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  • Looking to build a new machine

    Hey all,

    I realized that my current computer is over 3 years old. While I have upgraded the vid card and ram, I think I am beginning to hit the wall due to my MB and chip.

    I am looking to build a new machine. I began looking at what is available and I realize that I have been out of the loop for a while.

    I am not interested in starting a Intel/AMD war or PC vs Mac.

    I would like to stay with a PC. I have always used Intel chips and MB's but I am not wedded to them.

    While price does matter to some degree it is not a defining limitation.

    I am willing to spend enough to not have to upgrade for a while.

    Motherboard: what is currently available? Is dual core a good idea? Is some major improvement coming that might make waiting a bit a good idea?

    Chip: AMD or Intel? Of course chip choice might be driven by some upcoming improvements so what do ya think?

    Ram: I expect that I will get at least 2 gb of ram. Do brand names really matter? Also, when I was looking it seems there are many different choices ie, DDR, rdram, ddr2 and also I see PC4200 ddr, PC3700 ddr. Is the 4200, 3700, 3500 a major difference?

    Hard disk: Does the speed of the disk matter greatly? 7500 rpm as opposed to 10000rpm? There is a major price difference. I will probably get 2 drives: 1 for the operating system and 1 for files and such. I don't have any familiarity with raid drives. I have heard mention that they do provide for faster drive access. I thought that raid was for data protection.

    Sound: I am not really concerned with audio on this machine. I already have a computer that is part of my recording studio with a pro quality 24/96 audio interface. I only need something sufficient for gaming on this machine. I currently have a SB Live using Klipsch 2.1 speakers and they seem fine. I have had problems with BF2s audio causing problems in game. So audio card may be important after all.

    Cases/Cooling: There are so many choices for this that I am really lost on what is appropriate. I would like a reasonably quiet machine but don't want to choke/limit the cooling to the point that it effects the computers stability or usability.

    I currently have a USB DVD writer so I am set there.

    Video Card: ahhhh the big question... I have always used Nvidia cards and it appears that overall either Nvidia or ATI are quality cards that do the job. I currently have a 6600GT 256mb. I am probably going to go ahead and get a 512 card. That way I don't need to worry about my vid card for a while. Or would two 256mb cards work well? With the prices of the top cards being near $500 I can get two 256mb cards for significanlty less. I have heard of dual SLI cards but don't know if they really perform well enough.

    So.... wadda ya thunk?
    Meister

  • #2
    Re: Looking to build a new machine

    I would say check out some of the other threads in the Hardware/Software board. Its got a ton of threads like this, and alot of responces are just what you are looking for. Also i would look at the emachine thread, yes i said emachine. Its a great build for the price....AMD 939 2.2, has a gig of ram, DVD burner, 200 gig HD, has a Pci-e 16x slot for upgradeing which you will want to do. I think for the price of under 600 bucks thats a great deal.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/eMachines_T6...0.html?tag=sub
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Looking to build a new machine

      Originally posted by Pvt_Meister
      While price does matter to some degree it is not a defining limitation.

      I am willing to spend enough to not have to upgrade for a while.
      Price is always key. The more you spend the better. You pay for what you get in most cases when it comes to PC equipment.


      Originally posted by Pvt_Meister
      Motherboard: what is currently available? Is dual core a good idea? Is some major improvement coming that might make waiting a bit a good idea?

      Chip: AMD or Intel? Of course chip choice might be driven by some upcoming improvements so what do ya think?
      Dual Core is a good idea. The key is to have applications that can recognize it and utilize it properly. For instance, BF2 is not Dual Core compatible that i am aware of, however, you can utilize a single core for play, while you use the second one for your background applications, therefore increasing your performance ( someone should correct me if I am wrong on that.)

      I've heard AMD is the better of the two for gaming. Although, I have not experienced problems with Intel chips when it comes to this. I personally use and Intel chip. I think it depends on personal preference in most cases.

      Price vs Performance is what you should go with.


      Originally posted by Pvt_Meister
      Ram: I expect that I will get at least 2 gb of ram. Do brand names really matter? Also, when I was looking it seems there are many different choices ie, DDR, rdram, ddr2 and also I see PC4200 ddr, PC3700 ddr. Is the 4200, 3700, 3500 a major difference?

      Hard disk: Does the speed of the disk matter greatly? 7500 rpm as opposed to 10000rpm? There is a major price difference. I will probably get 2 drives: 1 for the operating system and 1 for files and such. I don't have any familiarity with raid drives. I have heard mention that they do provide for faster drive access. I thought that raid was for data protection.

      Sound: I am not really concerned with audio on this machine. I already have a computer that is part of my recording studio with a pro quality 24/96 audio interface. I only need something sufficient for gaming on this machine. I currently have a SB Live using Klipsch 2.1 speakers and they seem fine. I have had problems with BF2s audio causing problems in game. So audio card may be important after all.

      Cases/Cooling: There are so many choices for this that I am really lost on what is appropriate. I would like a reasonably quiet machine but don't want to choke/limit the cooling to the point that it effects the computers stability or usability.

      Video Card: ahhhh the big question... I have always used Nvidia cards and it appears that overall either Nvidia or ATI are quality cards that do the job. I currently have a 6600GT 256mb. I am probably going to go ahead and get a 512 card. That way I don't need to worry about my vid card for a while. Or would two 256mb cards work well? With the prices of the top cards being near $500 I can get two 256mb cards for significanlty less. I have heard of dual SLI cards but don't know if they really perform well enough.
      Ram:
      2GB is going to be sufficient for most games today. I would make sure if you're building your own, to leave room to upgrade. In a year or so, most games will require minimum 2GB, so you might want to think about then going to 3GB.

