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October 7th, 2010

phyrexian @ 11:16 am: Whoh.
Ok, so it's been almost five years since this community has had any activity.

and what am I going to do? REVIVE THE THING! :P

I'll start posting the address here in Winnipeg, though the community is pretty generic. what are some directions we should take? I'm not personally interested in helping people add video cards to store bought PC's or anything, but would be more than happy helping people learn about the world of white box PC's.

anybody built anything recently? (I've moved into the enterprise, and haven't built anything "commodity" in a while!)

my last build was a:

Intel I5 750 (quad core at 2.67GHz) stock
Asus P7P55D
6 GB of Kingston DDR-1333 (triple channel kit in single channel mode, FTW. :P)
Seagate 1TB 7200.12 Hard drive
my old PCI-e ATI 4870 /1GB
an old Cooler Master Stacker.


it does wonderfully. I run a pair of heads, (one 1600X1200, one 1920X1080) and it's never let me down. random performance example: Fallout 3, everything maxed, sit's around 24FPS with V-sync off. (or 30FPS with everything maxed save AA/AF turned down to 2X each)

November 15th, 2005

con4cyn @ 09:36 pm: so, I just joined
I see there hasn't been much going in the past few months. I'll introduce myself by first talking about what made me join. I'm in the process of building my own system. Well, actually getting the money to order all my components so I can put the thing together. Let me just post here what I'm planning. Most of this stuff I've already got, so no changing my mind on any of it. :)
Some of this has been posted in my own journal, because I couldn't find a community to talk about this stuff with people that know what the hell I'm talking about. Anyway...

1. Tower: Aspire (Turbo Case) X-Navigator Silver on Black. $104.99
I paid for a 450W power supply, but instead got a 500W. I'm not complaining.

2. Motherboard: Asus A8N-E nForce4 Ultra Socket 939 ATX AMD Motherboard $107.98

3. CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Processor (Venice) Socket 939

4. Memory: Corsair VS1GBKIT400 1GB Kit DDR400 PC3200 CAS2.5 Value Select Memory

5. Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA NCQ ST3120827AS 120GB 7200 RPM 8M Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive. (That's a mouth full.) $69
I originally ordered this drive, but they only had this Seagate in stock, but I only paid for the cheaper drive. From that link you can see that it's more than $83, but I only paid $69 for it. :) This drive is about 3 times the size of what I've got now, and 7200 RPM from the 5400 I've got now. This would be a nice change. My little Sony is 3½ years old. Poor thing.

6. DVD Burner: 16X Multiple Format DVD+/-R/RW/DL Burner (Model ND-3540ABK) by NEC. $37.79

7. Floppy Drive: SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Model SFD321B/LBL1 $10.54

8. Speakers: Logitech X-230 2.1 Speaker System

So far, I've spent about $351.19. I'll be happy with getting my processor and memory to get the thing running, which will hopefully be soon. I plan on getting a dial up modem later that's not a winmodem like the one I've got in here. Later I'll look into sound and video cards when I get more money. I don't want anything cheap. I'll use the intergrated sound on my board, and the PCI video card I've got in here until then.

September 7th, 2005

gorgeous_yulia @ 05:57 pm: Hi there, am trying to decide on a good combination of Processor, 'board and RAM for my new computer :-)

I want an AMD, but there are so many of them! Whats the difference between an Athlon 64 Clawhammer 3000, an Athlon 64 Venice 3000 and a Sempron 3200!?

More importantly, if I want a decent Radeon videocard (say, 9800 or X800?! again, too many numbers!) and 512mb of RAM (ASUS?) whats my best combination so there is no disparity? How many Mhz of RAM do I need!?

