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Hardware Thread
Discuss computer hardware here.
Don't know which components to get? Don't know how to spend your upgrade money? Then ask here, and forum regulars will tell you to fuck off in a number of different ways!
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Wacom 
Any wacom tablet rocks totally in my opinion, very solid hardware, I've had my Intuos1 A5 for almost 6 years now and it still works perfectly, it's definatly the best 300 euros I've spent in my life.

I think graphires are fine too if you don't plan on using it alot, I use some every day at school, and althought I'm more comfortable on my A5, I still find A6 is enough space to do pretty much anything (many very talented digital artists use only A6).
As for larger than A5, I have an A4 intuos3 at work, and honestly, even though it is nice for some specific things (like drawing really clean lineart), most of the time I just find it a tad too large, and prefer my A5 at home.

Conclusion: if you're planning on using it alot, try investing in an A5, otherwise, graphires are just great for every day random doodlings.

Phait: I have no problem drawing curves on graphires, and the whole point of the tablet is that it DOES register the pen before it touches the tablet, or you wouldn't know where the hell you are on the screen, silly, it obviously only draws when you touch the surface. It obviously takes a little while to get used to. 
What The Hell? 
I thought these things were about 300 quid last time I looked. Turns out you can get a wacom intuos3 A5 for a far more reasonable 115 quid (25,000yen). Maybe they are much cheaper in Japan, but seeing that price makes me want to buy one right away!

Hmm, just checked the UK price and they seem to still be around 200 quid. UK sucks :( 
Suddenly, 
I'm hungry for calamari. 
UPGRADE CONUNDRUM 
So, I have a broken graphics card. I can't fix it or return it, it's totally shagged. I need a new card then it seems.

My current system is an athlon 3700(?) with 1gb ballistix ram, a MSI agp motherboard, yes agp. The card I have at the moment is a 6800gt and I'm looking for a cheap replacement that will give me similar or better performance. Any suggestions?

I probably won't be changing to PCI-express this upgrade as I am really strapped for cash.

P.S. I heard the BFG GeForce 7600 GS OC 512MB is good, is that the truth or a filthy lie? 
.... 
oh and please bear in mind I'n in the UK and posting cheap american component sites (newegg) only make me sad. 
7800gs 
I just got one and it's quite nice, keep an eye on ebay for one. 
So If My Brother And Dad's Laptop 
have wireless netwrok cards, and we have broadband internet, what do I have to get to setup a network ?

Just a router ? should I be looking for anything specific ? 
 
that was me above 
Wireless Router 
It's as easy as pie to setup. Basically first time you plug the router in it will appear as a local wireless device. Connect to it (using default password which will usually be printed on the bottom) and alter the settings to secure the network.

All the nitty gritty will be in the manual. 
Tron 
cheers.

anythign else to look out for ? 
Encryption 
Make sure to use WPA-PSK and not WEP for the wireless. WEP can be cracked in very short time. Hiding the SSID of the router is a good idea too, just setup the PCs manually.
And change the password to the router. If someone does hack into your wlan, he should not have access to it! Most people leave it on the default password which is a serious security flaw. 
Right MOFOs. 
I have realised that my PC is now an embarassing 3 years old! And although it runs most things fine - including Prey which it ran very well - I should probably think about upgrading.

The deal is, I am happy with the monitor / kb / sound card / CD write / DVD drive etc etc. What I would need to upgrade is: Motherboard, processor, RAM, and GFX card (at the moment I'm on a P4 2.8ghz, 1 gig RAM (dunno what sort), ATI Radeon 9800 pro 256 meg).

So, what do people recommend. Keep it simple please - me being able to understand it, and install it without royally fucking up my machine are the most important criteria. 
Ahem 
linux, duh!@ 
What Games Have You Had Problems With? 
With DX10 cards just starting to come in, I would wait until you start having problems running new games before upgrading. 
 
Are you lazy or smth? google or go to hardware sites for worthy recomnedation

if you ARE lazy then go buy any pre-built box with any core2duo, 3gb ram and any gf7900
that will do 
Make It 2gb :) 
 
Shamb 
Short Shambler friendly answer = wait

Long Techy Answer = Yeah, wait for the 1st line of DX10 cards to show up that would be a very safe move, also quad core cpu's are just around the corner which is also worth waiting for as games will be using multi-core cpu optimizations in the near-ish future (hl2 engine, crysis etc) so I would say wait a few more months and see what appears it will be worth it. As for ram I would DDR2 would be the standard by then and make sure you get at least 2GB in a matched pair (again this will probably be standard) As for motherboard I would probably recommend whatever the latest N-force mobo is at the time as I've never had any probs with them from the N-force2 all the way up to the N-force 4 SLI I have now. 
Shambler 
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo, not only the best bang for the buck, but also the perfomance kings leaving AMD in the dust right now. If building a moderately budget box, go for E6400, if you have the money, go for E6600 or better.

RAM: 2 GB of DDR2-667, CL5 for budget, 2GB of DDR2-800, CL4 if you are going crazy for perfomance.

Video: NVIDIA 7900GTO or 7950GT for budget or if you want CRAZY speed and DX10 goodness, go for 8800GT or even 8800GTX.

Note that for _ANY_ videocard listed above, a 400W power supply is a recommended minimum, a 8800GTX requires a 430W PSU.. 
Video Cards Of The Future 
I'm waiting for 9900GTX which comes with its own nuclear generator. 
The Powerconsumption Part Is Silly 
But it's pretty cool that it seems to be a big step in the evolution of graphics cards going from being actual graphics cards and becoming general computing monsters that should be prove very useful for things like audio processing and all kinds of funky stuff that it can do better than the CPUs. 
Which Makes 
the whole ATI+AMD thing seem remarkably prescient... :) 
And Valve Seems To Think In The Same Direction Too... 
"Hybrid threading has also proven to be an asset in the company's work with Microsoft's multi-core Xbox 360 console, and Valve says it sets them up nicely for what they believe is a "post-GPU" era looming over the horizon" 
Is Hybrid Threading... 
anything like hyper threading? 
Or 
hype threading ... 
Hybrid Threading Is... 
*drum roll* a hybrid approach for how to distribute tasks over multiple threads/cores on the software side. I guess I should have linked to the article in the first place but it wasn't really that interesting in my view but it's about how valve will tackle multi-core processors in the steam engine:

http://techreport.com/etc/2006q4/source-multicore/index.x?pg=1 
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