Phoenix9
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Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:49 am

Well I'm finally sick of my old desktop (still pretty good with P4 3.0GHz / 3GB RAM and 700GB HDD in total) and have been looking into building a new one. I've had my older computer for 7 years now so I want to build something that will last me for a while without substanstial upgrades.

This is what I had in mind:

- ASUS Dual Socket motherboard with capacity for upto 32GB DDR2 RAM
- Two Xeon X3350 processors: Quad-core @ 2.66 GHz X2, so basically it would be pusing 21 GHz in total.
- 2 X 1.5 TB HDD
- ATI /Nvidia 1GB video card (haven't decided on exact card yet).

So all things short...this is gonna cost me roughly $1600 CAD with all the bells and whistles. Is it worth it, considering that it probably be fast enough and upgradeable enough to last for a while.

Thoughts?
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
austinairport
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:56 am

I guess that really depends on the User.
I get by with Intel Core 2 Duo Running Both cores at 1.6GHz. But if your doing movie editing and stuff like that, that requires high processor calculations, then I think its worth it.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Thread starter):
32GB DDR2 RAM

Jesus... That's Beast.

You can Quadruple boot Ubuntu-Windows XP-Winows Vista-, and Winows 7.
 Big grin
Whoever said you can do anything you set your mind to has obviously never tried to slam a revolving door!!!
 
afterburner
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:39 am

 eyepopping  What applications will you use in this computer? I can't imagine with the spec you've mentioned.
 
mham001
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:33 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Thread starter):
- ASUS Dual Socket motherboard with capacity for upto 32GB DDR2 RAM

What do you plan on running? You won't get any benefit from more than 4GB with 32 bit Windows.
 
afterburner
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:40 am



Quoting Mham001 (Reply 3):
You won't get any benefit from more than 4GB with 32 bit Windows.

I'm sure he'll use the 64-bit version.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:57 am

Quoting Phoenix9 (Thread starter):

- ASUS Dual Socket motherboard with capacity for upto 32GB DDR2 RAM
- Two Xeon X3350 processors: Quad-core @ 2.66 GHz X2, so basically it would be pusing 21 GHz in total.
- 2 X 1.5 TB HDD
- ATI /Nvidia 1GB video card (haven't decided on exact card yet).

Holy crap! And I thought my core i7 was a beast   

My brand new rig which I just finished building:
Core i7 920 2.6Ghz
Asus P6T mobo
2x Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4870 1gb DDR5 in Crossfirex
2x 640gb Western Digital Caviar Black in RAID 0
6Gb Corsair DDR1600 RAM

I currently have it overclocked at 3.6Ghz, it's 100% stable and runs very cool. Heck I managed to bump it up to 4.1 Ghz once, but you'd need water cooling for that. The Core i7s are remarkable performers and overclock great (if you're into that).

Ignoring other BS I bought (new screen, new keyboard etc) My rig cost just under $1300 USD, and it still has lots of room for upgrades. I bought everything off of newegg.com. The prices are great, shipping cheap and fast, and service is excellent.

With this setup it obliterates ANYTHING I throw at it. I just can't get the thing to slow down literally.

Quite frankly I'd say your money will be spent in a Core i7, the Xeons are better optimized for servers and workstations, unlesss of course, you plan on running an adult website from it, which knowing you it wouldn't surprise me.    

Quoting Afterburner (Reply 4):
I'm sure he'll use the 64-bit version.

Even then, it's been proven more than 6GB makes no performance difference whatsoever. tomshardware.com has all the tests proving so.

[Edited 2009-06-02 00:58:30]
 
Dazed767
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:07 am

Well.....I was gonna post the specs on my build from almost 2 years ago but that will make me feel inadequate as a person now haha. Quite a build you got there.

As for the video card, maybe the Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP or GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP?
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:49 am



Quoting Mham001 (Reply 3):
You won't get any benefit from more than 4GB with 32 bit Windows.

Just to clarify....I won't be putting in 32 GB RAM, it is just that the motherboard can take upto 32 just in case I need to add more in future. I'll probably start off with 8GB.

I know this build is overkill, but I tend to buy stuff that will last me for a few years. My old p4 system can still beat some of the newer low end systems and the only upgrade it had was an extra hard drive. So ya, it might be an overkill now but in 3-4 years with new bloatware, it might not seem like it.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 5):
you plan on running an adult website from it

Now there's an idea Big grin Big grin
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
afterburner
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:55 pm

What will you do with your old desktop? A 3 GHz Pentium 4 with 3 GB RAM machine still have more than enough processing power to run most applications available today.
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:07 pm



Quoting Afterburner (Reply 8):
What will you do with your old desktop?

That will probably end up being used as a media center / home server....unless I can find someone who will be willing to buy it. It does have processing power for most applications, however when it comes to video editing / photo editing...it is lagging behind. I also play some games that are a bit slower than I like them to be. The only reason I'm thinking about getting one now is because of all the sale prices....seems like stores just want to get rid of as much merchandise as possible.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:19 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 5):
Ignoring other BS I bought (new screen, new keyboard etc) My rig cost just under $1300 USD, and it still has lots of room for upgrades. I bought everything off of newegg.com. The prices are great, shipping cheap and fast, and service is excellent.

