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Thinking about a new Comp

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

  1. Merlanni

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

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    HDD land is a swamp whit names and numbers. Go for a 32 mb cache if you decide to go sata. That is the latest generation.
     
  2. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Merlanni,
    I want something along that line. And beyond tomorrow I think about a SATA solid state drive in a later upgrade of my future computer. By the way, anyone who has experience with that?
     
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    I think we are in the same boat. We want to update our computer, we want to get great performance at a decent price, and the components purchased have to provide the option of upgrading.

    I did some reviews on various Mobo's and CPUs. After reading all the reviews I decided to go with AMD 780G mobo and a Phenom 8450 CPU.

    Here is what I learned and purchased from Newegg...

    AMD Phenom 8450 - $105 - $20 from combo purchase w/ RAM: This CPU compares to Intel's 7200 and 8200 but cost me only $80 and not $159. In addition, the CPU has an extra core and can easily be overclocked to 2.5GHz.

    FoxConn AMD 780G Motherboard - $65: This mobo supports AMD CPUs with the 125W and supports two PATA devices, 6 SATA devices, and a total of 10 USB spots. This mobo comes with a IGP, the 3200, which is a 2400 Pro with a shrunk die size; a 2400, 3450 or 3470 can be intergrated with the 3200 for a increase in graphic performance. Or if you wanted you can go to a single middle or higher end card using the PCIe 2.0 slot. This mobo also supports up to 8G of RAM.

    G Skill 2x2 GB RAM Modules 6400 - Buying these allows the updated PC to run the full 4G in Windows XP and provided me with $20 off the CPU price.

    Total cost of upgrade $230.

    I plan on updating the power supply, CPU, video card, hard drive, case, monitor, keyboard, and mouse in early 2009.

    I just hope the mobo will be able to support the 45nm CPUs from AMD.

    The other items hopefully won't cost me more than $650 as the total cost of the new PC would be $880. Not bad compared to the old system cost of $1200, and than I thought I was getting a deal.

    LOL.
     
  4. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Unless you have 64 bit XP, you will only be able to use about 3.3GBs of that.
     
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    I should be able to use the full 4G or very close to as I will have no other cards with memory in my build; the only thing that would take away RAM is the IGP, which I will be setting up as 256MB.
     
  6. 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 believe the OS reserves a certain portion of the address space for memory-mapped IO.
     
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    Yes it does but it is small; I should have roughly 3.5+ GB for my system after the IO and IGP use the RAM required/setup for their operation.

    I love hearing about PC users who purchase two 512-1GB video cards and have 4G of RAM on their PC and wonder why Windows XP or Vista 32 reads 2-3GB of RAM. I tried to avoid that by going with the IGP. Down the road I do plan to upgrade the setup I bought and when I do I will be going with a 64 bit OS to get the maximum amount of RAM possible for my mobo.
     
  8. Merlanni

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

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    I second that. I have a p35 whit e 6600 and 3870 so the 32 bit is nice. The next motherboard upgrade will go to ddr3 and 64 bit.
     
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    I heard good reviews on the performance gain for DDR3, but at the same time the cost is so high it out weighs the actual gains compared to a faster DDR2 RAM.
     
  10. Merlanni

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

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    ddr2-800 low latency is more than enough for now Whit windows 7 it is goodbye 32 bit for most users. it is a shame if they even bother whit a full 32bit version. A 64 bit whit a compatibility mode for old 16 bit programs makes the most sense.
     
  11. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Another thing that popped into my mind when browsing motherboards that confused me:

    • What is this about chipsets from Intel, NVIDIA or AMD? What are they there for?
    • Will I be able to use dual graphics cards with an Intel chipset, when I have two PCI-E slots?
    • What about SLI and Crossfire?
    • Do I need NVIDIA SLI to support two NVIDIA cards?
    • Does that also apply to ATI and Crossfire?
    • Can I run two NVIDIA cards on a Crossfire board or two ATI on an SLI board.
    (That said, I still plan to aquire only one graphics card)

    Good news: I got a bonus in advance so I might get my comp earlier.
     
