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Jeff Root
2007-Nov-15, 10:21 AM
I'm getting a whole new desktop computer RSN. The old
(1998) stopgap laptop I'm currently using is my first real
experience with an LCD screen. Based on what I saw in the
stores (lots of widescreen LCD monitors), it looks like
I'll probably get one in the range of 20-22 inches.

There were two obviously different types: matte screen and
glossy. The two salespeople I talked with liked the glossy,
and it did seem to have distinctly more brilliant, saturated
color. But the reflections...

Do you have opinions?

Brand/model recommendations? Things to watch out for?

Do the claimed contrast ratios make a difference in actual
viewing?

Do pixels often go bad? If one does, do I get a new monitor
at no additional charge?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Laguna
2007-Nov-15, 01:05 PM
Do I understand correct, you want a notebook with an 22" display?

Ah, no. On second though you are searching for a TFT display for your new desktop.

Well modern TFT display have very little if any bad pixels.
I am using a Fujitsu Siemens 17" display for over three years and I have no problems with bad pixels.

As for the glossy/matte displays.
Those glossy displays are great for multimedia utilizations . For standard office use a matte one would suffice.
Just keep your glossy display away from windows, bright lights and don't even think about to use it outdoors.

As for the size, it depends on what you want and what you can afford. But, good for you, recently 22" displays
are not much more expensive than the 19" types.

As for recommendations.
Top notch everything inside panel:
Acer AL2223W

If you are looking for great display quality for a good price and don't need build in speakers and any fancy at all:
LG L226WT

Captain Kidd
2007-Nov-15, 04:07 PM
If you are looking for great display quality for a good price and don't need build in speakers and any fancy at all:
LG L226WTI'll second that. The only complaint is that the 3000:1 ratio will blind you when you first turn it on. I've dialed it down to 70% and it still makes the 19" monitor that came with my computer look like the bulb's out (700:1 or something around that I think). It's a little slow to wake up from power save mode, but not too bad. Actually, my biggest problem is that Photoshop 7 doesn't recognize the monitor profile and the colors can get a bit squirrelly; mainly white is not quite white. I guess I finally need to fork out the money for a newer version.

Roving Philosopher
2007-Nov-15, 04:17 PM
On the bad pixel issue...

When I was researching LCD monitors, most of the warranties I saw required a certain number of pixels to go bad before they would replace it (as I recall it was usually 7).

DyerWolf
2007-Nov-15, 06:22 PM
May I recommend:
HardOCP (http://www.hardocp.com)
AnandTech (http://www.anandtech.com/)
and PriceWatch (http://www.pricewatch.com)

You can build a very powerful computer very easily for less money than you'll find in stores.

Also, the enthusiasts on HardForum are willing to advise (and even link to great prices) on various parts, etc. If you've never built your own computer: its easy - all you need is a phillips head screwdriver and a credit card. Its also fun!

--I don't know much about the displays, but you'll find some smart folks on the forums and I trust the reviewers...

Laguna
2007-Nov-15, 09:28 PM
I'll second that. The only complaint is that the 3000:1 ratio will blind you when you first turn it on. I've dialed it down to 70% and it still makes the 19" monitor that came with my computer look like the bulb's out (700:1 or something around that I think). It's a little slow to wake up from power save mode, but not too bad. Actually, my biggest problem is that Photoshop 7 doesn't recognize the monitor profile and the colors can get a bit squirrelly; mainly white is not quite white. I guess I finally need to fork out the money for a newer version.
The 3000:1 is only when no white is visible.
When any white is on the screen, the ratio drops significantly...

captain swoop
2007-Nov-15, 10:47 PM
For Toshiba, Dell and Apple there is a formula for working out warranty on dead pixels, it depends on the positioning and type of dead pixel.

If I was getting a PC I would buy a Dell if a laptop then a Dell or toshiba.
I favour a Mac myself .

I have Dell PC, a Mac G5 and a Dell laptop at mysdisposal.

I am a field service engineer weorking on Dell, Apple, Toshiba and IBM contracts so I speak from experience.

Most Flat diaplays seem to be either Phillips LG or Samsung inside. Toshiba use their owen panel of course.

I did a job on a Dell Lattitude 830 today the display panel is LG and strangely the internal fan is a Toshiba lol.

tbm
2007-Nov-17, 01:22 AM
Awesome computer with a small footprint:

http://www.apple.com/imac/

I have an Intel iMac 2.0. With OS X Tiger and Boot Camp with Windows XP 2000, there is hardly any software that I can't run on it. Truly 2 computers in one.

tbm

cjl
2007-Nov-17, 03:45 AM
It looks decent, as long as you aren't doing anything graphics intensive. Sorry, but the HD2400 and HD2600 do fall behind when it comes to something that is truly demanding of the graphics. Other than that and the grossly inflated price compared to building one yourself or even a current dell, it isn't too bad.

tbm
2007-Nov-17, 03:58 AM
It looks decent, as long as you aren't doing anything graphics intensive. Sorry, but the HD2400 and HD2600 do fall behind when it comes to something that is truly demanding of the graphics. Other than that and the grossly inflated price compared to building one yourself or even a current dell, it isn't too bad.

Ya, but I don't mind paying a litte more to scoff at the Windows virus thing and OS X is something that Vista is still trying to be. You get what you pay for.