Man, I'm happy I ended up buying a laptop for the portability factor, but it still makes me a little sick that my machine cost me nearly 1,800 USD and it's significantly inferior in terms of specs compared to that rig you got for less. Granted, my lappy is a year old, but a desktop with equivalent specs at the time of purchase would have been less than half the price. There's a price to pay for compact engineering, I guess!
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:36 pm

By the way here's a tip. Like I said I swear by newegg.com The way I shop with them is that I buy whatever it is I need that has the highest ratings on their website. (i.e. I have their highest rated LCD monitor, computer case, etc...)While you're not getting necessarily the cheapest stuff (I hate being a cheapskate for obvious reasons), you are getting the stuff that will give you the best value in terms of quality/price. And so far this tactic has worked excellent and I've been very impressed with everything I've bought from them using this method.

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 6):
maybe the Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express

As of now at least, the 4890 is not worth all the extra money that it costs over the 4870. The guys over at tomshardware.com (yeah i love that website) did a comparo between the two and the 4890 only yielded a few more FPS compared to the 4870, yet it costs almost 80% more.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 7):
My old p4 system can still beat some of the newer low end systems and the only upgrade it had was an extra hard drive. So ya, it might be an overkill now but in 3-4 years with new bloatware, it might not seem like it.



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 10):

Man, I'm happy I ended up buying a laptop for the portability factor, but it still makes me a little sick that my machine cost me nearly 1,800 USD and it's significantly inferior in terms of specs compared to that rig you got for less.

Which is why I HATE HATE HATE laptops. If you want one that will run decently you need to spend at least $3k. And even then...

Another reason why I swear by desktops. I won't ever plan on having to get one any time soon, unless I become a paid pilot (ya right not in this economy  Yeah sure ). In which case I'd still have a kick-ass desktop at home to come to, but a laptop that can at least do the basics (internet, etc) with reasonable performance.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:21 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 11):

Which is why I HATE HATE HATE laptops. If you want one that will run decently you need to spend at least $3k. And even then...

Another reason why I swear by desktops. I won't ever plan on having to get one any time soon, unless I become a paid pilot (ya right not in this economy Yeah sure ). In which case I'd still have a kick-ass desktop at home to come to, but a laptop that can at least do the basics (internet, etc) with reasonable performance.

True, I considered getting a good gaming desktop and a little 13 inch laptop with the basics for travel/internet browsing, but I ended up deciding I'd rather have all in one, which in hindsight I guess I regret a little because I never play games when I'm traveling anyway.

As for needing at least $3K to buy a decent laptop, that was true in the past but now prices have dropped significantly for pretty good machines, check out this gateway-
http://www.notebookreview.com/defaul...wsID=5035&review=gateway+p7805u+fx
It's got a P8400 processor, 4 gigs of ram, 320 gig HD, a good screen, a great GFX card (9800M GTS), and it costs $1,300. Granted, it's not a core i7 machine with twin 1GB graphics cards, but it can handle everyday tasks easily and can play nearly every current game at pretty good settings plus it can blaze through any game that's a year or more old. Still more than an equivalent desktop, but if I were going to make my purchase again, I'd probably end up with one of these.
 
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:09 pm



Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 6):
Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP or GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP

Did you get an erection while typing that in?  devil 

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 11):
Which is why I HATE HATE HATE laptops.

I buy a good laptop every 2-4 years and keep it till it breaks down. Usually that's for mechanical reasons (hinges or latches break, fan stops and cpu fries, etc). Current one is a good-old IBM Thinkpad T41P with 1.8 GHz Pentium M and 2GB RAM. Still runs Windows XP so no need for an extra 2GB or so. I plan to keep it till it dies.

I don't like the new widescreen format laptops. They end up being too wide and narrow to fit onto my lap comfortably. My current work laptop is a T61P in widescreen format and I don't like it as much as the T41P.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:56 pm



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 12):
check out this gateway-

Sounds decent, but I rather get one of these, for the same price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152099

I prefer the obscure brands (MSI, Asus, etc), or at least they are obscure to non-computer nerds. Reason being is they are not overpriced and cheaply made like the crap from HP, Sony and others. And most importantly, they are not full of bloatware and the BIOS is fully customizable and not idiotically locked or very restricted like some of the more popular brands have.

I was just helping a friend with an HP laptop that keeps restarting on her randomly. I suspected overheating and sure enough I was right, that thing will BURN your lap, yet the fan stays at a constant speed. My best friend has the exact sane laptop (and they're both POSs) and the fan is always throttling up and down to keep it cool on his. Anyways, I go into the BIOS and sure enough, there's NOTHING you can do about it, and none of the fan utilities that can be run from the OS worked. At any rate I removed all the crap she had from her computer and killed hundreds of useless background processes and that helped somewhat. Otherwise HP wants $100 for diagnostics ALONE, the fix could just be hundreds more. I've had similar very frustrating experiences from other big name brands. Pretty lame if you ask me.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
Current one is a good-old IBM Thinkpad T41P with 1.8 GHz Pentium M and 2GB RAM.

