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64 bit Workstation suggestions.

 
 
John John
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2005
Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation?
I checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty
pricey. I want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would
like to start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices
are a bit limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit
programs properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on
this "test drive" machine.

Regards;

John
 
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Andre Da Costa [Extended64]
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2005
Then you wouldn't want a workstation in the first place. Workstations tend
to be for technical environments and tend to be expensive. In your case you
want something you can afford and be able to do testing with. I would
suggest you check out the HP Pavillion desktops. All 64 bit machines can
handle 32 bit programs, 64 bit processors from AMD and Intel run 32 bit
Windows XP which runs 32 bit software just fine. Running 32 bit software on
64 bit Windows is another story, most applications will run just fine with
the exception of those that 16-bit and 32-bit applications that use 16 bit
installers. You will likely encounter
hardware problems with Printers, Scanners and some digital cameras that use
Firewire. I would recommend you give XP Pro x64 a try in a dual boot
configuration first before committing and its also recommended you keep back
XP x86 in a dual boot configuration just in case you encounter problems with
legacy applications.

Download the trial:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/6...ion/trial.mspx

Also check out the following post by Charlie Russel on his website about
resolving Printer Driver issues on x64:
http://msmvps.com/xperts64/archive/2.../18/54021.aspx
http://msmvps.com/xperts64/archive/2.../05/61685.aspx


a1130e
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...computer_store

d4100e
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...computer_store
--
Andre
Extended64 | http://www.extended64.com
Blog | http://www.extended64.com/blogs/andre
http://spaces.msn.com/members/adacosta
FAQ for MS AntiSpy http://www.geocities.com/marfer_mvp/FAQ_MSantispy.htm

"John John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation? I
> checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty pricey. I
> want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would like to
> start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices are a bit
> limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit programs
> properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on this "test
> drive" machine.
>
> Regards;
>
> John



 
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Charlie Russel - MVP
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2005
Personally, if cost is a factor, I'd build it yourself. Let's you control
the tradeoffs between functionality and cost. And also lets you make
decisions based on what drivers are available. The real problem with the
current crop of 64-bit machines is they are either higher end workstations,
or they do NOT include x64 Edition and don't have good driver support, IME.
But the better mobo mfg's are doing a better job of providing x64 drivers.

--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/xperts64

John John wrote:
> Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation?
> I checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty
> pricey. I want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would
> like to start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices
> are a bit limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit
> programs properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on
> this "test drive" machine.
>
> Regards;
>
> John



 
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wewa
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2005
I did exactly what you did 11 months ago, and was flabbergasted as to how
much a 64bit workstation cost, just to play with x64. Yikes!

I'll let you in on a cool hack.
Just remember that I called it a 'hack,' exactly what it is, but if you are
technically inclined, you will enjoy great benefits at great price.

Level 1 hack:
You can get a dell server for about $499, depending on the deal you grab at
the moment.
I got one last year, and its a dual capable xeon 3ghz, 160GB SATA,
10/100/1000 NIC, 512MB ECC, 1 year onsite, etc.
Then you can load x64 and it works great.
Keep in mind Dell won't provide support for running workstation OS on a
server hardware.
You still have hardware warranty, of course.
Well, until you get to the next part anyway.
You can stop here, if all you wanted was a simple x64 workstation.

Level 2 hack:
The standard video is lame, but luckily, it is a card you can remove.
You can go buy a PCI Express 16 dual DVI (I bought a BFG 6600) or whatever
your fancy and install it for higher performance.
You can get a Dremel or equivalent and burr out the plastic divider on the
PCI Express slot to turn it into a PCI Express 8 slot.
Then you can insert the 16 wide video card and you now have dual DVI or
whatever you please.
Not 16, but not bad.

Level 3 hack:
If you purchased 2 servers, then you can combine them. Get the RAM, HDD, and
even the Xeon processor (you will need to order a additional CPU shroud from
Dell - not included) from the spare machine, stick it into the primary
machine, and you just built yourself a dual processor Xeon workstation for
$1k or less.
Sell the canniballized server (case, motherboard, ps, etc.) or keep it for
backup.

