Help on dual system

I want to build a dual processor system to be used primarily for voice dictation and gaming? I can afford a decent system, but don't want to throw money away, obviously. I haven't kept up with PC technology for about 18 months. So, can you help me with recommendations for:

processor: ?
motherboard: ?
SCSI adapter:
(to be used with hard drive, CD burner, CD and DVD drives)

SCSI hard drive?

SCSI DVD drive?

Video card?

Sound card?

Speakers? Klipsch?

monitor? flat screen?

13 answers Last reply
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  1. Dual athlon mp's at 1.4ghz(should be released in a few days)

    A good dualie athlon mobo, tyan is the only one I am aware of now.

    Scsi is nice. If you want to have alot of storage space and have equal or slightly less performance, get a nice IDE raid card and 3x 45 gig ibm deskstar drives and run them in raid0.

    Video either the gf3 500ti, or the radeon 8500, I wont get into the specifics there, others in the graphics forum can.

    If you want good budget graphics get a gf2 pro for around 120 and it will do you fine. Radeon origional is an option as well.
    Tom did a soundcard roundup recently I would look that over to pick a decent soundcard.

    Monitors are up to you, go to a local store and look at the different monitors, does it look nice to you? If it does ask about refresh rates, nothing under 85hertz will do.

    I am sure some dualy inclined forum goers can give you more information on good athlon mp boards etc. Any help for him guys?

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
  2. please be aware that you will only realise exceptionally marginal benefit for a lot of cost going for a dual cpu rig unless your apps really support it.

    Good bragging rights
    Apps that support multi-threading = kick ass performance
    Running multiple single-threaded apps simultaneously (RIP DVD while playing game)
    Slightly better performance in single app if bound to the cpu not used by the OS.

    Athlon/Duron MP systems currently not overclockable (except by golden socket/bridge manipulation)
    Intel dual P4 hideously expensive
    Intel dual P3 about to be reited = no upgrade.
    Can only use Linux, Win2K, WinNT, WinXP.

    So, bearing in mind virtually no games support multithreading/dual cpus - and unless you plan on taking dictation whilst ripping DVDs/MP3s - your functional <i>need</i> may only be a fast single cpu solution.

    If you do need dual, or can afford not to worry about it and the bragging rights are sufficient to you then the AMD route is Tyan Tiger (the 'economy' version of the Thunder) with a pair of AMDs on them. If you wait a week or so, someone will test (if not already) a pair of Athlon XP1800s (1.53G palomino core) on such a board and tell you if it A: works B: kicks ass.

    Regrading peripheral connections, you can go SCSI, or IDE, or mixed. I'd strongly recommend making your choice at the start, changing 1/2 way will be more expensive and hassle.

    SCIS is a fantastic technology - it is a very reliable and effective bus technology that excells in connecting disk, CD, DVD, scanners and more. I'd recommend if you are to use SCIS to use SCSI from day 1 and understand what it is about.

    SCSI basically will offer faster, more reliable data transfer than IDE (if you buy newer SCSI devices from reputable makers). It generally consumes less CPU overhead to transfer data in the system and typically has faster access times to HDD (with good disks). The down side? Cost. Your average PC mainboard now has at least two, often four IDE header allowing connection of between four and eight devices at 33, 66 or 100MBs. IDE is less efficient than SCSI, and can consume more CPU - however with today's CPUs that is almost of no issue any longer than it was in the early days of computing.

    IDE is less reliable, but properly planned it can offer a stable operation as SCSI. I do not refer to system crashes, but reliable data transfer. If you have a CDRW drive as a secondary device on a busy IDE channel (say HDD is primary), the the CDRW may get starved for data (not getting access to the IDE bus) and cause you a lot of failed CD creations. You will not get this issue on SCSI.

    SCSI scales better (15 devices per channel rather than 2) and so is expandable (although you still should not overload a single channel as it will eventually give poor performance). SCSI is also an external capable system for external CD, DVD, CDRW, Tape, HDD towers/arrays, whereas IDE is not.

    Typically for 99% of users IDE will happily suffice, there are technologies to increase performance and/or redundancy via RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independant Disks) but for high end apps and users only SCSI will do.

    If you have a need like this then go for it. It will cost you approx. 5X cost (500%) for a 40GB single SCSI disk solution to a 40GB EIDE one. For multi disk, you can build a fast 160GB IDE array for ~ $300 but the SCSI one will set you back ~$1100, although it will perform significantly faster.

    SCSI peripherals tend to be a little more expensive too - 16x Yamaha EIDE CDRW (oem) at $98 vs $111 for the SCSI version for example. I have the IDE version and have never failed to make a good copy from IDE HDDs to it - so the SCSI benefits are real, but your milage may vary on them.