I've never been a fan of IBMs in regards to performance but they sure are built like tanks. I've had horrible experiences fixing or trying to fix un-fixable HP, Sony, and Dell laptops.
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:50 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 14):
most importantly, they are not full of bloatware and the BIOS is fully customizable and not idiotically locked or very restricted like some of the more popular brands have.

All brand name computers are full of friggin bloatware. The first thing I did when I bought my laptop (ACER) was to format it and do a clean install of windows and turn off 80% of the automatically starting services.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
austinairport
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:17 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 5):
which knowing you it wouldn't surprise me.

Good one.  Big grin
Whoever said you can do anything you set your mind to has obviously never tried to slam a revolving door!!!
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:25 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 15):
All brand name computers are full of friggin bloatware.

No. Only Windows PCs.
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:43 am



Quoting Austinairport (Reply 16):

At this point...it won't surprise anyone  Big grin Maybe I should do that...the computer will pay for itself many times over within the first few months and then hopefully DM will buy it off from me  mischievous 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):
No. Only Windows PCs

A small price to pay to be able to modify the computer / hardware as you wish.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:13 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 14):
I've never been a fan of IBMs in regards to performance but they sure are built like tanks. I've had horrible experiences fixing or trying to fix un-fixable HP, Sony, and Dell laptops.

I agree the IBMs are tanks.

I'm not sure what you need big performance for.

I mainly use my laptop for web serving and not much more, so it's got plenty of performance.

On the other hand, when I went to buy a small server to host storage space for backups, I went to newegg and was a bottom feeder. I came up with an Asus mini-tower that had enough memory and disk for what I needed for $400 base plus another $140 for the disk. So I'm a newegg fan as well.

For me, laptops gotta be rugged. Are any of the cheaper brands relatively rugged?
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:42 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
Are any of the cheaper brands relatively rugged?

Panasonic Toughbook is one of the most rugged laptop you can buy...but unfortunately the price is sky high too. I don't think any of the cheaper brands are comparable to even an IBM...the ones that can take the abuse, also abuse your pocket.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:45 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 18):
A small price to pay to be able to modify the computer / hardware as you wish.

That's highly overrated, and increasingly so. Apart from cheap gaming rigs there are less and less useful opportunities to be had there, and even there many "sexy" constellations are actually pointless in practice.
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:56 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
Apart from cheap gaming rigs there are less and less useful opportunities to be had there, and even there many "sexy" constellations are actually pointless in practice

Not necessarily...however, I do agree that when it comes to graphic design and video editing, Macs are very good and that is one of the niche markets for Macs. They are becoming popular but as far as hardware customization goes...PCs are way ahead e.g. someone can build a basic web surfing / word processing machine for under $300....not so with Macs.

That being said...the debate of Macs vs PCs is the same as the neverending Boeing vs Airbus Big grin

For me, this pretty much sums up the whole idea of Mac vs PC:

http://media.laptoplogic.com/upload-images/9349/9349_mac_vs_pc.jpg
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:09 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 22):
Not necessarily...however, I do agree that when it comes to graphic design and video editing, Macs are very good and that is one of the niche markets for Macs.

That is a rather old misconception which is completely obsolete nowadays. By now pretty much the only niches which Macs don't really cover are cheap gaming PCs, certain special-purpose machines and low-end computers.

People with all kinds of requirements are switching in droves, and that Macs can run anything a PC can only accelerates this trend.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 22):
They are becoming popular but as far as hardware customization goes...PCs are way ahead e.g. someone can build a basic web surfing / word processing machine for under $300....not so with Macs.

And you'll notice every dollar you "saved" as long as you're using it. Not a great deal, all in all, but if initial sticker price is your only concern, go for it!

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 22):
For me, this pretty much sums up the whole idea of Mac vs PC:

Then why are an increasing number of IT professionals (like me, by the way) and other people with advanced demands switching to Macs? They're generally not stupid and know a thing or two about this stuff...  mischievous 

I can understand if someone has fun building one's own computer, even if the time and effort (and quite possibly even just the total price of all the parts) will make it substantially more expensive in the end.

But for me time is money, and quality pays dividends. And the OS makes up more than half of the effective performance of a computer anyway, so a PC hobbled by the Windows ball and chain will never be able to catch up, apart from always remaining cumbersome and aggravating. I prefer (and need!) a heavy-duty Unix with an excellent user interface on top, wrapped in top-notch hardware from the same manufacturer who created the OS, so no mutual finger-pointing either when there should be a problem.

Ask other people who actually know more than just Windows PCs; They'll most probably confirm that your preconception about Macs could hardly be farther off the mark.

