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Rogue Nine
11-28-2007, 11:21 AM
Okay techheads, I've decided it's high time for me to seriously look into putting together a new box for myself. My old one has serviced me for quite a few years now, but is definitely starting to show her age. I would like for her replacement to be able to keep up relatively well with the current trends in processor power and gaming graphics without being too much of a strain on the wallet. Realistically, I'd like to keep it under $800 USD, but I know that's probably a pipe dream with my aspirations. But hopefully you all can help me out somehow!

After doing a fair bit of research, I've patched together a rough list of what I'd like in my new box (all are under Newegg pricing, because I'm a fanboy :xp: )

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059) - $95
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4 GHz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115003) - $230
RAM: G.SKILL 2GB DDR2 800 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098) - $50
GPU: SAPPHIRE ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102714) - $180
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140) - $85
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium x64 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116204) - $105
CD/DVD ROM: ASUS DVD+R 8X (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135156) - $40

Rough Total (not including taxes/shipping): $785

I can be swayed on almost all of these items, specifically the CPU (could go for the E6550 @ $170 or the E6420 @ $200) or the RAM (lots of choices, I'm partial to Corsair or OCZ). I would really like to get the GPU at that price, since I've read that it outperforms its Nvidia contemporaries in almost everything. I figure to tack on a few more expenses, probably a geeky-looking case for $30-$50, maybe a decent sound card.

Tech geeks of LF, please take a look at what I've got so far and make recommendations/critiques. I've been out of the computer scene for a while, so I've probably made a few iffy/incompatible/downright stupid choices, so feel free to let me know how I could improve this, and/or help me cut costs. Thanks! :3

tk102
11-28-2007, 12:04 PM
Don't forget the awesome Antec case (http://www.antec.com/us/pro_enclosures.php) if you don't already have one. :D I've got the P182 and I was impressed with the numerous design features. Highly recommended.

They make nice power supplies too and I believe Darth333 got one bundled with her last case purchase.

Thrik
11-28-2007, 12:34 PM
Don't get the E6600. :D

The Q6600 recently dropped in price after a new, more efficient version of the Q6600 was released; in the UK you can get it for just 20 more than the E6600, and from a quick look at Google Products the difference is only $20 in the US:

E6600: http://www.google.com/products?q=e6600
Q6600: http://www.google.com/products?q=q6600

This is one of the best hardware deals in quite some time as far as value for money goes. :) Quite why the E6600 hasn't also dropped I don't know, but four cores of 3GHz is not be sniffed at.

Also, unlike newer E6600 revisons these new Q6600s almost always overclock to at least 3GHz with standard air cooling, which happens to be what I've got mine overclocked to. Just make sure you look for the 'G0 Stepping' version, which is the newer, more efficient model and thus runs cooler.

Det. Bart Lasiter
11-28-2007, 09:30 PM
Niner I'm cutting off your supply of me if you get Vista on purpose.

Astrotoy7
11-29-2007, 05:55 AM
Niner I'm cutting off your supply of me if you get Vista on purpose.

lolz...well that's just ridiculous. Not talking to someone just because of an OS. wtf ? poor niner - to have such maladjusted confederates :p


@Niner - Im disappointed with the techies not asking you the most important question first ! :

*What do you intend to do with this pc ?
>>Which apps, which games, and what rez do you game at ??

Im a smallform fan myself, they fit under your arm :) All the pcs in my house are shuttle smallforms now, theyre decent on your power bills too. The SN37P2 and similar are quad core ready and will run the core2duo in the interim if thats what you end up getting.

more info at www.shuttle.com

a bit pricier than a standard case but hell of alot more sexier, and portable :) When I had a monster sized case, I never used to Lan game, but its a natural thing to do when you have such a portable rig. Laptops are of course portable too, but to get a lappie with an 8800M processor is supremely more expensive than popping an 8800GTs/x or similar in a rig of your choice. Easier to cool a high end card in a smallform than a laptop :)

Ive noticed you chosen x64 and coupled it with 2GB RAM only. Please make sure you take into consideration the apps you use/need and research their vista and or/vista x64 compatibility. I am a very satisfied x64 user, and the x86 emulation is superb in vista(compared to xp x64). I do run 4GB corsair xms and can report on superior performance in video editing and encoding apps. If your happy to stay at under 3gb, you might as well just use x86.

once youve done your research and youve found there is a significant number of apps youuse that may be a bit dicey in vista, then you may want to stick to xp :)

good luck - if you have any more x64 specific queries, fire away, both stinger and I are running vista x64 rigs nowdays.

essential tidbit:
If you play a variety of media files >> make sure you install the vista codec pack and the x64 componenst add on. Includes ffdshow, haali/matroska/xvid, everything. Highly tweakable. As someone with 2 full time vista mediacenter hometheater pcs, and one x64 gaming rig, this is a must install !! (vista codec pack on its own is cross platform)

WMP11 is x86 by default, but even switching it to x64 via cmd line, still leaves some filetypes open it in x86 mode. Some codecs wont work in x64 WMP/mediacenter until you have installed versions that are configured to play in that environment.

downloadable all over the place, but I like to keep track of it at the compilers site >>

http://shark007.testbox.dk/

good luck !!

mtfbwya

Thrik
11-29-2007, 06:31 AM
I'd have to highly recommend that you use the 64-bit version if you're installing a new system. The industry is inevitably going to go completely in the direction of 64-bit, if nothing else for the memory (RAM) limit 32-bit has.

Critically though, there's no clean upgrade path from 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows, so the only option is a total format/install and the labour of reinstalling all your stuff and getting all your data onto something else so you can transfer it back later. I may be alone on this, but this is one of the most unenjoyable processes imaginable for me.

