View Full Version : The Ultimate New Computer Thread

08-11-2007, 09:18 PM
I worked all summer at Wal-Mart towards an ultimate goal: a massive new computer. Once work finished, on the 5th, I started looking online for the parts I needed. Eventually I decided to look at the Dell Direct website. I was skeptical with getting a pre-built at first, but I was actually pretty impressed with what I found (at the risk of sounding like a commercial). The XPS models use pretty much all of the parts and brands I originally wanted, plus they factory overclock the processor and RAM. I've decided to go with the "XPS 720 Black," which is good because it means less work for me since I don't have to build it myself. Anyways, Here are the specs:


CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800, factory overclocked to 3.20GHz.
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium.
Memory: 2GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz OC'd to 1066MHz-2 DIMMs.
Hard Drive: 1TB Hitachi 7200RPM SATA 3.0MB/s, 32MB Cache.
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 226BW (I already have this, I bought it before-hand).
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX.

All of these are parts I knew I wanted before I even looked at Dell, so that worked out good. I haven't gotten it yet, I plan to go down to the Dell booth at the mall tomorrow, because you get a $100 discount if you order it from there. It should arrive about a week after that. I'll post my impressions after I get it in and set it up and everything.

You all might want to know why I want such a good computer. Well, for one, I'm on my computer for many hours every day. As many of you know, I'm a 3D artist, and I plan on turning that into a career. In order to make all of the independent projects I want to work on, as well as working on my eventual Demo Reel, I need as good as computer as I can get. I also like to be able to run games at highest settings, and with this computer I should be able to do that for years to come.

So, questions? Comments?

Mike Windu
08-11-2007, 10:09 PM

I got a Toshiba Satellite S4747 for school cause the network is all wireless there, and a laptop would be easier. I can finally play Halo the way it was supposed to be played in 2003. :D

Det. Bart Lasiter
08-11-2007, 10:23 PM
So when are you getting rid of Vista?

08-11-2007, 10:27 PM
So when are you getting rid of Vista?
*mumbles something about DirectX 10*

Det. Bart Lasiter
08-11-2007, 10:46 PM
*mumbles something about the worst operating system I've ever used*

Mike Windu
08-11-2007, 11:22 PM
*mumbles something about techgeekery and eventual forthcoming of SP1 and 2*


08-11-2007, 11:56 PM
*mumbles something about how my AMD 64 3200, DDR ram, and Ati X800 video card have all gone obsolete in only a few years*

Oh well. Great purchase you made there IG.

Also: 1 TB hardrive? You're either churning out CG work at a prodigious rate, or it's all porn.

08-12-2007, 12:50 AM
Also: 1 TB hardrive? You're either churning out CG work at a prodigious rate, or it's all porn.
I have plans of an HD all-CG movie. *shrugs*
Plus, the games are already pushing it (my Valve folder alone is 10GB). I currently have an 186GB hard drive, and I keep running out of space and having to delete stuff. Maybe in 5 years' time I'll have 1TB worth of stuff. :P

And no, it's not porn.

08-12-2007, 02:28 AM
Well, I saw IG-64's thread, and I thought I should post one too. Keep in mind that I'm not paying for it, my parents are (for me to use in college, I'm heading for OSU). Anyways, let's start.

To begin with, I'm really not a laptop fan. I find them to be too expensive, too weak, and too unstable. But, I wanted to make the best of getting a computer that I can use in college (taking notes). So, I decided on a laptop, and I configured it to be very powerful. It's not Apple MacBook Pro crazy, but very close.

So, let's see. It's a Dell Vostro 1500. That's like a cross between a Dell Inspiron and a Dell Latitude. Dell Inspirons give great options for power. However, they are not made with the best components, and have cheap plastic shells. Dell Latitudes are ridiculously durable and contain very high-quality components. However, they lack good power options. Dell Vostros give the same options that the Inspirons do, but have more quality parts and are quite durable. They are more expensive than identical Inspirons, but have less "bloatware," come in only black (but it is thoroughly black), and come with the option of Windows XP. Here are my specifications:

Processor - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)

Operating System - Genuine Windows Vista® Business

LCD Panel - 15.4 Inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen SXGA+LCD Display with TrueLife™ (1680x1050 Resolution)

Memory - 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM

Hard Drive - 120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

Optical Drive - 8X CD/DVD Burner with Double-Layer DVD+R Write Capability

Video Card - 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT

Wi-Fi Wireless Card - Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Wi-Fi Mini Card

Webcam - Integrated 2.0 Mega Pixel Web Camera

Sound Option - High Definition Audio 2.0

I would highly recommend choosing the Dell Vostro. It's under the Small Business section:


Oh, and the total price (minus tax) is just $1,273. Seems like a deal that's better than good. What do you all think? Think Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 will work fine on it?

