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Thread: diy PC

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    diy PC

    <post:=641,384>post 641,384</post:> is the start of a recent thread about building your own PC. At the risk of going through it all again, it's my turn now.

    I'm a bit of a skinflint when it comes to PCs. I've only ever owned two. The first I bought in 1989, the second I assembled myself in 1998. It's 2007 now so, even though the PII300MHz CPU, 8Gb HDD, 4Mb graphics card, Win98gold, Office97Prof. set up still pretty much does all I need at home, I'm due a new toy.

    My main reason for going for a DIY option rather than off the shelf I suppose is because I like to feel in control. If I tinker too much and screw up my system, hey ho, I can hose things down and start again (been there, done that, got the T-shirt). Oh, and don't get me started on all the junk that 'helpfully' comes pre-installed <img src=/S/puke.gif border=0 alt=puke width=60 height=15> on most PCs these days.

    So... given I'm after longevity I'm thinking of putting a quad core Intel CPU at the heart. Do I need the Extreme version at nearly twice the price of the vanilla version when I'm not a PC gamer?

    Ken

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    Re: diy PC

    Um, no? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    But then you don't really need a quad core at all!
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: diy PC

    I suppose that since I said my ancient PII system still does what I want then a quad core is way OTT. If I add that I would like my new toy to be able to manipulate large graphics would that make a difference? I'm hoping to scan 35mm slides at silly resolutions so I can crop / enlarge etc. When I've done that with kit here at work the initial scan produces files of about 65Mb each.

    I assumed that going to as many cores as possible today would future proof the thing as long as possible. Or is multi-core really only ever going to benefit the gaming community?

    Ken

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    Re: diy PC

    Unless you have a proper multi-threaded image editing application, having multiple cores will make little difference, but the sheer increase in CPU power from what you have now should be a joy!
    Writing proper multi threaded apps is very complicated so I think 4 cores should be fine for quite a while. If money is even slightly an issue, I'd go Core2 Duo (Or wait for the AMD quad cores which should do nice things to processor prices) and spend the rest on RAM, graphics card (NVidia Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5GB GDDR should be good) and fast disks.
    You could of course get one of these! <img src=/S/cool.gif border=0 alt=cool width=15 height=15>
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: diy PC

    I can see that writing proper code to exploit multiple cores will be no picnic, hence my thinking that buying quad now will mean this box will be OK for a long time to come.

    Money is always an issue but I am prepared to pay the premium for a quad core now rather than taking a duo route and then upgrading both motherboard and CPU to quad later.

    Next question, Vista. Love it or hate it, it's the future. I know it eats memory (which version of Windows hasn't run better with more RAM?) 2Gb looks like what you get with many PC these days so I'm thinking of starting with at least 4Gb, or is that overkill as well?

    Ken

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    Re: diy PC

    Actually I quite like Vista in spite of my experiences with it on an old laptop with no manufacturer driver support. If you're building the machine yourself, and if you plan to get a newer version of Office too, then obviously OEM software is cheaper, or take a look at Technet subscriptions. For about
    Regards,
    Rory

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    Re: diy PC

    I was going to go the OEM software route but I'm intrigued with what you say about a Technet subscription.

    What happens at the end of the year when the subscription comes up for renewal? If I don't cough up another

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    Re: diy PC

    Nothing happens. It's like an MSDN subscription (only much cheaper) in that you get a perpetual licence. The only thing you don't get is support past the subscription date. I can't remember what the restrictions are about commercial use, but if it's for home, you're fine. I find mine useful because it allows multiple installations for some software.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: diy PC

    <img src=/S/drop.gif border=0 alt=drop width=23 height=23>

    I can live without support. Where do I sign?

    <img src=/S/yum.gif border=0 alt=yum width=15 height=15>

    Ken

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    Re: diy PC

    On the dotted website. The only other thing is that I think you can only do the download version (Technet Plus) now, as they discontinued the CD shipment version. Obviously not a huge issue if you have decent broadband, but some of the downloads are in the 3GB+ region, so they're overnight runs (for me anyway). On the cool side, you get to look at stuff like Virtualisation.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: diy PC

    The Technet Q and A is here.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: diy PC

    I knew there was a catch! I'm still on dial-up (why bother with broadband when you only have ancient kit like mine?). Looks like Broadband just shot to the top of my shopping list. I haven't checked recently but I think I'll only get 2Mb broadband up here in my part of Yukshire at the moment. If that means o/n downloads that's no hassle, everyone has to sleep sometime.

    Thanks for this tip, sounds like a winner.

    Ken

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    Re: diy PC

    There's also the MS Partner program which is even cheaper but you are supposed to be a company (even if only a 1 man band) to qualify for that.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: diy PC

    If I read this page correctly the Direct option at $349 is download only but Single User option at $499 does include media.

    The other thing is that the license is for "one indiviual only " so I strictly speaking other members of my household wouldn't be entitled to use the software.

    Mind you i've been using the student version of Office 97 that is licensed in my son's name since 1999 and the world hasn't ended - yet.

    Ken

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