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Old 02-21-2008, 05:06 AM   #5
A Face from The Past
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,283
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Originally Posted by Astro on Day 1 Week 1 this forum was created
That's it for now. Watch this space....
THIS was what I meant...hehehe lolz (One day I'll get started on that "how to build a pc" guide I was planning too )

Great Stuff Niner. Whilst we're applauding one another, I'd like to thank all the regular contributors here, especially stinger and T7 who put their hand up to help when I nagged D333 to let us have this place.

Kudos to Qliveur, tk and negsun for their amazing CPU knowledge, skill with weird glasses and news reporting skills(respectively)...and Ray, extremely knowledgeable on the software side of things(though sometimes grumpy)

* * *

Here's some bits I can add for the moment:

An Inconvenient PC Truth?
Q. Dear LFN Tech-heads. I love the environment. I was worried that PCs take up too much power. Can you tell me a bit more about this ?

A. Yes. You are quite right to be concerned! You may have been noticing the increasing trend for "power gaming pcs" to put absolutely zero consideration towards being energy efficient. Mainboards are being released that can take 2 separate CPUs, Multiple graphics cards and dual power supplies...(boo! to Intels Skulltrail Absurdity)

Here's some factors that cause increased power consumption:
*Large form factor(ATX and multi-socket mainboards)
*High end and/or Multiple GPUs(require higher wattage PSU to power them)
*Thermal countermeasures. Apart from extra fans and the like, some thermal tech require their own independent power supply. Crazy.

What can you do?
*Decide on an appropriate form factor. Consider carefully how many peripherals and devices you intend you use. How many PCI, PCI-e etc slots do you actually need. From this you can decide whether you can use a smaller form board like m-ATX, or an ultra smallform like those sold by shuttle Smaller boards consume less power, but can fit less devices internally.

If you still decide to stick with the ATX size, you can use a A power supply calculator to get a rough estimate of what the hardware you have picked will demand of your PSU.

Tips for decreased power bills?
*Have a closer look at power management settings.
*If you are not using your pc, consider standby/sleep/hibernate or even turn it fully off. Switch your monitor off rather than just leave your screen saver bouncing a round all day.
*Buy energy compliant kit.
*Avoid marathon high end gaming sessions. The longer you stress a system, the more hotter it gets and the more power it consumes trying to cool itself down. Breaking your gaming jaunts up will allow you to naturally regulate temperature of your pc, as well as not overstress your components
*Do you really need to overclock? CPUs drop in price constantly... Unless you have an older CPU and upgrading is out of the question, anything more than a mild overclock is more than likely just shaving hours/days/weeks etc off the life of your CPU. If you haven't thought about suitable thermal control tech, you shouldn't even be thinking about high end overclocking, or even mid end overclocking on a rig that sees high load-duration usage.

OMG...what OS?
OK. Youve picked your 1337 parts using this guide. Now, what operating system are you going to use? Here are the big 3(as far as DIY)

Windows XP 32 bit:
Pros: Stable, mature. Many bugs ironed out and/or fixed. Wide driver and application compatabilty. Due to its Win2000 roots, will play alot of the older stuff too(apps/games)

Cons: Multi tiered installs - especially if you have an older install disc, a fresh install usually means sometimes hours of upgrade patches. Service Pack 3 will fix this a bit, theres still alot of junk to be got. Will not run pure DX10 games, or fully utilise the potential of DX10 hardware. (Not a huge concern momentarily, as these next gen titles haven't taken off yet) 32 bit limitations apply. Cost.

Windows Vista 32 bit:
Vista, you either quite like it, or really hate it Vista is not as stable as XP, but a full year since RTM, and countless bugs have been ironed out. Driver support from GPU manufacturers has been strong and steady. More driver revisions have been made in one year in Vista than over 5 in XP That being said, some hardware and software simply is not supported, and may never be. It is the responsibility of the consumer to find out if Vista is appropriate for them, and if they are unsure, there are many that can help! Just don't ask a slick haired salesman, thats all

People are going Vista for 4 main reasons:
*Their new PC came with it, they had no choice
*They are early adopters regardless of what it is
*They are excited by the potential of DX10 hardware and games
*They run home theater PCs(Vista media center is a superb home theater pc application)

*Restrictive hardware and software compatbility
*32 bit restrictions still apply
*Top heavy installation and spec footprint

There are many Linux variants, serving many purposes. All in all, Linux is a wonderful, free alternative to the above 2. Increasingly, Linux distributions are GUI and user friendly, making a windows>Linux transition an easy one. A distro that has been particularly successful at this is the wonderful and sensible Ubuntu

Main cons:
*support if you are stuck. Help might be easy to find(google!) but not always easy to follow. A simple conundrum can take days to sort out.If you have one linux only pc and cant get online, googling answers is hard (Thus a dual boot is recommended)
*Very limited gaming support

<<for later/anyone else: 64bit OS? Should I Go Mac? >>


Asinus asinum fricat

Last edited by Astrotoy7; 02-21-2008 at 07:28 AM.
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