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Advanced System Building Guide

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the clothes-can-be-an-impediment dept.

Hardware 523

Alan writes "FiringSquad has up an Advanced System Building Guide, detailing how to construct your own rig. The first half deals with hardware selection and even esoteric concepts such as PCI slot placement. The second half is focused on Windows XP, and makes recommendations such as moving the swap file and scratch disk to a separate partition." From the article: "You laugh at the so-called expertise of Best Buy's GeekSquad, and are the one doing the teaching when calling technical support. If this sounds like you, you've come to the right place if you're looking to take your system building skills to the next level."

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Welcome to The United States of LARD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016265)

The United States of Lard

by Mark Driver

We are a fat, fucking country. We're also lazy, complaining, selfish,
hypocritical assholes, but today, I'm just gonna focus on the fat part.
More than half of Americans are obese. Not just overweight mind you,
OBESE, meaning there is so much blubber on your bones, it's unhealthy.
Your lard encrusted heart pumps your greasy blood through tightening
arteries and brittle veins. Unsightly fields of poisonous cellulite dot
the noxious landscape that is your body. Our chubby children can barely
pry their fat engorged bodies out of bed. There are even reports of these
little butterballs suffering from adult diabetes, a condition that used to
take dozens of years of abuse to manifest. Like a pod of sleepy whales
sucking pure lard out of a generically mutilated mother hog covered from
snout to tail in teats, we just feed and breed. It doesn't matter what the
fuck we put into our bodies. It can be uranium soaked dog feces sprinkled
with live baby tarantulas, tapeworm eggs, cigarette buts and diesel fuel
causing impotence, baldness, spontaneous abortion, and premature death -
as long as it's battered, fried, and salted: it's dinner.

New National Anthem (sung to the tune of anything by N' Sync)

Suck and sleep,
Mate and eat.
Breed and feed,
Breed and feed.
Don't lather.
or rinse,
or chew,
just repeat.

How did everyone get so fat? Our grandparents weren't fat. Most senior
citizens aren't fat (maybe the fat ones die off early). George Washington
wasn't fat. Abe Lincoln wasn't fat. Ben Franklin was fat, but he made up
for it in charm (from what I hear). In random snapshots of history, most
people aren't fat. They didn't have the luxury of a life where you spent
15 hours a day laying on your back. They didn't have the luxury of a
purely sedentary lifestyle. If they wanted to eat something disgustingly
unhealthy, they didn't have the luxury of waddling over to Wendy's for a
bacon triple cheese burger - they had to make it themselves by scratch.
Luxuries have their costs, don't they fatty?

So are you one of these fat asses? One of these obese, bacon-grease
drinking Americans that make up more than half of our population? Do your
rotund children roll around on the floor in their own drool, playing video
games, suffering from high blood pressure and hemorrhoids because you feed
them processed crap and never make them go outside?

It's easy to stop off at the store or pull up to the drive through window,
but if it came down to it, would you be able to provide any of the foods
you consume for yourself? Would catching a pig leave you breathless and
huffing like a broken bag pipe? Could your short, fat fingers fit around a
cow's udder for milking? Could you even climb into the seat of tractor to
dig a trench to seed some corn? Could you pull a stalk of wheat out of the
ground? Could you run after a chicken? Can you even run?

I'm not saying this to be deliberately mean, I'm saying it because you
fat, lazy, pieces of shit piss me off. What is it, like a third of the
world that's starving to death? In countries worldwide, there are human
skeletons with gaping eyes trying to make bread out of tree roots and
dust, swollen joints and bloated, empty stomachs. 5' 3" and forty pounds.
Now that's a fucking weight problem. Imagine reaction of one of these poor
souls watching American late night TV. Picture them, ribs showing through
their stained rags, broken teeth jutting out of their shrunken heads,
trying to find a place to sit on your fast food wrapper papered couch. You
hit "on", and the TV shows images of fat asses just like yourself, crying
with Richard Simmons, saying things like "I just can't stop myself from
eating! Pies! Fried Chicken! Cake! Pizza! Hamburger! I just eat and eat
and eat! I can't stop! And now look at me! I'm fat." You try to explain to
your new, malnourished friend that while there is nothing to eat in his
little dusty country, here in America, there is too much food, and no one
can stop eating it. And no, we won't share. $1.99 for everyone.

But wait, I forgot. You don't have to stop eating. You never have to
share. We have things you can do! There are all kinds of treatments for
this 'human frailty'. Get it sucked out with a vacuum cleaner! Cut it off!
Get your stomach stapled so you can't eat as much! Or wait, take a handful
of pills that keep you from absorbing your food! That's right, we can't
expect you to stop putting food in your mouth, so we have to help you at a
biological level. Just take a pill, and the fat will pass through your
body, undigested. True, it'll probably end up in your underwear because it
causes abdominal cramping, explosive diarrhea, and uncontrollable
shitting, but hey, you're gonna get skinny, right? Millions of walking
dead worldwide praying for a crust of bread and you're medicating yourself
to ensure that food leaves your body undigested. God bless America!

Hey, here's a fucking idea. Why don't you stop eating until you're sick,
and go for a fucking walk every now and then? Maybe get a hobby that
requires something more than typing on a keyboard or adjusting volume by
remote control. Try eating an orange instead of a plate of bacon. You
don't need seven different kinds of meat for lunch. Rice is more than just
an element of Nacho Cheese Chex mix. Try eating food that actually exists
in nature. Realize that Pizza Pockets are polyp inducing chemical sacks,
Mountain Dew makes your bones rot, and that if you can eat at McDonalds
without developing a stabbing stomach ache afterwards, you may already be
beyond help.

