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Norm Start 01-13-2009 03:31 PM

2 New Computer Questions
 
1. Is an "Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core 3GHz" processor 64-bit? If so,
will 32-bit OS or software run on it? I'd like to salvage some of my older
software from my broken older PC's hard drive which had an Intel P4 3-GHz and
XP Professional OS.

2. If a DVD Writer is included with the new PC, will it burn CDs as well?

Any tips where in the USA I might find a great online deal on a nice desktop
PC with open architecture and Windows XP Professional? I like the idea of
waiting for Windows 7 to be officially released before I switch from XP.

Thank you.

lars 01-13-2009 03:54 PM

Re: 2 New Computer Questions
 
Norm Start skrev:
> 1. Is an "Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core 3GHz" processor 64-bit? If so,


Yes.

> will 32-bit OS or software run on it?


Don't know.

> 2. If a DVD Writer is included with the new PC, will it burn CDs as well?


It only burn cd's, there is nothing else to burn.

Dan C 01-13-2009 03:59 PM

Re: 2 New Computer Questions
 
On Tue, 13 Jan 2009 15:31:59 +0000, Norm Start wrote:

> 1. Is an "Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core 3GHz" processor 64-bit? If
> so, will 32-bit OS or software run on it?


Yes, and Yes.

> 2. If a DVD Writer is included with the new PC, will it burn CDs as
> well?


Yes.


--
"Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".
The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org
Ahhhhhhh!: http://brandybuck.site40.net/pics/relieve.jpg

VanguardLH 01-13-2009 08:38 PM

Re: 2 New Computer Questions
 
Norm Start wrote:

<my comments shown inline to body of original post>

> 1. Is an "Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core 3GHz" processor 64-bit?


Google works:

http://www.google.com/search?q=%2BIn...2BDuo+%2BE8400

in which the 2nd hit at Newegg lists the product which has a link to
the product's home page, and the 4th hit is Intel's spec on the
processor family which is at:

http://www.intel.com/products/proces...ifications.htm

Notice the "Intel 64 bit architecture" link in the short feature list?

> If so, will 32-bit OS or software run on it? I'd like to salvage some
> of my older software from my broken older PC's hard drive which had
> an Intel P4 3-GHz and XP Professional OS.


The Itanium is a true 64-bit processor. AMD's IA86-64 (later renamed
to AMD64) and originally called EMT64 by Intel is not true 64-bit but
instead a 32-bit processor with 64-bit instruction set extensions.

Itanium 64-bit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ia64

IA32-64 (32-bit with 64-bit extensions)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86-64

16-bit and 32-bit software will run in a 32-bit OS installed on an
IA86-64 hardware-based host. Must use 32-bit drivers (OS and drivers
must match). You are limited to 4GB RAM with 32-bit Windows but a
single process is limited to 2GB (unless written to support PAE and
that switch is used in boot.ini).

32-bit and 64-bit software will run in a 64-bit OS installed on an
IA86-64 hardware-based host. Must use 64-bit drivers (OS and drivers
must match). The theoretical limit for RAM addressing in a 64-bit OS
is 16 exabytes (1000 gigabytes); however, the hardware is often limited
to a far smaller addressing range (because the mobo won't support the
current draw for all those memory modules) and the OS often has its own
built-in limitations. Windows XP X64 is limited to 128GB physical RAM
and 8 terabytes of virtual memory per process.

Problems with a 64-bit OS:
- 16-bit apps may not work even when using a compatibility mode.
- 32-bit apps sometimes won't function properly so you need a 64-bit
version which may not be available (so you end up buying another
license for 32-bit Windows to run in a virtual machine with your
problematic applications.)
- Not all hardware has yet to provide 64-bit drivers. You may not be
able to use some of your hardware devices.

