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Poll

Do you ever use more than one computer monitor at a time?

Yes - at work
- 6 (15%)
Yes - at home
- 7 (17.5%)
Yes - both
- 9 (22.5%)
No - but maybe I should
- 11 (27.5%)
No - it sucks
- 7 (17.5%)

Total Members Voted: 27


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Author Topic: Multiple monitors  (Read 17636 times)

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Bill Brasky

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 10:49:29 PM »


Arite.  Thanks for the offer, by the way.

When I'm ready to be serious I'll c/p a list of specs from a model I find suitable and see what we can arrive at. 

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Alex Libman

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2009, 09:19:00 AM »

How many monitors do you think they'll let me have in prison when they take me for tax resistance?  :cry:

Everything is a matter of habit.  In some situations, it's better not to elevate yours...

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rabidfurby

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 07:30:32 PM »

M$, on Intel dual-dual, or one Quad.  It seems HP and Dell are fuckin around with both, stacking their chips and what-not.  I probably won't be serious for a few months, but is one much better, or should one be avoided?  To me, it sounds like dual-dual would be better, because quad is not perfect yet. 

Dual-core vs. quad is pretty irrelevant for average desktop use. The increase in cores only boosts performance for a narrow set of problems, and the CPU is very rarely the bottleneck anyway. If any of the Best Buy drones tried to sell you on it being twice as fast, you should have punched them in the face. Your best bet would be a fast dual-core, or one of AMD's nifty triple-cores. Anything more and you're paying extra that could be better spent on a different component.

The thing thats attractive about major manufacturers is they come with all sorts of little programming features.  In their overabundance, theres a handful of stuff thats actually useful.  It comes loaded with a legal copy of Vista, and all the models I was leaning towards had every port they make, so its forward compatible for anything a normal guy would buy for a long time.  Bluetooth, antivirus teasers, and a whole bunch of stuff I probably forgot. 

Most of that stuff is gimmicks, just there to pad the manufacturer's feature list. Bluetooth, for example, can be a $15 plug-in. Antivirus and all the other software that comes bundled with new PCs are crap. If I were to get a prebuilt machine, the first thing I'd do is a completely clean OS install from scratch. (except most manufacturers don't give you a real re-install disk, just a "recovery disk" that reloads all their bullshit)

Having one built custom is definitely the best way to go. You'll get a better machine, faster and more reliable, for less money. And you can get some things that you'd never see on a mid-range desktop model, like a 10K RPM drive, that'll make it absolutely screaming fast.
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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 07:53:42 PM »

M$, on Intel dual-dual, or one Quad.  It seems HP and Dell are fuckin around with both, stacking their chips and what-not.  I probably won't be serious for a few months, but is one much better, or should one be avoided?  To me, it sounds like dual-dual would be better, because quad is not perfect yet. 

Dual-core vs. quad is pretty irrelevant for average desktop use. The increase in cores only boosts performance for a narrow set of problems, and the CPU is very rarely the bottleneck anyway. If any of the Best Buy drones tried to sell you on it being twice as fast, you should have punched them in the face. Your best bet would be a fast dual-core, or one of AMD's nifty triple-cores. Anything more and you're paying extra that could be better spent on a different component.

The thing thats attractive about major manufacturers is they come with all sorts of little programming features.  In their overabundance, theres a handful of stuff thats actually useful.  It comes loaded with a legal copy of Vista, and all the models I was leaning towards had every port they make, so its forward compatible for anything a normal guy would buy for a long time.  Bluetooth, antivirus teasers, and a whole bunch of stuff I probably forgot. 

Most of that stuff is gimmicks, just there to pad the manufacturer's feature list. Bluetooth, for example, can be a $15 plug-in. Antivirus and all the other software that comes bundled with new PCs are crap. If I were to get a prebuilt machine, the first thing I'd do is a completely clean OS install from scratch. (except most manufacturers don't give you a real re-install disk, just a "recovery disk" that reloads all their bullshit)

Having one built custom is definitely the best way to go. You'll get a better machine, faster and more reliable, for less money. And you can get some things that you'd never see on a mid-range desktop model, like a 10K RPM drive, that'll make it absolutely screaming fast.
I agree completely!  Thats why I've been building custom systems for the past 10 years.  My current box is better than ANY Best Buy box yet the cost of it was miniscule in comparison to what it would have cost if it came from Alienware or a similar company.

On the X2 vs. X4 debate, I think it really depends on what you're doing.  I saw a noticeable difference when I swapped out my 2.8ghz X2 for a 3.0 X4, but I'm typically running a minimum of 85 processes at any given moment including ftp serving and whatnot.  Although I agree the average bloke will not notice any difference between the two.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2009, 10:40:13 PM »

It doesn't bother me to admit theres a fuck-ton of stuff I don't know about these things, thats why I bring it here instead of taking my overinflated head into Best-Buy and think I know what's what.

