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Old 02-19-2005, 11:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbie buying a computer

I was looking to buy a new computer and a few things came up...

Hard Drive/RAID Related:

1. How much faster is Raid 0 then No Raid?

2. If I have 2 80GB HDs with Raid 0 will it be 80GB or 160GB?

3. What's the difference between Raid 1 and Raid 5 other then the number of HDs they use?

4. What are the effects of Raid 0+1, and 0+5?

5. What Raids are there other then 0, 1, and 5 and what do they do?

6. If the seek time is half as much on 1 HD then another and you have to use the HD for the game you're using will it be twice as fast on the one with half the seek time as the other or will it just be a little faster?

Video and Audio related:

1. What's the best value, 2X6800GT, 2X6800Ultra, or X800 XT?

2. Whats best overall 6800 Ultra or X800 XT?

3. Is SLI really worth it? How much better is it then the regular?

4. What's the best Audio card/adaptor for 7.1 value-wise/overall?

5. What's the best set of speakers value-wise/overall?

6. What's the best headset (no microphone) value-wise/overall? (I need both headset and speakers because I don't want anyone else hearing the porno from outside this room )

Processor related:

1. What are the Pros and Cons of each line of processors compared to each other? Athlon 64, Athlon FX, Opteron, Pentium EE. Please direct these at gaming and web mostly and movie playing slightly.

2. Does the cache really matter, I mean what's the use of 1MB of memory?

3. What is Hyper transport and how useful is it?

4. Since most processors can safly be overclocked whats the best processor of all value-wise/overall considering that it can be overclocked to the highest safe amount possible for gaming and web mostly and DVD playing moderatly.

Memory related:

1. What does the speed of the memory mean?

2. What's the difference between physical memory and virtual memory and for games when it requires a certin amount of memory is that physical memory or virtual memory?

Waiting related:

1. Should I wait for a 512MB video card by eigher nVidia or ATI (Probabally GeForce or Radeon series) or go with a 256MB one now? How long will it take for one to come out by one of those two companies (I know some companies already have them but I only care about one of those 2)

2. Should I waid for the Athlon FX-57? When will it come out and what will it's clocking speed/estimated price be?

*Note, when I say overall when refering to "The best" I mean what's the best disregarding price.

Thanks and sorry about the stupid questions
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Holy crap this will require a bit

1. What's the best value, 2X6800GT, 2X6800Ultra, or X800 XT?
2x 6800GT would be best value, however 1 would suffice

2. Whats best overall 6800 Ultra or X800 XT?
They are better in different things. However the x850 XT PE's do have an advantage over a single nvidia. Not 100% sure about this one.

3. Is SLI really worth it? How much better is it then the regular?
In some cases close to doubble. It's actually doubble in some benchmarks. If you have the money, it is worth it, search google for some benchmarks.

4. What's the best Audio card/adaptor for 7.1 value-wise/overall?
Turtle beach catalina \ santa cruz are very good for the money and are as good as \ better than the soundblasters and cheaper. However, poor linux support.

5. What's the best set of speakers value-wise/overall?
Hrm studio monitors would be a good bet. Some of the 300ish behringer truths wouldnt be bad for a surround setup as well as yorkville ysm-1p's. Some people may want computer instead of studio speakers.

6. What's the best headset (no microphone) value-wise/overall? (I need both headset and speakers because I don't want anyone else hearing the porno from outside this room )
Depending on your location, senniser (i spelt it wrong) makes the hd-25 which are great and cheap in europe, and around 200$ in the US. Maybee a bit pricy
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1. What are the Pros and Cons of each line of processors compared to each other? Athlon 64, Athlon FX, Opteron, Pentium EE. Please direct these at gaming and web mostly and movie playing slightly.
Athlon 64 is AMD's primary series aimed at everyone and uses the newest technolagy.
Athlon FX are one version up (200mhz equivelant) and have the top multiplier unlocked.
Operaton are for servers.
Pentium EE are intel's high end CPU for intel people who want to waste money.

All of the CPU's will keep ya browsing the web and playing your pr0n for another 5 years without any problems. AMD are the best for gaming though.

2. Does the cache really matter, I mean what's the use of 1MB of memory?
Cache is a way to store stuff, the more cache the faster the CPU works in comparasion with a same CPU with less cache.

