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The year's half over...


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#21
metadigital

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CPUs (and other components) are "clocked", or rated for a particular cycle speed and voltage.

A new batch of CPUs is baked. A sample of them are tested to see what performance they have. Some headroom is left for safety. The Core2Duo line is remarkable for its HUGE headroom ... lots of room for overclock due to a very conservative clockspeed set by Intel.

Also, if a batch of high-end CPUs, say the Core2Duo Extreme Edition E6700, fails to be reliable at a given speed, they are branded at a lower speed, say the E6320.

Overclocking, via the BIOS on the motherboard and all handled in software these days, allows the direct control of the voltage across the component (CPU in this case), as well as the multiplier and base frequency configurations ... all of which combine to give the final speed of the CPU.

Case in point: the E6320 has two cores, both of which are clocked at 1.86GHz. In their test published in the current issue, Custom PC overvolted the CPU to 1.525V to raise the clock speed to 2.8GHz. This is faster than the stock speed of the fastest Core2Duo on the market, the E6700, which runs at 2.66GHz.

Pumping more power through a CPU may cause it to lose some longevity (what do you do with your ten-year-old CPUs?), but the main side-effect is a higher power bill and more waste heat, hence the need for good cooling to overclock further. (Some people like to indulge in extreme overclocking, using liquid nitrogen and attempting to see how fast they can clock the CPU for one safe boot of Windows at a time, for example: speeds of 10GHz have been achieved.)

#22
Wistrik

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A person can overclock and use third-party cooling solutions to run a chip much cooler than they could with a stock fan, thus potentially increasing a chip's longevity. Heat is the primary enemy of electronic devices (causes electron migration, pathway breakdown, etc.) so if you can control that, you'll have a stable unit (assuming it's built solidly to begin with).

You don't need to be as savvy about overclocking as various online reviewers can be. For example you could simply OC your CPU and leave it at that. Games like NWN2 are more reliant on a fast video card, so for them it can be helpful to OC the GPU. Memory overclocking (System and GPU) isn't something for the average user to worry about because you stand to gain maybe 2% or 3% performance. It's better to buy plenty of fast memory to begin with. If you know how to OC your memory, great. Otherwise it's no big loss.

Edited by Wistrik, 22 June 2007 - 08:16 AM.


#23
Cantousent

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Well, I think there's really not much to do now but wait for July and check out the Intel prices. I'm certainly not going to buy anything until November at the earliest. On the other hand, I don't like to dither, so I'll have it settled and probably shipped before January.

Overclocking is apparently the way of the future. Since I already use third party solutions to keep my computers running cool, I'm an excellent candidate for overclocking anyhow.

I'll look into the fan and whatnot, but I'm still going to stay focused on the Motherboard, CPU, and video card. Those always seem like the core elements to me. That doesn't mean I'll skimp on the rest, of course. I want to get the best system within the budget I've set for myself. Still, as important as the PSU is, it doesn't require the same amount of soul-searching before purchase.

#24
metadigital

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Infiniti have just released a 650W PSU for 110 (they have some larger models, like the 720W for 152).

It draws 795W to produce its 650W, making it 82% efficient, and it has three 12V rails rated: 12V @ 28Amps, 12V @ 28Amps, and 12V @ 30Amps.

It's a bit longer than most PSUs, so it won't fit in a tiny case, though it does have a speed-variable fan and supports CoolGuard (a circuit that keeps the fans spinning for a few minutes after the PC is shut down, to bleed off excess heat and improve component longevity).

#25
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I might actually get one of those quad cores in July if the prices are right. I tend to like to wait until at least Mid-October before I begin builds, but I can always make an exception this year. Probably not, but you never know. Anyhow, I have to go to Frye's (or however it's spelled) sometime before the end of this month anyhow. I'll take a look at stuff then.

#26
Deadly_Nightshade

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I'm also going to have to upgrade in the near future, and I'll most likely go with an Intel Duel Core and at least one 8800 GTX... :shifty:

#27
WITHTEETH

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I might actually get one of those quad cores in July if the prices are right. I tend to like to wait until at least Mid-October before I begin builds, but I can always make an exception this year. Probably not, but you never know. Anyhow, I have to go to Frye's (or however it's spelled) sometime before the end of this month anyhow. I'll take a look at stuff then.

What mobo are you going to get? I personally like the Asus Blitz :shifty:

#28
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I'm an Asus fan. My current build has Asus video and mobo. I'me not sure on anything yet, though. I'm going to look when I'm at Frye's and see if anything catches my eye.

#29
Bokishi

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Or you can wait for the Penryn Quads, I feel they are going to make the Kentsfield-based Core 2 Quads look like Pentium Ds.

