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Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Community Veteran
Posts: 14,381
Thanks: 713
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Hi Guys
I'm often intrigued as to why people make so much fuss about the latest hardware and whether or not they actually need it. For instance I've known people go and buy the latest and best laptops with dual core processors, GBs or ram etc just to write word documents or do a bit of browsing. I myself do programming (when I can be bothered!) and my specs are over 5 years behind the latest tech!
So.. I thought I'd ask what your PC specifications are and do you really need such a highly powered machine? - You can just tell me about your main machine or all of them!
I'll start:
Main machine: AMD AthlonXP 2200 (1.8GHz), 768MB DDR, 333MHz FSB, 40GB IDE HDD (primary), 80GB IDE HDD (secondary and almost dead - but still working... just), CDRW, DVD-RW, nVidia FX5500 AGP (256MB Ram), 17" flatscreen monitor, Freecycled 5.1 surround sound. I use this one for surfing the web, writing letters (rarely), programming (using remote desktop to another machine) and thats about it. IMO it's a powerful machine... in fact still too powerful for what I need it for. Do I need these specs? Probably not.
Secondary machine: 2.8GHz Pentium D, 512MB DDR, No idea of the FSB, 30GB HDD, DVD-RW, 32MB GeForce 4 (possibly GeForce 2) networked and used rarely. Definitely over powered for my needs and only been powered up once in the last month. This one is virtually ignored as the PSU is noisy and the CPU gets a bit to hot for my liking. It's sat redundant next to my main PC as a spare.
There are others... that are even older and not worth mentioning (below 1.5GHz and using SDram!).
As you can see, most of my machines are rather old and compared to some of you who have the very latest tech you might call mine ancient. I'm happy with it and compared to what I'm used to using years ago it's heaps better. Would I upgrade to anything more powerful? Probably not. The stuff I use now is far cheaper to maintain and I get bits off freecycle frequently for free. In all honesty my older tech fills all of my requirements and needs. My main machine can handle a variety of games (not the latest graphics intensive ones but most basic games from a few years back) and so I'm happy. I'm basically one of these people who is more into the technical side of the machines rather than the latest games which have huge resource requirements etc. It's amazing what potential low end machines have..
So.. do you push your machines to the limit of your hardware or are you just a PC fashion icon?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
22 REPLIES
MuppetGrinder
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: 10-10-2008

