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Will the Asus Essentio work for us?

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October 28, 2010 9:01:22 AM

(Sorry for the length of this post - didn't want to miss anything...)

My 8-year-old computer is starting to wear out - now it seems the power supply is starting to fail (random re-starts, especially when using the DVD drive, and it's getting worse)

We've been looking at getting a replacement for a while but now it's definitely becoming a necessity. We've especially been looking at the Asus Essentio here:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Essentio+Desktop+/+A...

I'm not a big "tech" person and hoped someone could look at the Essentio specs vs my current specs and see if this Essentio will work for us? And if it's good enough to keep us going for a few years? Or, recommend another in this price range that might be better? I've never bough an off-the-shelf comp before (all previous have been custom built) so I'm nervous.

Our current machine was built by a local computer store in 2002, was about $1600 new and was pretty good then, but we're not looking to get a "top-of-the-line" replacement at this time. If this one wasn't failing we'd probably continue using it for several more years - we have no problems doing any of the things we normally do with it. At some point in the future we'll probably to get a higher-end computer, but right now we just need a decent "interim" one so we can continue our current projects, and hopefully have some room to grow so we know what we'll need for the computer that comes after it. We basically need a relatively inexpensive machine we can pick up soon and test out (hence Best Buy - also their return policy is good) that we can be fairly confident will be able to run the programs we currently use and have some room for expansion.

We don't use it for gaming, and all the programs I currently use are outdated (some going back to 2000/2001) but they meet our needs. I'm a bit concerened some of the older XP-era programs might not work in Windows 7 - is that going to be an issue? If it was necessary I guess we could dual-boot with XP?

Primarily we use this computer for:

Music production - Mainly using Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (10-year-old program) for basic looping and mixing tracks and Cakewalk Home Studio for MIDI recording using a Korg Triton Extreme with USB MIDI interface. We have another computer with a ProTools rig we use for recording primary audio and final mixing/mastering - this is mainly for "finishing touches" before going back to that computer. So this one needs to be able to record and play back audio well without too much hiss or interference.

Graphic design - For web as well as print using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign (all of which run perfectly on my current computer, so I'm hoping they'll run at least as well on the new one?)

Web development - I have Apache, PHP and MySQL installed for local testing (not using the computer as a server)

We'd also like to get into basic video editing using something like Adobe Premiere Elements - HD editing capability would be great for the future, but right now it would be standard def / DVD resolution and probably mostly for posting online. I'd also like to start doing Flash development, Java programming, and possibly 3-D graphics development (basic 3-D animation would be great too if possible) as well as basic CAD.

I'm guessing any computer on the market right now will be able to handle these things (except HD video editing) since this 8-year-old one can, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything? I know the Essentio is an "entry level" system and we techinically have "non-entry-level" needs, but as long as it keeps us going for a few years that's alright.

One other thing - my current machine has a SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum sound card with a front hub that has specialty audio inputs, and we use the 1/4" stereo jack and component audio jacks a lot. Would it be worth installing the Platinum in the new computer to be able to use the specialty jacks? Or would that be stupid?? (serious question) The Essentio has room for it (one 5.25" front expansion bay and a free PCI slot). I can also try using a 1/4" - 1/8" setero jack adapter, but I'm concerned it may cause interference/hiss. We could also get a USB audio input hub though. We might want to get a FireWire PCI card in the future as well - it has some free slots.

One other concern, the current computer has a 350W power supply but I read the Essentio has a 300W. Is that okay?

Sorry this is so long!! I don't buy computers very often and didn't want to leave anything out. I don't anticipate our needs changing much at all and the Asus seems to fit the bill, but don't want to go a few years then find out it sucks and won't work for us anymore.

Here are the main comparable specs of my current computer. Some info is from the original invoice, some from Belarc and AIDA32. Let me know if I'm leaving anything out. And yes, I know it's like NES versus Playstation 3 but better to be safe than sorry :-) Also, some of the info on BestBuy is confusing - like, does "ATI Radeon 3000" mean ATI Radeon HD 3000?

