[TriLUG] seeking hardware advice...
Sun, 16 Jun 2002 22:52:03 -0400
Lisa Lorenzin wrote:
> 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
I think the CPU will deliver much more performance than you need, unless
you're doing some really computationally intensive audio manipulation or
insist on real-time processing of multiple audio channels. The RAM might
be more than you need, but it may still make you happy.
Just so you know, I'm do video editing on a 1.33GHz Athlon with 512MB
RAM. The processing perfomace seems to be enough. I do have to wait
around 9 hours for it take uncompressed video and encode a DVD quality
result, but the editing process works fast enough. As for RAM, the
system does only a little swapping when I'm doing video editing with
multiple video and audio sources, have several Mozilla windows open, and
leave the GIMP running with a few 720x480 images open.
> 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
Some LCD's are rather poor with color, and others, like my SGI 1600SW,
aproach but do not meet the color quality of CRTs. Still, I find it
works quite well. It is fast enough, and I have to remember that if I am
to visually match a color, the parts I'm matching need to be across a
horizontal line for color consistancy. Some newer LCDs may not have that
problem. I also find that dark colors on a CRT can be very dark on my
LCD. Usually, these problems don't cause me any trouble.
As for those who say CRTs have better image quality, I have yet to see a
CRT with focus as sharp and crisp as an LCD. I like this feature because
I have great eye sight and a display with 110dpi. The Trinitron sitting
next to it is much blurrier at 75dpi.
> (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?
You don't need a high-end video card. I'm using a Matrox G200 at
1600x1024 resolution. Admittedly it is a bottleneck for video
performance, but the only times I notice it are when doing video
editting, and when playing BZFlag. A Matrox G550 may work well for you,
too, but I'm not sure how it compares to the options you're already
> 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?
Other physical hard drive catastrophes include extremely bad weather,
cars that travel through your residence, burgarly, etc... If nothing
unusually bad ever happens, you can keep the backup inside your computer
and be fine. But if nothing unusually bad ever happened, no one would
worry about backups.
> 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,
Just depends on how much downtime you're willing to experiance should a
drive fail. A backup to a second drive, non-RAID, won't help in all
cases that external media stored off-site would work in.
> 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.)