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Time to upgrade..

 
 
Peter Jenkins
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-03-2008
I use my current PC for browsing and document and file handling - and
usually have huge numbers of tabs running, and usually multiple
browsers, plus email, plus torrents, and a media player playing music.
I may also be moving large quantities of files back and forth from my
external drives or camera or flash drives and/or burning CD's etc all
at the same time. The only thing I never use the machine for is
gaming, which I doubt it's on board graphics could cope with anyway.

Understandably my current nine year old PIII 600 is really struggling
with this sort of workload now, and it is getting a bit past it, so I
am looking at getting a new machine, which I intend to hang on to for
a while. I will be dual booting to Ubuntu and XP. I have decided that
XP is mature enough now having made the leap to Win 2K about 4 years
back.


Given that my primary requirements are stability and reliability,
rather than utmost speed, I am looking at buying midrange components
of good quality. The set up I am thinking of getting is this;

Intel 8400 Core2 Duo 3Ghz CPU with 1333 MHz FSB around $255
Given that almost all the software I will run is old, with the
exception of Firefox 3 and Ubuntu. I see no point in going to Quad
Core

Intel Box DG33BUC G33 Motherboard? $169 went for Intel as I want it
to work well with the CPU, and reliability/stability is important more
than a little extra speed. Or would a Gigabyte board be just as good/
better? My local supplier I use also has Abit boards, are these any
good?

4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, name brand - Transcend? G-Skill? Any brands to
stay away from?

Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
Australia.... I like to have backups...

Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card? I was
looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
bigger- any brands people here recommend/avoid?

It's been quite a while since I last bought a computer, so my
knowledge is a little rusty, and advise/ input from those who know
about these things (especially misfit who seems to really know his
stuff) would be greatly appreciated

Thanks and Regards
Peter Jenkins
see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz
 
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Gordon
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-03-2008
On 2008-07-03, Peter Jenkins <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> Given that my primary requirements are stability and reliability,
> rather than utmost speed,


And yet you are talking about going RAID 0. I would say that a single SATA drive
would be able to keep up.



> I am looking at buying midrange components
> of good quality. The set up I am thinking of getting is this;
>
> Intel 8400 Core2 Duo 3Ghz CPU with 1333 MHz FSB around $255
> Given that almost all the software I will run is old, with the
> exception of Firefox 3 and Ubuntu. I see no point in going to Quad
> Core


You plan to keep the machine for awhile. What happens if the software is
able to make the 4 cores work hard all at once before you upgrade again?

>
> Intel Box DG33BUC G33 Motherboard? $169 went for Intel as I want it
> to work well with the CPU, and reliability/stability is important more
> than a little extra speed. Or would a Gigabyte board be just as good/
> better? My local supplier I use also has Abit boards, are these any
> good?


If there was a difference between and Intel CPU/MB and Interl CPU and other
brand MB, how come there are so many other brand MB?

>
> Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
> than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
> onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
> drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
> Australia.... I like to have backups...
>
> Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
> dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card? I was
> looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
> bigger- any brands people here recommend/avoid?


I have this feeling that price is a good guide. Higher price good power
supply.

I also feel that there is a bit of a myth as to how much power a machine
requires. Still as Tim the Tool Man Taylor, often said more power is good.

I have a "mere" 300 watt Zalman power supply. I have the feeling that
it could supply its quoted full power 24/7 and without breaking into a
sweat.
 
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Peter Jenkins
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
On Jul 3, 6:34 pm, Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On 2008-07-03, Peter Jenkins <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Given that my primary requirements are stability and reliability,
> > rather than utmost speed,

>
> And yet you are talking about going RAID 0. I would say that a single SATA drive
> would be able to keep up.


If RAID 0 will not give me a significant performance advantage,
especially in start up and shut down speed, then fair enough I'll just
use a single disc. The reason I prioritised performance over
reliability for the hard drive is that I back up my crucial data
regularly anyway onto an external drive etc etc

>
> > I am looking at buying midrange components
> > of good quality. The set up I am thinking of getting is this;

>
> > Intel 8400 Core2 Duo 3Ghz CPU with 1333 MHz FSB around $255
> > Given that almost all the software I will run is old, with the
> > exception of Firefox 3 and Ubuntu. I see no point in going to Quad
> > Core

>
> You plan to keep the machine for awhile. What happens if the software is
> able to make the 4 cores work hard all at once before you upgrade again?



