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Thread: Tech gurus, need your help...

  1. #1

    Default Tech gurus, need your help...

    I'm torn between getting a new PC or upgrading my old one.

    Currently, I'm using a system with the following specs (roughly):

    Pentium 3 - 450
    256mb ram
    Integrated graphic card on motherboard
    Yamaha 16x CD Burner (without Burn proof technology)
    LCD Monitor

    I mainly process photos in Photoshop and don't play games or watch movies with this PC. It takes a very long time to open RAW files and saving them to jpeg takes longer. Opening jpeg files are slightly faster than Raw but saving them also takes a long time.

    My freind said that the problem lies with the onboard graphics card. When processing large files, there isn't enough memory so it draws from the motherboard, thereby slowing all processes to a crawl. He has recommended that I buy a GForce 128mb graphics card and a RAID card (I have 2 brand new pieces of Seagate Barracuda ATA IV harddisks). He says that running both harddisks with the RAID card and the new graphics card will speed up my system somewhat and that I can install Windows XP (I'm currently running Window 98). He mentioned that if this solution isn't good enough after installing, I can still buy a new system without the graphics card.

    Based on my photo processing requirements, can you guys recommend a solution for me? If I buy a new system, what should I get and how much will it cost? (I hope it won't cross the SGD1K mark) I think I can still use the LCD, maybe the harddisks, but I'd love to hear from you tech savvy people.

    Any help and advise will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    P4 + any decent 128mb graphics card + 512mb ram + 523252cdrw burner + XP will just about fit $1k. u may wanto try the TDK dvd+-RW and ram burner but the 8x is only for dvd+ format =)

  3. #3
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    Get a new case, motherboard + chip. up some more ram and a good vieo card. all this shouldn't cross the SGD1k mark. prob about 700+ depending on how high end you what your parts to be.

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    For slightly over 1k, you can buy a brand new Dell system....

    Anyway, the integrated graphics you are using is probably sharing memory from the main board. This is very common. But buying a new graphics card will not speed up your RAW processing as this has to do more with available RAM and CPU speeds. Installing XP won't speed up your system either.

    If your current system is still using SDRAM, then the only economical way to upgrade RAM is to get a new motherboard which supports DDR-RAM along with the CPU of your choice. SDRAM is stupidly expensive now.

    The CD Burner, HDD and LCD can still be used of coz. I am not that familiar with pc part prices esp. for Intel, but IIRC you should be able to get a AMD CPU + mobo for say, $400 or so. Check out HWZ for the prices.

    Regards
    CK

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    buy new system. ur system nothing worth upgrading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clive
    P4 + any decent 128mb graphics card + 512mb ram + 523252cdrw burner + XP will just about fit $1k. u may wanto try the TDK dvd+-RW and ram burner but the 8x is only for dvd+ format =)
    The latest TDK burner can now do 8x for + and -. But then again, I have not seen 8x media at all....

    Regards
    CK

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    why do you need it so high anyways? havent actually heard of anyone having so much stuff that they need to burn it on DVDs. CDs still works fine for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckiang
    The latest TDK burner can now do 8x for + and -. But then again, I have not seen 8x media at all....

    Regards
    CK
    verbatim dvd+r is labelled 8x...

    i have a few other brands of media that can do 8x too, even they are labelled at 4x

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    Quote Originally Posted by clive
    P4 + any decent 128mb graphics card + 512mb ram + 523252cdrw burner + XP will just about fit $1k. u may wanto try the TDK dvd+-RW and ram burner but the 8x is only for dvd+ format =)

    not true, TDK use NEC oem, which is capable to do 8x on BOTH +r and -r media

  10. #10

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    wah 8x for dvd+ and - so fast out liaoz ah...then i wait abit more will be 16x already =)

    personally i got GBs of mp3s and mtvs... and actually i intend to allocate at least one dvdrw disc per artiste whose work that i collect...somemore my friends possess Gbs of fulllength movies..havent start to transfer from them yet kekeke...that soemhow justified mass capacity optical storage ^_^

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    Integrated graphics card draw the RAM from the system RAM, not the motherboard, the motherboard is just the bridge between the peripherals.

    funky, what you need is any 64MB GF4 card and about 512MB of RAM with a new processor, the loading of graphics slowly is due mainly to the speed of processor and amount of RAM, the HDD speed is also important, getting a RAID card to run striping I think it's quite dangerous as one fails, both dies. No doubt faster but striping don't really even out the speed you need/want with the danger involved.

