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New computer! Help!!!

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July 12, 2009 9:05:23 PM

Hey guys, I have a situation in which I need some advice. I am buying a new computer and I have narrowed it down to two choices. Basically the computers both have 8 gig's of ram and a TB hard drive. The source of the confusion is in the processor and GPU. In choice a I could have a Amd Phenom X4 9750 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz with a Ati Radeon 4870hd. Or I could go with choice b, which is fifty bucks cheaper, and have a AMD Phenom II X4 910 quad-core processor (2.6 Ghz) but with only the Radeon 4850. I want to play graphically intensive games such as Crysis on the highest settings possible at high resolutions. Which computer should I go with? Thanks!

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a c 235 U Graphics card
July 12, 2009 9:41:24 PM

get the Phenom II, its a much better CPU

take the $50 you save, sell the 4850, buy a 4870 or even 4890 (depending on the 4850 sale)



July 12, 2009 9:47:55 PM

Thanks, this seems to be the way to go!
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July 12, 2009 11:29:40 PM

airguitar22 said:
Hey guys, I have a situation in which I need some advice. I am buying a new computer and I have narrowed it down to two choices. Basically the computers both have 8 gig's of ram and a TB hard drive. The source of the confusion is in the processor and GPU. In choice a I could have a Amd Phenom X4 9750 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz with a Ati Radeon 4870hd. Or I could go with choice b, which is fifty bucks cheaper, and have a AMD Phenom II X4 910 quad-core processor (2.6 Ghz) but with only the Radeon 4850. I want to play graphically intensive games such as Crysis on the highest settings possible at high resolutions. Which computer should I go with? Thanks!


CPU Bench Scores:
X4 910....... 3334
X4 9750..... 2672

X4 910 wins by 662 points over the X4 9750.

However, a great CPU with an okay GPU isn't effective, and the slower component in a couple can often bottleneck gaming experiences.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GPU Bench Scores:
4850 vs 4870 (clocks [core, memory], fillrates [texture, pixel], bandwidth)

............ core..... mem..... texture.... pixel.... bandwidth
4850:... 625...... 993...... 25........... 10........ 63.55
4870:... 750...... 900...... 30........... 12........ 115.2

For higher resolutions (which is what you game on) the 4870 would be great. It has a very fast core clock, which is what matters when gaming. And its bandwidth is also very high.

Overall, the X4 9750 with the ATI 4870 would be the best for gaming. The X4 9750 is good enough to handle the 4870 (clearly the better GPU) and there won't be any bottleneck. For the extra money, this is worth it.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_ATI_graphics...
July 12, 2009 11:31:47 PM

Never mind, ct1615's idea was better. Since GPUs are cheaper, they are easy to buy and sell, whereas CPUs are quite expensive. "Investing in the better CPU" is the way to go.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 12, 2009 11:41:42 PM

Get one without a video card at all. Buy one and install it yourself(very easy.) I'm almost 100% certain that will save you a good amount of money or end up with a much better card while spending the same amount you would otherwise.
Or, if you are up to it, save tons of money and end up with a better computer by building it yourself. It's really not as hard as you think. By far the hardest part is picking out the parts and that's what we are here for.
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 12, 2009 11:45:22 PM

jyjjy said:
By far the hardest part is picking out the parts and that's what we are here for.


I'm here for the free cookies...... :bounce: 
July 12, 2009 11:58:18 PM

Yeah. Just pick the components separately....like a barebones kit.
For the CPU, pick AMD always because they can overclock better than Intel can. Buy the corresponding motherboard (preferably CrossFire Ready), 4gb of RAM, a PSU of at least 600 watts, and for a GPU you can get a cheap nvidia 8800gt for now, and then wait till they release newer, better GPUs.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 13, 2009 1:36:49 AM

notguru said:
For the CPU, pick AMD always because they can overclock better than Intel can.


That's simply entirely untrue. A lot of the Core2duos OC like crazy especially compared to their AMD counterparts.
I built an E5200 system at the end of last year. On stock cooling it OCed a full 40%(2.5ghz to 3.5) A couple of months ago I built a 7850 kuma system. Even with a good aftermarket cooler it OCed only 14.2%(2.8ghz to 3.2)
The difference even's out some for quadcores but in general Intel chips are better overclockers at the moment.

