|
Author Topic:   'puter tech question.
CyberCannon
Member
posted January 20, 2004 04:31 PM            
Hey guys, I am going to do some minor upgrading on my 'puter and I got a couple of questions.

1st I am needing to replace my monitor and I am considering going with an LCD. Does anyone have any brand that they would warn against etc.

2nd I want to upgrade my hard drive. The one that I am presently using is a quantum bigfoot ATA 33. Obviously my motherboard can handle up to ATA 33, but I don't know how much higher it will handle, though I am pretty sure it will handle a faster connection. I have been looking at either a Maxtor or Western Digital 100 plus GB hard drives but they seem to be uniformly ATA 133s. Should my board be able to use them, even if I can't use them to their greatest speed? Does anyone have any suggestions on hard drives that might be cheaper but just as good or better than these?

------------------
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

CC

IP:

Random Chaos
Member
posted January 20, 2004 09:38 PM            
As for LCD monitors, I would recommend NEC. There are several other good brands out there also, but I know NEC is nice.

As for HDs:
No system released in the past 5+ years has lower then ATA100 support. All ATA133 drives are backwards compatible to at least ATA66, some to ATA33. The only thing you need to check: ATA66-133 uses an 80 wire (40 pin) cable. ATA33 uses a 40 wire (40 pin) cable. The extra wires in the ATA66-133 are ground wires used specifically to help decrease EM interference.

I have had generally quite good luck with Maxtor drives - good quality and fairly quite. Don't get Western Digital - they are much louder generally and I have had bad experience with them failing. Also don't get Seagate - they have much slower seek times. And do get a 7200 RPM drive (unless you want small sized 10k+ RPM drives that are much more expensive). Faster RPM generally equates to faster data transfer.

IP:

KONG
Member
posted January 20, 2004 10:19 PM            
You could always get a scsi interface for a newer HD

IP:

CyberCannon
Member
posted January 20, 2004 11:57 PM            
Loud doesn't bother me that much, you ought to hear the one I have already, but one that fails does. My puter is only about 2 years old so that sounds like I shouldn't have a problem, especially as my memory tells me that my Mobo is compatable to ATA 100, I'm just not positive of that. The Hard drives I'm looking at is 7200 RPM anyway.

I have looked at the NEC but there are some things about them that I don't like. All of them seem to have no better than an 85 degree visibility in any direction, while others have a much greater degree of visibility, that of course doesn't even consider that they noticeably cost more than many of the others.

Kong, I don't think I can even fit a card in my 'puter.

------------------
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

CC

IP:

Random Chaos
Member
posted January 21, 2004 12:35 AM            
Visibility angle above 60 is pretty good actually. The reason I recommend NEC is they are very good quality and quite nice to use. I have used several different LCD monitors and the NEC ones I like the best. And NEC is one of the 2 best companies as far as LCD quality is concerned - I can't remember the other one.

IP:

CyberCannon
Member
posted January 21, 2004 01:13 AM            
I don't have a problem with color and clarity etc with the NEC, just the veiwablity angle, which actually considering the cramped space I have it probably doesn't matter. My brother-in-law would agree with you RC, though unless it comes with a name brand he is against it anyway, don't bother confusing him with any facts as to how good it might be. Unfortunately the NEC is probably going to be higher than I can go, or at least from all I have seen, even Sony is cheaper right now, of course that may just be around here. I have been looking at NEC, Sony, Samsung, and BenQ, for the most part. I suspect that BenQ will be out of my range as well, though I have a friend at church that has a supplier that might be able to get me one fairly cheap, though it may be under a different label. Ah well I still have a couple of weeks probably before I can actually act on any of this I suspect.

I may not be considering this viewing angle in the same way that the makers are, since the way I am thinking would indicate an arc of only 30 degrees total. Maybe I had better check out what they mean.

------------------
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

CC

IP:

Random Chaos
Member
posted January 21, 2004 10:59 AM            
If you really want good viewing angle go with the Apple 23" widescreen monitor - that thing is a beauty! 185 degree viewing angle. The clearest sharpest LCD I have ever used too!

