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Thread: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

  1. #41

    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    It would be better to get a "branded pc" with on-site warranty if you are not confident in trouble shooting PC fault. Carrying the PC down to shops for "repair" and having to spend at least 20 bucks excluding parts can be quite troublesome...............even if you have a car.

    I was trying to build up my own DIY PC sometime ago, but realised that the total price was only different by 50-100 bucks. If I buy the "branded version", I get a "full set" warranty for 3 years that saves me the problem of going to different agents just to get a couple of parts replaced. I had the fortune of "using" the warranty recently and the service team was quite helpful in arranging an appointment and service was fast.

    And the best of all is that my warranty will still be honored if I change a couple of components here and there, graphics card, ram, u name it, they will still honour it.

    For me, the choice is clear, I will go for "branded" PCs.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by khtee View Post
    Option 1 is a safe method.
    Option 2 is rather risky which i don't recommend to anyone who is not an expert in IT.
    Don't even try option 2. There is no advantage at all.

    As stated by MS, "Total physical address space is limited to 4 GB on these versions of Windows" this is true for both 32 bit XP and Vista.

  3. #43
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by i400 View Post
    By default, Windows 32bit OS only shows ~3GB of RAM even 4GB is installed. If there's a need to access the full 4GB, you've 2 choices:
    1) Use 64-bit OS, device drivers will be difficult to find
    2) Enable PAE in 32bit Windows OS. This feature is available in WinXP and Vista but not .................................................. .....
    Quote Originally Posted by khtee View Post
    Option 1 is a safe method.
    Option 2 is rather risky which i don't recommend to anyone who is not an expert in IT.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaycelim View Post
    Don't even try option 2. There is no advantage at all.

    As stated by MS, "Total physical address space is limited to 4 GB on these versions of Windows" this is true for both 32 bit XP and Vista.
    Thanks for sharing, didn't notice has this limitation, after doing some google search, am I correct to say just stick to 3 GB or 4GB ram for less hassle?

    btw, my usage is mainly photoshop, please advice.
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  4. #44
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Thanks for sharing, didn't notice has this limitation, after doing some google search, am I correct to say just stick to 3 GB or 4GB ram for less hassle?

    btw, my usage is mainly photoshop, please advice.
    Just something to think about further.....

    Be it a XP Pro or the new Vista, so long as it is not a 64bit version, putting in 4 gig of ram will only get you about 3.2 gig. As they are mentioned here...it is not a hardware limitation but a software one.

    This limitation also exist in Photoshop .... it can access the first 2 gig of ram on the PC. Photoshop CS3 is a 32 bit program.(there is no 64bit version of CS3). As the OS and other programs also would shares the same ram pool in your PC that means even less would be available to Photoshop...but too much would also not help. So it is catch 22 situation.

    There is a work around by tweaking XP's boot.ini which will get you up to 3gig accessible to Photoshop. But take note, I read also that not all PC hardware configuration would support this tweak. ( like a motherboard, difference versions of XP or Vista..etc) But if you want to get more details. Here's a link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316739

    Get 3 gig of ram but since ram are cheap, get 4 gig even if you don't see it all now with a 32bit OS heheh.. ...who knows in case you might want to upgrade your OS alittle later, you already have the rams for it.

    Photoshop CS3 also have limited support for ram beyong 8 gig I think...on the PC side. (think it is 16gig on the Mac but with some configuration and patch)

    I think you also need to ask yourself what you need more ram for photoshop. Have you use photoshop much and have seen a need to get more ram or what it someting someone mentioned?

    Now if speed is important and you know now there are limitations to the RAM thingy with 32bit OSs...you need to know another important thing to consider in your PC which is buying another HDD!

    Photoshop prefer that you use another HDD as a scratch disk. Using the same HDD ( C:\ ) is not efficient because at the sametime you are using PhotShop, your OS and other programs in the background are also sharing your 'C' drive for caching, read\write..etc. Trying to balance caching for two programs or more simultaneously with one 'write' head in your HDD is not a good thing....meaning it slows things down further. So having that caching on another HDD is better....the analogy "two heads are better then one" comes to mind.

    well that's my two bits....

