kind of screwed up based on the fact that it did not boot the computer as it was supposed to so I decided to flash the BIOS back to the working version. After doing that now I hesitant to even flash another BIOS.
Man what an experience. But my learning of computers did not end there. After my bro started installing a few things he wanted he tried to see if Sims 2 would play on the computer. It did play though slightly laggy. So I thought I would try use my ATI 9600 pro on main house computer to see if it could perform better. This is when I found out there are more to AGP slots as well. 3.3V slot on the old computer with my new ATI graphics card which supports 1.5/0.8V (AGP compatibility). I tried to use the new computer RAM on this old computer as well thinking it was backward compatible just to realised, just like the graphics card that it would not fit. Man I should really read more.
So read more I did and found out that the RAM I got was a double sided RAM that was not supported on all motherboards and apparently not mine either as it was detecting only half of the value. So I finally just went back to try to change my RAM only to find out there is no single sided RAM in stock so ended up getting 512MB RAM for the main desktop computer giving it 768MB RAM which should be good for my gaming :D If I get the time to actually play…. Ahhhhh
Anyway I better go off to get the PROPER PC133 256MB single sided RAM for my bro so I can get my 80gb :P