Because of the significant and larger count of problems using a 64-bit
Windows, especially by users trying to use their old software and not
doing proper pre-planning and pre-installation setup, like ensuring all
hardware has 64-bit drivers (and that they are stable drivers), all
prebuilt hosts come with the 32-bit version Windows unless the purchase
order specified the 64-bit version. If you choose to get a 64-bit
version of Windows, also plan on using VMWare Server or VirtualPC (both
free) to install yet another license (which costs money) of a 32-bit
version of Windows to run in a virtual machine to handle all those 16-
and 32-bit apps that won't run under 64-bit Windows.

Saying that you have "Windows XP Professional" does NOT explicitly state
whether you have the 32- or 64-bit version of it. However, unless
"x64" is included in the product name, the assumption is that the
32-bit version is being discussed. Windows XP Pro 32-bit will run on
IA86-64 architecture.

> 2. If a DVD Writer is included with the new PC, will it burn CDs as
> well?


If new, it is highly likely (i.e., nearly impossible) that it is an old
16-bit version. It is a 32-bit application and will run under both 32-
and 64-bit versions of Windows. It isn't the bit-width of the
application that is most important. It is the driver and OS must
match. It is likely that you do not need to install a special driver
for your rewritable drive but if you do then make sure it matches the
OS (i.e., 32-bit driver for 32-bit OS or 64-bit driver for 64-bit OS).

The software included with a drive will support whatever disc media the
drive can support. You think they would include burning software for a
DVD-RW/CD-RW drive that only supported DVD-RW?

> Any tips where in the USA I might find a great online deal on a nice
> desktop PC with open architecture and Windows XP Professional?


Typically I get my hardware from newegg.com. They aren't the absolute
cheapest but are usually within 3rd to 5th in the ascending price order
plus they are a known trusted online vendor with good return policies.
mwave.com used to have some cheaper prices but now I tend to just stick
with newegg.com unless they don't have the part that I want. That's
for hardware. They're somewhat hit and miss for software prices but no
point in going through the list of other sites where I look for
software because you're only interested in hardware an reusing your old
software.

You could use Froogle (Google's product search) to find the cheapest
prices but be aware that the absolute cheapest places may not be the
most reliable or trustworthy, not have quick shipping times, not offer
free shipping on some products or combined discount shipping on
multiple products, or have a decent return or exchange policy.

> I like the idea of waiting for Windows 7 to be officially released
> before I switch from XP.


You don't switch your OS unless there is an actual reason to do so.
That there is a new version of an OS is *not* a valid reason to switch.
Depends on how well marketing has converted you into a "newer is
better" drone. Do you also buy a new car when there is nothing wrong
with your old one? Most consumers do but not for rational reasons.
They want a new car. They don't need a new car. Same for the OS.

I have no reason to switch from Windows XP Pro 32-bit to a 64-bit
version of it or to either a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows Vista.
None of my applications require an OS change. Nothing of the newer OS
by itself mandates that I switch to it for my use of my computer.
Windows 7 is nothing more than window dressing atop the old Vista hence
still no reason for me to move to that newer version. Cleaning up the
UI, reducing menu navigation, and reducing UAC prompts are tasks that I
could do with Vista (get rid of Aero and go with classic UI, get rid of
Fisher-Price dialogs, disable UAC). To users, Win7 will be rolled up
service pack and Vista Plus Pak for Vista. With Microsoft's current
trend in trying to message Vista to make it more palatable to consumers,
I suspect that I'll be using Windows XP until maybe 2014 (or have
switched before that to some free Linux-based distro, like Ubuntu, and
use multibooting, not Microsoft's stupid dual-booting, to load a Windows
version to run a game). I would need some killer app (that I really
must have) that required the new OS before I'll switch. There are some
games that require Vista but I've managed to calm my desire for them.
While games push the envelope for both hardware and OS and are often the
push to consumers to get the newer version of an OS and spend more on
hardware, they are also some of the worst code written regarding
stability and compatibility. Newer hardware and newer OS are pretty
steep prices to pay just to play a new game yet there are folks that
don't do much with their new stuff that actually requires that new stuff
other than the games they play. There are cheaper gaming platforms.

