Building a Computer

Haig Dedeyan hdedeyan at
Mon Oct 13 03:13:34 BST 2008

Hi Sean,

for gaming, go with nVidia. They have the best OGL driver support 
available, have the gaming market cornered and because of that, gaming 
companies will tweak their games to take advantage of nVidia's gpu over 
ati, matrox. etc.

Also, you get good frame rates at high resolutions with all of the eye 
candy enabled.

Their linux support is also top notch.

For music, other than having multi outputs so that you get the time line 
stretched across 2 screens, I don't think you would get anything from 
any graphics card that will give you a feature specific to music.

For TV/Movies, you cannot beat the tv output quality from a matrox card, 
although their output support is s-video/composite.

nVidia & ATI both have component tv output.

They also have a feature called dvdmax where your 2ndary output device 
(tv or lcd) will automatically playout in full screen whenever you play 
a video clip.

PS: Be carefull about gaming under Vista. If your games are DX based, 
your games will crash or minimize if you are playing in full screen mode 
and some other app takes over the focus.

Under XP, there was an ugly workaround using the kludge method but for 
some reason, this no longer works under Vista so gaming companies are 
trying to find another kind of work around.

For the audio cards, I personally prefer m-audio.


Sean Darby wrote:
> Hello,
> I will soon be building my very first computer, am looking forward to
> it, though am also curious about a few things pertaining to hardware
> selection, compatibility, and quality of product. Before I insert the
> details of various computer components I have been looking at (currently
> with totals between about $1,300 and $1,600) I thought I would go ahead
> and open up a discussion on the subject.
> The primary purpose of the new computer:
> Music & Gaming.
> The secondary purpose:
> TV/movies/multimedia.
> Regarding gaming:
> I was invited to privately test a game that is in alpha/beta/etc. stages
> of production and it requires more computer muscle than what I currently
> have. I'm not much of a computer gamer, though this one is the
> exception, it's a must have/must play (at least for me, personally).
> Regarding music:
> I am a professional musician and require the ability to record out of my
> music lesson studio. Any functions that would benefit my music
> instruction would be great, too. I teach guitar, bass guitar, drumset,
> and percussion.
> The tv, movies, and other multimedia functions should be pretty easy,
> though I might need a few hardware components with special features if I
> want to ever hook the computer up to a tv (or perhaps hdtv) in the
> future. Some nice DVD rip/burn functions would be nice, though that can
> probably work fine with the appropriate software. Those are only a
> couple aspects of that purpose in the computer, otherwise I can simply
> watch the tv shows and movies on my computer as I do now.
> For gaming, I am looking into a few obvious things - nice graphics/video
> card for example, perhaps a "gaming pad" so I don't stress my normal
> keyboard out. I've heard NVIDIA is crossplatform but ATI is not.
> For music, I am looking into similar - nice audio/sound card for
> example, perhaps an external sound module to bridge the sound card to
> any additional external components (boards or instruments). I've heard
> mixed opinions on Sound Blaster, and am unfamiliar with other options.
> For tv/etc., I'm guessing I'll need s-video capability, though am not
> sure what else.
> The game will be running on Windows Vista, everything else will be
> Linux/Unix (specifically Ubuntu Studio, OpenBSD, and a "floating" 3rd
> *nix (partition reserved for different distros/flavors/etc.).
> The short-term goal is to have a computer immediately ready for gaming
> that also includes the basic components for producing music.
> The long-term goal is to maintain the gaming component requirements but
> mostly to add to the music producing aspect of the computer. I hope to
> eventually have a true home studio for use with teaching music lessons,
> composing music, and especially recording music.
> I am also going for a 64-bit, quad core. I have details available of
> what I've looked at so far but thought I'd introduce this subject and
> ask a question first.
> Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on computer
> components that would work with the above?
> Thank you!
> Sean

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