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Getting a new computer, new trends - updated, need some help with RAM picking

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by chevalier, May 29, 2008.

  1. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Virus/int is optional. And if you have a legal xp, even 89 less. counting down to 700.

    (BTW Chevalier, Ati has a new hotfix 8.5 catalyst for your agp 2600)
     
  2. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    I'm buying a new setup about right now.

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (Upgrade to E8400 if you can afford it.)
    2x2048mb of 800mhz DDR2 Kingston ValueRAM.
    Asus P5K motherboard.
    Asus 9600GT Silent.
    500gb Seagate Barracuda SATAII.
    Samsung Superwritemaster.
    Nexus Catepillar with NX-5000.
    Scythe Ninja Plus CPU fan.

    Silent, powerful enough for all the games I want.
     
  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I don't think it will matter where you place the PSU, as long as it is plenty powerful. Just by adding one WD 640GB HD to my current system was enough to push my 500W PS over the edge. The system kept shutting itself off. I just dropped a new 650W Corsair PS into my system and it was like putting a fresh set of batteries into a flashlight - everything is brighter and faster....
     
  4. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Long story short, looks like I miscalculated something, so while I don't get a raise, I still have more on my account than I thought I did. And it looks like my brother's computer is being slow for his needs, so I might give him this one and get a new one for myself.

    So firstly, is it really a good time now to buy a PC or do we prefer to wait until autumn?

    Also, do I really need to get an 8400 for my gaming needs (I want NWN2 to run a 1680*1050 res with full reasonable effects at 30-40fps, plus I want to be prepared for Dragon Age and KotOR 3 and I like to play car racing games - but all this considering I have 1-2 hours daily plus half a weekend at best)? Or do I get a cheaper processor and replace it later?

    What kind of mobo do I really need? I'm thinking about getting a 100 euro Abit issue, whatever the details. I don't need SLI.

    Do I want to bother with RAID? Or do I just get a Barracuda with 32 MB cache, 7200 RPM, SATA II connector?

    Do I really need a 9800 or is 9600GT enough? If 9600GT, do I really need 1 GB or will 512 MB be enough?

    PSU - do I want to get a 600-700W Tagan or is that form over matter?

    I'm generally concerned with getting the best out of my money at this point - similarly as before, just not so eager to give cash away.

    @Merlanni: Your suggestion up there looks good, except prices are a bit higher here...
     
  5. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Oh geeze...here we go. :rolleyes:

    First off, you really need to distinguish your brands.... an 8400 could be an Intel CPU, or and NVIDIA GPU...

    I'm assuming by the "8400" you mean the C2D E8400. I have this chip, and it's great. I'd say it is the *slowest* CPU you should be considering. For more power, look to the E8500 or a Core2Quad.

    As for motherboards, you need something that can support 45nm CPUs. Look for one with a P35 or P45 chipset. Since you don't want SLI, there's no reason to bother with NVIDIA chipsets. For a step up in mobo performance, look for a P45 chipset. You don't need something like the X38 or X48...those are "enthusiast" boards that, while they have more features, better performance, and better overclockability, they cost a lot more. Abit has great boards, but Asus has pretty damn good boards too...you just have to look under all the bloated features they come with.

    As for RAID, it all depends on what you want. RAID 0 speeds up performance, but if one drive dies, you lose all your data. RAID 1 protects your data against drive failure...but not against viruses...of if *you* delete the file.
    Ideally, you'd want 2 drives in a RAID 0, with a 3rd HDD separate, acting as a dedicated back up drive. This way, you have RAID performance, and your data is safe, even if you accidentally delete a file. :thumb:

    For graphics, read this first. That article takes the balance of price/performance in to consideration. That said, I'd probably recommend the 9600 over the 9800. And like always, more RAM is better...so go with the 1GB cards if you can afford it.

