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Old 11-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
business_kid
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Got to replace - with what?


I have to replace my old desktop's box. Cash is not tight. I haven't been keeping up to date. This is where I am hoping to draw on your time spent Keeping up to date.

I need HDMI. Application involves some Electronic software (Some cpu intensive enough). If they're stuffing windows down my throat - that's ok. I may use it one day. I'm basically but not insistently anti-intel, since their MMX trick. The headmaster at our kids school bought a pentium pc in June 1997; MMX came out in July and rendered it obsolete; Fifa 98 that December had MMX instructions, so he had to upgrade in January after "Santa" provided that game for his kids. Let me crystallise a few issues.

1. Can I have a line on what chipsets to favour, and what to avoid?

2. I need hdmi, but am not a gamer.Video? (With drivers now, not later)? I tend towards ATI, although I had good service from Nvidia too.

3. I can plug my old laptop into the 'desk' making a respectable desktop pc. Should I replace the Laptop instead? That's a HP Compaq 6715S - 2007 Twin core turion w/3G of ram and crappy RS690 video with no hdmi?

4. How much ram if I'm running one virtual box? (I'm not going over 4 cpu cores unless I'm told that's silly). Is 4G enough?

5. What CPUs? There's zillions of them, zillions of socket types! I don't want soldered on if I can avoid it.
 
Old 11-11-2012, 02:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
4. How much ram if I'm running one virtual box? (I'm not going over 4 cpu cores unless I'm told that's silly). Is 4G enough?
As long as it doesn't page -- and that depends on the memory usage of both the VIrtualBox host and the guest.

FWIW I used to run more than one VirtualBox guest on a workstation with 4 GB memory during software development -- CentOS or Debian server and WXP client -- without paging, while the host was running Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice etc.

OTOH memory is relatively cheap now and uses little electrical power (? can anybody confirm with figures) so why stint yourself? Plus it's useful to have more than one memory stick for testing purposes.

Last edited by catkin; 11-11-2012 at 02:55 AM.
 
Old 11-11-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
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Getting a new laptop and hooking up your current laptop as a pseudo-desktop might be an idea. Depends on how much you use the laptop, and if having a nice laptop and a 'laptop as a dsesktop' with the horror of a x1250 GPU is O.K. with you.

As far as chipsets to avoid goes, I'd avoid all the AM3/AM3+ chipsets with video (AMD 7XX, 8XX and 980). Plus all nVidia chipsets, with or without video, for AMD or Intel low power systems. Intel mainstream only has intel chipsets avaible now.

AM3+ with 970/990X/990FX chipsets are very nice IMO. While AM3+ CPUs are not avaible with as much CPU power as the Intel i7s, the CPUs are about as fast as i5s that cost as much or more than the AM3+ CPUs. They are good solid boards with a long histroy and lots of development work done on them, and have what is at least to me an advantage in that they can take a huge variety of CPUs- any AM3 CPU should run in an AM3+ board, as well as the AM3+ CPUs.

The AMD APU systems with onboard video are a nice deal, if you want max graphical performance for minimum cost. Socket FM1, the orginal systems, are still around and very cheap. Socket FM2, the newer version, is faster with slightly more CPU power and more graphical power for your money. The CPUs aren't that powerful, but if you dont need a huge amount of CPU power they are fine. I dont really like them that much myself, I prefer the flexability and upgrade options of AM3+ (FM1 and FM2 are limited to 4 core CPUs, with AM3+ you can get 8 core CPUs). But from my experince the chipsets and CPUs are fine. Probably best to avoid FM1 now, FM2 is worth the few extra quid.

Intel LGA 115 systems are quick. A little more expensive than AMD in general for the boards and CPUs. For Intel LGA 1155 systems you can only get intel chipsets. Current intel chipsets are *77 and *75 with H61. H61 is the 'budget' chipset and *75 are 'midrange/budget' chipsets. The best of them are Z77 and Q77 chipset. Z77 is 'mainstream enthusiast' and Q77 is 'mainstream buisiness' (Z77 is more overclocking friendly, Q77 has virtualisation options the Z77 doesnt). H77 is also an option, but I'd probably spend a bit extra for Z77 in most cases, or get a Q77 if you are really into virtualisation.

Honorable mention to the older Z68 and P67 chipsets. I'd consider a Z68 if the price is right, P67 is just too old now IMO, but still, great boards. Avoid H61. *75 is better than H61, but still might be best avoided.

