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#1 Om1d

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:09 AM

Hello all,
I looked through many forums to sign up to and thought this was the best for my questions.

I'm looking to build a new desktop, since my current one is struggling. I've been looking around on the web, reading different tutorials on building a PC but I fail to find a couple of my questions answered....

DDR2 / DDR3 - What is the main difference(s)? Is it worth the extra price?
64bit Vista - How does this limit my other components, what hardware has to be different?
If I do build a computer from scratch, does it come with the internal cables and wires I need?

Now your great answers will probably need the type of PC it will be:
I'd say Medium-High end.
Not a "gaming PC" but powerful gfx specs required - dual monitor output. I work with (3D)graphics and videos.
I use the RAM-eating Adobe programs: Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop whilst listening to Windows Media Player in the background.
Currently my 2GB PC likes to hiccup when I use this set up.
I'm aiming for 4GB+ RAM.
500gb+ HDD
Intel Dual Core, maybe Quad??

Anyways....hit me
Thanks in advance. :thumbsup:

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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 01:40 PM

Welcome to bleepingcomputer!

DDR3 is a bit faster, but for the price difference, it's not worth it. I've had computers and upgraded the ram with faster speeds, I never noticed the difference. However, if you wanted to get a new Corei7 system you would need DDR3.

64-bit allows Windows to use more than 4gb of ram, which is the limit of a 32-bit OS. There are some compatibility issues using 64-bit with older hardware and software, but most everything made in the past few years should work with it.

If you get a retail motherboard it will come with the cables you need. The power supply comes with all the cables (make sure it comes with a 6-pin pci express power connector though for your graphics card, or make sure it comes with an adapter). If you get a retail processor, it will come with a heatsink/fan for the processor. You may want to buy a tube of arctic silver thermal compound though, because the stuff that comes with the processor is usually garbage.

For the build, first off, how much do you want to spend?

If you're working with 3d graphics and video on dual monitor setup, you'll probably want a card with around 1gb of vram. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130442 That would be one of the better cards for you to get. If you wanted to go cheaper, something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102809 . I'm not really sure what your needs are though, and something more basic like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102801 may be sufficient. You should note that you'll want a full ATX case to fit these cards.

Once you let us know of your price range, I can help you with some of the other stuff.

Edited by Sterling14, 19 April 2009 - 01:40 PM.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 02:22 PM

I echo what Sterling said, DDR3 is a little faster and more energy efficient but is more expensive, 64-bit will work in most cases, and motherboards and power supplies come with all needed cables. Since we don't know what your budget is, we do not know what exactly we should put in the PC. However, a medium-high end PC usually starts at about $1000 USD. Given that your profile says U.K., the prices will be higher for many components. I do suggest the following.

A full-ATX case to accommodate the large graphics cards and provide ample room to work in.
A decent dual or quad core CPU, I suggest Core 2's or, if you want to save some cash, Phenom II's. Should have a clock speed over 2.5GHz.
A standard ATX (not micro-ATX) motherboard from a good manufacturer, such as Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, XFX, or ASRock.
4GB or more of RAM.
A power supply (wattage based upon graphics card requirements) from Silverstone, OCZ, Corsair, or PC Power.
A good GPU. Since you're running a dual monitor setup, a video card with 1GB or more of video memory is suggested.
Finally, A 64-bit OS to use 4GB or more of RAM. I also suggest looking into 64-bit compatible versions of those Adobe apps. You will still get a benefit of more RAM with the 32-bit editions, but the 64-bit editions can make use of much more RAM and faster 64-bit instruction sets.

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#4 Om1d

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:13 PM

Thanks for the replies. Very helpful!! :thumbsup:

I had already come up with a rough list of what I want, before I read your replies. It seems like I kinda had the right idea with most of the components.
I have copied this from my "favourites" list on the website I am buying from (aria.co.uk), and put notes next to some of the items which reflects my understanding:

Thermaltake Tsunami - Black, Window Side Panel - Standard ATX compatible I believe
Corsair 4GB PC2-6400 C5 DHX (2x2GB) - Enough for my needs, upgrade later. Sticking to DDR2.
Nexus 80mm Fan Filter - Ignore this, it's for the side fan on the case.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz (Retail 775) - With this I really don't have much of an idea, it just looked right.
HP dvd1060i 20x DVDRW/RAM Black SATA - Standard? Not that important. As long as it can write.
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA2 7200RPM 32MB cache - Might be too large but oh well. Better to have 2x 500GB maybe?
Asus P5Q iP45 Socket 775 Motherboard - Similar to the CPU, I don't know much.
600w Thermaltake ToughPower Power Supply Retail - Again, not too sure what wattage to go for. Heard this was about right? I have seen a similar OCZ.
nVidia GeForce 9600GT 1 GB PCI-E - ??
Does it not matter if the GFX card says DDR3 in the description? I'm guessing it's separate to the main RAM?
I take it from the links you sent that I shouldn't use nVidia ?

