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My Hardware
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Chad Johnson
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September 18, 2008 - 8:40 pm
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Being as I am a Sys Admin at work, I have quite a few hardwares at my disposal.

But what do I run at home? Well, mostly just the laptop that work gave me.

My wife, on the other hand, uses a Dell. I won't hold that against her though cuz it's seriously a kick-a--er....awesome machine.
It also runs Vista. I won't hold that against her either. No, really, I won't.

But it's a laptop. Dual core 2.4 Ghz with 4 GB RAM and a 256 MB Video card. 200 GB Hard Drive and 17inch display.

Ahhh...it's very nice.

Too bad it's a Dell.

--zig

DISCLAIMER: um....yeah, not this time. I just wanted to brag.

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David Hartsock
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September 19, 2008 - 10:23 am
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Alright, I'll throw my hat in the ring:

Main:
HP 9500 laptop
T7500 2.2 core 2 duo CPU
4GB RAM
Nvidia 512MB video card
320GB main drive
160GB secondary drive
Intel 4965 N wireless
and one well worn keyboard

Secondary:
HP ZD7000 laptop
P4 2.8 CPU
1GB RAM
128 MB video card
80GB hard drive
and a keyboard and mousepad that are very well worn

Windows Home Server:
P4 2.8 cpu
512MB RAM
onboard video
750GB primary HD
500GB storage drive
320GB storage drive
250GB storage drive
Dlink gigabit ethernet

Windows Home Server: - coming soon!
Dual core 2.2 cpu
2GB RAM
a new shiny case
all the other stuff from the old one!

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Jim Hillier
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September 19, 2008 - 7:09 pm
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Hi Dave - It's interesting to see that you are running two HP machines. I had an old Dell (no comments please Ziggie ) which I planned to pass on to my lovely wife to be her very own first computer (complete with 'L' plates....lol). Unfortunately just prior to me getting my new machine the Dell carked it, so being computerless and completely lost I rushed out and bought the cheapest new tower I could find, no preset ideas. I ended up with a little HP tower running a dual core AMD cpu, 160gb hard drive and integrated graphics. I cannot speak too highly of it, sure the graphics capabilities are a tad underdone (especially for Vista) but well and truly suffice for the better half and it has been an extremely reliable and surprisingly efficient performer.
My new machine finally arrived (about 3 months ago):
Custom Built
ATX Case
Intel Core 2 duo E6850 cpu
3gb PC5200 DDR2 RAM
302gb main HDD (SATAII)
160gb secondary HDD (SATAII)
NVIDIA FX8600GT (512mb) video card
Intel DG33BUC Skt 775 Conroe MATX SATAII m'board...........don't know what all that means, I just copied the details off the receipt....lol
Windows Vista Home Premium

JIM

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David Hartsock
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September 20, 2008 - 6:23 am
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Jim,

You didn't say how much RAM was in the little HP, but I imagine it a Gig or two. If you add another gig or two it will really help the performance. RAM is really cheap right now! If you do add some memory have a look in the BIOS you may find an entry where you can up the memory amount for the integrated video.

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Chad Johnson
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September 20, 2008 - 11:45 am
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So now I'm working on building a Windows Media Center box.

I'm starting with an "old" machine I had that was no longer doing anything. It has 2 GB of RAM, 1 TB Hard drive space, and a dual core 1.8 Ghz processor. It also has onboard sound.

Now, it has a 256 MB Nvidia card in it. I can't remember if it's PCI or AGP, it's been a while since I looked inside the thing. However, I need a video capture card (or two, to record two shows at once).

Any recommendations? Any is there anyway to see what slots I have without tearing open the case? I'm feeling pretty lazy today.

--zig

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Jim Hillier
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September 20, 2008 - 6:42 pm
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Hey Dave - The HP tower came standard with 1gb RAM, I immediately added another 1gb so it has 2gb total. I hadn't thought of adjusting the amount of RAM for graphics via BIOS...great idea!.....I hope that option is available....will have a little bo peep.

thanks mate,
JIM

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David Hartsock
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September 20, 2008 - 11:01 pm
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Jim,

I would look into 4GB if you can afford it. It's running around $40 here in the US.

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David Hartsock
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September 20, 2008 - 11:07 pm
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Any recommendations? Any is there anyway to see what slots I have without tearing open the case? I'm feeling pretty lazy today.
--zig[/quote:11qy40cd]
Lot's O' RAM. I don't know if you fall in the ATI or Nvidia camp, but make sure you get HDMI and Component connections on your vid card. You may not need one or the other now, but buy a card with both up front.
I've heard good things about the Haugppage pvr500 capture card - [url:11qy40cd]http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_pvr500mce.html[/url:11qy40cd].

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Chad Johnson
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September 21, 2008 - 4:04 pm
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oooo...that card looks awesome.

And I'm not particular about ATI or Nvidia as long as it works.

How much RAM do you think? 4 GB? more? It's a 32 bit processor so more than 4 GB would be wasted, I believe....

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David Hartsock
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September 21, 2008 - 5:47 pm
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4GB should be fine. Really, at today's prices that's a bargain!

32bit cpu? What's that?

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Chad Johnson
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September 21, 2008 - 6:43 pm
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4GB should be fine. Really, at today's prices that's a bargain!

32bit cpu? What's that?[/quote:lypen0sm]

Told you it was an old machine.

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Jim Hillier
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September 22, 2008 - 6:54 pm
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Hey Dave - I had a look into the BIOS settings on my wife's HP and the entry for onboard video is locked in at 128mb. Most other entries, which are configurable, are in blue but this one is in light black and appears to be inaccessible/unchangeable. Pretty silly really when increasing the RAM to 4gb would easily allow me to up that to 256 or even 512mb without taking a hit on overall performance.

thanks anyway,
JIM

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David Hartsock
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September 22, 2008 - 10:11 pm
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Jim,
What's the model number of the HP computer?

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Jim Hillier
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September 23, 2008 - 5:09 pm
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Dave - It is a HP Compaq Presario SR5140AN Desktop PC. Here is a link to a web page with specs:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docu ... 90&lang=en

It's an el cheapo manufactured specifically for distribution in this region (Oz and N.Z.). The BIOS has 3 options for Video; PCI, PCI-E and Onboard....it is currently set to PCI. The grayed out entry for memory allocation is directly underneath but changing those video options makes no difference, it remains inaccessible.

thanks,
JIM

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David Hartsock
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September 24, 2008 - 9:53 pm
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Jim,
If it's set to PCI that leads me to believe that it isn't using onboard graphics, but a dedicated card. Honestly that should be able to handle Vista's eye candy just fine. If it doesn't I would first update the device drivers. Sometimes the OEM (HP, Dell, etc) doesn't have the latest driver on their site. Go to Nvidia's or ATI's site directly and get the latest driver.

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