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Newsletter 9-29-2008


There have been some moves in the video card space. The 9800GTX is no more, and has been replaced by the 9800GTX+. The “+” means it runs cooler (and a few other minor things) - but effectively it´s the same thing. If you quote a 9800GTX, I will order a 9800GTX+. The 8600GT is slowly but surely on its way out - please start moving over to the 9500GT. The 9500GT has slightly better performance, and some modern video card features that the 8600 does not. For the high end, ATI has released the 4870 1GB video card, which is only needed when the customer has a 26” or greater display. Otherwise the 4870 512MB is fine. On the nVidia side, there is a GTX 260 Core 216. Big name, but its still a GTX 260 with some extra stuff added. A bit better performance, but avoid it for now due to scarcity in the market.

Pentium Dual Core E2180s (Dual Core E2180 in TV) is starting to go up in price and is scheduled for EOL in Q1-09. The replacement is the PDC E5200, which currently costs about $xx more - but it´s a lot better chip. Start shifting people over to the new E5200. Other mainsteam Core 2 Duo´s - the E6550 & E6750 are scheduled for EOL the same time as the E2180 and already are cost prohibitive. Never ever sell these - always use E8400´s instead. These are cheaper, and better. For quad cores, the Q6600 is also on the EOL list, to be replaced by the Q8200. You can still sell the Q6600 for now as the price is nice, but in the coming months we will be forced to switch. The Q8200 is basically a butchered Q9300, but still a good chip. For modern quad cores, the Q9300 and Q9550 are your best choices. The Q9550 costs $x more than the Q9450, and therefore you should use the Q9550.

Hard drive pricing is coming down! Not much to affect overall system costs, but it will help. I´ve heard the call for SAS hard drives, and the pricing in TV is mostly up to date. We can only do 3.5” 15K drives for now, I´m still working on finding the cheaper 10K drives - which will let you compete with Dell. But wait! What about the SAS controller cards? Aren´t those stupid expensive? Nope. I´ve added 3 different Highpoint models to TV, the 2640X1 ($xxx, 4 port), 2640X4 ($xxx, 4 port), and 4320 ($xxx, 8 port). Both of the 2-series are cheap with no onboard memory. The X4 model uses a PCI-e x4 slot, and therefore is higher performance. This is the recommended card. The 8 port has onboard memory, but is more expensive than the Adaptec 3805 already in TV, but has twice the memory. All of these cards are super Linux friendly. And - they all work with SATA-II hard drives as well!

Whenever working with rackmounts - make sure to add the cost of a riser in there. They might not be necessary at that moment in time, but odds are the customer will end up throwing a card in there at some point and they´ll need one. Then they call us. Then it´s a big mess finding the correct riser. Both Roland & myself can help you find the custom crazy ones, but only use the crazy ones as needed, they´re around $xx. Regular 1U and 2U PCI risers are cheap - just want to make sure those are getting added in. Another easy upsell is rail kits - we get them for cheap and they would be a logical choice for someone buying a rackmount... unless they already have rails.