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Your one up on me then, my rig is also ancient, but I aint happy with it at all  Tongue.
Main:-
P4 3.2Ghz (the old ass s478 kind), 2Gb DDR,Matrox MoBo (my second after I frazled the busses on my PCChips) with the obvious FSB 800Mhz, 1x 120Gb Sata HDD (OS's) and 1x very full 240Gb Sata HDD (Data), DVD+-RW, Slot loading DVD-ROM (nostalgia from the 90's), ATI HD3870 512Mb PCI-E (which I still haven't figured out how to get the "sound through HDMI" working on), 21" black HansG TFT (my pride and joy).
I do RAD programming too in Delphi (so many databases, so few front ends) and I really notice the difference when I work at home, perticularly when remote calling on an MS_SQL_S DB. Couple that with me being more than slightly into computer games and what I got just about cuts what I ask it to (it will creak and groan but it get's there in the end).
Also lying about:-
1. Athlon 1.8Ghz, 1.5Gb DDR, Gigabyte somthingorother MoBo, 40Gb IDE HDD, Saphire Radeon X1300series GFX, DVD+-RW, No monitor cause I've run out ATM.
2. P4 2.4Ghz, 1.5GB DDR, Factory MoBo, 80Gb IDE HDD, PNG Radeon X1300series GFX, DVD+-RW, 19" TFT
3. P4 2.4Ghz, 768Mb DDR, Factory MoBo, 40Gb IDE HDD, On board GFX, DVD-ROM, 17" CRT Monitor (this ones really belongs to the kids)
4.Laptop (or a notebook to all you politicaly correct ppl out there) Athlon Mobile 2.0Ghz, 1GBRam, Factory MoBo, 60Gb HDD (dunno what kind), on board GFX, DVD+-RW, 17" TFT screen
5. P3 1.2 Ghz, 512Mb SDRAM, Factory MoBo, 10Gb IDE HDD, On board GFX, DVD-ROM, 15" CRT Monitor (This one was a rescue puppy that's waiting for me to find the time to set up a linux server on it)
Assides from number 5, all machines are running XP Pro (even though the laptop came with Vista it wasn't long in getting kicked into touch).
Look forward to seeing some more posts on here from other people and what they think of their rigs
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Yay, a brag about pc specs thread. Should I attempt to justify all this? Er, sure...
http://www.orbrey.co.uk/wc/
Main PC:
Lian Li PC-V1200 case
Abit IP35 pro
q6600 @3.3GHz
2GB (2*1GB) Corsair Dominator 1066 @1128MHz
BFG GeForce 8800GTX 768MB
4*WD Raptor 37GB sata I drives, intel matrix raid 0 (1*40GB partition for OS, 1* 4GB partition for  pagefile and 1*100GB data partition that I install games to)
File server:
Coolermaster ATCS case (forget which one, it's quite old now)
DFI LanParty UT NF3 250GB
Athlon64 3400+
2GB (2*1GB) geil DDR400
ATI x800
1* 160GB IDE (boot, /, swap and home on separate partitions - running ubuntu server 64, 8.10 I think)
1* 320GB IDE barracuda 7200.10 (documents and music storage)
1* 1TB Hitachi Desktar (Films and TV episodes)
1* 750GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 (gaming and application install files/iso's)
Main rig - yes, it's worth it. I play a lot of games. Very very happy with this, though it needs a bit of finishing off still - need to finish the grills on the top and swap rad/fans around. Also need to move the DVD drive/reservoir/x-fi header about.
Server - this is actually looking a bit underspecced now, and as it does all my usenet processing/quickpar/unrar'ing it could do with an uplift. There's also plans to turn this into a domain host/mail server etc so while it happily works at the moment I'd still like to perk it up a bit.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Main rig:
Q6600 running at 3.0Ghz with stock cooling.
4GB Corsair Performance memory (TW3X4G1600C9DHX) (2 x 2GB)
2 x 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 S300 drives
1 x 30GB SSD Drive (OCZ-1SLD30G)
Asus Geforce 8800GTX, powering 1 x 24" 16:9 and 1 x 19" 4:3  (cheapo monitors Tongue)
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard
Razer Diamondback 3G gaming mouse
File storage..
Ah hell, I'll just post a pic:

These are currently resting on the corner of my desk.  I wish they WERE mine Wink
In the meantime, I have 1 x  Buffalo Terastation 2TB, and 1 x 2TB Netgear (Infrant) ReadyNAS.

Justification?  Hmm... I play games, and listen to music CheesyCheesy
B.
MuppetGrinder
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: 10-10-2008

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

aahhh plusnet staff get all the good toys Cheesy
nice rigs guys, and Barry, you might want to buy a shed for that storage Rack  Tongue
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Nah, it's being delivered to a customer just after Xmas - but they are very nice Wink
Dual quad-core Xeon with buckets of storage and memory in each.  They do, however, remind me of a Chinook parked on your shoulder when you turn them on and they fan-test..
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Just the one computer for me, with the following specs:
2.53GHz Core 2 Duo
4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1066MHz RAM
250GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
DVD±RW DL
802.11n + BT 2.1
NVIDIA 9600M GT 512MB
15" 1440x900 plus 24" 1920x1200 (latter being, I believe, an IPS panel)
In case the 15" screen and 9600'M' didn't give it away, this is a laptop I'm talking about, with an external 24" attached. A laptop's best for me because I take it in to uni twice a week, and I figured it was cheaper and more convenient to have a powerful laptop rather than a slightly less powerful laptop plus a powerful desktop. Power is quite important for the stuff I do; I don't game (well, much - I do it very occasionally), but I run CPU- and GPU-intensive photography apps, and I also use CPU-intensive music software, so I need a machine that's quite capable. About the only thing that's superfluous is the DVD±RW drive (I rarely burn more than CDs), but there wasn't an option to downgrade it.
Oh, and it's a Mac.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

