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bigross86
26 Oct 11,, 13:58
If you're thinking of buying a hard drive, better do it right now (http://dvice.com/archives/2011/10/if-youre-thinki.php)


You've probably heard about the flooding in Thailand. You may not have heard about all the hard drive factories that are underwater and non-operational and will probably stay that way for at least the next six weeks. The next three months are looking really, really bad for hard drives especially for anyone who's buyin'.

Western Digital, Hitachi, Seagate, and Toshiba are all facing direct production issues as a result of the flooding, and even Korean companies such as Samsung are having trouble getting the specific components that they need to build their own drives, like a motor responsible for spinning the disc in hard disc drives. Most customers have about two weeks of inventory, and distributors may have an additional two weeks, but beyond that, things are looking gloomy. On Apple's earnings call this week, CEO Tim Cook said that he's "virtually certain there will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives as a result of the disaster."

According to Thailand's prime minister, the flooding may take up to six weeks to recede, and after that, who knows how long it's going to be before factories resume production and there's enough logistical infrastructure back up to get drives and parts out of the country. On top of all that, China's cuts to rare earth supplies are just going to make everything worse by the time the holiday season rolls around. This isn't just speculation, either: it's already getting bad out there.

Over the last two or three days, I've watch prices on the drive I've been looking at for a new PC build (a 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3, if you're curious) skyrocket from $60 to $110 to completely out of stock most places. As people start to worry, demand will increase, and since there's not going to be any new supply for weeks (maybe even months), things may very well get frantic as soon as current stock runs out. So, if you've been thinking about a new computer, an upgrade to an old computer, or even just an external drive for backup storage, now is definitely the time to pull the trigger.

That is, if it's not already too late.

Doktor
26 Oct 11,, 14:15
Just yesterday all the stores ran out of HDD, RAM and similar products ;)

The answer is, we are out of stock, once we have some, we will contact you.

Classical supply/demand.

bigross86
26 Oct 11,, 14:19
The bigger question is how this will effect things down the line. Less hard drives being made means less computers being turned out. Less computers available means A) prices jump on those that are for sale and B) less computers in general are bought. Considering the entire world pretty much runs on computers nowadays, this could have serious repercussions in all fields of life...

Doktor
26 Oct 11,, 14:22
We will save electricity ;)

dave lukins
26 Oct 11,, 14:31
We will save electricity ;)

And do what with it? :biggrin:

Doktor
26 Oct 11,, 14:33
Hmm...

Ask Rusty what they did before computers?

Blue
26 Oct 11,, 15:05
I've got 2TBs to fill. Doubt it will happen anytime soon. We'll be using crystal technology by the time I get enough stuff on this one to make a dent.

USSWisconsin
26 Oct 11,, 16:38
On Saturday my PC died - @#$#$% - Blue screen all that great crap.:insane:

That Q6600 PC was trouble from the start - and it didn't come with an OS disk (XP64) the vendor promptly went out of business - the power supply failed ... but it had been working since 2008 when I fixed it with a server PS. I ordered a new HDD for it and bought a copy ofXP64 - which I was cheated out of in the first place - leave it to MS to keep charging me for the same OS on the same damn PC.:bang::puck:

Now I am using this mac - what a pain in the ASS - Mac is pathetic - it is worse than windows for the "I know what you want to do" it won't send email! it keeps deciding defaults for me - everything is backwards - buttons on the opposite of the screen - tedious updates --- :mad:

I doubt this hard drive shortage is anything more than a money grab - but we the consumer will be hosed - no doubt:tank::tank:

gunnut
26 Oct 11,, 18:34
HD price already went up. WD 2TB green drive on Amazon was around $70 - $80. The price jumped to $120 a few days ago and now it's out.

