No room for Physics Excellerator?

Dell Xps 730x
August 28, 2009 at 07:55:57
Specs: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, 1.596 GHz / 1013 MB
Hi, while on the Dell customization screen for the Dell XPS 730x, I noticed that there only seems to be one PCI(e) slot available.

I couldn't contact Dell about this problem because I didn't actually order the system yet, but I am asking for advice before I get it.

Okay, so here goes:

I had selected the Sound XFi-Titanium sound card (rather than the built-in 7.1 channels) and was going to select the Physics Accelerator as well, but the site said there was a compatibility issue, and that there were no more PCI(e?) slots available.

So I need to know:
Which do I need more for gaming, the XFi-Titanium sound card, or the Physics accelerator?

I'll be using the system for gaming and multimedia purposes, nothing too extreme.

I'm pretty sure the built-in 7.1 Channel card is adequate, but, hey it's a gaming pc, so I want to make sure everything is as good as it can be.

And I've never even heard of a "Physics Accelerator" chip for a Gaming PC, unless it means a card for stuff like the Havoc Physics Engine?

Please tell me if I should just leave the Physics Accelerator at none, or if I should just revert the sound card back to the built-in 7.1 card.

Thanks,
WINDOWSVII

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


See More: No room for Physics Excellerator?

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#1
August 28, 2009 at 08:18:25
May I question why you are buying a DELL if you want to undertake Gaming ?? If you look thru the GAMING FORUM here you would see the advice is to self-build or pay someone to self build. A proprietary PC will always come with comprimises as you have found out!

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#2
August 28, 2009 at 09:23:04
I fully agree with what MWCC said!!

If you build yourself a generic system you have zillions of mboard choices and there are both excellent Intel and AMD cpu based system choices. Dell has had a very small number of AMD cpu based systems in the last while, but for the most part they ignore about half of what your choices would be if you had a choice of both Intel and AMD cpu based systems.
You normally don't get a Vista DVD (or Windows 7 DVD in the near future) with a brand name system - that's a huge disadvantage in some situations, especially when you need to fix major software problems when you don't want to lose the data you have added to the hard drive partition Windows was installed on.
(Sometimes you may be able to order the regular Microsoft OEM operating system disk and get it for less than the usual price, but ONLY when you order the brand name system online - e.g. I know you could do that for HP and Compaq systems when bought from the US HP web site in the past.)
You can buy OEM Vista (or Windows 7 in the near future) for less than the Retail versions. OEM in that case = you provide your own support instead of the brand name builder or Microsoft having a limited amount of support available for you.

If you insist on getting a brand name computer, I advise you look at brands other than Dell as well, and make sure the upgrade to Windows 7 is free for it - Windows 7 is far easier for most people to use than Vista.

Or - whether you buy brand name or generic, just wait a few months - by then many brand name models will come with Windows 7, and you will be able to buy the Windows 7 DVD.

A sound adapter card does NOT actually require a faster mboard slot.
The only reason there are PCI-E X1 versions of sound cards at all is for convenience and to use a wasted resource.. A lot of mboards have had and have PCI-E X1 slots that aren't being used, so in the last couple of years card manufacturers have been coming out with PCI-E X1 versions of their cards, even for many things that don't benefit from the better capabiliities of PCI-E X1.

You don't necessarily need to get a X Fi Titanium PCI-E card.

E.g.

X Fi USB adapter versions

http://us.creative.com/products/pro...

http://us.creative.com/products/pro...

There are ExpressCard versions for Laptops too
e.g.
http://www.soundblaster.com/product...

Many mboards have quite good onboard sound these days. You could simply try that onboard sound - it may not be good enough for a musician, but it may be good enough in your opinion that you don't need a sound adapter.

Info about Physics Accelerator - the game you play has to support it or you don't benefit from it.

AGEIA Brings First Dedicated Physics Processor To Market
http://www.shacknews.com/docs/press...


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#3
August 28, 2009 at 20:56:41
Okay, about building a system, I'm not confident I'll do it right, don't know anybody who's ever built one before, and I've checked out other name brands too, like HP, but the Dell XPS is stronger than HP's Pavilion Elite, in terms of gaming.

As for pre-built systems not coming with the OS disc, well, I know all about that, since my Toshiba Satellite a200 Series laptop came with Vista Basic. However, I'd probably just upgrade it to WIndows 7, like you said, or wait for 7 to come out, and upgrade to a better version (ie from Home Premium to Ultimate).

At least you answered my question about whether or not I need the PCIe Titanium card, but I'm still confused as to what I need the Physics Accelerator for (can you give me a list of games that would benefit from having it?).

Now, if you could clear that issue up for me, I'll know if I should just leave the PCIe slot empty, for a Wireless N adapter, perhaps?

The reason I want a PCIe Wireless N Adapter is for two reasons, both of which are very simple:

1.I need most, if not all, of my USB ports available;
2.I prefer that sort of thing hidden and out of the way, so it doesn't get damaged and to make it look neater.

Also, I don't think I really need an AMD processor, the Intel Core i7-920 should do just fine, don't you think?

-WINDOWSVII

Note: The Physics Accelerator is the Killer NIC Xeno Pro.

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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Related Solutions

#4
August 29, 2009 at 10:39:48
"...about building a system, I'm not confident I'll do it right, don't know anybody who's ever built one before..."

For the amount of money you'd spend for a XPS 730x system, you can probably have a generic system for very similar money that at least has a better mboard.
Do you need 3 PCI-E X16 slots for 3 video cards?
If you don't, other similar mboards with one or two PCI-E X16 slots would have more PCI and/or PCI-E X1 or X4 slots.

Some PCI-E X16 video cards have two of the same video chipset on one card = two separate cards.


If you don't want to build it yourself.......
- If you live in a fair sized place, there are probably local places that will build it for you. They usually have web sites, and have various suggested system packages available that change over time, or they can build anything that suits your needs if you consult with them. In most cases, you get the OEM operating system disk along with the system.

- there are places online otherwise that can do the same thing for you. You just chose a package, or inform them what you want to be able to do and they'll suggest a package.
In most cases, you get the OEM operating system disk along with the system.

If you don't mind putting it together yourself but you're not sure which major pieces to use
- some sites online offer gaming packages of case, power supply, motherboard, cpu, ram and you choose the OEM operating system, keyboard, mouse, optical drives and video card and any added cards you want youself, separately. You put the system together yourself, but the major pieces are already matched to each other.
- there are sites online you can consult to help you choose what you need to do what you want to be able to do.
.........

I'm certainly no expert regarding recent gaming systems. I haven't played current games for many years. I decided long ago I had wasted too much time playing games and would move on to other things.

Apparently there are two major physical accelerator software support types

ATI has partnered with Havoc and uses the Havoc Physics Engine
NVidia has bought out Aegia and uses their PhysX Physics Engine

.....

