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  1. #21
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Awwww! C'mmon Jeff!
    It couldn't hurt to have a little angry soldier-computer with legs (unless the legs kick you in the nuts?)

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  2. #22
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Thanks for the tips so far guys! Keep em coming. My eyes are opening.


    As for sound (re harddrives etc), it's really not an issue for me. If I can hear my hardware then my music/game volume clearly isn't high enough.

    And $5000 isn't a totally iron-clad cap. Alas, I have no sense of perspective when it comes to Fallout 3. Tips for saving money are still appreciated, though, and will get due consideration.
    I'll just say that there's a good chance you could get all the stuff I suggested, and the stuff they're suggesting (like hi-resolution monitors), and have a really good system. If you do, it might go a little over (although it might stay in range since you've still got about $1000 unspent on the system I suggested). but I'd rather send something myself than have you save money and get lesser equipment.

    I looked into it, and I think you could easily get a monitor and sound card like they describe for about $700 more than I described earlier. That would leave you with about $300 (out of the $5000) for your mouse, keyboard, case, cooling system, OS, and speakers. If you go even a little over (which you may not have to), then you can get the whole thing done right. You should know that one reason I'm suggesting such high requirements is because it's hard to get XP these days, and if you get stuck with Vista, you need a lot more hardware to do the same thing at the same speed. Trust me, I've got Vista on the new computer my father purchased for me, and even though it's got pretty high-end stuff (including 4GB ram, although it's fairly slow ram), everything runs rather sluggishly if I put a mildly demanding task on it. In fact, I'll probably end up not playing games on it at all, and just running SETI@Home on it while surfing the Internet and running several Office 2007 applications. That kind of multitasking is about all it seems to be good at (possibly due to the fact that he got a Q6600 quad-core). Not only that, it sucks three times as much power as my old computer, and I had to move it upstairs because it kept tripping the circuit breaker when it was on the same circuit as my refrigerator or TV set.


    One tip... you can cut the memory cost in half by only buying one (rather than two) of the packages I mentioned. This would give you 4GB rather than 8GB, but you probably don't really need 8GB right now, and you could always upgrade later. Please don't skimp on RAM speed, though. You'll regret it.

  3. #23
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    You should know that one reason I'm suggesting such high requirements is because it's hard to get XP these days, and if you get stuck with Vista, you need a lot more hardware to do the same thing at the same speed.
    $139.99. Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - Operating Systems

    I'm not sure how much longer it is going to be sold for though...I think the cut-off date may be sometime relatively soon. (Of course, it will still be available through less legal means...)
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  4. #24
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    #1 There's no real point getting an extreme processor unless you're overclocking.. well not really... and if you burnt it out could you replace it?

    #2 In terms of graphics cards you'd best have a good long hard look into reviews as the Nvidia offerings seem to be a little stale now, to me anyway. Each new model is pretty much the same as the previous one. Personally I backed ATi this time and the 3870x2 which I got works well... perhaps not so many screaming frames per second but each one seems to look more polished than the Nvidia versions..

    #3 Raptors are okay if you have money to burn but the present terabyte offerings are pretty damn quick and far more cost effective.. as for RAID I think Anandtech reviewed it and found little performance gain for a desktop. The main thing is to put your games on a different harddrive. Perhaps one raptor and one TB drive? Oh and keep your eyes open for the Velociraptor. Larger (320GB) and 30% quicker than a raptor 150GB.

    #4 Memory. If you go for DDR3 then spend a LOT of money otherwise it's just a label. DDR2 however, you can get decent speed for less cash these days.

    Oh and have a look at the elite stuff on Homepage | Custom PC They're usually pretty good if a little behind the bleeding edge. Xtreme Systems forum may also be a good place to ask around. They have systems that would make Bill Gates weep for joy!! Think liquid nitrogen cooling geeks and you're pretty close

    Oh and for an OS, Vista IS faster... there's no doubt there but it's buggy. XP is fine but 64 bit is my choice of preference and I very rarely have any compatibility problems... what I do find is that I end up with a less bloated system after six months as most bloat ware tends to target the 32bit suckers... errm I mean customers

    Edit :-
    You're getting a monitor too? Well I just bought the HP 24" widescreen and it's dreamy. Sure it's a TN panel but with the price of the "proper" panels being a whole hell of a lot more money.. I don't care.