Anyway, to the original poster: tell us what your budget is and I'll bet you'll be surprised how much better you can do building the computer yourself. If you've never done it before it's also a valuable learning experience.
July 13, 2009 2:07:10 AM

jyjjy said:
That's simply entirely untrue. A lot of the Core2duos OC like crazy especially compared to their AMD counterparts.
I built an E5200 system at the end of last year. On stock cooling it OCed a full 40%(2.5ghz to 3.5) A couple of months ago I built a 7850 kuma system. Even with a good aftermarket cooler it OCed only 14.2%(2.8ghz to 3.2)
The difference even's out some for quadcores but in general Intel chips are better overclockers at the moment.

Anyway, to the original poster: tell us what your budget is and I'll bet you'll be surprised how much better you can do building the computer yourself. If you've never done it before it's also a valuable learning experience.


Thank you. With this, you've given me a change of heart. For a while I was bummed about buying an Intel C2D E7400, but now I realize that I can OC a lot higher. Currently I have the stock fan that came with the CPU; however, should I choose to OC, what fan should I buy (for socket 775)?

*I also have the Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Case -- for those who don't know, this case is a monster chassis; it's gigantic and built for air+water cooling.

I recently heard of thermal-electric cooling...is this a worthy investment? Are there any good water coolers?
July 13, 2009 2:09:44 AM

By the way...I forgot to ask, but:
how do I OC the Intel C2D E7400?
how do you OC the GTS 250?
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 13, 2009 11:20:30 AM

Your E7400 has the exact same core as the E5200 that I mentioned(wolfdale) so they OC about the same. Even with that stock cooler I'd bet you can get it up to 3.5ghz or close. With a decent aftermarket fan/heatsink you can probably get it up to 3.8-4.0ghz. The OC you can get is also dependent on the motherboard but if your is anything decent it should handle this fine.
I wouldn't recommend going beyond a better air cooler unless you have a trust fund and in that case throw that chip out and start building an i7 system :p  Here is the most popular cooler for the socket and it does a good job;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are programs to OC your processor from within windows but it's a much better idea to use your motherboards bios settings. The main setting you'll be messing with is the front side bus speed and also you will probably be bumping up the voltage of the cpu some for a decent OC. Going into all the details of OCing is beyond the scope of this post but there are tons of guides if you just use google or perhaps someone here can suggest a good one. Some of the guides can make it look more complicated than it is by going into insane detail. Try not to get discouraged if you look at some like that. It's really rather simple on most current motherboards and also safe with the safety features built-in to the chips now.
To OC the video card I'd recommend rivatuner.
July 13, 2009 7:00:18 PM

jyjjy said:
Your E7400 has the exact same core as the E5200 that I mentioned(wolfdale) so they OC about the same. Even with that stock cooler I'd bet you can get it up to 3.5ghz or close. With a decent aftermarket fan/heatsink you can probably get it up to 3.8-4.0ghz. The OC you can get is also dependent on the motherboard but if your is anything decent it should handle this fine.
I wouldn't recommend going beyond a better air cooler unless you have a trust fund and in that case throw that chip out and start building an i7 system :p  Here is the most popular cooler for the socket and it does a good job;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are programs to OC your processor from within windows but it's a much better idea to use your motherboards bios settings. The main setting you'll be messing with is the front side bus speed and also you will probably be bumping up the voltage of the cpu some for a decent OC. Going into all the details of OCing is beyond the scope of this post but there are tons of guides if you just use google or perhaps someone here can suggest a good one. Some of the guides can make it look more complicated than it is by going into insane detail. Try not to get discouraged if you look at some like that. It's really rather simple on most current motherboards and also safe with the safety features built-in to the chips now.
To OC the video card I'd recommend rivatuner.


