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PC Upgrade Advice for the old DR

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Death Rabbit, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Alright - then what's the best graphics card I can get for at or below $200?

    This 7800GT looks pretty good, and is only 15 or so more than the best priced 6800GT. The only problem is that it's recertified...which I'm not sure is worth the gamble.
     
  2. 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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  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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  4. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Wow, that's a great find Chandos. As near as I can tell, the only difference between the 7900GS and the 7900GT is 4 pixel pipelines (20 vs. 24 respectively). Yet the difference in price between the two is about $70! Am I missing something? Are there any other meaningful differences between the two? Otherwise this looks like an amazing deal.

    The processor and mobo are what I'd already picked out - so good call. :)

    EDIT: Please compare the motherboard you posted above with this one:

    BIT KN8 SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard

    [ November 14, 2006, 15:02: Message edited by: Death Rabbit ]
     
  5. 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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    The differences are in things you may not care about.

    The cheaper one has less PCIe lanes for SLI, but you don't seem to be heading for SLI anyway.

    The cheaper one supports less RAM (4GB vs. 8), has less USB ports, less SATA ports, fewer RAID configurations. and no S/PDIF connections.

    All of which may mean jack to you.
     
  6. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Hmm...well, would you mind telling me what all of those do? Then I can better rate them on the Death Rabbit Jack-o-Meter1000.™ :D

    Especially SLI - not sure what that's all about. I have an IDE hard disc, so SATA isn't a big concern for me. The USB ports are ok, because 4 are plently and I have an expansion card for a vacant PCI slot if I need more; what exactly is RAID and how important is it? And what are S/PDIF connections and what are they for?

    But as far as my processor, ram and gpu are concerned...will they run just as fast and as well on either mobo?

    Sidenote: you guys have been a HUGE help to me, by the way. Everyone gets cake.

    /mental note: ask Tal for a cake smiley...

    edit @ Chandos,

    All the reviewers for that 7900GS you posted said their chief complaint was the noise...a definite dealbreaker for me. Luckily, I found the same model made by XFX for a little cheaper on ZipZoomFly. I'll probably get that there and the processor/mobo from NewEgg as planned. I'll likely get a Zalman fan while I'm at it.
     
  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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    SLI means you have TWO (or more) identical (or at least same model) NVidia graphics boards cooperating to perform the display tasks. The number of lanes of PCIe is how much memory throughput maximum can be used.

    RAID I'm sure you don't really care about. It's a means of using multiple hard disks in different ways to provide additional speed, data integrity or both.

    S/PDIF are digital audio connections, so if you're just connecting speakers to your computer, you don't care. It stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interface.

    Your processor RAM and GPU should all work pretty much the same on both.
     
  8. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    And what's so cool about dual-core processors? Is it a bad investment to buy a single core, even in what's considered one of the best of the last batch of single cores? The "sunset of the single core" as one reviewer called it...
     
  9. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    It's got to be Core 2 Duo all the way. Every test I have ever seen shows them to be miles better. Unless those tests are all lies.

    [ November 14, 2006, 20:53: Message edited by: Harbourboy ]
     
  10. 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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    Dual core is mostly for the future if you're talking about gaming, though as I mentioned your OS has tons of crap going on in the background, so it's still of benefit.

    While I'm playing NWN2, I can see both cores working, and I've seen up to 70% or so usage (it shows up in the LCD display of my sweet Logitech G15 keyboard, and the number includes both cores so 50% would be one total core). So I think if I only had one core, things wouldn't be as smooth, and I might have to take the trouble to shut down a whole bunch of background crap before I started playing.
     
  11. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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  12. 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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    Can't buy it if it's socket AM2 if you want to keep your current RAM.
     
  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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  14. 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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    Hmmm... Difficult to say. The FX-55 is definitely faster than the X2 4400+ in single-core stuff like current games, but if you want to buy for the future too, the X2 4400+ might be better in the long run.

    Difficult to say though; there aren't a whole lot of comparisons between dual-core and single core processors. I did see a comparison between the FX-55 (single core) and the FX-60 (dual core) on gaming and they were virtually identical...
     
  15. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Thanks - that's what I needed to know. I'll grab the X55 now and I can always move up to the dual core with the same motherboard later on. Either way you slice it, I'm getting a majorly nice upgrade here. I should be able to do this all for well under $500. Actually - close to $400, now that I found that swank deal on the XFX card...

    I'm so excited I might pee a little.
     
  16. 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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    :lol: Should be fun... (not the peeing though) :)
     
  17. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have a 350w power source...will it be enough, or do I need to upgrade that as well?
     
  18. 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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    Doubtful for just the power itself, though that's probably marginal, but you may need a new power supply that has the right connectors for your motherboard.

    To give you an idea of power requirements, I have a UPS connected to two computers and my cable modem and VOIP gateway. One computer is an old P3 500 Mhz with a single disk drive, the other is my new one with an E6600, 4 disk drives, a dual-tuner card and a 7900GT. Both computers share a 19" CRT monitor.

    At idle, my UPS software is reporting the power draw is under 300W for all of that.
     
  19. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ok - they are, thankfully, pretty cheap right now. I recently saw a 450w Antec for around $40, so if it don't fit I must a aquit. ;)

    I'm thinking of getting a Zalman quiet-cool fan, as I always do (they rule). But I've never dealt with such a hot processor before. Will the Zalman I'm looking at do the trick?

    Also - after this, how would you rate my overall system balance, at:

    AMD 64 ClawHammer FX55
    nVidia 7900GS
    1.5g 3200 DDR Ram

    Will I need more RAM, or am I ok?
     
  20. 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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    I'd say that's fine.

    Any aftermarket cooler should be great since that's what they're designed for.

    1.5 GB of RAM should be enough, I don't think I've used more than 3/4 of my 2 GB of RAM even without closing anything before playing NWN2. And I believe PC3200 is the fastest DDR RAM you can get.

    1.5 GB is an odd number though. Is that three DIMMs? That could cause some performance impact, though I'm not sure for AMD systems. For Intel systems if you fill the slots two at a time, the RAM can operate in a faster dual-channel mode.
     
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