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posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 11:34 PM
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I am going to buy a computer in separate parts, and am questioning many things, where no easy answers become available. So I will ask them now. If you can answer any of my questions, please do so.
1. Should I buy a 17" LCD monitor (v. good specs) of a NZ internet site, even though it
doesn't offer a 'no dead pixel warranty'?

2. Where on NZ internet sites can you buy cheap, good speakers?

3. Is a tech Keyboard and Wireless free battery optical mouse good for $55 + shipping?

4. Also, has anyone had any first-hand experience with a battery free wireless optical mouse (electromagnetic inductive technology) that can tell me the ups/downs?

5. How powerfull is a 'ABIT Siluro nVidia FX5800, 256MB AGP' graphics card, what games could/couldn't I play?

6. Is the above graphics card good for $165?

7. I have no clue what good/bad sound cards are, and what are good prices/brands, so If anyone could help me out? Or should I just get a on-board sound card?

8. On AMD Athlon 64 processors, what is the difference between a 754 and a 939 socket?

9. What is a good price for AMD Athlon 64 2.4 GHZ processor?

10. Is a 64-bit processor practically double the speed of a 32-bit Intel processor?

11. Should I buy a wireless Network Interface Card if i am to use broadband on my computer, but plugged/connected in to a switch/hub?

12. What's the difference between a switch and a hub?

13. DVD-writers. What are good/bad ones. Is there a good price, brand, or specs I should know of?

14. Where can you get cheap, good quality, floppy drives?

15. Where, on the specs of a motherboard does it say the PCI-E slots, USB ports etc?

16. What kind of motherboard will i need for a AMD Athlon 64 processor, and is the CPU the only thing that has to be compatible with the motherboard?

17. What are good things I should take into consideration when buying a case (e.g. cooler, fan, low noise, watts of power supply etc.)?

18.Where can you get the coolest looking, good quality, cases?

19. Anything I need to know about switches/routers?

20. Do you think I should just buy a complete system? If so, where is a good site with good specs?

21. I am looking to buy a laser colour printer. Are there any cheap ones out there?

22. I am looking at buying 1 or 2+ of memory (RAM?). Someone told me that you have to rely on good brands for RAM. What are good brands I should look out for? Kingston? And does anyone know where you can get cheap, good qulaity RAM?

23. I am probably going to buy over 120GB of hard drive space. I don't really understand the subcategories like DDR400, DDR433, DDR2, SATA, SODIMM? Help?

24. It says that DDR2 isn't backwards compatible with DDR motherboards? What does this mean? How can I tell if the motherboard can handle it? What is DDR/DDR2, and whats so special about it? Is it better?

25. Also, I think I need to buy from good brands, the hard drive, to ensure quality and safeness. So what are good hard drive brands?

26. Would you recommend buying seperate hard drives, or one big one?

27. Where would be a good place to buy hard-drives?

***If you haven't already noticed, there are a lot of questions. Lets just call this an in-depth computer technology game, where people can compete to see who can answer the most questions accurately and efficiently. I presume you'll get praised if you have the knowledge to answer all the questions with high detail. This can test you out if you work with computers, or anything like that. What I'm trying to say is that you will benefit from answering these questions, helping yourself, me, and to show how smart you are. Ok, you know I just want you to answer. Anyway, If you have any additional information you think could help assist me, then please go ahead and tell me. And if you haven't already predicted, I'm planning to buy from the internet (preferably free shipping) or pick-up in CHCH. So any sites, or shops you give me would be great. Also, If you are interested in some of the things I've asked about (e.g. wireless, battery free, optical mouse) and want to know where I found the product for sale, please ask. My conclusion is this. I've put a lot of time into writing this, so any contribution you make to answering me would be of great appreciation. Sweeeeeet dogg. Laterz.***

"Ok, all that was obviously written on a NZ forum aswell, hence all the price, NZ, and shop questions. For the people on BTS, you obviously won't be able to answer the price relevant, NZ, or shops/sites references, but there are still questions that you could help me with, such as good brands, good computer speeds, and general computer questions. I'm pretty sure I can find heaps of questions out on BTS, which I will do right now, but in the mean time, I'll just post this to see If it will help me in any way."