I have it posted on my blog and there is even a web forum for discussing
this 'dell server hack.' It has been done since the dell celeron server $299
model way back when...

I have been running it for 11 months now, with great pleasure.

You can even dual boot x64 and Mac OS X Tiger Intel.


"John John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation? I
> checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty pricey. I
> want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would like to
> start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices are a bit
> limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit programs
> properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on this "test
> drive" machine.
>
> Regards;
>
> John



 
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John John
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-03-2005
Thanks Andre, I hadn't thought of HP.

John

Andre Da Costa [Extended64] wrote:

> Then you wouldn't want a workstation in the first place. Workstations tend
> to be for technical environments and tend to be expensive. In your case you
> want something you can afford and be able to do testing with. I would
> suggest you check out the HP Pavillion desktops. All 64 bit machines can
> handle 32 bit programs, 64 bit processors from AMD and Intel run 32 bit
> Windows XP which runs 32 bit software just fine. Running 32 bit software on
> 64 bit Windows is another story, most applications will run just fine with
> the exception of those that 16-bit and 32-bit applications that use 16 bit
> installers. You will likely encounter
> hardware problems with Printers, Scanners and some digital cameras that use
> Firewire. I would recommend you give XP Pro x64 a try in a dual boot
> configuration first before committing and its also recommended you keep back
> XP x86 in a dual boot configuration just in case you encounter problems with
> legacy applications.
>
> Download the trial:
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/6...ion/trial.mspx
>
> Also check out the following post by Charlie Russel on his website about
> resolving Printer Driver issues on x64:
> http://msmvps.com/xperts64/archive/2.../18/54021.aspx
> http://msmvps.com/xperts64/archive/2.../05/61685.aspx
>
>
> a1130e
> http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...computer_store
>
> d4100e
> http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...computer_store

 
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John John
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-03-2005
Thanks Charlie. That was my first idea but I was concerned of the
difficulties of finding 64 bit drivers for the devices, so I though a
preconfigured machine might be better. But you have rekindled the idea
of the "back yard" build.

John

Charlie Russel - MVP wrote:

> Personally, if cost is a factor, I'd build it yourself. Let's you control
> the tradeoffs between functionality and cost. And also lets you make
> decisions based on what drivers are available. The real problem with the
> current crop of 64-bit machines is they are either higher end workstations,
> or they do NOT include x64 Edition and don't have good driver support, IME.
> But the better mobo mfg's are doing a better job of providing x64 drivers.
>

 
Reply With Quote
 
John John
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-03-2005
Thanks wewa, that Dell server idea is a pretty clever one, worth
investigating. Who cares if Dell won't support it, I have a bunch of
Dells at work and in all the years I have had them I only called Dell
support twice. The first time was handled by the server/enterprise guys
in Texas, the guys knew what they were talking about. The second time
was handled by a fellow in some call centre I don't know where and he
knew less about Dell computers (or computers in general) than I did!

John

wewa wrote:

