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Thread: Tech gurus, need your help...

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by linse
    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.
    if got a bit of money to spare, get a Matrox G550 and make use of your LCD's DVI-I for even sharper image. This card is the best i have ever seen in terms of colour and sharpness

    anyway, Kingston is good enough lar, after sale support is great, i have replaced a few old Kingston ram before without any problem

    and since unlikely he need to overclock his PC, dun really need to get exortic ram because they will not give u better performance unless u overclock it.

    btw, with my two pieces of Kingston DDR400 (normal one, no ram sink), i can overclock from 15 x 200 to 15 x 250 = 3.75Ghz

    and i never have problem with any kingston ram from PC66 to PC3200
    Last edited by Wai; 22nd February 2004 at 09:36 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    The Asustek P4PE is the motherboard


    but nowadays how long do IT products last?
    played with the P4PE exactly one year ago, not bad at that time when 845 chipset was the main stream, but now all go for 865/875 chipset and C-series CPU

    wait he blur blur get a P4-2.4C CPU and an Asus P4PE, then he will jump on you because that board can only run up to 533Mhz FSB and not 800Mhz FSB

    I will recommend him to get C-series (2.4C) because got hyper-threading, dual channel DDR and much higher FSB

  3. #23

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    Ah Wai ah, so should i get p4 266 or 2.8 leh? Can give a list of the specs you recommend?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    Ah Wai ah, so should i get p4 266 or 2.8 leh? Can give a list of the specs you recommend?
    My recommendation -
    Abit IS7 (i865PE chipset) + P4-2.4C - $430+ or 2.8C for $40-50 more

    2 x Kingston/Cosair DDR400 256MB - 2 x $80 = $160

    1 x 80GB Western digital HDD (8mb cache) - $125

    Radeon 9200SE - <$100

    A good 480W PSU - $125

    TDK 4x DVD writer - $199 (better wait for IT show 2 weeks later)

    Altogether around $1100

    sound card, floppy, casing can reuse old one (unlikely your PSU support P4)then sell away your old system may be got some $$ to uprgade to 2 x 512MB instead.....(if u want to throw away the old system can throw to me, i want the ram)
    Last edited by Wai; 22nd February 2004 at 01:03 PM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    played with the P4PE exactly one year ago, not bad at that time when 845 chipset was the main stream, but now all go for 865/875 chipset and C-series CPU

    wait he blur blur get a P4-2.4C CPU and an Asus P4PE, then he will jump on you because that board can only run up to 533Mhz FSB and not 800Mhz FSB

    I will recommend him to get C-series (2.4C) because got hyper-threading, dual channel DDR and much higher FSB
    I don't think he needs the dual channel DDR & hyper-threading also, and like I said Intel moves fast, next thing you know D or E series will be out. And probably FSB of 1600Mhz Numbers tend to play tricks and it's the marketing gimmick.

    I really feel that the B-series are enough. Esp for RAW processing, it's good to have 2.4C but necessary to have?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    I really feel that the B-series are enough. Esp for RAW processing, it's good to have 2.4C but necessary to have?
    depends on his budget lor...the price different b/w B and C CPU is abt $60, and DDR266 is abt $10 cheaper than DDR400, he can save <$100 the most. I will say the $$ is well spend to get a C-series if he do lots of RAW conversion (tested and tried by myself)

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    depends on his budget lor...the price different b/w B and C CPU is abt $60, and DDR266 is abt $10 cheaper than DDR400, he can save <$100 the most. I will say the $$ is well spend to get a C-series if he do lots of RAW conversion (tested and tried by myself)
    Yep... for the RAM I do agree a DDR400 is more worth it as it's the next line of minimum standard I feel, DDR266 is passe (this is where my chase for technology comes in again)

    If the price difference is minimal of course get the better one, but also similarly if the price difference is saved, it's still a penny earned. Works both ways, let him get what he wants, or we go with him to SLS and we document his purchases on our cams How's that?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    sound card, floppy, casing can reuse old one (unlikely your PSU support P4)
    My casing is for P3 1 leh....can reuse for P4 meh? I was told sometime back the casing cannot use for P4 motherboards. The power supply confirm have to go. When I shut down my PC, it shows the 'windows is shutting down' and then re-starts.