Just wait a bit and the price will come back down.

astralis
26 Oct 11,, 18:50
i'm looking at getting a new computer next year, so i'm hoping prices will have stabilized by then.

my issue is finding a computer manufacturer that can still make relatively robust computers. i understand with greater complexity comes greater tendency towards failure, but i suspect some of the old time computer manufacturers have seriously gotten lax with quality control, particularly with parts coming from china.

any particular brands you guys recommend?

also, any new graphics card worth buying on the horizon? i have what was state of the art for 2006-2007-- it is getting a bit rusty now.

bolo121
26 Oct 11,, 19:21
i'm looking at getting a new computer next year, so i'm hoping prices will have stabilized by then.

my issue is finding a computer manufacturer that can still make relatively robust computers. i understand with greater complexity comes greater tendency towards failure, but i suspect some of the old time computer manufacturers have seriously gotten lax with quality control, particularly with parts coming from china.

any particular brands you guys recommend?

also, any new graphics card worth buying on the horizon? i have what was state of the art for 2006-2007-- it is getting a bit rusty now.

If you are buying a laptop, all the major brands are equally crap. My buddies in the US say that Toshiba are pretty decent nowadays.

If you are getting a desktop, its very easy to build your own in the land of Newegg and Tiger Direct.
Wait for Ivy Bridge, Intel's new line of Processors.
With AMD already having released Bulldozer, there will probably be a price cut in the run up to its release.
Retail release is targeted for March 2012.

gunnut
26 Oct 11,, 19:27
I normally build my own. It all depends on what you want your computer to do and how much you are willing to spend. Any new computer will do if all you need is browsing the web, do some email, shopping, and play some flash games like farmville.

If you want to play high intensity games like Battlefield 3 then you want a nice video card, preferably Radeon 68xx class or better. CPU should be Intel Core i5 (Sandy Bridge core) or better. I would stay away from AMD's Bulldozer processor for now. The performance is no better than the last Phenom II processor.

What you can do is buy a Dell or HP computer with a decent processor, then add your own video card. You could buy an off the shelf system with a decent video card, but then the price tend to get jacked up.

YellowFever
26 Oct 11,, 19:31
Astralis, one word:

GATEWAY!

Best computers you can buy without building it yourself.

Even moderate scums such as yourself won't complain about them. :biggrin:

bolo121
26 Oct 11,, 19:36
I normally build my own. It all depends on what you want your computer to do and how much you are willing to spend. Any new computer will do if all you need is browsing the web, do some email, shopping, and play some flash games like farmville.

If you want to play high intensity games like Battlefield 3 then you want a nice video card, preferably Radeon 68xx class or better. CPU should be Intel Core i5 (Sandy Bridge core) or better. I would stay away from AMD's Bulldozer processor for now. The performance is no better than the last Phenom II processor.

What you can do is buy a Dell or HP computer with a decent processor, then add your own video card. You could buy an off the shelf system with a decent video card, but then the price tend to get jacked up.

GN, a question. My Sis will probably be visiting me from the US in a couple of months and I was thinking of moving on from My 3 year old HD4850. What card nowadays would you recommend to replace it?

gunnut
26 Oct 11,, 19:40
GN, a question. My Sis will probably be visiting me from the US in a couple of months and I was thinking of moving on from My 3 year old HD4850. What card nowadays would you recommend to replace it?

It all depends on how much your processor can drive. What CPU are you using?

bolo121
26 Oct 11,, 19:41
Core I52500K with G skill 8GB

gunnut
26 Oct 11,, 19:57
Core I52500K with G skill 8GB

Well...hell...that 4850 is killing your performance right now. The i5 2500k (is it overclocked?) should be able to drive just about anythong on the market. Now the question becomes how much are you willing to spend?

USSWisconsin
26 Oct 11,, 19:58
I am inclined to go with the Phenom II X6 processors - lots of threads - only advanced gaming makes the Intel processors any better. With more cores - you can do more at once. 8 GB is a lot of RAM unless you know why you need more (be sure to have a 64 bit OS if you want more than 2 GB of usable RAM). I have had good luck with the 3btech.net vendor (there are 3btech clones with .com and .biz - so be sure you have the .net one if you want to use my recommendations). Remember computers change like the weather, a new "best" one everyday, the latest usually one costs about twice as much as the previous greatest version.. Some neat new things to consider: SSD drives, SATA3, USB3, it keeps getting better.