The machine you're trying to build basically aspires to be a Mac Pro (just of course without any manufacturer support and without the capability to run Mac applications), but I'd really consider how much of that performance you'll actually need in practice and how much of it will just turn costly electricity into increased room temperature.

We're at an inflection point where past recipes about PCs have lost much of their presumable wisdom; I'd really take a closer look at what your needs really are. It's usually a bad idea to invest lots of money and technology into "spare" capacity apart from RAM or mass storage expandability.
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:21 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
Then why are an increasing number of IT professionals (like me, by the way) and other people with advanced demands switching to Macs? They're generally not stupid and know a thing or two about this stuff.

lol...dude that was just a joke! Chill out!

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
Ask other people who actually know more than just Windows PCs; They'll most probably confirm that your preconception about Macs could hardly be farther off the mark

I am one of those people since i have dual boot Win 7 and OSx on my laptop. I use one or the other depending on what i'm doing. I also use the newer iMacs in our lab, so i have a pretty good idea of how OSx works. But at the end, I would choose a PC just for the vast amount of stuff that can be done.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:39 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 24):
lol...dude that was just a joke! Chill out!

It's a widespread misconception which keeps being distributed by people who just don't know better.

But misconceptions which mislead other people need to be corrected. Simple as that.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 24):
I am one of those people since i have dual boot Win 7 and OSx on my laptop. I use one or the other depending on what i'm doing. I also use the newer iMacs in our lab, so i have a pretty good idea of how OSx works.

If it was more than occasional dabbling, you wouldn't still be falling for strange ideas like the ones above, like "Macs are only good for graphic design and video editing". It may be the only thing you've so far seen done on Macs, but that isn't saying much.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 24):
But at the end, I would choose a PC just for the vast amount of stuff that can be done.

Macs can do anything a Windows-limited PC can (by running Windows or Linux either via VM or natively), plus everything only a Mac can, so that's not a real point.

Look, if your preference is for a Windows PC, that's all okay for yourself; Just don't tell other people nonsense about Macs when your experience with them is as limited as it seems to be.

I have no problem with people using PCs, but at least it should be an informed decision and not just by default or – worse – by being misled by disinformation.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:48 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 22):
For me, this pretty much sums up the whole idea of Mac vs PC:

 rotfl  that sums it up nicely Big grin
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:11 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Look, if your preference is for a Windows PC, that's all okay for yourself; Just don't tell other people nonsense about Macs when your experience with them is as limited as it seems to be.

Sorry dude! My comments were definitly not to tell any "nonsense". That is my opinion and I stand by it. And for the record, I have no problem with people using a Mac and that picture was just a light hearted joke. However, I definitely don't have any intentions of starting a flame war. Like I said...Mac vs PC discussion is the same as the never ending discussion about airbus vs boeing. That being said, I'm over and out on the Mac vs PC topic.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:05 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 22):
Not necessarily...however, I do agree that when it comes to graphic design and video editing, Macs are very good and that is one of the niche markets for Macs. They are becoming popular but as far as hardware customization goes...PCs are way ahead e.g. someone can build a basic web surfing / word processing machine for under $300....not so with Macs.

Getting back to my "rugged" comments, I love the macbook made from a single aluminum billet. Tough, light and stylish all at the same time. Work now makes them available and chances are that I will pick one up instead of the thinkpad choice of the day, since they are so rugged.

Big issue is work has a big reliance on Microsoft Exchange. Actually, so do I, since I sync my calendar and contacts (but not e-mail) using Outlook. My boss had been running Outlook under Fusion but some how his virtual disk holding all his e-mail got wiped out and he was screwed. Our fine IT department supplies macbooks but provides no services to them, including no automated backups.

I have heard of running Windows on a Macbook but that sounds pretty perverse to me: does it work OK?

On the other hand, perversely, I love my iPod but hate iTunes, I have never run it on my PC other than to do the initial setup of the iPod.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
Phoenix9
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:18 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
I have heard of running Windows on a Macbook but that sounds pretty perverse to me: does it work OK?

I have done a dual boot of OSx on a windows machine but not windows on macbook. From what I have heard, it runts pretty well. I don't know how it will run Microsoft Exchange applications within the nested environment though. If your company has the money for the new macbook, then also look into the Panasonic Toughbook.....you might kill two birds with one stone. But all in all, it depends on what you really want to use it as. If there are some proprietery windows only applications that are used for certain things (e.g certain engineering applications), my guess is that they won't run as good under a nested environment.

[Edited 2009-06-02 22:19:29]
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:59 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 27):
Sorry dude! My comments were definitly not to tell any "nonsense". That is my opinion and I stand by it. And for the record, I have no problem with people using a Mac and that picture was just a light hearted joke.

I know. I was responding to the rest of your posts.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 27):
However, I definitely don't have any intentions of starting a flame war. Like I said...Mac vs PC discussion is the same as the never ending discussion about airbus vs boeing.

The difference being that nobody(?) will ever buy one or the other for themselves based on what they've read in a forum from posters who themselves know neither from a user's (cockpit) or owner's (airline) perspective.

