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Old 2007-05-08, 17:06   Link #21
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
[FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"]Off topic: @Ledgem: What anime is your avatar from?
You're the third person to ask; maybe I should put it into my signature. It's from an H-game, which has not been made into an anime series as far as I know. The game is called Eisaikyouiku and is made by a studio called Nine-Heads.

Quote:
Ok, games require big clockrates to look great at higher resolutions, understood. Adding that on to what you said about most games only being able to support one core (1.8 GHZ in my case), does that mean I'll get a weaker performance with my new system over my current if doing nothing apart from gaming?
Very unlikely. Now, I'm going to confess to you that I don't fully understand how the processor decides which core runs what, but I'm under the impression that both cores do load balancing - it isn't like one core fills up with processes and then the other starts to do work. A few years ago, when Intel wanted to make dual core Pentium M's, the concept was to have both balance the load to cut down on heat output. That was a big consideration for laptops.

So, suppose you only have a game running. Is a game really the only thing that's running? If you look in the Windows Task Manager, you'll see plenty of other processes running, too. These are system processes. They barely take up system resources, but they're still there.

I don't want to say that games don't use multiple cores at all, either. I'd guess that the processor could divide tasks, such as consideration for artificial intelligence vs. physics (graphics are ported off to the graphics card). For games, however, a higher clockrate - in general - yields greater performance, if the game is not optimized for multiple cores or processors.

Quote:
Your comment about video playback is equally worrying. I was under the impression CoreAVC made both processors do some work when watching stuff...or at least that's what someone posted on the 1028P GitS:I thread over on the KAA forum. I'm struggling to get my head around how I'll be seeing an improvement in CPU usage if only one 1.8 GHz core is going to be used unless multi-tasking. The build quality of these C2D chips must be something special...

...

What statistics should you judge a processor on, excluding how far you can overclock it? All the numbers and names are a minefield for the uneducated.
I can't really imagine how both cores could be called on for video playback, but just because I can't imagine it doesn't mean it isn't possible. I don't code video players, after all, so I don't know what goes into it. However, you're talking about a 1.8 GHz core as if it's something bad, which shows that you're still in the era of Intel's advertising about megahertz. I already gave you the example of my laptop vs. my old desktop computer, I think - I told you how I underclocked my laptop's Pentium M to roughly half its speed (~700 Mhz range) and it STILL required less processing power to give smoother playback than a 1.2 GHz Athlon system.

Do you know why AMD was marketing their processors with the numbering system that they did? My current processor, a Sempron, is clocked at 1.8 GHz, but it's marketed as a 3000+ (maybe 3100+, can't remember). That number was supposed to represent what the speed would be if it were an Intel processor. In other words, AMD knew that if they marketed their processors based on the clockrate, as Intel did, then nobody would buy them - everyone believed that for processors, clock rate was the only thing that mattered in terms of performance. A faster processor was believed to be better. Who would want to buy a slower one? And yet, if you were into processors around the time of the Pentium 4's, you'd know that the AMD processors outperformed the Intel ones by a huge margin. Athlons clocked at 2.0 Ghz, even 1.8 GHz were outperforming Pentium 4's clocked at 3 GHz. That was when Intel realized that the marketing gimmick was up, and people were catching on. Since then Intel revised their strategy and their chips are much greater. What we're witnessing is a shift in marketing tactics, away from clock rate and on to how many cores a processor has.

The only true way to evaluate a processor, in my opinion, is to review benchmarks. Websites get ahold of different processors and at different speeds, and then run them all through the same programs. These programs are generally designed to simulate different tasks - one program simulates typical office work (word processing + webpage viewing), another may simulate some form of mathematical processing (might matter to you if you're a programmer). They also use 3D programs to see how long each processor takes to render a scene; they use programs like WinZip to see how long it takes to compress files; to compress music; they even use some games to see what frame rate can be achieved. Interestingly, there is usually no single best processor - the old stereotypical results were that AMD would achieve the best gaming results, while Intel's processors would be the best for 3D rendering.

You can look over product specifications, but a processor is much more complicated than the number of cores it has or the clockrate. Benchmarks are probably the best way to evaluate the worth of a processor. It's product researching, which is something we should probably do for anything major or important that we buy. If you just want a newer system and you're not going to be pushing it to its limits, then don't worry - it'll handle your video, I guarantee it.
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Old 2007-05-09, 10:34   Link #22
Jinto
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PC CPU's speed is basically dependend on these criterias:

data/instruction fetch times, access speed to main memory, cache-miss rate, clock speed and instructions per cycle.

