A New Year of Upgrading Begins

with some peripheral goodies

By on March 20, 2013 12:42:50 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

starkers

Join Date 05/2004
+938

As the title suggests, I have begun upgrading again.  However, being that the guts of my rig perform more than satisfactorily and it's fast as well as reliable, I'm upgrading some addons to extend its use and/or make it more enjoyable.

First on the list is this.... a LG E2742V-BN 27" LED monitor.

I decided to replace the 32" TV I'm using as a monitor with this because i/we could use an extra TV upstairs and I don't want to sacrifice in screen size too much... and to get a 30" plus monitor is still up in the $1500 bracket and upwards.  This 27" beauty, regular RRP $445 AUD, cost me just $245 AUD on special.  Okay, so it's not top of the range, but with my old eyes [even with specs] I ain't gonna notice that.

The other thing I ordered is a  Vantec NexStar HX4R HDD Enclosure  a 4 bay SATA HHD Caddy so I can do away with a swag of external drives and all the cable clutter they come with...

This unit has all 10 Raid functions, plus JBOD and single HDD functions, as well as being hot-swappable so there is no need to reboot or use the Remove Hardware Safely function in Windows.  In replacing up to 10 external drives at a time with this, not only do I cut down on cable clutter, I save on electricity and time taken to copy or move files.  Before I could only copy or move to one external drive at a time, but with this I can copy to all four at once, thus saving hours on end, and when I'm done with the 1st four [sometimes multiple copies of home movies are required for extended family members], I can pop in another 4 and copy to them... it beats the hell out of having to copy up to 10 singularly. 

Again, I sniffed me out a bargain.  This unit is costing me $127 AUD on special... RRP $179 AUD.  I have seen it selling for up to $219 in places so I think I did alright, and it's a nice looking unit as well

It's all paid for and hopefully this all arrives on Friday morning.

 

 

 

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March 20, 2013 1:26:02 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

That HardDrive Enclosure looks very nice.  I'm currently using two Dual HD Docking Stations, one USB 2.0 and one 3.0.  This would allow me to have my current three external drives hooked to 3.0.  May have to look into this. 

Thanks for posting the info starkers. 

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March 20, 2013 2:34:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Philly0381,

That HardDrive Enclosure looks very nice.  I'm currently using two Dual HD Docking Stations, one USB 2.0 and one 3.0.  This would allow me to have my current three external drives hooked to 3.0.  May have to look into this. 

Thanks for posting the info starkers. 

You're welcome, Philly. 

I don't know about pricing in your neck of the woods, but with just one power supply, as opposed to a couple of docks or several external power adapters, I think it would end up paying for itself from the power savings.  The thing I like about it is that the drives are hot-swappable and have tool-less installation, making them quick and easy to change when needed.  And yes, it is a very nice looking unit.  I did look at others but this one appealed more to me due to its convenience and dark, sleek appearance. There were a couple of others similarly priced, but they did not have the tool-less or hot-swap features, nor were they as aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  Yes, it would make a fine addition to any desktop, me thinks.

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March 20, 2013 2:51:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I currently have two 23" monitors, but I always think about scrapping those and getting a nice 27", maybe even 30".

 

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March 20, 2013 3:08:53 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I have 2 23s, and 2 20s. I would much rather have multiple monitors than one big one.

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March 20, 2013 3:50:17 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Island Dog,
I currently have two 23" monitors, but I always think about scrapping those and getting a nice 27", maybe even 30".

I was thinking about a 30" until I say the current prices... $1284 was the cheapest with my regular supplier, and from there they went up to S2799 for the top of the range model. They also have a 42" for $3199, but that's well out of my league.

Quoting RedneckDude,
I have 2 23s, and 2 20s. I would much rather have multiple monitors than one big one.

Ah, but I could have the 27" in the centre and a 22" on either side if I wanted.  Or if i really wanted to go all out, I could go with the 27" in the centre; two 22"s either side; a 19" on a separate stand one side of my desk and the 32" TV on another the other side of my desk. 

In fact, I have one of those DVI splitters that allows up to 6 monitors off one output, so I could have up to 8 monitors/TV's all running from the graphics card if I wanted... would have to pinch Shaunna's 22" and a 19" from upstairs, but I could do it. 

Hmmm, what about I take the 55" TV from upstairs; the 42" TV from downstairs; two 32"s and my new 27" monitor and the two 22" monitors and hook 'em all up? 

Would Deskscapes run a different dream on each one? 

And who's helping with the power bill?

Nah, seriously, the 27" monitor for my main screen will be enough for my needs, though now that I won't have a TV connected, perhaps I could reinstall my TV tuner card and have a 22" on the side for TV shows I might want to keep an eye on.