Good point. I think the motherboards that support the Core 2 Duo I
want will also support a Quad core, so if I feel the need to go to a
Quad Core at a later stage I can do so. Mind you if I've got this far
on a PIII 600 I think I'll be able to stretch the core 2 Duo out a few
years....

>
>
>
> > Intel Box DG33BUC G33 Motherboard? $169 went for Intel as I want it
> > to work well with the CPU, and reliability/stability is important more
> > than a little extra speed. Or would a Gigabyte board be just as good/
> > better? My local supplier I use also has Abit boards, are these any
> > good?

>
> If there was a difference between and Intel CPU/MB and Interl CPU and other
> brand MB, how come there are so many other brand MB?


True. I really dont know that much about the current motherboards,
that's why I was hoping for suggestions and/or recommendations. I
mainly went with Intel because it is what I have in my current machine
and it has lasted 9 years without any problems The Intel is also
at a good price at the place I use (because it's close by and I have
had good dealings with them in the past). Just want something where
the caps wont start leaking after 5-6 years


>
>
>
> > Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
> > than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
> > onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
> > drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
> > Australia.... I like to have backups...

>
> > Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
> > dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card? I was
> > looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
> > bigger- any brands people here recommend/avoid?

>
> I have this feeling that price is a good guide. Higher price good power
> supply.
>
> I also feel that there is a bit of a myth as to how much power a machine
> requires. Still as Tim the Tool Man Taylor, often said more power is good.
>
> I have a "mere" 300 watt Zalman power supply. I have the feeling that
> it could supply its quoted full power 24/7 and without breaking into a
> sweat.


Agree with that. Will not be getting a cheap no name power supply, but
I dont need a top end one either since I wont be running graphics card
or RAID 0 either by the sounds of it

Regards
Peter Jenkins
see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz
 
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Peter Jenkins
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
On Jul 3, 7:41 pm, Bobs <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Peter Jenkins wrote:
> > I use my current PC for browsing and document and file handling - and
> > usually have huge numbers of tabs running, and usually multiple
> > browsers, plus email, plus torrents, and a media player playing music.
> > I may also be moving large quantities of files back and forth from my
> > external drives or camera or flash drives and/or burning CD's etc all
> > at the same time. The only thing I never use the machine for is
> > gaming, which I doubt it's on board graphics could cope with anyway.

>
> > Understandably my current nine year old PIII 600 is really struggling
> > with this sort of workload now, and it is getting a bit past it, so I
> > am looking at getting a new machine, which I intend to hang on to for
> > a while. I will be dual booting to Ubuntu and XP. I have decided that
> > XP is mature enough now having made the leap to Win 2K about 4 years
> > back.

>
> > Given that my primary requirements are stability and reliability,
> > rather than utmost speed, I am looking at buying midrange components
> > of good quality. The set up I am thinking of getting is this;

>
> > Intel 8400 Core2 Duo 3Ghz CPU with 1333 MHz FSB around $255
> > Given that almost all the software I will run is old, with the
> > exception of Firefox 3 and Ubuntu. I see no point in going to Quad
> > Core

>
> Well, how long are you planning to use this PC for? Five years? If so,
> I'd look at quad core since 6-core cpus will be out by years end, and
> will be mainstream by xmas 2009. Do you really want to be stuck at dual
> core when in two years even low end pcs will be 4-core and mid range 6 core?


At least 5 years, given that have had my current machine for 9.
Perhaps I'll just make sure that the motherboard I pick will support
Quad core as well so if I need to upgarde I can. Mind you being "stuck
at dual core" has still got to be better than stuck at a PIII 600!

>
>
>
> > Intel Box DG33BUC G33 Motherboard? $169 went for Intel as I want it
> > to work well with the CPU, and reliability/stability is important more
> > than a little extra speed. Or would a Gigabyte board be just as good/
> > better? My local supplier I use also has Abit boards, are these any
> > good?

>
> Don't like Intel motherboards, I'd rather go for ASUS or Gigabyte.


