Article Recommendations?

I've built 3 computers in the last year:

1. Virtualization Server. For work.
- Windows 2008 with Hyper-V
- Dual Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem's @ 2.26 GHz with Temperatures at 30C Minimum - 37C Maximum (Live temps for 1 month)
- TYAN S7002G2NR-LE Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 Tylersburg SSI CEB Dual Intel Xeon 5500 Series Server Motherboard
- 24GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC RAM
- GTS 250 512MB
- Drive 0 RAID 1 (Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB x 2) - OS and Applications (Server VM's)
- Drive 1 RAID 1 (Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB x 2) - Backup and Storage (Workstation VM's)
- Cost $2800
- Re-used existing monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
- Note: On hindsight, if I knew Hyper-V VM's could only utilize up to 4 cores, I could have saved $900 by just going for a single XEON W3520 overclocked to 4.5 GHz on an EVGA Classified board. ECC memory is expensive! Still, I'm proud of the stability of this server, and never experienced any slowdowns, yet.

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2. Gaming Desktop. For girlfriend and LAN gaming with guests.
- Windows 7 Pro x64
- AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE overclocked @ 3.7 GHz at 1.525V with Temperatures at 45C Idle - 61C Maximum (Prime95)
- ASRock M3A780GXH/128M
- 4GB Crucial DDR3 1333 RAM at 1600 w/8-7-7-18 timings
- GTS 250 512MB
- Drive 0 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 80GB - OS and Applications
- Drive 1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 80GB - Files
- Drive 2 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB - Backup and Storage
- Cost $470
- Re-used existing monitor, mid-tower, hard drives, mouse, and keyboard.
- Note: Not disappointed at all with this build.

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3. Workstation, Video Editing, and Gaming Desktop. For myself.
- Windows 7 Pro x64
- Intel i7 920 overclocked @ 3.6 GHz at 1.25V with Temperatures at 40C Idle - 71C Maximum (Prime95)
- ECS BLACK SERIES X58B-A LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
- 8GB Crucial DDR3 1333 RAM at 1600 w/7-7-7-19 timings
- MSI N275GTX TwinFrozr OC GeForce GTX 275 896MB overclocked with Temperatures at 75C Max
- Default Core Clock from 666 MHz to 720 MHz
- Default Shader Clock from 1476 MHz to 1596 MHz
- Default Memory Clock from 1161 MHz to 1260 MHz
- Drive 0 Corsair P128 SSD - OS, Applications, and Files
- Drive 1 Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - Backup and Storage
- Cost $990
- Re-used existing monitor, back-up hard drive, mouse, and keyboard.
- Note: Handles everything I throw at it. I typically have Firefox and IE8 opened with multiple tabs, some Excel and Word documents, SSMS 2005 and SSMS 2008, VS 2008, Notepad, VPN Connection, and 3-4 Remote Desktop Sessions. On hindsight, I could have bought the XEON W3520 for $280 instead for a higher overclock, but I'd still be limited by my motherboard decision. Plus, I don't need that high of an overclock, and don't want to invest in a $400 motherboard with $250 for liquid cooling for just another 600 MHz overclock.

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So, some articles I'd like to see:

#1. Server recommendations. Is it worth it going to a Dual XEON Socket or Dual Opteron Socket? What about a Quad Opteron Socket? Is it just overkill? How about an overclocked W3520 overclocked to 4.5 GHz on a non-server motherboard and non ECC memory?

#2. XEON and Opteron overclocking vs i7 and Phenom II overclocking. Instead of outdated server CPU's going to waste, is it worth finding a non-server motherboard and overclocking them for desktop use?

#3. Software utilization. I feel it'll be at least 3 years before any software out there can really slow down my Quad Core i7 920 overclocked at 3.6 GHz. Is there anything out there that will do so right now that's not a benchmark or stress tool?

#4. Price to Performance upgrade or overhaul? Upgrading isn't what it used to be. Buying a motherboard and waiting 2 years to get a higher-end CPU to use on the same board isn't worth it for a price to performance ratio, is it? Most likely you're buying a slightly more expensive board that will still be viable in 2-3 years with a lower- end CPU. Wouldn't it just be worth it buying the cheapest recommended motherboard for a decent CPU and overclock, and doing it over again after 3 years (but with better memory; DDR4 is next, I guess)?

#5. Notebook overclocking... Besides the extreme CPU's, notebook overclocking isn't available in the BIOS for notebook manufacturers. Software overclocking or hardware modifications are the only way for most people. What's Tom's Hardware's take on this?

#6. Upgrading Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 components. Most visitors here are gamers, and I assume at least half may have an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Hard Drive upgrades are easy (anyone crazy enough to put an SSD in there?), but what about CPU/Video Card/Memory upgrades? Is overclocking even possible?
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More about article recommendations
  1. El_Capitan said:
    I've built 3 computers in the last year:


    I've built three this morning and I'm on the fourth now... :kaola:
  2. Quote:
    #3. Software utilization. I feel it'll be at least 3 years before any software out there can really slow down my Quad Core i7 920 overclocked at 3.6 GHz. Is there anything out there that will do so right now that's not a benchmark or stress tool?

    Try running some renderings in 3DS, Maya,etc. with CS4 open with a few images loaded.

    Quote:

    #5. Notebook overclocking... Besides the extreme CPU's, notebook overclocking isn't available in the BIOS for notebook manufacturers. Software overclocking or hardware modifications are the only way for most people. What's Tom's Hardware's take on this?

    One word: Heat. And not finding the right PLLs.

    Quote:
    #1. Server recommendations. Is it worth it going to a Dual XEON Socket or Dual Opteron Socket? What about a Quad Opteron Socket? Is it just overkill? How about an overclocked W3520 overclocked to 4.5 GHz on a non-server motherboard and non ECC memory?

    You'd NEVER run a OCed set up for server duty. As for 2P vs 4P,etc that depends on your needs.
  3. notebook liquid cooling system :D
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