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My Super PC from 2003... Funny about how technology changes so quickly.

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  • My Super PC from 2003... Funny about how technology changes so quickly.

    Although not directly related to edrums, it is definitely related to our edrum experience with the forum. I normally like to leave well enough alone.

    I'll get on a tangent especially when the item is new and I'm doing my best to get everything running 110%. Such was the case last time I revamped/built my PC.

    I didn't go completely over the edge when I put together my PC in 2003. But I did fix up a pretty decent desktop. I went with a Motherboard that had nice features and specs in the range.... good value for the buck. 2 120 GB HD's, Fast CPU. Overclock ready. Some of the best DDR of the time... 2 512 MB sticks of Geil Golden Dragon memory, again Overclock ready. GeForce FX5900 graphics card. I gleaned as much info as I could from gamer forums. Cranked up my Bios settings and got the thing running pretty darn fast.

    Anyway, my PC has served me well. Still running great, not a dinosaur really. But, I was thinking the other day that I prolly oughta beef up my memory a bit since 1 full Gig of memory back then...quite impressive .... peanuts now...
    There was one or 2 AMD processors faster than mine at the time... So I actually went ahead and scored one off eBay for a backup for when I need it.

    Funny though, as normal in the PC world things have progressed so fast, I'd be better off starting almost completely over. Technology has left my state of the art PC in the dust.

    What got me on this was buying memory. I had to go back and look up all my system stats. Started searching compatibility, etc. Then I remembered how I bought special memory for overclocking, etc. I had to relearn lots of things I had totally forgotten since my original tangent when assembling my system.....

    Just wondering how many can relate. And how many of you have bought a new PC lately.... How much faster does it run? How much improvement do you notice?

    A pic of my pretty Dinosaur attached
    Attached Files
    Last edited by JmanWord; 12-29-08, 10:28 PM.
    I could tell you where to stick that piezo! ;)
    Stealthdrums.com Mega Kit: Pearl Mimic Pro ,2Box modules,drums and cymbals too many to count. VST quality sounds directly from the Mimic and custom sounds loaded into and played directly from the 2Box modules. Visit me anytime at: http://stealthdrums.com/

  • #2
    I got an Acer Aspire T180 desktop about 1.5 years ago to this day and it came with a 2.20GHz processor, 512mb memory,an integrated video card, and Windows Vista home pre.

    After powering up, (and waiting about 10 minutes), I went onto my laptop and ordered a 1GB stick of memory for it. A few months later, an 8600GT video card was installed. It was great for my needs back then but just last week I got a new AMD processor and much more fast memory for it.

    These days its running 1,250GB of storage on 3 HDs, 4GB memory, an upgraded power supply, and an AMD Athlon X2 3.1GHz dual core processor. The upgrade was much needed after I got into video editing as an every day thing. Premiere was killing my desktop.

    I like to update my desktop hardware every 1.5 - 2 years. This keeps it running quite fast and very few problems ever come up.

    I suggest a new dual core processor and 3GB of memory. You don't need the best memory for audio production unless you plan on running ProTools HD and other higher end software. Depending on your socket, you may not need to upgrade the motherboard, most of the time a video card, memory, and processor upgrade are more than enough.
    Dave
    Sonic Orb Studios
    My Youtube

    My kit is custom running 10, 12, 14" toms, a 12" snare, 2 crash, 1 ride, 1 splash, and dual kick drum all plugged into a
    Roland TD-6V module which runs MIDI to Superior Drummer 2

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't use my laptop computer for recording, just normal office stuff and a little Photoshop work. All the same, an upgrade from 512 megs to 2 gigs of RAM made a BIG difference. Today as always, RAM is your cheapest, most effective upgrade.

      One thing that irks me though, the OS's just keep demanding more and more from system resources. Microsoft recommends 1 gig of memory as a starting point for Vista, and booting up means time for a coffee break. I remember running Windows 3.1 with a 75 mhz Pentium chip and maybe 256 megs of RAM. It would boot up in about 7 seconds as I recall. Now, I know things have come a long way with networking, better graphics, multitasking, system rollback and that sort of thing, but the unholy alliance between the writers of OS's and hardware manufacturers reminds me of a dog chasing its own tail. Just as someone comes out with a faster chip, higher bus speed, better graphics handling, what-have-you, the software people come out with a new "better" version of their OS's with a few million more lines of start-up code, most of which seem to be devoted to eye candy rather than true functionality.

      Looking back to the early days of the PC, code writers did some amazing things with very little power and memory because they were writing elegant code that made the most of limited resources. Now it seems (to me anyway) that OS's are bloated and kludgy, with all kinds of stuff "tacked on" rather than "built in".

