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Do I need a New Box at Home?
Is it time for an upgrade...

 3:23 am on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sad to say that I'm still using a dual cpu unit I built like four years ago. At the time it was pretty fast, using dual 700 mHz cpus (which cost like $170 each). The machine is super stable (I once ran it for nearly five week before rebooting - and that's Windows 2000!).

I'm thinking about stepping up to an Athlon 64 X2 (again a dually), but I'm not sure if it's worth the speed. I threw some parts together and I think I can build a new PC (X2, Gig of RAM, 10,000 RPM HD, blah, blah...) for around $800.

Do I need a new box? What is everyone else running at home?



 2:23 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

While I don't run dual on my main machine I do like to run top of the line. For the sake of one or two hundred dollars difference I figure it's worth it to get fast machines with lots of RAM. Beats waiting for apps to open or having too many windoes open slowing things down.

Plus, we're all geeks here, right?


 3:04 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Now I'm thinking about justifying making a new machince because I just found out that I can make a Tivo at home with most of the recycled parts.


 3:14 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why run dual processors? Are you really tweaking out the CPU that much? If you are a programmer and you are ripping through hordes of content and as a result, requiring loads of CPU, why not use your current machine for heavy crunching and just get a new top of the line single CPU for your desktop?


 3:17 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, and beware of the Tivo from spare parts temptation. That was my plan as well a few months ago. I'm still working ont the project only because I still really want it but I've ended up spending so much more money on additional hardware (silent CPU fan, capture card, video card with s-video, 5:1 sound card, low profile PC case, and on, and on, and on) that I'm hardly using anything from the old box. It is fun though.


 7:02 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

notsleepy >>Are you really tweaking out the CPU that much?

When I'm not writing content, I like to play around in photoshop. That's how it got started...

I also noticed that virus scan and software firewalls are resource hogs. That's why I'm still looking at duals.

I also got the impression from the articles I read that the Pivo / Tivo was in its infancy. I just read an article about building one for $1,000. That's just plain silly since Tivo costs in the area of $500 - $800 (including the $299 lifetime membership).


 7:23 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I run a gaming machine at home.

X2 4200+
Dual 7800GTX (256MB) SLI
x2 250GB HD RAID 1
Win Xp SP2


 7:32 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really want to go with dual monitors. My box is ancient. But is this the time to buy a new machine or should I wait a few months? What's on the horizon?

Are 10,000 rpm drives a big deal?


 8:07 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

The benefit of an x2 is not raw speed - its being able to multi-task without the hour-glass. So the log-analysis can run for hours in the background, while you seo in the foreground.


 11:21 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Next summer I've dedicated as "build time" for my next machine, and the single biggest debate I've had with friends is whether or not to go dual CPU.

Currently, I'm running single CPU and dual graphics cards, with either 2 or 3 monitors. Not really hitting any performance issues for any single app, but sometimes I'll have up to 3 different GFX suites open (Photoshop, Illustrator, and one of several "niche" editors like Apophysis or PovRay) - and man, that can grind pretty much any processor to a halt.

Supposedly, Intel and AMD are going to move from dual to quad core processors sometime in the not too distant future, but is that really gonna solve the graphics grind?

Anyone got any ideas?

Anything I'm doing with the Ray tracer or Fractal generators falls into the category of "Just mucking about" - but when I'm playing, that's when I'm least patient with the grind.


 9:54 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you are like me and have a dozen apps running at the same time and even want to burn the occasional CD/DVD in the background, dual is the way to go. I bought a tricked out Dell Gen5 a few months ago with the Intel Dual Core Extreme Edition and I absolutely LOVE it. Fastest rig by far I've ever owned, but the best thing is how well it does at multitasking.


 10:34 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Of course one can always run more than one machine ..and have each boxes spec and os and apps set up to suit the use required ..switching is as fast as an intra net or a usb drive hotswitch ..

also needs a chair with good castors or swivel ..


 2:49 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use a G4 iBook...


 10:48 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Of course one can always run more than one machine...

Don't even go there. The "friendly discussions" I've had with my wife over the fact that my computing area takes up the second largest room in the house (behind the master bedroom)...

I'm desperately trying to cut back on the real estate occuppied by the hardware. Good use of a KVM switch has gone a long way. Cutting back on the number of monitors and keyboards lyeng around, meaning I only have to find space for the CPUs (much easier to hide in the closet for the ones I don't need to get at the removable medium drives).

Main problem:

Can't go below three independant "workhorse" machines. 1 Win, 1*Nix, 1 Mac. And while it would be technically possible to KVM these machines, I've done it in the past and it's turned out to be.... Impractical.

Ideal solution:

3 Monitors hooked up to 1 "box" and keyboard/mouse that was capable of running all three OS's simultaneously. If anyone knows how to do this without a NASA level budget...

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