    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    Works both ways, let him get what he wants, or we go with him to SLS and we document his purchases on our cams How's that?
    In fact, I was at SLS today afternoon to collect price lists. But the price lists look quite chim....


    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    My recommendation -
    Abit IS7 (i865PE chipset) + P4-2.4C - $430+ or 2.8C for $40-50 more
    2 x Kingston/Cosair DDR400 256MB - 2 x $80 = $160
    1 x 80GB Western digital HDD (8mb cache) - $125
    Radeon 9200SE - <$100
    A good 480W PSU - $125
    TDK 4x DVD writer - $199 (better wait for IT show 2 weeks later)
    Altogether around $1100

    Do I really need another 80gb harddisk? Since I already have 2 40gb ones, shouldn't they be enough? Will the WD HDD have faster read/write speed? Also, I think DVDrom now still quite ex, so maybe I'll just get another CDRW.

    According to the Fuwell list, the MB + CPU for 2.8C is $475
    Corsair DDR400 512mb = $159
    Radeon 9200SE = $98
    TDK 52x32x52 CDRW = $65
    480W PSU = $125
    Total is $922 (without HDD), $1047 (with WD 80gb HDD), $1121 (with 160gb HDD)

    So should I wait for the PC show or just bite the bullet and get from Fuwell? BTW, where is the PC show huh?

    Erm....anything to add? Sorry for being a pain....
    Last edited by funksoulava; 23rd February 2004 at 01:08 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    Do I really need another 80gb harddisk? Since I already have 2 40gb ones, shouldn't they be enough? Will the WD HDD have faster read/write speed? Also, I think DVDrom now still quite ex, so maybe I'll just get another CDRW.

    According to the Fuwell list, the MB + CPU for 2.8C is $475
    Corsair DDR400 512mb = $159
    Radeon 9200SE = $98
    TDK 52x32x52 CDRW = $65
    480W PSU = $125
    Total is $922 (without HDD), $1047 (with WD 80gb HDD), $1121 (with 160gb HDD)

    So should I wait for the PC show or just bite the bullet and get from Fuwell? BTW, where is the PC show huh?

    Erm....anything to add? Sorry for being a pain....
    no need to wait for PC show, price will be the same except for TDK writer
    instead of 1 x 512MB, you should get 2 x 256MB!! this is because to run Dual Channel DDR mode, you need two identical piece of ram. Technically you will have twice as much memory bandwidth with Dual Channel DDR (too bad my 2.4B cannot do that )

    Yes, your PSU has to go because it dun have the 12ATX power connector (4 pins square shape), so you may want to reuse your old casing and get a branded 480W that comes with 2-3 years warranty. Such as Thermaltake, Antec, Tagan, Zalman

    new casing usually comes with cheaper brand PSU, if you are fine with that, you can try your luck and get a new casing + PSU, cost will be about the same.

    Since you will have lots of RAW file to burn, you may consider TDK 4x DVD writer which is only $199 now, or u can wait till IT show@suntec from 11-14 March, surly got good deal from TDK

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    My casing is for P3 1 leh....can reuse for P4 meh? I was told sometime back the casing cannot use for P4 motherboards. The power supply confirm have to go. When I shut down my PC, it shows the 'windows is shutting down' and then re-starts.




    In fact, I was at SLS today afternoon to collect price lists. But the price lists look quite chim....





    Do I really need another 80gb harddisk? Since I already have 2 40gb ones, shouldn't they be enough? Will the WD HDD have faster read/write speed? Also, I think DVDrom now still quite ex, so maybe I'll just get another CDRW.