Cheers.




posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 03:22 AM
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That's quite a few questions, many of which I cannot answer. But for the ones I think I can help out on:


23. I am probably going to buy over 120GB of hard drive space. I don't really understand the subcategories like DDR400, DDR433, DDR2, SATA, SODIMM? Help?


Ok well DDR is in relation to the RAM in a system and so really has nothing to do with your Hard Drive. SATA is a newer version of the original ATA (really PATA). The S stands for serial and for reasons I don't fully understand the boffins in the tech places have been able to get faster data speeds with SATA drives than with their older parallel equivalents. Make sure your motherboard supports SATA if you are considering it. It appears to be the way forward.

SODIMM looks to be for notebooks and is in relation to RAM again. From this website I found this:

Short for Small Outline DIMM, a small version of a DIMM used commonly in notebook computers. Whereas a full-size DIMM has 168 pins and supports 64-bit transfers, a SO DIMM has only 72 pins, which supports only 32-bit transfers, or 144 pins, which supports a full 64-bit transfer




26. Would you recommend buying seperate hard drives, or one big one?


You will find that usually it is slightly cheaper to buy bigger. The cost per Gigabyte will fall the higher the capacity you get, but obviously the price will still start to get quite big. In the UK a 120GB HDD costs around $120 NZ (at time of writing) but go up to 200GB and it is only $145 NZ not htat much more for quite a bit more space!

In addition to price costs though you have to consider reliability. If you want to be more certain that your data will remain intact against HDD failure then two or more smaller drives may be beneficial as if one of the physical hard drive ups and dies then data will remain intact and useable on another. For instance store your Operating System on one small Hard Drive and Documents on another then if the Operating System drive dies then you can whip out the documents drive and bung it in another system whereas one big drive would take both documents and O/S with it.


1. Should I buy a 17" LCD monitor (v. good specs) of a NZ internet site, even though it
doesn't offer a 'no dead pixel warranty'?


From my experience CRTs are bigger for the price and tend to give very good quality. The only reason I would use an LCD is where desk space is limited. Having said that I was quite impressed with the depth of colour from a Sony Vaio Notebook one but the viewing angle wasn't great and sometimes felt like it was lagging behind. A lot of people like them though.


10. Is a 64-bit processor practically double the speed of a 32-bit Intel processor?


Nope, read the stuff below from this website:

"32-bit refers to the number of bits (the smallest unit of information on a machine) that can be processed or transmitted in parallel, or the number of bits used for single element in a data format. The term when used in conjunction with a microprocessor indicates the width of the registers; a special high-speed storage area within the CPU. A 32-bit microprocessor can process data and memory addresses that are represented by 32 bits.

64-bit therefore refers to a processor with registers that store 64-bit numbers. A generalization would be to suggest that 64-bit architecture would double the amount of data a CPU can process per clock cycle. Users would note a performance increase because a 64-bit CPU can handle more memory and larger files. One of the most attractive features of 64-bit processors is the amount of memory the system can support. 64-bit architecture will allow systems to address up to 1 terabyte (1000GB) of memory. In today's 32-bit desktop systems, you can have up to 4GB of RAM (provided your motherboard that can handle that much RAM) which is split between the applications and the operating system (OS). "



There is no real speed advantage except that the processor needs not code so much to access the entire RAM.


11. Should I buy a wireless Network Interface Card if i am to use broadband on my computer, but plugged/connected in to a switch/hub?


Why? If you are plugged into a hub then why get a wireless card for it? In addition you would need a wireless access point and to me if you can plug in do so. A wired connection tends to be faster and more reliable.

Oh and do you mean a router? If you wish to connect to a box that connects to the internet you mean a router. If you wish to have a separate network that connects to the internet via the internet connection your computer has then you need to examine question 12)



I have to go now. If I can answer some questions later I will. Please note that most of these are my opinions and I can be wrong, people, please correct me where necessary!



EDIT: Sorted Dodgy Quote

[edit on 6/12/05 by Infidellic]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by fluffy
...

OK, I'll give it a shot, based on my knowledge formed around South African availability and prices...

