New Computer Money just came in

Buck

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Just as an alteration from one of my earlier posts:

VIDEO: The Matrox P650 PCI-E with 128MB RAM has a small fan -- YUCK!
 

Santilli

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CougTek said:
Santilli said:
Try and get a 400w or 500w, if you are going dual core, Seasonic power supply. More expensive, but great specs, and the 400W is silent, at least in my machine.
Ugly liar. You have the Seasonic S12-600HT, which is a 600W PSU, not the 430W model from Seasonic. I'll tell your mamma.

Ahh, NO :lol:

I have BOTH the S12 600 watt, in the dual machine, and, a 400 watt in the Athlon 3000+. Both machines have Swiftech coolers, but, the 3000+ stays cooler, thanks to being, well, cooler... :roll:

I picked up the last 400 Watt from our local frys, with 20% off, it came to
59.00. so 60 and 160 equals 110 bucks, average, for power supplies, and, I'm real happy with the value, and silence of the Seasonic power supplies.

Will, in both my 3000+, and the Supermicro dual 2.8 ghz machine I also use, I find the hard drives to be VERY important. Without fast drives, you have a sea anchor to load data from. I'm pretty sure you can boot from dual SATA drives on the Gigabyte motherboards, but, you need decent drives in the first place, at least 10k. The only real area where I find fast drives to not have that much impact is gaming, provided you have two gigs of ram...and don't mind waiting for stuff to load...

Besides, when the prices drop on the dual core, plug one in. Your money might be better spent on a single channel LSI 320 scsi card,100 bucks, plus cable and terminator, another 40, and a refurbed 10k Cheetah from Hypermicro to boot from.

http://www.hypermicro.com/dept.asp?dept_id=06-005

You can go really cheap, with an 18 gig boot drive, for 80 bucks, and have a 15k, or go as wild as you want. I also might suggest a refurb, 36 gig SCA 80 pin drive, 15.3k Cheetah, and the guy ships them with converters, and they work. Chances are a refurb Cheetah is going to last longer then any ATA SATA drive, I think, since it will have been tested, and repaired prior to sale, as most scsi Cheetahs are anyway.

Or, get a big refurb 10k if you need more room. I have two of the 146 gig drives, and they are a little faster then Raptors, IIRC. Cost per gig is similar, on the refurbs.

Another thought is buying a dual processor Athlon board, maybe Tyan, or
Supermicro, or Xeon 64. They have dual SLI boards out, and, you could buy, and use the board with one processor, your choice. If the machine is too slow, go for the other processor. Or, wait for the other processor to go down in price, and put it in when it gets low enough.

I really think you ought to heed Mercutio's advice: Most software does not take advantage of dual processors. XP will, and that helps, but still, most of your functions aren't going to benefit much from that dual core processor, and, I do have duals. As I've said, the time I notice it is burning one DVD, watching another, maybe surfing the net, sometimes in photoshop, multi-tasking is where the duals shine. Also, even though I have scsi, I would really like a better raid card to take advantage of the scsi 320 data transfer rate...

David has said I'm a fan of supermicro, and he's right. When you look at that "expensive" X5DA8, you get dual channel 320 scsi on the motherboard, that's about 300 dollars in value, and, the board is only 450. When you start adding up all the other features, you come to the conclusion that rather then being over priced, those boards are GREAT value, considering what it would cost to take an average motherboard, and put pci cards on to get the features you get all in one.

I've also used a Matrox P650, and while it's billions of colors is pretty much unmatched, the ATI 700 XL is very fast, and the 800 XL is about twice as fast as the 700 XL, and that difference is noticeable. Color quality on the ATI cards is near Matrox quality, but, I don't think the drivers are in the same league. If you decide to go with some modern games, you might really like having 256 mb vram, and, at 120 bucks, that card is a steal. Mine was 200.

Keep in mind that in the other room, we have a P2 400 mhz Dell.
It reminds me where you are coming from, and, I will say the 3000+ is a huge step up in processing power, and data transfer ability, but, you need to be able to fill that pipe with data, quickly. Also, access time helps the feeling of speed in your machine. I first built this machine with a Maxtor 7200 rpm DiamondMax 9, and, it's not that far below the top 7200 rpm drives. The move up to the 15.3 k refurb made a very noticeable difference in 'snapiness'. Sounds like you already have 2 large storage drives, so that shouldn't be a problem...

We have 19 inch Sony monitors around here for 85 dollars, that are crystal clear, from dead startups, so you might consider saving on one of those, or two of them.

I just did a reread, and if text quality is most important, Matrox is the way to go, and the P 650 is the best card, for value.

