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Buying A New Pc


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#1 .Prodigy.

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 08:54 PM

I started going into an entire story about my problem, but I decided to keep it short and simple. I'm buying a new "performance" PC for myself, and I have some questions. Feel free to answer any of them, or post any experiences you've had with the parts...

-What are the benefits of having liquid cooling over a fan cooling system, what are the major downsides?
-Is it worth buying a Dual Core Processor? I plan to keep this computer for at least 5 years. Will a single core become obsolete?
-Optical Drives... should I buy two (one powerful DVD R/RW and one powerful CD) or just one combo drive?
-Storage Hard Drives. I really have no idea where to go with this. What should I look for when choosing a hard drive?



Some of my requirements:
Desktop, not notebook
AMD 64 Processor (looking for recommendations on which?)
nVidia GeForce Video Card (again, looking for recommendations)
At least 1 GB of RAM, preferably 2
Optical Drive: DVD R/RW/CD (Dual/Double Layer recommendations?; multiple drives?)
Hard Drive: absolutely no idea... at least 250-300 GB
RAID Configuration? -- Don't know what this does exactly.
Under $2,000 USD

any comments or criticisms on the above mentions would be greatly appreciated. i'm still in the process of shopping around for the best price and build, so I may come back and update this with what i've decided on.

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 10:40 PM

I started going into an entire story about my problem, but I decided to keep it short and simple. I'm buying a new "performance" PC for myself, and I have some questions. Feel free to answer any of them, or post any experiences you've had with the parts...

-What are the benefits of having liquid cooling over a fan cooling system, what are the major downsides?
-Is it worth buying a Dual Core Processor? I plan to keep this computer for at least 5 years. Will a single core become obsolete?
-Optical Drives... should I buy two (one powerful DVD R/RW and one powerful CD) or just one combo drive?
-Storage Hard Drives. I really have no idea where to go with this. What should I look for when choosing a hard drive?



Some of my requirements:
Desktop, not notebook
AMD 64 Processor (looking for recommendations on which?)
nVidia GeForce Video Card (again, looking for recommendations)
At least 1 GB of RAM, preferably 2
Optical Drive: DVD R/RW/CD (Dual/Double Layer recommendations?; multiple drives?)
Hard Drive: absolutely no idea... at least 250-300 GB
RAID Configuration? -- Don't know what this does exactly.
Under $2,000 USD

any comments or criticisms on the above mentions would be greatly appreciated. i'm still in the process of shopping around for the best price and build, so I may come back and update this with what i've decided on.


You should be able to build a top of the line machine for $2000 (or less)

If it is to be AMD then the AMD Athlon 64 FX Processor
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/Produc...85_9488,00.html

The more RAM the better.

Liquid cooling will cool better, but problematic if you plan to move the system around. It adds more parts and more complexity and therefore more failures. If you are planning to use a constant power supply (battery backup), it must be able to handle the power requirements as long as the computer is powered up. If you connect it to the computer power supply, only the high end power supplies can handle its requirements.

Optical drives? Depends on what you want to do. Two is better than one if copying is a factor. Double layer will enable more data on the DVD disk.

Hard drive/s - high speed. Seagate comes with a five year warranty.

An explanation of the various levels of Raid:
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RAID.html

Motherboard - many choices. Pick one that has the features you want.

#3 .Prodigy.

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:11 PM

thanks for the suggestions, i've got my optical and hard drives, as well as the motherboard pretty much picked out, i'm now down to the cpu. after that it's just easy stuff like speakers and a monitor.

as for the liquid cooling, i think i may stay away from that. this computer will be going to college with me next year, and it will probably get moved around every couple months.

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#4 pascor22234

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 03:33 PM

Water cooling is needed only when seriously overclocking the CPU and/or the video card which produce so much extra heat from being overclocked that conventional heatsink+fans don't pull enough heat away. Besides, there are plenty of good HSF coolers on the market that work well even with a moderately overclocked system. The key to knowing when to watercool is by constantly monitoring the temperatures of the CPU, GPU and case temps.

Unless you want to go 'balls to the wall' and have lots of experience overclocking, you don't really need to consider watercooling. You need to read up lots on overclocking and cooling first.

Edited by pascor22234, 27 April 2006 - 03:34 PM.


#5 Modding Fan

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 10:49 PM

The dual-core thing will be great if you plan on doing anything processor intensive. Even with programs that don't support multi-threading, a dual-core can show the end-user a great improvement (ever notice huge system lag when your virus scanner kicks on...ding...the OS will shuffle VS to one core and let your applications run on the oter). Beyond that, doing things like burning CD's/DVD's etc is much more efficient when the burn is on one core and your other applications are on another.

As far as doubling up on Optical drives...I'd say it's not at all necessary. Unless you are going into the business of optical disc reproduction/duplicaiton, it really doesn't take a lot more time to use one drive and ghost your burns to your harddrive first.

I'm in the process of doing the same thing right now, right to the level of deciding to watercool or not. If you're moving a lot...I'd say no.

Good luck and let us know what you decide on!
Pirates are way cooler than ninjas. -Jinx.com

#6 .Prodigy.