H61 has 4 x SATA-II. *75 chipsets have 1 x SATA-III and 5 x SATA-II. P67, Z68, Z77 and Q77 have 2 x SATA-III and 4 x SATA-II. The H61 chipset and *75 chipsets also have no support for Intel SRT (wont matter with linux) and less USB ports than the more expensive models...not that it matters much IMO, who really needs more than 4-6 USB ports?

There is also Intel LGA 1366 (X58 chipset, obsolete) and LGA 2011 (X79 chipset) boards. Nice chipsets, horrible pricing- they are 'pure enthusiast/server' boards and CPUs, and cost about twice as much as a LGA 1155 board and CPU of similar performance does. Best avoided unless you think that 1000 quid on a computer is cheap.

Even though I dont think its what you are looking for, I've got to mention the real 'low power, low consumption' system like Intel atoms and some of the AMD APU systems. The older Intel atoms (DXXX, XXX) run with linux just fine. The newer intel atoms (D2XXX) will run, but they use a nasty powerVR video chip with very very limited linux support. No 3D, no desktop acceleration.

RAM is super cheap now. 4GB would be enough, 8GB isn't going to cost much more. I hope, I havent checked prices in Ireland. The following is based on the prieces I know, Irish pricing might make some things impossible or overly expensive.

To summarise-

AMD AM3+, 970 chipset, cheap video card (ATI/AMD 5450 or nVidia G210), various CPUs raning from single core sempron, athlon II dual to quad core, Phenom II dual to hexa core, 'bulldozer' or 'piledriver' FX CPUs with 2 to 4 modules (each module appears to be 2 cores to OSes, but they arent 'full' cores).

Rigth now, I'd be temped to get a low end AM3 dual core or triple core (e.g. athlon II X2 250, X3 450) CPU for AM3+ setups, and upgrade to a FX-4XXX to FX-8XXX as prices fall.

Or

Intel LGA 1155, Z77 chipset board, onbaord video (I'd probably get a card), various CPUs ranging from single core celerons, dual core pentiums, dual core with hyperthreading i3s, quad core i5s and quad core with hyperthreading i7s. i5 is probably the 'sweet spot' for intel now.

Or

AMD FM2, A75/A85 chipset board, onboard video (I wouldnt get a card unless the HDMI onboard doesnt work for you), various CPUs but I'd get a A10-5700 or A8-5500 (both quad core). There are dual core CPU avaible for FM2, for various reasons I wouldnt get one.

*edit-

Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
OTOH memory is relatively cheap now and uses little electrical power (? can anybody confirm with figures) so why stint yourself? Plus it's useful to have more than one memory stick for testing purposes.
DDR3 uses about 2-4watts per stick, depending on voltage and speed. I can probably dig up some hard, tested numbers if you want.

Agreed 100% on 'RAM is cheap'...from a bit of a poke at some Irish shops, it seems like you can get 1 x 2GB for about 15 euro, 1 x 4GB for about 30 eruo, 2 x 2GB for about 30 euro, 2 x 4GB for about 45 euro.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-11-2012 at 03:15 AM.
 
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:24 AM   #4
Ztcoracat
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Here's the top 8 for now but I didn't find clarification on 'soldered' or not.

AMD has lastest me 3 years-
http://www.techradar.com/news/comput...-today-1046063

-The fastest processor right now:
Is the Intel Core i7-975 Extream Edition
Very expensive, overclockable to 4+ stable on good stock cooling.
At www.newegg.com

What chipsets to avoid? Sandy Bridge had an issue in 2011; ie recall on motherboards-
Not sure if they have cleaned that up or not.
Most boards names contain "B3" or "3" in them indicating they are the version replacing the faulty ones.
http://superuser.com/questions/31664...et-motherboard

Some of the manufacturers are Sandy Bridge, Westmere, Ivy Bridge and Nehalem and the Quad core's have a multichip module now-

Staying on the side of caution has always saved me from returning merchandise.

Just a little Goggling around I did......HTH

Last edited by Ztcoracat; 11-11-2012 at 03:28 AM.
 
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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2) I recommend nvidia.

4) I depends on what you are running.

5) I recommend the i5 or i7 for power or Atom if you want cheap or low power like a netbook.
 
