"Rate my Rig" thread

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"Rate my Rig" thread

Postby Lagmonster » 2006-11-07 07:59am

Since we've been seeing a lot of "help me choose a system" and "tell me how good the system/tech I want to buy is" threads, I'm creating this sticky for people to use instead of posting a new thread.

If you want feedback on a potential technology purchase, or just want someone to tell you which video card to buy, this is the thread to do it in.
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Postby Hawkwings » 2006-11-19 07:45pm

hmm, may as well use this.

I'm getting a new computer soon. After looking around, I made a core list of parts that I wanted in this new computer of mine:

Core 2 Duo E6600
A motherboard that goes with that.
2 gigs RAM
GeForce 7900 or above

So naturally, I started looking up reviews, prices, etc, planning on building it myself. I discovered that I could get Dell to build it for me at just about the same price as if I went and bought all the parts and built it myself. I went to Dell's website and started fiddling around. An XPS 410 fitted out to my specifications and stripped of everything I don't need or can reuse costs $1284.

Is this a good deal? How good/reliable are Dell's systems?

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Postby Dominus Atheos » 2006-11-19 09:31pm

Make ABSOLUTLY CERTAIN you get the Windows OEM disk with the computer, and then as soon as you get it, reformat the hard drive with just the OEM disk.

Other then that, they're great computers.
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Postby Uraniun235 » 2006-11-19 09:48pm

For future reference: The SH/SC Power Supply Guide.

I don't want to hear any talk about "hey is this $30 psu okay" (NO) or "it gots 500 watts that's good isn't it?" (MAYBE) or "1.21 jigawatts" (LOL).

Read the guide.
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Postby Hawkwings » 2006-11-20 08:35pm

What should be on the OEM disk, and why do I need to reformat?

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Postby atg » 2006-11-20 09:40pm

Hawkwings wrote:What should be on the OEM disk, and why do I need to reformat?


The OEM disk is just a Windows CD. You'll want to format and reinstall because Dell installs a bunch of crappy programs on the PC that makes it run poorly.
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Postby Ace Pace » 2006-11-22 09:31am

Quick question, having narrowed down the choices to a new Enermax PSU, what would be better for me?

The Noisetaker 420W or Liberty 400W?
Specs currently are.
Athlon 3800+ X2
ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe
1GB of DDR RAM
6800GT
Two HD, 2 Optical drives.

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Postby Beowulf » 2006-11-22 09:56am

The Liberty 400W unit should be quieter (less fans). They have roughly similar specs.
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Postby Thanas » 2006-11-22 07:07pm

Okay, I got the option of two notebooks.

Nr. 1:

Intel Core Duo T5600 1.83 GHz 2 MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB
1024 DDR2 PC5300 SDRAM (upgradable to 2048 MB)
512 MB Geforce Go 7600
120 GB HDD
around 1500 €

Nr. 2
Intel Core Duo T5600 1.83 GHz 2 MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB
2048 DDR2 PC5300 SDRAM
128 MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1450
160 GB HDD
around 1300 €

Having no clue about Hardware except for knowing the names, which one should I get, performance wise?
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Postby Hawkwings » 2006-11-22 08:34pm

1 should be better for games, because of that graphics card, but you should upgrade the RAM for better performance.

The second one is fine for pretty much everything you'll need besides games.

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Postby Uraniun235 » 2006-11-22 10:58pm

Which games actually use 2 gigs of RAM to measurable benefit?
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Postby Ace Pace » 2006-11-23 12:05am

Uraniun235 wrote:Which games actually use 2 gigs of RAM to measurable benefit?


MMOs?
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Postby atg » 2006-11-23 01:48am

Uraniun235 wrote:Which games actually use 2 gigs of RAM to measurable benefit?


I had a good performance increase on Battlefield 2 and CoD2 with 2GB as opposed to 1GB. Although that's probably because I generally have a billion things running in the background whilst I'm playing a game.
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Postby Covenant » 2006-11-26 01:49am

Christmas is creeping up and I'm looking to buy myself a piece of computing hardware or two if I can. My computer is pretty good at running everything I've thrown at it so far, but I know that it's starting to show it's age, and since it's less than a quarter full on it's slots I really feel like giving it a helping hand. The next generation of graphic programs are probably going to start stressing this system in ways I'd rather it not, and I'd rather not buy myself a game for Christmas when I won't be able to run it anyway.