I like Tomshardware.com for recommendations on specific hardware.

gunnut
26 Oct 11,, 20:10
Phenom II x6 is nice, but unfortunately not many programs support multi threading. I guess it's nice to have if you encode a bluray movie but must play Battlefield 3 at the same time...:tongue:

Nothing beats Phenom II processors when it comes to value. I run a Phenom II x3 720 @ 3.2 GHz. Thinking about the x4 965 at 3.4 GHz to see how fast I can overclock it.

astralis
26 Oct 11,, 21:04
gunnut,


I normally build my own. It all depends on what you want your computer to do and how much you are willing to spend. Any new computer will do if all you need is browsing the web, do some email, shopping, and play some flash games like farmville.

If you want to play high intensity games like Battlefield 3 then you want a nice video card, preferably Radeon 68xx class or better. CPU should be Intel Core i5 (Sandy Bridge core) or better. I would stay away from AMD's Bulldozer processor for now. The performance is no better than the last Phenom II processor.

What you can do is buy a Dell or HP computer with a decent processor, then add your own video card. You could buy an off the shelf system with a decent video card, but then the price tend to get jacked up.

i prefer "partial builds", ie my computer right now is a dell but i put in my own power supply/video card/extra memory, and added new keyboard/mouse/monitor/speaker combo. i don't like to go through the added bother/expense of getting, say, windows software.

turns out that my card is actually not as old as i remember-- it's similar to bolo's, a HD4870. i figure i can wait until fairly late next year.

one of the reasons why i'd like a new card is because even when i moderately overclocked my card, it still cannot run shogun 2 with all the eye candy i'd like-- ie once i hit "anistropic 16x/shader model 4.1/HDR effect/etc" it starts locking up. shader model 5 is completely beyond it.

it seems a bit weird to me how a fairly good card from late-2008 has a shorter shelf life than my average dell computer circa early 2007.

astralis
26 Oct 11,, 21:07
YF,


Astralis, one word:

GATEWAY!

Best computers you can buy without building it yourself.

how flexible are the computers to add-your-own? i ask becoz i notice dell has been getting less friendly for people who want to include extra stuff, ie it took me some time to find a bloody power source that could fit within the confines of the box, lol.


Even moderate scums such as yourself won't complain about them.

"moderate scum", i like that. "scum, yes, but not as bad as the LIBRUL type..." :biggrin:

gunnut
26 Oct 11,, 21:47
gunnut,



i prefer "partial builds", ie my computer right now is a dell but i put in my own power supply/video card/extra memory, and added new keyboard/mouse/monitor/speaker combo. i don't like to go through the added bother/expense of getting, say, windows software.

turns out that my card is actually not as old as i remember-- it's similar to bolo's, a HD4870. i figure i can wait until fairly late next year.

one of the reasons why i'd like a new card is because even when i moderately overclocked my card, it still cannot run shogun 2 with all the eye candy i'd like-- ie once i hit "anistropic 16x/shader model 4.1/HDR effect/etc" it starts locking up. shader model 5 is completely beyond it.

it seems a bit weird to me how a fairly good card from late-2008 has a shorter shelf life than my average dell computer circa early 2007.

Another thing is whether your current CPU is capable of driving an advanced video card. Bolo has a killer CPU (for today) and his video card is choking the performance.

Your 4870 is pretty much on par with my 5770. The major difference is the 5xxx series has advanced power saving features. My card idles at 18W power draw, according to ATI. I think your 4870 idles at a much higher power draw, maybe 60W?

I was just looking at specs of the new cards. Assuming the 6770 behaves roughly like my 5770, and thus your 4870, you will need to go to 6870 to see major improvement, preferably 6950. Of course this discounts the fact that 4870 was not DX11 compliant while the 5770 and later are.

YellowFever
26 Oct 11,, 21:48
YF,
how flexible are the computers to add-your-own? i ask becoz i notice dell has been getting less friendly for people who want to include extra stuff, ie it took me some time to find a bloody power source that could fit within the confines of the box...

Wow, good question.

Never felt the need to add anything to it besides a new video card. Not to say the one that came with it was bad.

Let's just say that my nephew, who used to be a world class Counter Strike player always started with a Gateway before adding stuff to it.

bolo121
27 Oct 11,, 03:54
Well...hell...that 4850 is killing your performance right now. The i5 2500k (is it overclocked?) should be able to drive just about anythong on the market. Now the question becomes how much are you willing to spend?