Thanks in advance to anybody who was able to read this far!!!!

CURRENT COMPUTER:

Processor
Athlon XP 2400+ 2G (Palomino) SKT A 266BUS*
*The invoice says "Palomino" but there is no Palmino 2400+ - AIDA32 says it's "Thoroughbred-B"

Processor Speed
2GHz

System Bus
Front side bus: 266MT/s (from Wikipedia)
Circuit Board: VT8366-8233/5
Bus Clock: 133 megahertz

Cache Memory
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
256 kilobyte secondary memory cache

System Memory (RAM)
1536 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
Slot 'A0' has 512 MB
Slot 'A1' has 1024 MB
Slot 'A2' is Empty

System Memory (RAM) Expandable To
less than 16GB :-)

Type of Memory (RAM)
DDR

Hard Drive Type
SAMSUNG SpinPoint P Series SP1213N 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA133 / ATA-7 3.5" Hard Drive

Graphics
ATI Radeon 7500 (RV200) 64mb DDR AGP 2 Heads

Video Memory
64MB (?)

Audio
Less then 7.1 :-) (Not sure - Soundblaster Audigy Platinum sound card)

Network Card
DGE-530T 10/100/1000 Gigabit Desktop PCI Adapter (PCI CARD)

Wireless Networking
None

Recordable DVD Drive
Sony DW-D26A Single-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW

Recordable DVD Drive Speeds
Not sure

Direct-Disc Labeling
No

Digital Media Reader or Slots
No

Available Expansion Bays
External: 2 x 5.25" (4 total, 2 in use), 0 x 3.5" (2 total but both are in use), Internal: 0 x 3.5 (1 totla but used for hard drive)

Available Expansion Slots
6 PCI

USB 2.0 Ports
Not sure - 4 front, 2 rear, not sure if all are 2.0

Operating System
Windows XP Home

HDMI Output
No

Processor Platform
Not sure?

More about : asus essentio work

October 28, 2010 10:43:39 AM

junet said:
all the programs I currently use are outdated (some going back to 2000/2001) but they meet our needs. I'm a bit concerened some of the older XP-era programs might not work in Windows 7 - is that going to be an issue? If it was necessary I guess we could dual-boot with XP?
Win7 Home Prem. won't work with programs that don't have Win7/Vista support. You'll need Win7 Ultimate in that case for your programs to run on Compatibility mode. But yes, you can always dual boot with XP.
junet said:
using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign all of which run perfectly on my current computer
Normally, Photoshop CS4/CS5/Elements are huge RAM guzzlers, but if your version is running on 1.5GB, there's absolutely no reason as to why it will have any trouble running on 4.
junet said:
We'd also like to get into basic video editing using something like Adobe Premiere Elements - HD editing capability would be great for the future, but right now it would be standard def / DVD resolution and probably mostly for posting online. I'd also like to start doing Flash development, Java programming, and possibly 3-D graphics development (basic 3-D animation would be great too if possible) as well as basic CAD.
HD Video editing, 3D rendering using modern versions of Adobe Premiere Elements, Sony Vegas etc. will require a lot more than just 4GB RAM, but with what you've been doing, if you can manage that on your current system, you'll be more than alright with the Asus. Guess you wont be working with a million layers.
junet said:
my current machine has a SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum sound card with a front hub that has specialty audio inputs, and we use the 1/4" stereo jack and component audio jacks a lot. Would it be worth installing the Platinum in the new computer to be able to use the specialty jacks?...