1. Should I buy a 17" LCD monitor (v. good specs) of a NZ internet site, even though it doesn't offer a 'no dead pixel warranty'?
A dead pixel occurs when the smallest block that makes up an image on the screen (also called a "pixel") becomes locked in a certain state. For example, a pixel could lock on to a red color at all times. Manufacturers of LCD monitors and notebook displays expect this defect to occur to a limited extent. Therefore, there is no warranty for any dead pixels unless and until your display has 8 or more such dead pixels.
Thus this problem is very common and almost expected. Thus to protect you investment you want some cover/protection, especially because a monitor is expensive and rarely repairable. So in short. NO. Get a screen with some sort of warrantee/guarantee.
Personally I think LCDs are over-priced. I'll never buy one myself at their current prices.


2. Where on NZ internet sites can you buy cheap, good speakers?
Sorry I can't help you with that one. Do an Internet search. And compare makes and prices.

3. Is a tech Keyboard and Wireless free battery optical mouse good for $55 + shipping?
Err... Maybe I shouldn't try my hand at this... LoL... Doing a quick conversion to ZAR, I'll say $55 is an average to good price.

4. Also, has anyone had any first-hand experience with a battery free wireless optical mouse (electromagnetic inductive technology) that can tell me the ups/downs?
PRO's
Innovative Design
No need to look for batteries
No recharging time
Highly acceptable curser performance
Environmental friendly

CON
A bit high priced
The mouse pad is a bit narrow
No Wrist Rest (personal preference)
No driver and software included

(Personal experiences - Not valid for all devices!)

5. How powerfull is a 'ABIT Siluro nVidia FX5800, 256MB AGP' graphics card, what games could/couldn't I play?
Quite powerful compared to some. 256MB is more than the minimum requirements for most games. Though it's not top of the range, but it should give you your money's worth. Depending on how quick you are to catch performance differences, you may not even notice the difference in some games. But I can foresee the card lacking in the not so distant future.

6. Is the above graphics card good for $165?
Conversion. Average. If you're going to do some serious gaming you might consider putting more aside for a graphics card. It's really worth it.

7. I have no clue what good/bad sound cards are, and what are good prices/brands, so If anyone could help me out? Or should I just get a on-board sound card?
Again, depending on what you're planning to do with your sound and what your budget looks like. Personally I don't think there's good or bad sound when it comes to PC's. Just average to brilliant. I'm more than happy with my on-board sound (with 5.1 surround speakers), and it's cheaper. Though sometimes I wish I could crank it up a notch.

8. On AMD Athlon 64 processors, what is the difference between a 754 and a 939 socket?
See this site's site for full comparrison

9. What is a good price for AMD Athlon 64 2.4 GHZ processor?
Can't help you there.

10. Is a 64-bit processor practically double the speed of a 32-bit Intel processor?
Yes and no.
A bit is short for “binary digit.” It is basically how a computer stores and makes references to data, memory, etc. A bit can have a value of 1 or 0, that’s it. So binary code is streams of 1’s and 0’s, such as this random sequence 100100100111. These bits are also how your processor does calculations. By using 32 bits your processor can represent numbers from 0 to 4,294,967,295 while a 64-bit machine can represent numbers from 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615. Obviously this means your computer can do math with larger numbers, and be more efficient with smaller numbers.

Now see, that description wasn’t too bad, but the question is how does this affect you, the average PC owner? The largest benefit will go to academic institutions and private companies, where large calculations are being performed, huge databases are being accessed, and complex problems are being solved.

Everyone that doesn’t fall into that category will see some benefit of using 64 bit processors over 32 bit processors, but not much in today’s marketplace. The AMD Athlon 64-bit processor is completely backward compatible, meaning you can currently use it with 32-bit operating systems and software programs. You will see some benefits by using this setup, but because the programs weren’t written to take advantage of the extra power, they won’t use much of it.

The true benefits of this set up don’t come from the amount of bits, but by the improved structure of the 64 bit vs 32 bit processor's older structure. A 64-bit processor is made with more advanced silicon processes, have more transistors, and faster speeds. This is currently where the true benefit of switching to a 64-bit processor lays.

As for 64-bit operating systems and software, many are in the works, but nothing is in final version. Microsoft has released a beta version of Windows XP that takes advantage of the 64 bit technology, but there are still issues. The problem is when you run 32-bit software programs in the environment of a 64-bit operating system. Many programs won’t work properly, such as Adobe Acrobat and Windows Media Player, for example. Another issue is RAM. You really need about 4 GB of RAM to take full advantage of the capabilities offered by a 64-bit processor, while most PC owners have less than 1 GB under their computer’s hood.