Fair enough, I only piacked Intel because its what I have now and it
has lasted and lasted. That matters to me. Anyone else have positive/
negative views on ASUS/ Gigabyte boards, especially on their longevity

>
> For not much more than $1000 you can get
>
> Intel Quad Core Q6600 at 2.4GHZ ~$350
> ASUS Motherboard (maybe P5K Pro for example) ~$190
> 4 GB Gskill DDR2-1000 RAM ~$180
> Nvidia 8500GT with TV-OUT/DVI/HDTV ~$90
> Half decent Case ~$80
> Silverstone 400W PSU $70
> Two 500GB Hard Disks ~$250
>
> You can easily overclock the Q6600 to 3GHZ and be rock solid stable if
> you so wish.
>


Thanks for that, that's not that far off what I had in mind. Apprciate
the input

Regards
Peter Jenkins
see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

>
>
> > 4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, name brand - Transcend? G-Skill? Any brands to
> > stay away from?

>
> > Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
> > than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
> > onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
> > drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
> > Australia.... I like to have backups...

>
> > Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
> > dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card? I was
> > looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
> > bigger- any brands people here recommend/avoid?

>
> > It's been quite a while since I last bought a computer, so my
> > knowledge is a little rusty, and advise/ input from those who know
> > about these things (especially misfit who seems to really know his
> > stuff) would be greatly appreciated

>
> > Thanks and Regards
> > Peter Jenkins
> > seehttp://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz


 
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~misfit~
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter Jenkins" typed:
> I use my current PC for browsing and document and file handling - and
> usually have huge numbers of tabs running, and usually multiple
> browsers, plus email, plus torrents, and a media player playing music.
> I may also be moving large quantities of files back and forth from my
> external drives or camera or flash drives and/or burning CD's etc all
> at the same time. The only thing I never use the machine for is
> gaming, which I doubt it's on board graphics could cope with anyway.
>
> Understandably my current nine year old PIII 600 is really struggling
> with this sort of workload now, and it is getting a bit past it, so I
> am looking at getting a new machine, which I intend to hang on to for
> a while. I will be dual booting to Ubuntu and XP. I have decided that
> XP is mature enough now having made the leap to Win 2K about 4 years
> back.
>
>
> Given that my primary requirements are stability and reliability,
> rather than utmost speed, I am looking at buying midrange components
> of good quality. The set up I am thinking of getting is this;
>
> Intel 8400 Core2 Duo 3Ghz CPU with 1333 MHz FSB around $255
> Given that almost all the software I will run is old, with the
> exception of Firefox 3 and Ubuntu. I see no point in going to Quad
> Core


While I agree that dual cores are the way to go, if you're intending to keep
this machine for 9 years as well that *could* change things. Personally, I'd
still go for an E8400. Whatever motherboard you get will be able to handle a
quad core anyway and, if you find the machine struggling in a few years time
(which I doubt given your stated usage) there's the option to upgrade the
CPU.

Personally, in the situation you describe, I'd still opt for the dual core.
Especially as it looks like it's running most of the time. Running a dual
core over a quad will save you quite a bit on power over the years (all else
being equal).

> Intel Box DG33BUC G33 Motherboard? $169 went for Intel as I want it
> to work well with the CPU, and reliability/stability is important more
> than a little extra speed. Or would a Gigabyte board be just as good/
> better? My local supplier I use also has Abit boards, are these any
> good?


I like Asus and have experience with the P5K range. They use Intel
north/southbridge so are very compatable. I would recommend a P5K-E or
higher. I see Bobs has suggested a P5K-Pro but personally I'd go for the
P5K-E (or the easier-to-find P5K-E WiFi/AP which is about the same price,
and the board I have). The P5K-Pro is a completely different board layout to
the -E which is based on the same PCB as the Premium and Deluxe. So, for a
few bucks more, I'd take the -E over the -Pro. The Pro also has less PCI
slots.

Abit have been good in the past but they seem to be fading into the
twilight. I'm not familiar with their current offerings. Gigabyte make good
boards, it's just that, with the P5K (-E and above, the straight P5K is a
budget board) range, I've not had to look past Asus for an excellent socket
775 board.

> 4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, name brand - Transcend? G-Skill? Any brands to
> stay away from?