Look. The traditional American foods that we learned to eat served a
purpose once. Back when you had a farm to work on, you needed to start
your day with eggs and sausage and pancakes and toast and bacon and hash
browns and biscuits and gravy and grits and orange juice and coffee and
waffles and French toast and corn flakes, because you were out threshing
wheat and busting your ass until "dinner" (which was actually lunch), when
you stuffed your face again and went back out and worked until it got
dark. Then you went back inside and had a little snack called supper to
get up enough energy to get drunk and beat your wife and kids. Then, after
the kids were unconscious, you would complain to your wife that she'd only
given you 20 pairs of arms to help on the farm, guilt her into sex with
some Bible quotes, pass out 30 seconds later, and wake up the next day to
do it all over again.

But now, come on. We work in air-conditioned cubicles. We stand behind
cash registers. We make pizzas. We drive busses. We sit behind desks and
talk on the phone. We need about 5 calories to accomplish these feats of
nothingness. Like an apple for breakfast, a 1/4 of a bagel for dinner and
two cups of water in-between. Even most factory jobs are little more than
repetitious lever pulling. You can't eat like a farmer if you're just
pulling a lever all day. You don't need that energy, so quit eating like
you do.

A few years ago, I spent a summer in southern Minnesota, crating up
fiberglass and loading it onto trucks. It was 90 degrees and me and this
guy Austin were the entire shipping department. We were also the only
skinny people in the whole place. Everyone else just pulled levers. I was
living on Spaghetti-Os, peanut butter, spinach, and Olde English at the
time, not terribly healthy, but I was busting my ass every day, so it
didn't matter. Austin ate a can of corned beef hash with a chunk of
Velveeta melted in, spread thick between two pieces of white bread coated
in Miracle Whip, half a bag of Doritos, and washed it all down two Cokes.
Depending where you grew up this is either entirely offensive or
completely normal lunch. But he was still skinny because we spent our
shift sweating, lifting, nailing, shoving, kissing - well we didn't
actually kiss, but you get the point. Everyone else at the factory ate
equally gross or grosser things as Austin, consuming things like baloney,
Vienna sausages, and canned deviled ham that, up until then, had been
foods whose eaters were things of mystery. I eventually stopped eating
with my co-workers, partly because the smell of their lunches grossed me
out, mostly because they made fun of me for reading, for eating "rabbit
food" (i.e. anything not comprised 100% of pork by-products), for not
smoking, and for not letting them set me up with their divorced 19 year
old daughters ("her kids are real nice") . I moved my lunchroom into my
car, sitting out in the dusty parking lot, where I got to see all the fat
people coming and going through the factory gates all day long. The
workers were huge. Their spouses were huge. Their kids in the back seat
were huge. Even the fucking dogs were huge.

And I'm not just picking on the working class fat asses, because most
middle class suburban kids are worse. The parents may not be as physically
bad off, but Jesus, have you seen some of these kids? Parents have had it
beaten into their heads that letting their kids leave the house is unsafe
because of drug dealers, serial killers, and blood thirsty third world
dictators lurking at the playground, so instead of being somewhere playing
a pick-up game of kickball or racing bikes around the cul-de-sac, the
brats are tacitly encouraged to park themselves in front of glowing
entertainment units and grow as large as sperm whales.

"Timmy, time for soccer practice!"

"I'm too fat to practice! Can I skip Saturday's game too and just go to
the pizza party?"

"OK. Here's three pints of Ben and Jerry's in a huge bowl smothered
with sausage gravy and a brick of suet."

"Burp. Hey mom, I made the guy on the snowboarding game do a backflip!"

"Great! I'll give you an extra sack of buttermilk-fried Doritos and
seven boxes of Meat Trio Bagel Bites for that one!"

"Mmm. Burp. Fart. Groan. Get me a Pepsi."

Nor do I pull myself out of the equation. I was a fat slob from 1997 to
1999 inclusively. I came to Los Angeles weighing 165 pounds, and left it
pushing 205, which is scary because even though at 205 I had a gut and
looked like shit, it was still within the range (albeit right at the
border) of 'normal healthy' weight for my height. I could've put on 30
more pounds before I would've been considered obese. Thus, becoming
morbidly obese is not something easily done. You gotta work at it.

What happened? How did I put on 40 pounds in two years? Well at 165, I
barely had enough money to feed myself, I lived in a little city in
Indiana where I walked everywhere, I was having sex 10 times a week, I
went swimming all the time because I didn't have cash for anything else, I
was a strict vegetarian, the only way I could afford to get drunk was to
drink a 22oz of regional malt liquor (49 cents at the time!) on an empty
stomach. Oh, and I was 22 years old.

Then I hit LA and I had to drive my grandpa's old car everywhere because
everything was so spread out. I started getting paid so I suddenly had
money for food and booze. I didn't have many friends at first and I still
couldn't afford to go out, so I stayed home, drank, ate, and listened to
records. My girlfriend was back in Indiana, so there was no real reason to
try to keep myself looking good day to day. The nearest food to my house
was a gas station, a 7-11, and a burrito stand.

After a while, I started getting paid more, but I was getting bitter too.
The city was eating me. With every raise at work came more stupid duties
(that'll be the last time anyone asks me to mediate a message board). I
was drinking more and generally not taking care of myself. Grande
Breakfast Burrito for breakfast, 7-11 Nachos and a baloney sandwich for
lunch, two cans of Spaghetti-O's, a 40 of Colt, and half a loaf of white
bread for dinner. Then I'd go out club hopping with whoever, hitting
Norm's 24 hour Diner (the one on Lincoln in Santa Monica) on the way home,
getting an appetizer platter or a chicken fried steak breakfast to soak up
some of the alcohol before I went to sleep (it's always a great idea to
eat a full meal at 2:30 in the morning and go to bed directly afterwards).
My physical activity was limited to snowboarding 6 or 7 times a season,
and about a week of bodyboarding in Santa Monica Bay before I got a
horrible skin rash from the raw sewage they pump into the water. Oh, and I
ran my mouth a lot. That was it. I got fat and I didn't care. I ate and
drank as much as I possibly could and got no exercise. 205 is the max
weight my body can achieve. It's good to know your limits.