Yep thats pretty much why I want to upgrade. I am no FPS player, but i would like to at least run something like cities XL2011 or a RTS like Starcraft 2 or Shogun 2 without things slowing down. I paid about $185 in INR for my HD4850 from Sapphire.
It was reasonable quiet, reliable and pretty much the best bang for buck GPU I ever purchased. So I guess I am willing to get whatever fits into that particular sweet spot nowadays for about the same kind of money.
I have read that with all the software they provide nowadays overclocking a 2500K is a breeze, but i am waiting for some time until it isnt brand new.

bolo121
27 Oct 11,, 04:09
gunnut,



i prefer "partial builds", ie my computer right now is a dell but i put in my own power supply/video card/extra memory, and added new keyboard/mouse/monitor/speaker combo. i don't like to go through the added bother/expense of getting, say, windows software.

turns out that my card is actually not as old as i remember-- it's similar to bolo's, a HD4870. i figure i can wait until fairly late next year.

one of the reasons why i'd like a new card is because even when i moderately overclocked my card, it still cannot run shogun 2 with all the eye candy i'd like-- ie once i hit "anistropic 16x/shader model 4.1/HDR effect/etc" it starts locking up. shader model 5 is completely beyond it.

it seems a bit weird to me how a fairly good card from late-2008 has a shorter shelf life than my average dell computer circa early 2007.

Actually doing this doesn't make a lot of sense. Upgrading that dell would in any case invalidate the warranty, and yep while you may have to take a one time hit buying windows a custom build is still much more flexible and lower price.
I would say get yourself a Nice Lian Li Cabby and fill it up with the exact combo of components your needs and budget prefer.

Blue
27 Oct 11,, 16:07
If you are buying a laptop, all the major brands are equally crap. My buddies in the US say that Toshiba are pretty decent nowadays.


I am posting this from my Toshiba P-205 that I have had for about three years now(i think). The only complaint i have is windows vista, but it now has enough updates that i have no prob with it. I would buy one again, but would like to have something that is military spec'd. EMP proofed, dust and water res and all that.

astralis
27 Oct 11,, 16:34
panasonic toughbook?

Blue
27 Oct 11,, 18:12
I've looked at them a little, but I haven't completely researched Toshibas offerings in that area. As tough as this one is, the Sattelite is damn close to the toughbook as far as durabilty, its those other things I am wondering about and sure i will pay handsomely for when the time comes.

gunnut
27 Oct 11,, 18:22
panasonic toughbook?

Comes in real handy when you rage quit a game and just need something to throw against the wall.:biggrin:

gunnut
27 Oct 11,, 18:25
Yep thats pretty much why I want to upgrade. I am no FPS player, but i would like to at least run something like cities XL2011 or a RTS like Starcraft 2 or Shogun 2 without things slowing down. I paid about $185 in INR for my HD4850 from Sapphire.
It was reasonable quiet, reliable and pretty much the best bang for buck GPU I ever purchased. So I guess I am willing to get whatever fits into that particular sweet spot nowadays for about the same kind of money.
I have read that with all the software they provide nowadays overclocking a 2500K is a breeze, but i am waiting for some time until it isnt brand new.

Radeon 6870 should be around $200 and perfect for you.

Doktor
27 Oct 11,, 18:25
I have Toshiba Satellite.

It good on everything, but the keyboard is the weak link.

bolo121
27 Oct 11,, 19:08
Radeon 6870 should be around $200 and perfect for you.

Thanks GN, Any particular brand that you like?

gunnut
27 Oct 11,, 19:17
Thanks GN, Any particular brand that you like?

I have had 2 Radeon cards made by Power Color. They are reliable. I've heard Sapphire is good too but I have never used one. Asus is always good, but a bit more expensive.

Dago
27 Oct 11,, 22:02
The bigger question is how this will effect things down the line. Less hard drives being made means less computers being turned out. Less computers available means A) prices jump on those that are for sale and B) less computers in general are bought. Considering the entire world pretty much runs on computers nowadays, this could have serious repercussions in all fields of life...

I think computers in general are priced specifically at a certain range. For top end models typically 1,000 and over like Alienware. A harddrive isn't gonna make much of a difference. I think they just eat those costs or maybe add 50 bucks to it.

USSWisconsin
27 Oct 11,, 22:22
This mac is driving me maccy.. I have ordered a replacement for the dead Q6600 PC - The mini mac does internet fine - mail is another story..