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March 20, 2013 9:17:18 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The Vantec enclosure looks interesting, however I already have two Ez4 hot-swap caddies with their quaint lcd displays etc. in the box...  

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March 20, 2013 9:56:17 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I run with a 27"+22" right now... just isn't the same with dual 22"s at work.

 

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March 20, 2013 11:03:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,

The Vantec enclosure looks interesting, however I already have two Ez4 hot-swap caddies with their quaint lcd displays etc. in the box...  

Yup, the Vantec enclosure sure is something, ain't it, and very reasonably priced compared to other I looked at. There was a Synology one for 500+ bucks, and it looks no better, does no more than the Vantec, so it was not a serious consideration. There were a few crappy looking ones, but most of those looked cheap, were priced higher and not as fully featured at the Vantec... no LED indicators or RAID, etc.

When you say "in the box", do you mean those front loading type caddies that sit in the 5.25 bays of your tower?  If so, I did look into those but decided against them as I do not have enough free 5.25 bays to accommodate 4 drives. I do have 4 bays but 3 of them are occupied with a Bluray ROM, a DVD ROM and the front panel of my sound card.  A 6 or 8 drive enclosure would have been nice, but none were in my price range... so 4 is the magic number, I guess.

While on my search I came across a number of other items that looked rather interesting.  For example, there were towers which hold a varying number of DVD or Bluray Rom drives [anything up to 15 or more] that can burn multiple discs of the same data.  It's not something that I'd never need, but there were others that act as NAS servers holding multiple drives. One thing that did get my attention, though, was an Ethernet splitter that allows up to 8 or more network devices. Now one of those would be quite handy as I have a few devices that would be better cabled... such as media players that can lose content continuity when streaming via wi.fi.  That'll be for another time, however.

If you're interested in some of the lesser seen, rarer PC items, take a look at http://www.techbuy.com.au/.  I'm sure you'll find something there to spruke your interest. 

 

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March 21, 2013 1:17:41 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

That'll be 'spruik' [perhaps - though not actually right....you probably are better off with 'spark']...

 

Yes, in the tower.  I have 4 bays...2 with the caddies and 2 with DVD burners.  [haven't got a blueray burner as I haven't got a blueray player either]..

 

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March 21, 2013 1:48:47 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
That'll be 'spruik' [perhaps - though not actually right....you probably are better off with 'spark'].

Spruke - Spruik... it's as near as what damn is to swearing, as my dear ol' granny used to say.

Quoting Jafo,
[haven't got a blueray burner as I haven't got a blueray player either].

I do have a bluray player and a few discs, but that's not the only reason I'm getting the Bluray ROM drive.  A Bluray disc holds swags more data than a DVD, so the idea is more to create hard copies of things such as skin libraries and the like, without using so many discs to clutter up the joint.  Mind you, once that's done I'll have a few redundant DVDs that'll either become coasters or frisbees.

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March 21, 2013 6:50:57 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
Spruke - Spruik... it's as near as what damn is to swearing, as my dear ol' granny used to say.

As she may have...however 'spruik' wasn't the word you were looking for, either...

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March 21, 2013 6:53:06 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
I do have a bluray player and a few discs, but that's not the only reason I'm getting the Bluray ROM drive. A Bluray disc holds swags more data than a DVD, so the idea is more to create hard copies of things such as skin libraries and the like, without using so many discs to clutter up the joint. Mind you, once that's done I'll have a few redundant DVDs that'll either become coasters or frisbees.

Haven't done the math....but isn't the odd HD platter or two still cheaper-by-the-gig than Blueray disks?

....and more durable?...

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March 21, 2013 8:25:40 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

That   Vantec NexStar is a beauty starkers!

I have been thinking about getting NAS, I'll have to check this Vantec out!

I have 2 WD 3TB hooked up to A WD Live Media Streamer and it takes forever to compile the library contents from both.

My Corsair 800D tower is full no more bays so can't install any more HDs.

Thanks for the info starkers!

 

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March 22, 2013 7:13:58 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
Haven't done the math....but isn't the odd HD platter or two still cheaper-by-the-gig than Blueray disks?

There may be a minimal price difference, but the idea is to be able to manage libraries on one single disc, rather than having to swap out 3, 4 or 5 DVDs to access data. And I have several backups on HDD, but sometimes those die and I want something a little more permanent. For me, the convenience outweighs the cost.

Quoting Jafo,
...and more durable?...

My burner supports M-Disc...   "uses a patent rock-like recording surface instead of organic dye to etch your data onto a disc. The M-DISC has been tested and proven to outlast standard DVDs currently on the market."