However, for a couple thousand dollars I would hope it was good

I have a 17" NEC 1700V (they don't make that particilar model anymore). It has about 85 degree viewing angle and honestly I have never noticed it. You can tilt it if you are ever outside it's optimal zone. I might point out that the viewing angle generally is set about 20 to 30 degrees above strait on. The reason is: How many people will be looking at the monitor from below? So strait on is inside the viewing angle, but it in the lower half of it. I have to say, even though mine says it has a viewing angle of 85 degrees, you can be looking almost strait down at it and still be able to tell whats going on. The reason the viewing angle on the NEC is low is they have a much thicker clear plastic layer over the LCD then most companies use (this is great as it protects the liquid crystals a lot better). However, that clear plastic layer also causes bluryness when you get too far off of head on - thus the low viewing angle.

IP:

=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted January 21, 2004 12:01 PM            
Theres currently a monitor poll at the DMF, if you go with the trend you will find them mass marketted, most common and prolly the cheapest since that is whats in demand and easy to find.

Hard Drive - 1 rule, Avoid Fujitsu - Soddingley unrealiable.

PC Rule - Avoid Dell(inquents) - Crap service and they will always refer u to parts who tell u they dont supply the bit you want because the system wasnt designed for 2 hard drives.... also inside the cases are sharp as hell and the bits are custom sizes - official parts are usually double what OWM bits cost.

HP Systems - good backup but stuck with their crappy bio's and software.

Packard Bell - Urgh... good looks, good performance ..... till they go wrong..... then the bucks u saves in buying it suddenly reappear and wend their way into their bank account.

SCSI vs ATA IDE - Go one or the other, mixed systems can give mixed reliability, SCSI will hold 7 devices, a raid card and a PCI based promise card will hold just as many drives - plus IDE drives are cheaper.

Graphics, debatable on performance, more down to stable drivers these days - i like nvidia but its a mixed bag according to taste - everyone is happy with ATI, till the drivers screw up - then feel the pain.

Sound - pretty much one of the creative soundblaster range these days - if its not that important you can get a blaster live! value cheap enough.

Theres not much to say about RAM.

IP:

=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted January 21, 2004 12:05 PM            
dupe

[This message has been edited by =DNX= Matrix (edited January 21, 2004).]

IP:

KiLlEr
Member
posted January 21, 2004 12:26 PM            
Matrix, SCSI (more specifically SCSI-Wide) will hold 14 devices. regular SCSI drivers are tough to find now adays, but why both?

SCSI is very expensive. Probably better off with an ATA-133 7200RPM IDE w/8mb cache like the Maxtor 6Y080P0. I use that drive (actually 4 of them) in a striped RAID array using a Koutech PIR133 raid controller card. Just remember to keep the cable lengths under 24" otherwise ATA133 will not work.

Maxtor 6Y080P0
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-205&depa=1

Koutech PIR133
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=15-104-214&depa=1

IP:

Random Chaos
Member
posted January 21, 2004 01:16 PM            
Refering to what Matrix said:

Any major name brand = crap bios.
Any major name brand = expensive proprietary parts.
Any major name brand = had to upgrade case becuase they made it to fit only what they were putting into it.

As for Packard Bell - are they even still arround? They were always the worst quality systems, but that was 5 years ago. I haven't heard of them in about 3 years at all!

----------------

SCSI vs ATA vs SATA vs Firewire (he missed 2 of these):
- SCSI: Most hold 15 devices now days (16 channels, 1 reserved for the card itself). However, drives are about about 1.5 to 2.5 times the cost of ATA drives. Of course you would have to get a card to control this. Make sure if you go SCSI that your interface card and your drive use the same interface - there are a lot of different SCSI versions out there and they have to match.

- ATA (IDE; 33-133MHz): Cheap common drives. For a home system this is fine. For a server...think SCSI.

- SATA (166 MHz): About $20 more then ATA drives. Fine for a home system. Biggest problem with them: The technology is new and so most systems don't support these yet - you would have to get an add-in card - though all new mobos are coming with at least 2 channels for this, some with as many as 8 channels.

