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Computers and OS, some advice please.

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Hi everyone, I''m looking to buy a new computer right now, but I''m not going to purchase anything "top of the line". I will mainly use the system for game dev and other software dev. I saw a system within my price range...but it had a 2.6 GHz Celeron processor. What exactly is the difference between a Celeron and a P4? The system is only 400$ Cdn (about 300$ US), has 40GB HD, integrated Gfx and sound, 128 MB ram (I would upgrade this to 512 atleast)...no monitor....just the basics. So, with a limited budget, is this a bad move? Is it worth spending twice as much to get a decent P4? (doesn''t seem like it to me based on the end use). One more question...what is the difference between XP home and XP professional? There is a cost difference... Thanks a lot!

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If you're up to it you might want to give linux or a *BSD a try, they're free and a good learning experience. Mandrake linux is fairly easy to set up, but even that takes quite a lot more work to get some things to work compaired to windows. You can still develop for windows if you want to with it, too.
EDIT:
I forgot to explain the difference between a celeron and a p4. A p4 has better branch prediction and pipelining than a celeron, and probably has other goodies such as MMX (I'm not an expert on CPU's). You should generally opt for the newer version if you plan on running cpu intensive applications or games, but a celeron is fine if you don't mind sacrificing some speed.

EDIT:
I stop looking at this thread for a day and look what happens. I removed my obviously wrong statement about win xp pro being more stable than win xp home (which I based off some other stuff I heard about it). I still reccomend linux, though :D

[edited by - brassfish89 on February 20, 2004 8:25:18 PM]

[edited by - brassfish89 on February 21, 2004 12:22:06 PM]

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I don''t have much of a hardware background, but here''s a useful link.

What is the difference between a Pentium and a Celeron processor?
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question268.htm

As for buying the computer, considing the monitor is one of the most expensive components, what your looking at might not be such a great deal. Try the Dell computers website and see what sort of packaged deals they are offering. I know in NZ they seem to offer the best deals, though I''ve never actually brought one (I did like the Dells I''ve used though).

As for XP Home vs XP Pro, try:
http://www.cheaperwindows.com/html/XPVersions.asp or the much more indepth:
http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_home_pro.asp

All things considered, XP Home works fine so long as you keep up with the patching treadmill. And if you really hate it you can always get Linux.. I''m a web developer by trade and I do all my work on XP (both Home, at home, and Pro at the office), and with the stuff I do I''ve never actually noticed a difference between the OS''es.

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Those links already provided pretty much sum it up. Usually, XP Home is just fine and it really isn''t any less patch prone than XP Pro since they use all the same basic parts.

Just to clear something up, XP Home is nothing like the 9x (95/98/ME) series. That series is gone now. XP Pro is in no way more stable than XP Home. The only thing you _might_ get (i''m not sure) is more utilities to help maintain your computer, but nothing more as far as that goes.

But as far as the p4 goes, you will notice a difference between the speeds of the two computers - no doubt. However, you may be much more well served by ensuring that your hard drive is 7200 RPM, since a lot of the build process requires hard drive access. The 128MB of RAM and the 40GB of hard drive space might not be enough if you''re heavy into development - especially the 128MB of RAM. If you''re looking to keep it around that price, see if you can get around 256MB or install the extra 128MB yourself. Otherwise, you might think twice because despite the good price - you won''t be lasting long with something like that. Especially if you get serious.

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quote:
Original post by Hoser
integrated Gfx and sound

No-one whos at least semi-serious about computers should ever have intergrated graphics or sound. They''re always inferior, bad quality, and lacking in features. Drivers are almost always shoddy as well. If you''re really short on cash you could go with intergrated sound and replace it later, but for the love of all things good and proper get yourself a proper graphics card.

