#AtoZ2016 : R Is For Relax

It’s a Friday night. And I’m having some fun, relaxing after my day at work. There are people who think my way of relaxing isn’t that fun. But that’s their problem. See. I’m a geek. Not an uber-geek. Just a geek.

To me, relaxing is looking at computer parts, especially when the boss has said I can purchase them. And today, she said I could buy them. So I did. I went shopping at NewEgg (http://newegg.com). And I wiped out $200.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had so much fun on a Friday night. As I shopped for my computer parts, I could feel the stress of my day fall away.

For those wondering, I didn’t order a whiz-bang, high end anything. I went with, “This is more than good enough for what I use my computer for.” I don’t play video games. So, getting a system that could play such games wasn’t what I was looking for.

I write. And I watch youtube music videos. On rare occasions, I’ll watch a DVD movie on my computer, but usually, I watch movies on a TV set. DVDs on the 32 inch set in the bedroom. And bluray discs on the old as the hills projection TV downstairs, or the 40 inch set in the loft. And now, I’m starting to watch Hulu some, on that 40 inch set.

Typically, when I purchase computer parts I plan on using them until they stop working, or until I have to give up, and upgrade. The computer I’m using right now is the result. It’s a new case and power supply, purchased in March. It’s got an nVidia GT-730 graphics adapter, purchased a year ago. The system is running Windows 10 Pro, purchased when Windows 10 Pro became available.

The processor is ancient. An AMD Athlon X2 4050e that tops out at 2.1 GHz, and has two cores. If you look for this processor chip online, you probably won’t find it. AMD hasn’t made it in years. The motherboard is also ancient, having been assembled in January of 2009. It has no support for SATA 3, or USB 3. It only has two PCIe slots, one PCIe x 1 slot, and one PCIe 2.0 x 16 slot. The RAM is PC2-6400 and tops out at 400 MHz, and the system only supports 4 GB of memory.

So, tonight, I relaxed, and did some online shopping. It was fun. I ordered three items. The first was the processor, as that would drive which motherboard, and which RAM I got. I’ve been debating which processor to get for several months, and tonight, I finally made a decision.

I purchased an AMD Athlon X4 870k, based on AMD’s Godavari processor architecture.The chip does not include integrated graphics. Given I already have the nVidia GT-730 graphics adapter, this isn’t a problem for me.

With the processor selected, I chose the motherboard. The AMD processor required an FM2+ socketed motherboard. The case I own required a micro ATX form factor motherboard. I wound up selecting an MSI A68HM-GRENADE, with an FM2+ processor socket. The Athlon X4 870k should plug into the motherboard with no problem.

With the processor and motherboard selected, all that was left was the RAM. I wanted more than 4 GB, and while I know, statistically, 8 GB is more than enough, I decided to move to 16 GB. The 870k processor, and the motherboard both support DDR3-1866 RAM. So, I picked out a 16 GB RAM kit made of two 8 GB modules. The G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB kit, model F3-1866C10D-16GAB.

It’s been a while since I was able to relax like I did tonight. Most of my Friday nights are spent trying to wind down from work, and get ready for bed. Tonight was fun. And I got to relax.


It’s April 22nd, and I’m a still one day behind on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. I expect to catch up on Sunday. Only 8 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.