    Sound card wise, I'd caution against XFi cards, they tend to cause problems. I'd reckon your best bet is to find yourself an audiophile site and get a cheap card (they pay hundreds for theirs so cheap is not necessarily cheap if you catch my drift). If you want a gamer card then check out Razors card. It's pricey (more than an XFi 64Mb!!!) but I'm hoping they don't have as many bugs as the XFis (Creative are terrible for drivers... just ask the Linux XFi crowd).

    Case wise (an oft overlooked part) if you don't mind noise and want to stick with air cooling then get the Antec 900. Nothing else competes for the price... not even close. If it's watercooling that's wetting your appetite then good luck.. that little quandary took me several months until I gave up and bought the Thermaltake Mozart as a "screw this I'm getting the biggest f'in case on the market!!!".
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #25
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    All these seem to be good suggestions, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    #1 There's no real point getting an extreme processor unless you're overclocking.. well not really... and if you burnt it out could you replace it?
    I wasn't suggesting he overclock it, but there don't seem to be any other quad-core processors that go very fast. They all seem really slow at 2.66GHz or 2.40GHz. The EE has 3.0GHz, and that's ultimately why I selected it... you have to go down to a dual-core in order to get 3.0GHz otherwise.

    #3 Raptors are okay if you have money to burn but the present terabyte offerings are pretty damn quick and far more cost effective.. as for RAID I think Anandtech reviewed it and found little performance gain for a desktop. The main thing is to put your games on a different harddrive. Perhaps one raptor and one TB drive? Oh and keep your eyes open for the Velociraptor. Larger (320GB) and 30% quicker than a raptor 150GB.
    That might be useful. I was looking at the Velociraptor myself in a review, but it didn't appear to be out yet. The main thing I was considering is that he really wants this in particular for playing one specific game with such a fast computer that he can react more quickly than his opponents even while running everything at full settings, and not as much general storage.

    I know RAID 0 is supposed to improve performance to some degree, although I don't know how much.

    #4 Memory. If you go for DDR3 then spend a LOT of money otherwise it's just a label. DDR2 however, you can get decent speed for less cash these days.
    DDR2 has been pretty slow in my experience. It only seems to go up to 800MHz. How much would he need to spend in order to make sure it's not just a label?

    Also, I'm a bit confused as to why everyone is pointing out ways to save money rather than improve performance, because I really got the impression that that wasn't really what he was interested in doing. He's building a $5000 computer for a favorite game, and wants it to run as well as possible. It's almost like it's hard-wired into your minds to look for the best deals rather than the best quality.

  6. #26
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I knew as soon as I saw you'd posted after me that you'd argue

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I wasn't suggesting he overclock it, but there don't seem to be any other quad-core processors that go very fast. They all seem really slow at 2.66GHz or 2.40GHz. The EE has 3.0GHz, and that's ultimately why I selected it... you have to go down to a dual-core in order to get 3.0GHz otherwise.
    The extreme processors have their multiplier unbound which increases the overclocking potential. Not overclocking them seems a waste and to be honest, it's not the processor speed which will inhibit game performance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    That might be useful. I was looking at the Velociraptor myself in a review, but it didn't appear to be out yet. The main thing I was considering is that he really wants this in particular for playing one specific game with such a fast computer that he can react more quickly than his opponents even while running everything at full settings, and not as much general storage.
    The Velociraptor is due out soon, I think it's available on pre order about now though.

    As for performance, it'll make no difference to most in game speeds only load times. I have two Samsung 500Gbs and not only are they quick enough to keep pace with Crysis but also a darn sight quieter than a vibrating raptor

    Now if noise isn't an issue then yes they're a great reliable drive but at
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  7. #27
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    The extreme processors have their multiplier unbound which increases the overclocking potential.
    Yup, but often they are also the processors that are at the maximum of what is currently possible, so they have much less "headroom" to go up, as compared to overclocking a processor that is much slower up to that speed. And really, why deal with the potential instabilities and other things that can go along with overclocking, if you can afford the best anyway. (unless you can't stop tweaking things like me).

    It's not the processor speed which will inhibit game performance.
    I'd say almost any of the Core 2 Duo's out there will be pretty much equal as far as game performance goes, because games are much more heavily tied to the graphics card. (Unless you have a really terrible processor, but that wouldn't happen with any of what's been suggested.)
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  8. #28
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Yup, but often they are also the processors that are at the maximum of what is currently possible, so they have much less "headroom" to go up, as compared to overclocking a processor that is much slower up to that speed. And really, why deal with the potential instabilities and other things that can go along with overclocking, if you can afford the best anyway. (unless you can't stop tweaking things like me).
    Oh I wouldn't recommend overclocking unless I didn't like the person and thought they would stuff it up.. or if they're especially irritating..

