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Old 13-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
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Talking The Official Newbies FAQ - Please Read this Before you post here!

Before you create any threads to ask about computer terminology, please read this short FAQ

Computer Terminology:

CPU Central Processing Unit or the chip on the computer's motherboard that does arithmetic and logical operations, mathematical calculations and data transfer control operations
Common mistake: CPU is not the whole system, but just the chip that is on your motherboard
the correct word should be system unit

Mobo Motherboard is the printed circuit board that is screwed on to your computer's casing that interfaces with the memory, expansion cards and other devices to the CPU

Case Casing is the metal/plastic/cardbiard box that contains all the electronic components stored in your computer's casing

RAM Memory or generally refered to as Random Access Memory(there are other types like Static Ram, Dynamic RAM and ROM, but RAM is the most common) is a printed circuit board with special chips designed to retain data and instructions for the CPU to retrieve data from and place computed results in, and store data temporarily until it is ready to be archived in secondary storage

HDD, CDROM DVD ROM CDRW, DVDRW DVD RAM Blu Ray HD DVD Tape Drive
Storage Secondary Storage or Permanent storage is a medium by which bits and bytes of data are converted from their electrical signals to physical medium such as optical disks(cd, dvd blue ray etc)
Types include Hard Disks, Optical Media, and Magnetic Media as well as Solid State Devices

Expansion cards include Graphics Cards Sound Cards USB cards, Network cards, Physics cards, Tv Tuner cards etc are all focused into extending the function of the computer to other functions

Graphics Card, GPU GFX Card all refer to the class of expansion cards that connects via PCI, AGP or PCI Express slots on the motherboard to accelerate graphics content creation on a display device

Sound Card/Onboard Sound are chips/expansion cards that deal with the processing of data to produce an electronic signal that is converted to sound waves with speakers or earphones

RAID Redundant array of independent disks(requires 2 or more hard disks to run in several different modes

Crossfire: Multiple ATI GFX cards working in tandem to increase gfx performance(requires an ATI crossfire ready motherboard)

SLI Scalable Link Interface: Multiple Nvidiai GFX CArds working in tandem to increase gfx performance(requires an Nvidia SLI capable motherboard)

USB Universal Serial Bus connection built to connect multiple items

Firewire, IEEE 1394 a connection built for speed

E-SATA a type of external hard disk connection

PCI Express a type of slot that comes with newer motherboards
PCI Express 2.0 an upgraded pci express slot that comes on newer motherboards, x38, x48 and p45 have this feature

PSU Power supply unit is a box filled with electronic parts to supply the pc current through different connectors like the molex, sata power, 24pin power, 8 pin pci express, 6 pin pci express fdd, 4 pin 12v


About Hard disks

Why is my Hard disk size smaller than the one i bought?
Reasons:
Hard disk size is measured in decimal units, e.g. a WD 640 GB contains 640 Billion Bytes of space

BUT, the hard disk size is smaller than what is actually bought.
Assuming you have only one partition on the hard disk
Your computer reads Computer size in binary not in decimal, but computer hard disk sizes are made in decimal numbers
Thus 1 kilobyte of data is actually 2^10 bytes, not 1000 bytes
2^10 = 1024 bytes
1 mb ~ 1thousand kilobytes = 2^10 * 2^10 = 2^20 = 1024 x 1024 = 1 048 576 bytes, not 1 000 000 bytes
1 gigbyte ~ 1 thousand megabytes = 2^10 * 2^10 * 2^10 = 2^30 = 1024x1024x1024 = 1 073 741 824 bytes

So 640 GB or 640 Billion Bytes Decimal is actually 640 000 000 000 / 1024^3 = 596.046 GB
some space may not be allocated, as 8mb is unallocated when a new partiton is created, to be updated when i find out



About Ram
Timings, Latencies
Do i do low latency low frequency or high latency low frequency, maths intensive warning
This is the number of ram clock cycles required to complete a read, write and access operation, the last number is the timing required to do a combination of the above
Generally the shorter the latency, or ram timing, the faster the ram will be compared to valueram at the same frequency, but that taken into consideration, ram timing and frequency is interdependent, as seen in the following example

E.g. We have ddr 2 800 ram @ 5 5 5 15

Clock frequency is 400 since its ddr 2
clock cycle time = 1/400 000 000 = 2.5 nanoseconds
given the ram latency @ 5 5 5 15
it requires 5 clock cycles to complete one read, write or access cycle, depending on timing
or 5 x 2.5ns = 12.5 nanoseconds to complete one read, write or access cycle

e.g.2 we have ddr 2 1000 ram @ 5 5 5 15
Clock frequency is 500 since its ddr 2
clock cycle time = 1/500 000 000 = 2 nanoseconds
given the ram latency @ 5 5 5 15
it requires 5 clock cycles to complete one read, write or access cycle, depending on timing
or 5 x 2ns = 10 nanoseconds to complete one read, write or access cycle

Comparing this to the 1st example, the access timing for the faster ram(in terms of ram frequency) the time required to access the memory is shorter, thus bandwidth is inproved

e.g.3 we have ddr 2 800 ram @ 4 4 4 12
clock cycle time = 1/400 000 000 = 2.5 nanoseconds
given the ram latency @ 4 4 4 12
it requires 4 clock cycles to complete one read, write or access cycle, depending on timing
or 4 x 2.5ns = 10 nanoseconds to complete one read, write or access cycle
Comparing this to the 2nd example, at different timing/ frequencies, slower ram at tighter timings runs on par with fast ram with normal timings
comparing this to the 3rd example, at same frequencies different timing, the ram with the tighter timing will perform better than the normal ram @ normal timings


Frequencies
About CPU Frequency
Multiplier differences, Underclocking
Why does my cpu multiplier drop when i am not using my pc/idle?

