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    Old geezer building a pc

    Hi folks.
    I'm learning panoramic photography. I use various bits of software, including Photoshop of course. PTGUI etc. I need to build a new pc and it has to last a while as I'm now a full-time carer and no longer earning. I have put a spec together and discussed it with someone helpful at Scan. This is it (roughly).
    Abit IP 35 Pro mb
    Intel Q6600 processor
    4 Gb 800 Mhz ram
    3X Samsung hd's configured as RAID 5
    Akasa Mirage case
    Zalman heatsink
    Akasa 500W p/supply
    plus the other bits and pieces (DVD writer, wireless card etc)
    I have a couple of low-spec graphics cards lying about (ATI Radeon and Nvidia) and as I don't do gaming I don't need anything much in this area.

    What I'm going to need is a pointer to a thread or site where someone goes through the basic bios tweaks for setting up the system initially. I know the mb will probably have some documentation, but I don't expect too much from it. I've never done this before but I'm reasonably intelligent, if a bit clapped out as I enter my seventh decade.

    I'd appreciate any help anyone would care to offer. I haven't ordered the hardware yet, but please don't bombard me with too many suggestions unless there's a serious flaw in my spec.
    Thanks in advance!
    Roy

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    isn't trying to wind U up Shooty*'s Avatar
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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    unless-you're-running-64bit-vista-you-won't-need-4gb-ram-it-won't-be-able-to-use-it.

    Right, robotic first answer out of the way.

    If you're just doing photography stuff, not gaming, I'd personally be inclined to pick up an old single or even dual core Dell or something. Seriously. If you're just tinkering with photos, I personally don't think you'll need quad core or anything like that, and can just save yourself come money.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Clunk's guide here http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...eral-info.html will set you on the right path.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Thanks Shooty.
    In fact some of the VR panos I'm doing are created using HDR photography (multiple exposures - up to 9) for every shot. A complete set of shots means up to 90 RAW files (@ about 16Mb each). This is a lot of data and there's a lot of interpolation involved. The final output files are usually about 300Mb. Believe me my AMD 3500 box (2Gb ram) is groaning.
    One area that's important for both Photoshop and the other apps is disc access speeds. I may later add either a Raptor as a scratch disc or even a solid-state device if the price drops dramatically.
    On the RAM issue, I'll be using XP pro 32 bit. I understood that this effectively meant that 4 Gb ram actually = >3 Gb ram - which is better than 2 isn't it?
    OiD - thanks, noted.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Personally I would say go with 4 gb still. Always specced it in our 3D cad machines & it helped. But as ever, it's a matter of opinion. I would say tho it's a good time to buy ram as prices are low & if you go 64bit, then you're already sorted.
    The Q6600 is a quality all round performer whether overclocked or no. Can't fault it, sound choice imo.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    4gb of ram and quad would (is) my choice too - surely photoshop is multi core aware? Both are relatively cheap for the performance benefit returned. You'll get ~3gig of RAM under XP32 - and you can bung 64vista on later to see the rest of it if you want.
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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Yes, Photoshop is mcp compatible but I'm still investigating some of the other apps. VR panoramic photography is mostly the province of open-source-, free- and not-very-expensive-ware.
    Still, no one has said that this is stupid configuration, so I'm reasonably happy (apart from the price, that is... and I also need to add some external backup).
    Thanks for the informed responses!
    Roy

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    If your not over clocking i don't see the need for such an extravagant motherboard, consider dropping down to the cheaper dark raider.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Quote Originally Posted by Aez View Post
    If your not over clocking i don't see the need for such an extravagant motherboard, consider dropping down to the cheaper dark raider.
    I was in fact aiming to overclock this eventually as I know someone with the same processor who is running it successfully at 3.1 Ghz - which is why I am buying a 3rd party cooler.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    They'll go much higher too - I had to make almost no changes to achieve 3.0ghz and i've left it there as I didn't see any benefit taking it further (for what I use the PC for).
    System 001: Maximus VII Formula, 4790k i7, RTX 2080ti FE (incoming), 16GIG Corsair Vengence DDR3 RAM CL9, Corsair HX1000, ROG SWIFT PG278Q , SSDs, Antec 1200 case, All watercooled. [main]
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    System 003: AsRock MB, APU, 8 GIG Corsair, Silverstone HTPC case, stock cooler, GT220 1gbDDR3, WD Green 3TB, Kingston 40gb SSD, MCE Remote, Panasonic 50" LCD (87BDX) via HDMI Windows 8.1.1 (32) [media centre]
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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    I'd say your spec looks good, i am not sure exactly how quiet the Akasa case is, and might be inclined to recommend one of the larger Antec's since you are going to have 3 spinning hard drives - even quiet ones will have some vibration and the Antec cases such as the P180 / P182 have rubber grommits to absorb this.

