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PC Hardware Talk

This is a discussion on PC Hardware Talk within the Off-Topic forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Been about 2.5 years since I built my computer, and it's running pretty well, but I feel the need to upgrade anyways. Current Specs: -AMD ...

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  1. #1
    Member #
    2 times
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Japan and Seattle

    PC Hardware Talk

    Been about 2.5 years since I built my computer, and it's running pretty well, but I feel the need to upgrade anyways.

    Current Specs:
    -AMD Phenom X4 9950
    -G.Skill 8GB DDR2 800 RAM
    -500GB 7200rpm Hitachi
    -GeForce GTX280 Video Card
    -Corsair 750w Power Supply

    New Specs:
    -AMD Phenom II X6 910T
    -Maybe keeping the same RAM (need to do more research)
    -120GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
    -1.5TB Western Digital Black (in eSATA case)
    -Keeping video card until I see how well it runs Diablo III
    -New case (much smaller and quieter than my monster case now)

    Main goal is just to get things a little more "snappy." I guess I've been spoiled by the instant-on characteristics of my iPad, and now even the few seconds it takes to wake up from sleep is annoying, also how slowly it opens programs. Also one of my big gripes is how noisy my setup is right now. So I'm going to be investing in high quality quiet fans and a fan controller to keep everything as quiet as possible. Also looking at eliminating the CPU fan and switching to a heatsink only setup.

    This thread doesn't need to be about my computer build, talk about whatever you want, just thought it would be fun to talk about PC hardware upgrades and new stuff coming out or whatever. I'm not a computer expert by any means, I can build one, but troubleshooting and advanced overclocking and stuff like that is way over my head. Anyone have any opinions on my computer refresh? Or wanna talk about any other computer stuff?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator
    Member #
    53 times
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Fort Wayne, IN

    I suppose there isn't much interest in talking about...

    ...personal computers. I am unfortunately quite behind the times when it comes to the latest and greatest PC technology. I have little to no opinion on which is the best processor to get. Or whether or not to get new RAM (I think you may be able to keep the old RAM as long as they use the same DDR architecture and fit in the same size slot on your new mother board--I'm probably wrong).

    I keep seeing something about "quad core" and what a great processor it is for gaming. But it seems you are getting a 6-core? BTW, if you are getting a 6-core processor plus have a large video memory card, can a 6-core processor really be faster than a four-core processor with the same video-card upon bootup? Isn't a fast boot up dependent on what programs are required by the hardware to run the software or is that vice versa?

    PC's completely shut down, iPads sleep. PC's can sleep too, but eventually the OS will need a 'rest' and a shutdown is required. I used to call that an IPL (initial program load). If you do an iPad IPL it does come back up to speed faster than a PC but the iPad has very little hardware to initialize and make ready for use. The iPad might night be a good benchmark to compare to a PC's IPL performance.

    A heat sink on such a powerful processor would be logical, but I would think that as you push the processor, the video card processor and all the peripherals into a hardware intense software application processing, additional cooling systems, i.e., a fan, would keep the box from overheating. It would be super if some sort of refrigerant was designed to course its way through a box when such computing is executed. When buildings were built to house a supercomputer, the biggest expense associated with the building was how to keep the computer from over heating. Water was used at one time, then air conditioning was used, too bad no one has figured out how to bring cooling technology to the micro system aside from using fans.

    I used to know all about that stuff, but when I became a manager, I was 'forced' to go to a five day leadership training school in Armonk, NY where they trained us on how to manage employees in the modern world. I think that as we slept in our rooms, Human Resources pumped some sort of gas that slowly wiped out any technological capability I had and replaced them with managerial skills like talking endlessly about minutia without making your employee feel like they are being harassed, discriminated against because of their age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and other protected class identifications. (See how well trained I am?)

    Because the iPad is totally outside of our business offerings, I have re-captured some sense of technology but limited to the iPad--which is more than some of my highly paid incredibly technical team mates can brag about. The iPad does draw their interest, especially when i demonstrate its capabilities and I tell them it only has 256K RAM! When multi-tasking came to the iPad, they were interested in that topic so much that we spent almost an hour talking about what constitutes multi-tasking and whether or not the iPad did multi-tasking with such a limited RAM. But when they start talking about that quad core performance, bench marks, and clocking speed, I just nod my head and appear interested.

  4. #3
    iPF Super Guru
    Member #
    8 times
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I was just like you Matt. I used to have my finger on the pulse of the bleeding edge technology... but that was years ago. I used to love to build computers for my friends, neighbors and relatives but I soon discovered that the biggest problem with doing that is that you become their 24/7/365 help desk!

    The other issue is cost. I am not a "gamer" and not into anything that is graphically intense. When I am not at work, I am pretty much just your average home user. Right now you can get a "plain Jane" Dell or Compaq desktop for around $300 and that comes with Windows7. Even without an OS, I can't hardly build a PC from scratch for less than that. Add to that the time it will take to assemble the whole thing then load the OS. And even when that is done, you still have to sit through the painful part of downloading the hundreds if not thousands of updates to bring it completely up to date . (I am talking Windows here of course). After all, my time is worth something!

    There is a BestBuy about 15 minutes from here and if it wasn't 6:30 in the morning, I could go buy a $300 fully assembled desktop and have it up and running before 7:30!

    Maybe its because I am getting older and smarter or at least more pragmatic, but I just don't get the same thrill out of building computers as I once did. If I can't do it cheaper or better than someone else, why would I bother?

  5. #4
    Member #
    2 times
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Japan and Seattle
    The amount of cores in a CPU really won't have an effect on boot up speed. Six cores vs four cores or even dual core is still a fairly debated item. Not all programs and games take advantage of the additional cores, but there are technologies that overclock one core automatically if the others aren't being used, so you still get a performance boost.

    The biggest thing that effects boot speed right now is hard drive speed. The SSD hard drives allow much faster read/write access, and will make the computer boot and open programs significantly faster than even the fastest standard type hard drives.

    I don't particularly enjoy building computers, but it's the only way that I can get exactly the components I want for a decent price. Seems like everything I looked at that was already built didn't have one or more features that I wanted. I looked at all kinds of different computers, including MacBooks, iMacs, all-in-one PC's, small form factor PC's (like MacMini and Dell) but nothing fit exactly what I wanted/needed.

    Oh, and I ended up changing things up a little bit. I went with a quad core Intel i7 2.93ghz processor, new RAM, a slightly upgraded video card, new motherboard, etc, etc. Everything should be here in the mail in a day or two, as long as all the components survived shipping, everything should only take an hour or two to put together.
    Last edited by Superbike81; 12-12-2010 at 07:37 AM.


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