I just bought whatever Ascent had cheapest at the time. I think it was
Transcend. <checks CPU-Z> Yep, Transcend JM2GDDR2-8K. It came as a 2 GB dual
channel kit. Personally I wouldn't go the 4 GB way as XP doesn't like it. (A
limitation with all 32 bit OSes?) I'm happy with 2 GB but, if you so
desired, 3 GB could be an option (2 x 1 GB and 2 x 512 MB to keep dual
channel mode). Maybe try 2 GB and see what you think? You can always add
more later (not too much later as the price willl go up in a year or so as
DDR3 takes over) I'm using 2 GB with pagefile switched off (XP Pro) and
don't have a problem. Using multiple Firefox windows/tabs, word processing
programme and email etc. all open...

> Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
> than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
> onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
> drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
> Australia.... I like to have backups...


An excellent choice of HDD. However, is RAID needed? These 500 GB 7200.11
drives are pretty damn fast and I've never been keen on something that
doubles your chance of failure unless it's *really* needed. As you're
stepping up from a PIII 600 (Katmai? I assume as it's the top of the
upgradability route for certain mobos.) and possibly ATA33 (or 66 at the
most?) you'll be surprised at the increase in HDD access times using SATA II
and those Seagate drives. (Just remember to take the wee jumpers off the
drives that limit them to SATA I.)

> Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
> dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card?


I think that, in your case, you should be looking at around a 700W good name
PSU. There are two reasons for me suggesting what might sound like overkill:
The first is that more modern PSUs are efficient when running at about half
of their rated capacity. Depending on brand this could save you as much as
40 - 60W. (It might not seem like a lot but over 9 years....) The second
reason is that 9 years figure. PSUs don't always fail with a bang. They tend
to deteriorate as electrolytic capacitors dry out and resistors go
out-of-spec. By buying a higher-rated PSU than you think you need you're
buying insurance as well as efficiency.

Also, having a higher-specced PSU allows for expansion, more HDDs...

> I was
> looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
> bigger- any brands people here recommend/avoid?


Silverstone have a good reputation. PC Power and Cooling are about the best
money can buy but I don't know about availability in NZ. I've been using
AcBel exclusively for the last few years and haven't had a problem with any
of them. They have a lifetime warranty but aren't the cheapest PSU
available. (I'm using an AcBel R8 700 [actually rated at 610W continous])
unit in my machine that cost me $200. I consider it to be an investment in
reliability.

> It's been quite a while since I last bought a computer, so my
> knowledge is a little rusty, and advise/ input from those who know
> about these things (especially misfit who seems to really know his
> stuff) would be greatly appreciated


Thanks for the compliment.

I hope the above helps. Feel free to ping me if I can help more.

Good luck,
--
Shaun.

DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate...


 
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Peter Jenkins
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
On Jul 4, 1:49 pm, "~misfit~" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter Jenkins" typed:
>
>
>
> > I use my current PC for browsing and document and file handling - and
> > usually have huge numbers of tabs running, and usually multiple
> > browsers, plus email, plus torrents, and a media player playing music.
> > I may also be moving large quantities of files back and forth from my
> > external drives or camera or flash drives and/or burning CD's etc all
> > at the same time. The only thing I never use the machine for is
> > gaming, which I doubt it's on board graphics could cope with anyway.

>
> > Understandably my current nine year old PIII 600 is really struggling
> > with this sort of workload now, and it is getting a bit past it, so I
> > am looking at getting a new machine, which I intend to hang on to for
> > a while. I will be dual booting to Ubuntu and XP. I have decided that
> > XP is mature enough now having made the leap to Win 2K about 4 years
> > back.

>
> > Given that my primary requirements are stability and reliability,
> > rather than utmost speed, I am looking at buying midrange components
> > of good quality. The set up I am thinking of getting is this;

>
> > Intel 8400 Core2 Duo 3Ghz CPU with 1333 MHz FSB around $255
> > Given that almost all the software I will run is old, with the
> > exception of Firefox 3 and Ubuntu. I see no point in going to Quad
> > Core

>
> While I agree that dual cores are the way to go, if you're intending to keep
> this machine for 9 years as well that *could* change things. Personally, I'd
> still go for an E8400. Whatever motherboard you get will be able to handle a
> quad core anyway and, if you find the machine struggling in a few years time
> (which I doubt given your stated usage) there's the option to upgrade the
> CPU.
>
> Personally, in the situation you describe, I'd still opt for the dual core.
> Especially as it looks like it's running most of the time. Running a dual
> core over a quad will save you quite a bit on power over the years (all else
> being equal).
>
> > Intel Box DG33BUC G33 Motherboard? $169 went for Intel as I want it
> > to work well with the CPU, and reliability/stability is important more
> > than a little extra speed. Or would a Gigabyte board be just as good/
> > better? My local supplier I use also has Abit boards, are these any
> > good?