What I've currently got shapes up like this:

====
Intel Pentium 4 3.00 GHz
2 x 512 DDR Corsair Ram, clocked at 466 or something.
128 GeForce 5900 FX
====


I've got 4 more Dimms for ram, so I can either rip out my old stuff and slap in 6 new ones or, more realistically, just add in a little more so long as I can find similar stuff. The processor seems like it's pretty potent still--the new numbers don't seem like they present much of an increase, certainly not enough to warrant ripping it out and putting in a new one. If I'm wrong, and there's an affordable way to get a noticable increase in performance via processors, then make note of that.

Right now what seems to be the slowpoke of the bunch is the graphics card. The 5900 is still a very able piece of hardware, but the 128 meg brick on it really has problems handling some of the games that I'm throwing at it. But to get something like the 7950 would cost around 500 bucks, and I'm not really sure I'm ready to spend that kind of cash on a single hardware component. Is there a way for me to upgrade my current card to a 256 or 512? I'm doubting there is, sadly, but I felt it worth asking.

I've got a Thermaltake case, so I'm definately not worried about heat. 7 case fans are enough to keep it happy. I don't want an entirely new system either, but I'd like to bring myself back up to competitive levels and not need to set things to rock bottom levels to get the crisp performance I enjoy.

Don't worry about the HDD, I'm thinking about taking a pair of salvaged units and adding them to what I've got. Not sure what else to do with them, but it'd put me close to 500 gig of space. Yeeouch. Something's gotta go inside this massive case though.

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Postby Hawkwings » 2006-11-26 02:11am

you can get good 256mb graphics cards (around 7600 or 7900 range) for around $250-$300.

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Postby Covenant » 2006-11-26 05:04am

That's not so bad at all. Besides that, what else do you think is out of date, or such? People have recommended 2 gigs of memory, but I haven't seen much yet that really requires it if I close down my background programs.

Also, is 256 enough? I keep seeing these 512's and 1024 memory video cards advertised and I wonder if it's necessary for anything besides e-wang extension. I'd like to upgrade to a newer card, a low end 7000 series if possible, just to get the new pixel shaders anyway.

Do I really need anything other than a bare-bones video card with lots of fast ram? Or do some of those extra buzzwords actually mean anything?

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Postby Ace Pace » 2006-11-26 09:16am

Covenant wrote:
Also, is 256 enough? I keep seeing these 512's and 1024 memory video cards advertised and I wonder if it's necessary for anything besides e-wang extension. I'd like to upgrade to a newer card, a low end 7000 series if possible, just to get the new pixel shaders anyway.

Do I really need anything other than a bare-bones video card with lots of fast ram? Or do some of those extra buzzwords actually mean anything?


Video RAM is one of those idiotic things that they use to decieve people.
Which is why you frequently see say '6200 TC with 512MB RAM!!!'

Most of the time, you're only using that much RAM when gaming high res. And weak cards don't run high res well.

To sum it up, ignore RAM, beyond getting atleast 256MB.
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Postby Arthur_Tuxedo » 2006-11-26 12:05pm

Covenant wrote:Christmas is creeping up and I'm looking to buy myself a piece of computing hardware or two if I can. My computer is pretty good at running everything I've thrown at it so far, but I know that it's starting to show it's age, and since it's less than a quarter full on it's slots I really feel like giving it a helping hand. The next generation of graphic programs are probably going to start stressing this system in ways I'd rather it not, and I'd rather not buy myself a game for Christmas when I won't be able to run it anyway.

What I've currently got shapes up like this:

====
Intel Pentium 4 3.00 GHz
2 x 512 DDR Corsair Ram, clocked at 466 or something.
128 GeForce 5900 FX
====


I've got 4 more Dimms for ram, so I can either rip out my old stuff and slap in 6 new ones or, more realistically, just add in a little more so long as I can find similar stuff. The processor seems like it's pretty potent still--the new numbers don't seem like they present much of an increase, certainly not enough to warrant ripping it out and putting in a new one. If I'm wrong, and there's an affordable way to get a noticable increase in performance via processors, then make note of that.

Right now what seems to be the slowpoke of the bunch is the graphics card. The 5900 is still a very able piece of hardware, but the 128 meg brick on it really has problems handling some of the games that I'm throwing at it. But to get something like the 7950 would cost around 500 bucks, and I'm not really sure I'm ready to spend that kind of cash on a single hardware component. Is there a way for me to upgrade my current card to a 256 or 512? I'm doubting there is, sadly, but I felt it worth asking.

It's not the 128 MB of RAM, it's the 5900. It was never as good as the Radon 9 series when they were new, and is now over 3 years old. If there were a 256 MB version of the 5900, I doubt it would be any faster, as it couldn't run resolutions and settings high enough to use it anyway.