I've been using Vista 64-bit for a while now, and I've had no significant problems with anything thus far. Everything I've wanted to use, ranging from games to Adobe's multimedia applications, all runs flawlessly. Vista's 32-bit emulation is so strong that you'd hardly know there's anything going if you didn't know better; and unlike the emulation you're probably used to, it doesn't slow down your applications.

Regarding the smaller PC cases, do cards like the 8800 GTX actually fit in those things? The GTS is pretty big, but the GTX is even bigger (http://serve.ryanjohnwilliams.com/images/8800_gtx_size.jpg) and has trouble fitting in many normal PC cases. I wouldn't be surprised if the 9800 ends up being a monster too.

Astrotoy7
11-29-2007, 07:17 AM
@thrik - those cases are designed with high end gaming in mind. They will fit standard 8800GTS and 8800GTX neatly and nicely :) There are some AC overclocked editions of these cards by EVGA that wont fit due to their extra heatsink tacked on. I myself run an evga 8800GTS 640mb. Considering its a smallform case with a card with such a large heatsink/fan attached - it is remarkably quiet !

anyway >> back to niners rig ;)

mtfbwya

Ray Jones
11-29-2007, 07:35 AM
Mister Nine, I think you should stick with Windows XP, especially if you already got a copy, because that would save you some more bucks. Alternatively you'd spend those 100 credits for additional RAM or something. And I mean, which real advantage would Vista give you over XP anyway? I assume you have better things to do with the additional resources Vista *will* take from your system. Especially when you could have 4 GiB of RAM instead. :)


As for a 64 Bit OS, which common software is using natively 64 Bit today? And what do you need a 64 Bit OS for, when none of the software you're going to use is 64 Bit?

Rogue Nine
11-29-2007, 09:35 AM
Well, I'll admit that I wanted to get Vista x64 for the very reasons Thrik stated. Technology is making leaps and bounds everyday and I kind of want to make this system last for at least a couple of years while staying relatively up to date. Since things will probably go x64 eventually, I just wanted to be ahead of the curve.

And I'd be using this rig mostly for just general use, with the occasional computer game. The only games I play nowadays that are graphically intensive are Guild Wars (which runs totally fine) and Hellgate: London (which has its hiccups, being a brand-new game running on an older video card and processor). I'd like to be able to run Hellgate at decent settings, nothing mindblowing, but just better than the choppy crappiness I get right now. Plus, Guild Wars 2 is bound to be out late next year and I'm pretty sure it'll be quite the pretty game, and I want to be sure I can appreciate that to the fullest extent.

Now, I have a copy of XP that I'm running on my current system, I couldn't use that on my new rig, could I? Because while having a new OS would be nice, saving a little bit more money would be nicer. Maybe I could use it to buy that Q6600 that Thrik suggested (darn you Thriky, making me spend more when I want to save! :xp: )

Ray Jones
11-29-2007, 10:04 AM
Well, I'll admit that I wanted to get Vista x64 for the very reasons Thrik stated. Technology is making leaps and bounds everyday and I kind of want to make this system last for at least a couple of years while staying relatively up to date. Since things will probably go x64 eventually, I just wanted to be ahead of the curve.You are already kind of ahead of the curve when you have 64 Bit hardware, because that means you could go 64 Bit OS any time. However, right now, there is not much software running natively 64 Bit, that means your 64 Bit OS runs at 32 Bit compatibility mode most of the time. Why would you do that? Plus, there will be software/drivers not running at all on systems with a 64 Bit OS. That is why I switched back to 32 Bit too.

And I'd be using this rig mostly for just general use, with the occasional computer game.Another reason why you must not go Vista or 64Bit now. Another pro for staying XP would be that you should be able to keep that software you are using now, without that you need to obtain "vista compatible" stuff.

Now, I have a copy of XP that I'm running on my current system, I couldn't use that on my new rig, could I?Hmmm. Technically you have a license, and in case you "delete" that old installation.. ;) Cannot say for sure though.

Have you considered getting a nVidia card, btw?

Thrik
11-29-2007, 10:10 AM
As for a 64 Bit OS, which common software is using natively 64 Bit today? And what do you need a 64 Bit OS for, when none of the software you're going to use is 64 Bit?32-bit Windows cannot use more than 3GB of RAM, so part of the 4GB of RAM you just mentioned yourself would be entirely useless. This is the leading argument most people use for 64-bit, and is also why 64-bit is inevitable and not just a 'maybe'.

And also as I said, there's no clean upgrade route from 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows. As such, why not just get on board now? Vista 64-bit is so good at supporting 32-bit software you'd hardly know there was a difference; additionally, every significant manufacturer produces 64-bit drivers for their hardware. It's much, much better than 64-bit XP.

Thrik
11-29-2007, 10:14 AM
As for program compatibility, almost all 32-bit software works without incident on 64-bit Vista. Additionally, the chances are that the manufacturer for your hardware has 64-bit drivers unless you're using hardware that's more than a few years old. And even then, some such as NVIDIA still give you drivers.

The only problems you're likely to encounter are when you try to install a really old game with a 16-bit installer; however, most of these games have had patches (official or unofficial) to allow installation.

It's important to understand that running 32-bit applications on 64-bit Vista does not cause significant performance loss, even if it is technically emulation. 'Compatibility' and 'emulation' doesn't always have to mean performance loss, although this is an understandable perception as most people's only exposure to the word 'emulation' is with old video game consoles. :D

Your arguments would be been appropriate about a year ago Ray when driver support was admittedly flaky, but now things have moved on.