At least I hope so.........


tbm

cjl
2007-Nov-17, 04:34 AM
Well, if you consider that OSX had more security holes than vista (though less than xp) during the same period after its release, I fail to see how it is more secure. I completely disagree actually about the "you get what you pay for" (other than novelty and the ability to feel smug about your computer compared to windows owners ;)) - I have had wonderful luck with Vista, and everything runs beautifully. When I actually configure an imac and a dell xps 420 desktop, I have to cringe at just how much more you pay to get the imac, even when the dell is configured with superior components. In fact, the dell needs to approach 1.5 times the speed before the prices become comparable. I'm not saying macs are inherently bad - I know many people who've had good luck with them - I would just have a heck of a time getting used to it, and seeing as windows based machines are cheaper, faster, and more compatible right now (more secure too IF they are used and treated right, but you definitely need to take a little more care of them this way - as much as anything because of their large market share), I don't see myself switching soon.

TrAI
2007-Nov-17, 11:06 AM
Well, if you consider that OSX had more security holes than vista (though less than xp) during the same period after its release, I fail to see how it is more secure.

...

Now I do not really know much about Macs, but generaly the number of security flaws discovered over a certain time in a certain piece of software is not a good metric for the security of that software.

tbm
2007-Nov-17, 03:11 PM
I have been using Macs for 20 years and OS X for the last 2. I have yet to have been affected by any virus (at least on my computer). I can't remember how many times in the last year my PC at work has either been infected by or has needed interventions for virus or spyware infection.

BTW, check out the Leopard preview at the Apple site. A little lengthy, but does a nice job of highlighting it's features.

tom

JustAFriend
2007-Nov-17, 03:33 PM
I have owned both Macs and PCs since 1984; NEVER had a virus on a Mac.

Nice thing about the new Macs is that you can run BOTH osx and xp on 'em. Best of both worlds (and PCMagazine found the fastest XP machines are Intel Macs...)

In the PC world, I've had great luck with all the Gateway machines I've owned. Good quality.

Jeff Root
2007-Nov-22, 12:13 PM
Looking up info on the monitors you suggested led to looking at
Samsung monitors online, and I found three models that appear
to be promising. Their prices at Best Buy:

2232BW $330
226CW $360
245BW $450 (Sale price, $50 off through Saturday)

The 226CW has a glossy screen and probably glossy casing --
I'm not sure about the other two. I don't want a glossy casing
and I'm undecided whether reflections will destroy the advantage
of the glossy screen.

I have room for the 24" screen but don't know if I need it or if
the additional cost over a 22" is worth it. I can imagine putting
such a screen in a public display (behind a glass window if I let
it run unattended), but chances are I wouldn't be willing to do
that with my own personal monitor for more than a day. I have
done that several times in the past with previous computers,
for example a Space Quiz I wrote ran on my Commodore Plus4
at several Spaceweek displays and science fiction conventions.

Any comments? If I go for the 24" monitor, I'll have to decide
by Saturday morning, so prod me now or it will be too late.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Laguna
2007-Nov-22, 12:22 PM
Bigger is always nicer but comes at a higher price.
Are 2" worth the additional $100?
That's a decision you have to make for your own.

I live well with my 19" screen...

As for your selection. I would decide for the 2232BW.
Even though I heard its a little unstable on its base.

Van Rijn
2007-Nov-23, 07:28 AM
I hadn't looked at the prices for monitors recently and was amazed at how much they dropped. I bought a 19" LCD some years ago for $650 and that was a bargain. I'm probably going to move up.

Jeff Root
2007-Nov-29, 12:54 PM
Haven't got anything yet.

Does it make a big difference in what I should be looking for if I want
to use the monitor as a TV? If so, what should I be looking for?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2007-Nov-29, 01:25 PM
Is there a good reason to get separate video and audio boards, or
are the integrated video and audio on the mainboard everything I
could possibly need?

The CPU will probably be a Core 2 Duo. Can I go with a lower CPU
speed than with previous, non-dual processors, yet get a higher
effective speed? So, for example, a 1.8 GHz Duo might be as fast
as a 2.5 GHz non-Duo CPU?

Does the FSB speed of the motherboard need to match that of
the CPU? So that if I want a 2.33 GHz CPU that has a 1.333 GHz
FSB, it needs to plug into a mainboard with a 1.333 GHz FSB?
Would I get a noticeable advantage from that combination over
a 2.13 GHz CPU with 1.066 GHZ FSB in a 1.066 GHz mainboard?

-- Jeff, inMinneapolis

Laguna
2007-Nov-29, 02:48 PM
The audio is usually ok, but don't expect Hi-Fi feeling.
Onboard video is another case.
For office use and sometimes a game at low resolution or with little detail they are ok. For HD-video and gamers get yourself a PCIe Graphics Card.

As for Clock speeds. This is a little more complicated that just GHz.
The new Dual- or Quad-Cores are new CPU design having more computing power/GHz and a lower energy consumption per core.
So a 1.8GHz Dual core might be as fast as a 2.5GHz single core or even a little faster. At least as long as only one core is used. Taking both cores would get the dual core in advance, but only, if both cores are used. Not too much, and only the latest, software is able to do that.
When using multiple applications at the same time, a dual/quad core will play its advantages.
Regarding an old P4 and the new C2D get the C2D E6600 the P4s are energy hungry beasts.

A faster FSB gets you a faster connection to your drives, RAM and Graphics card, so yes a faster FSB widens the bottleneck to those components and will result in a higher performance.

Jeff Root
2007-Nov-29, 03:22 PM
So a 1.8GHz Dual core might be as fast as a 2.5GHz single core or
even a little faster. At least as long as only one core is used.
It can be faster even though it's using only half its capability???



Taking both cores would get the dual core in advance, but only,
if both cores are used. Not too much, and only the latest,
software is able to do that.
Oh. The software has to be written to take advantage of the
dual processors? That sucks. It means that new software will
be bloated to consume the available processing power, but do
the same thing the old software did using twice the resources.



