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-   -   Buying a New Computer - My Brain Hurts - Suggestions (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=192736)

Yar-El 10-04-2008 06:00 PM

Buying a New Computer - My Brain Hurts - Suggestions
 
Buying a New Computer - My Brain Hurts - Suggestions

I only have so much cash on hand, so I'm looking for a really good store bought computer.

I own this:
AMD Athalon 4600+ X2 Dual Core
(AMD Live) 64bit

2.5GHz

Close to these specs.

I was looking at:
AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core 9550
(AMD Live) 64bit

2.2GHz

AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core 9550 Specs

Is that a good upgrade. I'm only worried about the processing speed. :(

Boba Rhett 10-04-2008 06:40 PM

That'll surely get ya where you're wanting to go. You're going to want to throw in a video card though.

I've been seeing Best Buys clearancing their Gateway gaming desktops lately. They've been priced at around $1050 here and have some really pretty specs. May want to check those out.

Yar-El 10-04-2008 07:23 PM

Thank you kindly for replying. I was thinking about upgrading the graphics card to 512MB or 1Gig. Do you know why the processing speed is no longer an important factor? Is it that we are moving up the system bus, or is it the Quad core that makes the difference?

Thanks again. :)

Negative Sun 10-04-2008 08:02 PM

I'd stay away from AMD processors at the moment, anything by Intel at the same or even lower clock speed will outperform it by a mile!

The graphics on that are quite sub-standard too, don't expect to do any decent gaming with that!

To give you a better idea, this one here would seem a better choice, even thought the graphics is still not quite there, it's a solid contender in that price range, and the Intel Q6600 processor is a legend...

Better yet, this Dell one has a decent enough Graphics card if you're not planning on playing the latest games at higher resolutions ;)

Yar-El 10-04-2008 08:14 PM

Holy Henna, Negative Sun! I didn't see that one. Is it time for me to change back over to Intel? I haven't played with an Intel processor in about eleven years.

2.4 Ghtz
8 Gig Expansion

System bus is at 1066MHz. Hmm... Damit! The only problem is that its not in stores as of yet. Grrr...

I feel like that guy in the Simpsons movie. The one who doesn't know if he wants to stay or leave the dome before it closes. Grrr...

Thank you kindly,
Yar :D

Boba Rhett 10-04-2008 08:25 PM

Oh yeah. Intel is where the party is at right now.

Yar-El 10-04-2008 10:36 PM

I just came back from Best Buy, and I saw two machines of equal value.

HP - Pavilion Elite TV Desktop with AMD Phenom™ X4 Quad-Core Processor 9850

Gateway - Desktop with Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9300

Q 10-04-2008 10:44 PM

You've got a decent CPU already. You could easily get another year or more out of what you've got by upgrading what you have. You'd also save a bundle in the process. ;) Chances are you just need a new video card and maybe a CPU upgrade, a new hard drive and more memory. All of these things can be had for a fraction of what a new system would cost, and you would see a dramatic increase in performance.

Let's start by figuring out exactly what you have and we'll go from there.

Download and install PC Wizard. This handy utility will tell you everything that you need to know about your current PC's configuration. Thanks to Astrotoy7 for suggesting it.

The main thing that we want to find out is if your current CPU is Socket 939 or Socket AM2. This will determine whether you can upgrade to the latest A64 X2s or not.

Yar-El 10-05-2008 10:39 AM

Thanks Qliveur :)

I just downloaded the wizard. I will try it out tonight, and then I will post my stats. Thanks for the help.

:D

stingerhs 10-05-2008 02:00 PM

well, i doubt you're processor would differ much in performance from mine even if its the 65nm core (i have a 4600X2 90nm Windsor). with that in mind, the only game i can't run at maximum settings is Crysis. everything else runs great (30 fps average or better), including games like Gears of War, Bioshock, Mass Effect, STALKER, and TES:IV Oblivion. keep in mind that i'm also running all of those games on either 1900x1080 or 1900x1200 resolution.

my specs:
CPU - Athlon 4600X2
graphics - Radeon 2900 Pro (soon to be replaced, though)
RAM - 2GB DDR2-800

i also have a sound card which helps take some of the strain of the CPU as well at least with audio processing.

anyways, i hope that gives you an idea of what you can do with your present system. granted, i can't really make much in recommendations till i know what your full PC specs are, but at least you can get in the ballpark. ;)

Darth333 10-05-2008 02:56 PM

Also post what kind of PSU you have (open the case and check the sticker on the PSU if you don't know). Some video cards can be rather power hungry...

