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Jakkal's Ramblings

The Equal Opportunity Offender


November 5th, 2009

Another one of THOSE posts... Computer Stuff @ 09:35 pm

Mental State: awake awake
Listening to: Vitamin String Quartet - Like a Stone (Audioslave)

I know I've posted about this a bunch of times, my secondary machine is 6 years old now, some of the parts are 10 years old (The hard drive too). It's BSODing about once a day if I use firefox on it a lot, so I try to avoid websurfing on it. But really, it could use an upgrade. Originally I just wanted to put some cheap stuff in it, just to keep it running. But now, really, I'd like to put Windows 7 Pro on it and make it my main work machine. That way I have two machines that I can test and compare my work on, this would be quite helpful for my job. Plus, because it's for work and I'm self employed, it's a tax writeoff.

But... I need advice on what to put in it. I've been looking at processors and mobos and everything else and it's just boggling to me about all the stats and stuff. Remember I do graphics works, this is 2d and 3d work. I need something that can handle a motherlode of abuse.

Just keep in mind I have two requirements: nVidia and AMD (Mostly because I just bought BFG-295 graphics cards which will go into the new machine :P)

Parts I will need: Power supply, Hard Drives, Fans/heatsink, Processor, Motherboard and RAM (I think that's all. All the rest will be covered by stuff we already have).

So lemme know what you guys think would be the best bang for the buck. I'll be shopping on Newegg for the parts, so links on their site would be really helpful!
 
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From:cesarin
Date:November 6th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
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newegg is almost always the best place, unless you're buying for a very hot thing.. since they price gouge when a product gets popular ( like the HD5870's series of AMD atm.)
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From:daemonpontos
Date:November 6th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
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For CPU, if you want AMD, definitely get a Phenom II X4 965 or 945 (Socket AM3).

For Motherboard get an AM3 one with either the chipset 790FX or 790GX (This one has integrated graphics, which you wont need anyway, but can be a temporal solution if you end up without a GPU for whatever reason).
Good brands are Asus, Gigabyte (I had very good experiences with them).

For memory, just get a good kit of DDR3 memory of 1333mhz or 1600mhz (Check the motherboard if it supports the latter). Discard Value stuff, and try to get ones with the lowest timings possible.
Good brands are OCZ, G-Skill, Corsair, and others i don't recall now.
Make sure to get two or four identical modules, so you can run them in dual channel mode.

Hard Drive depends on your needs. For speed get an SSD, for storage a normal HDD (Raptors are about the fastest among normal HDDs).
You can get two or more and put them on RAID to either improve performance or have protect your data from potential HDD failures.

Not sure what to recommend for heatsink and PS, but the bundled heatsink on the Phenom II CPUs is not too bad.

Hope that helps :)
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From:jakkal
Date:November 6th, 2009 11:33 am (UTC)
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Thanks, that did help. Now I can start looking at what's out there tomorrow. =]
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From:dasboese
Date:November 7th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
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If I may put in my own two cents here, as far as hard disks are concerned, SSDs or Raptors make absolutely no sense unless you're either a hardcore gaming nerd or building a server, and in the case of SSDs, like to kick your PC a lot.
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From:baphnedia
Date:November 6th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
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Given that the system is 6 years old, I'd suggest that you may want to go ahead and get a new machine to work from. The old machine may be good enough to make a worthy donation to someone, or to an organization somewhere.

My $0.02.
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From:jakkal
Date:November 6th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
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Well I'll be using the case from it and probably the CD drive on it, that never gets used anyway. Not even sure if it works. So really it's just the rest of the parts that would get thrown out. Not really much to donate.
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From:dasboese
Date:November 7th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
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For hard drives, you might want to look at a Western Digital Caviar Green, which is their line of desktop drives optimized for silence and low power consumption. I guess they're not as fast as some other disks out there, but the speed is decent, faster than my old IDE drive in any case. I bought one of these to replace the toasted primary disk in my old HP workstation. Admittedly it had to be quick because it was 6pm or so on a saturday, but they were among the cheapest hard drives for any given capacity, so if you're looking for a bargain I can heartily recommend them. They're available up to 2TB now, back then I got myself a 500GB one.

What you definitely want in a hard drive is a SATA interface, which is much faster than the IDE interface on older disks and standard on all new mainboards. Most mainboards still have at least one IDE port to connect your old CD/DVD drive or burner to, but you should probably check to be sure.

Link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=wd+caviar+green&x=0&y=0

Jakkal's Ramblings

The Equal Opportunity Offender