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My Christmass Project (need Advice)


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#1 Mattsharkey

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:12 PM

Hey new to the forums and computer building so i need a bit of advice.
Ok so for xmas i'm given a budget of $1,500 to build my very own computer,

Goal: high end gaming computer at around $1,500.

Specifications:
-AMD dual core (aprox 3ghz total)
-Dual hardrives, 80gigs each (running RAID)
-1 gig of ram
-Nvidia 7800gs (that right?)
-Clocking motherboard compatable with SLI graphics cards.
-psu with watage to spare
-Logitec G15, G7
-the nessecities: monitor, speakers, cdr drive, ect.

any and all advice is greatly apriciated.

Future plans:
get a matching graphics card and maby a ram upgrade.

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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 07:11 AM

A couple of pointers to start with:

You'll only get a higher mid-end computer for 1500$, if you need to get a whole machine.

A dual-core processor with each core at 1.5GHz is nothing at all like a single-core 3GHz processor. The combined GHz amount is a red herring, is has no significance in any situation. A 1.5GHz dual-core is as fast as a 1.5GHz single core, BUT it can do two things at once. A 1.5GHz dual-core AMD processor would be worthless, and I don't think they make that slow dual-cores.

Intel's new Core 2 Duo line of processors are the best processors out there, and worth looking at. They are better at gaming than AMD's Athlon X2's and overclock way better, if you have a good motherboard and RAM.

80GB hard-drives are so small it could be hard to find. A good idea, would be to get two 320GB hard-drives, put them in RAID 0, and, in this order, make one small partition for windows (10-15GB), another for games, and the last and biggest for data on the slowest part of the hard-drive. The smaller partitions at the beginning of the hard-drive will perform at raptor levels.

Starting out with only 1GB of RAM is a good idea. The price of memory has almost doubled these last months. Keep in mind that overclocking an Core 2 Duo the memory is most likely the part that limits you.

A good overclocking SLI motherboard can be a problem. On the AMD side there is the nForce 590SLI, which overclocks well, but is expensive. The nForce 570 is a worthless overclocker. On the Intel side with the wonderfully overclockable Core 2 Duos there isn't any good SLI motherboard for overclocking. nVIDIA is coming out with the nForce 680i for Intel which is supposed to overclock really well, but that is for the future. DFI is also supposed to come out with an RD600 based Intel board with CrossFire and great overclocking capabilities. Now you would have to look to Intel chipsets like the 975X.

Don't skimp on the monitor. It is the part you will be spending most the time looking at, and also the part you probably won't have to upgrade.

Upgrading to SLI isn't really a good idea. A year later when you are thinking about it there will probably already be some new really fast card with a bunch of new features, so then you might as well just upgrade the 7800GS.
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#3 stevealmighty

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 08:57 AM

Great advice Mr Alpha! IMHO, I'd go with a higher end single core P4 800mhz fsb before I'd go with a duo core. You can get a P4 3.4 ghz 800mhz fsb with Hyper threading cheaper than you can get a slower duo core for. I'd venture a guess that it'll be faster for a single process (game) than a duo core would.

Just my opinion though! :thumbsup:
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#4 usasma

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 11:06 AM

Not to demean your selections, but here's a nice rig for about this price: http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/system...de-200608.ars/3

It should even be cheaper now due to the advent of Core Duo systems.
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#5 Mr Alpha

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 02:36 PM

IMHO, I'd go with a higher end single core P4 800mhz fsb before I'd go with a duo core. You can get a P4 3.4 ghz 800mhz fsb with Hyper threading cheaper than you can get a slower duo core for. I'd venture a guess that it'll be faster for a single process (game) than a duo core would.

You are underestimating the Core 2 Duo. Without any overclock the slowest Core 2 Duo (the E6300) is significantly faster than the fastest Pentium 4 in single-threaded games.
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#6 stevealmighty

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 03:14 PM

Really? :thumbsup: That seems odd, not to mention mathmatically impossible for a 2.4ghz (or even the 2.6ghz) Core 2 Duo to out perform a P4 3.4 ghz processor. Even though the core 2 has a 1066 mhz fsb (BTW, is that combined, or individual speeds?), and more memory, I should think that the advantage would go to the higher speed of a P4 3.4 ghz 800mhz fsb. Does that make any sense to anyone besides me? I should think it'd be like a tricked out 6 cylinder turbo porsche racing a chevelle with a 400 big block in it.....the numbers favor the bigger engine.

