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New desktop, limited budget, HD2600XT?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2007 3:11:21 AM

So, after 7 years of using an Intel P3 800Mhz, 256 mb ram, and some ATi RAGE 32mb graphics card, we're thinking about getting a new computer! :pt1cable:  I'm stuck playing maple story(LOL) with this computer so this year, we're thinking "Why not?"
How's this rig? http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=...
I know it may not be the best and the Q6600 will be a better future-proof CPU, blah blah etc. We're on a budget, about 800-900 CANADIAN for the Desktop+Monitor, and I'm thinking about adding a Visiontek ATi HD2600XT The card says it requires a 300W Power supply, do you think the computer above has that? Or maybe the card requires more?
Questions:1)How's the card and system in general? I'm thinking about ordering the card first since we're not sure we're gonna get that system.
2) Are they gonna work well together or will there be bottlenecks?
3)Do you recommend another computer and/or video card *from futureshop.ca, bestbuy.ca or dell.ca since I live in Canada* I don't expect to play Crisis, but rather online free games like Warrock, America's army, other mmofps, and mmorpgs./ Something from dell.ca around the same value as well.
4)Will I notice a big difference from my current computer (first sentence)
5) Do you think this computer will last me at least a good 4 years?
6) Will Pci-Express be around for a long time? I want to be able to upgrade the video card later
7) How do I know what power supply is compatible with that computer? ATX MicroATX etc, I'm kinda noobish at this stuff
8) Will 3GB of ram last me a long time? I've been living with 256mb for 7 years :cry: 

Thanks for all your help, Tom keep up the good work!
December 29, 2007 4:02:12 AM

1)How's the card and system in general? I'm thinking about ordering the card first since we're not sure we're gonna get that system.

It should be ok 300 Watt's is pretty common but I could not find what PS this unit comes with (probably if I searched around on HP's web page)

2) Are they gonna work well together or will there be bottlenecks?

They would work fine together :) 

3)Do you recommend another computer and/or video card *from futureshop.ca, bestbuy.ca or dell.ca since I live in Canada* I don't expect to play Crisis, but rather online free games like Warrock, America's army, other mmofps, and mmorpgs./ Something from dell.ca around the same value as well.

Hmmm avoid Dell they have bad customer service (I should know)

http://shopper.cnet.com/desktops/hp-pavilion-media-cent...

4)Will I notice a big difference from my current computer (first sentence)

Oh yeah it will be like going from a yugo and jumping into a mustang.
(but note if you where made of money the C2Duo is the current Porche)

5) Do you think this computer will last me at least a good 4 years?

I am sure it will the only thing keeping that PC from lasting that long would be if you desired to play the newest games (If that is true then you would be buying a PC every 12-14 months or at least upgrading a part or two)

6) Will Pci-Express be around for a long time? I want to be able to upgrade the video card later

I think it will last as long as AGP perhaps even longer.

7) How do I know what power supply is compatible with that computer? ATX MicroATX etc, I'm kinda noobish at this stuff

That power supply is probably custom fit to this case (80% sure of this on my part) so upgrading the PS on a brand name PC is hard to do.

8) Will 3GB of ram last me a long time? I've been living with 256mb for 7 years.

On this one it all depends if that copy of Vista Home Premium is the 32 bit version it will last you the life of the PC as you will not gain from adding more ram.(32 bit OS can only "use" about 3.5GB's at most) If it is 64 bit then you can always add more ram up to what ever the limit of the mother board is. (I am planning on getting 8GB's here soon for my machine since they now make 2X2GB kits for about $100USD/CA since the exchange is about even these days)

You may want to look into a 64 bit version of the OS, I am sure that 32 bit software will be supported for years to come but 7 years out is a long time.... And know that you cannot upgrade later to the 64 bit version later with out formating your PC and losing all your programs (back ups of pictures and music work just fine I kept all my files on a separate drive)

I can imagine in 7 years that it will be hard to find 32 bit versions of programs for your favorite software and in some cases impossible.

Edit: Just wanted to add something :)  If you decide to go with 64 bits (I recommend it at this point in time) Note that some of your old programs will not work but I have only found a few things that will not work, of course this is true of 32 bit Vista as well so I cannot say if the 64/32 bit version is less compatible or not. I used this opportunity to make the jump. Service pack 1 is due out soon and supposedly it will improve the compatibility with old programs, although to be honest I have no complaints about that part right now.
December 29, 2007 4:26:19 AM

This is HP's site for the PC you are looking at.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/genericDocument?docn...

Still cannot find the power supply information.

But that PC would support up to 8GB's of RAM with a 64 bit OS. 4GB's with the OS that is installed in it (but some will be missing even if Windows tells you it see's the whole 4GB's MS patched Vista to show the whole 4GB's but you still can only use about 88.5% of that)

overall it looks like a nice PC and should last you a while lol
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December 29, 2007 3:19:12 PM

How do I find out if the OS is 64-bit or not? Also, is HP really better than Acer? My sis and bro are saying that HP is better than Acer or else I'd be able to get a Q6600 system with the HD2600XT, 3gb ram and an LCD monitor for ~920$.
There's been complaints about the system I'm thinking about on the FS forums though. So I guess Dell's out of the picture because of its bad customer service? Or maybe they're not that bad? Damn I ask a lot of questions :bounce: 

edit: Damn I totally ignored this system. What if I pay ~30$ more and get this: http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=... (It's an HP with a Q6600 and 2GB of RAM) The only downside is that I'll have to get a separate monitor (http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=...) and altogether along with the video card, I'll have to pay around 40$ more than the other system in first post BUT I get a Q6600.
December 30, 2007 9:55:43 PM

Hmm, I went to the computer's reviews page on Future shop and some dude said the power supply was 300w, he replaced it with a 500w and bought a 8500GT.
So I'm wondering, let's say the HP computer really has a 300w PSU, will the Visiontek ATi HD2600XT run well on it? I mean even if the card says it needs a 300W supply, does that necessarily mean it'll work? 'Cause I saw some other HD2600XT's that needed a 400w psu.
December 30, 2007 10:21:05 PM

The HD 2600XT is right about the same power consumption level as an 8500GT, so it should be fine...

