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  • 2 weeks later...

guys, what is an ultrabook?

basically to my understanding, it's a type of tech architecture that allows non-Mac (pc / linux) manufacturers to build macbook air type laptops - unibody, thin-ness, etc.

Intel sponsored a lot of its development. Bunch of manufacturers are releasing first models this winter.

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basically to my understanding, it's a type of tech architecture that allows non-Mac (pc / linux) manufacturers to build macbook air type laptops - unibody, thin-ness, etc. Intel sponsored a lot of its development. Bunch of manufacturers are releasing first models this winter.

more or less.

the "ultrabook" is a standard set by Intel for a "new generation" of laptop computers. There are 3 requirements to be an ultrabook: the computer has to boot in X secs, the computer has to be Y thin and the computer must have a SSD. I think there's a price constraint in there too. So yeah, it's supposed to be a new line of "macbook air" type laptops but Windows-Intel based. Seems exciting.

I work in computer retail so that's my source.

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Nvidia Geforce 290.36 beta drivers released

subjective highlights:

..Furthermore, a Battlefield 3 fix is included to combat the random appearance of triangular artifacts..

NVIDIA Ambient Occlusion

Adds NVIDIA Control Panel ambient occlusion support for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. (!)

Adds NVIDIA Control Panel ambient occlusion support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.


Updates PhysX System Software to version 9.11.1107 for the best PhysX experience in Batman: Arkham City.

Bug Fixes

Fixes random flickering as Windows boot logo is loading or fading away.

Fixes corruption in Crysis 2 with SLI and lower quality shadow settings.

Fixes ability to set Surround resolutions to 5760x1080 using custom resolutions.

Fixes some random instances of triangular artifacts when playing Battlefield 3.

Fixes corruption and flickering of some objects in Battlefield 3 in the New York single-player level when anti-aliasing is enabled.

Fixes corruption seen in Settlers 7 with the NVIDIA 275.33 drivers.

Fixes playback of videos or live TV using Window Media Center resulting in a black screen.

Fixes the issue where 1920x1080 @60Hz PC resolution mode switched down to @59Hz.

Fixes mouse cursor flickering and shaking in Crysis 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Deus Ex and Civilization V when SLI is enabled when using 3DTV Play.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

i've got about $700 to blow on the following upgrades: PSU, CPU, GPU, ram, mobo, hdd. all other components (sound card, dvd-r, monitor, etc etc etc) are already existing and will suffice into this upgrade.

i'm pretty solid on the following:

PSU: rosewill 650W

CPU: intel core i5 2500K (sandy bridge -- or should i wait for ivy bridge? gotta stay around $200 here.)

ram: 8GB ddr3 1600 (plenty imo)

mobo: asrock gen3 extreme for i5 2500K

hdd: seagate barricuda 500gb 7200rpm (no SSD due to budget)

the graphics card bit is REALLY confusing me, though. the last time I upgraded (about 4 years ago,) geforce was far-and-away the way to go. nowadays, i hear the best bang for your buck are radeons. the naming conventions for these cards is the most confusing shit.

to make a long story short, after the above components, i've got roughly $150-170 to spend on a video card, and i definitely want its strong suite to be gaming performance & quality. pcie 3.0 (i.e. radeon 7000 series) is unnecessary, as i won't be owning an ivy bridge processor anytime soon (or should i wait for those to come out...?) any recommendations?

Edited by blackfuture
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ivy bridge vs sandy bridge delta is only pcie 3, two more sataIII and two more usb3 ports. but with ivy bridge cpus, you can also get up to 3 onboard displays.

imho, sandy bridge is already overkill for 9 out of 10 users [including macnerds]. if youre not running 3+ 1080p displays or playing graphics-intensive games, then youll be set4life with any core i5 or i7 setups

the graphic card market basically died in the last decade because mobos would have onboard gpu and every card could do 2 monitors easily, thereby eliminating the need for crossfire/sli

the best radeons are usually pcie2.1. theyre generally cheaper but also more varieties. higher end ones can do up to 6 monitors but even low end 4000's can do two 1080p decently (my HD4350 is 4yo)

if youre stuck with pcie2.0, go with nvidia gtx. only downside is youre stuck with max 2 displays unless go with the high end cards ($200-$500) or buy two for an SLI setup

radeon cards look at the hunreds place. (ie HD3870 is a lil better than HD7350)

geforce cards look at the tens place. (ie GTX295 is lil better than GTX510)

generally speaking....123 is low end, 456 is mid end, and 789 is high end. but it may depend cuz they sometimes skip and nvidia uses 0 too

long story short...i think you should see if the current setup is good enough for you. ive no experience with asrock but onboard it probably has 2 digital displays + vga, so you might already be good without a video card. if you dont need the hdd space, i would use the money towards an ssd. the speed upgrade is too crazy and hdd prices are still ridiculous right now.