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quote:
Original post by Hoser
The system... has 40GB HD, integrated Gfx and sound, 128 MB ram (I would upgrade this to 512 atleast)...no monitor....just the basics.
First, this is a decent system. Second, buy a graphics card. A $50 card will do wonders for this system (you should be able to get a GeForce2 or GeForce3 for that price).

quote:
One more question...what is the difference between XP home and XP professional?
System utilities, primarily. XP Home is targeted at home consumers, so it has more "entertainment" extras bundled (typically low-end stuff that anybody doing any content creation finds an irritation and replaces immediately).

XP Pro is a better option for you because of the level of control it will give you, which helps a lot when developing software (debugging, services, etc).

Good luck!

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Having worked tech support, I noticed that XP Home has some networking issues. I''m sorry that I can''t be more specific, I didn''t have the time at that point to look into the matter further. I just know that on my particular college''s campus, XP Home would not work with our network.

Didn''t Celerons previously have a smaller amount of on chip cache than their equivalent Pentiums? Is this still the case? I suppose I should have just read the info at the links posted rather than just asking.

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main diffs is pro comes with iis,remote desktop,encryption and lets you join domains. the main thing that bugged me when i had home edition on my laptop is that it came with auditing enabled on harddrive and there was no way to turn it off since you cannot access local security policy in home edition so i just installed window xp media center edition on most of my computers. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is one of the most fully featured versions of the Windows operating system you can get on a home PC. It's built on Windows XP Professional, so it delivers the power, reliability, networking capabilities, and security features you expect, plus specially enhanced capabilities for digital entertainment. Media Center is a single, unified, full-screen interface for entertainment—TV, Personal Video Recording (PVR), movies, music, photos, games, and radio—designed for remote control interaction from across the room.


Which Edition Is Right for You?


When upgrading to the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, you have a choice between Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition. Windows XP Professional contains all the features of Windows XP Home Edition, plus extra features for business and advanced home computing. Is Windows XP Professional the best choice?

Ask yourself these five questions to find out which one is right for you:

Do you want to remotely access your computer so you can work with all your data and applications while away from your desk?
Remote Desktop, a feature found only in Windows XP Professional, lets you set up your computer for connection from any other Windows-based computer. Leave a file at home? Don't want to lug a laptop around? Remote Desktop gives you access to your computer from virtually anywhere. More about Remote Desktop.

Do you connect to a large network?
Windows XP Professional is best for people who connect to large networks, such as a school or office network, since it allows you to join and be managed by a Windows domain. More about joining networks.

Do you need to protect sensitive data in files and folders that are stored on your computer?
The Encrypting File System (EFS), found in Windows XP Professional but not Windows XP Home Edition, allows you to encrypt your files and folders for added security of sensitive data against theft or hackers. Restricted File Access, also found only in Professional, allows you to restrict access to selected files, applications, and other resources. More about EFS.

Do you need the ability to completely restore your system in the event of a catastrophic failure?
Windows XP Professional provides more robust options for backing up and restoring data than Home Edition. More about System Restore and other restore options.

Would you consider yourself a "power user"?
Windows XP Professional contains a number of incremental features too numerous to list here. Suffice it to say, users who demand the most from their computers will want to "go Pro." Some additional features found only in Windows XP Professional are:

Advanced networking for multiple PC environments
Internet Information Services (IIS), a Windows XP Professional feature that lets you host and manage personal Web sites
Support for multiple-processor systems
Support for multiple languages
u choose



If God played dice, He'd win.
—Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos

[edited by - daveangel on February 21, 2004 1:48:23 AM]

[edited by - daveangel on February 21, 2004 1:51:20 AM]

[edited by - daveangel on February 21, 2004 1:53:55 AM]

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My computer came with intel extreme graphics. I guess this means that there is no graphics card. But my computer runs 3d better than any computer I have ever seen, so why are graphics card better again?



Favorite Quotes:Gandalf: You shall not pass!|Smeagol: We don''t need you!|Sloth: Hey you guys!|

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Also that is pricy for that system, I agree with the other go to dell. Or you could go to wall mart



Favorite Quotes:Gandalf: You shall not pass!|Smeagol: We don''t need you!|Sloth: Hey you guys!|

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