June 27th, 2005

7dayspast @ 04:07 pm: Maybe (hopefully) someone can help me with this; recently, I've been trying to hotrod out my crappy Dell Dimension 4600 w/ p4 2.8 ghz. This weekend, I decided to try and upgrade the ram since every game I played was lagging out so much I was going crazy. I only had 512 mb of regular ol' DDR ram, so I headed down to Fry's electronics. I bought 2 Patriot gig sticks w/ heatshield, came home, opened the case, took out the original sticks of ram, and put in the two new ones. Turned on the computer aaaaand.... no picture, just a bunch of weird beeps from the motherboard. I looked into it on the Dell site and it said something about the ram not being identified or used properly. Back to Fry's to return it where they test it and, of course, it's bad ram modules. Crisis Adverted! The guy behind the counter tells me that Patriot memory has this problem often, so this time, I decide to splurg. I buy 4 sticks of Corsair XMS DDR 512 ram. Home again, install again, beeps again. I put in the original ram I removed that had worked earlier that morning - doesn't work. I try putting in one stick and starting it - doesn't work.
After fiddling with it for an hour, I figure out that out of the 4 slots I have for ram, only two of them seem to be working. The back two. Does this mean I broke something? Do I need to buy a new motherboard? If so, what would be a good motherboard to buy for an Intel p4 2.8 user who has upgrading the processor in the very near future on his mind AND doesn't want any DRM shit on his motherboard? Even better, is there anyway to fix this so I don't have to buy a new motherboard and can use all 4 sticks of my shiny new ram? Thanks!

May 20th, 2005

phyrexian @ 12:58 am: Alright, i'm sick and tired of random crap that shows up on the net.

i'm going to try working on getting my website up and running soon, from a decent connection.

there's going to be daily hardware reviews, and unsponcered information.

I can not willingly tell a lie about computer hardware.

hopefuly by the end of next month, i'll have a DNS name registered, and my site will be alive.

I hope i'll see you all there.

Thank you.

phyrexian @ 12:35 am: posted back on: Tue, 4-5-2005-[9:55 am],
needed to post this here:



Oh my god.. there's always things that make me mad, and one of which is right here:

http://www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-6159660-1.html?tag=nl.e497#talkback

in response, i've got to say the following..

spreadsheets, word processors, custom applications, and e-mail. Dual-core, SLI, water-cooled PCs in cubicles? Er, no.
So, that leaves gamers, the real target market of these machines

And?? what about Powerusers, Kernal hackers, Engineers, THE ENTIRE HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION industry? just to name a few!

Processing power is becoming increasingly more useful in everyday life. whether people want to sit down and realise that or not, is their choice, but you CAN'T say that it's unnecessary.

One example from a hundred: Medicine.
without the processing power of today's modern microprocessors, the feild of medicine would be years behind.. When was the last time you had an MRI done? what about todays modern medication's? do you think people just guess at the compounds in things like Acetaminophen (C8H9NO2)?? (bad example, but you get the idea..) that's a hell of a lot of rat's to kill just to attempt to find a remotly correct chemical makeup.. what about the DNA model? sure ten thousand 486's could process the data, and in 2020, when they've consumed half the world's electrical power, and hit that magic 25% complete mark, i'm sure your future cancerous father will be thrilled.

Engineering: do you think that the solarsystem can be mapped out on an intel 486? do you realise that the images that the hubble telescope shoot's are more than 12GB per square meter? there's a lot of sky up there, sure, raw data could be usefull, but would you not rather have a 3D version of the solarsystem, than a bunch of random pictures of it?

Kernal hacking: if any users here are farmiliar with the Unix opperating system, than you probaly know what i'm talking about. as a microsoft windows user, when you wan't software to do new things, or to change the way things work, you go buy a new opperating system.
as a linux/unix user, you open up your kernal source, change a few lines, and recompile. no muss, no fuss.
as a kernal hacker, people like me make modifications to the kernal that new linux users only dream about. when the TCP/IP protocol get's revamped, who's sitting there for a week's worth of nights getting Tx Baud rates into acceptable parameters? who's modifying the GCC compiler so as to add the new optimizations for the new processors, and the old? who's generaly working to improve the usefullness of an open free project? Kernal hackers.
take as an example, in the need of processing power, that the TCP/IP protocol suite got revamped, and five different network controllers now need to be modifyed. (Intel, 3Com, Realtek, Conextant, and Marvell) say that half the North american backbone were to be replaced with a striped down TCP stack, (allowing more potential dropped frames, but much higher transmition speeds..) Current Tranmission baud rate's sit around 3000, if your looking for fewer dropped packets, or 3890, for potentialy higher speeds, (baised on the physical medium that your using..)
If you needed to find the new range, you could try incrementing the Tx rate by 10, re-compiling, and doing a wget on a 5MB file from a remote server. now, let's look at the math behind that:
5 chipsets, times: 40 total increments, times: 12 Minutes per compile, times: between 5-10 minutes for the download. (we'll say 7 min.)

that means that we need to spend 16,800 minutes working to get the protocol back to a reasonable speed. that's nearly 12 days, straight work!

now, had this been done with an intel dualcore Extreme edition proc, that compile time drops from 12 minutes (on a p4 2.4GHz) to 4 minutes.

which means that we save 11,200 minutes, or nearly 8 days.

would you like to be able to surf the net in a week? or a month??

