New PC, any suggestions ?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ErikAlbert, Oct 20, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I'm planning to buy a NEW computer.
    I think I made alot of mistakes with my actual computer and I was indeed a newbie in anything :D
    Maybe my new computer will be better, based on advices of more qualified people. :)

    I will keep my :
    1. Printer : HP LaserJet 6L
    2. Scanner : HP ScanJet 5p
    3. Monitor : Philips 109P10 19" 0.25 110KHZ (gekocht bij MPL)
    because they still work fine.

    In fact, I only need a new tower and I want to get rid of SCSI and replace it with IDE.
    Can I keep my diskette drive "A:" ?
    I have to replace my CD/DVD reader. Any suggestions ?
    I have to replace my CD writer. Does a CD/DVD writer exists ? Any suggestions ?
    I have to replace my harddisk, about 20 gb is enough. Any suggestions ?
    What is the best solution to backup my harddisk ?
    What about the capacity of processor and RAM memory ?
    I mainly work with text and databases, no games, no graphics, but security softwares require also a powerfull computer, if you don't want any bloatware problems.
    TIA :)
     
  2. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Posts:
    11,271
    Price range limitation ?
     
  3. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Posts:
    614
    Just some quick suggestions from me.

    For the main computer i would go Athlon based. They are one heck of a lot cheaper and the same spec in an Athlon is more powerful than the same Spec on a Intel (pentium/Celeron) therefore you can get heck of a lot more powerful machine for the same money than if you were to go intel.

    I would get a DVD Burner (Writer), there pennies these Days. Ebuyer is a fantastic and very reasonably priced online store to get your things from. The Benq 1640 is by everyones opinions by far and away the best DVD Burner on the market today and can be bought brand new for £29 from Ebuyer, (This will burn CD's, DVD's both Plus and Minus R and Dual Layer DVD's too). The Nec 3540 is second best. (i use the NEC 3540 and am very pleased but have saw the Benq in action).

    Hard Drive, Most people Swear by Seagate. I have however a Maxtor 300gig 16mb buffer, and am very pleased with it.

    Memory, i would recommend nothing less than 256 meg.

    Processor if your not going to be playing games, anything around or above 1500+ athlon XP would do fine in my opinion.

    Hope this is some help.
    Anthony
     
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Posts:
    10,632
    i recommend an athlon 64 3200 proc with 512 megs of corsair memory. then just use a nec or liteon brand dvd burner. as for hard disk, i would consider maxtor, or hitachi. there all good and cheap.
     
  5. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Of course, I'm not Bill Gates and there is really a price range limitation.
    I don't want crap hardware, but I don't want the very best unpayable hardware either.
    IMHO there is always a good price/quality proportion and that's the one I'm willing to pay for.
    I just don't like to make the same mistakes and I assume that other members made a few mistakes too, maybe I can learn from this.
    For instance : I neglected everything that has to do with backup and CD's aren't really a convenient backup method.
     
  6. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Posts:
    11,271
    Ok....the question was asked so that you might give a dollar range for those attempting to assist :doubt:
     
  7. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Posts:
    614
    One good way to save money on buying a new machine is to buy a linux based one (i.e a one that comes with linux pre installed instead of windows). As i found a large chunk of the purchase cost goes towards buying a Windows licence. And If you already have a machine and this had windows CD's and not a recovery CD, then theres no need to buy the same thing twice.

    Online stores usually offer a good spec Linux Based machine for next to nothing. Ebuyer does for one and the one i saw a few months back was very cheap (£150) for a very decent spec machine.

    But i would also buy a Benq 1640 burner, Avoid Liteon and Sony like the plague. They are not good burners. If you go over to specific burner discussion forums you will see this. Nec and Benq are the only brands worth getting.
     
  8. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    5,116
  9. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Many thanks for the advices already given.
    Keep in mind that I bought my actual computer on 2000.09.28. So everything in that computer must be OLD :D
    Belgium is quite an expensive country to buy a computer, but I will pay attention to the suggestions when I make my final choice.
    So any suggestions are very welcome.

    I fully agree with the Athlon processor. Long ago I talked to a very intelligent guy who adviced me to buy Athlon, not because it was cheaper, but for other reasons, I don't even remember :D
    After all I'm not an expert in hardware and I don't have any technical skills either.
    So I didn't fully understand this guy, but I followed his advice.
    I have now an AMD Athlon Thunderbird 800 mhz, so I will look at the prices of the new CPU's of Athlon.

    I've read that a RAM of 256 MB is the minimum nowadays, but a RAM of 512 MB is better for the future.
    Does 1024 MB really makes a difference compared with 512 MB ?

    The "Benq 1640 Burner" looks good. I will read about it later.
    Do you think I need both : a CD/DVD reader AND a CD/DVD burner OR do I only need a CD/DVD burner.
    Is there something I can NOT do at all without having both ?