    For the PSU...600W might be ok. 700W would be better, and 800W just to be safe with the ability to add more stuff later on without worrying about power needs. Also, look for "80 Plus" units...these are the most efficient, and will save you money in the long run. Buy from reputable brands, like PC Power and Cooling, SeaSonic, and Antec. Look for a PSU with a 120mm fan, they're generally quieter.

    Hope that helps. :rolling:
     
  6. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    Like I said before, you should wait a bit, because NVIDIA and AMD are just about to release their new cards. The GeForce 200 series is expected to launch tomorrow and the Radeon R700 series a bit later. The 200 series will most likely be the best performance you can buy, but also expensive. It is worth to wait and see how they perform and how the prices will set.
     
  7. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Unless the current video boards take up much more power than my 7900GT, you don't even need 500W (unless you're going to stuff a tower case full of junk). I have a 500W PSU and that's including 4 HD drives and a dual tuner TV board. My UPS reports under 300W usage for this computer (and CRT monitor), plus a second older computer, plus my cable modem and my VOIP gateway all conected to it.

    The problem with getting more than you need (aside from cost) is that PSU's are less efficient if you load them too lightly.
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Erm. Sorry. I would never fathom buying an 8400 GPU, which is why it didn't occur to me there could be a misunderstanding. :p

    Yeah, I don't want an nForce chipset for compatibility reasons. My buddy has one and I don't envy him.

    Yeah. I want some OC, but for the same amount of cash I'd spend on a better mobo and an aftermarket cooler, I could make a significant upgrade in basic parts (easily a good 9800GTX instead of a cheap 9600GT, for example).

    I'm not considered with HDD safety since if something is important I generally store it elsewhere for back-up. My HDD mostly contains games and documents. My current 120 GB is safely enough. I generally don't need a mega-storage ultra-safe Fort Knox, I just need a fast drive. I would consider Raid only because of speed gain. Is it noticeable?

    Actually, 128 bit cards with 512 MB generally performed worse than 256 MB versions. But that's because they had more RAM than they could handle. A 256 bit (finally) 9600GT can handle a gig, I suppose, but won't it be like with top-of-the-line series-8 cards which performed better with less RAM than with more? My resolution may matter since it's pretty high, if not unusually high. Perhaps 1 GB matters in 1680*1050, does it?

    I was actually considering a 14 cm fan... My basic idea is to try and run with only 12 cm or bigger fans.

    Yup, thanks. :)
     
  9. Stu Gems: 20/31
    Latest gem: Garnet


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    IMHO the extra cost of quad core CPU's over dual core ones doesn't really translate into extra gaming performance (as most games were designed to run on just a single core). If video editing or other CPU-intensive tasks are your think then it's another story, but if it's mainly games then I'd recommend a similarly priced dual core over a quad core.

    Also I'd like to second Erod's suggestion of waiting a bit- nVIDIA's 9XXX series was more of a tweak of the previous generation rather than anything revolutionary, and if early reports are to be believed the next gen should provide a bit of a jump (especially if you like to play UT3 at 2569x1600 :D).
     
  10. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Yes, you can notice a difference. When I went from a RAID 1 to a RAID 0 with 4 HDDs, the difference was significant. Benchmarks confirmed I wasn't just imagining things too. :rolling:
     
  11. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    So how much difference am I going to feel if I get two of those pretty shiny Barracudas with 32 MB cache on SATA2/7200 RPM instead of one?
     
  12. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    IMO, not enough to be of use to a normal home desktop user and if you are running fake RAID, it will eat CPU resources a bit. Mirroring might be useful though, if you have some critical data on the drive.
     
  13. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    No critical data whatsoever. If I had some very critical data that would warrant such protective measures (such as say, my thesis from a year ago), I wouldn't rely on my hard drive(s) anyway. I'd probably mail it to myself and a couple of people. I just want some additional speed. Quad Raid would be too expensive from my point of view - the same money added to my graphics card budget would pay better.

    I'm generally beginning to think that if a disk costs around $80-$100, I'm better off buying just one such disk and putting all the excess cash in the graphics. My brother is convincing me to get a 9800 GTX instead of a 9600 GT.

