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Help with buying first computer.

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February 4, 2010 4:31:55 AM

Well, I'm buying a new computer. I've had about 5 computers in my life. Starting from a Tandy to a Packard Bell to an IBM Aptiva, to a Gateway PII, then a HP Pentium IV.

I didn't purchase any of them with my own money so I never had an opinion on what should go in the computer.

I'd like to buy this computer: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

I figure that will do everything I need from gaming to movies, etc. Well, I've come to the conclusion just from being a novice with computers, that the PSU needs to be upgraded as well as the GPU. Getting rid of the onboard and going directly to a higher end card to take advantage of the new games out. I mean, I could barely play WoW before, and I'd love to see what LFD2 and some of the newer games really look like.

Here's the dilemma... I ran a GeForce 2 MMX for about 5 years on my most recent computer. Then about a year ago I had decided to upgrade the video card to something with PCI, so I bought a GeForce 6200. Don't get me wrong there was a major improvement, but not enough to notice a difference in WoW that was substantial enough.

I'm done with WoW, but that experience has left me questioning my knowledge of what a really good Video Card I need.

So, I just need a little advice to push me along, I've decided that computer is probably the best I can do for the money.

So other than a new PSU which I am looking at a 750W. A new GPU which I'm considering a 9800GT, but have seen rave reviews about the 5770 (which is a little out of my price range.) Also, an all in one memory card reader for my phone/camera. Any other things I'm missing? And any advice about the video card or PSU? I'm willing to spend about 150 for the reader/card/psu combo.

More about : buying computer

February 4, 2010 4:46:54 AM

@OP: One word for the config you chose:
No!
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February 4, 2010 4:55:27 AM

Thanks, didn't know about the link.

Guess I should list my monitor, 22" Acer X223W, 1680x1050 Max. Display

Still uncertain which route to go, the guide did give me an idea, between 9800GT and HD 4850, since both will run superbly on the 1680x1050 display.

Any preferences?
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February 4, 2010 4:56:31 AM

hell_storm2004 said:
@OP: One word for the config you chose:
No!


Okay, I am a novice, what's wrong with the build? What suggestions do you have? I'm looking in all directions right about now.
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February 4, 2010 4:57:53 AM

^^You can get a better deal if you buy individually. Also why going for a Core 2 Quad when they have become obsolete?
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February 4, 2010 4:59:44 AM

It's a Core 2 Quad... and what build can you get individually for 419 dollars that's better?
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February 4, 2010 5:02:48 AM

How long are you planning to keep this rig? And what's the max budget that you can spare? The point is not the price, the point is a little bit more future ready.
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February 4, 2010 5:04:34 AM

Ahh well, truth be told, I've had the current system for 8 years, so I was hoping this new system would last at least 3-4 years. My budget will range under 600 dollars, I'm getting married later this year, and also financing the wedding myself. Income Tax is coming and that's covering both expenses. So I'm not very flexible on budget.
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February 4, 2010 6:18:39 AM

Totally cool! All the best for your married life!! :bounce: 
Core i5 750 - $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM (Any one of these):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD:
for 1TB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for 500GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cabinet:
Cooler Master CM690 - $70.
Optical Drive:
Sony AS-7240S.
GPU:
ATI HD5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I hope i did not miss out on anything. I haven't added up everything. But i guess it may come out $600 approx.
Don't think that i am asking you to buy from newegg. They are just a reference for the model number as to which one's to buy. Check out all online shops for the cheapest deal!

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February 4, 2010 6:48:18 AM

Hrm... looking over everything, while it would be an awesome computer and definitely last for a long time with DX11 capabilities and great 1156 socket processor which could easily be upgraded... The price from just those links is about $875, now a little comparison shopping might even get that price down to 800 but still about 200-300 out of my range... I could sacrifice some money on the GPU and PSU, drop it about 100 bucks by getting a 600W and maybe a HD 4850, but that still leaves me at around $700. Which I'd still like to be closer to $500.

For now I'll take that $300 and invest it into some stocks see if I can't grow my budget for future expenses. And thanks on the congrats :) 
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February 4, 2010 7:20:34 AM

You can go for an AMD 955BE and Biostar TA790GX A3+! Drops the price to another $70!
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February 4, 2010 1:18:33 PM

Heh!

I wouldnt worry too much about needing an i5 or an i7 processor. And DDR3 RAM. Core 2 Duos are plenty fast enough to run all games maxed out (even Crysis) as long as you have a good GPU. If you get a Core 2 Duo processor (like an Intel e8400), 4 Gb of PC6400 DDR2, any reasonable mobo (mATX, ATX whatever as long as its got 1x PCIExpress X16 slot) and a GOOD GPU (5770 is a good GPU, with DX11 support, but even the 5750 is still pretty good) you will have a good value PC.
You could even get an Intel e7400 or something, and it would be fine for the games.

Im from the UK so everything for me is in pounds, lol, but I would list components like this:

775 mobo = £35
CPU (e7400 @ £80)
DDR2 800Mhz 4Gb = £60
Case = £30/£40
Dvd = you could probably salvage one but lets say £17
HDD = £40
PSU = £40
GPU = £100
-----------------
£365-375 = Approx $600. Maybe less. So theres room for upping some of the options there. I would raise the CPU or the GPU, the rest is fine.

Any Core 2 Duo with 3Mb L2 cache or more and a bus speed of 1066Mhz or more is fine. Done be fooled by the fanbois!

Unless you have a penchant for playing ARMA2 maxed out, or running Crysis on enthusiast with 8xAA then you should be fine. If you do want to do those things then stick another $100 in and get a Radeon 5850 - very good VFM ATM. A Core 2 Duo E7400 + a Radeon 5850 will not have problems with any games that are around today. You simply dont need 4 cores! And you dont need an i5/i7.
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February 4, 2010 3:39:14 PM

RickyT23 said:
Heh!

