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Old December 14th, 2007, 05:18 PM   #151
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Using two different drive types is not ideal for the physical swap, using identical drives will be better for BIOS issues, although most systems will accept the change with no issues.
So if I used identical system drives and used the physical swap method, would that avoid some of the conflicts that the dual boot configuartion would present or would the issues be the same?

Once I've figured this part out I should be able to go ahead and finalize my order.

EDIT: I've also updated the GPUs. This one is only $50 more than the X1950 and seems to be much more powerful and certainly newer so I'd prefer it. Is it recommended? The reviews are positive but that's what I thought about my 8600, and then didn't find out about the full screen video issue until too late. Is there anything I need to know about this card:

Radeon HD3850 PCS Edition, 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express, Dual DVI, TV OUT
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Old December 14th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #152
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Identical drives should avoid most of the potential pitfalls.

The 3850 is brand new and untested, but somebody has to start, so you might as well go for it. The Graphics cards you are dealing with are relatively cheap, so the risk is low, compared to my 8800GTX and Quadro3400 cards. Having a spare card or two when you are trying to find pairs that work well together is usually a good idea.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 06:45 PM   #153
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Identical drives should avoid most of the potential pitfalls.
Most? It makes me so nervous... I desperately want this system because my current one is so sluggish and useless - the last thing I want is to have weird conflicts.

If I had one system as XP32 and the other as XP64 that won't lead to trouble?

In all honesty, I can't foresee myself making any changes that might cause conflicts. Once this thing's built, I hope never to open the box nor change a setting... am I being naive?
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Old December 15th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #154
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I use "most" as computers are complex and there are no guarentees. I am also aware of thousands of caveats and disclaimers to the things I post, but I can't go into details on every one, so I try to avoid making strong generalizations that cause people to need to point out the obscure exceptions them.

Having a dual boot system will always have a higher chance of problems, because it is twice as complicated. On the other hand it is twice as likely that at least one side will be working properly at any given time. When I eventually upgrade the facility I work at from XP to Vista or XP64, I will use the physically swapping solution, leaving the older XP32 OS as a fallback for anytime we are having issues in a crunch. I will probably keep the dual option for a few months at least, on eight different systems. It means I will be using 8 more hard drives for the switch, but drives are cheap, compared to the price of the OS, and software.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #155
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When I eventually upgrade the facility I work at from XP to Vista or XP64, I will use the physically swapping solution...
That's what I think I'll do too - I just need to convince the guy building it that it's not going to cause BIOS problems. He talked me out of doing it and seemed determined not to let me go down that path. Strange...


Magic Bullet recommends a 7800 and if I remember correctly, Mike, you said thr 7800GT would be fine with Prospect HD & CS3 so maybe I'll just see if I can find another 7800GT on eBay and use that. I can't find them in stores anymore.

The only trouble with that is that I believe that if you update the drivers for the 7 series you get stuck with the same restirctions as the 8 series... Someone else might be able to confirm that for us though?

If I can find one would that be a good idea?
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Old December 15th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #156
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Any Geforce 7-series card fullfills both requirements, I recommend the 7950GT. The new drivers issue is possible, but the old drivers should work fine. The only other option is to get a Quadro 1700 for like $800 or higher.

You might want to verify that is still true of Magic bullet.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #157
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Any Geforce 7-series card fullfills both requirements, I recommend the 7950GT. The new drivers issue is possible, but the old drivers should work fine. The only other option is to get a Quadro 1700 for like $800 or higher.

You might want to verify that is still true of Magic bullet.
I trawled through hundreds of posts on Red Giant's support forums and dozens of people are reporting incompatability with ATI cards (and with Quadro cards too by the looks of things). The Magic Bullet FAQ page specifies only 3 ATI cards that it recommends and people are suggesting on the forums that they could in fact be the only three ATI cards that work!

These are the cards:

Nvidia 6600, 7800, 8800
ATI 9600, 1800, 1900
Note: there is no Intel card support

But some people have even reported trouble with the recommended ATI cards. The Nvidia ones seem to be less troublesome...

The 8800 is out of the question. I already have one 7800. There's two 7800s and a 7950 on eBay in Australia at the moment. I'd get the 7950 if it was on Magic Bullet's list but the compatability issues discussed on their forums make me frightened. Am I likely to have trouble with it or you don't think so?

There's also some quite cheap second hand nVidia Wuadro FX-3400 256MB which is pretty tempting... but I have no way of knowing if they'll work. I'd love to buy a pair of those...