Ageia invented PhysX

NVidia has acquired Ageia

"On February 4, 2008, Nvidia announced that it would acquire Ageia.[1] On February 13, 2008, the buyout of Ageia was finalized

The PhysX engine is now known as Nvidia PhysX"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageia

NVIDIA® PhysX® technology delivers real-time, hyper-realistic physical and environmental gaming effects in the games you want to play today and tomorrow
http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_...

PhysX Faq:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_...

PhysX Games List—
Below is a partial listing of current and upcoming PhysX-accelerated titles available for PC and console owners alike.
FEBRUARY 4, 2008
http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_p...


ATI probably has similar info about the Havoc equivalent solution.

ATI cards can be software hacked to use NVidia PhysX:

June 27, 2008
ATI Radeon Grahics Cards running NVidia PhysX are Faster, Stronger ....
http://gizmodo.com/5020413/ati-rade...
After Nvidia picked up PhysX, it was obvious ATI would probably get left out of Nvidia's efforts to spread the love to graphics cards and x86 CPUs (hence ATI hooking up with Havok).

"Note: The Physics Accelerator is the Killer NIC Xeno Pro."

You can get PCI card versions of the physical accelerator cards.
E.g.
http://www.killernic.com/products/k...

If you DON'T NEED to use wireless N, then you don't need the NIC version of the physics accelerator card - you'll have better results with the built in LAN chipset on the mboard.

I found this by clicking on Choose This for the cheapest Dell XPS 730x system line, then using the Catalogue number of the product - 29 DXCWWY1 - to search the Dell site with.

"Also, dont waste money on the Killer K1, instead buy more memory or upgrade your graphics card. I highly recommend the latter."

"+1 on what zrock_87 has suggested. DO NOT waste money on the Killer K1. They claim it will drop your ping and promise you the moon but at the end of the day - it's nothing but empty promises. You won't find a better NIC than your onboard gigabit ethernet ports."
http://en.community.dell.com/forums...

"I need most, if not all, of my USB ports available;"

All desktop mboards these days have physical USB ports built into the mboard as well as headers built into the mboard that provide pairs of USB ports you can connect to wiring adapters and plates with two or 4 physical USB ports you install in a slot space on the desktop case. One of those USB headers connects to the two front ports on a desktop case. When you add those together, you usually have more possible USB ports than you'll ever need. If you find you don't have enough USB ports, USB 2.0 controller cards are cheap and available in PCI and PCI-E versions, yielding you up to 6 more USB ports per card (4 external, two internal) .


Dell XPS 730x specs common to all specific models.

I found zero info about what which mboard or mboards is/are used for them. (Dell did not make the mboard(s) - it is / they are supplied to Dell by a major mboard manufacturer). There is no info about how many USB ports are available by connecting to headers on the mboard, but you you have 8 ports available externally, and at least the front ports are connected to a USB header on the mboard.
There MAY be more USB ports available if you connect to other USB headers on the mboard.

Expansion Slots
PCI: 1 Slot
PCIe x1: 2 Slots
PCIe x16 Gen213: 3 Slots

Ports
Front
USB 2.0 (x2), 1394a (x1), (1) headphone out, (1) microphone in

Rear (Audio connectors)
S/PDIF Audio Out (Coax and Optical), microphone in, line-in, line-out, center/LFE, Rear Surround, Side Surround

Rear(Other)
USB 2.0 (x6), 1394a (x1), eSATA (x1), PS/2 Mouse and Keyboard, Gigabit Ethernet14 (x2)

How many video cards are you going to use?
Do you need 3 PCI-E X16 slots for 3 video cards?
If you don't, other similar mboards with one or two PCI-E X16 slots would have more PCI and/or PCI-E X1 or X4 slots.

Some PCI-E X16 video cards have two of the same video chipset on one card = two separate cards.
........

"....upgrade to a better version (ie from Home Premium to Ultimate)."

All Vista DVDs have all versions of Vista available on them for the same situation - 32 bit or 64 bit. The same probably applies to Windows 7. To upgrade, you merely go online and pay an additional fee, and then you get a different Product Key along with that, that works only with the version you upgraded to.
I have no idea whether you can do that for a brand name system's pre-installed Vista or Windows 7 version - it wouldn't surprise me if you can't upgrade that unless you buy the regular DVD.

If you haven't used Vista before there are many things that are different from XP and previous operating systems. Some of the default settings and features are annoying enough that many people tend to give up on Vista and load XP instead.
Windows 7 is very much like Vista, but with most of those default things that annoy people either removed or changed to be more user friendly.


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#5
August 29, 2009 at 14:08:08
I didn't really understand some of your post, but right now I'm telling you this:

I'm not building my own system.

Many people are happy with their XPS's, so it should suit my needs perfectly.

Also, your response to the Physics card was confusing; I'm not sure I really needed to know that info, all I want to know is if I should include it when I tell Dell to build my PC.
And I thought the Physics Accelerator was a PCI card?

Dell only gives you one additional PCIe slot.... I need wireless, since my router in my house is hooked up to the family PC, not mine specifically (what would I need to hook it up to mine for, being a laptop owner). Yet, I also want my games to be the best they can be.
So I need a straightforward answer regarding whether or not I should put in the Physics Accelerator, or if I should just put in a Wireless N card myself after receiving my system.

If I need more USB ports, I can always use a hub, like I do now for my printer/iPod/etc. (the other 3 ports are taken up by cooling pad, keyboard, optical mouse).

As for upgrading the OS, I just buy the installation disk at Best Buy, I don't go through Microsoft's "Anytime Upgrade" tool.

The video card... I think it takes up two slots, since it is the SLI Dual nVidia GeForce GTX 295, with 3.5GB of dedicated memory (pretty good, I think, buy tell me if you think otherwise).

Looking at reviews I've seen of this system, it seems most people DO end up using the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium.
Not once have I seen them mention the Killer NIC Xeno Pro.

I will use a wireless USB adapter if I must, but I would prefer if it was hidden.

EDIT: Okay, just checked out Yahoo! Answers on whether or not I'd need a Physics Accelerator, and it seems that most people think they are crap unless you play games that are designed for it, (which are rare, from what I've read) or if you do professional video editing (the farthest I've ever gotten is WMM, not Sony Vegas or FInal Cut/Edit Pro.

So I think I'll skip on the Phys. Accelerator, but do you think I should include the X-Fi sound card, or should I leave it empty for future upgrades?

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#6
August 29, 2009 at 18:41:43
"......I'm not sure I really needed to know that info, all I want to know is if I should include it when I tell Dell to build my PC."

It's up to you - I tried to show you the improvement it makes by providing those links about PhysX.
It will only make a difference for the games that support PhysX or Havoc Physics.

"...I thought the Physics Accelerator was a PCI card?"

"... the Killer NIC Xeno Pro."
is a PCI-E X1 card
http://www.bigfootnetworks.com/kill...
If you want a PCI card, choose one of the other two.
http://www.killernic.com/products/k...

