### Author Topic: Wanting to get a desktop  (Read 17219 times)

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#### Sorunome

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##### Wanting to get a desktop
« on: November 19, 2013, 08:44:53 am »
So yeah, I want to get a desktop.
But the thing is: i have like no idea what to look for. What I want to do with it is here:
• Linux
• at least two monitors
• programming
• finally be able to watch full hd videos without the acting up like i have atm on my lappy
• I guess USB 3.0 would be cool
• Run emulations without a problem or much lag (like virtualbox or a virtual androis device or something from that area (I hope it'll be able to run Wabbitemu ))
• A second monitor (already have one)
• Keyboard
• I guess a blu-ray drive would be cool but dvd is just fine (as long as i can burn dvds)
• SSD to boot quicker + start applications quicker
• At least 1TB hdd (or are SSDs so big and long-living by now that i could go full on ssd?)
Yep, no windows needed

So, I wouldn't get anything before christmas now as i'm putting some money for this on my wishlist.

Any ideas/what I whould look for/should i buil on my own?

Thanks for any help
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#### imo_inx

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 10:10:01 am »
You can find a great Linux based OS at http://www.debian.org/.
I would recommend AMD as they are typically cheaper but I find Intel to be more dependent. Well, that I know of.
Also get an okay GPU so you dont regret it later.
Finally, make sure everything is compatible with the motherboard of your choice. I cannot stress this enough.

#### harold

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 10:33:05 am »
AMD processors these days are cheap because they're not very good. They might be good in terms of perf/cost, but that only matters if you're going to buy a whole server farm full of them. You're only going to have 1 CPU, so you can't compensate for it being shit by just adding more CPUs.
If you buy a top of the line AMD CPU, it'll be about as good as an i5. Meanwhile, it will use about twice as much power (so your cooling system had better be prepared for that). You can OC it easily to match an i7, and then it will of course use even more power.
Get an i5, or if you need more speed, an i7.

Ok, on to other stuff.
USB 3: just about every mobo supports it now.
More monitors: get a good enough GPU, and look at the specs specific to that exact supplier(!!) and model. That is, a model from Sapphire doesn't necessarily have the same number of connectors as one from Club3D, ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, you name it. That's one of the things they differentiate their prices on (other things being RAM and cooling and free games, etc)
Storage: 1TB worth of SSDs (or a single one that big) is possible, but expensive. I'd get a nice but not very big one and put the OS and programs on it, dump big data on a slow hdd. Personally I only have a 256GB SSD and no conventional HDD, I don't store that much crap anyway.
Other: don't forget to get a powerful enough PSU (modular, to avoid a mess of wires), look at cooling a bit (stock coolers are kind of meh, fans that come with cases are usually meh), when selecting a case, make sure it's deep enough for your GPU (high end GPUs are bloody long).
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#### leafy

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 11:38:25 am »
Linux distro of choice: Either Debian or Arch. That way when your friends come over, you can talk to them all about arch and debian even though they don't really care.

Two monitors: reddit.com/r/buildapcsales. Things are pretty low right now, although you may want to hold out until Black Friday.

Video, processor, etc.: Intel Core i5 4670 (or, if you want to overclock, i5 4670k). You don't really need an i7 unless you're doing heavy-duty virtualization crap, which I highly doubt you will be. If all you need is HD video as well, the integrated graphics on the i5 are far more than you need. There's no point in shelling out a truckload of money for a graphics card you don't really need. Most motherboards also have two video outs, so don't buy a gfx card just for that.

USB 3.0: Most modern motherboards support this now; I'm using a z87 Pro, which has usb3 for all its slots.

Disk drive: If you really need to burn DVDs, get a DVD drive. Blu-ray drives are impractical, expensive, and useless for the most part.

SSD: Samsung EVO is pretty nice, although their earlier models may be cheaper and not that far off.

If you're smart about how you spend your money, you can probably do this build in about 400 to 600 dollars. Use PCPartPicker to find similar builds, and browse r/buildapcdeals and slickdeals religiously
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 11:42:32 am by leafy »
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#### pimathbrainiac

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 12:08:52 pm »
Soru's an Arch user, already, iirc.

I think you should build your own. That said, get Window$7 and dual boot in addition to running Arch (not 8, b/c dual booting's a pain with Window$ . I say this because you will need some non-wineable programs for school, most likely. Also: if you take a CS class, and it's not Java or Python, you probably don't want to have to build a cross compiler just for a class. It's still your decision, but I personally wouldn't go full-linux until you're at least out of HS.
As for hardware:

Linux: Use Mint, Arch, Debian, or Ubuntu. I like mint best, personally.

Two monitors: I dunno. Make sure they work, and take the input type you want. Also make sure that you can daisy-chain the monitors (that is, plug one monitor into the other's output (output on one monitor is necessary for two monitors on one graphics card)).

