New Computer Time

Everything tech-related is discussed here

Moderator: Global Moderator

StrokeyBlofeld
Clan Leader
Clan Leader
Posts: 2823
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:36 am
Location: Bristol UK
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by StrokeyBlofeld »

[quote=""I__CHAOS__I""]which language are you guys talkin? ;)

ZOINK![/quote]

I think it's called "Geekish" or something..... :?

User avatar
Cyclohexane
Honorary Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Cyclohexane »

OK,
I am on my lunch break going through all this information. As far as a budget goes, I planned on spending about $500. The video card and all peripherals is already paid for (video card on warranty ~$450 saved, already have a sweet monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc.). As far as drives go, I can buy that any time.

Basically, I want to spend no more than $500 on a CPU, motherboard, CPU cooler, RAM, case, hard drive, and power supply. I know I can get a nice Antec case with power supply for around $100 so its $400 on the rest. That pretty much means I will be spending $400 on motherboard, CPU, RAM, and hard drive. The hard drive can be small and I can upgrade later. I have plenty of storage on my other machines and I would rather spend the money on the engine…

I have more questions but out of time (on lunch), what is difference between quadcore, dualcore, etc? Considering I put my computer inside my desk, I definitely want a nice cooling system on the CPU.

Thanks for all the help guys!
Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON:
AOE3 TWC TAD Quick Reference & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON

User avatar
Comadevil
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 am
AOE3 Nickname: Comadevil

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Comadevil »

[quote=""Cyclohexane""]

I have more questions but out of time (on lunch), what is difference between quadcore, dualcore, etc? [/quote]

Plainly, with a quadcore u have 4 CPUs in ur comp on one single chip. (Dualcore 2 CPUs)

Edit:
I choose some things at Newegg (the only store i know in US) Quadcore is with ur budget impossible (at least when u take Intel). Here is my first proposal. The power of the CPU is enough. I myself have an Allendale (2,13 GHz, 1066 FSB). Later u can upgrade the CPU (futureproof) or overclock it. Overclocking with this E4xxx functions quite good and u don't have to be an overclocking specialist. U just have to raise the FSB. Even if u raise it, all other components will run within their specifications


Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148261
Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

$64.99


A-DATA 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1B16K

$77.99




GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard

$89.99




Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 Allendale 2.4GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E4600

$139.99




XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler



$36.99

Subtotal: $409.95

User avatar
Cyclohexane
Honorary Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Cyclohexane »

Thanks for the specs, once I hear back from Comp USA (said it will take about a week to be contacted), I will start looking into this further.

Where is the best place to go to buy Windows Vista? I know Fry's will offer a special price when you buy hardware there. That's going to be another $100 or so.

I also need to read up on that motherboard to see how much I can expand in the future (RAM, slots, etc.).

I also plan to setup a wireless network once I get this machine going since I will then have two decent machines and want to spread them out.
Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON:
AOE3 TWC TAD Quick Reference & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON

User avatar
Comadevil
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 am
AOE3 Nickname: Comadevil

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Comadevil »

[quote=""Cyclohexane""]
Where is the best place to go to buy Windows Vista?
[/quote]
The cheapest. ;)


[quote=""Cyclohexane""]
I know Fry's will offer a special price when you buy hardware there. That's going to be another $100 or so.
[/quote]
Here in Germany we have Systembuilderversion(=OEM Versions free for sale) for about 100$, but i think in US they are not available

[quote=""Cyclohexane""]
I also need to read up on that motherboard to see how much I can expand in the future (RAM, slots, etc.).
[/quote]
RAM: 2 slots will be left for expanding memory up to 8 GB, but for this u have to buy 2x2 GB RAM else u won't have so many upgrade options considering ram except replacing the old ram later

[quote=""Cyclohexane""]
I also plan to setup a wireless network once I get this machine going since I will then have two decent machines and want to spread them out.[/quote]
U have to buy an additional card/stick because onboard draft N WLAN solutions u won't find on low budget boards

User avatar
ruminator
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:09 pm
Location: At work, as usual

Re: New Computer Time

Post by ruminator »

For less than $500, you can't do much more than what comadevil has come up wth - he spent some time putting that list together.

You need to check if your case/PSU/optical drive is up to the upgrade, as otherwise your whole budget will be eaten up. If so, just reinstall your version of xp to the new system and get vista later.