But in the year since moving to Seattle, I've dropped about 20 pounds and
gotten way healthier. Normal again, I suppose. I get to walk everywhere,
I'm not feeling that strange self-destructive angst that makes me think
that there's nothing wrong with sitting down and eating an entire bucket
of fried chicken. I've figured out that hey, if I eat healthy food, my ass
doesn't break out in zits and I can actually stay awake past 8 at night.
I'm not steeping in some inchoate distress anymore. Because that's what
being fat is, a strange way of getting back at yourself for reasons your
sub-conscious won't release. A way to deal with a perceived lack of
control and the disrespect you have for yourself for not taking more of a
lead in your own life. The need to overload every piece of sensory
apparatus in a hope that the hole you're feeling will somehow get filled,
that this tremendous lack in your life will suddenly disappear and there
will be reason to move forward and live bravely, purposefully, and with
real emotions. TV for our eyes, radio for our ears, food and booze for our
mouths, meaningless sex for our loins: it don't make you any happier
(well, maybe the sex makes you a little happier). So fuck it. Throw a
bunch of bananas in your backpack and spend your entire day off wandering
around your neighborhood. Buy a camera and 10 rolls of film and use your
precious Sunday taking pictures of things that inspire you, piss you off,
make you laugh, make you sad, make you want to meet some cutie pie to
spend the rest of your life with. Be someone that people have to deal
with, not some passive punching bag who just sits in a corner getting
gradually larger, and taking up more ineffectual space. Realize the inner
strength that - fuck, I'm starting to sound like an infomercial. I'm just
saying that in this world, dynamic people are in great demand, footstools
and sheep clutter the landscape. It's a quick, tough place we're in and
fat people can't run very fast or very far. Fat people don't drown, but
they can't swim either. Drop the gyro fatty, grab an apple.

I suppose that I should encourage everyone to keep getting fat. It makes
me look that much better. It makes me seem faster. I'll get wiser by
living longer. Fat fingers can't pull handgun triggers. Our fat population
would be unable to fight conventional wars (although we'd go to Defcon 1
every time there was a shortage in Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies). Fat people
go to church and pay their taxes. I can sell them lots of food, and oils
as well. I could fashion the Mark Driver Lime and Tequila Diet, and have
my first (and only) bestselling book. I could transform old cargo planes
into Lardo Airlines where the seats are all triple-wide, the buffet is
always open, and our motto is "Smile, tubby! Your fat ass is on vacation!"
Think of it: fat trains, extra fat mattresses, vending machines selling
pails of French fries, gas powered stomach pumpers, newspapers with rubber
handles, self cooking sausage, his n' hers deep fryers, mail order onion
rings, ranch dressing transfusions, 40-piece individual chicken dinner, a
smaller car to drive from your front door to your real car, extra large
crematoriums, groan activated remote control TV, a fart powered
dishwasher, diesel toilet equipped with a garbage disposal, reinforced
moving sidewalks where you can just lay there and get moved to the
restaurants all over town .......

But I want to help, really.

So what do we do about all this? I think people have become too far
removed from the foods they eat. I say we enact a new law, and it goes
like this: If you can't produce it, you can't eat it. You can't enjoy a
steak until you go to a government licensing station and kill a cow in
front of federal agents. Then you get a little cow picture stamped on your
Eating ID card. Want some chicken? Here's a knife and a tub to drain the
blood into. You want some nachos? Well, sign up for the 3 week course that
takes you through salt mining, corn husking, lard rendering as well as the
synthesizing of disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, and the
National Endowment for the Arts has allowed for nice, uncontroversial
artists to teach you about Artificial Color. Oh, you want a Pizza Pocket?
Due to the offensive amount of ingredients, that's a 4 year course
available only at the Toledo branch, but the waiting list is quite short,
actually. What's that? You're just going to stick to green beans and
tomatoes? Great. Our records show you are already capable, you just need
to lose enough weight to actually bend over and touch the ground.

Of course, this will do much to destroy the years this country has spent
developing industries of specialization that make sure we never have to
dirty our hands, but with 99.9% of all people specializing in little more
than shoving handfuls of gooey cheese and fried meat into their morbidly
obese bodies, I think a little revolution is in order, don't you? Our
children will thank us.

oxyidiot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016277)

How can an "advanced system" be running Windows XP?

Re:oxyidiot? (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016318)

Did you even read the article? The author actually "explains" his choice... playing games and better color management.

Re:oxyidiot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016364)

Well call it a Gaming Color-Managed System Building Guide then.

Re:oxyidiot? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016477)

Well call it a Gaming Color-Managed System Building Guide then.
No. A professional website will obviously use the most advanced operating system available. Everybody with some experience in the IT-industry will know that XP Home has everything that a corporate-level solution will need to orchestrate world-class experiences and syndicate interactive functionalities like games.

Look at Google. They are running XP exclusively, which is why their servers (running the leading web-server IIS) are so much faster than the cheap Apache-servers running on low-end servers.

Re:oxyidiot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016365)

Correct; it should be running Win2K to avoid giving BillG the keys to your, well, keyboard.

Re:oxyidiot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016412)

Do you suggest Linux for gaming? See Tux Racer in all its anti-aliased glory!

Re:oxyidiot? (1)

brilinux (255400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016445)

Plus, he claims that when he uses Linux, it is Vector Linux, because it is "easier than Gentoo". He probably is just not that knowledgable about using non-Windows OSes.

You builder, you. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016288)

If this sounds like you, you've come to the right place if you're looking to take your system building skills to the next level."

If this sounds like you then you have almost reached nirvana. Soon, you will learn the advanced knowledge of how to call Dell.

Take the article with a grain of salt (5, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016289)

You should always have a dedicated partition for your temp files and swap file. It's tempting to actually put this on a separate physical drive to reduce the wear and tear on the main drive, but the disadvantage is that upgrading to a larger hard drive a more involved process.