"Dell only gives you one additional PCIe slot"

How many PCI-E X1 slots you have free is up to you.

According to the specs I found you have one PCI slot, two PCI-E X1 slots, and 3 PCI-E X16 slots - the video card can only go into a PCI-E X 16 slot.
A PCI-E X1 card can probably go into a PCI-E X16 slot if you're not using it.

"The video card... I think it takes up two slots, since it is the SLI Dual nVidia GeForce GTX 295, with 3.5GB of dedicated memory "

Take a look at the pictures if it. Some cards with two video chipsets only need one PCI-E X16 slot.

I'm an ATI video chipset fan myself. I would get a 4850 X2 or (two video chipsets on one card) or one or two of the same, single cards.

Dell XPS 730x series Tech specs
http://www.dell.com/content/product...

Intel® X58 Chipset

Apparently this main chipset is unique - most Intel main chipsets only support Crossfire mode, but this chipset supports both Crossfire and SLI mode.

"...the X58 chipset can run SLI."
"Traditionally, Intel chipsets were only able to run Crossfire and CrossfireX, or just a single NVidia video card without SLI.
X58 chipset motherboards can run two graphics cards in SLI, but it cannot run three graphics cards in SLI" (in X 16 mode)
http://www.articlesbase.com/compute...

Intel X58 Motherboards Support SLI Natively!
http://www.hardwarezone.com/article...

"If I need more USB ports, I can always use a hub, like I do now for my printer/iPod/etc."

It's well known hubs DO NOT work with all USB devices.

USB devices may not work correctly when they're connected to certain USB ports, e.g. ports in a hub or on the front of a desktop case.
See response 3 in this:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

External hard and optical drives require the full max spec 500ma from the USB or firewire port they connect to.

"do you think I should include the X-Fi sound card, or should I leave it empty for future upgrades?"

As I said above...

"Many mboards have quite good onboard sound these days. You could simply try that onboard sound - it may not be good enough for a musician, but it may be good enough in your opinion that you don't need a sound adapter."


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#7
August 29, 2009 at 21:10:06
Thank you very much for your suggestions, you've been very helpful.

I think I will go with the X-Fi sound chip, just because everybody who has the Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speaker System (the speakers I plan to order along with the Dell) seem to have it.

Also, for the USB Hubs, I found that out once when trying to charge my iPod in a Hub port; as I discovered, hub ports are not powered, that is why some devices might not work.

If you could please explain in a little more detail (but still keeping everything in Layman's terms) about adding more USB ports to the motherboard/PCI slots, that would be appreciated, since I don't get how you can add more devices if the case's port slots are filled. Unless you open the side to connect the devices?
That wouldn't be very practical, I think. ;P

EDIT 2:
Okay, now I seem to understand your mention of the different "PCI" slots; however, I'd like to know, just for the sake of curiosity, why Dell won't allow you to include both the Phys. Accelerator and the X-Fi; are they both PCI cards? The compatibility issue brings up a pop-up saying it's a PCIe slot, not just a normal PCI card. (BTW, what exactly does PCI stand for?)
I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#8
August 30, 2009 at 08:37:06
"Also, for the USB Hubs, I found that out once when trying to charge my iPod in a Hub port; as I discovered, hub ports are not powered, that is why some devices might not work."

An "unpowered" hub shares the 500ma max spec current from the one port directly connected to the mboard it is connected to with all the ports in the hub.
Some hubs have jack a power adapter can be plugged into, and/or they come with a power adapter, which is usually +5v and should produce enough current so all the ports in the hub can supply 500ma each - that's a "powered" hub when the power adapter is plugged in and powered on, but, even still, some USB devices will not work plugged into a "powered" USB hub either.

"I don't get how you can add more devices if the case's port slots are filled."

If you mean USB ports...
Usually there are some slot spaces where cards go that are not being used in the desktop case - you remove the blank plate, install the plate with the USB ports in it that place, and it connects by wiring to a USB header.

If you mean cards in card slots, of course if all card slots have cards in them you can't add more. If you chose the Xeno Pro and X Fi card and a wireless N adapter, they're probably all PCI-E X1, none are PCI, you have two PCI-E X1 slots - but you can probably install one PCI-E X1 card in an unused PCI-E X16 slot - see below. (the online configurator probably can't take the latter into account).

"why Dell won't allow you to include both the Phys. Accelerator and the X-Fi; are they both PCI cards? "

For the third time, the physical accelerator card you specified is PCI-E X1, NOT PCI!

I tried the Personalize option on the cheapest package, to see what you're seeing.

The picture on the Dell site is the wrong one - that's NIC Killer K1

This is a picture of the current Xeno Pro http://www.killernic.com/products/k...
It's a PCI-E X1 card - note the short strip on the bottom with the contacts on it.
It could be Dell has an older Xeno Pro card model that is PCI, and in that case you may find it when you click on Support where the above Xeno Pro picture is, but the manufacturer of the card does not show it as a current model. Or, it could be the title on the Dell site is not correct and you're actually choosing an NIC Killer K1, which is PCI, not Xeno Pro.
.......

"The compatibility issue brings up a pop-up saying it's a PCIe slot, not just a normal PCI card. "

I tried the Personalize option on the cheapest package, changed the graphics card to dual like you did, added the Xeno Pro (PCI-E according to what I found) and the X Fi card (PCI-E according to Dell's picture of it), and clicked on Review.
No compatibity issues in the result.
Did you click on something twice?
Or does Dell offer a wireless N adapter but only a PCI-E X1 one and you chose that too?
....

You have 3 different types of slots

PCI is an older type, dating from 1992.
PCI-E X1 and PCI-E X16 are newer types.
I don't think you can't install a PCI card into any PCI-E slot.

PCI-E X16 is for video cards, but you can plug in other types of PCI-E cards into it.
PCI-E X1 is for PCI-E cards that don't need the faster capabilities of PCI-E slots with a higher X(number)

"what exactly does PCI stand for?"

Peripheral Component Interconnect

PCI and PCI_E X(number) info
http://www.alrad.co.uk/datasheets/I...
.......

Whether you end up having a PCI slot free or a PCI-E X1 free
- you can probably plug a PCI-E X1 wireless N card into an unused PCI-E X16 slot (you have 3 PCI-E X16 slots) - PCI-E X16 is backwards compatible with PCI-E X1, etc. ; any PCI-E card that will plug in to the PCI-E X16 slot is supposed to work fine The only problem you MAY have is the IRQ the slot is using MAY be the same as for the graphics card(s) and if so that MAY cause problems.
- you can certainly get a PCI wireless N card. If Dell doesn't offer that for the package, it's easy to buy one online or locally, and it's fairly easy to install.


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#9
August 30, 2009 at 16:13:51
Thanks much, I understand this must be very frustrating to you, having to explain it to a guy who's been interested in computers since he was 3, but never delved much further into them than free software.

