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Pc Illiterate Here .. Need Some Advice, Please


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#1 MrClose

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:05 AM

After looking over all of the forums, I wasn't sure where to post this question.

Since, it seems that you folks 'Build' your own pc's, it would seem that You would know the answers.

I want to buy a new pc but I need some advice on what I would need.

I don't play games but I watch and burn videos and music.
I listen to online radio and like youtube.

Thats about it.
Of course I do the regular email and stuff but other than that .. I'm kind of boring.

I am concerned with the quality of the video card and I would like to know what an integrated video card is?
Can you buy a pc without one?

I had a Gateway media center pc and it had an nvidia 6200 turbo-cache card but I understand that it was an integrated card?

Do you need dual core, quad core, 2 dual quad core? or whatever they are selling now?

I have a good monitor so all that I really want is a reliable pc that has a nice display.

Budget is about a thousand or preferably .. less.

BTW, My wife REALLY demands that we buy a Gateway pc.
(I don't know why she is so set on a gateway .. All I know is that we are old folks and .. I listen to her, Oy Va)

Thank You for ANY help that you may provide.

Sincerly,
MC (Paul)

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:30 AM

There are far better builders than Gateway, nevertheless we can help ya out here. First off, an integrated video card is one that is attached to the motherboard (hence integrated) and uses a portion of RAM for video memory. Integrated cards are found in budget PC's and generally don't have good processing power, plus they use up RAM which could be put towards more useful tasks. Second, if you wish to future-proof yourself, a decent quad core would be the way to go, but most people only need a dual core. Here's a tip, AMD processors are not as powerful as Intel processors but they usually cost less and work just as good. Now on to getting you that Gateway. I'm a little surprised, Gateway doesn't sell direct nor do they let you configure your PC to your specifications. If you insist on Gateway, the FX540B is good enough. I recently purchased a new PC from Maingear so I checked their site. I found a good one for $1009. It's part of their Dash series of family oriented PC's. Here are the system specs that I changed: AMD Phenom X4 9550 (Quad Core), 3 GB of RAM (The more the better), and an ATI Radeon 3650. All the other customizations I left alone. I strongly recommend Maingear, they almost always get good reviews and high marks from customers.

Edited by DJBPace07, 16 September 2008 - 02:30 AM.

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#3 Budapest

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:30 AM

I'm no hardware expert but I'll throw my $0.02 in here.

Integrated graphics is where the graphic processor (chip) is directly hard-wired into the motherboard, as opposed to a graphics card that plugs into a slot on the motherboard and is therefore removable. Generally a video card will be more powerful than integrated graphics. But for your requirements either should be fine.

If you get a computer with Vista on it I would recommend getting at least 2.0GB of RAM.

A Gateway DX442B would probably suit your needs quite well, but wait for other suggestions also, as I've never actually used one myself.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#4 zedsed420

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:43 AM

Seriously DJB? AMD has the fastest and most powerful processors on the market. Not to mention significantly cheaper. I'm not sure where your getting your info but you should probably check your sources. For the money, Intel cannot compete. If your looking for a decent computer for tasks that dont involve heavy graphics ( computer created) then a proprietary graphics solution can save you money. If you plan on doing anything more than watching movies or streaming video from the internet, then you will require a pci express x16 video card at least. Yes onboard graphics DO eat up RAM, but if your not a gamer then it's not a priority. RAM is cheaper than a video card. for a QUALITY budget PC i have had outstanding results from places like ibuypower.com and cyberpowerpc.com. Their rigs are upgradeable and servicable by anyone who knows a little about computers. They have great tech support and GREAT prices. also my personal favorites tiger direct.com and new egg.com.

Edited by zedsed420, 16 September 2008 - 03:44 PM.

Asus Crosshair III  Motherboard, AMD PhenomII x4 965 custom watercooled XSPC Raystorm copper block,  8g Mushkin Blackline
2 XFX Radeon 4890's in Crossfire mode custom watercooled full copper EK blocks,  XSPC rs360 triple 120 radiator 
850w Antec full modular 80plus certified,  NZXT Switch Black case  Custom Watercooled Laing DDC w/ XSPC pumptop res

Tygon black tubing,  all Bitspower fittings and clamps, 2 Samsung 1T spinpoint F1's 

Windows 7 Professional x64 dual boot Ubuntu 12.10


#5 zedsed420

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:18 PM

P.S. if you need proof of AMD's utter domination, check this out... http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6389077-1.html It speaks for itself. out of 7 tests between the AMD and Intel dualcores, AMD CRUSHED Intel in ALL 7 TESTS! I sure do love my AMD. Also for something a little more current... Intel is trying but still doesn't quite cut it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l2e0mf3CcA...feature=related http://www.notebooks.com/2008/08/20/amd-vs...ics-demo-video/

Edited by zedsed420, 16 September 2008 - 01:51 PM.

Asus Crosshair III  Motherboard, AMD PhenomII x4 965 custom watercooled XSPC Raystorm copper block,  8g Mushkin Blackline
2 XFX Radeon 4890's in Crossfire mode custom watercooled full copper EK blocks,  XSPC rs360 triple 120 radiator 
850w Antec full modular 80plus certified,  NZXT Switch Black case  Custom Watercooled Laing DDC w/ XSPC pumptop res

Tygon black tubing,  all Bitspower fittings and clamps, 2 Samsung 1T spinpoint F1's 

Windows 7 Professional x64 dual boot Ubuntu 12.10


#6 zedsed420

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:32 PM

I'm not saying that intel is total crap but the numbers dont lie, for the money, AMD hands down.

Edited by zedsed420, 16 September 2008 - 01:53 PM.

