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Old 1st February 2009
DrJ DrJ is offline
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should I worry about the [memory] brand

No. Compatibility issues come about once in a while, but not that often. And memory either works, and will continue to work, or it doesn't. If it doesn't work, just return it.

I've used memory from a dozen different vendors or more over the years, and all have worked just fine. In fact, I used Kingston memory to expand the capacity of a Sun workstation in the early 1990s, so they are one of the oldest vendors in the area.

You should be aware to the memory timing and voltage requirements. Brand is much less important, unless you are doing really crazy overclocking (which I wouldn't recommend).
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Old 1st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broodjegehaktmetmayo View Post
My question now is, which one should I take
  • WD 500GB Black edition
  • WD 500GB Raid Edition 3 (Carpetsmoker, you said these are better built quality, on other fora I read people say BE vs RE, it doesn't make any difference).
  • WD 640GB Black edition (Vermaden, was there any particular reason you mentioned that one? Size preference only, or something else?)
Accirding to this review:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/15588

RE3 and Black are pretty the same, but RE3 sometimes is dissapointing:
http://techreport.com/r.x/wd-re3/time-boot.gif

Personally I would get the Black one or if RE3 is cheaper then the RE3 one, they are really pretty similar (or its the same driver with other name ...).
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Old 1st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
Accirding to this review:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/15588

RE3 and Black are pretty the same, but RE3 sometimes is dissapointing:
http://techreport.com/r.x/wd-re3/time-boot.gif

Personally I would get the Black one or if RE3 is cheaper then the RE3 one, they are really pretty similar (or its the same driver with other name ...).
Thanks Vermaden

The thing is, this is the 1 TB RE3: in my previous post I finally found 'some test' for the 500 GB RE3, which comes out nicely. I'm thinking 'performance of RE3 1 TB isn't necessarily similar to performance of RE3 500GB'? Adding to that what Carpetsmoker wrote about reliability of the RE, I'm tempted to just say 'ok, greater reliability, performance ok, let's not waste my time over 'cheaper' versus 'expensive': buy the RE3.
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Old 1st February 2009
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I would propably get the cheaper one between RE3 and Black with the same size, but if Carpetsmoker says that RE3 got better reliability, then I am buying it

Also RE3/Black are created with about ~340GB platters (all from these series), so performance of 0.5TB and 1TB should be similar. The only 500GB per platter current WD drives are 2TB Green ones, with 4 x 500GB platter and several energy efficency technologies (like varying speed rotation of plates between 5400 and 7200 rpm), but they are suited better for storage, not for system disk .
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Old 1st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
[The] 2TB Green ones vary[] speed rotation of plates between 5400 and 7200 rpm) are suited better for storage, not for system disk .
Agreed. I think it is a gimmick anyway, since the power saving is not really consequential unless you run a huge number of them.
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Old 1st February 2009
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Quote:
On the Antec case you would like to buy, I'd ask CS. If he has had success using it, then by all means go for it. I tend to reuse equipment for many years, and having the extra capability of the Solo is worth it to me. For example, I am reusing one to put together a "new" computer from existing parts. It will have a bunch of SCSI drives in it, and they really vibrate like mad. The Solo will really help for that. Such a thing may not be important to you.
I don't think it matters that much, from what I understand BroodjeGehakt is looking for two normal desktop PC's which will sit under his (and his wife's) desk for many years very boringly without any tinkering.
Most cases (Including the Antec) will do just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ
On the disk issue, computer people tend to make a big deal about small performance differences. I'd bet you could not tell the difference in performance between any of the SATA drives you are considering if they are of comparable vintage and rotational speed. The differences really come when you compare those drives with SCSI, SAS or the 10K RPM SATA drives like the Raptor family. Within a particular drive class, I'd look for longevity/reliability, warranty, and noise. The differences in power consumption are not that big a deal for a desktop, and the performance differences usually are not large.
I would tend to agree, although I have never done any benchmarks, I have never really noticed any difference in overall system speed with different disks unless doing serious I/O stuff (Like extracting an archive) ... And I often use old/slow disks (I have a working 20MB disk for example, although I don't use it very often ).

Especially in desktop PCs, disks are idle 90% of the time.
1. You click a program, stuff gets loaded in memory, this requires disk I/O.
2. You do some work, usually there is very little I/O here.
3. You save your work, some disk I/O required.

