This week's giveaway is in the Android forum.
We're giving away four copies of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons and have Godfrey Nolan on-line!
See this thread for details.
The moose likes General Computing and the fly likes Buying a PC Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons this week in the Android forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Engineering » General Computing
Bookmark "Buying a PC" Watch "Buying a PC" New topic
Author

Buying a PC

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Hi all !
i'm buying an IBM-compatible system. This is my first time doing it all by myself.
I've told my vendor to build a system with
-P-4, 1.7 MHz, 400 MHz Bus
-RAM with Bus 400 MHz
-Motherboard with Bus 400 MHz
Key point the bus speed should match, to get peak performance.
But he is insisting me to keep a RAM with bus speed 133MHz.
I think he is misguiding me.You won't get top performance like this.
Do you folks agree with me.
Regards
Danish
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
If top speed is your goal, why are you limiting yourself to a slow, old 1.7Ghz CPU ? Upgrading that to 2GHz+ will make much more difference than theoretical RAM timings. I doubt that anyone using the machine could tell the difference between "133" and "400" RAM, but another 50% CPU-speed is quite noticeable.
Also, you don't tell us anything else about the rest of the components in your machine, or indeed the kind of applications you want to run.
I have found that choosing a fast hard drive (at least 7200rpm) with a big cache (drives with 8MB cache are now easily and cheaply available) and making sure your machine has plenty of memory (so nothing is ever "paged" to disk) make the biggest performance improvements in general use.
Can you tell us any more about what you wat to use this machine for ?


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Faster HD is an absolute must if you are looking for good overall performance. I am still suffering for buying a expensive laptop with a slower (4200 or so) HDD


[ flickr ]
Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Originally posted by Frank Carver:
If top speed is your goal, why are you limiting yourself to a slow, old 1.7Ghz CPU ? Upgrading that to 2GHz+ will make much more difference than theoretical RAM timings. I doubt that anyone using the machine could tell the difference between "133" and "400" RAM, but another 50% CPU-speed is quite noticeable.
Also, you don't tell us anything else about the rest of the components in your machine, or indeed the kind of applications you want to run.

Hi !
i'm buying 1.7GHz instead of 2 GHz processor coz i don't have much money and this one is cheaper.
RAM will be 128 MB.
My vendor says that the type of motherboard will depend on the bus of RAM. But i'm gonna get an Intel motherboard, thats for sure.
Regarding hard disk, thanks for pointing this out, I was not aware of this issue.
Now coming on to the kind of applications, i'll be working on, EJB's/J2EE, running those servers for development purposes. Then i might install Visual Studio .Net . There can be Forte for Java as well.
So basically its going to be all these development tools.
and lastly, is it important that the bus speed of mother board , ram and procesor should match.
Danish
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Now coming on to the kind of applications, i'll be working on, EJB's/J2EE, running those servers for development purposes. Then i might install Visual Studio .Net . There can be Forte for Java as well.
So basically its going to be all these development tools.

All those are pretty heavyweight applications. 128MB of RAM sounds small for that sort of use. I'd strongly suggest that you'll get much better performance with at least 256MB RAM of any sort. The thing you want to avoid at all costs is any of your applications "swapping" out to disk while you are using them, and more RAM is the cure.
I honestly don't think whether you choose theoretically slower or faster RAM, or wether the motherboard supports exactly the same "speed" of memory makes any perceptible difference at all.
Lewin Chan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2001
Posts: 214
Hi,
The 400Mhz Bus will relate to the Front Side Bus speed, I have no idea what that phrase means but I do know that this isn't that relevant to the speed of the ram (which if SDRAM comes in 100Mhz or 133Mhz flavours, or DDR in PC2100/PC2700 flavours).
DDR is theoretically faster than SDRAM...
Mobo's generally will be able to support a 400Mhz FSB or 533FSB (or maybe both). However, they'll come with a "clock speed" usually somewhere between 100Mhz-150Mhz, if you're lucky, the speed will be changeable in the bios. This clock speed is primarily reponsible for the raw speed of the chip, hence the term over-clocking as the chip gets it's Ghz rating from a multiplier of the mobo clock speed.
Now, for instance, my home PC is a 1.7Ghz P4 (a 17x100Mhz chip), but is quite happy running at almost 2.0Ghz, because I have changed the mobo speed from 100 to 115Mhz.
For day to day use, it doesn't matter what your Ghz speed is, or your HD speed, or anything like that. It's RAM that is the most important.
I would say buy at least 1Gb Ram if you're serious about running EJB/J2EE stuff, specially if you're going to be using bloatware like win2k/XP as your OS.
We have a 512Mb machine at work (win2k), and monitoring using cacheman www.outertech.com I can see the free memory go from 373 Mb Free, down to 4Mb when I'm running the junit/cactus tests under cruisecontrol, possibly not idea if you where to have netbeans running as well at the same time.
L


I have no java certifications. This makes me a bad programmer. Ignore my post.
Chris Hall
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2002
Posts: 39
I would like to emphasize again the importance of the amount of RAM. I recently built my own computer and I put one 512MB stick. I can upgrade to 3GB, but 512MB is sufficient for now. This is a very important factor as the computer will appear faster since it will have to "swap" less.
Also, have you ever consider an AMD system. They will come in quite a bit cheaper for equal performance. My system is AMD, and that is what I would recommend unless you get a killer deal on an Intel system.
 
 
subject: Buying a PC
 
Similar Threads
RAM
Laptops
RAM Slots
RAM
System Requirement for Tomcat