This effect is due to EIST or Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology and C1e or CPU enhanced halt
The same effect can be seen in AMD cpus, its called AMD's Cool and Quiet

This feature of some intel cpus is a power saving feature, intended to reduce power consumption when the user does not need it, reducing cpu multiplier reduces the system's overall speed for a good amount of power saved
This feature is not recommended to be turned off, as it helps to decrease overall system temperature and prolong cpu lifespan.
Turn it off if you wish, but you would be increasing your power consumption and thus place stress on the environment



Overclocking
What is overclocking and why should i overclock?

Overclocking is the process of increasing the running speed of a computer hardware component by increasing the frequencies, lowering the latencies(for ram) and increasing the running voltage of the hardware component

Parts that can be overclocked include: Graphics processor, Graphics and system memory(RAM) CPU(Central Processing Unit) and etc
Poor overclocking resulting from insufficient voltages to the required components, or general heat damage from overheated computer parts are the only side effects from overclocking(as a result, hardware component lifespan will be shortened from heat damage, excessive voltages etc.)



Operating System
I have 4 GIG of memory installed but i can only see 3+
Ram showing less than 4 GIG detected under 32bit Windows XP SP2 or earlier and Windows vista 32bit(PRe SP1)

When the first CPU was created, the memory bus was one of the ways the system was classified as, e.g. 4 bit memory bus supported 2^4 bits or 16 bits of memory
the 8086 CPU had a 16 bit memory bus and could address up to 2^20 bytes of ram or 1MB of ram

Now, most recent cpus can support up to 64 bits, with a higher width of the data bus
older cpus like the pentium 4(478pin) supported up to 2^32 bits of ram or 4096 MB or 4 GB of ram
Newer cpus can support up to 2^64 bits of ram or 2^32 squared or 16 GB sqaured or 16.8 million terabytes or 16.8 exabytes of ram(16.8 x 10^18 Bytes)

As such there are two types of Operating system, one is the x86 or 8086/80286/80386 etc or 32bit Operating system
there is a memory allocation limitation of up to 2^32 gigabytes, meaning the maximum amount of ram used by the operating system includes: GFX ram, RAID bios memory and lastly system memory(system ram)
But with a 64 bit OS, there is less of a limit, as the operating system is written to take advantage of the larger amount of memory space addressable

This cap is increased to 16 GB for Windows XP x64 and 64 GB for Windows Vista x64
Otherwise, normal users wont use more than 4 GB of ram in most applications, of which 8 GB is also becoming more common.
As such since most modern CPUs are 64bit ready, the best choice for a core 2, phenom or x2 CPU is a 64bit Operating system, which takes advantage of the 64bit processor architecture, 32bit apps are run in emulated 32bit, but take advantage of the increased memory allocation to allow for better system stability

The only drawback is some 64bit ready drivers are not readily available or digitally signed, of which installing in vista x64 requires disabling of driver signing enforcement on windows startup

Why are my bios settings resetting everytime i turn off the main switch?
Why can't i keep my cmos settings everytime i turn on the mains?


Problem: likely to be dead CMOS battery, locate the shiny battery the size of a 20cent coin and pry it out with a flat tip screwdriver, replace this battery with a new one, which u can buy from any local supermarket, get the right one, the model number is CR2032
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Last edited by cty85; 24-07-2008 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #2
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Anymore things want me to add can post here

Coming soon:
What AGP card to buy

Duorb installation guide
Intel Pushpin LGA775 cooler installation guide
AS5 installation guide
Thermal paste installation guide
Sound card guide

Chipset/socket compatibility guide
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Last edited by cty85; 14-07-2008 at 01:58 AM..
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
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What CPU should i get?

What is the difference between single core and dual core?

Think of a core as a worker doing a certain job
Single core = 1 worker on one job
Dual core = 2 workers on one job
Assuming that the job can be separated into different parts and each worker does one part, the dual core processor works faster

What is the difference between dual core and quad core?