I don't have a problem with a custom box.  Weighing the pro's and con's is the only sensible way I have of deciding what product (and its reliability) better suits my needs.

My thing isn't for high-end gaming.  But I'd like to use it during down-time for watching some hi-def (or just very good quality) movies on a flat 22", and maybe plug it into a big screen.  So it should be able to handle basic media issues like a good frame rate without strobing.

But this thing is primarily gonna be for business, so think high-end consumer model with some bells and whistles.  Lots of ports, dual CD/DVD rom, some convenience plugs in the front, Bluetooth would be cool. 

When you shop for that stuff and do the add/subtract game on the product website, you normally end up in the $1200 range, or higher.  But theres a lot of stuff I don't need, also.  Like Quicken, Photoshop, and god knows what else is crammed in that box. 

I want a good, bare bones, solid machine with lots of horsepower that'll still be running five years from now, that can power a minimum of two panels.  With Vista.  Any other software (unless someone recommends a must-have) I will install prog-by-prog as I see fit.  I'd also like the drive partitioned so I can experiment with Ubuntu, I don't know how to go about doing that. 

I even don't mind scrimping on internal memory, because I use a lot of external drives and swap them here and there for different reasons.   250GB would be plenty. 

On the bright side, there would be no passive spyware by the manufacturer surripitously installed, and all the product registration and trial bullshit they try to cram up your ass.  Those are excellent benefits of a custom box. 

If all goes well with my plans, I'm all for having a sit-down and doing a design.  And I understand making it worth your while.  Think it over, decide what the proper components would be, and hit me with an estimate.
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hellbilly

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2009, 11:23:06 PM »

I'm building a new PC now actually..

The finished piece will come in under a thousand (after rebates). After doing a lot of price comparisons, newegg.com had the most deals, and shipping was fast & free. Here's a breakdown of components to give you and idea of the price..

case - 66.00
motherboard - 169.00
processor (core i7 920) - 280.00
6gb memory - 80.00
power supply - 75.00
video card - 185.00
2 500mb drives to configure as RAID - 120.00

The motherboard is "Tri-Sli" ready, which means I can install 3 video cards to be used simultaneously.. which I think is pretty neat. This PC will be used for a lot of Photoshopping and should be double the speed of my Mac laptop which is a 2ghz core 2 duo... a lot of gibberish sounding shit I know, I don't even really know half this shit. But I built my last PC 7 years ago and did fine so I thought I'd do it again.

You mentioned memory above but I think you meant disc space right? memory counts when you have a bunch of stuff going on, or running memory hog programs like Photoshop.

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Bill Brasky

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2009, 11:56:27 PM »


Yeah, storage space, disc.

Thats pretty much the stuff I'm looking for.  Those i7's get top reviews.  Sounds like a good rig. 

I like the RAID idea.  I saw HP doing that.  Thats probably where I can skimp, I don't need it.  And I don't really care about the case, as long as it breathes. 

That machine would probably fetch about $1700 if it came from a brand name.


Maybe I should think about doing it myself.   It'd be a good exercise. 
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hellbilly

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 01:04:51 AM »

The case I got is really snazzy.. in an 80's kinda way :)

You should DIY. Research to make sure the parts are compatible (motherboard & processor mostly)- then build one while you have your current rig online so you can google shit if you run into a problem.

It's pretty much just assembling the stuff.
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rabidfurby

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2009, 01:09:25 AM »

Yeah, storage space, disc.

Thats pretty much the stuff I'm looking for.  Those i7's get top reviews.  Sounds like a good rig. 

For what you want to do, an i7 would be complete overkill. So would $1200 worth of parts - you can build a very capable machine for a lot less. Since you're thinking of a home-theaterish setup, you could spend the money you save on some really nice surround sound speakers, bigger/more monitors, etc.

If I was building a new desktop right now, it'd be something like this. $600, plus monitor & peripherals, and it'll run circles around anything comparably priced from Worst Buy.

I like the RAID idea.  I saw HP doing that.  Thats probably where I can skimp, I don't need it.  And I don't really care about the case, as long as it breathes. 

RAID 0 on a boot drive is a bad idea anyway. It does boost performance, but the price you pay is lower reliability. It halves your mean time-to-failure - if either of the two drives dies, the entire array is unusable, and your machine is fucked. Plus, if you ever need to upgrade or replace your motherboard, the array can be unreadable unless your new motherboard has a compatible RAID controller - unlikely.

A small 10k RPM boot drive with a bigger drive for storage is only a little more expensive, and works much, much better. That's what I have in this system and it runs beautifully.
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hellbilly

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2009, 01:16:40 AM »

What about a partition on one drive of the RAID? ..a RAID 1 specifically.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2009, 01:37:48 AM »

Yeah, storage space, disc.