    According to the Fuwell list, the MB + CPU for 2.8C is $475
    Corsair DDR400 512mb = $159
    Radeon 9200SE = $98
    TDK 52x32x52 CDRW = $65
    480W PSU = $125
    Total is $922 (without HDD), $1047 (with WD 80gb HDD), $1121 (with 160gb HDD)

    So should I wait for the PC show or just bite the bullet and get from Fuwell? BTW, where is the PC show huh?

    Erm....anything to add? Sorry for being a pain....
    Get a 160GB harddisk. The best value for cost per gigabyte. Beyond that the price is ridiculous, and below that, you run into the "a bit more $ gets you more storage" thing.

    Regards
    CK

  11. #31
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    CKiang, why not we get funky to setup a SCSI system as well?

    2 x 40GB is fine, and do note what wai has mentioned, if you're going dual-channel DDR, you need 2 x same pieces of RAM. Not 1, ie 512 = 256 x 2, 1GB = 512 x 2 etc.

    Wanna buy all those in the thread a cuppa kopi? I'm sure all of us will be more than glad to sit down and tell you what the items on the pricelist means.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    CKiang, why not we get funky to setup a SCSI system as well?

    2 x 40GB is fine, and do note what wai has mentioned, if you're going dual-channel DDR, you need 2 x same pieces of RAM. Not 1, ie 512 = 256 x 2, 1GB = 512 x 2 etc.

    Wanna buy all those in the thread a cuppa kopi? I'm sure all of us will be more than glad to sit down and tell you what the items on the pricelist means.
    /me drop a 5KG harddisk on ESPN feet

    SCSI not worth it unless all his photo worth a lot of $$ and cannot afford hard disk crash

    Kopi? i want ice blended mocha with cream leh

  13. #33

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    Kopi? No problem lah....you all going for SEED tomorrow? Can meet up over kopi....

    My friend recommended the following:

    Asus P4P800 Deluxe + P4 2.8C = $550 (said that this board very stable)
    Corsair DDR400 512mb = $159 (said 1 pc enough, no need 2 pcs...Ah wai, how?)
    Asus V9560XT FX5600XT 128MD Graphics Card = $258 (said since using Asus motherboard, might as well)
    TDK 52x32x52 CDRW = $65
    Casing with PSU = around $100

    Total is now $1132 (without HDD), $1331 (with 160gb HDD)

    Sigh.....is it true that with the Asus combo of motherboard and graphics card, the system will be more 'stable'? Also, the previous combo (the Abit motherboard), how fast does it take to open Photoshop and RAW files? My current setup takes around 45secs to 1 minute. Opening RAW files also take around 30 to 45 secs.

    Decisions, decisions.........HELP~~~~~~~~~~

  14. #34
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    funky, as linse has pointed out, you're afterall doing 2D processing, is there a need for a $260+ gfx card? I'd repeat myself, a GeForce4 440MX 64MB DDR is only $88 for a average brand, and it can do quite a bit already. You might want to save that $180+ for other stuff.

    Like wai mentioned unless you're running dual channel DDR, which requires pairs of ram, 1 is enough. For the Asus P4 800, it's not dual channel I believe, think I meddled with one last year. Thus 1 piece enuff already.

    For stability, I always rely on Asus(tek), the other at last resort I'd take are MSI boards. None other for me.

    I never benchmark but on NC4, it takes a few secs only on my laptop, PS CS also is about a few secs (P4 1.6Ghz) and on my desktop (AMD 1GB TB) also roughly a few secs, definitely not as long as 45-60secs.

    That's why I suggested any upgrade option (even the cheapest) will make you quite happy already as there's an obvious improvement in performance, and since hardware depreciates so fast... getting all high end don't really work, save the money for upgrades in another 2-4 years!
    Last edited by espn; 24th February 2004 at 10:12 PM.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    funky, as linse has pointed out, you're afterall doing 2D processing, is there a need for a $260+ gfx card? I'd repeat myself, a GeForce4 440MX 64MB DDR is only $88 for a average brand, and it can do quite a bit already. You might want to save that $180+ for other stuff.
    Hmmm....like that I think I stick with the ATI Radeon 9200SE 128MB for $98.00


    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    Like wai mentioned unless you're running dual channel DDR, which requires pairs of ram, 1 is enough. For the Asus P4 800, it's not dual channel I believe, think I meddled with one last year. Thus 1 piece enuff already.
    Actually hor, what in the world is dual channel DDR and it's relation to Hyper Threading? Is it necessary for processing photos in Photoshop?