And yes, UK.
My budget of 700 = $1018 But I'd like to not reach that if possible.

Thanks very much for your help, much appreciated...

EDIT: Current Price: 604.65

Edited by Om1d, 20 April 2009 - 12:14 PM.


#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:32 PM

Overall, not a bad setup. I went to Aria.co.uk and saw what they offered in terms of hardware, so I'm basing my suggestions off of that site. I do wish Newegg shipped to the U.K., you would have a much better selection.

I would change the Thermaltake Tsunami to a full ATX case. Your case is a mid-ATX case, it can handle most mainstream components but longer graphics cards may not fit. If you're not going to use Crossfire, SLI, or get a cutting edge graphics card, that case will do.

I would go for a different CPU, motherboard, RAM combination. I would get the less expensive Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H AMD 780G Socket AM2+/AM2 Motherboard. As for the processor, the AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition 2.8GHz is suggested. That CPU is newer (AM3) and compatible with AM2/AM2+ motherboards. It is slightly slower, but has three cores instead of two and since it is Black Edition, it will allow you to easily overclock it since the processor has an unlocked multiplier. For the RAM, you need DDR2-1066 memory, such as the OCZ 4GB PC2-8500 DDR2 1066MHz Gold Dual Channel (2x2GB). I'm upgrading an older PC to the same motherboard, RAM, and CPU combination.

For the graphics card, NVidia is good, but the motherboard I chose will allow the use of ATI's Crossfire if you choose. So an ATI card would be best, though an NVidia card would work too. The video card's memory is different than the system's memory, so you don't have to worry about the VRAM. As for what to get, there are a number of choices. At the high end, there is the ATI Radeon HD4890 1GB PCI-E 2.0 Ret. Next, is the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E. Followed by the Asus ATi Radeon HD 4850 1024MB PCI-E2.0. Finally, there is the ATI Radeon HD4670 1GB DDR3 PCI-E.

Edited by DJBPace07, 20 April 2009 - 03:36 PM.

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#6 Om1d

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:19 PM

OK, thanks. Very well explained. Yeah Newegg seems like a big website that we could do with having.

The advice of changing the case applies if I am going to be using Crossfire or SLI....As I have no idea what they are, I'm going to do some research and get back.
As with the other stuff: I've always been used to Asus, Intel and nVidia. I'm comfortable with the mobo change to Gigabyte but don't know about the other 2. It's a big question I know but is there a big difference? I'm open to making the change this time round, but I don't want to bump into problems with compatibility since I don't know much about AMD.

Is there an Intel alternative to that set up? EDIT: Aria.co.uk doesn't have an SLI mobo for Intel. Nevermind.
If not, I'll stick to the AMD and ATI combo.
That OCZ RAM looks awesome too, I never saw that.

Is the PSU okay?

Sorry to be a pain...

Edited by Om1d, 20 April 2009 - 05:38 PM.


#7 Om1d

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:28 PM

Oh wow...Crossfire/SLI seems cool to have.
Just need to see if it fits into my budget.

I understand everything now. So all the gfx-cards you linked to are crossfire ones, which fits that motherboard but won't fit unless the case is changed.

I'm getting somewhere now. Glad that all tidied up.

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:09 PM

You've got it, the case needs to be larger to be able to hold two large cards. Also, a larger case typically has more fans and is cooler. SLI and Crossfire combine two or more cards into one really powerful graphics solution. However, in order to use the technologies, you need a board that is certified for SLI and/or Crossfire. Both SLI and Crossfire are very similar. AMD motherboards support either SLI or Crossfire as do Intel motherboards. The only real catch is the power supply. Depending on which graphics cards you wish to use, you may need a more powerful PSU. For instance, an HD 4890 requires a minimum of 500W for a single card, two HD 4890's need 600W. Therefore, if you wanted to use the HD 4890 in Crossfire, you should get a 700W since having a little more power than you need is a good idea. AMD and Intel CPU's can run each others code, that means there are no compatibility issues between the two processors. I've had three AMD PC's and three Intel PC and haven't had any processor-related compatibility issues. The differences between the Intel Core 2 you chose and the AMD Phenom II processor I chose are largely related to the number of cores (two cores vs. three cores), the difference in the per-core clock speed (3GHz. as opposed to 2.8GHz.), and the price. Also, the AMD processor I listed is socket AM3. AM3 is new but AMD wants to maintain backwards compatibility so an AM3 processor can be used in a socket AM2/AM2+ motherboard in addition to AM3 motherboards.

Helpful Links (The review links compare the mentioned technology to others, including Intel and NVidia)
HD 4890 Review
Phenom II X3 and Phenom II X4 processor review
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Review & Overclocking
Wikipedia - Crossfire
Wikipedia - SLI

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