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Comment Look for manufacturing process changes for quiet (Score 2) 168

For "quiet" video cards you sometimes have to look for a previous generation design that has gone through a new manufacturing process (same circuitry but laid out at a smaller scale, a process with fewer nanometers (nm)). These may get smaller or slower speed fans. Might even go passively cooled if it was a modest GPU to begin with. Of course you won't get the greatest performance but perhaps something good enough for play.

For what its worth I tend to install auxiliary low-RPM fans that blow directly on passively cooled motherboard chipsets (often under a heat sink) and on passively cooled GPUs.

Comment Overclocking errors can be a simple wrong number (Score 2) 168

Overclocking is fine if its only a gaming PC but if it is also used for anything serious, anything where the correct results are important ... do *not* overclock.

Overclocking errors are not some black and white easy to recognize situation. It is literally a progression through various shades of gray. At the lightest shades of gray, where overclocking errors begin, at perhaps quite modest overclocking settings, the errors are subtle. Literally it may simply give the wrong answer, the wrong numeric value, no crash or anything dramatic. And what instruction yields this simple wrong answer, and beginning at what overclocking setting, and what instructions must precede it if any ... are all variable and will change from one specific CPU to another. Hence the inability to reliably test for overclocking errors. The errors manifest different on every CPU, and the required conditions manifest differently, and these conditions may include being immediately preceded certain instructions or certain data patterns. Instructions and data patterns that also differ CPU to CPU.

So if a PC is just for gaming and other casual use, overclocking does little harm. However if the computer is also used for serious numeric work, software development, etc ... its best to avoid overclocking.

Comment Quality and compatibility ... (Score 1) 168

The only good way to get what you want is to build one.

Absolutely, you get the exact parts that you want. Pre-built always seems to involve some compromise in one part or another.

Careful selection of parts is also very helpful if you want to do something like dual boot Linux.

Building your own is no longer the money saver that it once was though. But quality and compatibility are reason enough.

Comment Re: Build one (Score 1) 168

Building a custom computer? All you do is put the parts together. The hard part is picking the right parts.

Which is the same thing that Dell, HP, etc do. Screw together some parts, at least for desktops. Laptops can involve a little bit of design with respect to layout, to get airflow cooling right.

Comment How does Pi compare to PDP-11 (Score 1) 224

Aren't they the size of a filing cabinet?

That was just the external hard drive, more a full sized rack in their 1st generation, plus another rack for peripherals. They eventually got down to desktop workstation size. Maybe palm sized now with the Pi. How does a Pi with a remote text terminal session compare performance wise to a PDP-11 :-)

Comment Maybe selectively merge original and reworks (Score 1) 424

If we only could get a HD release of the original theatrical releases of the first ones (S.W., the Empre Strikes back and just to complete it Return)

My opinion changes. At times I would love the originals. At other times I would like a careful merging of the originals and Lucas' reworks. The CGI for the space scenes may a nice modernization. No plot changes though, Han shoots first, no infantile CGI additions like turning the corner during a chase and finding 50 additional unexpected stormtroopers rather than a few more unexpected, etc.

Such selective merging works with the general theme that Lucas can come up with some good ideas but he needs adult supervision to prevent him from taking something too far.

Comment Best when Lucas' role is limited ... (Score 1) 424

Star Wars works best when Lucas' role is limited. For example he wrote the story for the Empire Strikes Back but others wrote the screen play and directed the film. For the original Star Wars movie (ep 4) the studio had more control while he wrote and directed. The Phantom Menace being an example of an unrestrained Lucas, well that and the awful reworking of the original trilogy. If those reworks represent the vision that was always in his head then than goodness technology and budget had restrained him. Maybe we are at the point where Lucas has told enough of the "story" for this universe via film, animation, literature and games and we can just say thank you and move on.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.