  12. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    They all make pretty good chipsets. Research each chipset before buying to make sure that you are getting what you want. If you are buying an Intel CPU, your chipset choice is limited to Intel and Nvidia (for obvious reasons). I dont know too much about which is the best at the moment, but if in doubt buy Intel.

    As far as I know, some Intel chipsets support CrossFire, but none support SLI because Nvidia has not licensed it for use on chipsets made by any other manufacturer. If you want SLI, you need an Nvidia board. If you want CrossFire, you need either Intel or AMD.

    You can put any two graphics cards in any two PCI slots and your computer will work. They will not share the rendering load of a game unless they are both SLI or CrossFire compatible, and you are running them in a CrossFire or SLI compatible board. As far as I know, SLI only allows you to use one monitor, but I see multi monitor support is being added to the next big Nvidia driver update.

    That being said, there is really no point in using either SLI or CrossFire. By the time you get round to buying that 2nd card, a newer better one is always available. CrossFire and SLI are only useful if you need that extra performance right now, and most people just dont need more power than is provided by the best graphics cards of today. By all means, get a good quality motherboard, but dont let SLI and CrossFire influence your purchasing decision.

    The other thing to remember is that, having an SLI motherboard does in no way mean you cant use an ATI graphics card in it, and vice versa. They only affect whether you can use two graphics cards in parallel, not whether the graphics cards themselves will work.
     
  13. Merlanni

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

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    As far as I know all current p35 and p45 boards support crossfire. if you buy an board for an intel CPU it is best to use this type. for amd cpu the 790 chipset. the tree best brands are asus, gigabyte and msi. Foxconn is closing the gap, asrock is asus budget brand.
     
  14. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Early manifestations

    Having accepted that mobo choice basically drives later graphics card choice I am currently pondering the possibilities. What follows is the result of me browsing computer stores a little bit, and put in quote only because of the layout :shake:
    Any comments on either set up would be appreciated. You all have been very helpful; please keep it coming :)

    Some questions about HDDS:
    • What is this about RAID 0?
    • Does RAID 0 require two cards to work?
    • What is this about data loss in case one card fails?
    • Do I lose by just having one larger (cheaper) HDD?
    • What about Barracudas and Raptors?
    • What about those legendary solid state drives? Are they available already? Are they affordable? How much faster are they? Is wanting to own them merely an exercise in gadgetism that I ought to rid myself of?

    * And the other hot issue - what graphics card - the contenders are:
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 280
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
    • Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2
    • ATI 4850
    • ATI 4870
    I want an upper middle class to high end card. I think those I listed are all in that category. Anyone knows a good comparison of their respective merits or drawbacks? That comparison site Chev onve linked to sadly isn't quite up to date. ATI has a lot going for it, a friend of mine is very happy with the performance, and the Intel/ATI set would be approx € 100 cheaper. Is putting the extra money into NVIDIA (a brand to which I so far have been quite fond of) a good investment?

    PS: What about the OS choice? What is the difference between VISTA Premium and Ultimate? And what about Home? Just that silly Media Player that I don't want anyway?
     
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    Raid 0 is when you have two HDD running together; by having a Raid O setup the speed of the two HDD is faster than having one, though the space availabe is the same as having one drive. I recommend a RAID 10 setup so you can have both data mining and data striping. RAID 10 provides the speed increase but also provides you the security RAID 1 offers.

    As for the lost of data from a RAID 0 setup, it is due to how the data is being transferred between the two drives and the system bus; that is why I recommend a RAID if you decide to have a RAID setup. A RAID 10 requires at least 4 drives. If the motherboard offers a RAID 5 you could go that route and use just 3 drives.

    As for the Graphic cards if I had a good budget I would go for the Nvidia 280; as it is one if not the best GPUs on the market; though the GPU may have a bottle neck if you don't select the right HDD, RAM, CPU and Motherboard.