Anyway, if you've got a GeForce FX series, then you're on AGP, and most cards are PCI-E nowadays, so you'll have to make sure they say AGP. As for recommendations, it depends on how much of a performance jump you want, but the best deal for AGP users right now seems to be the X850 Pro on Newegg for $140. It's not cutting edge, but it's probably 4-5 times faster than your 5900, and should last you until a single-core P4 3 GHz is no longer enough. Given that you still consider the 5900 good enough, I suspect that getting anything better than that would be a waste of money and you wouldn't get any extra utility out of it.

As for RAM, you're right that 2 GB isn't a requirement right now, today. But DDR1 RAM (what you have) is disappearing in favor of DDR2 RAM. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to add that second gig, so if you have the money, now might be a good time.
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Postby Beowulf » 2006-11-26 02:59pm

On a somewhat related note to the above, I have 1 GB of DDR-400 RAM I'm not using. I'm willing to sell it fairly cheap.
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Postby Covenant » 2006-11-26 04:37pm

Arthur_Tuxedo wrote:Anyway, if you've got a GeForce FX series, then you're on AGP, and most cards are PCI-E nowadays, so you'll have to make sure they say AGP. As for recommendations, it depends on how much of a performance jump you want, but the best deal for AGP users right now seems to be the X850 Pro on Newegg for $140. It's not cutting edge, but it's probably 4-5 times faster than your 5900, and should last you until a single-core P4 3 GHz is no longer enough. Given that you still consider the 5900 good enough, I suspect that getting anything better than that would be a waste of money and you wouldn't get any extra utility out of it.


That's a good piece of advice. Several of the cards I saw were still AGP but it's getting much less sure of a thing that they are, and I didn't want a whole new motherboard yet if I could avoid it. The new processors just aren't powerful enough to warrant it, from what I've seen. I was really expecting there to be a big jump in power upwards, but besides the 64 bit processors and the dual core units, I don't see anything, and those don't even look much faster.

The 5900 seems pretty decent right now, so a new series would be good, I'm glad to hear that it's just an obsolete piece of hardware and not bad otherwise. I was just suprised at how old it is compared to the newer ones--I really don't have any games out there I can't run, and I'm not sure why people feel the need to run things at a the 1500+ resolutions anyway, so I haven't felt there's anything wrong with it. When games started coming out that required the advanced pixel shader libraries to run, I started getting frustrated.

Arthur_Tuxedo wrote:As for RAM, you're right that 2 GB isn't a requirement right now, today. But DDR1 RAM (what you have) is disappearing in favor of DDR2 RAM. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to add that second gig, so if you have the money, now might be a good time.


That's good to hear. By the way, is there a reason to upgrade to DDR2 and remove my DDR1? Or are my Dimms just not able to handle DDR2 yet?

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Postby phongn » 2006-11-26 04:50pm

If you are currently using DDR1 RAM, you cannot use DDR2.
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Postby Arrow » 2006-11-26 07:56pm

If anyone wants a slightly used CoolIt Systems Freezone cooler, PM me. I've only had it for four days. Just to be upfront, I'm looking for $200 for it, and I'll ship it UPS ground. The thing doesn't work well in my case (the cooling line under its exhaust fan gets mashed up against my case's backplate, seriously reducing the flow rate an making it no more effective than a high end air cooler). I also need to get a bag of replacement socket 775 mounting hardware before I sell it, since I managed to bend and then snap one of the thumb screws.
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Postby Arthur_Tuxedo » 2006-11-27 12:30am

Covenant wrote:
Arthur_Tuxedo wrote:As for RAM, you're right that 2 GB isn't a requirement right now, today. But DDR1 RAM (what you have) is disappearing in favor of DDR2 RAM. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to add that second gig, so if you have the money, now might be a good time.


That's good to hear. By the way, is there a reason to upgrade to DDR2 and remove my DDR1? Or are my Dimms just not able to handle DDR2 yet?

No good reason. DDR2 has higher bandwidth, but looser timings, so the net effect is pretty much zilch. Better to get that second gig of DDR if you think you'll need it before you do a full upgrade, or not get it if you don't.
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Postby salm » 2006-12-03 05:57pm

Taxes are going up next year so i´ll get a new computer now. What do you think about this:

Intel Core Duo E6600 2400 MHz
Mainboard 775 P5B Deluxe
DIMM 2 GB DDR2-800 Kit
250 GB hard drive
NVidia GeForce 7950GT
DVD burner
600 Watts power supply
and a couple of fans

This is about 1300€

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Postby Beowulf » 2006-12-03 06:36pm

Which maker for 7950GT? I'd suggest XFX for quietness, but you need to have decent airflow in the case to avoid having it overheat.

Who's the maker of the PSU? A 430W PSU will work, if it's made by a good company.
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