Hi everyone,
thank you very much for all the replies concerning OP and dual processing 

Hi Andrew,
thanks very much for your "indepth" explaination.
What are you actually running that you could justify 1GB of memory.
Protel wouldn't require that much, - would it? - The Autorouter, wouldn't 
have a clue what it is comfortable with.
That's an awful lot of memory you're talk'n about - unless I really profit 
from - don't know.
The only aspect - As you say memory's quite cheap right now; and programs 
don't get smaller in source-code.
My system is virtually running 24hours a day; - Protel PCB as the main 
application - in pure manual mode; no autorouter - autorouter is "Tabu", 
(an absolute no no). Other than that, the internet, email ofcoarse. Thats 
about it. All other programs are only opend when needed, then closed again.
I'm actually glad to have asked the group.
Thanks again.

At 20:25 24/01/01 -0500, you wrote:
>On 08:53 PM 1/23/01 +1000, Robi Bittler said:
>O/S Nots for Protel P9x? W95 and WMe, and imo, also NOT W98. However, I'm 
>known to be a bit of a computer snob. <g>
>Leave those operating systems to a dual-boot partition, if you really 
>need/want them for something.
>My current Jan 2001 system recommendations are based on:
>1. current/near-term hardware possibilities/available choices
>2. current hardware costs
>3. current state of commercial, PC-based software applications (short-term 
>system resource demands)
>4. likely software direction for next 2-3 years (eventual system resource 
>5. Primary application of system as moderate-demand engineering 
>workstation (neither targeting ACAD lite <like-wow!> and HomePlanner(tm) 
><so-like-ohmagawd-cool!!!>, or something on the serious side that needs 
>the likes of a super-computer...)
>6. over 15 years of specifying and building custom, high-performance PCs 
>and better-than average performance (at the same or lower cost) home 
>computers for friends and family.
>1. O/S: Win2k with an old flavor (95 or 98) as dual boot. The superiority 
>of Win2k is pretty much unquestioned within pro-user communities, though 
>there are some who still swear by Win98 <garumph...>
>2. Processor: your choice of mfg, flavor, speed. just keep it above 500MHz 
>(an 800M PIII is about $160 right now, AMD at same speed is about $110) My 
>own pref is Intel, but I wouldn't hold it against you if you were an 
>AMD-o-phite. I'd just think I was just a bit 
>superior...<g>.Kidding...jeez, don't have a cow...
>Erm, let me modify that paragraph...My opinion is that, should you choose 
>to purchase the latest, greatest processor, you're going to pay a huge 
>premium for the privilege of claiming the "top of the mountain" prize, and 
>it will be a very short lived "high" (pun:sorry). Within a few months of 
>paying out the _ss for momentary "king of the hill" status, you will be 
>much-saddened to find that the very same chip now costs a mere fraction of 
>what you paid for it. Money better spent up-front on memory, better 
>graphics, bigger hard-drive, etc.
>I've been there. Learn from my mistakes. Please.
>Oh, and note that there isn't a dual-proc board available for the P4, nor, 
>and unless I'm mistaken is it not going to be very affordable once it does 
>get built. (last I read, Intel didn't even have the support chips ready 
>for such a board)
>2A. Single or dual? Definitely a dual-processor system. Motherboard's a 
>little more expensive, and obviously, if you purchase both processors 
>immediately, they'll double your processor cost, but in the long run, it's 
>worth it. Once you try multi-processors, you'll never, ever want to go 
>back to mono-processing again, it's like going back to hand-plowing the 
>field or seeing in 2-D. You won't necessarily experience an immediate 
>improvement (as measured by Protel alone...protel isn't even 
>multi-processor aware), but you will see an improvement in response as 
>soon as you attempt to do something else that needs a bit of heft while 
>Protel or some other single-track application is grinding away in the 
>background, gobbling up most of your processing power on chip #1...As a 
>testimony, I rarely see any hesitation in my system due to some 
>application locking up processing power. None of that, "hmm...maybe it's 
>time to go get that brake job, while I wait for the mouse to freed up 
>again", or "Darn, I think I'm gonna have to reboot, cause application "X" 
>has just finished up all of the available processing power and it still 
>wants more before it will do anything further".
>(And if money's tight, with a little fore-thought, you can purchase the 
>first processor now and wait until prices drop a bit before purchasing the 
>second...You just have to note the stepping of the first proc and buy 
>another of the same stepping. Not a big deal.)
>One more note on dual v single. I'd rather run a pair of 800 Mz chips any 
>day, than a single 1 Gz (2x$160 vs $310), wouldn't you?
>Note: if you answered no to the above rhetorical question, it's time for 
>Robbi to do a little research on the net about the advantages of symmetric 
>multiprocessing over sheer processor speed....Think/read about the concept 
>of dual pipelining and how it transformed the development of processors 
>from the single pipeline 386 class processor to modern processor 
>architecture...the analogy is similar.
>Of course, one needs an O/S which is capable of utilizing dual processors, 
>so iff it's appealing then the choice of O/Ses is obvious. Unless I'm 
>mistaken, Win2k is the only one for this task.
>2B Motherboard: My prefs are Supermicro, Abit, and Asus, in that order. 
>(Obviously, there are considerations to be made, based on the choice of 
>processor mfg, # of procs...) BX is still a great platform, but I wouldn't 
>kick a dual 840-based motherboard out of bed...Can't really
>3. Generous power supply. Minimum of 300W, more if you intend to ever 
>(have to or desire to) use that TV-out-jack that's quickly becoming a 
>standard output on video cards...(note that video cards get their juice 
>directly from the main bus)