Post details and we will see what can be rescued!
"Could you, would you, with a goat? Would you, could you, on a boat?" Doctor Seuss

"Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we've been bombing over the years been complaining?"
George Wallace

StrokeyBlofeld
Clan Leader
Clan Leader
Posts: 2823
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:36 am
Location: Bristol UK
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by StrokeyBlofeld »

Yes, coma has put together a decent set of components for the budget. It's doesn't get much better for the money, well done coma.

As mentioned by ruminator, check your PSU is up to the new parts, I imagine your case will be ok as most standard cases within the last 6 or 7 years will take an ATX board. Although you will need to check the length of your graphics card to be sure it will fit.

If you can find an OEM version of Vista as suggested by coma, this is a good idea. The only differences between OEM and retail are no pakaging and glossy manuals, and you can only install it on one system as it logs the details of your set-up. Having said that, there are ways around that which I won't go in to.

User avatar
Cyclohexane
Honorary Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Cyclohexane »

OK,
Comp USA, after many phone calls and run arounds, is basically going to send me my money back after I send the card back to them. Unfortunately, the whole process is going to take a few weeks. The good news is, I will have $350 to spend on a video card which leaves me with many options. The one I am leaning to is:

1.) BFG GeForce 8800 GTX OC2 / 768MB GDDR3 / SLI Ready / PCI Express / DL Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

Here is a link with specs: CLICK HERE

I plan to buy at pricegrabbers.com where I can get the same card for $320 after a $50 mail in rebate. Or, my other option is:

2.) Buy two of the following video cards and link them together with a SLI bridge.

PNY GeForce 9600 GT Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, Video Card

Here is a link with specs: CLICK HERE


The price for either option is about the same. By looking at it, I will get the most performance out of option #2. However, if I buy option number 1, in a few years when the price drops significantly on this card, I can buy another just like it (option #1) and essentially double my performance making the system last that much longer. The motherboard also supports up to 8GB RAM, so that is another easy future upgrade.

What do you guys think? Should I go with the two cards now which offer better performance for about the same price, or buy the single more expensive card, and leave room for upgrading later. I'm not sure how much better having two cards will increase my system. If you just double everything, it looks significant, but I do not know if that is how it works (heard only get about 25% increase with 2 cards versus 1).

What this means is, I probably need another motherboard. Since either of these cards supports PCI-e 2.0, I should get a motherboard that supports this feature.

In addition, I think the motherboard should support DDR3 incase I choose to upgrade later. If I get a motherboard that can handle DDR3, will it also support DDR2 (not at the same time, but I have DDR2 already available, I can use that until the price of DDR3 drops and then upgrade my system). I have not seen DDR3 so I am not sure if the electrical connections are the same. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!


EDIT: I just reformatted my current computer and have been loading all the software back up and getting it running decent again. So far, so good but the video card is still acting up. I'm starting to go into withdrawal symptoms here with no games...

EDIT #2: Let's not call it a price limit, but a price range. I am willing to spend a couple hundred more if it is a significant improvement (remember, the video card is separate funding).
Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON:
AOE3 TWC TAD Quick Reference & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON

User avatar
Comadevil
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 am
AOE3 Nickname: Comadevil

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Comadevil »

The problem is, i cannot really recommend ur solutions.

1. Graphics card: SLI is nonsense except maybe when u are playing ego shooter, but the next generation for the same price will always outperform SLI. So get urself an 8800GT and save the rest of the money for next year to get a better video card. The 8800GT is almost the same powerful as the old version of the 8800GTX
I also cannot recommend to buy an 8800GTX since the new generation of graphics cards is already knocking at the door.

And i also wouldn't buy a board which supports both DDR2 and DDR3 especially since DDR2 is so cheap and u can get easily up to 8 GB though u will not need it. I can even take out 2 GB of my 4GB and i don't feel a difference, though it can be different with video editing.
RAM timings and speed aren't so much important for performance anymore since Intel optimized very well the ram access of the cpu
Also new chipsets of Intel will come soon which will replace the "old" "P35 P38" chipsets.
I would only recommend if u have some money left to spend a bit more for the CPU.
The rest of the money u should save for upgrading CPU or graphics cad later.
To buy high end components is really burning money in my opinion since u can get much better components at a resonable price one year later which will outperform ur old components. U might say it was always like this, but just in the last 1-2 years performance increased so much costwise and by sheer power that i would never recommend to buy a high end system.

