The Heart Of The Matter

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2007
The Heart Of The Matter
Please recommend a good AMD processor (Socket AM2), a motherboard with decent onboard graphics, and memory up to 512 MB DDR2. I have a budget of around Rs 12,000.
Bipin Thite

For onboard graphics at a reasonable price, an AMD platform based on NVIDIA's 6150 chipset works out great. You can go with an AMD Athlon64 X2 3600 or 3800 AM2 processor. You will find these retailing at around the Rs 7,000 mark. For the motherboard, opt for an ASUS M2NPV-MX or MSI K9NGM2; they both retail at around Rs 4,500. For RAM, I'd suggest 512 MB of Transcend, Corsair value, or Kingston.

If you can stretch your budget to around Rs 15,000, opt for an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 processor (Rs 9,000), an ASRock 945G DVI, and the memory I mentioned earlier. The latter configuration will offer much better performance. For any sort of serious gaming, upgrade to a decent graphics card at a later stage. 

Supply And Demand
I own an Intel Pentium 4 2.66 GHz processor, ASUS P5N32-SLI Leadtek 6800 GS cards, a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 4 sound card, and a Zebronics 500 Watts platinum SMPS. If I upgrade to an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor and 8800 GTX card, which I will do soon, will the SMPS be able to handle the load?

In the most probable case, yes, a 500-watt SMPS is more than sufficient. We haven't tested the Zebronics Platinum, so I can't comment on its efficiency level. For the moment, forget about the wattage-what's important is the efficiency level rated at some temperature.

If your SMPS fails to cope with the load, you can opt for Antec or Corsair power supplies. Contact Tirupati enterprises at 033-22251192/93 for Corsair and CyberSpace Abacus at 044-24362681for Antec.

First Steps
I have taken to computer gaming and like games such as Half Life 2, F.E.A.R., and NFS Carbon. I want to buy a graphics card. My upper limit for this purchase is Rs 7,000.
Soumitra Panda

You haven't mentioned your configuration, so I'll assume you have a PCI-Express compatible motherboard. For Rs 7,000, you can expect a decent enough graphics card. Get a card based on the NVIDIA 7600 chipset-you will be able to get a 7600 GS at your budget. Try for a 7600 GT, though; if you're lucky, you might be able to get yourself a deal. 

How Good Is A Cam-Phone?
I am a hobby photographer and am looking to buy a new digital camera. Should I buy a good 3MP camera phone or a better standalone camera?  My budget is Rs 22,000.
Aditya Narayan Ray

It depends on what you mean by "hobby photographer." How often do you click snaps, what's your typical shooting environment, and what do you expect from a photograph? Today's camera phones have evolved to a level where they can provide good photographs, but quality takes a significant hit under poor lighting conditions. Moreover, additional but useful features such as image stabilisation, faster response times, and better flash performance haven't yet made their way to camera phones.
A standalone camera is a much better tool if you plan to adopt photography as a serious hobby or career. If you want to be a casual shutterbug, a convergent device such as a camera phone will do. For a 3MP camera phone, you can opt for the Nokia N73 or the Sony Ericsson K790i. As for standalone cameras, for Rs 22,000, you will get an excellent one. Look for the Canon PowerShotA700, Sony Cybershot W70, or in the pseudo-SLR range, the Panasonic FZ30.

Defying Dust
I am planning to buy a laptop, possibly based on the Celeron M platform. I have allocated a budget of about Rs 32,000. I have a problem though-I travel a lot, and the local environment is dusty. Please recommend a laptop that can take a punishing environment. 
Ranen Biswas 
Don't bother too much about the dust-unlike PCs, laptops don't have open crevices from where dust can enter and accumulate. The best way to keep dust at bay is to get the notebook serviced at regular intervals-get the ventilation ports cleaned. You can choose from HP, IBM, Gigabyte, or Zenith notebooks. I'd recommend the R40 series from IBM; if they are still available, they should fit into your budget.

Tuning In
I have a Toshiba A105 series laptop and want to purchase a compatible TV-Tuner card for it. Which one should I buy?
Suresh Desai
You have two options-USB TV-Tuners and the Card Bus type. The former plug into a USB 2.0 port and can be connected to regular PCs as well as laptops.  The Card Bus type of TV-Tuners go into the PCMCIA slot and are specifically designed for laptops. Card bus tuners are available from Pinnacle, Compro, and AVER. There are different variants available-some have an FM tuner and/or PVR functionalities, and the price will depend on these features. USB TV-Tuners are relatively bulky, and carrying them around might be inconvenient.

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