...the current computer has a 350W power supply but I read the Essentio has a 300W. Is that okay?
Why throw away a perfectly good, working audio card when you don't need anything more? I guess it's for people like you that these mobo manufacturers keep frustrating everybody with those annoying legacy slots :p 

Therein lies though, a major problem with buying a pre-build. The PSU supplied is only just 'bout enough to run the included components. Expansion/upgradation room is zero to nil. If you wanna populate the PCI/PCIe lanes with audio/video cards, it makes sense to get at least a 450-550 watt aftermarket PSU, depending on your expansion plans.

Also, you might require something a bit faster than ATI 3000 (it's IGP btw, not a discrete) for 3D rendering IMO.

While the Essentio looks good enough, you can actually get a slightly better specked PC for around the same price if you were to build yourself.
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October 28, 2010 2:36:51 PM

Thanks calguyhunk I appreciate your help. Not having researched Windows 7 I didn't realize there was basically no compatibilty with XP and that you could only do a VirtualPC with profressional or ultimate. :pfff:  Probably better to just look for programs that work with Windows 7. I read many of my programs won't even install on 64 bit Win7, let alone run.

The Essentio surpasses all of the system requirements for the current versions of the programs I use. (The AMD Athlon II will work when the program requires at AMD Athlon 64, right?) However, the new Adobe Audition 3 requires a sound card that is DirectX or ASIO compatible and I can't find out if the Sound Blaster Audigy that I have is either of those things. There is a current driver for it, but it doesn't specifically say it would be ASIO compatible (it says the current driver fixes an issue of "Unable to run 64-bit version of ASIO software" but I'm not sure what that means). Do you know if the onboard sound chip (which is apparently ALC887 8 Channel) would be ASIO or DirectX compatible? I've never had to deal with this before because like I said, I've been using old programs for a long time.

Also, am I wrong to assume opening the Essentio to add the sound card would not void the 1-year limited warranty? I read that the Asus warranty allows this but I can't find out for sure and can't seem to find any info on their website.

Also, do you think the 300W PSU would provide enough power if I just added the soundblaster card?

Lastly, my current computer doesn't have any components that are superior to the Essentio, right? (Other than the 350w power supply unit) I would be shocked if it did but just wanted to make sure
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October 29, 2010 1:59:57 AM

junet said:
Thanks calguyhunk I appreciate your help. Not having researched Windows 7 I didn't realize there was basically no compatibilty with XP and that you could only do a VirtualPC with profressional or ultimate. :pfff:  Probably better to just look for programs that work with Windows 7. I read many of my programs won't even install on 64 bit Win7, let alone run.
If you don't think that getting new software will make your new system cost effective, you can always dual boot with XP, or torrent download the Win7 compatible newer versions for free ;)  .

Anything that runs on Athlon 2400 should fly on Athlon II. Also, your Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum has to be ASIO compatible for Creative to say that it fixes an issue of "Unable to run 64-bit version of ASIO software". In any case you can always get a new card if that one doesn't work. The prices have come down drastically since a decade back.
junet said:
am I wrong to assume opening the Essentio to add the sound card would not void the 1-year limited warranty? I read that the Asus warranty allows this but I can't find out for sure and can't seem to find any info on their website.
I've never used a pre-build comp in my life. So I'm not too sure 'bout the warranty bit. But to the best of my knowledge, adding an expansion card does not nullify any warranty. See under T&C maybe.
junet said:
do you think the 300W PSU would provide enough power if I just added the soundblaster card?
Typically, as I've already said, computer manufacturers only provide the bare minimum power supply to run your components. So I doubt whether you'll be able to add a PCI card and run it for any length of time. Because as the capacitors age, the amperage ratings on the +12V Rail will typically go down thereby creating issues with random restarts, failure to boot, BSODs etc.
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October 29, 2010 2:11:37 AM

Quote:
Not having researched Windows 7 I didn't realize there was basically no compatibilty with XP and that you could only do a VirtualPC with profressional or ultimate.

If you have a copy of Windows XP, you can use Virtual Box and run XP under there as a VM.