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:45 AM   #6
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ztcoracat View Post
-The fastest processor right now:
Is the Intel Core i7-975 Extream Edition
Very expensive, overclockable to 4+ stable on good stock cooling.
At www.newegg.com
Nope, not the fastest anymore.

i7-975 is 4 cores with hyperthreading, 3.3GHz, 3.6 turbo, 8MB, DDR3-800/1066, LGA 1366. Outclassed by
i7-3960X is 6 cores with hyperthreding, 3.3GHz, 3.9 turbo, 15MB, DDR3-1066/1333/1600, LGA 2011.

Ohh, and the 3960X is $1000+ at newegg (i7-975 is obsolete and not avaible anymore). You should be able to build a great system for less than the cost of just that CPU.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ztcoracat View Post
What chipsets to avoid? Sandy Bridge had an issue in 2011; ie recall on motherboards-
Not sure if they have cleaned that up or not.
Most boards names contain "B3" or "3" in them indicating they are the version replacing the faulty ones.
http://superuser.com/questions/31664...et-motherboard
Intel 6 series 'B2' revision chipsets had a SATA bug on the SATA-II ports that could 'lead to degradation of the SATA drive'. B3 revisions have the issues fixed.

It hasnt been an issue for ages now, and never affected the 7 series chipsets at all.
 
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
Ztcoracat
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7-975 is 4 cores with hyperthreading, 3.3GHz, 3.6 turbo, 8MB, DDR3-800/1066, LGA 1366. Outclassed by
i7-3960X is 6 cores with hyperthreding, 3.3GHz, 3.9 turbo, 15MB, DDR3-1066/1333/1600, LGA 2011.
WOW! Cascade9 Didn't know-
Amazing specifications-
Is PGA and or BGA still a part of the architecture's now?
 
Old 11-11-2012, 04:19 AM   #8
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
DDR3 uses about 2-4watts per stick, depending on voltage and speed. I can probably dig up some hard, tested numbers if you want.
Thanks for the confirmation cascade9

Would be nice to have some "hard, tested numbers" if you stumble across them. Intriguing that the consumption is per stick rather than per GB.
 
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:21 AM   #9
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ztcoracat View Post
Is PGA and or BGA still a part of the architecture's now?
PGA (pin grid array) hasnt been used by intel desktops since the Socket 478 days or laptops since socket M/socket P. LGA (land grid array) 775 replaced socket 478.

BGA (ball grid array) is still used for some intel mobile/low power CPU systems AFAIK, but I'm not 100% sure on that.
 
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
PGA (pin grid array) hasnt been used by intel desktops since the Socket 478 days or laptops since socket M/socket P. LGA (land grid array) 775 replaced socket 478.

BGA (ball grid array) is still used for some intel mobile/low power CPU systems AFAIK, but I'm not 100% sure on that.
Got that now I'm off to pick apart "Upgrading and Repairing Pcs" By: Scott Mueller
Thanks; Cascade
 
Old 11-11-2012, 09:36 AM   #11
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Thanks to Cascade9 & all for the update on what's good, and not good.

From my hardware perspective, I have a very jaundiced view of "Fixed" chipsets, because fixing hardware is nowhere near as easy as fixing software. All too often a large redesign is warranted, but time doesn't allow so the symptoms are masked and it's sent back out the door. If there was a better way of doing it, they would have done it that way from day 1.

My desktop doesn't need great graphics, so the x1250 GPU is actually OK there. That video _does_ actually work, and the latest grqaphics (Slackware 14) did improve things.I would like to update the laptop graphics as it's used a bit for videos. Now my son has ordered me a Rasberry Pi with some fancy gpu and I'll have to see what that's about.

Armed with those numbers, I'm going to start looking at laptops. Another of the son's suggestions was to go for a second hand gaming box. The gamer would have spent heavily for the best gear, and be doing the same now for his new box. I'd simply reap benefits from his efforts :-D.
 
Old 11-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #12
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I'm going to start looking at laptop
Is there a Walmart in Ireleand?



They got a new $179.00 Compaq (I know, but it is cheap). I bought the same laptop last year on black friday
for my wife's Christmas present ($199.00). She still has it working after a year (die hard Windows 7 user).

I have 3 atom netbooks running Linux so I won't be getting this for me though.
 
Old 11-11-2012, 02:13 PM   #13
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Nov 2012.
Checking Irish Suppliers, I'm so glad I started this thread because a lot of the local stock is obsolete by international standards. I risk a divorce if I it ebay tonight. I narrowed it to two local options, of which I lean slightly towards the first - except that HP call it 'discontinued.'