 According to what I've read, these M-Discs hold their data up to 10 times longer than standard DVD or Bluray discs... so for data I want to keep for a lifetime and longer [photos and things for my great, great, great grandchildren] I'd use these discs instead of the regular DVDs.
 
Quoting Quicksilver007,

That   Vantec NexStar is a beauty starkers!

I have been thinking about getting NAS, I'll have to check this Vantec out!

I have 2 WD 3TB hooked up to A WD Live Media Streamer and it takes forever to compile the library contents from both.

My Corsair 800D tower is full no more bays so can't install any more HDs.

Thanks for the info starkers!

 
 
You're welcome.
 
The Vantec is a nice unit but it is not actually a NAS server as such... as in it is not network connected like the various Netgear and Western Digital ones. 
Here is a list of NAS enclosures... LINK to give you an idea of what is available [please note that it is an Australian site that may not ship OS].
 
Hehe, my Thermltake case has oodles of room for more stuff, but what I needed was something portable so I could move it between PC's... I have two upstairs as well and may want to connect these drive to those.  Besides, my case is heavy enough to lift already, and putting more in it could see me doing myself a mischief.
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March 22, 2013 8:05:35 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thanks for the link starkers!

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March 22, 2013 10:08:15 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
My burner supports M-Disc... "uses a patent rock-like recording surface instead of organic dye to etch your data onto a disc. The M-DISC has been tested and proven to outlast standard DVDs currently on the market."
According to what I've read, these M-Discs hold their data up to 10 times longer than standard DVD or Bluray discs... so for data I want to keep for a lifetime and longer [photos and things for my great, great, great grandchildren] I'd use these discs instead of the regular DVDs.

You might have missed my point.  Harddrives would be a more permanent medium than some photo-etched plastic/netal foil.

And any medium is only as good as the future accessibility of the format anyway.

Hands up all those people who threw out their VHS machines just moments before they found that long-lost vid of young Johnny's first barf/whatever?....

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March 22, 2013 12:02:35 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
Ah, but I could have the 27" in the centre and a 22" on either side if I wanted.

I also have a 32" LCD TV that I use when watching movies from the PC.

 

Trouble with using a TV as a monitor, or any large screen, is that the best resolution you're gonna get is 1920 x 1080, and on a 32" screen, that amounts to a one inch tall taskbar, huge window frames, start panel, etc....

 

In other words, everything is bigger, but you don't gain any real estate. With multiple monitors, everything stays the same size, but you have more room (real estate) for more stuff.

 

I find it very useful to have 4 monitors.

 

Photoshop is usually open on one. Yahoo Messenger and Skype on one, (so I can talk to Wiz, Xiandi, 2of3, Murex, Philly, Shaunna, etc....) 

 

Then a 3rd monitor holds my meters and a clock, weather.

 

4TH is an extra. It's where everything goes when I'm gaming in surround mode on the other 3. 

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March 22, 2013 12:08:36 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Oh, my next upgrade will likely be a 6 core CPU.

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March 22, 2013 5:57:53 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
You might have missed my point. Harddrives would be a more permanent medium than some photo-etched plastic/netal foil.

No, I didn't miss your point.  Hard drives fail more easily than well-looked-after DVD, Bluray or M-Discs.  I've had more than one suddenly die, and what i want is something more permanent to leave my descendents a couple of generations or more away.

Oh, and I did consider SSDs, but the arithmetic worked out that those would cost more than the discs at this juncture in time.

Quoting Jafo,
And any medium is only as good as the future accessibility of the format anyway.

So I'll leave them the means to play the discs as well... just in case such a thing becomes a museum piece only.  Who knows, in 60 - 80 years time HDDs may also be historic... ancient things of the past. 

Then, I might live long enough to use some futuristic device that records everything in books.  Now there's a novel idea!

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March 22, 2013 6:19:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
Hard drives fail more easily than well-looked-after DVD, Bluray or M-Discs. I've had more than one suddenly die,

As with all things electronic....if it works properly at purchase it'll most likely keep working.

As with all things plastic.....it will scratch.

Hands up all those people who have had a disc delaminate?...

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March 22, 2013 6:33:53 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting RedneckDude,


Trouble with using a TV as a monitor, or any large screen, is that the best resolution you're gonna get is 1920 x 1080, and on a 32" screen, that amounts to a one inch tall taskbar, huge window frames, start panel, etc....

I've been running my 32" TV on 1440x900 and I do not find the taskbar unusually large, nor the screen real estate less than is required.  In fact, it has served my purposes well.  However, it has another use and the 27" monitor was cheaper than another similar sized TV of any quality.

