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#21 Huntn

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 08:23 PM

View Postnobody, on September 20th 2007, 03:16 PM, said:

1200 Watts is definitely overkill.  I mention the Sonata III because I've seen it around for about that price, and it comes with the Antec Earthwatts 500W PS, which is pretty good for a packaged deal.

There's also the possibility of the Q6600 for about the same price as the E6700 if you want to go quad-core without going overboard with one of the Extreme editions.

Thanks, I'll check the Sonata III out. :)

View Postyves, on September 20th 2007, 04:14 PM, said:

-Asus 8800 GTS 320mb

Is this card Vista compatible? A couple of searches led to confusion with statements like Vista Ready, but then Vista was not listed as one of the compatible operating systems. But then I found this NVidia page which says that all of it's series 8 cards which I assume are the 8800 models are DX10 compatible.

8800 GTS vs 8800 GTX Review.

A lot of people in this thread are saying to wait until next April (New cards, old card prices to drop) to spend a lot of money on a DX-10 video card.

Even though it might seem obvious... Anyone care to educate me on why a quad processor is better than a dual as in does it take applications configured to take advantage of the quad processor to make a difference or is everything configured or not speed up?
Thanks!

#22 bobbob

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 10:40 PM

View PostHuntn, on September 21st 2007, 07:23 PM, said:

Is this card Vista compatible?
Yes.

Quote

why a quad processor is better than a dual as in does it take applications configured to take advantage of the quad processor to make a difference or is everything configured or not speed up?
It's not usually about configuration. One app would have to use 4 threads to make full use, or you could have several apps each using 1 thread. Most games don't see any benefit over 2 cores.

#23 Dark_Archon

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 01:50 AM

View Postbobbob, on September 22nd 2007, 12:40 AM, said:

Yes.
It's not usually about configuration. One app would have to use 4 threads to make full use, or you could have several apps each using 1 thread. Most games don't see any benefit over 2 cores.

Most games don't even fully take advantage of 2 processors(although there are performance improvements due to stuff like sound getting offloaded, and system tasks running on the second core) let alone 4. For a dedicated gaming box, a higher clocked 2 core processor would be more beneficial than a 4 core processor, although if there is going to be stuff running in the background, 4 cores may be worth it.

With Bioshock running, I see maybe 150% processor activity, although when I decide I want to take a break from statistics homework, and leave Minitab and Office running in the background, processor activity is higher. Throw in something else in the mix, and it isn't too hard to get over 200% processor usage.
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#24 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 08:43 AM

Supreme Commander supposedly takes advantage of multiple cores, and Crytech have said that Crysis will scale itself to as many cores as you give it. We'll find out in a couple of months whether it makes a big difference or not. The other game where they're specifically touting multi-core use is Alan Wake, which is due some time in 2008. Valve hasn't talked about specific additions to their engine yet, but they've definitely been talking up the potential of multi-core computing for games.

So basically, there's not much for it now, but it's starting to pick up. It might be worth putting a faster dual core chip in a machine now, and upgrading to a quad later, since they all go in the same motherboards right now.
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#25 Huntn

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:19 AM

View Postbobbob, on September 21st 2007, 11:40 PM, said:

Yes.
It's not usually about configuration. One app would have to use 4 threads to make full use, or you could have several apps each using 1 thread. Most games don't see any benefit over 2 cores.

Thanks for the clarification! :)

View Postnobody, on September 22nd 2007, 09:43 AM, said:

So basically, there's not much for it now, but it's starting to pick up. It might be worth putting a faster dual core chip in a machine now, and upgrading to a quad later, since they all go in the same motherboards right now.

Good to know, thanks!

#26 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 11:19 AM

Just a heads-up for anyone thinking of putting together a machine right now - some price drops on AMD processors. Core 2 takes the performance crown right now, but some of the prices for fast AMD chips make them pretty tempting for fast cheap PC builds:

6000+
5600+
5200+
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#27 Ichigo27

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:03 PM

AMD A2 ATX Nividia 6100 motherboard to go along with it. Which is like 70 dollars US if one buys it online. Retail is past 100 sadly. Can't wait to add one of those chip sockets to my mid range computer I'll be building soon.
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#28 Huntn

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:12 AM

View Postnobody, on October 7th 2007, 12:19 PM, said:

Just a heads-up for anyone thinking of putting together a machine right now - some price drops on AMD processors. Core 2 takes the performance crown right now, but some of the prices for fast AMD chips make them pretty tempting for fast cheap PC builds:

6000+
5600+
5200+

I've always liked AMD and will consider them.

