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Stick
15th August 07, 07:21 PM
Alright, I've been using this Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop since summer of 2003. It survived my trip to Japan, it's survived travels across the country, it even managed to stay in one piece when I'd pack it up and bike ride around town in 110 degree Oklahoma weather; basically it's been a good little (actuall for a laptop it's huge) laptop.

Sadly, its tech specs have naturally fallen away and become less and less acceptable.


Mobile Intel Pentium 4 - M CPU 2.00 GHz
1.99 GHz. 1.25 GB of RAM
Fujitsu DVD player and CD burner
A battery that now lasts for a good 5 minutes (easily replaced, but still)
2 USB 2.0 ports, not nearly enough for the dozen odd peripherals I have
60gig HD with an 80gig external which BTW is a USB device so that eats one of my 2 slots >_<
a pretty nice wide screen display with one obnoxiously burned out pixel (just one, but I ALWAYS SEE IT!)
sticky keys

Now that I have Adobe Photoshop CS3, my kick ass SLR camera that takes 5meg JPGs and 30meg RAW images, to say nothing of all the web2.0 crap I do (there are like 7 IE tabs open right now, two of them youtube, AIM, Skype, Vongo movie service), and finally the vicious system hog that is security.... well, this little laptop just can't handle all this shit.

I haven't been able to play a new, top-shelf PC game on this comp in years, but frankly with my XBox360 i don't much care, I do however care about editing more videos (http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=tenshirisu), designing bigger and better graphics (http://tenshirisu.deviantart.com/), and generally being able to keep tabs on anything I'd ever want to keep tabs on.

Now that I've finally get income, it's time for me to get a bright shiny new desk top!

So, sociopaths, help me out. I long since fell out of the technochratic crowd and to be perfectly frank I don't recognize a lot of the terms and brand names bandy'd about on dell, gateway, and ibm.com. Now I could do the smart thing, wikipedia and cnet the shit out of everything, and eventually come to a good, educated decision at some point in the next week or so, but I think it will be more fun to discuss this with you people.

OK, so what I'm looking for, a few basic must have's


500gigs of hard drive space or better.

Really, I remember when I bought an 800meg hard drive and said to dad, "wow, I don't see how we could ever possibly fill this up!" Yeah, I was short sighted in more than one way.

I take lots of very large pictures. I download lots of video, I eat hard drive space like a whale does krill, and it's more than clear to me that 500gigs is a minimum and I should probably jsut bite the bullet and go for a terabyte.

24" or better flat panel monitor to double as TV for cable and XBox360

My cousin has an HP Pavillion desktop that doubles as her TV/tivo/mediacenterofsheerWIN and I want something like that.

My huge 20someoddinch old style Tv (huge cause it ain't flat, not because the screen's big) just needs to go. I've been browsing flat screens at Best Bu lately, and frankly why the fuck should I pay for two seperate big flat screen viewing devices when I can just bundle them together and solve all my problems?

I've actually got a pretty sturdy old 19" display handy in the odd case some one wants to watch TV or movies or play XBox and I just HAVE to surf the web.

So I suppose this means I also need a good TV tuner card, hopefully something with Tivo-ish powers.

Enough RAM to compile my dorky music videos comprising hundreds of clips from dozens of different original video files while I surf the web in another window and am possibly also talking to an old friend on Skype.

How much RAM can I ram in a twer these days? 4gigs? Are we still choosing between SD and DD RAM? I can't even remember which was better.

Right, this is pretty straight forward.

Same ass above, only as it applies to CPU

So, the GHz numbers stopped crawling upwards a few years ago and now there's a bunch of the dual pro quadpro 2.someodd GHz- am I totally off my rocker or does quadpro mean, like, 4 processors each running at 2.someodd GHz?


Right well, so those are my demands. Here's what I'm willing to pay.

Where n = price

n < $2000 = I'll just pay it all up front
$2000 < n < $4000 = I'll pay like 2k up front and finance the rest
n > $4000 = we must've done something wrong, also I'll just wait in the corner a few months and cry.

So, ok, I can purchase this thing piece meal and assemble it myself, that is probably the cheapest option, but honestly my time and attention are stretched enough- plus I've had enough shitty happenings to appreciate a real warranty that covers the whole comp- soooooo don't be afraid o present me witht he "build it yourself, you lazy jackass" option, just know that unless the savings are FUCKING DRASTIC, I'll probably just pay some big brand name to do what a real man would do for himself.