Rogue Nine
11-29-2007, 10:21 AM
I thought about getting the GeForce 8600GT, until I heard and read up on how it underperforms and is generally not the way to go for gaming. I've been a pretty staunch Nvidia user for a while, my last three cards being part of the GeForce series, but I decided to give ATi a looksie. I did some reading up on the current generation of Radeon cards and was pretty impressed by the way the 3850 handled itself. It's similarly priced to the 8600, but seems to consistently seems to outperform it's Nvidia contemporary, which is why I've decided to give it a shot.

The 8800 series, while very nice and definitely something I'd want, is priced quite high and that makes getting one pretty much out of the question. And with Nvidia having nothing comparable to the Radeon 3850 down the line from the 8800, that was enough for me to decide to go ATi.

Ray Jones
11-29-2007, 10:48 AM
32-bit Windows cannot use more than 3GB of RAM, so part of the 4GB of RAM you just mentioned yourself would be entirely useless. This is the leading argument most people use for 64-bit, and is also why 64-bit is inevitable and not just a 'maybe'.OK, he could buy only 3 Gigs, alternatively, and get more once he switches to 64 Bit. ;)

And also as I said, there's no clean upgrade route from 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows. As such, why not just get on board now? Vista 64-bit is so good at supporting 32-bit software you'd hardly know there was a difference;I think a clean fresh install of 64 Bit (no matter which OS) will do better than any upgrade anyway. Why not Vista now? Because the same hardware performs better with XP. And since Niner does not want to spend a truckload of dollars for his new PC, I simply suggested that he'd have a better performing PC and saves money when he keeps on using his Windows XP. That is all.

And in case he'd go Vista, he sure as hell has at least one program where he needs to get the Vista version for.


additionally, every significant manufacturer produces 64-bit drivers for their hardware. It's much, much better than 64-bit XP.64 Bit drivers is not the problematic issue about an 64 Bit OS. Mostly you will use applications, and there are not many using 64 Bit. And some software will not run on 64 Bit, even with emulated compatibility modes. So why buy 64 Bit stuff, when you want to stay low cost, and no software will take the advantage of 64 Bit anyway?

Or is there any software you use that is 64 Bit only?

Darth333
11-29-2007, 11:03 AM
Btw, if you don't get the q6600, the e6750 is much cheaper than the e6600 (the first gen core 2 duo cpus were more expensive): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115029

As for the video card, the radeon 3850 is currently the only real mid range card that's worth looking at (if you are ready to put a bit more money on the gpu, the 3870 offers a great preformance/price ratio) See this thread for more info: http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=183735

Thrik
11-29-2007, 11:17 AM
Ray I've already made the argument about 32-bit compatibility, and once again will reaffirm it: almost nothing doesn't work on Vista 64-bit. I've yet to encounter one, and I've got a huge range of applications installed on my computer.

As for buying 64-bit stuff, Windows Vistas comes with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions at no extra cost; there's absolutely no financial decision to be made between the two, unlike XP.

And finally, I once again bring up my original point of there being no clean upgrade path to 64-bit, which means a reformat is inevitable, just like moving to 64-bit is inevitable (4GB+ of RAM will become the norm). Why do it in a year or so instead of now? Reformatting is a huge ball ache.

Thrik
11-29-2007, 11:30 AM
Rogue Nine, is the NVIDIA 8800GT (brand new) out of your price range? Like the Q6600, it's a much more efficient revision of the 8800 series and delivers performance roughly halfway between the 8800 GTS 640mb and the 8800 GTX 768mb, yet at a price roughly equivalent to the 8800 GTS 320mb.

It's another 'value for money' biggie right now and a lot of people are falling over themselves to get one. Performance-wise it gets about 70 fps in Oblivion: Shivering Isles as opposed to the 3850's 40 (compare the red line on this page (http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3151&p=8) to the green line on this page (http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3151&p=6). The NVIDIA's shader performance gives it a big boost in certain games.

Only things to consider, of course. By no means is your current GPU choice a bad one; it's just I have a small fetish for graphics. :D

Rogue Nine
11-29-2007, 11:47 AM
The cheapest I can find a 8800GT for is around $260-280, which is about $100 more than I wanted to spend for a GPU. If I tack on the $50 more for the Q6600 and keep the $105 for the Vista x64, that's brings up the total to $935, which isn't bad, since I want to future-proof my system as much as possible, but I don't know if I have that much to spend. There's a reason I set a limit on myself. :S

If I keep XP (assuming I can use my current version), go with the E6750 that D3 suggested and stick with the Radeon 3850, that knocks about $130 off the price, bringing it down to $655, which is a more manageable price.

I haven't even factored in the case yet. I was planning on just getting a $30 case that comes with a 450W PSU, since those Antecs, while nice, are another $100+ expense and they don't come with PSUs. :x

Det. Bart Lasiter
11-30-2007, 01:11 AM
Ray I've already made the argument about 32-bit compatibility, and once again will reaffirm it: almost nothing doesn't work on Vista 64-bit.Holy ****. Vista 64-bit runs stuff? Currently, XP Pro is faster than Vista (LOL CRYSIS) and has even less compatibility issues, and SP3 will increase the speed gap between Vista and XP even more.

And since Niner's probably not doing any encoding or 3D rendering, why would he need a full 4 GB of RAM anyway?