      Again, I know computers are performing exponentially more complex tasks these days, and I sure am glad its not my job to try to keep abreast of all the problems and challenges presented by the expectations of an ever-more-demanding public, but I really do wish that the software people would concentrate more on getting more out of the hardware and less on morphing icons and active desktops.

      Just my $.02.
      Last edited by stickinthemud; 12-30-08, 12:06 AM.
      Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by stickinthemud View Post
        I remember running Windows 3.1 with a 75 mhz Pentium chip and maybe 256 megs of RAM. It would boot up in about 7 seconds as I recall.
        I'm running windows 95 on my drums PC and it boots up in 5 seconds .. I only use it to play midi files.. I don't need much. But the thing is, that I've had that PC for 12 years.. it was the first pc I bought.. I remember when I bought it, the 64 megs of additionnal ram it came with cost me like 400$

        I also remember buying a 50 megs scsi hdd back in 1989 ... 500$ ... man.. I wish I'de get that money back and get me a td-9 module now!!!

        P.S. Old memories are not always good memories.. I mean, 500$ for 50 megs of storage

        Comment


        • #5
          I just got a Dell QuadCore Q9400 with 4 Gb memory, 2 320 Gb harddrives and an ATI Radion 3650 videocard (which isn't all that great, but I don't use the PC for gaming. And I can always upgrade later). I also got a new 24" HP screen (with one stuck, permanent red, pixel: AAAAAAAARGH!!! Still negotiating with the seller to get a replacement.)

          It's quiet and fast, especially photo editing software works great. However, it also runs under Vista which means I had to manually tweak a lot to get rid of the visual fun useless stuff and kill a lot of automatic and unwanted startup processes to speed up things. (For the tech's: I always spend time using msconfig, tweakvi, manual register tweaks (resetting menu delay, disable error reporting, etc). And I got rid of most of the manufacturers pre-installed junk. I use the standby function instead of shut down to stop and start quickly (I created a link on the desktop so I can go to standby with a keyboard short-cut).

          Like Stickinthemud said, technology advances, both hard- and software. Which usually means every new chip is faster and every new software version has more options, but is also (a lot) bigger and slower (remember Winamp, Nero, PhotoShop, Windows itself?). So you need a new and fast pc to run it smoothly. The new hardware offers the technology for software developers to offer even more advanced features. So the next version is even bigger (and slower), so you want a new pc. It's an ongoing vicious circle.

          Bottom line: it all depends on what hard- en software you are using. If you are using 10 year old software on a 10 year old pc then there should be no problems. Most problems happen when you're using older software on newer hardware or vice versa.

          Edit: @TriggerThis: I remember the second 'pc' I used was a TRS model 4 with the big soft floppy disks (2!) and an external hardrive the size of a laser printer with the colossal amount of 4 Mb storage (four drives of 1 Mb). The harddrive costed about NLG 8000 in 1984, that's about EUR 3600 now or $ 5100. Taken inflation into account, you should add 60% to that!
          Last edited by eric_B; 12-30-08, 03:46 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I remember paying £250 to double the RAM in my PC to 8Mb, my friends said what do you need that much for? (about 18 years ago!)

            My two main machines are quad core with 2 Mb RAM, but I've still got 9 PCs of various ages on the network to help out when I'm rendering 3D animations (if an animation takes 10 days to render on 1 PC it'll take 1 day to render on 10 PC's)

            I've stayed away from Vista so far as I've never had any problems with XP or Windows 2000 and what I'm reading in this thread backs up my theory that Vista would be a step backwards in speed... and 3D work is one of the few areas where performance is still critical.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not counting things like the ZXspectrum or Amstrad PCWs, my first 'real' computer was a 486 with 4MB RAM and 512MB HD (ooohhhh!!) bought in the mid 90s. It was close to being top of the range then, but as technology was moving so fast at this time it was practically obsolete the moment I got it out of the box. I ended up replacing it twice by 2001. I've given up buying desktops with the capacity for 'future upgrades' - a nice idea, but (as Jman has said) I've found that by the time I get to the stage of considering an upgrade technology has moved on and you are just as well scrapping it and buying a new computer. Prices have dropped, but it's scary to think that all my computers have set me back over £4K not including all the extras like software, printers, scanners etc. (I could have had a new TD-20!!)

              Someone asked recently if you had to give up all but one of your computer, mobile/cellphone, TV, hifi system which would you keep. Got to be the computer, surely?
              Last edited by Swaledale; 12-30-08, 04:49 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Swaledale View Post
                Someone asked recently if you had to give up all but one of your computer, mobile/cellphone, TV, hifi system which would you keep. Got to be the computer, surely?
                With my computer I can use Skype instead of a regular phone to make calls (I'de get rid of my cellphone if I could) and I can download or stream pretty much anything that can be watched on TV or played on my hi-fi system. So I definitivly would keep my computer over anything else since it can do everything! But, would I be allowed to keep all 6 of them.. I really need all of them, you know

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not counting my C64 or experiences with DEC PDPs and VAXs, my first real computer was an Amiga. Real multi-tasking in the late 1980s. Wonderful stuff. I bought a 2 meg RAM expansion for it for $500. That took me to 2.5 meg which was more than we had on the VAX 11/785 at work. Then there was 40 meg SCSI hard drive. I forgot how much that was but I remember all of my PC friends were stuck with 640k of RAM and 20 or 30 meg drives. 880k floppies, too. Then there was the blistering 25 MHz 68030/68882 accelerator board, and finally by 1992 or so, virtual memory.