Really, it just sips power, and you'll not be running a bunch of hard drves, fans, water pumps, usb-powered blenders will you?
December 30, 2007 10:21:17 PM

If you have around 20-25 amps then your fine whether you have 300 watts or 500 watts
December 31, 2007 7:41:22 AM

The OS that ships with most computers will be the 32 bit version, unless it says "64 bits WOW !!!!" It would be a selling point so they would be sure to list it somewhere. (and no you do not ask too many questions lol no such thing)

I do not want to say too much about Dell, but I would advise against buying them from my personal experience. You should read some of the posts about dealing with them on the phone they pretty much will say more then I ever could lol

Edit:To be more specific about Dell, its not the hardware in most cases its nice and well designed (some lemons but every company has them its up to the consumer to be informed so they can be avoided.) Its the stuff that happens on the back side of things that I feel are handled wrong.
December 31, 2007 8:39:16 AM

I looked at Visiontek's site for that card, and it just mentions a 300watt power supply. It doesn't mention the amps. Perhaps you can contact their customer service?

http://www.visiontek.com/products/cards/retail/2600PRO_...

As a comparison, I'm getting an Nvidia card for my son's X2 4600+ on an MSI 405 chipset board, and I'm restricted to either an 8600GT (requires 20 amps) or an 8600GTS (requires 22 amps) because the 450 watt power supply I have in his system only provides 22 amps on the 12 volt rail.

So, total wattage isn't as important as the amount of amps on the 12 volt rail when considering adding a discrete graphics card. The Visiontek will probably work fine, but I think that 300 watts is where HP skimps the system. See if you can get a power supply upgrade when you buy it. Also, see if they'll tell you the amps on the 12 volt rail before you buy.

The only bottleneck would be GPU with the card you're considering. Around 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024, games become CPU limited. The X2 6000+ is a very high end AMD dual core. It won't create a CPU bottleneck. At resolutions higher than the above, the GPU is more important, and both the X2600 and the 8600 class cards are weak in games, though good for multimedia. Perhaps you could wait a month or so after buying and then get save up for a better card like the 8800GT 256 or the 3850 512?

Because of driver issues, I prefer Nvidia cards with Nvidia boards, or ATI cards with ATI boards. If you don't mind working around installation issues that might crop up, then any single ATI card works on most Nvidia boards and any Nvidia card works on ATI/AMD boards. The only issues I know about are with the 405 chipset that my son has, it's documented by MSI to not accept certain ATI cards. It's has a 6100 IGP and a 405 chipset.

Quote:

(Due to the specification of the chipset, ATI X8xx, X7xx, X5xx, and X3xx series graphic card will not be supported.)


http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K9N...

The manual even mentions X1000 series cards, so I e-mailed MSI and they recommended only an Nvidia card with that board.

Check with HP for compatibility, or search for your chipset on the net to see if others have had similar problems to the one with my son's MSI board. You have a 6150 SE, which is a step above the 6100 IGP on that MSI board, so it's probably a chipset higher than the 405 and might not have "chipset limitations".
December 31, 2007 4:49:22 PM

Wow! Yesterday at 2 in the morning, my sister and I ordered it together. Our budget was supposed to be ~900$ but somehow with the video card, taxes, shipping and all, it ended up ~1200$! What I got was:

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=... (Desktop PC)
http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=... (21.6" Samsung LCD Monitor)
http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&...
OR
http://visiontek.com/products/cards/retail/2600XT_PCIe_...

Apparently the card was around 150$ US at newegg but I got it for 99$ CAD! Then again, the HIS version is only ~100$ at newegg...

Other thoughts: at newegg, a lot of people reported having problems with this card :cry: 
At futureshop's website the card needs a 300W psu which my rig will most likely have but at visiontek's website it says it needs a 350W psu.
@yipsl: The card I'm ordering is the HD2600XT not the pro.
Hmm, how does installing a video card work? Like really detailed step-by-step. Do you just put it in and then start the computer? 'Cause some people were talking about having problems with drivers and then something about BIOS, I'm lost as to what BIOS is, we're most likely taking it to bestbuy or FS to get them to install it for us, or my sister's friend can do it for free.
Let's say the card f**ks up bad because of the PSU, am I still able to return it?

Thanks all!




December 31, 2007 6:26:33 PM

My 2 cents
It comes down to the psu-quality of unit and ? amps on the 12v
Since we're throwing #'s here are some:
power usage-single card (idle, card only idle)
2600XT = 49w
2600Pro = 31w
8500GT = 27w
8600GT = 30w
8600GTS = 47w

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=7&t=9354

8600GTS requires pcie connection, 2600XT does not
22 amps required (to be on the safe side)
20 amps should be ok
18amps ??

!