The TR Hardware Survey 2: Survey harder

Just over two years have passed since we carried out our very first hardware survey, in which we asked our readers to answer 15 questions about their computer setups using our newly minted polling engine. At the time, we collected over 5,500 responses, allowing us to form a rough picture of the typical TR gerbil’s PC circa early 2008: a Core 2 Duo machine with a GeForce 8 graphics card, 2-3GB of RAM, Windows XP, and a single 19-22" display of the LCD variety.

Today, the TR Hardware Survey is returning in full force. We’ve got a handful of fresh questions plus some old ones re-tooled for recent generations of hardware. Our goal is still very much to satisfy our own curiosity, but we think you’ll get a kick out of the results, too. After all, who doesn’t want to know if TR gerbils tend to favor AMD, Intel, or Nvidia?

Just like last time, the survey questions apply only to your primary PC, be it a notebook or a desktop. Also, due to the way our poll engine is designed, you’ll have to click "vote" after answering each question. Doing so won’t refresh the page, but it will dynamically bring up results for that particular question, so you can see how other gerbils voted as you go along.

Comments closed
    • Mr Bill
    • 9 years ago

    I am most surprised by the motherboards. Asus and Gigabyte are crushing everybody else out there for techies. I use all MSI boards and they come in a very poor third place.

    • Hallucin8
    • 9 years ago

    Where’s the I hold on to multiple pieces of hardware/systems forever option? Can’t win them all I guess.

    • bhtooefr
    • 9 years ago

    Huh. You go all the way back to a Core Duo, yet don’t go back to the i945 chipset that came with it? (Scary, my machine is the oldest CPU choice in the list, unless you misinterpret “Pentium” as “P5” instead of “cheapened Conroe or Nehalem”.)

    And, what happened to 2048×1536 in the resolution list? πŸ˜‰

    • Krogoth
    • 9 years ago

    Most of the results don’t surprise me at all.

    The vast majority of the readers are on platforms that were greatest bangs for the buck at their deputes. LGA775, AM2+/AM3, LGA1156 and LGA1366. I bet most of those LGA1366 users are running i7-920s. GPUs followed the same course: HD 4xxx, HD 5xxx, GTX 4xx series. I am kinda suprised that GT2xx series didn’t have more voters, prehaps they have already moved onto GTX 4xx/5xx bandwagon.

    Memory capacity, speaker, mointor, data storage choices hit my expectations. SSDs are still a tiny, but growing minority.

    Motherboard brand preferences are interesting though. I was expecting a more diverse crowd with ASUS/Gigabyte edging out. Not the current landslide in those camps.

    • ChrisDTC
    • 9 years ago

    Same answers as two years ago. Q6600 w 4GB RAM, have upgraded to Win 7 though

    • ShadowEyez
    • 9 years ago

    Why aren’t there any options for my 386 @ 16 Mhz, with its 20 meg hd, running win 3.1 on 4 megs of RAM πŸ™‚

    Interesting survey, seems like most ppl here have hit the “sweet spot” in terms of price/performance on most of the components – not surprising for a tech community.

    Which begs the question – what’s the need for a stereoscopic 3D display and glasses?

      • Grape Flavor
      • 9 years ago

      To see 3D stereo content.

    • clone
    • 9 years ago

    why no 26″ display option.

    where is the Windows 2000 and Windows 98se OS options, I’m using Vista but always want to keep the memory of 98 and 2000 alive.

    why offer a separate poll for 3d glasses just bundle it in with displays….. it’s too early.

    I was surprised 3 ppl still own Sapphire motherboards, I bought one, not planning on doing it again.

    • Franklin
    • 9 years ago

    The option for stock CPU speed of 3.0 to 3.29 GHz is missing. It is interesting that so few people selected other (out of necessity). I should think this would be a fairly commonly used range.

    EDIT: Never mind. I misread the 3 – 3.49 option as 3.3 – 3.49. It serves me right for taking such surveys at 5:30 am.

    • awakeningcry
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t remember if i did this survey back in ’08, but i’m still running exactly the same rig i bought in late ’07, the only difference being an SSD to replace a failing hard drive. And i have no intention of upgrading until the Sandy Bridge shrink, at the earliest.

    • Johnny5
    • 9 years ago

    *Looks at people with cpu’s that stock clock under 1GHz.*
    Go banana!

    • colinstu
    • 9 years ago

    Where is the:

    “What keyboard do you have?”
    “IBM Model M”
    “Everything else”

    poll?

    • xii
    • 9 years ago

    My main desktop is a Pentium III 866 Mhz from end ’99 – beginning 2000 with 512MB of RAM on an Asus CUBX motherboard. It just won’t die. My hardware seems to fall into the “other” category a good many times. πŸ™‚

    I get away with it because I run Linux. I guess I shouldn’t even try to run any recent Windows operating system and software on 512MB RAM.