Thus, in the end, you won't use much of a 64-bit processor's power on your home PC. In the future you might be happy with your 64, but at this exact moment you'll be wasting your money. My opinion!

11. Should I buy a wireless Network Interface Card if i am to use broadband on my computer, but plugged/connected in to a switch/hub?
Huh? There's no need for a wireless card unless you are going to connect to a wireless network. It might be an investment for the future...

12. What's the difference between a switch and a hub?
In short:
Hub is a place of convergence where data arrives from one or more directions and is forwarded out in one or more other directions.

A common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub contains multiple ports. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets.
A passive hub serves simply as a conduit for the data, enabling it to go from one device (or segment) to another. So-called intelligent hubs include additional features that enables an administrator to monitor the traffic passing through the hub and to configure each port in the hub. Intelligent hubs are also called manageable hubs.

A third type of hub, called a switching hub, actually reads the destination address of each packet and then forwards the packet to the correct port.

A switch is a device that filters and forwards packets between LAN segments. Switches operate at the data link layer (layer 2) and sometimes the network layer (layer 3) of the OSI Reference Model and therefore support any packet protocol. LANs that use switches to join segments are called switched LANs or, in the case of Ethernet networks, switched Ethernet LANs.

A HUB is a better option than a switch for a private network. A switch has more use in bigger and complex networks.

13. DVD-writers. What are good/bad ones. Is there a good price, brand, or specs I should know of?
Personal opinion: LG. They're the leaders when it comes to CD/DVD media. And they're not that expensive. Can't help with price-range.

14. Where can you get cheap, good quality, floppy drives?
I'll give you one for free!
But seriously, what on earth do you want to do with a floppy (Stiffy?) drive? I'm sure you can get one from a computer someone else threw out. They still come standard with most PCs, though very few people still use them. (And the people that do use them, shouldn't be in front of a computer!)

15. Where, on the specs of a motherboard does it say the PCI-E slots, USB ports etc?
It should be very clear on any motherboards spec in plain english.
Eg. AMD-8111 / AMD-8131 Chipset, ATX, Socket 940, Max RAM: 8 GB, DMA/ATA-133 (Ultra) x 2, Serial ATA x 4, Network adapter
Intel 945G Chipset, ATX, Socket LGA775, FSB: 1066 MHz, Max RAM: 4 GB, DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) x 2, Serial ATA x 4, Ethernet
Example Motherboard Specs
You'll see the specs are plainly listed. No mysteries or hidden messages.

16. What kind of motherboard will i need for a AMD Athlon 64 processor, and is the CPU the only thing that has to be compatible with the motherboard?
This is a huge choice...
Guide: How to buy a motherboard

17. What are good things I should take into consideration when buying a case (e.g. cooler, fan, low noise, watts of power supply etc.)?
Usually the only parts comes with the case is that actual case and the power supply (and supply fan). Power supply is extremely important and you need to keep this in miind when you shop for the motherboard and chip. Noise reduction shouldn't be a problem. Electronic Interference might be kept in mind. And looks are nowadays important. You are no longer looking for a boring beige case.

18.Where can you get the coolest looking, good quality, cases?
Can't help you there.

19. Anything I need to know about switches/routers?
Not really, unless you're planning to set up a big network.

20. Do you think I should just buy a complete system? If so, where is a good site with good specs?
Yes. You'll get more support if you only have to deal with one supplier. Many times the manufacturer don't carry the responsibility warranty if the product is not installed by certain parties. But then again you won't always get the "complete system" at the price you're looking for. A complete system might be more expensive.

Personally I've never bought a complete system from a single supplier. All of my PC's are custom build the way I want it.
Make from that what you like.

21. I am looking to buy a laser colour printer. Are there any cheap ones out there?
It's not the printer that's expensive, it's the cartridges. Compare the cartridges with each other in line with the quality and quantitiy of printing.
Warning: HP is over-priced for untrustworthy printers.
Lexmark has competative prices but not as good quality of printing. (My opinion.)