My new box will have
AMD Thuban 1090T 3.2 Ghz 6 core - it will run at 4.0 Ghz with the flip of a switch.
Gbit 990FXA-UD3
Corsair Performance 128 SSD
2 x Seagate 7200 SATA3 barracuda 500 GB drives (RAID 1)
16 GB PC 1600 DDR3 RAM (4x4)
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - Dual 24" Widescreen ASUS 245 displays
LG Blue Ray Multi DVD
Win7 Pro 64
Thermaltake Midtower
Cooler master Extreme 500W PS
Titan Fenbir EVO cooler

I know the AMD bulldozer would be nice to wait for - but this thing should get the jobs done (it will hold a BD chip on the AM3 + socket - but I doubt it will ever see that). I worked with a nice engineer at 3btech.net to get it spec'd they will start building it today. It is a workstation - not really a gaming machine - but it should do ok at that too, if I get around to trying it. My Daughter is looking forward to having it as her machine in a couple years - it will get to play then.

An early Christmas I suppose - I was intending to buy some more mundane things for the house, like a refrigerator - but the PC is hard to live without.

So I have ben dragged into the current generation of PC's - timing on the HDD was terrible - the 500 MB disks were reserved earlier this week - they are already marked up 40% since then - they were ~50$ a week ago - now they are 140$ but I am getting them for 100...

I ordered a replacement 160 GB SATA 150 HDD for the old PC on Sat (along with an XP 64 CDrom) - the disk was 30$ - the same thing is now 70$ - if you can find one in stock

Blue
28 Oct 11,, 01:08
I have Toshiba Satellite.

It good on everything, but the keyboard is the weak link.

Mine's a bit "squishy" and I make a lot of typos when I don't use it for a few days, but I haven't had any failures, even after having a few fist pounding shit-fits on it.

Doktor
28 Oct 11,, 01:12
Well, to be fair, this one is exploited every single second of the day ;)

As I said, besides keyboard I don't have any issues.

bolo121
28 Oct 11,, 05:03
This mac is driving me maccy.. I have ordered a replacement for the dead Q6600 PC - The mini mac does internet fine - mail is another story..

My new box will have
AMD Thuban 1090T 3.2 Ghz 6 core - it will run at 4.0 Ghz with the flip of a switch.
Gbit 990FXA-UD3
Corsair Performance 128 SSD
2 x Seagate 7200 SATA3 barracuda 500 GB drives (RAID 1)
16 GB PC 1600 DDR3 RAM (4x4)
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - Dual 24" Widescreen ASUS 245 displays
LG Blue Ray Multi DVD
Win7 Pro 64
Thermaltake Midtower
Cooler master Extreme 500W PS
Titan Fenbir EVO cooler

I know the AMD bulldozer would be nice to wait for - but this thing should get the jobs done (it will hold a BD chip on the AM3 + socket - but I doubt it will ever see that). I worked with a nice engineer at 3btech.net to get it spec'd they will start building it today. It is a workstation - not really a gaming machine - but it should do ok at that too, if I get around to trying it. My Daughter is looking forward to having it as her machine in a couple years - it will get to play then.

An early Christmas I suppose - I was intending to buy some more mundane things for the house, like a refrigerator - but the PC is hard to live without.

So I have ben dragged into the current generation of PC's - timing on the HDD was terrible - the 500 MB disks were reserved earlier this week - they are already marked up 40% since then - they were ~50$ a week ago - now they are 140$ but I am getting them for 100...

I ordered a replacement 160 GB SATA 150 HDD for the old PC on Sat (along with an XP 64 CDrom) - the disk was 30$ - the same thing is now 70$ - if you can find one in stock

A few thoughts on the rig you mentioned.

As GN already mentioned, Core I5 2500K is way better, even with two less cores.
the HD6850 is a bit long in the tooth these days, Ideally get a HD6950 from sapphire or if budget challenged a 6870 like i plan to.
At the consumer level no real benefit to RAID, waiting and getting a 7200RPM 1TB HDD for data plus another external one for backups would be better.
In any case your frequently used files and OS are going to be living on that nifty SSD.
Rethink Thermaltake for the Case, they dont have that good reviews. Plenty of good budget Antec, Coolermaster or NZXT cases available.
For PSU the cooler master extreme also are pretty basic and some in the extreme range have been known to quit on you. Take either Seasonic, Antec or Corsair 600w or above with at least 80% bronze rating.

bolo121
28 Oct 11,, 05:09
Here are the specs of my new PC, still waiting to get a decent Graphics card.

