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REDJOHNNYMIKE
11-30-2006, 01:43 AM
Hello and greetings to all genius of the technomancy variety.

My motherboard go BOOOOOOOOM!
Our secret plans will have to wait a little longer nancy:xp:

Most of my other components are 5 years old too, so I'm pretty much in the whole "Woohoo new compy:D........$$$........crap:(" state of mind right now.

I'm trying to get all the advice I can before I figure out what I'm getting.

Basically I need New....
Motherboard (I'm looking for reliability, performance, and high capacity for future upgrading, best I can get. This part ruined the experience of my last computer after all:xp: )
Case (I like big cases, lots of room for multiple HDs disk drives etc, durability, and just as ugly as me and in no way resembling a mac:xp: Good upgradeable power supply)
Proccessor (Still not sure if I want to go with AMD or Intel, but I want high end performance)
Memory (not sure what the best is, one of my friends mentioned Corsair? At least 2 gigs of the best I can get)
Hard Drive (more concerned about quality than actual space, but 80+ gigs would be nice)

The main thing I'm trying to do is build a fairly high performance system which will adapt well to future upgrades turning it into a true high performance system, and remain slightly less obsolete for a longer period of time once I get the money. I really want to avoid buying parts that won't work well with future parts.

Things I can do without temporarily that may or may not be factored in depending on the cost of the rest of the system...
Video card (I want a powerful proccessor anyway, so I should be able to get by without this as long as I use consoles for my "high-end" gaming, until I loosen the grip on my wallet)
Sound card (probably get one eventually, but I don't think I'll need it right away)

I'm still trying to decide between going with an AMD system or Intel, I've already heard a few pros and cons for each, but it would be nice if anyone using the newer stuff would share some knowledge. Also (I haven't kept track of this stuff) but I've heard of quad core proccessors, would that be something worth saving up for by buying a cheaper proccessor now?
Would I be able to use the same motherboard for single, dual, and quad cores, depending on when I upgrade the proccessor?

Also, I want to learn how to use dual boot systems. I understand that I'll need an HD big enough to partition, but are there any other factors I should consider when planning system parts purchases?

I've been talking about this with the guys at the repair shop and pretty much anyone I know who's seriously into computers all evening, so my brains kinda fried and I can't remember what else to ask???

Any ideas on the best I could get for a fairly affordable amount of dough?

Jae Onasi
11-30-2006, 01:54 AM
Hey, get a good video card--all the good mods are on the PCs, not the consoles. :D Jimbo picked up a decent one and it wasn't too expensive.
Check out the General Tech Discussion (http://www.lucasforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=691) in the Community discussion forum, too.

Samnmax221
11-30-2006, 01:55 AM
My motherboard go BOOOOOOOOM!
It was DELL wasn't it!! Wasn't it!

Diego Varen
11-30-2006, 01:58 AM
It was DELL wasn't it!! Wasn't it!

Del Boy is back with his faulty gear. Anyway, no idea, but check the link Jae provided.

Emperor Devon
11-30-2006, 02:03 AM
Custom built computers are usually much more expensive than regular ones, unfortunately. When my old computer died around half a year ago, I thought about making one. The estimated cost (for a decent one) was in triple digits at the minimum. That's not even mentioning choosing all the individual parts, seeing if they're compatible with each other...

It'll be expensive, but you should obviously go for quality. My old computer was fairly cheap, and because of that, lived to be several years old before it completely died, and I lost several years worth of contents (including KotOR mods :xp: ).

Go for something that has more than one slot for graphics cards. That way, if you ever need a new one, you'll be able to use several cards (and get better graphics in some games).

Right now, don't go for something with a top of the line graphics card. It'll just be more expensive, and cards released over a year ago (like the 7800) are more than sufficient for most games.

For the type of computer to get, Alienware has some good ones. Or go to your local computer business, talk with them, and let the professionals do their job. I have one nearby that's given me great technical advice, and ended up saving me from spending several hundred $$$ at one point. Local businesses are usually very helpful.

Or you could just wait for stingerhs, Astro or T7 to show up. This isn't my specialty. :p

CSI
11-30-2006, 02:04 AM
Proceed with Caution: IF and ONLY IF money is not an issue.