- PR-0927/Majin Revan

08-12-2007, 02:47 AM
Think Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 will work fine on it?

You're mocking us mortals with lesser computers, aren't you?

I have just one thing to ask, just one thing. How much did it cost?

Boba Rhett
08-12-2007, 03:05 AM
If I defeat you in unarmed mortal combat and am imbued with yours powers and life essence, will I also have any legal precedence to lay claim on your computer as well?

Just curious.

Mike Windu
08-12-2007, 03:25 AM
*mutters something about damn kids and their rich computers*

I have an ATI Radeon X1200.. anyone know what that entails gaming wise?

Det. Bart Lasiter
08-12-2007, 03:30 AM
If you've already beaten him in unarmed mortal combat I don't think he'll object to you just taking it.

08-12-2007, 05:08 AM
Woah. **** me.

1TB? Nice. It takes more than that to walk into Mordor though.


08-12-2007, 10:34 AM
IG, you better setup your room with turrets cos im comin over to your house tonight...

08-12-2007, 10:46 AM
Meh, that sucks. IG's is way better....

Haha, just kidding man no hard feelings. :D
Awesome rig, and my current one is almost a year old now.

08-12-2007, 03:59 PM
I have just one thing to ask, just one thing. How much did it cost?
Around $3,800

If I defeat you in unarmed mortal combat and am imbued with yours powers and life essence, will I also have any legal precedence to lay claim on your computer as well?
Sure, but I've got dibs on Sub Zero.

IG, you better setup your room with turrets cos im comin over to your house tonight...
Good, 'cause it's not gonna be here 'till next week. :p

08-12-2007, 04:10 PM
*mutters something about damn kids and their rich computers*
We're not rich, we just set different priorities. :p

And that's a dang good laptop PR.

08-12-2007, 04:27 PM
Very nice rig IG, if you're gonna go pre-built those are the way to go (if you can afford it :p)

08-12-2007, 06:34 PM
Oh, that's good to hear. I rarely venture into the laptop cosmos, and it is quite cheap...so...

Plus, the video card is the best of its line that's offered by any acceptable companies (to me). But, it isn't the nVidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX, which absolutely kicks butt for laptops.

"My" other computer (actually is my family's desktop) is about three years old (this September) and sports the following specifications:

Processor - AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200+ (2.2 GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)

Operating System - Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 2

LCD Panel - 19 Inch LCD Display (1280x1024 Resolution)

Memory - 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM

Hard Drive - 40G SATA Hard Drive (Partitioned in Half)

Hard Drive 2 - 160G SATA Hard Drive

Optical Drive - 56X CD Burner/8X DVD Burner

Video Card - 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 GT

Sound Option - Realtek AC'97 Audio

The above desktop was very kick-butt in its time, three years ago. It was quite top of the line, and was also barely under $1,300. We got it from iBuyPower.

- PR-0927/Majin Revan

08-12-2007, 07:26 PM
*mumbles something about OS's*

*mumbles something about dual booting ftw*

Mike Windu
08-12-2007, 08:08 PM
*mumbles something so mumbly that no one can hear him and thus everyone says what?*

Curious, what's overclocking and all this fancy stuffz :p I don't really care about having them pimp my computer.. I just need it to work XD My friend has an alienware so I'm gonna be relying on him to play starcraft 2... lol

08-12-2007, 09:24 PM



08-12-2007, 09:50 PM
Yeah. I suggest some mod might want to combine these three threads into one massive thread of geekiness.

Anyways, while I was working up at camp this summer, I was away from anything electronic for three weeks, and I came back home only to find, to my horror, that my computer had died. Again. To backtrack I had been getting countless problems this past summer and they all pointed toward a failing motherboard. This last issue was the final straw, and I decided to do a complete upgrade/rebuild.

I bought:

Motherboard: Asus P5N-E SLI
Processorr: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2400MHz
Memory: Another gig of Kingston DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
Video Card: 256MB nVidia 7900GS
OS: Good 'ole Windows XP Pro SP2
Power Supply: 650 Watt Ultra PSU

These, combined with my current setup of:

Sound: Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy SE EAX 3.0 with Logitech X-540 surround sound
Hard Drives: 370GB HD space (250 gig + 120 gig)
Display: 2 x Compaq 2710 17''

The total price for the additional items was about $650 at both Fry's and Tigerdirect (I live 15 minutes away from both of them). It only took about an hour and a half to build and another hour to set up windows, so I was definitely happy I rebuilt instead of buying a new pre-built rig.