When using multiple applications at the same time, a dual/quad
core will play its advantages.
Ah. I suspect that this is an OS thing. The apps may not make
use of the dual processors, but the operating system does?



get the C2D E6600
Why the E6600 as opposed to the E6750 which has a higher
rated speed, higher FSB speed, and costs $15 less? I haven't
looked at the price of a motherboard for it yet. That might be
the reason.

Given that this is going into a mid-tower case, is there any
advantage to a microATX as opposed to ATX? I just noticed
that the motherboard picked out for me by a store salesperson
is micro rather than full size. (After reading the specs, I have
an unrelated reason for wanting a different board than the one
he picked.)

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Laguna
2007-Nov-29, 03:43 PM
It can be faster even though it's using only half its capability???
Yes, they are more efficient.


Oh. The software has to be written to take advantage of the
dual processors? That sucks. It means that new software will
be bloated to consume the available processing power, but do
the same thing the old software did using twice the resources.
Yes, the software has to be written to use multiple cores/Processors.
The usual application has only on task running...
New software would use multiple tasks to handle different functions.
Like say MS Word would start a new task to spool your 200 page document to the printer queue. The OS would then take the new task to run on its own core. Leaving you the other core to continue working.



Ah. I suspect that this is an OS thing. The apps may not make use of the dual processors, but the operating system does?
Its a combination of both. The applications must be able to use multiple tasks and the OS allocates them to the cores.



Why the E6600 as opposed to the E6750 which has a higher
rated speed, higher FSB speed, and costs $15 less? I haven't
looked at the price of a motherboard for it yet. That might be
the reason.
The reason is, that I am a little behind when it comes to Intel... :whistle:
So if the processor with a higher FSB and a higher clock value is cheaper,
get it.


Given that this is going into a mid-tower case, is there any
advantage to a microATX as opposed to ATX? I just noticed
that the motherboard picked out for me by a store salesperson
is micro rather than full size. (After reading the specs, I have
an unrelated reason for wanting a different board than the one
he picked.)
µATX Boards usually have less interfaces and features on it, as there is less space on it. You have to check if your case is able to contain an ATX board or only µATX. If you want another board, maybe because of missing features, get another one.

jamestox
2007-Nov-29, 09:04 PM
Laguna2 makes some terrific points. You may not want a microATX mb if you're planning on gaming or any other application where you'll want to add cards. MicroATX typically has one PCIe video slot and two PCI 2.0 slots, which means you can load up a video card (PCIe), say a premium sound card (PCI), and a 802.11n wireless card and you're done. No more slots for video capture or eSATA controller, etc. A full sized ATX mb is also easier to work with if you have to crack the case and add memory or work with cables - and since board components are a bit more spread out, full size boards can run a little cooler.

Of course, as Laguna2 pointed out - your current case size will determine which type of mb you'll be able to use.

cjl
2007-Nov-30, 06:33 AM
It can be faster even though it's using only half its capability???


Oh. The software has to be written to take advantage of the
dual processors? That sucks. It means that new software will
be bloated to consume the available processing power, but do
the same thing the old software did using twice the resources.

The software has to be written to use multiple threads. This does not mean that it will be bloated, simply that it will run in a different manner (and much faster). In addition, thanks to the new architecture, even the old software with only one thread will run faster than it did on the Pentiums.



Ah. I suspect that this is an OS thing. The apps may not make
use of the dual processors, but the operating system does?

Not really...

Instead, the CPU sees the multiple things running at once as multiple instruction sets to be carried out, exactly as multiple threads. It will run them simultaneously, rather than alternating the way an old one would.



Why the E6600 as opposed to the E6750 which has a higher
rated speed, higher FSB speed, and costs $15 less? I haven't
looked at the price of a motherboard for it yet. That might be
the reason.

FWIW, I wouldn't go for either. I would instead look at the Q6600, which is the best deal for the performance on any current CPU (in my opinon).



Given that this is going into a mid-tower case, is there any
advantage to a microATX as opposed to ATX? I just noticed
that the motherboard picked out for me by a store salesperson
is micro rather than full size. (After reading the specs, I have
an unrelated reason for wanting a different board than the one
he picked.)

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis
If you can fit a full ATX, there's no real reason not to. They tend to have more ports available, and have the components spaced farther apart (which will help with cooling). Of course, all this is decided by your case.

MentalAvenger
2007-Nov-30, 06:58 AM
It depends upon what you are going to use the computer for, but here are a few suggestions I have come up with over the years.

Dual monitors. At least. I had quad monitors for quite a while. I am restricted to two monitors due to current space limitation, but not for long. I could hardly work with a single monitor now.

Optical trackball. The only disadvantage is when you have to use someone else’s computer. Otherwise, an optical trackball is lightning fast compared to any mouse. Once you get used to it, you won’t go back to a mouse.

Ergonomic keyboard. The natural position for the hands is not parallel. having the hands at comfortable angles makes an huge difference. The only drawback is if you have to use someone else’s computer. You will feel cramped and wonder why they haven’t changed.

Laguna
2007-Nov-30, 09:15 AM
The cooling. How could I forget about the most important part. :eek: :doh:
Thanks guys for adding.

Jeff, µATX Boards are tiny. They are all packed up with stuff close together.
It will take you more powerful fans to keep the critical components of your board cool. And more fans and more powerful fans always means more noise.
If you don't care for the noise, go for µATX. If you are sure that you won't need any further extension cards to add fore functionality to your board, go for µATX. If you use your computer for office use only, no problem, go for µATX as your computer will mostly idle and the board will thus run on a reduced core tension producing less heat.