Reduce wear and tear? Really? I've heard many reasons why one should do this (improving perfmance & reducing fragmentations which he mentions later), but reducing wear and tear?

Also, I'd love to find a pointer to building an inexpensive (not cheap, there's a difference), reliable machine... much more interesting to me anyway.

Re:Take the article with a grain of salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016338)

From my experience, the system is overall much snappier with the page file on a seperate physical drive. Even with 1 GB of RAM, my XP machine at home feels like it's doing less "thinking" and more ... well, "doing". Wear and tear have nothing to do with it.

And no, I'm not going to switch to Linux before anyone suggests it. Modern Linux distros make a modern machine feel like a 3-year-old machine.

Yes, reducing (2, Informative)

2names (531755) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016345)

wear and tear. Each time the machine has to swap or write temp files, the physical moving parts of the hard drive experience wear.

If you can reduce the amount of this wear on your OS and data drives by placing swap and temp on a physically seperate drive, you may prevent major data loss.

I would think this would be obvious, but I guess not.

Re:Yes, reducing (4, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016391)

Insignificant in the MTBF calculation. Ask a hw engineer. The rotational assembley that spins the platters (the speed of which is constant) is by far the biggest failure mechanism.

Hmmm (3, Interesting)

2names (531755) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016428)

It has been my personal experience that the armature fails on drives much more often than the rotational assembly.

Your experience may vary, but I'll stick with seperate drives for temp and swap.

Yes, reducing-FAT HD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016436)

"Ask a hw engineer. The rotational assembley that spins the platters (the speed of which is constant) is by far the biggest failure mechanism."

Try the control board. Then the mechanical assembly.

Re:Yes, reducing (3, Informative)

ashmedai (869288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016540)

I hang out over at StorageReview, and a while ago there was a post where someone did so. The feedback amounted to that:
  1. Concentrated seeks from pagefiles etc do not negatively impact the hard drive's life span because the head does not ever come in physical contact with the disk, and in fact
  2. Concentrated reads/writes actually increase the hard drive's reliability because it remagnetizes that region every time it is written to.

Re:Take the article with a grain of salt (2, Informative)

pg110404 (836120) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016455)

Reduce wear and tear?
I agree. To avoid wear and tear, it's better to have the swap file on a separate harddrive whose main task is that alone (perhaps a drive for periodic archival?). That would also give the extra performance.

If you need the extra performance by moving the swap, moving it to a separate partition will just slow everything down because the head has to move further on the platter to get there. If it's interspersed among your data, the chances it needs to hunt for the right track is that much reduced because it's already pretty close to being there already. If you're not actively using more virtual memory than physical ram, where the swap space is doesn't do a whole lot of difference because you're not doing a whole lot of swapping.

A dedicated drive gives the speed AND longevity.

Re:Take the article with a grain of salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016548)

Obviously, there is some lack of reading comprehension here.

The article talked about using a separate *PARTITION* to reduce wear and tear.

It's nonsense.

Re:Take the article with a grain of salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016584)

Actually, you are the one with the lack of reading comprehension. The article says you can put the swap on a seperate partition, but it is tempting to put it on another hard drive to save wear and tear.

Yes, mechanical parts WILL wear out (4, Informative)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016462)

You need to remember that hard drives are NOT solid state devices. They have bearings and mechanical parts. The first rule of thumb when it comes to PCs or any kind of equipment is that "The question is not if the parts will wear out but when the parts will wear out."

That being said, the hard drives will wear out. Period. End of story. Some might die in a few months, some in a few years, and some might never die before you replace them.

Even more important is the conecpt of multiple spindles to do multiple jobs. If you have one drive that suddenly hits swap because you're doing something, not only will your system grind to a halt because the drive head is loaded with contention (it can only do one job at once, obviously) but you're adding that much more wear and tear.

With the swap on a separate drive (and preferably on a separate IDE channel, assuming that that's what you're doing), the main drive can do whatever it needs to do while letting the other drive take care of the swap. So, not only are you greatly increasing potential throughput and system efficiency, you're dramatically reducing wear and tear on the drive head mechanism.

Re:Yes, mechanical parts WILL wear out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016520)

Just remember, when the more components you add, the higher the probability for failure. You now have a system with a lower MTBF

Re:Yes, mechanical parts WILL wear out (1)

ashmedai (869288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016585)

Wrong. Probability is individually deterministic, not cumulative as you are assuming. Go look at the Monty Hall problem [wikipedia.org] for a good example.

Totally weak article (5, Insightful)

Quantum Fizz (860218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016560)

The article was weak, only the first page dealt with hardware, and that focused primarily on fans and hard drive with brief mentions of case and power supply. No talk about mobo's, busses, CPUs, etc. The next 4 pages dealt with tweaking Windows XP, which was useless for me. And the slashdot summary implied half the article was about hardware, what a bunch of crap.

Perhaps the only interesting tidbit in the article was the mention of using ferrite bead chokes on the analog lines, which was interesting to me only as far as it's the first time I've seen any mention of ferrite chokes outside of EE circles.

Only after reading that horrid article did I see it was on a gamers website, so that makes sense why they focus so much time on tweaking XP, but even for the hard-core gamers I'm surprised they didn't talk about more hardware options.

Maybe there are some interesting things in the 4 pages of Windows XP stuff, but for me that article was pretty useless.

Re:Take the article with a grain of salt (1)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016578)

I created a separate partition for my xp install at home. But (and this depends on how much physical memory you have), I did it to reduce fragmentation and so I could format the partition as FAT32.

FAT32 is not as space efficient as NTFS for larger partitions (and you're way limited, but it allows drive sizes large enough for most user's memory space), but it works faster as there's not the same overhead as NTFS. Having it on a separate drive will also improve performance (much like having SWAP on a separate drive under linux), but I wouldn't say is a requisite for most "advanced computer people."