If you are willing to pay $500 you can have a very good system if you go DIY using quality parts.
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October 29, 2010 4:30:07 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
Not having researched Windows 7 I didn't realize there was basically no compatibilty with XP and that you could only do a VirtualPC with profressional or ultimate.

If you have a copy of Windows XP, you can use Virtual Box and run XP under there as a VM.


The problem is my Windows XP disk is OEM so I can't install it on any other computers. :(  Update to Win7 Pro to use Virtual Machine is the only way.

Quote:

If you are willing to pay $500 you can have a very good system if you go DIY using quality parts.
[/quote]
Quote:



Probably, but right now I don't feel comfortable trying to build my own computer. Maybe in the future, but for now I just need one that works, and with the warranty if I can't figure something out at least I may have someone to ask for help.

Another question - if I have to move to CS5 versions of Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, will this Asus Essentio be compatible with them? Here are the important requirements for Photoshop CS5 (seems to be the most stringent of the group) - does the Essentio meet all of these?

# Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
# Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 3; Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (Service Pack 2 recommended); or Windows 7
# 1GB of RAM or more recommended
# 1280x800 display with qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card, 16-bit color, and 256MB of VRAM
# Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0

I'm concerned about the processor (it's an AMD Athlon II - is that okay?) and OpenGL graphics card part - I can't find info if the ATI Radeon HD 3000 is OpenGL compatible? Also, the Best Buy specs just say "ATI Radeon 3000", but I can't find that name, only "ATI Radeon HD 3000" - is it the same thing? Or is "ATI Radeon 3000" some super-lame low-cost card they only use in computers that suck? :sweat: 

And then there's Adobe Audition 3 - would the Essentio meet these requirements as-is?

* Intel® Pentium® 4 (1.4GHz for DV, 3.4GHz for HDV); Intel Centrino®; Intel Xeon® (dual Xeon 2.8GHz processors for HD); or Intel Core™ Duo or compatible processor (SSE2-enabled processor required for AMD systems)
* Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional or Home Edition with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise, or Windows 7 (certified support for 32-bit editions and 64-bit compatible)
* 512MB of RAM (1GB for DV playback; 2GB for HDV and HD playback)
* Microsoft DirectX or ASIO compatible sound card

If someone could at least point me in a direction where I can find out if the Essentio components are good enough that would be awesome - I've tried google repeatedly and can't find straight answers.
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October 29, 2010 9:12:24 AM

Athlon II processors are much newer & much - much more powerful than old Athlon 64's and the horrendous Pentium 4's. You're well covered here.

All modern GPU's will meet OpenGL standards. Your system will be more than good enough to run all the aforementioned programs. The only thing is that, you'll need to add a bit more RAM if you are to work with Photoshop.
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October 29, 2010 10:28:27 AM

calguyhunk said:
Athlon II processors are much newer & much - much more powerful than old Athlon 64's and the horrendous Pentium 4's. You're well covered here.


Great!! I was having a hard time figuring out which was better.

Quote:

All modern GPU's will meet OpenGL standards. Your system will be more than good enough to run all the aforementioned programs. The only thing is that, you'll need to add a bit more RAM if you are to work with Photoshop.
[/quote]
Quote:


I had a feeling OpenGL wasn't a problem but wanted to make sure..

How much free RAM do you think Photoshop CS5 would need? I read on another site at least 2gb free but more is obviously better. Like you said, I definitely won't be working with a million layers - I mainly do relatively simple photo touchup and website layouts and things like that, nothing very complicated most of the time. And I don't mind coddling it by closing other programs etc. whenever more memory is needed. Basically I'd be using it for the same stuff I'm using version 7 for now, and only switching out of necessity (if it ends up being necessary).

Since I can't open the case without voiding the warranty (apparently - it's hard to get a straight answer) I can't upgade the RAM until the warranty runs out, so if 4gb will do for a few years that's okay. At least it can be upgraded to 16 afterward - the others in this price range only go up to 8.