Same as The difference between single core and dual core
just that now, dual core is 2 workers doing 1 job
and quad core is 4 workers doing 1 job(triple cores from amd phenom series are also covered, but quad cores are more common )

But now comes an issue, do you really need a quad core processor?
take it this way, a job can be segregated into several parts
2 or more..
but sometimes, the program is written in such a way that 2 cores do the job just as well, so multi core optimised jobs are not exactly very much emphasized, except for some processes

On overclocking, the same class of processor, e.g. Q9450 45nm processor vs E8200 45nm processor same speed wise, the Dual core will overclock better

For some apps, such as games, overall speed is more important than how many cores u have, e.g. half life 2 64bit is not dual core optimised but single core only..

but for most applications, a Dual core is a cheaper alternative, since not a lot of applications can use all 4 cores fully

Buy a Quad core if u are into quad core optimised apps, multitasking, cpu intensive applications which are multi core optimised
or feel you have a lot of money to burn or just want it for bragging rights
Buy a Dual core if you just play games, or surf the net and do office work

What is the difference of low L2 cache and high L2 cache?
L2 cache is a piece of memory located in the CPU that stores data temporarily before processing
this memory is much much faster than the L3 cache or Random Access Memory
Normally, a high L2 cache will perform better than a low L2 cache processor, if and only if the program is written to take advantage of the increased L2 cache, or else, speed for speed, same core type, will be equivalent(if and only if the program is not well written to take advantage of a larger L2 cache)

As such, a Q6600@2.4ghz with 8mb cache vs a Q9300@2.5ghz with a 6mb cache
perform equivalently

CPU Ranking:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/p...max-9,369.html


How much Graphics ram is enough?

Should i get a 256mb 8800 GT or a 512mb 9600 GT?
heres the thing, graphics ram serves only one purpose
to store data temporarily for the graphics processor to use

usually, more Gram means u can store more higher resolution data for processing, but if the gpu is weak with large amount of ram, it will handle better than the same gpu with less ram at the same resolution, but will be jerky compared to a slightly more powerful gpu with the same amount of ram at a lower resolution
it really depends on what gpu and thus what amount of ram
best combo:
256mb 8600 GT
512mb 9600 GT(1 GB here is a bit overkill considering its weaker than 8800 GT)
512mb 8800 GT(1 GB here is a bit overkill..)
512mb 9800 GTX(i feel 768 better..)
256mb 3850
512mb 3870
768mb 4850
1GB 4870
1GB 3870X2
768mb GTX 260
1GB GTX280
1GB 9800 GX2

GFx card ranking:
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=88&pgno=0
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/g...score,538.html

Bios Beep codes

http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes.shtml

What PSU Power Supply Unit to buy?

http://deluxeforums.hardwarezone.com....php?t=1461388

courtesy of bryanwumf
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Last edited by cty85; 19-07-2008 at 02:37 AM..
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:02 PM   #4
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Why buy Vista?

Windows Aero
DirectX 10 support(10.1 with Service pack 3 and a 3xxx series radeon gfx card or better)
Better security
Looks nicer than xp
makes use of ram better

Why buy XP?
Dx9(bleah)
light ram usage(bleah i have 4 gig and i use only 512 when idle )

Why x64?
4 GB ram installed == 4 GB ram used
more than 4 GB, no problem, 64GB supported in Vista x64 16GB in XP x64

Why not x86?
64bit windows makes better use of your processor(especially if it is 64bit ready )
4GB > 3,5GB(provided you have a 512mb Gfx card and dont use raid and ramdisk )
makes better use of your dollar
Driver support for x64 not as good, but most common drivers are 64bit ready use 32bit apps as per normal in 64bit computing, emulation in 32bit is faster than native 32bit (in a x86 OS)
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:02 PM   #5
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CPU Coolers!
Suggestions?

How to install Pushpin intel LGA 775 Cooler
Suggestions?

Thermal Pastes:
Suggestions?
http://deluxeforums.hardwarezone.com....php?t=2026621

GPU Coolers
Suggestions?
How to install Duorb
Suggestions?
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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- Put the important info answering the most common questions in RED AND BOLD
- Try to put the most important ones on top (most important meaning most frequently asked questions)... I don't think the CPU one should be the first
- Lastly, sticky this
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:17 PM   #8
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Next time anyone who ask stupid questions again really deserve a slap in the face! Admin please make this sticky.
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:20 PM   #9
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i sarport by suggesting what else could be added...

so here's my 2nd input:

"Video memory: Just how much is enough?"

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Old 13-07-2008, 10:26 PM   #10
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You can add that what people call the "CPU" is actually the System Unit.
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:26 PM   #11
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1) Chipset/socket and cpu compatibility
2) Alternative/free OSs..linux distros
Upz for the effort!
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:45 PM   #12
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Q Why is my 512mb 8500/2600 being owned by a 256mb 3850?
(how to judge gpus)
Q How come my 500W I-Cute psu cannot support 8800GT but a 470W Acbel can?
(specs/connectors to look in PSU selection)
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:56 PM   #13
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Nice thread. Bump and up for sticky.

Need to ask a noob question. Why isn't the ram supported for 16 bit 2^16?
u find a 16bit OS that is still commonly used la
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Old 13-07-2008, 10:56 PM   #14
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Q Why is my 512mb 8500/2600 being owned by a 256mb 3850?
(how to judge gpus)
Q How come my 500W I-Cute psu cannot support 8800GT but a 470W Acbel can?
(specs/connectors to look in PSU selection)
noted
must go and dig out the gpu ranking list
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Old 13-07-2008, 11:47 PM   #15
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