Questions on new technologies and building new pc

I've been searching for the past few days about the new computer technologies, to be exact: dual core/quad core, graphic cards, cooling systems, a bit on motherboards and power supplies but not that much.

The current pc i'm running is really old, out-dated and i dont think any of the pieces i got will work with anything new...maybe except my dvd writer. the pc market here is a bit expensive and we dont get the latest models released in the US or other countries it takes quite some time and when it arrives it costs a hell lot.

the pc i'm looking for is for day to day tasks, some multimedia and also playing all the next-gen games coming out. i've saved AED 2500 and i might be able to get some more money (1 USD = AED 3.67) but right now i'm just trying to get as much info i can before i spend.

My current pc specs: :(
processor: intel pentium 4, 2.40ghz
mother board: intel D845PESV
RAM: 768MB DDR (256MB + 512MB)
Monitor: viewsonic E70F (it works fine and i dont want to spend on a new lcd monitor)
Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X

Now with the questions:
First off with the processors, i do realize that quad core gives a higher boost than dual core but will getting a high speed dual core processor be good enough? what is the cache memory necessary to be high (i.e the higher the better) and what is it used for?

I've used AMD prior to my current pc and i can say that AMD didn't use to have as much problems as my intel pc...crashes,bugs,lags etc...but what is the case now with the dual core and quad cores, which is better AMD or Intel? i've noticed that amd is a bit cheaper than intel.

i'm a fan of nvidia since the beginning, when i got my geforce 4200 it was the best in the market and i was able to play half life when it first came out and to my surprise i'm still able to play half-life 2 and all the episodes and portal... the graphic settings were on custom and i used to play around with the options, it wasn't the best but enjoyable enough to play
all over the net i can see the dominance of nvidias cards over other brands, the 8000 series especially and now with the gtx280 series that is out (recently or old i have no idea) but i was pointed out to the ati radeon hd4870 and some reviews say it matches and exceeds the gtx280...its USD299 on newegg if i remember correctly while the gtx280 is over USD600...which is better?
also regarding the SLI and Crossfire technologies is it worth it getting 2 powerful cards or is one enough? and is it still not possible to sli different models together (example: nvidia 8000 series with a 9000 series)?

regarding the vendors of the cards, which is good? and lastly on the cards: as i mentioned in my pc specs i'd like to keep my current monitor its old yes but i'm happy with it but does it still work with the new cards??

cooling wasn't as big as it is right now...liquid cooling WOW that knocked me off my the good-ole fans no longer useful? is it necessary to use liquid coolers? (what if there was a leak!? :??: )

sorry for all the questions
thanks for reading and in advanced for your input and advice
i'm really new with the new pc hardwares so please keep it as simple when replying

thanks again
6 answers Last reply
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  1. GTX 280 is fastest, Intel is faster

    with that budget the best option for dual graphics is 8800GT 512MB in SLI

    sounds like you have a CRT with a native no greater than 1400x1050, one 8800GT is plenty for that low of a resolution

    you can't afford liquid cooling and it isn't nessiccarily better its mostly hype
  2. any other comments people?? bpogdowx thanks for your input
  3. Depends what you are doing... But the 4870 IMO is the far better card, only a few FPS behind the GTX 280 for alot less.

    With that budget, the best option IMO is a 4850 (512MB), however get a Crossfire capable board, so if you ever have the money/a better monitor, you can easily upgrade.

    As for the CPU, depends... Notice on the INtel pricing the large price gap once they stop competing with AMD.
    Personally I got a Phenom 9500 and I am happy with it, I have a friend with an almost Identical build, but using the Intel mobo and a Q6600. WE can both play games at the same settings with ease. Please note that the Q6600 at the time was about +$100 to the Phenom.

    Best thing to do is check the benchmarks, specifically between the components at the same price, in a similar build to what you are intending and with what you want to do with them.

    I recommend:
    4850 512 MB
    Intel Core2 Q6600
  4. i just visited the local shops and checked out their merchandise and prices… I had all the prices written on a piece of paper but I had to rush my writing and I can’t read everything on it (NOTE: 1 US DOLLAR = AED 3.67)
    i was only checking out the processors, graphic cards and just to get an idea the ram prices (ddr2 and ddr3, the ddr3's weren't that popular in the shops and were priced alot higher than the ddr2's)…I thought I’d get a motherboard based on the graphic card and processor, ram and hdd
    the processor prices were all over the place….some of the shops would just hit you with a number they felt like… I feel it would be better to get a quad rather than a dual core
    these r the prices I found for intel:
    core 2 duo q6750 2.66ghz AED650-700
    quad core 2.4ghz AED745-900, 2.5ghz AED1035-1045
    for AMD:
    dual core 2.6ghz AED680
    quad core q9850 black edition 2.5ghz AED945/990, q9750 2.4ghz AED900, q8650 2.3ghz AED650, q9600 2.3ghz AED925
    well as I said before I’m thinking of going for a quad and right now from what I’ve seen the amd black edition
    for the graphic cards, I’m more confused now after returning back home I read a few reviews of the Nvidia GTX280 and ATI Radeon HD4870 and in those reviews they benchmarked both cards and several others.. I noticed the Nvidia Geforce 9800 GX2 to be quite good (note: I don’t have a clear idea on what to look for in benchmark tests, I just used my common sense and logic…I could be wrong)
    regardless of cash which is good/better/best? Your opinions are valuable but I’d like the answer to be based as much as possible on facts and better people who tried the cards out. Also is one gtx280 enough to play crysis, call of duty 4 and other games on high? (if I’m able to get some cash…which seems likely to happen…I want a system that will last for at least 1.5 to 2 years)
    As for the prices well only a few shops had the 4870 and gtx280 most of them had the nvidia 8800 series
    Ati radeon hd4870 AED1200
    Ati radeion 4850 AED850
    Gtx280 AED2600-2800
    9800gtx2 AED2475-2700
    Nvidia 8800gts 640mb AED1600, 8800gt AED900
    RAM 2GB Crossair DDR2 AED185-210, 2GB DDR3 AED730/825
  5. The best setup would be 2 Radeon 4870s in crossfire (even read the benchmarks and comments, it says so). 2 4870s are cheaper than a GTX280 and perform considerably better. The 4870X2 should also be released relatively soon and will prob beat anything on the market currently.

    Any of the cards mentioned will play COD4 and other games on high, as for Crysis really it depends on the resolution, but at most resolutions any of the cards mentioned will play it on high.

    DDR3 currently is not a brilliant option, last time I checked the timings were terrible. Until the manufacturing process matures its best to stick with DDR2.

    Thats a considerable price difference between the Intel and AMD Quads!
    Not entirely sure which is comparable, I'd check if I were you but a Phenom 9750 will probably equal the Intel Quad @ 2.4 GHz, then again the Intel Quad will probably be able to OC past the phenoms speed.
  6. looks like a low end intel quad w/ a 4850 (maybe a 4870) would be best for you.

    you don't need a gtx280 unless you have a 30" LCD (monitor not TV)

    crossfire? not needed for what you want. I'd look for a P45 based mobo.

    your best bet in the long run is to get midlevel components and upgrade more frequently, than getting top of the line and sit on it forever.
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