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Everything posted by Zxian

  1. Toshiba = EEEWWW!!!! Honestly, stay away. I can't count the number of half-broken Toshiba's I've had to fix in the past couple of years. Their quality control is terrible, and their customer service isn't that much better either. If you're serious about using CAD software on the laptop, you'll want to look into one of the OpenGL targeted graphics cards. This means looking for a Quadro or FireGL based notebook. I know you can get Lenovo's with Quadro cards for not that much money - roughly $1200 base price. With modelling and drafting tools, the graphics card is just as important as the processor. The Dell Inspiron lineup just doesn't cut it here... I'd look into a Lenovo Thinkpad T61. The base price is about $950, and you'll want to upgrade the CPU up one notch (T8300) and buy some RAM upgrades from NCIX or the like (should be less than $100 incl shipping). All in all, it might break the $1000 budget slightly, but the increased quality will more than make up for it (just ask any serious business person).
  2. Using a basic Gigabyte or ASUS motherboard as your base will give you plenty of upgrade paths later. Look at this post by crahak. If my memory serves me well, he's running a total of twelve (yes, 12) 1TB drives. With a solid foundation, you'll easily be able to upgrade to storage like that once the new job arrives.
  3. I think Crahak's got the right idea. Find a basic Gigabyte P35 based motherboard, pair that with an E2160, and 2GB of DDR2-800. You'll stay within budget and get a major performance boost.
  4. Do you have the specs on the rest of your system?
  5. Take your pick. This one should do the trick. Vantec is a trusted brand when it comes to simple storage solutions.
  6. Actually... as of version 9.5.1, Vista and Server 2008 are supported on all 3ware 9650SE cards. http://www.3ware.com/KB/article.aspx?id=14928 Also, crahak, with regards to your statement, I can see the understanding of where you're coming from. If you're going for pure data storage, you don't need to spend rediculous amounts of money on a hardware RAID card. Your solution is one of the best from the point of view of final cost vs storage. In some situations, there are significant benefits to having a dedicated controller. I paid $600 CAD for my 9650SE-8LPML a little over a year ago, and I've loved every penny of it.
  7. You can update to SP3 immediately after install, and then apply the updates that have been released since. Alternatively, you can use the MSFN Unattended Guide to slipstream SP3 into your installation source files.
  8. @darrelljon - You're forgetting one key aspect of this whole thread - it's a laptop. Linux still has spotty WPA support, poor suspend/hibernate support, and the power management is still relatively unsupported. The list that crahak posted is for general systems, but it gets even worse for laptops. Manufacturers have a tendency to use proprietary components that only they support, and they only support it for Windows. Those extra function keys? The touchpad functionality? All gone. And I doubt that crahak falls into the category of "id***" when it comes to operating systems. I've got two workstations here - one Windows XP and one Fedora9. In terms of overall system usability (part of the argument in the thread you linked to - my computer is a tool), the Windows machine simply wins. There's simply too many times where updating the system breaks something. The latest example - updating my kernel broke my nVidia drivers. Honestly people... updates are supposed to fix things, not break them.
  9. As crahak said, get the latest approved drivers for your system. I'd first try the ones provided by Lenovo, and then the ATI Catalyst 8.10. You might have to use the Mobility Modder to get them to install.
  10. If you've got larger files, go with a larger block size. I've got a partition on my server that I use primarily for video ripping and conversion - it's block size is 64KB.
  12. It's possible, but not really recommended. Chances are that it won't save you much time in the end, since you'll likely run into more troubleshooting by trying to transfer the drive from one system to another - as opposed to just starting fresh and formatting the system. The only time that swapping a system from one motherboard to another is viable is when the chipsets are of the same family (Intel ICHx/ICHxR for example). Even then, you might run into snags that just end up causing you grief.
  13. For future reference, there isn't much troubleshooting that you need to do on a newly built computer. Install the hardware, then OS, then drivers. I usually run a combined stress test on the hardware overnight to make sure that everything is running happily. A combination of ATITool's artifact scanner and Prime95 does well enough in most situations. An overnight run (8-12 hours) will often pick up on any hardware errors (which is grounds for RMA).
  14. I'll actually swing the other way. A TV card isn't required for an HTPC, but can be a nice addon. I've got my computer setup just to play digital media on my TV, but I let the TV's own TV tuner do the rest of the work. If you want to record TV content to your hard drive, then yes, a TV tuner card is required. I wouldn't recommend an external USB tuner, since USB has a very limited bandwidth for the signal. The ATI 650 series of tuners have been getting very high praise lately.