    The joke is that I have about 2TB worth of storage in my 11 year old desktop, which surprisingly puts me in the top category at least once…

    • badsac
    • 9 years ago

    Can’t believe there wasn’t enough options to cover my primary machine! :p

    Athlon XP 2400+
    Epox 8RDA+ (Go Soundstorm! πŸ˜‰ )
    ATI 9800 Pro

    Still fine for everything short of the latest games. πŸ™‚

      • Dingmatt
      • 9 years ago

      I’m assuming by latest you mean anything released after 2005?

    • crazybus
    • 9 years ago

    What processor are 26 people using that has a stock clock speed of >4GHz?

      • mnecaise
      • 9 years ago

      Pentium D 805 would clock over 4GHz. Yes I’m still running a Pentium D, it’s getting the job done, but mine is only running at 2.66 GHz right now.

        • dpaus
        • 9 years ago

        Yes, but the question was [i<]stock[/i<] speed.

          • mnecaise
          • 9 years ago

          That’s a good point. I missed the word “stock” when I read the question. Likely, so did the 26 crazybus refers to (51 now).

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      They’re either overclocking or counting the total speed of all their combined cores. In short, they can’t read.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Or they are like me and just randomly click things on all surveys to see the end results/get the prize.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 9 years ago

          That is so helpful I’m sure.

          • eitje
          • 9 years ago

          “View Results” button.

      • pins
      • 9 years ago

      IBM Power architecture of some variety? Aren’t some of those clocked high?

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      Phased-cooled/Water-cooled 32nm parts from Intel can handle +4Ghz without too much problem provided that the motherboard can handle the aggressive CLK clock.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        That is so not the STOCK CLOCK. The poll is “Stock CPU clock speed”.

        I think you just failed the reading test I referenced above.

    • mcnabney
    • 9 years ago

    Probably should have broken the ‘integrated’ option on the Audio question down between motherboard and video card. Using the video card for audio suggests an integrated solution for HDMI connections, while using the motherboard is more likely to run analog speakers/headphones.

    For example, I didn’t purchase a sound card to use in a ‘noisy’ computer case. I do have a very nice receiver do all of the audio conversion/processing which provides a superior 7.2 audio result. This result really doesn’t fall under what most people think of when they see Audio described as ‘integrated’.

      • demani
      • 9 years ago

      oh yeah- that was the other reason I was looking at a new receiver- I forgot I have audio over HDMI on my video card….

      Just got distracted with life and forgot to follow up (the new Onkyo 60whatever looks like a fine little solution to that).

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    Since 81% of your readers that answered have displays resolutions of 1600 or wider, explain again why the ‘wide’ display is still as narrow as it is?

      • crazybus
      • 9 years ago

      I rarely browse in a maximized window on displays 1680×1050 and up. Maybe that’s an idea for a poll?

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Because a lot of people don’t use their primary machine as their only, or maybe even their primary browser? How many people read or at least visit TR on some handheld device?

    • paralou
    • 9 years ago

    ! About computers setups !
    I’m afread there’s much more to say than you’r asking !

    You should live an open window on each article, so we can be more precise giving the correct information !

    Graphics cards seams to be limited !
    Mine is a: nVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 including 2 Displyports at 12Bits. 1.5GB memory
    Displays: 2 x EIZO, including Displayports !

    Boot drive: OCZ SSD IBIS 160GB High speed (Max read= 740 MB/S :: Max write= 690 MB/s)
    2 WD VelociRaptor 300GB each
    2 Seagate SAS drives 450GB each (15K rpm)
    2 LeCie External drives 1TB each SATA (double save !).

    And so on !…

    • dragmor
    • 9 years ago

    This survey is needs more AGP…. I can’t vote for my nForce3 and 6600GT.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    CRT at 22 inches, yeah baby.

    Had to vote “other” for the resolution though, you’re missing 2048×1536 (the VGA maximum).

      • Dashak
      • 9 years ago

      2304×1440@85Hz reporting in. (Sony GDM-FW900 CRT)

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        That screen might be even bigger than mine. And yet, you’re not using a standard 4:3 resolution. No wonder it can do 85 Hz with that puny vertical resolution, my screen only does 80 Hz at 2048×1536 but I can “overclock” it to 86 Hz with mere 1440 pixel heights (1920×1440, 4:3 for example).

          • Peldor
          • 9 years ago

          He’s not using a 4:3 resolution because it’s a 16:10 monitor.

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            Unusual for a CRT. Perplexing.

          • Dashak
          • 9 years ago

          2304×1440 is native for this monitor. Also, my monitor feels mildly insulted for some reason. Carry on.

            • Bauxite
            • 9 years ago

            CRTs do not have a “native”, just minimums and maximums.

