Those who’ve been reading this blog for any length of time know I’ve been fighting with a balky, or perhaps blighted, production PC for some time now. I upgraded this machine to Windows 7 in early August in hopes that it might help with chronic instability issues. Since then, results had been mixed with reliability index values fluctuating between 4.8 and 7.0 or thereabouts (in Windows 7 it’s kind of hard to tell because the Reliability Monitor no longer reports numeric values for that index, so you must eyeball it from the scale at the left of the graph). But over the past 10 days my system has experienced what mathematicians call a “montonically increasing” pattern, which translates into plain English as “upward and onward.”
I can’t tell if I’m at a 10.0 value, or simply approaching that value, but this is probably the highest reliability index I’ve ever seen on this machine. And of course, that raises a very interesting question: should I just leave this machine alone and keep on going with what I’ve got, or should I tear it down and install the processor and other components on the new Asus P5Q3 motherboard I ordered a couple of weeks ago to replace the Gigabyte P35T-DQ6 motherboard that’s currently in there (I had also planned to move the system into a bigger, better-ventilated Antec 900 case, and use an SSD for the boot drive)? I’m mindful of the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — we are talking about my production machine after all. But then, I start to recall all the aggravation and heartbreak this machine has caused me in the past year, and wonder if this isn’t just a lull between storms.
I’m probably going to sit tight for a while because I’ve got to build a machine for my wife, for whom I just bought a barebones compact system built around an MSI Core 2 Duo Mobile motherboard (945GME1 mini-ITX model) and a Morex 150-Watt compact mini-ITX case with an Intel Core Duo T2300 processor (1.66 GHz). I’ve got SO-DIMMs out the ying-yang, and a 5,400 RPM SATA 2.5″ 160GB drive scavenged from my MSI notebook ready to install in that unit. I think I’ll do that system first, and also install my new Samsung monochrome laser printer, and use that interval to see if the good behavior from my production system is a glitch or the real thing. And if it ain’t broke, I may very well NOT fix it, but may take advantage of sub-$200 prices on Core 2 Quad Q8XXX CPUs to build a new test system re-using the case and power supply from my wife’s now-retired Sempron 3200+ system that gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago.
More on this as the situation develops. Tell you what, though: I’ll be astonished if my production system has finally settled down. We’ll see…