As for your future-proofing argument, Microsoft has confirmed that they're working on a new OS that's due out in 2010. Given that the wait for Vista was by far the longest wait between versions of Windows, I'd say it'll probably be out around that time. IMO, Microsoft knows they ****ed up with Vista and are going to get this new version on the market as soon as possible.

stingerhs
11-30-2007, 02:20 AM
^^^^
yeah, Vista 64-bit runs stuff. i should know: i use it daily. you know what? i really don't give a rat's turd that XP runs at a measly 10FPS better on most games. what i do care about is that Vista works rather nicely with my system, and Vista has few compatibility problems in my own personal experience. i could go on about why i actually prefer Vista over XP, but quite frankly, i'm getting tired of trying to shout over the voices of the naive and inexperienced.

lol, and the previous statement coming to you from somebody that was willing to dump XP for Linux. guess what?? i never really got into Linux. i installed it and fiddled with it for a while. then, i found Vista. the rest is history. ;)

Det. Bart Lasiter
11-30-2007, 02:46 AM
^^^^
yeah, Vista 64-bit runs stuff. i should know: i use it daily. you know what? i really don't give a rat's turd that XP runs at a measly 10FPS better on most games. what i do care about is that Vista works rather nicely with my system, and Vista has few compatibility problems in my own personal experience. i could go on about why i actually prefer Vista over XP, but quite frankly, i'm getting tired of trying to shout over the voices of the naive and inexperienced.I've used every version of Vista since the first beta and I test drove an alpha of Longhorn. And clearly your vast amount of experience as an IT EXPERT explains away the fact that a majority of businesses aren't even willing to switch to Vista until SP1 if at all and a large number of OEMs and customers are reverting back to XP.

i could go on about why i actually prefer Vista over XPDodged a bullet on that one. You might have had to back up your argument with something other than "I LIKE IT BETTER SO I AM RIGHT YOU'RE AN IDIOT KBAI".

lol, and the previous statement coming to you from somebody that was willing to dump XP for Linux.Yes, clearly because I prefer *nix systems (I switched my server to FreeBSD by the way) to XP that means I hate XP (I actually just rebooted into SP3).

guess what?? i never really got into Linux. i installed it and fiddled with it for a while.Facinating. I'll bet that month of using Kubuntu netted you enough experience with *nix to pass judgment over every distro ever made. Ever.

Thrik
11-30-2007, 05:18 AM
Do you really think games won't be routinely making good use of at least 4GB of RAM before 2010, jmac? Seriously? Bear in mind that by 2010 we'll be looking down the barrel of a whole new generation of consoles, and who knows what kind of PC games considering how much we've moved on since 2004.

2GB of RAM was considered an extremely rare luxury in 2005, but now it's become very widespread. I've every reason to believe that 4GB will become similarly widespread before 2010, and to use it people need to have 64-bit Windows Vista -- as simple as that. If the majority of gamers aren't using 64-bit Vista by 2010 I'll give you a cookie.

Whether or not Microsoft replace the OS in 2010 is an irrelevant point. That's about three years away! The user base of Vista is already significant, and it's only going to get larger now that XP is on the verge not being distributed any more and Vista is pre-installed on almost all new PCs.

As for the performance difference, I think at this point it's negligible. I've also used both operating systems for quite some time, and I've observed an almost entirely insignificant difference between the two operating systems in all games I've tried, ranging from Company of Heroes to BioShock to Source engine games.

The latest beta NVIDIA drivers released just over a week ago have once again moved performance forward for Vista, and now it's gotten to the point where some games perform better in XP and some perform better in Vista (Oblivion is one where outdoor scenes have better performance in Vista).

NVIDIA drivers were pretty much the chief performance inhibitor, as Vista's multi-core and memory support is superior to that of XP. NVIDIA has released driver after driver throughout the year, improving the performance every time. With the exception of people on inadequate hardware who need to squeeze out every last frame, I don't think the performance difference is an issue.

Of course, I have no idea how ATI's drivers fare. Probably worth looking into.

It's probably worth noting at this point that by no means am I advocating Vista as an operating system in its own right, nor am I saying I particularly like it over XP. However, from an objective view it's clear that until Microsoft follow it up with something superior we're stuck with it, and history has told us that no matter what the OS is like games will move forward to use the new technologies and leave the old behind.

DirectX 10 is going to become standard just like its nine predecessors did, and 4GB~ of RAM is going to become standard. You need Vista to use either.

You can rip this post apart and dispute every last fine point if you wish, but I have absolute confidence that time will prove my thoughts to be correct.

Jae Onasi
11-30-2007, 08:58 AM
OK jmac, I've got XP on a decent desktop and Vista on my new laptop. I actually like Vista better.
Why? My programs run smoothly and I can have a lot of stuff going on in the background without crashing or stressing the system. I've had zero problem running any of the games on Vista that I ran on XP. My Vista system runs the games the way they should without glitches. They look good and play well.

My laptop performs faster than the desktop (which has equal RAM and similar processor speed). It has better security features than XP (yes, I know that's like saying this cancer is less bad than that cancer, but it's still better). Not that I've really ever been concerned much about this feature, but it just looks better than XP. I'm able to run multiple programs without noticeable slowdown--Guild Wars, Ventrilo, Skype (former to talk, later to IM with LFers), IRC, Messenger, iTunes, Firefox, AV and firewall in the background, and whatever else I feel like running at the time such as Word or Excel. I don't like to shut off the game if I have to check a report post/email for instance, hence all the multi-tasking.

When the latest generation games/programs that will only run on Vista come out (and that _will_ happen in time, as it has with all previous generations of Windows), I'll be set.

Niner, don't skimp on the RAM and drop to 1G to save a few bucks--I've not had any problems running on 2G, and it seems (in my limited experience) that a lot of the crash problems have come from those who only had 1G.

Rogue Nine
11-30-2007, 09:45 AM
I wasn't planning on skimping on the RAM, in fact I was thinking about tacking on an extra two sticks. I intend to have this rig for quite a few years and as such, I want to be able to keep up with the Joneses at a decent capacity.

