Advice On New Computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Eldredge, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. Eldredge


    I have finally turned profitable this month, so I thought I would upgrade one of my computers. I am currently using a pentium 200 with 64mb ram to run IB TWS, so I suspect I will be pleased with almost any upgrade.

    I would like to thank Baron for his outstanding article - very helpful and informative. I'm not really a computer guy, so I was hoping some of you could provide some input on the system I am considering.

    I am looking at a gateway 700 with P4 1.8GHz, 512MB PC800 RDRAM, 15.1" Analog/Digital LCD Flat Display, 64MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400 AGP Graphics with DVI and TV Out (I will run LCD on DVI, and CRT on analog - apparantley it has both plus the TV), 80 GB Ultra ATA hard drive (7200RPM), and cordless keyboard and mouse. After reading comments on this sight, I think I will use windows 2000 for OS.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.
  2. roger2


    Win 2K for SURE!
    i have a Logitech cordless wheel-mouse that is really a good thing
    I have read that Rambus memory runs hot, which may possibly require more cooling which may possibly mean more noise...but that is speculation only...i am sensitive to noise so 1 of my main criteria was to get quiet machines

    i have HP Vectra (business class) machines which i like a lot and they are quiet, they even publish a figure for noise emmission

    that's my.02c
  3. Wirehead



    Sounds like a state of the art system. I think you will be happy with it. If you have the money get it. If you intend on adding more monitors in the future make sure you have free PCI slots available. Some manufactures order motherboards that have the minimum specs to keep the cost down.
  4. Magna

    Magna Administrator


    Certainly sounds like a superb system, particularly if you go with Win2000 as you said. One thing I'd add, without question, would be an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS). They have saved my rear-end innumerable times. Don't leave home without it...:)
  5. Eldredge


    Thanks for the input everyone. I appreciate the helpful advice.

    Roger 2, do you know of any way to get sound emission ratings for other computers? Do they measure it in sones or something else?
  6. ktm


    That does sound nice...except for one thing. Gateway.

    I had a Gateway and it was a nightmare. The system kept freezing right after I bought it. I mean a hard freeze, no keyboard buffer, no alt-ctrl-del, nothing...almost like it was electrical or something.

    I had an extended warranty. GTW took me through a 30 step process that started with basics and ended with a cold reformat...basically re- fdisk-ing the drive. I tried absolutely everything under the sun and they kept starting me over with step one. After running through their process 3 times, they refused to replace any of the hardware or the machine.

    I did everything I was supposed to do and wound up with a $3K paperweight. I got my money back but not directly from the company. I shorted them from the 40's down to about 10.

    My problem wasn't with the dud machine, that can happen to any company. It was the way the company handled it. The customer service was non-existant. If you do buy the GTW machine, I hope you don't have the problem I did.

    Dual processor systems @ good prices

    I am more than satisfied with their systems.
  8. roger2



    noise is measured in decibles and is usually abbreviated as 'db' or 'dba' - in the tech specs for my Vectra VL400's this line appears:

    "acoustic emission sound level (LwA) (typical): <= 3.8BA (38 dB)"

    i don't know what the 'BA' is but i have a lot of experience in audio and 'db' or 'dba' is what you want to look for - so any numbers similar to my 38db will be relatively quiet

    factors which affect noise level:
    1) number of fans - all boxes have a case fan, but addn'l fans CAN be used for processor, video card, and i don't know whether Rambus requires its own fan, if not it may cause the case fan to be bigger (speculation on this)
    2) quality of the fans - el cheapo's use inferior bearings and are likely not as well balanced
    3) HD 7200 vs 5400 subtle difference in pitch...may be a moot point because if you have enough memory and set pagefile same size as RAM u can pretty much eliminate trips to the HD
    4) also mounting of the HD - in my quest to find quiet machines i had a couple Dell's which had unfortunate mounting of HD just behind the front vent opening

    as far as PC makers' specs, i have never seen a company other than HP publish specs - when I did my searching into this was about 1 1/2 yr ago- believe it or not i tried and discarded about 14 PC's before i found HP Brio (good) and HP Vectra (better) which did not cause my ears to ring after my typical 10 -12 hrs of working - the absolute worst (loudest) was EMachines and the Dells, although really great machines in every other aspect, were pretty unbearable noise wise

    My Vectras have a design which uses no CPU fan, only a case fan - there is a molded plastic 'tunnel' which directs air pulled in by the case fan directly across the CPU's passive heat sink

    good luck and if you learn anything new on this topic please post here

    P.S. a plug for HP: HP differentiates their consumer class (Pavillion) vs their business class (Brio/Vectra/et al) computers in the quality of support available. If you ever have a problem with a Vectra you will talk to an intelligent technician who has been directed by his bosses to FIX THE PROBLEM, no b.s.
  9. Sounds like a great system overall. Here are my thoughts

    1. Don NOT select a cordless keyboard and mouse. Maybe i'm paranoid, but wired is just more reliable

    2. Get one of the new optical Microsoft mice. Mine is terrific. Much more accurate and reliable than the old ball type. It's USB, so you'll reduce the system load on interrupts

    3. Get Win2000. Avoid WinME, Win98 etc.
  10. roger2



    FWIW i have two machines both using Logitech cordless wheel mouse - never had a problm and the convenience of NOT having that wire attached is really great, after all, due to its nature a mouse must be mobile to operate ... and that wire was always on top of papers etc...
    #10     Oct 13, 2001