Do you watch High definition video, and do you care?

s

PS

Another thought is upgrading your hard drive setup to a low end, 15k refurb scsi boot drive, on your Pentium 3 667. I REALLY impressed my kids at school by putting in a 36 gig 15.3K Cheetah, on a SCSI 320 LSI card, on a P3 450mhz. Slower the machine, the greater impact scsi seems to have on preceived speed. Put dual NEC 3540's in your old machine. It mght do everything you need, and save you a LOT of money.

Right now is not the time, value wise, to be buying bleeding edge technology, at premium prices. Socket 939 is now dead, thanks to AMD. Yet the dual cores are being made, in very limited quanities, for 939 pin sockets.

SLI is new technology, and what's the point of SLI if you are using Matrox cards for text? It's a gaming technology. I don't know if dual Matrox cards would even work in SLI. So, you are buying a bleeding edge processor, and paying bigtime for it, to plug it into a motherboard with what is soon to be an obselete socket, and a brand new video technology, and, when you combine the bleeding edge in SLI, and the dual cores, you are paying a premium for buying bleeding edge, and it may not even be that reliable. So far, only Nvidia cards have worked real well with SLI setups, so, you might start looking at Nvidia video cards, on an Nvidia chipped, SLI motherboard.

You still have boat anchor 7200 rpm drives, which will continue to be the limiting factor in your system, both in ATA and SATA. You could go with WD raptors, but, since that's your only 10k option, WD makes you pay scsi prices for a SATA drive. That sucks.

If not for the 512 mb ram in your P 3, I would say go with the scsi option, 36 gig boot, LSI 320 card. This you CAN move into a later model system, and still have a tremendous benefit, and, along with a new monitor, your P 3, could quite possibly carry you until all this stuff becomes main stream, and the bugs are sorted out.

Or, low ball the new system. You don't need SLI if you aren't a gamer.
You need a Matrox card if you want text quality. AGP P 650 would be just fine. NEC dual burners would be good.
SuperTalent ram is cheaper, and high quality. Make due with your old drives for storage. Save your money for a time when value is more avaliable, and things are a bit more stable...

Let's see, come to think of it, I could put together a system for you right now, out of mostly spare parts.

I'm looking at a
Gigabyte GA-K8nSC-939 in box, new. 85 dollars.
AGP 8x
Nvidia 3 chipset.
Matrox P 650 in my other school box, can be had for around 150 dollars, IIRC.

Dual 19 inch Sony CPD G400s, 180 for two.
Seasonic 400 Watt power supply, 80 bucks

AMD 64 3000+ Venice core 120 dollars
Swiftech heatsink, 55 dollars

Dual NEC 3540s about 100 dollars.

Case: If you write code, a P 160 might be overkill. Maybe the Sonata for
80 dollars, or, a generic in your area?

Corsair one gig ram, 85 dollars from newegg.today, two dimms, so works for dual channel memory.

Use your old hard drives, or go scsi.

Let's add that up:

It's around 900 bucks, complete, and with two monitors, that are very sharp.
700 without the monitors.
Plus keyboard, and mouse of your choice.
The above is REAL close to what I'm typing this one, and it simply rocks.

All of the guys here emphasize how fast these new AMD systems are, due to bandwidth, vs. the old systems. If Mercutio is in your area, he might be able to put together a system for cheaper then this, since he's not paying retail. Ask him.

s
 

Howell

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ddrueding said:
Santilli said:
Ok:
Being cheap is my specialty.

Now I'm definatly a pot calling a kettle black, but IIRC you are a fan of SCSI and Supermicro, correct?

What Santilli meant is that his specialty is being irrationally cheap. Santilli would dumpster dive for MB screws to mount his Supermicro motherboard.
 

Santilli

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Howell said:
ddrueding said:
Santilli said:
Ok:
Being cheap is my specialty.

Now I'm definatly a pot calling a kettle black, but IIRC you are a fan of SCSI and Supermicro, correct?

What Santilli meant is that his specialty is being irrationally cheap. Santilli would dumpster dive for MB screws to mount his Supermicro motherboard.

MEOW :excl: :mrgrn: :roll:

S
 

mubs

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Santilli, you keep harping that dual-cores are expensive. Did you even read my last post, just before you made the first of your big ones?
 

Groltz

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Howell said:
Santilli would dumpster dive for MB screws to mount his Supermicro motherboard.

Bartender!

