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A New PC


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132 replies to this topic

#1
Rosbjerg

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Well time has come for me to build a new PC .. and I'm totally lost!

I was somewhat into things 5 years ago - but it seems that the world of computers have fastforwarded in the meantime.. But anyway - I'm looking to buy a CPU, motherboard, RAM and a new Graphic card...

Now money is an issue - so I'm looking for perfomance at low cost - I doesn't need to be top of the line - but it has to be able to run some of the newer games..

I've studied the new dual-cores - but they are a bit too expensive - so I'll probably just stick with an old fashion single CPU - 2.5+ Ghz
and I'm looking for an affordable PCI Express card which still delivers..

any suggestions? what are your experiances? and do you prefer AMD over Intel? (and why?) - Always had AMD myself - but it seems Intel is cheaper compared to what you get Ghz-wise..

I hope some of you people can help me out!

- Rosbjerg

#2
Wistrik

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I'll post my planned upgrade here too. Maybe it and any responses will give you additional ideas.

AMD has released a true quad-core Opteron cpu that has the same thermal and power characteristics as their dual-core Opterons, and fits into the same socket. It's "true" quad-core in that it's not just two dual-core processors mounted onto a single die; there are four distinct processors wired for the best possible performance with each other.

For my upgrade I'm considering:

- AMD64 FX-62 or X2 (dual-core) CPU; fastest available.
- Artic CPU cooler or other affordable cooler for CPU (for potential CPU OC)
- NForce 570 or 590 motherboard (AM2 socket; 590 has two x16 PCIE slots)
- 2 Gb Corsair memory (fastest the mobo will allow)
- GeForce 8800GTX (could run two SLI as an option)
- Creative sound card (whatever's best for gaming; Audigy comes to mind)
- Decent power supply (as required by the 8800GTX)
- USB Keyboard (still using old PS2 keyboard; don't care for wireless)
- Possibly different case, both to ventilate and to fit the 8800GTX.

Not planning on upgrading the monitor, a Samsung Syncmaster 215TW with 1680x1050 native resolution. Looks great, has good performance.

My list isn't carved in stone, so I'm open to suggestions from experienced do-it-yourselfers. Money is an object, as I'm also trying to save up for a car upgrade. If I OC at all it will only be the CPU, thus the planned cooler.

My current system is:

- AMD64 3200+ (2Ghz)
- Generic variable-speed fan & heatsink cooler; keeps the temp at 40C when OC to 2.22Ghz
- NForce 4 SLI mobo (939 socket, 1 x16 PCIE slot, 200Mhz FSB, etc.)
- Generic memory
- GeForce 6800GT (runs better than the CPU in many cases, but showing its age)
- Onboard Soundblaster 24-bit sound; sounds good but I suspect it's hurting performance
- 500 watt power supply; insufficient for 8800GTX video card

It's a very so-so system, and that shows in NWN2 (have to play at 1024x768) and HL2 with the hi-res texture mod (barely playable at 1280x1024), and HL1:Episode 1 with HDR enabled (barely playable at 1280x1024). I'm playing HL2 (original) at 1680x1024 and it bogs down in some of the outdoor areas but is still playable.

#3
taks

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unfortunately, i would not recommend anything other than a core2 at the moment. you can get a reasonable cpu/mobo combo with an E6400 @ 2.13 GHz for under $350 anyway, which will put to shame all but the most powerful AMDs at the moment (which will cost even more).

with the new duos, you don't really need "high-end" memory, but 2 GB is still going to run into the $200 range. anandtech has a good review for budget memory that performs nearly as well as the high-end stuff.

the seagate ST3250620AS would be my choice for HDD. 250 GB with parallel read technology (it's the 7200.10 version) is doing well for me now. about $80 at newegg.

audigy 2 for sound. under $100. i think i have the gamer variety.

the Logitech X-530 5.1 speaker system sounds excellent for about $75. if you want more than 70W per channel, it'll quickly get up to $200, however.

i'm not sure what to recommend for video, however, as that market is strange right now. i'm an nvidia fan, personally, but the release of the 8800 means the 79xx variety will be dropping in price soon (already started). i wouldn't worry too much about 512 MB memory, btw. most cards with that much (or more) use lower clock speeds for the memory controller which results in reduced bandwidth. either way, you can get something good for under $200.

make sure you get a good power supply. newegg has the truepower trio, 430 W antec supply, for $93.

cd/dvd read/write are obvious. they're pretty cheap, too.

all of the above is about $1200 US. if you can afford to go to $1500+, you can probably get into 2 GB memory and an E6600 @ 2.4 GHz (or even an E6700).

taks

Edited by taks, 04 December 2006 - 11:04 AM.