I wouldnt worry too much about needing an i5 or an i7 processor. And DDR3 RAM. Core 2 Duos are plenty fast enough to run all games maxed out (even Crysis) as long as you have a good GPU. If you get a Core 2 Duo processor (like an Intel e8400), 4 Gb of PC6400 DDR2, any reasonable mobo (mATX, ATX whatever as long as its got 1x PCIExpress X16 slot) and a GOOD GPU (5770 is a good GPU, with DX11 support, but even the 5750 is still pretty good) you will have a good value PC.
You could even get an Intel e7400 or something, and it would be fine for the games.

Im from the UK so everything for me is in pounds, lol, but I would list components like this:

775 mobo = £35
CPU (e7400 @ £80)
DDR2 800Mhz 4Gb = £60
Case = £30/£40
Dvd = you could probably salvage one but lets say £17
HDD = £40
PSU = £40
GPU = £100
-----------------
£365-375 = Approx $600. Maybe less. So theres room for upping some of the options there. I would raise the CPU or the GPU, the rest is fine.

Any Core 2 Duo with 3Mb L2 cache or more and a bus speed of 1066Mhz or more is fine. Done be fooled by the fanbois!

Unless you have a penchant for playing ARMA2 maxed out, or running Crysis on enthusiast with 8xAA then you should be fine. If you do want to do those things then stick another $100 in and get a Radeon 5850 - very good VFM ATM. A Core 2 Duo E7400 + a Radeon 5850 will not have problems with any games that are around today. You simply dont need 4 cores! And you dont need an i5/i7.


That being the case; what's wrong with the computer I posted earlier, Core 2 Quad, 6GB DDR2 RAM... Just upgrading the PSU and the GPU?
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February 4, 2010 5:09:48 PM

I would guess you could get away with that.

Thing is that 6Gb of RAM is a bit wierd really. I thought DDR2 mostly went up in factors of two, cause its dual channel "double data rate", I think you can have it in 6Gb formation, but im not sure exactly how they would configure that on the motherboard.
Its probably 2x2Gb DIMMs and 2x1Gb DIMMS. Which would be weird, im not usre if thats the most efficient way of configuring memory.
The main point about having 6Gb of DDR2 RAM is that you dont need 6Gb of RAM! Not unless you're trying to run like two instances of GTA4 simultaneously! 4Gb of RAM will not even be used by any of todays games.

Also the cores on that processor are operating at 2.33Ghz. This is probably acceptable but many programs arent supporting multi threading very well yet (although it is getting better). I would have thought haveing two fast cores with more cache memory would possible be faster in many games for example than 4 slow cores with less cache per core. Because most programs might only really use 1 or two cores.
So if you did buy a better PSU then IF it fits in the rather small looking case (which will lack in airflow) then you dont really know if you can even go for a slight overclock without knowing which motherboard you have.

An e7400 (2.8Ghz stock)should overclock to *atleast* 3.5Ghz on air, and there will be 1.5Mb per core of L2 cache, whereas the processor in your system will not overclock as high and there will be 1Mb per core of L2 cache.

I remember reading a review comparing the dual , triple and quad core AMD chips that came out last year. There was some difference between 2 and 3 cores but much less difference between 3 and 4 cores.

Build a system more suited to your budget and requirements and trust me I doubt you'll regret it and then you will never buy a pre-built computer ever again :) 
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February 4, 2010 5:23:35 PM

THe problem I see with the one you posted is it does not mention if the MOBO has a PCI-e expansion slot to put a video card in at all - If it doesn't you'll once again be stuck with that 6200 PCI video card as it is one of the best PCI video cards available (any new system uses PCI-e which replaced AGP which replaced PCI for video busses) but the pre-build units many times remove the PCI-e slot to save costs and that leaves only PCI slots to use !! - So before buying make sure it has at least one PCI-e slot on the MOBO (the linked unit does not mention if it does or not so it is a good possibility it doesn't !!)

For $600 there are many systems that can be built that are much better - just need to know a few things - ie. do you need a monitor - copy of Windows - Mouse\keyboard\speakers or do you have those from your old system ?? (as that will make a difference on what can be done for the $600 !)
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February 4, 2010 5:26:03 PM

Nah I read it, there a "detailed specification" tab in the info. It says PCIEx16 X 1 :D 
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February 4, 2010 5:40:09 PM

i talked her down to 250$ so i'm gonna buy it i think. any opinions? she played wow on it supposedly...
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February 4, 2010 5:42:07 PM

for 600$ you can really make an awesome system or even get a custom built one from different companies online with some kick ass hardware with win 7.....
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Best solution

February 5, 2010 2:35:58 AM

@jjalsmelton: As i have mentioned before, the question about it lasting a bit longer. If lets one year down the line you find that you want to change your processor or motherboard, you wouldn't find an LGA775 mobo or proccy. That's why sticking to AMD offers a better upgrade path in the future with a cheaper cost and going for a LGA1156 offers you a lot more options that will be available in the near future maybe at a reduced cost! That's all that there is to it. That why saif not to go for the LGA775 rig!
Even i say 6GB is useless. 4GB is enough for now! There is always option to add a 2GB kit later!
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February 5, 2010 3:32:39 AM

I think you're right... I've given it some thought, once i5/i7 comes down in price and ati's 5770 has been out another 6 months I think I will see a better product for my dollar.
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February 5, 2010 3:32:51 AM

Best answer selected by jjalsmelton.
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