As it stands, here's what I'm thinking of getting:

Case + PSU: Logisys Area 51 Black (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811148030) - $35
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059) - $90
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33 GHz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115030) - $170
RAM: G.SKILL 2GB DDR2 800 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098) - $50
GPU: XFX GeForce 8800GTS 320MB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150173) - $300
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200:10 320GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140) - $85
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium x64 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116204) - $105
CD/DVD ROM: ASUS DVD+R 8X (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135156) - $40

Biggest change is the GPU, I've heard enough from various people to take the step to a 8800GT, which adds quite a bit of money even though I've decided to take a different, less-expensive processor. The grand total is around $875, without taxes and junk and it's a somewhat prohibitive price. Guess I've just gotta start pinching those pennies. :S

stingerhs
11-30-2007, 10:03 AM
I've used every version of Vista since the first beta and I test drove an alpha of Longhorn. And clearly your vast amount of experience as an IT EXPERT explains away the fact that a majority of businesses aren't even willing to switch to Vista until SP1 if at all and a large number of OEMs and customers are reverting back to XP.and have you ever really bothered to think about that one for a moment?? the main reason is because businesses want smooth running computers. well, when you buy crap hardware that barely meets the requirements for Vista, guess what: the computer doesn't run very smoothly. on the other hand, an identical hardware setup running XP will run much smoother.

the problem, therefore, comes down to the age old way that businesses operate: cut costs to maximize profits. right now, businesses can afford to run crap hardware with XP more so than they could with the same hardware running Vista.

and, correct me if i'm wrong, but we're not talking about a computer that's going to be used in the business world. yeah, Niner will probably use an office suite of some kind every once in a while, but i think its pretty clear that he does have gaming in mind. in that case, he's not looking to use cheap hardware like a business would.Dodged a bullet on that one. You might have had to back up your argument with something other than "I LIKE IT BETTER SO I AM RIGHT YOU'RE AN IDIOT KBAI".yeah, well, that comes from putting up a post about 15min before i go to bed. :xp: Facinating. I'll bet that month of using Kubuntu netted you enough experience with *nix to pass judgment over every distro ever made. Ever.that's not what i said. i said i used Kubuntu for a while and then i quit using it once i had Vista. that had nothing to do with me disliking Kubuntu. instead, it just had everything to do with me just simply using Vista all the time. my point is that Vista suits me enough that i never really needed to install Kubuntu in the first place. i'm not passing judgement down on every distro. the only person that seems to be reading into that is you.

and, jmac, try not to take everything so serious. this isn't a life or death situation you know. ;)Biggest change is the GPU, I've heard enough from various people to take the step to a 8800GT, which adds quite a bit of money even though I've decided to take a different, less-expensive processor. The grand total is around $875, without taxes and junk and it's a somewhat prohibitive price. Guess I've just gotta start pinching those pennies. :Syou could always save some money and go with the 3870 instead. seriously, all these people that want to talk about this card being better than this card, but in the end, its clear that it comes down to price and performance and not just one or the other.

by choosing the 8800 cards, you're choosing about 10 extra FPS on your games compared to the 3870. when you choose the 3870 over the 8800 cards, you're choosing to save yourself about $20-100 of savings. that can go towards something else. yeah, it won't be the fastest system on the block, but what's more important to you: getting a better deal or an extra 10 FPS??

just my two pennies. ;)

tk102
11-30-2007, 10:33 AM
Kind of pushing the limit on the 450W PSU there. According to Newegg's calculator (http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html), they recommend 440W for that system as-is with the caveat : The PSU Wattage we recommend only gives you a general idea on what to consider while selecting a power supply. PCI cards, External devices, USB and Firewire devices, Cooling fans and other components may need more power.

Thrik
11-30-2007, 10:59 AM
You're also pushing it with the processor. I'm not sure how much that can be overclocked, but I can tell you from personal experience that an E6600 (2.4GHz) bottlenecks an 8800 GTX in a lot of games because they don't use both cores.

The E6600 has historically been highly recommended because it overclocks to 3GHz easily, which is enough to take your frame rate from 'jittery' to 'smooth' in a game like Command & Conquer 3 when a lot of action is going on (again, something I can personally attest to).

By the way, I mentioned the 8800 GT earlier. The 8800 GT has much better performance than the 8800 GTS you've listed and costs significantly less. This is because the 8800 GTS came out over a year ago, while the 8800 GT came out just a couple of weeks ago. It could be thought of as a new generation as it's built on a new architecture that allows them to make them much more cheaply, hence the lower price but superior performance.

NVIDIA chose to release this new card where you get much more bang for your buck rather than push ahead with the GeForce 9s (as they would ordinarily have done at this time of year, like they have since 1999). This is because they have such a lead on ATI right now they don't need to (ATI has only just struggled to get cards out that compete with what NVIDIA had out last November).

Indeed, the 8800 GT very nearly matches up with the 8800 GTX in many scenarios. :D

Darth333
11-30-2007, 11:38 AM
Careful about that cheap PSU RN. The wattage isn't all. Some brands are more reliable than others and it is very important to also check the amperage (or how much power it can deliver) on the 12v rail.

Rogue Nine
11-30-2007, 11:49 AM
Yeah, I'm starting to lean towards this case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156062). Hopefully the mail-in-rebate will work for me (they never have in the past :'() and I won't end up spending that much.

And gah, I don't know what to do now for the CPU and GPU! I didn't want to spend that much but now it looks like I'll have to drop $250 at least for each of them :S

Darth333
11-30-2007, 11:57 AM
Well it all depends on what you want. The e6750 is less than $200 and the radeon 3850 too. Of course that's a midrange card but depending on which games you intend to play it may also be sufficient for your needs (for certain games, it is not far behind the 8800gts you were looking at).