Computer buyers, however, will often look for advice from people who have actual experience with what they're writing about, so popular but still false preconceptions can cause actual damage there.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
Big issue is work has a big reliance on Microsoft Exchange. Actually, so do I, since I sync my calendar and contacts (but not e-mail) using Outlook.

The upcoming version of MacOS X 10.7 Snow Leopard will have native Exchange support built right in: Apple - Mac OS X Leopard - Snow Leopard

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
My boss had been running Outlook under Fusion but some how his virtual disk holding all his e-mail got wiped out and he was screwed. Our fine IT department supplies macbooks but provides no services to them, including no automated backups.

An external USB or FireWire drive and simply switching on TimeMachine will suffice there; Although the drive containers of a Windows virtual machine will be a bit heavy on the backup by default.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
I have heard of running Windows on a Macbook but that sounds pretty perverse to me: does it work OK?

Yes, it does. If you want, the Windows applications' windows simply float among the Mac windows and can be used as if they were just from another Mac application with somewhat funny window borders.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
On the other hand, perversely, I love my iPod but hate iTunes, I have never run it on my PC other than to do the initial setup of the iPod.

iTunes works quite a bit smoother in its native environment on a Mac.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 29):
I don't know how it will run Microsoft Exchange applications within the nested environment though.

They will, but you won't probably need them any more in a few months.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 29):
If there are some proprietery windows only applications that are used for certain things (e.g certain engineering applications), my guess is that they won't run as good under a nested environment.

Your guess would currently apply primarily to applications which make heavy use of 3D acceleration (these may make it attractive to actually boot the Mac under Windows). Pretty much everything else runs quite well in a virtual machine, usually without a noticeable performance hit. Networking can be configured as needed. Having the machine well endowed with RAM will be a good idea, of course.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:02 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Macs can do anything a Windows-limited PC can

Naturally, because they are now in effect Windows PC with a more or less outdated hardware setup. New hardware is out daily, so if you want to stay top current, getting the parts individually and experimenting can be worthwhile, but it's not for everyone. Dealing with delicate and expensive items of hardware and possible warranty returns (or the loss of them) may toll your enthusiasm greatly.

[Edited 2009-06-03 04:06:55]
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:45 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 31):
Naturally, because they are now in effect Windows PC with a more or less outdated hardware setup.

More or less. Exactly.

It varies during the product cycle, from Apple often being the first getting various new components until the specific model eventually gets near to its replacement. But of course there are several components you can't get on any PC, such as the MagSafe power connector.

The current state of various Apple products' life cycle is tracked here, for instance:

Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone
 
Gofly
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:18 pm

Perhaps the source is somewhat biased, however, these videos, for me, show the differences between Macs and PCs very well...  Wink

http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/
Living the high life on my ex-Airliners.net Moderator pension...
 
waterpolodan
Posts: 1605
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:05 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 14):

Sounds decent, but I rather get one of these, for the same price:

That is a good looking machine, and it has the advantage of being a 15.4 inch laptop rather than the bulky 17 inches of the gateway. I think 15.4 is the sweet spot, and now that they're putting top of the line graphics cards in them like the 9800M GS and the 280M, if you need more screen space you can just get a 22 inch external monitor and the laptop will have no problem running games on such a screen.

As for the overheating thing, you probably tried this but make sure you always clean out the vents on laptops, and not just from the outside. My Dell M1530 was overheating during games, sometimes the graphics card was reaching 94 degrees C and downclocking, so I opened up the panel on the bottom with access to the main cooling system, blew out the back vent with compressed air, picked out the big chunks of dust with tweezers, and made sure all the airways were open. Once I started up a game again, the temperatures had dropped 20 degrees at full load for both the CPU and the GPU and it's been running flawlessly ever since.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
And the OS makes up more than half of the effective performance of a computer anyway, so a PC hobbled by the Windows ball and chain will never be able to catch up

I'm not going to get into the mac vs. pc thing, but one question for you, Klaus- have you tried the latest versions of windows 7? Personally I haven't, but everyone that I've talked to that has says that it utilizes hardware much more effectively than Vista so that it is actually capable of running on machines that couldn't hope to "upgrade" to Vista, and everything looks and works much better, with a more intuitive interface. Not saying it's a smoother environment than OSX, but maybe Microsoft has learned some lessons from Apple.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:16 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
It varies during the product cycle, from Apple often being the first getting various new components until the specific model eventually gets near to its replacement

For instance I don't see a Core2Quad CPU in Apple's lineup. A GF GT130 as the best GPU in the lineup is pathetic by the current gaming standards. These are simply not the machines for the self-assembly and the gaming segment, which are largely the same. Also they could not care less for a MagSafe power connector or any such niceties, unless it'll improve their 3DMark results.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:18 pm



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 34):
I'm not going to get into the mac vs. pc thing, but one question for you, Klaus- have you tried the latest versions of windows 7? Personally I haven't, but everyone that I've talked to that has says that it utilizes hardware much more effectively than Vista so that it is actually capable of running on machines that couldn't hope to "upgrade" to Vista, and everything looks and works much better, with a more intuitive interface. Not saying it's a smoother environment than OSX, but maybe Microsoft has learned some lessons from Apple.