    As for "the maximum of what is currently possible"... you should see Xtreme Systems.. 3ghz nothing when you introduce liquid nitrogen and other ridiculous solutions

    They really do mean the Xtreme bit.

    Also, as a general warning to tripleJ, the current top speed stuff is often more unreliable, causes more problems and can actually be slower than other more established components.

    Basically the bleeding edge seems to be a precarious surface. Unless everything is "just so" you get problems and problems accompany a slower computer like the smell follows raw fish.
    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    I'd say almost any of the Core 2 Duo's out there will be pretty much equal as far as game performance goes, because games are much more heavily tied to the graphics card. (Unless you have a really terrible processor, but that wouldn't happen with any of what's been suggested.)


    JJJ,
    Get a good motherboard, I've got an X38 Bearlake and that works fine but you could get an X48 if you want DDR3, get a good graphics card (pay attention to the memory access width as that often cramps a good card), decent speed memory and a quick hard drive. Sorted.
    -Raptors are okay but won't make your computer lightspeed

    -DDR3 is nice but probably half the performance is inaccessible right now (perhaps if you intend keeping this PC "forever" then DDR3 would be a good investment)

    -The top graphics cards are all well and good but you're paying to be at the top (a hefty fee too) and often the performance returns aren't worth it

    -Raging processors and lightning graphics cards are all well and good but they wither and die without a good solid board (check out the Gigabyte DQ6 model range) and decent cooling (stick to air unless you like clenching ).

    Oh and if you're like me and want to know what's hot and what's not by way of readin every review you can get your mits on then try TrustedReviews - The UKs premier source of Technology News and Reviews they seem to talk sense and with UK markets you should have it if we have... probably about two weeks before but we won't worry about that.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #29
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Thinking of cooling that reminds me... one piece of advice I was given was to remove the tacky cooling pads from the motherboards heatsinks and replace it with something like Artic Silver Ceramique. Also when looking at processors, don't necessarily stick to the stock heatsink, they're usually terrible. Get a decent one (Thermalright produce the best at the moment (last time I checked) for air cooling. Oh and use some Zalman STG1 (I find it's better than Arctic Silver's stuff), dead easy to apply and works great, on your cooler. If you get good cooling then your computer shouldn't glitch and also it'll last longer. Esp important if your house tends to be hot.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #30
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    The extreme processors have their multiplier unbound which increases the overclocking potential. Not overclocking them seems a waste and to be honest, it's not the processor speed which will inhibit game performance.
    If they made a regular quad-core without an unlocked multiplier at anywhere near same speed, I would have suggested that.

    So, what's your suggestion? Go down to dual-core for better speed, or stick with a sluggish regular Q6XXX processor which won't go higher than 2.66GHz? My father unfortunately got me a Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (which I didn't ask him to ), and it doesn't even run most applications as quickly as my old E6600 with a 2.66GHz processor. So you can't tell me processor speed doesn't make a difference. I even notice it on boot time, application start time, even while waiting for areas to load in games. Perhaps I'm just so impatient that I notice performance differences that would elude most people.

    The Velociraptor is due out soon, I think it's available on pre order about now though.

    As for performance, it'll make no difference to most in game speeds only load times. I have two Samsung 500Gbs and not only are they quick enough to keep pace with Crysis but also a darn sight quieter than a vibrating raptor
    Well in that case, he should probably look out for them in case he needs the speed. But if he doesn't get a Raptor, he should at least get a drive with a larger buffer and the best SATA connection available. Basically, I'm saying don't go too cheap for bigger storage. I honestly have never been able to use more than 60% of a 200GB drive, and that was when I was incredibly lazy about cleaning it up for several years. The drive died before I even got close to it's capacity. You're probably right about RAID, although it still might improve performance slightly.

    You're discounting the performance impact of all these things individually as negligable, but I want you to consider something... taken together, won't they make a bigger impact and result in a less powerful system where you can't do things quite as well or quickly?

    And you still haven't answered my main question... why is everyone's mind so focused on "best deals" rather than "best quality" or "best performance"? It's like you're all internally assured that that's the most important thing.

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