Get our buddy Howell a glass of warm milk with a shot of Bailey's in it, please.
 

time

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Santilli said:
Drop the dual core cpu. They are WAY too expensive right now. They should drop considerably, and, it appears currently, the AMD 3000+ Venice core is the sweet spot for value and performance. You can always add dual core later.
Saves about 500 dollars.
I agree with pretty much everything Greg said in this post.

I suspect you don't really need the Swiftech heatsink - just get a quieter fan, or rely on motherboard speed control.

Bozo said:
I'd stay away from XP 64bit for awhile. I have tried both it and 2003 Server 64bit and drivers are almost non-existent. I could not find a driver for a 3Com 3C905C NIC. Pathetic.
Videodrivers are iffy...
I've been experimenting with XP 64-bit on an nForce 4 rig with Radeon X300 PCI-e graphics, and had no problems whatsoever with drivers. I have to ask, why would you need a driver for a 3Com 3C905? The nForce 4 integrated gigabit adaptor is far, far superior.

Having said that, Mercutio's tip about incompatibility with some software installers proved to be true, although the examples I found were at least five years old.

I'm really impressed with XP64. It feels much snappier and solid than XP, presumably because they've tuned out some of the stupid eye candy delays. Feels like a worthwhile upgrade from Win2k to me - as long as I still have a Win2k PC to fall back on for unsupported software.
 

Santilli

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mubs said:
Santilli, you keep harping that dual-cores are expensive. Did you even read my last post, just before you made the first of your big ones?

Mubs: I stand corrected. At that price, now all you need to make sure is the motherboard takes the dual core, which, with my luck, mine won't...

:evil:
As I suspected, the Nvidia 3 chipset doesn't support, at least on Gigabyte boards, 64 bit X2 processors.

So, I'm yesterdays news, today. :roll:

Mubs is right, at 350, a dual core is a great idea...

Just found out my SO may have cancer. Find out tomorrow...


S
 

Will Rickards

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I was thinking of a small scsi drive (18-36GB) for booting from and various other uses. Just seems a lot of money to invest to go there. Maybe I will invest in everything else (monitor, disk subsystem, video card, case, burner, etc) and kind of go cheap on the processor and ram for now. The new AMD socket wasn't bothering me - I wouldn't mind being outdated in an x2 4400+. But you all are starting to make some sense. I could always swap motherboard, ram and processor later.... I'll crunch some numbers this weekend and plot out my options.
 

Santilli

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Will Rickards said:
I was thinking of a small scsi drive (18-36GB) for booting from and various other uses. Just seems a lot of money to invest to go there. Maybe I will invest in everything else (monitor, disk subsystem, video card, case, burner, etc) and kind of go cheap on the processor and ram for now. The new AMD socket wasn't bothering me - I wouldn't mind being outdated in an x2 4400+. But you all are starting to make some sense. I could always swap motherboard, ram and processor later.... I'll crunch some numbers this weekend and plot out my options.

Will:

Video cards are going to PCI-E 16X. ANOTHER AREA of bleeding edge.
So, you have a 939 going dark, 64 bit OS not really ready for prime time, SLI not perfected, etc.

Too many different technologies that are on the bleeding edge, in short supply, leading to elevated prices.

Motherboards for what you want to do HAVE to have Nvidia 4 chipsets.
That seems to be the key to make sure you have compatibility with 64 bit OS, XP.

SCSI has NEVER been cheaper, and it's forward useable.

Problem I found was I had to go with a Nvidia 3 chipset, to use my agp video cards. Gigabyte didn't make an agp Nvidia 4 motherboard, and, it seems only Nvidia 4 chipsets work with dual core processors...

So, you really need to jump with both feet onto the platform, 939, SLI and
PCI-E, if you are going to do it.

If you really want to future proof, go for a dual processor motherboard, that supports AMD dual core. Start with one processor, and build.

That's the approach I've taken with the dual Xeon motherboard I have, but, since I couldn't get a Matrox Parahelia, at the time, I used it to buy a second 2.8 ghz processor.

You could have an actual, 4 processor setup, and, I suspect, it would be blindingly fast. Just my guess..

s
 

Bozo

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Time Said "I have to ask, why would you need a driver for a 3Com 3C905? The nForce 4 integrated gigabit adaptor is far, far superior."
1. We don't have any nForce 4 boards.
2. We have over 100 PCs with the 3C905 cards installed.
3. We use a program for backups over a network that has limited NIC drivers. The 3C905 being one of them.
4. We only use Intel MBs

I have yet to get the NIC that is built into the Intel MBs to work either.

As far as XP 64 feeling snappier, I believe that comes from better hard drive performance. If you go into Device Manager and check Properties under your hard drive, on the Policies tab you will find that it now has "Enable Advanced Performance" setting just like 2003 Server.