1. Better Support SLI and/or Dual-Core, Dual CPUs(It's a rare case), but I can recommend mine: ASUS iLife (I don't remember the numbers, though)

2. Memory (Heck, use as much as you can, make it, eh, 4G is possible, and more Hz, the faster memory is)

3. Case? It's rarely a case but I recommend liquid-cooling case. More efficient than air-cooling ones. And full steel ones are better than traditional ones.

4. Processor. Huh. That's what I'm talking about, blah, blah, blah, ectacta, ectacta, ectacta. Get Intel Core 2 Duo, 3GHz if you dare and if available, if not, Pentium D Dual Core 3.4G, like mine.

5. HD: Eh, not a very big issue, 500G should do it. (7200RPM should work, but if you want faster, buy 10,000 RPM ones.)

6. Video Card: I recommend nVidia Quadro FX 4500X2, which I don't think you can offord it.(Of course, if money is not an issue) If not for gaming but for normal use, use motherboard's intergrated graphic card. (I know it sucks.) But if you really want a good one, try nVidia 5400 or Radeon X1300.

7. Eh, hope it's useful. If not, just disregard it as a joke.

Samnmax221
11-30-2006, 02:05 AM
Right now, don't go for something with a top of the line graphics card. It'll just be more expensive, and cards released over a year ago (like the 7800) are more than sufficient for most games.

Then you lose out on DX10.

Emperor Devon
11-30-2006, 02:10 AM
Then you lose out on DX10.

The 7800 I have has been able to handle practically everything.

@CSI, the 5400 is pretty old. It's not that good now. :)

CSI
11-30-2006, 02:11 AM
@CSI, the 5400 is pretty old. It's not that good now. :)

Really. How about this: nVidia 8800 GTX?

Mav
11-30-2006, 02:13 AM
First of all, you shoulda put this in the Gen Tech forum, but I'm sure it will get moved there eventually so I'll try to answer some questions, but keep in mind I'm far from an expert. ~done. stingerhs ;)

As far as the timing of your current system biting the dust, I have to say it sucks. See, right now a lot of things are hanging on the release of Windows Vista, with which comes the release of Direct X 10, and DX10 video cards.

As far as building any computer I think it's best to start with the CPU, as of right now, I believe the Intel Dual Cores are "better" than the AMD Dual Cores and yes I think Intel is working on a Quad Core processor. And as far as buying a cheaper processor now, and upgrading later, the only catch is that when you upgrade you have to make sure whatever processor you upgrade to has the same socket as your "cheap processor" otherwise it wont fit with your motherboard.

As far as the motherboard goes, the thing with mobo's is their layout and how it accommodates your other components. For example if you're looking at SLIing or Crossfiring some current video cards you would need to take that into account when considering a mobo, as for brands, ASUS makes pretty good mobos.

As far as the case goes, I would get the case and the PSU separate. Antec makes good quality cases, nothing flashy, just big and ugly. They also make pretty good PSUs, your choice for that would probably need to be 550+ Watt PSU, also there are modular PSUs out now which helps keep the wiring nice and tidy.

As for the harddrive you have several choices, Western Digital makes a couple different types of harddrives the Caviar which is your basic 7200RPM HD which you can get a lot of storage space for fairly cheap, or their is the Raptor which is a 10000RPM HD the faster speed means it will cost more per GB, but it will load the apps and such (games) that are on it a lot faster. Personally I have a 80GB Raptor that has Windows and some games on it, it cost me about $130, but I also have a 200GB Caviar for storage.

As far as RAM goes, yea Corsair makes some pretty good RAM, a couple of Gig sticks will cost you around $220, around there.

I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable people in the Gen Tech Forum can tell you more than I can though. Have fun hunting for a new compy.

Emperor Devon
11-30-2006, 02:15 AM
Really. How about this: nVidia 8800 GTX?

It's a fantastic card, but there are other great ones that are a lot cheaper.

CSI
11-30-2006, 02:20 AM
It's a fantastic card, but there are other great ones that are a lot cheaper.

Oh. Thanks. That means I'm not a hard-core computer geek.

Mav
11-30-2006, 02:22 AM
For the type of computer to get, Alienware has some good ones. Or go to your local computer business, talk with them, and let the professionals do their job. I have one nearby that's given me great technical advice, and ended up saving me from spending several hundred $$$ at one point. Local businesses are usually very helpful.Personally I wouldn't recommend getting an Alienware computer or any other pre-built gaming computer. I think it is more expensive to get a pre-built compy from Alienware and they are not going to have exactly what you want most of the time. Picking the parts individually is more challenging, but in the end I think it is the better choice and with some of the people we have here to make recommendations it shouldn't be too hard at all.