From Paul Thurrott's "Windows 7 Feature Focus"
(http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/ff.asp):

Aero Peek
Like hitting Win+M is too difficult to see what's on the desktop?

Aero Snaps
Customizable fluff for the UI. Non-essential to the actual OS.

Accessibility improvements.
I'm not handicapped and only those folks can truly comment if Microsoft
has indeed made access easier for them.

Action Center.
Oh puh-lease. Nothing to do with real security. Just another fluff
dialog center. No security app requires this dialog to actually provide
security.

Backup and Restore.
Yes, it's better. Better doesn't make it good. I'll stick with better
featured 3rd party backup apps. The only feature of MS backup software
is that it supports Volume Shadow Service (VSS) whereas many consumer-
grade backup apps don't (a few do but often you have to go to the Pro or
Workstation versions - yet some work fine without it to restore a
completely usable image of a partition).

Bitlocker To Go.
The storage device will need to support this feature. You might have to
get new hardware.

Blu-Ray support.
Have you bought a Blu-Ray drive that didn't come with software to
provide support for that drive's Blu-Ray features?

Calculator.
And Calculator Plus has been available for download from Microsoft for
several years. I have it. Not yet needed it.

Credential Manager.
Not sure what all functions this provides. If storing pre-filled forms
is what you need, Roboform and IE7Pro (free) give you that.

Device Stage.
Not required for a device maker to provide a UI to functions of their
device. If they didn't provide a UI before, they won't because of this.

Devices and Printers.
Yet another aggregation dialog that changes your navigation paths. Did
anyone actually like the inane Control Panel setup (before they switched
back to the classic view)?

DirectAccess.
Yet Microsoft again wanting to establish a properietary communications
protocol and must be used in a Microsoft-based domain network since it
requires Windows Server 2003 at the other end.

DirectX 11.
Yet another excuse for game makers to claim that you must have DX11 to
support the execution of their new game and force you to the new OS.

Display improvements.
The features of which should've been included in the software provided
by your video card maker.

Getting Started.
Does anyone use the learning videos or guides that have come with any
version of Windows? Hell, they don't even use the included help files
(Start -> Help) for the OS or the included help in the apps. Instead
they post to newsgroups for hand holding them to read back the same
help.

HomeGroup.
Probably of help to noobs who want to know nothing of how to do
networking setup. They want to be the admin but not have to learn the
tasks of being an admin.

Internet Explorer.
You don't need to get Windows 7 if you want to get Internet Explorer 8
when it finally does get released.

Libraries.
Microsoft finally gets around to adding some virtualization to system
folders (i.e., redirecting to protected locations). Altiris SVS has
been around for a few years and does a far better job (Symantec gobbled
this up). Virtual machines, sandboxes, and policy enforcers with
pseudo-sandboxes have long used virtual folders to protect the OS.
Microsoft trying to catch up again.

Location-Aware Printing.
Do users really have such a hard time selecting the correct printer to
which they want to submit their print job?

Paint.
Oh yeah, like anyone wanting more feature in Paint is going to use an
updated version of it. They'll continue using better 3rd party apps
some of which are free and very potent (IrfanView, GimpShop).

Parental Controls.
Microsoft is way behind the curve. If parents want to limit their kids'
exposure to "bad" stuff, get censorware, enforce whitelists at the
router (to which they don't have physical access), and/or use OpenDNS
with its categories or domains that you can block instead of using your
ISP's DNS server.

Power Config.
Sounds like something to do with battery life. "... identifying
problems, settings, applications, and other things that may be reducing
the power efficiency of your PC."

Problem Steps Recorder.
CamStudio has been free for years.

ReadyBoost.
Oh yeah, that's what I want to: add more memory that is far, far slower
than system memory. If you're going to fork out the money for a USB
drive to add s-l-o-w memory for use by Windows, just fork out the same
money to buy new memory modules, crack open the case, and install them!
Up the fast memory. Don't add slow memory, especially flash memory
which gets slower as the masking algorithm has to redirect past byte
blocks that go bad and eventually the flash drive suddenly and
catastrophically fails (and takes all pending write data with it).