22. I am looking at buying 1 or 2+ of memory (RAM?). Someone told me that you have to rely on good brands for RAM. What are good brands I should look out for? Kingston? And does anyone know where you can get cheap, good qulaity RAM?
No! Never, ever buy cheap RAM!!! If a RAM is not good, the computer will not start. Fullstop. If there is one thing you can show fork out money for, it's good quality RAM. Do not compromise price for quality you will regret it.
Try Crucial. Corsair is good but probably too overpriced. Kingston is also more or less at the top of the quality list.

I am probably going to buy over 120GB of hard drive space. I don't really understand the subcategories like DDR400, DDR433, DDR2, SATA, SODIMM? Help?
This is a complex question. And it will be a waste of both times if I repeated everything that exists on a million other sites.
Check out these sites.
Guide to Harddrives
Everything you need to know about Harddrives

24. It says that DDR2 isn't backwards compatible with DDR motherboards? What does this mean? How can I tell if the motherboard can handle it? What is DDR/DDR2, and whats so special about it? Is it better?
That's correct. Your motherboard specs will also specify the RAM slots. DDR2 RAM is on the verge of replacing DDR. There's lots of technical information about which is better and there's quite the debate about which is better. Some say DDR2 is just a scam to get you to upgrade.

This site have about the best comparison between the two although it might be a bit out of date. It comes down to the fact that DDR2 is in fact (becoming?) faster than DDR. Older DDR2s were out-run by DDR. Considering the fact that DDR2 technology is going to develop towards both lower timings and higher frequencies, its advantages over DDR SDRAM become the more conspicuous. DDR2 modules with more aggressive timings are most likely to appear in the future, boosting the performance even higher.


25. Also, I think I need to buy from good brands, the hard drive, to ensure quality and safeness. So what are good hard drive brands?
Seagate. Hands down. Fujitsu (Desktop drives only). Western Digital - not to bad.

26. Would you recommend buying seperate hard drives, or one big one? Personally I don't see the difference. One bigger HDD will be cheaper than two smaller ones. Some might reason that if you have two HDDs and one crashes, then you won't loose all of your data. Only half of it. Consider price vs. reliability/consistancy, i.e. should you loose a drive.

27. Where would be a good place to buy hard-drives?
Computer shops? LoL. Just kidding. Can't help you with that one. Just don't buy a second hand one.

Looking at all of this, I would suggest that if you are going to build a custom PC, make sure it's done by someone that knows their stuff. If you're planning to do it yourself, read everything you need to read, and revise it!

Also remember that all I said is based on MY opinion and experiences, and some people will differ with me...

What was my prize again for anwering all questions?



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 06:36 AM
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4. Also, has anyone had any first-hand experience with a battery free wireless optical mouse (electromagnetic inductive technology) that can tell me the ups/downs?

In my experience there's no point in wireless keyboard/mouse. You can't go much farther away than a corded keyboard/mouse. If you're paranoid like me, avoid wireless keyboards, anyone can eavesdrop your keystrokes from across the street.

An optical mouse is a nightmare for playing games, the cursor get jumpy if you move it too fast, so your online opponents have time to shoot you while you're struggling with your mouse to aim properly. Mechanical mouse is better for games. (Little trick of the trade of mine, duct tape a piece of paper on the table instead of using a mouse pad, it adds more aderance for mechanical mouse. Change the the piece of paper occasionally when it gets too dirty.)


12. What's the difference between a switch and a hub?

A hub share the bandwidth between all users on the network. The switch divide bandwidth for each users.

What does this mean? Simple, the switch is faster and more secure on large networks in an office building.

Lets say your computer send a request to your internet router, with a switch the signal travel in straight line on his own port from point A to point B. With a hub the signal is spread on all ports until it find the right path to the internet router.

If you plug a computer in promiscuous mode on a hub, you can monitor all network traffic from other computers, yup, that means reading their email and viewing what websites they are browsing. With a managed switch you can create VLAN to electronically isolate different groups of computers on virtual networks.

If you're at home with not more than around 3 computers, you will never notice any difference between a switch or a hub. No matter how hard you try, you will never flood a hub bandwidth at home, not even by downloading large movie files in p2p, your internet modem will choke before your hub does. I suggest you go for the cheaper one that best fit your budget.

A switch is meant for office networks or university campuses with 3000 computers all accessing the internet at the same time all day long.


7. I have no clue what good/bad sound cards are, and what are good prices/brands, so If anyone could help me out? Or should I just get a on-board sound card?

