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Time to start planning my new computer


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#21
Gromnir

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as much as we likes ati video cards, we always has driver issues with games. am not sure what is the problem with ati drivers... so stick with sli.

am a big fan of msi for mbs. were an asus snob for years... but am a convert.

http://www.pricegrab...asterid=6417699

am not convinced that the new diamond series is better than the platinum, but as the platinum sli seem tough to find they tends to be more expensive than the newer diamonds.

best cost v benefit ratio for cpu is probably the 3800+x2

http://www.pricegrab...terid=10479095/

HA! Good Fun!

#22
Cantousent

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Decisions, decisions, decisions. I've never used an AMD before. I have a friend who works for them and he's been trying to get me to switch for years. This rig will use AMD.

Here I was thinking that the big question would revolve around the video card. Turns out, the big question is really whether I should wait on the chance all this stuff is out this year or just figure that the stuff won't be out until the middle of next year. If it's going to take that long, then I'll build a rig right away and wait until I build the next rig after that, probably in two years before I use the newer offerings.

#23
alanschu

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I'm still an ASUS snob, and a huge fan of AMD. I prefer ATI, but am more willing to recommend an nVidia card than I ever will recommend an Intel chip (when it comes to gaming anyways).


I agree that you shouldn't keep waiting forever. The important things to "wait for" are new standards. I got a bit burned on my last computer because I wasn't really paying attention, and didn't know that PCI-E was coming out soon. As a result, I got stuck with a motherboard that does not have a PCI-E slot, so my upgrade options were limited.

Waiting for the nextest bestest more l33t video card though, less important. Otherwise, like Eldar said, you'll be waiting forever.

#24
angshuman

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Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I've never used an AMD before.  I have a friend who works for them and he's been trying to get me to switch for years.  This rig will use AMD.

Eldar, if you are buying a processor *now*, there's no reason for you to even consider Intel. AMD have an unquestionably superior product at the moment. It's very different from the ATi-nVidia duel, where the differences are marginal at best. The only balancing factor is price - AMD dual cores are noticeably more expensive that Intel dual cores.

Edited by angshuman, 13 May 2006 - 12:11 PM.


#25
metadigital

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Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I've never used an AMD before.  I have a friend who works for them and he's been trying to get me to switch for years.  This rig will use AMD.

Here I was thinking that the big question would revolve around the video card.  Turns out, the big question is really whether I should wait on the chance all this stuff is out this year or just figure that the stuff won't be out until the middle of next year.  If it's going to take that long, then I'll build a rig right away and wait until I build the next rig after that, probably in two years before I use the newer offerings.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm about to buy all the components for a new gaming rig, since I purchased my current laptop almost three years ago ... and I am waiting until the end of Q3, at least, because there are a lot of standards about to change. Even if they are priced too high for a purchase, they will make all the older stuff much cheaper. (More CrossFire motherboards should be released soon, for instance, and even some that are able to support both SLi and CrossFire, hopefully, too.)

Secondly, I have a feeling that the next generation of video cards will be big ... nVidia need to pull something out of the bag, and they undoubtably will ... and ATi should have all the kinks out of the CrossFire production line (meaning all the motherboards and driver support, etc) in the next months; for example I would expect forward-compatiblity with DirectX 10, even though Vista is delayed (as the GPU duopoly will have been working to the standard for a year or so by now).

Also, the top end cards currently available do NOT have the juice to power a 1600x1200 res monitor with all the candy at maximum, so I don't see any point in buying them (as they are already out of date).

Thirdly, monitor prices seem to be in freefall at the moment: every time I check the prices they have dropped. (I can buy a 21" CRT monitor 1600x1200 for just over 100, or a 1680x1050 (WSXGA+) 21" HP or 20" Dell LCD screen for about 350, for example ...)

Fourthly, I predict Vista will usher in a new demand for FlashRAM, as a cache intermediary between the hard drive and RAM (assuming some capacity can be created after Jobs booked the entire world's capacity for the Ipod :ermm:) ... if I'm right, this will have a big impact on games, as it will be used for level loading, etc. There is no clear plan for implementation, yet, but as soon as Vista ships, there will probably be some avante-guard manufacturers (like Alienware) who implement a preliminary hardware solution.