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            Actually almost all CRTs had their “recommended resolution” which Vista and later took as an LCD “native” counterpart, save for a few exceptions such as mine. (On paper, my recommended resolution is 1600Γ—1200, but Windows says I really should use 1792Γ—1344 instead, pretty please. Well yeah, that’s not going to happen.)

        • Starfalcon
        • 9 years ago

        Got the same one here myself, but I run mine at 1920X1200@85hz. I was going to do my oldest system I use on a daily basis, but it all would have been all other. Rocking an Abit BP6 400@600 w/ 2G ram and my old 80JB WD, duallie cellys still rock lol.

        • Bauxite
        • 9 years ago

        I have one, but its been in storage for over a year (so damn heavy, and the box fits through very few regular doorways)

        Its nice, but the high end LCDs have pretty much taken over.

        Also, regardless of the refresh normal vga cables didn’t cut it, I had to use BNC with the breakout near the computer to get a sharp enough signal at the higher resolutions.

      • honoradept
      • 9 years ago

      i got three of them

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        That’s a manly, strong desk you have, then! Three of these weigh 100 kilos in total. The model is the IBM C220P.

        Edit: Not only is the image top-notch and high resolution (and Hz), the screen itself is pretty stylish, too. None of that old beige crap.

      • kdashjl
      • 9 years ago

      ibm e54, yeah baby!!!

      1280*1024 @60hz w00t

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      CRTs are dying.

      They only exist in tiny niches like medical imaging.

      Once SEDs get here and OLEDs solve their issues. I think even the most die-hard CRT fans will jump ship. I’m still surprise that haven’t done so yet with the current batch of high-end IPS panels.

        • SS4
        • 9 years ago

        I have dual CRT setup and I was looking at some LCD but now theyve made the switch to 16:9 ….

        If i could find a nice 1920/1200 16:10 24 inch LCD with at least 120 hz refresh rate id buy one but it doesnt seem like they exist… And yeah IPS over TN if possible πŸ˜›

          • Ushio01
          • 9 years ago

          Both an IPS screen and a 120hz refresh rate unfortunately are currently impossible you have to choose one or the other.

            • SS4
            • 9 years ago

            Hmm, didnt know about the IPS and 60 hz limitation.

            Although some good TN with 120 and 240 hz are only 1080…no more 1200 : /

            The 60 hz thing bugs me in gaming because of the whole vsync matter lol and im so used to CTR i just cant deal with any ghosting or tearing whatsoever πŸ˜›

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Why are you surprised when “current high-end IPS panels” cost an arm, a leg, and possibly a first-born for what is essentially the same (if not worse) performance? For a lot of people still, including me, the only advantage an LCD would have today is the form factor and nothing else, and that’s not enough.

          • SS4
          • 9 years ago

          lol, so true, I totally agree with you. I hope the next “evolution” in display will actually be a real upgrade or at least as good as crt ^^

    • TheBob!
    • 9 years ago

    Good to see I am not as behind the curve as I thought.

    • Pettytheft
    • 9 years ago

    I always wanted to upgrade my Core2Duo to a quad core. But Intel never dropped the prices on them. So now I’ll just wait until I can scrounge up enough cash for a new system. Waiting for the next AMD chip to make a decision.

      • Envy007
      • 9 years ago

      Indeed, only with Intel you’ll have to pay more for a 9550, than for a 760 or a 2500K.

      9550 = 214 (!) euro (newegg $280), 760 = 175 euro (newegg $210) and 2500K = 180 euro (newegg $220).

      So bye bye Intel! Never again…

    • jackbomb
    • 9 years ago

    Where’s Socket 423, Windows ME, and SoundBlaster Live? It’s a great combination of hardware and software that easily handles the AOL and RealPlayer!

    • paulWTAMU
    • 9 years ago

    Why would someone decide to run W7 32 bit? The only reason I can think of is it if came preloaded on the machine…I can understand hanging on to XP for some people depending (if you have legacy hardware that’s pricey or hard to replace for instance) but W7 32 bit?

      • Airmantharp
      • 9 years ago

      You got an inexpensive laptop with 3GB of RAM or less? Windows 7 32-bit. πŸ™‚

      But I get the point, none of us would intentionally put it on something we built.

      • PixelArmy
      • 9 years ago

      I decided to run Win7 32-bit. Not on my “survey” machine, but my old laptop has a Core ([b<]not[/b<] 2) Duo processor which is 32-bit only. I made the conscious decision to upgrade to Win7 ($50 intro upgrade) knowing that the 32-bit version was my only option. I guess you can say this is legacy hardware. FYI, it runs fine.

        • burntham77
        • 9 years ago

        Sounds like just another reason to not buy Intel.