Let me just repeat back to you what you've told me, much as a student does to his teacher, to make sure I understand it.

PCI is the oldest version of the Peripheral Component Interface family. There is only one slot (usually) in computers for it.

PCI-E X1 is a newer type, and there are 2 slots for its cards.

PCI-E X16 is the newest type of PCI, designed for video cards, but X1 cards will also fit if you have spare slots.
There are three of these slots.

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#10
August 30, 2009 at 16:46:35
Not quite. First of all PCI is not the oldest type of slot. We won't go back any further than that for the moment because anything older than that is obsolete.

ATX motherboards usually come with 2 or 3 PCI slots. mATX (micro) may come with only one PCI slot.

PCIe is the latest type of slots in use on motherboards. Think of PCIe as a 40 lane highway. You can dedicate ONE lane for a certain use or more than one lane.

Currently there are only three common PCIe slots in use. PCIe x1, PCIe x8, PCIe x16.

Theoretically, any amount can be used. However, PCIe x1 has enough bandwidth to service most add in cards.

That leaves 8 & 16. These are used for graphics cards, which require a lot of bandwidth.

DO NOT confuse PCI with PCIe. They are totally different in physical shape and in the manner they function.

PCIe has at least two generations of standards. Look at the link below for more on this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Ex...

In addition to the above the predecessor to PCIe x8/16 was AGP. AGP had numerous variants. Each doubling the speed of the one before.


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#11
August 30, 2009 at 21:58:08
The number of and which type of slots on a mboard varies.
The most common form factors - standard physical sizes - of recent and fairly recent desktop mboards are mATX (Micro ATX) and ATX, in that order - ATX is larger, and tends to have more slots for cards

You have 3 PCI-E X16 slots on your mATX? mboard. Most mboards have one or two of them, and in that case they usually have more PCI slots and/or more PCI-E x(number other tham 16) slots.

Same as I pointed to in response 8, info about PCI and PCI-E types (and their capabilities):
http://www.alrad.co.uk/datasheets/I...


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#12
August 31, 2009 at 07:51:11
Okay, sorry I haven't replied yet, but my internet went down last night, so I just copied my response onto a .txt file.

Because of that guide (sorry I didn't check it out earlier), I don't have that many questions left (I find diagrams very helpful), so let me just ask you what the guide doesn't answer.

1. How can I tell how many slots my video card(s) takes up from the pictures?

2. Rear connections (like HDMI) don't have to do with the video card, but are connected to the mboard, right?

3. (This has to do with the Wiki)
Is the too-small-for-a-floppy-drive slot on the left side of my laptop for PCIe ExpressCard expansions?

^4. Does that mean I could use the Creative ExpressCard Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook to use (simulated) surround sound with my laptop, no matter how crappy the computer itself is?

Thanks for all your help.

-WINDOWSVII

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#13
August 31, 2009 at 10:15:12
"1. How can I tell how many slots my video card(s) takes up from the pictures?"

Normal lower end video cards are no more than about 1" thickness. Higher end ones are much thicker, but no more than twice that.

A single PCI-E X16 video card with one video chipset on it plugs into only one PCI-E X16 slot, but a fatter card may take up the physical space of two thinner cards.
A single PCI-E X16 video card with two video chipsets on it plugs into only one PCI-E X16 slot, and it's almost always a fatter card that takes up the physical space of two thinner cards.
Depending on where the the PCI-E x 16 slots and the PCI-E X1 and PCI slots on the mboard are, installing a fatter video card, or a installing video card in other than the first PCI-E X16 slot, may prevent you from using a PCI-E X1 slot or PCI slot, but that doesn't seem to apply to this particular mboard for thisDell series of models - newer mboards tend to be better laid out regarding that .
When a mboard has more than one PCI-E X16 slot (this Dell series mboard has 3), they are usually always far enough apart from each other that it's no problem installing fatter video cards in all the PCI-E X16 slots.

" 2. Rear connections (like HDMI) don't have to do with the video card, but are connected to the mboard, right?"

A HDMI port is always for video.
The mboard in this Dell series of models does not have onboard video - if it did, the onboard video might have (a) HDMI port(s) in the mboard, or in some cases, if the onboard video has a DVI port, an DVI to HDMI port adapter can be used in a DVI port. The video cards may have a HDMI port, or in some cases, if the video card has a DVI port, an DVI to HDMI port adapter can be used in a DVI port.
The Xeno Pro card may have a HDMI port.

"3. (This has to do with the Wiki)
Is the too-small-for-a-floppy-drive slot on the left side of my laptop for PCIe ExpressCard expansions? "

"(This has to do with the Wiki)"

Huh?

It depends on how old the laptop is and whether it's also got one or more slots for a memory card reader.

What make and model is it?

All of these slots are narrower than for a floppy:

- older laptops have a PCMCIA (PC Card) slot or slots (a pair one over the other in the same slot), and may have a card reader slot
- new laptops have an ExpressCard slot, or slots (a pair one over the other in the same slot), may have a card reader slot, and higher end models may have (an) ExpressCard slot(s) AND (a) PCMCIA slot(s).

"^4. Does that mean I could use the Creative ExpressCard Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook to use (simulated) surround sound with my laptop, no matter how crappy the computer itself is?"

If the laptop has an ExpressCard slot, probably YES!
If it doesn't a USB version would also result in probably YES!

(links to Soundblaster made examples in response 2 - other sound card makers have models that use the same X Fi chips)
......

Click on Tech Specs here:
http://www.dell.com/content/product...

"Optional
Killer NICTM K1 Gaming Network Card"

Same as the incorrect picture Dell shows when you choose Personalize and choose the Xeno Pro card.
.......

click on Gallery -

no close ups of the ports on the mboard's main I/O area

Red mboard - made by MSI? - they are often red (Dell did not make the mboard).
If it is, it's probably one of these, with a Dell bios version on it:
http://us.msi.com/index.php?func=pr...


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#14
August 31, 2009 at 11:37:52
Sorry, I meant the wikipedia link OtheHill gave me.

Well, my laptop's from '07 (if I remember correctly, or '06) and it has a card reader (though it pretty much just reads the normal SD cards, my USB hub has multiple card readers for my PSP's MMS-PD).

It is a Toshiba Satellite a200 Series, the lower-end one, not the one with all the multimedia features and dual-core.

I guess it doesn't really matter, since once I get a new PC, I won't have much use for it anymore.

Perhaps I'll - after transferring all files to the new comp., of course - uninstall Windows Vista and fully install the Linux-based OS, Ubuntu.

Okay, so Dell Canada got mistaken, and the gaming network card isn't the Xeno Pro, it's Killer K1? Maybe I should contact them and tell 'em that...