Also, I'm concerned about the 300W power supply. Do you think that's going to cause big problems? I have one external hard drive I use for backups occasionally that uses USB for power (my other one has a power cord) and the USB audio interface would need to use USB power as well. I don't use a lot of USB devices at the same time, maybe 2 or 3 at the most. Would they put 10 USB ports on a machine that couldn't handle a couple of USB-powered devices? (Ehh I think the answer is probably yes lol)

My other main concern is whether the integrated sound chip is ASIO compatible so I can use Audition 3. I guess we'll find out after I hook it up and install it? If not, I could true the ASIO4all driver (don't know if that works with onboard sound?), otherwise I found a low-cost external USB audio interface that is ASIO compatible with Windows 7 that would hopefully work. Installing the SB Audigy of course is out of the question because of the warranty. :pfff: 

One other thing, my printer isn't supported in Win7 although there's another driver that apparently works with it, but my scanner is apparently a no-go unfortunately (no updated drivers for it). If I was able to somehow get a copy of XP and get it running in VirtualBox, would XP in the VM be able to access the scanner even though the Win 7 host can't? Is a VM hindered by things the host OS can't do? EDIT: Never mind, just read on the Virtual Box website that it can do this. :D 

I'm also hopeful if we could get an XP VM going we could use the old programs in it. It will be traumatizing not being able to use Paint Shop Pro 4.12, which I've used every day for the past 13 years. :( 

Thanks again for your help and I'm sorry for posting such long messages, just nervous about all the changes and uncertainty and need the opinion of experts :cry: 
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October 29, 2010 1:07:39 PM

Ok, for CS5 it really depends on your work load. I can run Photoshop CS5 fine with light work on my laptop (i3 330M, 4GB DDR3) but once I start to work with multiple large RAW images then 4GB becomes a problem. This is one reason I have 12GB on my desktop.

If you can't upgrade with out the warranty getting void why bother with it? You may as well go with a DIY, seriously. It's not very hard and you won't have to worry about cheap PSUs,etc.

If your printer/scanner doesn't work with Win 7 it is time you upgrade those. You can find a good all in one HP for under $100. The devices are cheap. Manufactures try to make the money with the Ink. I just use refilled (black) ink and save a ton of money.

As for VM, you *can* install the OEM version of XP on it, and you can re arm it for up to 180 days. After that you will need to re-install the VM again. Obviously there are other ways to get OEM copies to work with VM but I won't talk about them here.

But seriously, if you have any software over 7 years you really should think about upgrading those software, it's time to move on. I can guarantee you that any software that doesn't work on Win 7 won't work on future Windows OSes.
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October 29, 2010 3:05:20 PM

junet said:
How much free RAM do you think Photoshop CS5 would need? I read on another site at least 2gb free but more is obviously better. Like you said, I definitely won't be working with a million layers - I mainly do relatively simple photo touchup and website layouts and things like that, nothing very complicated most of the time. And I don't mind coddling it by closing other programs etc. whenever more memory is needed. Basically I'd be using it for the same stuff I'm using version 7 for now, and only switching out of necessity (if it ends up being necessary).
Again, if you've been using XP for all these years, you can always dual boot. That'll take care of all your problems for the time being.

However, you can also get free torrent copies of the newer versions of those softwares form Adobe, Corel etc. & spend a bit of time getting acquainted.

And how much RAM you'll need of course depends on how you plan to use your software. Going by your needs I think 4GB wont be too terrible a starting point.
junet said:
I can't open the case without voiding the warranty
Sorry to hear that :(  See, that's why DIY gives you much more freedom :D  But tbh, I thought they do allow expansion cards (audio, video, network) to be put in without nullifying their warranty. Sounds pretty bizzare that you won't be able to use a Wi-Fi / sound / graphics card. I doubt if that's the case though. I really think you should double check. Anyways...
junet said:
Would they put 10 USB ports on a machine that couldn't handle a couple of USB-powered devices?
The number of USB ports depend on the mobo manufacturer. The same mobo is used by OEM PC makers to put in every conceivable CPU with the same socket in a one-size-fits-all policy. Bulk orders for the same mobo help 'em achieve economies of scale. In the lower end PC's they then put in a 300 watt PSU. In the higher end ones, they'll prolly put in a 1000 Watt one - who knows.