Btw, there is no point in buying a 8800gts: the 8800gt and the radeon 3870 outperform it for less $.

Astrotoy7
11-30-2007, 12:04 PM
I've used every version of Vista since the first beta and I test drove an alpha of Longhorn. And clearly your vast amount of experience as an IT EXPERT explains away the fact that a majority of businesses aren't even willing to switch to Vista until SP1 if at all and a large number of OEMs and customers are reverting back to XP....

lolz....I'd like to announce that the entity known as Rogue Nine has been officially declared a business and is currently in a bitter legal dispute for usage rights of Merril Lynches associate Return Note "RNI" index on the stock exchange. :D

If thats the case, then maybe Niner should stick with server 2003 or Novell like most business run. Not sure how its going to help with his guild wars 2 plans !!

Due to the massive costs of an organsiation wide turnover, business is the last place you will see 'early adoption' of a new OS, by MS or anyone else for that matter. I work in a large public health organisation and they are still going through their 5 year upgrade cycles from win 2000 to xp or server 2003 on some workstations :p Using the business sector adoption rate as a basis to make recommendation to a home user is seriously flawed.

*recalls stingers xp incapable avvie* ....

How vastly amusing to have jmac poking stinger of all people about the virtues of staying with xp

@Niner, you didnt mention what rez you game at. The 3850 and 8800GT are both great choices either way. At this stage I personally wont be upgrading anytime soon as there seems to be no card that can wallop a high end game at 1600p..

Carting over your OS is possible as long as you have an actual OS disk(not a ''recovery disc'' with other propietary junk on it). You may have to ring MS to get a new activation code as home/oem licenses are usually single pc only. (just tell them your hdd fried and you are reinstalling it on your original system). >>thats what is done if you want to do it the legit way of course :)

@jmac, stinger and everyone else, I suggest the focus remain on recommendations based on performance benchmarks, power consumption etc rather than just brand preference and personal ego. The tech forum is an erudite place dangit....keep your condescending SHOUTS and rat turds to yourselves !!

There is a relative scarcity of vista x64 benchmarks specific for a gaming context. There are a few reports, such as this one (http://64-bit-computers.com/windows-vista-32-bit-vs-64-bit-benchmark.html) which point out that 64 but has the edge operations wise, but from an app/game specific point of view - there isnt as much.

From my x64 experience, there isnt one game that ive had an 'x64' specific compatibility issue with. Ive had one bit of hardware(a usb capture device) that doesnt have x64 drivers ... many rival brands do - this one just doesnt :p Purely for the short term purpose of using this device I am using a virtualised xp pro x86 via vmware 6.2 which deploys beautifully on an x64 platform.

In apps such as video editing and encoding, being able to properly chew on 4gb RAM gives me a little edge on a comparable x86 installation - though im sure the differences wouldnt be staggering :D

The 64 bit revolution is still some time away. With MS tentatively announcing that their next OS wont have a x86 variant, it may be the nudge app and game developers need to start optimising for x64. Who knows - way too early to tell at this stage ;)

mtfbwya

Rogue Nine
11-30-2007, 12:23 PM
Well it all depends on what you want. The e6750 is less than $200 and the radeon 3850 too. Of course that's a midrange card but depending on which games you intend to play it may also be sufficient for your needs (for certain games, it is not far behind the 8800gts you were looking at).

Btw, there is no point in buying a 8800gts: the 8800gt and the radeon 3870 outperform it for less $.
I am looking into a 8800GT; so far the prices I've found have been encouraging ($250-$280). Not surprisingly, most stores that carry it have it on back order. xD The Radeon 3870 is also similarly priced so it might come down to a coin flip. :S

And the E6750 would probably work for me as well, though I am still sorely tempted by the Q6600 (Darn you again, Thrik!). Would probably have to shell out more cash for a more powerful PSU, though. :x

I game currently at 1680x1050, which is more than enough for me.

Astrotoy7
12-01-2007, 01:39 AM
I game currently at 1680x1050, which is more than enough for me.

that isnt a low-def rez so I'd definitely stand alongside everyones recommendation of the 3850 or 8800GT :) Gaming at that rez, with those cards you are future proofing yourself a bit more than with an lesser card

good luck!!

mtfbwya

MJ-W4
12-01-2007, 02:13 AM
I just wanted to be ahead of the curve.Perhaps you might be well-advised to wait until early next year, since hardware prices tend to drop shortly after christmas.

Det. Bart Lasiter
12-01-2007, 04:27 AM
on the other hand, an identical hardware setup running XP will run much smoother.Thanks for saying I was right. That means a lot to me.

and, jmac, try not to take everything so serious. this isn't a life or death situation you know.LOL INTERNET

lolz....I'd like to announce that the entity known as Rogue Nine has been officially declared a business and is currently in a bitter legal dispute for usage rights of Merril Lynches associate Return Note "RNI" index on the stock exchange. :Dosnap i just got tl;dr'd

Astrotoy7
12-01-2007, 06:04 AM
searches above post for useful information for the OP/OT

*bzzt*

jmac, keep it on topic please.

3. Spamming

Spamming is strictly prohibited. Your post needs to contribute to the discussion or the topic.

3.1 Spam details

Do not post messages that are irrelevant to the topic. This is spamming and is prohibited. Your posts should contribute to the thread.


* * *

@Niner, HERE's (http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3151&p=1) a great read, looking at the 38xx series and it competition. If you want to jump straight to the game specific benchies comparing it to the 8800GT, clickity HERE (http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3151&p=6)

mtfbwya

edit - darn these name changes >> who is this thrik character :D T7?

