Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The PC Guide

Dell Alienware M17x--A Laptop gamer's dream

After a long time I am posting another blog. Previously I have tried writing but didn’t fell like doing it so basically ended up with copy paste which I do have very much. Today before we plunge into the depths of another topic let me quickly post what were the events since 11th August.

  1. 11th August -16th August Trip to Shimla Dharamshala Amritsar. 
  2. 17th August -1st September lazyness to the extreme since my future was a bit in darkness. 
  3. 1st September-10th September Played a lot of games and then started fiddling with Ubuntu

 Now Since I have decided to devote myself to computer and its fundamentals..Let’s take a cool look first at the history of computers from my perspective.

Geek History

The birth of My 1st Baby

Back in 1997, my dad brought a Intel P1 processor(233mhz) with 64mb ram and 8GB HDD loaded with Win 95.In comparison my friend Shiladitya had a Intel Celeron processor with 32mb ram and 4GB HDD.

My first interest was spawned by my brother after seeing him play Prince of Persia and then Doom. Those were my inauguration towards the computer world.

My 2nd Baby

One day (Sometime in 2002) during an unfortunate HDD failure, I had to switch to a different processor.

Intel P4, 256MB Ram, 40GB HDD. She was later augmented with a Gforce 2 MX card so that I can play Unreal Tournament.OS:Win XP

My 3rd Baby

After another unfortunate Motherboard burnout (2005), I chose to try AMD Processor.AMD Athlon 3000 64bit,with 80 GB HDD and 512 RAM. Later I added a 1 GB Ram and Gforce 9600 GT. OS: Win XP

My 4th Baby

No my third one lives but I had to move to Bangalore for work and then could have been later relocated anywhere and thus I chose to buy my first laptop (2009). Hp Pavilion DV6 3009tu.i3 370M Processor,500GB HDD,4 GB RAM(2 GB Added later).This was my first entry into multicore processors. OS :Win 7,Ubuntu 11.04.

Through this travel of Technology I have learnt a few things which I wanted to share with you. To start with for new people who want to buy a computer but only knows the shop address where they always manage to give a budget of around 30K-40K for a PC. Since the market is always changing along with the prices thus there is no point in giving the same quotation for a PC. Instead let me quickly guide you through some very basic computer buying tips and guide.

Guide 1: Buying A PC

What type of usage you have planned will play a very vital role in buying. I will try to post everything in budget price so for the highest rig, I guess the shopkeepers will be able to better help you out.

Basic Type of Users


  • Casual user: One who surfs the net, plays movies and music. 
  • Programmer: One who uses the PC to learn various programming knowledge. 
  • Gamer: Well this is the casual Gamers. 
  • The Clan Warrior: The ultimate gamer and Hardcore gamer.This also included people who are into multimedia editing(photos and videos).

Note :The categories has been done tier wise so for example Tier 3:Gamer can do all the things Tier 2:Programmer can do and a bit extra.

Basic Building Components

Note: I would recommend only advanced computer users to assemble their system otherwise just ask the shopkeeper to do so. They make ask some extra cash but believe me it’s worth the risk.


1. CPU

CPU Chips

I guess now days there is no single core CPU in the market.

Q: So what exactly is this Multicore terms like Core to Duo ,Quad core or Dual core(and Hex core) means ?

A: They mean that 2/4/6 processors have been clubbed in a box for you.

Q: Now what was the need for doing such a thing?

A: Imagine the case where a 2 is being done by 1 person (Multitasking single core) and 2 work is done by 2 people. In 2nd case the work will be done much easier. Also a work can be broken into threads in which case multithreading or having more than one thread helps.

For the first 3 category of users dual core will be more than sufficient but for tier 4 a quad core processor is recommended.

CPU Wars


Intel Vs AMD
 There are two CPU manufactures out there (many more but these 2 dominate the market). Intel and AMD Processors nearly have started a war to dominate the market.

Myths and their validity

AMD Processors are like hot oven. Partially true. While AMD processors do get a little header compared to their Intel counterparts but then again there is a catch. Intel processors are more costly that AMD, thus if you buy an AMD the extra cash can be used to buy a good CPU cooling fan or a good cabinet with extra fan and still save say 2000 to 3000 INR extra.

But Intel on the other side offers rock solid performance, zero heating problems(unless the fan is not running) and a slight boost over AMD processors.

Lastly the choice is based on users so choose whatever you feel like..but if you have a budget to follow I guess AMD is a strong contender for hardcore gamers.

2. RAM

The more ram you have the better. Wrong. There is a sweet thing called dual channel so ideally my 4GM Ram(2X2GB same frequency) will eventually your 6GB (4+2 GB).So I suggest either buy in pairs or buy a single chip so that the option to upgrade later remains open. With only 2 ram slots present in most motherboards and rams coming at 1GB/2GB/4 GB combos. Give it a thought before buying

Ram frequency also matters. So buy the highest frequency the motherboard supports. This will be a safeguard against future expansion.

Casual user: 2GB.

 Programmer: 4GB

 Gamer: 4GB

 The Clan Warrior: 8GB

3. HDD: Choose as you please. Exclusively depends on how much you want to store. Then there are external ones.

4. Motherboard: If you are casual or Programmer, don’t worry about the motherboard and if you are a gamer or a clan warrior you probably will know about these.

5. Graphics Card/PCI Express Card

GForce 9600GT

Casual user: NA.
Programmer: NA

Casual and Programmers need not to worry about PCI Express card. They will be having their own sweet inbuilt card which in some cases is real good enough cards to play games as well.

Gamer/The Clan Warrior: Read the market and decide well. The gamer will go for a good mid range card and the clan warrior will probably go for a twin entry level high end card. Yes twins.2 cards of same model clubbed together can deliver awesome power (Nvidia SLI or AMD Crossfire).Be sure to get a DX 11 supported card.

War of Cards

Nvidia Vs AMD(ATI)

Yes once again we arrive at the point where there a two giant competitors for a rich market. Nvidia and AMD (formerly known as ATI).In an attempt to stop a 2nd war on my post, please read the Google for further info. Oh and Nvidia is possibly coming for PC CPU market soon.

Personally I prefer using Nvidia and have never used ATI. One of the reasons being that most of the games that need a serious card always show a logo that says made for Nvidia.


That pretty much concludes the guide. The next one will be about various operating systems available for use. There is always lots of information available on the internet so before buying search Google, visit the shops for a price quotation and then plan your PC.


Note: Never buy a Branded PC. They actually suck and if you open the cover in many cases the warranty is actually void unless specified by the technical support executive or the authorized service engineer. A PC with its cover closed is as good as a laptop minus portability.

Signing Off
Santanu Ghosal

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