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Best Hardware Configuration for Visual Studio.Net programming

Posted on 2006-11-06
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Last Modified: 2009-12-16
Hi All,

I need to buy 2 machines for .NET programming. I will be using Visual Studio.NET and MS SQL as my basic softwares for the application development.

I need to buy 2 desktops for this.

I need to make a choice on the hardware front on should i buy --
1. a P4 3 GHZ with 1GB RAM or
2. a Dual Core 3.4 GHZ with 1GB RAM along with the other standard items or

Can anyone tell me which one would be a faster machine for my programming requirements ?

Also can anyone tell me if Intel has stopped manufacturing P4 processors ?

Thanks!
Nitin
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Question by:PresageSolutions
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by:graye
ID: 17898538
The Pentium D was the last of the breed.   The new "Core" and "Core 2" processor are the choice for new PCs these days.

Getting a dual core processor will help with running both VS and SQL Server on the same PC.   Quite frankly, I'd go for 2 Gb of RAM under that scenario.

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Author Comment

by:PresageSolutions
ID: 17904544
Graye,

So would a dualcore 3.4 GHZ be a good server machine to have WIN 2003 server with the MS SQL server sitting on it ?

Would a dual core 3.4 ghz with 1 GB RAM be faster then P4 3 ghz 1GB RAM ?

Thanks!
Nitin Khachar
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by:graye
ID: 17905693
Yep....

Just a note... the clock speeds of the "Pentium 4" max out at about 3.4 Ghz, but the new "Core" and "Core 2" speeds are about 2/3 of the Pentium 4 architecture (but still run programs faster).   Both the "Pentium D" and "Core" are available as "dual core" processors.  Since "Core" is in the title, a "dual core core" is thankfully called a "Core Duo" (otherwise there'd be waaay too confusing).

So, a "Core 2 Duo" at 2.6 Ghz would be my choice over a "Pentium D" at 3.4 Ghz.   Both are dual core processors, but the one with the *slower* clock speed is actually faster.

Again, I'd like to emphasize the importance of RAM... I'd gladly trade a few Ghz of processor speed for an additional 1 Gb of RAM (for a total of 2 Gb)
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Expert Comment

by:YoungBonzi
ID: 17972279
Go with a dual-core CPU. I reap the benefits of one everyday. If a process, for whatever reason, decides to hog 100% of your CPU, you'd never notice, because the second core picks up the slack. In essence, my operating system has never been non-responsive because of a faulty program.

And in the near future, many applications will support SMP to utilize both cores. Vista and the programs that come with it are examples.

1GB of RAM is a good start. If you feel like you need more, then get more later...it will only be cheaper.
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Author Comment

by:PresageSolutions
ID: 17973767
YoungBonzi,

Are you using Dual Core 1.8 GHZ ? E6300 ? Also are you using Visual Studio.NET on it ?

Thanks!
Nitin

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YoungBonzi earned 50 total points
ID: 17974183
Hi Nitin,

I'm running the Core Duo T2300 (1.667GHz x2). The E6300 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819115005) is faster Core 2 Duo. The closest equivalent Core 2 Duo to a T2300 would be a T5500 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819111304). The "T" denotes it's a mobile processor. The E6300 is actually faster and cheaper than both of those T models. So it would be a great chip to get your developers on new CPU architecture.

My basic specs are:
Core Duo T2300
1GB DDR2 RAM dual chan
Windows Vista RC2 (the OS, and everything that comes with it, support and utilize two cores)
VS2005 EE

My real world performance is better that I thought it would be with those specs. With a C++ solution that takes up 140MB of HD space, open and running in debug mode, along with Skype, BOINC (running two processes taking up 100% if both CPUs in low latency mode), FF with 6 tabs open and Paint.NET, I still have a respectable amount of RAM free. Also, the system is responding as if it's just restarted, and I'm not exaggerating about that. I doubt your developers will be running BOINC so their systems should have even more resources available.

I'll show you some screenshots of related to performance. Keep in mind for the Windows Experience Index that scale is running from 0-6 at the moment. Also keep in mine that the E6300 should score higher on the CPU and a desktop system's RAM performance should also be higher due to the faster FSB.
http://xs109.xs.to/xs109/06460/wiesscap.JPG

The next screenshot is just to show you that even while burning 100% of both cores, I can smoothly run a good number of programs at the same time, with no performance hit. It's really unnoticeable.
http://xs109.xs.to/xs109/06460/wtmsscap.png

In short, your developers should be quite happy with a Core 2 Duo system and only 1GB of RAM. If they find that they need more, RAM is the cheapest and easiest upgrade. Just consider how many slots are available on the motherboard before you buy your sticks. If you have 4 slots, then you can comfortably get two 512MB sticks. If you have less, you might want to go with a 1GB stick. You should also make sure you get a popular brand that will still be available for purchase if you decide you want another stick in the future. Cosair Value Select is such a brand.

Good luck with your purchase! =)
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