I guess this is what I'll do for my setup:

Processor: Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz, - not overclocked, amazingly - 8Mb L3 Cache)

OS: Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (English) Service Pack 1 64-bit (though I'll upgrade to Win7 once it comes out)

Memory: 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 @ 1066MHZ (3.2GB DIMM)

Monitor: 24" 2408WFP Ultrasharp Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor

Video Card: SLI Dual nVidia GeForce GTX 295, 3.5GB

Hard Drives: 750GB Data Security RAID 1 (2 x 750GB SATA-II, 7200 RPM HDDs)

Floppy Drives/Media Readers: Dell 19-in-1 Media Card Reader with Bluetooth 2.0

Modem: External 56K USB Modem (until I get the Wireless N Card)

Optical Drives: Dual Drives: Blu-ray Disc (BD) Burner (Writes to DVD/CD/BD) and DVD-ROM - Can I play Blu-ray disks with these drives, or only write to 'em?

Sound Cards: Integrated 7.1 Channels (will install Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro Series myself)

2nd Hard Drives: 1TB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 500GB SATA-II, 7200 RPM HDDs)

Cooling Option: Copper Base Heat Sink with aluminum fins.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accessories: Belkin Easy Transfer Cable for Windows Vista

Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX Digital Speaker System

Belkin Inc. 12-Outlet Surge Protector.

------------------------------------------------------

Please tell me if you disagree on any one of these components, and what I should replace it/with.

Thanks,
WINDOWSVII

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#15
August 31, 2009 at 13:00:15
"Okay, so Dell Canada got mistaken, and the gaming network card isn't the Xeno Pro, it's Killer K1? Maybe I should contact them and tell 'em that..."

I think that's the first time you've mentioned you're in Canada - I'm in Canada too - most people who answer posts on this site are in the US or in the UK.
The pages for this Dell series are probably the same when you choose US as the country.
You could inform them the picture is the wrong one for Xeno Pro - it's for NIC Killer K1 - and ask if it's really the Xeno Pro (probably PCI-E x1) or the NIC Killer K1 (PCI) one that's the option.

"OS: Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (English) Service Pack 1 64-bit (though I'll upgrade to Win7 once it comes out)"

Most people derive NO BENEFIT from 64bit operating systems, and if you already have programs you want to install or want to install from online you MAY need to get the 64bit version of it, and that MAY not be available.
32 bit operating systems can use no more than 4gb of ram, but that exceeds what most people need for their programs by a long shot.
Ultimate Memory Guide
How Much Memory Do You Need? etc.
http://www.kingston.com/tools/umg/u...
Memory Assessor
http://www.kingston.com/tools/asses...

"Monitor: 24" 2408WFP Ultrasharp Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor"

I recommend Samsung, LG, Sony, or Viewsonic.
There are 60hz, 120hz, and 240hz technology versions of LCD monitors - the more Hz, generally the better the display but the more they cost - if 120Hz or 240Hz are not mentioned they're probably 60Hz technology.Those 4 brands are excellent quality even with 60Hz technolgy - other brands may not be so good, although Panasonic and Toshiba monitors may be equal to them.

"Modem: External 56K USB Modem (until I get the Wireless N Card)"

Don't buy it if you don't need it. You will HATE how slow the internet connection is.

What device(s) are you connecting to the internet with?
A standalone high speed modem and a wireless router? (e.g. a Shaw or Rogers supplied cable high speed modem, or a ADSL high speed modem.)
or a combo router/modem? (e.g. a Telus supplied or other ADSL connection)
If it has one or more network ports, your mboard on this Dell series has a 10/100/1000 mbps network adapter and two ports - if you use a category 5 or 6 network cable with that, your internet connection will work far better with that than if you use an external 56K modem. If you have a router or router/modem combo, it came with at least one network cable, and all standalone high speed modems come with one.

You probably don't really need a wireless N adapter for this desktop computer.
Your network connection is a lot more reliable if it least one computer in a local network (e.g. at where you live) is connected via a network cable. Almost all wireless routers or wireless router/modem combo devices have at least 4 ports you can connect a computer to. It's often not that hard to run a long network cable if you need to, but you usually don't need to anyway with a wireless N connection. A wireless N router has such a good range (if it's connecting to a wireless N network adapter), it can be anywhere in the place you live where you can connect it to a telephone jack or a coax cable connection and wireless connections will work fine, it's usually easy to connect a shorter network cable to it, and most people never or rarely move their desktop computers within where they live.

"Optical Drives: Dual Drives: Blu-ray Disc (BD) Burner (Writes to DVD/CD/BD) and DVD-ROM - Can I play Blu-ray disks with these drives, or only write to 'em?"

Two optical drives are not really required. You can do everthing with one, if it can read and burn all the types of disks you want to use. The cpu (processor) only accesses one hard or optical drive at a time. The only time you save when you have two when burning is when more than one drive has a disk in it - at most you only save the time it takes for you to remove a disk when prompted and insert another one.

You can't read a blu-ray (sp?) disk in a non blu-ray drive, unless it's manufacturer's specs say you can which I doubt, but you can probably read and burn any disk in a blu-ray drive (read the manufacturer of the drive's specs for the drive model, if Dell doesn't provide that info) .

"Belkin Inc. 12-Outlet Surge Protector."

If you want to properly protect your computer, make sure whatever you buy has plug-ins for everything connected to the computer - the case/power supply, monitor, printer, all AC cords and AC adapters that plug into devices that connect to the computer, your high speed modem or router/modem, your router, AND the cable that connects you to the internet - telephone cable jacks or coax connectors. If one device doesn't have enough, buy more than one. You can get ones separately that have telephone or coax cable protection. They should be the same brand if you want to be able to possibly make a claim on the warranty if you need to, and using a extension cord between the device and a wall plug in usually voids the warranty - get one with a cord that's long enough (most are about 6 feet/2 meters).


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#16
August 31, 2009 at 13:50:30
hi all
just to throw some reason why Dell dont add many extra cards in the 730x have alook at the link,

even though the case is much bigger than a standard tower the interior is cramped for space and the mobo which i believe to be a MSI customised for Dell.
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread...
which is short on pci slots as it has 3 pci-e and 1 pci ( black one at the top see pics.) click on pic for view

http://hothardware.com/Articles/Del...

i meant to post this earlier but forgot never mind sry.
just gives you some idea of Dells hardware in the raw , nice piece of kit but expensive.

This version appears to to be liquid cooled, i dont know if thats standard, dell lets you customise the build via their configurator.


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#17
August 31, 2009 at 16:48:29
In response 13, I noted the mboard was red
http://www.dell.com/content/product...
Click on Gallery
(I can't get the dxxx thing to load presently)

1step beyond.....
You revealed two examples of bluish mboards.

Dell got the picture of the Xeno Pro card option wrong - maybe the pictures of the mboard in the Gallery pictures are wrong too.

