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Doug
08-12-2008, 11:17 AM
Well, I've finally received approval from the finance department (my wife) to get a new computer. The old one is 6 years old, so we've gotten a lot of mileage out of it. But one HD has already died, and it's getting a little flakey in general.

Since we have the occasional PC thread, I thought I'd post what I spec'd out.

I'm not actually buying a computer, but parts. I'll build it myself.

Here's what I've ordered:

Case/Motherboard/Power: Shuttle SX38P2-Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856101058

I love the small form factor - my current PC is also a shuttle.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache

My last CPU was an AMD, which I really liked, but I think the Intel Quads are the top o' the heap right now. This CPU is overkill for me right now, but since I had my last one for 6 years, I wanted to error on the high side.

RAM: 8 Gig Total. G.SKILL DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

Again, I don't really need 8 gig, but memory is fairly cheap right now.

Video Card: VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 512MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129113

That's just about the fastest card I can fit in the shuttle, plus it's a dual slot card that exhausts the heat out the back of the case.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA

I don't need more than 320 G because I've got the bulk of my storage on the network. This drive is fast and runs fairly cool, but they seem to be having some quality problems. Hopefully, I'll get a good one.

O/S: Vista Home Premium 64-bit

Yes, I know all about Vista and it's problems. I'm going with it anyway. I do hear the 64-bit version has less issues - as long as you have drivers for all of your hardware. Plus, I think I've got enough horsepower in the PC to handle Vista. :-)

Add in a new keyboard, mouse, a CD/DVD burner and that's about it. I haven't ordered a monitor yet. I'll likely get a 22-inch wide screen LCD.


With any luck, everything will be here by Friday. I just hope I can find some time over the weekend to assemble it.

bellisimo
08-12-2008, 11:25 AM
not bad...but can it run Crysis? :D

DisplacedKnick
08-12-2008, 11:25 AM
I didn't like Vista much at first but it's OK - my laptop's new so it can handle it. Had some moments at first when I thought I was going back to Windows but didn't & got used to it. Part of it was I had dialup at first so downloading patches/updates was close to impossible. Once I got DSL things improved a lot.

I had much more trouble with IE errors but I downloaded Firefox and now I'm happy.

Doug
08-12-2008, 12:21 PM
not bad...but can it run Crysis? :D

I'm going to go out on a limb and say 'yes' - where 'yes' depends on the resolution. :-)

Actually, I'll just be happy if it can run Supreme Commander. Total Annihilation is just about my favorite game ever, but SupCom just takes too much CPU/GPU for my old computer.

Hicks
08-12-2008, 12:30 PM
This must open all kinds of doors for adding new features to RoboDoug! ;)

Doug
08-12-2008, 01:49 PM
This must open all kinds of doors for adding new features to RoboDoug! ;)

Nah, he runs on a server at work. He's got plenty of horsepower already.

Although I do think this new PC is probably more powerful that that server... Funny how technology marches on.

Doug
08-15-2008, 12:23 PM
Well, all the parts but the keyboard came in yesterday.

Threw it together last night. Took about an hour, which including teaching the kids what all the various parts did.

No O/S installed yet, but it boots to BIOS and everything looks good.

I was a little nervous when I turned it on. The kids needed to go to bed, so I was rushing through the assembly. No reading the manuals for me! But, everything seems solid. We'll find out after I get the O/S on and run some memory tests and other check-out type of activities.

Anthem
08-15-2008, 03:34 PM
How's the fan noise? Heat holding steady?

That was my biggest problem with my last shuttle... ventilation.

Oh yeah. And why are you screwing around with Vista when you could be running Ubuntu?

Gyron
08-15-2008, 03:42 PM
I'm sure he's got the pirate copy of Windows 7.0 and is just saying Vista to fool us all.....

Doug
08-15-2008, 05:05 PM
How's the fan noise? Heat holding steady?

That was my biggest problem with my last shuttle... ventilation.

Oh yeah. And why are you screwing around with Vista when you could be running Ubuntu?

Booting Windows for games, mainly. The family is probably tech savvy enough to handle Linux, but I wasn't ready to go there just yet.

