Don’t Laugh – New Computer Coming to Bourassa Central (*3rd* time’s a charm?)

In the saga that will not seem to end…

I did receive my computer from CyberPower PC pretty much on time. There was a week delay when I decided to wait for the memory that I wanted which had been backordered. They kindly gave me a nice rebate for the delay which they really didn’t have to do but I appreciated the effort.

However, I ended up having some problems with the unit which culminated in my getting up one morning, after spending 20+ hours configuring it and actively using it, where the raid array had simply failed.

After troubleshooting, the tech decided the only thing left to do was to reinitialize the raid array and start from scratch. At that point I balked. I had purchased a Raid-0+1 array to prevent EXACTLY that kind of issue. If you’re not familiar with this, in my configuration it meant that my reads and writes were performed to 4 disk drives simultaneously. About half of the information is written to each of a pair (the raid 0) which is supposed to provide a performance boost, then all that is duplicated (the Raid 1) so if one of the disks (maybe two if it’s the right disks) fail I have no worries.

When the actual raid array fails.. well.. you’re completely toast. The thing is that the Cyberpower tech was unable to diagnose exactly what had happened and could not offer any plausible guarantee that it would not happen again. Who knows, maybe there was a defect in the motherboard? Maybe there’s a bad battery someplace?

So I exercised my right to return the system.

All this is not without a cost. I can return the system but shipping costs fall to me. Unfortunately that worked out to $65 for the original shipment out and an additional $92 for the return trip to California. There is a great argument for buying locally 🙁

They received the computer just about two weeks ago (March 11) and I’m still waiting to see the refund. I’ll have to call them if I don’t hear by Wednesday.

Unfortunately I really was not able to find any local shops that would build me the system I wanted. It’s really very hard to find these folks since they do not seem to maintain any kind of web presence. The irony of a computer shop not being findable on the web is not lost on me.

So, I ended up going back to Dell’s Alienware. This time I’m being a bit more modest on the specs. I ordered the machine a couple of weeks ago and am anticipating that it will arrive tomorrow. At least that’s what the FEDEX site says.

So, again, here is what should be humming under my desk sometime this week.

Take a peek and let me know what you think. And yes, I know, everybody else in the world gets their computers cheaper than I can. Hell, somebody has to pay full price for you to get the deals. You’re welcome.

You’ll notice that I only have the single disk drive now. I picked up a 1.5 Terabyte drive for the machine that this one is replacing and will be backing up to that. I also went with less ambitious memory, mostly because it wasn’t really an option at this level. I also am sticking with a single graphics card.

Alienware Aurora Desktop
Overclocked Intel Core i7 920 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)
12GB Triple Channel 1333MHz DDR3
Alienware MM Keyboard, US
Single ATI Radeon HD 5870, 1GB GDDR5
1TB – SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200RPM, 32MB Cache HDD
Lunar Shadow, Alienware Aurora Chassis, 875W PSU
Alienware 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
Genuine Windows 7 Professional, 64bit, English
DataSafe Local BackUp 2.0 Basic
PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
Accessory Kit, Aurora, Eng
Dell Resource DVD with Application Backup
Alienware Optical Mouse, MG100
AlienFX Color, Plasma Purple
Single Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Alienhead Glow
Dell Limited Hardware Warranty 7X24 Technical Support, Initial Year
Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus In-Home Service [after Remote Diagnosis], Initial Year
In-home Service after Remote Diagnosis, Initial Year
No Warranty beyond 1 year
1 Year Limited Warranty and Next Business Day,Desktop
Alienhead Chrome Red
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling3

So there you have it. Maybe this time it will stick?

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