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wow, thanks a lot for getting so in-depth.

i did some more research about ivy bridge, and decided against it. i try to avoid first-generation anything, and the pros the architecture provides (like pci 3.0, etc) are non-beneficial to me. i also read that the current research/test chips have been running abnormally hot. however, i do think it's pretty cool that intel made ivy bridge processors backwards compatible with motherboards made for sandy bridge. i've read far too many great things about the "legendary" i5 2500K chip, that it's become my bar-none choice.

as for the graphics card, i've decided to keep my 9800 gtx+ for the time being, and run it in my new setup until it truly becomes a bottleneck. i got honest with myself for a minute and realized the only real cutting edge game i'll be playing this year is diablo 3, which already runs decently on my current setup.

if and when i do eventually upgrade the video card, i'm almost certain it's just going to be a single card in a pcie 2.0 setup, with a maximum of two monitors. i'd love to run multiple cards, but i'm stuck in school for at least two more years, and it's not realistic within my budget.

as for the hard drive, i do need all the space i can get -- i do a fair amount of raw video editing. this 500gb is actually in addition to the 1tb drive i currently have.

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My only comment on fobsquad's excellent post is to slightly disagree about onboard video. I've seen a LOT of problems with onboard video chipsets - especially NVIDIA. They tend to fail before anything else on a mobo. I typically buy mobos with no onboard graphics and then buy the card(s) of my choice. the upshot to this is that you can reuse them, or upgrade your graphics later. And the boards without onboard video tend to be "burlier" like support more ram, have fancier unlocking features etc. Also it's rare that onboard chipsets are as powerful as standalone GPUs. There's a reason those fuckers require their own 6 pin power cables. ;)

The only time I ever get motherboards with onboard video is if I am building headless fileservers since I don't care about video anyways and it saves me having to buy a video card.

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that brings up a good point. if you buy an ivy bridge mobo, you can still use the i5-2500k with your gtx9800 or another pcie2 gpu card. then eventually you can upgrade to pcie3 by only buying an ivy bridge cpu (plus the pci3 gpu card.)

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but honestly the whole pc="personal computer" world has gone to shit now that we all want ipads/iphones/imacs (or tablets/phones/allin1pcs) but notice all the viruses/trojans for apple lately?

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fob I think there will always be a market for a full-featured powerful multi-use computer even as the market for more appliance-like devices (tablets, etc) gets bigger. iPhone and iPad are and always will be somewhat limited. They suck for typing, eg :)

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  • 1 year later...

i have in the past. if you are diving straight in just make sure you are dual booting, because there will be times where you will just want to use a windows computer to save hassle. there are other distros that are more user friendly for first time users. i was on mandriva, but the flavor of the month changes all the time. good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

it helps to know what platform you'd be running it on first. then figure out which version is optimized for it.


sure its pretty simple click and go regardless, but whats the point? windows is free isn't it?

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install it onto a 8gb+ USB so you dont have to mess with the storage. just plug it in and restart when you want to boot ubuntu


inb4 easier said than done

Edited by fobsquad
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  • 1 year later...

so uh hoping someone can help me out here:


computer just up and died, shut down by itself no warning no blue screen of death. all that was running was a music player and maybe my email client


when i tried to restart it, it would just fail. eventually (for reasons unknown) i could get it to boot up in to windows and i could see my desktop for a bit (a minute?) before it crashed again. it will also crash in safe mode


upon immediate subsequent attempts to restart it, it will fail faster, often at the motherboard logo screen


this, plus the fact that it can successfully boot up (if only for a bit) made me think it was a failed power supply unit. i swapped in my cousin's psu and it failed just the same. i also swapped in another hdd and it failed just the same


what do you guys think it could be? i would prefer not to spend a couple bills getting a barebones kit to replace everything if i can narrow it down to one component


some history: 


gigabyte ga-x58a-ud3r motherboard


always had issues with "recovering lost dram size" boot cycling, sometimes just goes away on its own, sometimes playing with voltage setting or swapping ram slots fixes it (currently on default settings, does not loop)


connected to a surge protector, but it has been running and killed from storms / power surges a few times


also for a while now, i noticed that there is a persistent red light on my motherboard while the pc is on but i have no clue what it does. i have attached a phone image with a crop





pc is like 4 years old? is motherboard dead? =/





well fuck. found motherboard pdf, says that is temperature indicator LED, and red is when it is over 80 Celsius. will attempt to use arctic silver thermal paste :(

Edited by _ironman
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if it boots to BIOS  but not beyond that the mobo and psu "should" be fine, I would wager hdd or RAM - maaaaybe cpu temp but unlikely. Are you using a solid state drive?

Edited by Fycus
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