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OfflinegeokillsA
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Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options
    #3347392 - 11/11/04 05:18 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

So my current computer is nearin' on four years of age, my hard drives are both full, my RAM is low, and in short - I'm too lazy to hassle with upgrades so I figure I'll hassle with building a whole 'nother box (crazy maybe, but that's my decision) :crazy2: :tongue2:

My budget for computer guts is up to $2,200 +/- and I'm lookin' for something screaming fast, with most importantly a reliable and easy to use backup system.  This will not be a server, but I'm not opposed to overkill so long as it fits within budget. The heaviest resource load I'd have going is:

- multiple browser windows
- word processing
- image editing (file sizes in the hundreds and possibly thousands of megabytes)
- audio editing
- and perhaps even a some gaming at any given time. 


While I am a bit partial to Intel, I'm not incredibly brand loyal so please give me as honest an opinion as you can based upon the applications defined above.  Following is a starter list of various options I've been considering.. please throw at me any advice you have, in terms of pricing, effeciency, and sense (I really don't know much about hardware so I'm lookin' forward to some extensive feedback :grin:)!  :heart:



Hrmm... I've realized that I'm reaching a considerable dillema in deciding on the motherboard/cpu combo that I'm going to run with.  From the above though, you can get a general idea of where I'm heading.  So instead let me move on to ask you all for specific suggestions instead of basing them entirely on the hardware I've already looked at (though please feel free to consider it as well, as I do like them Xeon's :wink:). 

What should I be looking for in terms of future viability?
  • Is 64-bit architechture very important, and if so can you recommend a processor that won't break the bank?

  • What about the FSB speeds.. 533 versus 800 MHz.  For my stated applications, will it make a huge difference?

  • Hyperthreading - this sounds very nice and if I go with a single processor setup I'd definitely like to have this included - suggestions?

  • What single cpu motherboard combo would you recommend?

  • What dual cpu motherboard combo would you recommend?

  • What type of data storage hardware would you recommend for a reliable RAID setup + backup drive?


Let me note that the data storage is a foremost concern as I do 99% of my business through the computer.  When making your suggestions, please remember this: I would like to build a system capable of housing THREE 250 GB (or TWO 400 GB) drives, with ONE additional 400 GB drive for use as backup. 

After all this typing, I'm beginning to lean towards a single Xeon cpu with hyperthreading - any recommendations for a board to go with it? This is oh so confusing and I really need some solid advice so please lay it on thick!  Thanks in advance :sun:


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OfflinegeokillsA
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: geokills]
    #3347868 - 11/11/04 06:50 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Well after a little discussion with a nice and informed computer enthusiast I've come to the tentative conclusion that the following Motherboard/CPU combo will work well for me. 



Question:  I'm not good at decyphering all the lingo, but it seems like the above MSI motherboard might only accept ECC RAM?  Can anyone verify this for me?

Also, can anyone recommend an appropriate hard drive setup to meet my desires as listed at the end of my first post above, in conjunction with the MSI + Dual Opteron setup listed in this post?

I apologize for the disarray in my postings, but I'm learning as I go along.. :crazy2:


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Offlinemndfreeze
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: geokills]
    #3348246 - 11/11/04 08:26 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

gross.  Stop talking to amd zealots who are so anti intel they will push amd regardless of quality! :wink:


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: mndfreeze]
    #3348310 - 11/11/04 08:43 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)



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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: geokills]
    #3348415 - 11/11/04 09:05 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I would strongly suggest a motherboard with on-board RAID hardware. It is my understanding that hard drives are by far the limiting factor when it comes to data processing applications like audio and image stuff.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: geokills]
    #3351155 - 11/12/04 01:06 PM (12 years, 30 days ago)

Well, as far as backup goes, here's what I do.

I picked up a bunch of 300 GB drives at CompUSA. They had a special deal going where the price wound up at $100 each after rebate (which took four months to get the check, but that's another story). Anyway, it's a Maxtor 7200 RPM job with 8 MB of cache.  All my systems have SCSI drives, but I figured that for backups, which don't have to be especially fast since they run off prime-time, the Maxtor's ATA 133 interface would be good enough for Jazz, and as it turns out, the Maxtor's aren't slow at all.

So now, with a third of a terabyte in each system, I don't have to bother with pain-in-the-ass DAT tapes any more or slow-ass DVD+R. Instead, I run Acronis True Image...

http://acronis.com/products/trueimage/

...which can actually image a drive while it's in-use, including the active OS partition while it's running. They use a clever way of tracking changes during the imaging and integrating them into the final backup. This provides me with very reliable disaster recovery and with the Acronis Image Viewer, you can mount an image file as a drive letter to get at any files in the image. I think their new version can even do differential and incremental backups by updating the image without having to reimage the source drive.

By the way, RAID will not exempt you from daily backups. RAID will protect you against disk failure, but it will not protect you if you accidentally clobber your registry rendering your system irrevocably hosed, and it will faithfully protect a virus as well as your data.

Anyway, food for thought...  :badcomputer:


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1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Edited by Diploid (11/12/04 01:38 PM)


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: Diploid]
    #3366494 - 11/15/04 11:19 PM (12 years, 27 days ago)

By the way, one quickie way I make backups in a pinch, especially when I'm at someone else's machine, is to zip the files and email them to myself at GMAIL.COM. Gmail accounts all have one GB of storage free.

I also use Gmail to store information that is hyper-critical to my business without which I would be out of business and out looking for a job. My accounts receivables ledger, for example. It's a simple and free way to get high-end offsite backups in case something really bad, like a fire, wiped out my network and my backups which are stored in the same place.

Gmail is by invitation only. I happen to have a few accounts to give away. If anyone's interested, PM me your email address and I'll hook you up.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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OfflineRamlaen
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: Diploid]
    #3372884 - 11/17/04 06:58 AM (12 years, 25 days ago)

Dude Raid 0 striping is A HUGE HUGE HUGE performance increase in any kind of Disk related work IE audio,photo,video editing. Also Intel systems perform better overall at those tasks due to their speed. BTW you are thinking of raid 1 striping for data protection. Your HD's will bottle neck that system.


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OfflineRamlaen
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: Ramlaen]
    #3372885 - 11/17/04 07:01 AM (12 years, 25 days ago)

Also, can anyone recommend an appropriate hard drive setup to meet my desires as listed at the end of my first post above, in conjunction with the MSI + Dual Opteron setup listed in this post?

I would purchase a large hd 300gb or so as back or storage area only. Then i would RAID 0 Stripe two or 3 36 gb 15k Cheatek SCSI drives(Best Performing HD's OUt there) This would be considered your work space area to do work, then when done you would move it over to your large storage drive. For more information on HD's feel free to browses ocforums.com. Lots of helpful people there in the storage sections. Lots of FAQ's there as well.


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Building a New PC - Please Advise on My Choices/Options [Re: Ramlaen]
    #3376512 - 11/17/04 10:52 PM (12 years, 25 days ago)

Yeah, you dont want a raid config for backup, you want it to boost performance. Just do backup manually unless you have some super-critical information that needs to be backed up as it is written.


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