As for running another monitor to the side, I've decided to run a 22" for things I may want to keep an eye on while working on the large screen... like the footy; the news; current affairs; the weather; a bit of pron when nobody's around; maybe a music clip or three on You Tube...

...and/or WC to keep an eye on blokes like you.

Quoting RedneckDude,
Oh, my next upgrade will likely be a 6 core CPU.

Aw c'mon, why not go the whole hog and get an 8 core like I did?  Not only does it go faster [I got one in a red box], if 6 cores go down I still got 2 to limp home on.  Think of it like a V8 and a V6... ya know which one you'd want if 4 cylinders suddenly died, dontcha. 

Now that didn't take much convincing, did it?

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March 22, 2013 7:22:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
As with all things electronic....if it works properly at purchase it'll most likely keep working.

Like your fan the other week?  And those other times when yrag saved the day?  Nah, I've had more than one electrical item go guts up inside the warranty period, and a few after.  Let's just say they don't make 'em like they used to. 

Quoting Jafo,
As with all things plastic.....it will scratch.

Yup, like some of those electrical items that died in the arse before I'd gotten my money's worth.  Like the TEAC 26" TV I'd only had a week and some of the circuit boards burned out.  The majority of that was plastic.... AND electrical. Sure TEAC replaced it under warranty... just rocked up, took it away and left a new one... but it lasted all of 4 years before it too died, out of warranty.  Replaced it with a Sony, which wasn't cheap and like top-of-the-range... should have lasted years, according to the salesman, but it didn't... after 2 it was a dead POS. 

That's why I go for el-cheapo, bargains and cut-price specials... then if it prematurely goes guts up I'm not too disappointed.  Orright, I am, but I'm not down the store dragging the salesbloke over the counter, ripping his lying voice box out.

Funnily enough, though, I've had better luck with electricals since ditching big brand names for lesser ones.  For instance, I've got a dirty old Dick Smith special [32" TV] that's lasted 6+ years so far and is still going strong... and a couple of cheap old Soniqs that have also served well for some years now.

Sadly, though, I do not share your optimistic outlook on electrical goods... they're not supposed to last because we're deemed to live in a throw away society.

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March 22, 2013 7:49:07 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
Like your fan the other week?

You'd snuff it too if you had three and a half years of constant cat fur clogging.

I have HDs with a decade of actual constant use .... still going strong.

The bits that 'matter' are sealed tight and well removed from cat fur and/or scratching.  As a storage system they are peerless, particularly if for archive and not 24/7 activity...

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March 22, 2013 9:20:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
Aw c'mon, why not go the whole hog and get an 8 core like I did?

I'll do well to afford the 6 core. I currently have a 3.

Besides, most of the 8 cores I have seen are the wrong socket type for my mobo.

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March 22, 2013 10:35:01 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
You'd snuff it too if you had three and a half years of constant cat fur clogging.

For one, I wouldn't have a cat, well not any more.  The last one a former partner brought home, much to my chagrin, and when she left she left the cat behind... he was old... I didn't have the heart to get rid of him.  He died aged about 15 or so... the same day an old lady I helped care for died.  They were close and I think he somehow knew it and just gave up. 

Anyhow, I digress, as usual... so I won't start about the dog.  

I have some hard drives around 8 years old that are still going strong... a couple of IDE 500 giggers and some old Samsung 200 gig SATAs.  But like I said, they don't make 'em like they used to.  I've had 2 much more recent Seagate 500 giggers die and a WD terabyter. 

Yeah, I know, terabyter and gigger[s] aren't proper words, but I don't give a rat's... people 'll know wot I mean.

Quoting RedneckDude,


Quoting starkers, reply 21Aw c'mon, why not go the whole hog and get an 8 core like I did?

I'll do well to afford the 6 core. I currently have a 3.

Besides, most of the 8 cores I have seen are the wrong socket type for my mobo.

Ah, so you have one of those AMD 3 core jobs?  I always thought that an odd number, but I know a few people who had/have them and say they run really well.  You'd need a mobo with an AM3+ socket to run the latest 8 core offerings from AMD, and I'm guessing you'd have an AM2 socket board.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't just be getting a new mobo, though.  You'd also need to get DDR3 RAM as DDR2 wouldn't be compatible, and that would boost the price of such an upgrade. The thing is, the AMD Phenom x6 1100T is a very good processor that would suit your AM2 socket board, and it is quite zippy as well.  I have one in my rig upstairs and it is on a par speed/performance-wise with my 1st 8 core... a FX3170.  I now have a FX8350 and it kicks butt.

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