    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    For stability, I always rely on Asus(tek), the other at last resort I'd take are MSI boards. None other for me.

    I never benchmark but on NC4, it takes a few secs only on my laptop, PS CS also is about a few secs (P4 1.6Ghz) and on my desktop (AMD 1GB TB) also roughly a few secs, definitely not as long as 45-60secs.

    That's why I suggested any upgrade option (even the cheapest) will make you quite happy already as there's an obvious improvement in performance, and since hardware depreciates so fast... getting all high end don't really work, save the money for upgrades in another 2-4 years!
    Like that hor, current config is like this:

    Asus P4P800 Deluxe + P4 2.8C = $550
    Corsair DDR400 512mb = $159
    ATI Radeon 9200SE 128MB Graphics Card = $98
    TDK 52x32x52 CDRW = $65
    Casing with PSU = around $100

    Total is now $972 (without HDD), $1171 (with 160gb HDD)

    Hmmm....looks like this will be it man......drool~~~~ Anything I missed out?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    Kopi? No problem lah....you all going for SEED tomorrow? Can meet up over kopi....

    My friend recommended the following:

    Asus P4P800 Deluxe + P4 2.8C = $550 (said that this board very stable)
    Corsair DDR400 512mb = $159 (said 1 pc enough, no need 2 pcs...Ah wai, how?)
    Asus V9560XT FX5600XT 128MD Graphics Card = $258 (said since using Asus motherboard, might as well)
    TDK 52x32x52 CDRW = $65
    Casing with PSU = around $100

    Total is now $1132 (without HDD), $1331 (with 160gb HDD)

    Sigh.....is it true that with the Asus combo of motherboard and graphics card, the system will be more 'stable'? Also, the previous combo (the Abit motherboard), how fast does it take to open Photoshop and RAW files? My current setup takes around 45secs to 1 minute. Opening RAW files also take around 30 to 45 secs.

    Decisions, decisions.........HELP~~~~~~~~~~
    Asus Mobos are solid and reliable. 3 years manufacturer warranty somemore. Go to Asus website and check the specs for the deluxe and non deluxe boards. The differences may just be things that you dont actually need like RAID and stuff so why pay more for things you are not gonna use?

    It really doesnt make sense that system will be more reliable if paired with asus gfx card. Personally i am an ATI fanboy. Superb 2D and colour. Seriously will blow any nvidia away. And i dont think Asus have any ATI cards.

    You are not gonna need the Corsair rams. The value ones are ok but the premium Corsairs are for people who overclock. Corsairs are very 'pushable'.

    From your choice of motherboard and processor, it will be really stupid to go with just 1 stick of ram. Buy 2 sticks of 256mb and run Dual Channel DDR. The difference is significant. But do consider getting 2 x 512mb since you are gonna use it for photoshop primarily. Getting reglular Kingston or Twinmos ones will suffice.

    Casing wise, any type will do. Unless of cos you want those chio chio aluminium type then you have to pay. But power supply, get a good one. A good 350w will do. Less than $100.

    Your choice of Cd writer is a good one. fast and reliable.

    Hope this helps.

    http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/mbindex.htm
    Last edited by Twilo; 24th February 2004 at 10:58 PM.

  17. #37

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    A few things:

    1) Sim Lim is cheap, gives u great satisfaction when things work well and u get to mix and match all the dream parts that you want (or can afford).

    Downside, when the system doesn't work, is unstable or wonky, u get major headaches.

    Careful about the shops that say "Harddisk 3 yrs warranty", "Motherboard 1 yr warranty" etc. even though many of them say so.

