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CRTs, VGA, DVI and Moving into the future

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January 15, 2007 2:08:31 PM

I am considering building a PC system in the next month or two. My current computer has served me well, but its pretty old.

P4 3.06
1 gig PC 1066 RDRAM
Radeon 9700 Pro

The system is a little over four years old and is starting to show its age. Vanguard Beta is what convinced me to just build a new system. This will be the first system I have built. I have replaced video and sound cards and even a motherboard once, but never built a new system, but that is another issue.

My budget is $2500 and I had selected the componets I want to use and they just barely fit under the budget. Well close enough anyway.

The primary components I have selected are:
Coolermater 830 CM Stacker
Intel E7600
2 gig CORSAIR XMS2 800mhz
EVGA 680sli motherboard
8800 GTX Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850

However this morning I realized that the 8800 doesn't have a VGA port for my CRT monitor I am still using. Its pretty old circ 2000, but it still looks great and I guess I have not been convinced about the LCD trend. I guess the thought that your graphics are degraded on anything but the native resolution bothers me. I figured I would eventually upgrade to LCDs, but I want the technology to mature a bit more.

I have several questions:

Do high end video cards no longer support CRT monitors? Or do newer ones have DVI interfaces? I assume there is an adaptor that changes DVI to VGA, but will I lose the benefits of the video card?

Any suggestions? I am not really sure what to do here. I guess I could buy an new AGP for my rig, but that just seems like throwing good money after bad. Likewise I could buy a new monitor, but I am afraid for what I can afford it won't look as good as my current one.
January 15, 2007 2:19:22 PM

The card comes with an adapter. Which will let your current monitor work with the card.

Nothing to worry about.
January 15, 2007 2:55:51 PM

The components you've selected look like top quality stuff, but there some things that stand out that you could cut back from your computer which would easily allow for you to get a new monitor to get with your new graphics card.

For example your paying $240 for your case alone! you could easily get something in the $100 range like a thermaltake armor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811133154

so you save $100 their, you could also take back your cpu to a E6600 and with literall a flew clicks of a button have the clockspeed of a E6700. that will save you $200 dollars, so with this simple choices you have about $300 to spend on a 20+ inch monitor. and if you really wanted to cut back even more you could get a Asus P5B Deluxe instead of the eVGA 680i, that will save you about $60 bucks. The only real reason to get the 680i is if you wanted to do SLi but since that is rediculously expensive and does not benefit anybody running at a resolution below 1920x1200 then i think its a simple and easy choice to go with the P5b Deluxe which paired up with the E6600 works like a dream.

don't get me wrong you have great components picked out but i just think you money could be spent more wisely

yo could get

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Category=19&N=2010190020+4018+1309822582&Submit=ENE&SubCategory=20

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824014105
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January 15, 2007 7:51:35 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. I kinda wanted to keep my options open for later in case I be able to run two cards in SLI mode. But from what I am reading on this forum, I would probably be better just buying whatever is the top end card at the time rather than 2, by the time I upgrade again, two old 8800s. I will look at the board you suggested.

As for the case, i had considered the Thermaltake armor case. It looks pretty sweet and probably would be fine for my purposes. The coolermaster seemed to get really good reviews, but again, I probably don't need.

As for the processor, I was originally thinking about the E6800, but decided to go with the E6700, with the hope of overclocking it at least over 3.0 ghz. I don't want to do anything extreme since this is my first attempt.

Thanks again guys.
January 15, 2007 8:39:04 PM

I just ordered your system exactly, except an E6600. If I could change it, I would definitely go with a cheaper mobo and maybe not an 8800 GTX. The reason for this change is the arrival of PCIe 2.0, which is going to double the transfer rate of the PCIe slot from 4GB/s to 8GB/s. When this comes out, chances are the new PCIe 2.0 cards will greatly outperform the old ones. And you'll need a new mobo to go with the card, and possibly a new power supply. That's my underinformed pedestrian understanding of the new changes anyway. I'd buy a 1950 Pro or something along those lines and wait until more information is available about PCIe 2.0 and/or the R600.
January 15, 2007 8:54:34 PM

Do we have an ETA on PCIe 2.0? If its just a month or two, I could just wait I guess. I am kinda in a dead-end upgrade path and really have been since I bought this machine and rather not do that again.