Thats pretty much the stuff I'm looking for.  Those i7's get top reviews.  Sounds like a good rig. 

For what you want to do, an i7 would be complete overkill. So would $1200 worth of parts - you can build a very capable machine for a lot less. Since you're thinking of a home-theaterish setup, you could spend the money you save on some really nice surround sound speakers, bigger/more monitors, etc.

If I was building a new desktop right now, it'd be something like this. $600, plus monitor & peripherals, and it'll run circles around anything comparably priced from Worst Buy.

I like the RAID idea.  I saw HP doing that.  Thats probably where I can skimp, I don't need it.  And I don't really care about the case, as long as it breathes. 

RAID 0 on a boot drive is a bad idea anyway. It does boost performance, but the price you pay is lower reliability. It halves your mean time-to-failure - if either of the two drives dies, the entire array is unusable, and your machine is fucked. Plus, if you ever need to upgrade or replace your motherboard, the array can be unreadable unless your new motherboard has a compatible RAID controller - unlikely.

A small 10k RPM boot drive with a bigger drive for storage is only a little more expensive, and works much, much better. That's what I have in this system and it runs beautifully.

Cool.  I'll match them specs against some stuff I'm looking at.  Thanks, furb. 
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rabidfurby

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2009, 02:14:40 AM »

What about a partition on one drive of the RAID? ..a RAID 1 specifically.

RAID 1 is the opposite - better reliability, but you don't gain any performance. For RAID to be effective, you really want RAID 5. You get a performance boost and improved reliability.

And personally, I would never trust the RAID controller built into a motherboard - only software RAID done by the OS, or a full-fledged standalone RAID controller if I was building a serious monster of a server. On all but the most high-end mobos, the RAID controller is actually purely in software. This means it has no real performance advantage over OS-based RAID, and it's not as reliable, because the implementation and disk format varies from chipset to chipset, vs. having stable, well-tested RAID implementations in both Windows and Linux.
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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2009, 05:17:51 AM »

What about a partition on one drive of the RAID? ..a RAID 1 specifically.

RAID 1 is the opposite - better reliability, but you don't gain any performance. For RAID to be effective, you really want RAID 5. You get a performance boost and improved reliability.

And personally, I would never trust the RAID controller built into a motherboard - only software RAID done by the OS, or a full-fledged standalone RAID controller if I was building a serious monster of a server. On all but the most high-end mobos, the RAID controller is actually purely in software. This means it has no real performance advantage over OS-based RAID, and it's not as reliable, because the implementation and disk format varies from chipset to chipset, vs. having stable, well-tested RAID implementations in both Windows and Linux.
True.  If I was going to build a sever dedicated system I would go wtih RAID 1 too.  If it wasn't sensitive info dedicated I would go with either 1 hard drive or 2 in RAID 0.  My brother went with RAID 0 and is having a blast with it so far. 1 year with no problems.  I'm running RAID 0 and have a couple extra drives as well and I haven't had an issue.  Of couse I'm running Seagate 32 mb "RAID 0" brand drives whch are allegedly designed to eliminate RAID issues, but I don't think that's the reason I haven't had any problems so far (3 years).  I noticed a small difference when upgrading to RAID 0 and for me, it was nice, but I don't think the average person is going to notice any difference.  Honestly, I just did it for the "numismatic" value. 
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freeAgent

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2009, 10:55:36 AM »

What about a partition on one drive of the RAID? ..a RAID 1 specifically.

RAID 1 is the opposite - better reliability, but you don't gain any performance. For RAID to be effective, you really want RAID 5. You get a performance boost and improved reliability.

And personally, I would never trust the RAID controller built into a motherboard - only software RAID done by the OS, or a full-fledged standalone RAID controller if I was building a serious monster of a server. On all but the most high-end mobos, the RAID controller is actually purely in software. This means it has no real performance advantage over OS-based RAID, and it's not as reliable, because the implementation and disk format varies from chipset to chipset, vs. having stable, well-tested RAID implementations in both Windows and Linux.

I've heard that RAID 5 can actually decrease performance on systems that use a software-based RAID controller.  That may not be true anymore though, especially with quad core processors, etc.

I've used RAID 0 before and it's not worth it IMO.  Just get a lot of RAM and a fast disk and you're fine.
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pete1061

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Re: Multiple monitors
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2009, 08:28:10 AM »

How did a topic about multiple monitors turn into a RAID discussion?

I used to have a dual monitor setup a few years ago, but I abandoned it.
I've found dual monitors (or more) is great for productivity applications.
But it is sometimes quirky for general purpose or gaming use.
A lot of games get buggy with more than monitor active.
I got tired of disabling the 2nd monitor every time I played a game.
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