  15. I'd make a couple of changes: First off - you probably don't need a quad-core. You'll save some money and probably gain some performance by moving to the E8400 over the Q6600. Secondly - stay away from the vanilla and Pro variants of the P5Q series. Spend the money you've saved on the CPU to get the P5Q-E. The layout is better, they use higher quality components, and the problems associated with them are far less. The 9800GT isn't really worth the money. It's the exact same card as the 8800GT, but has support for Tri-SLI setups (complete waste of money IMO). That's the only reason why they can still sell the card for over $100. I'd look at spending the money towards an ATI 3650 or if you want the added power 3850. If you're just looking for a basic card that will handle some 3D apps, then look at the ATI 4670 or 4650 (if you can find it). Both have very low power draw (means easier cooling) and give decent performance for their price. I personally like Western Digital drives over Seagates, mostly for one reason - noise. Seagate drives are loud, have very irritating seek noises, and aren't much more reliable than other brands. Sure the 5 year warranty is nice, but would you really cry that much if the drive dies in 4 years? By that time much larger and faster drives will be available for very little money (comparatively). The Freezer 7 Pro is an alright cooler, but there are better ones out there. Thermalright HR-01+ comes to mind, or the Noctua NH-U12P. They're a little more pricey, but well worth the money. Also - you never picked a power supply. On the short list are the Corsair VX450, Enermax Pro82+ 425W, and Enermax Modu82+ 425W. Yes, 425W will be plenty for the hardware mentioned above. The only thing you'd want to make sure of is that the EPS12V cable can reach the plug on the motherboard (the CM690 has the PSU mounted at the bottom of the case).
  16. Thanks for the info. I've contacted ATI support and have an open ticket at the moment. I'll keep this thread updated with the responses as I get them.
  17. Here's another memory dump from last night: Memory dump file - 1.3GB
  18. Is your home all across Canada...? I didn't think so. I still win.
  19. I'd agree with cluberti on this one. Also - make sure you turn your power settings back to the way they were - your battery will thank you for it!
  20. Aww... I can only count at home? Desktop - 2x640GB (RAID0) = 1.16TB Server - 2x500GB (RAID1) = 465GB = 0.454TB 8x1TB (RAID5) = 6.36TB Total = 7.97TB At work, I've got roughly another ~5TB across all the servers I run.
  21. Happy Birthday buddy!!! Hope you have a good one!!!
  22. Blogging is about you and your experiences. If you write interesting things, people will read it and spread the word. Also - you shouldn't be blogging for others. I use my blog to write about what happens in my life and what I'm doing - if people want to read they can. If they don't want to read, they don't have to.
  23. I've got a slight problem with a new system I've got setup. System specs are as follows: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H AMD X2 5200+ 2x1GB OCZ Gold DDR2-800 WD3200AAKS Pioneer DVR-212D Antec 380W PSU (came with NSK2480 case) The system is connected from the onboard video to an LCD TV via HDMI. All standard stability tests (memtest, Prime95, etc) run without any errors or hiccups. The system stays on 24/7, since it acts as the media center as well as a backup server and central file storage for the household. Every so often when the system is idle, it will bluescreen with error code 0x50, pointing at ati2mtag.sys as the culprit. I've attached a complete memory dump here (12.3MB 7-zip compressed). All the drivers, as well as the motherboard BIOS, have been updated to the latest version. The system is running XP MCE 2005 SP3. It seems as though the graphics are to blame. I've heard that ATI and HDMI still don't always play nice, so on my list of things to try in the near future is the following: Connect the system using a DVI-HDMI cable instead of the straight HDMI cable Install a dedicated graphics card (both ATI and nVidia) and connect it via DVI-HDMI Connect the system temporarily to a regular monitor via DVI and see if I can reproduce the problem I was hoping that someone might be able to have a look at the memory dump mentioned above and figure out if there's anything else software/driver-wise that I can try in the meantime.
  24. 4 hours isn't really a lot of time to wait on this. Furthermore, this is a better question to ask in the UA section of the forums - not Windows XP. Why don't you use something like VMware to check the winnt.sif file yourself before burning a disc? Topic moved to Unattended Windows 2000/XP/2003

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