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Thread poster: Reed James

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 05:17
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
May 30, 2006

Hello.

I currently have a no-name desktop computer with a 40 GB HD, 256 RAM Pentium 4 and I don't know what the Ghz is...

The computer works but can be slow when I have more than a few windows open. As a translator, I generally want several applications running simultaneously.

I especially need Dragon NaturallySpeaking running quickly and smoothly.

The CPUs I am looking at have 1 Gigabyte of RAM, something like 120 Gigabyte HD, between 2.93 and 5.17 Ghz (What is that anyway?).

My question is, if I get a machine with 4 times the RAM, will it be 4 times as fast? Will I be able to have 4 times as many applications installed on the hard drive?

Also, is Olidata a reliable brand? Thanks so much.

Reed


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 05:17
German to English
Speed determined by a number of factors May 30, 2006


My question is, if I get a machine with 4 times the RAM, will it be 4 times as fast? Will I be able to have 4 times as many applications installed on the hard drive?


I'm reasonably certain your new computer won't function four times faster than your current machine unless your current computer is VERY slow. Given the overhead imposed by Windows XP, 1 GB of RAM is considered by many to be the minimum amount of memory required to run more than 3-4 programs efficiently at one time. I think, however, that you will notice an increase in computer response when you go to more RAM, due at least in part to the more efficient RAM design used in current computers, as well as quadrupling the amount of RAM.

Another factor determining computer response is your HD speed. Anything slower than 7200 RPM will make you crazy (in the US, most name-brand desktop computers have 7200 RPM hard drives; I can't address units sold elsewhere). Further, make sure you optimize your HD frequently. NTFS used by Windows XP creates a lot more fragmentation than the older FAT system.

Don't discard your current computer. Its market value is probably very low anyway. It can't hurt to have a backup computer.

Many new video cards have dual output heads -- analog and digital. If this is the case with your new computer, consider continuing to use your old monitor as well as the new one. (assuming it's a flat panel model with digital I/O). I find it useful to have one monitor displaying my working window while the other contains my browser, reference files, etc.


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Corza
Mexico
Local time: 04:17
English to Spanish
If I were to buy a computer May 31, 2006

I would contact HP and give them all my requirements and ask them what computer they would recommend for me. Computers vary considerably according to expected requirements, therefore it is essential to get the computer that suits your needs best. As I see it the advantage of brand computers over no-name computers is that a company becomes responsible for the overall quality of elements as well as their performance. For insance, I've found that the performance of IBM and HP computers of equal specifications varies considerably. I also want to stress the importance of technical support from the manufacturer. For 10 years now I have had HP computers mainly because I can get support 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 pm. This has saved me money and spared me trouble. Anyway, even if you are not going to buy HP, ask them, they will give you good technical advice. GOOD LUCK, CORZA.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Look at the local Dell site May 31, 2006

Inspite that I always build the PCs I use myself I´ve bought a Dell this year. It was cheaper as would I buy all the stuff including software at my local (quite cheap) dealer.

If you need the PC now, then go for a dual core machine with 2 GB RAN and TWO HDDs working in RAID0 (Dell offers such machines). Including Windows and Office they start at approx. 900 Euro. Then buy an external HDD and use it for backup - daily backup!

Don´t buy no name machines - when you want no name, let this be build to your order, but this will be then most probably more expensive as Dell was. Dell does a lot of special offers, so pick one for you.

Regards
Jerzy


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:17
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
New machine May 31, 2006

I bought a Fujitse Siemens notebook in April with a Intel Celeron M chip and 512 Mb Ram and 60 Gb harddisk and XP Pro. Before I had a Win2000 machine with 256 Mb, which after 3 years of constant use had become very slow.
On the new machine I have no problem with running many applications in parallel, and startup is real fast. I only close the lit at the end of the day and open it in the morning, and the wireless Wlan-connection is established in a few seconds. I only restart when I have to (after updating or installation of programs).
I bought from a specialised dealer, not from a shop for consumer electronics. They mostly offer notebooks with normal desktop processors, which need more cooling (more noise) and for XP Pro they charge extra.
First I had in mind to connect an extra screen, but now I find the 15 inch screen of the notebook is quite sufficient.

