I need a new machine…

Ran memtest the other day, found errors at locations pointing to both RAM sticks. Haven’t yet tested to see whether it’s the chip or the socket, or even both.

Enumeration of what’s gone wrong with this machine:

  • Shipped with a virus-infected Win 98, straight from the factory
  • Hard drive died
  • Monitor controller broke
  • RAM died
  • PSU blew
  • CDRW not doing too well, although I suspect that’s wear and tear

I’m looking at getting a new system, which ideally would be a dual core Athlon 64 with an ATI video card and at least 2gb of DDR2 RAM, as well as getting an LCD monitor. Any suggestions on stuff to look out for?


5 Responses to I need a new machine…

  1. Given that you have RAM problems you might want to consider a machine with ECC RAM.


    You might want to read my above blog post (and the series of posts it links to) which provide information on my hardware problems and the measures I am considering to solve them in future.

    Unfortunately the only affordable machines with ECC RAM have Pentium-D CPUs…

  2. wjl says:

    If it’s also a question of price, why not consider something like the http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=1&l2=1&l3=381&l4=0&model=1680&modelmenu=1 ? That would have built-in ATI graphics with all necessary outputs, and they sell cheap here in Germany (around €100 for the complete barebone including case, power supply, and mainboard).

    I run an older “integrated” mainboard with nvidia chipset here, and I’m very happy with it (search my sites (wolfgang.lonien.de and thedebianuser.org) for “Asus”. The newer ones with ATI chipsets are supposed to take even less energy to run, ~ some 50W when idle.

    I would suggest some of the newer 45W AMD chips, like the BE-2350 (some €85 here), and 2GB of RAM for a total of about €240,- for the complete machine without drives.


  3. TimC says:

    You may want to stay away from disreputable companies!

  4. Leon Brooks says:

    A complete machine (case, mobo, dualCPU, gig of not-ECC RAM, 20GB hard drive, optical mouse, keyboard, _no_ screen) with integrated GeForce video & gigabit ethernet would set you back about AUD$400.

    Might be cheaper & simpler to replace the number-plate separator than to dink around with potentially dodgy RAM sticks &/or sockets.

  5. Thanks for the comments.

    Russell: ECC RAM would be nice, I’ll see if that’s an option. If it’s too expensive though I’d probably just take out an RTB warranty, as I can live without my machine for a few days.

    wjl: sounds interesting. I’ll consider getting a barebone and buying the rest of the parts myself. Depends on price of course.

    Leon: where would you get a $400 system like that from? Of course once I add in a bigger HDD and a non-integrated, non-nVidia graphics card, extra RAM, a new monitor, it would be closer to $1000.

    For anyone wondering why I don’t want an nVidia graphics card, it’s because they’re the ones which are behind on the open-source drivers front. AMD’s announcement of specs to developers and their plan to help in the development of an accelerated open-source driver are the main reasons I want to support them.

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