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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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    More on RAM, chipset and MoBo choices

    Call me persistent, but ..... being undecided, let me line out my current thinking on RAM, chipset and MoBo choices:

    Generally, I see that x58 and Nehalem are just manifesting themselves and will be available in a month or two. In the beginning they will be filthy expensive (or not?). They will offer superior performance as far as internal system speed is concerned. And they will for the first time fully use the potential that DDR3 offers. In that sense, as far as future proofing is concerned, buying DDR3 now to continue using it later in a new x58 based MoBo can be argued to make sense. And considering the impressive predictions on their calculating power I'd be just fine and dandy with a mere 2GB RAM. Does it make sense to wait for Nehalem?

    What imo decidedly does not make sense, however, is to expend a lot of money on ss board now, with DDR3, in the hope to be able to re-use them in a board that I'll buy in three years or four. What will boards use then? DDR5? With the current FSB being the bottleneck, I'd be probably better advised to invest in DDR2 and get a greater amount of memory for my money.

    In any case what has sparked my interest and curiosity on the RAM issue as expressed in my previous posts on the issue has been this table: Matched processor and RAM ratings. I don't think I have fully understood it.

    Do I read that table there right: First, these are theoretical numbers ignoring the FSB bottleneck? Second, when I choose the Quad Q8200 or 9300 with a 333MHz FSB (=1333 MT/s), then DDR2-667 would best harmonise with that chip? And by the way, what is ECC and what is it good for?

    When that is settled, I can decide on which RAM I'd like to buy and what MoBo with what chipset I choose.

    I might end up having two graphics cards at some later point to compensate for the loss of performance with age, so PCI-E 2.0 is interesting for me. Which suggests x38, x48 and P45 as suitable chipsets.

    MoBos that I like are:

    x38
    Abit IX38 QuadGT X38 (so far the hottest contender)
    P5E3 WS Pro X38

    P45
    ASUS P5Q-E P45
    ASUS P5Q Pro P45
    ASUS P5Q Deluxe P45

    x48
    ASUS P5E Deluxe X48

    My price limit would be 170 €, tops - if it is less that would be highly appreciated. Any recommendations, or experiences with any of the listed boards? Or other, better boards that I left out? Am I reaching too far out? Are there other boards that are 'good enough'?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  2. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    It stands for Error Checking and Correction. Its a server technology, not much use for desktops, and as far as I know it actually introduces extra latency into memory access.

    As for Nehalem.... whether you wait is up to you. But yeah, I'd probably say go DDR3, it will have a longer shelf life than DDR2.

    The thing about Nehalem is that some analysts are saying that it will be more beneficial for servers than for gamers. This is largely due to its cache structure, which will make communication between cores easier but may harm game performance because games tend to like large caches.

    Nonetheless, I dont believe that Nehalem will be a step back in terms of game performance - it also has an integrated memory controller which will help to hide the effect of a smaller cache, and hyper threading which is quite useful. But, I'm saying it probably wont do as much for games as it will for servers.

    Shanghai could be interesting too, we will have to wait and see.

    If you need the PC now, I would buy a Penryn and a DDR3 motherboard. if not, wait. Yes, new CPUs will sell for quite a lot. Probably at least £150 for the cheapest one.
     
  3. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Proteus_za, first, thanks for the explanation. One more question:
    To understand you rightly: Why DDR-3? Not because it is faster but because it is reusable?
     
  4. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    @Ragusa

    Exactly. Even if current DDR3 isnt as fast as it is going to be, if you buy a new DDR3 motherboard next year, for whatever reason, you dont have to immediately discard your RAM. It just means when (if) you upgrade, you can keep at least part of your rig.
     
  5. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


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    The rule I live by is; when it is time to upgrade the motherboard upgrade the whole computer: RAM, CPU, MOBO and GPU.

    As stated in most forums there is little performance gain between a PATA or SATA HDD, so that and the DVD Burners are the two components that rarely need to be updated when updating to a new rig; unless of course the new mobo does not support PATA, which I have yet to see.
     
  6. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Just for clarity, when you write PATA you mean (what I know under) IDE, right?
     
  7. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Yes, Parallel ATA = IDE.

    Most of the best parts of SATA are its convenience, but it does offer slight performance gains.
     
  8. 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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    Well, to be more precise, IDE and EIDE were Western Digital's names for what became the standardized ATA interfaces. IDE and EIDE are actually obsolete now. The ANSI standard was ATA Interface (Advanced Technology Attachment Interface) and there have been several versions, where the first two or three were the same as IDE and EIDE. Both PATA (which was retroactively named after SATA was introduced) and SATA comply with the same ATA interface standards; they just have a different physical interface (parallel versus serial cables).
     
  9. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I fixed that link in my previous post

    [​IMG]
    I fixed that link in my previous post.
     
  10. Merlanni

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

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    A bit of a side note about motherboards. The gigabytes have better on board sound. Don't rule them out. Or MSI is.
     
  11. Erod Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


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    Take a look at this: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/core2duo-memory-guide.html. The article is 2 years old but not that much has changed since then. That Wikipedia article also has a reference for a similiar article, which is also 2 years old and has similiar results.
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I have now fixed the basic configuration of my new computer.
    The last three points are the only ones I am uncertain about.

    The type of CPU is largely dependent on cost, but I might end up buying the 9450/9550 anyway. That decision depends on irrational aspects and considerations of the L2 cache size and speculations about long term usefulness. I am somewhat paranoid there. I have once bought a cheaper CPU, a 650 MHz AMD K7, intending to upgrade as soon as prices fall - and Slot A just ran out and I was stuck with an obsolete low power comp for a couple of years. And now Nehalem is just around the corner :skeptic:

    Which ATI 4870 graphics card will be largely determined by availability and performance. The ATI 4870 atm offers by far the best performance for the money. I might perhaps get myself the Club3D HD4870 1024MB 2xDVI/TV.