#30
Wistrik

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Just a heads-up that Anandtech have built a new lab and will be reviewing power supplies in detail soon. They've already posted one review and will no doubt improve the process as they go. I like it because power supplies are the one bit of hardware I'm never sure about, and detailed reviews will help me make a good decision.

Edit: annihilated a typo.

Edit2: I'm also interested in what Penryn has to offer. I like some of AMD's new designs in "Barcelona", but it seems they're having some trouble. I'll wait for head-to-head reviews before I make a final CPU decision.

Edited by Wistrik, 13 July 2007 - 08:30 PM.


#31
jaguars4ever

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Or you can wait for the Penryn Quads, I feel they are going to make the Kentsfield-based Core 2 Quads look like Pentium Ds.

Go for the quads, Bok. It'll be just like Freelancer. Chain gun power.

Edited by jaguars4ever, 15 July 2007 - 10:02 AM.


#32
Bokishi

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Diomandbackzzzz!!

#33
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Hey, Bok, since you're obviously sitting on a mound of cash, do you think you can spring for one of those 9800 GTXs for me? Seriously, just put down the specs for your next system here and I'll see how much it goes over my budget. It's just easier to let you do the legwork. hahaha

#34
Bokishi

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my next system? oh man i dunno

Intel Penryn Quad or Octacore
1 9800 GTX, and get the second later
4 gig RAM
Intel-based PCI Express 2.0 compiant mobo /w SLI
SoundBlaster X-Fi 2
30-inch monitor 2560x1600 rez!!

I can't name specific parts or prices cuz everything is just rumors, and I'm about to install Vista 64 so I'll be getting 4-gig RAM soon

o:)

Edited by Bokishi, 27 July 2007 - 08:06 PM.


#35
mkreku

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http://www.custompc....-with-abit.html

#36
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Okay, the wife has spoken, so I'm go for the new system. Apparently, she wants to give her old system to her folks, which means I get a new system and she gets my current one, which still rocks.

Now, I was thinking either:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

or

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

for the CPU. I don't want to spend the extra cash for the quad unless it will really make a difference. It is, after all, more expensive by over 200 bucks.

As far as MBs go, I was thinking:

either

mkreku's suggestiong: ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard, which doesn't look bad

or

tried and true asus: Open Box: ASUS P5K3 DELUXE/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard. I just don't care for the wifi. I have a cabled lan and I don't intend to change that anytime soon, even after setting up several secure wireless lans over the last few years. I'm old fashioned that way.

For Video:

BFG Tech BFGR88768GTXOCE GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

or

ASUS EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Of course, the video cards are pricey, but the big news for me is that one of my CPU choices is actually more expensive than either video card option.

As always, nothing is set in stone until I purchase, which will likely be sometime between now and November. I want the system up and running before December. I appreciate any particular insight you folks might have. Anything from finding real alternatives that cost less money to switches in brand names for performance or reliability.

I stopped by Fry's today and looked at the prices. They seem comparable to New Egg, but I also find that they don't always have the exact same products. Once I get the big three set, I'll look into the other components, such as memory, PSU, heatsinks, etc.

#37
Bokishi

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You might want to consider EVGA cards as well, as you can tell I really like them *former BFG user*

#38
mkreku

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Just another head's up.. Since the time should be getting near to AMD's next generation CPU's, I thought I'd give you a hint of how AMD is compared to the Core 2 Duo of today (6750 and 6850). Remember this is the last of the Athlon generation; that is, they are comparing AMD's last generation chip to Intel's current generation chips:

http://www.hkepc.com...2...&rid=842214

It stands up surprisingly well! Since your purchase isn't scheduled until at the latest November (by which time the AMD Phenom should have arrived) you'll be able to choose from Penryn (Intel's new LGA775 socket CPU's.. meaning you can buy the motherboard now) and Phenom, if you decide to wait a few months longer.

Decisions, decisions. Since I already have a LGA775 socket motherboard, I'm waiting for the new Penryn before I upgrade. Unless I switch to Abit's new DDR3-enabled motherboard.. Argh.

#39
Bokishi

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mkreku's right, Core 2's days are numbered

#40
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This is what I hate. I'm looking over prices and configurations and brand names and everything. Not being rich, I'm looking for a cross between value and preformance. Luckily, this intellectual auto-eroticism will keep me occupied for a couple months during which time maybe some of the prices will drop and I'll end up getting that quad for less. haha

Where are some of the other regulars? Angshuman? Enoch? More opinions, please. Thanks to Bok and mkreku for the ideas. My latest cost test included evga for both the mobo and video.




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