Also as far as the Nvidia 8800 GTX, I wouldn't look into that until I see what the ATI R600 is going to be capable of, either way, I'm not looking to upgrade for at least another two years.

REDJOHNNYMIKE
11-30-2006, 02:24 AM
@Jae, I have a 360, so I can live without pc gaming just long enough for my wallet to get it's second wind and get some nice additional cardage;)

I guess it could be better addressed there (for some reason I forgot that was for more than kotor related technical issues:lol: )
if only a helpful mod could..........;)

@Nancy, I'm looking to spend between 1-2 but I might go more. I just would prefer a custom build to buying off the shelf.

I'm not going to get a top of the line graphics card now, but I want a motherboard that will support the best video cards when I decide to get one.

Isn't SLI the latest video craze? Any idea if that's here to stay for a while, or I should be preparing for some crazy new way of hooking these things up?

edit: wow, thread doubled while I typed that :lol:

Like I said, the video card itself isn't a big concern right now, I just want to know if I can get a motherboard that's ready for most anything I want to do with the vidoe cards a few months down the road.

I only want to get one new HD and I'd prefer speed to storage size, as long as it's high quality. Unless there's a rock solid drive that does it all without being too expensive.

stingerhs
11-30-2006, 02:27 AM
Custom built computers are usually much more expensive than regular ones, unfortunately.actually, custom builds tend to cost about the same, and sometimes less, depending on how well you shop around for the parts. not only that, but you'll mostly have parts that you want as opposed to parts that you don't need which is a side effect of going with Dell, Gateway, or some other computer company.It's a fantastic card, but there are other great ones that are a lot cheaper....and those same cards won't be able to utilize DX10. sure, they'll run on Vista, but they won't be able to take advantage of the extra performance and better visuals that DX10 is capable of.

my advise on the video card front would be to get a cheap card for now and to upgrade to a DX10 compatible card several months down the road. right now, the DX10 generation cards are just now arriving, and although they're expensive now, they won't be in a couple of months.

Mav
11-30-2006, 02:28 AM
I'm not going to get a top of the line graphics card now, but I want a motherboard that will support the best video cards when I decide to get one.

Isn't SLI the latest video craze? Any idea if that's here to stay for a while, or I should be preparing for some crazy new way of hooking these things up?Well as far as a mobo that will support the best video card goes, any mobo that utilizes PCI-e slots and not AGP or PCI with work fine.

SLI is for Nvidia what Crossfire is for ATI. It basically means hooking up 2 video cards together to get more bang for your buck I suppose. Oh and as far as if that is here to stay, most likely yes, but with the new cards out, I doubt one could afford two of them, and one definetly shouldn't need to for that matter.

Emperor Devon
11-30-2006, 02:28 AM
@Nancy, I'm looking to spend between 1-2 but I might go more. I just would prefer a custom build to buying off the shelf.

All the Mojo must be getting to you, RJM. No one named 'Nancy' has posted here. :p

REDJOHNNYMIKE
11-30-2006, 02:43 AM
So if I get a motherboard that's SLI or Crossfire capable, it will still run great with just one placeholder card until I can afford the nex gen cards?
Big difference between motherboards supporting ATI's or Nvidia's version?

@Nancy, Thou Liest!!!!:D

stingerhs
11-30-2006, 02:52 AM
SLi and Crossfire boards are designed to run in either one or two card configurations. so, you shouldn't have any problems installing a PCI-E x16 compatible card as long as you follow instructions in the motherboard manual that comes with the mobo. ;)

as for Crossfire and SLi differences, well, there isn't much of a difference except in the way they render the screen. the only major differences that you really need to worry about is what hardware you'll need to buy. an SLi setup simply requires two of the exact same card (and the subsequent bridge connector that should ship with the mobo). a Crossfire setup requires a Crossfire edition card and any other ATI video card.

you also have to pay attention to the mobo you get as well as the motherboard has to support either functionality for you to utilize it. i think a few mobos can run either configuration, but don't hold me to that one. ;)

Astrotoy7
11-30-2006, 05:48 AM
Ah, the Tech forums is graced with the lunacy that is RJM :p

It all depends on whether you want to 'next gen' game ready your PC...

in which case will need(recommended)

