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Thinking about a new Comp

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Ragusa, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I am thinking about buying a new box around November or or early next year, and I think about what options to choose. And when looking up some of the details I found a few points that I'd like to know more about.

    1. I wanted to go for an Intel chip this time, a quad-core socket 775. Is there a comparable AMD equivalent?
    2. If I go for AMD, would an ATI graphics card better harmonise with that?
    3. What is this about crossfire (or the NVIDIA equivalent) and dual graphics cards? Where are the benefits?
    4. If I buy two upper-middle class cards, will they outperform a high end one?
    5. How do I know whether the speed of my board RAM harmonises with my GPU? I heard this is important. Is it? How can I find out?
    6. When I take a system, is it wiser to go for a 64 bit system or a 32 one? Is there a trend toward 64bit games or mainstream software?
    7. New games require DirectX 10, so there is no way around VISTA (or VISTA Ultimate 64)?
    8. Is there already a successor for VISTA in the pipeline?
     
  2. Merlanni

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

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    1 : No. A high end intel core two duo like e8400 is as powerfull as the top line of amd quad core. If high end: intel. Budget amd or intel.

    2: No. ati is best bang for buck, Nvidia is raw power. At this moment, but in 4 months much can and will happen. Graphics Processor Unit= GPU

    3: Two cheaper cards can outperform one high price top end card. Or use two expensive high end cards if you have a huge monitor and/or game in the highest possible setting. The GPU market is a jungle.

    At the moment nvidia SLI needs an nvidia motherboard. The next generation intel motherboards not. At the moment ati crossfire can be used on the current intel and amd based boards whit two or more slots.

    4: Yes, and in some cases both cards are cheaper than the high end card or the competition, or get very close to it.

    5 the wrong memory does not fit into the slots. But you have budget, medium and super memory for the current boards. At the moment a large overproduction of ddr2 forces prices down whit more than 100%.

    Medium board, medium processor, medium GPU, =medium memory.

    6: At the moment the vast majority of games/programs is based on 32 bit. They can run on 64 bit windows. The old 16 bit programs not for as far as I know. 64 bit is going to replace 32 bit but not yet. 32 bit for vista, 64 bit for its successor is most likely for the majority of users.

    7: No need to avoid vista. The difference for a new pc is minor if you have enough memory. 2x2 gig ddr2-800 is the best performance/cost ratio today for vista pc of this generation. Keep Vista away from current and/or older xp machines. The people who flame vista often use programs or hardware pieces not supported. Yes xp is still better, but if you are going to build new, remember that microsoft wants to get rid of xp and will stop support eventually.

    dx10 is new. games take 5 years to make, so the games released this year are xp based meaning dx9. dx10 effects are added. some games look better in dx10., or dx 10.1 like Crysis. If you are going to buy a dx10 graphics card,... Vista runs fine whit dx9 now that gamemakers and GPU makers have the drivers stable.

    8: Yes windows 7 aka Vienna. My guess at least q1 2010 or later(delays are likely). Vista is an in between version some critics say.

    9: Shall i get parts now? No january next year all brands/manufactures will have new stuff. Save and buy as late as possible.

    10: shall i buy that nice sharply priced Dell/packard bell/ hp/ whatever, at the local consumer electronics store? (Out of the box it is called) Well people who know this stuff do not. Those machine have a short life. They all seem to have one or two parts that are just barely up to standard, and few options for upgrading. Yes they run the demo in the shop nice.

    11: How does upgrading work? The motherboard is most important and also linked to your windows Open End users and Manufactures version, OEM, that comes whit the new pc. The rest can be upgraded whitout violating th licsense and forcing a new windows version. A full retail version does not have that restriction but cast more.

    The out of the box deals mentioned above have older type motherboards or such weird cases that upgrading is hard. A custom made one will be more expensive at first, but you get ahead moneywise after you replace the processor and the videocard extending the life of you pc beyond 5.

    12: who is the first to have a new platform? Intel will release their next line this year.
     
  3. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Generally, you want to go Intel. AMD has some curious chips, but power is what you want. E8400 if you have cash, E7200 if you have less cash. From 7200 to 8400, it's a 50% price increase and a <10% fps gain, but 8400 is a non-nerfed processor and you can't go wrong with those.

    Not sure, probably not. By the way, Intel chipsets contain Crossfire capabilities while SLI needs an nVidia chipset. And ATI is owned by AMD. Doesn't this say anything? Basically, any card will do, you just want a good deal for your money. I would avoid ATI's new 4800 series. It's still waiting for a proper driver. 4850 (don't know about 4870) has a fan set at 27% without ability to change it (other than it changes on the fly when the card gets incredibly hot) and the card runs at 80 degrees Celsius in idle. Moreover, at least my sample has many glitches on the GPU-driver line, which is probably mostly driver-related. In fact, ATI's Catalyst Control Centre needs to be off or the system hangs on me in games (this is a .NET issue). If you Google a bit, you'll find I'm not alone in my problem. NVidia doesn't do this to people for all I know.

