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Computer Help/Advice Thread the THIRD: Helping Harder

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Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Recent posts moved from the old computer thread.

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Next is the motherboard. Correct me if I'm wrong: I'm looking for three basic things. Processor, Video bus, memory bus. I'll likely spring up to $500 on the processor and another $300 or so on the video card, and I know that PCIe is more powerful than AGP. (How much more? If anyone would like to explain that)

    Well, for starters, you won't find much in the way of new video cards for AGP regardless, so yeah, PCIe is the way to go. The answer to your question of "why is it better" is actually a matter of bandwidth - the interface allows for more information to be transmitted. AGP was a parallel interface allowing for up to 2133MB/s, PCIe is a serial interface allowing for 8 GB/s in revision 1.1. Revision 2.0 (available in high-end chipsets) will double this capacity.

    So assuming I want a dual core (Or possibly an interchangeable setup if such a thing exists) system with plenty of ram expandability and a good cardbus for my graphics, what kind of price range do you think I'm looking for? Do you have any suggestions? I should be buying the socket 775 processor, right?

    As a general frame of mind, I go in expecting to pay $100-$150 for a motherboard. Cheaper ones certainly exist, but normally lack the featureset I'm looking for, and you really start hitting the point of diminishing returns past $150 (I've paid more in the past, but not much), but if you're just doing estimates for a system, that's where I would normally fall. You should be able to swap in quad cores for dual cores on the same motherboard provided they have the same socket, but if memory serves, you'll need to have a chipset which supports the features, etc in order to fully utilize it. For AMD systems, it'd be an AM2+ socket, for Intel it'd be LGA 775, yes. I'm not familiar with the chipsets that go with AMD systems, and if memory serves (and don't quote me on this), all chipsets past 975X support quad core on Intel (and it was released in 2005, so anything you get now should have no problems :P). However, there have been some features added to newer processor models (PCIe 2.0, newer memory types/speeds, faster FSB, ECC, new instruction sets, etc). Also, as a note, you're pretty much at the end of LGA 775 right now - it's looking like Nehalem will use a new socket.

    If I were building right now, I'd be looking for a P35/X38/X48 chipset (or a P45, but I don't know if that's out quite yet, and I've not been looking so I haven't seen any reviews). Beyond that, it's largely personal preference - what memory type/speed do you want, how much expandability, is RAID important to you, etc. For example, P35 doesn't support PCIe 2.0, while the other three do. If that's important to you, you may have to knock up the price of the motherboard a tad. *shrug* I'd start at this page. Put in a price range that you're good with, check the boxes with what's important to you, and see what comes up. When you've found a board or two that you'd like, google their names for reviews to see how they perform. You should find one that you'll be happy with. :)

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Anyone know of a good way to test the memory/CPU to make sure they are working correctly? at this point thats the only 2 options I can think of. Thanks in advance.

    I know there's some freeware out there to look for bad sectors on memory, but I don't really know the quality of any of them. As for CPU, all I really know in that direction is CPU-Z, which is more information about your processor than detecting what's wrong. It might be a place to start to see if there's some severely wrong frequency issues.

    I've had random 3 second stops before, and if memory serves it was actually relating to some site I visited that had persisent problems via memory leak in firefox, but a restart would solve it. I presume you won't want to go the reformat route to fix it. I would have guessed power supply for the restarts as well, but you've already gone down that route...hrm. Never hurts to run a hijackthis and see if anything shows up, I suppose.

    Thanatos - if price is the most significant thing for you, EeePC is really worth looking into. They run for $400, if memory serves. I've heard pretty much nothing but good things, but don't know much about them beyond the fact that they're apparently solid, cheap, tiny laptops.

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  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Should I hunt for a PCIe 2.0 x32 connection? Or is x16 the best I'm going to find?

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2008
    So it is finally time to upgrade from my 3200+ and 6800GT gaming computer. I haven't really looked at hardware since I built that computer years ago, so I was wondering if this set up looked good. Mostly is there anything I should replace? I am going for a cheaper build a little bit but if there is something I can spend a little bit more on for a lot of performance I will definitely go for it.

    Oh and I already have a sound card and PSU.

    Case
    HDD
    Monitor
    VGA
    DVD Drive
    Ram x2
    Mobo
    CPU
    Case fans x5

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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    So it is finally time to upgrade from my 3200+ and 6800GT gaming computer. I haven't really looked at hardware since I built that computer years ago, so I was wondering if this set up looked good. Mostly is there anything I should replace? I am going for a cheaper build a little bit but if there is something I can spend a little bit more on for a lot of performance I will definitely go for it.

    Oh and I already have a sound card and PSU.

    Case
    HDD
    Monitor
    VGA
    DVD Drive
    Ram x2
    Mobo
    CPU
    Case fans x5

    That ram won't fit in that motherboard
    That graphics card is old and out of date, and much slower than the equally priced 9600GT
    And (personal opinion) raptors are a waste of money.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2008
    This RAM then, I have never had a fast hard drive I have just a standard Western Digital right now, how much faster would a 10,000 RPM HDD be? Also I am using Toms Hardware charts for video cards, and this one should be one of them top.