I did write something on a similar topic afaik *search*

Ah yes this thread... http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=34732
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Old 2007-05-11, 12:59   Link #23
Maes Hughes
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Right, I'm using my new computer to post this. The new mouse and keyboard are awkward to use after using my old ones for so long...

Before I get into anything else, there's a few questions I have...

1) Does a program that can tell you if everything is running as it should be exist?

2) What free firewall/anti-virus would you recommend? The trial version of Mcfaee (whatever) crashed my system!

I'll get into video playback and graphic card stuff later, for now I want to focus on the basics.
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Old 2007-05-11, 14:12   Link #24
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
[FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"]Right, I'm using my new computer to post this. The new mouse and keyboard are awkward to use after using my old ones for so long...
You can still use your old ones, unless they're PS/2 instead of USB, and your new computer lacks PS/2 ports. If you're really attached, converters do exist.

Quote:
1) Does a program that can tell you if everything is running as it should be exist?
That'd be a miracle. The best thing you can do is use a trusted anti-virus scanner, an anti-spyware software or two, and a good firewall. The firewall can inform you when odd programs are communicating, but it's up to you to determine whether it's something that's OK to be occuring or not. Some anti-spyware programs now include constant scanners (similar to auto-protect in anti virus software), but I personally found it a bit useless as it prompted me over just about everything. Who says you need Windows Vista for that experience?

Short answer: no.

Quote:
2) What free firewall/anti-virus would you recommend? The trial version of Mcfaee (whatever) crashed my system!
Anti virus: AVG and Kapersky were the recommended free anti-virus scanners, but it seems like they've removed their free versions (?)

Firewall: I use Kerio Personal Firewall 4.2.2 on my system, but it's no longer supported. It was bought by Sunbelt, and they haven't been maintaining it well; the version I use is the last version before Sunbelt took it over. You can find it on the net, but to make your system secure with it these days you need to add a few custom rules. I tried Comodo Firewall and liked it well enough - it doesn't give you as much flexibility as Kerio did, but it seemed to get the job done.

On another note, if you're really serious about security, get a router if you don't already have one, and configure it nicely. A firewall should be your last line of defense, not your first.

Anti-spyware: The combo I go with is Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy. These two have been recommended for as long as I can remember spyware existing. Both are free (Ad-Aware does have a paid version if you want a few more features), and both are actively supported. They're recommended together because occasionally one might catch something that the other missed.

I'd like to note that the big security vendors are generally ineffective. They're costly, their products take up more system resources than others, and the programs don't even work as effectively as others. The only exception that I've heard of is Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition (which I use), but I don't know that you can get that so easily.
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Old 2007-05-11, 16:56   Link #25
Maes Hughes
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Ok, I'll download those. Thanks.

There's a few problems with my Dell system, the first being with my 320/295 GB HDD split into two parts - One 220 GB and the other 75 GB. I read you can put these back together by using your WinXP disc, formatting and reinstalling...something I've never had the chance to attempt before.

Would these steps be correct?

> Put Dell WinXP in
> Reboot
> Press F2/F12 at the Dell logo
> Partition screen (not sure what to delete here, I read something here is the cause of my HDD being cut in two...)
> Select NTFS
> Format
> Reboot
> XP setup
> Put in Dell driver disc and install


Since I need to put my files on the 220GB HDD and leave the 75GB one empty (correct?) , I'd be losing lots of space if I don't fix my HDD issue.

Moving away from this issue, there's a troubling PSU problem - Lots of E520's haven't come with the PSU connector required to connect your graphic card to the PCI-E card, including mine. Would someone like me be able to replace the PSU?

/headache
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Old 2007-05-11, 18:17   Link #26
ImClueless
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That is essentially correct as long as the Dell WinXp disc works like a regular WinXP disc. At the partition screen it should show two partitions so you have to tell it to delete both and make one large one. However, with the copy of WinXP I have, I recall that there was a limit to the size of the partition you can make (like 130 gbs). This might be because I have an older WinXP disc and the newer service pack applied discs might not have this problem. Can someone with a newer disc testify to this?

Umm I don't quite understand why would you need to leave the 75 partition empty? You can just use it as another drive so there should be no loss of space at all. If anything I find multiple partitions convenient since you can selectively reformat different partitions without wiping out your system files.

