Greetings FiringSquad readers! The FS staff would like to introduce our newest writer, Chris "Buck" Buccola. He brings years of industry experience and plenty of New Yawk toughness to our soft, tree-huggin' Nor-Cal website. Let's see what Buck has to say!
Losta Questions Being Asked
FiringSquad gets tons of mail on a daily basis. Some ask personal questions of the staff, (I.E. what deodorant does Thresh use? Would I play any better if I used the same brand?). Some ask about key configs and setups, and others run the gamut from challenging us to Quake, to asking to be an intern, to other weird requests that I refuse to repeat in print. Overall however, most of the questions we receive are about upgrades and hardware advice. (Apparently people are getting FS e-mail addys confused with Compaq Tech support.)
Since I am the new guy, I guess Kenn and James thought it would be a good idea to toss a few of these hardware related e-mails my way and have me answer a few of them. I think it might have something to do with the amount of questions I have answered on the FS Hardware Message Board, which makes this article pretty much right up my alley.
To start off, I am going to hit upon two popular topics with one letter. The first topic is easily one of the hottest questions being asked around the message boards: should I get a dual CPU system? The second topic is that ever loaded system upgrade question. A good third of the e-mails to the FiringSquad staff are from readers seeking upgrade advice. I'll cover a few options readers might want to consider.
It was not that long ago that SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) was purely the domain of the super powerful server, not even close to being a realistic option for the home user. Over the last year or so, however, we have seen quite a few consumer level dual CPU boards appear on the market. I would be hard pressed to think of at least one major board maker that does not have at least one dual CPU board in their product line up. So what is all the hoopla about? Are dual CPU setups REALLY as good as people want to believe? Or is it just more hype? Are there other, possibly better alternatives to building a Dual CPU system?
There is no one solid answer, because hardware choice is dependant on the needs of each individual. In addition, there are also a few key points that most folk tend to miss. Usually the number one reason folks want to go the dual route is to gain the ability to multitask more effectively, but I believe there is a better solution, as I will get into later.