ReadyBoost first appeared in Windows Vista, providing users with a way
to cheaply and easily improve the performance of their PCs by utilizing
a USB memory key as a memory cache. In Windows 7, ReadyBoost is improved
in numerous way: It supports multiple memory devices, can work with USB
memory keys, Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, and other internal flash
devices, and supports over 4 GB of storage.

Scenic Ribbon.
More fluff they want you to pay for.

Sensor support.
Microsoft plays catch-up again.

Start Menu (Enhanced).
More childish fluff to make *something* different about the OS to
qualify you paying for a new version of that OS.

Startup Repair.
Haven't use it in Vista. Can't comment on this. Hopefully it does more
than just booting using the "last known good configuration" option.

Sticky Notes.
Like no one knows of 3rd party sticky note utilities? And for a lot
cheaper (some free) than the cost of a new version of Windows?

Styles.
Yep, more fluff and they want you to pay for it.

System Restore.
Which was of very limited value. Many users thought this was an image
restore which it is not. It only backs up *system* files to get the
*system* (OS) back to a prior usable state. It often doesn't work. It
won't do anything to restore your hard disk to a prior state. Get
imaging software for that.

Tablet PC.
Can't speak on this enhancements. Don't use one.

User Account Control.
Users that want to get rid of the prompts simply turn this off. Then
they use security software that doesn't have the prompts to give them
the same level of security, like using Online Armor with its RunSafer
option to remove privileges from any web browser or other app.

View Available Networks.
So they simplified the view and want to charge you for it.

Virtual Hard Disk support.
So get VirtualPC. You don't need Windows 7 to load a VHD to get a
virtual host. VirtualPC will do that. VMWare Server will do that using
its converter utility. Both are free. Both have been around for a long
time.

VPN Reconnect.
Improved but 3rd party VPN-alikes are more secure and handle reconnects
after a temporary outage.

Windows Anytime Upgrade.
Debuted in Windows Vista, was too confusing, so it was removed. this
returns to electronic upgrading so you can upgrade between the versions
within the Windows 7 family in about 10 minutes. It's for folks that
couldn't be bothered to investigate what features they deemed critical
and instead bought the cheapest version and now want the features in the
more pricey version.

Windows Defender.
Oh yeah, like anyone really relies on this for anti-malware protection.
Detection rate is very low. When I used this, it wasn't for its pest
coverage but to alert me when an app wanted to make changes to my host,
like for startup, scheduled task, or browser changes. I can do the same
with WinPatrol and there are better anti-malware products out there than
Defender.

Windows Easy Transfer.
I prefer doing a fresh install of an OS rather than drag along old setup
that might be causing the problems for which I did the fresh install.

Windows Explorer.
Fluff added to an old dinosaur.

Windows Gadgets.
Google has them. Yahoo has them. Now Microsoft has them. Usually just
a waste of memory and CPU cycles but users often like to customize their
UI to make it their own despite they don't really use or need them.

Windows Live.
Windows Live Essentials.
Already available and can be installed on Windows XP.

Windows Media Center.
My friends that used Windows XP Media Center always ended up finding and
using better 3rd party media apps. Suspect the same here.

Windows Media Player.
Some nice additions although your DVD drive already came with a DVD
player.

Windows PowerShell.
So you want to learn another Microsoft-proprietary scripting language?
Instead learn Perl which you can use on numerous versions of Windows and
even on non-Windows platforms.

Windows Search.
Some love this. Depends on how poorly they manage their file and folder
hierarchy (i.e., messy users love this). Helps on a network to find
files stored by others (provided they also don't pre-establish a
hierarchy for file storage). Can get in the way of many programs since
their files are locked. This isn't a new feature to Windows 7. You can
install it in Windows XP, too. Been around for quite awhile now.

