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To build or buy - that is the question!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Boycie, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Title says it all really.

    In the market for a powerdull desktop. It's job is to run a Virtual domain (seperate, physical ISA box), and some video editing (not at the same time!).

    Reason i ask, is there are good offers with Manufacturers like Dell, and there is also good offers with components with e-buyer.

    Any suggestions (and parts)? :D

    Coolermaster still good cases?
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Dell make some good ones like the XPS but I Was reading custom PC magazine the other week and the staff built the same powerful XPS system for a 3rd of the price :).

    Edit: coolermaster are still good.
     
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  3. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Cheers GBL - that's not a bad idea; spec an XPS up and then price the bits up. :D

    Anyone recommend nice fast drives and RAM?
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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  5. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    I usually end up building my own boxes, if only because they do end up being cheaper so I can get a more powerful system for the same price as a pre-built system. That being said, at the end of every build I always say that it's the last build I'll do! :)

    Who knows what I'll do next time. I don't really play that many PC games, so I'm thinking about using only a laptop in the future. However, if you have the time and the desire, I'd suggest building vs. buying. It's generally pretty fun.
     
  6. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Remember to spec the PC with a few NICs so you can get the most out of ISA.

    The ISA server I’m running has 3 NICs - public, DMZ and private. Also helps for messing around with Exchange if you want to install in front-end and back-end server topology.

    We had a few XPS Dells in the office a few days ago and they do look smart but cost £££.

    Looks like you would get a better deal building your own and still have a PC capable or running ISA and anything else you want to throw at it. 8)
     
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  7. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    If you don't mind buying your own OS and a refurb, you can get the following Dell Spec

    # Model: XPS 720
    # Colour: Silver on black
    # Cabinet / Case: Tower
    # Operating System: No Operating System
    # Processor / Type: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
    # Processor / Clock Speed: 2.4 GHz
    # RAM / Installed Size: 4 GB
    # RAM / Technology: DDR II SDRAM
    # Memory Clock Speed: 667 MHz
    # Storage Hard Drive / Capacity: 2x500 GB
    # Storage Hard Drive / Interface Type: SATA
    # Optical Storage / Type: DVDRW
    # Audio: SoundBlaster X-Fi
    # Video Output / Interface Type: DVI
    # Video Memory / Installed Size: 768 MB
    # Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800GTX
    # Networking / Data Link Protocol: 1xEthernet 1xIEEE 1394 (FireWire)
    # Networking / Type: Adapter On board
    # USB: 8
    # DIM used: 4
    # DIM free: 0
    # PCI free: 1
    # PCI express: 1
    # PCIe Graphics: 1x1 PCIe Graphics free 1x1 PCIe Graphics used
    # Serial Port: N/A
    # Storage Floppy Drive / Type: None
    # Keyboard: UK
    # Card Reader: Multimedia

    All for £599 + VAT + Delivery
     
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  8. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    Boyce,

    Questions:
    1. What kind of virtual domain?
    2. What are the system requirements for ISA?
    3. What are the system requirements for the video editing application?

     
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  9. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Also, don't forget to go and talk to your local PC shops - these guys really need support. Having been there and done that I wholly support the action against Dell who are selling at below cost price to drive the small retailer out of business. Well they can and do fight back and need not be as expensive as you may think.

    Always worth having a friendly local supplier !
     
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  10. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Thanks for the replies. I will price up/plan up and report back. In the meantime;

    Sparks - Can you forsee any issues running a "real" ISA box when the other machines are physical?
    Need a mobo with a few PCI slots. Haven't seen any cards with more than one ethernet outlet on.

    Madman045 - Any links to hand for that?

    Rhlee - 1) A domain running 2003 STD, ISA, Exchange front/back (ideally) and an XP client.
    2) Self Training
    3) Pinacle Studio Plus Version 12
     
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  11. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    If you're using Pinnacle then you should consider a RAID array for the editing.

    See :

    http://www.videoguys.com/system.htm

    (There was a ref on the Pinnacle site somewhere too but I couldn't find it)

    Who state :

    RAIDs are great! For the best results set up a dedicated RAID 0 stripe for your video & media files. This will give you a huge capacity with the fastest possible sustained throughput for your editing.

    RAID Warning! We do NOT recommend setting up your computer with a single RAID 0 array as your boot drive and video storage. This will actually give you poor performance for video editing. The constant reading and writing of small bits of data to the boot drive works against the need to read & write large continuous video files. Add in the overhead of the RAID controller and you get potential bottlenecks. For video editing you always want to have a dedicated drive or RAID array for your video files
     
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  12. greenbrucelee
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  13. simongrahamuk
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    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Personally I'd buy. but then I'm lazy.

    If you are looking to buy I'd suggest www.dell.co.uk/outlet

    Here you can pickup pre configured Dell's a lot cheaper simply because the orders that they were originally built for have been cancelled, and as they've already been built they have to get rid of them.
     
  14. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    I won't make any suggestions on what to buy but all I will say is: BUILD BUILD BUILD!!! :biggrin
     
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  15. Jimbooo

    Jimbooo Nibble Poster

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    BUILD! It's not that hard. If you can read a manual, you're sorted. Don't do Dell, you're stuck with them for Dell parts afterwards. Honestly, just don't.
     
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  16. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Thanks for the posts - appreciated.

    I have built quite a few sytems in the past, so not frightened, just got to work out if it's still worth it or not. Can't beat the satisfaction the first time it Post's. :D
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Your broadband connection needs to be considered. If you have cable modem you can just patch straight into the external NIC on the ISA server however if you have ADSL and the router has an inbuilt switch you will have to make it part of the perimeter network.

    I think my Dell server has an on-board NIC and three PCI NICs!

    You will also need a switch for the internal LAN as well. 8)
     
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  18. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

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    Build build build 8)
     
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  19. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    No you only get one per NIC, so you need to buy as many NICs as you require.
     
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  20. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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