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    thanks for sharing, my main usage is still working with photoshop, just want to know how to maximize the power of the hardware and software without costing me an arm and leg.

    so will just stick to a 32bit OS, not sure want to go for Vista

    I don't think I will upgrade my working PC, after awhile I just get another PC, since has so many things or parts need to upgrade, might just pass the PC to my children is more practical.

    the next system want to get a raid, also want a HD use for scratch disk, plus a (external) hard disc rack/console? for data.
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  6. #46
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post

    Photoshop prefer that you use another HDD as a scratch disk. Using the same HDD ( C:\ ) is not efficient because at the sametime you are using PhotShop, your OS and other programs in the background are also sharing your 'C' drive for caching, read\write..etc. Trying to balance caching for two programs or more simultaneously with one 'write' head in your HDD is not a good thing....meaning it slows things down further. So having that caching on another HDD is better....the analogy "two heads are better then one" comes to mind.

    well that's my two bits....
    Caching Photoshop in another HDD, can I also just start the application Photoshop from that second HDD, and save data there as well?

    HS

  7. #47

    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    not targeting you in particular, sammy888, just addressing the points which you helpfully brought up
    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    Get 3 gig of ram but since ram are cheap, get 4 gig even if you don't see it all now with a 32bit OS heheh.. ...who knows in case you might want to upgrade your OS alittle later, you already have the rams for it.
    one thing to note, the configuration of RAM modules might help to improve speed... if you have identical RAM modules in pairs in the appropriate sockets (sockets must be of the same channel... refer to manual), your system might (most modern systems should) be able to make use of this thing called "dual channel" support to increase the speed that your system can utilize the RAM... so matched pairs of 4x1GB RAM would be faster than 3x1GB RAM (you could try 2x1GB + 2x512MB I guess... but RAM is quite affordable right now...)... or for those who want, current mainstream motherboards can take up to 8GB of DDRII or DDRIII (depending on model)... you can then use Vista 64bit to utilize all that RAM...
    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    Photoshop CS3 also have limited support for ram beyong 8 gig I think...on the PC side. (think it is 16gig on the Mac but with some configuration and patch)
    unfortunately, Photoshop CS3 for both Win and Mac can only use up to about 3.5GB of RAM... they are still 32bit programs... one can use more memory by setting some memory as a RAM disk and utilizing this "disk" as the first scratch disk to speed up Photoshop... should be workable for both Win and Mac

    one thing though, next version of Photoshop, CS4 (rumours say coming out possibly before end of the year ), would be 64bit for Win (max out the RAM, baby!) but still 32bit for Mac...

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Vista 64bit you say? I'd say no thanks. The driver limitations seems to be the biggest drawback with 64bit system. I use quite a number of Adobe softwares (Acrobat Professional, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator) all at the same and I think the Windows Vista 32bit is fast enough to churn out all the massive data. I am using a DIY PC btw. RAM and hard disk are really affordable nowadays so you shouldn't be using less than 500GB of HDD and 2GB of RAM. The main problem with some DIY PC builders is when they start to skim on motherboard. That's the most important part of their system. If you are looking for a stable board, an Intel P45 chipset from Asus or Gigabyte board is a must.

    I learn how to build a computer from the net. Its pretty straightfoward and fun. Installing Vista is a breeze. My biggest tip for beginners is too look for the Vista logo on your hardware parts. That's all you need to know. Hope that helps.

    PS: I still love my Mac OS X interface however. Sorry Windoze.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    Vista 64bit you say? I'd say no thanks. The driver limitations seems to be the biggest drawback with 64bit system.
    I've been using Vista 64 for over a year and have no driver issues... printer, scanner, DVD drive, monitor, graphics card, even my ancient motherboard's driver working just fine... which ones in particular do you need that are not available/don't work well?...

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    I've been using Vista 64 for over a year and have no driver issues... printer, scanner, DVD drive, monitor, graphics card, even my ancient motherboard's driver working just fine... which ones in particular do you need that are not available/don't work well?...
    My wireless card WMP54GS (no updates from Linksys so far) and my ATI EAH4850 which often gives me the bluescreen of death. Don't bother searching cos they are still 'working' on it. I went to back to 'industry standard' and everything works right out of the box. No tweaks required. Maybe in 2 years time, I might give the 64bit system another look.

