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Topic: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

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  1. #1
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Unhappy 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

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    ***Advertisments***
    Right in the middle of multiple, massive projects - BOOM! …fire…computer death!
    Anyone trying to contact me via email may have trouble. Though my other computer is now set up to read my email accounts, I am not receiving most emails. So if you want to send me my fan mail, try the email – or call or write a letter.
    Fortunately, I back up at least 3 DVDs of my data every night so I have lost no more than a days work. But I am effectively “out of business” (work wise) until probably mid November –when the new computer arrives.
    What is really a drag is that I will have, (quite literally), HUNDREDS of re-activations to do. This is the only time I will not curse out the dongles I have – though I still prefer activations.
    The other drag is that this is probably the WORST time in history to buy/upgrade a new computer (feel free to disagree). The reason (as I see it), is that “Moore’s Law” got a speeding ticket and hit a brick wall about 3 years ago. Despite the denial – this is, in fact, the case. The temporary work around has been the various “Dual Core” and (slightly more legit) “64 bit” and “power efficiency” tricks until they figure out new manufacturing methods that allow for something like smaller chips that have large enough circuits to still conduct electricity . This is the dead end faced by the chip makers at the moment (well, up till roughly this moment).
    That is why the P4 3.x GHz (forgot) Extreme Edition chips I got in 2003 or 04 (forgot again), are still fairly top of the line for audio apps (especially with that silly “Hyper threading” turned OFF).
    So in addition to getting the computer fixed (still under 3 year warranty), I will be getting a new machine (because I cannot afford the turn around – down time) – unless it is something I am allowed to fix myself (without invalidating the warranty – heck I used to build them and sell them myself until I got lazy).
    In any case, for comparison:

    The old System spec was, (and will be again most likely), a 3.2 (or 3.4) GHz P4 Extreme Edition chip sitting in an Ausus P4800E(or whatever) Deluxe Mobo with 2 gigs o’ RAM.

    New spec (that I ordered today) was whatever the fastest thing I could find which was:
    Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB Cache 1066MHz FSB (and “64 bit” – kind of – more like “compatible”)
    Windows XP Professional SP2 - Free Upgrade to Windows Vista Business! (Oh goodie! I never even updated to XP SP2 because it has problems – now I have no choice, except Vista - when it comes out (rest assured, it will be sitting in its case for as long as possible until all my apps are 100% ok with it – Sonar 6 already is at least).
    High-Performance Liquid Cooling (I rest my case – pun intended)
    750 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply (Still not enough juice but as much as they had)
    NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Motherboard (hope it works with my Echo Layla 3G – in theory, it should)
    4GB DDR2 Performance SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 x 1024MB (the 2 extra GB are pretty much useless in XP, but will rock later on)
    Graphics Processor: Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce 7950 GT - SLI Enabled (So Vista can be happy and waste some more system resources on useless graphics).

    Oh well, Bleh! I am off to bed – then maybe take break (been needing one) - maybe watch some movies or something. I haven’t done that in ages.

    …2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  2. #2
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
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    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian2112
    New spec (that I ordered today) was whatever the fastest thing I could find which was:
    Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB Cache 1066MHz FSB (and “64 bit” – kind of – more like “compatible”)
    Windows XP Professional SP2 - Free Upgrade to Windows Vista Business! (Oh goodie! I never even updated to XP SP2 because it has problems – now I have no choice, except Vista - when it comes out (rest assured, it will be sitting in its case for as long as possible until all my apps are 100% ok with it – Sonar 6 already is at least).
    High-Performance Liquid Cooling (I rest my case – pun intended)
    750 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply (Still not enough juice but as much as they had)
    NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Motherboard (hope it works with my Echo Layla 3G – in theory, it should)
    4GB DDR2 Performance SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 x 1024MB (the 2 extra GB are pretty much useless in XP, but will rock later on)
    Graphics Processor: Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce 7950 GT - SLI Enabled (So Vista can be happy and waste some more system resources on useless graphics).
    Hi Brian, You know... sometimes bad things forecast a lot of good things....
    and You had ordered a very nice machine.... a killer to my taste I must say

  3. #3

    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    I know how you feel. In past 3 years I've had bad chipset on my MOBO and later new MOBO died. My system hard drive has broken twise.