    533570-1.png
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    This RAM then, I have never had a fast hard drive I have just a standard Western Digital right now, how much faster would a 10,000 RPM HDD be? Also I am using Toms Hardware charts for video cards, and this one should be one of them top.

    Not enough faster to warrant the higher price tag. You're looking at triple the price, give or take. I'd say just get 3 of the slower drives and do a RAID 5, if you're willing to pay that much.

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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I would go for something like a 500gb hard drive for half the price. You're maybe looking at a few percent faster load times, but have a look at some of anandtech's reviews (here)

    That Ram is fine.

    Tom's Hardware chart is out of date, trust me you don't want a 320MB 8800GTS.

  • ToldoToldo But actually, WeegianRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    What is the best CD burning software for Macs?

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2008
    Rook wrote: »
    I would go for something like a 500gb hard drive for half the price. You're maybe looking at a few percent faster load times, but have a look at some of anandtech's reviews (here)

    That Ram is fine.

    Tom's Hardware chart is out of date, trust me you don't want a 320MB 8800GTS.
    Are there any newer charts around? I used the charts for my CPU also.

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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    Rook wrote: »
    I would go for something like a 500gb hard drive for half the price. You're maybe looking at a few percent faster load times, but have a look at some of anandtech's reviews (here)

    That Ram is fine.

    Tom's Hardware chart is out of date, trust me you don't want a 320MB 8800GTS.
    Are there any newer charts around? I used the charts for my CPU also.

    In a sort of comprehensive one look kinda way? Not really. You can look at some individual benchmarks, but the main problem with the 320mb 8800 is the habbit of running out of memory and performance nosediving. (see here, here and here.

    Generally speaking though 8800GTS 512>8800 GT>9600 GT, all of them come with the revised cores that include more video acceleration than the old 8800GTS chips.

    You're not really going to get a better CPU for the price unless you start thinking about switching to quadcore, and at that point it becomes an odd tradeoff of performance for more cores that might work better in the future.

  • honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    So, heres my current setup.

    Athlon X2 3600+
    6GIGS DDR2 667 Dual Channel
    500GB SATA HDD
    SONY BLU-RAY DRIVE
    LITE-ON DVD+/- DL ETC. BURNER
    ASUS M2A-VM HDMI MOBO

    Now right now this is basically just being used to watch movies(Xvid, Blu-Ray and regular ol' DVD.) And television shows and listening to music. Its essentially a HTPC although I use it for web browsing too. Its hooked up to my LCD via the HDMI output and its doing very well at everything. The next planned upgrade is adding a second HDD because Im sorta running low on space. After that though Im considering a standalone graphics card. Id like to be able to play newer games, and the onboard is fine for doing HD video playback and most older games, but I wanna be able to run crysis etc. at decent speeds. It would also significantly smooth my PS2 gameplay out to have a seperate card. So Ive been looking at the PCI-E16x cars in the sub 200 range, and Ive found a few I like both from the ATi and the Nvidia family. My question is this, Ive only ever used graphics cards that were from the same company as seperate gpu's before. My last board was an nvidia chipset, so naturally I used nvidia cards. This one however is an ATi board, and Ive never had any real experience with ATi's graphics cards. So my question is this, am I better off sticking to an ATi since its the same as the mobo, or would it be ok to go with an Nvidia?

    I didn't even know what the fuck and avitar was until about 5 minutes ago.
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    honkymcgoo wrote: »
    So, heres my current setup.

    Athlon X2 3600+
    6GIGS DDR2 667 Dual Channel
    500GB SATA HDD
    SONY BLU-RAY DRIVE
    LITE-ON DVD+/- DL ETC. BURNER
    ASUS M2A-VM HDMI MOBO

    Now right now this is basically just being used to watch movies(Xvid, Blu-Ray and regular ol' DVD.) And television shows and listening to music. Its essentially a HTPC although I use it for web browsing too. Its hooked up to my LCD via the HDMI output and its doing very well at everything. The next planned upgrade is adding a second HDD because Im sorta running low on space. After that though Im considering a standalone graphics card. Id like to be able to play newer games, and the onboard is fine for doing HD video playback and most older games, but I wanna be able to run crysis etc. at decent speeds. It would also significantly smooth my PS2 gameplay out to have a seperate card. So Ive been looking at the PCI-E16x cars in the sub 200 range, and Ive found a few I like both from the ATi and the Nvidia family. My question is this, Ive only ever used graphics cards that were from the same company as seperate gpu's before. My last board was an nvidia chipset, so naturally I used nvidia cards. This one however is an ATi board, and Ive never had any real experience with ATi's graphics cards. So my question is this, am I better off sticking to an ATi since its the same as the mobo, or would it be ok to go with an Nvidia?