El Sitherino
12-01-2007, 06:05 AM
With nothing to add but a comment on HD picking up, you're going to need that 4GB of RAM. 64-bit OS is the way to go, even if only considering entertainment. As for GPU, bust as much as you can. 8800 may not be what you absolutely need, but it definitely wouldn't hurt, however you can always upgrade to the next pretty card at a future date. Video itself is coming a long way, without having to bring up gaming.

Not to mention pornographic multi-tasking is a must for Niner.

Astrotoy7
12-01-2007, 06:18 AM
With nothing to add but a comment on HD picking up, you're going to need that 4GB of RAM. 64-bit OS is the way to go, even if only considering entertainment. As for GPU, bust as much as you can. 8800 may not be what you absolutely need, but it definitely wouldn't hurt, however you can always upgrade to the next pretty card at a future date. Video itself is coming a long way, without having to bring up gaming.

Not to mention pornographic multi-tasking is a must for Niner.

well said sithy. Given that the transition away from DVD format to HiDef formats, a 64 bit OS coupled with >3gb RAM will have let you play and encode your 1920x1080 vids whilst allowing that multitasking sithy refers to ;)

since BR-ROM drives have dropped to sub $200, nearly everyone in the hometheater pc game has ditched their dvd drives. I'm only going near BR when GL releases the saga in glorious 1080 :D mmmmmm

mtfbwya

Thrik
12-01-2007, 06:56 AM
edit - darn these name changes >> who is this thrik character :D T7?
Heh. :D

No, I've always been Thrik. I just spend most of my time in the 'Original Titles' forums. :)

Astrotoy7
12-01-2007, 08:29 AM
Heh. :D

No, I've always been Thrik. I just spend most of my time in the 'Original Titles' forums. :)

wow...you must spend most of your time there indeed !! Ive been here over 5 years and I havent seen you ! I thought you were T7, where has he gone btw !

* * *

OT: @Niner et al
Here's a nice recent article about vga cards and power consumption.
clickity-snap! (http://arstechnica.com/journals/hardware.ars/2007/11/28/revisiting-the-power-consumption-of-the-ati-radeon-hd-3800-series?bub)

http://media.arstechnica.com/journals/hardware.media/nvidia1.jpg

interesting stuff

I'd still like to throw in my recommendation of a smallform, if this issue is an important one to you(as it is me)

I had an asus vento case with the thermaltake 750W toughpower case and the 7950GX2... since going smallform, my electricity bills have noticeably dropped, and that was even during the winter when the bills are higher as a general rule. Money you save on bills is money you can put into a nice display, or a trip :D

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
12-07-2007, 05:25 PM
I was gonna mention that too Astro, I'd watch the PSU even on that second case you posted Niner, a seperate one is almost always the way to go, especially if you're going to be using high-end components like that...(or you can go SFF like Astro and juggle your PC around while you use it :p )

I'd recommend something that has 80% or more efficiency (for mother nature's sake, and your household bills' sake ;) ) and 500W or more...Browsing through Newegg, I'd recommend the one I've got ticked for my own build: Clicky (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004)
It's got very good reviews and would be sufficient for your components, and it comes with a 5 year warranty IIRC, which gives you peace of mind as this is the component you'd least want to upgrade in the future...

When buying components online, especially PSUs, people are usually nice enough to give feedback and say what system they've got running on it, so if you take this comment "No problems running with an Intel Q6600, 8800 GT graphics, 2 hard drives in a striped RAID, and a CD/DVD drive." I'd say it's safe to say your rig would suit it as well...I know it takes up the cost, but it'll be worth it in the end :)

Rogue Nine
12-22-2007, 04:53 AM
Well kids, here's the final configuration I've got:

Case: NZXT Alpha Black Steel Tower (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146041) - $55
PSU: XION SuperNova XON-600R14 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817190012) - $115
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66Ghz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115029) - $190
CPU Fan: Thermaltake CL-P0257 Blue Orb (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106069) - $46
Mobo: ASUS P5N-E SLI 650i (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131142) - $115
RAM: Corsair 2GB DDR2 800 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590) - $67
GPU: eVGA GeForce 8800GT 512MB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130318) - $270
HDD: Seagate 320GB 7200RPM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140) - $85
CD/DVD Drive: Sony 18X DVD+R (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118003) - $26
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium x64 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116204) - $112

All in all, it's about $1081, which isn't really that bad at all, comparatively. I hope this rig'll last me for quite a long time.

Now I just have to wait for everything to get here. xD

Astrotoy7
12-22-2007, 11:38 AM
great stuff Niner. Dont forget, you can always dual boot if you have some old school games you really want to play. You could just make an XP partition of 20GB or so and off you go :)

good luck

mtfbwya

Rogue Nine
01-17-2008, 06:09 PM
Following a bit of a setback with a bum video card, I've finally gotten everything pieced together quite nicely. I overclocked the CPU to 3GHz and it runs beautifully. And omg, gaming is mind-blowing as the 8800GT chews up everything I throw at it. Installing a 120mm fan right next to it has managed to keep it's temperature manageable, though I am considering placing an aftermarket cooler on it.

Thanks for all the advice again, guys!

Astrotoy7
01-18-2008, 08:54 AM
great stuff Niner...good to see you went with evga...their lifetime warranty is awesome :D

btw - what games are you running with your 8800GT, and what rez ??

mtfbwya

Rogue Nine
01-18-2008, 10:14 AM
I'm throwing Hellgate London, Guild Wars, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, Civ IV and Empire at War at it and it handles all of them with ease, even at 1680x1050.

