New computer purchase
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Thread: New computer purchase

  1. #1
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    New computer purchase

    I'm thinking about getting a new computer, but until now, i've gotten prebuilt computers. I'm thinking about building a cluster out of a few computers, and am hoping to get more out of my money by building my own, and having some fun too . I have links to all the pages of the hardware that is in the area of what I'm looking for, but since I don't know a lot about hardware(all i've ever done is added RAM to my dell, ), I was hoping you guys could help me find if everything is compatible and all.

    [edit] Just so you guys know, it came out to be almost exactly $500 USD, including shipping.

    I appreciate any help that you guys are willing to give!
    Last edited by metguru; December 17th, 2006 at 10:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    Do you mean a "cluster" or a "local network"?

    What are the specifications of the computers that you have (hardware & operating systems)?

    Where do you see this new machine fitting in?

    What do you propose using all this for?

  3. #3
    Just Another Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    What do you propose using all this for?
    Aye, biggest question is... What are you going to do with it?
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    I ment a cluster, but the cluster probably won't exist for a good long while as i can't afford more than one computer. All i meant was it is probably eventually going to be used in one (and im still just thinking about it). Mabie in a year or two ill get another, and then Ill start building them into one continuously. I guess it is good to look ahead to see whats better for a cluster, but my main question was about compatibity though, and with my luck, ill order them, and nothing will work.

    I also have a question about buying prebuilt computers as opposed to building them, because my parents had a few bad experiences with our old computer (Win95) and they say it was because it was built and had compatibility issues, as opposed to being bought. Im not sure if this was how it truely was, or is now, or ever was, and was wanting some help on that. We also knew nothing about computers then, so that could be more or less why we thought that.

    [edit]
    Aye, biggest question is... What are you going to do with it?
    Well, I don't do much right now that needs much processing speed, mostly programming, obviously internet use, and some older games, but they don't require much from the computer.

    If I had a cluster, id probably look a lot more into parallel computing applications. Ive also been looking into cryptography, but other than rainbow table generation and cracking, I dont think that takes much CPU.
    Last edited by metguru; December 18th, 2006 at 01:18 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm... I wasn't going to say anything about the cluster thing... But, if you don't know much about hardware are you sure that you want to try to build a cluster?

    Unless you are intending on using software to do it.

    a/y to answer your question. More than likely all the hardware will match allowing you to push, plug and move around to your hearts desire. Except for probably dell most companies allow you to interchange parts in and out. Only reason I say dell is because I remember trying to do some case moding once and having a problem.

    a/y no you should not have a problem.

  6. #6
    Just Another Geek
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    I build all my computers from scratch.. Never had any compatibility issues.. They all run just about anything I throw at them..

    Next question.. What OS will you be running?

    As for playing around with clusters/parallel computing.. Ever thought about running 2 (or more) virtual machines (VMWare i.e.)?
    Last edited by SirDice; December 18th, 2006 at 04:07 AM.
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmmm,

    I wouldn't worry about clustering unless you have the money to spend up front. If you are going to build it over a period of time you are going to end up with mixed technology anyway.

    My advice is to start saving your money and keep your eye out for ex-corporate or institutional machines. These can usually be obtained very cheaply, if not for free. Time to talk to relatives and family friends to look out for you as well.

    I think that the new Windows Vista operating system will mean that a lot of these will be made available over the next year or so.

    I would not take any experience with Windows 95 as being particularly illuminating, especially for someone with no computer experience.

    Apart from price, the main differences between a home built and a brand name computer are:

    Brand Name:

    1. Comprehensive warranty ( home built has individual component warranties).

    2. Comes with bundled software you probably don't want.

    3. Less flexibility in component choice (you may think that you can have it made to your specs...........you can't.........you get to chose from a number of standard builds)

    4. Limited upgradability.

    5. Doesn't have a full version of the Windows OS. And it cannot be transferred.

    6. Does provide after sales support but you may need to be fluent in a foreign language to get any benefit from this

    7. Will work perfectly or you send it back.

    8. Is covered by consumer protection legislation.

    Home Built:

    1. Only has individual component warranties (this can be an advantage, as stuff with a Dell, HP or whatever badge will have their 12 month warranty. Quite a few items bought under their manufacturer's brand name have three year warranties, or even lifetime in the case of RAM).

    2. You get a full Operating System, and with a retail version you can transfer it to another machine.

    3. You only get the hardware and software that you want.

    4. To some extent you can determine the upgradability, and spread the cost.

    5. You are responsible for chosing compatible components and for all support.

    6. Minimal consumer protection, as you did not buy it as a finished product.

    The alternative is to go to a small, independent retailer and have a machine built to your specifications. They will check compatibility, and will provide a warranty. You will have to pay them for doing the build and accepting liability for the warranty.

    Just a few thoughts......................

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirDice
    Next question.. What OS will you be running?

    As for playing around with clusters/parallel computing.. Ever thought about running 2 (or more) virtual machines (VMWare i.e.)?
    Chances are I'll be running linux, probably playing around with a few before sticking with one, and possibly a dual boot with windows, but not too likely.

    Never have messed around with virtual maches before, but they seem interesting. What are benefits of using these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nihil
    My advice is to start saving your money and keep your eye out for ex-corporate or institutional machines. These can usually be obtained very cheaply, if not for free. Time to talk to relatives and family friends to look out for you as well.
    Are these hard to come by? how do you go about getting them?

  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    It depends on where you live, what is round about and who you know.

    I would normally recommend that you ask parents relatives and friends who work in environments where they use a lot of computers. They can find out what the disposal policy is and if there is any old kit lying around.

    Also look in local newspapers for any sale announcements.

    Finally you can ask the IT departments of major organisations, colleges etc. in your area.


  10. #10
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    Today I was looking at processors, and figured i'd look at a chart to see if the one i had chose was really what I wanted. I was looking at this chart
    http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.ht...=472&chart=167
    I was looking at AMD compared to intel, the
    Intel Pentium D 820 Smithfield 2.8GHz $98.00
    and the
    AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Orleans 2.4GHz $96.50
    they're both closely priced, but have very different ratings on the website I posted above. I was wondering if I should get an AMD instead, as it seems you get more for your money.

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