    Forget it. Get yourself a nice single card. Eats less power (thus doesn't require such a strong power supply unit), costs less money, is faster.

    Not in this universe. Unless you run some 2003 games. And those don't need that kind of power anyway. What SLI/Crossfire is good for is buying a second card of the same type when they become cheap. This means you buy a good single card now and after a while, like when it drops to 50% of the current price or less, you buy another. Buys you some time before swapping.

    I only know about CPU-RAM. You generally want 1:1. Means if your CPU is a 1333 FSB (front side bus) E8400, you want your RAM to be 1333 as well.

    On the other hand, DDR3 is way overrated and very pricy. DDR2 800 MHz is still good. And cheap.

    Games are mostly still catching up with dual core tech, let alone modern 64 bit (not counting older Athlons). But a 32 bit system won't see more than +/- 3.5 GB RAM, so you may want a 64 bit system. I took one. However, I'd guess games coded in older ways, such as NWN2, would run faster on a 32 bit system.

    There are ways around that. Just google up "DirectX 10 in Windows XP" or some such.

    Yeah. Vista wasn't really a great system. Something better is coming. They say M$ has mustered some Linux devs to work on it.
     
  4. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    1. AMD's top chip is the Phenom...which while it performs well; it can't match Intel's chips.
    2. Intel chips and boards work fine with ATI cards.
    3. Crossfire and SLi only start to shine with monitors that are 30" and larger at high resolutions. If you've got a 22" screen or lower, a dual-GPU setup isn't really worth spending the extra money for.
    4. Performance doesn't really scale like people would hope with a dual-GPU setup. I think it's better to spend more for a high end card than spend the same amount on 2 mid-range cards.
    5. I don't know much about GDDR speeds and the like...so I can't help much there.
    6. 64 bit is still largely unsupported by drivers and programs.
    7. At this time, that's correct...however, IIRC...most, if not all DX10 games also have a DX9c mode for backwards compatibility.
    8. MS has "targeted" Windows 7 for 2010, however, there have been hints that to help cut Vista's losses, the date has been moved to late 2009...but then again, this is MS we're talking about here, so even if they move the target to 2009, it will probably hit store shelves in 2011. :rolleyes: :rolling:
     
  5. Disciple of The Watch

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

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    I beg to differ, but Phenom Black Edition processors are freaking powerhouses, and with the unlocked multiplier, they're dead easy to overclock... and they run pretty darn stable when overclocked too.
     
  6. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Clock for clock, Core 2 Quads are faster than phenoms while drawing less power. A 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Quad beats a 2.4 Ghz Phenom almost without exception, and only recently with the new SB750 Southbridge can they be decently overclocked. Core 2 Quads have been reaching higher clocks since they were released.

    As much as I'm an AMD fan, Phenoms just arent worth it.

    Another point for the OP: some people swear about buying top quality RAM. As long as you buy a decent brand - eg Corsair, OCZ, G Skill or Patriot - you wont have any problems. Dont bother spending more than you need to on RAM, the same amount of money is better spent on a better CPU or GPU.
     
  7. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    One thing to consider is AMD is running ture quad core setup with the old 65nm technology; Intel chips are using the 45nm technology and their quad cores are not true quad cores.

    Once AMD is able to shrink the die to 45nm it would be great to compare the two CPUs again. Though I believe Intel may once again win the battle if they are able to release their true quad core before AMD shrinks their process down to 45nm.
     
  8. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Do you know how expensive it is to shrink a die? Most of the time you have to buy all new process machines...and semiconductor equipment isn't cheap by any means. I think AMD shot itself in the foot when they bought ATI. That money could have been better spent on shrinking their die size to stay competitive with Intel. Even if AMD had an excess of cash and was able to buy enough machines to mass produce a new die size, those machines take time to install and to get qualified for production. Doing anything "big" like that inside a clean room environment is a b****. I don't think we'll be seeing any 45nm chips from AMD for awhile. :rolling:
     
  9. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    AMD themselves have said (off the record I think) that it doesnt make too much of a difference.

    It only causes a problem in multiple CPU setups (servers etc) where cores need to communicate with each other a lot more, and with other CPUs. Thats where AMD's solution shines. For home use, the Core 2 Quad is king.

    That might change with Shanghai, which also has extra L3 Cache, but we will see.
     
  10. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    I heard September the earliest but no later than January 2009.

    My dad's friend works for AMD as an executive.
     
  11. Merlanni

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

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    The 780/790 onboard chipset for the out of the box market is very good. Intel became powerfull whit the OEM companies, even while AMD had a better processor. So if AMD wants to survive its needs a total package of motherboard, processor and GPU to get a solid piece of the out of the box market.

    Ati schrunk their die.
     
  12. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    ATI is right now working on a 40nm die. I wonder if that is what AMD is planning to use on their CPUs after the GPU die shrink.
     