Sure, it's not exactly "top of the line", mostly due to the conscious decision I made of not moving to the nVidia 8XXX generation due to not owning Vista and not seeing a reason to move to DX10 yet (and for 130 bucks the videocard was a steal), however, it more than suits my needs for this upcoming school year.

I've currently had the new setup for a full week and I am thoroughly pleased. It has handled everything I've thrown at it with ease, and I have experienced no problems whatsoever yet.

And just fyi, I upgraded from an AMD 3000+ with an AGP nVidia 6600GT on semi-decent Gigabyte socket 754 mobo.

08-12-2007, 10:29 PM
Quad Core?


I only have a dual-lobe brain...

(pssst... can I have some of your old parts?)

08-12-2007, 10:38 PM
Quad core scares me. You could have one core cracking security codes for a nuclear launch site, another core looking up the coordinates of all the capitals in the world, yet another core looking up the coordinates of that bloody annoying kid on the internet who keeps insulting you with fifth grade insults, and the last core, I dunno, looking up Wikipedia on how to make a good sandwich?

Tip: A little mayo goes a long way.

(P.S. Ur mom's so phat, she starred in Girls Gone Fat! lolomgwtfbbq!)

08-12-2007, 10:56 PM
Quad Core?


I only have a dual-lobe brain...

(pssst... can I have some of your old parts?)

(pssst... well i'm putting my old graphics card in my old old computer, but there may be a gig of ram that's not being used just sitting around somewhere....)

And for those that are curious, the system idles at about 37 degress C, and while running graphic intensive programs tend to level off in the high 40s.

08-13-2007, 02:10 AM
I couldn't afford a better case, but this one works just fine! You guys like?


and no, this is not really my computer. I just found these pics online and thought to add something with all these other computer threads popping up.

Lady Jedi
08-13-2007, 02:40 AM
Yay! Now we have one big happy computer thread, for all to share. :D

And, I must say that Lighsaberboy wins. I mean, look at those decals! It's perfect! :p

08-13-2007, 02:50 AM
Good, 'cause it's not gonna be here 'till next week. :p

Dang it, oh well. At least that'll give me more time to finish my donuts.

And thats a cool pizza case, and i used to think the shoe box was cool.

08-13-2007, 11:28 AM
Awesome Specs. I have the QX6700 OCed to 2.99Ghz. I can have Folding@Home running and play Half-Life 2 on highest settings and still run smoothly.

I also do the occasional video editing/encoding, and I've noticed that things go faster than with just a single core.

08-13-2007, 07:06 PM
Well, I'd hope they go faster than with just a single core. Seeing as, you know, you have four.


08-14-2007, 12:23 AM

That one because im too lazy to type stuff out.

08-14-2007, 07:35 AM
Around $3,800

Damn you rich Americans! :fist: :xp:

08-14-2007, 04:49 PM
Damn you rich Americans! :fist: :xp:
Dude, he worked at Wal-mart for like 750 hours, that's not easy. : P

Boba Rhett
08-14-2007, 05:10 PM
It's a hell of a lot easier when you get to spend all the money you earn on fun things.

I find solace in the fact that when IG hits college and is paying $150+ for each text book and is living off blocks of dry ramen noodles he'll look back and wonder what the hell he was thinking dropping 4 grand on a computer. :joy:

Hey, wait a minute. He already is in college! Damn you and your kickass computer, IG! :fist:

08-14-2007, 05:29 PM
CPU: Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.0GHz
OS: Windows XP Home
Memory: 2GB Patriot DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) SDRAM
Hard Drive: 500GB Samsung SATA 3.0Gb/s
Monitor: 20.1" Samsung SyncMaster 204B (1600x1200)
GPU: Geforce 7950GX2 1GB GDDR3 Memory PCI-Express

My video card, monitor, and hard drive rawks, but everything else is due for replacement... if I had money. Anyone want to buy one of my old computers for $400?

1.8GHz Athlon 64 3200+ (Overclockable to about 2.2GHz)
160GB Hard drive, No OS included
DVD burner
Radeon X800XT Platinum 256MB GDDR3 memory, AGP
Loud, bright, big case.

For $550, I'll double the RAM, change the hard drive to 400GB with Windows XP and Unreal Tournament 2004 preinstalled.

I'm also selling a crappy 2.66GHz Pentium 4 laptop.