    If you buy parts from all over, when that single component fails, they may not honour the warranty for each specific part by using the lame excuse that you did not pay them the service charge to assemble them, i.e. u screwed the parts urself.

    So look for the reputable ones. I heard some of the real cheap Indian ones are notorious for this.

    Exercise the common sense to check your receipts. If it does not even state the serial number of the item u bought (if it does not come with a warranty card for instance)... how can they give you the warranty?

    2) Dell or Compaq gives surprisingly good value. Though not always top notch specs (usually they skimp by giving u ridiculously little RAM), consider that you get Windows OS licenses, new drives, etc. bundled in.

    Tech support may not be that great, but at least there is tech support to scream at.

    With Sim Lim, u can only blame yourself.

    3) That said, my past 3 systems were DIY.

    You can also consider letting a good reputable shop assemble and test for you. Try Kudoz on the 4th floor. Look for Calvin. Good man him, thru my personal experiences etc.

    Typically $30 bucks or so. Saves u a lot of time and heartache.

    4) U got an LCD monitor, so u can re-use it and any other high value parts. LCD prices have gone up.

    The others like RAM and graphics cards may or may not be compatible with the motherboard depending on BIOS, drivers etc. so check first.

    5) I find P4 Hyper Threading CPUs (2.6GHz or better) much better performing than the Athlon XP ones (my previous). The latest AMDs might be better, no experience with those though. Allows you to multitask really well. I seldom find it maxing out at 100% CPU utilisation even when running batch jobs in Photoshop, ACDSee etc. But that could be because I have 1GB dual channel DDR400 RAM.

    The importance of (FS)Bus speed is often underestimated.

    6) Its not true that u need a fantastic graphic card. Those stuff are expensive & the best easily cost more than CPUs. More for gamers.

    If u use photoshop mainly, its 2-D work only. CPU, RAM, FSB speed, hdd speed will be more critical.

    7) For performance, overclocking etc. Asus, MSI, Gigabyte etc. have a good reputation among hard core performance/gaming users. Check around to see which models has got garnered good feedback for reliability. Some fail after 1 or 2 years. For gamers, its not an issue cos they change motherboards as often as they change underwear (every few weeks) but for more normal ppl who use it for more mundane work, motherboard reliability is everything.

    For the best stability, buy the original Intel P4 motherboards obviously. Typically 3 yrs warranty as compared to 1-2 for the ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte etc., though remember that Point 1 applies.
    Fewer or no overclocking options. Since u said that you dun do gaming, I would recommend this.

    Its what I use after experiences with wonky systems. I no longer am that free or energetic to troubleshoot and make multiple trips to Sim Lim.
    Age may make one gravitate towards the Dells and what nots.

    Lastly, good luck.

    "The best PC is one that works all the time when u need it."

    Quote Originally Posted by funksoulava
    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.

  18. #38
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    P4P800 IS a Dual Channel Board.

    Deluxe

    800FSB/4GB DDR400 Memory
    Intel 865PE Chipset
    800/533/400 MHz FSB
    Dual-Channel DDR400 Memory
    Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
    ASUS Intelligence Features
    IDE RAID
    IEEE 1394


    Non Deluxe

    800FSB/4GB Dual-DDR400 Memory
    Intel 865PE Chipset
    800 MHz FSB
    Dual-Channel DDR400 Memory
    Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
    ASUS Intelligence Features
    AGP 8X slot
    3COM Gigabit LAN

  19. #39

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    Hi Twilo, thanks so much for the pointers. Seems like I don;t need the deluxe version after all. Dun think I need RAID but my frem mentioned that the deluxe version comes with firewire.....

    Am seriously considering getting 2x512mb rams.....think it'll help in PS. As for the casing, I don't need those in-your-face type. Just a simple beige color one will do.

  20. #40

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    Hi Long, appreciate you taking the time to write your very detailed reply on the pros and cons of SLS shopping.

    I think I'll be buying everything from either Fuwell or Cybermind and ask them to assemble too.

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