Also, not every USB device is power hungry. Flash-drives barely consume anything.
junet said:
Thanks again for your help and I'm sorry for posting such long messages, just nervous about all the changes and uncertainty and need the opinion of experts :cry: 
No problem. But keep your messages short from now on! :fou: 
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November 5, 2010 2:45:20 AM

Thanks again for the help guys! We ended up getting the CM1630-05, and have been testing it for a week. Works fine for the stuff I listed, Photoshop etc. run fine and I haven't run into too many problems (other than Windows 7 itself :fou:  ).

But after trying Premiere Elements and After Effects I'm re-thinking getting an "interim" comp to "learn" on. :??:  PE and AE slow down when layers start building up and I'm probably stuck with standard def vs. HD with the 4gb of RAM, but it's doable and not too terribly slow. However, I didn't realize how much these programs were capable of, and a slightly better comp might last us a lot longer. So we're looking at Asus CG1330-07 now too. There's a comparison here:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=cat13504&typ...*1218240378508*1218240378146&unProductString=1218194636481*1218249064157&catId=

(link doesn't work but right-click copy and paste the URL does)

I added in the CM5675-09 for reference, we're not really considering it. Can't find any reviews or complete spec list on the CG1330-07 (only the CG1330-05). I notice BB's specs don't include the "1 PCI-E x16" for expansion (just 2 PCI), but I'm thinking it's just an oversight (why would it only be on the cheaper ones?). Otherwise it seems quite an improvement. Also the PSU is 400W rather than the 300W on the CM1630 (no problems with the 300W so far though, although i read the better graphics card in the CG requires more wattage).

Would the benefits of the CG1330-07 be worth the extra $370? What kind of performance improvement could we expect with the CG1330? (Keeping in mind the CM1630 is "okay".)

Just upgrading the RAM to 8gb on the CM1630-05 would end up costing over $120 for 4gb (if I get the RAM on Crucial and have Best Buy install it for $40 - they can install things without voiding the warranty, I just can't do it myself). Let alone upgrading the processor, HD, and video card.

Again I realize we could build our own, but that's not an option right now. Just want to see if the plusses of the CG balance the $400 extra before we get one and try it out.

BTW just for info, we also got a Lexicon Alpha USB audio interface. Onboard sound was pretty crappy (for reacording purposes) but the Alpha works perfectly - even had to set the buffer down because it was over-correcting latency. :)  And my printer does work with Win7, just had to use the driver for a different printer that's compatible. Lastly, got a VritualBox VM with Windows XP running, and if I can get USB to work correctly in it (having problems with that so far) it'll be awesome.
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November 5, 2010 12:27:06 PM

junet said:
Would the benefits of the CG1330-07 be worth the extra $370? What kind of performance improvement could we expect with the CG1330? (Keeping in mind the CM1630 is "okay".)
Video rendering uses multiple threads. So one is always better of with more cores and hence more threads. So a hexacore processor or a hyperthreaded quad core processor will always be significantly more beneficial than a dual/tri core one.

Cool edit pro/illustrator/photoshop are not multi-threaded with a vengeance unlike Vegas pro/Premiere elements, and depend more on core speed. So a higher clocked Athlon II dual core will yield better results than a lower clocked hexacore.
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November 6, 2010 7:16:46 AM

calguyhunk said:
Video rendering uses multiple threads....Cool edit pro/illustrator/photoshop are not multi-threaded...So a higher clocked Athlon II dual core will yield better results than a lower clocked hexacore.