Yar-El 10-05-2008 07:49 PM

Mainboard: Asus NODUSM3
Chipset: nVidia nForce 410
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X 2 4600+ @ 2400 MHz
Physical Memory: 4096 MB (4 x 1024 DDR2-SDRAM)
Graphics Card: nVidia GeForce 8400 GS (512MB)
Hard Disk: WDC (320 GB)

Processor Info:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+
2400 MHz
Support: Socket AM2 (940)
Windsor

Power Supply: 300Volts
Windows Vista – Home Premium Edition

Does the system bus matter? One of the computers I was looking has a system bus of 4000MHz, and the other has a bus of 1300MHz. They both have a 2.5GHz processor. So, which is better?

Astrotoy7 10-06-2008 01:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boba Rhett (Post 2533653)
Oh yeah. Intel is where the party is at right now.

what in hell type of party is that !!

@Yar-El. It seems, in their exuberance, my colleagues have forgotten to ask you that most valid question:

what do you use your pc for?

This will give us an idea of the appropiateness of particular hardware for given tasks.

In a gaming context, in our day of GPU>CPU performance ceilings, unless you are a folder, high end video renderer or similar number cruncher, chances are you never come close to using your CPU to its full potential. If you like gaming, and do so at a modest output resolution, a new GPU will give you a performance boost in an area you will actually need and notice it. ;)

mtfbwya

Q 10-06-2008 01:23 AM

Wow.

That computer's pretty darn new, isn't it? ;)

Your CPU is adequate. If you really want something better you could get a 6000+ @3GHZ or even a 6400+ @3.2GHZ, but I don't think that it's really necessary ATM. They're both around $100. Alternatively you could overclock the one you have by ~400-500MHZ for free. Any more than that would require an aftermarket heatsink for about $25.

You have plenty of memory. Are you using Vista 64bit?

Your video card is crap. Pure crap. This is the only real weak point in your entire system. So let's find you a new video card and power supply to feed it and call it a day. Depending on your monitor's resolution you should be able to get both (and very good ones at that) for ~$200-$300.

So...

What's your monitor's resolution?

Do you prefer ATI or Nvidia?

Yar-El 10-06-2008 08:53 AM

Resolution: 1280 x 960
Prefer: nVidia
OS: Windows Vista (64 Bit)

I use a progam called Lightwave. I create 3D models of various technologies. Sometimes I'm required to bring my work home.

Astrotoy7 10-06-2008 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yar-El (Post 2534079)
Resolution: 1280 x 960
Prefer: nVidia
OS: Windows Vista (64 Bit)

I use a progam called Lightwave. I create 3D models of various technologies. Sometimes I'm required to bring my work home.

yup, save yourself some money. I would focus entirely on a nice new graphics card for the moment ;) Your CPU and RAM will be able to 'keep on keepin on' at that rez for a while yet.

What's your price range? Seeing youre leaning towards nvidia, a 9600GT or 8800GT is a good starting point, and then work your way up depending on how much cash you want to part with, factoring in a probable PSU upgrade if you go for one of the beefier cards. I'd daresay you may not need one if you stayed with a card with a single slot/fan cooler(like the ones above)

mtfbwya

Yar-El 10-06-2008 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astrotoy7 (Post 2534090)
yup, save yourself some money. I would focus entirely on a nice new graphics card for the moment ;) Your CPU and RAM will be able to 'keep on keepin on' at that rez for a while yet.

What's your price range? Seeing youre leaning towards nvidia, a 9600GT or 8800GT is a good starting point, and then work your way up depending on how much cash you want to part with, factoring in a probable PSU upgrade if you go for one of the beefier cards. I'd daresay you may not need one if you stayed with a card with a single slot/fan cooler(like the ones above)

mtfbwya

I'm going to give it a shot with upgrading the graphics card and power supply pack. I maxed out the RAM when I first bought the computer. I like the specs on nVidia's 9600 GT. Do you have any suggestions on a power supply upgrade?