          • PixelArmy
          • 9 years ago

          :rolleyes:

          This laptop is 5 years old, from a time when IA-64 was a check box.. Turion 64 (probably single core) or Core Duo… Let me think… Between those two, I’d still make the same decision today…

          *EDIT* Heh, just realized the survey has two generations of Turions at 0% combined vs 7% for Core Duos.

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      I put it on my mother’s machine and my father’s machine. Not on purpose though. I had some leftover keys from a deployment at work (we buy them with Win7, then image them with XP). I didn’t realize that the media I grabbed was 32bit. In the end, it doesn’t matter because both machines only have 2GB of RAM anyways, and it runs fine. I’ll build them new machines before I upgrade the OS. My mothers machine is a PDC 3.2ghz with 2gb and my fathers is some kind of Dual Core AMD that I built him out of spare parts.

      • Da_Boss
      • 9 years ago

      I used to run it because a few of the music plugins I used flaked under a 64-bit OS–but those compatibility issues are over.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        Just curious what plugins. Never had anything like that myself, though I guess Waves did have some issues.

      • stdRaichu
      • 9 years ago

      Loads of OEM machines came with win7 32bit, you still find a few knocking about. As another user posted, there’s alot of 32bit driver/low-level code that’ll work under win7 32 but won’t work under win7 64 – a 64bit kernel can’t load a 32bit module in the same way a 64bit application can’t load a 32bit library.

      • Asbestos
      • 9 years ago

      W7 Home Basic and Starter editions are 32 bit only. No choice.

      • eitje
      • 9 years ago

      Using Windows 7 with older systems can cause this. For example, anything build with a Pentium-M.

    • srg86
    • 9 years ago

    Darn it! This poll came out too early in the year for me! With the exception of a better graphics card purchased in 2009, I’m still using the same machine as in 2008 (or 2006). Planning on going Sandy Bridge hopefully later this year (though with the same 2009 graphics card).

      • ludi
      • 9 years ago

      You’re not alone. Still using a motherboard from 2007 (DFI LanPartyUT NF4 Ultra) and a processor from 2008 (Opteron 180). Still using a SonicTower heatsink from around 2006 or so. Haven’t had time to do any hardcore gaming the past couple years and the system hasn’t died yet, so on it goes…

        • srg86
        • 9 years ago

        I have the same board as you, though of course a year or two older.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 9 years ago

      I still have a machine running an Asus motherboard and Duron from 2001. It was my main desktop machine until under a year ago, and it runs Unix-like operating systems and XP pretty well.

    • demani
    • 9 years ago

    I’m calling the Aspect Ratio question a stupid test- lets see how well it matches up with the resolution results. I’m calling a 3-5% error rate when all is said and done.

      • Squeazle
      • 9 years ago

      You don’t know how amazing that sounds to a psych student.
      Human error is at least that. Minimum. On simple stuff. Like counting.

        • NarwhaleAu
        • 9 years ago

        Or. Use of punctuation. In online threads.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 9 years ago

          Or sentence fragments. On the internet. Imagine that.

      • Peldor
      • 9 years ago

      You know, I think I botched that one. Can I get a mulligan?

      • FireGryphon
      • 9 years ago

      So far it looks like about 50% of people have a 16:10 resolution based on both questions. It matches, within a margin of error.

    • Squeazle
    • 9 years ago

    One of two on an XFX mobo!

    …yeah I don’t always make good choices.

    • shank15217
    • 9 years ago

    Windows 64-bit for 4 years and still going strong (same os new hardware, simple swap of the hardware and ghosting os image) πŸ™‚ Its the best Windows if you cant afford Windows 7 64-bit. It is sooo much better than Vista 64-bit!!

      • Dashak
      • 9 years ago

      XP?

        • Airmantharp
        • 9 years ago

        It’s Windows XP Professional 64-bit, and it’s not XP- it’s some hybrid based on Server 2003 64-bit, and has to have it’s own special drivers. It’s probably the worst choice. Vista, once patched to Service Pack 2, was rock solid in 32-bit or 64-bit form, though I’ll have to say I didn’t have a problem with it (other than slowness) using it from 6 months after the retail release.

          • MrJP
          • 9 years ago

          I have to use XP 64 at work, and the poor driver support and problems with program incompatibilities make it a nightmare. It may well be a rock solid OS underneath, but I’d say it’s clearly a worse choice than Vista 64 for the majority of people. Windows 7 is easily better again, but I think a lot of Vista’s bad press is seriously overstated.

      • Mr Bill
      • 9 years ago

      I’m also running Win XP64 Pro. Built my system when Vista was out and no way I wanted Vista.

    • kizzmequik_74
    • 9 years ago

    Funny, since I’m running a laptop, it goes from one monitor and headphones at the office to two monitors and two speakers at home. I entered my office config, since that’s how it usually spends its time.

    Also funny: an (almost) dead heat between 1080p and 1980×1200 monitors. I wonder if that stalemate would hold, though.

