Four Core and Seven Gig Ago

By: Matt Wood

"Four core and seven gig ago..."

It's no real secret that high-end gaming computers are also called entry-level workstations. Here's how to get a real workstation for about the same price as the cripple that you thought you wanted!

The PC turns 26 in October. The only constants have been the perpetual need for more processor speed, more memory, more accessories, and newer operating systems to run it all.

Here's the outline of your future-proofed "unfair" advantage that will roll the prices of your next 3 computers into one Thoughtspeed Screamer.

?Two to four CPU socket motherboard for two to thirty two processor cores. Multiple cores are no longer the future. Security and operating system bloatware alone each requires its own core, not to mention what real-time photo-realistic graphics, rendering, animation, DVD authoring, and engineering packages require for their modules. Quad core may be quaint by the time you read this!

?Eight to sixteen memory slots supporting up to 4 Gigabytes each. Imagine wielding the insane amounts of power that come from having your entire operating system, application, and it's data all in memory at the same time for the blistering fast performance that only memory-based competitors can hope to match! (everybody else is still waiting on their disk(s)).

?Your choice of multi-core Xeon or Opteron processors with their much larger caches and throughputs. This is Professional Power, not the poor relative!

?Genuine 15,000 RPM disks which can be configured as RAID 0 to work six times faster than a 10,000 RPM disk. The faster it spins, the more bits you can move per second. Send the Raptors home whimpering with their tails between their legs!

?Memory is always a safe buy. Add even more speed by adding memory as it's price continues to plummet like asteroids entering the atmosphere!

?Add even more speed and power by swapping CPUs for more cores and speed. You now have the luxury of waiting one, two, even five years for a particular processor to go out of fashion and it's price drop at least half.

?Dual SLI video will easily handle Direct-X 10 if you choose Vista.

Until recently, two things have been keeping all these goodies quiet- the prices and the need to learn an operating system like UNIX to access more than four gigabytes of memory that 32 bit Windows platforms are limited to.

Now you can build a Thoughtspeed rig for the price of an ordinary super gamer and run 64 bit XP-Pro, 64 bit Vista Business, or 64 bit Vista Ultimate to overcome the memory limitations. XP is currently the safest of the three.

Simply run a search for Workstations or Servers. All the major manufacturers make them; they just run the ads in IT trade magazines.

Need prices and availability? I like http://www.pricewatch.com

Hardware
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