#26
alanschu

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I'm about to buy all the components for a new gaming rig, since I purchased my current laptop almost three years ago ... and I am waiting until the end of Q3, at least, because there are a lot of standards about to change. Even if they are priced too high for a purchase, they will make all the older stuff much cheaper. (More CrossFire motherboards should be released soon, for instance, and even some that are able to support both SLi and CrossFire, hopefully, too.)


I was hoping for that with the AGP cards as well, but it hasn't really been the case in my area. They are cheaper, as all things get cheaper, but I didn't get the large price drop I was hoping for. Probably because there is still too much demand for them.

SIMMS didn't immediately drop in price when DIMMS came out for instance, and I guess it'll take a while before whatever new tech comes out soon to really have a significant impact on the price IMO.

#27
angshuman

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I'm about to buy all the components for a new gaming rig, since I purchased my current laptop almost three years ago ... and I am waiting until the end of Q3, at least, because there are a lot of standards about to change. Even if they are priced too high for a purchase, they will make all the older stuff much cheaper. (More CrossFire motherboards should be released soon, for instance, and even some that are able to support both SLi and CrossFire, hopefully, too.)

Secondly, I have a feeling that the next generation of video cards will be big ... nVidia need to pull something out of the bag, and they undoubtably will ... and ATi should have all the kinks out of the CrossFire production line (meaning all the motherboards and driver support, etc) in the next months; for example I would expect forward-compatiblity with DirectX 10, even though Vista is delayed (as the GPU duopoly will have been working to the standard for a year or so by now).

Also, the top end cards currently available do NOT have the juice to power a 1600x1200 res monitor with all the candy at maximum, so I don't see any point in buying them (as they are already out of date).

Thirdly, monitor prices seem to be in freefall at the moment: every time I check the prices they have dropped. (I can buy a 21" CRT monitor 1600x1200 for just over 100, or a 1680x1050 (WSXGA+) 21" HP or 20" Dell LCD screen for about 350, for example ...)

Fourthly, I predict Vista will usher in a new demand for FlashRAM, as a cache intermediary between the hard drive and RAM (assuming some capacity can be created after Jobs booked the entire world's capacity for the Ipod :shifty:) ... if I'm right, this will have a big impact on games, as it will be used for level loading, etc. There is no clear plan for implementation, yet, but as soon as Vista ships, there will probably be some avante-guard manufacturers (like Alienware) who implement a preliminary hardware solution.

You really seem to have thought this through. :D

Not too sure about the FlashRAM thingy... but apart from that I agree with you completely, especially on the point about video cards not having enough juice to power 1600 resolution.

#28
Cantousent

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Well, I'm going to go through and find a combination and post it here for your perusal. If I start that process now, it might be a good 3 months before I pick up all the parts anyhow.

#29
alanschu

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I went for broke, given that I'm stupid/rich.

#30
Janmanden

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I guess you are probably a reasonable guy, hypothetically speaking, that wants a solid performer, that doesn't sound like a busy airport or a power bill that blows your cost skyhigh... in which case I can't help you. :p

Considering recommended specs on games and software you'd like to play and reviews and debate of proven tech... well I got a friend with 64 bit everything of this and that and the one or two games that do run works fine, but he's rather limited due to lack of drivers etc as to the rest.

Of course if you plan to spend the rest of your life 24x7x365 in front of your pc, then go berzerk, but I guess your wife would gladly settle for less...

#31
WITHTEETH

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Rambus's new XDR DRAM looks potentially better (on paper) than DDR.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The XDR solution was engineered to be effective in small high-bandwidth consumer systems, high-performance main memory applications, and flagship GPUs. Also, it eliminates the exremely high (640ns) latency problems that early forms of RDRAM had. Rambus owns the technology. XDR is used by Sony for the PlayStation 3 console.

Can you put that into lay-men terms? Also DDR2 doesn't have the latency problem right? :huh:

Edited by WITHTEETH, 14 May 2006 - 06:12 AM.


#32
WITHTEETH

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I'm going to wait till after christmas personally, maybe even till Vista comes out :D

-Conroe Processors looks like a solid buy so far
-Ill get the next best DirectX10 Video card
-Newest motherboard with all the bells and whistles, must support SLI or crossfire for future-proofing. Can't go wrong splurging on a mobo, mobos are the last thing you want to upgrade, and its what can bottleneck your upgrade if you don't chooose wisely.
-4gigs of the latest RAM - I know that is alot, but Vista uses more, and I hate searching for matching ram plus having alot of sticks of memory in my PC.
Anything else I might be missing, or specifics I might need to know? :huh:

Ageia's PhysX PPU is looking rather dull to me. I think I may pass on this until it really starts to improve games other then just bigger explosions and crappy looking water effects.