  11. #51

    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    have you tried the 32bit driver for the wireless card?... worth a shot... its quite slack for ATI (or any other company, really) not to have stable 64bit support for their new products...

  12. #52
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Good one on the RAM banks...I almost forgot about that....I know my motherboard is like that but not sure about the older ones or how far back this technology or brand of board will have that though.

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    unfortunately, Photoshop CS3 for both Win and Mac can only use up to about 3.5GB of RAM... they are still 32bit programs... one can use more memory by setting some memory as a RAM disk and utilizing this "disk" as the first scratch disk to speed up Photoshop... should be workable for both Win and Mac
    Further to what you just brought up....On the Mac with special plug-in you down load from Adobe yup it will do just that but not the default software when you buy it or already have. You need to add those plugin to enable it.

    http://photoshopnews.com/2007/05/29/...ions-mac-only/


    For the PC version, that only happens if you are using a 64bit OS version ( it can't work with the 32bit OS)..I mean setting up your balance ram (more then 4 gig) to make a RAM DISK.

    one thing though, next version of Photoshop, CS4 (rumours say coming out possibly before end of the year ), would be 64bit for Win (max out the RAM, baby!) but still 32bit for Mac.
    It's no longer rumour...heard it on a tech podcast not too long back about the 32bit & 64 bit version and how it works very well with new quad CPUs and beyond like a 8 core.

    Quite exciting news but I am not sure how many will benefit from it. If you do alot of graphic design work like myself and work on large file size in the 100mb- 1gig artwork like for giant banners in PSD format with tons of layers, I see general photographers working on digital photos are on overkill buying such hardware and software unless a pro or serious amateur photographer doing heavy graphic photo enhancing who likes opening lots of photos at one time and working on them. I know some would not agree with me and feel they always need the next big thing to do their work. For me I always see a diminishing return on the money they spent on a system. Just abit more stuff I throw out here lah heheh....

  13. #53
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by hongsien View Post
    Caching Photoshop in another HDD, can I also just start the application Photoshop from that second HDD, and save data there as well?

    HS
    I am not sure if it would speed things up further as I don't like make comparison everytime or calibrate it against any PC every now and again. I just use my PC to do my work and am happy with it so far..it is stable and delays are minor but it happens as with some work when the file size are like 100mb or very complex.

    But funny you brought that up as my last system a P4 I did just that. My second HDD was alot bigger then my main HDD ....as I was running out of space, I installed Photoshop and a few other program onto my 2nd HDD. I was abit lazy so instead of reinstalling the bigger (second) HDD as my main and "demote" my main smaller HDD.heheheh... But it works out great as the new bigger second drive was also faster. Using the fastest HDD as your scratch disk will also give you abit more boost to your work in Photoshop. I set the scratch disk of course to my newer HDD too lah. heh

    As I said I am not sure how much faster this set up is but it will work and work fine.

  14. #54

    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    For the PC version, that only happens if you are using a 64bit OS version ( it can't work with the 32bit OS)..I mean setting up your balance ram (more then 4 gig) to make a RAM DISK.
    well a person running 32bit Win can run a RAM disk... just that there's not much RAM to allocate to RAM disk in the case of using along with Photoshop...
    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    It's no longer rumour...heard it on a tech podcast not too long back about the 32bit & 64 bit version and how it works very well with new quad CPUs and beyond like a 8 core.
    no lah, the rumour part not whether 64bit will come out... its whether CS4 is coming out before end of the year ... another rumour is the use of graphics card acceleration for Photoshop's main number crunching... but as you said, will anyone need that power... a minority would, I guess...

  15. #55
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buy a "ready made" computer or Better to DIY one?

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    well a person running 32bit Win can run a RAM disk... just that there's not much RAM to allocate to RAM disk in the case of using along with Photoshop...
    no lah, the rumour part not whether 64bit will come out... its whether CS4 is coming out before end of the year ... another rumour is the use of graphics card acceleration for Photoshop's main number crunching... but as you said, will anyone need that power... a minority would, I guess...
    yalor heheh.... Well I don;t see any need to even run out to get the 64bit one when it comes out. It is not like i am cranking out tons of new artwork at my office..for that I rather we hire more staff!..there is only so much 2 hands and eyes can do at one time.
    Last edited by sammy888; 31st August 2008 at 01:30 AM.

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