Re:Take the article with a grain of salt (2, Informative)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016590)


Yes, the extra ten minutes you need to spend going through config dialogs every time you upgrade to a larger hard drive (and how often does one do that? About once a year? Once every two years?) is more than enough justification to subject your system drive to more "wear and tear" every day.

Disappointed. I assumed an article on "advanced" system building would include a lot more work with a soldering iron and tin snips.

Fourth Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016293)

Biatch!

GeekSquad? (3, Funny)

yetdog (760930) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016295)

They actually call themselves that? Come on - like any retail store paying their clerks $7 an hour is going to have top notch techies there.

People are stupid. That's how these businesses stay afloat.

Re:GeekSquad? (1)

pianoman113 (204449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016370)

I'm told GeekSquad makes more in the $15/hr range.

Re:GeekSquad? (2, Interesting)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016394)

I actually worked in Best Buy out here when I was 16 years old and they started the "BAY TECHNICIANS" at $7/hr. It was sad... Then the geek squad came in. Man, I have never seen so much advertising for a crew that works on computers. I did not join the Geek Squad because I didn't want to wear a uniform that rivals Burger King... But the customer line speaks for itself, and everyone in that line wasn't happy. I started dropping off my card to people telling them to call me if they wanted a better deal. Well.. Best Buy is a big company and they sure can sell a product. Too bad that they cant sell the service too.

Re:GeekSquad? (1)

Menotti M (846491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016553)

I started dropping off my card to people telling them to call me if they wanted a better deal.

Dropped your card off to people while you were in Best Buy? If I saw that, I woulda gladly asked you to leave our store. Just because you don't think we are qualified to work on machines (most of us are), doesn't give you the right to solicit in our store. We get plenty of people like you who talk the talk and, yes, it sucks that big business is taking over a normally small business market in personal consultation, but live with it and don't bothor me while I'm working.

Re:GeekSquad? (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016421)

They actually do. A big poster at a Best Buy advertising this: "We put our pants on one leg a time, just like anyone else... but ours are polyester". There were others with similiarly transparent attempts at creating "geek cred".

Re:GeekSquad? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016473)

I recently heard an employee at Best Buy use the term "Geek Squad." The irony was overwhelming, so I had to ask.

Turns out that "Geek Squad" was a small company in some middle-sized town (Columbus, maybe.) They were competing with Best Buy. So Best Buy did what corporate giants always do. (No, they didn't study the competition and analyze it's strengths. Funny suggestion, though.) Of course, they just bought them out.

And, to add insult to table salt (or whatever), they decided that the one part of the company they would actually use would be the name.

My 1337 system building tip! (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016299)

Just because your case comes with 60 brass standoffs doesn't mean it's a good idea to use them all!

Ugh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016311)

Is this REALLY front page news? Must be a sloooow news day to have such a low-brow article grace the front page.

Re:Ugh (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016372)

You saw the mc chris article, right?

so sad (4, Funny)

notsoanonymouscoward (102492) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016315)

He lost me at "I like Maxtor". Anyone who recommends maxtor hdds is either on the take, or hasn't been building systems for very long. Either case... I'd pass a bestbuy job application his way.

Re:so sad (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016363)

Can you provide any figures of relative failure rates between different manufacturers/model numbers of hard drives? My understanding was that, excepting certain infamous models (120 GXP "Death Star") made by IBM/Hitachi, all consumer-level hard drives have the same, small, failure rate.

Re:so sad (2, Informative)

pianoman113 (204449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016406)

I suspect that hdd brand choice could spark a small-scale religious war.

I've had great success with almost every brand out there (those that I've tried, have worked great), and I've seen spectacular failures with most of them.

Re:so sad (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016416)

Do you actually mean the 75 instead of 120GXP? It's well known that the first generation of 75GB IBM/Hitachi had major issues. Is 120 really a problem too? I thought they fixed it.

Re:so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016491)

I must have got really lucky w/ my 75GXPs I've got a set of 2 of the 15 GB and 20GB DeathStars that have been running in RAID 0 for the past 3.5 years w/o a hicup (knock on wood).

Ironically, the only IBM drive I've had die in a home system was a 10KRPM U160 drive, after about a month and a half of serving as the system drive for my DC.

Re:so sad (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016606)

You connected a harddrive up to your Dreamcast?

Re:so sad (1)

notsoanonymouscoward (102492) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016459)

nope. nor is it my job to do so. i'm just stating an opinion, which you are free to validate, disagree with, or ignore. being more familiar with the maxtor RMA process than anyone else i know makes me feel capable of making such statements. every time i get suckered in by their lower prices, i have had to re-learn this lesson.

Re:so sad (2, Insightful)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016532)

A lot of these things are impressions formed early on and never really change. And you are right nobody who goes on about them can ever really produce solid numbers. I've used Maxtors for years and never had a minutes trouble with one. OTOH don't get me started about Seagate. This is mostly due to the fact that I had 3 die on me in a row many years back. They were all bought within days of each other from the same store. The correct lesson is, of course, that batch sucked. The emotional lesson is that Seagate sucks. I've even talked to Maxtor haters who have never had a Maxtor fail but have just taken it as accepted knowledge that they suck. So yeah it is all pretty much just religion at this point.

so sad-Slam Dancing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016381)

"He lost me at "I like Maxtor". Anyone who recommends maxtor hdds is either on the take, or hasn't been building systems for very long."

Most brands are one year. So complaining about one particular brand doesn't mean much. Now the Seagates are longer, but you pay more (naturally).

Re:so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016397)

Huh? Maxtor and Seagate-branded HDDs are probably some of the most reliable you can get your hands on.

Re:so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016400)

What's wrong w/ Maxtor? I have had a hell of a lot better luck w/ their drives than any other manufacturer and I've been building PCs since the 486 days....

Re:so sad (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016437)

The really surrealistic thing is that i've had friends Maxtor hard drives die on them, yet i've never had any Maxtor hard drives die on me. (been building systems for myself, relatives, friends, various jobs for about 10 years now)

I've had Seagate and WD drives die on me but never Maxtor.