Thanks for the response. That gives me something to consider.
January 15, 2007 9:19:48 PM

Wikepedia says Q3 2007, who knows if that's reliable. That's like 6 months away though : /.

Also, just in case you're a noob like me that doesn't have confidence in your ability to assemble your own rig, I highly recommend ABS for custom built computers. Reasonable prices with a good selection and the top end Ultimate X8 (starting at $2200) comes with a pre installed gigabyte Galaxy 2 3D water cooling system, which is pretty damn nifty. I ordered from Cyberpower and am already regreting it because they take forever to assemble the computer, and I've read a few mediocre reviews of their service. And their prices are about the same as ABS' but don't include a free pre installed watercooling system.
January 15, 2007 9:33:57 PM

I'm not sure about the 8800, but when PCI-e slots came out (16x), no graphics card could even match the bandwidth limits of AGP 8x.

Some notes:
AGP 8x = 2GB/s
PCI-e 16x = 4GB/s in each direction

Of course, nvidia's website is down so I can't check the specs for the 8800.

Waiting for PCI-e v2.0 may not be necessary and may not directly translate into better card performance. (highly doubtful)
Of course, it most certainly could translate into a higher cost. (highly probable) :p 
I doubt the PCI-e bus is a bottleneck.
January 15, 2007 9:46:48 PM

That's some top end equipment. You could easily get away with a cheaper system.

I wouldn't worry about PCI-e 2. Just as cards are still made to support AGP. I would expect 6 months to a year before it gets high levels of support and another year before it is needed.

There will aways be a reason to wait just a little longer for an upgrade (DDR3, 45nm, Vista, ...). Unless it is something major or only a month out I wouldn't wory about it.
January 16, 2007 4:33:48 AM

Do not worry at all about PCi-E 2.0, all it means just like the SATA I and II stuff it will not translate into performance, it just means it has a higher transfer rate which = 0 performance. i don't think cards have even begun to saturate the agp interface let alone the pci-e interface.

an 8800gtx would be awesome, but you could also wait for ati, since there taking there sweet time, to see what they release. whether or not its a good product it should push prices down cause of the added dx10 competition. also more 8800 series product will be coming out.
January 16, 2007 4:45:54 AM

Quote:
all it means just like the SATA I and II stuff it will not translate into performance

Are you stupid or something?.....sata 2 delivers better performance because of it's higher transfer rate. You obviously dont own any sata 2 drives :roll:
January 16, 2007 5:51:49 AM

Quote:
I kinda wanted to keep my options open for later in case I be able to run two cards in SLI mode
There is no reason to SLi 8800GTX's for a CRT monitor.

Unless your 7 year old monitor can somehow reach past 1600x1200 resolution an 8800GTX SLi will be extreme overkill for it. I think a single 8800GTX is over kill for 1280x1024 even. 1600x1200 seems to be the sweet spot for the 8800GTX (for the moment).
January 16, 2007 6:40:49 AM

Quote:
all it means just like the SATA I and II stuff it will not translate into performance

Are you stupid or something?.....sata 2 delivers better performance because of it's higher transfer rate. You obviously dont own any sata 2 drives :roll:

.. thats a joke right?
January 16, 2007 12:34:30 PM

Are you being sarcastic, because i have no clue what you're talking about. If you're not being sarcastic then here we go...

First of all there is no SATA I or II. There are SATA 1.5Gbit/s and SATA 3.0Gbit/s, sometimes of which features are mixed and matched in either. So the main difference being the data throughput.

Secondly SATA is an interface, not the speed of the harddrive, so 1.5Gbits/s is its theoretical maximum amount of data that can be transferred through the interface. All consumer Hard drives out right now can't even surpass ATA/133. i think the maximun read and write transfer rates of a Raptor, one of the fastest HD on the market i think is something like 87mb/s. obviously not even approaching ATA/133 let alone SATA/150 or 300.