Boba Rhett
08-14-2007, 05:41 PM
I'm in need of a workhorse laptop that I don't need to live in fear of dinging. How much are you wanting for the laptop?

08-14-2007, 05:52 PM
I bought it for about $1500, I think, and I was thinking about $250 ($200 for the notebook, $50 because I need to buy a new battery) since, as a computer it still works fine. I suppose I can write out the full specs:

2.6GHz Pentium 4
768MB DDR RAM (Shared with Video)
60GB Hard drive with Windows XP Home
DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive
Mobility Radeon 9000 Graphics with 64MB Shared Memory
15" SXGA+ Screen with 1400x1050 Resolution.

Seems pretty decent on the outside, YES. But it might more trouble than it's worth:
The laptop loses the connection to the power cord momentarily if you jiggle it a bit (Not a problem if your battery is charged, but without the battery it would just shut off), the sound is very flakey, and you have to sometimes put pressure or shake the notebook a bit to get it to work, no problem if you use the speaker/headphone jack, though. The wireless is just as flakey as the sound. On off on off on off. Use ethernet. Very, VERY rarely, the screen turns blank and you have to reboot. If you can handle the jiggly power cord, the half-working speakers and wireless, it's a great notebook, really.
Here: Clicky for Piccy (http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/sukatokjolen/P8140381.jpg)

08-14-2007, 06:05 PM
Is the flaky wireless built in? Or is it a card that's wonkey?

Boba Rhett
08-14-2007, 06:18 PM
I think they use a PCI wireless card. Check your PMs, Kjølen. :D

08-14-2007, 06:24 PM
All built in. I wouldn't even have mentioned it if I could has just tossed the card. These are problems that you might actually have to DEAL with. :p

EDIT: Sound is messed up. Wireless is worthless. Get external sound and wireless or live with a soundless notebook and ethernet connections. :p Working on it... Man, I'd forgotten how nice it is to type on a laptop keyboard. and the resolution is beautiful (1400x1050). Hmmm, it's currently stealing 128MB of memory from my RAM for the video card, though. Oh well, that can always be changed in the BIOS.

Check your PMs, Kjølen. :D

Hey, hey! They're not supposed to know it's my time of the month. D:

08-18-2007, 05:44 AM
Well, I got an email from Dell earlier informing me that the shipping of my order has been delayed another week, so I probably won't get it before the school semester starts. :/

Oh well, I guess they need the extra time to build it.

08-18-2007, 11:50 AM
Nah, Dell just sucks that way. At any rate, I'm still selling either that $350 machine or the upgraded $550 machine, if anyone's interested. I'm also selling an Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo 64, all with varying amount of games and controllers and prices.

09-07-2007, 09:58 AM
Update: I was just informed that my computer has been (finally) shipped today. It should arrive within a week. I am planning stress tests that I will post here when I get everything up and working.

09-07-2007, 01:37 PM
That is good to hear. I actually got my Dell Vostro 1500 12 days early, LOL. However, it had an issue - it froze randomly for 30 seconds to two minutes, no matter what applications were being used. The cursor still worked and all, (the circle timer appeared) but everything else froze, mostly. I spent days trying to fix it. Then, I did something embarrassing - I called Dell's Technical Support (I usually fix stuff by myself, so it was an embarrassment). However, after four hours on the phone with them, they had no idea what the problem was. In fact, even the most qualified technical experts there couldn't help. We did hardware diagnostics, and nothing showed up as damaged. However, those diagnostics don't account for much. So, I opted for a free exchange - the same exact computer, free of charge (free shipping and no taxes as well). The laptop came, and I am using it right now. It actually arrived on the 27th of August. It works great. It looks like the old one had hardware issues. I also got some CDs that I wasn't given last time for some odd reason (Windows Vista Business installation disc, Roxio disc, and Cyberlink DVD disc).

- PR-0927

The Seeker
09-07-2007, 01:58 PM
Well, since I'm not a damsel, I built my own, thereby staying true to my vow to never buy a store bought, mass made PC again.

My specs are:
Intel Core2 Quad 2.4 GHz x 4

GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported


370 GB SATA Hard Drives (120GB + 250GB)

Thermaltake Big Typhoon CPU Cooler (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106061)

700 Watt PSU

Windows XP (pass on vista thanks)

Along with the obvious DVD burner with lightscribe, super cool, whisper quiet case and all that

This rig is a beast that nothing can stop till bigger, faster hardware comes out in six months.

So, bow in wonder mortals. Bow in wonder.