Do you all remember when top of the line cards cost $400 U.S. and now that seems to be bumped up to double that $800?? Anyway the XFX Geforce 8800GTS 320MB card is listed at $309 and benches Quake 4 at 119 fps. Not bad.

#29 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 03:24 PM

View PostHuntn, on October 10th 2007, 12:12 PM, said:

I've always liked AMD and will consider them.

Do you all remember when top of the line cards cost $400 U.S. and now that seems to be bumped up to double that $800?? Anyway the XFX Geforce 8800GTS 320MB card is listed at $309 and benches Quake 4 at 119 fps. Not bad.

There's going to be a GeForce 8800 GT released, which will slot in between the 8800 GTS and the 8600. Speculation is that the 320MB GTS might get dropped at that point. The GT will use the new G92 chip, which is on a 65nm process (vs 80 for the G80), 600/900MHz core/memory clocks, and has a reduced number of stream processors versus the G80 chips in the other 8800 cards (112 vs 128).
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#30 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 02:45 PM

Nice deal for anyone looking at gaming PC: refurbished Quad-core machine for $600 - has a Q6600, 3GB RAM, and a 400GB drive. Integrated graphics, but comes with a PCIex16 slot, so stick a graphics card in and you're good to go.
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#31 Huntn

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:06 AM

I'm looking at www.cyberpowerpc.com to compare with home building. It might be cheaper to go with a prebuild.

#32 Maveric56

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:29 PM

Don't build a PC, it's just as or even more cheap to just buy one from a manufacturer nowadays.  Also it's a pain in the ass if you don't have much experience dealing with PCs (and you don't, you're mac users, using a windows machine at school every now and then for you email doesn't count), which I know from experience.  You're likely to fry a motherboard or processor from improper installation, or snap some stupid pin on one of the cards.  

If I haven't convinced you not to do it...Don't buy the cheapest parts, they're usually the cheapest for a reason.  Stick to motherboard brands like Asus, Shuttle, MSI, or Gigabyte.  Don't buy ECS, they usually have locked BIOS options and in general just suck.  Highend videocards a ripoff, get the mid-end ones.  "Overclocked" retail videocards are a scam, you can easily overclock them on your own and not pay the 200 dollar premium for the meager amount they overclock.  Do. Not. Get. Integrated Graphics.  Unless you're an audiophile, just use the onboard sound on the mobo.  Same with the 10/100 port.  When you're installing, make sure none of the silicon is touching the metal on the case.

I'll think up more stuff later.
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#33 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:09 PM

*shrug* I think it's pretty easy. You can't install anything backwards or in the wrong place due to everything being keyed, and you'd have to use pretty excessive force to snap a pin off of a card. The only really sensitive bit (assuming you're taking precautions against static in the first place) is the CPU, which does often have small delicate pins. Both AMD and Intel's new heatsinks are a total no-brainer to install. The motherboard manual will remind you where all the power and front port connections need to go.

As for the buying advice - that's pretty sound. "extreme edition" CPUs, and the highest-end graphics cards are pretty much for folks with more money than sense, or just enough money not to care. Checking out a couple of reviews, and the manufacturer's warranty policies, are always recommended before dropping a wad of dough on some part. But the argument about quality often goes against buying a prebuilt system. Yes you can find them for cheap, and they save you some hassle, but often the cheap systems are the ones with cheap parts, and if you want something decent, you're paying as much or more than you would have to build yourself.

And the silicon is always going to be touching the metal - it's screwed into it. ;)
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#34 Dark_Archon

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 05:32 PM

Maybe I'm not the norm when it comes to Mac users, but I actually do use PCs and Macs, and have a low power box I threw together under my desk running Linux just getting used as network storage.

First, cards don't have pins. They are printed circuit boards with contacts that slide into slots, just like RAM.