Intel Core i5 2500k
G Skill Ripjaws 1600 8GB
Crucial M4 SATA 6gb/sec 64 GB SSD
1x Western Digital Green Editon HDD
1x Western Digital Blue Editon HDD
Sony Optiarc Dvd Writer (Dont own any Blu Ray Content)
Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Coolermaster CM690 II Advanced Midtower
Zalman CNPS 9500 cooler
Seasonic 620w 80% Bronze PSU

USSWisconsin
28 Oct 11,, 06:38
A few thoughts on the rig you mentioned.

As GN already mentioned, Core I5 2500K is way better, even with two less cores.
the HD6850 is a bit long in the tooth these days, Ideally get a HD6950 from sapphire or if budget challenged a 6870 like i plan to.
At the consumer level no real benefit to RAID, waiting and getting a 7200RPM 1TB HDD for data plus another external one for backups would be better.
In any case your frequently used files and OS are going to be living on that nifty SSD.
Rethink Thermaltake for the Case, they dont have that good reviews. Plenty of good budget Antec, Coolermaster or NZXT cases available.
For PSU the cooler master extreme also are pretty basic and some in the extreme range have been known to quit on you. Take either Seasonic, Antec or Corsair 600w or above with at least 80% bronze rating.

Thanks for you insights, your recommendations sound very good for a normal advanced gaming user wanting a PC in this performance range, this won't be a game machine - I wish I had read your advice before I ordered - The case and PS reliability concern me a bit - but I specifically wanted a 450-500W PS - this is the one my preferred builder had in that size - with the specs I wanted (dual rail - large 135mm low speed fan). The case was selected on price and features (specs and photos).

I do have confidence in this builder (no time to do this - last few builds sat around too long being built - and one build never got finished - damn Athlon bare silicon CPU kept breaking when I put the heat sink on it - I finally gave it to someone whole had time to mess around replacing bad parts - they finished it and it performed pretty good... I like the AMD A10 core - it is perfect for my use (6 cores will serve me better in heavy multitasking than 4 faster cores with hyper threading, I agree, Intel would be faster for games) - that is what in in Cray Computers these days (the super scalar ones). The video card was very reasonable due to its place in the age curve, and will do what I want it to - a 6670 was in the original request - but it was out of stock. A work station like I really want - HP Xeon/Quattro or Cylestica-Cray Opteron/Quattro with similar performance would cost nearly 10 times as much. An i7 machine (which is what this chip is competing with in relevant bench marks) would be nearly twice as much, and on the benchmarks that matter most for me - it would not be much better (not worth the cost, IMO). For the average person RAID is not necessary - but managing backups is too much effort for me these days - I do intend to get an automated remote disk backup system after the disk mess. I have lost too many hard drives full of precious stuff - RAID is something I want on this machine - I work with RAID every day - and it will give some extra read performance and data security in my application: realtime, easy to recover backups in most catastrophes.

I don't want to pay for the ideal solutions (and am tired of remote connections timing out on the workstations I have available at work) and I am also interesting in having another AMD (had some good ones in the past the K5 was very good at one time) - part of it is being different.

Another thing that is import to me is a reliable builder - I have dealt with this one for 8 yrs and always had good service (I help a lot of friends and relatives get computers, normally business or basic home systems). I used to build elaborate machines myself - but I don't have time for that, and I am not a Windows Systems engineer anymore - I work with big unix servers these days - on the software end.

Here is the specs I presented -

I need a well balanced, reliable and
powerful system.