    My latest idea is that I could buy the following set:

    E8400
    any Abit mobo unless a different brand convinces me
    4 (2*2) GB OCZ Titanium DDR2 CL4
    320 GB or higher Seagate Barracuda 32 MB Cache SATA2
    awesome case (looking at Aerocool ExtremEngine with a side fan of 25 cm or an Aplus with both the front and the side fan coming in this size)
    some SATA(2) DVD burner that matches the colour of the case
    64 bit Vista OEM

    ...Plus a graphics card that costs as much as the rest of the system, but bought on instalments - a more expensive one that I could afford if I had to shell out the whole cash at once. Just so long as I can set up a repeatable auto-transfer from my bank account (just like paying bills) and forget about the whole thing. ;) Besides, I just couldn't get myself to spend so much cash on a graphics card. But whether I get to keep paying $50 every month for a year or for two doesn't really make so much difference.

    Next purchase or another instalment purchase could be a high-end soundcard.

    What do you think?

    Part of me wants to wait until they release the new graphics cards, but there's always something to wait for and if I keep waiting, I will never get a good computer. It also doesn't really matter if I save some $100 or even $200 by delaying the purchase for a month - who will give me back my two months without a good rig? ;)

    Also, some more quetions if you have the time to discuss with me:

    1. Does 8500 beat 8400 enough to justify getting one, given price difference?
    2. Where I live, a 1 GB 9800 GTX is very hard to find, or even impossible. However, many of the available 9600 GT cards have 1 GB RAM. Between a 9600 GT 1 GB and a 9800 GTX 512 MB, given the small benchmark difference between the GPU's, won't the 1 GB 9600 GT actually beat the 512 MB 9800 GTX in somewhat higher resolutions where bigger textures are processed, such as my own 1680*1050?
     
  14. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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  15. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Well then, let's wait for a price drop. I do have to pass those exams in September, after all, and there's nothing interesting to play anyway.
     
  16. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    You DEFINITIVELY want WD, not Seagate. Take it from a computer tech.

    You have no idea just how many Seagate RMAs I had to do in six months.
     
  17. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I've decided to buy a rig finally, but there was a bug in my bank's network, so I couldn't get the cash and the purchase is only possible tomorrow.

    What the guy is offering me - for $1250 or a couple pennies more - is:

    - AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000
    - Gigabyte mid-range mobo - not sure which exact one since I'm more familiar with Intel stuff (my current config is quite accidental)
    - 2*2 GB DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 from Patriot
    - Samsung F1 HDD, 750 GB - which I might change to 620 GB for speed alone, given the half-head problem of 750's
    - Radeon HD 4850
    - Tagan U16 500W
    - a Chieftec case, one of the higher-end ones
    - a silent Asus writer with a SATA plug
    - Vista Home Premium

    Please note these are European prices... overseas shipment included, tech not getting cheaper as fast.

    Question is, do I want to add $90 on top of it to have an E8400 Intel CPU (with a similar mobo), or perhaps a higher PSU model?

    My needs are generally very simple (reading, writing, surfing), except I want the best out of my gaming time, when I actually have any, and I'd like to play new games in 1680*1050 fluently with effects turned on.
     
  18. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    The X2 is similar to what I have, and I've found X2 to be a good powerhouse for gaming, especially paired with a 4850.

    As for PSU, you're better off investing more for a good, lower power supply than a cheaper, higher rated one - but that's old news.

    Avoid Asus in optical drives. Spend a bit more for Pioneer or Plextor.
     
  19. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Actually, they're all priced the same, DVD burners.

    PSU... probably a Corsair, after all, say 600W or something, not more. Though I believe even 500W should be sufficient for this rig. I just simply need some room for upgrading. In turn, I will get an Intel rather, I think, which will actually reduce power consumption.
     
  20. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    A p45 intel board will give you the option of crossfire. SLI needs an Nvidia chipset.
     
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