Edited by WITHTEETH, 14 May 2006 - 06:36 AM.


#33
metadigital

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Rambus's new XDR DRAM looks potentially better (on paper) than DDR.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The XDR solution was engineered to be effective in small high-bandwidth consumer systems, high-performance main memory applications, and flagship GPUs. Also, it eliminates the exremely high (640ns) latency problems that early forms of RDRAM had. Rambus owns the technology. XDR is used by Sony for the PlayStation 3 console.

Can you put that into lay-men terms? Also DDR2 doesn't have the latency problem right? :shifty:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have highlighted the relevant bits from the following article that appeared in last month's UK PC Format. All RAM must have some amount of latency: Rambus's RDRAM (allegedly) had 640ns, but even DDR2 and DDR3 have a read-write latency of 64ns; whereas the new XDR latency is 52.5ns for read and 42.5ns for write operations.

PS I have copied the article verbatim. That means I have not corrected the author's inexcusably imprecise use of GB/sec and Gb/sec, sic passim ... there's a cookie for anyone able to confirm whether it is GigaBytes or Gigabits per second. :wub:

Rambus Mk II
RDRAM may be history, but the company behind it is alive and Kicking. James Morris explains how the long-awaited successor to Rambus will work

Back in the latter half of the 1990s, the jury was out what the next generation of PC memory would be. EDO DRAM had been replaced by SDRAM, which increased in speed from 66MHz to 133MHz over its lifetime. But SDRAM reached its limits, and there were two contenders to succeed it the DDR we still use today, and the infamous Rambus. Whilst DDR doubled its performance over SDRAM by passing data twice per clock cycle over its 64-bit bus, RDRAM used a much narrower 16-bit bus operated at 800MHz, in its original incarnation.

On paper, Rambus offered a bigger performance increase over SDRAM than DDR. The first PC800 RDRAM was capable of 1,600MB/sec, whereas using Intel's PC133 SDRAM could only muster 1,066MB/sec. In dual channel mode, using Intel's i850 chipset, RDRAM was further ahead at 3,200MB/sec. Even PC2100 DDR, in comparison, only offered two thirds the bandwidth. But Rambus had its drawbacks. It was widely accused of having greater latency than SDRAM or DDR SDRAM, although reports differ on this. Its more important drawback, however, was its price.Each RDRAM module incorporated its own control circuitry, making it more expensive to manufacture and Rambus's high licencing fees didn't help either. So Rambus never made it to the mainstream, remaining a niche memory format for premium Intel platforms.

BETTER BANDWIDTH
However, high bandwidth memory is becoming increasingly vital. GDDR3 has been available for a few years, and is used as unified memory on the Xbox 360. DDR3, designed for general system use, won't be arriving until 2007. So the opportunity is there for a competitor and Rambus is stepping into the fray. Its latest XDR memory technology has been chosen for Sony's Playstation 3, and could also be used on desktop PCs.

Rambus XDR is a big step forward from the original RDRAM. For a start, it operates at a much higher frequency. The underlying memory cells run at a relatively standard 400MHz, although faster iterations are planned. But the cells send more than one bit of data per clock cycle, rather like quad-pumped Pentium 4 FSB or AGP 8x. This is also similar to the way DDR can transfer two bits of data per clock, and DDR2 transmits four. However, using Octal Data Rate, XDR transfers eight bits of data per clock for an effective 3.2GHz operating frequency. These 3.2GHz chips are then attached to the memory interface using a 16-bit bus, and the width can also be programmed to be one, two, four or eight bits wide.

The clever bit is that these 16-bit buses can in turn be combined to make wider 64-bit, 128-bit or even 512-bit memory paths. So while a single 16-bit channel of XDR offers 6.4GB/sec, Sony's Playstation is currently believed to run four in parallel, to make a 64-bit memory interface with a throughput of 25.6GB/sec. The original 232-pin XDIMM package aimed at mainstream PCs will have a 32-bit interface, so a single stick of memory will offer 12.8GB/sec.

