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Last post Author Topic: Does my future pc suck ?  (Read 9347 times)

ak_

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Does my future pc suck ?
« on: August 21, 2007, 08:58:44 AM »
Hi, my pc stopped working lately (i think the motherboard is to blame) and as he's rather old and obsolete, i'm planning to get a new configuration (my main activity is to manipulate large image fileson Photoshop, and i'm hoping to do some gaming from time to time eheh). I'm really not an expert about hardware so if you can have a look at what i'm about to buy and tell me what you think, it will be very appreciated. The goal of this topic is to avoid buying material with unknown disfunctions like it can happen sometimes with computers :)

- Motherboard : ASUS M2N SLI DELUXE
- Processor : AMD DUAL CORE X2 6000+
- RAM : 2 x 2gb DDR2
- Graphic card : SAPPHIRE ATI Radeon X1950 Pro
- Hard drive : SEAGATE  Barracuda 80Gb (note : i have two external hard drives where i stock documents)
- Screen : Samsung Syncmaster 206BW

Thanks :)

jgpaiva

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2007, 09:09:57 AM »
I can comment on the screen, since i have the previous version (205BW).
I love it  :-* :-* :)
But a friend of mine told me that they are now releasing some with a panel that has an inferior quality, you should pay attention to that.

I also recomend the idea of having 4GB of ram. If i bought a desktop computer, that's what i'd do.

ak_

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 09:44:33 AM »
JPGaiva> thanks :) I know about the Samsung 206BW problems, i'll pay attention to this. I've read that the problem can be fixed with appropriate icc profiles, but that's not sure. Maybe i won't take the risk.

f0dder

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 10:05:36 AM »
I'd go for a nvidia card and an intel core2duo instead...
- carpe noctem

tonsofpcs

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2007, 10:27:23 AM »
CRT > LCD for any sort of image manipulation (especially if you get a 'multisync' or 'multiscan' one 8)). 

Carol Haynes

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2007, 10:50:07 AM »
If you are getting an SLI mobo why go for an ATI graphics card? If you want an SLI mobo you'd be better with an nVidia card (and preferably 2 identical SLI compatible cards if you can afford it and want maximum graphics capability).

If you are committed to the idea of ATI cards why not get an ATI CrossFire compatible mobo - even if you don't fit a pair of graphics cards now you could add a second card at a later date.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2007, 10:52:58 AM »
CRT > LCD for any sort of image manipulation (especially if you get a 'multisync' or 'multiscan' one 8)). 

Disagree these days - I stuck with CRT for years for precisely that reason but I wouldn't go back now I have moved to LCD. Newer LCD displays are much clearer - and with good colour management seem to have much truer colours to my eyes. They are also fine for video editing these days - I can't see any ghosting on mine (which was another reason people didn't like LCD in the past).

ak_

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2007, 11:06:39 AM »
Yeah, i've been told that the gap between CRT and LCD display is really getting smaller and smaller. An friend of mine who's an illustrator told me he had no problems working on a LCD monitor. I think i'll give Samsung 206BW a try (if i can find the right model) :)

fodder> well, if i take an Intel processor i have to change the motherboard aswell. And the price is higher, too and i can't really afford a more expensive configuration. I guess the AMD choice is a good compromise, isn't it ?

Lashiec

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2007, 11:07:02 AM »
Yes, it totally SUCKS ;D

Actually, my computer is pretty much that (less processor speed and more HDD). Let's see... I suggest you a bit more HDD for future proof. If you upgrade to Vista sometime, you'll thank it. 160 or 320 GB will suffice, and they're pretty affordable. I would recommend against 4 GB for now, unless you plan to go Vista (and the x64 route as well). I side with f0dder in the Core 2 Duo option, although it would cost you a bit more as motherboards for Intel CPUs tend to be more expensive that those designed for AMD. Totally against nVidia graphics. Unless you want to go with a DirectX 10 compatible card, I suggest ATI as it totally obliterates the competition ;). Also, don't go the SLI or Crossfire route, unless you plan to add some specific functionality (for example, running more than two monitors at once) or gaming at insane resolutions. IMHO it's a total waste of money.

Let's move to better things. What about CPU cooling, case, PSU, DVD writers? Are you going to use some older parts? In that case, could you please give us some insight about them?

As for monitors... if this was a enthusiast forum, people would be suggesting 1400 € monitors, but this is not the case :). If you can see monitors in action, the merrier. Most LCDs are using TN film, which makes them quite less accurate when it comes to color reproduction (they use 6 bits instead of 8 bits). Paying more will yield (theoretical) better results. Personally, I feel that LCDs are quite good now, even the cheaper ones, but for a graphic illustrator like you, it could be a different thing.

steeladept

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2007, 11:24:15 AM »
I have not seen a major difference between AMD and Intel personally, so given the cost difference, I think you went the right route.  However, unless there is a good reason to stick with the ATI card, I do follow the suggestion of an NVidia card instead.  Or, given your graphics needs, maybe consider Matrox.  I haven't dealt with them in a long time, though, so I am not certain they still hold the edge for graphics.  NVidia is definitely the game leader though with great graphics capabilities.  Though the SLI board is a bit of overkill if you won't use it.  Look for non-SLI boards if you are sticking with one card.  They are usually cheaper, and most vendors offer an SLI board and a non-SLI board that is otherwise the same.  Also, due to the Photoshop and cheap memory, I definitely think you should stick with your 4GB Memory. 