>
> I like Asus and have experience with the P5K range. They use Intel
> north/southbridge so are very compatable. I would recommend a P5K-E or
> higher. I see Bobs has suggested a P5K-Pro but personally I'd go for the
> P5K-E (or the easier-to-find P5K-E WiFi/AP which is about the same price,
> and the board I have). The P5K-Pro is a completely different board layout to
> the -E which is based on the same PCB as the Premium and Deluxe. So, for a
> few bucks more, I'd take the -E over the -Pro. The Pro also has less PCI
> slots.
>
> Abit have been good in the past but they seem to be fading into the
> twilight. I'm not familiar with their current offerings. Gigabyte make good
> boards, it's just that, with the P5K (-E and above, the straight P5K is a
> budget board) range, I've not had to look past Asus for an excellent socket
> 775 board.
>
> > 4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, name brand - Transcend? G-Skill? Any brands to
> > stay away from?

>
> I just bought whatever Ascent had cheapest at the time. I think it was
> Transcend. <checks CPU-Z> Yep, Transcend JM2GDDR2-8K. It came as a 2 GB dual
> channel kit. Personally I wouldn't go the 4 GB way as XP doesn't like it. (A
> limitation with all 32 bit OSes?) I'm happy with 2 GB but, if you so
> desired, 3 GB could be an option (2 x 1 GB and 2 x 512 MB to keep dual
> channel mode). Maybe try 2 GB and see what you think? You can always add
> more later (not too much later as the price willl go up in a year or so as
> DDR3 takes over) I'm using 2 GB with pagefile switched off (XP Pro) and
> don't have a problem. Using multiple Firefox windows/tabs, word processing
> programme and email etc. all open...
>
> > Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
> > than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
> > onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
> > drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
> > Australia.... I like to have backups...

>
> An excellent choice of HDD. However, is RAID needed? These 500 GB 7200.11
> drives are pretty damn fast and I've never been keen on something that
> doubles your chance of failure unless it's *really* needed. As you're
> stepping up from a PIII 600 (Katmai? I assume as it's the top of the
> upgradability route for certain mobos.) and possibly ATA33 (or 66 at the
> most?) you'll be surprised at the increase in HDD access times using SATA II
> and those Seagate drives. (Just remember to take the wee jumpers off the
> drives that limit them to SATA I.)
>
> > Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
> > dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card?

>
> I think that, in your case, you should be looking at around a 700W good name
> PSU. There are two reasons for me suggesting what might sound like overkill:
> The first is that more modern PSUs are efficient when running at about half
> of their rated capacity. Depending on brand this could save you as much as
> 40 - 60W. (It might not seem like a lot but over 9 years....) The second
> reason is that 9 years figure. PSUs don't always fail with a bang. They tend
> to deteriorate as electrolytic capacitors dry out and resistors go
> out-of-spec. By buying a higher-rated PSU than you think you need you're
> buying insurance as well as efficiency.
>
> Also, having a higher-specced PSU allows for expansion, more HDDs...
>
> > I was
> > looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
> > bigger- any brands people here recommend/avoid?

>
> Silverstone have a good reputation. PC Power and Cooling are about the best
> money can buy but I don't know about availability in NZ. I've been using
> AcBel exclusively for the last few years and haven't had a problem with any
> of them. They have a lifetime warranty but aren't the cheapest PSU
> available. (I'm using an AcBel R8 700 [actually rated at 610W continous])
> unit in my machine that cost me $200. I consider it to be an investment in
> reliability.
>
> > It's been quite a while since I last bought a computer, so my
> > knowledge is a little rusty, and advise/ input from those who know
> > about these things (especially misfit who seems to really know his
> > stuff) would be greatly appreciated

>
> Thanks for the compliment.
>
> I hope the above helps. Feel free to ping me if I can help more.
>
> Good luck,
> --
> Shaun.
>
> DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
> offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
> If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
> me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate...


