Advice on system purchase

Advice on system purchase

Post by roger reynol » Thu, 23 Feb 1995 13:27:18



        Hello,
        I am in the final phase of purchasing a new system to
        run (primarily) Linux and NT.
        I have selected a Zenon Pentium system as follows:
                ECS motherboard w/ SIS chipset, 75 mhz CPU
                16mb ram
                PCI SCSI controller - NCR53c810
                1 GB SCSI disk
                ATI Mach 64 w/ 2mb vram

        The total cost is about $2500.

        It is not too late to bail out on this if there is any
        reason to avoid any of the items I have listed above,
        or if anybody knows how to put an equivalent system together
        for less money.  Also, if anybody has any experience dealing
        with Zenon, good or bad, I'd appreciate your comments.

        My second choice was a gateway 2000 system, but I could not
        get the SCSI configuration I wanted for the price, and it came
        with a bunch of software I was not very interested in.

        Thanks,

 
 
 

1. Seeking advice on new system purchase

Christmas season is right ahead of us, and it's time to reward oneself,
so I'm planning a purchase of a new box to run primarily FreeBSD.  While
researching individual components, I have built a short list of
questions I was hoping more experienced FreeBSD users could help me
with.  First, the purpose of the box.  It is going to be a workstation
mainly, with light server use, no USENET or web (maybe to a limited
degree, to experiment with some Intranet solutions), but with quite a
bit of networking going on and a reasonable amount of compiling (and a
lot of documenting :-).  Here are the questions:

1. What is the perceived speedup between regular Pentium (say, 166 which
   I'm using now) and PPro (180 or 200)?  Is it worth the extra expense?
2. I have read good reviews of the latest Diamond 3D 3000 (VRAM) card.
   Since the new release of FreeBSD includes v.3.2 of XFree86, I've
   checked the docs but didn't see a specific mention of that card.
   Does anyone know if it's supported under a different name?  If so,
   has anyone had a chance to use it and see how it performs?
3. Within a foreseable future I would like to add a SCSI tape and
   perhaps even a writeable CDROM (primarily for use with another OS).
   Would Adaptec 3940 be appropriate for such a task? (to split the
   primary hard drive from tape and CD).  Or would it be better to buy
   two separate 2940s?  Am I misunderstanding the purpose of 3940?
4. I was attracted by the low price of IBM SCSI 2 GB 32160 drives.  Are
   they any good?
5. For the type of use I have described, does it make much of a
   difference to go to UW for SCSI?

And one more question not directly related to FreeBSD.  The Viewsonic
P815 got the "Best of Comdex" award.  Has anyone used it?  I've never
used Viewsonics before, but the 21" monitor with good sharpness does
appeal to me (a lot of writing).  

I appreciate all and any comments.

t.
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