Possibilities....
Same number of PCI-E X16 slots - 3, and PCI-E X1 slots - 2 as what it says when you click on Tech specs at the above link, but some of these have more than one PCI slot. Sometimes mboards supplied to brand name builders have a missing slot but everything else is the same about the mboard in comparison to the manufacturer's retail model, and MSI has been known to supply red mboards to brand name builders when the retail model isn't red.

Same except 2 PCI ?? (the MSI mboards are all bluish for the X58 chipset boards)

MSI ECLIPSE SLI intel x58 chipset ATX form factor 3xPCI-E(x16)/2xPCI-E(x1)/2xpci/6xddr3 w/sata2 raid,dual lan(gb),1394,usb 2.0 & audio (cpu type:intel - socket i7)

Same numbers of types of slots: (bluish)
Asus Rampage II Extreme Motherboard - Intel X58, LGA 1366, ATX, Audio, PCI Express 2.0, CrossFire Ready, SLI Ready, Dual Gigabit LAN, S/PDIF, Firewire, USB 2.0, Serial ATA, RAID
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...
12 USB ports - 6 physical built in - 3 USB headers (2 ports per header)
Same physical built in as the mboard for this Dell series in the Gallery pictures.

Same numbers of types of slots except 2 PCI
(Black)
EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard - NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, S/PDIF, USB 2.0, Firewire, eSATA, RAID
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicati...
10 USB ports- 6 physical built in - 2 USB headers (2 ports per header)

The present moard in this Dell series has at least 10 USB ports - the 6 physical built in ports and two via a header for the front ports on the case, and there's a card reader option that would require at least one if not two more USB ports, but the Tech Specs specs on the Dell site don't state the number of USB headers on the mboard or the total number of USB ports.

I tried the Personalize feature - it accepts two PCI-E X1 card options when you click on Review, so there are two on the presently offered mboard, if the Personalize feature is correct.


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#18
August 31, 2009 at 18:59:48
Okay, clearing some things up a bit:

I think I mentioned earlier that the family PC (old XP Home Edition with a Pent. 3 or 4 processor - not a very good computer) is connected directly to the router, and I currently have a laptop. The laptop is in my room, which is about 2 rooms over from my dad's "office".

Therefore, I will need a wireless card, so I don't have to either connect a seperate modem for my computer, or run a very long Ethernet cable.

The router is a 2-Wire modem/router combo from Bell; we used to have two seperate modems/routers, but Bell offered to give us the 2-Wire for free in order to keep us with them (we were going to try Rogers).

Tubesandwires, are there any links to sites with good reviews on those brands of Monitors?
I need a good-sized monitor (no less than 24") that's not expensive and has at least one HDMI port.

I realize you can't just rely on one source for good, un-biased reviews, but Cnet says that the Dell is so far the best 24-inch, but with a small amount of backlight bleed-through in the bottom in a pitch-black room.

The monitor must be in the price range of $400-$700, most 25-30 inch monitors are above that.

Thanks for telling me I don't need two Optical Drives... that'll leave room for any expansions I might need to put in there... that'll also save me some money...

The lowest amount of RAM Dell Canada offers is 6GB, so I can't really go any lower.

Now, because the processor already runs at 3.33GHz (as compared to my current 1.6GHz Intel Celeron M), I don't think I'll ever need to overclock it for games; however, I'd like to know your opinions on overclocking.
According to Dell, this system is liquid cooled for the very reason that people might overclock the processor, and they even have some representatives showing you how to overclock it. I'm still not sure it's a good idea, anyhow.

I'm definitely keeping the 19-in-1 media card reader with bluetooth, as having a computer that can connect to devices using Bluetooth might prove really handy in the future.

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#19
August 31, 2009 at 19:37:45
Look here:

http://www.newegg.com/Store/Categor...


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#20
August 31, 2009 at 21:00:33
"...are there any links to sites with good reviews on those brands of Monitors?"

- Simply search the web using something appropriate such as
Samsung 24" LCD review
- don't use quotes around the words - you'll get more "hits"

- expert reviews are more noteworthy than user reviews in general because someone who has a gripe is more likely to post than one who's content, and some users are idiots and their problem was actually caused by something else being wrong.

I find Yahoo is better regarding searching for computer related merchandise and info.

Yahoo Canada
http://ca.yahoo.com/
You can set it to search for sites in Canada only but it's not foolproof.

Yahoo Canada Advanced search:
http://ca.search.yahoo.com/web/adva...
You can set it to search for sites in Canada only, or other countries only, or only for English language sites?, or filter for words to include and find, or exclude, for/from the search.

- some places on the web that sell them such as www.newegg.ca and www.newegg.com and www.TigerDirect.com and www.TigerDirect.ca often have lotsof user reviews but keep in mind what I said about user reviews.
Note that if you order from there, order from the .ca sites - you can't order from newegg.com, and you can order from TigerDirect.com but the shipping will be a lot more expensive and will take longer (there is an additional charge, GST is added, and it sits in a warehouse until whatever Canada Customs now calls itself processes it, once it crosses the border - that applies when you order from most US web sites).

- you can often filter the results better on such sites if you wish, or select a range of sizes.

- NOTE that LCD TVS usually have computer monitor capability as well, and 60hz technology ones of under 40" are sometimes well within your price range. You can connect to a VGA or DVI or HDMI port on them for best results, but HDMI cables are still quite expensive in comparison to VGA cables, DVI cables cost more than VGA cables, and the TV/monitor usually comes with a VGA cable (6 feet or so long).

Shopping....

Other Canadian sites on the web such as

http://www.staples.ca
http://www.futureshop.ca
http://www.bestbuy.ca
http://www.londondrugs.com (set to Canada)

sometimes have good deals (sales) and you can often pick it up locally - no shipping charge.

www.ncix.com has frequent sales.
www.memoryexpress.com often has things on sale.

Local places often have web sites - see the yellow pages for the addresses in their ads if you don't know what the addresses are. Smaller local places run by a few people often have better prices than larger places.

The lower the ms rating for the monitor,e.g. 8ms (milli seconds) the better video will look.
.....

Read the info about this Dell series on the web site - the system is already overclocked when you get the system.
If you do want to overclock it more, consult overclocking web sites to find out what settings are stable for this series and won't harm the cpu. Generally upping the cpu core voltage just makes the cpu run hotter more than it does improve performance significantly.
I have had very little experience with overclocking myself.

The speed the cpu runs at is only one factor that affects the apparent speed of your system. Improvements in the mboard fsb speed, ram speed, and the core speed of the cpus and improvements otherwise for cpus have been the major reason recent computers whop older ones in performance.

The max burst data transfer rate a hard drive can run at is mostly hype - it can only run that fast for very brief periods of time, a fewminutesat most, how long depending on the size of the memory (ram) cache on the hard drive. If the hard drive continues to be accessed continously for some pupose the memory cache is exhausted of cached data and the drive runs, max, at the max sustained (continuous) data transfer rate, which is much slower - e.g. 80mb/sec for recent drives, slower for older ones.
....