Onto the building part. You can't install stuff wrong. It is the square peg, round hole situation. The only part that is possible to screw up is the processor because the pins aren't meant to take any abuse, but it should be very clear which way they go in. Unbending the pins is impossible. I personally prefer the land grid array layout(LGA) that Intel has been using with the pins on the motherboard, and the large "clip" that fits over the processor before putting the heat sink on. Pin grid array(PGA) stuff had the bad habit of the processor getting pulled out of the socket when trying to remove just the heat sink, and the release bar is covered by the heat sink so you can't carefully pop the processor out.

Everything is labeled, and stuff only goes in 1 place. 4 pin power by CPU, 24 pin(20 on older stuff) only has one possible place to go and nothing else looks even remotely like it. The PCI-e graphics card will only fit in a 16 lane(physical, which doesn't necessarily mean there are 16 lanes electrically) pci-e slot. The only other connectors are USB(which only goes in 1 way (one row as 4 pins, and the second row has 5 while one row of the connector has 4 holes, and the second 1 has 5), power and reset buttons, LEDs, and some times IEEE1394(firewire) which is a pain because it isn't one nice cable like USB is, and you actually need to read what connector goes where).

Other than that, common sense dictates that power supplies have all those cables coming out of them for a reason. You don't want to be running every peripheral off one rail. Balance the load across all those separate cables with the molex and SATA connectors for peripherals.

Quote

Make sure none of the silicon is touching the metal on the case.
Uhh... what? The only silicon is inside the packaging of the integrated circuits. It physically isn't possible to have silicon touching anything it isn't meant to touch unless you cracked open ceramic casings of stuff. Do you mean the printed circuit board?

The only thing I would suggest that isn't either self-explanatory, or necessarily a common sense thing is to clean the thermal paste that comes on the heatsink off using isopropyl alcohol, and apply some Arctic Silver(or similar). Between using MUCH less of it than the amount that comes on the heatsinks, and it being less sticky, it makes pulling off the heatsink easier, and as an added bonus, it keeps your processor a few degrees cooler.
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#35 Huntn

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:38 AM

I wonder how good AMD processors are today? You can save a couple of hundred dollars by going with an AMD system.

I've noticed at CyberPower that a dual video card AMD box, the Gamer Ultra SLI Pro goes for $1515 (main page of link don't click, run mouse over AMD Desktop> Quad/Dual Video Systems> Gamer Ultra SLI Pro) while a dual video card Intel box, the Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra goes for $1739 (main page of link don't click, run mouse over Intel Desktop> High Performance Gaming PC> Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra).

Both boxes advertise a 80% performance gain over single card solutions. I wonder what that converts to in frames? And I wonder how that compares to a single video card box like the Gamer Infinity 8800 Pro SE (link main page, 3rd row down on left) that sells for $1599 but only sports a single card? BTW the 8800 Pro includes a monitor which my guess is you could delete to drop the price.

#36 bobbob

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:31 PM

View PostHuntn, on December 12th 2007, 07:38 AM, said:

I wonder how good AMD processors are today? You can save a couple of hundred dollars by going with an AMD system.
A couple hundred dollars over what? You really have to look at equivalently performant processors for it to make any sense, and AMD's been lagging quite a bit in the high end so there's nothing to compare there. At the lower end I've seen a difference of a few dollars at most, often in Intel's favour.

Quote

I've noticed at CyberPower that a dual video card AMD box, the Gamer Ultra SLI Pro goes for $1515 (main page of link don't click, run mouse over AMD Desktop> Quad/Dual Video Systems> Gamer Ultra SLI Pro) while a dual video card Intel box, the Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra goes for $1739 (main page of link don't click, run mouse over Intel Desktop> High Performance Gaming PC> Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra).
If you were going to say that's AMD vs. Intel and nothing to do with the cost of the other parts, then that's pitting a $100 X2 4800+ against a $170 Core 2 Duo E6550, which isn't fair to either. You'd be better off looking at a $160 6000+ vs. the E6550 (fitting the difference in performance), or a $95 E2200 vs. the 4800+ which is probably in the 4800+'s favour by a small margin.

There are also differences in case, disc drive, speakers, and motherboard prices. Some real oddities, too, one  being that upgrading from the Apevia case to the Cosmos 'costs' $46, but downgrading the other way 'saves' $31. I think the strange and inflated markup covers whatever the market price differences actually are.