    For CDRW then the benchmarks are usually Plextor as one of the most universally supported devices - but as I say, I own both the Yamaha 8824 and 16/10/40 (2100E) and have never missed a beat with either. Get a fast on, with bur-proof if possible, and get one with at least a 2Mb (slower) or 8Mb (faster) buffer.

    Video card, the best is going to be the nVidia Ti500 Geforce3, just announce and on sale soonish I'd guess. Performs better (although not massively so) than the older Geforce3 - look out for good bargains in the next few weeks.

    Cheaper cards - the GeForce2 Ultra is still a very respectible card, and should be available very cheap (relative) soon, and ATI have the 7500 and 8500 out about nowish. The 7500 should be a very capable lower end card, whilst the 8500 is supposed to take the fight right up to the Geforce3 (to be seen).

    Sound card - well, I use an SBLive! Value - and whilst it is no audiophile's dream - it does the job. The new Audigy is supposed to be a good card also, but many have gone away from Creative - often in favour of Hercules or similar. I'm no expert here so I'll let someone else clue. Many people have reported incompatabilities with the SB Live! range of cards, but I have not experienced such.

    Speakers are almost entirely a personal taste/ears thing, what I think sound good, you may hate, the only way to tell is to go and listen yourself to them in a good shop - get recommendations, but don't let someone else tell you what your ears will like.

    Monitor - I use a nice big CRT monitor, and frankly the flat panels do not yet beat them unless you are tight for space. You can spend 3X the money and still only get near the quality of picture. A reasonable panel will set you back close on $1000 (and usually more), for which you can have the monster CRT screen in the shop!!! Again, tastes vary - get demos of them, ideally with your intended video card and see what looks best TO YOU!!!

    What would I recommend? Well, how soon do you need? If in the next week or two and <i>if</i> you want a kicking single CPU solution - I'd take a 1.4G Athlon (or XP1800 if you don't mind the price dropping as you walk out the shop), 2 x 256MB of <b>branded</b> PC2400 CL2 DDR memory (Micron/Corsair/Kingmax), MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU (MUST be KT266<b>A</b> chipset), 430W Enermax PSU, Geforce3 (non-Ti500), Creative Audigy. For performance get a couple of IBM harddrives (7200rpm, EDIE ATA100) and configure them raid 0 on the board and get a big, fast HDD of twice the single disk....

    Sorry I didn't really spell check this, but it got a lot longer than I expected and it is now late... Good luck!

    -* This Space For Rent *-
    email for application details
  3. Thanks alot!! Very helpful, truly.

    Sounds like it is more cost effective to go single. I would like to go SCSI. This MSI Master-S board has on board SCSI.
    Is this ok, or is there something better available or about to come out in the near future?
  4. Total avoid AMD MP solution, the return rate is very high.

    Lemmings will always try to push AMD solution on people weather they are aware of the problems or not.

    Go with Intel based SMP system and you will encounter far less problems and spend less cash too. AMD is new to the SMP arena and has very poor track record now.

    Supermicro P3TDL3 - Very nice features not found on other boards like dual PSU connectors for redundant PSU without extra cost.

    A pair of up to 1.26Ghz Intel Tualatin processors

    Seagate 10k SCSI driver, stripe several of them w/ win2k or XP

    Geforce 2 Ti or Geforce 3 Ti or Radion 8500

    SB Live Xgamer

    Klipsh are expensive but very nice

    Flat panel displays are still pricey, might want to get 19" or 21" for about the same price as a 15" plasma.

    The people who were spouting off Athlon MP crap have never even seen one let alone know how well they dont work. They just love to push AMD every opertunity like the lemmings they are.

    Supermicro makes exceptional dual processor boards and they have unmatched features and reputation.

    If you want the best and least amount of problems go with the Supermicro solution. Dont even consider the AMD MP.
  5. If you go with single CPU, ASUS is highly recomended by almost all of us here. thats something we can agree on.
  6. Quote:
    Total avoid AMD MP solution, the return rate is very high.

    I doubt you actually have proof of this. You can spout all you want about your personal experience, but the fact is you have no credibility here. I doubt you even have any personal experience. :tongue:

    Supermicro makes exceptional dual processor boards and they have unmatched features and reputation.

