General Discussions

custom pc – dXter

dXter

Member

Posts: 59
From: Texas, the US of A
Registered: 09-26-2006
I want to get a new computer for Christmas, and I've decided to put together my own PC, or buy a custom-made PC, something like that. I thought it was simple enough, just get all the different parts and make sure everything is compatible with the motherboard, etc..... but I went to a computer store and asked one of the guys there, and I told him that I'll use the computer for programming and gaming. He told me that to get the best code compilations, especially for C++ code, I'd have to get an ECC-supporting motherboard and processor, and Registered RAM, and all this other stuff that I hardly understood. Not as simple as I thought....
Does it REALLY make a noticeable difference for programming if I get special parts for my computer? Do any of you have these kinds of parts in your computers? I don't really know much about this stuff, and I'd really appreciate any help from one of you computer-gurus out there

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Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
--Matt. 19:26

"Time is an excellent teacher, but eventually it kills all of its students."

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Hmm.. well that's what I run, 1.5GB DDR400 ECC. It was very expensive at the time but the prices have gone down since I bought it. ECC is great for servers and high-end workstations, but not as good for games since the memory is actually a bit slower. To make up for that, simply buy a lot of it, the more memory you have in your system the faster it will run. You'll see less improvements once you start getting close to 2GB but it makes a big difference when you have more than a GB especially for gaming. I run this on an AMD dual core and ATI mobo chipset, PCI-E 256MB DDR4 ATI video card and I'm very happy with the system. Late next year when I start to build my rack mount game server to co-locate I'm definitely using ECC.
SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
I seem to recall many years ago (at least over 10) my company using ECC or memory with a parity bit, or something like that. Other than that, I have used convential, nothing special computers in my software career.

I think anything will be fine. But stay away from Intel's Celeron, or the AMD equivalent. Other than that, you will be ok. I do recommend 2 GB of RAM. If money is an issue, 1 GB will be sufficient for now.

Jut to let you know, I use a P4 1.8 GHz and a P4 2.4 GHz at work. Anything you buy or build yourself is gonna knock the socks off either of those.

I can't really offer much advice in the way of gaming. It all depends on how important graphics are to you and whether you will be buying a lot of the latest/greatest games.

dartsman

Member

Posts: 484
From: Queensland, Australia
Registered: 03-16-2006
Wow... 1GB of RAM should be more then enough for now, especially if it's just for hobby stuff. If you don't find that enough, or your doing very intense programming or large projects (100+ files, 100,000+ lines of code) then yeah another Gb or even just 512Mb would be good on top of the 1Gb.

At home I word on a (laptop) Pentium M 1.8Ghz, 512Mb RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 128Mb Graphics Card, and 80Gb HDD (with a 320Gb external HDD). I've found for all my hobby stuff and uni for the last 2 years has been great But I will get a desktop within the next month (due to the lack of Pixel Shader 2.0 or higher on my current laptop graphics card).

At work I have a Core Duo 2.4Ghz, 2Gb RAM, 300Gb HDD, and a 7900 GT (have no idea how much video memory on it, most likely either 256MB or 512MB). I am looking into getting one like this for my home desktop, but for mostly doing Shader stuff and playing games.

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www.auran.com

develcuy

Junior Member

Posts: 6
From: Cusco, Cusco, Peru
Registered: 11-26-2006
quote:
Originally posted by dartsman:
...At work I have a Core Duo 2.4Ghz, 2Gb RAM, 300Gb HDD, and a 7900 GT (have no idea how much video memory on it, most likely either 256MB or 512MB). I am looking into getting one like this for my home desktop, but for mostly doing Shader stuff and playing games...

Here in Peru, a similar computer costs at least: $1,300.

NetCog

Member

Posts: 149
From:
Registered: 06-15-2006
I priced out a newegg computer w/ AM2 (vs 939) Athlon Dual Core 64 X2 CPU, 1Gig 533mhz 240pin ram, nVidea motherboard and 256mb 7600 nVidea pci express 16x video card, w/ a hard drive somewhere between 250 and 320gigs, dvd/cd burner w/ lightscribe, nice case, I think a few extra fans along with whatever else was needed came out to about 700-800. I'd need to get a new monitor (probably a 19" lcd) so call it about 900.

I picked AM2 vs 939 as I understand AM2 to be the new 'level'.
Same w/ Dual Core - I do just enough that having two cpus or the effect thereof would help.
My reading says 7600 GeForce = best bang for buck
eg sites:
http://peripherals.about.com/od/videographicscards/tp/cardsunder200.htm
http://forums.filefront.com/showthread.php?t=289270

And I go w/ AMD as I don't like Intel's position on DRM (last I read) and I go w/ nVidea because it's got better linux support than ATI.

[This message has been edited by NetCog (edited November 26, 2006).]

CapnStank

Member

Posts: 214
From: Sask, Canada
Registered: 12-16-2004
Careful to research and really look at what you're doing. Certain parts may be compatable but completely useless. Example? Many Best Buy PCs today are using athalon 2000+(ish) processors which run at like the 2.0Ghz range. The fact that you don't see is that the FSB (front side bus) of the mobo is only 800mhz so basically what's happening is that you're bottlenecking 2Ghz into a 800mhz neck. Which generally sucks and is just as slow as a shotty computer worth a fraction of the cost.

Another thing to mention is that many people try conning you into 2Ghz RAM now too. Which, for the same reason, is actually slower for your computer than 1Ghz. Mobos, processors, and the such aren't keeping up with RAM developements so the 2Ghz gets bottlenecked and once again... suckssss.
Check out good internet sites for cheap parts & reliable work
www.newegg.com - is good from what i've heard
www.ncix.com - excellent company who I've used in the past. Back up their parts with good warranty which they actually follow.

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"The only people on Earth who do not see Christ and His teachings as nonviolent are Christians". - Mahatma Gandhi

NetCog

Member

Posts: 149
From:
Registered: 06-15-2006
good point on the bus connections / speed differences - that's something I recently learned about.

Newegg is what I use, just be sure to read 2-5 pages (or more) of the reviews on an item. They can help, also watch the dates of those reviews. Often, some items will have good reviews from a year ago, bad reviews 6 months ago, and good reviews 3 months ago through today.

www.tomshardware.com is another good reference site, or if you do research in depth, it's a great starting point.

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Yes, the FSB is a factor, there are many factors to consider when putting together a system. Anyhoot, since you guys are throwing some links out there, www.pricewatch.com is a good place to start. The site isnít an ecommerce site in itself, itís a site that vendors/shops submit their inventory and prices that visitors can search through. The site used to get a lot of promotion from TechTV beck when good tv actually existed.

Oh yeah... and stay away from best buy, yes. All of those stores carry junk, especially on sale prices that are bloated to begin with as they all do and much of their staff don't know what they are talking about.

[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited November 27, 2006).]

dXter

Member

Posts: 59
From: Texas, the US of A
Registered: 09-26-2006
Soooo..... if the FSB is slower than the processor then it'll slow the processor down? I didn't know mobos and processors limited the RAM (except for the mobo ram slots, of course)..... Thanks for the info, I guess I'll be doing more research.

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Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
--Matt. 19:26

"Time is an excellent teacher, but eventually it kills all of its students."

NetCog

Member

Posts: 149
From:
Registered: 06-15-2006
I don't think it technically "slows the cpu down" so much as it "slows the data rate down".

It's like a faucet putting out water at a pressure / flow rate of 1 gal/s but the hose and wherever the water is ending up will only take the water at a rate of .5 gal/s. The faucet can still put out the speed but the total system won't run that fast. As soon as the hose is upgraded the total system rate will go up.