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Rich Brown, desktops and PC components editor LIVE!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 21, 2007 8:38 AM PDT

Ask the Editors Live!

Desktops and PC components live chat event with CNET senior editor Rich Brown starts Thursday August 30th at 11 a.m. to noon Pacific / 2 p.m to 3 p.m Eastern. Where Rich will be answering your questions on living-room PCs, Windows gaming hardware, or other desktop- and component-related matters. Get your questions ready and see you at the event!

Click here for upcoming Ask the Editors Live events and past transcripts of events.

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I'm here
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 3:52 AM PDT

Fire when ready.

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Quad core for gaming
by jbking2 / August 30, 2007 3:56 AM PDT

How soon do you think it'll be before games have recommended quad core CPUs? Do you think quad core will grow as fast as dual cores seem to have over the past few years?


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It should already help
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Quad core for gaming

Quake 4, I believe Lost Planet, and I'm sure others have settings that let you tell the game to take advantage of multiple processing cores. I'm sure we'll see more and more games take advantage of them, although "recommended" might be a little ways off. As for growth, definitely, because prices on quad core chips are already dropping fast.

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Media Wars
by Iamkar33m / August 30, 2007 4:04 AM PDT

For all of us wondering, who do you believe will win the next generation media war between Sony and Toshiba? It looks like Blu-Ray dominates the market... however HD-DVD is not that far behind. What do you think?

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Your guess...
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Media Wars

Still too early to call. I'd like to see those hybrid drives and players take-off so that it doesn't matter which format you put in there.

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Cooling Problem
by Diehard Bulldog / August 30, 2007 4:04 AM PDT

I installed a Thermaltake Ultra 120 cpu cooler on my q6600. It is not cooling as well as I expected - cpu temp is 41 c at idle at it should be about 30 or lower. The cpu cooler is installed right next to my case exhaust fan and they are blowing in opposite directions. Do you think I should try to move the cpu cooler fan to the other side, so it is blowing the same direction as the exhaust fan? Any other suggestions?


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Is it rated properly?
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Cooling Problem

I'm unfamiliar with that cooler, but I'd make sure it's rated for the quad core chip, as it's a hot one. Assuming it is, experiment. Move the fans around, try different thermal grease. Hard to say without seeing the exact hardware.

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Replacing HD using original recovery disks
by phaserman / August 30, 2007 4:10 AM PDT

have a Sony Vaio PC. It

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Ideally, yes
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:16 AM PDT

Without knowing the specifics of Sony's recovery process, it should be fine.

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Desktop to run Adobe CS3 (dreamweaver, photoshop)
by bw2007 / August 30, 2007 4:16 AM PDT

What should I be looking for in a desktop that will run Adobe CS3 and not need updating for a few years?

What processor?

Should I get more than 2Gb memory

Are there any off the shelf systems you would recommend?

Appreciate your thoughts


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A Mac
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:19 AM PDT

Based on our testing with Adobe's new suite so far, Macs rock on CS3 compared to similar Windows PCs. If you're a Windows person, as long as your system has 2GB of RAM and a decent dual or quad core chip, you should be fine.

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Refurbished PCs
by dans105 / August 30, 2007 4:27 AM PDT

How have your experiences been with refurbished PCs? For example, Dell sells even the newer Inspiron Desktops refurbished with some pretty good deals, and they come with a 1 year warranty. Do you this is a viable option for someone looking for a budget PC?

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Refurbs can work
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Refurbished PCs

Just make sure they're from reputable dealers. Dell will honor a warranty., perhaps not as much (apologies if there's an actual Buyer beware as always, but I've seen some good refurb bargains.

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64 bit computing
by jbking2 / August 30, 2007 4:29 AM PDT

How likely do you think there will be a transition so that most desktop users will be on a 64 bit Operating System in the next few years?


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It's going to be a while
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:35 AM PDT
In reply to: 64 bit computing

"Most desktop users" will be 32-bit-bound for a while. It might happen sooner on Macs than Windows PC, because Leopard comes with native 64-bit support, while with Vista you need a separate install.

Stab in the dark: I'd guess five years before we start to see HP, Dell, and Gate-pardon me, Acer pushing 64-bit Windows on retail shelves.

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by geckoguy / August 30, 2007 4:31 AM PDT

I know this is the section for Desktops, but I just couldn't resist asking: Do you suggest I get a MacBook or a Windows Laptop? What should I know before getting a MacBook? (If I do decide to get one)

I need ease of use, and it would be great to keep the costs low.