    We used to carry a few SuperMicro boards. The one I remember in particular was the P6DGS--dual Slot1, GX chipset, onboard SCSI. The thing had severe problems allocating resources to PCI devices. We were always having to flash the BIOS up to the latest rev and *hope* that it would allow our Intel NICs to work, or that DPT Storage Manager services wouldn't crash on startup, or some other idiotic bullshit. First time we tried to slap Coppermines into a P6DGS, we found ourselves getting the runaround from five different SuperMicro reps before we got one who admitted the thing wasn't Coppermine compatible. The last straw was discovering that the POS would not do SMP under UnixWare. After that we switched to the Intel L440GX motherboard--which, despite having a crappy Phoenix BIOS, was at least trouble-free.

    SuperMicro chassis are nice though, partly because SuperMicro doesn't actually manufacture their chassis--they typically just rebadge someone else's.


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
  7. Keledin, Prepare to be bitch slapped (links at bottom) I see more machines that I care too on a daily bases I work with all platforms and machine types. mostly SMP based machines (Athon MP being one of them) of the few we have installed the customer promptly returned to vendor for money back. Blame in on Win2k or the wind direction. there are no excuses for bum machines like the Athlon MP. it has no business in the professional world yet and is better served as a unstable test machine rather than a production machine. AMD was very late in getting MP to the market and cut many corners doing so. the current 760MP offering is plagued with problems that no one should have to be subjected too. Maybe we should have cut back to the slower CPUs and tried again or maybe not.

    You have far less credibility, all you can do is push AMD like the rest of the lemmings (hence the term lemmings).

    Who cares what problem you have on your GX chipset in 1998. The supermicro boards of today are of the highest quality and manufacturing process.

    We laugh as major builders are all dropping AMD. We were smart from the start and never even considered integrating AMD into our machines due to the disrespect of AMD (considering the safety of your CPU/machine invesment) in not implemnting thermal protection (they would have scored far more contracts with system builders).

    Yes we have relations with AMD. poor as they are we still have cross license with them.

    NUMA is over 6 years old and is inferior compared to todays technology. LMAO @ AMD for this venture (not sure what they were thinking)
  8. <A HREF="" target="_new">Click</A> - congrats, old news that means little.
    <A HREF="" target="_new">Click</A> - "China nabs first hacker for posting porn on sites" Great link!!!!!
    <A HREF="" target="_new">Click</A> - That's almost a year old, but could still be relevant, I'm not sure. "the problems it has had developing multi-processor boards based on EV6." Looks like they overcame those problems, at least partially.

    <font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
    9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
  9. Nice, not a one of your links actually provides any evidence that 760MP or the Athlon is unstable. Not one even mentions the 760MP.

    And this one is good...the second link is about a hacker/porn incident in China! Has absolutely dick to do with AMD!

    LOL ROFLMAO! :lol: Way to go on that one!

    I suppose that in your little la-la land, some script kiddie's little venture and arrest stands as proof positive that AMD sucks. I guess the wind changing direction in Africa means the same thing to you. The rest of us live in the real world.

    The SuperMicro problem was in 2000-2001. We basically discourage our customers from buying that piece of crap--with much reluctance, since we could really use a dual-CPU board with more ISA slots. I say if a company can't get its act together in two years time, it doesn't deserve our patronage.

    P.S. <A HREF="" target="_new">Linux NetworX</A> seems to be doing quite well by the 760MP. Of course, they definitely know their stuff when it comes to cooling--apparently more than I can say for your team. :lol:


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
  10. Quote:
    Not one even mentions the 760MP.

    The third one does. Read it more closely.

    <font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
    9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
  11. Just another post Fugger made, announcing his lack of credible information to back up his claims. The last one mentions it, but not much.

    What the hell was the deal with the Chinese Hacker and Porn though? AMD was not in that AT ALL.
  12. Not sure how i got the hacker/porno but at least it was worth a good laugh. =P

    It was supposed to be a link to list of known problems with 760MP and a long bitch from dude named ryan at
    no clue how I got that other link =P

    "Of course, they definitely know their stuff when it comes to cooling--apparently more than I can say for your team. " sorry but it wasnt a cooling issue.

    I have had great sucess with Sipermicro products, we do reguarly use buy 3rd party products to complete a customers solution.

    "We basically discourage our customers from buying that piece of crap--" - ditto

    You must admit that dual PSU connecter with failover switch is slick. Supermicro has always had thier act together. bummer you had problems with one. not saying that I never had a problem with one, but the owners who use them love them. (3400S adaptec has problems in 370DLE)
    Redundant PSU and case can run you easily 500 bucks minimum if you purchased a motherboard without this feature.
  13. Quote:
    You must admit that dual PSU connecter with failover switch is slick.

    Sounds nice in theory. How well does the whole getup work with all the other devices though? The motherboard's not the only thing that draws power, and most other devices only have one power jack. Is some sort of reverse splitter (merger) used for those devices or what?


    "/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
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