#4
Rosbjerg

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hmm it seems I should wait and save some more money .. my current computer really stinks and I can barely run HL2 in 1024x768 - I was hoping to be able to buy a medium sized com (actually somewhat like your current build) - but that was unrealistic of me, as it would actually cost much more - as I would have to upgrade within the next year anyway..

but that means I won't be able to buy it until sometime next year.. :)

#5
taks

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the same reason i'm holding off for the moment. the biggest gain from going with the core2 system, btw, is that future upgrades will be a bit easier to swallow. i.e. all you have to do is drop in a new CPU for the next several years. the current upgrade scenario to get from low-end to middle of the road includes mobo/cpu/video/hdd all in one fell swoop. once you make that leap, it won't be so bad for probably 3 or 4 years.

taks

#6
WITHTEETH

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Case: Cooler Master Stacker RC 830 $240

Power Supply: Antec True Power 650 Watts $100

Case Fans: 1 Antec 120mm , 4 CM UV Silent 120mm $50

Motherboard: Asus Striker Extreme 680i $340

Ram: Kensington DDR2 800mhz 2 Gigs $250

Processor: Core 2 Duo E6600 2400 $310

Graphic Card: eVGA 7900GT CO 256MB $200


This is the computer I'm in the middle of putting together. If you wanted to get something like this you could make it a bit cheaper by getting a cheaper motherboard, for around $200 and also a cheaper case for $100 making the net cost about $800 instead of $1100.

EDIT: Compare prices everywhere. I saved a lot of money!

Edited by WITHTEETH, 04 December 2006 - 03:43 PM.


#7
taks

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uh, that adds up to $1390. :rolleyes:

sound (card + speakers), hdd and cd/dvd add about another $300. so ~$1700 for a fairly good system.

oh, i tried to add this also but hit the wrong key... anyway, pricewatch is a great place to find the deals. i'm not sure if there is a "localized" version for non-US shoppers, however. rosbjerg is outside the US, correct?

taks

Edited by taks, 04 December 2006 - 04:51 PM.


#8
Spider

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Pricerunner.com is a good alternative for some europeans (and americans as well). But in this specific case, it has comparisons for Danish stores.

#9
Rosbjerg

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we have a really good Danish website called EDBpriser.. which compares the prices of almost every online (or at at least those with websites) stores in Denmark..

maybe I should consider ordering from an international store.. Danish prices can be up to 25% more expensive.. :crazy:

but as I said I'll put it off until sometime next year - and then buy a high-end computer instead.. (if I'll survive not being able to play MTW2! :- )

#10
Bokishi

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Yeah I'm already planning my next system which I hope to have assembled by the end of the year. I'm doing this because my 8800 GTX is bottlenecked too much with my current rig.


CM Stacker 830 Case

EVGA nForce 680i Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo e6600

BFG 1kw power supply

2GB Corsair Dominator DDR2


Any component type which I haven't listed means that I will just transfer it over.

#11
metadigital

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I think you might want a Quad Core instead of a dual (not the two dual-cores sandwiched together that Intel is selling now, the real Quad Cores coming out soon), also AMD could have a rabit up its sleeve in the next six months, too.

Following that, I would wait (and am waiting) for a better motherboard. Lots of things happening with mobos ...

#12
taks

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there's a lot of things happening with the entire market right now. that's what's making everything so expensive. major GPU upgrades, major CPU upgrades (which means major mobo upgrades and major memory upgrades), major HDD upgrades (though relatively inexpensive) coupled with a new defacto standard interface (PCIe) forces a one-time "upgrade everything" mentality. i'm afraid to buy anything that isn't "new" simply because i don't want it to be outmoded in a year, i.e. the money will be wasted otherwise.

what's the scoop on mobos that you're waiting on, meta?

taks

Edited by taks, 05 December 2006 - 08:06 AM.


#13
Bokishi

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Keep waiting for the next big thing and you'll never get anything. Intel Penryn Octo-core processors are due a year from now, why not skip quad?