Bozo :mrgrn:
 

Tea

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Tannin is happy to build systems using PCI-X. That means that, by defenition, it ain't bleeding edge, and is probably horribly out of date already.

Spend big dollars to buy a dual proc motherboard and only put one CPU in it? You'd be mad! In this game, you never, ever fix next year's problem with this year's money. You wll spend a heap, get no immediate benefit from it (except the usual small volume bleeding edge grief), and by the time you buy that second processor (if you ever buy that second processor):

* the board will be out of date
* the current equivalent will be half the price and twice as reliable
* the CPU to match your current CPU will be out of date (if you can still get one at all).

Tell that nasty Santilli man to take his snake oil somewhere else. You've already got a bridge.
 

The Grammar Police

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A brainless reviewer said:
Single core are history.

One can only hope that this reviewer knows his CPUs, as quite clearly he does not have the ability to express himself in standard English. As a rule of thumb, he that cannot write can neither think clearly nor observe accurately.

(There are exceptions, of course, but they are few in number.)
 

time

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Tea said:
In this game, you never, ever fix next year's problem with this year's money.
Remarkably perspicacious for someone with orange hair.

However, I'd suggest a less catchy motto:

"Think of the future but don't live there"

or

"Plan ahead but don't spend ahead".

or

"It's smart to allow for future usage, but that doesn't mean you have to buy a truck now to tow a boat you might never own".
 

time

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Bozo wrote:
1. We don't have any nForce 4 boards. :(
2. We have over 100 PCs with the 3C905 cards installed. :( :(
3. We use a program for backups over a network that has limited NIC drivers. The 3C905 being one of them. :( :( :(
4. We only use Intel MBs
:( :( :( :(

Looks like #3 is you real problem. Out of curiosity, what sort of 64-bit processor do you have 100 of that suits an Intel MB?
 

mubs

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In this game, you never, ever fix next year's problem with this year's money. You wll spend a heap, get no immediate benefit from it (except the usual small volume bleeding edge grief), and by the time you buy that second processor (if you ever buy that second processor):

* the board will be out of date
* the current equivalent will be half the price and twice as reliable
* the CPU to match your current CPU will be out of date (if you can still get one at all).
This is exactly what I've been wanting to tell Will, but the little orange one has been very eloquent while I struggled to crystallize my thoughts. I can vouch for Tea's perspicacity (nice one, Time; that one went into my passive vocab many decades ago); I've actually been there, done that, and know now that "upgrade later" just really isn't going to happen for a host of reasons.
 

CougTek

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Santilli said:
Video cards are going to PCI-E 16X. ANOTHER AREA of bleeding edge.
Fur ball said:
Tannin is happy to build systems using PCI-X. That means that, by defenition, it ain't bleeding edge, and is probably horribly out of date already.
Ape, PCI-E ain't PCI-X. PCI-E stands for PCI-Express, while PCI-X means only PCI-X. Do not confuse them or you'll confuse us.

I don't think Tannin builds a lot of systems with PCI-X slots. In fact, I would be surprised if he built more than 5 of such system in his entire career.
 

Tea

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Bahh. I meant the other one, of course. The one that you have instead of AGP. I juzt have trouble with letterz sometimez. Ezpecially when there is an "X" sound in the word.

Tannin could count the number of PCI-X systems he has built, seen, played with, or watched go past on a delivery truck quite easily without taking his shoes and sockz off. In fact, he could count them on the fingers of one nose. It's a number less than 5, Coug. In fact it's about 5 less than 5. To be precise, it'z exactly 5 less than 5, which under the metric system works out to be approximately equal to zero. Hell, I doubt we have built more than 5 PCI-E systems. Most people are still buying VESA, especially upgraders, because the average gamer doesn't like to change motherboard and video card at the same time - too much money in one hit.

So what are they going to do in a year or maybe six months, when they want to upgrade the Gforce 4 ti or FX 5700 they still have but they don't want to change that nice new Athlon 64 3500 motherboard and chip just yet?

But for many people, the alternatives are not attractive either: buy a spiffy new AGP card and stick with the Athlon XP a bit longer? Then you will still need to do a double upgrade when the time comes to change the CPU. You are no further in front.

Or buy board and video card, but then you are looking at a Sempron 3100 because you can't afford an A-64, and (even if you could find a Socket 754 board that has PCI-E) you can only afford to put a 6200 in it. That's an even worse alternative.