*Vista 64 bit. The only way you will get the DirectX 10 goodness
*Dual or Quad Core 64. Go Quad if you want to future proof for the next few years. Intels quads are due very soon...but are very expensive. Im not an intel fan, and am not impressed by their 2 x dual core oreo cookie. Im waiting for AMDs true Quad core, but they may not be along til mid next year.
*SLI or Xfire setup.... Im an nvidia fan, mainly because of their superior HD decoder support, which I use extensively in my media center applications. IMO, ASUS mobos are beyond comparison....for either xfire or SLI. check nvidia or ati/amd for lists of certified SLI/Xfire components. I love the super cool fanless design of the asus a8n SLI premium mobo. The heat dissipation pipe is sooo cool...literally !! I barely ever get over 29C with my power hungry specs. I have an intel system that runs at twice this heat despite my best efforts...this is what I really dislike about intel cpus...some of them are damn hot !

http://specialtech.co.uk/spshop/files/detail/asus-a8n-sli-premium.jpg


*Power supply.....750 at least. Get an SLI ready modular getup. Easy as pie to setup, with prettily folded and labelled leads. I swear by my Thermaltake Toughpower, though silverstone make some awesome SLI PSUs.

*Case - I am a bit vain, so I have an asus vento case :p (see system showcase thread) But, if pertiness wasnt a huge requirment and I wanted a sturdy case with REAMS of space for multiple HDD I'd go for the Cooler Master Stacker !!

http://www.fastekshop.it/fkshop/newsimg/cas_cmstackerstc01blu.jpg

If you think youre the type that will be tinkering alot with your setup, a case with a removable motherboard tray really makes things easier.

*Gfx - If you want to high-end and future proof yourself, best wait for the Geforce 8800, or similar slew of DX10 cards that will float onto the market soon. The 8800 will apparently have water cooling attachments in built, IIRC :p

If not, the geforce 7950 gx2 or the ATI x1950 will cover you for a couple of years at least(probably more if quad setups take off)

Dual booting ?? There are actually a few cases around that have a HDD selector which, allowing you to switch what to boot from. I personally think Dual booting is tedious, I much prefer to use VMware workstation, where you can launch multiple OS from within a single host OS. I launch linux ubuntu and vista RC2 through my xp install all the time.... you can even drag files from one OS desktop to another ! :)

soundcard - unless you are a hardcore audiophile, most new mobos have decent inbuilt sound - some even have 5.1 support. Remember the soundcard is only half of it, you need some damn good speakers to compliment them. I'm an altec lansing fan but there are numerous good choices out there :)

so RJM, you need to decide:
*How many years future proof
*Next gen gaming enabled
*Whats your budget

answer those 3 clearly and we'll sort a rig for you :)

mtfbwya

Darth333
11-30-2006, 11:10 AM
What do you mean by "reasonable price" RJM? Having an idea of your budget would help.


*Dual or Quad Core 64. Go Quad if you want to future proof for the next few years. Intels quads are due very soon...but are very expensive.
For gaming quad cores are quite useless at this time and they cost around $1000. I don't think they will meet RJM's "reasonable price" criteria before several months and at the time they become really needed for gaming, the actual quad cores will already be outdated. I prefer to put less money on this and upgrade more often for better performance at a better price. At the moment the best CPU's are the Intel Core 2 Duo. Even the modest E6300 beats most AMDs and it overclocks very well. At this moment, the E6600 is the best if you take quality/price into account IHMO. I got mine for 1/4th of the price of a quad core...so when it becomes outdated I won't cry when I'll upgrade (and the quad cores will likely be 1/4 of their actual price too at that time and they will be better than present quad cores :D )

And just for you, Astro, and here's AMD latest quad core baby :D http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/11/30/brute_force_quad_cores/

*Power supply.....750 at least. Get an SLI ready modular getup. Easy as pie to setup, with prettily folded and labelled leads. I swear by my Thermaltake Toughpower, though silverstone make some awesome SLI PSUs.Antec, OCZ, Seasonic and Enermax are good brands too. I also consider that a good quality PSU of 650 watts is enough at this time and they're cheaper. Great quality/price at 124$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817371001

If not, the geforce 7950 gx2 or the ATI x1950 will cover you for a couple of years at least(probably more if quad setups take off)Considering that a 7950 gx2 sells for as much as a 8800 series, I do not think it is worth it at this time. If RJM s ready to put that kind of money on a GPU, he would be better to opt for a Geforce 8800 that offers dx10 support right away. As for the x1950, I think that the x1950Pro which is around $200 has a pretty good quality/price ratio (best bang for the buck I think). There's no dx10 support but it should allow you to play all the most recent games at high settings (my mobo recommendation for this card is the asus p5b deluxe or if you want top of the line, go for one that uses Intel's chipset 975x: http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/22/six_975x_enthusiast_motherboards_for_today_and_tom orrow/ ). For nvidia the current top of the line chipset is the nForce 680i SLI.