I've got enough horsepower to run VMWare or something similar for the family to use while browsing. Don't know if I will yet, but I like the idea of it.

Proud daddy moment Wednesday: We've been having problems burning CDs from iTunes, so my 13 year old daughter does some googling and decides the fix is to hand edit one of the iTunes cd drive settings configuration files. She had it up in Notepad and was getting ready to make the change, when I said 'maybe you should back that up, first'. The change worked. (althought I need to teach her that 'vi' would be a better choice than notepad for a text editor.)


I'll let you know on the heat and fan noise once I get the O/S on and it in regular use. I hear the PS fan is a bit loud on this model, so we'll see I guess. One of the reasons I went with a dual slot graphics card was that it vents the heat from the video card out the back. We'll see if that helps.

Cobol Sam
08-15-2008, 07:14 PM
Oh yeah. And why are you screwing around with Vista when you could be running Ubuntu?

:highfive: Hell Yes.

kester99
08-15-2008, 07:54 PM
Ubuntu is a lighter load than XP? Just curious. Never ran a non-windows OS.

Cobol Sam
08-16-2008, 02:00 AM
Ubuntu is a lighter load than XP? Just curious. Never ran a non-windows OS.

It certainly can be. Xubuntu is really light.

Anthem
08-16-2008, 08:18 AM
Ubuntu is a lighter load than XP? Just curious. Never ran a non-windows OS.
Probably not lighter than a bare XP install... that's a 2001 operating system vs a 2008 one. But it's far snappier than XP with service packs 1, 2, and 3, even when Ubuntu's running full eye candy (Compiz is amazing). And Vista doesn't even compare.

My wife (NOT a tech person) runs Ubuntu exclusively on her Toshiba... this last time we backed up her data then let her install the OS from bare metal. She's figured out how to tweak what she wants tweaked to give the look and feel she wants. She's never loved a computer so much in her life.

Cobol Sam
08-16-2008, 04:44 PM
Probably not lighter than a bare XP install... that's a 2001 operating system vs a 2008 one. But it's far snappier than XP with service packs 1, 2, and 3, even when Ubuntu's running full eye candy (Compiz is amazing). And Vista doesn't even compare.

My wife (NOT a tech person) runs Ubuntu exclusively on her Toshiba... this last time we backed up her data then let her install the OS from bare metal. She's figured out how to tweak what she wants tweaked to give the look and feel she wants. She's never loved a computer so much in her life.

Compiz is nice. However it seems to cause a dramatic drop in fullscreen flash video FPS. Haven't really found a solution to that yet, despite having more than enough strength in my video card.

Anthem
08-16-2008, 09:23 PM
Compiz is nice. However it seems to cause a dramatic drop in fullscreen flash video FPS. Haven't really found a solution to that yet, despite having more than enough strength in my video card.
Wait, what? Fullscreen flash video FPS? Like what? I can't even imagine such a beast... flash is ok for side-scrollers, but it seems difficult for a shooter. I'd love to see a link... the idea is intriguing.

Really, the PC (Win/Mac/Linux) as a platform isn't really great for FPSs. There's a reason consoles keep gaining market share.

Anthem
08-16-2008, 10:06 PM
Wait, what? Fullscreen flash video FPS? Like what? I can't even imagine such a beast... flash is ok for side-scrollers, but it seems difficult for a shooter. I'd love to see a link... the idea is intriguing.

Really, the PC (Win/Mac/Linux) as a platform isn't really great for FPSs. There's a reason consoles keep gaining market share.
:rotflmao: I'm such a moron.

You said FPS and I thought "First Person Shooter." But you meant "frames per second."

My wife has a low-end intel integrated chipset and can watch fullscreen flash just fine. Maybe it's your driver? What card do you have?

bellisimo
08-25-2008, 08:46 AM
Wait, what? Fullscreen flash video FPS? Like what? I can't even imagine such a beast... flash is ok for side-scrollers, but it seems difficult for a shooter. I'd love to see a link... the idea is intriguing.

Really, the PC (Win/Mac/Linux) as a platform isn't really great for FPSs. There's a reason consoles keep gaining market share.

that would have to do with better variety of games coming out to the console.

when it comes to FPS - you can't go wrong with the keyboard/mouse combo.