On the whole, I'm inclined to think that the best answer is to keep the video card for a while longer and go with a fairly low-end mainboard/CPU combination: an A64 3000 for example, and who cares what socket it's in? You are probably planning to swap it for a cheap dual core PCI-E around the 4500 mark sometime just after xmas anyway.
 

iGary

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Bozo said:
2. We have over 100 PCs with the 3C905 cards installed...

3. We use a program for backups over a network that has limited NIC drivers. The 3C905 being one of them...

I have yet to get the NIC that is built into the Intel MBs to work either...

The 3Com 3C905 series NICs are -- at best -- passable. As far as *great* PCI Ethernet cards go, Intel and Adaptec are the clear winners.

What backup application do you use? I'm assuming that you are talking about a backup agent running on each (client) workstation with a centralised backup server running the backups.
 

iGary

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Tea said:
Tannin could count the number of PCI-X systems he has built, seen, played with, or watched go past on a delivery truck quite easily without taking his shoes and sockz off...

Doesn't surprise me at all, especially if you sell budget / home / office computer systems. PCI-X (64-bit parallel PCI running with a 66, 100, or 133 MHz clock) only makes sense for mid-range (or higher) severs and higher-end technical workstations that can take advantage of multi-channel SCSI and Fibre Channel host bus adapters and the like. Of course, PCI and PCI-X are now beginning to be completely superseded by PCI Express -- home computer to server.


Most people are still buying VESA...

Tea, I suppose this is the 20-year-old scotch talking and not you. Unless you're talking about something completely different, who the hell's messing with VESA Local Bus anymore except a luddite??? :eek:


 

Bozo

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We have over 100 3c905 NICs installed.

Presntly I have been buying Intel D915GEV MB with a P4 603 - 3.0GHz, 64Bit, 800MHz FSB. It's only a few dollars more than a non-64 Bit P4.
These are in testing. Right now I can't find a good reason to use XP 64Bit, but at least the CPUs will be ready.

Bozo :mrgrn:
 

Santilli

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Tea said:
Tannin is happy to build systems using PCI-X. That means that, by defenition, it ain't bleeding edge, and is probably horribly out of date already.

Spend big dollars to buy a dual proc motherboard and only put one CPU in it? You'd be mad! In this game, you never, ever fix next year's problem with this year's money. You wll spend a heap, get no immediate benefit from it (except the usual small volume bleeding edge grief), and by the time you buy that second processor (if you ever buy that second processor):

* the board will be out of date
* the current equivalent will be half the price and twice as reliable
* the CPU to match your current CPU will be out of date (if you can still get one at all).

Tell that nasty Santilli man to take his snake oil somewhere else. You've already got a bridge.

Server quality stuff is not desktop PC stuff.

My X5DA8 is out of date? I'm crushed. Gee, the new ATI 800 XL works just fine in it...

Xeon 2.8 ghz processors have dropped about 120 dollars from the time I bought mine, less actually, since that's oem, and mine were retail, at 350, so the furball is right, on Xeons, but for the wrong reason. They don't drop that much in price. However, I COULD have waited, and if the single processor wasn't fast enough for the stuff I was doing, or, if I started doing more demanding tasks, I could now have dropped in a matching Xeon for 230, plus cooler, and had a major speed jump.
However, with dual cores, you don't really have that option. Also, with AMD stuff, you might have a harder time finding a matching cpu later, since the old AMD duals required matched pairs, at a higher price then the same speed processors. Furball maybe right, but, I don't think he does a lot of dual opteron systems, either. Here, I'm out of my depth, since I haven't researched putting a dual cpu AMD machine together, since their opteron line of processors were VERY expensive last time I looked, and I do have reasonably priced Xeons, at half the cost of most AMD Opterons, that are just fine for what I do.

My next upgrade is going to be a single channel Megaraid, LSI card, to really take advantage of my Cheetahs, and get rid of the Adaptec 2010S, which while a raid card, is a major speed bottleneck in my system, limiting my drives to about 80 mb/sec, in raid. NOT GOOD.


With all the current technologies changing, operating system to 64, PCI-E , SLI, dual cores, it's highly unlikely even gigabyte is going to get it all right, and be inexpensive, or more reliable then Supermicro. Most motherboard makers are spread real thin right now, as Athlons have changed sockets a number of times, and, they are trying to keep up with Nvidia's new chipsets, so they are stuck with many products, and trying to support all of them.