Of course they have; The "new" features in Windows 7 are as closely copied from MacOS X as never before, without actually reaching the ease of use and practical elegance of the original.

What I was getting at above was not primarily the utilization of the technical resources; The biggest difference is in the ratio between the time spent with the computer and the actual effective work done. And, of course, the effect on the user's stress levels.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:33 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 35):
For instance I don't see a Core2Quad CPU in Apple's lineup.

You can downgrade the Mac Pro to just one quad core CPU if you want.

The question is how many people will actually use a quad core CPU. For most people the desktop series of CPUs is mainly a waste of space and waste of energy. They are not very efficient.

The high-end Xeons aren't very efficient either, but when you absolutely need maximum data throughput they are still a necessity. But for most people's needs the mobile CPUs Apple uses in all Macs except the Mac Pro are a very power-efficient, practically silent and still plenty powerful choice.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 35):
A GF GT130 as the best GPU in the lineup is pathetic by the current gaming standards. These are simply not the machines for the self-assembly and the gaming segment, which are largely the same.

And that is exactly the one segment where I've always recommend people to get (or build) a PC. There are very few other (and even smaller) niches left where a PC really has advantages, but cheap gaming rigs are really it - assuming the user's time is valued at zero.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 35):
Also they could not care less for a MagSafe power connector or any such niceties, unless it'll improve their 3DMark results.

If a gaming enthusiast actually uses a notebook computer (unlikely enough), it will probably be one of the faster and more expensive ones.

I for my part am glad that my MacBook Pro 17" has been saved several times already by the MagSafe connector detaching itself when the cord was yanked instead of crashing it to the ground. But of course people's priorities will vary...
 
mt99
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:40 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 35):
could not care less for a MagSafe power connector or any such niceties,

That's the kind of thing that you don't know how nice it is to have, until you do.

If you always fly economy class, it will always be OK. But once you have been in First Class (so i have been told), economy becomes unbearable..

Question is.. will you board first? or will you take your seat next to the rear bathroom  Smile)
Step into my office, baby
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:41 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 36):
What I was getting at above was not primarily the utilization of the technical resources; The biggest difference is in the ratio between the time spent with the computer and the actual effective work done. And, of course, the effect on the user's stress levels.

Well, it's all a matter of perspective. Someone who learned the nitty gritty of PCs long ago can get effective work done at the same rate on a PC as someone who is proficient on a Mac, but obviously if we're comparing a beginner with no knowledge of the strange machinations of windows, then the same person would get much more work done on a Mac. It's like my cell phone, for some reason my friends can never figure out how to text or do anything on it, but I can send texts and do whatever as quickly as someone that has a blackberry or an iphone because I just know how it works and can use it quickly. Sure, the learning curve is steeper for PCs, but assuming you've already climbed that hill then the work utilization comparison isn't really meaningful.
For me, it comes down to games, because I like to play racing sims a couple times a week, and a Mac just isn't worth the extra money for 99% of gamers because all that matters to us are the hardware specs, and for better hardware you pay a lot less money with PCs. Yes, the build quality is inferior, but take that Gateway I mentioned earlier in the thread. You can get that for 1300, and throwing on a 3 or 4 year complete warranty with accidental damage protection and theft protection adds a few hundred dollars and means that you're protected in full should the build quality prove to be a concern, but it's still cheaper than a 17 inch macbook pro, and it has a much better graphics card. I know the benefits of mac, I'm just saying that for someone that wants the best hardware for games, it doesn't make sense.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:58 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
And that is exactly the one segment where I've always recommend people to get (or build) a PC.

You will have noticed that the title of the thread actually refers to self-building (I'd say self-assembling) a PC, and not a Mac?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):

The question is how many people will actually use a quad core CPU. For most people the desktop series of CPUs is mainly a waste of space and waste of energy. They are not very efficient.

Of course we will have to wait until a Mac features one before it'll be of any use to anybody  
By all means do a Google search on the way games such as Crysis utilize the 3rd and the 4th cores.
Naturally we see huge thermal dissipation levels in hardcore gaming PCs, but that is the inevitable price we'll have to pay for an extreme performance!

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 38):
If you always fly economy class, it will always be OK. But once you have been in First Class (so i have been told), economy becomes unbearable..

Hardly relevant when what you want to do is to perform well in an airshow.

[Edited 2009-06-03 09:24:18]
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:02 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
but cheap gaming rigs are really it - assuming the user's time is valued at zero.

That's assuming the gaming PC will constantly have problems, which is a big assumption, I've had no problems with mine other than a slight overheating issue which was corrected with compressed air cleaning.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
If a gaming enthusiast actually uses a notebook computer (unlikely enough), it will probably be one of the faster and more expensive ones.

