[sclug] Multicore motherboards of choice, guide to those out of date on modern hardware - where to look for info?

M.Blackmore mblackmore at oxlug.org
Tue Mar 18 16:12:32 UTC 2008

I dunno what happened to the posting I made yesterday, it didn't get
back posted to me, so apologies if this is a repost.

Its gone far enough off the original commodity quadcore from Comet to
seeking some guidance for an really out of date and uninformed ex-tekkie
now retired, that I've decided to start a new thread.

Guidance for the perplexed gladly received!

On Sun, 2008-03-16 at 17:06 +0000, Tom Carbert-Allen wrote:
> AMD Quad core Phenom ?118
> 2gb ram approx ?25
> 19" tft ?99
> nvidia 8500 ?45
> motherboard approx ?30
> case and decent psu ?40
> 250gb hdd ?33
> dvd-rw ?15

Power supply units - do these new motherboards use the older atx psu's
as I seem to recall an extra 2 or 4 pins have been added to the block in
recent years...? 24?? 

I essentially haven't had any kit younger than about 2003
or early 2004, apart from a shuttle barebones with ram and cpu I bought
last summer and just got the supplier to plug the ram into, and am
totally out of touch with what constitutes up to date technology, ram
standards, slots (new video slot standard isn't there nowadays, pci/e or
something to replace agp) and so forth.

As we've got masses of cases and old atx psu's and DVD writers and good
LCD monitors, sufficient sized sata and ide hard disks (not so critical
when most data is stored on an nfs raided "server", i.e. an old 450mhz
Dell with a pci sata card software raiding 2 disks) all I would need
from the look of it is:

1. Motherboard - multicore but can't see point of 64bit for anything we
need but given our tendency to have heaps of documents open at once and
lots of web pages we've found 2 core makes a huge difference, and
multiple core should keep us going for a few years of software
growth/bloat. I suspect in a few years we'd find a quadcore useful in
keeping up with software developments, thus hopefully skipping a
hardware generation or two of upgrade compared to going dual core,
seeing as their doesn't seem to be a huge price difference. Just use 32
bit software for now and avoid the hassles as we don't need anything

2. Ram - I'd go for 3 or 4gb for future proofing a bit, we have a lot of
windows open habitually and use up the ram quite a bit. So whats the ram
of choice at the moment (what ram standards are there)?

3. Good video card - we're beginning to do some video editing from the
camera, my daughter is into this a bit, and finding all our kit wheezes
desperately with Gimp and err wotsit for digital video editing. What is
the trade off - amount of video ram or raw speed of the gpu for digital
camera film editing? 

4. Do we need a new psu? Energy efficiency wise it might not be a bad
idea to get stuff with power factors of greater than .85, nothing I've
tested thus far with a power meter has broken more than .59 which is
dreadful efficiency on a digital electricity meter where we get charged
for stuff out of phase on the neutral line :-(

Where's the best sort of place to source this as an end user seeing as
all my trade accounts are long since defunct having given up when the
surprise bundle of joy hit us in our late 40s >;) and I became full time
housedad (wife had good steady safe salaried job so obvious who was
going to stick with that, then my health disintegrated so she had to go
part time, so we need to keep costs at minimum).
Having lost touch, how does one "get back in knowledge" ... I'd been
organically part of microcomputing since the late 70s until 2002 or so,
so never noticed that I always knew what was hot and what was not, but
now having become outdated I realise I don't have a clue how one, err,
clues oneself up from scratch like a newbie??

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