User avatar
Cyclohexane
Honorary Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Cyclohexane »

^
I do play FPS sometimes and enjoy having them on the highest settings when heads explode. I would also like to run AOE3 in the highest possible settings as well (graphics are really nice when you do not have on lowest settings for lag relief).

The 8800 series:

GT (512MB, PCI Express 2.0 x16, Dual DVI) = ~200

GTX (768MB, PCI Express x16, Dual DVI) = $350
I was told it was about 5% better but it has so much more DDR3 RAM.

Ultra = about $700 but only about 10% to 15% better than a GT based on some quick research

I just noticed that both BFG and EVGA (make these different model cards) both offer lifetime warranties, so there really is no reason to purchase a store warranty. Of course, the COMP USA warranty saved my butt this time (on a 7800 series model).


The 9800 Series: About $550 to $600. While I could afford it, it is just not worth the money to me. I always tend to buy hardware that is about 6 months old to get a good deal, but not be too far behind the times. $350 up to possibly $400 seems fair. This just came out in March, and I need a card now, not later. Seriously, when the kids go to sleep, I'm watching TV. I'm becomming stupider the longer I go without a machine!


So in your experience, I should just go with the GT and save some bucks? If I do that, I think I will go with a Quad Core processor instead. It may not seem like I am taking your advice on the initial machine, but you guys comments are being used in my research and really helping me out as a starting point.

I see a quad CPU is around $250 (opposed to $150 in dual core), so it may be a better idea to upgrade the CPU and get a mediocre video card (still much better than my current nVida 7800 256MB AGP). Agree or disagree?


EDIT: One more question, what type of things should I be looking for in a hard drive. I know 7200 RPM seems to be the standard but I just seem this on special at Frys:

Seagate 500GB ULTRA DMA/100 16MB Buffer ST3500641A-RK - Retail Hard Drive Kit - $90.00

I've always been a Maxtor fan (all 3 of my drives are Maxtor and never one single problem) but I hear Seagate makes excellent drives as well. In your initial reply you stated SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive. Is this something I should be looking for?
Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON:
AOE3 TWC TAD Quick Reference & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON

StrokeyBlofeld
Clan Leader
Clan Leader
Posts: 2823
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:36 am
Location: Bristol UK
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by StrokeyBlofeld »

In regards to the CPU, quad is obviously better than dual overall, but whether you will see any difference with the games/applications you run is another story, and with dual prices dropping because of less demand with quad becoming more popular it makes your choice tougher.
If you don't want to be upgrading for a while, get a quad now I guess, but a dual will do you fine tbh. Depends on your overall budget.

Don't buy a motherboard that offers dual support for both DDR2 and DDR3, these have proven (to date) to be problematic and configurations are limited too. Instead, save yourself the hassle and get a dedicated DDR2 board. Buy your memory in "matched pairs" or "kits" as this will give you better performance and eliminates the possibility of problems.

Graphics card, personnally I would get an 8800GT. The extra $$$ you have listed for a GTX really isn't worth it for the slight performance boost you get. Look for a factory OC card, some of these run at about the same performance as a GTX for a little over the cost of a GT.

Hard drive, go for SATA2. The difference between UDMA, SATA and SATA2 are the speeds. UDMA being the slowest so forget about that, SATA is 1.5 and SATA2 is 3. SATA2 is fast becoming the standard and with the high demand prices are often cheaper than UDMA anyway.

Here's a link to a site where you can compare CPU's, graphics cards etc on a performance chart, very easy to use and may help you feel more certain about the parts you want to choose.

Toms Hardware

User avatar
Cyclohexane
Honorary Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Cyclohexane »

I just bought an Intel Core2Quad Q6600. I stopped by Fry's on the way home to look at all the gear and continue research and it turned out they had a sale going on that processor. I was just doing internet research and the cheapest price I could find (Toms, Price Grabber, eBay, Google search), was ~$250 (after shipping). I paid $189.99 ($205.66 after taxes). I couldn't turn it down since the promotion ended that night (I walked in 15 minutes before closing).

I also bought an Antec Nine Hundred gaming case which was also on sale (normally $150 in store and cheapest online price I could find was $100, I paid $80). Here is a link with pics:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... _-11129021

Look at the sweet ventalation on that case. Comes with 2 fans, I plan to purchase 2 additional (has slots) since I will keep it inside my desk.