As for crossfire and sli, I think that they can only be worth it with top of the line gfx cards IMHO. Otherwise a better single card will give you more at a better price.

For the RAM, I'd recommend 2gigs. 4 gigs is all but useless at this time for a home PC. You can easily add more sticks later if you need them (and they will be cheaper).

4. Processor. Huh. That's what I'm talking about, blah, blah, blah, ectacta, ectacta, ectacta. Get Intel Core 2 Duo, 3GHz if you dare and if available, if not, Pentium D Dual Core 3.4G, like mine. Even the Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 1.86 GHZ beats the Pentium D. Clock speeds are not all. Newer processors can perform more operations per clock, making them faster than older ones even if their clock speed is lower (and they can run cooler.)

Video Card: I recommend nVidia Quadro FX 4500X2, which I don't think you can offord it.(Of course, if money is not an issue) If not for gaming but for normal use, use motherboard's intergrated graphic card. (I know it sucks.) But if you really want a good one, try nVidia 5400 or Radeon X1300. The nVidia Quadro FX 4500X2 isn't meant for gaming anyways... as for the two other cards mentioned, I do not recommend them at all. They are very weak. For only $15-20 more, you can get an x1650 series which will make a big difference. (Do not get a video card lower than an Ati X1650 or nvidia 7600 series, especially with the imminent arrival of Vista. )

ChAiNz.2da
11-30-2006, 11:45 AM
The nVidia Quadro FX 4500X2 isn't meant for gaming anyways... as for the two other cards mentioned, I do not recommend them at all. They are very weak. For only $15-20 more, you can get an Ati x1650 series or even a nvidia 7600 series which will make a big difference.

D3 is right.. I use Quadro cards for my pro editing systems... they're uber-powerful, but not in the fields you need it in. Quadros are for RAW rendering and multi-tasking between channels of video & audio. Powerful as they are, it's overkill for a gaming system and will not provide the results you'll want with a card meant for DirectX and OpenGL type rendering (more real-time)... :)

Q
11-30-2006, 01:40 PM
RJM:

First off, I'm sorry to hear that your MOBO died. Let's see if we can put together something that will last you a while. I assume that you want to future-proof this system as much as possible, so that you won't have to replace anything in the near future. It will cost you more initially, but will save you a lot of hassle and possibly money in the long run. EmpDev is correct in that usually a pre-built system will cost less at first, but in general they are not nearly as upgradeable and therefore future-proof as a custom job. The systems from the major manufacturers are not overclockable. Also the price difference narrows considerably where high-end performance machines are concerned. My strongest recommendation is that you do a ton of online research at different tech sites and forums before you make any purchases.

Let's start with the heart of the system, the CPU. There's a lot of talk about quad-cores, but, IMO, these are enthusiast parts that cost around $1000.00US or more and won't benefit you that much, given that games and other software are just now beginning to support dual cores. The motherboards I'm going to recommend will enable you to overclock the cheapest processor to the extent that it would be pointless to sink your money into an expensive CPU. That being said, Intel's Core 2 Duo is the reigning performance champ ATM. AMD's answer, the K8L will definitely be competitive, but since it's about 8 months away, you need not concern yourself with it. The E6300 has a ton of overclocking potential (to >3GHZ) with the right MOBO, so you can go cheap here with confidence.
Intel E6300 $184.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819115005)

Next is the MOBO. There are 2 that I have in mind. Which one you get depends on whether you want SLI or not. I'm not going to address ATI and Xfire because their DX10 cards aren't out yet, and for reasons I'll address later you're going to want to invest in a DX10 card now (future-proofness). If you want SLI, Nvidia has just come out with with Nforce 680i which is the perfect companion to the E6300 CPU as it is overclockable as hell. The Asus 680i boards are overpriced, IMO, and I don't think you could go wrong with eVGA's offering. I've read lots of good stuff about this board.
eVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR $250.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813188009)

If you want to save $100.00 and get a non-SLI board, I would recommend Asus's P5B-E (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131070), as it is also extremely overclockable, but you'll sacrifice SLI upgradeability (you won't be able to add a second video card without getting a new MOBO).