Thank you very much, thats exactly the advice I needed, greatly
appreciated!
Will go forth with shopping list in hand next week

Thanks and Regards
Peter Jenkins
see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz
 
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Bobs
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
On Jul 4, 1:49*pm, "~misfit~" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter Jenkins" typed:
>
>
>
> Abit have been good in the past but they seem to be fading into the
> twilight. I'm not familiar with their current offerings. Gigabyte make good
> boards, it's just that, with the P5K (-E and above, the straight P5K is a
> budget board) range, I've not had to look past Asus for an excellent socket
> 775 board.


What's that P5K-E Wifi board like out of interest?

>
> > 4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, name brand - *Transcend? G-Skill? Any brands to
> > stay away from?

>
> I just bought whatever Ascent had cheapest at the time. I think it was
> Transcend. <checks CPU-Z> Yep, Transcend JM2GDDR2-8K. It came as a 2 GB dual
> channel kit. Personally I wouldn't go the 4 GB way as XP doesn't like it. (A
> limitation with all 32 bit OSes?) I'm happy with 2 GB but, if you so
> desired, 3 GB could be an option (2 x 1 GB and 2 x 512 MB to keep dual
> channel mode). Maybe try 2 GB and see what you think? You can always add
> more later (not too much later as the price willl go up in a year or so as
> DDR3 takes over) I'm using 2 GB with pagefile switched off (XP Pro) and
> don't have a problem. Using multiple Firefox windows/tabs, word processing
> programme and email etc. all open...


Personally I'd just stick 2x2 gig sticks in a be done with it myself.
Sure, 32bit operating systems don't use anything above 3.25gb, but you
never know what his upgrade path will be in the future. Sticking 3 gig
in and using all four slots will limit that not to mention having four
dimms increases the chances of a stick of ram going bad over all those
years he's going to be using the pc. To each their own.



>
> > Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed rather
> > than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust I back up
> > onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus my big flash
> > drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go to Napier and
> > Australia.... I like to have backups...

>
> An excellent choice of HDD. However, is RAID needed? These 500 GB 7200.11
> drives are pretty damn fast and I've never been keen on something that
> doubles your chance of failure unless it's *really* needed. As you're
> stepping up from a PIII 600 (Katmai? I assume as it's the top of the
> upgradability route for certain mobos.) and possibly ATA33 (or 66 at the
> most?) you'll be surprised at the increase in HDD access times using SATA II
> and those Seagate drives. (Just remember to take the wee jumpers off the
> drives that limit them to SATA I.)


Yes, I agree. RAID is not needed imo. Use one 500gig as your primary
data, and the second as a backup. Of course, always have a backup of
the backup as well. (external hard drive not connected to the PC would
be my choice)

>
> > Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given that I
> > dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics card?

>
> I think that, in your case, you should be looking at around a 700W good name
> PSU. There are two reasons for me suggesting what might sound like overkill:
> The first is that more modern PSUs are efficient when running at about half
> of their rated capacity. Depending on brand this could save you as much as
> 40 - 60W. (It might not seem like a lot but over 9 years....) The second
> reason is that 9 years figure. PSUs don't always fail with a bang. They tend
> to deteriorate as electrolytic capacitors dry out and resistors go
> out-of-spec. By buying a higher-rated PSU than you think you need you're
> buying insurance as well as efficiency.


****, 700W for a budget system?? That system wont even use 50% of a
700W psu even at full load. I don't think a 400W PSU will ever get
pushed more than 75% at full load on his system, especially if he
doesn't overclock.

>
> Also, having a higher-specced PSU allows for expansion, more HDDs...
>
> > I was
> > looking at a Silverstone one of this capacity for $80, but can get
> > bigger- *any brands people here recommend/avoid?

>
> Silverstone have a good reputation. PC Power and Cooling are about the best
> money can buy but I don't know about availability in NZ. I've been using
> AcBel exclusively for the last few years and haven't had a problem with any
> of them. They have a lifetime warranty but aren't the cheapest PSU
> available. (I'm using an AcBel R8 700 [actually rated at 610W continous])
> unit in my machine that cost me $200. I consider it to be an investment in
> reliability.
>
> > It's been quite a while since I last bought a computer, so my
> > knowledge is a little rusty, and advise/ input from those who know
> > about these things (especially misfit who seems to really know his
> > stuff) would be greatly appreciated

>
> Thanks for the compliment.
>
> I hope the above helps. Feel free to ping me if I can help more.
>
> Good luck,
> --
> Shaun.
>
> DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
> offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
> If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
> me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... - Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
Somewhere on teh intarweb "Bobs" typed:
> On Jul 4, 1:49 pm, "~misfit~" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter Jenkins" typed:
>>
>>
>>
>> Abit have been good in the past but they seem to be fading into the
>> twilight. I'm not familiar with their current offerings. Gigabyte
>> make good boards, it's just that, with the P5K (-E and above, the
>> straight P5K is a budget board) range, I've not had to look past
>> Asus for an excellent socket 775 board.