K. LET'S DO THIS!

Amarao
15th August 07, 08:24 PM
You see nobody offers you advice. You know why? Because you should do some damned research on your own, you lazy bastard.

Aaranar
15th August 07, 09:44 PM
http://www.apple.com/macpro/specs.html


If not, find a friend who can and does put systems together. Get their advice about components to fit your needs and offer them a good bottle of spirts or three to put one together for you. Recommend you withhold the booze while the system is being built. It's the only way you really stand a chance of landing under 2k without doing it yourself.

Olorin
15th August 07, 09:45 PM
sticky keys

Please don't tell us how this happened.

Also I would avoid Gateway. I have had serious problems with mine. First my hard drive went bad and then my motherboard.

.

Stick
15th August 07, 10:26 PM
You see nobody offers you advice. You know why? Because you should do some damned research on your own, you lazy bastard.

O rly?


http://www.apple.com/macpro/specs.html

That's hilarious.


If not, find a friend who can and does put systems together. Get their advice about components to fit your needs and offer them a good bottle of spirts or three to put one together for you. Recommend you withhold the booze while the system is being built. It's the only way you really stand a chance of landing under 2k without doing it yourself.

I said I was behind the times and strapped for time, no childishly inept.

If I buy the parts individually, I'M building it, otherwise I won't feel like a man anymore.


Please don't tell us how this happened

Food.

It's a laptop, the thing's practically been a placmat for the lasst two years.


Also I would avoid Gateway. I have had serious problems with mine. First my hard drive went bad and then my motherboard.


Hmmmm, I'll keep that in mind, I haven't bought a new Gateway since 2000, and they did jerk me around a bit on the warranty. It's still running though.

Ah well, input noted.

kismasher
15th August 07, 10:26 PM
i have a friend who does this stuff for fun (he's also an attorney). want me to ask him to look at this thread?

Stick
15th August 07, 10:27 PM
Go for it!

Steve
15th August 07, 11:33 PM
I've had no problems related to Gateway. I still have my desktop even after this debacle (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46566), it was a good excuse to upgrade and it wasn't the manufacturer's fault that my motherboard died.

I might be biased because the first computer that I ever owned was a 386 Gateway that my dad gave me.

Neildo
15th August 07, 11:41 PM
laptops are getting cheap. make sure you spend extra on a fat video card, whatever you get. i have two friends with acers, they're nice. im using a beatup old toshiba that can still do some amazing shit, and they've improved on them greatly.

Stick
16th August 07, 12:08 AM
To clarify, I'm getting a desktop. I'll keep this laptop, but I have to get a new mothership.

MageOmega
16th August 07, 02:58 AM
If you are going for a desktop, the easiest and (arguably) the most cost effective option is a premade desktop from one of the big premade companies (HP and Dell being the 2 best options...stay the fuck away from gateway and other...and e-machines...just...just burn any e-machine you come across. Even if its not yours.)

The reasoning for this are threefold -

1) You dont have to deal with the installation and compatibility yourself...Premade computer companies have lackies that do that for you ^_^

2) If you make your own computer some parts may have warranties, some may not. With premades you get the warranty that covers the entire computer...which alleviates so much pain it almost feels orgasmic. No. seriously.

3) Companies like Dell and HP have really turned into pretty decent computer companies over the years... Back in the day they couldnt make a worthwhile comp that could hold a candle up to any halfway decent premade. but now with their expansive inventory of peripherals, you can get high end comps relatively easy and cheap.

Now the argument abotu Dell vs HP... Dell has been the frontrunner for some time, with a large base of loyal customers. I have heard recent rumors that Dell has been slacking in the customer service department since most of it has been outsourced.

Hp has been trying to get on the same level as Dell, and for the most part they are succeeding in their efforts, improving their customer service as well as putting more reliable components in their PCs.

Both companies have their own build your own PC section on their website, id suggest trying out both and seeing what comes of it...if you have any questions about a certain card or processor, just google it and check some of the reviews on known sites (newegg, tigerdirect, etc)

Good Luck!

DAYoung
16th August 07, 03:57 AM
NEW APPLE iMAC.

http://imgred.com/http://www.hfxnews.ca/photos/TheDailyNews/stories/apple700.jpg

Shawarma
16th August 07, 04:31 AM
I gots a question too: Due to space constraints, I might need to get a non-stationary PC. Can you play any of the newer video games on a laptop, or can't you get them with enough power?

Amarao
16th August 07, 08:10 AM
I would like to point out that I'm not the only one who thought your gimp ass was looking for a 24" laptop... Your English skills are lacking.

