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Please help with new PC config

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November 12, 2008 8:04:28 PM

Hello all,

I'm looking for some advice as to how to best put together my next PC. Bought my last pc about 4 years ago and had a lot of grandiose ideas of what I'd be using it for - which never really panned out - so I think I wasted a lot of money by going crazy with the check-boxes on the config page. This time I'm trying to be more realistic. I'm looking for a rig that will basically play World of Warcraft (and its expansions) at top settings (My monitor only supports 1600x1200, I believe, though) without hang-ups. I've given up hopes of a super pc that I'll handle my TV, gaming, and home cooking with, and just want something that I can game with for the next few years w/o worrying too much about upgrades.

I have a couple specific questions: Dual vs. Quad core, XP vs. Vista (32 vs 64), Ram (2 vs 4Gb vs more), Liquid vs. Air, HDD - 10k RPM that important?, And which video card do I realistically need to run WoW at max settings for the next few years? Ok, so more than a couple specific questions..

I consider myself somewhat mid-range in my build-it-yourself know-how.. But I'm probably overestimating my skill. I'd definately feel less confident putting together liquid cooling than air, since I've never done that. However, I work 80+ hours a week in a hospital and don't have a lot of time for trial-and-error of building from scratch - so - how much time investment does it realistically take to put a pc together from parts? Should I just suck it up and pay extra to let some company put it together and send it to me two months later?

Budget-wise I'm by no means rich, but I could hit $1500 or so before I start getting too jumpy.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I'm excited about getting a new PC, yet really don't want to spend extra $$ on something if I'm never going to notice the difference. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

More about : config

a b B Homebuilt system
November 12, 2008 8:22:16 PM

Are you in the USA?

"Send it to you two months later??" Yuck... Build it yourself, it's not that hard. There are guides all over the Internet, or books at Amazon or the public library.

$1500 buys you something fantastic if you're in the US and buy from Newegg and build yourself.

Dual vs Quad - go dual, if it's just for games. E8500 would be the best choice IMO. If it's also for TV recording and editing get a Q9550 instead.

XP 32 vs Vista 64 - go with Vista Home Premium 64. It will see 4 or more GB of RAM and it will have DirectX 10 eye candy.

RAM - get 2x2GB. Add another 2x2GB only if Task Manager shows you that you're using close to 4GB.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/5

Liquid - don't bother

HDD 10k rpm - don't bother again. A $300 300 GB Velociraptor 10k is nice, but doesn't make any sense to me when a WD6400AAKS is twice as big and costs 4 times less and still offers 75% of the speed or more.

I'm going to cheat and just send you to an older thread - hope you don't mind :) 
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257603-31-building-brutal#bas

November 12, 2008 8:29:53 PM

Your right about being consern about a new PC, we are all excited about it.

We will give you some NICE rig for 1500$

No screen, no keaboard ? no mice ? only the box and component ?
Related resources
November 12, 2008 9:03:40 PM

Thanks for the link, some good points over there. Yes I'm in the US.

I've got plenty of keyboards and mice, and a new xi-fi sound card. Could probably scavenge an optical drive and storage drive from my current PC but would prefer to leave it functioning either to tweak around with for a 2nd PC or give to a less gaming-oriented family member.

Thanks again for the advice. I'm going to start doing some configuring. $1500 is the upper end of my budget - if I can get the same results for $1000 I'd rather do that and buy another monitor w/ the extra $$ or.. you know.. save it (yeah right)

I don't know much about SLI, and even less about overclocking, so I'm going to try to stick to components that don't require a lot of tweaking.
November 12, 2008 9:33:39 PM

So based mostly on your suggestions on the other thread, aevm, I've come up with this for a total of $1447 (minus $95 in MIR if they pan out):

1. NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B

2. Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM

3. SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit

4. PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V

5. mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

6. Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

7. GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

8. Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W

(All with links in the thread you posted)

Looks like I could save ~$200 if I went with the E8500. I often run two WoW accounts simultaneously, and if my current system can do that on 800x600 I'm sure this build could do it w/ the E8500. I doubt I'd be doing a lot of TV watching or video editing on it. Would the E8500 also be compatible with that MoBo? I'm not opposed to looking that up for myself, but if you know the answer off-hand, I'd appreciate it.

Also, regarding the vid. card. That looks like it's the top model right now, which seems nice and I'm sure would last me till I'm writing this same post a few years down the road. But do you think it would be a mistake to shave a couple hundred off the end price and downgrade a level or two on the vid. card? I'm not likely to be playing high-intensity stuff like Crysis, but nor do I want to limit myself in what games I can enjoy.

Thanks again
November 12, 2008 9:40:17 PM

Ok sorry for the dumb question. I see now that that MoBo supports core 2 duo.
November 12, 2008 10:03:55 PM

Hmmm if u want to play 2 accounts at a time a quad would be nice.. since wow is a dual core game.

A 4870X2 For WOW? that is way to much!!

I have a Q6600@3.0 + a 8800GT and play wow at max settings @ max fps in 1650*1080...Not really sure if the 4870X2 is worth it.. maybe an 4870 1Gb Version and save the extra cash ;) 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 13, 2008 12:29:19 PM

soark said:
Hmmm if u want to play 2 accounts at a time a quad would be nice.. since wow is a dual core game.

A 4870X2 For WOW? that is way to much!!

I have a Q6600@3.0 + a 8800GT and play wow at max settings @ max fps in 1650*1080...Not really sure if the 4870X2 is worth it.. maybe an 4870 1Gb Version and save the extra cash ;) 


Yeah, if it's just WoW at 1600x1200 then HD 4870 is enough. Even the 512MB version does well at that resolution.
Blizzard makes a point of supporting mid-range hardware well, unlike Crytek and others. In fact I have been told that even my aging 8800GTX will be just fine for their upcoming Diablo 3. :) 

About the dual/quad thing: I'm sure E8500 is plenty to just play WoW. But, if you're running two instances at the same time, a Q6600 may give you better performance even if it runs at a lower clock. Either of these CPUs would work well anyway, so don't worry too much about this part.

!