      I have 2GB in my machine, upgradable to 4GB.

      Sometimes brand names matter. For instance, Kingston, they offer a lifetime warranty on all their memory, but they are more expensive in some cases. If you're building your own, I would go with them, for the simple fact the memory is expensive and replacments cost $$ when one fails.

      Not to sure about the speeds of memory, something I am not all that in tune with. I know i have DDR2 and that's better then DDR, not much more beyond that

      *******

      Harddisk:
      The speed of the disk is going to depend on how quickly it retrieves the information off the disk. So if you have 7500 RPM vs a 10K RPM, the 10K will spin that much faster. Not sure about data retrieval rate, other then it will be fast.

      RAID Drives are stable, more cost. SATA Drives are more storage, less cost. When it comes to speed you can get them both in the same catagory. You're going to pay mostly for storage, speed, and general the most important is reliability when it comes to hard drives.

      ********

      Sound:
      From a personal standpoint pay some $$ and go with a Soundblaster X-Fi card. It's going to do the trick for you.

      Sound cards are one of those things that come back to personal preference and most generally capabilities and features.

      Again, pay for what you get in most cases.


      *******

      Cooling/Cases:

      Sometimes these are a dime a dosen. You can get a good empty case (with power supply) for some place generally in the 20-50+ range. Depends on style, look, etc etc..

      Search Google for ATX Cases. You'll find some good hits in the top 5.

      *******

      Video Card:

      If you can go SLI do it. Think of it as X2 the performance on anything. You can run each one for instance at x8 AA and then you have x16 AA for gaming - WOW huh.

      I would do SLI myself but my mb doesn't support it.

      When it comes to video cards, pay the most you can for it. Don't take a hit on video if you're a gamer and you can afford a good top of the line card.

      Even more so if you can afford to do an SLI set up. That's quite possibly the best set up's for an avid gamer. (Just make sure you can meet the cooling requirements.)

      I know a lot of SLI folks use water cooled systems. I'm not sure of the requirments personally.

      Enough said.

      ******


      My $.02
      [TG-Irr]Vulcher
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Looking to build a new machine

        My advice is to wait 3 more months at least. The technology is changing again. There will be a new OS sometime at the end of this year or Q1 next year. Vista will have directx 10 which no graphic card has support for. Also vista will have High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) so dont upgrade your monitor yet. We will see gpu's with HDMI outs. Theres allot of reasons to wait.


        What to get when it comes out: BEST OF THE BEST
        CPU = Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe) E6700
        Motherboard = Intel 985
        Ram = OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model OCZ2P10002GK – retail, but it will cost you saucy $489.99.
        OR DDR 2 1066MHz memory but the company ships 2x512 MB at this time.
        GPU = Nvidia 7950, ATI X1900GT. or wait for G80, R600

        |TG-12th| Troublesome4u

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Looking to build a new machine

          Nothing other than vista will be able to support Dx 10 until next summer, DX10 isnt even done yet. Best bet is to do a cheap upgrade now and then do the vista build, which has been pushed back til Q2 of 07
          that sounds like a good idea trooper.
          -Vulcan

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Looking to build a new machine

            AMD is a much better choice. Assuming you don't wait until the end of the year like Bonehead, you'll want to go with something like this (roughly [imho]):

            Mobo: Asus A8N32-SLI
            Proc: Fastest Athlon you can afford
            RAM: 2GB (you probably don't want more) of the fastest RAM you can afford
            Hard disk: RAID is for data redundancy, unless you're running RAID 0 which stripes it across both drives instead of mirroring it. You'll see a performance increase with RAID 0 for things like video editing, but other than that it won't help with games. If you buy 2 HDs put the OS and your programs on a 10000 RPM 16MB cache one if possible and store your crap on a big ol' 7200RPM drive.
            Sound: Since it's not a big issue for you just go with the mobo's onboard sound.
            Cases: For a quiet case you can't beat the Antec Sonata II. Well maybe you could but I'm not aware of a better case :D The best way to quiet things is to get a nice, big fan/heatsink combo for your video card and a nice, big fan/heatsink combo for the processor.
            Video card: 2 cards is probably not as good of a choice as one card, since to upgrade you could always chuck in a second card instead of having to trash the 2 old ones. Since you want a 512MB card your choices are really narrowed down; just buy the best 512MB card you can afford.

            So basically, you want to buy the best proc, RAM, and video card you can afford. If you're trying to "triage" things to decide how to spend your money, I would go with the best processor that you want to buy, then the best video card with the money left, then the RAM. The reasoning is that you'll be able to swap out the videocard much to something WAY more powerful much easier than you could swap out the proc for something much more powerful.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Looking to build a new machine

              Wait a while, AMD is going to release M2 processors with support for DDR2 (I think), and when this happens Intel will have no way of compeating that droping current processors way down.

              And i heard something about ATi going to release a new board with better crossfire support, and much better cards, giving nVidia a run for there money... And the Quad SLI... Man, im going to start saving...
              Oyee

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Looking to build a new machine

                Dunno how much your willing to spend but the Kilrogg «doomsday machine» should handle pretty much everything you throw at it.

                DB
                Last edited by Dick Blonov; 05-09-2006, 10:13 PM.

                «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

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