Moving to Blu-Ray

I decided that it is time to move to Blu-Ray.

My current (old) TV and receiver do not support high definition. However, my Dell U2410 LCD monitor does support 1080p high definition so I choose to get a Blu-Ray drive for my home PC.

I choose the LG BH12LS35 12X Blu-Ray Burner. It will compliment my existing Samsung SH-S203B DVD-RW burner. The Blu-Ray burner is on order and should arrive in a few business days from RB Computing.

I also chose to upgrade my video card. My current card, a Sapphire Radeon HD3870, was fine for my current usage, but it did not have HDMI out. It did support a DVI to HDMI converter, but I thought it doesn’t hurt to move to a newer card anyways. My HD3870 was 3 years old.

I selected the Sapphire Radeon HD6950 2GB GDDR4 as the replacement. It is the mid-range of the new AMD HD 6900 series.

I benchmarked my HD3870 before I removed it, using the Unigine benchmark tool.

Antec P182SE (Mirror edition)
Antec P182SE (Mirror edition)

Next, it was time to open the case. I have the wonderful Antec P182SE with a mirror-finish. It looks great, and it is so nice to work with. It has screwless access to almost everything, separate removable drive cages, cable organizers and even an interior light when working inside the case.

I had to remove my Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro to get access to the plastic PCIe lock on the motherboard. I pulled out the old card and went to put in the new card. Wow! The HD6950 is huge. I had to remove two hard drive rails from the middle drive cage to make room for the card. I connected up the two 6-pin power leads, reinserted the sound card and booted it up.

After checking that I had the latest drivers from AMD, I ran the Unigine benchmark again. My scores doubled compared to the older card. Very impressive.

I can’t wait for the drive to arrive. I’ve already bought my first Blu-Ray: IMAX: Hubble.

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