#14
Deraldin

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Keep waiting for the next big thing and you'll never get anything. Intel Penryn Octo-core processors are due a year from now, why not skip quad?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That would be why you just buy the current big then and then 6 months later buy the next big thing anyway? :lol:

I wish I had that kind of money. :'(

#15
taks

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Keep waiting for the next big thing and you'll never get anything. Intel Penryn Octo-core processors are due a year from now, why not skip quad?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

it's not a matter of waiting for the next big thing, it's a matter of waiting to afford the current big thing which will allow future upgrades without having to shoot for the whole wad all at once. right now, moving into a future-upgradeable system requires a bunch of expensive upgrades. in 6 months, it will be much cheaper to move into what is now a fairly expensive system. then, once you've made the leap, you can piecemeal the rest of your system for several years.

the system i'm currently running is probably 3 years old. my only remaining upgrade options are the dual-core AMD and memory. however, once i spend the money on that, i can go no further with my system (other than miscellaneous stuff like extra memory). even with this upgrade, i will _still_ have a rather low-end system. not really worth the bucks.

taks

#16
taks

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for the record, i don't see any advantage of dual/quad core over a single core cpu. the only real benefit now is simply the fact that a single core of the core 2 is amazingly fast by its own right. the dual/quad core paradigm will be around for some time, with compatible mobos to boot as well as PCIe and other minutae. i'm just waiting for the prices to come down into the "i don't have to break the bank to get a good system" land.

if i were a developer, OTOH, optimizing code for a hefty signal processing application, the dual/quad core issue would be a very big deal. oh wait, i am. ;) now they just need to get the power down to usable levels (try to fly a core 2 in a UAV... you'll be laughed out of the room). this latter reason, btw, is why companies are taking notice of low-power, multi-core alternatives. i suppose my job depends on this, as a matter of fact.

taks

#17
Wistrik

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The way the market moves, you'll be waiting forever if you want to hold out for the "next big thing". As some have pointed out, a good strategy can be to wait until a new thing is out, then buy the previous "new" thing for less money. You'll still be good to go for new games for a year or three (provided the developers have decent coding skills), more if you enjoy the games you have well enough to play them for four or five years. By then you'll be ready to upgrade and completely new hardware will be available.

I was tempted to upgrade when I first got NWN2, but patch 1.03 proves the code needed more optimization, so I'll let future patches continue to help NWN2's performance. That way I'm free to plan for HL2:Episode 2, Dragon Age, and possibly Vista (only if I have to).

As I listed above, I was thinking about an AMD64 FX-62. Well, now AMD has the quad-core chips available and some of them have each core running faster than an FX-62, so I'm happy to wait another month or two to give supporting hardware a chance to catch up.

#18
taks

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i agree that waiting for the next big thing can be an eternal stretch. i just see the market as going through certain architecture leaps. we just made one huge leap, and the rest will be incremental till the next huge leap probably 4 or 5 years in the future. once the current leap is affordable, that's what i'll do. that'll allow me several incremental upgrades over the course of the next 4 or 5 years. i've done this several times, btw. my wife is using my last iteration, as a matter of fact.

taks

#19
WITHTEETH

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i agree that waiting for the next big thing can be an eternal stretch.  i just see the market as going through certain architecture leaps.  we just made one huge leap, and the rest will be incremental till the next huge leap probably 4 or 5 years in the future.  once the current leap is affordable, that's what i'll do.  that'll allow me several incremental upgrades over the course of the next 4 or 5 years.  i've done this several times, btw.  my wife is using my last iteration, as a matter of fact.

taks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Exactly! I jumped on the new standard band wagon now, so later on when i want to upgrade their will be options still. You can get pretty cheap C2Duos for just around 150, and other cheap parts. But i really recommend getting a good motherboard because that is generally the last thing you want to upgrade, and can create problems for expansion which can be a huge bottleneck.

#20
taks

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yeah, but for me that means cpu + mobo + vid card + mammaries. still almost a grand down the tubes. if i wait it out, i can do the same for probably $500 in 6 months. i'm not hurting now anyway. i can run oblivion fine, as well as nwn2 and i don't play any shooters (though, even for a game like FEAR, i get 40+ fps... no need for 150 or whatever). the next real taxing game i'm interested in buying is dragon age, and that's 18 months out. gots time.

taks




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