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Most important computer hardware?

Easy Rhino

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#1
How would you rate the importance of each hardware computer component in a powerful yet stable system? Here is my list, #1 being the most important.

1- power supply unit
2- motherboard
3- central processing unit
4- random access memory
5- graphics processing unit
6- hard disk drive
 

Protius

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#2
1-psu
2-mobo
3-gpu
4-ram
5-cpu
6-hdd

uber rig with crappy psu=unstable
 

tigger

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#3
1-psu
2-ram
3-mobo
4-cpu
5-gpu
6-hdd
 
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#4
performance wise:
1-mobo
2-cpu
3-graphic
4-ram
5-cooling
6-psu
 
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#5
1. mobo
2. PSU
3. ram
4. graffix
5. cpu
6. hd
7. sound card, net card, etc.
8. accesories (optical drives etc.)

IMHO psu should NEVER bee at the bottom of the list. seriously, posibly thousands of dollars worth of hardware and u really want to hook it to a 29.99$ psu and trust it?
 

bruins004

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#6
Well I would say you cant really rate each computer component until you decide what the computer will be used for (like shown below).

Gaming Rig:
1.GPU
2.PSU
3.RAM
4.Mobo
5.CPU
6.HDD

Media Center:
1. HDD
2. PSU
3. Mobo
4. RAM
5. CPU
6. GPU
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#7
1-Motherboard, it mostly decides what kind of hardware you can use. (CPU, RAM, GPU etc)
2-CPU(s), does all the processing, SMP is the basis when multitasking.
3-RAM, makes sure your CPU(s) get their data in time by not having to read it from a disk, speeds up things a lot.
4-HD storage, the bottleneck in a lot of todays systems. A fast disk decreases load times and technology like NCQ and a processor on the controller really help when multitasking. SCSI ftw.


The rest isn't as important, videocard only becomes important when doing graphically demanding things (3D stuff like games)
PSU and cooling don't really make a difference, they either work the way they should or they don't. On the PSU side some surge protection won't hurt though.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#8
Ah yes, NIC is handy too when storing files on a home server like I do. Intel and 3Com have my preference there. Also, trying to build a Gigabit network using PCI cards is jsut silly. PCI-X/PCIe works best here. Intel pro 1000 PCI-X are dirt cheap on ebay:)
 

bruins004

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#9
1-Motherboard, it mostly decides what kind of hardware you can use. (CPU, RAM, GPU etc)
2-CPU(s), does all the processing, SMP is the basis when multitasking.
3-RAM, makes sure your CPU(s) get their data in time by not having to read it from a disk, speeds up things a lot.
4-HD storage, the bottleneck in a lot of todays systems. A fast disk decreases load times and technology like NCQ and a processor on the controller really help when multitasking. SCSI ftw.


The rest isn't as important, videocard only becomes important when doing graphically demanding things (3D stuff like games)
PSU and cooling don't really make a difference, they either work the way they should or they don't. On the PSU side some surge protection won't hurt though.
Please tell me how the PSU is not as important.
It is more important, bc if it is not working correctly your whole mobo, CPU, RAM, HD, etc. will not work at all.
Even worse, if the PSU is cheap and sucks, it will destroy other components.
If any of the pieces you listed above does not work properly, it wouldnt destroy another component.
That is why a PSU is important.
Plus not enough power = system acting wierd.

Edit: I just saw why you think the PSU doesnt matter. You have a crap PSU yourself. I have read too many times that a person's PSU blew up bc they used a no named brand or one that comes with a case. I dont wish that on anyone, but why spend $1,000 on all components and then spend $20 on a PSU thinking it will be able to correctly power their massive system. As they say all people move to their highest level of stupidity.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#10
Please tell me how the PSU is not as important.
It is more important, bc if it is not working correctly your whole mobo, CPU, RAM, HD, etc. will not work at all.
Even worse, if the PSU is cheap and sucks, it will destroy other components.
If any of the pieces you listed above does not work properly, it wouldnt destroy another component.
That is why a PSU is important.
Plus not enough power = system acting wierd.

Edit: I just saw why you think the PSU doesnt matter. You have a crap PSU yourself. I have read too many times that a person's PSU blew up bc they used a no named brand or one that comes with a case. I dont wish that on anyone, but why spend $1,000 on all components and then spend $20 on a PSU thinking it will be able to correctly power their massive system. As they say all people move to their highest level of stupidity.
Like I said, it either works correctly or not. It will not increase performance in any way.
PSUs can fail just like harddrives and other hardware. Using low quality stuff increases the risk of failure, it doesn't do anything else. If your system doesn't run stable because of the PSU it is either defective or too weak (sure, I bet there are other options) which makes it "it works not".
If you say that risk reducement is very important you should be using RAID1 SCSI disks, ECC RAM and all kind of high end hardware next to that PSU because of the very same argument.

As for my own "crap" PSU (lets just assume that you didn't aim that stupidity remark at me with my "crap" PSU), it powers dual Xeons without any problems and survived a lightning strike on my home which killed 2 other systems. Next to that it even has 24+8+4 pin power connectors and meets the requirements to power my new board.

Care to bet that some €200 PSU won't increase my system performance in ANY way?
 

bruins004

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#11
Like I said, it either works correctly or not. It will not increase performance in any way.
PSUs can fail just like harddrives and other hardware. Using low quality stuff increases the risk of failure, it doesn't do anything else. If your system doesn't run stable because of the PSU it is either defective or too weak (sure, I bet there are other options) which makes it "it works not".
If you say that risk reducement is very important you should be using RAID1 SCSI disks, ECC RAM and all kind of high end hardware next to that PSU because of the very same argument.