                  I remember writing some DSP code to do time compression without pitch shifting and trying it on a Sting tune I had digitized, maybe 3 or 4 minutes long. Fairly well optimized C code. I started the process and went to bed. Woke up a few hours later to check on the progress. It was about half done. I checked the final product in the morning and it sounded fine, so I was pretty happy. Now, that process is pretty much real-time.

                  The code-bloat has been ridiculous though. I wrote some tight code on those old machines and got a lot done in an executable only a few hundred k bytes in size. Now, I don't think you could do a "Hello World" example using Microsoft products in under a meg! (only a slight exaggeration)


                  Which would I give up? Well, I don't have a cell/mobile phone, so that's easy. TV is OK but not a biggie. Computer is very important for communication. Naaah. I'd keep my e-drums and use my computer at work!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was looking at new Apple laptops last week, as this one is too flaky for MIDI useage, and the base model is more powerful than my 5 year old G4 iMac.
                    All the dual core processing etc makes a huge difference.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jman...let me preface this with though I am a Windows network engineer by trade, I am a Mac guy. (Wouldn't that make a great commercial for Apple!) That out of the way, how well are edrumming applications supported for the Mac?
                      TD-12; TD-6V; FD-8; Hart Pro Toms, Snare, Bass; ECII hihat, crashes, splash & ride; Smartrigger crashes & china; Hart Hammer Pad; Pintech Dingbat; Iron Cobra double-bass.

                      "I never play the same thing twice...sometimes because I simply can't remember it." - John Paul Jones

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Umm.....did Jim just say that he didn't have a cell phone??? The horror!!!!

                        I have a flash drive around my neck right now that is about 10 times the capacity of the hard drive on my first PC 15 years ago.

                        Like Fullback, I'm a network engineer as well but ummm....I'm a PC guy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From a real dinosaur: I started programming with BASIC and timesharing on the school district mainframe. In college we punched cards or hand-loaded lines of machine language one switch at a time (A register, etc.). Right after high school I had a job using a card reader and making paper tapes for a burning machine at a shipyard. A couple years later I was using an IBM 80086 with two 5 1/4-inch floppies at work and was really tickled when the ten megabyte hard drives started coming out. In 1987 I bought an XT compatible with a 30 mb hard drive and an 80 character dot-matrix printer for $1,700.00. I upgraded a few things on that one but by the early '90's it wasn't economical anymore and I got an 80486. Again, there was limited up-grade-ability and I just had to buy a new one when that wore out a few years later. I got my laptop around the late '90's and it only has a 40 gb hard drive and 1 gb of RAM but I don't do much more than word processing with it anyway.

                          My son runs his own computer business and has a water-cooled dual-core screamer for gaming. He doesn't want to tell me how much it cost, but it was probably more than my first new car (a Toyota pick-up for $4,000.00) all total.

                          So yes I can relate, ancient as I am. I also do not have a cell phone (but my wife does) we don't get cable (although I have a 64 (?) inch Hitachi TV for movie watching) and between us and my daughter and son we have over 2,000 DVD's and VHS movies and TV series. I think it's a dead-heat between the big-screen TV and my computer, but the computer might have it by a nose. It has a cool dragon box for the tower after all! Plus, I have VDrumlib and two VEX packs and fool around with tweaking kits too.

                          Shalom
                          Bruce
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Oh yeah? Well when I started programming things were so primitive that we didn't even have machine code because we couldn't afford 1s, all we had were 0s. And there were no bytes, only nybbles* at 4 bits each. And RAM was a male sheep for chrissakes and you could never get those buggers to operate reliably. Hell, my keyboard stopped at "QWER". And for output all we had was a single Nixie tube with 9 of the 10 filaments burnt out (guess which ones). Damn thing took up the entire second floor of the science building and provided heat for the entire campus one January. You couldn't run it during July because the thermal overload threatened to buckle the steel I-beams under the floor.

                            Things were tough in those days, but we enjoyed it.


                            *this part is actually true.

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                            • #15
                              Pah! You were lucky. When I were a lad, I used to have to get up half an hour before I went to bed to stoke engine wit' coal t' fire steam generated abacus, and when we got home our father would slash us in 10 (binary) and dance on our ZX81s.

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