People need to see that there are many things that require processing power. one that i dident even dabble on was Encryption. if processing power is unnessicary, than why did the US government just go and buy 1300 Macintosh G5 servers? riddle me that.


Over all, although some people may not see the gain of more processing power, there are FAR too many whom should. when that INTEL Xeon Norcona 3.6GHz chip bump's the cure for cancer from six months from now, to four months, and you pick up lung cancer next friday, trust me, you'll see the need.

if i've offended anybody, please, comment your thoughts. i'd love to hear why the computer industry is wrong.

phyrexian @ 12:06 am: A random note about INTEL.

I must admit, I’m an Intel fan boy. That I can’t deny.

Recently the issue of Hyperthreading, and the pro’s and con’s of the technology have been questioned. Here’s my take on this topic.

Hyperthreading, a history:

Hyper-Threading is Intel's trademark for their implementation of the simultaneous multithreading technology on the Pentium 4 microarchitecture. It is basically a more advanced form of Super-threading that first debuted on the Intel Xeon processors and was later added to Pentium 4 processors. The technology improves processor performance under certain workloads by providing useful work for execution units that would otherwise be idle, for example during a cache miss.

The advantages of Hyper-Threading are listed as improved support for multi-threaded code, allowing multiple threads to run simultaneously, improved reaction and response time, and increased number of users a server can support.

Hyper-Threading works by duplicating certain sections of the processor—those that store the architectural state—but not duplicating the main execution resources. This allows a Hyper-Threading equipped processor to pretend to be two "logical" processors to the host operating system, allowing the operating system to schedule two threads or processes simultaneously. Where execution resources in a non-Hyper-Threading capable processor are not used by the current task, and especially when the processor is stalled, a Hyper-Threading equipped processor may use those execution resources to execute the other scheduled task. (Reasons for the processor to stall include a cache miss, a branch misprediction and waiting for results of previous instructions before the current one can be executed.)

Except for its performance implications, this innovation is transparent to operating systems and programs. All that is required to take advantage of Hyper-Threading is symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support in the operating system, as the logical processors appear as standard separate processors.

However, it is possible to optimize operating system behavior on Hyper-Threading capable systems, such as the Linux techniques discussed in Kernel Traffic (http://www.kerneltraffic.org/kernel-traffic/topics/Hyperthreading.html). For example, consider an SMP system with two physical processors that are both Hyper-Threaded (for a total of four logical processors). If the operating system's process scheduler is unaware of Hyper-Threading, it would treat all four processors the same. As a result, if only two processes are eligible to run, it might choose to schedule those processes on the two logical processors that happen to belong to one of the physical processors. Thus, one CPU would be extremely busy while the other CPU would be completely idle, leading to poor overall performance. This problem can be avoided by improving the scheduler to treat logical processors different from physical processors; in a sense, this is a limited form of the scheduler changes that are required for NUMA systems.

According to Intel, the first implementation only used an additional 5% of the die area over the "normal" processor, yet yielded performance improvements of 15-30%.


The major problems with Hyperthreading, Is not the Hardware, the hardware operates flawlessly, as the concept design allows. The problem is in the software.

One major “Flaw” in the hyperthreading debate, is the prevention of XD “software”. XD, or eXecute Disable bit, prevents certain areas of memory from being executed, preventing Overflow viruses from running. The issue arises, that two computers on a local area network, can still execute code remotely. To prevent this, Micro$oft Windows products, add a prerequisite to the execution of any software on the local machine. The thread requires a username/Password combination, including the user name, and the machines name.

This effectively prevents one operating system from executing code from the other, due to the TCP/IP stacking rules that prevent any two computers from acquiring data from a computer with the same “machine name” as any other.

The issue arises, that ANY Symmetric Multi-Processor machine, does not follow the TCP/IP stacking rules, as they communicate via the Netburst interface. CPU0, can execute any code in memory, unless it’s flagged XD’d. CPU1 abides by the same rules, as that the XD’d bit table is stored in main memory. A Hyperthreaded CPU however was never designed to follow XD bit rules, and never check’s to see whether a memory address has an XD flag.

