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Designing the New Beastie - Unbeliever's Land
...The continuing chronicles...
Designing the New Beastie
Now that we can afford it, I'm designing my new dream computer (which my coworker Tim has graciously volunteered to assemble for me).

I haven't gotten everything picked out yet, but what do my techie friends think about this?

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Yorkfield 3.0GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 130W Quad-Core Processor

Video card:
EVGA 768-P2-N881-AR GeForce 8800Ultra 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Hard Drive(s):
Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Sound Card:
Creative 70SB046A00003 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card

Case (do I want a full tower?):
COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1010 ESA RC-1010-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Monitor (do I want 24 or 30 inches?):
24" -- SAMSUNG 245T-BLACK Black 24" 6ms DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1500:1
30" -- SAMSUNG SyncMaster 305T Black 30" 6ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 1000:1

Any thoughts on these? Or on motherboards, RAM, power supplies, optical drives, etc?

Keep in mind, we're going for a dream machine here. I'm looking for something that will do HD video and sound editting, play the latest top-of-the-line games with all the bells and whistles turned on, burn several disks, download email and fifty web sites all simultaneously, while whistling The Star Spangled Banner and staring at it's watch, wondering what to do with the OTHER 95% of its computing power. You know, something that won't be COMPLETELY outdated in six months.

There may be SOME expressions of computing power that I deem to be overkill (for instance: *TWO* Ultra 8800 video cards in SLI, or TWO 30" monitors) -- but not many. :)

Oh -- and yes, I'm getting Vista Ultimate -- but I'm *ALSO* getting a copy of XP Pro, just in case I hate Vista as much as everyone else seems to...

Thanks for any suggestions...

Current Emotional State: anxious anxious

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From: dwight_everhart Date: January 25th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
How about a Mac Pro? ;-) Or a MacBook Pro? PC World declared it the "fastest Vista notebook". I couldn't be happier with mine. It runs XP in parallel with Mac OS X, and I boot into Vista to play games. They run great with my NVIDIA 8800M.
unbeliever64 From: unbeliever64 Date: January 25th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
But see, they have those little apple logos on them... ;)

What do you think of Vista thus far? I hear nothing but bad things...

I still owe you (and my sister) a call from my birthday... I'll try to call sometime this weekend...
From: dwight_everhart Date: January 25th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
My initial impression of Vista was actually more positive than I expected. Of course, I expected it to totally suck, so it didn't have to do much to exceed that expectation. After using Vista for almost two months, here's what I think: It's pretty and polished on the surface, and the UI has some improvements over XP to make some things easier. But I can find nothing else about Vista, except it's support for Direct X 10, to recommend it. I'm astounded that Microsoft took five years to develop it! It's basically a bloated version of XP with shinier graphics.

Some additions are definitely a step backwards, like User Account Control, which constantly asks you if you want to "Allow" or "Deny" actions that programs want to take -- but without telling you what those actions are. I turned it off after one day because it was so annoying and useless. Besides, some software won't install with it enabled. Mac OS has a similar feature that actually works well, because it tells you what the program wants to do, and it only prompts you when the program wants to do something that would affect the whole system, rather than just your account, as it should be.

I'm sure eventually everyone will be running Vista, and, by then, average computer hardware will be fast enough for Vista to not feel bloated (it doesn't feel bloated on my MacBook Pro with 4 gigs of RAM), but, for now, I recommend that most people stay with XP, unless they need Direct X 10. Compared to Vista, XP is a fine upgrade. It's leaner and gets out of the user's way so he can get his work done. Microsoft did a fine job in producing the XP upgrade in response to Vista's shortcomings. ;-)

But I do hope you'll at least consider a Mac. Macs now use standard Intel processors, memory chips, video cards, monitors, USB, firewire, etc., like any PC. They run Windows natively, so having a Mac won't keep you from running XP or Vista, and owning a Mac will give you the option of running Mac OS, which is a really fine operating system. It's the best I've ever used, in fact. The hardware is first class too, and the Mac Pro has slots so you can upgrade the video card and other things.

oregongirl1969 From: oregongirl1969 Date: January 25th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Monitor: Do I want 24 or 30 inches

Since we're going to be playing D&D games together -- I say the bigger monitor the better! After all -- Moochie has bad eyes :)
unbeliever64 From: unbeliever64 Date: January 25th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Monitor: Do I want 24 or 30 inches

30 is... pretty damn big to be right in front of. I'll test drive a few at Fry's tomorrow and see if my brain can handle 30... :)
rickvs From: rickvs Date: January 25th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'd recommend two 24" monitors. I've found side-by-sides to be very useful, especially if you propose to do any sort of multitasking -- like, oh, playing D&D in one window while surfing the 'net in another.

Happy shopping!
From: carlau70 Date: January 27th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
We have side-by-sides at the office and initially, I thought wonderful for work applications, but not practical for anything else...How wrong I was - I find myself constantly wanting the dual monitors at home now, so I would highly recommend it!
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