At home: Biostar 210V (like a shuttle) with an Athlon XP3000, 1GB RAM, 160GB IDE hard drive, and a Nvidia FX5200 running two 19" 4:3 monitors.
Dell C400 lappy with 1.2GHz CPU, 512KB RAM and 30GB HD.
Both running nicely with Ubuntu 8.10.
Not exactly state of the art, but still more than I need. I do word processing, DTP, 2D graphics and some web editing.
At work: Athlon 64 3000, 1.75Gb RAM etc, used for all the above plus 3D CAD modelling.
It's a few years old now, but does the job just fine.
My neighbour recently went out a bought a flash new Vista laptop just to use the internet. I told her she should have asked me first! Could have saved her a load of money.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,694
Thanks: 1,949
Fixes: 247
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Home:
Mac Mini - 1.83 Core2 duo, 1.5GB RAM, 80GB internal 1TB external - 19" Monitor
Desktop PC - Athalon 2800, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA 256MB 5700LE, 80GB & 160 GB hard drives - 19" Monitor
Laptop 1 - Vaio 15.4" core2 duo 60GB hard drive 1GB RAM
Laptop 2 - Acer 25.4" core2 duo 2GB RAM 100GB hard drive
Buffalo LinkStation 500GB on the LAN too.
Don't need more than that as for gaming there is a Wii, PS3 and PSP (with Santa bringing a DS too  Smiley )
Work I have 4 PCs and I can't remember what they all are..

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

dont want to boast but got one of these

Model Name Eee PC 4G
Display  7"
Intel CPU & Chipset V
Operating System Linux
Ethernet Communication V
WLAN V
Memory 512 MB (DDR2)
S.S.D. Storage (Solid-State Disk)  4G
Camera V
Audio Hi-Definition audio
Stereo speaker
Microphone Hi-Definition audio
Stereo speaker
Microphone
Battery 4 Cells: 5200 mAh, 3.5hrs*
Weight 0.92 kg
StickyMick
Grafter
Posts: 325
Registered: 29-11-2008

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Quite modest actually:
Asus A8V-Deluxe Mobo
AMD64/3000+ (Desperately trying to save up to dual core it) Roll eyes
1GB Geil RAM
160Gb HDD
A-Open DVD ROM
HP9100 CDRW
nVidia G-Force 7300GT/512mb
Soundblaster Audigy 4 Gold
AMW X1700DS TFT
and a dodgy PSU to kick it all into life Roll eyes
Oops nearly forgot. Also got a second PC:
Legend QDI Brilliant 1S 440BX
PIII/750
512Mb RAM
100Gb HDD
Lite-On CDRW
Pioneer DVD-ROM
Soundblaster 64PCI
Compaq CRT monitor.
Laptop:
Dell Latitude CSx
PIII 500
384Mb RAM
40Gb HDD
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,381
Thanks: 713
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

Hi guys!
Well there's been some good answers but only one or two actually answered the real question!
Do you actually maximise the use of your hardware? EG I've seen lots of HDD's mentioned with several hundred GBs but no-one actually says whether they use it all or just a few MB!
I got a external 500GB drive and use just over 40 GB. I consider that to be mostly junk which in honesty I could delete.
My graphics are not demanding..
So... really I don't actually max my system out enough to warrant an upgrade.
How about you guys? Do you demand anything near enough power from your systems to warrant such high specs?
I'm just curious to see if people really do need the power or if its a icon thing - like women with 4x4 cars...
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,188
Thanks: 20
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

MMO gamer so usually have 2 game clients[max 4] open at anyone time on my pc and or a browser and or Game tools.  So yes I use mine enough at times to make it struggle.  My laptop is my TV/Radio and backup gaming machine if and when my pc is faulty.

PC
Phenom 2.6
Nvidia 9800GX2
4 gig of Corsair ram
single 10k spindle 300mb Raptor HDD
nothing over clocked no need to
Laptop
Intel 2.6 Core duo
Nvidia 8600m GT
3 gig of Corsair ram
5.4 spindle HDD to keep heat down
X-Pad heatsink, simple but works
both using Vista 64
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

I think most people end up with over-specced hardware because that what is available these days, when even a basic PC has a multi core 64bit CPU and an enormous hard drive. Our file server at work, for example, has 300GB of storage, which holds all the company's data, including big stuff like complex CAD models for dozens of products, videos, promotional material, high res photographs etc and we still have 120GB left.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whats your PC specs and do you really need them?

no M$ programs then  Cool Cool