But if you are planning to play games, render videos, look DVD with your 24" TFT display and your added digital surround sound (and would like to enjoy the quiet, romantic, and subtle parts too besides the action parts), or, even worse, participate in some distributed computing projects with highly CPU optimized applications, get an ATX board (as long as it fits in your case).

Jeff Root
2008-Jul-22, 05:43 AM
Re-booting this thread. I need guidance.

I've been threatening to get a new desktop system RSN for a long,
long time. I've got to go ahead and do it. I tried looking for
info at Tom's Hardware but it just overwhelmed me. I'm easily
overwhelmed by decision trees which are both deep and wide.

My most demanding applications are likely to be graphics creation
and video editing. I know nothing of advanced gaming. Hopefully
I won't be drawn into that alternate universe. On the other hand,
I think I need to have TV, and would like to incorporate it into
the computer.

I'm open to suggestions on anything from build-it-myself to Mac.
Your comments so far have been very helpful!

One thing I still don't understand is the difference between
32-bit and 64-bit systems. I know that operating systems are one
or the other. I presume they require the corresponding processor,
yet I rarely see processors labeled "32-bit" or "64-bit".
Do I need 64-bit? Should I get it anyhow? Or is 32-bit fine?

I really want to avoid Microsoft if I can. I don't want to pay
MS for Windows Vista or XP, but I will buy a copy secondhand or
pirate one if necessary in order to run whatever software.
I have an Ubuntu (Linux) OS disk and plan to try that out.

Some hardware I'm considering:

Samsung 22" 2280HD 1680 x 1050 HDTV/monitor (many inputs) $450
or
Samsung 22" 2253BW 1680 x 1050 monitor (fast 2 ms) $330

Antec Sonata Designer 500 case with 500 W power supply $140
(This is "silver". I'd prefer beige/white/gray. Not black.)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5 GHz 1333 MHz FSB CPU $250
or
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz 1066 MHz FSB CPU $190
or
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz 1333 MHz FSB CPU $160

I don't know how much advantage multiple processors will be with
any particular software. I may prefer dual to quad if it uses
less power and requires less cooling.

Intel DP35DPM 1333 MHz FSB Quad motherboard - no video $120
or
Intel DG965WHMKR 1066 MHz FSB Duo motherboard with video $150

If the motherboard does not have video, I particularly need
advice on a video board. Boards with very similar model numbers
and specs can have very different prices. One bit of info that I
just got from a friend is most helpful: If my video is not being
computed in real time (as in games), I don't need a particularly
fancy video board.

I don't know much about RAM either, but this looks likely:

Crucial 4 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800 MHz $92

Recommendations on hard drives, DVD burner, or anything?
I want reliability over speed or size.

-- Jeff

Laguna
2008-Jul-22, 08:39 AM
For the 64 Bit part.
All current CPUs are 64bit.
Its the OS that has to support 64bit. If you need it.

The 32bit OS can only handle 3GB of RAM.
If you need more, you would need a 64bit OS.

For the DVD burner.
Every one has almost the same speed and reliability. There is almost no difference between the brands.

For the right HD. Thats religion and off topic here... ;-)
Everybody praises his brand to be the best while mostly they do not differe that much...
At least I have never experienced any difference.
For video editing make sure to get something big...

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 02:04 PM
hey
I just wanted to give the heads up.
Agencies are upgrading to new server systems and the old servers are available for nothing on ebay.
I picked up a Dell Precision 470 for 400 bucks
http://www.users.co.il/files/spec_precn_470_en.pdf



Up to two 64-bit Intel® Xeon® dual-core or single-core processors with 800MHz front side bus and 2MB L2 cache per core; All Intel® Xeon®
processors support 64-bit computing with Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology
Dell recommends Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional for Business
Genuine Windows XP Professional; Genuine Windows XP Professional x64 Edition;
Red Hat® Enterprise Linux WS v.4 (IA32); Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS v.4 (Intel EM64T)
Intel E7525 chipset
Up to 16GB1 dual-channel2 DDR2 400MHz ECC registered memory; Six DIMM slots
4MB flash memory for system BIOS; SMBIOS 2.3.1 support
Support for ISV-certified PCI Express graphics cards up to 150 watts and with up to 512MB graphics memory including: nVIDIA® Quadro® FX
4500; nVIDIA Quadro FX 3450; Quadro FX 1400; ATI™ FireGL™ V3100; nVIDIA Quadro NVS 280; All graphics cards support dual monitor
configurations


the one I got has 2 3.06 Ghz CPUs (hyper threading capable (shows 4 3.06 processors))
16 gigs of RAM (XP can only use 4 gigs (Physical Address Extension (PAE)) but the new 64 bit os will be able to access all of it when/if i feel like i would like to upgrade.
Windows XP professional Operating System with COA
SATA hard drives
SCSI connectors
Gigabit lan on board
and a NVIDA multi monitor card which is pretty much normal in these systems.


I am using 2 dual head monitor cards one PCI-E and one PCI
and am running 3 17 inch monitors and one 15 inch monitor

Supports PCI, PCI-e and PCI-x cards

the stuff that did not come with the machine

2 Samsung DVD burners,
5 TB of hard drive space.
firewire card
Analogue to digital Video converter by OSPREY (64 bit PCI-x capture card)
MOTU 2408 MK3 High resolution Audio interface.
Mackie 16X8 Mixing Console
Crown and QSC amplifier.
SONAR DAW
Adobe Audition

Regardless, look online for server systems as the old servers are being replaces and the old generation servers are needing good homes.
one can find a very powerful PC for very little money.
Cheers

cjl
2008-Jul-22, 04:00 PM
Re-booting this thread. I need guidance.

