Blink and It’s Done

I was saddened to learn my five or six year old computer couldn’t upgrade to Windows 11. So I bit the bullet and built a new one.

That sounds hard but it’s not. “Building” boils down to “snap together a bunch of stuff”. Granted, there is a learning curve. But it’s on the level of learning to make fresh pasta with a KitchenAid mixer. The downside of doing something wrong can be a bit more expensive, though.

When you build your own you get to pick exactly what gets installed. Since prices have continued to fall for most of this stuff1, I opted to go high-end: AMD Ryzen 5950X 16 core CPU, Gigabyte Aorus Elite motherboard, 32GB of very fast memory, 3TB of very high speed solid state drives. Along with my first ever white case. Which has three fans in it — not counting the two on the CPU cooler and the two on the graphics card — because cases don’t have bays for optical drives anymore. Yes, it’s a gaming rig. Even though I don’t play video games.

But I may have to start. Just to give the system a chance to live up to its potential. It’s kind of kicky seeing the CPU struggling to get above 5% utilization (I did manage to hit 30%, for a few seconds, the other day).

In fact, the system is so fast things don’t happen so much as they blink into existence. The first time I compiled a decently-sized programming project (inside Visual Studio 2022, a great upgrade) I thought the keyboard shortcuts had failed. So I kept hitting them again and again. Until I finally realized compilation was taking place, just so quickly I hadn’t noticed it happening.

And Windows 11, the trigger for all this? It’s great! It’s more responsive (even on the same hardware), looks nicer and is better organized. The latter being an advantage for the vast majority of users. Even if it does complicate things sometimes for power users struggling with “where in the heck did Microsoft stick Obscure Setting X this time?” Recommended.


  1. except graphics cards; those are all hunting bitcoins in Outer Mongolia 

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