    What about BACKUP ?
    I always re-install my harddisk from scratch and that takes alot of time.
    If I'm in trouble, I want to restore my harddisk as fast as possible.
    What kind of hardware and software do I need to make that possible ?
     
  10. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Posts:
    614
    If its any help for the burner/reader question. Three relitives have bought a new computer this year and all three came with one drive installed, A NEC 3530 on all cases. This is a CD/DVD Burner (the drive released before thge 3540). My Cisco advisor said that unless your going to be hammering with the contant reading (i.e watching or backing up) DVD movies then a DVD Burner will cover all aspects.

    I personally have 2 DVD-rom readers in my machine and a NEC 3540 attached in a USB external casing that i switch on only when i wish to burn something, this serves me nicely at the moment.

    I was also told that 512 would really serve you fine unless your doing graphics photoshop work or playing games. From your description of your uses i would say 512 would be all you were to ever need. (as i doubt security applications ever needing anywhere neer that much to run).

    For a Backup image of hard drive. the two mainstream programs are Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image. Read around the forum as there are a lot of posts asking which is better and to see peoples responses.
     
  11. Mysterion

    Mysterion Guest

    How about a second hard drive? You could use it to store backups, and leave an empty partition on it so that should your primary drive fail, you could install the OS on that partition.
     
  12. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    So as far I understand one CD/DVD burner covers everything.
    I could be wrong but backing up a DVD movie can be done from DVD to DVD if you use your harddisk as a kind of intermediate station :
    - copy your DVD movie from DVD drive to your harddisk and then
    - copy your DVD movie from harddisk to a new DVD in your DVD drive.
    Am I right about this, because I don't have any experience with doing this in practice ? I still use a video recorder with tapes.
     
  13. AvianFlux

    AvianFlux Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Posts:
    237
    I saw a ad recently for a Gateway desktop for around a grand that seemed like a really good deal. It was comparable to a Dell that was going for several hundred dollars more.
     
  14. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Posts:
    614
    Yes your right it does, its just if you use your burner to read DVD film disks all the time it can wear down the laser quicker. (its like the same problem with Playstation 2's people wearing down the lasers who have been using it non stop to watch DVD films. As the machine was built as a game playing machine not a DVD film reader)

    From what you describe you wont have no problems with the one DVD burner drive as it will do everything.
     
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Thanks alot. I will certainly keep that in mind, when I buy my new computer.
    In my case, one good CD/DVD burner is enough.
    One or two makes a real price difference and I always can buy an additional reader or burner when I really need it.
    Good tip man !!! :cool:
     
  16. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,524
    ErikAlbert,

    Based on what you want to use your computer for, here are some ideas.
    I was able to play DVD movies on a 128MB Windows XP Pro Laptop. It worked, but XP has to use Virtual Memory (hard drive page file) a lot to supplement the low RAM. Such low RAM makes it feel very sluggish for all uses.
    512MB would be the minimum amount of RAM I would consider today. Make sure that they put in 1 512MB DIMM(stick) instead of 2 256MB DIMMs, as that will limit your expansion ability because all your RAM slots will be filled already.
    With 512MB you should be able to do most of what you need okay.
    With 1GB RAM, windows is able to spread out more and rely less on the paging file (swap file, virtual memory). You will also be able to run more security apps in memory. For a pre boxed system (rather than custom built), I would go for 1 GB (make them use a 1GB DIMM!). With RAM slots left empty, later you can add more RAM (1.5GB-2GB) if you would like to turn off Virtual Memory completely (performance boost, privacy boost, definately worth it).
    If you want to get into editing videos and encoding videos to MPEG4 etc., you will need all the horse power (CPU) and RAM you can throw at it. Then you want to end up with 2GB RAM. Whether you buy the system with 1GB and add 1GB later or get it all at once depends on the price and if you are willing to mess with hardware.
    The only exception with RAM in one stick is the Dual Channel RAM on some motherboards. Then you have 2 512MB DIMMs (preferably a matched spec pair) to make 1GB. This allows simultaneous access to both sticks of RAM boosting performance. You still should get as big RAM as possible. Is dual channel worth it? It does boost performance, but I can't really say for sure how much.
    I know Dual Channel RAM is available on the P4 boards.

    Anybody know if Dual Channel RAM is available on Athlon64 boards?

    CPU:
    The P4 has something very useful called HT (hyperthreading) which makes it like you actually have 2 CPUs when you only have one. Run a full virus scan which maxes out your CPU and you still have one free for working! You could probably get a pretty good deal now on a 3.0 GHz P4 (at least with an 800Mhz FSB Front Side Bus).

    Anybody know if HyperThreading or equivalent is available on Athlon64?