I've been threatening to get a new desktop system RSN for a long,
long time. I've got to go ahead and do it. I tried looking for
info at Tom's Hardware but it just overwhelmed me. I'm easily
overwhelmed by decision trees which are both deep and wide.

My most demanding applications are likely to be graphics creation
and video editing. I know nothing of advanced gaming. Hopefully
I won't be drawn into that alternate universe. On the other hand,
I think I need to have TV, and would like to incorporate it into
the computer.

I'm open to suggestions on anything from build-it-myself to Mac.
Your comments so far have been very helpful!

One thing I still don't understand is the difference between
32-bit and 64-bit systems. I know that operating systems are one
or the other. I presume they require the corresponding processor,
yet I rarely see processors labeled "32-bit" or "64-bit".
Do I need 64-bit? Should I get it anyhow? Or is 32-bit fine?


I would go with 64 bit. Note that all current hardware supports 64 bit, you just need an operating system that does too (I would get Vista 64, as XP X64 is horrendous for driver support)



I really want to avoid Microsoft if I can. I don't want to pay
MS for Windows Vista or XP, but I will buy a copy secondhand or
pirate one if necessary in order to run whatever software.
I have an Ubuntu (Linux) OS disk and plan to try that out.

Fair enough if you want Linux. However, do not pirate a copy of Vista (or XP for that matter). If I don't want to support Chevrolet, that is fine and I can go buy a Ford (or a golf cart, or a Volkswagen, or whatever), but if what I really want is a corvette, I can't steal one just because I don't want to support Chevrolet.



Some hardware I'm considering:

Samsung 22" 2280HD 1680 x 1050 HDTV/monitor (many inputs) $450
or
Samsung 22" 2253BW 1680 x 1050 monitor (fast 2 ms) $330

Antec Sonata Designer 500 case with 500 W power supply $140
(This is "silver". I'd prefer beige/white/gray. Not black.)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5 GHz 1333 MHz FSB CPU $250
or
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz 1066 MHz FSB CPU $190
or
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz 1333 MHz FSB CPU $160

I don't know how much advantage multiple processors will be with
any particular software. I may prefer dual to quad if it uses
less power and requires less cooling.


Duals are lower power and cooling, but for video editing and similar tasks, the quad core can be quite beneficial, and can speed it up quite a bit. I'd go for a Q9300 out of those. The Q9450 could be a good choice as well, as it has a larger cache.




Intel DP35DPM 1333 MHz FSB Quad motherboard - no video $120
or
Intel DG965WHMKR 1066 MHz FSB Duo motherboard with video $150

If the motherboard does not have video, I particularly need
advice on a video board. Boards with very similar model numbers
and specs can have very different prices. One bit of info that I
just got from a friend is most helpful: If my video is not being
computed in real time (as in games), I don't need a particularly
fancy video board.

Between those, I'd go with the DP35, as it has a P35 chipset, which is newer and supports more features than the older 965. As for video, what kind of budget do you have for a video card? There are benefits to a fast video card, though clearly a $450 GTX 280 would be a complete waste of money for you.



I don't know much about RAM either, but this looks likely:

Crucial 4 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800 MHz $92


That would be a good choice. If you go with a 64 bit OS, you could even consider 8GB, as the 64 bit can take advantage of the extra RAM, and the applications you mentioned tend to be memory hogs.



Recommendations on hard drives, DVD burner, or anything?
I want reliability over speed or size.

-- Jeff
For hard drives, Seagate 7200.10's are nice (the .11's aren't quite as reliable), or the Western Digital WD640AAKS (fast, 640GB, cheap, and quite reliable). I'm not as familiar with DVD burners, but I haven't had any problems with mine either.

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 04:53 PM
the newest Samsung WriteMaster SH-S202J burner is really nice. Fast, reliable, able to write and read anything short of blu-ray

I use 3 of them in my studio and i love them.

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 04:56 PM
as for set up.
In the audio world, it is common practice to have multiple hard drives with no partitions.

you have one main hard drive for your operating system and associated applications and the rest of the hard drives are for your data like video, audio and pictures.

this way, you don't get clips and drop outs as the computer accesses the system drive while writing data to the other hard drive.

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 05:08 PM
in general,
if you are using the computer to access the internet, do email and general photo maintenance, It really is not necessary to have a super computer. pretty much anything built after 2002 will be adequate. Max out the memory, re-image and update the OS to the current version and get a new hard drive. this will bring life into an old pc and let you keep it for a while.

If you are doing video editing or other high end data crunching applications like gaming or multi track audio recording or post production work, then it may be in your best interest to get a PC with multiple processors (dual core, quad core whatever...)
A 64 bit OS will really help to utilize the processing power and with the right configuration, the OS can support up to 128 Gigabits of RAM.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS v.4 (Intel EM64T) is a 64bit work station.
but as CJl suggested, you may run into issues with hardware support when using 64bit windows operating systems.

I use XP professional 32 and have had no issues with stability or anything.
I also stay away from microsofts internet explorer and use Firefox which helps keep my computer from opening applications that may have worms or virus.

it seems to me that IE just likes to open what ever.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-22, 05:17 PM
Here's what I'd recommend:

SLI (it's a type, not a brand) motherboard with 1000 Mhz FSB or better
1GB RAM
Intel Core Duo processor (duo-core is all you need unless your a die-hard gamer)
200GB SATA hard drive
decent graphics card (I like nVidia - about $150 will get you a nice one).