    I'm running RAW from 2 systems, AMD 1GB Thunderbird + 640MB RAM and a ATA100 40GB HDD w/ GF4 32MB MX 440 (low end gfx card), the other system is my laptop P4 1.6Ghz + 512MB DDR + GF2 Go 16MB VGA. Both loads RAW pretty reasonably fast, it would be ideal to get a new system retaining some of the usable parts like your HDD and floppy. The rest seriously needs to go.

    INTEL Pentium-4 2.40B - $105
    ASUStek P4PE-Black Pearl - $146
    CORSAIR XMS 512MB - $328
    TDK Cyclone 48x24x48x - $79
    New casing + power supply - $100
    Taxi fare to and fro - $20

    If you need help, just drop a PM. In exchange for all the Larry shots you have

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckiang
    For slightly over 1k, you can buy a brand new Dell system....
    i will avoid dell at all cost.

    last time my company ordered a Dell, (cos my boss say DIY look cheapo)

    firstly, i have to place the order a few times because dell say never received our order, then later find out that the rebate only can cliam back after 1 year and shipping have to add a few hundred dollars too.

    so if u see the ads say $999 after rebate, expect to pay much more upfront
    and if u want to upgrade monitor, ram and hard disk....u will find that the upgrade is more expensive too

    finally the PC took one month to reach SG from penang (suppose to be within 2 weeks), by then the price of the hardware already dropped

    after the set delivered, the CD-rom drive died in a mth plus

    after we got this Dell set, my boss ask me to get parts from Sim lim and DIY few more sets, price was cheaper and the spec is much higher too
    We are HDD of PC & FT are MB add to storage;
    so PC never hangs with enormous storage capacity - LKY

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    Quote Originally Posted by clive
    wah 8x for dvd+ and - so fast out liaoz ah...then i wait abit more will be 16x already =)

    personally i got GBs of mp3s and mtvs... and actually i intend to allocate at least one dvdrw disc per artiste whose work that i collect...somemore my friends possess Gbs of fulllength movies..havent start to transfer from them yet kekeke...that soemhow justified mass capacity optical storage ^_^
    get external USB one then can share around lor

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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    Integrated graphics card draw the RAM from the system RAM, not the motherboard, the motherboard is just the bridge between the peripherals.

    funky, what you need is any 64MB GF4 card and about 512MB of RAM with a new processor, the loading of graphics slowly is due mainly to the speed of processor and amount of RAM, the HDD speed is also important, getting a RAID card to run striping I think it's quite dangerous as one fails, both dies. No doubt faster but striping don't really even out the speed you need/want with the danger involved.
    actually those are fine because for business use no need so fast...cheap and brand probably more important...but i guess my boss will not want to order anymore dell in future

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    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    256mb ram
    can give the ram to my gf's system

    in return i can give u some parts for your new system

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    i will avoid dell at all cost.

    last time my company ordered a Dell, (cos my boss say DIY look cheapo)

    firstly, i have to place the order a few times because dell say never received our order, then later find out that the rebate only can cliam back after 1 year and shipping have to add a few hundred dollars too.

    so if u see the ads say $999 after rebate, expect to pay much more upfront
    and if u want to upgrade monitor, ram and hard disk....u will find that the upgrade is more expensive too

    finally the PC took one month to reach SG from penang (suppose to be within 2 weeks), by then the price of the hardware already dropped

    after the set delivered, the CD-rom drive died in a mth plus

    after we got this Dell set, my boss ask me to get parts from Sim lim and DIY few more sets, price was cheaper and the spec is much higher too
    All the new PCs in my office are Dells, no problems so far. Maybe it's one of those "heng sway" things again.

    Regards
    CK

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckiang
    All the new PCs in my office are Dells, no problems so far. Maybe it's one of those "heng sway" things again.