  13. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Thanks for all that feedback. Some feedback from me in return:

    • I thought about buying some components piecemeal to stretch the costs, but I eventually accepted that this would lead to me getting an inferior computer in the end.
    • I still eye a 64bit system because of the higher possible amount RAM it can handle, but cost-benefit considerations might well turn me to go for 32bit. It's growth potential that I have in mind because I plan to use my comp for the next couple of years.
    • I want to be able to run new games for a while.
    • One of the other insights for me was that by me having a 19" TFT I probably wouldn't be able to take advantage of dual GPU cards, so I now think in terms of a single upper-middle class to high-end card.
    • However, I might buy a larger screen down the road, so I will likely get myself a motherboard that supports dual GPU cards to have the option. What board exactly it is too early to tell. My favourite producer so far is ASUS. Had that brand in my last computers and they were rock stable. Good driver support, too.
    • So far my favourite CPU would be the an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2,67 GHz 1333MHz S775, which appears to me to offer a good price-performance ratio.
    • Right now I think about getting myself a new, larger HDD (80/160GB now), but as it would need to be IDE, it is probably better to go for an external USB2 storage drive between 500GB and 1TB (trend so far goes to a 640GB Western Digital) which will retain its usefulness in a future computer.
     
  14. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Cost doesnt come into the decision - both operating systems cost the same, and you cannot buy a solely 32 bit CPU today - all modern x86 CPUs are 32/64 bit.

    The only difference between the two really is addressable memory and compatibility. I've been running Vista 64 for a year now, I enjoy having 4GB of RAM, and havent run into any compatibility issues. if you are getting Vista, I dont see why you wouldnt get 64 bit.

    Good idea. Generally, multi GPU support is never worth it, unless you really, really have a huge screen and need high framerates. With a 4870, you could play games at 1920x1200 without many problems, and by the time the card is outdated, it would be better to just buy a new graphics card than a 2nd 4870. You would get better performance. You never need multi GPUs, so I would say dont base your motherboard choice on multi GPU support. Also, Asus is an excellent brand, I highly recommend them.

    Err, can I ask why you want to go IDE? A lot of motherboards dont even support it anymore. Do you have an old computer that you would want to use it with? You can also get SATA and eSATA external hard drives.

    Um, by 80/160GB, do you mean thats the hard drive you have right now? Or that which you want to buy?
     
  15. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Ah yes. The 80/160GB, both IDE, are the ones I own. My current computer is still IDE, because when I last upgraded, even though upgrading was inevitable, I wanted to spare myself the expense of getting a completely new system. I went pretty well with that, it is only now that I reach the limits of my current system. The components I had then were all IDE, so I chose an according motherboard. So if I now bought a new internal HDD for my current computer, it would need to be IDE - or I could try get a SATA controller card and a SATA drive (but I don't want to invest that much in my current computer).

    An external drive could be SATA or IDE (probably SATA), but as I'd connect it through USB2 and have it in an external box with independent power supply that's pretty much irrelevant for all practical purposes as I would only use it as a back-up and file dump.
     
  16. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    It shouldn't be too hard to find a motherboard with both IDE and SATA controller, so you would be able to use your old HDs and get a shiny new SATA one. The regular 7200rpm 500Gb SATA drives are pretty cheap now and prices keep dropping every day, so there's no reason not to buy an internal drive if you need the space.

    I've not followed recent trends, but I remember Asus being good and overpriced. I'd suggest deciding what you want from your motherboard (say you want to plug 2 SATA and 2 IDE devices, one PCIe graphic card, etc), deciding what chipset you want in it, then picking the motherboard that supports the features you're looking for. Gigabyte are as good as Asus and usually cheaper, so don't discard them outright.

    As for graphic cards, I also second the single good card rather than 2 inferior cards. For the same price the once-card solution will give you better performance. ATI's new cards seem to be doing better than their previous generation and Nvidia has dropped their prices as a result - all-around good stuff for us consumers.
     
  17. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Ziad,
    that is an interesting thing you line out. Didn't know about IDE and SATA systems. It would be nice if I could keep my CD writer and the larger one of my current HDD (a 7.200rpm 8MB Samsung).
     
  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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    Yes, there was a time not so long ago that optical drives with a SATA interface were very rare, so all motherboards had at least one PATA connector. Not sure if that's true any more, but I doubt many motherboards have SATA only yet.
     
  19. Merlanni

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

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    Most motherboards have one ata socket for one cable whit two plugs, but you are better to get rid any ata device. Your choice.

    A SATA dvd burner new cost 20 euro.

    if you want to use the motherboard for a while, the option of the new ddr 3 memory comes in mind. It cost more but it lasts longer upgradewise.

    Their is a second reason for two PCI-E slots. Both manufactures want to be able to use older cards as physics cards. This is however in the test fase. It might blow over entirely.
     
  20. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Ragusa, I've had a quick look at motherboards and most of them still seem to support dual PATA and SATA (most probably due to the reason BTA outlined). If you look at Asus motherboards for example all the P5N, P5Q and P5K still have one (some have 2) PATA port. Since you can install 2 devices on the same port you should have no trouble installing your old optical drive and the 160Gb HD. I would still suggest making your "active" drive SATA, as there is a noticeable difference in speed (especially with new games and their long loading times).
     
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