- Firewire (400MHz, some 800MHz with proper hardware): The "supposed" replacement for SCSI, this has yet to happen. Expensive - about $20-$40 more then SCSI for the same drive. But you can stick over 100 drives on the same chain. Its biggest problem is no one makes a RAID controller for a Firewire setup yet. That and cost make this the worst choice.

For extreme performance:
SCSI with RAID. Use 15k+ RPM drives.

For high performance:
SCSI or SATA with RAID. Use 10k+ RPM drives.

For good performace:
SCSI, SATA, ATA133 with RAID and 7.2k RPM drives.

For average performace:
SCSI, SATA, ATA133 with 7.2 RPM drives

For poor performance:
ATA133 with 5.4k RPM drives or ATA100 with 7.2k RPM drives

For dismal performance:
ATA66 or ATA100 with 5.4k RPM drives or ATA66 with 7.2k RPM drives.

For worthless performance:
ATA33 with anything.


(Most people go with the Average level)

-------------

Graphics: Well...Matrix got this perfect - ATI drivers suck. Their cards are nice. They finally got their drivers up to working about 90% of the time (up from about 10% of the time), but the 10% of the time they don't work, there is nothing you can do. They are buggy drivers still though. If you don't mind dealing with drivers that are buggy and tech support that doesn't believe that they are buggy, then ATI is fine. Otherwise, go nVidia, though their video cards aren't quite as good as ATI's.

----------------------------

Ram: Sync the speed of ram you get to your front side bus of your CPU/Motherboard. And go DDR - its the best for the cost.

[This message has been edited by Random Chaos (edited January 21, 2004).]

IP:

CyberCannon
Member
posted January 21, 2004 04:51 PM            
quote:
Hard Drive - 1 rule, Avoid Fujitsu - Soddingley unrealiable
Since I don't recognize them I probably wouldn't be going with them.
quote:
PC Rule - Avoid Dell...
Unless I put it together I ain't gonna use it.
quote:
SCSI vs ATA IDE (SATA vs Firewire)- Go one or the other---plus IDE drives are cheaper.--- there are a lot of different SCSI versions out there and they have to match.
Planned on it, ATA IDE since that is what I have and can use with out more stuff. Two reasons why I am likely to go with the ATA, of course if I ever decide to really build a rockin machine I may very well go with either SCSI or Fire wire
quote:
For average performace:
SCSI, SATA, ATA133 with 7.2 RPM drives
I'm looking at the ATA 133 with 7200 RPM to begin with, and it is probably what I will go with unless I have to go with a lower speed or ATA level. I am not sure that my Mobo will handle ATA 133 so even if I get one I may not be able to run it at full speed.
quote:
For worthless performance:
ATA33 with anything.
Oh thanks!!!!! they are not completely worthless, and since that is what I presently use I can attest to that.
quote:
Graphics, debatable on performance, more down to stable drivers these days - i like nvidia but its a mixed bag according to taste - everyone is happy with ATI, till the drivers screw up - then feel the pain.
Graphics, I am quite happy with my Radeon thank you, and I have not had a lick of trouble with my drivers either.
quote:
Sound - pretty much one of the creative soundblaster range these days - if its not that important you can get a blaster live! value cheap enough.
I got a Dolby 5.1 thank and quite happy with it.
quote:
Ram: Sync the speed of ram you get to your front side bus of your CPU/Motherboard. And go DDR - its the best for the cost.
Well my Mobo only handles 133 anywho and I got 640MB of that so I think that will do. So unless someone wants to buy me another Mobo and some RAM I think I am going to be stuck with some of the lower speed stuff.
quote:
Dell---HP Systems---Packard Bell---
Dell, probably ought to be called Delve as in delve into your pocket book. HP, stands for "H"igh "P"rice. Packard Bell, better known around as packard H*LL around here.

quote:
Maxtor 6Y080P0
Actually I am looking at his big brother, say about double the size.

