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Old 07-09-2010, 01:48 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default My next Workstation

On 8 July 2010 17:55, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
<francisco.diaztrepat@gmail.com> wrote:
> JAJAJAJAJAJA
>
> ROFLMAO@HINT

:¬) Glad to provide some amusement.

> I know Liam, thanks for your thorough reply.
>
> It is exactly my point. To get a 2007 middle-high end workstation. jajaja I
> am so glad I didn't say what I was using know. :-)
>
> Listen, I used to live in the US, also Barcelona, where I earned in the same
> Units of the computer prices. Now I live in Buenos Aires, I earned in Xs/4
> so I really can't afford + I don't need so much hardware.

So you're shopping in Pesos? 1 Ar$ ~= 25¢ in US$ as far as I know.
US$600 = UK£400, roughly, so in my currency, the budget is around
£400.

The current issue of UK magazine Custom PC (for which I used to write
the /Inside Linux/ column) has a feature on building a "futureproof"
upgradable PC for £400. Now, they are focusing on games, not
CPU-intensive stuff, but still, the components are radically different
from what you are looking at.

http://www.bit-tech.net/latestissue/

More details here:
http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=16903635

There are several specs there you could reach for around this money.
Of course you don't really need to buy a new case - you could reuse
any old ATX one, possibly including optical drive or even floppy, and
you don't need Windows, being a Linux user.

I would advise looking at a /modern/ machine if you're going to build
it yourself. Far more room for upgrades then.

If you want a sealed box, ready-made, then good specs are available
here in the UK for that money. I don't know about Argentina but I
would guess some similar end-of-line/bankrupt-stock vendors might well
exist there too.

This is a good spec for the money, for example:
http://www.sterlingxs.co.uk/scpages/cheapdellinspironminitowers545.html

Or for a bit more this:
http://www.sterlingxs.co.uk/scpages/cheapdellinspironminitowers560.htm

Here is another example from a different company:
http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/shop/detail.asp?ProductID=6137&CategoryID=407&SubCatego ryID=507


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Old 07-09-2010, 03:46 PM
Colin Law
 
Default My next Workstation

On 8 July 2010 18:11, Billie Walsh <bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
>...
>
> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until your
> dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best investment
> in computer performance.

Is that true? I thought that provided you had 'enough' memory then
additional memory will make little difference. So if you need loads
of apps open at once or have dozens of firefox tabs open then you need
lots of memory but if you only have a few things running the extra
gigs will not do much for you. It may be better to put the fastest
RAM the h/w will support and have less of it, rather than more of
slower ram for the same cost. Or less ram and a faster disk or
graphics card for example.

Colin

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Old 07-09-2010, 04:32 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default My next Workstation

On 9 July 2010 16:46, Colin Law <clanlaw@googlemail.com> wrote:
> On 8 July 2010 18:11, Billie Walsh <bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
>>...
>>
>> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until your
>> dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best investment
>> in computer performance.
>
> Is that true? I thought that provided you had 'enough' memory then
> additional memory will make little difference.

These days, for most people, this is true again as it was in the
1980s. 4GB is fairly affordable now and for general Internet/desktop
use it's plenty. I only make significant use of my 4GB when I'm
running VMs in VirtualBox.

If one does extensive manipulation of large photos or other media
files, more can be helpful, so long as OS and apps are both 64-bit.
32-bit code cannot access a chunk of memory larger than 4GB *even if
the system has PAE or some other extension*.

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Old 07-09-2010, 05:07 PM
Billie Walsh
 
Default My next Workstation

On 07/09/2010 10:46 AM, Colin Law wrote:
> On 8 July 2010 18:11, Billie Walsh<bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
>
>> ...
>>
>> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until your
>> dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best investment
>> in computer performance.
>>
> Is that true? I thought that provided you had 'enough' memory then
> additional memory will make little difference. So if you need loads
> of apps open at once or have dozens of firefox tabs open then you need
> lots of memory but if you only have a few things running the extra
> gigs will not do much for you. It may be better to put the fastest
> RAM the h/w will support and have less of it, rather than more of
> slower ram for the same cost. Or less ram and a faster disk or
> graphics card for example.
>
> Colin
>
>

Well, if you only plan on having one or two apps open at any time. Not
deal with large files/images. Then you might be able to get by with less
ram. When you use enough that you start hitting the swap file things
really slow down. IMHO, it's best to have enough ram that all your
applications you use constantly can run in memory and never use the swap.