09-07-2007, 03:09 PM
Damn, that is one hell of a rig. Mind sharing how much you spent on it?

09-07-2007, 03:42 PM
That rig is pretty good Seeker. And since you're gonna be all "bow in wonder" about it I might as well do a fair comparison. :p

My processor is better, runs at 3.2 GHz per core.

Your RAM is better, you have 4 GB, I only have 2. Sadly, upgrading to 4 would've added an extra $700 to the package. This is a sacrifice since important parts of 3ds max are RAM-heavy. I should be able to upgrade this in the future, however.

My GPU is marginally better, since I have the GTX and you have the GTS.

My Hard drive is betterer, I have the Hitachi 1TB *dances* X)

However, with the PSU and the cooling, I have no idea who's is better because I don't know what Dell put in it, which is one of the drawbacks to getting a pre-built. But they said their power and cooling system was enough to run the overclocked processor when I asked, so I guess they know what they're doing.

Oh, and I'm kinda iffy about Vista too, but I think I can put up with it now just for the DirectX 10 functionality (go cryENGINE2, go) until it gets better (like XP eventually did). Also, my current copy of XP is not the 64-bit one.

So now, mortals, decide who you want to bow to. Or we could just join forces and create an uber coalition of computing awesomeness to govern all the digital world.

The Seeker
09-07-2007, 04:38 PM
Damn, that is one hell of a rig. Mind sharing how much you spent on it?

Well, to get it up and running, I spent $1025.10 on it. However, I got the hard drives, DVD-ROM, and the CPU cooler and XP disc from one of my other rigs that I was decomissioning, traded the awesome graphics card to put in mine for a lesser GeForce 6600 from said decomissioned rig.

So, what I bought up front was the CPU, Motherboard, PSU, DVD Burner, Case and RAM. If you add the Graphics card, Hard drives DVD-ROM and CPU Cooler, you would add another 600 or so.

But still, 1600 isn't bad for this kind of rig.

Forgot to mention that I got a motherboard with SLI support and 8GB RAM capacity for the future.

And IG-64...If we join forces, with our rigs, we could take over NASA and thus control the universe as well as the earth.

Also, I have yet to see a prebuilt rig that has upgrading in mind with the PSU or hard core cooling in mind with the CPU heat sink. But that's still a heavy hitting rig you go thtere.

09-07-2007, 05:08 PM
I'm pretty sure the three of us are pretty much in the same specs department. OC'd Quad Core @ ~3GHz, 2GB RAM, 8800 GTX. All Seeker has to do is OC his Quad Core and he's all set (with some good cooling).

And for 1600, that's a pretty damn good deal.

I'm trying to convince my boss to get me a new desktop for work. The one I currently use moves like a snail.

09-07-2007, 05:55 PM
I'm pretty sure the three of us are pretty much in the same specs department.

Welcome to the world of gentlemen, gentlemen.

09-07-2007, 10:32 PM
Lol. I have a NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 with 617 MB. I think that's scary.

The Seeker
09-07-2007, 11:55 PM
I'm pretty sure the three of us are pretty much in the same specs department. OC'd Quad Core @ ~3GHz, 2GB RAM, 8800 GTX. All Seeker has to do is OC his Quad Core and he's all set (with some good cooling).

And for 1600, that's a pretty damn good deal.

I'm trying to convince my boss to get me a new desktop for work. The one I currently use moves like a snail.

Meh, the way I see it is why would I stress my CPU when it runs everything without a hiccup. I see overclocking as something to do to lengthen the life of my PC when game's specs start overpowering my rig.

I'll OC when I can't run the latest games at the max.

And yeah, IG, it's a shame we're talking about computers here. If these rigs were cars, we'd be pimps. Ahhhh, the life of the techie.

09-08-2007, 06:07 AM
Yeah, but we're future pimps.

The overclocking is one thing that I'm glad about with getting a Dell. I've never overclocked anything before and that's not something I want to test on that beast of a processor, so I'm glad they've done that for me.

Btw, I found out that the motherboard on my new comp will have 4 DIMM slots, 2 will be taken up. Also, the PSU is 750W. I still don't know what the cooling will be, but it should probably be sufficient, especially if they're overclocking stuff.

[EDIT] I got my comp in. So far 3ds Max is rendering a little over 10 times faster than my old comp. So, if I render something that takes 10 hours on my old comp, it'll render in under an hour on my new comp. :D

Oh, and I can play Oblivion with full settings with smooth 60-FPS

And I can play JKA with full settings and 300+ fps. (though, dynamic glow currently doesn't work. D: )