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New system - $1,000 budget

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Blades of Vanatar, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ok, I got some extra cash, about a grand and I'm looking to purchase a new PC. Our household uses are as follows,

    Basics...
    - Pay bills online
    - Microsoft Office, I need to use Excel and Power Point for work projects.

    Complicated parts...
    - Gaming for me and hopefully for my kids in the future.
    - Download digital pictures from our Camera and Camcorder. The Camcorder, a Sony Handcam, has blu-ray tech, so I'm thinking I will need something that can produce blu-ray CDs to watch.

    I would prefer to buy something that I won't need to upgrade in 2 years. Previously, I have always bought Gateway, because they were accessible and I have had good luck with them. Currently possessing a 2.3 system, but it's 7 yrs old. I couldn't run D&D Stormreach or Warhammer online. I know I can't run Dragon Age. My max ram capacity is only 512, so it is an outdated system to say the least.

    What type/speed of processor and how much/what type of Ram do you guys recommend?
     
  2. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    CPU - Intel Core i5. If you can afford it, try for an i7.

    RAM - If your budget allows, try for a 6GB DDR3 tri-channel kit....it's 3 sticks of matched 2GB sticks of RAM. If you can't afford 6GB, get a 3GB DDR3 tri-channel kit.

    For future gaming, I would recomed any of the ATI 5000 series. The ATI HD 5750 and 5770 are good budge cards...the next step us would be the ATI HD 5850.
    I'm currently running an XFX ATI HD 5850, and when I bought it, it was the world's 2nd fastest single GPU video card. :love: It also cost over $300. :bad:
     
  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    If you settle on the Intel i5 I would choose the 750 (Lynnfield) over any of the 600 series of Clarkdale i5s. There is more performance for the $$ in the Lynnfield.
     
  4. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Thanks for the answers guys. Now, where would you recommend purchasing a PC? I would prefer to be able to customize it if possible. I have noticed after using a viewing a bunch of sites that getting a Intel I5 or I7 with a ATI 5000 series or better will definitely put me over a $1,000.00, w/out a monitor. Are the Intel Quad Cores worth buying or will they be considered slow in a couple of years?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  5. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    For customizing, you’re going to have to go to a manufacturer's website (HP/Dell/Gateway). If you go to any other retailer, they're only going to have a few variations of the base systems offered.


    Or....you could save $$$ and build it yourself. :thumb:
     
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  6. Merlanni

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

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  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The I5 is in my price range, when coupled with the NVIDIA GeForce Graphic cards. Are they comparable to the ATI Radeon 5000 series? Or better yet, will they handle Dragon Age?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  8. Merlanni

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

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    The 5000 serie is made up out of highend, medium end low en and basic graphics cards. A low end new shiny 5000 serie is still to weak to run dragon age with some eye candy. Don't stare to much ar the big 5 in front.

    5800 high end, 5700 medium, 5600 buget, 5500 low end. 5400 pathetic.... The previous generation was the 4000 serie. Easy conclusion, that the 4870 is almost as strong as the 5870 is WRONG. Technology proceeds. The high end 4870 is not even on par witt the 5770/5750 any more. And with my single 4870 I can play Dragon age at the highest settings with a little AA.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/...009-high-quality-update-3/Far-Cry-2,1676.html

    This is a benchmark from a dx10 shooter with the highest resolution for 20 inch screens. With high settings, A random 4870 scores 37.10, a random 5750 scores 43.20. See the tech the jump each generation makes?

    A nvidia 250 scores 45.60 an ati 5770 scores 49.30. Real conclusion: for gaming on 20-24 inch screens $150 is enough for large amounts of eye candy. You need the big guns whan you want to game on huge screens or to prove to your friends that you can go faster.

    The one thing that is most important in any new pc is the motherboard. That is the only part hard to replace or upgrade with a tight bugdet. A new good board lasts 8 years if you stretct it, outlive two processors, 3 videocards, anything, providing it stays intact. Most likey 6 years for sure.

    Second is power. A 80+ certified power unit with a little extra to spare. Power unit can last up to 2 or three motherboards.

    I have to add that the setup I linked to has an expensive liquid cooling system, so a setup that is a bit less flashy wiht the case and cooling susten must be available for 50/100 less.