Lastly, if you have the money for it, the bigger hard drive is a good choice.  Be careful though, you can frequently get multiple smaller drives for the same total size for a smaller price.  As long as heat and case space is not an issue, find that sweet spot and buy multiple drives as appropriate.  You then can do several things with it that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do, such as mirror the drives, stripe them in a raid, or partition them separately to minimize rebuild times as appropriate to your goals.  Personally, I suggest getting 3 or 4 (if possible) and make them a striped array.  This gives a small (though not insignificant) performance boost especially with photoshop, while giving you a better chance at recovery if one goes bad (if two go at the same time you are still screwed though, so never use this in place of a good backup strategy!)

EDIT:  BTW - Just wanted to say I like your choice of components.  Seagate drives in particular seem a cut above to me.  The Western Digital ones work very well too, but are much louder in my experience.  Sticking with these quality components will help ensure that you will get good support if needed as well.  As to your original question, No, it doesn't suck, even as written, the comments made are just to help you tweak your thoughts from our own opinions.  Good luck.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 11:28:37 AM by steeladept »

nudone

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2007, 11:29:20 AM »
LCD will be fine - providing you are happy to spend a little more for a decent LCD monitor.

i've got an EIZO screen and i've compared it with many other LCDs - nothing compares to it.

it's still not as good as a very good CRT but that's only in the blacks - the rest of the colours are fine.

i used to be one of the hardcore CRT boys and held out for quite a few years before going LCD. i've still got my old CRT monitor (which still isn't a bad one even today) but the EIZO is far better to work with. less eye strain, sharper image, more vibrant - just better really.

just get a good LCD, budget ones or the ones at the lower end of the market are fine for general use but as you are an illustrator i'm sure you are going to hate how they look.

i paid over £1000, it's probably half that price today, but when i compare it to LCDs that cost around 300 or less the difference in picture quality is obvious. and i do mean obvious.

ak_

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2007, 11:50:23 AM »
Thanks everybody for your quick and interesting answers :D

About SLI : well, hum, i didn't even know what it was before you told me about it :) My choice of components is based on what i've read on multiple websites. Soooo yeah, maybe i don't need a SLI motherboard. Which one then ? What about this one ? Seems to be the same as my original choice without the SLI feature. What do you think ? If you think it's not a good choice, can you please suggest something else ? (considering that price is REALLY important).

Quote from: steeladept
Also, due to the Photoshop and cheap memory, I definitely think you should stick with your 4GB Memory.
That's what i think too :) I've worked on 600dpi images with 2gb of RAM and i think 4gb could really be a plus (at this moment, i have to work on my laptop with 512mb, which means crappy screen AND low RAM, i can't describe how horrible it is :D)

Lashiec> yeah, maybe i'll go for bigger hdd space, you're right. And i like steeladept's idea of buying several drives instead of one, i'll think about it.

nudone> yeah, i guess Eizo would be a good choice, unfortunately i really can't afford it right now. Being an illustrator means that i don't earn a lot and that i could use an expensive monitor at the same time, how ironic :D

tomos

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2007, 11:57:02 AM »
Re monitor:
I was asking in a german "flatscreen" forum (PRADA)
about a monitor that had (preferably very) good colour-whachamacallit/rendition(?) for around the 300€ mark-
Fujitsu Siemens P19-2P
was recommended -
they dont seem to have it at Newegg though
Only 19" though...
Tom

tomos

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2007, 12:03:22 PM »
ak_

Eizo S1911
was also recommended by one individual, but I've seen some not so positive reviews -
they were saying one half of screen (top or lower?) lighter than other..
I believe - from memory now -
the Eizo S1910 is almost the same monitor but slower (for games)
I think again around the 300€ mark..
Tom

PhilB66

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2007, 12:06:02 PM »
Re monitor:
I was asking in a german "flatscreen" forum (PRADA)

PRAD ProAdviser is an excellent resource - Reviews, Comparisons, Advise...

Lashiec

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2007, 12:07:14 PM »
Actually, I would stay with the first one. SLI is only a extra feature that pretty much every motherboard these days bring along, and it also adds some extra features in the mix that you could actually find useful (passive chipset cooling, e-SATA ports...). With that processor it's better to use something at a good level, than that other option. It's only a few bucks more.

steeladept

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2007, 12:38:49 PM »
About SLI : well, hum, i didn't even know what it was before you told me about it :) My choice of components is based on what i've read on multiple websites. Soooo yeah, maybe i don't need a SLI motherboard. Which one then ? What about this one ? Seems to be the same as my original choice without the SLI feature. What do you think ? If you think it's not a good choice, can you please suggest something else ? (considering that price is REALLY important).

