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General Chat Thread, Web dev rig in General; Looking for some advice. My current comp is getting old, and think its time for a upgrade or possibly a ...
  1. #1

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    Web dev rig

    Looking for some advice.
    My current comp is getting old, and think its time for a upgrade or possibly a new one.
    Basically I need a machine that I can run visual studios and Mssql server on and do some virtualisation stuff on. Illustrator and fireworks I do on my mac
    This will be my main PC

    Would want to be able to run two monitors. Don't really play games other than flight sim but not bothered if that's going to knock the price up.

    Will need a os and hdd's

    Budget wise cheep please.

    It's still better to build my own then buy a readymade one?

    I have always built my own home PC in the past just so I know what's in there, none of the cheap tat that's in the ready built ones

    Cheers

  2. #2

    plexer's Avatar
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    Do you want cheap or good?

    If you are considering an upgrade to your existing machine no-one can advise you unless you post it's specs.

    Ben

  3. #3

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    Gainward BLISS GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) -
    Intel Core 2 Duo E2180 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.00GHz (800FSB) -
    Pioneer DVR-212DBK 18x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black)
    Abit IP35 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard
    Antec NSK 6580 Super Midi Tower Case - 430W Earth Watts PSU
    OCZ 2GB (4x1GB) PC2-6400C4 Dual Channel Platinum Revision 2 XTC Series
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 400GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM
    Windows Vista

    ^
    Current 5 year old rig if not older

    Good or cheap can I have both? I have monitors keyboard mice

    Thinking of a budget around £500 is that going to be the right area?

  4. #4

    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    How about one of our HP Z series Workstations? They're Beasty AND cheap!

  5. #5

    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    You can re-use your case, PSU and spinning disk. For £500 you should be able to upgrade to a half decent new machine - you're looking at a Haswell based Core i3 or lower end i5 with motherboard, 8GB+ of DDR3 (1866MHz seems to be the sweet spot), an SSD and a graphics card. The parts below will give you a dent mid-range work/gamer rig - you could save a good deal by ditching the graphics card entirely, then bump up another part.

    Intel Core i5 4440 3.10GHz Socket 1150 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £137.90
    Gigabyte GA-Z87M-D3H Socket 1150 HDMI DVI mATX Motherboard £88.39
    Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866Mhz Ballistix Tactical Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-27) 1.5V £66.99
    PowerColor R7 260X OC 2GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card £109.90
    Samsung 120GB SSD 840 EVO - SSD only £83.93

    Total:£497.09

  6. #6

    Danp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    You can re-use your case, PSU and spinning disk. For £500 you should be able to upgrade to a half decent new machine - you're looking at a Haswell based Core i3 or lower end i5 with motherboard, 8GB+ of DDR3 (1866MHz seems to be the sweet spot), an SSD and a graphics card. The parts below will give you a dent mid-range work/gamer rig - you could save a good deal by ditching the graphics card entirely, then bump up another part.

    Intel Core i5 4440 3.10GHz Socket 1150 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £137.90
    Gigabyte GA-Z87M-D3H Socket 1150 HDMI DVI mATX Motherboard £88.39
    Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866Mhz Ballistix Tactical Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-27) 1.5V £66.99
    PowerColor R7 260X OC 2GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card £109.90
    Samsung 120GB SSD 840 EVO - SSD only £83.93

    Total:£497.09
    EVOs have gone down in price

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-120G...ywords=840+evo

    Ordered 10 yesterday

  7. #7

    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Even better - it's the best choice at this price point.

  8. #8
    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Missus is a professional self-employed webdev with large clients, running from a new Acer laptop. 8gb RAM, Win8, 750Gb drive (non-ssd), i5 or i7 (forget which) CPU.

    So far we've yet to find anything to tax it. Runs all "in development" sites on a local WAMP setup (including multi-headed Wordress), lots of MySQL/data. All graphical malarky done in Photoshop, all coding done in Notepad++.

    OK, the rig isn't "powerful" in the grand scheme compared to what a desktop can do, but it's more than enough plus easy to move for client demos etc which is important. Plus being self employed, a built in webcam is handy for Skype client meetings.

    Cost wise, I can't advise...when she replaced the Vostro (old laptop, now mine), she contacted a company to ask about their range, outlined her needs, mentioned her line of work etc. "We'll send you a unit discounted, if you'll review it for us".

    We did so. We then went to settle the balance on the account to be told "It's paid for already, you owe nothing."

    So much win. Plus it's recently been augmented with a 3tb external drive which was also sent as a review sample.

  9. #9

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    Cheers @Sirbendy don't suppose you know the name of the company ;-)

    How is she finding it?

    I'm self employed to. Do WebDev in the time I'm not in schools

  10. #10
    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattDLEA View Post
    Cheers @Sirbendy don't suppose you know the name of the company ;-)

    How is she finding it?

    I'm self employed to. Do WebDev in the time I'm not in schools
    Offhand I can't recall.. How is she finding it?

