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Old 01-18-2006, 01:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Out of the box high performance PC?

Hi all,
I'm in neuroscience research (fMRI) and we're looking for a new PC to rapidly present high quality images. I've thought about building one, but the trouble with that is, everytime something goes wrong everyone will find me and ask me to fix it. So I've decided to buy a ready-to-use PC. I'm not sure how to go about this, esecialy as we're going to run windows on it and I know much more about apple computers.

I'm hoping that some of you will have recommendations for me.

Our priorities are:

*dual processor

*really good graphics card

*as much memory as possible

*reasonable amount of hard drive space

*must run windows

Money isn't really an object, and we don't need any accessories (monitor, mouse, etc...)

Any computer that would be the best gaming computer should probably work as well for us.

Does any preconfigured system come to mind?

After browsing this forum more, I've headed over to monarchcomputer.com and it seems like they will have what I'm looking for...now, I'm really new to this - could someone explain the difference between intel & AMD processors to me? Which is faster?

Also, what is the difference between having a dual core processor and having two processors?

Thank you and sorry if I'm bothering you all, but I don't know much about hardware and it seems like you all do, I appreciate your time. You can ask me quesitons about the brain if you want.

Thanks much.

-KDevaney
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you feel like spending you could always check out Alienware.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh yeah monarch is great, if they sell premade servers get a dual socket 940 with 2 dual core opterons and a crap load of ram, and if my memory serves me right, some 940 boards have SLI support so you can toss 2 gtx's in there or something.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I always thought alienware was more of a stylish computer than a erformance computer...then again, I've only ever seen the outside of one. It doesn't have to look nice, it's going to be sitting in a lab....

Killa, as far as:

"some 940 boards have SLI support so you can toss 2 gtx's in there or something"

I have no idea what that means :smiles sheepishly:


Now that I'm getting into looking at details, maybe someone could break this down for me:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800 + Dual Core 1MB Per Core 90 nm (939)

Ok - I know the make & model is AMD Athlon - I don't know what any of these other specs are - what does the 1MB refer to? What part is 90 nanometers? Which one of these numbers is the speed and is it in MHz or GHz?

Thank you......
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, so I went to monarch and ended up with this - what do you guys think?


Case: 100588 - PS 450W - Antec Sonata II Piano Black Qui $99.99 $99.99

Power Supply: 100365 - PS 600W - Enermax EG701AX-VE-SFMA ATX 2.0 $137.97 $137.97

Case Fan: None

Motherboard: 110707 - Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Audio/G $247.98 $247.98

Processor: 120231 - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Dual-Core 1MB Per $770.00 $770.00

Thermal Grease: None

Heat Sink Fan: 130956 - Thermaltake A1770 AMD Opteron/64 Heatsink $12.65 $12.65

Memory: 140226 - DDR (400) 3200 - 2 GB (2 pcs 1GB) OCZ Dua $239.68 $239.68

2nd Memory: 140226 - DDR (400) 3200 - 2 GB (2 pcs 1GB) OCZ Dua $239.68 $239.68

Hard Drive: 150352 - SATA3G - Western Digital Caviar SE 160 GB $88.71 $88.71

2nd Hard Drive: None

RAID Setup: None

RAID Controller: None

CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW: 160019 - DVD±RW - Plextor PX-716AL 6x-DVD+R DL 16x $159.91 $159.91

CD-RW/DVD-RW: None

Floppy Drive: 170511 - TEAC 1.44 MB 3.5" Floppy Drive (Black) $18.00 $18.00

More Storage: None

Sound Card: 180212 - Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! 7.1 24- $45.63 $45.63

Video Card: 190377 - XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB DDR3/PCI-E/TV- $479.85 $479.85

Modem: None

Network Card: 280116 - 3Com 3C2000-T Gigabit NIC 10/100/1000 $56.00 $56.00

Wireless Network Card: None

Add-On Card: 280614 - USB - 5 Port USB 2.0 PCI Card $19.00 $19.00

Case Function Add-On: None

Round Cables: None

Operating System: 210111 - Microsoft Windows XP Professional w/Servi $155.72 $155.72

Additional Software: None

Antivirus: 310512 - Norton Antivirus 2006 (OEM) $31.25 $31.25

Warranty: 800012 - Standard Tech Support, 1 Year $49.00 $49.00

Hot Rush: None - Standard Order ( ships within 10-15 busines
Half Life 2 Promotion: None

CD-RW Software: 210613 - Ahead Nero 6.3 Suite DVD+-RW Software (OE $15.99 $15.99

DVD-ROM Software: 210600 - nVidia DVD Decoder 1.00.58 (OEM) $15.97 $15.97

Video Capture: None
TV Tuner: None

Subtotal for 80390 with your selected options: $2,957.98

What do you guys think?
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, everything looks fantastic except (2) things.

1.) Windows won't recognize 4 gigs of RAM. It will only recognize up to 3. So 1GIG is wasted. Plus 3 gigs will slightly slow the system down.

2.) You didn't need to buy a network card, because the ASUS A8N32 comes with (2) NIC Controllers onboard (On the motherboard)

And another thing, "XFX - Video Cards) are at the total bottom of the list. (Not very liked - many people have had bad experiences with them.)

If you are in the USA and on the East Coast, I can arrange to build a system for you that will meet your needs. That system is a tad bit over kill.

You probably didn't need to get a sound card either, the motherboard you got also has it onboard. Although hey, may-be you'll want to listen to some music?

oh... you may not need any additional USB cards. THe motherboard has a bunch on the rear I/O panel and that case also has 2 in the front. But, hey... may-be you'll need like 12 USB's?
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Havoc - Thanks!!

1. RAM - Why will 3 gigs slow the system down? So what's the most RAM I should have on awindows machine?

2. network card - didn't know that, thanks - I don't know much about motherboards, but you think the one I picked is a good one? (For the mobo and video card, I just went with the most expensive, since I don't know anything about them - probably a rookie mistake).

video card - could you recommend a better one?

I am actually on the East Coast, I'm in Boston.....

K
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh. May I suggest looking at www.sagernotebooks.com

Specifically this Series:
http://www.sagernotebook.com/pages/n...9750&SubType=V

If you are presenting very high quality Images with a projector, then you may want to consider mobility.

Those notebooks are (TOP) of the line. Basically desktops in very small packages...
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Those are nice - I'll add one to the list.
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm in CT. Fairfield County

I own a small business. I focus on building custom PC's of all types. I go to a clients home or office, review all their needs and give them the solution. I also give them (2) years free hardware tech support. If something goes wrong with the hardware, I deal with it, not the client.

The best amount of RAM for WINDOWS XP is 1GIG to 2 GIG's.
Depending on the type of usage. If you are going with 2GIG's you should make sure you get (2) 1GIG Sticks.

One of the best videocard's out there in NVIDIA CORES is eVGA.
The have the best customer service, high quality products and a great trade in program.

If you are interested you can PM me and i'll send you my email address.
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