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by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: MacBook

Perhaps you can find your answer in our digital camera chat from a few weeks back.

Kidding. Big question. If you're not involved in serious gaming or TV tuning or PC-based HD disk-watching, I've been recommending Mac desktops lately. The same applies to laptops, I'd think, but I'm really not up on battery life and such. Fortunately, I know this great Web site...

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ASUS XG station
by Salomonskier720 / August 30, 2007 4:32 AM PDT

What is the deal with the ASUS XG station? Way back in CES 07 in january ASUS had there external GPU up and running and cnet covered it on cnettv buy now I have not heard a word about it since. What happened. I really want one but the only info I am finding on it is really old from a few months ago. Is there something better that might come out?

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Good question
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:42 AM PDT
In reply to: ASUS XG station

The most recent info on Asus's Web site says that it's coming out Q2 2007. Guess they're a little late.

I'm not familiar with the interface they're using with the XG station, but I have a feeling it won't be on par with what you'd get from a normal 3D card, based simply on data throughput. I don't know of an external input that will move as fast as PCI Express. There could be something better, Nvidia already has an external 3D rig for workstations, and we've heard rumors of a high-end consumer version. But I haven't heard of anything official.

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Vista Media Center with CableCard
by AWBY / August 30, 2007 4:38 AM PDT

I have a XP Media Center PC in my living room with analogue cable TV, and I'm interested in upgrading to an HD system, using digital cable. I have read a little about Vista and digital cable TV with CableCard with some doubts as to how well it works. Is it time to look into such an upgrade?

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It works, mostly.
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:51 AM PDT

I was hoping someone would ask about this.

If you don't care about pay-per-view and on-demand, CableCard works pretty well via the PC. Our own Matt Elliott got it working in New Hampshire via ComCast and he was pretty happy with it. You can read about his experience here:

I tried in my apartment in Brooklyn and it didn't work, and the last I heard Microsoft and Time Warner were trying to figure out why, although it seemed to have to do with Windows or the hardware not verifying Time Warner's signal for some reason. I've bugged them both since then for an update, but no response.

I've heard that it works in New Jersey, California, and Virginia. I don't know if other places have issues like New York City.

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by sewingarizona / August 30, 2007 4:45 AM PDT

Could you tell me what models of GPS allow for voice recognition. I need one you speak the address instead of entering on the screen.


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Laptop cable to show pics on TV
by nashbash / August 30, 2007 4:48 AM PDT

what cable do i need to show pics on my TV that are located on my laptop? this seems to be laptop-specific. what do i need to look for on my laptop to determine what it exactly needs to do this?

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A few options
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 4:54 AM PDT

Look for a DVI, an S-Video or a composite video-out on your laptop. Most modern TVs should be able to accept either S-Video or composte. If your TV has an HDMI in, you can get a DVI to HDMI adapter.

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DVR PC question
by GrandpaN1947 / August 30, 2007 4:50 AM PDT

I have a great HDTV pci card and I want to make a DVR PC. I need a free pci slot for a wireless card, a SB sound card, and the HDTV card. Most motherboards are SLI and don't have enough open slots. What motherboard would you recommend?

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Non-SLI should do it
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 5:02 AM PDT
In reply to: DVR PC question

Without knowing what chipset you need it's hard to say. I'd suggest you go to the Web sites of Asus, Gigabyte and other motherboard vendors and see what their current line ups look like. From there, any ATX-sized motherboard that has three or more PCI slots should do the trick. Many of them have "multimedia" or "home theater" motherboards that leave off the gaming bells and whistles.

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For sewingarizona
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 30, 2007 5:00 AM PDT

Hi there,

this Ask the Editors Live event topic is on desktops.

However, please do check out this page on CNET which maybe able to help you find a voice command GPS unit:

Good luck!
CNET Community

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Trying to put my videoes on an apple tv
by gamekingjb / August 30, 2007 5:03 AM PDT

I am currently trying to put my DVD ripped videos that are in AVI and other formats on my apple tv. I have found a freeware converter for MPEG4 but when I convert movies that are widescreen(as most of them are) the apple TV displays them squished and soes't use the wide screen of my TV. It has black bars that make the video more square that rectangle. I am sure that it is something to do with the converter and I wanted to know if there is a free MPEG converter out there for PC that could help me with my problem.

Thank you for your time,

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Thanks a bunch
by Sue.Volter CNET staff / August 30, 2007 5:06 AM PDT
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