>4. Video: I am proposing that you spend a little extra up-front for either 
>a Matrox dual-head or GeForce MX dual-head card over a traditional 
>single-output video card, not for the gizmo 3-D game effects, but for the 
>dual screen. (Not to slam games, but just assuming that the only thing 
>this machine will encounter are prof-apps.) Mutliple screens are not just 
>the rage, they're becoming ever more necessary to effective and productive 
>use of the pro-level engineering workstation.
>My own choice is the GeForce MX Twinview cards, using NVidia's GeFore2 MX 
>video processor, in part due to basically halving of the cost when 
>compared to Matrox cards of similar performance, and IMO a significantly 
>superior customer support network, 1 due in part to the larger number of 
>vendors using Nvidia's chipset, 2 Nvidia's superb track record wrt driver 
>support for their chipsets, and 3 in some part due to my own negative 
>experiences with Matrox's technical support staff.
>For the record, when discussing the NVidia chipset cards (GeForce MX) the 
>cost of a dual-head card isn't that far from a single-head, (about 15% 
>more) and either an old monitor or TV can be used to provide extra desktop 
>room or application space (though for a variety of reasons it's a much 
>better idea IMO to find an old monitor to plug in as a second screen than 
>to use a TV).
>However, having already sung the praise for the Geforce 2 MX, it's also 
>very important to remind you that you HAVE TO clarify with a given vendor 
>whether a specific MX card is dual-head, (actually having a pair of 15p 
>D-sub video monitor connectors) or simply a single-head card with TV out. 
>Some folks are just plain unscrupulous, especially in the marketing and 
>distribution channels.
>eVGA, Inno3D, LeadTek, etc. all have suitable 32M cards for about $140 US 
>(when purchased thru distributors...The mfgs usually charge more, to drive 
>cutmoers towards their distribution partners). See NVidia's site for a 
>complete list of their qualified sourcers, and Pricewatch.com or your 
>local alternative for specific vendors.
>5. Hard Drive: As much hard-drive as you can spend on. I'd suggest at 
>least a pair of 20-30G drives. Everything's taking more and more room. 
>Stick to IDE. All this fluff hype about SCSI is, in this day and age, a 
>"once upon a time" load of... Not to mention just so much obsolete "My 
>MAC's Biggern Bettern" talk for nearly every purpose...(again, with all 
>things there ARE exceptions...pro audio work, for one) I'd recommend 
>7200rpm drives, but you're the boss...
>6. Memory. As ridiculous as it might first sound, consider at least 512M, 
>and since it's quite cheap right now, (0.30/meg (US), if I had a few extra 
>sheckles, I'd double that figure.. There's always a reason for more 
>memory, even if it can't be explained today. Within a month of the 
>purchase, the reason that you should have purchased twice as much will 
>become quite self-evident...Ignore the nay-sayers and the folks who, when 
>confronted with such proclamation about memory needs retort with... "Like, 
>I like designed like a 16 meter square, like 8 bazillion component, like 
>PCB, like with only 16M on my old 386SX (1m trident video onboard), while 
>playing like a rilly like big game of doom!". <SNORT!>. Let me 
>comment...Like I think they're like stupid and like short-sighted, and 
>like they ought to like take their like heads out of their like 
>as..<oops...I was trying to be nice today...>
>I left memory to the end on purpose, so you'd read it twice and think 
>seriously before reciting the minimalist's anthem. Seriously, don't 
>undercount both your current and near-future memory needs, Swapping sucks, 
>to say the least, and even W2k can be brought to a grinding halt if you 
>task the memory too far.
>With a little research and shrewd purchasing habit, you should be able to 
>walk away with a complete system as spelled above, for under, or about 
>$1500, and  you'll have a snappy system which will both be the envy of 
>many (if not most) coworkers for the next year or two, and a more-than 
>adequate design platform for the next three to four years. "course, that's 
>not including the primary monitor (hint: unless its a total piece of 
>garbage, use your old one as the secondary...). Oh, and note that refurb 
>monitors often cost about half what their brand new sisters and brothers 
>cost. For instance, I purchased my refurbished Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 
>2020U (22") for about $600...
>Oh, estimate an additional $200-$300 if someone else puts it together for 
>you. (that is, if you can find someone else who'll assemble it for 
>you...Evryone's always trying to off their current stock!)
>For The Record, current home#1 is dual-500M (3+year old P6DBU), 512M,28G 
>+8G HD, eVGA GF2 Twinview MX Plus, 2020U (primary) and old 17" Optiquest 
>(secondary), + lots of goodies picked up along the way (multiple 
>soundcards, TVcard, etc.), W2k/w95 dual boot. Home#2 is a "suped" 486 so 
>old that I'm not going into details..sufficient to say that it serves the 
>kitchen office as a cookbook, "advanced" telephone directory, TV, and a 
>secondary web terminal, (using an old copy of Netscape for webworking. 
>Sure wish they'd drop the price on that 4x 133MHz upgrade chip already. I 
>can't believe it's still $80 after nearly 5 years).
>The dual 500's will be swapped out sometime during the course of the year 
>for something a bit more Vroomy, but I have to do a little SMT rework on 
>my now ancient rev 1 Supermicro P6DBU to replace the regulators with a 
>more modern version that supports the lower Coppermine processor voltages, 
>before I can use the higher speed chips. However, the PCB is good up to 
>dual 1GHz PIIIs, so it's probably going to be quite a while before the 
>motherboard is replaced.
>My too many cents,

Robi Artwork  -  PCB Design Bureau
PO-Box 199,    Lot 33 Jamaica Drive
Deception Bay  Q4508        Australia
C/o Robi Bittler
Ph: 07-3203 0634   Fx: 07-3203 3958

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