You'd be surprised how quickly the gaming notebook segment is growing, it's definitely not the small niche of the laptop world that it used to be. There is a reason top of the line gaming notebooks have dropped in price from around $2500 to about $1200 besides just the general price drop of technology as newer and better things come out, the competition is heating up because the market is expanding. I frequent a notebook forum for both PCs and Macs where nearly every "buying a new laptop, need advice" thread contains a reference towards wanting to be able to play the latest games on a laptop, which is increasingly easy with the current level of hardware.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):

I for my part am glad that my MacBook Pro 17" has been saved several times already by the MagSafe connector detaching itself when the cord was yanked instead of crashing it to the ground. But of course people's priorities will vary...

I've had various laptops for over 3 years now since switching from my old desktop, and I've never once yanked it onto the ground by tripping on the power cord. If I did, I have an accidental damage warranty that was possible to purchase because of the low price of this laptop compared to the MBP, so I could have it repaired at home the next day for free, or replaced within a week if the damage is severe enough. Sure, that's not as convenient as a nifty magnetic power cord, but then again I constantly found myself unplugging my sister in law's MBP while watching movies on it last week because the cord is so easily dislodged, so as you say it's a case of priorities.

Anyway, we've all gone through this round after round, and it's like politics. Those of us that are gamers/PC enthusiasts will never be convinced that Macs are worth the premium, and those of us that are Mac users would never look back at the dark days of PC confusion. The funny thing is, Klaus, you and I share nearly the same political views and every time you post in a thread on politics or social issues I find myself saying, "couldn't have said it better myself", but we'll just never agree on computers  Wink.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:11 pm



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 34):

As for the overheating thing, you probably tried this but make sure you always clean out the vents on laptops, and not just from the outside. .

Yeah I did though I didn't have compressed air with me. I poked the heatsink as much as I could but it didn't seem clogged at all. Also the way they built the darn thing the only way you can reach the CPU heatsink itself is if you actually tear the whole thing apart. And while I wouldn't mind doing that I didn't have my tools with me and quite frankly I'm too lazy.  bored 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):

The question is how many people will actually use a quad core CPU. For most people the desktop series of CPUs is mainly a waste of space and waste of energy. They are not very efficient.

I'm using all 4 (8 virtual) of mine all the time. New games really do take advantage of multiple cores. And Vista does a relatively good job of spreading out the threads across the cores. windows 7 is gonna be even better for this.
 
Phoenix9
Topic Author
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:03 pm

Maybe I should get this monitor as well Big grin

/sarcasm




43" curved surface..but $8000...so maybe I should look into setting up that "server"  Big grin
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Computer Build Help

Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:24 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):
The upcoming version of MacOS X 10.7 Snow Leopard will have native Exchange support built right in: Apple - Mac OS X Leopard - Snow Leopard

Correction, Snow Leopard is 10.6, 10.7 doesn't even have a published name AFAIK.

That being said, as far as the specs go, I'd start slow with the RAM by just sticking to minimum 4 or 6 GB. I'm not sure how applications can cope with so much available RAM, even if the OS is 64 bit.
 
Klaus
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RE: Computer Build Help

Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:48 am



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 39):
Someone who learned the nitty gritty of PCs long ago can get effective work done at the same rate on a PC as someone who is proficient on a Mac

Practical experiences made by too many people to be just accidental speak to actual, substantial differences.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 39):
but obviously if we're comparing a beginner with no knowledge of the strange machinations of windows, then the same person would get much more work done on a Mac.

It just doesn't stop being easier and more effective with growing experience.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 39):
For me, it comes down to games, because I like to play racing sims a couple times a week, and a Mac just isn't worth the extra money for 99% of gamers because all that matters to us are the hardware specs, and for better hardware you pay a lot less money with PCs.

Particularly because Apple simply doesn't make any gaming Macs. Which is why I keep recommending PCs for users with their priority on gaming and price. The Mac Pro could actually be a mean gaming rig, but it's more than just a bit overkill for that purpose alone.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 41):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
but cheap gaming rigs are really it - assuming the user's time is valued at zero.

That's assuming the gaming PC will constantly have problems, which is a big assumption, I've had no problems with mine other than a slight overheating issue which was corrected with compressed air cleaning.

Well, I was primarily referring to self-assembled PCs, but the additional maintenance does keep piling up. But with gaming as the primary objective people don't have much of a choice (apart from using a dedicated console instead of a PC).

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 41):
You'd be surprised how quickly the gaming notebook segment is growing, it's definitely not the small niche of the laptop world that it used to be.

Gaming enthusiasts are still a relatively small group. For casual gaming regular machines are usually sufficient. With the advent of more powerful mobile GPUs some of the "traditional" gamer segment will probably just move over to notebooks like almost everybody else is doing (see the shrinking desktop market overall).

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 41):
I've had various laptops for over 3 years now since switching from my old desktop, and I've never once yanked it onto the ground by tripping on the power cord.