--
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:22 PM
Colin Law
 
Default My next Workstation

On 9 July 2010 18:07, Billie Walsh <bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
> On 07/09/2010 10:46 AM, Colin Law wrote:
>> On 8 July 2010 18:11, Billie Walsh<bilwalsh@swbell.net> *wrote:
>>
>>> ...
>>>
>>> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until your
>>> dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best investment
>>> in computer performance.
>>>
>> Is that true? I thought that provided you had 'enough' memory then
>> additional memory will make little difference. *So if you need loads
>> of apps open at once or have dozens of firefox tabs open then you need
>> lots of memory but if you only have a few things running the extra
>> gigs will not do much for you. *It may be better to put the fastest
>> RAM the h/w will support and have less of it, rather than more of
>> slower ram for the same cost. *Or less ram and a faster disk or
>> graphics card for example.
>>
>> Colin
>>
>>
>
> Well, if you only plan on having one or two apps open at any time. Not
> deal with large files/images. Then you might be able to get by with less
> ram. When you use enough that you start hitting the swap file things
> really slow down. IMHO, it's best to have enough ram that all your
> applications you use constantly can run in memory and never use the swap.

I definitely agree with that, once you start using swap things will
slow down. It was the suggestion that one should fit as much ram as
one can afford (by implication therefore prioritising above other
parts of the system) that I was querying. Perhaps I read too much
into your comment.

Colin

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Old 07-09-2010, 10:14 PM
Billie Walsh
 
Default My next Workstation

On 07/09/2010 02:22 PM, Colin Law wrote:
> On 9 July 2010 18:07, Billie Walsh<bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
>
>> On 07/09/2010 10:46 AM, Colin Law wrote:
>>
>>> On 8 July 2010 18:11, Billie Walsh<bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> ...
>>>>
>>>> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until your
>>>> dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best investment
>>>> in computer performance.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> Is that true? I thought that provided you had 'enough' memory then
>>> additional memory will make little difference. So if you need loads
>>> of apps open at once or have dozens of firefox tabs open then you need
>>> lots of memory but if you only have a few things running the extra
>>> gigs will not do much for you. It may be better to put the fastest
>>> RAM the h/w will support and have less of it, rather than more of
>>> slower ram for the same cost. Or less ram and a faster disk or
>>> graphics card for example.
>>>
>>> Colin
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> Well, if you only plan on having one or two apps open at any time. Not
>> deal with large files/images. Then you might be able to get by with less
>> ram. When you use enough that you start hitting the swap file things
>> really slow down. IMHO, it's best to have enough ram that all your
>> applications you use constantly can run in memory and never use the swap.
>>
> I definitely agree with that, once you start using swap things will
> slow down. It was the suggestion that one should fit as much ram as
> one can afford (by implication therefore prioritising above other
> parts of the system) that I was querying. Perhaps I read too much
> into your comment.
>
> Colin
>
>

Let me put it this way. Lets say you have a choice of two processors in
your price range.Ones just a little slower than the other. The slower
one is a terrific price and would allow you to buy four gigs memory and
stay within your budget. The faster one would only allow you to buy two
gigs memory. *I* would choose the slower one and the extra memory [ as
long as it wasn't just dead slow ]. With th extra memory you probably
wouldn't notice a slightly slower processor speed but the lower memory
with the faster processor could slow you down.

My old desktop is a dual core with two gigs memory and a 3.* processor.
My laptop is also a dual core with four gigs and a 2.8 processor.
Performance wise the laptop is faster even though it has a slower
processor.

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:24 PM
Ken
 
Default My next Workstation

On Thursday 08 July 2010 08:19:12 Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail wrote:
> I had some people comments about AMD but I am kind of unfamiliar and I
> thought the Quad was a nice processor but that it used to be too
> overpriced.

When buying computer gear, it's appropriate to be as forward-looking as
possible, because the gear may be in service for several years. So, getting
the newest technology possible extends the usable life of the gear.

AMD refers to its 2010 technology as the Leo platform, which includes
processors with up to 6 CPU cores, DDR3 memory, and a "northbridge -
southbridge" chipset labeled RD890 + SB850. An interesting note about the
890FX chipset is that it supports a memory management unit that's usually
only available on AMD server products.

> Any comments guides or recommendations would be great, I feel a bit in the
> dark with this and would surely appreciate some guidance.