I would like it assembled - tested and ready to run - of course I will
customize, tune and add the user software

Want the SSD as the boot drive - with Windows installed on SSD
Want 16 GB RAM setup as dual channel - match RAM type to CPU FSB and MB
Want the Video card to have PCIE2 16x- 1 GB of DDR5 ram and dual display
capability
Want a regular hard drive as storage drive (would like a RAID 1 option)
Should have SATA3, USB3 an eSATA ports
Want to be able to read all current format optical disks (including Blueray) -
and burn CD's and dual layer DVD's
Want quiet air cooling - high ball bearing quality fans - low speed large
diameter (one case fan is enough, expect fans in PS, on CPU and Video )
Want a very reliable - efficient power supply ~500W, multi-rail, should be
matched to system requirements - to operate in peak efficiency range of PS
Want a Windows OS CD with the system - Win 7 Pro 64 bit seems to be the best
choice


The system will be used for
Desktop publishing ( I write large illustrated books - ~1000 pages, 100's of
photos)
Database simulations (Oracle 11g)
Digital Audio Workstation
Website design
Image editing: Picasa, Photoshop
VMware
File and print server
Office network control center
Open Office, Acrobat, PageMaker
email and internet
Movies (viewing)
gaming (but this is a tertiary function) will not run dual cards

It is desired to be able to perform many of these functions concurrently.


If there are cables or other things needed please add them to the quote - It is
my intention to spend around 1000$ (flexible) - but price is third behind
functionality (2) and reliability (1)

The general description of what I need is a Work Station - I am an engineer
(senior design engineer in IT). I don't want to skip any details that will
require time and attention soon after purchase. The system will be on 99% of the
time - so reliability and high MTTF is essential. I am delegating this work
because I don't have time to do it myself.

*I would like RAID 1 on the storage hard drive side - would like about 320
GB usable of 7200 rpm disk storage with large cache buffer on drives. If you
have different packaging for components w/o unneeded retail accessories, this
would be great.

Upgrades would consist of adding additional disks and software - possible - I do
not expect to change Video, CPU or MB during life of system (enough PS power to
support two additional disks needed)

Expect a 5 yr system service life - normal warrantee is fine - but parts should
have minimum 50,000 hrs MTTF (I understand fans may wear out sooner). I would
expect several years of trouble free service from this system.

astralis
28 Oct 11,, 14:37
speaking of alienware, anybody own one? how reliable is it? one of my friends said that it was one of those "used to be good, but..."

USSWisconsin
28 Oct 11,, 15:03
speaking of alienware, anybody own one? how reliable is it? one of my friends said that it was one of those "used to be good, but..."

I've seen them, they are very fast and cool, never owned one - I looked at them recently and was surprised now they had come down in price - used to be way up there - now they are priced very competitively. I wonder about quality. They still get good performance reviews - but reliability is a question in my mind too.

gunnut
28 Oct 11,, 18:19
speaking of alienware, anybody own one? how reliable is it? one of my friends said that it was one of those "used to be good, but..."

Laptop or desktop? I think bluesman bought a laptop from Alienware a few years ago. Desktop wise, you can probably build one that's better for the same price.

Red Team
28 Oct 11,, 18:24
speaking of alienware, anybody own one? how reliable is it? one of my friends said that it was one of those "used to be good, but..."

It's a good computer (laptop a bit prone to overheating in long periods) but a bit overpriced for what it offers you...but yeah like gunnut said could probably build a similar spec computer for around half the price.

bolo121
28 Oct 11,, 19:54
Thanks for you insights, your recommendations sound very good for a normal advanced gaming user wanting a PC in this performance range, this won't be a game machine - I wish I had read your advice before I ordered - The case and PS reliability concern me a bit - but I specifically wanted a 450-500W PS - this is the one my preferred builder had in that size - with the specs I wanted (dual rail - large 135mm low speed fan). The case was selected on price and features (specs and photos).

I do have confidence in this builder (no time to do this - last few builds sat around too long being built - and one build never got finished - damn Athlon bare silicon CPU kept breaking when I put the heat sink on it - I finally gave it to someone whole had time to mess around replacing bad parts - they finished it and it performed pretty good... I like the AMD A10 core - it is perfect for my use (6 cores will serve me better in heavy multitasking than 4 faster cores with hyper threading, I agree, Intel would be faster for games) - that is what in in Cray Computers these days (the super scalar ones). The video card was very reasonable due to its place in the age curve, and will do what I want it to - a 6670 was in the original request - but it was out of stock. A work station like I really want - HP Xeon/Quattro or Cylestica-Cray Opteron/Quattro with similar performance would cost nearly 10 times as much. An i7 machine (which is what this chip is competing with in relevant bench marks) would be nearly twice as much, and on the benchmarks that matter most for me - it would not be much better (not worth the cost, IMO). For the average person RAID is not necessary - but managing backups is too much effort for me these days - I do intend to get an automated remote disk backup system after the disk mess. I have lost too many hard drives full of precious stuff - RAID is something I want on this machine - I work with RAID every day - and it will give some extra read performance and data security in my application: realtime, easy to recover backups in most catastrophes.