Putting this in context, PC3200 DDR runs at 400MHz over a 64-bit bus, so only offers 6.4GB/sec, even in dual-channel mode. Two channels of PC5400 DDR2 running at 667MHz are capable of 10.8GB/sec. Only DDR3 implementations in graphics cards exceed the performance the 1.55GHz memory on a stock ATi Radeon X1900XTX, for example, can manage 49.6GB/sec. However, XDR on the same 256-bit interface would be capable of 102.4Gb/sec more than twice the throughput. So in raw data transfer, XDR is in a different league to any other memory technology. The latency issue has been solved with XDR, too. Where DDR2 has read-write latencies of around 66ns, and DDR3 around 68ns, XDR takes 52.5ns to read data and just 42.5ns to write it.

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE
Some other clever technologies go alongside XDR as well. Differential Rambus Signalling Levels (DRSL) works in a similar way to low voltage differential (LVD) SCSI. Instead of using the difference between 0V and higher voltages, this compares two signalling lines, so is able to make out 0s and 1s from a 200mV swing. The end result is improved performance at the same time as lower power. This is the reason that 3.2GHz XDR can still operate with a 1.8Vsupply, similar to DDR2.

As well as the XDR memory controller, Rambus has introduced its own IO bus called FlexIO, which will also be incorporated into Sony's Cell processor. This has similar applications to HyperTransport only it's much faster. It has a core clock of 400-800MHz, and can trasnfer more than one bit per clock cycle like XDR's Octal Data Rate, but in this case up to 10 bits at a time. The end result is an effective 8GHz ceiling capable of a raw 76.8GB/sec. On the Playstation 3, the RSX graphics processor (developed by Nvidia) can use the FlexIO interface to access XDR system memory directly, in a similar fashion to NVIDIA's TurboCache or ATI's HyperMemory.

Rambus XDR is now in production. Samsung announced that it started making 256MB modules in January, moving to 512MB modules by the middle of 2006. Toshiba and Elpida were sampling chips in early 2005 as well. The 3.2GHz version of XDR is just the beginning, too. A 4GHz version will also be available, with 4.8GHz, 6.4GHz and 8GHz to follow. Beyond that Rambus has already fleshed out some details of XDR's successor, XDR2. Not only will this push beyond 8GHz, but will also include a new innovation called Micro-threading. This will allow data to be accessed in smaller chunks at more frequent intervals, which will increase performance with certain applications like games or 3D visualisation.

XDR is already garnering interest in consumer electronics devices, and has been licenced to IBM, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic, although none of them have announced what for other than Sony's Playstation 3. But only time will tell if Rambus XDR will find greater favour than RDRAM, and become the mainstream format for the next generation of PCs.



#34
Dark_Raven

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RAMBUS was the great new memory when it first came out and look what happened to it, it became nothing. Now they want to try it again?

DDR all the way.

#35
angshuman

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On the non-proprietary front, FB-DIMMs seem to be the next trend in memory architectures.

#36
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If I were going to buy right now, this would be a likely list. However, coming in way under budget, I wonder if I should upgrade my CPU and Motherboard as a first priority or the Video card. Comments?

Update ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce SPP 100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
$224.99 $224.99
Update AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA3800BVBOX - Retail
$297.00 $297.00
Update CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model Twinx2048-3200c2pt - Retail
$189.00 $189.00
Update Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$89.99 $89.99
Update ASUS 16X DVDR DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DRW1608P2S - OEM
$36.99 $36.99
Update Logitech Z-2300 200 watts RMS 2.1 Speaker - Retail
$103.99 -$5.00 Instant $98.99
Update Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2 - OEM
$84.99 $84.99

Subtotal: $1,021.95



#37
alanschu

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Hehe, I went with the A8R-32-MVP Deluxe because I was getting an ATI card :rolleyes:


With gaming though, it always seems to be the video card that makes the biggest impact. Which is probably unfortunate. As long as you get a motherboard with PCI-E though, you should be ok for a while.

#38
Bokishi

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DDR2, FTW

#39
Spider

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In my opinion, what you really should do if you're under budget is to add a Raptor to the mix.

Second, don't you already own a copy of Windows XP? Seems a waste to pay for it again.

Third, where in that list is the video card? Or am I just blind?

#40
Surreptishus

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Maybe its only licensed to one PC or he only has a "recovery" disc.




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