This is a very simple problem, that M$ can’t seem to fix, if CPU0, the physical processor, flag’s a memory address, why is the compiler passing anything to do with that memory address to CPU1, the logical processor?? It’s the compilers job to schedule tasks, but yet it fails to even check if a memory address has an XD flag.

As I see it, Hyperthreading, is a technology that allows us to get more done. The hardware work’s perfectly, yet the software is flawed. Still, people blame INTEL for their issues. Work on the TCP/IP-V.6 stacking protocol, and enforce MAC registry per packet, you increase the overhead minimally, and gain the ability to track a packet across the net. Casual viruses and spam would all but disappear, and the internet would see some real traffic, not thousands of request’s for new Anti-virus definition files.

-Justin

January 4th, 2005

phyrexian @ 10:00 pm: You know the main reason that AMD pisses me off?

they run the most bogus benchmarks..

look at this crap:

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_8796_8800~89211,00.html

it's a diagram showing the "EXTREME proformance" of their TOP OF THE LINE processor, versus sone mid-range builds. if you click on the "configuration" link later on the page, you get this:

SAP (R) Standard Application Sales and Distribution (SD) (Linux) 4P Servers

4 AMD Opteron™ processors Model 850 with 1MB L2 cache in Sun Microsystems SunFire V40z, 32GB memory, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (64-bit), Oracle 9i (32-bit). Certification 2004044.


4 AMD Opteron™ processors Model 848 with 1MB L2 cache in Sun Microsystems SunFire V40z, 32GB memory, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (64-bit), Oracle 9i (32-bit). Certification 2004043.


4 Xeon MP processors 2.8GHz with 2MB L3 cache in Fujitsu-Siemens PRIMERGY Model TX600/RX600, 8GB memory, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, SAP DB 7.3.0. Certification 2004004.


4 Itanium 2 1.0GHz processors with 3MB L3 cache in Bull NovaScale Model 4040, 7GB memory, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, SAP DB 7.3.0. Certification 2003031.


If you compare the two systems, you'll see that the AMD system handles the database software of Oracle, at about 1.75 times the proformance.

now, realse, that the INTEL chip's, are opperating at less than half the speed of the AMD's, amd with FOUR POINT FIVE times the RAM. we'll not even get into the fact, that INTEL Itaniums require a number of sticks of ram, to be equal to the processors.

AMD, is just pissing me off recently.. i really want to buy a P4 Extreme..

damn money.

December 30th, 2004

phyrexian @ 01:18 am: --XTR3M3 2 TH3 MAX0RZ!!!1-- Gaming machine!!
if you've ever wanted to drool over a gaming machine, this is it.

with a budget of $7000, you can invent the following, although it's good, it's not as good as it gets.

AMD Athlon 64 FX-53, 1MB L2 Cache, 939 Pin - Retail $790
ASUS "A8N-SLI Deluxe" nForce4 SLI Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL $275
2X Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3500 Black Hi Perf Level II - OEM ($272)
Case of your choice, $100
Thermaltake Silent PurePower Fanless 350W Power Supply -RETAIL $129
DVD burner of your choice $100
4X Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD740GD, OEM ($700)
2X PNY Quadro FX3400 Video, 256MB DDR, 256-bit, PCI-Express Model "nVIDIA Quadro VCQFX3400-PCIE-PB)" -RETAIL ($2300)

and that's the low end of Extreme gaming. total price tag: $6966

(before monitor, keyboard and mouse.)

tomorrow, i'll post about the upper limit.
that'll be fun.

December 28th, 2004

indiehero05 @ 11:45 pm: hey this is my first post and to start it off i'll ask this:
(im building my second comp- my first doesn't really count as a total 'from scratch' build bc i used the mobo/ram/cpu from an old computer. it will become a file server... the one im currently building will become my game/ maya computer.)
i'm looking for a gig or two of ram that is "DDR400/DDR333/DDR266." i'd prefer it to be nonECC b/c ive heard that it's faster. i don't really know about registered/ unregistered, so any i'd appreciate any thoughts on that.
i was just wondering what your opinions on any specific brand and best speed-to-cost for type of ram were?
If any of you could help me out with your opinions on this i'd be really grateful. thanks.

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