Video: Depends on what you plan on doing.
If your heaviest usage will be video games @ medium graphics: Integrated graphics is fine.
If you plan on gaming constantly with high graphics settings (or do other GPU-intensive stuff): get a card for a gaming rig.

CPU: Depends on what you plan on doing. Just make sure it's 64 bit.
If your heaviest usage will be video games @ medium graphics: i5, Pentium Dual (which I have, and it's actually a really good deal), or AMD equivalents.
If you plan on gaming constantly with high graphics settings (or do other CPU-intensive stuff): i7 or AMD equivalent

DVD/CD Drive - any, so long as it reads and writes CDs and DVDs. leafy's right about the blu-ray drives.

USB 3: see leafy's post

SSD: no, No, and NO. Here's why: SSDs are flash memory, which has a limited number of Read/Writes. After a few years (depends on usage), the drive will either a: slow down immensely or b: stop working. This can happen to anything with flash memory eventually, such as flash drives and calculators.

If you are willing to spend the money on multiple drives, all the same model: Get a bunch of drives and RAID them (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID). This makes Read/Writes super fast, depending on which level of RAID you do and how many drives you have (each level has different speeds and different levels of stability).

If you don't want to do that: Just get a typical Hard drive
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#### Sorunome

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 12:11:02 pm »
Maybe I should have mentioned that i wanted to stick to arch so that you guys don't have to tell studd about the linux distro, lol

Anywaysm, thank you for all the suggestions etc, but unfortunatley I can't really tell a lot apart from this now:
prozessor: i5
usb3.0
dvd rw drive
ssd and hdd (how much on ssd, how much on hdd, what do i need to pay attention to so that it is good/enough speed?)

Well, I am pretty much a hardware noob, and This still leaves tons of questions to me open:
'a good enough GPU' - what is good?
'a good cooling system' - same
how much ram? (my lappy currently has 6gb )
what hdd/ssds are good?
What do i need to pay attention for on all the other stuff?

And probably some other stuff I can't think of right now, sorry for being such a noob on hardware

EDIT: this raid thing sounds interesting....
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 12:13:32 pm by Sorunome »
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#### harold

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 12:18:37 pm »
How good "good enough" is depends on what you're doing with it, of course.
To play Skyrim dual-monitor, you're going to need a pretty nice GPU (or enjoy looking at pixels).
To browse the internet, watch movies, and get rick rolled .. well that crap GPU in an i5 is plenty for that. Just make sure you can actually connect two monitors to the mobo then.
How much RAM: well at least 4GB, but again it depends on what you're doing with it. VMs take a lot of RAM, and RAM doesn't cost anything really, so you might as well go for 8 to 16GB (more would be slightly silly, but most mobo's can take up to 32GB, if you're feeling silly)
Good cooling system.. well for an i5 that you don't OC, you don't need much. Stock cooler will work of course, but you can go for something quieter if you want.
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#### Sorunome

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 12:25:53 pm »
How good "good enough" is depends on what you're doing with it, of course.
That's why i said in the first post what i'd manly be doing with it
Quote
To play Skyrim dual-monitor, you're going to need a pretty nice GPU (or enjoy looking at pixels).
Probably won't play games too much, and seing my fav games are the ones that don't really need anything (first anno game, majoras mask, stuff like that) I don't think it'll bee to much an issue
Quote
To browse the internet, watch movies, and get rick rolled .. well that crap GPU in an i5 is plenty for that. Just make sure you can actually connect two monitors to the mobo then.
Well, I am having with my lappy issues watching full hd vids and that bugs me
Quote
How much RAM: well at least 4GB, but again it depends on what you're doing with it. VMs take a lot of RAM, and RAM doesn't cost anything really, so you might as well go for 8 to 16GB (more would be slightly silly, but most mobo's can take up to 32GB, if you're feeling silly)
Oh, ok
Quote
Good cooling system.. well for an i5 that you don't OC, you don't need much. Stock cooler will work of course, but you can go for something quieter if you want.
what is a stock cooler?
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#### harold

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 12:28:56 pm »
what is a stock cooler?
The cooler that comes with the CPU if you buy the boxed version (which you would buy).
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#### Tjakka5

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 12:32:24 pm »
Seeing all the things you want to do, I recommend you build a computer the following way:

Note: Do not take all of this before someone correct me on any things that wont be good.

-Motherboard: I am not sure which one you would need to get, I would recommend a ASUS, as those
always worked fine, but you dont want a to new one, as the stuff you are going to put in your machine
is secondhanded, thus old, and wont fit in newer motherboards.
-AMD Athlon 4800: that one is pretty epic, I have it myself, and it was about 60 euros secondhanded a few years ago.
-Atleast 2 gigs ddr ram, however, the more, the better.
-GeForce video card, however, because you want 2 screens you need a fancy one, meaning that this part will most likely be the expensive thing.