    For the Athlon64, besides the speed of 64bit (which still isn't fully supported in all the software), there is something worth looking into security wise.
    Athlon64 has something called DEP Data Execution Protection which is supposed to provide hardware buffer overflow protection that you may want to look into. I know Jason (formerly from DCS) commented about it here.

    Anybody care to comment on DEP and how effective it is in reality, or your experience with it?

    Hard Drive:
    80GB seems to be a really good price right now, but like RAM, more is better.
    I particularly like the WD raptor 76GB. They are 10K RPM, have a good warranty and will drastically boost the perceived performance of your system.
    They are also quieter than the older 36GB Raptors.
    Buying 2 in a RAID 0 array is not worth it.
    Buying 2 in a RAID 1 mirroring array would be worth it.
    Seagate is the king of quiet and a good choice also. Their 7200.7 line works well.
    SATA (serial ATA) drives are nice compared to PATA (parallel ATA). They have a thin cable for better airflow and faster transmission speed (although PATA has yet to be maxed out by any HD yet).

    It really depends on the deals available in your country. Pre boxed systems sometimes have really good deals because of the economies of scale but very limited options for changing individual components (and when they do let you take something off, they usually don't deduct enough). The places that let you really customize usually end up higher priced (but you get specifically what you want).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2005
  17. hollywoodpc

    hollywoodpc Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Posts:
    1,325
    Unless you are into overclocking and running super high graphics , stay away from Athlon . They are NOT MUCH cheaper as one poster eluded to . They are cheaper but , not by much when you compare apples to apples . They also get really hot . Therefore , it is better to buy a different heatsink then the one that comes with it . A Pentium 4 is very good overall . The Celeron is the bottom of the barrel for Intel . Keep that in mind . I expect that by the time you see the heat from an Athlon and the " out of the box " convenience of the P4 with it's own heatsink included , the P4 is the easiest AND longer lasting of the two . And , if you DO get another heatsink for the Athlon , that MAY make up the few dollars difference between an Atlon and the P4 . I never understood why people say the Athlon is SOOOOOOO much cheaper . It may have been years ago but , Intel and AMD have gotten very close over the years that the AMD price has gone up more AND faster than Intel's . As to Devinco's comments . Athlon also has Hyperthreading though , it is referred to as something else . And the DEP is really not a mind blower yet . Not worth looking at as of yet to decide . Also , the comment about the " WD raptor 76GB. They are 10K RPM, have a good warranty and will drastically boost the perceived performance of your system.
    They are also quieter than the older 36GB Raptors. " is NOT what you are looking for if you are trying to keep the cost down . I agree it is nice but , you WILL pay for that at this time .

    Good luck to you on this
     
  18. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Posts:
    10,632
    iirc, the athlon 64s generally are faster (especially gaming), and cooler than the pentium 4, ive never heard of athlons having thermal issues like the pentium 4s. also athlons dont have hyperthreading, they have hypertransport which is actually part of the chipset/bus and refers to the speed between the cpu and chipset. also with the latest hard drives pushing sata II and 16mb cache, the raptors arent as great as when they debuted. in addition many current socket 939 boards (nforce4 and latest via chipsets) can accept dual-core Athons so in the future u should be able to upgrade (if socket 939 procs are still somewhat common). whereas for intel, ull need one of their newer boards with the 945 chipset or 955 (i think).
     
  19. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,524
    Definately forget the Celeron.

    I would be very interested to see (all things being equal) how DEP would protect (or not) against all the many buffer overflow vulnerabilities that plague Windows software and the OS today. And how it compares to all the software solutions in a real world situation.

    I agree it is not the cheapest drive, but the 10K RPM will definately make your system feel much faster.
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Hey Guys,

    I need some help with only FOUR hardware components, the rest is no trouble.
    CASE(TOWER) + MOTHERBOARD + MEMORY + VIDEOCARD.

    I have a website in English, where all these components are listed, but with too many choices :D
    My technical knowledge is ZERO and I don't understand the technical descriptions very well.
    I made already a few choices, but the rest is o_O
    Keep in mind that my old computer contains the rest of the components and I like to keep those.
    So it will be a mixture of old and new components and I want to get of SCSI and replace it with IDE.

    This is Belgium of course and Belgium is quite an expensive country for PC's.
    So let us not waste our time about prices. I bought my old my computer at this company. So I will need that company to assemble my new PC.
    If you have several valid choices, mention them and I will make my final choice, based on your choices.
    You can copy/paste them easily from the website.
    I just don't want to buy something that isn't necessary or isn't compatible. TIA.


    http://www.mpl.be/info_en.aspx

    CASE(TOWER)
    o_O big enough for two harddisks.

