Friday, March 29, 2013

Dream Chess PC

Posted by Andrew Ooi
With the proliferation of tablets and mobile devices, the good old PC has taken a back seat. Even chess players are using mobile devices more for chess. However, the mobile chess apps are far from being mature and are used only because they are convenient and we are lazy to carry out heavy notebooks around.

Don't get me wrong, I am also an avid mobile supporter with my last 2 purchases being the iPad 3 and Samsung S3. I don't even have a desktop!

However, I now feel the need to have a powerful desktop PC at home to take advantage of the cheaper and more powerful CPUs that has come out recently. I want a PC that has crazy number of CPU cores (multicores) so that chess engines are kept happy and perform their best. So nothing less than a quad core! The above is the first to go up on my list for the Dream Chess PC. It's over a thousand but it's quite powerful to be used for chess engines.

If you really want a budget system you can get a dual core instead and below is @ RM 599. It's still miles stronger than any chess engine running on your tablet.

Of course getting a desktop PC means it's not mobile and anchored at home but internet coverage improving, working remotely means you can leverage the powerful desktop processing power from wherever you are as long as you have internet.

So the next thing I would get to complement the Dream Chess PC is remote control software. I have been using "Team Viewer" which is so far the easiest and the most convenient to use (not to mention FREE!) software. With this you can send in chess games or positions to be analysed to death at home by powerful engines wherever you are. Results collected remotely too after you left the chess engines to crunch the position. No need to use the watered down chess engine on the iPad or Android. For serious analysis you need a PC!

There are many other remote control software out there. Leave a comment if you have used a better one than Team Viewer.

Also if you have the extra dough, a 8 core processor (like the above system) is sweet.

All the desktop PC's are taken off the price list of IT Hypermart but it is representative of the systems you can get for that price. Just browse along Low Yat plaza and you'll similar priced desktops.

Lastly using mobile devices means staring at tiny screens. Getting home I would love a bigger monitor, at least 24"-27" LCD.

Of course if you are a really strong chess player you'd probably better off shelling off for some seriously powerful notebook to travel around chess tournaments. The budget for such systems would easily RM 4000 and above - double the price a similarly spec desktop.