So no there is no performance difference between SATA I or II. There is no SATA I to begin with and of all things i hope you weren't being sarcastic.
January 16, 2007 12:35:52 PM

Thanks again for all of the helpful response. What a great forum community you have here.

Just to clarify, I wasn't going to go SLI intially. I just wanted to have the option later on. I just don't have the room in the budget for two high end cards. But it sounds like SLI isn't worth it anyway. If I did ever buy the second card, it would probably be in conjunction with a new monitor. The current monitor does support 1200 x 1600, but that's its limit. In a perfect world I would probably buy a larger high end CRT, but those seem hard to find and have gone up in price, I guess due to reduced supply.

I know there is always some new technology or standard around the corner, but with my last system I got a AGP 4x, RDRAM system at the end of those platforms and thus never had a viable upgrade path. It sounds like I might be buying into the same thing again, buying in at the end of PCIe and DDR2 and thus very quickly have no upgrade path. Perhaps, I should reconsider just getting a new AGP card for my old system and then build in six months, but of course by then there may some new other platform or standard that is about to change. Damm technology moves so fast. lol.

Thanks again. I will post again when I have made a decision.
January 16, 2007 4:46:00 PM

I'm not sure why you say PCIe has no upgrade path. PCIe 2.0 means nothing and will be a small blip on the radar screen. No one is waiting for PCIe 2.0 and i doubt very many people even care. Its real benefit was increasing the power that it could deliver to the graphics card. It doesn't matter if its throughput was expanded since we're not close to saturating PCIe x16 yet at all. And when PCIe 2.0 does come out it will be backwards compatible with with dare i say PCIe 1.0. so there is no need to worry about PCIe and its future at all, its going to stay for long time.

In fact PCIe might eventually replace PCI as the standard connection. like PCIe x1 slots, as far as i know they're faster and they take up less space. Sound cards may eventually move to the PCIe interface soon enough...

(ok so i made some assumptions on the last paragraph, but i'm pretty sure thats close to what will happen.)

Check this link out...PCIe 2.0
January 16, 2007 6:04:11 PM

Quote:
all it means just like the SATA I and II stuff it will not translate into performance

Are you stupid or something?.....sata 2 delivers better performance because of it's higher transfer rate. You obviously dont own any sata 2 drives :roll:

.. thats a joke right?

I really hope it was. The raptor uses SATA150 and it still can't saturate 150 mb/s transfer rate...
January 16, 2007 6:31:55 PM

Yeah like i posted earlier the fastest read and write transfer rates are 87mb/s, there are also ATA/133 Raptors too not just SATA/150
January 16, 2007 6:38:44 PM

Get an e4300 then buy this.
http://www.xoxide.com/thermaltake-armor-lcs-ve2000bws.h...(Its heavy)

You get a cool case that your interested in that has water cooling so you can overclock to or past speeds of a e6800 also making overclocking on your gfx card amazing.


I'd also recommend waiting for vista/r600(suppose to release around the same time). Even if you hate ati their new card will drive the prices down on Nvidia's series 8 gfx cards.
a b U Graphics card
January 16, 2007 6:42:46 PM

Pedantic semantics. :roll:

There are SATA II drive, because they comply with the SATA II group specs. Now that isn't the same as SATA2 or SATA2.5, not the same as SATA-3.0Gb.

However even though the SATA-IO wants to undo their Cluster-Flop, the fact is that there is spec set forth as SATAII spec, which confuses things because of their own st00pidity.

Here's some of THEIR text;
http://www.sata-io.org/docs/S2Ext_1_2_Gold.pdf

Quote:
There is no SATA I to begin with and of all things i hope you weren't being sarcastic.


However there is an SATA 1.0, so why are you spliting hairs other than to be difficult yourself? YOU are the one who injected the roman numerals, so it's YOUR mistake! :roll:

And if anything the person you were replying to GW used SATA2 which is a standard, as is SATA2.5 and SATA1.0

So stick to the argument of throughput and put the semantcs elsewhere.
As for transfer rates, that depends on the drive Gigabyte's iRAM does a good job of surpassing the lmits for ATA133 and @ 124Mb/s for in testing, who knows if it's the SATA 1.0 interface that's slowing things down at peak transfer?