Windows Taskbar (Enhanced).
Not an OS improvement. More fluff. Something to look changed to
qualify you forking out the money for the update that Microsoft want's
to sell as an upgrade.

Windows Touch.
Just what I want, uh huh. A touchscreen so I can't see under my fingers
and hand to where I'm pointing unless it's made into a large-sized
screen object. Cleaning the monitor, oh joy. Didn't touch monitors
already come with the enabling software?

Windows Troubleshooting.
No one used the old wizards. Why would they now? They'll still be
coming to newsgroups for free peer-level help.

Windows Update.
The updates are superfluous. Users should always reconfigure AU to
notify-only. Users should always do a custom selection of updates when
at the web site. Users should NEVER apply the hardware updates but
merely use them as a prompt to visit the hardware maker's web site (but
then if the hardware is working then you don't need the update; i.e.,
don't fix what ain't broke since the fix can then break it).

Wireless Device Network.
Your wireless laptop can be used as a wireless access point by other
wireless hosts but only if your laptop is connected to a wired network.
Guess it lets you not have to buy one wireless AP for your home network.

WordPad.
Adding fluff atop a minimalistic word processor. If you don't want to
pay Microsoft's high price for an Office suite, and to improve on what
WordPad can do (and by just more than a few extra features), go get
OpenOffice for free.

XPS Viewer.
The XPS viewer has been available for download for a year or two now.

Microsoft wants users to believe that Windows 7 is a new version of
Windows. They need to generate a new revenue flow for a new version.
They need to appear non-stagnant. They failed but are hoping you won't
notice.

Windows 7 = Windows Vista + service pack + Vista Plus Pak

Norm Start 01-14-2009 03:09 PM

Re: 2 New Computer Questions
 
Norm Start <Norm_Start@do_not.fill> parented this using
news:Xns9B9260F92B609NormStart@85.214.105.209:

> <questions trimmed away>


Thanks to everyone for the nice replies and information.

Norm Start 01-14-2009 03:09 PM

Re: 2 New Computer Questions
 
VanguardLH <V@nguard.LH> parented this using
news:gkiu3v$d0a$1@news.motzarella.org:

> Norm Start wrote:
>>
>> <original post trimmed away>

>
> <my comments shown inline to body of original post>


<VanguardLH's reply trimmed away - see the message link above>

Many thanks to you for the great information and considerations!

I have found a "Lenovo" at a nice price with some nice features but I am
worried that it has "on board" or "shared" video and audio functions.

http://www.buy.com/prod/lenovo-think...el-core-2-duo-
e8400-3ghz-2gb-ddr2/q/loc/101/208292269.html

The information from the above post has seriously effected my
contemplations and forward considerations to Windows 7 contingencies.
Perhaps I should just settle in with a good and stable Windows XP
Professional system.

I know people like to say "It depends on how you plan to use your PC," but
I like to use it for home/office activities. Like downloading and watching
movies rather than making or editing them. Or like connecting to a remote
office and exchanging some spreadsheet information. And like listening to
the internet radio all the while. Sometimes I might leave my desktop
computer running for weeks until I absolutely have to reboot. It also
filters my telephone calls with a free software called PhoneTray by
TraySoft which I learned about in the newsgroups and works to quash
telemarketers very well.

My biggest worry might be that I invest $1,000 and in the next couple of
months it is obsoleted by some new development which will not accomodate my
stored data and transactions. But your information has been very helpful
with those concerns. Thank you very especially for that.