As for your PSU problem do you mean that the power connector to connect the PSU to the Vid card is missing? (Because what you said was connecting graphics card to graphics card :/) If it is indeed missing then you should contact Dell since this is obviously a problem with their product and they should send you a replacement. As for changing the entire PSU itself, as long as the Dell case has space for a standard sized PSU and no custom connectors anyone can do it. Just remember which shaped plugs goes where. They pretty much make it dummy proof. Take it slow and remember that wrong plugs usually don't fit so don't force them.
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Old 2007-05-11, 18:27   Link #27
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
[FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"]There's a few problems with my Dell system, the first being with my 320/295 GB HDD split into two parts - One 220 GB and the other 75 GB. I read you can put these back together by using your WinXP disc, formatting and reinstalling...something I've never had the chance to attempt before.

Would these steps be correct?...
Most manufacturers split the HD and put recovery information on the smaller partition, I believe. If you feel confident in your abilities, there's no need to have that second partition, really.

As to how to go about it, I feel like there should be a way to just piece the partitions back together (combining them), but I'm really not sure how. The way I took care of a similar issue was by deleting both partitions - the Windows installer then just saw one big unformatted partitions, and from there I was able to make a single NTFS partition. This involves wiping everything on both partitions, though. If you don't care about setting your system back up and reinstalling Windows, go for it. Otherwise, I'm sure that there are partition tools that could do the job without requiring that both partitions be erased.

Quote:
Moving away from this issue, there's a troubling PSU problem - Lots of E520's haven't come with the PSU connector required to connect your graphic card to the PCI-E card, including mine. Would someone like me be able to replace the PSU?
I'd think it'd be pretty easy. The hardest part would be researching a PSU ahead of time, to ensure that it's compatible with your case and hardware. Dell and other manufacturers tend to make hardware setups such that replacement parts have to come from them, so it can get a bit difficult.

Otherwise, once you have the unit and it's in your system, it's just a matter of matching cables that have similar ends I suppose. Nothing too terrible.
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Old 2007-05-11, 19:45   Link #28
Maes Hughes
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Just to let you know, I did test my onboard graphic card a little, testing with files on my external HDD... Still see the infamous movement problem. I can't confirm until I try watching episode 1 of RxJ, haven't had chance with the amount of worrying and waiting I've been doing!

I haven't even opened my 22" monitor yet, I'm too scared after seeing Rev(ision) A00 (Rev A04 exists) on the box. I'll be able to know once and for all my problems end up being nothing out of the ordinary when/if I open it's box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
That is essentially correct as long as the Dell WinXp disc works like a regular WinXP disc. At the partition screen it should show two partitions so you have to tell it to delete both and make one large one. However, with the copy of WinXP I have, I recall that there was a limit to the size of the partition you can make (like 130 gbs). This might be because I have an older WinXP disc and the newer service pack applied discs might not have this problem. Can someone with a newer disc testify to this?
Going on this FAQ (Dell laptop), there will be 4 partitions:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=88032

No idea if it would work the same way on my computer, I'll have to have a look. Might be best to leave it as it is if I'll be able to use the 75GB part as normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
Umm I don't quite understand why would you need to leave the 75 partition empty? You can just use it as another drive so there should be no loss of space at all. If anything I find multiple partitions convenient since you can selectively reformat different partitions without wiping out your system files.
Something about programs not working when they aren't on the same HDD as where XP is installed *insert clueless shrug*. Probably complete rubbish...or I just misunderstood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
As for your PSU problem do you mean that the power connector to connect the PSU to the Vid card is missing? (Because what you said was connecting graphics card to graphics card :/) If it is indeed missing then you should contact Dell since this is obviously a problem with their product and they should send you a replacement. As for changing the entire PSU itself, as long as the Dell case has space for a standard sized PSU and no custom connectors anyone can do it. Just remember which shaped plugs goes where. They pretty much make it dummy proof. Take it slow and remember that wrong plugs usually don't fit so don't force them.
Sorry, didn't see the mistake I made.



See the P10 connector circled near the PSU? Not in my E520. Many other people who went for the same deal share my problem.

I'm going to phone Dell on Monday. I tried to email them without any luck; my order and service number weren't accepted by the Dell site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem
I'd think it'd be pretty easy. The hardest part would be researching a PSU ahead of time, to ensure that it's compatible with your case and hardware. Dell and other manufacturers tend to make hardware setups such that replacement parts have to come from them, so it can get a bit difficult.