> I did exactly what you did 11 months ago, and was flabbergasted as to how
> much a 64bit workstation cost, just to play with x64. Yikes!
>
> I'll let you in on a cool hack.
> Just remember that I called it a 'hack,' exactly what it is, but if you are
> technically inclined, you will enjoy great benefits at great price.
>
> Level 1 hack:
> You can get a dell server for about $499, depending on the deal you grab at
> the moment.
> I got one last year, and its a dual capable xeon 3ghz, 160GB SATA,
> 10/100/1000 NIC, 512MB ECC, 1 year onsite, etc.
> Then you can load x64 and it works great.
> Keep in mind Dell won't provide support for running workstation OS on a
> server hardware.
> You still have hardware warranty, of course.
> Well, until you get to the next part anyway.
> You can stop here, if all you wanted was a simple x64 workstation.
>
> Level 2 hack:
> The standard video is lame, but luckily, it is a card you can remove.
> You can go buy a PCI Express 16 dual DVI (I bought a BFG 6600) or whatever
> your fancy and install it for higher performance.
> You can get a Dremel or equivalent and burr out the plastic divider on the
> PCI Express slot to turn it into a PCI Express 8 slot.
> Then you can insert the 16 wide video card and you now have dual DVI or
> whatever you please.
> Not 16, but not bad.
>
> Level 3 hack:
> If you purchased 2 servers, then you can combine them. Get the RAM, HDD, and
> even the Xeon processor (you will need to order a additional CPU shroud from
> Dell - not included) from the spare machine, stick it into the primary
> machine, and you just built yourself a dual processor Xeon workstation for
> $1k or less.
> Sell the canniballized server (case, motherboard, ps, etc.) or keep it for
> backup.
>
> I have it posted on my blog and there is even a web forum for discussing
> this 'dell server hack.' It has been done since the dell celeron server $299
> model way back when...
>
> I have been running it for 11 months now, with great pleasure.
>
> You can even dual boot x64 and Mac OS X Tiger Intel.
>
>
> "John John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation? I
>>checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty pricey. I
>>want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would like to
>>start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices are a bit
>>limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit programs
>>properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on this "test
>>drive" machine.
>>
>>Regards;
>>
>>John

>
>
>

 
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Charlie Russel - MVP
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2005
Well, if cost is a factor, take a look at any one of the non-SLI 939
motherboards. (Don't go with 754, regardless.) Some of non-nvidia are quite
inexpensive, and work very well indeed. I have no driver issues (except the
Promise controller) on the ASUS A8V, and there are others, such as abit and
asrock, that are cheaper still. But check their drivers situations before
you plunk down your money.

--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/xperts64

John John wrote:
> Thanks Charlie. That was my first idea but I was concerned of the
> difficulties of finding 64 bit drivers for the devices, so I though a
> preconfigured machine might be better. But you have rekindled the idea
> of the "back yard" build.
>
> John
>
> Charlie Russel - MVP wrote:
>
>> Personally, if cost is a factor, I'd build it yourself. Let's you control
>> the tradeoffs between functionality and cost. And also lets you make
>> decisions based on what drivers are available. The real problem with the
>> current crop of 64-bit machines is they are either higher end
>> workstations, or they do NOT include x64 Edition and don't have good
>> driver support, IME. But the better mobo mfg's are doing a better job of
>> providing x64 drivers.



 
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Mercury
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2005
I just put together an Asus A8N-E (non SLI) a couple of days ago & it was a
breeze.

The install CD seemed to have everything needed for X64 with BIOS 1005 on
the board (which I believe is needed for X2 support). Never the less, check
what you need and download all updated drivers and bung them on a CD, make
the F6 driver floppy and so on...

I have run Prime95 on it overnight with 100% success (the RAM is
inappropriate) and the CPU (stock cooler) never going over 52c during a hot
day (Prime95 torture test again). CPU is normally < 40c.

This is a low cost, but very effective system and to me a reliable and dead
easy XP64 solution. Note: no firewire and only 4 x SATA ports (RAID 0, 1,
10, JBOD) and 1GB NIC.

CPU: XP 3500+ (waiting for X2's to come down)
RAM: 2 x 512mb A-Data cheapo sticks (I wouldn't use these normally)
HDD: 2 x 250 GB Seagate with NCQ
DVD: Pioneer 110D Dual Layer 16x DVD-RW
PSU: Antec Phantom 500w fanless (using a Task 500 watt loaner)
Graphics: Albatron 6600LE PCIe,
Floppy...

The PSU was the most expensive part - the Task PSU (on loan until the Antec
arrives) seems too good to be true @ 1/3 the price. I am waiting on ECC Ram
and an Antec case - not included in the price...total cost ~$US980 here (I
am not in the US). This excludes a case, RAM and includes only 1 of the
above HDD.