Step 2 is where you will spend most of your time, most programs don't write stuff to disk that often, MS Office/OpenOffice.org may auto-save every 5 minutes ... But who cares if this takes 1 or 1.05 seconds?
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Old 2nd February 2009
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I have ordered the PC

()

Let's see if all works out fine

Again, thank you for all your kind and generous comments/remarks/advises: if it weren't for you, I don't know where I would have ended

I'll post the final specs, but, in short: they are very, very, much in line with the consolidated advises you all have given me (I've been doubting to go Intel Quad this afternoon since it was cheaper than Intel CD E8400, but I've decided to stick with E8400 based on tests/reviews).
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Old 11th February 2009
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My mainboard broke, good excuse for a system upgrade I guess.

At first sight, the Asus KFN5-D SLI seems like a good choice, at a prety reasonable price, officially it's a server mainboard, but it seems to be targeted at the workstation/desktop market too (support).

For CPU, something in the Opteron 8300 series (Two of them of course, 8 cores in total) ... Need to find good reviews of this ...

My experience with Operton is limited, can someone offer useful comments on it? I can also use Xeons, but I'm not that much of an Intel fan, not so much because of technical reasons, but more for political ... But if Xeons are really better then I'll go for Xeon.
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Old 11th February 2009
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RoddieRod is the local Opteron guy, though I think Phoenix has quite some Opteron experience.

The 8 series is for eight physical CPUs on a board -- that is probably way overkill for your applications, and you pay a heavy premium for it. The 2 series is for two physical CPUs, more akin to a traditional dual Xeon system. There is also a 4 series where obviously you can use four physical CPUs. Each of these can be single, dual or quad core.

One place to look for information is the forums at 2cpu.com. They have been focusing on dual socket and more computers for many years, and they know the hardware. There are even a few of FreeBSD sorts, though there are not a lot of us.

You do pay a lot more for server-grade stuff than the consumer sort, but they do tend to last longer. You probably know that. FWIW, I'm typing this on a six-year-old dual Athlon system that still works fine, though it is terribly slow by today's standards.

Last edited by DrJ; 11th February 2009 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 11th February 2009
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Quote:
The 8 series is for eight physical CPUs on a board -- that is probably way overkill for your applications, and you pay a heavy premium for it. The 2 series is for two physical CPUs, more akin to a traditional dual Xeon system. There is also a 4 series where obviously you can use four physical CPUs. Each of these can be single, dual or quad core.
Right, I did some research on the newer Opteron CPUs and I see what you mean -- I may be able to get my hands on cheap 8000 series CPUs which is why I looked at those, From what I can see the 2000, 4000, and 8000 series are the same in all respects (performance, TDP, ect.) except the ability to support more CPU's. So two 8000 series CPUs can't hurt ...
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Old 11th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
So two 8000 series CPUs can't hurt ...
You didn't ask, but yes you can use those in a dual CPU board just fine.
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Old 11th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
For CPU, something in the Opteron 8300 series (Two of them of course, 8 cores in total) ... Need to find good reviews of this ...
Older Opterons (65nm, Barcelona/K10 based) are slower and generate more heat, get the newer ones (45nm, Shanghai/K10.5), they are very cools and have lower power consumption, as for model, get 2xxx model Shanghai, you need only 2-way CPUs.

In single core performance, Shanghai is (very) little after Core 2 (Xeon), but in terms of scaling (HaperTransport vs FSB@Intel) and virtualization (Netsted Page Table/AMD-V) AMD is far better, also bigger L1 cache @ AMD seems to do good thing.

Most services benchmark typical Windows applications, like SuperPI and 3DMark, but check http://it.anandtech.com reviews, especially for newes Shanghai CPUs.
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Old 11th February 2009
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Well since DrJ gave me a plug

I switched to Opteron about 3 years ago. Before I had a dual xeon system. My present system has dual 248s and is capable of having 2 dual core cpus. At work I have Dual Core Xeon 3Ghz or something.

Because some of the engineers that built the Alpha went to AMD before Intel bought the Alpha and I read articles that compared the Opteron to the Alpha. From my use I believe the Opteron out performs the Xeon but I don't have stats or anything like that. Just using both daily for the last 3 years.

As vermaden said get the newer models, I have 5 120mm for case cooling...
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Last edited by roddierod; 11th February 2009 at 10:45 PM.
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