I don't know much about sound cards. I think if don't have specific audio needs such as music recording or home theater, an on-board sound card is good enough.


8. On AMD Athlon 64 processors, what is the difference between a 754 and a 939 socket?

Socket 939 support dual channel memory and dual core chips. Socket 754 does not, and will get discontinued sooner.


9. What is a good price for AMD Athlon 64 2.4 GHZ processor?

You will have to shop around for the best price. AMD Athlon64 2.4 GHZ processor is a good choice for gaming, in comparison with Intel 3GHz designed for office work. Careful with overcloking, it will shorten the processor lifetime or could fry it if not cooled properly.


15. Where, on the specs of a motherboard does it say the PCI-E slots, USB ports etc?

You see it with your own eyes when you know how the plugs looks like. Or you read it behind the box your mobo came in.


16. What kind of motherboard will i need for a AMD Athlon 64 processor, and is the CPU the only thing that has to be compatible with the motherboard?

The proper socket motherboard for your processor. Every thing has to be compatible with you mobo. AGP or PCIE for graphic card? DDR stuff for memory. Enough PCI sluts for all your cards? Does it have all the ports you need, for example enough USB ports for all your devices?


17. What are good things I should take into consideration when buying a case (e.g. cooler, fan, low noise, watts of power supply etc.)?

Your personal preferences there. More cooling will generate more noise but will keep your computer in good shape longer. Big fans are quieter than small fans for the same volume of air moved. At least 400 Watt powersupply for that combination of CPU + graphic card + memory.


18.Where can you get the coolest looking, good quality, cases?

Alienware cases.
But cool looking cases are useless in my opinion. It cost you an arm and a leg for no actual improvement in your computer performance. Heck, sometimes I buy an aluminium sheet at a construction shop and I drill holes in it to fix my computer mobo in place, total cost $1, try to top that.


21. I am looking to buy a laser colour printer. Are there any cheap ones out there?

I think almost all color printers are relatively cheap. It's replacing the ink cartridges later that will eat your pockets.


26. Would you recommend buying seperate hard drives, or one big one?

I usually keep at leat 40% free space on my hard drive at all time. I replace it with a bigger hard drive when I need more space, plus a second one for backing up my data. Never underestimate the importance of up to date backup, losing all your precious data sucks.

I don't have answer or nothing else to add for your other questions.


[edit on 6-12-2005 by ufia]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
(And the people that do use them, shouldn't be in front of a computer!)

Hmm... I take you don't maintain computers very often. How do you upgrade BIOS firmware, initialize/partition a new hard drive, copy MBR files from one OS to another for dual boot, scan for defect parts in a dead PC, etc.. without a floppy drive? Mind control?

Sure, you can do all that from bootable CD or booting the hard drive in slave mode, but it can become more trouble than booting a floppy and be done withing 2 minutes. It's a waste to burn a CD for a 1MB file, you can't read a re-writable CD in DOS mode.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by ufia

Originally posted by Gemwolf
(And the people that do use them, shouldn't be in front of a computer!)

Hmm... I take you don't maintain computers very often. How do you upgrade BIOS firmware, initialize/partition a new hard drive, copy MBR files from one OS to another for dual boot, scan for defect parts in a dead PC, etc.. without a floppy drive? Mind control?

Sure, you can do all that from bootable CD or booting the hard drive in slave mode, but it can become more trouble than booting a floppy and be done withing 2 minutes. It's a waste to burn a CD for a 1MB file, you can't read a re-writable CD in DOS mode.


LoL! If only I could use mind control to fix PC's then my job would be million times easier!

I work with PCs every single day of my life, and for the past +/- 2 years I haven't touched a stiffy (floppy's). But I have my own way of doing things.
BUT you are quite right. I'm yet to be confronted with the problems you describe, and I guess in some (extreme) cases one might still have to resort to stiffy's (floppy's). When I wrote my reply I was thinking in terms of practicallity for a home-user.

So what's the score now... Ufia 1. Gemwolf 0. LoL.


Keep in mind that I did include a disclaimer with my post, stating that a lot of it is based on my personal opinion.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 08:35 AM
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26. Would you recommend buying seperate hard drives, or one big one?