3. What is Hyper transport and how useful is it?
This is AMD's low latency link between components in a computer.

4. Since most processors can safly be overclocked whats the best processor of all value-wise/overall considering that it can be overclocked to the highest safe amount possible for gaming and web mostly and DVD playing moderatly.
Intel 3.8 ghz is the highest overclocker, however this is with liquid nitrogen.
The best CPU to get and overclock it without liquid nitrogen would be FX-55 as it's the fastest CPU and built for overclocking (top multiplier unlocked)
The best value overclocker would be the whinchester 3500+

Memory related:

1. What does the speed of the memory mean?
Speed of memory means how much data it can move per second

2. What's the difference between physical memory and virtual memory and for games when it requires a certin amount of memory is that physical memory or virtual memory?
Pysical memory is RAM, and virtual memory is slow virtual ram on your hard drive, which is not useful for gaming.
You should use 1 gig minimum for gaming.

Waiting related:

1. Should I wait for a 512MB video card by eigher nVidia or ATI (Probabally GeForce or Radeon series) or go with a 256MB one now? How long will it take for one to come out by one of those two companies (I know some companies already have them but I only care about one of those 2)
512 meg cards dont seem that far away from nvidia, but the 256meg is not currently holding the cards back.

2. Should I waid for the Athlon FX-57? When will it come out and what will it's clocking speed/estimated price be?
Should be a 4400 speeds according to predictions and will cost the same price as the last ones most likely

*Note, when I say overall when refering to "The best" I mean what's the best disregarding price.

If you want the best, it gets into the multiple thousands for audio btw :P
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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lol. Ok, I'll answer some of the questions. Maybe we can take turns?

2. Does the cache really matter, I mean what's the use of 1MB of memory?

Yes it does. The cache memory can be accessed VERY FAST compared to normal memory. Most used instructions/data are kept in the cache - so if they are needed again, they can be retrieved very fast without going to the main memory. There are many different ways cache rules can be set.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can play with the cache system in intel or amd processors (I think) .

1. What does the speed of the memory mean?

You mean latency? How fast does the information made available once a request is issued. Faster memory = better.

2. What's the difference between physical memory and virtual memory and for games when it requires a certin amount of memory is that physical memory or virtual memory?

OS is responsible for allocating the memory. The programmer at EA doesn't need to worry about how much memory is on Bob's computer in Ohio. The OS will use the physical memory as well as "hard drive" space to create a virtual memory stack. The OS will swap "stuff" from back and forth between the HD and RAM a needed.

Sample information flow: HD -> RAM -> Cache -> CPU registers

1. How much faster is Raid 0 then No Raid?

"How much".. I don't know. But it is faster. Information can be read and written to independently. e.g. Both hard drives can be writing stuff at once..

2. If I have 2 80GB HDs with Raid 0 will it be 80GB or 160GB?

160 GB

5. What Raids are there other then 0, 1, and 5 and what do they do?

Raid 0 = full capacity of drives. No redundancy. But, faster than a single disk with 2x capacity

Raid 1 = redundancy between 2 (or more?) disks. If one fails, you can go to the second.

Raid 5 = I "believe" this is an advanced version of Raid 0 and 1 where you have a parity disk. I think you would need like 3 disks for this to be effective.

disk 1 - normal info
disk 2 - normal info
disk 3 - normal info
disk 4 - parity info

if disks 2 fails, then you can retrieve that disk by xoring disks 1, 3, and 4.

b/c 4 = 1 XOR 2 XOR 3.. I think!!

Edit: Raid 5 - need atleast "3" disks.. Not 2!..
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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(1gig of RAM) + (1gig of paging files) = (2gigs of virtual memory)

DDR-400 = 200 physical fsb(cause DDR = double data rate)
400x8 = pc3200

1 gig DDR-400(2x512 dimms) in duel channel = intel 800 fsb. without 2 dimms u dont get 800. so intell 533 fsb = DDR-266, 133fsb.

latency (example- 2.5.3.3.8)<-- the lower the #'s the quicker the ram latency the better.
-------------------------------
Raid 0 does not always out perform a single 10,000rpm Sata, such as the raptor, when it comes to gaming performance. the only noticable difference would probably only be when insalling/uninstalling speeds from HD. other then that Raid 0 peformanc when stricktly talking about gaming and such is prolly system dependent. though i dont imagine it would gain much over 10,000rpm, if at all.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jolancer


Raid 0 does not always out perform a single 10,000rpm Sata, such as the raptor, when it comes to gaming performance. the only noticable difference would probably only be when insalling/uninstalling speeds from HD. other then that Raid 0 peformanc when stricktly talking about gaming and such is prolly system dependent. though i dont imagine it would gain much over 10,000rpm, if at all.
True. But assuming we are talking about HDs that have the same rpm, and with everything else being equal (cpu, RAM, etc.), a raid 0 arrangment should be faster than a single HD with 2x the cap.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone
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