I think it's Maxtor trying to lull me into a false sense of security, the moment I start trusting Maxtor and putting their drives in everything *BAM* every single Maxtor hard disk i've ever bought will all simultaneously combust into flames.

Re:so sad (4, Insightful)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016446)

Anyone who recommends maxtor hdds is either on the take, or hasn't been building systems for very long. No matter which HD brand you recommend SOMEONE is going to tell you they had bad luck with them. I've actually had fairly GOOD luck with Maxtor. I have had two go bad on me, one was due to overheating (4 disk drives stacked one next to each other in a tight case and not enough air flow). The middle drive would go south (seek errors up the wazoo). The other failure was a case of static zap. I should have grounded myself before yanking cables to swap drives around. First time I EVER had a hd stop working. COMPLETLY. The bios couldn't find it. Maxtor replaced the zapped drive by mail real quick. The other drive actually starting working again when I gave it some room to breath (removed the extra drives from the box and cut down on the heat).

BTW the CompUSA branded Maxtor drives just might be better made. And I've heard nothing but bad news about Segate and WD (and in the past IBM. Don't know if Hattachi has made things any better).

Speedy Delivery. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016316)

Move your swap file to it's own SCSI disk (small one)

He should read his How-to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016323)

Perhaps if he had built a more advanced system, it would have been able to handle the Slashdotting.

Two posts and he's toast. Next article please.

Boring (5, Funny)

bigbadbob0 (726480) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016325)

Next week on slashdot: "How to get a cooler screensaver."

Re:Boring (5, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016448)

Step 1: Disable pop-up blocker.
Step 2: Click.

Re:Boring (1)

xNoLaNx (653172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016509)

Step 3: Profit Well, profit for whoever's webpage you're on.

Re:Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016569)

Bah, thats easy, I just open these .scr files I keep getting in the email!

Pci slots? (5, Funny)

iwearnosox (630981) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016327)

Professional tip: I try to line my PCI slots up with the case, the cards work better that way.

Boring (5, Insightful)

Necrotica (241109) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016340)

"...you've come to the right place if you're looking to take your system building skills to the next level."
The next level isn't very good on details, but full of personal opinions put forth by the author. I wouldn't call that the next level whatsoever. I'd call his article "Things you may want to consider when building a machine." YAWN.

If you're so l33t (-1, Flamebait)

mstromb (869949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016344)

... what the hell are you doing calling me at work?

Seriously, if you're so damn smart, why are you trying to call Best Buy?

Honestly, I'm going to be late for work, because I'm too busy getting gentoo running with reiser4 and udev. The vast majority of geek squad employees are just a bit smarter than you think.

Re:If you're so l33t (1)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016517)

Wow, kudos for actually speaking up.
How's the pay? I've heard $7/hr, but I don't know if that's accurate.
Oh, and ontopic -- if you've read TFA, what do you think of his advice?

here's a tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016349)

"Take off you clothes... The static generated by that much clothing could power a small city." -L337 M4S73R L4RG0

Re:here's a tip (2, Funny)

notsoanonymouscoward (102492) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016396)

yeah seriously, there was no mention of static damage. i thought it was going to start w/ l33t people build systems n4k3d.

lame! (-1, Offtopic)

SQLz (564901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016366)

He went through all that trouble to built a great PC and put WindowsXP on it!!! Bleh. Linux man!! Linux!

Err... how is this news again? (2, Funny)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016375)

I have to say, an advanced tweaking guide isn't really news at this point - if you want it, you go google it. (Or microsoft it, on msdn, liek l33t winhax0rze should) This seems more like a plug for someone's website to me.

GeekSquad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016378)

The BB GeekSquad has got to be the most ignorant and clueless bunch of retards I've ever talked to. I always end up unteaching the Intel FUD that has been crammed down their throats.

Me: "Actually, the Athlon 64 IS faster, because it does more per clock ..."
Retard: "But ... the P4 has a faster megahertz."

TFA (1)

gammygator (820041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016384)

I actually read it. Read like a primer for an A+ test. I kept thinking "It's Mini-Minassi".

Um... swap file? (1, Insightful)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016399)

Shouldn't you have enough RAM to disable swap entirely? No more fragmentation worries, and you're just a bit more secure, too. I don't run anything big, so I get by with a single GB.

Re:Um... swap file? (5, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016452)

Not possible for many of us. My system can't support enough RAM for some of the DB stuff I'll do. I had a 7 gig swap file last week as my poor box choked through 25 gigs of data.

What I want are 5-10 gig or larger "drives" that are made up of cheaper 66mhz SDRAM modules, yet have an IDE/SATA/SCSI/(Whatever) interface, and use one of those for swap.

Do they exist? If not, why not?

RAM Drive (1)

jabber01 (225154) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016582)

They used to, actually. I've no idea what happened to them, but there used to be ISA cards you could plug RAM into, which would then show up as HDs.

Re:Um... swap file? (2, Insightful)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016523)

I don't have the details handy, but running a swap, even if RAM is bountiful and plenty is always a good idea. It's something to the effect of the system really likes seeing the swap there, even if you technically don't need it.

-Jesse

Re:Um... swap file? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016552)

This is a stupid idea.

Next you'll tell us that some ships are unsinkable and don't need lifeboats...

Re:Um... swap file? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016589)

My drive is 5% OS and 95% swap. Then I made a huge RAMDISK to store my files. I haven't looked back.

Here's what I think (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016401)

Putting a PC system together is fucking easy. And I'm sick of the "Xtreme l337 d00dz0rz" who spout off about the little LCD temp display in their Corsair RAM modules like they're some kind of gods of Comp. Sci.

It's easy. Build your own, I do, it's fun, and cheaper in the long run. But for fuck sakes, stop bragging about it.

Also, anyone who puts their "specs" in their sig line on any forum is a complete knob. Especially the ones who go on to list nonsense shit like "Vantec 80mm exhaust fan" or "OCZ Xtreme RAM coolers" or "Zalman Copper Northbridge Cooler".