I'm definately going to get the 8600 GT so I still need a power supply, vista (OEM pro version is $120 when buy hardware there), hard drive, motherboard, DVD player, CPU cooler, and RAM. They also had a sweet deal on DDR2 RAM but it was a brand I was not familiar with. I'm going to stick with kingston or corsair. Never been burned by them before.

They recommended a motherboard which was $169 (no promotion price), but I bet I can find a better deal online and I'm not in a huge rush to get this built. I'll enjoy it more knowing I got an excellent deal on each component.

So my new question is, now that I will definately be using a Intel Quad core Q6600 (64 bit 2.4GHz), plan to use DDR2 RAM, nVidia 8600 GT, what would be a good board that will also fit in the mid tower case above? The one they showed me (wish I wrote the model # down), also had wireless-G built in.

I had planned on going wireless-N (will use occasionally to set comp up to giant screen TV), but is there really much difference? I've heard conflicting stories. I value you guys opinion.

Thanks again.
Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON:
AOE3 TWC TAD Quick Reference & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON

StrokeyBlofeld
Clan Leader
Clan Leader
Posts: 2823
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:36 am
Location: Bristol UK
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by StrokeyBlofeld »

That is a great case you got cyclo, it's one of the most popular gaming cases amongst people who choose to build their own systems, top choice mate!

I'm a little confused by your graphics card choice though, the 8600 isn't much better than the 7800 you have at the moment..... any particular reason you didn't go for an 8800?

User avatar
Comadevil
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 am
AOE3 Nickname: Comadevil

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Comadevil »

[quote=""Cyclohexane""]
Seagate 500GB ULTRA DMA/100 16MB Buffer ST3500641A-RK - Retail Hard Drive Kit - $90.00

I've always been a Maxtor fan (all 3 of my drives are Maxtor and never one single problem) but I hear Seagate makes excellent drives as well. In your initial reply you stated SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive. Is this something I should be looking for?[/quote]

Maxtor drives are seagate drives ^^ since Maxtor was bought by Seagate. Seagate drives have the longer warranty (5 years instead of 3). SATA is definitely the standard u should go for, since IDE will sooner or later diappear from the mainboards.

Graphics card: hmm buy a 9600GT or a 8800GT but don't confuse them to a 8600GT. ^^ 8600GT isn't really great.

And to performance: Someone i play AOE3 with has a 8800GT and can play AOE 3 with 1680X1050 resoulution with everything turned on and without lag. It just doesn't have enough performance for games like Crysis etc.

Q6600 was a great buy for about 190 bucks.

N is the new standard for 300 Mbit/s and is compatible with the old standards a (11 Mbit/s) and g 54 Mbit/s. So if u buy a new WLAN card it should be definitely a WLAN N card.

Mainboard: I don't see much difference to the mainboard i recommended to another mainboard for 170 $. If u buy such then only because u need the additional components which are built-in on the mainboard. Else it is most of the time just too much money spent because mainboard has features like SLI/XFire (for what u have to pay ususally much) or other gimmicks which you should only take if u need them.
The difference between Intel CHipset P35 and P38 isn't great. P38 can support DDR3 and DDR2 (but ususally the mainboard puts only slots for DDR2 or DDR3 on the mainboard and not together) and PCIE 2.0 support, which u don't need for graphics card right now. Even for SLI u don't need it

User avatar
Cyclohexane
Honorary Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: New Computer Time

Post by Cyclohexane »

[quote=""StrokeyBlofeld""]That is a great case you got cyclo, it's one of the most popular gaming cases amongst people who choose to build their own systems, top choice mate!

I'm a little confused by your graphics card choice though, the 8600 isn't much better than the 7800 you have at the moment..... any particular reason you didn't go for an 8800?[/quote]

I meant 8800GT, it was late last night. I was doing some price comparrisons, and I may just go ahead and get the 9800GT. I know its about $150 more, but that is just 3 tanks of gas. I figure if I get a good card, I won't be going anywhere for awhile anyway. Not to mention, I will be getting $350 back same as cash from the 7800GT once it gets to CompUSA and processed. I got such a good deal on the processor, why not.



I'm just going to skimp on the hard drive, maybe.
Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the way!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON:
AOE3 TWC TAD Quick Reference & AOE3 TWC TAD UNIT COMPARISON

Post Reply