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Do I have the right specs?


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#1 vernhunt

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:23 PM

Hello,

My brother and I customized this desktop PC with hardware that we thought was appropriate for my computer needs on the HP website. So I was wondering if I could get multiple well-informed opinions regarding the specs of this thing. Which is where many of the users of this forum hopefully come in. I use a majority of the Adobe software products (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, etc.) in my line of work. I also tend to use my computer for a lot of pro-gaming on my time off so it needs to be a gaming PC as well. Here goes!

Operating system............................Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
Processor.........................................IntelŪ Core™ 2 Quad processor Q9550 [2.83GHz]
Memory............................................8GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM [4x2048]
Hard drive........................................500GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
Graphics card..................................1GB NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT [2 DVI, HDMI and VGA adapters]
Primary DVD/CD drive....................LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
Networking.......................................Wireless-N LAN card
Front Productivity Ports..................15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, 1394, audio
Sound Card.......................................Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
Speakers..........................................HP stereo speakers with subwoofer and remote (2.1) 30W
Keyboard and Mouse........................HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse
Monitor..............................................HP w1907 19 -inch widescreen flat panel monitor

Regarding the monitor, one main concern was color fidelity. On an added note, my current desktop is connected to a Comcast modem through a wireless Linksys router so that a PC elsewhere in my home can connect to the internet wirelessly. Just something to maybe keep in mind.
Thank you.

Edited by vernhunt, 16 February 2009 - 04:24 PM.


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#2 fairjoeblue

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:51 PM

If it were me I'd get the "regular" 32bit version of Vista instead of the 64bit.
Much greater program compatibility !
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#3 vernhunt

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:14 PM

But I had heard that the 64-bit version is the only version that can run the 8GB of ram that I hope to get properly.

#4 Sterling14

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:50 PM

Looks like a great system. I would say going with 64-bit was the best option. 32-bit only allows about 3.5gbs of ram max, and the program compatibility issues are almost non-existent now.
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#5 dpunisher

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:52 PM

But I had heard that the 64-bit version is the only version that can run the 8GB of ram that I hope to get properly.


You are correct sir. Plus, program incompatabilities going with 64bit Vista are overblown. Still, if you have high dollar software that costs to upgrade, it doesn't hurt to double check and make sure it doesn't surprise you running under a 64bit OS.

If you weren't trying to build a gaming rig as well, then the config listed in the original post would suffice.

Random stuff: I don't buy soundcards (especially Creative branded soundcards) unless I have a specific need for one. Onboard sound works fine for 90% of what's out there.
If you are a "pro gamer" that video card won't cut it with newer titles.
The speakers are junk, unless they are "free" and included in the base price of the system.
That 19" monitor is going to get old really fast. Prices are dropping like a rock on LCDs now. 22-24" monitors are easy to get ahold of now without breaking the bank. Lot's of options out there.
I get uncomfortable buying anything more than a basic system from OEMs. On basic stuff, OEMs have the price on their side and cut some really good deals. Once you start trying to buy higher end stuff with good CPUs and videocards the price starts to rise to the point where it is more economical to build it yourself (plus you can overclock that quad core to at least 3.4 ghz). OEMs have a bad habit of throwing a few nice pieces on mediocre motherboards, minimum spec memory, with mediocre CPU cooling, and annoyingly constructed cases.

Sometimes though, OEMs throw a product out the door that's too cheap to pass up. I know once in awhile Dell does that and people buy the systems, tear them down, use the good components and EBay the rest of the parts.

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#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:08 PM

looks fine to me.

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#7 vernhunt

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:40 PM

But I had heard that the 64-bit version is the only version that can run the 8GB of ram that I hope to get properly.


You are correct sir. Plus, program incompatabilities going with 64bit Vista are overblown. Still, if you have high dollar software that costs to upgrade, it doesn't hurt to double check and make sure it doesn't surprise you running under a 64bit OS.

If you weren't trying to build a gaming rig as well, then the config listed in the original post would suffice.

Random stuff: I don't buy soundcards (especially Creative branded soundcards) unless I have a specific need for one. Onboard sound works fine for 90% of what's out there.
If you are a "pro gamer" that video card won't cut it with newer titles.
The speakers are junk, unless they are "free" and included in the base price of the system.
That 19" monitor is going to get old really fast. Prices are dropping like a rock on LCDs now. 22-24" monitors are easy to get ahold of now without breaking the bank. Lot's of options out there.
I get uncomfortable buying anything more than a basic system from OEMs. On basic stuff, OEMs have the price on their side and cut some really good deals. Once you start trying to buy higher end stuff with good CPUs and videocards the price starts to rise to the point where it is more economical to build it yourself (plus you can overclock that quad core to at least 3.4 ghz). OEMs have a bad habit of throwing a few nice pieces on mediocre motherboards, minimum spec memory, with mediocre CPU cooling, and annoyingly constructed cases.

Sometimes though, OEMs throw a product out the door that's too cheap to pass up. I know once in awhile Dell does that and people buy the systems, tear them down, use the good components and EBay the rest of the parts.

First of all, thank you for your informative reply, dpunisher. I can go a bit farther on the monitor as you've suggested if need-be but what would you suggest in the way of graphics cards? Also, the speakers are junk in what way exactly? Do they offer poor/unclear sound quality? Are they overpriced considering their attributes? And on a last note, I've always heard of how much more beneficial it is to build a PC yourself and never have seriously considered it until now. Is it as simple as ordering the parts, slapping them all together in the correct places and closing the tower's case?

Thank you for your time.

#8 dpunisher

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 04:44 AM

The 9800GT not a bad video card, it is just a couple of steps behind the curve at this point. Pretty much any of the GTX200 series will outperform that card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....amp;srchInDesc=
or ATI flavors
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....amp;srchInDesc=

As far as speakers, I don't know if your HP speakers are overpriced as you didn't include that info. The latest games/hardware can take advantage of 5.1 surround.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....amp;srchInDesc=
(not pushing Newegg, it's just the most convenient to link to for examples)

The benefits (and a drawback) of building your own system are control of components. You pick what goes in the build. The potential problems: Sometimes components don't always coexist well, and you have no system tech support (except for forums like this I guess). An OEM's tech support, no matter how annoyingly bad, is a safety net for many. I build systems because an OEM can't touch me on prices with higher end rigs, and I can overclock. I look at Alienware ads and smile. Something to factor in as well is upgradability. OEMS have a habit of using proprietary components, especially motherboards and cases) which can make upgrades tough.

Sometimes a build is as easy as "ordering the parts, slapping them all together in the correct places and closing the tower's case". At the same time you do have to pay attention to what you are doing and ask questions when in doubt. Don't forget to add in the cost of your operating system into the mix as well. Many forget that.

Uh Oh. Keyboard clacking is waking the wife up. That's not a good thing. Later.

Edited by dpunisher, 17 February 2009 - 04:46 AM.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)





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