Monitor: Do NOT get a glossy monitor. It's a very rapidly passing fad, and for a reason - glare. They make LCD TVs playing movies in very dark living rooms look very good. For computer monitors, where you very rarely display something that's truly black, it's far more pain than help.

cjl
2008-Jul-22, 05:44 PM
I would NOT get an SLI board. They all use Nvidia chipsets, which run hotter and have more problems than the Intel boards. If you want a really good board, something like this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299) is nice - it has intel's latest P45 chipset, and supports CrossfireX (though you probably wouldn't use it). As for dual vs quad? I completely disagree actually - hard core gamers like duals, as most games can't use 4 cores anyways. For video or photo editing, music encoding, 3d work, or similar stuff, though, quad cores show a large benefit, and are well worth it (especially with how cheap they are now).

For graphics, if you can go with $150, an ATI HD4850 will blow away anything Nvidia has in the same price segment. I doubt you need anything that powerful though.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-22, 05:56 PM
That does seem like a decent board, cjl.

I have a few friends who're using SLI boards with dual cards (die-hard gamers) and none have reported any problems.

cjl
2008-Jul-22, 05:58 PM
The high end ones are all right, but in general, the intel boards seem to work better. Plus, the current high end Nvidia boards cost a small fortune...

I actually have an Nvidia based board (680i SLI), and I kind of wish I had gone with Intel instead. Intel also has much better RAID support.

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 06:14 PM
i like Tyan

http://www.tyan.com/
here is a really nice MB
http://www.tyan.com/images/systemboards/s4989.gif

supports four AMD Opteron™ Rev. F 8000 Series Dual-core/ Quad-core processors,

Thirty-two 240-pin 1.8-volt DDR2 DIMM sockets (eight on each CPU) Supports ECC Registe7 DIMMs Maximum of 128GB DDR2-400/533/667/800

http://www.tyan.com/product_board_spec.aspx?pid=619

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 06:19 PM
if you are an Intel guy,
this one is pretty nice
http://www.tyan.com/images/systemboards/s5397.gif
http://www.tyan.com/product_board_spec.aspx?pid=560

Supports up to two Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® 5100/5200series processors, Quad-Core
Intel® Xeon® 5300 /5400 Series processors, 1066/1333/1600 MT/s system bus
Intel® “Seaburg" MCH +6321ESB chipset and Sixteen (16) 240-pin DDR2 FBDIMM sockets on board. Maximum of 128GB DDR2-533/ 667/800 with Support for 1.5v/1.8v FB-DIMM from R03 and beyond..

cjl
2008-Jul-22, 06:32 PM
Those are workstation and server boards though. There is absolutely no reason to get multi socket boards for normal computing.

sabianq
2008-Jul-22, 06:41 PM
Those are workstation and server boards though. There is absolutely no reason to get multi socket boards for normal computing.

Yea, the guy in post 33 already said that..


in general,
if you are using the computer to access the internet, do email and general photo maintenance, It really is not necessary to have a super computer. pretty much anything built after 2002 will be adequate. Max out the memory, re-image and update the OS to the current version and get a new hard drive. this will bring life into an old pc and let you keep it for a while.

cjl
2008-Jul-22, 07:31 PM
I think there is value in a modern system though. There is a place for a current system that will be much, much faster than something from 2002, but will cost far less than a multi socket workstation style system. I would go with the P45 board I linked to or something similar ($150), a Q9450 ($320ish), 4 gigs of RAM ($80), and a decent video card ($150), and for far less than the cost of the multi socket, you still have a nice fast system that can last several years.

TrAI
2008-Jul-22, 08:39 PM
...
(duo-core is all you need unless your a die-hard gamer)
...
I doubt the dies of processors with more cores are harder than the ones in processors with dual-core ;):p

I guess people running CPU intensive stuff in general can have a use for multicore systems, even if the programs are not writen to take advantage of multicore systems, if you use several programs or the program allows for multiple instances, you can use processor affinity to spread the load out a bit. Even if your program uses several cores, leaving one free can be useful if you want to surf BAUT or something in the meantime. Of course, for the most common uses, dual core systems are more than enough...




Monitor: Do NOT get a glossy monitor. It's a very rapidly passing fad, and for a reason - glare. They make LCD TVs playing movies in very dark living rooms look very good. For computer monitors, where you very rarely display something that's truly black, it's far more pain than help.

This is one of those things that really depends on the situation.

Glossy screens have a certain set of disadvantages:
Specular reflections(reflects light from behind and slightly to the sides), oversaturation, and perhaps somewhat poorer grayscale linearity than matte screens.

Matte screens have others:
Diffuse reflections(bright light can make large parts of the picture hard to see, even when the light source is to the side of the screen) less brightness given the same backlight, and tends to be more blury or refract some of the light so you get tiny sparkles of red, green and blue(especially noticable on even colored surfaces)

Personaly, I was rather skeptical to glossy screens before, but after using a machine with glossy screen for a while, I find myself to be a bit annoyed by the tiny sparkles that the matte surfaces tend to make(actually, I found them distracting before too, but not to this extent), and it is much easier to clean a glossy surface. However, the machine I use is a desktop replacement notebook, so it is generaly easy to move it a little if some annoying reflections should occur, and I do not have any light directly behind me in my favorite corner, so the reflectiveness is not an issue.

However, for a stationary machine I would tend to hold that a matte screen is better, especially in a work room, cubicle office floor and such, due to the tendency to have a lot of lamps around to ensure even and good illumination. If you work with color critical things, for example photo processing and such, a good matte screen will often have more accurate color reproduction, especially when callibrated.