Actually no, that motherboard is not what I meant.  The companion non-SLI motherboard is this.  Also, for $10US cheaper, there is this alternative.  What you loose in the cheaper one is a slightly less capable north bridge (don't know what that means without more research though), 2 SATA connectors, a serial connector (not essential any more), and a few other odds and ends.  The cheaper one has a few more features that make up for the difference though, so it really depends on what your needs are.  Both save you $30-40US off the original board you told us about and both have comparable, though not exact, specs.


tomos

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2007, 01:06:53 PM »
Re monitor:
I was asking in a german "flatscreen" forum (PRADA)

PRAD ProAdviser is an excellent resource - Reviews, Comparisons, Advise...
hah, didnt know they had an english version
obviously translated from german -
the marks they give are
Very good, good, and "Satisfying" :)
of course meant to be satisfactory = soso really..
Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2007, 02:41:13 PM »
I'd go with the best motherboard you can afford - SLI is just one feature of the board you first listed. You don't have to use the SLI feature but I can guarantee that the rest of the board is more than the earlier non-SLI versions.

For only slightly more money you could pick up 2 nVidia SLI 7600 256Mb cards. That is just one example - if you aren't in to gaming then a pair of 7300 SLI cards would be cheaper than the ATI card you specified. You then have two graphics cards which can share the load or run two monitors if you want to splash out on a second monitor in the future.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 02:43:16 PM by Carol Haynes »

jgpaiva

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2007, 03:01:57 PM »
Just an asside: If you'd like to go linux in a while probably nvidia would get you into less problems than ATI. (although i also prefer ATI ;) )

f0dder

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2007, 04:53:37 AM »
Hm, around here (Denmark) you can get a Core2Duo E6550 for the same price as an AMD64x2 6000+ - I'd definitely go for the c2d model, even if the motherboard will be a bit more expensive... and they don't seem to be much more expensive actually, especially considering you'll be getting an intel chipset (<3 RAID Matrix).

I'm staying away from ATI because of their horrible drivers, and nvidia seems to be decent enough speedwise. And if you compare the DX10 series of cards, well, bye-bye ATI.

Quote from: steeladept
Personally, I suggest getting 3 or 4 (if possible) and make them a striped array.  This gives a small (though not insignificant) performance boost especially with photoshop, while giving you a better chance at recovery if one goes bad (if two go at the same time you are still screwed though, so never use this in place of a good backup strategy!)
You mean a stripe+mirror combo, not just a 4-drive stripe...

As for RAM... standard 32bit windows will only let an application use ~2GB of memory. If you add a switch to boot.ini, applications that are marked aware will be able to use up to 3GB, but not the last gig. Doesn't mean the memory is wasted though, just that a single application won't be able to use more then 2 (or 3) gigabytes.
- carpe noctem

ak_

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2007, 09:25:09 AM »
Well, i'm really pulling my hair out with this monitor thing. I've found this one for a good price but the review is one year old so maybe it's obsolete now. If anyone has information about this monitor, please let me know :)

nudone

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2007, 10:11:02 AM »
i'd try and get something that has 1000:1 contrast ratio - the model you've picked out has 800:1

i'd say that's one of the reasons why cheaper monitors look the way they do - just not enough contrast.

i've seen current monitors that are meant to be 3000:1 but when you look at the details they'll say 1000:1 and the higher figures are produced by some kind of trickery. i'll admit i've not seen one of these higher contrast monitors in action so i can't really offer a good opinion - it all seems a bit dubious when the figures are presented something like this 3000:1 (1000:1).

anyway, LCDs are pretty terrible at black as they just allow too much backlight to come through - but then it isn't too noticeable a lot of the time because of all the bright elements on screen - but it's almost unbearable when playing darkly lit games, i.e. doom3, fear, etc... probably not an issue for you.


tomos

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2007, 06:01:02 AM »
Well, i'm really pulling my hair out with this monitor thing. I've found this one for a good price but the review is one year old so maybe it's obsolete now. If anyone has information about this monitor, please let me know :)
a year old review is okay I reckon - unless you're going to pay loads of dosh you're prob not going to get the absolute current best..
the conclusion of review
http://www.prad.de/e...rt13.html#Conclusion
doessound quite very good to me - apart from the direct sunlight warning -
depends where you'll be using it...
Tom
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 06:03:13 AM by tomos »

ak_

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Re: Does my future pc suck ?
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2007, 06:59:42 AM »
Thanks Tomo for pointing out the sunlight warning, my pc is gonna be near a window so it's a problem. Anyway, i changed my mind about this monitor thing. Nudone is right, i need to get a screen with a good contrast ratio. So, considering the little money i have, i decided to chose image quality over size, and i think i'll go for a Samsung 971P. It's a 19" and it's quite expensive considering its size, but, according to reviews i read, it displays excellent colors and has a 1500:1 contrast ratio.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 07:05:59 AM by ak_ »