Luxury!

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2008
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2008
 
Luxury!

Q. I want to buy an LCD TV for my room. The viewing distance will be 8-10 feet. Could you suggest which brand and size of LCD to buy? My budget is between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1,00,000 for a 32-inch (or above) TV. I’d also like to know the significance of features like Dynamic Contrast Ratio and Full HD.
Amit Jain

Dynamic Contrast Ratio (DCR) refers to the ratio of luminosity of the brightest and darkest colors that a display can produce over time. Static Contrast Ratio (SCR) measures the luminosity values simultaneously, i.e., without the time factor. Values for DCR will be typically higher than those for SCR because DCR simply cancels the effect of the room, causing equal amounts of light to reflect from the display to the room and forth. Therefore DCR values are inflated, and an LCD with an SCR of 3000:1 will outperform an LCD with a DCR of 3000:1.

Full HD simply means HD viewing at its highest possible resolution, i.e., 1080p. This equates to a progressive scanned display consisting of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The next-best thing would be 1080i, i.e., 1920 x 1080 pixels interlaced.

Samsung has some real beauties in their LCD TV range. The Bordeaux series, for one, proves that beauty isn’t always skin-deep. I liked the body shape of the series; build quality is also right up there. Choose between two colours—the LA32R71W (white) and the LA32R71B (black). Both cost around Rs 70,000 (Mumbai street price).
 
Money Matters
Q.
I want to upgrade from my W550i SE to a new handset. I have zeroed in on the K790i SE for its 3.2MP camera and the loads of other features. Any other suggestions for the same price and features?
Vikas Maurya

You seem to primarily want a good camera phone. The Nokia N73 also has a 3.2MP camera, and even outperforms the K790i when it comes to camera quality. Needless to say, the N73 is feature-rich, with greater application support, mainly due to its Symbian platform. Another advantage is a better screen (320 x 240). Music playback quality is around the same. The only deterrent for you as far as I can see is the fact that the N73 will cost at least three thousand rupees more, going by today’s street prices. If you’re willing to upsize your budget, go with the N73, else stick with the K790i.

C2D All The Way!
Q.
I am assembling a PC for animation work with some gaming on the side. I am confused between two processors: the Pentium 630 and the Pentium D 820. Which would perform better? Could you also suggest a suitable motherboard?
Ganesh Badgujar

Between the two processors you’ve mentioned, a Pentium D 820 would perform better on multithreaded applications or while multitasking, simply because it’s a dual-core. Since you seem to be going in for a brand new system, I’d suggest you scrap both these and invest in a Core 2 Duo instead. The E6300 (1.86 GHz) would easily outperform both the processors you mentioned while costing just a couple of thousand bucks more. A good motherboard to pair a Core 2 Duo with is the MSI 965P Platinum.

PSU Pointers
Q.
I use a 300-watt SMPS and am planning to upgrade to a 400-watt model, because I’m planning on attaching another hard drive and CD drive soon. Will a higher power supply overload my motherboard? Which brand should I look at?
Tushar Mathur

Using a higher-rated power supply will not damage your motherboard in any way. The processor, motherboard, graphics card, memory, and other peripherals only draw as much power as they need. People use higher-rated power supplies simply because power supplies perform optimally when they are under a maximum load of 60 per cent, so a 500-watt power supply will perform optimally if the load is not more than 300 watts. This is also because most manufacturers state inflated output figures. Some 400-watt power supplies may actually be capable of only 300 watts.

VIP is a good brand, known for their reliable power supplies. I’d suggest a 400-watt VIP PSU.

Wanted: A Box And A Screen
Q.
I have decided on the following configuration (primarily for gaming):
NVIDIA nForce 680i motherboard, Intel Core 2 duo E6600, Samsung SP2504C 250GB SATA 2 HDD, 2 x 512 MB DDR2 @ 667 MHz, XFX-PV-T73G-UDL7 (NVIDIA 7600GT), iBall Power Key Designer, Lite-On DVD-Writer
Please comment. I need help choosing a cabinet, power supply, and a 19-inch LCD monitor. My budget for the cabinet and PSU is Rs 4,000, and for the monitor, Rs 14,000.
Vamsi N

Some pretty good choices there. Since it’s going to be a gaming rig, I’d suggest a high-end graphics card. I’d recommend a 7900GTO or an X1900XT. If you can spend Rs 27,000 on graphics alone, the BIG 8800GTS is available, which is a future-proof option. If budget becomes a problem, I’d suggest an E6300 in lieu of the E6600—game performance won’t be affected much. If you don’t plan to SLI, you can consider a motherboard based on Intel’s P965 chipset. I recommend the MSI P965 Platinum.

Games benefit from more memory. I suggest 2 GB of RAM—two sticks of 1 GB each; make sure to use them in dual-channel mode.
For the kind of power your system will need, I don’t think you should cost-cut on the PSU. Invest in a VIP 500-watt supply at the least. You could also consider Cooler Master’s 600-watt Extreme Power series. The Zebronics Peace is a good cabinet; its flashy, functional, and won’t cost a bomb.

19-inch widescreens are the in-thing today. Go with a Samsung 940BW. It’s the best monitor for its price, period.

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