    As for the difference Vista Ultimate includes all the security features that Vista Business comes with. Vista Premium is basically Windows XP Media Center. As for the OS go for a 64 bit if you plan to get 4+ GB of RAM.
     
  16. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    RAID 0 is like the SLI of hard drives. You split your data up on 2 or more identical drives, and thus benefit from faster reading and writing performance. In theory at least. In practice, while it performs great in theoretical benchmarks, it wont really make games load any quicker.

    I have a RAID 0 array at home (2 x 320GB Seagate drives) and my computer is fast... but not ultrafast. I still dont feel like the RAID 0 array makes a huge difference (I also have a dual core 2.8 GHz athlon X2 and 4GB DDR2-800). Copying files seems to be fast, but, I dont know, I'm not sure its worth the effort.

    Also, yes, if one drive fails all of your data is lost. If you use RAID 5 (requires 3 or more identical disks I think) you can rebuild the lost drive's data if one fails I think, but this isnt foolproof.


    Seagate Barracudas... I've heard of them but cant remember what they are. I think they might just be the regular Seagate hard drives, nothing special. You might be thinking of SCSI drives, which are very fast but very expensive, not worth bother about.

    Raptors, on the other hand, are very good, quite expensive, but not out of your range (well, depending on what that range is of course!). You might be able to afford a VelociRaptor as your main OS drive and a 500GB drive as your storage drive. Solid state disks are very fast but even more expensive. Very reliable though, but small capacity. Maybe wait till they drop in price a bit (at least a year or two).

    I'd go with a Radeon 4870. Its a VERY fast card, at a good price, and much more power efficient than the Nvidia offerings. Will also produce less heat when in use. Its comparable to a GTX 260 in speed, but better in my opinion.

    Heres a good article on the card, bear in mind that the price of NVidia cards has been dropped in response to the 4850 and 4870.

    http://anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3341

    Get Vista Premium 64 bit. As far as I remember, Vista Basic is crippled for gamers somehow (cant remember exactly how though, I might be wrong). Ultimate isnt worth it, and you want 64 bit for future compatibility and the ability to use 4GB of RAM or more. Oh I dont think a 64 bit version of Basic exists. Home Premium also has a nice theme (the Aero thing).

    I have Vista Home Premium 64 bit, have had it for a year, no problems. Even runs old games like Baldurs Gate and IWD with no complaints.
     
  17. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    Seagate Barracudas are standard SATA HDD with a higher level of cache such as a 250GB drive with 32MB of cache.

    As for Velocity Raptors those are quick drives and are expensive; these are also the drives that benefit the most from a RAID setup.

    As for Windows Premium 64; you can download most of media feature for free from Microsoft. Go with Vista Business or Vista Ultimate; both of these offer higher security features that Basic, Home and Premium do not offer.
     
  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    They also come with a five year warranty. I have one 320GB Cuda and one 640GB Western Digital in my current system. I'm happy with both drives, although the Cuda is kinda noisy, but very fast.

    BTW, and speaking of upgrades, I just decided on a new case:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133154

    I could not pass up a deal like that - free shipping and a MIR on a tower that size and of that quality. It seems that the case is always the least talked about upgrade, but one of the most important, IMO. On second thought, I guess cases are not all that exciting....

    I also used the SP link to NE to help support "The Cause." :grin:
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I am just pondering whether I should accelerate the procurement of my new computer by getting the basic system and be content for now with a cheap graphics card and/or CPU ... the temptation to buy soon is great.

    But I'd loathe to basically sink money by buying those because I'd replace them rather sooner than later anyway. That would only be an option in case a buddy has a socket 775 Pentium with at least 2GHz and or a graphics card that matches my current AGP Nvidia 6800 GT. But I could I should ask around a bit in any case ...

    Patience, patience, buy late ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  20. Merlanni

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

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    One socket 775 is not the other. Some older socket 775 do not support the current an previous CPU series.
     
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