    Well..

    When DD was born, Jem went back to work as an employed WebDev at 12 months when all SMP ran out. Had to. When DS came along, she told her boss that she'd have to ponder options. With 2 in Nursery, she'd be working for very little after expenses, so decided to go Self-Employed, with his blessing.

    Several of her big clients followed her, plus she hit the social networking and other sites to push herself out there. Now (assuming clients pay in good time) she earns more than me and has offered me the opportunity to be a "stay at home dad"..tempting, but I went part time anyway..heh.

    She enjoys the freedom to do her own thing, but I know she finds it hard being without adult co-workers for company, to the extent she still goes to her old work on Monday PM to work there on her projects. It's hard sometimes not having others to assist or bounce ideas off..I often assist with the MySQL, bug hunting and code analysis, or just sit and let her talk at me (she says it helps). I also code where I can, test drive the sites and input data if needed.

    Sometimes she will sub-contract bits out to friends (most of our friends are web-geeks - RoR, PHP, .Net, and so on), and she's signed up to countless webdev "groups" who help a lot with the more bloodyminded issues.

    She still has the kids on Mondays and Fridays (DD is only in Nursery Tues/Wed/Thurs), and DS is starting in January, but at the mo she has him in the mornings. I take over post 1pm after I finish here, so she can work. Plus she has to fit some in when they're in bed. Come January when both are in Nursery, she will have mornings too 3 days a week to dedicate, along with 4 afternoons (I work all day Friday), which will help enormously. Me going part time was as a result of the stress of managing the kids plus self employment - not that I mind, I like it!

    She finds clients sometimes very frustrating when they class their errors as "bugs" and hammer her with e-mails, I do know that. Plus for 3 nights we've been expecting a client to call, but after 9.30pm it's not going to happen - OK, everyone has to work round kids, but not to that extent.

    She's been Self-employed now for..over a year. When all goes well, clients pay up on time etc, it's great. When things overrun or issues out of her control cause delays, it can be a bit frantic. Paypal IPN is a current ongoing massive annoyance.

    I just try to mediate the extremes, do the household bits and kid management in the hectic times etc, and keep the laptop/DSL in good form.

    I think on the whole she enjoys it. She had a client offer her an "in house" position for the 3 days, with flexibility...we did the pros and cons, and she decided to stay self-employed. More freedom, and not tied to the majority 1 client. For now, that's better. Plus she can also do her own projects such as this one: http://wahmweb.co.uk/

    Currently she has a custom desk under the stairs - if all goes well with the kids sharing a room (day 5 so far), "our" room is HUGE, and I could happily kit part of that as a mini-office. Which removes her from the hall, and means she won't have the kids climbing all over her on the way to the kitchen.

    She was once a schools tech too - "never again". Heh.
    Last edited by Sirbendy; 28th November 2013 at 11:40 AM.

  11. #11

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    Sounds good @Sirbendy I been self employed 3 years now been a bit bumpy as I have had 2 companies with two different directors... I am now on my own and loving it.
    Career wise I backed myself into a corner.. I did Web design and dev at uni then went on to specialize in VLE's at work... which was one of the first things to go when the funding got pulled up here. I managed to get in a few schools looking after there networks through my links but I treat that as a JOB i have to do to pay the bills. I would rather be at home working on the dev stuff. but client work is not reliable. Where as the school stuff is a yearly contract.

    We have a 10 month old she goes to nursery for the begining part of the week when Im in schools. Then I have her Thurs and Fri AM then she goes to Mother in laws. My other half is a teacher so she is nearly always busy to... its difficult juggling time.
    I find that i spend a lot of my none school time actually doing school stuff like getting quotes or looking stuff up when I really should be doing web stuff. I also find that because I work from home sometimes I get treated as my job is not as important. Like if I'm up in my office I get called downstairs to do stuff and not left to get on with things.

    At the moment im finding it hard to get new web clients. I think mainly because im not doing much promotion as im that busy with other stuff... but like I said ideally id like to do the web stuff full time.

    Im just getting wise to some clients or friends that want me to do work for them.. I do it cheep then they want you to look at stuff all the time then for nothing. Or phone you on the house phone at 9PM because your not answering the work mobile. Where as IMHO i think people you charge full price to acknowledge the worth of your work and respect you more.

    Anyways how does she cope with only having one small screen?

  12. #12
    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    IIRC it's a 17".. The Vostro was a 15. She's never had any issues with just 1 screen - it was all she had in her last workplace on her desktop too. Even the graphics designers only had 1 per mac. As and when (if) we alter the bedroom to be part office, I have a 19" TFT spare she can have - I'm hoping the Acer will allow desktop extension. In honesty though, not sure how much she'd use it.

    To be fair, I've just augmented this work rig with a second 19" screen, out of necessity. It's a PITA to camtasia capture streaming vids, as you can't use the PC single screened until it's done - a second TFT allows me to capture on one, work on the other.

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