If you don't know who I'm talking about, it's probably you.

Re:Here's what I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016486)

damn I wish I had my mod poins from yesterday.

Re:Here's what I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016500)

The funny thing is you actually know the product names.

Re:Here's what I think (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016588)

/. keeps posting links to reviews of them.

Actually, vantec makes nice quiet fans, and zalman makes nice quiet coolers, and I use their stuff, because I like a nice quiet room. I just dont list them in my sig because I'm so frigging proud that I installed an aftermarket cooler that everyone needs to know about it.

The ram coolers with integrated LCDs are pure dickheadery, though.

Also, overclocking is something you do when you don't understand software. I know there's more FPS to be found by hacking/tweaking the Catalyst drivers than by overclocking my Radeon card.

Word (1)

gordonb (720772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016533)

What he said.

Knob, indeed.

Re:Here's what I think (1)

recursiv (324497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016612)

Hey, I think I have that northbridge cooler. Though I've never mentioned it in a sig. I actually only have it because the fan that was there started making the most horrendous noise.

Actually I was laughing out loud (when's the last time you saw that spelled out) reading your comment.

What the heck is this supposed to mean? (1)

TheStick (847894) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016407)

If you're playing games, you're running Windows XP. Linux is great for specialized tasks such as number-crunching or programming, or miscellaneous work, but as bad as Windows XP's color management is, it's still better than Linux.

Re:What the heck is this supposed to mean? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016485)

It means if your job depends on color accuracy, get a Mac and not a Windows or Linux based PC.

Re:What the heck is this supposed to mean? (3, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016538)

Yeah, what's wrong with XP's color management exactly?

And how is Linux better at "number-crunching", if you have the same CPU. If anything, VStudio will spew out more optimal code than GCC will, since it wasn't designed for every architecture under the sun.

And what does "Linux is better at miscellaneous work" mean?

Then again, I read one of these "I'm a computer hero because I built my own" articles that suggested you get a $1000 liscense for Windows Server 2003, because since it's more expensive and "industrial", it will invariably make your games run faster. The author then proceeded to lambast nVidia and ATI for not keeping 2003 driver sets up to date with the 98/ME/XP set.

Sheesh, just another idiot who thinks sticking components together makes him a PC idiot.

Anyone can install a soundcard, a DVD-R drive, or build a system from scratch.

Oh well, I got some miscellaneous work to do. Time to reboot into Ubuntu!

Something's rotten (1)

ashmedai (869288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016408)

"and makes recommendations such as moving the swap file and scratch disk to a separate partition" So without reading the article, I can already assume it's useless? You have to move the PAGE file to a seperate drive and it has to be on a seperate controller, before you'll see much benefit - not just to a seperate partition. Swap files haven't been used since before Windows 95.

The guide is useful for those who don't know... (5, Insightful)

dauthur (828910) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016413)

Here in Oklahoma City (No, I'm not native. I'm from MA), I work on the Geek Squad. I'm the only one with either an A+, N+ or C++ in the whole store, let alone the GS. It turns out that most people, when they think they know what they're talking about, say nothing but buzzwords like Pentium and Windows. They don't know what the difference between 802.11b and g are, and the other blokes on the Geek Squad don't even know that there IS a g. Building a computer isn't anything near as difficult as remembering what FSB freqencies are possible on a socket 370, building a computer is more like a Lego set. Things can go a few certain ways, but there's only one right way. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't belong. If only people knew even the basics about computers, Best Buy's tech bench would go out of business, and I'd move back into my Kenmore vacuum box in the alleyway.

Reader's digest version (5, Insightful)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016414)

I'll spare you the trouble - if you are aware of the list below, and do it by default when setting up a system, don't waste your time reading the article.

  • Good components = good (and bad components = bad)
  • space out PCI cards
  • use a separate partition for swap and temp
  • use a fixed-size swap file
  • don't get online with an unpatched system
  • use TweakUI
  • disable stupid windows crap

I smell BS.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016426)

I always thought it was best to have the swap and scratch on a different physical drive on a different controller set as master. Keeping these on the same drive on a different partition just slows things down more. Does anyone else smell BS here?

sigh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016431)


if by "advanced" you mean "really, really, basic" then, yes, this is the most advanced article I've read on this topic,

signed
disgruntled goat

Bestbuy called... (5, Funny)

Dacmot (266348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016434)

they want their employees back.

First step in building a machine... (5, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016449)

I have built my own systems since I don't remember when. But my first rule of thumb when building a new system - research all the technology that changed since the last time you built a system.

To put it in perspective, all of my systems at home have PC-133 memory in them. The last time I built an entire system from scratch, 80 gig drives were expensive, DDR memory didn't exist, 12x CD-RW drives were getting affordable, and we were just breaking the gigahertz barrier in CPUs.

Now I have sort of been following things, but not enough to know off the top of my head what to grab off the e-shelf to build a system. I have found that this has been the biggest challenge in building new systems.

Advanced system building (5, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016467)

I'm an experience system builder, so this article is intriguing. However, I feel he does things the long way or is unaware of better ways to do things when building custom advanced systems. For instance, when I'm building a new freelance gig for use at home, I typically click the drop-down list make sure to select exactly what is going into my custom rig. Or if there are multiple color options available (like when I'm rigging up a new custom-built MP3 player), I will click the drop-down list and select which one I want. Sometimes I might even want to put my mark on the thing and type in a custom message to be engraved on the back, just to remind people of the customization work I put into it.

I'm also curious about the PCI slot positioning part of the article, as my custom-built rigs skip that step entirely. Why bother? Often, I store my parts directly in the monitor itself or even without a monitor so I can hook the box up to anything. Then I might carefully select those drop-down lists to hot-rod the box to my liking and really custom-build an advanced freelance system by upping RAM or processor speed via careful direction of the mouse cursor when selecting drop-down lists. My system-building buddy down the street doesn't even bother with upping the RAM via the drop-down lists and just uses a putty knife to up the RAM with a custom-bought chip of his own liking, but that's getting into levels of extraneous advanced system-building that I don't have time for.