I personally say 2..
Get a smaller IE 30-40GB HDD
And then get one larger IT 120-240GB
Both SATA!
Its better than IDE in speed, temperature and overall hassle ( IDE Is the thin wide grey ribbon cable )

Install OS and all apps on the 1st smaller hdd
Store all music, photos, games, documents, movies.... copious amounts of porn on the second hdd.

IF viruses are going to hit, and they will... what happens when that next big one comes out that destroys your Primary HDD, through removing the partition or what not..

you'll lose evrything, but not if you have to hdd's

plus, when the day comes for a format ( And it will ) you wont have to spend hours backing up data.
Simply list the programs you've installed and specific windows files.. remove your secondary hdd ( the one with all your kewl stuff on it just incase ) and simply rebuild the HDD, partition it, install Windows XP, then Office, then Antivirus, rah rah

making sure you reboot after every install mind you.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 08:38 AM
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in terms of booting of a device , minus the floppy and minus the wasted CDbootable rom, PC''s now adays can boot of removable drives... through USB and so forth ( as long as the appropriate files are in the config.sys, ini's and batchs )

And networking. If you have 2 PC's just add your nics device drivers into the batch to load, throw out some ping commands, netuse commands and then simply run the file on the new drive listed..

I might give it a go in the office tommrow.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:45 PM
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Can you run through the whole network loading of files bit. This is something I want to understand but never have got around to it!



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 03:42 AM
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thanks for answering all these questions. I think I've got some more specific ones now. But i have to go...

post some later...



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 10:37 PM
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so does everyone agree that Crucial, Kingston and Corsair are the best quality RAM out there? And that Seagate and Western Digital are the best hard drives?



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 10:51 PM
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just wondering, if i buy a motherboard, what will i need to look out 4 if i want to connect this computer to a wireless router?

Also, can anyone give me the sorta specs I would b looking 4 in a motherboard with these things? :

SATA hard-drive
DDR (or DDR2) RAM
6600gt 256mb PCI-E graphics card
network card, so i can either connect wirelessly or with a cable to a switch/hub
2.1 channel speakers
firewire devices
USB 2.0 devices (what amount of slots do u think is good)
PCI slots (what amount of slots do u think is good)
what bus speed
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 or 2.4Ghz ( is there a noticable difference )


thanks



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 10:56 PM
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some of the motherboards have SLI or something. Can someone explain what that is?



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 01:13 AM
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Originally posted by fluffy
some of the motherboards have SLI or something. Can someone explain what that is?

Scalable Link Interface. This is a technology from Nvidia that allows 2 PCIE graphics cards in the same computer system to be linked, thus sharing the load of the image being created. Cards in SLI are linked via a small hardware bridge. This makes for some hugely powerful gaming systems.



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 02:47 AM
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does that mean that if i buy a SLI nVidea 6600GT 256MB PCI-E card, will it only work if i have 2? And would it be worth while just having just one card? So if i buy a motherboard that says SLI, does that just mean its compatible with two SLI graphics cards, but it will still work with one? and what is RAID?



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 04:07 AM
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RAID stands for a Redundant Array of Independent Disks. There are various modes you can use RAID in but basically it usually boils down to:

Mirroring -> As it sounds, you have more than one HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and when you write data it writes it to both disks so you have a perfect backup. Should the main drive fail then some implementations automatically use the other drive and tell you of the failure

Striping -> Say I save a picture. That picture is split up and store on different hard drives so that when you go to load it, it takes a bit from each drive and puts them back together again. This has the advantage of being quicker than other methods as you can get more than one bit of information at a time from your HDD array

There are quite a few RAID levels but most just change the size of the bits spread out or add more error checking. Be warned that sometimes RAID setups can be expensive!



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 04:58 AM
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Originally posted by fluffy
does that mean that if i buy a SLI nVidea 6600GT 256MB PCI-E card, will it only work if i have 2? And would it be worth while just having just one card? So if i buy a motherboard that says SLI, does that just mean its compatible with two SLI graphics cards, but it will still work with one?

Remember that this is pretty much "new technology". This is how much I know:
See Voodoo 2 tried this (and called it "scan line interleave"), but it was too expensive for regular home users to come by, and never really grew on the market.

But NVidia decided to give it another try and this time round it looks like it's going to work.

The easiest way to recognize a SLI compatible (NVIDIA) graphics card is the "golden fingers" protruding from the top of the card. This is the actual SLI connector.