VanguardLH 01-14-2009 10:17 PM

Re: 2 New Computer Questions
 
Norm Start wrote:

> I have found a "Lenovo" at a nice price with some nice features but I am
> worried that it has "on board" or "shared" video and audio functions.
>
> http://www.buy.com/prod/lenovo-think...el-core-2-duo-
> e8400-3ghz-2gb-ddr2/q/loc/101/208292269.html
>
> The information from the above post has seriously effected my
> contemplations and forward considerations to Windows 7 contingencies.
> Perhaps I should just settle in with a good and stable Windows XP
> Professional system.
>
> I know people like to say "It depends on how you plan to use your PC," but
> I like to use it for home/office activities. Like downloading and watching
> movies rather than making or editing them. Or like connecting to a remote
> office and exchanging some spreadsheet information. And like listening to
> the internet radio all the while. Sometimes I might leave my desktop
> computer running for weeks until I absolutely have to reboot. It also
> filters my telephone calls with a free software called PhoneTray by
> TraySoft which I learned about in the newsgroups and works to quash
> telemarketers very well.
>
> My biggest worry might be that I invest $1,000 and in the next couple of
> months it is obsoleted by some new development which will not accomodate my
> stored data and transactions. But your information has been very helpful
> with those concerns. Thank you very especially for that.


I haven't bought a sound card in a long time (maybe 8 years) because the
onboard audio has been sufficient for my needs and even for many games.
The only time where I might've wanted a better sound card is back when I
had 6 speakers so I was surrounded by them and could use the enhanced
spatial features in the sound (which had to be supported in the game) so
I could hear an AI sneak up on me from behind or from the side. Some
games will use audio to provide feedback for what you don't see on the
monitor, just like your ears are independent of your eyes to perceive
your environment. I only have 2 speakers and subwoofer now so a high-
end sound card would be pointless.

System RAM is slower than video RAM so onboard video will not play well
some high-end video games. I'm still using an old host with an ATI x850
AGP video card (highest performer that I could find for AGP) and there
are some games that have to be played at less then their maximum
settings so the game is playable. To up the anti-alias, frame rate,
resolution, etc., to get better video for the newest games would require
me to replace the mobo and video card. So you will run into similar
limitations with onboard video using slower system memory. If you not
doing graphics editing, AutoCAD, or high-end games then you probably
won't notice a problem using the onboard video. However, since it
steals its memory from system RAM, that gets reduced for what your OS
and applications get to use. After several years of having 2GB in my
desktop, I still don't use more than 3/4 of it unless I get into video
editing (like when converting or modifying a movie before cutting it to
DVD-R).

Since the Lenova model you mention is a desktop, you can buy it as-is to
see if it meets your needs. If you find the video is lacking for
high-end (and pricey) new games, you can later get a video card to stick
inside the case (the tech specs list a PCI-e 16x slot you could use for
a new video card). You can get some info about the Intel Graphics Media
Accelerator 3100 at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA. It video
supports shader v4 so you should be good to go with all games (my old
ATI X850 with V2 can't run them). However, you'll notice the max memory
bandwidth is 12.8 GB/s for DDR2 (what is in this Lenovo). My 8-year old
ATI X850 AGP video card has 34.56 GB/s for memory bandwidth; see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ocessing_units.
So I can push 2.7 times more bytes through the GPU on my really old ATI
than you could with this Intel 3100 onboard chip hence why frame rates
and resolution (to get the frame rates down) would be limitations in
playing games on this Lenovo host. But then you can test for yourself
and decide later if you need to dole out the mega bucks for a better
video card.

The monitor is shown in the picture but not included so you'll have to
buy one. Also, I never care about any keyboard and mouse that might be
included because almost invariably they are not what I like to use. I
always buy the mouse and keyboard separately and often have to go
through several brands and models before I find one that I like (and
then buy 3 of them to have 2 spares because also invariably is that
those models get discontinued and I have would have to go through the
entire trial and return process again). Similarly, I never buy LCD
monitors online unless I have already tested using it at home. The cost
differential for getting it a retail store pays for me being able to see
it under my actual use instead of the bogus setup at the store that
likes to show pictures and movies rather than show a static screen at
high/native resolution to check for color tinges or sharpness. You're
looking at the monitor every day and for several hours each day. Going
cheap on the LCD monitor isn't smart, just like getting a $5 keyboard
and $3 mouse (their cost) doesn't make sense. Comfort is important due
to the long hours you will spend at your computer.


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