Asus Crosshair III  Motherboard, AMD PhenomII x4 965 custom watercooled XSPC Raystorm copper block,  8g Mushkin Blackline
2 XFX Radeon 4890's in Crossfire mode custom watercooled full copper EK blocks,  XSPC rs360 triple 120 radiator 
850w Antec full modular 80plus certified,  NZXT Switch Black case  Custom Watercooled Laing DDC w/ XSPC pumptop res

Tygon black tubing,  all Bitspower fittings and clamps, 2 Samsung 1T spinpoint F1's 

Windows 7 Professional x64 dual boot Ubuntu 12.10


#7 hamluis

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:33 PM

Well...this is just my opinion...but I was doing all the things that you say you do on a computer...back when I still had my AMD XP 2800 PCs. I don't burn DVD-quality (not important to me), but today's processors all have supported DVD-quality for some time now.

As far as the video card goes...routine tasks are capably handled by any onboard video system today. It's gaming that is a routine activity stressing video cards...if you don't game, onboard does the job.

How Much Video RAM - http://www.dansdata.com/gz014.htm

Burning videos...a faster processor will yield faster results (I'm sure you know that), but I really don't see where you have any special needs. Get what you can afford and it will do the job...if you have any doubts, read up on performance opinions about the hardware before you purchase it.

In short...it seems to be strictly a matter of personal preferences, IMO.

Louis

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:07 PM

I didn't say AMD has the best CPU's, at least not when I said "AMD processors are not as powerful as Intel processors but they usually cost less and work just as good." Here's some links to the pages that I base my suggestion on: AnandTech, HotHardware, TomsHardware, and Techreport. BTW zed, the Cnet article you listed is from 2005, before AMD's Phenom and Intel's Core 2 line which is what I'm suggesting he use. AMD processors are more cost effective though, you get more for less but it is not quite as powerful as Intel. As for integrated cards, they will do the job but cannot be updated without going to a dedicated card. For general usage, either an integrated or dedicated card will do nicely but to future proof yourself I still suggest a dedicated card.

Edited by DJBPace07, 16 September 2008 - 05:10 PM.

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#9 cryptodan

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:43 PM

P.S. if you need proof of AMD's utter domination, check this out... http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6389077-1.html It speaks for itself. out of 7 tests between the AMD and Intel dualcores, AMD CRUSHED Intel in ALL 7 TESTS! I sure do love my AMD. Also for something a little more current... Intel is trying but still doesn't quite cut it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l2e0mf3CcA...feature=related http://www.notebooks.com/2008/08/20/amd-vs...ics-demo-video/



First of all they are comparing older Dual Cores based on the netburst P4 Architecture. Intel's Core based processors are great performers.

#10 zedsed420

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 06:46 PM

Yes the one article was from 05, I felt it was a fair comparison of strictly dual core architecture. However the others are for the most part current. The cost vs. performance difference between Intel and AMD , especially in the case of quad core technology, still leaves Intel in the backseat. I mean who but the wealthiest of builders would be able to justify a several hundred dollar increase in cost to gain a few mere nanoseconds? Intel may have more speed but the gain is worthless when you consider the cost difference.

Asus Crosshair III  Motherboard, AMD PhenomII x4 965 custom watercooled XSPC Raystorm copper block,  8g Mushkin Blackline
2 XFX Radeon 4890's in Crossfire mode custom watercooled full copper EK blocks,  XSPC rs360 triple 120 radiator 
850w Antec full modular 80plus certified,  NZXT Switch Black case  Custom Watercooled Laing DDC w/ XSPC pumptop res

Tygon black tubing,  all Bitspower fittings and clamps, 2 Samsung 1T spinpoint F1's 

Windows 7 Professional x64 dual boot Ubuntu 12.10


#11 hamluis

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:04 PM

Stop...polluting the thread, please...as a courtesy to all readers.

I've heard/seen all these "fanboy" arguments before...and probably so has everyone else.

Of course, a new thread could be started for just such opinions.

Louis

#12 tg1911

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:43 PM

Please keep all replies on topic.
There are other forums for debating which is "best".
Let's try to help MrClose make a decision.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 08:31 PM

This IS a system upgrade thread. Don't worry MrClose too much about who makes the processor, in the end both will do what you need. Price wise, the difference isn't that extreme unless you have the high end models. Same thing is true with graphics cards, unless you're a gamer, a recent card will get the job done.

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#14 zedsed420

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 09:30 PM

My point was this MRClose, if you want a pc that will perform well with a minimal budget, AMD has always helped me to keep my cost down. You had also mentioned a question regarding onboard video vs. a separate video card, again for budgetary reasons, I would say that for the applications that you are describing onboard video "video built into the motherboard" would be fine. a system with onboard video, a single large capacity hard drive, DVD dual layer optical drive, with a simple dual core processor can be found all over for around 5 to 600 dollars. They may not play the high end games but for your needs, they should do nicely.

Asus Crosshair III  Motherboard, AMD PhenomII x4 965 custom watercooled XSPC Raystorm copper block,  8g Mushkin Blackline
2 XFX Radeon 4890's in Crossfire mode custom watercooled full copper EK blocks,  XSPC rs360 triple 120 radiator 
850w Antec full modular 80plus certified,  NZXT Switch Black case  Custom Watercooled Laing DDC w/ XSPC pumptop res

Tygon black tubing,  all Bitspower fittings and clamps, 2 Samsung 1T spinpoint F1's 

Windows 7 Professional x64 dual boot Ubuntu 12.10


#15 MrClose

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 12:01 AM

I never expected to have so many responses to my questions!

You are some mighty fine folks!

I have been given a lot of opinions, (good ones too) that I will give a lot of thought to.

When I do buy the new computer, I will be absolutly sure to let all of you kind folks know what it is that I decided on.

I will never be able to express to all of you or to the owners of this site .. How much you are truly appreciated!

Thank You,
MC




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