So, since the clock speeds are (allegedly) the same (2.8gHz), the 6 core would be better since it would run Photoshop etc at the same speed as the 2 core but multi-threaded apps like video editing programs faster than the 2 core?

I guess what I should really have asked is, is the CG1330 is worth $370 more than the CM1630?


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November 6, 2010 3:07:18 PM

Firstly, the term "clock speed" is a misnomer. Clock "rates" do not necessarily denote the real speed of a CPU vis-a-vis another one. These are relative. Intel processors are typically faster at the same rated clock-speeds than AMD ones. In many cases, although they may run at the same or a lower clock rate as AMD CPUs, they get more instructions completed per clock cycle.

But coming to your specific question, yes, the 1055t will be better for photoshop. Results might not be as stark as video, but it will help nonetheless. I don't know 'bout the $370 though. That is a budgetary question that you'll have to answer.

Also, I had missed your question yesterday 'bout the missing PCIe slot - The 1330 already has a discrete 5450 GPU (a cheap 30 dollar gfx card) which takes up the PCIe slot. So yes, it doesn't have a "free" slot remaining. No mistake there.

I'll say stick to the 240 (1630) for now. If you want an upgrade some time later, get a 1055t from Newegg for 'bout 180 & sell your 240 for 20-30 odd, which will mean your total upgrade cost is ~$150. And even with the extra RAM & GPU added & the old RAM sold on ebay/craigslist or something, you'll still save $200. Assuming you'll need someone to install those for you, you'll still be able to save 150 odd IMO.
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November 6, 2010 7:00:48 PM

Thanks again calguyhunk

calguyhunk said:

But coming to your specific question, yes, the 1055t will be better for photoshop. Results might not be as stark as video, but it will help nonetheless. I don't know 'bout the $370 though. That is a budgetary question that you'll have to answer.


Yeah, I think we just have to get it and try it to see if it "feels" like it's worth the extra money.

Quote:

Also, I had missed your question yesterday 'bout the missing PCIe slot - The 1330 already has a discrete 5450 GPU (a cheap 30 dollar gfx card) which takes up the PCIe slot. So yes, it doesn't have a "free" slot remaining. No mistake there.


That makes sense

Quote:

I'll say stick to the 240 (1630) for now. If you want an upgrade some time later, get a 1055t from Newegg for 'bout 180 & sell your 240 for 20-30 odd, which will mean your total upgrade cost is ~$150. And even with the extra RAM & GPU added & the old RAM sold on ebay/craigslist or something, you'll still save $200. Assuming you'll need someone to install those for you, you'll still be able to save 150 odd IMO.
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That's true. The only thing is if its still under warranty Best Buy has to install the new parts to keep from voiding it and they charge $40 for ram installation and $50 for everything else. :na:  So that shrinks the difference. On the other hand by that time the warranty will probably be up and I can do it myself, unless I chicken out. :heink: 
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November 7, 2010 7:54:58 AM

junet said:
...if its still under warranty Best Buy has to install the new parts to keep from voiding it and they charge $40 for ram installation and $50 for everything else. :na:  So that shrinks the difference. On the other hand by that time the warranty will probably be up and I can do it myself, unless I chicken out. :heink: 
Don't chicken out :p  . Installing the RAM is absolutely the easiest part. Plenty of vids on the net - Youtube and all :) 
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April 18, 2011 6:08:37 PM

Music playback quality from DAW software is crucial for me and I suspect that the Asus Xonar Essence card I want to buy has far better than sound than the M-Audio 2496 pci card that I need to run m-powered Protools. See the review on this card at http://www.stereophile.com/category/computer-audio-revi... Unfortunately, Avid forces us to run protools on m-audio
hardware, which contains the proprietary drivers. But has anyone had two
soundcards installed in their computer (or a card and a USB or Firewire external m-audio interface) and was able to get good quality audio out of the other soundcard? If yes, please explain how you did this. Thanks.
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