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Old 01-08-2005, 11:51 PM   #1
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Building or Buying?

My wife is a big time gamer and needs XP to game online with, but she also appreciates the security of Linux. She is also growing out of her old machine and one of the drives is acting up.

So it's time to ask those of you out there what works and what does not, since this will be a dual boot machine.

We certainly will not be buying another H-P machine so please don't suggest this as an alternative.

What about gaming machines?

Are they worth the investment?

What about 64 bit processors, we don't want to spend a lot of coin on a 32 bit machine only to have to replace it or upgrade it a year later. 64 bit is coming, but I don't know how fast.

What about combination drives? Pro or con?

Are individual C-D r-w/DVDr-w drives better or more reliable?

If we build, where is a good source to get what we need and also tech help?

What would be the most durable hard drive to buy? or does it make a diiference?

Any and all input would be welcome.

Thanks to all who reply in advance!
Old 01-09-2005, 12:20 AM   #2
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Microsoft is having a hell of a time getting native 64bit code, so it ain't coming as quick as you think. IBM is pushing for MS to port over to the powerpc architecture which would allow easier movement to 64bit windows.

That said, I have an AMD 64 and I don't think it is any faster with Windows or Linux. I'd go with a P4.

Hard drives:
Seagate, Hitachi, or Western Digital. Do not buy Maxtor.

I just install a DVD burner and CD-rom in my machines. I don't watch DVDs on a PC, so it only get used when I burn something.

Old 01-09-2005, 12:30 AM   #3
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My Maxtor drive is twice as fast as my old Western Digital. I have not had any problems with my Maxtor either. All drives break. It sucks but they do break.

I built my rig from scratch. No regrets either, except that slow Western Digital drive.


Old 01-09-2005, 03:07 AM   #4
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The drives I listed come with more than 1 year warranties. Maxtor are cheap. And there are different series of the drives I specified that only have 1yr, so get a drive that has a longer warranty. The only reason I would recommend W/D is because of SATA raptors. If he wants gaming preformance, the raptors will be the best option.
Old 01-09-2005, 07:17 AM   #5
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Try using two smaller HD's insted of one big one. Put all OS's on hda and all personel info on hdb. This will give you a back up drive, and make it easy to reinstall OS's and still keep all your important stuff. has good prices and service.
Old 01-09-2005, 10:30 AM   #6
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64 bit is not used by many programs so it's not needed.
Make sure you check the clock speed of a processor as well if your looking at AMD. It's confusing now like the new labels we are seeing 3300, 3400, etc. People are mistaking this for the processor speed.

The new cards for gaming are supporting PCIe now and that's the direction to go for games.

PCIe x16 X850 ATI
Intel extreme processor (new one coming out soon which supports 1066 buss, worth the wait)
Raid mirrored array greatly improves read speed.

Consider dual processor with seperate ram buss for each CPU.
2 GB of RAM per CPU

Look into tuning XP. I would not go to extremes there but some of the more benificial tweeks like ram management would be good.

Last edited by DavidPhillips; 01-09-2005 at 10:42 AM.
Old 01-09-2005, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally posted by musicman_ace
Hard drives:
Seagate, Hitachi, or Western Digital. Do not buy Maxtor.
I'd go with Maxtor over Western Digital any day of the week..

From my experience, I've had more things go wrong with Western Digital over any other drive. Sure all drives are going to fail now or later but Western Digital is not worth the money.

Even at work, they tried saving a few bucks by using Western Digital over others cause they could get a price break for ordering so many, we've already RMA'd 1/3 of the drives. If we had gone with Hitachi or any other drive, I'm guessing we wouldn't have ended up spending more money on man hours to RMA drives.. and so on.

You should point out some reasons when telling others what and what not to buy, instead of just telling them not to buy something without any reason or your full opinion and experience.
Old 01-09-2005, 01:27 PM   #8
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I'd have to agree; I've owned one Western Digital drive, and it died after about 3 years. I've owned four or five Maxtor drives for more than 3 years, and have not had any problems with them.

But my advice on hard drives is not to take anecdotal evidence alone; if you really want to make the right decision, put some time into research on various popular drives. Consider any performance and reliability tests you can find, and look for customer satisfaction surveys. There have been many times when an hour of Googling saved me from making a really bad decision about computer hardware (and many other times when an hour of Googling would have saved me a bad decision).

When it comes time to buy components, and you plan to get them from online retailers (as is often the least expensive route), do your research on the retailer, too, before you send them your money. I'd personally recommend NewEgg, but there are certainly many other trustworthy retailers. Watch out for scams (deliberate or accidental); if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I had a rather frustrating experience with an online purchase recently, where I was shipped a slightly-downgraded motherboard from the one I had actually purchased. If you do decide to build your own, you may need to do a little research on component compatibility, to find out if there are known problems with the hardware you select. I had an experience like this once, also; a motherboard I bought required more amps than the power supply I had, a fact which I didn't discover until a series of unexplained lockups resulted. Find reports from other users who have used that combination of hardware, before buying anything.


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