Could anyone provide me with some links about the core 2 duo? TBH, I'm not really up to snuff with them as far as all their specs and whatnot :huh:
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#7 Mr Alpha

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 03:53 PM

When I said the Pentium 4 line was obsolete I wasn't being dramatic. The 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo is faster than the 3.7GHz Pentium 4. The only reason to get Pentium 4:s is for some serious Christmas bling.

I think you've misunderstood what the GHz is. It is a measure of clock-signals per second. The closest car analogy I can think of is rpm. The problem with car analogies is that a processor is way more complex than an car engine.

Article comparing Intel's Core 2 and AMD's K8 architecture.
Review of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#8 usasma

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 05:14 PM

There has been debate for years on the value of the clock speed as a performance measure. Recently it's been shown that AMD's with much slower clock speeds will outperform P4's with their higher clock speeds (and I'm an Intel fan!).

The Core Duo is a quantum leap forward for Intel. Since hyperthreading has been around for a while (as have dual cores), more and more programs are taking advantage of it. Take a look at the benchmarks for the Core Duo!

BTW - I've got a 3.0 gHz P4 and Vista's telling me that it's borderline for Vista.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 stevealmighty

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for the links Mr Alpha! I read one a bit, but I will need to research some things I found in the article, like the virtualization thingy-my-who-bob (yes, that's the technical term). This has definately been a good learning thread for me.

usasma, I knew about the slower AMD's being faster than a higher clock speed intel. I thought that was due to the fact (if I remember it correctly) that AMD had 2 math processors in it's cpu's compaired to intel's 1 math processor. I could be wrong( :thumbsup: ), TBH it's been quite some time since I've researched this stuff and read anything on it.

Oh, and I thought that the car analogy was pretty good! In general, an 8 cylinder would (most typically) beat a 6 cylinder. I was referring to the actual number, not the ghz (I knew what a ghz was.....but couldn't give the "text book" defination).

Thanks both of you for taking the time to tell me this stuff, and for providing links! :huh:
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#10 usasma

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

Generally, an 8 cylinder will beat a 4 cylinder - but compare a Porche (with a 4 cylinder - the 912) to a fully loaded dump truck with an 8 cylinder.

The clock speed is how fast that that particular processor works - but doesn't necessarily equate to any other model. There are so many variables inside of the processor (and with how it works) that it's very difficult to decide which processor is better. It's not just math co-processors - but also die size, power consumption, L1 cache, L2 cache, optimization routines used within the chip, etc, etc, etc.

Benchmarking utilities were developed to help make this decision easier - but then you get into how well the benchmark simulates real life.

Read the reports, check out the benchmarks, and then pick the best that you can - that's all that any of us can do!
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#11 Detox

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 04:00 PM

Really? :thumbsup: That seems odd, not to mention mathmatically impossible for a 2.4ghz (or even the 2.6ghz) Core 2 Duo to out perform a P4 3.4 ghz processor. Even though the core 2 has a 1066 mhz fsb (BTW, is that combined, or individual speeds?), and more memory, I should think that the advantage would go to the higher speed of a P4 3.4 ghz 800mhz fsb. Does that make any sense to anyone besides me? I should think it'd be like a tricked out 6 cylinder turbo porsche racing a chevelle with a 400 big block in it.....the numbers favor the bigger engine.

Could anyone provide me with some links about the core 2 duo? TBH, I'm not really up to snuff with them as far as all their specs and whatnot :huh:


Clock speeds don't mean a thing. The Core 2 is built on a different architecture than the P4.

A Core 2 processor doing at 1.5 Ghz will be significantly faster than a P4 or a AMD X2 at 1.5 Ghz.


Benchmarks showing Core 2 plowing the hell out of the PDs and AMDs.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2802




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