    You may also find some general use in this forum:
    Digital Cameras, Photography & Photo Editing - AVForums
    But it also might seem overkill and OTT (it does to me!).

    PS have you tried the GIMP for photo editing? It's not a replacement for Photoshop, but it's free and good for a tinker. Famous for Linux but good for Windows too.
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Quote Originally Posted by Aez View Post
    If your not over clocking i don't see the need for such an extravagant motherboard, consider dropping down to the cheaper dark raider.
    I agree.
    The IP35 Pro is overkill and overpriced.

    The Dark Raider is fine and much better value than the Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRoy View Post
    I was in fact aiming to overclock this eventually as I know someone with the same processor who is running it successfully at 3.1 Ghz - which is why I am buying a 3rd party cooler.
    I got to 3.2ghz on my Q6600 with any voltages increases. Im just happily chugging away at 3.0ghz atm and its great. Very very cool too.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    I second or is it third the suggestion to go for the IP-35 dark raider over the Pro, I would also look at the Thermalright Ultima 90, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe Ninja or Scythe Mine as better coolers than the Zalman offerings (and the Mine is a bit cheaper as well ).

    If this was my System this is what I would be looking at,

    CPU: Q6600
    CPU Cooler: one of the above
    Motherboard: Abit IP-35 Dark Raider - No need for the Pro
    Memory: 4GB 800Mhz
    Hard drives: personal preference leans towards Western Digital AAKS drives but Samsung are good as well.
    DVD: Samsung SH-S203 - Really quiet drive.
    Case: Antec Solo - Personal preference more than anything and quite a bit cheaper.
    PSU: Enermax Liberty 400W - Modular and more than enough power for your needs.
    An alternative to the Case and PSU could be the Antec Sonata III or the Sonata Plus 550, they both come with decent power supplies and would knock a fairly large chunk off the total price.

    All of this is available from Scan they have no picture for the Sonata Plus 550 but here is a link to Antec's site for the whole Sonata family

    Antec Sonata Family

    Oh you may need an additional case fan depending on which case you chose if you let us know which case you decide on we can talk fans

    Hope this helps and I have explained my reasoning to your satisfaction.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    Everybody:.
    Blimey - what a great forum! Lots of well reasoned suggestions.
    It was originally suggested that I use the Antec P 182 case - Scan suggested the Akasa for reasons of additional space. I duuno - never seen either of them. Fan for the case occurred to me too.
    Re PS modularity. Again the guy at Scan suggested it was disadvantageous (his reasoning entailed something about increased impedance in the connectors and consequent overheating... it sounded a bit unlikely to me too). Is a modular PS a no-contest Good Thing?
    The board was actually, again, suggested by Scan as a replacement for the Gigabyte P35-DS4 which someone else suggested. Reason; worse MTBF in his experience. Does the DR (god I hate names that imply gaming - no offence to gamers intended but the assumption these days seems to be that only gamers need fast pc's!) support RAID 5? I'll take a look at the spec.
    PSU: Enermax Liberty 400W - This case may end up chock full of drives unless I end up building a NAS box. 400W enough?

    Once I pension off my existing box there's also a chance that the new one will end up with additional cards - audio etc. I need enough slots, power and case space.

    Again, many thanks to you all for such attention to detail. I'm really impressed!
    TBC
    (which once upon a time meant "timebase corrector" to me. A cigar to anyone reading this who has used one!)

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    For a PSU something like a Corsair HX520W(if you need modular cables) or a Corsair VX550W(which is not modular) should fit the bill well.

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    Re: Old geezer building a pc

    While it's true that the modular connections are not as good as fixed (maybe you lose 1-2% efficiency), you can use less cables, which helps airflow.

    The Pro has e-SATA, which seems to be the only reason, apart from the higher quality capacitors, to buy it over the DR.

    Just how many HDDs might you end up with?

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