In the past week or so, I purchased a new PC! It is kind of a departure for me, because this computer is much different than any other computer that I have bought in my lifetime. And, believe me, in my lifetime I have bought a lot of PCs too! What is so different about this PC? Well, a lot of things, and I’ll be telling you about that later in the article.
It all started out with my old laptop, a Compaq laptop that was only about 18 months old, or so. I started having problems with it. The monitor was starting to give out on it. If I touched the monitor, the screen would go white. Because I make my living on the Internet, I cannot afford to go even a few days without a computer. Because of this, my wife told me to go buy a new computer when it was my birthday last week. So, not wanting to disobey my wife (!), I rushed out to get a new PC.
I ran into some problems buying a new PC, which I wrote about on my other blog, click the link to read about that. As it turned out, the big local PC dealers were not helpful, and few of them had anything that I really wanted to buy. At that time, I decided to try a small local computer store that I had not visited in years. About 5 or 6 years ago, I bought a Shuttle PC at a little shop called “PC Shack” in Uyanguren, also known as Chinatown here in Davao. PC Shack was a very small, very local Mom & Pop type store. They treated me well when I went there 5 years ago, but I had not really gone there regularly over the years. But, last week, I visited there again, and I’m glad I did.
Actually, as it turned out, I discovered that PC Shack had “bit the dust,” sort of. They had been bought out by a company out of Manila called “Qube”. The sign still said PC Shack, but the stuff inside all said Qube. As it turned out, I was very glad that I went to Qube. They had a number of PC’s that interested me.
I saw a new form factor of PC that really caught my eye quickly, it is called a “USFF” PC, which stands for Ultra Small Form Factor. This USFF PC runs on a dual core Intel Atom processor. The Atom is the processor that runs the new little “netbooks” and “net-top” desktops. I liked this one because it was a dual core Atom, so more powerful, but still efficient, cool operating, etc.
In the past, I have always been a “power guy” when it came to PC’s. I wanted the fastest, most powerful PC that could be bought, and I was willing to pay a premium price to get the best. Now, I still want a good quality PC, but I want only the power that I need. I am not a “power user” to be honest. Most of what I do is just stuff on the Internet, and a few other minor things. I do some light photo editing work with Gimp Image Manipulation program, and the most power hungry thing I do is Video editing, but I do that only rarely. When I started thinking about getting an Atom powered PC, I was worried if it could really handle my needs or not. In fact, I held off for a number of days trying to decide if the Atom was really right for me or not. In the end, I talked to several friends who have similar power needs as I do, and they told me that they are able to do it on an Atom based PC, so I took the jump.
I sure am glad that I gook the plunge too, because I love my little Atom USFF PC! It’s great. Here are the Specs of the PC that I purchased:
- Intel Atom Dual Core 330 1.60GHz
- nVidia MCP7A-ION Chipset
- Integrated nVidia ION
- 2GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
- 320GB Mobile SATA Hard Disk Drive
- Internal Card Reader
- Wireless Lan
- HDMI 1080p FULL HD Support
Overall, all I can say about this PC is that I love it. It’s so tiny, so efficient. It runs very cool, the case rarely even feels very warm. Although I can’t really verify this, it is said that it uses 90% less electricity than a “regular” PC too, which is cool.
Another thing I learned in the experience of buying this PC is that I enjoy dealing with a small Mom & Pop type operation too. One thing that I enjoyed about that was that it gave me a chance to use my Bisaya skills. I think that if I did not speak Bisaya, I would have had a difficult time buying this machine, because the clerks there had a bit of a tough time speaking English. At first, I tried to speak English with them, but when I switched to Bisaya, the purchase went a lot smoother and more friendly too! I enjoyed it. I’ll be buying at Qube again too, you can bet on that!