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New power PC - specification and setup help please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Stuart Wright, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Hi folks - after a blown fuse cut the power to my main PC the on-motherboard raid controller and my backup hard drive died.
    So I'm buying the core of a new PC.
    New CPU, motherboard, memory and hard drives.
    I use my PC for work and play. I need to do thinks like run a Webtrends log report on a 2 gig log file while playing MP3s, downloading a 50 meg file with CuteFTP, surfing the net with 10 browser windows open, creating big images with Paintshop Pro, having Mailwasher and Outlook receiving emails, editing sites with Dreamweaver and having Adobe Acrobat optimizing 100 4 meg PDFs. All at the same time. You get the idea.

    I currently have a P4 2.3 with 1 Gig ram and 1 (remaining) 180 gig drive. The PC isn't fast enough.

    I was thinking about getting a 64 bit athlon. But I have always found the hard discs to be the bottleneck. I have seen the Western Digital WD740GD Raptor 74GB Serial ATA 10,000rpm 8mb Cache for £100 each. A mirrored pair of these should be excellent for the OS and main apps.
    And I want to get another 180gig drive to mirror my current C drive (replacing the dead drive) which I will use to install games and less important apps.
    (I will use a second PC as a server for many of my other required files).

    These drives can do 'command queuing' and I need a motherboard which will support this feature. It works on Intel's ICH6 Southbridge, part of the new 925/Alderwood and 915/Grantsdale chipsets.

    Any suggestions as to a final configuration?

    Also is it difficult to setup 2 RAIDS on the same PC?

    And lastly I want to implement an uninterruptible power supply to avoid this in the future. Ebuyer do them for 60+VAT which is a price I can live with but I know nothing about UPS's. Any advice?

    Thanks folks.
     
  2. theritz

    theritz
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    With that kind of shopping list i wonder should you be thinking about networking a couple of decent pcs rather than putting all of your eggs in one high performance basket...... If you had a machine dedicated to downloads/surfing and a different machine for Paintshop/Dreamweaver etc, I reckon you'd have a more reliable and robust setup with more grunt dedicated to the tasks in hand. It would be easy enough to set it up running from one keyboard/mouse if you wanted.. two nice tfts... I think this would give you more flexibility.

    Sean.
     
  3. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Good idea, Sean. But probably not practical. In the environment here I already run two PCs. I used the second to send out the 23,000 emails to forum members on Monday while I carried on working on the main PC.
    Not sure I could get used to one mouse & keyboard for both machines. How would you do that?

    And display wise, I already run a 21inch Iiyama Pro 510 at 1600x1200 but it is still not enough realestate. For example when entering DVDs for Total DVD I need 1 broser window running at about 800 pixels wide into which I paste stuff from a PDF open in Adobe which needs to be about 1000 pixels wide. And at the same time I need windows to Amazon and Sendit.com open and visible to copy and paste more stuff.
    So I plan to get 2 20 inch TFTs running at 1600x1200 each side by side into the same graphics card to effectively double my current screen resolution. But that's for the future.

    My main concern right now is getting the best price/performance configuration on CPU, motherboard, RAM and hard drives.
     
  4. theritz

    theritz
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    No prob.... my normal approach to two high "horsepower" tasks is to use two pcs rather than one. Moving up to three machines might seem a bit extreme but I would keep the option open.. high speed processors shouldn't have any problems with the tasks you're handling, but the data bottlenecks will probably be more difficult to overcome - that's where an additional pc comes to the rescue, you're effectively halving (more or less) the data transfer loads.

    If you wanted to do this you'd use a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch - it allows you to operate a number of pcs from one control environment, fairly common, but it's a moot point - you know your own environment best and if it's high performance you want then one of the gurus will probably toddle along shortly with the appropriate advice.....



    Sean
     
  5. scooby do

    scooby do
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    Just to add a desent KVM will allow you tio swap inputs/outputs just by for instance clicking the left and right mouse button together. No manual switches cluttering up desk space
     
  6. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Thanks, guys.
    This is the candidate spec at the moment:

    Qty Product QuickFind Price Line Total
    1 Gigabyte 8i925X-G Socket-775 I925X ATX - Sound Gb-Lan USB2 800FSB SATA DDR2 Retail Box 74709 £105.03 £105.03
    1 Intel Pentium® 4 550 3.4GHZ HT 1M 800FSB Processor With Ht Technology Retail 63150 £161.67 £161.67
    1 Corsair (TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO), 1024MB (2 x 512MB Matched Pair), DDR2 5400, 2x64Mx64, non-ECC, 2x240 DIMM, unbuffered, 4-4-4-12, TwinX PRO Series with activity LEDs, Lifetime Warranty 66385 £229.99 £229.99
    1 Sapphire Radeon X800 XT 256MB GDDR3 AGP VGA VIVO DVI-I Retail Box 72972 £299.99 £299.99
    2 Western Digital WD740GD Raptor 74GB Serial ATA 10,000rpm 8mb Cache - OEM 55454 £104.65 £209.30
    2 Western Digital WD2000JD 200GB Serial ATA150 7200rpm 8mb Cache- OEM 55240 £67.25 £134.50
    1 APC 650va/400w Ups With Internet Dsl Fax Or Modem Protection 65711 £63.06 £63.06
    1 Logitech Mx510 2 Button USB/PS2 Optical Mouse 60552 £24.19 £24.19


    £1,227.73 + VAT

    What do you think?
     
  7. shadow 111

    shadow 111
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    A hard disk died on you, stop this now go SCSI, with adaptec controller. You will never see a server using atapi drives. A Xeon processor with 1 or 2mb cache. Software such as dreamweaver uses highly mathmatical repeative routines, so memory is all, wack in 4gb of memory. Whilst this may sound like overkill, disable the page file within windows wait for xp pro to adapt then watch things fly along. Stop thinking power pc start thinking cad workstation. I do and mechanically my PC is bulletproof albeit a bit slow with only 2gb, software is still crap though MS XP pro! If you're feeling flash go for the new nvidea card as well. Supermicro board for serious robustness. Corsair memory is nice though!

    In a previous life I was a network asssitant so as you can image I loathe all things microsoft and normal PCs. LOL
     
  8. shadow 111

    shadow 111
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    Oh yeah for speed go for 36gb single platter drives. Or whatever capacity is single platter these days.
     

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