Right now you are fighting supply and demand in most of these areas, and the prices are artifically high, due to that situation. Once they are more mainstream, the prices should drop, etc. Motherboard makers are going crazy with multiple designs, but, not getting enough return, so the prices stay high. Dual cores, and AMD in general, is a supply and demand issue, and when you start looking at their pricing, it really shows it. Compare the % of speed increase you get with the ratio of dollars spent, and you see some pretty insane pricing. Going from the 3000+ to the 3200+ comes to mind. Minimal speed jump, MAJOR price increase.
You pay for those razor cuts on the bleeding edge.

Your video card choice is a real good example of a good value, as is the ATI 800XL line. Both provide excellent speeds, at very good prices. Still, the Matrox P 650 IS THE text card. Not to mention I would be shocked if Nvidia video cards don't do SLI on Nvidia chipsets better then ATI video cards will.

By the way, Will, the point of this entire effort is there are many ways to address what you are suggesting.

The other one no one wants to bring up is, for what you want to do, and the amount of money you have to spend, this is the wrong time to do it.

Sometimes it's better NOT to spend the money, and wait it out.

From what I gather, your current system, with a few upgrades, should function for a couple more years, for what you do with it.

NEC DVD burners are 50 bucks.
Shop around and you can find a used P550 Matrox card that will give you beautiful text, for under 100 bucks. I think I've got an old G400 that has only 16 mb of vram, but it's text display is awesome. Pricewatch had those for 20 dollars.

The one upgrade you can take with you, SCSI 320, has never been cheaper. Buy a refurbed 85 dollar Sony 19 inch like I described.

So, for a low ball 300 bucks, you could have all the upgrades you need
to improve your computing experience, for what you described.
Except for the video card, you can take the monitor, scsi stuff, and DVD burner, and use it later down the road. If that doesn't work for you, have a look at threads around here on lowend machines.

An 80 dollar Gigabyte board, with an agp slot, and a Sempron, would give you a huge speed jump, as would the Athlon 3000+ for 120 dollars.

I guess what's really driving this is I really hate to see hard working people pay over premium prices, due to timing, and product avaliablility, and corporate supply and demand pricing, and get screwed.

What I am trying to do is to look at all angles of the situation, and make you aware of what's involved. As Furball has pointed out, AGP based boards aren't going to work with 64 bit X2 processors, at this point, so you have to go PCI-E right now. That's expensive, due to supply and demand, Windows 64 bit isn't perfect, nor are 64 bit drivers. This kind of reminds me of the old apple days were you paid a very high premium price, for a beta system, and then paid apple for OS upgrades, that were really bug, and patches for stuff they didn't get right the first time.

Mercutio has pointed out a 64 bit OS doesn't work with some 16 bit installers, and, considering your current system, I would be surprised if you didn't end up having to buy new software to run with Windows XP 64, if you went that route.

One computer truth is that what you pay for right now will be worth less then half by the sametime, next year. I suspect prices will fall considerably more, for processors, and motherboards, as Intel gets their 64 bit stuff together, and starts producing enough dual core processors to drive AMD prices down.

You really have to say AMD has taken a page, the pricing page, from Intel in the old days.

Anyway you could get to a costco, or some place you could test drive a couple machines, with processors similar to what you are considering?

s



[/b]
 

Santilli

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Counterpoint:

AMD pricing may NOT go down much. By changing sockets, and making one obselete right after they start producing it, they are keeping the motherboard makers jumping, and, they are keeping the supply down on their processors, so they can keep prices up. As long as they continue to be considerably faster then Intel's offerings at gaming, they can price higher, and get away with it. I have to think the majority of AMD buyers are after gaming, since that's what AMD processors do far better then Intel's.

Another point that I might bring up is each processor type seems to do certain functions better then others.

My old Athlon 1.4 Ghz would take 100% load while scanning stuff in Photoshop, using a Canon scanner. That same scanner uses 5% of one processor on my dual Xeon box.

The Athlon 64 bit processors REALLY excel at games, but, you don't need a machine for games. This AMD 3000+ seems much slower then the dual Xeons at burning DVD's. In gaming, the AMD with the 700 XL appears faster, or the same speed, as the dual Xeons with the 800 XL.

Frankly, for what you describe as your computing needs, a 2.4-2.8ghz Intel processor, good, stable proven chipset, with a fast hard drive, Raptor or scsi, should be plenty for another 5 years, using XP 32 bit, or windows 2000. In fact, it's probably double what you really need, overkill.

Also, considering what you describe, the only real reason you need a fast hard drive is for preceived speed, in the os.

Do you use Photoshop? I've used my Athlon 1.4 ghz at school for DVD playback with no problems.

What is the digital image program that you use, and what sort of computing power does it require?