    Now I've been building new Cubase daw and installing gigastudio in two older machines. Now it seams that everything runs smoothly. For now

    I haven't composing anything for a month. Just fixing and building computers. I'm starting to be very good at it. Maybe I should start a new business :P
    Passion for Sound
    http://www.soundreel.com

  4. #4
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Quote Originally Posted by tabbu
    I know how you feel. In past 3 years I've had bad chipset on my MOBO and later new MOBO died. My system hard drive has broken twise.

    Now I've been building new Cubase daw and installing gigastudio in two older machines. Now it seams that everything runs smoothly. For now

    I haven't composing anything for a month. Just fixing and building computers. I'm starting to be very good at it. Maybe I should start a new business :P
    Well, there's money in that line of work!

    Thank you all for your support! I was a little freaked out, but as usual, my NS buds make me happy again!
    My Giga box still works (that's what I'm on right now), but honestly, I don't use it that much anymore. This is not meant as a Gigaslam - It's just that most of my stuff is K2 or Gigs ported into it. (you can still get more bang for your shredded disk sector with Giga Gaga). But, as I was using MoL, I have no Midi ins (might hook up my USB control surface that has usb to midi and put my keycontroller through that, but, I am still sticking to the "take a break" plan). Almost finished with Lord of the Rings Vol 1 (Directors cut)

    When I get my new box, I'll be ready and smokin'


    ...2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  5. #5
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Quote Originally Posted by lukpcn
    Hi Brian, You know... sometimes bad things forecast a lot of good things....
    and You had ordered a very nice machine.... a killer to my taste I must say
    Thanks Luk! I hope you are right!
    Well, I did the best I could on short notice...usually, I spend weeks researching and waiting for the right time - did not have that luxury this time.
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  6. #6
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen
    O.K. -- Here's my day. I have a new PC to run Giga. Everytime I go to Giga, I get a "message" that something is wrong.
    msg32.dll?

    Those folks at Tascam are very nice and helpful - you just have to tag one and hold'em down until you boot it up (on the phone) and it works.

    ...2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  7. #7
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    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian2112
    Right in the middle of multiple, massive projects - BOOM! …fire…
    Are your pants experiencing spontaneous combustion again Brian?

  8. #8

    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Killer new system Brian. Any idea why the previous machine went poof?

    I would think that for most people that same cash could buy a mid-line PC and some nice software/samples, or two mid-line PCs.

    I sounds like you've already got multiple PCs, so apparently, you aren't "most people".

    Good luck with your new, blazing fast machine. Oops. I probably shouldn't say "blazing"!!!

  9. #9
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Talking Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Are your pants experiencing spontaneous combustion again Brian?
    HA! Hi Gary!

    Yes, although this time I don't think it was any channneling by David! He usually sets my entire house on fire rather than just my puter!

    Quote Originally Posted by The very distinguished Mr. Fairhurst
    Killer new system Brian. Any idea why the previous machine went poof?

    I would think that for most people that same cash could buy a mid-line PC and some nice software/samples, or two mid-line PCs.

    I sounds like you've already got multiple PCs, so apparently, you aren't "most people".

    Good luck with your new, blazing fast machine. Oops. I probably shouldn't say "blazing"!!!
    That's an interesting question Jon. I have some theories as to why the computer failed (which are probably bogus) but, out of interest (if anyone is interested), I will take a few guesses.
    I usually have 3 computers going. Two are always identical (it was one of these that failed).

    The last computers that I built myself lasted over 5 years each before some combination of mobo and/or chip just died of natural causes. Most of them were fixable to some degree, but where horribly out of date by the time they failed, so I invested in new machines rather than fix the old ones (pillaging a few usable parts).

    I always preferred building my own machines because I hand picked the best (and most common) high performance parts – usually insuring compatibility. It was also cheaper to do it this way. This is no longer the case in many circumstances because the larger computer companies started buying in larger bulk (with bigger discounts on parts).

    At this point, I started buying my systems from a certain company (I will not mention the name, though you can probably guess if you read on).

    My secret strategy for buying DAWs that are compatible with everything has been rather simple – buy the fastest Intel PC GAME computer currently available. The logic behind this is that the PC gaming industry is/was huge, and compatibility tests were/are a large part of development. They usually test this stuff on the most “standard” and high performance parts available at any given time. If you buy “standard” parts that are known to work together, the odds that your configuration has been tested thoroughly are quite good – this includes the high end music software that we use (if you’re on a PC anyway). Also PC games are very demanding on hardware – as with our DAWs.