I don't want to pay for the ideal solutions (and am tired of remote connections timing out on the workstations I have available at work) and I am also interesting in having another AMD (had some good ones in the past the K5 was very good at one time) - part of it is being different.

Another thing that is import to me is a reliable builder - I have dealt with this one for 8 yrs and always had good service (I help a lot of friends and relatives get computers, normally business or basic home systems). I used to build elaborate machines myself - but I don't have time for that, and I am not a Windows Systems engineer anymore - I work with big unix servers these days - on the software end.

Here is the specs I presented -

Ok I see yes, if you look at it from a multi threaded heavy load professional workstation point of view, what you said makes very good sense.

Its great that you have a reliable builder, out here in the subcontinent its super difficult to get a decent builder who wont try to rob you blind.
Many people i know pay the extra for a branded PC just to get the warranty and service cover.

USSWisconsin
31 Oct 11,, 17:42
I was able to recover the dead PC

Got a Win XP 64 CDROM
Used it to do system recovery (Windows can make this disk - if it hasn't crashed - it needs to be the same version you are using (32 bit Windows won't recover a 64 bit version) - I have Win XP64 on this 2008 system, which is a rare OS these days).
selected R when it booted
in recovery console - ran chkdsk /r
It spent 6 hrs rebuilding the MBR
The system then booted up normally and I was able to do a full backup (49 GB of important data recovered, there was no data lost)
I am using the system again until the new one arrives (the Mini-Mac wasn't cutting it as a desktop).
It works better, so I suspect this was a problem before the crash.

A friend who does this for a living suggested this course - I am sharing so others will be able to do this if need be. My friend tells me this has been common as of late - many systems are recovered in the same way.

Moral of the story for me - be sure you have a recent backup - accessible without your current system. (my last full backup was several months ago - too busy, no excuse - obviously).

gunnut
31 Oct 11,, 18:51
I would have just plugged that drive into another system and got the files out that way...:tongue:

bolo121
02 Nov 11,, 13:16
I would have just plugged that drive into another system and got the files out that way...:tongue:

heh.

USSWisconsin
02 Nov 11,, 15:15
I would have just plugged that drive into another system and got the files out that way...:tongue:

the other PC systems I had - didnt have a SATA port - maybe the mini mac does but I didn't want to disassemble that.
The new one has a whole bunch - using it now - it is a beastie

The old system works again - so it can do another job now - music workstation

citanon
02 Nov 11,, 16:16
If you're thinking of buying a hard drive, better do it right now (http://dvice.com/archives/2011/10/if-youre-thinki.php)

So it's not just HDDs that are affected. Sony and Nikon low to midrange SLR camera factories in Thailand appear to be total losses, and shipping of the new Sony NEX-7 and alpha-65s have been indefinitely postponed. Other modes affected include the NEX-5N and NEX-C3 and Nikon models including the D3100.

The situation in Thailand doesn't look good for Nikon | Nikon Rumors (http://nikonrumors.com/2011/10/19/the-situation-in-thailand-doesnt-look-good-for-nikon.aspx/)

Sony, Nikon Update On Thailand Floods | Popular Photography (http://www.popphoto.com/news/2011/10/sony-nikon-update-thailand-floods)

No word on when production will resume.

gunnut
02 Nov 11,, 18:37
the other PC systems I had - didnt have a SATA port - maybe the mini mac does but I didn't want to disassemble that.
The new one has a whole bunch - using it now - it is a beastie

The old system works again - so it can do another job now - music workstation

You're not a true geek if you don't have multiple PCs ready to rescue your main PC should something go wrong. We may have to revoke your "geek card." :biggrin:

bolo121
12 Nov 11,, 18:02
Oh Joy Its Finally Here!!!!!!!:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Check it out GN!
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