Both of these boards are quad-core (Kentsfield) capable, BTW.

Next is the memory. I must admit that I don't know a whole hell of a lot about it, I just know that you'll want 2GB of DDR2-800 (or higher) that is stably overclockable to 1066MHZ, and that it will run you around $250.00. Be sure to check out your MOBO manufacturer's website for a list of memory modules that are compatible with your MOBO before you buy.

The power supplies that I'm going to recommend aren't cheap, but are made by BFG and compare very favorably with anything out there for the price. They have enough power (especially the 1000W model) to handle just about any setup I can think of, and since they come from BFG they have a lifetime warranty so you'll only have to buy them once.
BFG 1000W PSU $270.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817702005)
BFG 800W PSU $190.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817702004)

As I stated before, you should get a DX10 video card. Right now that means an Nvidia 8800GTX or 8800GTS. There are advantages to both cards:

8800GTS: For about the same price as a top-end DX9 card (around $450.00), you get superior performance with DX9 as well as DX10 capability. It also costs about $170.00-$200.00 less than the 8800GTX.

8800GTX: This card is roughly TWICE as powerful as any DX9 card. It outperforms dual 7900GTX's in SLI or dual X1950XTX's in Xfire (both setups cost $900.00 to $1000.00) with a single card for $630.00. And this is while using DX9. Plus it has the DX10 capability to boot. If you want a card that will last you 2 years and give you the "longest-schlong" bragging rights :xp: , this is it.

Since the performances of the different manufacturer's cards are virtually identical (since almost all of them closely follow Nvidia's reference design), I would look more closely at the warranties offered by the different companies. For me, it would come down to BFG or eVGA since they both offer lifetime warranties on their cards. The eVGA card has proven to be more overclockable in tests, but having read Newegg's customer reviews it seems that buyers have been more satisfied with BFG's tech support and customer service.
BFG 8800GTS $460.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143074)
BFG 8800GTX $630.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143075)
eVGA 8800GTS $460.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130071)
eVGA 8800GTX $630.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130072)

Whew! :wornout: That covers my recommendations on the most important basic components. I only have a few more words of advice:

Raptor drives are fast and nice, but they are small and expensive and hardly a necessity.

When it comes to overclocking, see how far you can go with the stock heat sink and fan that will come with your processor along with some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste (don't use the stock stuff!) before you invest in an aftermarket HSF. You might be very satisfied with the results you can get with stock cooling.

Don't worry about water-cooling for now. Just get a big, airy case with lots of fans (preferably 120mm).

If you think this stuff is expensive, you'd be right, but go to Dell's site and see what they're demanding for a similarly-equipped, non-overclockable, hardly-upgradeable XPS700 and you'll see that a custom build is the only way to go. :)

Once again: RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BUY. Two of the best sites for this are:
Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/)
AnandTech (http://www.anandtech.com/)

Best of luck, man! :thmbup1:

tk102
11-30-2006, 02:44 PM
(a good, helpful post):thumbsup:

My meta contribution to this thread:

Perhaps a template could be used for future requests like this to help both the poster and the responders? Maybe something like this?

Template Request for Assistance in Computer Component Shopping


Request Type
Which are you seeking help with?
[ ] upagrading your current system
[ ] purchasing a new system (you can skip to 4 unless you plan on robbing old components for the new system)

Current System
List your current system specifications. Include manufacturer and model.
Motherboard:__________
Memory:____________
Graphics Card:_________
Hard drive:________
Optical Drives:_______
Networking device:________
Monitor:_______
Sound Card:________
Case:_________
Power supply:________
Other Peripherals:_________

Problems with current system
List the performance issues with your current system.

Needs, wants, interests
What do you plan on using this computer for? Are there technologies you need in this system? Are you looking for state-of-the-art or just room to upgrade later?

Budget requirements
Realistically, how much are you willing to spend?

Astrotoy7
12-01-2006, 06:45 AM
...And just for you, Astro, and here's AMD latest quad core baby :D http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/11/30/brute_force_quad_cores/


no no no....what an intel-esque move. bleh.