    • Machupo
    • 9 years ago

    Should be a “none” option for optical media… ditched that outdated junk a while ago πŸ˜‰

      • phez
      • 9 years ago

      … and how do you install your OS?

        • Airmantharp
        • 9 years ago

        Using a USB drive has become pretty popular these days, though I have to admit I haven’t figured out how to make one bootable. I’m sure it’s easy though.

        • stdRaichu
        • 9 years ago

        MS provide instructions for installing via USB here: [url<]http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535816.aspx[/url<] I've still got two optical drives in my workstation, but those are just for ripping movies. Don't have opticals in any of my other computers - large, clunky, noisy technology. Optical drives for backup?! That stopped being feasible in about 2002. Use another hard drive, or preferably a NAS/file server with an airgap backup system on it. Faster (by orders of magnitude), more reliable, easily automated and takes up less space.

        • Machupo
        • 9 years ago

        as others have said, USB thumbdrive. Installing from USB 3.0 is very quick and the bootable instructions (provided in stdRaichu’s response) are pretty straightforward.

      • Palek
      • 9 years ago

      What do you have for backup?

        • Norphy
        • 9 years ago

        Personally I have a USB hard drive. Backing up onto optical media would be a nightmare!

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 9 years ago

        backup ? HAHA ! Spare Hard Drives, obviously.

        • Machupo
        • 9 years ago

        For stuff I just don’t want to reinstall: Mirrored HDD’s in another computer

        For stuff that is very important: A couple large-capacity thumb drives (one in an onsite fireproof safe and one in an offsite safety deposit box).

    • lonleyppl
    • 9 years ago

    I have a WinMo 6.0 (until it dies, then I regress to WinMo 5.0) phone. Not sure I can count that as a smartphone considering it barely works…
    Getting a laptop soon, but don’t have it yet. I certainly wish there was an option for Intel Atom under processor. I also messed up the core count vote as I voted 4 (2 + 2 HT) when I suppose I should only have voted 2. Oh well, life goes on…

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Hey Cyril it’s like a manual version of the steam hardware survey lol πŸ™‚

    2 things though

    – technically couldn’t one say the asus xonar is c-media based? (CMI8 788?)
    my ht omega is cmedia based (CMI 8788 chip) as are many others, auzentech, bgears, sondigo)
    -OS – dual boot – options?

      • Rakhmaninov3
      • 9 years ago

      I’d go with the one I used more often or “other”

      • Airmantharp
      • 9 years ago

      How about Auzentech’s X-Fi based cards? People buy them specifically because they’re -not- made by Creative.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        But the chip is still made by E-MU, which is owned by Creative. Auzentech is still getting their driver base from Creative, too. If you’re buying an Auzentech X-Fi it’s not for “corporate politics” reasons, it’s because of the output quality.

    • oldDummy
    • 9 years ago

    I’m suprised most have older systems here.
    My 24″ Dell is right in the mainstream.
    While a GTX460 would power that for most all games
    the 580 leaves no doubt…with all eye candy dripping.

    • redbeardmcgee
    • 9 years ago

    I am confused about the results for CPU Socket Type and Chipset polls. The largest group at 30% uses a socket 775 mobo, yet for the chipset the largest group, 25%, uses a Intel 5 series chipset.

    Puzzling

      • redbeardmcgee
      • 9 years ago

      I suppose it could be confounded by the 14% of people who don’t know what chipset they are using.

        • srg86
        • 9 years ago

        I had no choice than to go with that “Other/don’t know” as my nForce 4 isn’t listed

      • MadManOriginal
      • 9 years ago

      LGA 775 spans quite a few chipsets.

        • bimmerlovere39
        • 9 years ago

        And Intel 5 series covers two sockets, too.

    • blitzy
    • 9 years ago

    hmm this reminds me how long its been since I upgraded, probably 2006.. and I still don’t really need to. My 1.8ghz C2D can play SC2 just fine, and theres nothing newer thats worth playing really.

    • MrJP
    • 9 years ago

    A question on number of GPUs would have been interesting. SLI & CF are often portrayed as a very tiny market, but I suspect there’d be more than a few in this crowd.

    From the site review content point of view, it might also have been useful to ask how many people have non-stock CPU coolers, and whether people overclock.

    And yes, the Windows 7 take-up is staggering. Microsoft must be pretty happy (especially with Apple coming out on top in the evil poll at the moment as well).

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    Given most people don’t have more than 24″/1980 screen resolutions, the vast majority of graphic card reviews on this site lately are kinda overkill.

      • KinCT
      • 9 years ago

      Not when you have 3x1920x1080 in an eyefinity setup. Perhaps I read the question wrong and should have filled in “other”. I do not have all 3 screens going 100% of the time (but over 75% of the time I do).