The July, 2010 issue of Computer Power User magazine has articles about the
Leo platform, including the chipset, and a comparative review of half a dozen
motherboards that use the 890FX technology. Parts of what was printed in the
magazine are online at the CPU site, and other parts are at the AMD site.


Ken

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:16 PM
Ken
 
Default My next Workstation

On Thursday 08 July 2010 10:11:15 Billie Walsh wrote:

<[snip]>

> In my experience with computers memory is always going to be faster than
> mechanical hard drives.

Yes, pretty much by definition. The average access time of a rotating hard
drive is on the order of magnitude of milliseconds, and the average access
time of RAM is on the order of magnitude of nanoseconds. The difference is
six orders of magnitude, or, stated another way, RAM is a million times
faster than hard drives.

> Back in the dark ages I had an old 8088 computer that I installed what was
> called a "Rampat" board with 100meg of memory on it.

Really? I don't remember those 16-bit ISA cards holding more than 16 MB of RAM
on them. Were memory boards marketed to the general public in those days of
640 KB MS-DOS addressability capable of recognizing 100 MB of RAM? Remember,
we're writing about rows of discrete, spidery-legged DIP chips, not today's
snap-in memory modules. And back then, what would a 100 MB board, if it had
existed, have cost?

<[snip]>

> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until
> your dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best
> investment in computer performance.

Thanks for the Saturday morning laugh. Yes, RAM is the best performance
investment for PCs, but there are a couple of considerations. One is that RAM
prices are relative to their time. I can remember buying a new Pentium
machine to run the then brand-new Windows 95 when RAM prices were $40 per
megabyte, and 64 MB of EDO RAM would cut into the kid's college fund -- or
mine, for that matter. Today's memory prices, per megabyte, are two orders of
magnitude lower than fifteen years ago, and really are a performance bargain.

(I was too young to participate, but I've heard a 1960's era IBM mainframe RAM
upgrade of 32 kilobytes was about a quarter of a million dollars.)

The second consideration is a physical one. If one installs multiple gigabytes
of unused RAM, the machine still takes time to manage all of the installed
RAM all of the time, as opposed to just accessing hard drive memory locations
when specific locations are needed. Even though RAM is a million times faster
than rotating platters, it still takes machine time even to manage RAM the
operating system and applications are not using. The result may be measurable
performance lags, not to mention power usage and heat generation, from system
boards over-packed with RAM that is not actually needed.


Ken

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:34 PM
Billie Walsh
 
Default My next Workstation

On 07/10/2010 11:16 AM, Ken wrote:
> On Thursday 08 July 2010 10:11:15 Billie Walsh wrote:
>
> <[snip]>
>
>
>> In my experience with computers memory is always going to be faster than
>> mechanical hard drives.
>>
> Yes, pretty much by definition. The average access time of a rotating hard
> drive is on the order of magnitude of milliseconds, and the average access
> time of RAM is on the order of magnitude of nanoseconds. The difference is
> six orders of magnitude, or, stated another way, RAM is a million times
> faster than hard drives.
>
>
>> Back in the dark ages I had an old 8088 computer that I installed what was
>> called a "Rampat" board with 100meg of memory on it.
>>
> Really? I don't remember those 16-bit ISA cards holding more than 16 MB of RAM on them. Were memory boards marketed to the general public in those days of 640 KB MS-DOS addressability capable of recognizing 100 MB of RAM? Remember, we're writing about rows of discrete, spidery-legged DIP chips, not today's snap-in memory modules. And back then, what would a 100 MB board, if it had existed, have cost?
>

The Rampat board was an IDE card with four memory board slots. I maxed
it out with all it could hold/manage. The 8088 couldn't use that much as
"memory". the only thing it was useful for was as a "ramdisk", kind of
like a USB jump drive today. I even had to "southern engineer" a hard
drive for that old beast.

With a processor speed of 8 MHz, 12 in Turbo mode, running programs from
a ramdisk gave that old beast a real performance boost.

