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Thread: I'm designing a dream computer

  1. #1
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    I'm designing a dream computer

    Hey folks. I've been thinking about what computers are capable of these days, and it just seems to me that we're not using them to their full advantage. I've decided I want to create a monster, but I want your help.
    Here are the requirements :
    Ubuntu-based
    Dual/Tri-screen (Probably three)
    Needs to work with a surround-sound amp
    Massive HDs (1000gb should do)
    A way to interact with Satellite TV
    Wicked-fast processor (Quad?)
    Plug'N'Play laptop network dock
    Bluetooth capable
    Maybe a tablet as one of the screens?
    Basically, I just want a computer that can stand up to a couple more years of advancement without needing to upgrade. And I want it to be capable of enormous tasks, as well as little ones. Any product ideas, set-up thoughts, or any input at all would be wonderful . . .money is not a concern.
    Last edited by CheshireMac; February 8th, 2007 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Typo.
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  2. #2
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    I read about a device that allows you to connect four hard drives simultaneously to a computer. You can easily have more than 1 terrabyte of data storage with that device. Pretty pricey (around 300 US dollars).

  3. #3
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    In my experience there simply doesn't exist a computer which can stand up to a couple of years of advancement and not end up looking very sluggish and underpowered at the end of it. I've always gone with the philosophy - make it half the price, and keep it half the time.

  4. #4
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    Quote Originally Posted by kragen View Post
    In my experience there simply doesn't exist a computer which can stand up to a couple of years of advancement and not end up looking very sluggish and underpowered at the end of it. I've always gone with the philosophy - make it half the price, and keep it half the time.
    Yes, I semi-agree. If you raise the bar, the whole industry must fallow. But that will take a good five years if it's just a few ubuntu users that do it.

    Have fun with you soon to be toy. [begins to drool]

  5. #5
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    You say money is not a concern, but I could honestly build a computer that costs $4000. Surely it is of some concern.

  6. #6
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    Quote Originally Posted by CheshireMac View Post
    Hey folks. I've been thinking about what computers are capable of these days, and it just seems to me that we're not using them to their full advantage. I've decided I want to create a monster, but I want your help.
    Here are the requirements :
    Ubuntu-based
    Dual/Tri-screen (Probably three)
    Needs to work with a surround-sound amp
    Massive HDs (1000gb should do)
    A way to interact with Satellite TV
    Wicked-fast processor (Quad?)
    Plug'N'Play laptop network dock
    Bluetooth capable
    Maybe a tablet as one of the screens?
    Basically, I just want a computer that can stand up to a couple more years of advancement without needing to upgrade. And I want it to be capable of enormous tasks, as well as little ones. Any product ideas, set-up thoughts, or any input at all would be wonderful . . .money is not a concern.
    The first thing you want to do is find the right motherboard. If you're building it now, and you want it to stand up to years of advancement, and you don't care about money, and you want it to just plain be ridiculously fast for no reason, you want one that supports Intel's Core 2 Quadro. I think their fastest Core 2 Quadro costs about $1000 (I think). The motherboard itself should support high-speed SATA, at least four ports. With this, you can connect, at most (right now), four 750GB hard drives (which hopefully support 3.0 Gbps SATA).

    If money isn't an object, you can go ahead and get one or two nVidia 8800 GTX video cards. It will run you around $500-700 each (don't remember exactly). You'll want to go with four gigabytes of RAM (basically, the most amount your motherboard supports). The RAM should be the fastest DDR2 with the lowest CAS (latency) rating you can find (you could look on newegg.com, for example). As for the monitors, three is probably overdoing it when two 24" widescreens is fine (plus, you're limited by the number of outputs on the video card, so don't forget that).

    Bluetooth and the other stuff will probably come in the form of PCI cards unless they are supported in the motherboard (you should check). You'll also need a specialized sound card, which will run you around $50-500, depending on the exact specs (if you aren't planning on running a studio, you can probably suffice with less than $100).