>
> What's that P5K-E Wifi board like out of interest?


It's bloody great. After a few hiccups with early BIOS' it's stable as a
rock. I'm running an E4500 (stock 2.2GHz) at 3.32GHz with just a minor vcore
increase. Everything about it just works as it should. The on-board sound is
even more than passable.

As I mentioned, it's made on the same PCB as the top-range boards. The
vanilla P5K is an obviously inferior board, only having a 3-phase VRM stage
and being half the price. The P5K-Pro was bought out with a new PCB to fill
the gap between the vanilla P5K and the higher-range boards. From what I've
been able to glean it's not a bad board. However, for the few extra bucks
I'd go for the P5K-E WiFi/AP. I *know* it's good, I've built a couple
systems around it now.

>>> 4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, name brand - Transcend? G-Skill? Any brands to
>>> stay away from?

>>
>> I just bought whatever Ascent had cheapest at the time. I think it
>> was Transcend. <checks CPU-Z> Yep, Transcend JM2GDDR2-8K. It came as
>> a 2 GB dual channel kit. Personally I wouldn't go the 4 GB way as XP
>> doesn't like it. (A limitation with all 32 bit OSes?) I'm happy with
>> 2 GB but, if you so desired, 3 GB could be an option (2 x 1 GB and 2
>> x 512 MB to keep dual channel mode). Maybe try 2 GB and see what you
>> think? You can always add more later (not too much later as the
>> price willl go up in a year or so as DDR3 takes over) I'm using 2 GB
>> with pagefile switched off (XP Pro) and don't have a problem. Using
>> multiple Firefox windows/tabs, word processing programme and email
>> etc. all open...

>
> Personally I'd just stick 2x2 gig sticks in a be done with it myself.


I've heard talk of scenarios where 2 x 2GB is actually slower than 2 x 1GB
(or 2 x 1Gb + 2 x 0.5GB). <shrug> I didn't mention it before as I don't have
hard evidence. However, my system with "only" 2 GB RAM and no swapfile
doesn't miss a beat.

> Sure, 32bit operating systems don't use anything above 3.25gb, but you
> never know what his upgrade path will be in the future. Sticking 3 gig
> in and using all four slots will limit that not to mention having four
> dimms increases the chances of a stick of ram going bad over all those
> years he's going to be using the pc. To each their own.


Yeah, I only mentioned the 3 GB option as DDR2 is so damn cheap these days
and a few of the performance boys are going that way and you can pick up
512MB sticks of DDR2 for around $20 each. Personally I'd just go with 2 x
1GB and keep my eye on DDR2 prices* while evaluating performance.

>>> Two Seagate 500 GB Barracuda SATAII drives in RAID 0 for speed
>>> rather than Data protection, as all my important data for the Trust
>>> I back up onto two external drives one of which lives at work plus
>>> my big flash drive plus make copies onto disc every month which go
>>> to Napier and Australia.... I like to have backups...

>>
>> An excellent choice of HDD. However, is RAID needed? These 500 GB
>> 7200.11 drives are pretty damn fast and I've never been keen on
>> something that doubles your chance of failure unless it's *really*
>> needed. As you're stepping up from a PIII 600 (Katmai? I assume as
>> it's the top of the upgradability route for certain mobos.) and
>> possibly ATA33 (or 66 at the most?) you'll be surprised at the
>> increase in HDD access times using SATA II and those Seagate drives.
>> (Just remember to take the wee jumpers off the drives that limit
>> them to SATA I.)

>
> Yes, I agree. RAID is not needed imo. Use one 500gig as your primary
> data, and the second as a backup. Of course, always have a backup of
> the backup as well. (external hard drive not connected to the PC would
> be my choice)


For sure. 'Important' data should always have redundant backups. My
important stuff is backed up to another PC as well as to optical disc where
it'll fit.