    Love is in the air: http://www.ibuypower.com/
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  9. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with this. The very benchmark you linked to shows the 4870 beating the 5750 by a good margin on a number of tests. I only looked at the game benchmarks, but that said the dry benchmarks (3D Mark and whatnot) are rather useless as both Nvidia and ATI have repeatedly tweaked their drivers to get artificially higher scores on these benchmarks. The 5770 does beat the 4870 just about everywhere though and as I said it's the choice card around the $150 price range.
     
  10. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Woo! There are only two *single* card/GPU video cards that are faster then mine on that benchmark! :banana:
     
  11. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    And therefore there are only two faster than mine as well. Banana seconded!
     
  12. Merlanni

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

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    And some tests put the 5750 over. Ok, you win the 4870 in in between and or par.
    Still, the point is made that 150 is the sweet spot for performance/price ratio.
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yes, BoV. I have the i5 750 paired with an older nVidia 9800GT and it runs the Hell of out DA, on high settings.
     
  14. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Rereading my previous post it seemed as if it could be interpreted as aggressive or trying to force my point, which is absolutely not what I had intended. I pre-emptively apologise if that's how it appeared. Love and peace :hippy:

    We definitely agree on the sweet spot :)

    As for the 9800 GT and DAO, the game's not very resource-intensive (it's FAR better optimised than say NWN2) so you don't need to worry so much about being able to run it. Whether you go for the card or one of the others Merlanni mentioned around the sweet spot depends on what other games you plan on playing. Generally I think PC-exclusive titles will be more demanding (and not necessarily because they look better - again see NWN2) but RPGs tend to be less demanding than shooters, for example.
     
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  15. henkie

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

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    Perhaps it's worth to note here that triple channel memory is only available in combination with the X58 chipset, i.e. on the socket 1366 motherboards. Generally, only i7s will match with the socket 1366. Sort of a waste to buy a triple channel set if your motherboard only supports dual channel memory. Plus, triple channel won't help your performance much.

    Considering your current PC is so old, you're probably going to need a new case, new HDD(s) and quite possibly also a new monitor, so your budget for the components isn't going to be that big, I reckon.

    For the CPU it doesn't really matter for gaming performance whether you get an AMD Phenom II X4 955, a Core i5 750 or a Core i7 860. At the moment the GPU is generally the bottleneck, rather than the CPU. Of the three, the 955 is the cheapest, though the i5 750 isn't that much more expensive. The trick here is that AM3 socket motherboards (for AMD CPUs) are generally cheaper than motherboards for the i5. The i7 is the most expensive for both CPU and motherboard. If you do a lot of video- or photo editing, the i7 will offer a boost to performance, though.

    Because the GPU is currently the bottleneck in games, it makes more sense to not buy an i7, but settle on a cheaper one and put the money you save in the graphics card and get a HD5770 or HD5850. I'd guess that the 5870 and 5970 are going to put you over your budget, especially the latter.

    I'd settle for 2x2GB RAM, there's plenty of good choices here and not a lot of difference in prices. Just pay attention that you get the right type of memory for your motherboard. This will likely be DDR3 RAM.

    For HDDs, the 1.5 TB disks currently offer the best ratio of $/GB and will likely offer plenty of disk space for the future. Keep in mind that if you're going to be editing Blueray disks, you shouldn't skimp out on disc space, as you'll fill it up plenty fast enough. I'd even go so far as to recommend getting at least two if you see yourself doing plenty of video editing or storing videos on your hdd.

    You mentioned wanting to be able to burn Blueray disks, but keep in mind that burners for Blueray disks are still pretty expensive nowadays, and that some disk drives marketed as Blueray burners in fact can only read BDs and burn plain DVDs. And when I say expensive, think paying about 8-10 times as much for a plain DVD-burner compared to a full blown Blueray burner.

    When choosing a power supply, don't cheap out. This is the component that doesn't do anything to directly improve your performance, but if you buy a cheap ass PSU you might end up not having a powerful enough PSU or that your Volt-lines aren't stable, causing instability in your computer as well. Cheap PSUs will advertise with power ratings that are peak power, which may make it seem that they should be able to deliver enough power to your system, but in reality might only be able to do so for a short time.

    If you want to get a new monitor with your set up as well, be sure to check the monitor you have your eye on in the shop. For your budget you're basically limited to plain TN panels, which are good for gaming, but not so much for photo or video editing, because they have pretty poor colour accuracy. Their viewing angle is pretty poor too, so be sure to check whether or not its viewing angle is sufficient for you. Especially the vertical viewing angles of TN panels are generally poor, which may, in extreme cases, make the colours on screen change if you so much as slump in your chair.