Over all though, It is a matter of preference and the location the screen is to be used, the best thing is perhaps to have a look around on the different screens available before deciding.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jul-23, 01:33 AM
i like Tyan

http://www.tyan.com/
here is a really nice MB
http://www.tyan.com/images/systemboards/s4989.gif

supports four AMD Opteron™ Rev. F 8000 Series Dual-core/ Quad-core processors,

Thirty-two 240-pin 1.8-volt DDR2 DIMM sockets (eight on each CPU) Supports ECC Registe7 DIMMs Maximum of 128GB DDR2-400/533/667/800

http://www.tyan.com/product_board_spec.aspx?pid=619

Twelve!!!!! fan connectors.:eek: That board could heat a mid-sized house during winter.

sabianq
2008-Jul-23, 01:42 AM
Twelve!!!!! fan connectors.:eek: That board could heat a mid-sized house during winter.

ha! dual use computer. hook up a heat exchanger and send the heat to the hot water tank! make it fanless...

Neverfly
2008-Jul-23, 02:20 AM
ha! dual use computer. hook up a heat exchanger and send the heat to the hot water tank! make it fanless...

Now the plumber is getting ideas...:think:

cjl
2008-Jul-23, 02:21 AM
Water cooling for the computer, and endless hot water for the shower. Everyone wins :D

sabianq
2008-Jul-23, 02:29 AM
Now the plumber is getting ideas...:think:

you do that, you gotta post pictures... lol

Jeff Root
2008-Jul-23, 04:22 AM
Dang! I'm in an apartment and unlimited hot water is paid for in the rent!

cjl,

The place where I'm most likely to get the stuff doesn't list the motherboard
you suggested on their website (though they might have it anyhow), and
the video board is listed as $200 or $220 (identical specs, different stock
numbers, might have been an error, with the higher price the correction)
rather than the $150 you estimated. On the other hand, the Q9450 CPU
is on sale at $280 -- which is certainly higher than I expected to go but
probably affordable. I want this machine to last.

While the video board has impressive specs, the power usage seems a bit
over the top. I thought a 500 W power supply would give me a lot of
headroom. They suggest 450 W minimum and 550 W if you use two boards.
As suggested by others here, I might want to run two monitors. But one
might be just to show program buttons and the like, not high-quality images,
so I could use a much cheaper board for that.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

cjl
2008-Jul-23, 05:32 AM
Dang! I'm in an apartment and unlimited hot water is paid for in the rent!

cjl,

The place where I'm most likely to get the stuff doesn't list the motherboard
you suggested on their website (though they might have it anyhow), and
the video board is listed as $200 or $220 (identical specs, different stock
numbers, might have been an error, with the higher price the correction)
rather than the $150 you estimated. On the other hand, the Q9450 CPU
is on sale at $280 -- which is certainly higher than I expected to go but
probably affordable. I want this machine to last.
While the video board has impressive specs, the power usage seems a bit
over the top. I thought a 500 W power supply would give me a lot of
headroom. They suggest 450 W minimum and 550 W if you use two boards.
As suggested by others here, I might want to run two monitors. But one
might be just to show program buttons and the like, not high-quality images,
so I could use a much cheaper board for that.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

A good 500W power supply will run it just fine - they tend to run on the conservative side with their recommendations. Also, that card has a pair of dual link DVI connectors, so unless you have two monitors >30", a single card will run both monitors just fine. Of course, if you don't need as much graphics horsepower, the HD3650 or 9600GSO are also good choices, and can also drive 2 monitors apiece. They're also cheaper, and use less power.

San Pedro
2008-Jul-23, 05:36 AM
Build ya own!

Great learning curve :think:

Jeff Root
2008-Jul-23, 05:58 AM
cjl,

Are you saying that the one card can display different images on two
monitors, not just the same thing on both??? What I read didn't make
that clear. Very impressive if that's the case. Hope so!

Can I connect an internal EIDE drive to the Asus motherboard?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

sabianq
2008-Jul-23, 12:00 PM
yea, you read that right^^^^^^^^
and windows has been supporting multiple monitors since windows 98.

multiple monitors are a very cheap way of getting more desktop real estate.

check this out:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/moredone/twomonitors.mspx

cjl
2008-Jul-23, 03:33 PM
cjl,

Are you saying that the one card can display different images on two
monitors, not just the same thing on both??? What I read didn't make
that clear. Very impressive if that's the case. Hope so!

Can I connect an internal EIDE drive to the Asus motherboard?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis
Yep, just the one card can do a fairly decent variety of things on multiple monitors, including a cloned display, a stretched display (across multiple monitors), or a completely independent configuration for each of the two displays.

As for an EIDE drive, it does have one PATA connector (same thing), so yes you can connect up to 2 devices on EIDE.

Alan G. Archer
2008-Jul-23, 03:52 PM
For hard drives, Seagate 7200.10's are nice (the .11's aren't quite as reliable), or the Western Digital WD640AAKS (fast, 640GB, cheap, and quite reliable). I'm not as familiar with DVD burners, but I haven't had any problems with mine either.

Thanks for the update. I purchased two 500 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11's earlier this year, one for my Antec P180 (http://home.teleport.com/~photoget/Antec_P180.jpg)-based PC and one (formerly a spare drive) for a PC I recently built for my brother. My drive has seen 1192 hours of power on time without incident. I delivered my brother's PC after about 150 hours of power on time on his drive. The only Barracuda that has failed me was a 200 GB 7200.8.

