The i7 is Dead, Long Live the i7 (again)!

Screenshot of my old PC and my new one
On the right, my old PC from 2017. On the left, my new PC I purchased a few days ago

I got myself a new computer with a new i7! Well, new-ish as it's a 12th generation Intel processor and the 13th generation ones are already out, but only for a couple of months. So, I've had my old computer for over five years. 2017 was the same year that North Korea successfully tested its first ICBM, the Cassini-Huygens probe became the first spacecraft to enter Saturn's atmosphere and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" was released in cinemas. Most of the original hardware is still sitting in the case (I rarely change components up that much nowadays) with the only difference being an RX 6600 video card I jury rigged to the PSU (I had to get a 4 to 6-pin adapter to power the card). Here are the specs of the computer that I have left behind:

Gen 10 PC-417A (built 4 April 2017)

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 7700 (7th generation i7!)
  • Motherboard: ASUS PRIME B250M-A
  • RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance (2x8GB) DDR4 2400MHz
  • Hard Disk 1: Transcend SSD220 240GB SATA3 SSD (so small by today's standards)
  • Hard Disk 2: 1TB Seagate ST1000DM010 BarraCuda 3.5" 7200 RPM SATA3 64Mb Cache (Only had a 2 year warranty and I was uncertain about Seagates but I'm actually impressed it's lasted this long. Maybe they're not as bad as they used to be?)
  • Video Card: Radeon RX6600 8GB (For the longest time, I had a GeForce GTX 1060 3GB until getting a Radeon RX6600 a few months ago)
  • DVD Drive: LG GH24NSD DVD Drive (yes, until recently, I still had a DVD Drive!)
  • Case: Thermaltake V3 Plus Black Mid Tower Case
  • PSU: 500W Thermaltake PSU incl. with case (low by today's standards!)
  • OS: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit

So, what have I learned from this?

  • Seagate Hard disks aren't as bad as I thought. It's outlived the 2 year warranty and has lasted me 5 years.
  • That when your CPU starts becoming the bottleneck it's time to upgrade and just because you've got an i7, if it's an earlier generation, there can be quite a bit of difference in performance (this is the same reason I upgraded last time).
  • Just as it was with last time, I went through three different video cards across the life of the computer. Mind you, the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB that I only replaced a few months ago I had used in the computer prior to my old one too! So, despite using three different video cards with my last computer, I've been using the GTX 1060 for 5 years. Quite a powerhouse of a card then.
  • It looks like 5-6 years is now the sweet spot when it comes to buying a new rig.

Okay now onto the new computer specs:

Gen 11 PC-123A (purchased 20 January 2023)

  • Intel Core i7 12700 (12th generation i7!)
  • Motherboard: Acer B66H6-AD2 (Hardly any details on this. Could be an issue when trying to upgrade components)
  • RAM: 16GB Kingston Fury Beast (2x8GB) DDR4 3200 MHz (Same amount of DDR4 RAM as before)
  • Hard Disk 1: NVMe KINGSTON OM8PDP3512B-AA1 512GB SSD (A slightly larger SSD. I will still install games on the secondary hard disk by default, but games like Battlefield 2042 will be saved on this one)
  • Hard Disk 2: 1TB TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 3.5" 7200 RPM SATA3 64Mb Cache (never had a Toshiba hard disk and not sure if they're good quality. I guess we shall see. A quick Google search suggests it only has a two year warranty)
  • Video Card: GeForce RTX 3060 12GB (Not much better than what I already have but it should do.)
  • DVD Drive: None (I can always get a USB Optical Drive if I really need one down the line)
  • Case: Acer Predator Orion 3000 PO3-640
  • PSU: 500W PSU incl. with case (power supply seems a bit low again but hopefully will be enough in the long run)
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

So how was the process of switching to the new computer?

  • Relatively easy compared to last time (at least in terms of transferring things over and the initial setup). However, having three young kids meant I ended up spending the whole weekend transferring files and re-downloading things. I finally bit the bullet and associated my Microsoft account with Windows, instead of just running a local admin account like I used to. I hope I don't regret the decision! I had to end up disabling OneDrive though since it was actually affecting the performance of Battlefield 2042 (any game that saves files in My Documents triggers OneDrive to make backups which affects your Internet connectivity).
  • I spent a good deal of time trying to find save games to backup but in the end, most games use cloud saves nowadays so there wasn't any point in doing it, save for one game, a cat puzzle game my daughter plays called A Castle Full of Cats.

Unfortunately, although Battlefield 2042 was running pretty smoothly on the new machine (one of the primary reasons for getting it in the first place) only a couple of days ago I encountered some showstopper bugs that prevented me from playing a full game. When I tried to play the game, usually after a few minutes the audio would start to cut out, the framerate would drop and eventually I would be disconnected from the server with an error message telling me all players had been kicked due to the server shutting down (which is incorrect since my wife is still in the server with other players when this happens). However, I tried the game again last night and everything was fine, but I'm not sure if that's because I deleted the cache (as some Whirlpool Forums users recommended) or it's because of a new NVIDIA patch that came out yesterday. Anyway, I'm hoping the issues will eventually resolve themselves but I guess I'll just focus on other games if I come across them again..

Finally, it's worth mentioning that I wouldn't even have a new computer if it weren't for the generosity of my wife, parents and siblings. Thanks to all of you for the much appreciated Christmas present!