A few general computer questions

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Aaron Cooke, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    I'm looking to buy a new computer towards the end of this year and am doing some preliminary research trying to figure out what i'll need. I've been looking mainly at Dell's because

    1. that's what i've had for the last 3 years and have been happy with.

    2. I wouldn't know the first thing about building a computer and even though i'd love to, that's the kind of thing that would frustrate me immensely when it didn't work properly.

    3. They seem to have a good price/performance ratio.

    My questions at this point are, I am going to get a "near" top of the line video card with my new system (currently probably a Radeon 9800 Pro). I noticed the Dimension 8300 has a 250w power supply compared to 400w (i think) for the XPS system. Will this make a difference to me using this video card.

    Secondly, can someone give me a very basic idea of what i need to know about prescott? If i get a computer before prescott comes out is that going to kill any chance of upgradeability?

    Finally, what is the deal with this Gigabyte ethernet connection. I realize it probably isn't available (as a home internet connection opetion) right now, but will it be something i need in the next few years?

    Currently i'm thinking about getting a Dimension 8300 with 3GHz P4, 512Mb RAM (upgraded to 1Gb later when i have money), Radeon 9800 Pro, DVD+R/RW drive, 80 Gb hard drive.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Aaron I'd say stick with Dell. Although I'm one of those who just can't buy a Dell, the prices are very attractive after those rebates.

    The 9800 Pro along with the 9700 does eat up a lot of wattage. Some guys at AVS have confirmed getting better regular-use results with the high-end Radeons with better PSU's (even things as small as brighter colors and better detail). One guy even bought a seperate 250-watt PS just to power his 9700 and loved the results. Something I'll have to check on when I grab a 9800 when HL2/Doom3 comes out. Read about it here.

    Gigabyte LAN sounds great with a 1,000kb/sec transfer rate but you have to buy all compatible hardware to use it. Unless you do constant enormous file transfers it really isn't neccessary compared to the standard 100kb/sec connection. Home internet connection speeds don't even touch 10kb/sec so I'd say for the average uer (and maybe even advanced) Gigabyte LAN is something that can wait a while. Besides you can always upgrade to the latest and greatest when & if you need to.
     
  3. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    1) I would get a 300w or more psu on any new computer on general principle, these days, unless it's going to be a low power system.

    2) You would have to change motherboards if you wanted to change chips. It'll definitely be a different form factor.

    3) It's kind of cool, and the cards are cheap (a couple of motherboards even come with it built-in), but the switches are still expensive and you need to use cat6 cable...
     
  4. Barry II

    Barry II Extra

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    Just wanna correct a mistake. A gigabit NIC will not help you unless you connect your computer to equipment that operates that fast. Home users "usually" do not have Gigabit equipment. If you had an internet connection that went that fast I'd have to stay at your house for a few days and download every possible movie I could think of because thats VERY fast. Most business do not come close to that speed. A gigabit is a 1 billion bits or 1 million kilobits. Also not to be confused with kilobytes which is what storage is measured in. All you should need is a NIC rated at 10/100. So in conclusion, If it has a gigabit NIC, OK, but don't look for it as a crucial feature. Hate to be a stickler but you can get by with Cat5e cable for gigabit commmunications.

    --Barry II
     
  5. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    As far as powersupplies go, if you buy it all from dell it should work just fine, no matter what the size of the power supply. Afterall if it doesn't work just return it and they have to fix it.

     
  6. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>I'm looking to buy a new computer towards the end of this year
     
  7. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info guys.

    And I know it's early to be thinking about what prices/performance will be like by the end of the year, but I'm watching the deals in case something really good comes along. Ideally I'd love to get a computer today, but I can't get the features I want in my price range quite yet, I think by the end of the year they'll be there though.
     
  8. Mike__D

    Mike__D Supporting Actor

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  9. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Plus gigabit ethernet is mainly for LANs. I've got cat5e cable throughout my house. I would love to connect my computers via gigabit. The network cards are really cheap but the switches are nasty expensive.
     

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