I think I'll just wait for the K8L quaddies thanks :p

Plus, theres the very exciting 'fusion' chip to think about, though we probably wont see one on the market til 2008 onwards :(

mtfbwya

Q
12-02-2006, 05:54 PM
Hey RJM: Where'd you go? Did the prices scare you off?:xp:

If so, I'll try to put together something as cheap as I can and still remain as future-proof as possible.

I still recommend Intel C2D, but I think that the E6400 is probably the better deal for $35.00 more because it has an 8x multiplier as opposed to the E6300's 7x, but I'll stick with the E6300, because we're going cheap. You really can't go wrong with either one.

I still recommend Asus's P5B-E as it's the best MOBO for $150.00. The eVGA 680i SLI MOBO will run you $100.00 more, if you want to be able to eventually upgrade to 2 Nvidia cards. A comparably good Xfire MOBO would run about the same price ($250.00). A single card setup isn't a bad idea if you intend to get a top-line video card in the future. It would also give you the freedom to choose between Nvidia and ATI for your high-end graphics card, whereas if you get an SLI or Xfire MOBO now you would then be stuck with either SLI or Xfire. And yes, both SLI and Xfire MOBO's run just fine with 1 graphics card installed.

I'm going to recommend Crucial memory because it's on the MOBO's compatibilty list & has tight timings, Crucial is supposed to be good, and right now there is a $40.00 rebate through Zipzoomfly, making the final price for 2GB $240.00. It should allow for some pretty good overclocking. You're not going to want to skimp on memory or MOBO, because overclockability is where the real value is.

If you want to skimp on the video card, it's up to you, but keep in mind that when you want to upgrade to a DX10 card, you wont be able to resell this card on Ebay for much of anything, so you'll be throwing your money away. That being said, I would recommend the 7600gt, as the BFG (lifetime warranty) model is available at Newegg for $114.00.

BFG also makes a great PSU for single graphics card setups that has 650W, dual 20-amp 12V rails, and a lifetime warranty for $110.00. A BFG 800W PSU with 4 20amp 12V rails capable of running 2 high-end graphics cards in either SLI or Xfire will run you 80 bucks more, bringing the grand total for SLI or Xfire upgradeability (SLI or Xfire MOBO + better PSU) to $180.00 more than a single card setup.

As I said before, go cheap and get a 7200rpm HDD for now. Raptors are just too damned expensive. You can always add one later, and still use the slower drive for storage, like Mav is doing. You can get a Western Digital 250GB 7200rpm drive for $75.00. A 150GB Raptor is $225.00!

I don't know too much about different optical drive brands, so you'll have to ask someone else, but I do know that you can have both a DVD burner and a DVD ROM drive (it's best to have both for convenience) for $50.00.

A good case is expensive, but you'll only have to buy it once. Get a big one for good expandability and airflow. Astro's recommendation is right along the lines of something that I would get. At $130.00, it's pricey, but it's HUGE, with the ultimate expandability and airflow. I'd buy it. :)

You mentioned a sound card, but the MOBO's I mentioned come with decent onboard sound (as most do), so you shouldn't need a sound card unless you're an audiophile.

I assume that you'll be using your old monitor, keyboard and mouse, since you didn't mention anything about them.

Here's how it's going to add up:
CPU: $181.50 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819115005)
MOBO: $151.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131070)
2 GB RAM: $240.00 (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=80061-9)
Cheap Video Card: $114.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143049)
PSU: $110.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817702003)
250GB HDD: $75.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144701)
Both Optical Drives (take your pick of brand): $50.00
Astro's Recommendation for a case: $130.00 (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=141811)-You could probably find a decent case for <$100.00, but I just really like this one. :D

TOTAL: $1051.50 -Not too bad, and with all high-quality components! ;)

Aside from the cheap-assed video card, this setup will be fast as hell once it's overclocked, and you'll be sitting pretty when you decide to invest in the DX10 card of your choice.

Remember that SLI or Xfire upgradeability will cost you $180.00 extra for an SLI or Xfire MOBO and a more powerful PSU.

An 8800GTS (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130071) would cost you $316.00 extra if you bought it right now (it's something to consider, man!)

I didn't factor in shipping costs, because Newegg may offer a discount for multiple components, and Zipzoomfly's shipping is free.

I hate to say it, but expect to spend around $1000.00 if you want anything worth buying right now. Keep in mind that prices are fluctuating constantly, and rebates are being offered on different components all of the time. If you're patient and diligent, these rebates can end up saving you a lot of green.

I hope this helps!

@tk102: Thanks for the kind word!