Since I was going to obtain spare hard drives soon, I ordered two Western Digital WD640AAKSs. They may or may not be any better than the Seagates.

I've never had any problems with Pioneer DVD burners.

My PC:

Chassis: Antec P180, black
PSU: Seasonic S12 Energy Plus SS-650HT
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU @ 3.0 GHz
CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
RAM: Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 2 GB kit @ 1.9V
Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500 GB
Backup hard drive: Two different Maxtor USB drives
VGA: XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB DDR3 (PV-T88G-YDF4)
Audio: Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
Headphones: AKG K 240 Studio
Optical drive: Pioneer DVR-212D
Floppy drive: My first ever non-floppy PC
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 2253BW, 1680 x 1050
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP3

My brother's new PC:

Chassis: Silverstone Kublai KL03 (http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_contents.php?pno=kl03&area=), black
PSU: Corsair VX550W
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU @ 3.0 GHz
CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
RAM: Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 2 GB kit @ 1.9V
Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500 GB
Backup hard drive: Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini USB drive
VGA: EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GS 384 MB DDR3
Audio: Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
Speakers: Logitech 5.1 (bought by my brother)
Optical drive: Pioneer DVR-2910
Floppy drive: Nope
Printer: Canon PIXMA iP2600 (free after rebate for buying a new Samsung monitor)
Monitor: HP W2207H, 1680 x 1050 (bought by my brother)
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP3
Fundage: My sister and her husband (2/3), and I (1/3)

I thought that only two 120mm case fans would not provide enough ventilation for the large Silverstone, so I added two fans on the side and one more fan in the front (Scythe Kama Bay (http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/008/sckb1000_detail.html)).

A dirty PC (http://home.teleport.com/~photoget/Dirty_PC.jpg), built circa 2003, owed by the brother of a former coworker. The dust was removed in minutes (note the baby tribble-sized dust bunny), but the vast multitude of viruses, worms, spyware, adware, etc., infesting the hard drive took some ten days for me to remove in my spare time last month. The owner did not take possession of a Windows system or restore disk when he bought the PC used three years ago.

cjl
2008-Jul-23, 04:06 PM
Don't get me wrong, the 7200.11's are nice too. The 7200.10's are just slightly more reliable (the .11's are quite a bit faster though).

Nice setup by the way. I'm personally waiting for Nehalem before building a new comp, so I'm stuck with a laptop with a Geforce Go 7950GTX and a Core 2 Duo T7600 for now (well, I say stuck with, but I'm really quite happy with its performance).

drainbread
2008-Jul-23, 08:12 PM
Hey Jeff, you're welcome to come over to the maximumpc.com forums, we have a "help me buy/build" section...

All they need to know is:
your budget
your OS preference
The intended use of the machine(gaming, DVR, content creation, video editing, world domination)
If you're living in Canada, the USA ect.. (because some services will not deliver across national boundries)

cjl
2008-Jul-23, 08:49 PM
You should know something:

This is BAUT - of course he's interested in world domination. By the way, for that purpose, I highly recommend a HAL. The 9000 model is quite expensive at the moment though, so I'd go for the 8650.

:p

Jeff Root
2008-Jul-23, 09:12 PM
Well, yes, of course I am interested in world domination. My first computer
was HAL 4, a very early HAL model, which some call a "Commodore plus 4".

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

mugaliens
2008-Jul-23, 09:25 PM
Well, yes, of course I am interested in world domination.

In the same vein, I've a 1 GB Ram Decium 11 with a 3.2 Pitobyte RAID 12.17 array...

Veeger
2008-Jul-24, 01:45 AM
About the monitors, I have several Dell 19 inch flat screens at the office with images burned-in. I didn't think this could happen with LCDs. Actually I think what I see is image retention which lasts for a day or more - it may fade. Don't know if its actually "burned-in" but it is annoying at times. (not at the office so can't give a model no.)

cjl
2008-Jul-24, 05:16 AM
I've never seen an LCD burn in, and I've left mine on a constant image for days before.

That's really odd. How old are they?

Veeger
2008-Jul-24, 08:30 PM
That's really odd. How old are they?

About 3 years old, Dell 19" LCDs but forgot to look at the model numbers today.
We have touch-screens doing the same.

TrAI
2008-Jul-25, 05:45 PM
About the monitors, I have several Dell 19 inch flat screens at the office with images burned-in. I didn't think this could happen with LCDs. Actually I think what I see is image retention which lasts for a day or more - it may fade. Don't know if its actually "burned-in" but it is annoying at times. (not at the office so can't give a model no.)

LCDs do not burn-in, only phosphor based screens, like CRT or plasma screens, do that.

However, there is a phenomena called image persistence that can occur if the screen is left to display a spesific image for long times. I believe it caused by the properties of the crystals shifting slightly, so it develops a tendency to retain a certain possition, but I am not sure just how that would occur...

This condition will often be temporary, the most common advice being to turn the screen off for an extended period(a few hours to several days). I have also heard that displaying an image with cycling colors for long times might help.

LCDs driven with DC might develop discolored electrodes due to electrolytic effects, this can also look like burn-in, but is not likely to happen unless the screen is defective.

cplradar
2008-Jul-25, 06:40 PM
The 3000:1 is only when no white is visible.
When any white is on the screen, the ratio drops significantly...

Also only 3000:1 to to the manufacturer. There is no industry standards for display contrast. Which is why you have off-brand TV's with a contrast ratio of 5000:1 when a Runco might only have 3000:1. Yet measuring them in your home would show the Runco having a much higher contrast ratio than the Daihatsu Thunder tv with the claimed higher ratio.

Although, that is probably the oldest part of this thread.....