I also ended up throwing an aftermarket cooler on it, this one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186016) specifically. Now my 8800GT idles at a cool 38C and doesn't go over 48C at full load. :D

stingerhs
01-18-2008, 12:03 PM
you needs to see how Crysis, Bioshock, or Unreal 3 runs on your system, too. still, its good to hear that you got everything running.

and it seems that our little discussion didn't go completely to waste. did you just overclock the CPU/FSB, or did you get the memory running faster, too?? and what about the CPU temps with the special cooler??

Ray Jones
01-18-2008, 02:54 PM
I thought memory clock is dependent to FSB.

Rogue Nine
01-18-2008, 08:40 PM
you needs to see how Crysis, Bioshock, or Unreal 3 runs on your system, too. still, its good to hear that you got everything running.
Sure, got an extra $150 you can wire me so I can get those games? :xp:

and it seems that our little discussion didn't go completely to waste. did you just overclock the CPU/FSB, or did you get the memory running faster, too?? and what about the CPU temps with the special cooler??
I raised the FSB to 375Mhz with a multiplier of 8, since Intel's CPUs are all locked. That cranked my RAM up to DDR2-900, each stick running at 450MHz. Tested it with Prime95 overnight and it ran straight and true for the entire duration. I might try and go higher, but I'm more than satisfied with the performance now. :)

And as for the CPU temps, it idles at 30-34C and doesn't push past 49C at full load. :D

Astrotoy7
01-19-2008, 07:13 AM
Sure, got an extra $150 you can wire me so I can get those games? :xp:

yeah, while stingers at it, maybe he can chuck me a copy - cmon stinger man !!! ;)

Im busy playing CoD4 when I get the time atm, my 8800GTS is happy with 1920 x 1200 with normal-medium quality. Looks purrty :D Of course, like crysis and bioshock(from playing demo and review benchies), it isnt too happy in 2560 x 1600, but what single card is with those games :(

mtfbwya

Rogue Nine
01-22-2008, 11:48 AM
Cranked it up to 3.2GHz without a change in voltage and the same CPU temps across the board. Put it through the Prime95 overnight ringer again and it performed flawlessly. Lovin' the E6750. :3

Astrotoy7
01-22-2008, 12:55 PM
@Niner...is there a reason you want it at 3.2GHz, even if it is stable, does it really make a difference to gaming n such ??

of course, there is also the e-penis factor(ie. "mine is bigger than yours!"), which motivates all overclockers :D

the e-penis stuff gets me mainly when it comes to displays/resolutions, rather than clockspeeds :p

mtfbwya

Thrik
01-22-2008, 01:01 PM
Every clock counts when it comes to single-core games. I noticed an improvement in C&C 3 even when I just bumped it up from 2.4GHz to 2.7GHz. The only time you're not going to see a difference is when the game is so light on CPU resources that you've already got it well covered with 2.4GHz (mostly first-person shooters). Games that eat CPU such as real-time strategies and simulations are where overclocked processors get a chance to shine. :)

Rogue Nine
01-22-2008, 01:14 PM
Well, it's my very first overclocking endeavor, so it's really about experimentation as well as improving performance. It's more of a learning experience than anything else. :3

I'm planning to throw CoD4 at it soon, maybe Bioshock too, so we'll see if that extra .2 makes a difference. xD

stingerhs
01-22-2008, 02:36 PM
I'm planning to throw CoD4 at it soon, maybe Bioshock too, so we'll see if that extra .2 makes a difference. xDwell, you probably won't see much improvement with either game since Bioshock depends almost exclusively on having a duel core and CoD4 is VRAM dependant. either way, you should be able to run both games at 1280x1024 (or higher) with all settings maxed. if you can't, i would be seriously shocked. ;)

Rogue Nine
01-22-2008, 02:48 PM
Eh, we'll see. I'm probably gonna pick one of the two up after work and give it a go, so we'll see how my system takes it. I've been playing a lot of Hellgate London on it and there have been a fair few hiccups, but that's mostly because of HGL's subpar online client performance and not really reflective of the system as a whole.

Thriky, I want to be able to play Starcraft II when Blizzard finally does decide to release it upon the masses (thereby sending the entire nation of South Korea into a frenzy), so hopefully it will be able to take the strain.

EDIT: Picked up CoD4 and ran it at max settings without any hiccups for about three hours. My 8800GT didn't go over 45C and the CPU didn't go over 40C. I just stopped playing 5 minutes ago and the GPU is already down to 38C and the CPU is at 33C.

Ridiculous. :joy:

Astrotoy7
01-24-2008, 06:45 AM
EDIT: Picked up CoD4 and ran it at max settings without any hiccups for about three hours...

what rez niner? I havent bothered with cranking up all the bloom n glows, and have left it at whatever the game picked initially, and just changed it to 1900x1200. If I did put that other stuff at max, I doubt the 8800GTS would like me much for it at 19x12(let alone 1600p)

mtfbwya

Rogue Nine
01-25-2008, 02:20 PM
I almost always game at 1680x1050, which is the max res that my monitor supports. And omg widescreen in FPSes is godly. :3

Astrotoy7
01-25-2008, 11:12 PM
...so it's really about experimentation as well as improving performance. It's more of a learning experience than anything else. :3

if only everyone was so diligent about improving their love-making overclocking prowess :D


And omg widescreen in FPSes is godly. :3

yes, once you gone oblong, you can never go back. 1680x1050 is OK, but if you ever have the chance to upgrade your monitor, a WS native 1080p will be well worth it. Monitors are getting cheaper by the day now, and with OLED creeping in, LCD prices will continue to drop even further.

mtfbwya

Rogue Nine
01-26-2008, 03:09 AM
Hey, after dealing with a 17" CRT monitor for almost 5 years, my 22" widescreen is like being upgraded from coach to first class. :3