I hope my experience in advanced system building is helpful for you all. If you want to read more about my advanced system building skills, I suggest you check this out [apple.com] and take notes.

Building? (0)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016482)

Hmm...buying a few assembled components and sticking them into a box is called "building a computer". Those of us who have designed and built complicated electronic projects from components find that....amusing.

hey now (4, Interesting)

Menotti M (846491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016495)

As a part time Geek Squad agent (in the summer and during intersession), I kinda resent the author's disdain for us. True, you may run into some who don't know their ass from their elbow. But, in general, the in-store agents have much more expertise than the sales people, many have at least some certification, and the agents who do field work (Double Agents) go through a pretty legitimate training and testing period. Even if you considered Geek Squad members to be useless, the article does not provide a ton of information for individuals who "built dozens of desktop computers on your own and for others and consider yourself a seasoned system builder." The author has a bias towards Maxtor, for example, without providing any empirical evidence beside the fact that he's had good experience with them. Personally, I've had pretty good experiences with Western Digital drives too, but those aren't mentioned. He also arbitrarily comments on things like adjusting the page file, justifying his recommendations by "thinking" they are good settings. Yes, there are many great points in there, but the author has a bit too much confidence with him/herself and not enough data to back up some his more specific recommendations, not to mention some unfounded commentary on Geek Squad representatives.

The one thing I learned: (5, Insightful)

JawzX (3756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016501)

that aperently people didn't already know most of this or it wouldn't have been worth writing an article about. Imagine! placing hot PCI cards where they are easy to cool? Or perhaps moving the big RFI producers away from the sound card? jeez people. And who'da ever thunk of partitioning a drive? I've been using scratch partitions and/or redundant OS partitions for, literaly, 17 years. Since I got my first Mac with an HD. (SE with a 20 meg External!)... I mean really most of this is about how to setup XP, not how to BUILD a system.

My Karma's getting too good, So I thought I'd bitch a little.

I just built my system--Lessons learned (4, Informative)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016535)

Things that I learned from building my XP system:
  • He talks about installing SP 2 after installing XP. That's fine, if you have an SP 1 CD. But if you have a pre-SP1 CD like I do, XP will not recognize any hard drive space over 127 GB. You can't partition it or anything. XP thinks the drive is 127 GB and you're stuck. The solution (and probably a better idea even if you have an SP1 disc) is to Slipstream SP2 onto your XP install disc. Here is an explanation [winsupersite.com] of the process. Basically, you integrate SP2 into XP and burn a new CD. So when you install XP, it is automatically SP2 and recognizes the full size of the hard drive.
  • My system would not Standby properly. The fans were still on, which defeats the purpose of putting the system into Standby. You have to go into the BIOS and enable S2 or S3 Standby mode if you want the system to appear off in Standby mode, but still have 5 second startup.
  • For some odd reason, my motherboard BIOS didn't have USB 2.0 defaulted on. I have no idea why they would do that. Make sure it is changed to enable USB 2.0 support.
  • Don't forget the Administrator password. I had to do a reinstall because I forgot it. Luckily, I hadn't transferred any info at the time.

Re:I just built my system--Lessons learned (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016599)

"Don't forget the Administrator password. I had to do a reinstall because I forgot it. Luckily, I hadn't transferred any info at the time."

uh.. Theres tons of utilities that you can install onto a bootable disk or cd that can reset the password. Unless you did something stupid like setup ntfs encryption.

Awesome find (1, Funny)

nighthawk127127 (848761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016539)

Sweet, my friend and I are currently in the process of starting a custom-built PC business, and this is a great resource. Thanks!

Glaring problem with build (1)

novakane007 (154885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016550)

Why all the trouble to optimize IE? Shouldn't you be using Firefox anyway to increase system stability. It's when you're browser crashes and doesn't take your desktop with it.

Geek Squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016551)

I used to work for them when they were a small company based in Minneaplis... About 35 people or so in total. We were actually very skilled in comparison to some of the Best Buy techs wearing the Squad uniform today. I still have my badge, though.

A world of options! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12016567)

You can move or even resize your swap partition. Gosh, it must be great to work on such an open system, with so many exposed methods of optimization!

Why build? An alternative view. (4, Interesting)

Niet3sche (534663) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016571)

I'm going to studiously ignore saying anything about the article. If you can benefit from it, that's great. If not, that's fine too. Here's the meat of my post: with prices coming down and package / rebate deals on new boxes all the time, it might be tempting to ask why should I build my own box at all?.

My personal take on this (yes, I build all my boxes) used to be cost-effectiveness and component picking, but now it is simply that I can dictate exactly which components I want in my system for the same price as buying something bundled. There is no longer any real cost savings here, but I do like to maintain control over what I put in my machines (up very very very nearly 24/7 thanks to this, with downtime only to upgrade or blow out dust). So there is still merit in "rolling your own" box, as far as I am concerned.

I wanted to beat the cries of, "why would I build when I can buy for the same price?". ;)

How to avoid RFI (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016573)

Just put lead shielding around your GPU and other "noisy" items. No, wait, that would block airflow. Anyone for lead heatsinks?

You critics are missing the point (4, Funny)

-Harlequin- (169395) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016592)

Sure, criticise that he calls the article "advanced" when you're all light-years ahead, but I read the article expected to be a noobie way over my head, and discovered that I was actually an advanced system builder who simply hadn't realised how 1337 I was.

It left me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Hmm, he uses IE...no sign of Firefox (2, Insightful)

TheStick (847894) | more than 9 years ago | (#12016594)

On page 4, he talks about optimising IE, changing the cache size and stuff... But what kind of "professional" uses IE? Houston, we have a problem...
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