Thank you kindly,
Yar-El

Q 10-06-2008 11:11 AM

Wait a minute. At that resolution you could easily get by with one of these. The 9600GSO is exactly the same card as the 8800GS (confusing, I know :(). But even at $64.00 shipped after rebate I wouldn't buy it just yet. The regular (ie, non-superclocked) version of this card was just $36.00 shipped after rebate just a couple of days ago. And yes, EVGA rebates are reliable.

I lurk around the hot deals forums on a daily basis. It's kind of a hobby of mine, so I'll keep an eye out for video card and PSU deals for you and post what I find here. ;)

Astrotoy7 10-06-2008 06:30 PM

Yes, Q is definitely our bargains man. Its too bad those deals arent valid outside the US! Ive recently bceome more of a scavenger/ebay rogue. 2-3 year old systems are still *very* capable of most things, so no need to dump 1000s into them all at once. GPU is sortve the exception, for most of us, esp those into gaming at HD.

mtfbwya

Yar-El 10-08-2008 07:49 PM

I ended up buy this: Gateway - Desktop with Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9300. I'm also going to upgrade the other computer. My issues with the AMD Athalon 4600+ X2 Dual Core system was from experiencing system lags. I don't know what HP and AMD did, but they create a computer that felt like a lemon.

I'm not a big Gateway fan (not to mention I hate Intel), but the new computer was the best in it's class. I cannot believe how quite the system is, and it is blazzing fast with responding to clicks. I feel like a youngling in a candy store. :)

Windows Vista on the new machine is a 64bit and 32bit hybrid operating system. What an incredible difference in all around functioning.

Astrotoy7 10-08-2008 11:54 PM

hey Yar-El, what are you doing with that 4600X2. Id love one for my folding rig !!

Seriously, PM me if youre thinking of offloading it ;)

mtfbwya

Q 10-09-2008 06:10 AM

That money was seriously burning a hole in your pocket, wasn't it? ;)

Negative Sun 10-09-2008 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yar-El (Post 2535474)

Nice bargain!

Yar-El 10-09-2008 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qliveur (Post 2535723)
That money was seriously burning a hole in your pocket, wasn't it? ;)

It seems more as the AMD Athalon 4600+ X2 Dual Core was burning a whole in my pocket. After I got home with the original computer, I had to bring it back for an exchange. I have allways had tick sized problems with the computer. I changed out the graphics card twice. Overheating issues have allways been a problem. Everyone kept telling me, "Its Vista, its Vista". It was really a problem with the hardware.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Negative Sun (Post 2535731)
Nice bargain!

Yeah. Its a great deal. Expandable upto 8 gigs of RAM, and it comes with a 512 MB graphics card from nVidia.

NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT over-clocked. I took everyone's suggestion.

Astrotoy7 10-10-2008 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yar-El (Post 2535474)
....with Intel® Core™2

...not to mention I hate Intel

Well that makes sense :xp:

People should look at their overall rig a bit closer. The Athlon X2 4600 is by no means a vastly outdated CPU. In fact given, the applications and resolutions most people use, it wont even be fully stretched at the best of times. Unless your CPU is truly defective, then the idea that having a faster CPU (than a dual core 2.3 GHz) makes your 'cursor and clicks faster' is a mistaken one.

However, factors like heat, dust, poor/depleted thermal interface materiel, not to mention a system install that has become top heavy will all contribute to slow downs. Add to that a *truly outdated* GPU and you end up with a ripe candidate for "OMG I need a new PC" It is also an unfortunate side effect that people then develop biases against certain companies

When these biases are based on poor system maintenance and inadequate knowledge, it is this dazed affect of misinformation and ignorance that the big companies(like Gateway) feed off to churn their millions.

Just yesterday, I refurbed a friends x2 4800+ rig. It now has a GTX260 and 3GB DDR1 (was already within Vista 64). All we did was buy the new GPU(originally had a 6200!), and do a dust n clean and re-paste with some arctic silver. On his 1280x1024 output, and the standard apps he uses, it purrs like a kitten, in true 'cool n quiet' Athlon fashion ;) All games running speedily, at 1280x CPU is not bottlenecking, not by a longshot (even with Crysis, Mass Effect, Oblivion etc)

Unless you fold like a maniac, professionally HD Edit/HD Render, then any dual core above 2GHz is more than up to the task. Heck, we all know most games arent even dual core optimised yet...

People that are intent on spending $$ should do it on a GPU or larger display :D Go for the true, noticeable changes!!

mtfbwya


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