Actually the technical side of all of this is quite different than the first time, but the principal remains the same.

From what I heard and read scalability support isn't limited to just two GPUs, either—larger groups of GPUs are possible. The first (and perhaps only) implementations of the new SLI will be limited to two GPUs, however. The cards will operate in a deeply politically incorrect master/slave configuration. The master card will produce the video output, while the slave card feed its output data to the master. The slave card need not be connected to a monitor at all.

BUT before you buy a 72-pack of Depends at Sam's Club, though, remember that SLI can only deliver such performance gains when certain kinds of graphics bottlenecks are limiting performance. In the days of Voodoo 2 SLI, the one and only real gain from SLI was more fill rate, which means more pixel-pushing power for painting higher resolution images at higher frame rates. NVIDIA's SLI can, of course, offer more fill rate for insanely high screen resolutions and uber-sampled antialiasing, but it can also help crunch through additional polygon complexity or more intensive pixel shader effects. Just realize that the application has to be graphics bound, not CPU limited, in order to benefit from SLI.

Also, this can't be anything close to cheap. The cards themselves will cost at least $299 (US) a pop, with competing single-card options available for up to $500(US). Motherboards with the proper slots are exceedingly scarce and no doubt pricey, and may always be. (I should note, though, that VIA's PT890 and K8T890 chipsets will have 20 lanes of PCI Express connectivity on the north bridge, offering a glimmer of hope.) And just thinking about the power and cooling requirements of such a setup—especially with dual Xeons involved—gives me a headache.

I have limited knowledge on this topic. But in short the answer is: Yes, you can use only one card on the motherboard. Two graphics cards are not required but recommended. And if you use only one card, and wish to add another one in the future, you may not get the same card, as technically speaking it's best to have two of the same cards.

It's really not worth it to fork out the bucks for the specialized card and MOBO if you're not going to use it. And we can't say for sure if this technology is actually going to take. So reconsider.


Also check out NVidia's SLI FAQ ... Just remember when checking this site out, that they're trying to sell you the cards. Personally I wouldn't go for it, unless I had lots of bucks to spend.



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by fluffy
so does everyone agree that Crucial, Kingston and Corsair are the best quality RAM out there? And that Seagate and Western Digital are the best hard drives?


Personally, $ for $, I feel Micron(Crucial being their high-end division) is one of the best memory solutions available. Kingston and Corsair are both good, but I prefer Crucial overall. As for DDR-vs-DDR2, I would say stick with DDR for the time being. My reasoning is the lack of industry-wide manufacturing standards for DDR2 memory. Until such time, there remain many compatibility issues between motherboard and memory manufacturers. If you decide to go with DDR2 be absolutely certain the memory is compatible with your chosen motherboard.

As for hard drives, I have to say that I've replaced more Seagate and Western Digital drives than any other brand(s). I always replace with Maxtor hard drives and have rarely had an issue with them. At the moment I have 2 WDs and 1 Seagate in for replacement. All 3 drives are within 2 years of the manufactured date stamp(wtf?). I have used both WD and Seagates in the past, but over the years the Maxtor drives have proven to be the most reliable in regards to performance and long life.

Just my $.02

Peace2All



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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In regards to SLi don't forget ATI's offering of Crossfire. I mentioned it here on BTS as well:

PREVIOUS POST



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 02:29 AM
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oh ok. I wasn't planning to actually use SLI, its just that I was looking at graphics cards and motherboards, and the cheapest one from a good place is coincidentally a SLI 6600GT, and motherboards weren't too much more expensive with SLI (or maybe they were?). Anyway, so could i use one of these graphics cards on a motherboard that supports SLI? And it would function the same? Also, it would also mean I could use an 'single' SLI graphics card on a non-SLI compatible motherboard?

Another question, it says it fully supports HDTV. Don't know if this means that it wont work with my LCD, which only has DVI ports? And what exactly is it?

And thanks 4 answering my questions, ATS is a lot more helpfull than the NZ forum, where they just say 'use your brain cell, and look it up on the internet' lol. You know how much easier it is 4 ppl answering directly 2 ure questions.

Oh yeah, another thing. I wanted to have 5 PCI slots in my motherboard. Does that mean i haev to get a full tower case? If not, then how many external/internal (3.5"5.5"??) drives do i have to look out 4? Some specs look sorta confusing...





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