Maybe I'll just pull the 7600 out of my even older heap of junk and try that...
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Old December 16th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #158
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I have a Quadro 3400, and it is okay, but not ideal. The 7600 you have will give you the best bang for the buck ;) if you at least give it a shot. As I said before, you could spend months researching and still be wrong, just buy one and try it. You will never know for sure until it is actually working in your system. VGA cards are too cheap to REALLY stress over unless you are buying one of the >$300 ones, which are not what you are currently pondering.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #159
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I have a Quadro 3400, and it is okay, but not ideal. The 7600 you have will give you the best bang for the buck ;) if you at least give it a shot. As I said before, you could spend months researching and still be wrong, just buy one and try it. You will never know for sure until it is actually working in your system. VGA cards are too cheap to REALLY stress over unless you are buying one of the >$300 ones, which are not what you are currently pondering.
I'll see how I go with either a 7800 + a 7600 or dual 7800s.

If I go with these older cards, will they give me problems if I go with a 64bit operating system?

I can foresee two problems:
1. The drivers may be too old for 64bit.
2. Updating the drivers will make them the same as the 8 series cards and therefore I'll lose the full screen video overlay.

The thing is I do NOT want to be fiddling in the case this time round. I simply want to have it built and have it work. Every time I've added or swapped a component in my current machine it's like I've almost killed it and it never regained its full life.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #160
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It is extremely unlikely that you will get everything perfectly right on the first try. I usually anticipate a first run at installing everything, and seeing how those settings work out etc, usually making ghost images in the process at various points. Trying different drivers, especially for the graphics subsystem in your case. Once I have everything the way I want it, via an indirect route, the next time I rebuild the installation, I go directly to the config I want. (I know which driver versions I want, etc.)
Computers are not designed to be set up once and then work forever. That is why companies have IT departments. You should be rebuilding your OS install at least once a year for maximum performance and stability. That is how it "regains its full life." Ghost images make this much easier. I invest more time in this process than most people, since I beta test a lot of different software, which can screw your system up quickly, and you find yourself needing to revert back to a clean state much more frequently. (As often as once a month)
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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #161
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Well I'm glad that it's not just me whose computer stuffs up regularly. Although mine destroys itself on a daily basis. Multiple times daily...

I've never created a "ghost image" before. Is that kind of like a system restore point?

I should probably do that the day I get it to make sure every single thing that I do to it can be undone...
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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #162
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Yes, that is usually the idea. Ghost is a program that allows you to backup your entire partition or drive to a single file on another drive. I usually store all of my ghost images on an external firewire drive. There are other programs, but Ghost is the primary player, and the only one I have gotten to work flawlessly. The difficult thing is that you can't run ghost while files on the drive are in use, and therefore can't be booted into windows. I have a CD created specifically for the purpose, that allows me to boot from the CD, and run ghost and a few other utilities on the hard drive. It took forever to get the process smoothed out, but now I have been using my BootCDs at least once a week for the last 3 or 4 years. (I maintain about 10 workstations though, not just one.)
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:00 AM   #163
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Ok! It's pretty much the same as Travis' PC. I'm planning on ordering by the week's end. I've decided to skip the whole dual boot/hot swapping options and just stick with an editing-only machine. This is it:

Motherboard: Supermicro X7DWA-N
Processors: 2 x 45nm Intel Xeon X5450 Quad Core 3.00GHz
Memory: 4GB Patriot RAM 667MHz
System Drive: WD Raptor, 74GB SATA, 16mb cache 10,000rpm
RAID o: 4 x Samsung HD501LJ Spinpoint 500GB, 16mb cache
Video Cards: 2 x ASUS 7800GT 256MB
Optical: DVD-DL Burner SATA
Case: Coolermaster Cosmos 1000 chasis
Power: Antec TPQ-1000
Op. Sys.: Windows XP Pro

Final Questions:

1. Do each of these components work in a 64bit machine?
2. Do I want fully buffered ram or unbuffered ram? I hate ram, I don't understand it at all. Why not 800MHz?
3. We're failry confident that CS3 works ok in XP Pro 64bit but what about Prospect HD and what about Magic Bullet?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #164
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Watching with interest

I have been watching this thread with quit a bit of interest as I am also considering a major upgrade to my system. Here is the hardware I am looking at for those that are interested.

Supermicro X7DAL-E+ motherboard.
http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...X/X7DAL-E+.cfm

I am looking at this motherboard for a couple reasons.
1) It is an ATX motherboard, so I can use the CoolMaster CM690 case, 850w power supply, and 160gig WD Raptor I already own.
2) It has a pci-e x16 slot. So I can use my the nvidia 8800 graphics card I already own.
3) It supports the X5400 series processors, upto 1333MHz.

Either (2) X5450's or (2) X5460's which are finally starting to become available.
http://www.itispl.com.au/products/sh....php?prec=4204
http://pcau.com/l4/CPU1343.htm

Another product to consider for making backups is Acronis TrueImage.
It supports live backups, including boot partitions, from within windows.
So, you don't have to boot into another program to do the backups.
It supports 64 bit, backup to network drives, scheduling, etc.
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing...cts/trueimage/
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #165
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You have to have fully buffered RAM.

The hardware should be 64bit compatible. See the Cineform forum for peoples recent experiences in upgrading to XP64, seems mostly positive. No idea on MB.
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