Neildo
16th August 07, 10:41 AM
Shawarma - spend about $1200 and you can get a laptop that can play the new shit. just make sure it has lots of RAM and a big fat video card.

Stick - I got some really good suggestions in my 'i hate my computer' thread.

Link. (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46127)


$100 for a good PCI express motherboard
$140 for a Core 2 Duo
$150 for a decent PCI express video card
$60 for a small SATA hard drive
$100 for DDR2 ram

$550 gets you a kickass computer.

guitarist
16th August 07, 11:44 AM
I am kismasher's friend mentioned above -- don't hold the attorney thing against me, I'm an alright guy, really. This is my first post here.

All prices and products from Newegg.com – the amateur system builder’s hookup.

Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000ABYS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s $134.99

LG L245WP-BN Black 24" 8ms Widescreen LCD Monitor – Retail $659.99

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB(4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Quad Kit Desktop Memory Model QUAD2X4096-6400C5DHX – Retail $254.00

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6700 – Retail $576.99

EVGA 122-CK-NF67-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i LT SLI ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail $194.99

LIAN LI PC-V600B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail $129.99

Thermaltake Toughpower W0132RU ATX12V / EPS12V 1000W Power Supply 115/230 V CE, CB, TUV, FCC, UL, CUL, and BSMI certified $319.99

SONY 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DRU170C – Retail
$49.99

Logitech MX 5000 967558-0403 Black USB Bluetooth Wireless Standard Desktop Mouse Included – Retail
$119.99

Dual TV Tuner ~$140

Misc. Cables (SATA/IDE/etc) and other necessities to build a computer ~$100

SUBTOTAL:
$2680.92

Now you have to decide what kind of gaming you want to do. To power a 24” monitor with serious eyecandy, on the latest games, you’ll want SLI (dual video cards). That means double the moolah.

8800GTX = ~$550 EACH

Two of them means you can run your monitor’s native resolution (1920x1200 for most 24”) with a considerable amount of AA/AF and other eyecandy settings.
So that adds $1100.

New SUBTOTAL:
$3780.92

Finally, you have to decide if you want Hi-Fi sound or just the on-board sound (decent, but won’t impress an audiophile) that comes with the motherboard.
If you do, add about $150-$250 depending on how serious you are about your sound. The $150 level includes 7.1 channels surround + 192khz sampling rate + all kinds of inputs/outputs.

So, Final TOTAL: in the neighborhood of $4000. Which fits nicely into your options, if you really don’t mind financing $2000 worth of computer.

One thing to keep in mind though is that this build is for one MONSTER of a computer. You’d be the envy of the block, no matter what block you live on. It’s the electronic equivalent of parking a Ferrari in your living room.

Also, you can sex it up with a nicer (and more expensive) case and slicker-looking monitor combo. Most of the items I picked out above are good, solid items in the middle of the price band for their category. The Lian-Li case is a solid performer, understated looks and solid performance. Western Digital has been a great brand for me, outlasting IBM and Seagate models I’ve had alongside them – although others will no doubt have different experience. If you want more storage, it’s no big deal to stick another drive in at any point in time.

You’ll probably also want to grab a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate (OEM of course) – that’ll tack another $180 onto the price. Unless you have other means of…um….procurement ;)

Now let’s compare it to the offerings of some of the Big-Box computer sellers:

DELL: The only system they have that even compares (they don’t even offer a quad-core, but they offer 2.75TB in their top-end box) is the XPS 720 – which’ll run you $5,999.99. It also includes a blu-ray disc drive, but doesn’t include a monitor(!).

HP: Can’t even do anything that’s really comparable – no SLI, weak options for processor and sound. But you can get a pretty darn fast computer for the $2000 range – but it’ll have some proprietary issues when you upgrade, not to mention bloatware and warranty stuff.

I can’t really think of anyone else except the boutique builders (i.e. Alienware) that will sell you a computer to compete with the one I’ve put together on the list above – and they’ll doubtless run you a bunch of cash and you’ll have a god-awful ugly case to stash somewhere in your living room.

As far as warranty/tech support go, I’ve found that Newegg is more than willing to replace a defective part and the manufacturers are often very easy to work with – and almost everything should be covered by a 1-year mfg warranty. Admittedly, you can’t call one centralized place for every computer problem you have, but you probably won’t end up speaking to someone halfway around the world reading from an answer-book for a few bucks an hour either. You’ll end up talking to someone who actually KNOWS something and is eager to help you out.