Bios everything on defaults initially & no issues at all.

So I encourage you to get an anti static wrist strap and BYO.

If that mobo does not have enough connectivity for your needs then shop
around - Tyan makes some more potent systems with PCI X and so on & is a
reputable brand. Post back or check reviews for comments on mobos if you are
unsure - some makes are crappy & are usually the cheaper ones.


"John John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation? I
> checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty pricey. I
> want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would like to
> start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices are a bit
> limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit programs
> properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on this "test
> drive" machine.
>
> Regards;
>
> John



 
Reply With Quote
 
Colin Barnhorst
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2005
You might also check CyberPower. I have found them several hundred dollars
cheaper than HP and Dell.

--
Colin Barnhorst [MVP Windows - Virtual Machine]
(Reply to the group only unless otherwise requested)
"John John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Thanks wewa, that Dell server idea is a pretty clever one, worth
> investigating. Who cares if Dell won't support it, I have a bunch of
> Dells at work and in all the years I have had them I only called Dell
> support twice. The first time was handled by the server/enterprise guys
> in Texas, the guys knew what they were talking about. The second time was
> handled by a fellow in some call centre I don't know where and he knew
> less about Dell computers (or computers in general) than I did!
>
> John
>
> wewa wrote:
>
>> I did exactly what you did 11 months ago, and was flabbergasted as to how
>> much a 64bit workstation cost, just to play with x64. Yikes!
>>
>> I'll let you in on a cool hack.
>> Just remember that I called it a 'hack,' exactly what it is, but if you
>> are technically inclined, you will enjoy great benefits at great price.
>>
>> Level 1 hack:
>> You can get a dell server for about $499, depending on the deal you grab
>> at the moment.
>> I got one last year, and its a dual capable xeon 3ghz, 160GB SATA,
>> 10/100/1000 NIC, 512MB ECC, 1 year onsite, etc.
>> Then you can load x64 and it works great.
>> Keep in mind Dell won't provide support for running workstation OS on a
>> server hardware.
>> You still have hardware warranty, of course.
>> Well, until you get to the next part anyway.
>> You can stop here, if all you wanted was a simple x64 workstation.
>>
>> Level 2 hack:
>> The standard video is lame, but luckily, it is a card you can remove.
>> You can go buy a PCI Express 16 dual DVI (I bought a BFG 6600) or
>> whatever your fancy and install it for higher performance.
>> You can get a Dremel or equivalent and burr out the plastic divider on
>> the PCI Express slot to turn it into a PCI Express 8 slot.
>> Then you can insert the 16 wide video card and you now have dual DVI or
>> whatever you please.
>> Not 16, but not bad.
>>
>> Level 3 hack:
>> If you purchased 2 servers, then you can combine them. Get the RAM, HDD,
>> and even the Xeon processor (you will need to order a additional CPU
>> shroud from Dell - not included) from the spare machine, stick it into
>> the primary machine, and you just built yourself a dual processor Xeon
>> workstation for $1k or less.
>> Sell the canniballized server (case, motherboard, ps, etc.) or keep it
>> for backup.
>>
>> I have it posted on my blog and there is even a web forum for discussing
>> this 'dell server hack.' It has been done since the dell celeron server
>> $299 model way back when...
>>
>> I have been running it for 11 months now, with great pleasure.
>>
>> You can even dual boot x64 and Mac OS X Tiger Intel.
>>
>>
>> "John John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>>>Can anyone suggest a good choice for a preconfigured 64 bit workstation?
>>>I checked Dell and Sun Microsystem but these machines are pretty pricey.
>>>I want something for test environment (ok a play toy). I would like to
>>>start on the 64 bit journey. Being that 64 bit software choices are a
>>>bit limited at the present I want a machine that can handle 32 bit
>>>programs properly as well. Finally, I don't want to spend a fortune on
>>>this "test drive" machine.
>>>
>>>Regards;
>>>
>>>John

>>
>>


 
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