    MOTHERBOARD
    o_O

    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (2.0 Ghz) - socket 939 - 512K L2 64Bit [ADA3200BPBOX]

    HARDDISK
    Maxtor 6L080P0 DiamondMax 10 80GB - 8192K/7200RPM/ATA133 - QuickView [MAX-6L080P0]

    MEMORY
    o_O 512 MB, but what ?

    VIDEOCARD
    o_O Compatible with Microsoft.

    CD-ROM & DVD
    BenQ DW1620 Pro DVD+/-RD - 16x - Dual Layer - IDE - Bulk - Black [BQ-DW1620P-BBL]


    I have already from the past and I like to keep those.
    Monitor : Philips Brilliance 109P
    Printer : HP LaserJet 6L
    Scanner : HP ScanJet 5p
     
  21. yahoo

    yahoo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Posts:
    290
    Location:
    nowhere
    ErikAlbert-

    You may want to check out this site: www.anandtech.com, especially the forum there. I found it very helpful when I planned to assemble a PC by myself sometime ago.
     
  22. se7engreen

    se7engreen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Posts:
    369
    Location:
    USA
    Here's a couple of my suggestions:

    Motherboard: Abit AN8, it's based on the Nforce 4 chipset and is a very stable board a stock speeds but includes many bios settings if you ever feel the need to do some overclocking. Really, any Nforce 4 board would be my recommendation.

    Video: ATI Radeon X550 or NVidia Gforce 6200, if you're a big gamer you may want a better video card but I suggest either of these because they're cheap and you'll be Vista compliant when it's released (if you go that route) without having to disable all the eye-candy.

    Case: Antec cases are easy to build from and generally come with quality power supplies. I've had good luck with the Antec Sonata, designed to help muffle PC noise.

    Memory: Some reliable memory makers are Corsair, Mushkin, and Crucial. There are others but these are some big ones. Unless you overclock or can afford it, stick with their value line of ram. You won't see a huge difference in speed with the high-end, low latency stuff. PC3200 (DDR 400) memory will be a perfect match for your CPU & board.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    Edit: Agreed with yahoo, www.anandtech.com is a very good resource.
     
  23. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Posts:
    677
    Location:
    Blasters worm farm
  24. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Posts:
    15,115
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Any of the Antec Cases with at the very least a Antec 350w Power Supply, the larger the better for future proofing and playing games.


    Asus or Gigabyte with INTEL Chipset.


    Intel P4


    80 or 200GB SATA Seagate or if your budget affords it 2 x 200GB SATA Seagates, either way partition the first drive into about 20 to 40GB for your Operating System and Programs, shift My Documents across to the second partition and use the 2nd physical drive for backup.


    Kingmax for reliability and reasonable price.


    If you are not into gaming then use the “On Board” Intel extreme graphics chip that come with either of the boards above, if you are into gaming then look at GECube or BFG.


    This is a mid-range Intel P4 gaming system that we put together the other day:

    Antec SUPERLANBOY ALUMINIUM ATX Case, NO Power Supply.
    Antec TruePower 550W ATX Power Supply
    Gigabyte 8I945G-PRO S775 I945G ATX SATAII PCI-EX16 DUALDDRII Raid USB2.0 Firewire Lan Audio Graphics
    Intel Pentium 4 640, 3.20GHz with EM64T, XD & EIST (LGA775) FSB 800MHz, 2MB L2 Cache
    Seagate NCQ 200GB SATA HDD - 7200RPM, 8MB buffer
    KINGMAX - 1GB (2 X 512MB Modules) DDR2 533MHz Mars Series
    BFG GeForce 6600GT-OC 128MB GDDR3 (SLI Ready) True Lifetime Warranty

    And this is a mid-range AMD gaming system (same spec’s as above):

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI S939 nForce4 SLI ATX FSB2000 2xPCI-EX DDR400 SATA Raid 2xLan
    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (S939) HTSB 2GHz, 512KB L2 Cache

    Cheers :D
     
  25. hollywoodpc

    hollywoodpc Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Posts:
    1,325
    WSFuser .
    Are you kidding me ? Seriously ? You have NEVER heard of the Athlons running hot AND you hear P4 s run hotter ? Honestly , no harm meant here . Truly , I apologize if this is taken wrong but , PLEASE do your homework . Athlon's are , INDEED , hotter than P4 s . Even the heqatsinks that come in the retail box of a P4 are not really good enough for the P4 . But , not only have I tested these in detail , most anywhere you go where there is a modicom of intelligence , you will read about the Athlons being hotter than P4s . Keep in mind that I am speaking of the Northwoods . Not the prescotts . the rescotts temp HAS gone up by about 15 degrees . So , I think that Athlon and P4 Prescotts will be really close . That is without overclocking an Athlon as well . And alot do overclock those . Sorry if there was confusion .
    Again , I apologize if this is taken wrong as I mean NO harm .
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2005
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.