And if you put it together, and you know what you’re doing, you probably won’t even need any tech support – ever.

That’s quite possibly the longest first post ever, on any forum, anywhere. Hope I’ve been of help.

kismasher
16th August 07, 01:41 PM
good work, as always, and over the top nerdy, as always.

later.

Tom Kagan
16th August 07, 02:36 PM
Besides his setup is mostly about the 'bling factor', the only three things I'd quibble about on guitarist's list is:

1) Monitor - buy a Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC. Not only is it the best monitor at that size, it's currently on sale for $559.

2) Sound - If you going with that kind of horsepower for the graphics so you can play some slick games (or even quite a bit less), screw the onboard sound. Get a Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Extreme Gamer card.

3) He forgot about speakers. Add another $450 for the Creative Gigaworks S750 THX 7.1 setup.

guitarist
16th August 07, 04:00 PM
Yes, the monitor is not a Dell -- it's an LG though, which is never a bad thing. The WFP line gets a lot of hype, but I've seen them both in person, and the only reason I'd get the Dell is to save some cash -- which apparently you can do right now, so go right ahead. If you really wanted to go nuts, get the 30" Apple Cinema HD or whatever it's called. It's beautiful, and I'm not a huge fan of Apple's aesthetics, generally.

I alotted a consideration of $150-$250 for sound -- which will get you sound cards that at least equal the X-Fi, if not beat it.

And I didn't forget speakers -- strictly speaking I don't consider them part of the PC/HTPC but part of the sound system, which I assume you already have or would acquire separately. Of course you want them to interoperate, but I don't like having computer-only speakers in my living room. I prefer to have them serve my standalone DVD player (because it does a better job upconverting to HD imo), satellite radio, and Wii in addition to my HTPC. Besides, speakers designed for computers are almost universally ugly.

That way I get great sound all the time and I only have one set of speakers to worry about.

And I wouldn't call that setup all about the "bling". The CPU, maybe. But the rest? The 1000W PSU is just about mandatory to support the CPU(s) and vid cards. The bluetooth laser mouse and keyboard set are just deliciously comfortable and accurate -- not to mention game-worthy. And nothing else on that list is bling-y at all, really. So I guess I fail to see the point.

I was under the impression that the OP wanted a serious rig capable of just about everything...I think this rig meets that goal admirably. Not to mention it'll probably be at least 5 years before it's noticeably slow at anything. Which is quite an achievement in PC-land.

And yeah, I'm a huge nerd.

Neildo
16th August 07, 04:29 PM
Buy a used Soundblaster live card. 512 channels, i got one for 5 bucks. hook it up to a currently existing stereo system.

who the hell needs 7.1 surround for youtube videos. Games? Get nice headphones and save yourself a $1000. ~eyeroll~

Tom Kagan
16th August 07, 05:16 PM
Yes, the monitor is not a Dell -- it's an LG though, which is never a bad thing. The WFP line gets a lot of hype, but I've seen them both in person, and the only reason I'd get the Dell is to save some cash.

I've seen them both in person, too. To a large extent, I consider the difference a personal preference. The LG is more vibrant and has better viewing angles, but the Dell has a fuller and more accurate color spectrum. It also has a built in Flash card reader which would be useful for his stated purpose.


I alotted a consideration of $150-$250 for sound -- which will get you sound cards that at least equal the X-Fi, if not beat it.

I was only commmenting on your implication was it was an optional purchase due to onboard sound. Offloading Sound DSP + EAX 5.0 + full 7.1 surround makes a big difference for many of the slickest PC games. No one has it except Creative.


I was under the impression that the OP wanted a serious rig capable of just about everything...I think this rig meets that goal admirably. Not to mention it'll probably be at least 5 years before it's noticeably slow at anything. Which is quite an achievement in PC-land.


Nope, he's a graphic artist (a legally blind and colorblind one... and talented ... amazing combo! :smile:). He wants to edit videos and pics. He made it clear he didn't care about the latest and greatest PC video games. Your rig is at least 3+ times what he needs for his purposes. Heck, I can still edit broadcast quality and length video decently on my old PIII 800 mhz with 1 GB of memory and 2x40 MB of disk space if I didn't mind running full renders (when needed), overnight... and if I hadn't donated it to a school in Guyana.


- A single 8600 GTS video card is plenty.
- P965 chipset based Motherboard is plenty.
- 600 Watts PSU is plenty.
- Spending more than $100 on a chassis is for aesthetics, not functionality.
- 2 GB memory is plenty.
- A set of relatively inexpensive headphones is plenty.
- Vista will be more trouble than it's worth right now. Substitute WinXP.