Bluetooth has a relatively short range - e.g. 30 feet.
.....

By the way, most people have no programs, or very few programs, that can use more than one cpu core. Server programs and operating systems can use more than one, and Vista and Windows 7 can use more than one in certain circumstances with certain programs, and some recent games can use more than one core in Vista or Windows 7.



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#21
September 1, 2009 at 10:51:04
Well, thanks for your replies.

Thanks for the link, OtheHill, I like the ASUS VK246H with the integrated webcam, I don't really care about vid chat quality, so that'll be fine.

Tubesandwires, you've been very helpful, and I'm glad you told me about the hard drive speeds, and how most programs only access one core (though it's still good to have quad-cores, since I'm sure many programs in the near future will take advantage of multi-cores).

As for Bluetooth... 30 feet is good, I'll never be that far away from my computer with a Bluetooth-enabled device, anyway.

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#22
September 1, 2009 at 13:47:34
Regarding the monitor, there may be good deals now or in the next few days - labour day sales.

FYI

www.newegg.ca is a Canadian governent approved site (so is TigerDirect.ca) - it abides by rules the Canadian government requires, prices are in Canadian dollars, and they are able to ship to Canada from the US via a special UPS shipping method (minimum under $20) without this happening....
" (there is an additional charge, GST is added, and it sits in a warehouse until whatever Canada Customs now calls itself processes it, once it crosses the border).
....but they do charge GST when you order, and there is a shorter delay after it crosses the border but that's taken into account. As far as I can tell, there is no physical newegg place in Canada - it appears they ship from California.
I have ordered several things from there and all shipments arrived on the predicted day they said it would when the order was complete, or shortly before that.
As far as I can tell, so far, it's got the same stuff as on the www.newegg.com site, same user reviews.
Prices are often better than TigerDirect's for the same item, but the two stock some different stuff.
The one glitch - If you need to return something you have to arrange for the special UPS shipping documents and labels to be sent to you, in order for the shipping to cost you a lot less.

www.TigerDirect.ca 's prices are okay but not much different from prices locally where I am (Alberta) - if you can find something locally that they list it may cost you the same or less, when you factor in the shipping charge - but they do list a LOT more stuff than local places have - and they DO occaisionaly have good deals on some specific things. TigerDirect.ca has a physical place in Ontario. The listings on the .ca site are somewhat different from the .com site but a lot of things are identical on both. I have ordered a few things from there that were limited time deals or were something I could not get locally. The packages arrived more or less when they said they would after the order was completed.
Apparently TigerDirect's physical place in Ontario doesn't have all the stock listed in stock - in some cases it's shipped from the US .com 's physical location, but there are no extra charges for that.
If you give them permission to do it when you order, or go to their web site and give your permission, you get two or three emails from them a week about current deals.
They use UPS Standard shipping - minimum $15 or so, usually. Shipping time was reasonable - shorter than from newegg.ca.
Glitch - for both the .com and .ca sites - the search feature is poor. If you don't find something when you search with a certain word or words, you often find it when you use different or fewer words to search for the same thing - they often have it but the search engine doesn't always find it.

www.ncix.com has frequent sales to coincide with holidays and long weekends, and sometimes in between, and lots of things, not just a few, are on sale.
If you give them permission to do it when you order, or go to their web site and give your permission, you get emails when they have upcoming sales - however sometimes they're HUGE.
I have ordered just once from them - very fast shipping to where I am (Alberta; their physical place is in B.C.) - it arrived ahaead of the time they said it would when I placed the order (it was a small package).

All three will ship items separately later if they don't actually have it in stock when you order, if they can still get the item, at no additional charge.
......

www.memoryexpress.com often has things on sale.
They're in my city so I haven't ordered online from them, but they ship anywhere in Canada (or the USA?). Their regular prices are okay but I can often find the same item locally for a bit less, but they do have a lot of listings and stock, they have a clearance department that has small numbers of discounted items, and the web site has a feature that roughly lists stock available at all their locations that is updated at least once a day. I've bought many items from them.

They started out selling only computer memory (from one physical place), hence the name.


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#23
September 1, 2009 at 16:17:18
Very interesting is that I'm moving to Hamilton, Ontario, and I saw Tiger Direct there. And I was born in Red Deer, Alberta, so I'm familiar with the prices and such there.
I have since moved back and forth from Alberta to Ontario for about 6 times now, that I remember.

How very lucky for me that Tiger Direct's physical location is near where I'm moving.

However, you said that not everything they have online is in stock there - that's to be expected, as many places are like that, such as Staples.

Memory Express, I remember I was told by someone at Staples to try them out when they didn't have something I wanted - and it was the cashier who I asked, not a fellow customer.

Tubesandwires, I find that I keep voting your posts helpful.

-WINDOWSVII

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#24
September 1, 2009 at 16:52:15
I don't know about the Canadian counterparts but in the USA newegg.com is a much better online store than tiger direct.

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#25
September 1, 2009 at 20:17:30
Yeah? Well, maybe I'll just have to order that Asus monitor from newegg.ca, then. ;)

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#26
September 2, 2009 at 11:44:08
As I said in response 22....
"As far as I can tell, so far, it's"... (newegg.ca)..." got the same stuff as on the www.newegg.com site, same user reviews."

Asus probably didn't actually make the monitor - it was probably supplied to them by some other manufacturer and merely has Asus specified labelling on it - in that case, who actually made it?

I bought two Samsungs for a friend at two different times about a year apart - a 19" LCD monitor, then a 19" LCD TV/monitor - both times from Staples while they had a sale on - their price was best locally. They're about 5 and 4 years old now. She's disabled and usually has them on 24/7, and has only used a screen saver that blanks the display for about a year. Both still have an excellent display, although the TV/monitor's board had to be replaced on warranty after about 2 1/2 years - it cost me/her nothing and there is a local place authourized to service Samsungs so there were no shipping costs - but they did have to order the board and it took a while to arrive (that repair place has boards for some Samsung computer monitors in stock or can get them in a short time - they said it generally takes longer to get LCD TV/monitor boards).
She had a power failure event that damaged her mboard not long before the TV/monitor malfunctioned, so I'm not sure whether that also caused the board to eventually malfunction or whether it would have happened in any case. The monitor mode still worked fine but the TV display became only black and white.

A friend of hers has an 20"? Acer LCD monitor - there are no specific drivers available for it, and it looks crappy in resolutions other than the "optimal" or "native" one specified for it. The two Samsungs, on the other hand , come with specific drivers, and still look very good in resolutions other than the "optimal" or "native" one specified for them.

Two friends of mine have an el-cheapo LCD monitor of other brands - there are no specific drivers available for them either.

It can be very important for an LCD monitor or TV/monitor to have specific monitor drivers available, because if you can load those, by default Windows will then not show you any display settings that can damage the monitor. If you use 2000's or XP's Plug and Play Monitor drivers, or Vista's Generic PNP Monitor drivers, you can choose settings that can DAMAGE an LCD display.
In any case, it is NOT a good idea to choose to bypass Windows default display settings to show all settings the video drivers can provide, because you can then choose settings that can DAMAGE an LCD display.

