lfnetwork.com mark read register faq members calendar

Thread: Buying a New Computer - My Brain Hurts - Suggestions
Thread Tools Display Modes
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Old 10-04-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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.
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
Boba Rhett
I Slay Dragons
 
Boba Rhett's Avatar
 
Status: Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Man-Room in Missouri
Posts: 13,807
Current Game: Scrolling Eldery
LFN Staff Member 10 year veteran! LF Jester Helpful! 
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.
Boba Rhett is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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.
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
Negative Sun
Death to all but metal!
 
Negative Sun's Avatar
 
Status: Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tropical Scotland
Posts: 2,683
Current Game: NWN
Forum Veteran Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member Helpful! 
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



"I killed a man cause he killed my goat."
Negative Sun is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
Boba Rhett
I Slay Dragons
 
Boba Rhett's Avatar
 
Status: Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Man-Room in Missouri
Posts: 13,807
Current Game: Scrolling Eldery
LFN Staff Member 10 year veteran! LF Jester Helpful! 
Oh yeah. Intel is where the party is at right now.
Boba Rhett is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 11:36 PM   #7
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-04-2008, 11:44 PM   #8
Q
The one who knocks
 
Q's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: ABQ
Posts: 6,643
Current Game: Mowing down neos with my M60
LF Jester Forum Veteran Helpful! 
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.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
Q is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
Thanks Qliveur

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

Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-05-2008, 03:00 PM   #10
stingerhs
Follow the Wolves
 
stingerhs's Avatar
 
Status: Moderator
Join Date: May 2004
Location: between my ears
Posts: 4,641
Current Game: Dead Space
Forum Veteran Roleplayer LFN Staff Member Helpful! 
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.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

stingerhs is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-05-2008, 03:56 PM   #11
Darth333
Administraterror
 
Darth333's Avatar
 
Status: Administrator
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: In my secret dungeon...
Posts: 8,295
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...
Darth333 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-05-2008, 08:49 PM   #12
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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?

Last edited by Yar-El; 10-05-2008 at 10:41 PM.
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 02:12 AM   #13
Astrotoy7
A Face from The Past
 
Astrotoy7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,284
Notable contributor Helpful! Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba Rhett View Post
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


Asinus asinum fricat
Astrotoy7 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 02:23 AM   #14
Q
The one who knocks
 
Q's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: ABQ
Posts: 6,643
Current Game: Mowing down neos with my M60
LF Jester Forum Veteran Helpful! 
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?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
Q is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 09:53 AM   #15
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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.
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 10:35 AM   #16
Astrotoy7
A Face from The Past
 
Astrotoy7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,284
Notable contributor Helpful! Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
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


Asinus asinum fricat
Astrotoy7 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 11:41 AM   #17
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7 View Post
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
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 12:11 PM   #18
Q
The one who knocks
 
Q's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: ABQ
Posts: 6,643
Current Game: Mowing down neos with my M60
LF Jester Forum Veteran Helpful! 
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.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
Q is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-06-2008, 07:30 PM   #19
Astrotoy7
A Face from The Past
 
Astrotoy7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,284
Notable contributor Helpful! Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member 
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


Asinus asinum fricat
Astrotoy7 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-08-2008, 08:49 PM   #20
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
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.
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-09-2008, 12:54 AM   #21
Astrotoy7
A Face from The Past
 
Astrotoy7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,284
Notable contributor Helpful! Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member 
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


Asinus asinum fricat
Astrotoy7 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-09-2008, 07:10 AM   #22
Q
The one who knocks
 
Q's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: ABQ
Posts: 6,643
Current Game: Mowing down neos with my M60
LF Jester Forum Veteran Helpful! 
That money was seriously burning a hole in your pocket, wasn't it?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
Q is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-09-2008, 07:40 AM   #23
Negative Sun
Death to all but metal!
 
Negative Sun's Avatar
 
Status: Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tropical Scotland
Posts: 2,683
Current Game: NWN
Forum Veteran Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member Helpful! 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
Nice bargain!



"I killed a man cause he killed my goat."
Negative Sun is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-09-2008, 04:13 PM   #24
Yar-El
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 783
Current Game: The Witcher
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur View Post
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 View Post
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.
Yar-El is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 10-10-2008, 01:11 AM   #25
Astrotoy7
A Face from The Past
 
Astrotoy7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,284
Notable contributor Helpful! Folder extraordinaire LFN Staff Member 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
....with Intel® Core™2

...not to mention I hate Intel
Well that makes sense

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 Go for the true, noticeable changes!!

mtfbwya


Asinus asinum fricat

Last edited by Astrotoy7; 10-10-2008 at 02:09 AM.
Astrotoy7 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Go Back   LucasForums > Network > Community Discussion > General LFNetwork Forums > General Tech Discussion > Buying a New Computer - My Brain Hurts - Suggestions

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:23 AM.

LFNetwork, LLC ©2002-2011 - All rights reserved.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.