As far as storage goes, you should head over to the nearest computer shop, and ask what they have to offer.
I almost dont know anything about these kinds of things, but I think you want around a 40 gig SSD to boot from, and 1 terrabyte HDD.
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#### SpiroH

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 12:46:55 pm »
Nice to see so many gracious contributions. Omnimaga is definitely a nice place.
Shall i add something too? Here it goes. Before making any more suggestions, it would be nice if you could tell us:
1. How much cash (€€) are you willing to pay for it?
2. What's exactly the main purpose of the desktop? Gaming, programming(?), server, internet browsing, etc ?
I guess (yeah, i like guessing ) you should bet on a gaming engine. Sooner rather than later you'll regret it having decided otherwise, imho. I'd say that around 800€ you already can find a top notch gaming machine (no monitors included), if you are able to assemble the various parts (not a big deal for a smart guy like you). Then, do not be lazy and do surf a bit, eg: http://bucsaemanuel.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Gaming-PC-Computers
Happy Christmas,
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 12:52:37 pm by SpiroH »

#### Sorunome

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2013, 12:49:48 pm »
depends on how much money i can get togeather, but currently i'm thinking about like 550+

And i don't really play video games like at all, but i do tons of youtube (i know, that is a inet connection problem) but i sometimes also watch movies and my lappy currently fails at 1080p which sucks
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#### leafy

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 01:35:04 pm »
SSD: no, No, and NO. Here's why: SSDs are flash memory, which has a limited number of Read/Writes. After a few years (depends on usage), the drive will either a: slow down immensely or b: stop working. This can happen to anything with flash memory eventually, such as flash drives and calculators.

Just a quick note, this is not actually true any more. Early SSDs were prone to failure, but the tech has improved vastly since then. The average hard drive has a life of around 10-15 years; SSDs can now survive over 100 yrs. In addition, hard drives are prone to mechanical failure if you bump your case around a lot; my SSD's been dangling in my case (haha cable management) and has absolutely no problems. Since most OSes have support for TRIM nowadays, there's really no reason for write/read speeds to deteriorate over time as well.

Another note about RAID: I'd highly suggest not doing it, especially if it's your first time; for RAID0 (which pimathbraniac talks about), if any of the drives fail all your data is lost. Other RAID arrays provide redundancy, but decrease performance.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 01:37:42 pm by leafy »
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#### ruler501

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 01:53:55 pm »
How good "good enough" is depends on what you're doing with it, of course.
To play Skyrim dual-monitor, you're going to need a pretty nice GPU (or enjoy looking at pixels)
Skyrim also was not written to support multi-monitor and I've found multi-monitor hacks very unstable(especially when using mods)

Another note about RAID: I'd highly suggest not doing it, especially if it's your first time; for RAID0 (which pimathbraniac talks about), if any of the drives fail all your data is lost. Other RAID arrays provide redundancy, but decrease performance.
RAID 5 supports drive loss and increases speed, but it requires three drives and you cannot use one of them for storage
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#### DJ Omnimaga

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##### Re: Wanting to get a desktop
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2013, 02:35:58 pm »
How good "good enough" is depends on what you're doing with it, of course.
To play Skyrim dual-monitor, you're going to need a pretty nice GPU (or enjoy looking at pixels)
Skyrim also was not written to support multi-monitor and I've found multi-monitor hacks very unstable(especially when using mods)

How the heck can a game (other than online multiplayer games where more monitors gives an unfair advantage to the player, such as in Starcraft II) lack multiple screen support in 2013? Did the programmers take an arrow in the knee while implementing it?

SSD: no, No, and NO. Here's why: SSDs are flash memory, which has a limited number of Read/Writes. After a few years (depends on usage), the drive will either a: slow down immensely or b: stop working. This can happen to anything with flash memory eventually, such as flash drives and calculators.

Just a quick note, this is not actually true any more. Early SSDs were prone to failure, but the tech has improved vastly since then. The average hard drive has a life of around 10-15 years; SSDs can now survive over 100 yrs. In addition, hard drives are prone to mechanical failure if you bump your case around a lot; my SSD's been dangling in my case (haha cable management) and has absolutely no problems. Since most OSes have support for TRIM nowadays, there's really no reason for write/read speeds to deteriorate over time as well.

Another note about RAID: I'd highly suggest not doing it, especially if it's your first time; for RAID0 (which pimathbraniac talks about), if any of the drives fail all your data is lost. Other RAID arrays provide redundancy, but decrease performance.
Isn't SSD lifetime reduced only during defragmenting anyway? For TI calculators, the Flash chip was apparently weared out only by garbage collecting and defragmenting, not by archiving/unarchiving/flash unlock, from what I remember.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 02:38:03 pm by DJ Omnimaga »