      • sschaem
      • 9 years ago

      This might be true if your optimal gaming frame rate is ~30fps.
      But looking in the past 6 month review on this site, it doesn’t seem that easy for cards to reach 60fps in 1920×1200 with AA and visual quality set to high.
      Are you talking about the GTX 580 and Radeon 6990 ? If so I would agree that those two are overkill for a single 1920 monitor, but those are not the vast majority of cards reviewed by techreport.

      • codedivine
      • 9 years ago

      True. Also I would like TR to rather review the cheaper end of the cards (say Radeon 5570, GTS 450 anyone?) more than cards like the 6990.

        • yfital
        • 9 years ago

        I’m using an 4870 (the 512mb) and i still run everything at 1920X1200 with at least 2xAA.

        I’m now considering a 560Ti if not waiting another generation.

        really no reason to buy more then 250$ card for 1-2 24″ monitors

          • dragosmp
          • 9 years ago

          I’m with you on that, my 4850 with 512mb runs everything @1920×1080 with the highest details, sometimes with 2-4x AA

          …for the Dx11 effects it could be worth buying a new card though, there are some good looking games coming up this spring.

      • bcronce
      • 9 years ago

      The size of the screen is meaningless, only the resolution matters for rendering reasons. If I could get a 1600p monitor for under $800, I would.

      My “perfect” display, would be a 120hz 1600p 30bit 23″ monitor.

      • Dysthymia
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, it might be nice if we saw more budget video card reviews but I get a kick out of reading about the bleeding edge of what’s out there too.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      I would never ask the reviewers to do less, kinda a silly statement.

    • xeridea
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t have my monitor resolution (2048×1152)

      • allCarnage
      • 9 years ago

      Same res for me :p

      • phez
      • 9 years ago

      *high five*

      • DrDillyBar
      • 9 years ago

      Yay team!

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    SLI Where are you? I have a tri-sli GTX 260 setup though I am going to replace it soon with a GTX 560 2GB setup soon.

    • Sunburn74
    • 9 years ago

    Was blown away by the overwhelming win7 64 bit. Woulda expected a little more xp or a little more linux from this crowd.

    This poll is saying that literally 8/10 people on this site are running win7 64bit… thats crazy

      • thesmileman
      • 9 years ago

      You can’t do DX10 or 11 on XP

      • tbone8ty
      • 9 years ago

      no thats awesome! jsut shows win7 64bit is the best OS

      • kvndoom
      • 9 years ago

      I got Win7 as a free download through school, but I haven’t installed it yet. I’m not screwing with my system in any major way until I’m done with classes.

      I’ll probably buy a separate hard drive just to install Windows 7 and play with it. But until I graduate I’m still using Windows XP. Regardless of what the vocal minority on hardware sites try to scream, it really [i<]does[/i<] get the job done just fine for the majority of people.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah, it’s not like the software suddenly stops working when the newer version comes out. If I were knee-deep in school I’d be hesitant to upgrade in a hurry as well.

      • eofpi
      • 9 years ago

      The poll also asked specifically about one’s primary machine. XP and Linux are probably more common on secondary HTPCs or home file/media servers.

      • odizzido
      • 9 years ago

      I was a little surprised as well. Personally the only reason I use windows is for games. I would be interested in another poll that asks what you would do if suddenly linux ran games as well as windows.

    • Firestarter
    • 9 years ago

    Same laptop I had back in 2008. Definitely itching for an upgrade.

      • anotherengineer
      • 9 years ago

      My wife is still using her laptop from 2001!!!!!!!! It pains me when I use it.

        • Corrado
        • 9 years ago

        I had to force my wife off her 14″ iBook G4. She didn’t feel it was inadequate. When I got her a 24″ iMac Core2Duo and upgraded it to 4gb of ram, she finally realized how awful the G4 was.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    Still rocking a Core 2 Duo LGA775 setup here, I skipped over the original i3/5/7 series and will upgrade to a Sandy Bridge LGA1155 rig once the fixed motherboards are in stock (it’s started already, but the one I want is still backordered at my favorite retailer).

    The Radeon 5000 series is getting a lot of love, understandable considering the price/performance ratio and especially how late Fermi was.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    Wtf are so many people doing with 8+ GB of RAM?!? I have yet to see my computer use more than about 1.5GB.

      • mikehodges2
      • 9 years ago

      Heavy photo, video, music editting, CAD?

        • potatochobit
        • 9 years ago

        lol, no…
        I’m sure most of it is just e-peen
        have to cover up those shortcomings someway

          • bimmerlovere39
          • 9 years ago

          lol, yes…

          Never filled 8GB. Have run up to 6GB used, though.

            • Dingmatt
            • 9 years ago

            Try running a chkdsk in Windows 7 x64 and you’ll see your ram fill.