Regards
Heinrich


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 11:17
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
second Jerzy's suggestion... May 31, 2006

The taxi drivers do not build their own cars either, do they... they DRIVE them.

And get yourself a big LCD monitor. Next to the keyboard, it will be what you will enjoy - or may suffer from - the next few years.

Using a notebook ... I see Heinrich in front of his sauna, at the edge of his private lake up there somewhere, klicking at the text, while waiting for the ice to disappear;) ... I just don't have eyes anymore that could handle 15 inch monitors at 1280x1024. And even if I had, I dont know how long it would take them to start to swim...


PS: I do have a Fujitsu Siemens notebook too - but attached to another 19" monitor (my Dr.Watson side of the translating Mr Hyde).

[Edited at 2006-05-31 10:06]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:17
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Think of energy efficiency May 31, 2006

Vito Smolej wrote:

Using a notebook ... I see Heinrich in front of his sauna, at the edge of his private lake up there somewhere, klicking at the text, while waiting for the ice to disappear;) ...


Only that I won't take work to the cottage (there is no electricity) and that the ice has left end of April. Last time at mother's day we swum in 11 degree warm water

But desktop computers are the device which uses the most energy in modern households when running daily!

Regards

Heinrich


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 11:17
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Wrote with my brother's cottage on my mind... May 31, 2006

north of Lahti - there was still ice about 10 meters deep from the shore two weeks ago. And he has a laptop there - running on candles I guess (g).

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 05:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
throw it away? May 31, 2006

Kevin Fulton wrote:

(...)
Don't discard your current computer.


I agree - but if you do decide to get shot of it, please throw it (gently) MY way! I'm just down the road ...

MediaMatrix


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 05:17
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
good advice May 31, 2006

I have been learning a lot about hardware from all of your posts. I have two related questions.

1) Are CD/DVD drives better on say HP or Compaq machines than no-name? Mine went bad after only 2 years.

2) What exactly is a TV/FM card? Does that mean you can watch any TV station in the world or is it only hooked up to your local cable provider? Is it worth buying a computer with this feature?

Thanks

Reed


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 05:17
German to English
Peripherals Jun 1, 2006


1) Are CD/DVD drives better on say HP or Compaq machines than no-name?

2) What exactly is a TV/FM card?


Brand-name computers often have no-name CD/DVD drives. The burning capability of the CD drive on my daughter's Dell died after 1 year. It was replaced under warranty, but still a disappointment.

2) A TV card is a tuner that can allow you to display a TV signal on your computer monitor. In theory you could record the displayed program. I had this feature on one of my video cards and never used it. It won't give you extended TV capabilities, if that's what you're looking for.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 05:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
on TV cards ... Jun 1, 2006

Reed D. James wrote:

2) What exactly is a TV/FM card? Does that mean you can watch any TV station in the world or is it only hooked up to your local cable provider? Is it worth buying a computer with this feature?


A TV/FM card will display whatever programming is available on your local cable (or off-air signal). The cost of a simple TV card in Chile is around CLP 35,000, so you might want to check how much extra the PC manufacturer charges for this option.

Assuming you want/need TV on your PC screen, you should check out the functionality of the accompanying software: some only display TV, some do it with severely reduced (almost unwatchable) quality, some let you save screen-shots as still images, some let you record video sequences - in varying levels of quality. If the PC vendor is integrating the TV card as an OEM feature, there's every likelihood he is installing a 'lite' version of the software offering restricted functionality; you are then supposed to get frustrated and pay for an up-grade to the full version. As with most things in computing, the best bet is to have the vendor give you a demonstration.

[Edited at 2006-06-01 13:29]


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