If anything, he needs more disk spindles: Preferably, an additional two 10,000 rpm Raptors. Use the the p965's motherboard's Matrix RAID to setup a RAID 1 partition for the O/S, and another partition in RAID 0 for video editing scratch space. The 500+ MB drive would be the third drive (alternatively three additional 250 MBs drives in RAID 5). And, because he'll be video editing, he also needs to be very sure the particular motherboard he gets supports Firewire properly.

He could even drop to a dual core processor to save a few more bucks. Careful shopping could put a rock solid and complete rig using name branded parts like this together for less than 2 Gs and it'll still be enough for his stated purposes in 5 years.


And, now that I think of it, since he is a graphic artist, he also would want a good color printer. And, since he's not the best at getting colors right, it would probably be helpful to him if he sprung another $150 on an automatic Pantone color calibrator wand to get the screen rendering matched up with the prints easily. A jog wheel would make his video editing easier, too.

DAYoung
16th August 07, 05:24 PM
I've already mentioned the iMac.

Why are you still discussing this?

Stick
16th August 07, 07:01 PM
/stabs DAYoung.

Guitarist, thanks for the effort, and some of what you've said will certainly go into my utimate decision, but Tom Kagan kinda got it right there; I don't need a new gaming rig for global domination.

DAYoung
16th August 07, 07:04 PM
http://imgred.com/http://www.pure-mirage.com/images/Gallery_Images/Maya/images/3d_Apple_Logo_102.jpg

Stick
16th August 07, 07:06 PM
Ya know... I stab you a LOT!

/stab

kismasher
16th August 07, 11:23 PM
/stabs DAYoung.

Guitarist, thanks for the effort, and some of what you've said will certainly go into my utimate decision, but Tom Kagan kinda got it right there; I don't need a new gaming rig for global domination.

yeah, guitarist did the same thing to me when he built my desktop. then i said, "that sounds great, now spend 1/2 of what you want." i've still got a very serviceable desktop that's @ 3 years old.

DAYoung
17th August 07, 12:17 AM
If the apple were so good, it wouldn't be only partially eaten would it? Put that in your think hole and brain it.

Umm.

Floon bing twadding waawaa?

DAYoung
17th August 07, 12:18 AM
Ya know... I sublimate my homosexual lusts into penetrative fantasies a LOT!

/stab

It's OK. I don't mind.

nihilist
17th August 07, 12:41 AM
MVwbhsqEyNI

Stick
17th August 07, 12:49 AM
That was a great video.

DAYoung
17th August 07, 12:52 AM
Pfft.

guitarist
17th August 07, 12:21 PM
Argh. I didn't mean to get into an argument in my first thread here. Sorry about that.

And it seems I did misinterpret the OP's needs (and it's good to see I'm not the only one here who did the same). So, yeah, if you're a graphic artist, you might benefit from following Tom Kagan's suggestions and also getting yourself a really nice Wacom (or whatever is hot in the graphic artist world) tablet interface, a laser color printer (they aren't so expensive now) rather than an ink jet, and maybe the latest Adobe software suite in place of the second video card, the expensive PSU, and the quad-core proc. Substitute a core2duo, keep the ram at 4 GBs (you can never have too much, and it's dirt cheap right now), do the stuff mentioned above and you'll have a rig that'll edit pics and vids until 2012 or so, and do it comfortably.

As for the Lian Li case, I have to defend them because they are excellent pieces of aluminum casery (I know I made that word up). Thicker paneling than most, they don't bend as easily as a lot of aluminum cases do. They keep your computer cool by having the ability to breathe lots of air quietly (important if your box sits anywhere near where you do, imo -- and something the cheaper cases don't even really attempt), and they look nice enough to let people see them . I'd think a graphic artist would be concerned with the appearance of his workspace, if not for his own sake, for the sake of clients who might see it? Could be way off base here though.

And if you're going to be doing lots of video or other seriously large file editing for work (aka time=$$$) you'll be happy with a very big, very fast RAID array, as Kagan mentioned. Milliseconds access time and MB/s throughput might seem like quibbling over pennies, but pennies per hour = quarters per day = dollars per week, ad infinitum.

Sorry to stick my foot in it right off the bat. Good luck with your build (or purchase, if that's the direction you decide to go).

DAYoung
17th August 07, 04:23 PM
teh cuontry of Arizona sux

DAYoung
18th August 07, 04:33 AM
Weasel cricket.

Cool.