            • Krogoth
            • 9 years ago

            That’s because of a known bug with chkdsk under Vista/7.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Sonar X1 Producer x64 + multiple instances of Dimension Pro, EZ drummer, and other VSTis, along with recorded audio tracks. I’ve never seen the app use more than around 3.1GB but with Win7 that means I’m still going over 4GB. 8GB it is. πŸ˜€

      • bthylafh
      • 9 years ago

      Future-proofing? RAM is really cheap right now.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Virtual Machines. Eats it up in no time.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 9 years ago

      I’m in the “why not, memory is cheap and I don’t see DDR3 getting supplanted anytime soon anyway” camp.

      • TheQat
      • 9 years ago

      playing more than one game at a time while running firefox while running itunes (not me but i’m sure many do) while running videos while running a virtual machine minecraft server etc etc etc

        • potatochobit
        • 9 years ago

        you might break 4GB doing that but you will come no where near 8GB and not in a chance would you ever need MORE than 8GB to multitask

          • hapyman
          • 9 years ago

          Face it your wrong… Try running multiple tabs in Firefox, Chrome and IE while simultaneously running in Photoshop and Visual Studio 2010 (debugging). Plus listening to music or watching an occasional streaming video.

      • Thrashdog
      • 9 years ago

      When RAM prices crashed a few months back, I figured, “why not?” What with Windows 7’s caching function stuffing it full of whatever it thinks might be useful, it’s not * exactly* going to waste, and when I fire up CAD or rendering software it’ll get used. You must run a very lightweight system, though — I’m idling at 2 gigs, with just a couple tabs open in Chrome, and MSSE and Steam running in the background. (there’s also a full WAMP stack on here, but that’s pretty lightweight when I’m not using it for testing.)

      • Sunburn74
      • 9 years ago

      RAMDISKS to do whatever you want.

      • thesmileman
      • 9 years ago

      Developing CUDA and OpenCL based sensor processing software. Anything less that 64GB is just silly.

        • ermo
        • 9 years ago

        That made me smile.

        Not many single socket motherboards (none?) allow for 64GB of RAM, so you must be running on some pretty serious iron there — 4 sockets w/16 GB each?

        I have this old-ish box running Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit w/4 GB of DDR2-800 ECC RAM and an Athlon II 240e on a 1st generation ASUS 790GX based motherboard. It does double duty as my always-on home server and my web-browsing machine and as such I don’t think I’ve ever seen it swap in the couple of years that it’s been running. Its previous CPU was a 65nm Athlon X2 with which the whole system used slightly less power (2-3W) at idle, which I find a bit odd. Oh well.

        Considering getting 16 GB of ECC DDR3, a Ph II X6 and an 890GX mobo as that combo is dirt cheap and well debugged these days, even if it won’t be the fastest horse in the stable. Factor in a 128 GB SSD and it can comfortably run 3 KVM guests w/2 cores + 4GB RAM each. It would make a pretty decent low budget Linux development platform…

      • no51
      • 9 years ago

      I’m idling right now at 4.19gb.

        • anotherengineer
        • 9 years ago

        I’m idling at 512MB πŸ™‚

        • Dposcorp
        • 9 years ago

        2.9GB here, with only Chrome (10+ tabs) and a DVD rip going.
        Once I open up MCE and a game, I get very happy knowing I have 16GB of ram that cost around $100.

      • KinCT
      • 9 years ago

      I run Windows 2008 server 64 bit (work) with lots of VMs (servers). In that case, 16 GB is excellent, but could use still more.

      At nighttime, the PC turns into a Windows 7, 64 bit machine for, ahem, uh, work…?

      Running AMD 1090T with 6 cores. Makes for a nice VM host

      • gerbilspy
      • 9 years ago

      Video editing, on my laptop. πŸ™‚

      • bimmerlovere39
      • 9 years ago

      Adobe Lightroom

      + Firefox + Pandora + iTunes + Trillian + Steam

      It’s really not hard to fill the memory once you get used to having it. How do you keep yourself that tight on RAM usage?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        I find that if I have other apps open while I’m trying to work on something I get distracted and pulled out of my rhythm. As a result I close all that stuff. I applaud (I guess) those who can work with distractions but I just can’t do it.

          • bimmerlovere39
          • 9 years ago

          Hahahaha work… Yeah, about that…

          If I’m working, I’ll shut it down to just a mail notifier, Pandora (the Air app, not the website), and Word/Excel/Visual Studio/Whatever is needed. But for general computing or futzing around (photography is a serious hobby at this point, not work), I abuse my ram.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 9 years ago

            My “work” on my personal machine is also a serious hobby, but my point is that I can’t “work” if I have even my mail client open. πŸ˜€

      • redbeardmcgee
      • 9 years ago

      I was swayed by the Tom’s Hardware article saying that when gaming on a 64-bit OS, 8GB memory is a must. [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,2778.html[/url<] Also, like others have said, memory is cheap so why not?