    This, I believe, is part of the reason that I was able to install Giga 3 the first time with no hassles and it has been trouble free – as has all my other music software - Sonar, almost all of N.I. products, tons of libraries, etc. Every part that I would have hand picked myself is an available option when you configure your computer from this company.

    I have had 4 computer deaths in the past 5 years (and about 4 to 5 hard drive failures). Though this is excessive, I do not blame the company for this for several reasons.
    Computer #1 (the first that I bought from this company) lasted a little over 1 year. But I think the overwhelming evidence pointed to humidity being a major factor. When I moved my studio from my house to a separate building (about 6 months after the computer death), I noticed that my CD’s had moisture on them! (Some of them were ruined). That’s Texas for ya! (Especially since I live on the beach with corrosion, dust, extreme heat, humidity, and everything else computers don’t like). When construction of my new studio was completed, I invested in a temperature controlled environment and a de-humidifier. I also made sure that I was wired with plenty of clean juice.

    The death of computer #2 remains a bit of a mystery to me, but I think it was underpowered – that and it erupted into flames (literally). The company replaced this computer (complete with MAJOR upgrades (amounting to about $2k) at absolutely zero charge. I also suspect Sosnowski Mojo at work on that one! (though quite inadvertent). He still doesn’t fully understand his own powa!

    The death of Computer 3 was easy. Poor ventilation (which I attribute to the design of the case to some degree) caused the graphics card to flame out. Again, the company fixed (and upgraded it) at no charge.

    I have yet to open the case and do an autopsy of the latest death, but given the smell of burning plastic does not bode well for the graphics card, the mobo, or the power supply. Now, this computer is 3 years old, since I bought it, I started running a new wide screen monitor at a much higher resolution, I had 5 hard drives 2 DVD drives and a CD drive, USB hubs, printers, sound cards, – and about every slot filled. Now, granted, most of this was self powered, external stuff and was turned off AFTER powering down the computer - so that the pc never picks up the load.(with the exception of one external LaCie SATA drive which I turn off before power down because they have a tendency to die if not done in this order – even though it too, is self powered). In short, I might have just overpowered the poor thing. (YA think?) LOL!!!!

    When these things are designed, they are usually tested with all slots filled and the power maxed – but they can’t test with stuff that hasn’t come out yet.
    The 3 year warrantees I purchased for the two clone machines will have paid for themselves many times over. The one I just ordered has a 4 year warranty (partly, I think, because someone finally figured out that computers were being built with graphics cards that got too hot, and the power supplies were insufficient). My understanding is that the newer chips are more power efficient now (which also means that they probably run a tad cooler). The dead computer is still under warranty – so again – no charge – but I could not afford the turn around time (sending it- fixing it, sending it back).
    Usually, I wait for what I see as the best time to upgrade and do a lot of research before I purchase. This time, I did not have that luxury. I was on the phone ordering the computer within an hour of the death. I do have some concerns about compatibility (mostly the Nvidia Motherboard), and I have not been keeping up with the latest chips, so I have no idea what kind of performance increase (if any) I will see coming from a P4EE 3.2 GHz. I see the benchmarks blow it out of the water – but how does it run with apps that do not yet support dual core stuff? I’ll find out I guess. I want my DAW with Sonar to be as fast and memory filled as possible (so I don't have to turn on another machine - I'm lazy - though most projects I do require two machines at all times)

    Thanks everyone!
    On a side note, It’s good to see you Gary and also Jon (and always Ern). To Mr. Fairhurst: I have always admired your knowledgeable contributions to this forum no matter the topic. I hold you in the highest regard sir.


    …2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  10. #10

    Re: 2112's Computer Goes Boom!

    Hey Brian- glad you're up and running. Nothing makes my gums bleed like having to build a new PC and get all the software re-authorised. I feel for ya. If you get a chance email me- I'm getting ready to do a major PC upgrade myself. I never built my sequencer machine to be a powerhouse; we put all the power in the GS3 machine. And now PC two is running K2 and a zillion VST's- it needs help!! I'd like to pick your brain a bit.

    (BTW I have a NVidia GForce Mobo at home and I occasionally run music stuff on it- it always seems to do fine!!)

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