    Another thing to determine for yourself is what size of a monitor you'd prefer and what the native resolution should be. If you'd like to play HD content on your PC as well, note that you'll need a monitor with at least 1920x1080 resolution. The native resolution will also be the best resolution to play games at, as this will result in the clearest graphics, but if you have a high native resolution, you're going to need a higher end graphics card to play newer games at high settings. Again, check in a store what resolution and screen size looks best to you. For instance, I like high resolutions and so I find that 1920x1200 on a 22" looks best (closest to my current 1600x1200 on a 19" CRT). A 1920x1200 on a 24" looks ok, but the same resolution on a 26" looks absolutely horrible to me. When I saw it in a store, I actually checked the resolution settings, because I was sure that it was running on too low a resolution (like 1680x1050 or some such).

    If you're familiar with goniometry, you can calculate the pixel pitch, i.e. the actual size of a pixel on your screen and compare that to whatever screen your interested in to see if it stuff will appear about the same size on screen.
     
  16. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    BoV - What you may want to consider is posting some of the specs you are looking at in your price range from various builders, and let everyone take a look at them. I looked at the Gateway site, and I didn't see many of the parts that are posted here on their computers and builds in your price range. Check out HP or Dell and see if they don't have something better (they are probably all built in the same factory anyway).

    Also, since I used to sell computers, many retailers have Build-to-Order stations that will let you customize the computers at the store. I think Best Buy has a BtO station that is connected to Gateway (they my have more). At Circuit we had 3 different builders in our station.
     
  17. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I mainly play RPG and RTS games, like Age of Empires series, etc... Mega-Uber graphics are not my forte. All of htis leads me to one last question then. Does the Monitor matter much? My current monitor is ancient as it's 10 yrs old. I bought another after this, but it went south so I am currently using my backup.

    Chandos - after reading alot of posts and some research, I am coming to the conclusion that I don't need a mega-machine, just something decent. Looks like the Intel I5 and I7 series are out of my price range, as I was looking to spend about a $1,000.00 total. But I prefer to buy Intel if possible, are the Quad Core processors current enough? Plus, will they come with the powersupply that will handle a decent video card that will let me play DAO? I prefer to play alot of older games as I am not a big graphics guy, I prefer a better game engine over graphics anyday. Alot of the new stuff is all graphics, especially the shooter games, which I have no interests in.

    So, want I want is...

    CPU - The best Intel CPU for a low price.

    Video Card - I like alot of the recommendations about the $150 price range of the ATI Radeons and nVidia cards.

    Monitor - 20 Inch is fine, I don't need a huge screen.

    Ram - I currently run with 256M on and older machine using XP, so anything is an improvement. It seems that 6GB DDR3(3 X 2GB strips?) is the way to go.

    Optical Drives - I am at a loss here. I want Blu-Ray tech, but I know nothing about the different uses of these things. I don't burn anything. So I guess Iwant 2 drives, Drive A = DVD/RW and Drive B = Blu-Ray?

    Anything else I'm missing????
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I was able to build this on the HP website for about 1050.00:


    For a pre-built system @ 1000.00, I don't think this is too bad. What do the rest of you guys think?

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cto.do
     
  19. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Chandos, at first look this seems overpriced to me, especially with the video card that's in there. I'll need some time to do some proper searching. However I think that for this price you should be able to get an i5 with a 5750 (or maybe even a 5770) and everything else being pretty much the same specs.
     
  20. Merlanni

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

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    No Ziad more funny meant. A lot is lost in translation, english is still lingo no:2

    Why Intel. AMD delivers less power, true, but at a lesser price The Am3 socket is very easy to upgrade with the new processors that are on the drawing board. I run a amd am3 system. A meager 810x4 still maxes out dragon age.

    http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Configurators.aspx?mid=544 with a few extr's under 1000

    http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Configurators.aspx?mid=392 This one look nier but uses leese part but staty undere 1000

    If 1000$ is the absolute top for everything am3 is a good option.

    I have to add that the older sockets like am2/am2+ and intel 775 must be avoided. Not possible to upgrade the processor in two year limiting the futere upgrade. No Q9300 socket 775

    In Europe we avoid HP like the plaque.
     
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