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Need help specifying new system, please, before wife changes her mind!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Spinball, 11 Apr 2006.

  1. Spinball

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Apr 2006

    Posts: 14

    Hi folks,
    she who must be obeyed has given me permission :rolleyes: to buy a new PC since my current one is 18 months old.
    I specifically want to upgrade because my motherboard failed last week and I can't get the second raid set to work on the replacement. But anyway.
    I use the PC to run my business, so it is absolutely critical that it is quick and reliable.
    I also enjoy 1st person shooters on a daily basis.
    Since I've had recent problems with RAID1, I'm looking for a system which, if the processor, or motherboard, or a hard disk goes bang, I can replace the broken bit and continue with a working system with very little effort.

    At the moment I have the following compiled for the spec:
    AMD Athlon 64 (ADA4200BVBOX) X2 4200+ socket 939 Dual Core 2.2ghz 512kb and 512kb Cache
    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI Skt939 nForce4 SLI Chipset DDR400 PCI-E USB2.0 LAN SATA Retail Box
    Crucial DDR PC3200 • CL=3 • UNBUFFERED • NON-ECC • DDR400 • 2.6V • 128Meg x 64 (2 gig)
    How does this spec sound to you?

    I'm looking at the Western Digital 150 Gig SATA I Raptor Vs the WD 500 Gig SATA II which are about the same price. Which would be faster?

    And lastly how would you set up this system so that if a vital component went down, I could recover? Buy two identical PCs sharing external drives which are backed up nightly?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2006
  2. DragonWoLf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Nov 2004

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    Location: Southampton/Oxford

    i'd pick the 4400+ is better imo for the extra cache
     
  3. BillytheImpaler

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 8,741

    Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

    Definitely get either the 3800+ and overclock it to 4200+ speeds to save the money, or get a 4400+ for the extra cache and proceed to overclock it to 4800+ speeds.
     
  4. Traducer

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Apr 2006

    Posts: 346

    The 3800 will go to 4800 speeds pretty easy.
     
  5. BillytheImpaler

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    Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

    Cache is more important than clock speed with most modern chips, IMHO. You can overclock a 3800+ until the cows come home but it'll never have the L2 cache of the 4400+.
     
  6. Traducer

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Apr 2006

    Posts: 346

    Not really, I highly doubt he will notice any difference at all.
     
  7. BillytheImpaler

    Man of Honour

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    Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

    Depends on what he's using it for really. Either way, it's a good spec.
     
  8. Spinball

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Apr 2006

    Posts: 14

    thanks for your replies. I have never overclocked anything in my life and bearing in mind that the system has to be 100% stable, is it really a good idea?
    Don't really want to get into the pros and cons of overclocking, but I'd rather pay for a more powerful processor and not overclock if there is any risk of instability.
    Also I tend to run lots of applications simultaneously for web development, graphics processing, web browsing, FTP, Skype and such. And I play COD2 a lot.

    The hard drive is a pressing issue. I'm inclined at the moment to go for the 150 Gig raptor as C: and the 500 Gig Sata II as D: and E: drives.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2006
  9. Traducer

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Apr 2006

    Posts: 346

    It will clock stable no problem, but if you want to spend a little more and get something your more happy with, then thats what you should do mate.
     
  10. Spinball

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Apr 2006

    Posts: 14

    Thanks. Probably going to get this for the graphics:
    BFG GeForce 7900 GT OC 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-018-BG)

    Any advice on the other issues? Like for example what system would you use to back up the hard drives automatically every night?
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2006
  11. Spinball

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    Joined: 11 Apr 2006

    Posts: 14

    Bump - can anyone help with these questions, please?
     
  12. crashuk

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 7 Dec 2005

    Posts: 2,691

    network hard drive.
     
  13. crashuk

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    i would have an extra hard drive small but fast just for the page files.
     
  14. crashuk

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    Crucial DDR PC3200 i would go for 2 gig
     
  15. crashuk

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    btw dont run the same pc for business and games.
     
  16. crashuk

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    btw if your gonna run them is raid and you have a 7200 rpm then the the 10,000 rpm drive will only run at 7200rpm.
     
  17. Spinball

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    Joined: 11 Apr 2006

    Posts: 14

    Thanks CrashUK.
    So a couple of the 150 Gig raptors for C: - one ghosting to the other each night?
    And also a couple of the 500 gig drives for D: most apps and files - again ghosting each night?
    Does it matter if D: is on a network or in the box?
     
  18. Monstermunch

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 1,597

    Location: Eating PI

    The 4200+ is not worth the money IMO cos it still only has 512k l2 cache, either downgrade to the 3800+ or upgrade to the 4400+ with 1mb l2 cache. Another option would be an Opteron 165 or 170 which have 1mb l2 cache per core. The extra cache does make a considerable difference.


    Raptors are a complete waste of money IMO and can be very noisy. I would also say that the 500gb drives are also over priced. See Below.


    The best option is RAID0+1. Look at buying 4 identical drives like the Hitachi Deskstars, which are very reliable. What you can do with Raid0+1 is setup 2 drives in raid0 for speed and the other 2 drives in raid1. Raid1 will mirror the raid0 drives and backup any information. So no matter what happens you never lose your data. e.g. 4 x 250gb Hitachi deskstars in Raid0+1 = 500gb storage plus 500gb mirror backup.

    Raid0+1 in this configuration is faster and much more relaible than a raptor, plus you get much more storage space for your money.
     
  19. Sparky191

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Dec 2005

    Posts: 790

    What sort of motherboard have this kinda RAID functionality? Pretty much any board with RAID? I've always though that if you motherboard goes, you'll need the same board to get access to your drives again. A seperate RAID card is a better option in that case?
     
  20. Monstermunch

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    Any Board with 4 SATA2 channels and onboard Raid.