------------------
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

CC

IP:

Random Chaos
Member
posted January 21, 2004 07:06 PM            
Hmm...just so you can compare, here is my setup:

460W Power Supply with manual fan speed potentiometer for 2nd fan.

ASUS N7N8X-Deluxe motherboard

AMD XP 3000+ 400MHz FSB Barton processor

1GB (2x512MB) DDR 3200, Corsair memory. (Can take up to 3 GBs max and 1 more chip.) Used in dual channel memory mode effectivly doubling data rate.

Built into the motherboard: 2 10/100 baseT Ethernet, 5.1 nForce Soundstorm sound, 2 firewire 400MHz ports, 3 2 port USB controllers, 2 SATA channels, 2 ATA133 controllers.

1 60GB ATA133 hard drive (can't remember the manufacturer) 5400RPM
1 80GB Maxtor ATA133 hard drive 7200RPM
1 160GB Maxtor SATA hard drive 7200RPM

1 NEC DVD drive
1 OPTORITE DVD-RW (4x write) drive

1 ATI TV Tuner card (VE)
1 Abit nVidia GeForce 4 TI 4200 (a year old...but I don't play many games so it doesn't matter)

Modem
Floppy drive

1 Enermax fan speed control panel (6 fan max control).
4 80mm fans (2 intake, 2 vent), 1 60mm slot fan (vent), 1 90mm fan (vent). (1 intake hole not used). Power supply has 2 80mm fans on it.

Case: Cheiftec BX-03B-B-SL (black with silver accents)

Monitor: NEC LCD 1700V
Mouse: Logitec optical

Speakers: Worthless cheap something or other
Keyboard: Nothing special...its a keyboard!

Oh - and if you want to see a picture of it (3rd one is a bit blury):
http://141.195.136.164:25000/digital/PhotoPC/January%2017,%202004/Image001.jpg http://141.195.136.164:25000/digital/PhotoPC/January%2017,%202004/Image002.jpg http://141.195.136.164:25000/digital/PhotoPC/January%2017,%202004/Image003.jpg http://141.195.136.164:25000/digital/PhotoPC/January%2017,%202004/Image004.jpg http://141.195.136.164:25000/digital/PhotoPC/December%2024,%202003/Image001.jpg

[This message has been edited by Random Chaos (edited January 21, 2004).]

IP:

CyberCannon
Member
posted January 21, 2004 10:25 PM            
Random, mine isn't even in shouting distance of that.

AMD 900 Athalon
640 MB RAM 133
Mobo ???????? FSB ??????????
Power basic 300W

10/100 Ethernet (useless since I don't have BB)

2 USB 1 ports
2 EIDE ATA 100 compatatble I believe.

1 12GB Quantum Bigfoot ATA33 5400 RPM

1 DVD drive maker???????

1 ATI Radeon 8500 LE

Modem (Intel Hardware)
Floppy of course

1 intake and 1 exhaust fan 80mm

Princeton Graphics E070 flat screen

Microshaft Optical mouse

Basic Keyboard and speakers.

As I said not even close, so in your suggestions please keep that in mind. I'm one of those po people. Until you start counting family that is.

------------------
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

CC

IP:

A2597
Member
posted January 22, 2004 12:56 AM            
Can't let RC get away with that...

Dual moniter setup. no LCD though.
768 MB DDR Ram
80gig Maxtor HD, 7200
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. Contrary to RC, ATI's monthly drivers work wonderfully now
DVD, CDRW, CD drives

various Lan, etc stuff

logitech 4.1 surround sound speakers...man they sound good.

logitech dual optical mouse. makes a regular opticle mouse seem weird, and regular ball mouse...gah!


IP:

Rex R
Member
posted January 22, 2004 02:06 AM            
heheh speakers; couple of 4" (6.3 ohm) speakers mouted in homemade boxes(had some 1/4" plywood on hand) did have to buy some mini-plugs tho

IP:

CyberCannon
Member
posted January 22, 2004 05:29 PM            
Close this please, since I had to do a search to even find this it won't be any help to me.

------------------
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

CC

IP: