The CodingHorror Ultimate Developer Rig Throwdown: Part 3
The building has begun - Jeff's got pics over at CodingHorror as he gets my new system to boot. If you build a lot of systems it might be old hat to you, but we figured it'd be nice to go through the whole process from building, to software, to benchmarks, in detail - step by step. You can read about Part 1 and Part 2 if you like.
Seriously, you could literally fight off a mugger with that heat sink.
I'm still going back and forth about Vista 32-bit versus Vista-64. Sure, everyone's complained about Vista 64-bit having driver problems, but do most apps work?
Apple handled their PowerPC->Intel transition fairly smoothly, and it's nice that there's only
one two version(s) of the OS. I believe that Vista is the LAST 32-bit OS from Microsoft, so it seems like 64-bit might be the way to go.
How much trouble am I going to get myself into? There are those that swear by 64-bit XP...
UPDATE: Jeff's got Building a PC, Part II up where he installs the hard drive and figures out the wattage, and Building a PC, Part III, where he overclocks my Quad Core2Duo. It's getting exciting!
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
There’s always the memory argument: if you have much more than 2GB of RAM you’re just throwing it away if you’re using x86. Go with x64 and there’s no limit on the amount of RAM you can take advantage of.
If you use web service enhancements 3.0 - you can't update web references in visual studio - just doesn't work - no fix is planned.
Some things won't install without trickery.
Printers tend to have dodgy drivers.
There seems to be quirky things around different video codecs with media player - some stuff just won't play.
Mostly it's annoying little things - nothing that made it unusable though.
I've been running Vista Business x64 on my HP dc7700 for a few months now. I run VS2005 and SQL2005 x64 as non-admin and I have nothing to complain about. Like you, my biggest concern was hardware support but my iPod works fine with iTunes, my TomTom GPS works fine and my HP networked multifunction centre is great.
I love that Flash isn't available for IE7-x64 and often use it instead of IE7-32 to avoid noisy advertising. The new Microsoft guidelines for Vista certified software insist that 64-bit is supported (even if 64-bit native isn't provided).
If you get really stuck, you can run Virtual PC with 32-bit Vista inside it, or you can reinstall to 32-bit and use the great Windows Easy Transfer wizard to migrate your files and settings.
As a community leader, you should be showing the way with 64-bit.
If you use Cisco's VPN client to access work from remote, you will run into problems. I eventually gave up waiting for Cisco to write drivers for 64 bit Vista and went back to the 32 bit version. If this is a non-work related machine and a VPN client isn't a huge requirement, you should be fine.
 - http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=site%3Aaddressof.com+Adventures+in+Windows+Vista&form=QBRE
 - http://addressof.com/blog/archive/2007/05/12/Windows-Vista-_2200_supports_2200_-4GB-of-memory.--Sure-it-does_2E002E002E00_.aspx
That heat sink looks like a skyscraper. Why not go with a water cooled one? I have one and it works great and my computer sits in a closed closet with no ventilation!
Good luck with the overclocking... can't wait to see how it turns out.
Is that a skyscraper in there?!
Vista x64 isn't as scary as everyone is making it out to be. I think they are just scared to try it out.
One thing that I strongly recommend: If you plan on playing any games on that PC, set it up to dual-boot to XP-32. A lot of games and kids edutainment packages (even relatively recent ones) flat won't run on Vista (even in compatibility mode).
Something that I have learned running with dual boot: Despite claims to the contrary, XP is a little faster and way more stable than Vista on my hardware (and it's brand-new hardware). I suspect that driver immaturity is to blame. About a month after I built, both nVidia and Creative labs released new Vista drivers for my 8800 card and SB X-Fi card. These drivers went a long way towards closing the performance and stability gaps. The performance differences are only obvious in games, but stability is another story. Vista locks up at least twice a week on that hardware but XP has never, not once, locked up on the same box.
Go for the nVidia GeForce 8800 video adapter if you can... awesome card and the drivers are stable.
Now don't get me wrong, I have 2 monitors but use 3 screen. Most monitors (CRT or LCD) these days come with multiple inputs. and the way I have setup my coding machine is more practical for me that anything else.
I found that having 3 always visible displays meant that I had email, IM, and general extraneous windows open on the third monitor while having the first two dedicated to firefox and Visual Studio (and other coding related windows). This meant that I was constantly distracted by my third monitor through email alerts, IM's or other such unnecessary items. Thus, having the 3rd monitor be the second input to my main monitor was extremely useful for improving productivity because now I check that monitor far less frequently that before and that 3rd monitor isn't eating up power, and space on my desk.
Anyways, thats my story. I wish you all the best with your new rig and I look forward to the pics.
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