As for laptops, have a look at Panasonic Toughbooks. I shopped for a long time, and settled on a CF-51, I found for 1100 dollars.

http://www.portablecomputersystems.com/products/laptops/Panasonic-CF-51.html

http://www.toughbooksales.com/tb_51.asp

By the way, for the tasks you describe, the 51 took opening about 8 programs at once to finally get the Processor to kick up from 600 mhz, to 1.6 ghz. So, when I say 1.6 ghz is probably all you need, that's what kind of got me to that point. I was playing a DVD, had Windows media player, playing something, surfing the net, running email, anti-virus software up etc. to finally get the processor to move over 600 mhz.

s
 

Tea

Storage? I am Storage!
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Tea said:
Most people are still buying VESA

Aggggargh! I didn't even have any scotch Mr iGary! I'm just getting all my words confuddled up lately. I meant the outgoing standard video thingie (AGP), I juzt slipped into the wrong decade. Besides, the word "VESA" is easy to mix up with the word "AGP" because they are both sort of pointy on the first letter. (OK, they are not actual words, but don't split hairs on me.)

PS. READ MY SIG.
 

Santilli

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Tea said:
Tea said:
Most people are still buying VESA

Aggggargh! I didn't even have any scotch Mr iGary! I'm just getting all my words confuddled up lately. I meant the outgoing standard video thingie (AGP), I juzt slipped into the wrong decade. Besides, the word "VESA" is easy to mix up with the word "AGP" because they are both sort of pointy on the first letter. (OK, they are not actual words, but don't split hairs on me.)

PS. READ MY SIG.

It's ok, Tea. Blame it on Tannin: If he would get you the proper keyboard, you wouldn't have problems typing.
Do you have to use a pencil, and hit the keys with the eraser?

S
 

Santilli

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Hi
Just for reference: The Athlon 3000+ rips DVD's at about half the speed of the dual Xeons, and that's while playing another DVD, and typing this.

s
 

Mercutio

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If you're talking about just ripping, that's a function of the DVD drive you're using.

If you're talking about encoding, the important thing is that you can buy four Athlon 3000s for what those two Xeons cost, and those A64s will be faster for absolutely everything else.
 

Mercutio

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No. Things don't work that way. Unless you've got a multithreaded process - Adobe Premier for instance - your encoding app is going to be assigned to run on one processor and stay there. So if Santilli is getting twice as many encoded frames per second on a Xeon vs. his A64, that is a 1:1 comparison with a very simple and concrete benchmark. Multimedia content encoding is basically the SINGLE example of Intel being a better choice than AMD, but even at that, I'll bet neither one of his processors gets up about 10% utilization very often - unless he's video-encoding constantly and doing other stuff on that PC at the same time, all he has is wasted money and a slightly bigger e-peen (google it) than the person who bought a single Xeon CPU.
 

mubs

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You're wrong, Merc.

With two Xeons, he's got two CPUs to do three user tasks (rip, play, browse). With one Athlon, one CPU is switching contexts between the three tasks. Even if all user processes are single threaded, the Windows scheduler makes use of two CPUs. And this is not counting the myriad threads/processes that Windows itself has running at any given moment.

People keep saying there are no multi-threaded apps, so there is no point to a dual-CPU or dual core m/c. Ask somebody who's used one for some time. They'll tell you there's a heck of a difference in the user experience. I've been running this 2x900 MHz P3 box for almost 5 years. It's still usable only because it's a duallie. Adcadet used to run a duallie. There's a few others as well (LiamC? CityK?).

I used to work for a minicomputer manufacturer, and they used to benchmark the heck out of their machines; with one CPU, with two, and then with three (the max). With heavy loads, up to 40% of CPU time can be spent in context switching - thrashing about instead of doing useful work.

And I'm not going to google on e-peen (whatever that is). I'm talking from my own experience, and that is more vaild to me than someone else's opinion or experience.

Perhaps Greg can tell us CPU usage on both of his machines when he's doing identical things on them.

Your point about Intel excelling at multimedia is right-on - there's no contest there.
 

Mercutio

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mubs, I used SMP Intel machines for YEARS. Starting with an SMP 486/33 (OS/2 machine!), then an SMP P5/133, then a PPro 200 dualie, then a P3/600. At about the 1GHz mark, coincidently about the time I started to do HEAVY video encoding, I stopped caring. I looked at how much CPU I was using when I *wasn't* encoding and decided I was better off spending the money elsewhere, like on bigger disk drives.