>>> Powersupply I'm not too sure about, will 400W be adequate given
>>> that I dont play games and therefore have no need of a graphics
>>> card?

>>
>> I think that, in your case, you should be looking at around a 700W
>> good name PSU. There are two reasons for me suggesting what might
>> sound like overkill: The first is that more modern PSUs are
>> efficient when running at about half of their rated capacity.
>> Depending on brand this could save you as much as 40 - 60W. (It
>> might not seem like a lot but over 9 years....) The second reason is
>> that 9 years figure. PSUs don't always fail with a bang. They tend
>> to deteriorate as electrolytic capacitors dry out and resistors go
>> out-of-spec. By buying a higher-rated PSU than you think you need
>> you're buying insurance as well as efficiency.

>
> ****, 700W for a budget system??


What's budget about the system? A budget system would be a crap mobo with
on-board video, an E7200 CPU (or even a 65nm part or a Celeron) and a single
160GB HDD.

> That system wont even use 50% of a
> 700W psu even at full load.


That's the idea! That's where power supplies are most efficient, at ~50% of
their rated load.

Ok, my sytem is overclocked and has 4 HDDs, two DVD writers and a bunch of
fans but I've used an on-line calculator and it gave me a figure of 427W
under load. Ok, some of my power-draw is the (now obsolete) 7800GT and Peter
will probably be looking at a less power-hungry graphics card but it can't
hurt to be safe.

One thing you learn if you hang around hardware and overclocking forums long
enough is that the biggest cause of catastrophic (and non-catastophic)
failure in home-built PCs is using an under-specced PSU. Most builders
ignore their PSU as it doesn't exactly give them bragging rights. For the
same reason, a lot of people who will advise you don't give good advice
about PSUs either as they don't bother reading stuff like this:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/181/8

[Actually the only AcBel PSU that they reviewed at that (excellent) site did
really badly. AcBel are just now trying to break into the US market. The
price on their PSUs in the US is a lot less than here (moreso than other
hardware trends would indicate was 'right') and also a lot less than their
competition over there so I don't know if it was a PSU built to a
price-point rather than their usual quality]

This article and others like it will tell you all about how heat reduces
your power supplies ability to output power by maybe 20% for a 10C internal
rise above 25C. You'll also learn about how a hard-driven PSU can lose
filtering ability on it's output rails due to instability bought on by
stressed electrolytic capacitors. "Dirty power" will cause all sorts of
intermittent problems like BSOD's which people can spend endless hours
troubleshooting.

****, with the folks I help with their problems on the hardware groups,
perhaps 60% are finally narrowed down to PSU. Sometimes I just say "Get a
new xxxx watt PSU". LOL, I've seen it sooo many times.

> I don't think a 400W PSU will ever get
> pushed more than 75% at full load on his system, especially if he
> doesn't overclock.


Peter has shown that he keeps his systems for a long time. Therefore it only
makes sense to get a well-specced PSU. A generic 400 Watter ($45) on his
proposed system will *guaranteed* cause problems within two years (or much
less). Possibly taking out mobo/RAM/HDDs/CPU/GPU and data with it.

So you look at good quality PSUs from a reputable brand, of course you look
at an "80+" certification so you know that you're not wasting up to 40% of
the power going into it as heat. If you're looking at an output around 400W
and then look at the rest of the range you'll realise that, for maybe 25%
more, you can get a 700W unit that's even more efficient at the output
you'll ask from it which will more than pay for the price difference in the
first year.

As someone who's taken a keen interest in computer hardware for years I rate
the choice of PSU to be at least as important as the choice of motherboard.

I left this next line in too as another reason for a quality PSU:

>> Also, having a higher-specced PSU allows for expansion, more HDDs...


Cheers,
--
Shaun.

DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate...


 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter Jenkins" typed:


[snip]

> Thank you very much, thats exactly the advice I needed, greatly
> appreciated!
> Will go forth with shopping list in hand next week


You're welcome Peter.

Cheers,
--
Shaun.

DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate...


 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2008
Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter Jenkins" typed:


[snip]

> Just want something where
> the caps wont start leaking after 5-6 years


The Asus P5K-E WiFi/AP that I suggested has all solid caps. They've learned
their lesson, at least for non-budget boards.

Cheers,
--
Shaun.

DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate...


 
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