    The trickier part for me is to determine which HDD(s) I'll buy, and how to arrange them. I am obviously fancying SSDs. If I want to get one or two of them, I am probably best advised getting one large (500/750 GB) HDD, for starters. Alternatively I could get two smaller ones with 250GB size and RAID them. On the other hand, I'd then still have four remaining SATA ports - plenty of space for new devices. Pondering, pondering ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  13. Merlanni

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

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    Club is a good brand. If you do not want the stock cooler, HIS has one of the best whit their ice q serie.
     
  14. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Rags, I would like to warn you against Asus motherboards and ATI's series 4800.

    I've had a lot of pain with my P5Q-E. The BIOS is messed up and continues to be so even though updates come like every two weeks. The fact that the architecture is great and that there are many nice functionalities, just doesn't make a redeeming factor in my book.

    My Gigabyte 4850 overheats to a ridiculous 100C in idle on default fan settings. Previously, it was somewhat better with the box cooler (the orb architecture made some air whip the back side of the graphics card), not normally exceeding 80C in idle. I've experienced a great lot of discomfort in games. The fact ATI's Catalyst Control Centre (driver control panel) contains libraries that hang the system doesn't help, either. As a result, I would look at nVidia. Or at least don't buy Gigabyte (I've talked to a techie, he says Gigabyte notoriously overheats and overheating power circuitry is the problem, not even the GPU). Perhaps buy a passively cooled piece on which you could mount a fan. If you find one, take it and buy the fan already because the card will heat hard. If I were to buy a card today, I would either get a GeForce 9800+ GTX or the cheapest used 512 MB version of the 8800 GT (probably best price to performance ratio). Whatever you buy, you want a two-slot cooler. Single-slot coolers are smaller, but they have small fans and small fans are more noisy than big fans. You don't even want to know what a 4850 sounds like when on full speed.

    By the way, if you can buy an OEM processor (without a box cooler), do so, and buy a cheap Arctic Alpine cooler. It allows for some overclocking (actually, the box cooler already does) and it's much quieter than box. It's basically a better version of the box cooler (bigger heatsink, better fan, slightly bigger fan). If you can only buy box processors, buying an additional Alpine probably doesn't pay.
     
  15. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Chev,
    because of my intensive involvement in a certain project I am currently enjoying a phase of relative liquidity. While I have to watch my money, I don't have to watch every cent, and as I intend to enjoy my new comp for a couple of years I'll aim somewhat high. Still, I think, and I made a few sample configurations, that buying Nvidia would push prices to levels unacceptable for me.

    To follow prices, I made an Excel sheet, with hyper links for every component to all the shops so I can monitor prices of every component at a click of a button :borg: and follow price development :D I then calculate the prices for the variants ... an investment for the next five years or so ought to be well planned ;)

    Amusingly I found boxed CPUs, with coolers and warranty, to often be cheaper than the retail versions, like in case of the 9550. I'd simply throw the cooler that goes with it away. I'll get myself that Xigmatec Achilles anyway because it is so quiet.

    Also, one of my shops has daily prices. I thought about buying the 9550 CPU because it was just a few 6 or so Euro more expensive than the 9450. Now yesterday the 9450 was 40 Euro cheaper. Today it's like it was before again. Apparently they always raise prices on Fridays and they are cheapest on Thursdays. I suspect a pattern ;) They raise prices for all those folks who wonder about upgrading on the lazy days of the weekend.

    The reviews for the P5Q-E I have read so far have been positive. Did you do anything special with it, like overclocking?

    My buddy who has the 4870 as well, is quite happy with reliability and performance. Performance is satisfactory, and as far as prices go, they are unbeatable. I know the ATIs run hot. I checked Tom's hardware on the topic.
    In that respect I put great faith in my Antec P182, that is said to be a very cool and well ventilated case. If keeping it cool is getting too noisy I see myself investing in five 120mm sound dampened and quieted after market fans.
     
  16. Merlanni

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

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    An ati card whit a non stock cooler solves the heat problems. Like HIS ice q.
     
  17. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Urgent Qustion

    I am about to order my components. A friend has offered me an unused Enermax ELT 500 AWT power supply unit. Good brand but insufficient for my computer.
    Code:
    Power Supply and consumption, worst case:
    
      180W MoBo P45 ASUS P5Q-E
       95W CPU Intel Core 2 Quad 9450
      300W GPU ATI 4780
    =========================================
    = 575W total
    Will 25W reserve power suffice for the remaining components? Consider up to four HDD, DVD + DVD writer. Will I ever task my computer to such an extent? Will a 600W will be sufficient or should I buy a 650W PSU?

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  18. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Yep, 500W won't cut it. When you calculate how much you'll need, you should add up all the *maximum* wattage ratings and then add an additional 20% or so to factor in that PSU's aren't 100% efficient.

    Or better yet, you could use this calculator: http://web.aanet.com.au/SnooP/psucalc.php :thumb:

    I've got an 800W PSU in my rig even though all I really needed was around 500W...there is no such thing as having too much power. :rolling:
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Kitrax,
    it is giving out a recommended wattage of 390W for my system. I find that rather unlikely as I maxed requirements out.

    This calculator, said to overstate power requirements, is suggesting me a more likely 535W, also on a maxed out form.

    Adding a 20% safety margin requirements I would be in between 600 and 650W. And some 25€ price difference.
     
  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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    Actually there is if you care about efficiency. An underloaded PSU is much less efficient than one sufficiently loaded. IIRC efficiency typically peaks at the 80% maximum load area.
     
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