When a thread (normally thread = process for our purposes) is started on a Win32 system, the scheduler assigns it affinity to one CPU or another, based on the relative load of all CPUs in the PC. Maybe there's other stuff running. On the Windows computer I'm using right now, 2000 Server is using (gasp) 1% of the CPU. One of my Linux file servers that's fairly idle is using .3%, according to top. The OS is effectively negligible. It'll go up as both of us start writing to the disk, but it'll still be a very small component of the processor time.

If Greg starts, say, DVD Shrink on his otherwise idle Xeon rig, and I start mine on my Athlon64, Greg gets one CPU that's probably doing nothing, and has the OS using its 1% on the other. Me? I only get 99% of my one CPU that I can devote to encoding. BFD. That's a rounding error.

Granted, Greg can run a second Shrink process and it'll start on his other CPU, but does Greg have the other resources to do that? If he's doing media encoding at a decent clip, his hard disk becomes a huge bottleneck if he's running two jobs. If he's scanning, he's going to run out of RAM. If you've got serverish apps that can spawn multiple threads, or you've got enough RAM and fast disks that I/O isn't a bottleneck (like your minis), fine. But it's not an issue for 95% of the stuff home users do!

When you've got a 3GHz CPU, even just one of them, you've got a MASSIVE multiplier of the core system clock. The CPU is starved for I/O more or less all the time. Adding a second CPU for most tasks isn't helping that.
 

Santilli

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Well, the Athlon uses consistently around 32-40% doing DVD Decryptor, Power DVD, Firefox, and Task manager.

Dual Xeons are doing the same, and I'm typing on the xeons, and it's running at about 11-13%.


"Granted, Greg can run a second Shrink process and it'll start on his other CPU, but does Greg have the other resources to do that? If he's doing media encoding at a decent clip, his hard disk becomes a huge bottleneck if he's running two jobs. If he's scanning, he's going to run out of RAM. If you've got serverish apps that can spawn multiple threads, or you've got enough RAM and fast disks that I/O isn't a bottleneck (like your minis), fine. But it's not an issue for 95% of the stuff home users do!

When you've got a 3GHz CPU, even just one of them, you've got a MASSIVE multiplier of the core system clock. The CPU is starved for I/O more or less all the time. Adding a second CPU for most tasks isn't helping that."

Well, that's EXACTLY what I've been trying say, and why scsi REALLY helps, or rather, should be a pre-req for a system such as a dual core, etc. Why waste money on a dual core 64 if you can't get the i/o to the cpus? I CAN get data to the processors, simply because I'm using scsi 320, and Cheetah harddrives to feed the data to the programs, off FIVE different cheetahs, and, writing to a specific cheetah for a specific task.

Likewise, I can read a movie off one of the drives, while ripping another movie to another drive, and surf and do email, and run dual monitors, because the subsystem can handle the data transfer.

Yes, I do use the processors. Games do that, though they don't do it very well, since most concentrate on one cpu. I can also easily scan photoshop stuff, watch a movie, surf, etc. without having to worry about skips or freezes, thanks to the duals.

I do think a Megaraid LSI card would be a great help, since it would provide better raid functions then the current Adaptec 2010S. Raid 0, with two 15k drives, does do a pretty decent job of transfering data, a LOT better then ATA, or, SATA.

The ONLY reason I can think of having a dual core cpu, without scsi, is playing games. That's not what the gentleman does with his computer.

He writes code, and, I suspect, that requires a program that compiles code. Isn't that a function where processor power might be of benefit?

I also have a machine that will play High definition video flawlessly.

I may have to try that on the Athlon to see if it does as well... In other words, the advantage of duals is the machine is useable for longer, and, with a balanced approach, may even keep up with machine eating programs and operating systems for a long time to come...


s
 

Santilli

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One other note:


The ripping process is a VERY good benchmark, since I'm using the same NEC
3520 DVD players, same interface, ATA, same amount of ram, and both systems have scsi 320 hard drives, and, both are using the 36 gig Cheetah's to run from.

s
 

LiamC

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Also, check the OS & scheduler.

The duallies may be set to give more priority to background tasks, whilst a single proc install will set itself to foreground task priority.

Y'all probably know this but it's worth checking.
 

Santilli

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blakerwry said:
were you ripping the same DVD, using the same program/settings, and do both NEC drives have the same firmware?

Similar time DVD's, with similar copy write protections, same program, and same firmware. This observation was made after a number of ripping and burning tasks. Both systems are set for foreground task priority.


Same version of DVD Decryptor, the latest,, 3540.


This is a general pattern, not a specific timed event. In other words, I'm doing the same task, ripping, on both machines, and, on the Dual Xeons, the other tasks of watching a movie, surfing, and task manager, and still, the Xeons do twice the work the Athlon does.

S
 
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