Otherwise, once you have the unit and it's in your system, it's just a matter of matching cables that have similar ends I suppose. Nothing too terrible.
By research, do you mean simply checking it has the correct amount of connectors required to plug everything in? If so, that shouldn't be too hard.

The only problem I can see with this is the blue plastic attached onto the PSU...it's holding some wires onto it - You can just about see it under the PSU in the above picture. I'm guessing it's an easy way for Dell to check if you've replaced the PSU.

----

I decided to return my X1600 Pro. The X1650 XT showed 22 more FPS than it's older brother on a tomshardware.co.uk test, making it a much better card for C&C3.

My PSU choices now are simple:

1) Buy the X1650 XT or 7600GT. They don't require an extra PSU connector, making this the best option in terms of simplicity.

2) Try to get Dell to give me a PSU with the P10 PSU connector. Going on others, the powerful X1950 will work with the P10 connector.

3) Upgrade to a more powerful PSU. The 305w offered by the Dell PSU won't be enough for future cards, so I'd have to think about upgrading the PSU sooner or later.
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Old 2007-05-11, 21:10   Link #29
ImClueless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
By research, do you mean simply checking it has the correct amount of connectors required to plug everything in? If so, that shouldn't be too hard.

The only problem I can see with this is the blue plastic attached onto the PSU...it's holding some wires onto it - You can just about see it under the PSU in the above picture. I'm guessing it's an easy way for Dell to check if you've replaced the PSU.
Not only the connectors, but, as stated by Ledgem, whether or not it will fit the case at all. Dell uses alot of custom/proprietary parts so you have be sure of that too. The plastic wire holder shouldn't be too much of a problem. The wiring will just be messier if its gone.
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Old 2007-05-11, 21:47   Link #30
Maes Hughes
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PCI-E test complete: No problems.

Geez, getting my X1600 card into the PCI-E slot on my E520 was not as easy as I thought it would be; the blue plastic at the end of the slot made it very hard to fit in without damaging anything.

Now for the really fun the part - Time to get it back out!

Edit: The next PCI-E card I put in is going to be my last for at least 1 year. I can't snap the plastic graphic card clip off until the warranty runs out, no matter how difficult it makes putting in and taking out graphic cards.

Last edited by Maes Hughes; 2007-05-11 at 22:09.
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Old 2007-05-12, 00:37   Link #31
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
Just to let you know, I did test my onboard graphic card a little, testing with files on my external HDD... Still see the infamous movement problem. I can't confirm until I try watching episode 1 of RxJ, haven't had chance with the amount of worrying and waiting I've been doing!
Can't say I didn't warn ya. It's either the monitor, or you're really paranoid about those things .
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Old 2007-05-12, 12:53   Link #32
Maes Hughes
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On a brighter note, this processor really is something. 720P videos never go above 29% with CCCP, this thing could probably even play 1080P stuff! Amazing. It is is a little noisy when doing anything, but it's only really annoying because the noise keeps stopping and starting....my new desk and the PC being right under the keyboard isn't helping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Can't say I didn't warn ya. It's either the monitor, or you're really paranoid about those things .
I was so convinced I had a rare and mysertious PC problem. Don't laugh!

Tested my backlight bleed lovin' 22" monitor. Unless this doesn't happen on high quality graphic cards, the "movement" problem is now all but confirmed to be normal.

This E520 deal has turned from excellent to headache inducing. I want to keep the E520, but I don't want to keep the monitor...
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Old 2007-05-12, 15:43   Link #33
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
It is is a little noisy when doing anything, but it's only really annoying because the noise keeps stopping and starting....my new desk and the PC being right under the keyboard isn't helping.
It sounds like you have some noisy fans in your system that are set to be variable speed. When the system boots up, you can go into the BIOS (the key to press should quickly show somewhere on the screen - usually it's mapped to F12 or so) and look for a way to keep the fans always on. The terminology for it on my motherboard is to have SMART on or off, but it may also be called Cool'n Quiet (note that SMART is also a term for hard drive status checking; you should be able to tell which is which based on what menu you're operating under). If you can disable that, then the fan will always be running at full speed, and you won't hear it changing speeds. The benefit to having is operating at a variable speed is that at lower speeds, it should generate less noise. If your system is idling/not being strained and doesn't need the maximum cooling power, the fans would run slower (or turn off, as in my system) as it'd be more quiet.