Actually, I think stock fans only overclock up to 10%, so that would mean going from 2.8Ghz to 3.1Ghz with my E7400 (and that's with stability).
With a better heatsink, would I OC up 30% or higher (because that would give me at least 3.6Ghz)?
Also, does having good cooling/enough wattage in the PSU give me more OCing potential?
July 13, 2009 7:01:39 PM

With HAF 932 case (3 230mm fans), how much could I OC my GTS 250 by?
Is there a way I could OC it to the performance level of a GTX 275?
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 13, 2009 8:04:35 PM

Fans don't "overclock" at all. You overclock the processor and the fans job is to keep it cool enough to operate stably. On stock cooling a wolfdale core2duo should be able to reach 3.3-3.5ghz easily especially if you have a large well ventilated case as you say you do. Like I said already, with a good aftermarket cooler a wolfdale should in general be able hand 3.8 and maybe up to 4.0 ghz. Yes good cooling is important to a stable overclock. If you want to go over 3.5ghz buy that fan I linked. These chips are fairly low power with a TDP rated at 65 watts. So even OCing 50% would only increase the strain on your PSU by 32.5 watts which I doubt would be a serious issue. If any component is going to limit your OC outside of the processor itself it will be your motherboard not being able to handle the increase in FSB. I know nothing about how well your motherboard or video card can overclock. I suggest you start researching on google and do a mild OC of the processor(3.2.-3.3 ghz) and see how it goes. If that goes well and you want to see how far you can take the OC order that fan I linked.
July 14, 2009 12:19:43 AM

jyjjy said:
It's really rather simple on most current motherboards and also safe with the safety features built-in to the chips now.


What safety features are we talking about? I thought a CPU would fry when it was time to fry?
July 14, 2009 12:21:55 AM

Does OCing shorten life span of CPU? By how much?
Say I OC from 2.8 to 3.8 ghz (as you claim is possible)...then how long will that CPU last for?
July 14, 2009 12:26:59 AM

jyjjy said:
Fans don't "overclock" at all. You overclock the processor and the fans job is to keep it cool enough to operate stably. On stock cooling a wolfdale core2duo should be able to reach 3.3-3.5ghz easily especially if you have a large well ventilated case as you say you do. Like I said already, with a good aftermarket cooler a wolfdale should in general be able hand 3.8 and maybe up to 4.0 ghz. Yes good cooling is important to a stable overclock. If you want to go over 3.5ghz buy that fan I linked. These chips are fairly low power with a TDP rated at 65 watts. So even OCing 50% would only increase the strain on your PSU by 32.5 watts which I doubt would be a serious issue. If any component is going to limit your OC outside of the processor itself it will be your motherboard not being able to handle the increase in FSB. I know nothing about how well your motherboard or video card can overclock. I suggest you start researching on google and do a mild OC of the processor(3.2.-3.3 ghz) and see how it goes. If that goes well and you want to see how far you can take the OC order that fan I linked.


As far as gaming goes, how much different will my gaming experience (fps and graphics settings) be if I OC my CPU and GPU to only 0.1 Ghz higher, like from 2.8 to 2.9 Ghz for my E7400?
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 8:13:20 AM

I believe CPUs now turn themselves off before reaching truly extreme temperatures that would damage them.
No, overclocking should not affect the lifespan of your CPU in any practical fashion.
How much a CPU OC affects FPS is dependent on the game as well as the video card but I doubt a .1 ghz OC would be more than 1-3 fps regardless of the game.
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 8:33:42 AM

jyjjy said:
That's simply entirely untrue. A lot of the Core2duos OC like crazy especially compared to their AMD counterparts.
I built an E5200 system at the end of last year. On stock cooling it OCed a full 40%(2.5ghz to 3.5) A couple of months ago I built a 7850 kuma system. Even with a good aftermarket cooler it OCed only 14.2%(2.8ghz to 3.2)
The difference even's out some for quadcores but in general Intel chips are better overclockers at the moment.

Anyway, to the original poster: tell us what your budget is and I'll bet you'll be surprised how much better you can do building the computer yourself. If you've never done it before it's also a valuable learning experience.


If you only got a 3.2 overclock using a 7850 then it's clear you did something wrong. I purchased a kuma 7750 4 months ago and was able to overclock to 3.4Ghz with a slight volt increase. The 7850 can overclock to 3.5Ghz using an AC Freezer Pro.

Yes intel chips are better overclockers, we all know this but they do charge a premium for that.

I have a x2 550 @ 3.5Ghz just by raising the multiplier, meaning if I add some voltage and raise the cpu frequency I can get 3.8Ghz easy. For 99.99$ I dont think you can achieve such an overclock with an intel of similar value. The E7400 is the only intel chip that can compare to the 550 for the price (119.99$) but of course if you pair the 550 with some nice DDR3 the E7400 will not be able to keep up.....


!