The more you use it in uncontrolled environments (which includes many professional scenarios) the more relevant such things get. Having to cope with the fallout of damaging the working machine (even when the notebook doesn't actually land on the floor the power adapter or the socket on the machine can get damaged) can be quite costly and inconvenient overall, even with timely service. MagSafe is really a godsend for anybody who just needs to have his or her hands free of unnecessary aggravation.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 41):
Anyway, we've all gone through this round after round, and it's like politics. Those of us that are gamers/PC enthusiasts will never be convinced that Macs are worth the premium, and those of us that are Mac users would never look back at the dark days of PC confusion. The funny thing is, Klaus, you and I share nearly the same political views and every time you post in a thread on politics or social issues I find myself saying, "couldn't have said it better myself", but we'll just never agree on computers .

Well, thanks.  Smile
But with regard to gaming machines we've never had a major dissent anyway.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 42):
I'm using all 4 (8 virtual) of mine all the time. New games really do take advantage of multiple cores.



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 42):
And Vista does a relatively good job of spreading out the threads across the cores. windows 7 is gonna be even better for this.

Any advantage of a quad core only begins when all four cores are actually above 50% load. Below that it usually just means that only one or two threads are being rotated among the cores without actually seeing any acceleration by the extra two cores.

Modern systems usually rotate the load through all cores to even out the thermal load; But only when there are actually more than two meaningful threads for a significant amount of time there will be any acceleration felt.

Most users will see significantly better performance from a higher-clocked dual core CPU than from a slower-clocked quad core of the same generation.

The more threads the most critical software actually uses the more sense a quad core (or more) will make; It's to be expected that certain games will qualify here (as will certain video processing and other specialized applications at this time), but my point was that one should actually look at the effective gain and not just assume that more cores will automatically be proportionally faster. They can actually be a disadvantage depending on the circumstances and even under ideal circumstances the gain is never equal to the nominal multiplicator.

Both Apple and Microsoft are pushing new mechanisms for better usage of multiple CPU cores (by simplifying the use of multithreading for developers) and for exploitation of the GPU for computational purposes in addition (by exposing abstracted APIs). But we'll have to see how large the impact will be, and how quickly more extensive multithreading will spread through applications and games. There remain many pitfalls on this path.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 44):
Correction, Snow Leopard is 10.6, 10.7 doesn't even have a published name AFAIK.

Oops. You're correct, of course.
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
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RE: Computer Build Help

Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:02 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 45):

Most users will see significantly better performance from a higher-clocked dual core CPU than from a slower-clocked quad core of the same generation.

So you overclock the quad core. Problem solved. Big grin
 
Klaus
Posts: 20594
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RE: Computer Build Help

Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:12 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 46):
So you overclock the quad core. Problem solved.

Not really. The dual core will usually have even more headroom for overclocking since it isn't saddled with the additional thermal load of the extra cores.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Computer Build Help

Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:44 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 45):
Gaming enthusiasts are still a relatively small group.

Your comment shows that you and the reality in the field do not meet. Gaming industry has been the fastest growing computer industry for years and there's no end in sight. People in their 30s-50s just plain fail to understand what computer gaming means to the majority of the younger generation. Any CPU and GPU advances will be exploited to the full right away. Slow-acting companies like Apple have no place in this competition.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 45):
but my point was that one should actually look at the effective gain and not just assume that more cores will automatically be proportionally faster.

You did not do the Google search I suggested you do, did you? Nobody's expexting "a proportional increase", but gaming people are networked in a major way in determining what makes sense vs the money they're going to spend.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):

Not really. The dual core will usually have even more headroom for overclocking since it isn't saddled with the additional thermal load of the extra cores.

http://www.futuremark.com/community/...petitions/overclocking/regional09/

What's the typical 3DMark score for the Apple lineup?
 
Klaus
Posts: 20594
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RE: Computer Build Help

Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:49 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 48):
Your comment shows that you and the reality in the field do not meet. Gaming industry has been the fastest growing computer industry for years and there's no end in sight.

Relative growth rate and absolute size are completely different factors. Gaming enthusiasts on the level of building their own rigs are still just a relatively small minority among all computer users.

In reality objects may be smaller than they appear...!

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 48):
You did not do the Google search I suggested you do, did you? Nobody's expexting "a proportional increase", but gaming people are networked in a major way in determining what makes sense vs the money they're going to spend.

And like everybody else they can sometimes suffer from groupthink and unrealistic expectations.

Many professional IT workers and even more so most laymen have trouble understanding the precise implications of the various technologies involved both on the software and on the hardware side. It is very easy to come to unrealistic expectations.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 48):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):

Not really. The dual core will usually have even more headroom for overclocking since it isn't saddled with the additional thermal load of the extra cores.

http://www.futuremark.com/community/...petitions/overclocking/regional09/

What's the typical 3DMark score for the Apple lineup?

Please read my posts again.

I have consistently explained that Apple does not offer any gamer-targeted Macs. (See above.) Few gaming PCs could match a Mac Pro in performance, but using a high-end workstation just for gaming would be overkill as I've explained.

The point is that different priorities lead to different configurations. Desktop quad-core CPUs don't always make more sense than mobile dual cores.

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