    Again, this all assumes money is no object. The above system would probably run you at least $3500. Probably much more. This kind of computer will last you at least 3 years if you are a techie who loves being on the cutting edge. If you're not crazy (), then it will last you at least 6, probably 7 or 8 years. Plus, if you spend more on the motherboard so that it supports more than 4 GiB of RAM, it could last you even longer.

    If you just won the lottery, though, you could do it. You might want to look at the GOD BOX, which is an "ultimate" kind of system put together by the dreamers at Ars Technica. It's what I look at when I wish I had won the lottery. And it costs $12,900.69. *dreams*

    On the other hand, the Hot Rod (from the same article) costs way less and will probably last you a good several years for almost 90% less.
    Last edited by o_fortuna; February 9th, 2007 at 02:12 AM. Reason: typos typos
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  7. #7
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    Quote Originally Posted by CheshireMac View Post
    Hey folks. I've been thinking about what computers are capable of these days, and it just seems to me that we're not using them to their full advantage. I've decided I want to create a monster, but I want your help.
    Here are the requirements :
    Ubuntu-based
    Yay!
    Dual/Tri-screen (Probably three)
    I would think a Dual-SLI setup would be best GFX card-wise. Make sure your screens all come from the same batch or have consecutive serials. I say this so the colors match. I think there are companies that do this.
    Needs to work with a surround-sound amp
    This will be tricky if your planning on using SPDIF to a amp. ALOT depends on the chipset. Might be best to not use a onboard chipset.
    Massive HDs (1000gb should do)
    Wait till the spring/summer when they really hit. Should be about $400 (US) for the single drives. (its what Im doing) Also, maybe use a SSD drive for the OS drive?
    A way to interact with Satellite TV
    Hmm... Gonna be a tough one.
    Wicked-fast processor (Quad?)
    Make sure these are supported. I would think they are but their so new Id give a look.
    Plug'N'Play laptop network dock
    How does this work with a desktop setup?
    Bluetooth capable
    Doable.
    Maybe a tablet as one of the screens?
    Im unsure if you can do this ATM. Would probably use some kinda Wacom driver. Maybe a tablet PC driver but Im unsure about the status on the linux tablet PCs.
    Basically, I just want a computer that can stand up to a couple more years of advancement without needing to upgrade. And I want it to be capable of enormous tasks, as well as little ones. Any product ideas, set-up thoughts, or any input at all would be wonderful . . .money is not a concern.
    Basically this will come down to ALOT of research. Its a tall order you have there but mostly doable I think.

  8. #8
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    I'd like to point out the benefits of distributed computing. Why don't you get 5 solid machines and beowulf them together? now you're talking real multitasking. you can then do different things with each one. You might need a rack for these, and you might need to rethink your power circuitry and ventilation, but then you can get yourself some professional solutions with a couple of multi-terabyte JABODs, a couple of the tyan 8-way opteron beasts (each supporting up to 128gigz of ram...), maybe get one or two of the arena displays from digitaltigers.com (that's up to 6~7 displays per stack!). Ofcourse, you'll need to get a written confirmation from the power company every time you want to turn it on, but hey, there ain't no kid on your block that can say their machine is better than yours!! (you'd still need a thin client to write emails and browse the web though.... )

    in other words, is this a machine to make your friends go WoWzers, that's giving my eyeballs blisters, or are you actually going to use it for something productive? If so, your use dictates your shopping - hardcore 3d modelling? Extreme gaming? Video Rendering? Stock exchange, so needing millions upon millions of screen realestate (thats the digitaltigers.com solution )?
    And there's no such thing as a computer that stands the test of time - in the traditional over a decade model (apart for some of the oldschool IBM thinkpads, funnily enough...) you'd be lucky if it's still top of any line in 5 years.
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  9. #9
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    Perhaps you can add a hybrid drive for faster booting?

  10. #10
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    Re: I'm designing a dream computer

    Don't forget to use RAID 10.

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