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 11:42 AM

i've pretty much decided on what i'm looking for, now it just the proccess of shopping around for the best price. right now, i can buy it at cyberpowerpc.com for the cheapest.

here's the approximate spec's i'm looking for:
-AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+ Dual Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
-Thermaltake Purepower 680 Watt Power Supply - SLI Ready
-AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS
-(Sckt939)ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio
-Corsair XMS High Performance Memory w/ Heat Spreader 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY
-NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB PCI Express x16 Video Card (or 7900 GTX 512MB, depending on price)
-ViewSonic VX724 17" 3MS Response Time LCD Display Monitor
-300GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
-(2x) SONY DWQ-30A DUAL FORMAT 16X DVDR/RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER
-Creative Labs SB Audigy SE Sound Card
-Logitech X-230 2.1 Configuration Speakers System
-Intel Pro Gigabite 10/100/1000 Network Card

I'm buying the monitor separate, so the whole thing will cost $1706.00 with the 7900 GT 256MB video card, or $2046.00 with the 7900 GTX 512MB video card, Plus another $267 for the monitor. Right now i'm definately going with the 256MB video card, the $300 jump is way too much. If I find a cheap build, and I have extra money to spend, I may go with the 512MB card.

Thanks a ton for all the suggestions, if there's anything else you want to add, feel free to, i'm alway looking for more help.

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#7 .Prodigy.

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 06:58 PM

update:

I've been shopping around... alot. I've found a few site that can give me about the same price on the setup I want, and now I'mm looking for anyone who's dealt with these companies and has any comments on thier serivce/support/products/etc.

The first is CyberPower, Inc (cyberpowerpc.com)
The setup they offer gives me, notably, MS Windows XP Pro X64, which some other don't offer. They also have a greater selection of motherboards and a special price on the NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB. Their price comes out to about $1800.

The next is IBUYPOWER (ibuypower.com)
Oddly, they have the same exact hardware choices for sale as CyberPower, with the exception of their cases. It's almost like it's a different website for the same company. Their final price comes out to about $1900. I'd probably buy from CyberPower if it comes down to the two, unless I hear some good praise for ibuypower or something against cyberpower.

Lastly, ABS (abs.com), which I believe also owns Newegg.
This is probably where I will and up buying my PC from. First of all, they are affiliated with Newegg, which is a huge plus for me. Secondly, their build come out to about $150 cheaper than anywhere else I look. The only downside to this is that they don't have a selection of motherboards for the PC I was looking at, and they don't offer MS Windows XP Pro X64 as a preinstalled OS. They don't have as much of a selection of parts as I would like, but they have quality parts, and they have the important stuff I'm looking for.

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#8 jgweed

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 07:24 PM

You can check out how their consumers rate each company at ResellerRatings:

http://www.resellerratings.com/

Bearing in mind that people complain more than they compliment, you can nevertheless get a good idea of the honesty and service (or lack thereof) provided by these companies. Obviously, sometimes the lowest price is not the best price if you have shipping problems, substitutions, or a unfriendly return policy.

Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#9 .Prodigy.

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:58 PM

Thanks for the link, that site is truely a treasure for me. I first looked up ABS, and they have tremendous ratings. Only about one of every 10 or 15 is a negative comment, and the ones I saw had to do with customer service or shipping problems wih UPS, and everything seemed to eventually get sorted out. This shows me that for every person ticked off enough to complain, there were another 14 pleased enough to take to the time to compliment them. I will vertaintly be buying my new PC from them.

As for CyberPower and ibuypower, their ratings were more of an average balance between pleased and displeased customers. The difference here was, the displeased ones were more focused on the quality of the hardware, with many of the complaints stating system failures after a metter of weeks, and customer service problems following afterwards. As for ratings, cyberpower had a lower rating than ibuypower, nut neither of them looked good enough to fully trust.

-------------------

After hours of researching the best hardware parts for me, and then researching manufacturers, I'm down to choosing between specific hardware parts.

My choice comes down to:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB or NVIDIA Geforce 7900GT 256MB

It all depends on how much I choose to spend on the PC. I'd probably end up spending more on the processor and keeping the video card at the 7600GT model. What I haven't stated before is that I'm going into Software Enginnering at college, and a powerful processor is important to me.

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#10 legoman786

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:58 AM

No wonder you are AMD focused... lol

The X2 or the FX series are very good CPUs. But don't tkae my word on it, go read some reviews and see ow happy people are with their AMDs! But why prebuilt? Why not build yourself and save some money?

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
- Rick Cook


#11 mikelivia

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 12:48 PM

With cyber power i was kind of wondering the same thing. All though if hardware goes bad couldent of just been a lemon and not their fault really? But like you said cheapest isnt always best

#12 legoman786

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:32 PM

No it isn't, but if you want to save the hassle of calling different people for warranty services, then buy a prebuilt. But, for the satisfaction of that you built it and it costs less, build yourself.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
- Rick Cook


#13 mikelivia

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:18 PM

yeah still trying to decide if i want to just spend a little extra money and buy one from cyber. There prices really arent that bad or just try and build it myself. Any personal experience with cyber ?

#14 GamerTrend

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:18 PM

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