[TriLUG] seeking hardware advice...
Sun, 16 Jun 2002 22:16:23 -0400
I just skimmed your needs and suggested configuration and have a few points:
For your situation, the Geforce 4 is overkill, a Geforce 2 should work fine.
You might also want to look for multihead support on your video card, since
any kind of heavy work (image/sound editing, programming, etc) can benefit
greatly from two displays, but that's just my opinion.
With the money you save from the video card, get a better/bigger HD. I have
a WD 1200JB (8MB of cache) and it SCREAMS (not as fast as the 15,000 RPM
SCSI drives I've used, but close :). You will want that or the IBM deskstar
120GXP (beware of the problems in the deskstar chain). I've always had bad
luck with WD drives (I've had 4 or 5 Caviar drives die on me), but I decided
to get them another chance with this one, we'll see how it goes. In short,
you wont regret a big, fast hard drive. I wouldn't worry about RAID in that
case if you have the WD 1200JB, unless you're really worried about data
redundancy and want to mirror the drives. If that's the case, I'd prefer a
hardware raid controller, but it will cost you $$$, plus the cost of the
extra drive(s). :)
Don't go with no name brand memory, get Crucial, Mushkin, etc. No-name
hardware is a waste of time and it's worth spending $20 more for a
name-brand. With computer hardware, you get what you pay for.
If you're doing all that image editing and have the desktop real estate and
won't be moving the box around much, I'd get a CRT. LCDs still can't compete
with a CRTs image quality and you get the most screen real-estate for the
buck. CRTs are heavy and bulky though, so it's a personal preference past
I don't know how good that soundcard is, but I'd probably get a SB Live or
better. (I have one and I had problems with a quadraphonic setup under linux
but they should have fixed that by now.) If you're doing sound work, I'd
look for a good SN ratio and possibly position the sound card as far away
from the other cards to minimize EMI (noise). Hey, slashdot had an article
awhile back about a motherboard with vacuum tubes on it for the sound. From
what I heard ICs (integrated circuits) still can't beat vacuum tubes in
terms of output quality, you might want to look into that, just do a search
on "vacuum tube" on slashdot.
As far as DVD RW goes, I think they haven't standardized on that yet (a
friend said they wouldn't until the blue laser technology got in them or
something, I don't stay up to date on this new hardware stuff (???)). I
usually stay away from technologies with two or more competing standards
because one or both is set to go the way of the dinosaurs (i.e. the two 56k
modem technologies, VHS/betamax, DVD/DiVX, etc).
Just my two cents, good luck with the system!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lisa Lorenzin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Triangle Linux Users Group" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 9:42 PM
Subject: [TriLUG] seeking hardware advice...
> so i'm finally going to upgrade my main home machine (currently a p233
> with 128Mb RAM and 10Gb of disk space - which was given to me by a friend
> when HE upgraded). i could really use a little hardware advice, because
> the only thing i know about hardware is to go check ars technica and tom's
> hardware. :)
> a little background: i don't game. i use my pc for image and sound
> editing (now you see why i want to upgrade!), web surfing, and various
> home-office stuff like word processing, balancing my checkbook, etc.
> here's what i'm considering - everything except the monitor is from the
> DIY guides on ars technica.
> mobo asus a7v333 $110.99
> RAM 512Mb pc2100 ddr-sdram $98.98
> cpu athlon xp 2000+ $149
> heatsink alpha pal8045 w/sunon 50cfm fan $42
> or svc gc68 w/sunon 50cfm fan $13
> video gainward geforce 4 ti4200 64mb $151
> or nvidia geforce ii gts pro 32mb $55
> sound turtle beach santa cruz $64.50
> hd western dig. wd800jb 80Gb SE $116.99
> case antec performanceplus 1080 $115.78
> monitor samsung 770 tft (17" LCD) $629
> (i already have a NIC, floppy, cdr, and cdrw.)
> since i don't game, do i need a high-end video card? all i really
> want is something that will do an good job of driving the lcd panel for
> image editing. would these cards be overkill for that? if so, can anyone
> recommend a better alternative? if not, is there an obvious choice from
> the two above, for what i want to do?
> is it worth paying 4x as much for the alpha heatsink? i'm happy to pay
> the extra $30 - especially considering how much i'm dropping on this
> overall - if it really buys me better cooling, but don't want to waste the
> money if there's really not much difference. i just have no idea how to
> judge that kind of thing.
> is there anything physical that could happen to my system that could take
> out both hard drives, other than a power spike? (i do plan to get an
> industrial-strength surge suppressor.) is there any big problem with
> backing up onto a second hd, rather than external media?
> my backup system currently consists of dumping important things to cd when
> i think about it (ie, not often). i'd really like to get something i can
> set up to run more easily and regularly. my first thought is just to buy
> a second 80Gb drive and use it as a backup repository (via cron jobs &
> afio); i don't want a raid system because i want to be able to recover
> from user error as well as disk failure. (raid doesn't help me out if i
> type rm -rf * in the wrong directory. hm, maybe mounting that second
> drive read-only when i'm not actively backing up to it is a good idea,
> another option, if it's important to backup onto separate media, is to get
> a dvd-rw and do it manually on a regular basis. (which i WOULD do, if i
> had a good system in place.) that's less convenient, and i expect it to
> be more expensive. (a friend of mine is sending me a recommendation for a
> dvd-rw drive that he really likes - no idea yet what it costs, tho.)
> any comments on the rest of the components are also welcome...
> lisa lorenzin | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.1000plus.com/lisa/
> of what avail is an open eye if the heart is blind? - solomon ibn gavirol
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