Also IIRC SATA2 added better support for NCQ and RAID friendly features. I can't speak from experience, but the spec is better and it about more than just throughput, which might even be a factor now, although we have only limited ways of even noticing this.

As for PCIe 2.0, I personally think it's too late to the market, had it come when we have the GF6 and X8 series card we might not have needed external power connectors, however at this point their major benefit will be to avoid having another added to the already 2 found on the GTX (and likely R600).

Also I don't know of anyone yet truely testing the PCIe16x connecotr for non-taditional situations like physics etc, where there may be a big difference. At this point I'd simply say, if it's backwards compatible (which it is) then don't worry about it until you know you need it. I didn't care about 8X AGP support on my MoBo until I moved from the AIW8500DV and RageFury to the R9600P, and een then 4X would've been fine, however better to be prepared than not.
January 16, 2007 6:50:03 PM

well thanks for the updated information and clarification.
January 16, 2007 6:57:21 PM

Quote:
It sounds like I might be buying into the same thing again, buying in at the end of PCIe and DDR2 and thus very quickly have no upgrade path.


PCIe 1.0 and 2.0 are cross compatible there will be NO, I repeat NO visible difference for the end user, DDR2 will be around for long enough to fill up your motherboard, hell they still make PC133.

Quote:
Perhaps, I should reconsider just getting a new AGP card for my old system and then build in six months, but of course by then there may some new other platform or standard that is about to change.


To the first sentence, don't you will have to buy an AGP card that will not be usable when you get a new computer, in other words you will be throwing away money. To the second sentence, there will be, but that will always be true so you just have to pick a point and make the move.
January 16, 2007 7:55:59 PM

Thanks again for all of the feedback guys.

I didn't realize PCIe2 would be backward compatible. Thanks for clarifying that. I just assumed it was like the AGP to the PCIe change.

Likewise, I had alot of trouble finding RDRAM 1066 sticks, even shortly after I bougt the computer in 02. I assumed that I would have the same problem when DDR2 switches to the DDR3. I guess it was more of an exception. I remember seeing those PC133 sticks when I couldn't find RDRAM, at least not at remotely affordable prices.

Poor assumptions on my part.

As for an AGP card, I intended that as purley a stopgap measure. The idea being, make the computer viable for another 6 months, when hopefully some of these new standards would be in placed. $100 or so down the tube, but with the hope that it would prevent me from wasting a good bit more. I had considered that before, but resisted the idea you mentioned.

As for watercooling, that would be great. But it seems like it would be a lot easier to screw up, this being the first one computer I've built from scratch, but perhaps I am assuming its more complicated than it is. I guess I should look into it as well.

I agree about waiting on the new ATI Chip. I just hope that they release it soon. lol. I'd be just as happy with a ATI board. That's what I've had for the last four years. So if its better than the 8800 GTX or the same and costs less I'd be happy with it. (I know the later is unlikely).
January 17, 2007 2:07:12 AM

Quote:
Likewise, I had alot of trouble finding RDRAM 1066 sticks, even shortly after I bougt the computer in 02. I assumed that I would have the same problem when DDR2 switches to the DDR3. I guess it was more of an exception. I remember seeing those PC133 sticks when I couldn't find RDRAM, at least not at remotely affordable prices.


RDRAM was a failure, it died a quick death (though it has returned in the PS3...sort of). RDRAM was slower, hotter and more expensive then DDR. DDR3 is not expected to become the standard until 2008 at the earliest from what I've heard.

Quote:
I agree about waiting on the new ATI Chip. I just hope that they release it soon. lol. I'd be just as happy with a ATI board. That's what I've had for the last four years. So if its better than the 8800 GTX or the same and costs less I'd be happy with it. (I know the later is unlikely).


The best part about the ATI launch will be the release of mid range cards in addition to the high end.
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