I've looked at the warranty info for several el-cheapo monitors. In all cases, the backlight(s) are only warrantied for one year, although the rest of the monitor has a longer warranty.
........

The problem with the TigerDirect sites in my opinion is mostly this:
As I said in response 22....
"Glitch - for both the .com and .ca sites - the search feature is poor. If you don't find something when you search with a certain word or words, you often find it when you use different or fewer words to search for the same thing - they often have it but the search engine doesn't always find it. "

One thing the TigerDirect sites often do that the newegg sites don't do as often is show you more pictures when you click on the specific item - such as a closeup of the ports on a mboard, or on the graphics card, or a closeup of the ports available on a LCD TV that can also be used as a computer monitor, and for a graphics card, the minimum required power supply the system must have is stated more often, or pictures of everything that comes with the product, and/or a list of what the product comes with.

The newegg sites, on the other hand, usually have a manufacturer's info tab and link available when you click on the item that takes you directly to the manufacturer's info page(s) about the product.

......

By the way....

Your LCD display (the backlight(s) for it - some have more than one) will last longer if you keep it's brightness just at the point where you can make out everything on the screen or a bit brighter.

It's a very good idea to use a screen saver that blanks the display (black) after x minutes of inactivity when you have an LCD monitor.
.....

I was reminded of this problem yesterday.....

Lots of games will yield you a display that is too dark with default game settings. You should NOT increase the bightness of the LCD display if a game is the only thing that's too dark, by using the display's built in controls or settings the video drivers provide in Windows. Most, if not all, games have a setting for brightness in the game itself - adjust that - then everything will be bright enough without you having the brightness too bright when you exit the game.


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#27
September 2, 2009 at 12:48:45
I found a much better monitor that I'm going to order straight from the manufacturer, not TigerDirect or NewEgg.
It's the HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS panel, and, after reading the review at tftcentral, I'm convinced it's the one for me.

Read the review (http://tinyurl.com/TFTCentral) before you comment on my choice of monitor, please!

If, however, on the off chance I decide not to order online, I'll just go to my local Best Buy/Future Shop (NOT Wall-Mart, as they have a crappy selection) and pick out their best monitor.

The average consumer (ie me) won't really care about the panel type (ie TN or H-IPS/S-IPS, for example), as I'm sure most consumers will not be too picky about viewing angles/contrast ratios and the like.
In fact, many gamers I know use TN panels without even knowing it, for their quick response time, and have no complaints about "viewing angles," "colours," or "contrast ratios" - though I'm sure they still check the monitors out at the store before they buy them. ;)

I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#28
September 2, 2009 at 13:22:44
HP probably didn't actually make the monitor - it was probably supplied to them by some other manufacturer and merely has HP specified labelling on it - in that case, who actually made it?
e.g. I came across a mention somewhere that some particular brand name system builders's recent monitors are made by Benq, but I don't recall which brand.
HP does make their own printers and related obviously, but they don't actually make much else themselves other than possibly HP specific cases and related parts.

"I'm sure most consumers will not be too picky about viewing angles"

They can be important. For most people, the wider the viewing angle the better, unless you're concerned about privacy (others being able to see the screen clearly when they're not directly in front of the display). A narrower angle will be more likely to require different users of the computer who are taller or shorter will have to fiddle with the tilt of the monitor so it's perpendicular to their eye level, where it looks best, and a narrower viewing angle will result in the display not being as good when you're not directly in front of it, such as when you're standing in front of it.

"The lower the ms rating for the monitor,e.g. 8ms (milli seconds) the better video will look."
That's the minimum amount of time it takes for a particular frame to change. That's not rated for CRT monitors because they can do that much faster than all LCD (and probably Plasma) displays can.


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#29
September 2, 2009 at 13:58:15
One thing to consider when buying an LCD display from an online vendor. There is a dead pixel policy that is set by each manufacturer. Newegg will not exchange a display unless it meets the manufacturer's policy for dead pixels. No other returns will be accepted. This is the policy of most online vendors.

You may be better off buying locally because if you don't like the monitor from, say, Bestbuy you just take it back, no problem.

IMO Samsung makes some of the best LCD displays.


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#30
September 2, 2009 at 14:19:28
"There is a dead pixel policy that is set by each manufacturer."

A.k.a. Bad pixels.
E.g. a maximum of 10 on the whole screen, no more than 2 beside each other.
It can be black (actually dead) or white all the time or be an improper color otherwise

Dead or bad pixels were the major reason older laptop displays cost a lot more than they do now, and why LCD monitors and TVs were only available later. The manufacturers of the displays had to throw away a large percentage of the laptop displays in the earlier days because they had too many bad pixels, but since then the reject rate has slowly become tiny in comparison.

"IMO Samsung makes some of the best LCD displays"

I'm certainly impressed by those two Samsung products I got for my friend. I don't think they have ANY bad pixels - I've looked at them hunderds of times.


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#31
September 3, 2009 at 19:59:53
Speaking of dead pixels...

I doubt you'd find any dead pixels in any decent LCD HDTV (not that I'd know since I don't have one :|), but would you find any in the newer LED TVs? (Say, by Samsung.)

I find that newer technology very interesting, since LEDs have only usually been used in the past for notification lights/christmas lights (ie on your car's dashboard).

Did those manufacturers make those TVs to get rid of dead pixels? Increase response time? Colour?

I'm very curious.

EDIT: Darn, now you guys got me all confused again.

I was set on getting that HP monitor and maybe wall mount it (because the stand's not that attractive), but now I'm wondering if I should just purchase a good-looking mon' from a local shop.

I originally chose the HP for it's many connectivity options (Component, Composite, HDMI, 2x DVI, Digital Display port - I think - but strangely, no VGA - though HP supplies a DVI to VGA cable), the built-in USB hub (6 port - though I recall our earlier conversation about hubs, so maybe that's not so important), many ergonomic adjustments (pivot, tilt, height adjustment, etc.) and the many good reviews it got.
Now I'm torn again.
I hope Windows 7 is better than Vista.
The Ubuntu project sure is.


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#32
September 3, 2009 at 20:21:39
I beg to differ with you about dead pixels. Do you realize how many components comprise a typical 24" 16/9 display? A dead pixel here and there is common enough. I would guess there are stanadards that each manufacturer has. If the components aren't good enough for their own brand monitors then they wholesales them to off brand assemblers.

There wouldn't be a need for a dead pixel policy if there weren't dead pixels. One dead pixel by itself may be hard to see. 4 or 5 in a cluster and you would notice. Browse the links below.

http://support.dell.com/support/top...

http://www.behardware.com/articles/...

http://vnuuk.typepad.com/pcw_intera...


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