#37 Huntn

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:01 PM

A friend of mine got a new Dell computer for Christmas. He goes to play Gears of War on it and the game will barely run. Turns out he has one of those integrated video card motherboards without a dedicated card so he decides he must get a decent card to play and he finds out he needs a more powerfull power supply to run a new card. So he shows up on  my doorstep with the computer and this 700 watt power supply (Dell came with 300 watt) and wants me to install it! Well I've never done this but I'm up for the challenge as long as he signs a disclaimer holding me harmless if we fry his Dell. :nods:

Anyhow this 700 amp power supply looks like a frick'n octopus with long legs hanging off it. At first I'm hesitant and then I see that the old power supply only has a large main plug in the motherboard, a little square 4 slot plug for the motherboard and connectors for the DVD drive, and the hard drive. Piece of cake, I'm thinking and it was. Plug and play- pop the old one out and pop the new one in. Coil up all the extra wires and shove into an unused corner. It was very easy. I've done DVD drive, hard drive,  and RAM installs/upgrades. Hmm, maybe a self build is in my future. I'll have to compare prices with the local retail build-it store.

#38 Huntn

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:36 AM

For anyone looking at building, the Feb08 PC Gamer cover article is building your own gaming PC.
There is several choices but here is a quick run down of the best-bang-for-buck hardware:

Processor: Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz LGA 775 Socket $280
Motherboard: EVGA 122-CK-NF67-T1; slots- x16(2), x1(2), PCI (2) $170
Video Card: Geforce 8800GT 512MB $249
Case: Cosmos 1000 $200
Power Supply: NeoPower 650watt $180
Hard drive: Raptor X 150 GB $180
Memory: Dominator  2GB DDR2 1142 $350

Total: $1609

Of interest in the same magazine there are advertisements for 3rd party builders like:
http://www.digitalstormonline.com
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com >> Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz for $1629
http://www.ibuypower.com

that offer very competitive pricing.

A trip to the local retail custom builder indicates that a local built machine might run 20% more. Q6600= $350, 8800GT= $370.

Edited by Huntn, 09 January 2008 - 02:06 PM.


#39 bobbob

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:38 PM

Quote

Motherboard: EVGA 122-CK-NF67-T1; slots- x16(2), x1(2), PCI (2) $170
A $100 motherboard would cost less and perform about as well if you're not using SLI. If you're using SLI, there are better graphics cards, better CPUs, and better speaker cables for you to throw your money at before picking a better motherboard than this one.

Quote

Case: Cosmos 1000 $200
Power Supply: NeoPower 650watt $180
:unsure:

$380 for a case and powersupply? 650W for components that total less than 500?

Quote

Hard drive: Raptor X 150 GB $180
The Raptors suck. A 7200RPM 1TB drive would be a better buy.

Quote

Memory: Dominator  2GB DDR2 1142 $350
Yeah, um, no. Unless you're buying it from Apple, you might as well go DDR3 for that price. Just to make it clear, you probably shouldn't be spending that much on RAM if you don't want to spend that on a faster CPU, and thus almost no one even wants DDR3 right now.

Quote

Total: $1609
If you're smart you could build one for $1050 or buy one for something less than $1200.

Quote

Of interest in the same magazine there are advertisements for 3rd party builders like:
http://www.digitalstormonline.com
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com >> Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz for $1629
http://www.ibuypower.com
that offer very competitive pricing.
Yeah, wouldn't want to make people think they could undercut the advertisers.

#40 teflon

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:48 AM

[

Quote

$380 for a case and powersupply? 650W for components that total less than 500?
thats quite excessive for the case, I feel, but a good cooling profile is very important. as for the psu, you need to make sure you have at least 10% more than you need so that youre not straining it. so 600W would have been more appropriate really. I get the feeling they were factoring in a second card down the line.

Quote

The Raptors suck. A 7200RPM 1TB drive would be a better buy.
yes it does, its pointlessly expensive for next to no real benefit other than a couple of seconds. not vital if youre gaming.
Id just stick a pretty standard 250gb or 320gb hdd in there. games dont take up that much space.
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