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Build Advice New System(s) finally.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mrdexter, 22 Feb 2010.

  1. mrdexter

    mrdexter What's a Dremel?

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    I'm a little bit out of the loop despite having spent the last few days trawling reviews, all it's achieved is for a small melted portion of my brain to trickle out my right ear.

    About 3 to 4 years ago I finished working in hardware which I had worked in for the previous 4 years or so, and as is the case in this industry 15 minutes after I closed our shop I was no longer up to date with the latest advances.

    I am currently looking for three new systems, and to keep it as easy as possible I'm going to post the form three times to keep the systems seperate (you remember the bit about my brain having melted right?).

    Work PC.
    Main uses of intended build: I am a web designer so normally I can expect all the main browsers to be running, dreamweaver, skype, maybe an office doc or two.
    When I'm not working I might play DDO, and given the last game I played was MOHAA I might check out a game or two, but I can't play for long due to physical restrictions and this is not really essential.


    Parts required:
    Everything except chasis.

    Previous build information (list details of parts):
    AMD X2 something or other, 2GB DDR, nVidia Geforce 8x00GT, stock cooling, 40gb IDE and 2 x 1TB sata.

    Monitor resolution:
    I need a slightly bigger than my current 19" but given the way the industry has moved over to widescreen I may end up with two monitors, one mounted sideways and the current 19" next to it for the other PCs.

    Storage requirements:
    Low, the TBs are moving to a different PC.

    will you be overclocking: no, unless I have so much fun I can't help myself.

    Any motherboard requirements (no. of USB, Xfire/SLI, fan headers):
    None that I can think of, but I reserve the right to remember something in the middle of the night and edit.

    Extra information about desired system:
    Air cooled only, gigabit LAN.


    Client PC.
    Main uses of intended build: Downloading backup files from clients PCs.


    Parts required:
    Everything except chasis.

    Previous build information (list details of parts):
    Dell Celeron upgraded from 512mb to 2gb DDR.

    Monitor resolution:
    Probably use my old 19"

    Storage requirements:
    Some of the files really are huge (20GB) so I need room to store a few at a time, but periodically I will be moving them to the new storage server.

    will you be overclocking: no (delete as required)

    Any motherboard requirements (no. of USB, Xfire/SLI, fan headers):
    no

    Extra information about desired system:
    Air cooled. Gigabit LAN. Low power consumption would be nice.


    Main uses of intended build: Server.


    Parts required: Everything except chasis.


    Previous build information (list details of parts):
    Currently using 2 x 1TBs in my own PC.


    Monitor resolution:
    Doesnt matter, it'll mainly be used headless.

    Storage requirements:
    6TBs for now.

    will you be overclocking: no

    Any motherboard requirements (no. of USB, Xfire/SLI, fan headers):
    3GB/s sata drives (6) would be good.

    Extra information about desired system:
    air cooled, gigabit LAN, low power consumption would be nice, as would the drives which aren't being used at the time sleeping seeing as it will be on 24/7.


    Total budget: Around £1000 although there is a contingency fund if I can see where I might get extra value, value per £ is more important than overall spend.


    Finally, I've always been a bit of an AMD fanboi, but at this stage I'm quite open minded about brands, again value being key.
     
  2. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    As much as I'm going to get Mauled for this, have you thought about getting a 2nd hand computer off Ebay and just upgrading as necessary? I'm sure the Client PC you're on about can be had for about £150 with a dual core processor and 2Gb RAM, you can probably get away with getting the same again and just adding hard drives for the file server... (And I'm sure the Client PC and Server can share a monitor) If needs be you can always get an extra Gigabit ethernet card if the PC only has 10/100.

    As for the web editing computer, I'm not really too knowledgeable on AMD stuff, but I'm sure anything with 4Gb RAM and 4 cores will cover everything you need, especially if all your doing is Dreamweaver, maybe Fireworks for the graphics and the 5 main browsers open (I'm guessing FF, IE, Chrome, Opera and Safari)
     
  3. mrdexter

    mrdexter What's a Dremel?

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    It's a nice idea, thank you, but if it came to that the current client PC could be used just upgrading to gigabit LAN, and for that matter my own PC is ok provided I remember to reboot it now and then.

    Your reply did set me thinking as to why I wasn't actually going down that route, particularly given I have half a dozen AMD CPUs and at least a couple of compatible motherboards, and more bits and bobs that I've owned since we closed the shop. I think it's fair to say that apart from the fact I want to play with some new toys I really do want the client PC and fileserver to be as low power/efficient as possible, and also I want to lower the volume by several notches, it's quit loud in my office at the moment :-(
     
  4. DK63

    DK63 Resident magpie

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    I would definitely look at all 3 pc's being AMD, as they can use Cool 'n' Quiet. My AMD Phenom II x4 runs at 2.6Ghz when busy, but only 800Mhz when surfing, etc. As long as the mobo supports it, the fan speeds will lower automatically as well, hence less noise.
    For your work pc, I'd get a cheap quad core AMD/mobo, 4-8Gb memory and Win7 x64. Most mobo's now come with gigabit lan anyway. Reuse your optical drive, and anything else you want, and put in something like a 200Gb SATA drive. Use what is left over to build the other 2 pc's. If you can afford to run Win7 on all 3 pc's, it will make networking so much simpler.
    As for monitor, that's personal preference. However, get one with dual inputs, so you can share it between 2 pc's. Or you can just use Windows Remote Desktop to log onto the server, so it wont need a monitor/keyboard/mouse, etc. I know you said you have a £1000 budget, but for what you want, I think you need spend no more than about £5-600.
     
  5. reggie50

    reggie50 Minimodder

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    DK63, all the intel CPUs have supported SpeedStep, the equivalent of Cool'n'Quiet, since the Core architecture came in.

    mrdexter, I'd go for re-using your current PC as the server and then getting an i5 with a decent graphics card for your work PC.
     
  6. DK63

    DK63 Resident magpie

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    Yes, I know. However, Speedstep doesn't appear to be as efficient as CoolnQuiet. My AMD Phenom II x4 runs at 2.6Ghz, but drops to 800Mhz when surfing. My Intel i5 runs at 2.6Ghz but only drops to 1.2ghz when surfing.
     
  7. mrdexter

    mrdexter What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the replies, I appreicate it. Can anyone else comment on the Cool'n'Quiet versus SpeedStep quality?

    My current thoughts are to invest in at least one new m-itx board just because I want one, which I will be inclined to use as the client PC, it doesn't need an awful lot of features to just pull down data backups automatically for me.

    @DK63, yes it will be win7 across the board, my new laptop is win7 although complications networking are not an issue as when we ran the shop as I did plenty of network installs for clients, I like Win7 anyway.

    @reggie50 my current PC is the noisiest of them all, and doesn't support features such as hard drive suspending/sleeping when not in use. This would be an extremely nice feature for the same reason as the Cool'n'Quiet / SpeedStep.
     
  8. DK63

    DK63 Resident magpie

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    With an AMD based build, with Win7, you'll have a very quiet pc. I've noticed that Win7 switches off my data storage hard drives when they're not in use. My rig is so quiet I can hear the hdd's start and stop. :thumb:
     

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