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Thread: Hardware Questions

  1. #1
    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    Hardware Questions

    Just got the budget of £300 for a christmas present....not sure what hardware to go for though

    Firstly I was thinking a logitech cordless MX for bluetooth from overclockers. Does anyone know if these are any good for gaming? I heard the original microsoft bluetooth desktop set was crap and I'm finding it hard to find any reviews for this.

    As I'm running out of hard drive space and have a NF7-s I was thinking about buying 2 of these and setting it up in raid (the raid array which doubles the speed....can't remember if that's 0 or 1). Any advice on this?

    Then I was considering a cheap digital camera or some more RAM. With a digital camera I'd prefer one which is slim so can be taken about the place and under about £70, any reccomendations? Or if I went for the RAM would it be worth upgrading from 512MB to 1GB? I've got 2*256MB of Twinmos w/winbond chips from komplett in dual DDR, would I be able to add an extra 512MB module into the third slot without losing the benefits of dual DDR?

    Many Thanks

    Slick
    Last edited by Slick; 29-11-2003 at 08:06 PM.

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    I've heard good things about the Logitech Cordless MX but I'm not sure hwo great they are for gaming, AFAIK it's difficult with cordless stuff. Bluetooth adds a whole other complication, you'd really want to look into it well before purchasing. Sorry I simply don't know much about input devices.

    Nice choice of HD for RAIDing, but IMHO RAID is no where near worth a lot of the headaches and risks it involves, I'd suggest just buying a single 160GB perhaps? If you do want to RAID the two most common types are RAID-0 (striping) and RAID-1 (mirroring). RAID-0 gives writing and reading a little speed boost but does not keep any backup of your files should a drive fail. RAID-1 gives a small boost in reading, it basically keeps a simultaneous backup of the first drive so your capacity is only half not the total combined drive storage space, this safeguards against drive failure. It's RAID-0 you surely want but no RAID gets near doubling the speed, 10-15% is about the best you should hope for.

    Cheap digital cameras (ie < £100) are usually pretty poor in some if not all categories. I use the Fuji A202 which is pretty light and compact with great photos and decent camcorder ability, that should be close to £100 new now. So long as you stick to the established brands almost any d.cam should be pretty good now. I'd rec one which runs on AA batteries and factor in the cost of a charger and rech-batts in the long term. Also rem that most d.cams come withtiny RAM cards, so you'll need £20ish for a decent sized one too.

    As for the RAM, I seriously doubt there's many average users who need the full amount of 512MB let alone the acres of space 1GB RAM offers. COnsidering RAM prices tend to fall quite dramatically over the long term it would make sense to stick to 512MB for a while longer. HTH!

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    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    cheers austin

    It was raid 0 I was thinking of....what are the headaches of RAID you mentioned? Would it be better off buying a 10,000rpm raptor instead? and is that 10-15% increase in system performance or increase in reading speed of the drive?

    I'll give the RAM a miss and look into digital cameras more.

    Does anyone else have links to a bluetooth desktop review or has anyone used one?

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    I've got the normal mx700 and it's fine for gaming, there is pretty much no lag on it at all, bluetooth shouldn't be a problem at all, and it'll give you a useable bluetooth hub to play with as well if you have a pda or mobile or some other bluetooth enabled device

    The bonus of the logitech system is that the bluetooth pod will also recharge the mouse unlike the m$ offering
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    Headaches of using RAID is time and trouble of setting it up, esp the stripe size which can even make the RAID-0 array slower than a single drive. Also the chance of the RAID array failing is at least double as if either HD (or even the RAID controller) fails all your data is lost. It's more prone to corruption, although that's still VERY unlikely to come into play. It can cause problems when you upgrade your HD(s), mobo or RAID controller. Using 2 HDs means more noise and heat, although again we're not talking huge proportions. There's also the expense, 2x80GB is more expensive than 1x160GB now, and 1x120GB+1x80GB hardly costs you more for example.

    All that hassle for roughly a 10-15% increase in reading/writing of files? I can't really rec the Raptor either, sure it's fast but the much cheaper (and larger) 7200-8 are pretty close behind (most likely inperceptibly outside of benchmarks) but most crucially Raptor2 is due out very soon offerin g bigger perf gains, increased size and reduced cost (at least for 36GB version). Again though, I'd question whether the noise and heat would be worth while ... let alone the cost (when you consider you're losing around 100GB of storage). Perhaps there's another place you could spend the cash?

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    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    cheers for the replies

    when are the raptor 2s out and what are their specs? I may wait till their release. I'm not too concerned about noise as I have a stupid amount of fans in my case allready and sounds like a rocket taking off when I boot it up, this also means heat isn't really a problem.

    I would like to have a new drive cos my other one's allmost full and I often run large divx movies etc so I'm sure it would be faster if these were being read off a second drive.

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    i got an mx700, but the horrible thing is the paint quality... on my mx700, i have 2 white patches of plastic where the paint has rubbed off.

    Poor quality finish this time logitech

    However, it still functions fine regardless of appearance and is perfectly fine for pinpoint accuracy gaming.

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    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    After looking for cameras I've tracked down the logitech pocket digital 130. The main thing is it's small, I've seen samples of pictures in reviews and they're not bad, especially for what I need it for (whipping a camera out when your drunk mates doing something embarrassing).

    I looked into the raptor 2, and from what I can see it's identical to the first except extra capacity. I think I may go for the 36GB original for my primary drive then I can use my 120GB one for a slave to keep my files on. Or would this have worse performance of getting two 80gb 7200rpm drives in a raid 0 array?

    I'm still unsure weather the logitech bluetooth keyboard and mouse would be able to handle the response times for gaming and for some reason there's very limited suppliers/reviews of it. Has it just been released? Does anyone else have any info on it?
    Last edited by Slick; 30-11-2003 at 12:40 PM.

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    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    bump^

    I've decided on the raptor now

    Does anyone have any info/advice on the bluetooth desktop or that logitech camera?

  10. #10
    Beard hat ftw! steve threlfall's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware Questions

    Originally posted by Slick
    I've got 2*256MB of Twinmos w/winbond chips from komplett in dual DDR, would I be able to add an extra 512MB module into the third slot without losing the benefits of dual DDR?
    I know you said your gona give the ram a miss slick but if you got an extra 512 module you wouldnt lose dual channel. As long as both banks of slots (the single slot and the pair of slots) have the same ammount of memory in dual channel will still work- and from what i hear dual channel does make a difference.

    As Austin says though stick with the 512

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    if you have an nforce board you can do this:

    put 256 into ram slot 1
    put 256 into ram slot 2

    put 512 into ram slot 3

    and you can dualchannel it as both channels have 512mb

  12. #12
    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    you can also do the a above with 256mb in each and still get DC

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    here is my ever so "gorgeous" mx700



    ...good finish here logitech! (no, mr logitech, I dont have girly finger nails)

  14. #14
    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    looks nasty, I'll make sure I'm careful with mine.....since it'll come with the mx900 mouse it may be slightly different

    I ordered the 36GB raptor, the logitech 130 camera and the logitech bluetooth desktop btw

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