As for my own "crap" PSU (lets just assume that you didn't aim that stupidity remark at me with my "crap" PSU), it powers dual Xeons without any problems and survived a lightning strike on my home which killed 2 other systems. Next to that it even has 24+8+4 pin power connectors and meets the requirements to power my new board.

Care to bet that some €200 PSU won't increase my system performance in ANY way?
I would not compare a PSU failure with that of an HDD failure.
As, I stated before, a HDD failure does not fry or kill other parts of the computer like a PSU failure can.
A RAID is only needed when the items on your HDD are critical and cannot be lost.
Most home users do not need a RAID since they have nothing of that kind of importance on their machines.
RAIDs are mostly needed and used by businesses (esp. banks and communications companies), bc an outage or loss of a program would be a critical blow to the company (most companies use RAID 5 + hot spare these days since it provides the peak amount of space / recovery ratio available...some do use RAID 1 since it provides the best recovery, but you lose a lot of space with RAID 1).
However, in many companies I have worked at, the server admins. would def. rather have a faulty HDD then a faulty PSU. The fact is that you could lose EVERYTHING with a faulty PSU. With a faulty HDD you can only lose a fraction of the data.
So please explain how a PSU is not an important component?

PS --> The stupidity remark was not aimed at you. It is nice to see some people do not jump to conclusions.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#12
RAID is not a backup, specially not against power failures. Against powerfailures some silly man invented the UPS. Basically a big battery with a fancy display. Backups are made on tapes or other removable devices usually.

And since you keep asking the same question even though I answerred it already;
I'm not saying a PSU isn't important, I'm just stating that there are only 2 options, it works or not. It doesn't influence any component when working correctly. And the amount of damage the failure of it could do is irrelevant, the reason to get a decent one is exactly the same as the reason to use any high quality hardware.

I simply don't think it fits in the list, all other components are rated on performance while the PSU is rated on reliability here. It's like putting a tank in a F1 race and saying it lost but it still was a good choice because it couldn't get damaged. It simply is another league.
 

bruins004

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#13
RAID is not a backup, specially not against power failures. Against powerfailures some silly man invented the UPS. Basically a big battery with a fancy display. Backups are made on tapes or other removable devices usually.

And since you keep asking the same question even though I answerred it already;
I'm not saying a PSU isn't important, I'm just stating that there are only 2 options, it works or not. It doesn't influence any component when working correctly. And the amount of damage the failure of it could do is irrelevant, the reason to get a decent one is exactly the same as the reason to use any high quality hardware.

I simply don't think it fits in the list, all other components are rated on performance while the PSU is rated on reliability here. It's like putting a tank in a F1 race and saying it lost but it still was a good choice because it couldn't get damaged. It simply is another league.
Ummm please re-look over my post and find where I say a RAID is a backup. I say recovery quite a few times. If you want a backup an even easier method is by ghosting. Very simple method and quite effective. Tapes take a while to retrieve the back up from. That is why only extremely critical items are kept on tape these days. They are also very inaccessible to retrieve. Removable devices are used as well these days. However, they can become easily corrupted, yet are easily accessible. There are always pros and cons to both of course.

I disagree with stating that its either a PSU works or doesnt work. There are many ways it can work, but work in-effectively (I would not call this working or not working). For example many PSUs are mult-railed. This does provide many pros, but one con is a rail could die. The PSU still works, but provided limited power and will prob. hurt the computers performance. A PSU can seem to work fine, but be faulty in many ways.

Also, depending upon your PSU, you could apply extra voltage (volt-mods) to the CPU and other components. This does help increase the effeciency of other parts as well. So please do not state that it is simple that a PSU either works or doesnt work. That is far from the case. Of course PSUs with stable rails are recommended for this.

By the way, the thread title is not which component will provide an increase in performance (like you stated 3 posts ago). The title of this thread is "Most important computer hardware". Hence, your PSU not working correctly = computer not working correctly. So I dont see how the PSU is not important.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#14
"A RAID is only needed when the items on your HDD are critical and cannot be lost."
That sounds like backup too me.

Anyway, I'm aware it states "most important" however how can you rate importance when looking at different aspects of different hardware? If you take the topictitle as you want it the most important parts are equally: Mobo, RAM, videocard (if not on board), PSU and CPU because without them it won't work.

If you look at it from a performance standpoint, which applies to all items besides PSU hence is the logical approach, the PSU isn't that important.

As for your "it could seem to work but could still be faulty" means it's not working properly in my book, otherwise we can go about the same issues with other hardware, you can install Windows and play games on a system with a faulty videocard (artifacts) or defective memory (doesn't always crash), would you consider that working hardware? I don't. Same goes for a PSU, if it fails in any way it isn't working properly. Like I stated, as long as it isn't the cause of problems it's working fine. Beyond that it's not really important for the computer itself.
 

bruins004

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#15
I never said the word backup. Would you take the following definition as a backup too?

"RAID (redundant array of independent disks; originally redundant array of inexpensive disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places (thus, redundantly) on multiple hard disks. By placing data on multiple disks, I/O (input/output) operations can overlap in a balanced way, improving performance. Since multiple disks increases the mean time between failures (MTBF), storing data redundantly also increases fault tolerance. "

Source: http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid5_gci214332,00.html

Anyways, hey thats your view on things.