> <[snip]>
>
>
>> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until
>> your dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best
>> investment in computer performance.
>>
> Thanks for the Saturday morning laugh. Yes, RAM is the best performance
> investment for PCs, but there are a couple of considerations. One is that RAM
> prices are relative to their time. I can remember buying a new Pentium
> machine to run the then brand-new Windows 95 when RAM prices were $40 per
> megabyte, and 64 MB of EDO RAM would cut into the kid's college fund -- or
> mine, for that matter. Today's memory prices, per megabyte, are two orders of
> magnitude lower than fifteen years ago, and really are a performance bargain.
>
> (I was too young to participate, but I've heard a 1960's era IBM mainframe RAM
> upgrade of 32 kilobytes was about a quarter of a million dollars.)
>
> The second consideration is a physical one. If one installs multiple gigabytes
> of unused RAM, the machine still takes time to manage all of the installed
> RAM all of the time, as opposed to just accessing hard drive memory locations
> when specific locations are needed. Even though RAM is a million times faster
> than rotating platters, it still takes machine time even to manage RAM the
> operating system and applications are not using. The result may be measurable
> performance lags, not to mention power usage and heat generation, from system
> boards over-packed with RAM that is not actually needed.
>
>
> Ken
>
>

Well, the "college fund" remark was more as a joke really, but..............

As I stated in another reply, a slightly slower processor with more
memory can have the performance of a faster processor with less memory.
My 2.8 dual core processor with 4 gigs ram is faster than my 3.2 dual
core with 2 gigs. Logic would seem to indicate the 3.2 would be faster
but the extra memory more than makes up the difference. If both had 4
gigs the 3.2 would be faster I'm sure.

The idea I was wishing to make was that you need to balance what you
want with what you need, both against the $$$$$$$$ in the budget. If you
run across a slightly slower processor at a really unbelievable price
don't pass it by just because it's slightly slower. Use part of the
difference in price to buy the extra ram. Keeping always in mind that
whatever you buy today will be obsolete by the time you get it fired up.

If all you want to do is use it to check your e-mail then you could
probably get buy with 1 gig and no issues. If you want to actually use
the computer for something add as much as you can.

Right now I have seven programs running, one a 430 Meg PDF file, 16 tabs
on Firefox, and six more in Konqueror. This is a light day. I haven't
needed to edit any large images yet today in Gimp. And I'm not a power
user. [ or at least consider myself one ] This is just my normal day. On
a "heavy" day, when I get three or four images going at once along with
everything else, this quad core with 4 gigs gets a little stressed.

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:24 PM
Dave Stevens
 
Default My next Workstation

Quoting Ken <kmmos1@verizon.net>:

> On Thursday 08 July 2010 10:11:15 Billie Walsh wrote:
>
> <[snip]>
>
>> In my experience with computers memory is always going to be faster than
>> mechanical hard drives.
>
> Yes, pretty much by definition. The average access time of a rotating hard
> drive is on the order of magnitude of milliseconds, and the average access
> time of RAM is on the order of magnitude of nanoseconds. The difference is
> six orders of magnitude, or, stated another way, RAM is a million times
> faster than hard drives.
>
>> Back in the dark ages I had an old 8088 computer that I installed what was
>> called a "Rampat" board with 100meg of memory on it.
>
> Really? I don't remember those 16-bit ISA cards holding more than 16
> MB of RAM
> on them. Were memory boards marketed to the general public in those days of
> 640 KB MS-DOS addressability capable of recognizing 100 MB of RAM? Remember,
> we're writing about rows of discrete, spidery-legged DIP chips, not today's
> snap-in memory modules. And back then, what would a 100 MB board, if it had
> existed, have cost?
>
> <[snip]>
>
>> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until
>> your dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best
>> investment in computer performance.
>
> Thanks for the Saturday morning laugh. Yes, RAM is the best performance
> investment for PCs, but there are a couple of considerations. One is that RAM
> prices are relative to their time. I can remember buying a new Pentium
> machine to run the then brand-new Windows 95 when RAM prices were $40 per
> megabyte, and 64 MB of EDO RAM would cut into the kid's college fund -- or
> mine, for that matter. Today's memory prices, per megabyte, are two orders of
> magnitude lower than fifteen years ago, and really are a performance bargain.
>
> (I was too young to participate, but I've heard a 1960's era IBM
> mainframe RAM
> upgrade of 32 kilobytes was about a quarter of a million dollars.)

yes, a buck a byte was the guideline in early seventies

>
> The second consideration is a physical one. If one installs multiple
> gigabytes
> of unused RAM, the machine

or a core or two

still takes time to manage all of the installed
> RAM all of the time, as opposed to just accessing hard drive memory locations
> when specific locations are needed. Even though RAM is a million times faster
> than rotating platters, it still takes machine time even to manage RAM the
> operating system and applications are not using. The result may be measurable
> performance lags, not to mention power usage and heat generation, from system
> boards over-packed with RAM that is not actually needed.
>
>
> Ken
>
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