    Regards
    CK
    may be lor....should have show u a picture of the Dell system with the CD-rom tray "stick-out" like a tongue

    the tray refuse to go inside anymore...i have checked and got no disc stuck inside and not because of jam, wonder why the tray cannot go in (even by force)

    Dell got matching casing and monitor, keyboard mah...that's why my boss at first want to get a Dell since it "sounds" affordable and "looks" great on the ads, i told him abt the performance but since it is an office PC, no need so powerful anyway....

  18. #18

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    Wow......***speechless***

    So fast, so many replies (excluding Ah Wai's not very related replies to my cries for help kekekeke)

    Thanks clive, tmc17479, ckiang and clown (you so farney) for your suggestions.

    Special mention goes to espn for a more detailed list + price list. (I have a crap load of Larry photos..... )

    I assume that the 'ASUStek P4PE-Black Pearl - $146' is the graphics card? Probably 64mb? Heard that ATI Raedeon is quite good, any ideas on the price?
    And 'CORSAIR XMS 512MB - $328', is the RAM right? Thought Kingston is quite good? Is it more expensiove or better performance for handling graphics? Maybe I should consider a DVD writter also, since my present harddisks (13gb + 17gb) fills up very quickly and my RAW / Jpegs files need lots of CDRoms.

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    I see no one has pointed out to you that the 3D graphics card has no bearing whatsoever on the speed of processing photos which are 2D. Any integrated graphics solution is more than fast enough. Integrated graphic solutions are only a problem if you are using very high screen resolutions which some cannot handle at a decent refresh rate. Since you don't play any games or watch movies, I suggest you save the money and go for an integrated graphics chipset.

    ASUS P4PE is a motherboard.

    Kingston RAMs are reliable but not high in performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    I assume that the 'ASUStek P4PE-Black Pearl - $146' is the graphics card? Probably 64mb? Heard that ATI Raedeon is quite good, any ideas on the price?
    And 'CORSAIR XMS 512MB - $328', is the RAM right? Thought Kingston is quite good? Is it more expensiove or better performance for handling graphics? Maybe I should consider a DVD writter also, since my present harddisks (13gb + 17gb) fills up very quickly and my RAW / Jpegs files need lots of CDRoms.
    You're welcome funky, The Asustek P4PE is the motherboard, heehee sorry for the misunderstanding. The graphics card nowadays are more or less good enough if you just whack any GEForce4 MX440 cards, ATI Raedeon has very good reviews and a large number of supporters, I would consider them competition for nVidia (thus prices get betta all the time ) The prices aren't very far from nVidia's Ti's range of graphics card, almost similar, but to me as long as it works that's all that matters to me, I won't go fiddle with the benchmarks and measurebate over that 5-20% of performance, I probably won't feel it anyway (that's just me).

    Reason why I suggested COSAIR is that I've always problems with Kingston (again, this is just me) I built 2 P3s and 1 AMD together, that piece of RAM just refused to get past Win98 installation at 8%, however plugging it in direct to an already installed OS system it works, from thence I've thorougly condemned Kingston, my RAMs are all Hyundai's (Hynix). (If you want to know why the hate, I spent the whole night troubleshooting the 3 PCs.) There are various speeds the RAM can run on get the speed that matches what the board can prove, if it's PC400 get it, of course it's backwards compatible. Another thing on Kingston is that it has lifetime warranty, a term which still many mistaken as 'forever' actually, it's just 'forever' as long as the product's are still in production, but nowadays how long do IT products last?

    A DVD writer is a good idea as since now it's cheap & also versatile and it's the next-generation in thing whereby a system is now considered incomplete without a DVD RW. The price might rocket out of your budget a bit though.

    Computer parts depreciate & within months technologies appear better and even faster, getting the top end everytime you want to get a new PC is not really advisable, how well the system runs and it's performance is really your contentment at heart, if you're satisfied, it's fast, if you're not, it's slow. Since you're only using it for pure image processing, the system I've recommended suits the basic needs (unless you're going to do 3D animation of images and produce a "funky visney cartoon productions... heehee) of what you are going to do. And I think u'd be able to use it for gaming + surfing + word processing and even programming.

    Cheers

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