If you don't care about noise levels (and would prefer a constant noise), you might as well turn it off.
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Old 2007-05-12, 21:07   Link #34
Maes Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It sounds like you have some noisy fans in your system that are set to be variable speed. When the system boots up, you can go into the BIOS (the key to press should quickly show somewhere on the screen - usually it's mapped to F12 or so) and look for a way to keep the fans always on. The terminology for it on my motherboard is to have SMART on or off, but it may also be called Cool'n Quiet (note that SMART is also a term for hard drive status checking; you should be able to tell which is which based on what menu you're operating under). If you can disable that, then the fan will always be running at full speed, and you won't hear it changing speeds. The benefit to having is operating at a variable speed is that at lower speeds, it should generate less noise. If your system is idling/not being strained and doesn't need the maximum cooling power, the fans would run slower (or turn off, as in my system) as it'd be more quiet.

If you don't care about noise levels (and would prefer a constant noise), you might as well turn it off.
The noise sounds kinda like clicking/scraping, loud enough to go over the noise the fans make...doesn't strike as the sort of noise a fan would make. The only time it seems to happen consistently is when I'm doing something on the PC (looking through files, etc), making it hard to listen to where exactly the noise is coming from in the case.

I suppose it isn't that bad. If I get a new graphic card it'll probably be more noisy...I know I couldn't hear it when my monitor was buzzing for 30 minutes.

Edit: Just listened/touched parts of the computer during startup - It's coming from the HDD.

Last edited by Maes Hughes; 2007-05-12 at 21:18.
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Old 2007-05-12, 21:27   Link #35
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Uh-oh, strange sounds coming from an HDD can be ominous signs... Tread carefully. If you really think the sound is definitely out of place, I'd consider a technical revision of the PC. If you think it's just a regular reading sound, then... But anyways, I'd be wary about where I'm putting my data.
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Old 2007-05-13, 07:51   Link #36
Maes Hughes
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Again, I'd like to express my love for this processor. I'm going to download the 1080P GitS: Innocence DVD-rip and test it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Uh-oh, strange sounds coming from an HDD can be ominous signs... Tread carefully. If you really think the sound is definitely out of place, I'd consider a technical revision of the PC. If you think it's just a regular reading sound, then... But anyways, I'd be wary about where I'm putting my data.
This PC is meant to be silent...no-one else has mentioned the HDD at all. By chance, I have the same make 320 GB Seagate HDD in my external (not same model) - I don't hear the noises my internal HDD is making coming from that.

Don't worry about the losing data side of things, I haven't moved anything onto my E520 yet; I get the feeling I might have to give it back in order to get a refund for the monitor part of the deal.
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Old 2007-05-13, 17:12   Link #37
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Quote:
This PC is meant to be silent...no-one else has mentioned the HDD at all.
Huh? But you said...

Quote:
Edit: Just listened/touched parts of the computer during startup - It's coming from the HDD.
:O
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Old 2007-05-13, 18:10   Link #38
Maes Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Huh? But you said...



:O
Huh? I said the E520 is meant to be near silent according to others who purchased the same deal as me. Mine isn't silent, which means that mine probably has something wrong with it.

I'm not looking forward to explaining this list of faults to Dell, their customer service feedback doesn't give me much hope of getting being refunded quickly. I'll be sure not to get a monitor with any future computer deals!

This is what I've learned from my first ever Dell expereince so far:

-- Even a £60 processor can handle 720P files without breaking sweat. I'm betting it could play 1080P files!
-- 22" monitors look massive when put next to 19" monitors.
-- It's possible for a computer to startup and shutdown without a 2 minute wait/crashing.
-- The "movement" problem is something everyone has to deal with. Why did God create me to feel suicidal over things that don't annoy others? WHY!?
-- The backlight bleed on my HW191D could be much worse. *hugs the monitor I've hated for months*
-- New Seagate hard drives can make more noise than two 5-6 year old no-name hard drives put together.
-- Inserting PCI-E cards into PCI-E slots with a blue plastic...thing on the end can cause much pain and misery.
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Old 2007-05-13, 18:25   Link #39
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Quote:
Huh? I said the E520 is meant to be near silent according to others who purchased the same deal as me.
Oh! In that case, I had misunderstood what you said. So, I repeat, tread carefully. That HDD may go boom at any time if it's making strange sounds.
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Old 2007-05-13, 19:03   Link #40
Maes Hughes
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My computer has started humming intermittently. This new noise sounds very much like the HDD videos on Youtube where the HDD was about to go.

Gooooodbye my hard drive.
Gooooodbye my Dell.
You have not been the one.
You have not been the one for me.
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