1.http://www.hpshop.ie/sp/cat/HP_Compu...=B6L04EA#third

Price at elara.ie 815.49 (inc. 23% sales tax - VAT)

2. http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Mobile/...ptop-Do-It-All

At 1019.67 (inc. tax) on elara.ie, it's more than I was intending to spend, OTT, and they're a bit coy about the chipset, but Toshiba are the leading brand and there's a bd-re with it. Radeon HD 79xx graphics, though.
 
Old 11-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Is there a Walmart in Ireleand?

No. There's some of the chains, but the numbers are higher here. No cheap options, a messy Customs & Excise, and 'shrinkage' in the postal system for untracked small packages. Makes you nervous getting big stuff. And one supplier, www.marxcomputers.ie just went bankrupt after 14 years.
 
Old 11-12-2012, 03:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
From my hardware perspective, I have a very jaundiced view of "Fixed" chipsets, because fixing hardware is nowhere near as easy as fixing software. All too often a large redesign is warranted, but time doesn't allow so the symptoms are masked and it's sent back out the door. If there was a better way of doing it, they would have done it that way from day 1.
I agree, but in this case its nothing complicated, just a dodgy SATA controller. While I've never got confirmation, I believe that intel just replaced the SATA controller portion of the chipset with a different version they had shelved.

IMO the only reason why it happened is because AMD got its 8XX/SB 850 chipsets with SATA-III support out. Intel in typcial intel fashion didnt want to incorporate a full set of SATA-III ports and wanted a nasty combo of SATA-II and SATA-III ports, so the cludged something together quickly. Sometimes intel can get away with stuff like that, this time it went wrong....

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
My desktop doesn't need great graphics, so the x1250 GPU is actually OK there. That video _does_ actually work, and the latest grqaphics (Slackware 14) did improve things.I would like to update the laptop graphics as it's used a bit for videos. Now my son has ordered me a Rasberry Pi with some fancy gpu and I'll have to see what that's about.
I wouldnt call the video chip in the Rasberry Pi 'fancy'. Its pretty good for hardware video decoding though, which you really need on a low powered ARM system if you want to play video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Another of the son's suggestions was to go for a second hand gaming box. The gamer would have spent heavily for the best gear, and be doing the same now for his new box. I'd simply reap benefits from his efforts :-D.
That can be a good suggestion...it can be awful. Not all gamers buy decent stuff. My housemate for example has a gaming rig, $55 'bottom of the line' motherboard, some dodgy $60 PSU and case setup, not bad CPU which has been pushed hard for a long time, and a $300+ video card.

While most gamers would have slightly better motherboards, the rest is farily typical. Gamers arent idiots, and if they are selling a box with 'the best gear' they normally charge for it, and quite often the 'best part of the best gear' is some power hungry video card which has just become 'obsolete' and wont help at all in normal desktop tasks.

Generally, I'd avoid x-gamer boxes unless you know what you are getting.

I havent bought x-gamer boxes myself, but never with a video card, and only if its a really good deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Nov 2012.
Checking Irish Suppliers, I'm so glad I started this thread because a lot of the local stock is obsolete by international standards. I risk a divorce if I it ebay tonight. I narrowed it to two local options, of which I lean slightly towards the first - except that HP call it 'discontinued.'

1.http://www.hpshop.ie/sp/cat/HP_Compu...=B6L04EA#third

Price at elara.ie €815.49 (inc. 23% sales tax - VAT)

2. http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Mobile/...ptop-Do-It-All

At €1019.67 (inc. tax) on elara.ie, it's more than I was intending to spend, OTT, and they're a bit coy about the chipset, but Toshiba are the leading brand and there's a bd-re with it. Radeon HD 79xx graphics, though.
I think your 2nd link is wrong.

The HP (and the asus) are both 'optimus' setups. Optimus is nVidia/intel video together. nVidia recently said they are workign towards supporting optimus with linux. No offical support from nVidia at this time.

To get optimus setups going is a pain with linux with no guarantee it will work, and the hardware setup for otpimus is stupid IMO, and it can really complicate video out options (which you'll need for HDMI). When not being used, the nVidia GPU just sits there eating power and creating heat. Best avoided unless you are a serious gamer who for some reason wants a laptop.

If you're looking at intel CPU altops, try to find one without an nVidia GPU.

There is a Lenovo ThinkPad E530 at elara.ie that might be worth a look...lenovo builds very tough laptops and its just intel video, not optimus.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-12-2012 at 03:28 AM.
 
  


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