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 9 years ago

      Programming? Running multiple compiler instances and RAM gets heavy use.

      • Sahrin
      • 9 years ago

      Not waiting on HDD reads…ever?

      • kureshii
      • 9 years ago

      Get a RAMdisk and you’ll start to see RAM in a different light πŸ˜‰

      Besides, there’re some apps/toolchains that really gobble up memory easily. An instance of avisynth + x264 can easily take up 300-400MB. Run four of those in parallel on a quad-core (because avisynth is still largely single-threaded), and watch 1.5GB get taken up by encoding alone.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      heh, you don’t deserve a -8 for asking a question.

      I have 6 installed, and rarely get above 4 used. Memory is so cheap.

      I would probably build with 8-12 from this point on. You never know what you’ll need x years down the line.

      • hans
      • 9 years ago

      Virtual machines. 1 test instance of my servce (1 Vertica database node VM, 1 RHEL app server) and I can easily be maxing out 8 GB. Next box will be 12 or 16 if I can afford it at the time.

      • Jambe
      • 9 years ago

      [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006050%20600006069&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100[/url<] That's why.

      • absinthexl
      • 9 years ago

      Win7 + Chrome + any 3D software will get you there.

      • odizzido
      • 9 years ago

      I had 4gigs till recently but I ran out once so I went and got another 4. If I didn’t play games I am sure I wouldn’t need more than two unless I got back into VMs.

      • lonleyppl
      • 9 years ago

      I’ve maxed out 2 GiB easily. I’m hoping to get a Lenovo W520 when they come out so I can put 16 GiB in for virtual machines, CAD and working with huge images from programs like Apophysis.

      • kuraegomon
      • 9 years ago

      3.82 GB as I speak. The big culprits are my browser and my VirtualBox instance (that I’m VPN’ed to work in with)

      • honoradept
      • 9 years ago

      i need atleast 6Gb free ram to render in 3ds max.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      Photoshop makes my computer CRY with only 8 gigs. Large projects, that is.

      • mnecaise
      • 9 years ago

      combination of VMs, Visual Studio, and MS SQL server running. Memory? What memory? I didn’t see any free memory around here…

      • RealPjotr
      • 9 years ago

      I expanded with 4GB more because it was cheap. It allows Windows to pre-load most everything I use before I use it, so the computer is really snappy.

      • flip-mode
      • 9 years ago

      At this point how can anyone not reply to this?

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      Professionals, video content hobbist, servers always have a growing demand for greater memory capacites. It probably helps that the current memory market is at a slump. You get bargain basement prices for 2-4GiB DDR3 modules. 8GiB memory capacity for modern platforms is quite affordable. This wasn’t the case if you were to go back a few years.

    • CampinCarl
    • 9 years ago

    Awesome.

    • potatochobit
    • 9 years ago

    maybe 4 and 6 GB should have been separate

      • Airmantharp
      • 9 years ago

      4GB would be the common amount for a dual-channel system, and 6GB would be the common amount for a triple-channel system, but I see what you’re saying.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 9 years ago

      then it would have been another repeat of the Chipset question. The “only” people sitting on 6GB are triple channel folks, orrrr unfortunate people that think that 2 2gb + 2 1gb chips is faster than just 2 2GB chips.

        • Airmantharp
        • 9 years ago

        Depending on clocks and timings, it [b<][i<]is[/i<][/b<] faster, if you need more than 4GB but less than 6GB.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    I’m going to say an average of : quad core (a lot of i series), 4-8GB RAM, GeForce 4XX, 24 LCD, and Win7 x64.

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 9 years ago

      I think the Radeon 5000 series might win out this time personally. Nvidia took so long getting Fermi to market, ATI/AMD gained a lot of customers (I think)…?

      Agree with everything else tho. It’s interesting to see how the “baseline” changes over the years. Just look at the Steam Hardware Survey…

        • DancinJack
        • 9 years ago

        I thought that at first. Heck, I even have an HD5850. The GTX460 has been out for quite some time now at a really good price though… That’s the main reason I said the 4 series.

          • thermistor
          • 9 years ago

          As of the time I voted AMD 4xxx, 5xxx, and 6xxx took 3 of the top 4 spots, and #1 overall in the 5xxx series. I thought AMD would be strong based on the good value starting at the 4xxx series, and good continued execution to present day. But if I was an AMD big wig, I’d be really excited by these results (in an non-scientific way, of course) as they show a trend.

          Now I want the display and memory fairy to show up so I won’t be below average…

            • derFunkenstein
            • 9 years ago

            Made me think of this:

            [url<]https://techreport.com/discussions.x/15318[/url<]

      • JoHowdy123
      • 9 years ago

      I second that.

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