    You'll be fine with nVidia.

  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    So, my computer took a shit this morning, and I have some dollars layin' around, so I decided it's time to upgrade. I have a few questions, so I don't go into this blindfolded. Here's the new stuff I'm purchasing...

    ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor

    CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    Western Digital 7500RPM 200GB HDD


    And here's what I've got already...

    EVGA 8800 GTS 512
    Soundblaster Audigy 2ZX
    DVD-R Drive, Floppy Drive
    450W Power Supply



    And now, my questions... First off, instead of 2GB of RAM, can I successfully install three 1GB sticks? I know there's some clause about having to match RAM, so I don't know if that would work. Also, am I leaving anything out on the computer above? I've never actually built a computer from the ground up. Also, is XP available in 64-bit, and if so, is it worth it? Sorry for the terrible formatting in this post. I'm on a laptop, and I don't have much real estate.

    EDIT: I've also got a Maxtor 200GB HDD in my existing computer. Can I slave that drive to the new one, so I can at least save some of my files?

    ArcherEyes2.jpg
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    And now, my questions... First off, instead of 2GB of RAM, can I successfully install three 1GB sticks? I know there's some clause about having to match RAM, so I don't know if that would work.

    Yes, you can, however, depending upon the devices you have installed, you may not see all of it. The clause about too much RAM applies to 32 bit Windows (and can show up in 64 bit OS depending upon your chipset, I'd imagine an nForce 5xx would be fine), is basically that Windows can only report a certain range of the memory, with other portions of the physical memory having to be set aside for various functions/devices. You can see a more in-depth description here. Additionally, I'm not sure whether you'd be better off going with 2GB spread across two channels and using dual channel, or perhaps doing 1GB+1GB+512MB+512MB, which should still allow you to use dual channel, I think
    Also, am I leaving anything out on the computer above?

    Whelp, you'll need a case - you didn't say whether you plan on using the old one or not. Similarly, I assume you plan on using your old monitor/speakers/etc. Beyond that, it's mostly personal preference over what you're leaving out. Do you want to replace the floppy with a universal memory card/floppy combo? Do you want a second optical drive? Is 200GB enough space? Does the case have fans? It's early and I'm still tired, but nothing stands out as being absolutely necessary that you're missing.
    Also, is XP available in 64-bit, and if so, is it worth it?

    Yes, it exists. From what I've heard though, some 32 bit applications have problems with it, and you'll only see a performance boost in programs designed for a 64 bit OS. I think it's more expensive, too. Truth be told, I'd not bother.
    EDIT: I've also got a Maxtor 200GB HDD in my existing computer. Can I slave that drive to the new one, so I can at least save some of my files?

    You can use the drive, but you may have to format it first - I'll defer to someone who might have experienced this before. I think because it's got a native OS installed on it right now, it wouldn't play right, and you'd need to get the files that you want off of it (online storage, burn a DVD, etc), format the drive, then set it up as the slave. But I could be wrong.

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  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Can someone break down the difference between Mid-Tower, Desktop, and Full Tower ATX cases to me? It's probably obvious, but I'm still half-asleep, up at 7 AM on my day off. And I don't see a real concrete answer on Newegg...


    EDIT: Nevermind, nevermind.

    ArcherEyes2.jpg
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI
  • yourspaceholidayyourspaceholiday Registered User
    edited May 2008
    I'm doing my first build, and would like to run it by some people before I actually commit. I fell out of the hardware scene a couple of years ago, so there was a lot to catch up on and I'm sure I overlooked something.

    http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=7861152

    I'm most likely going to load XP 64 on there (to take advantage of the 4GB of RAM), and the main purpose is going to be for some gaming (Bioshock, Mass Effect, and some others) and movie watching. I've read some good reviews on that graphics card (8800GTS 640MB), but I'm not really sure if there's something better for a comparable price. I'm also a bit wary of that motherboard. I've read some very good reviews of Gigabyte boards online, but I have a friend who had three that have all died on him.

    A big concern is also the monitor. The one on the list certainly seems nice, but I'm wondering if I should just get an LCD TV in the 37"-40" range and use that as my monitor. I don't really watch that much TV, but I certainly do watch a lot of movies, and it'd be nice to have something that a bunch of people could watch (crowding around a 24" monitor doesn't seem that appealing). Would I get good results using a TV that large (for the sake of argument, let's say it's 1080p), or should I get a dedicated computer monitor?

    Thanks to anyone who can help. I haven't had a good gaming machine in a while, so it'll be nice to build one up.

    Edit: I should say I also plan on trying to overclock the CPU a bit, hence the replacement fan

  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    So how did this thread die off anyway? It was great last time I upgraded. Has anyone kept up on hardware trends and would care to update the budget/mid/high example builds?

    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I think Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern has a computer build thread which is almost certainly better suited to your needs.

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