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<$1500 system for mom, need help!

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December 11, 2010 2:13:25 AM

Hey guys,

My mom asked me to build her a new system. The quote below is an email I got from her and is a place to start for ideas. She would like it to be less than $1500. I know she does a lot of recording sewing videos from her PC...I believe using Camtasia? I'm fairly certain that everything on her below "wish list" will be a huge overkill, but I want her to be happy too. I'd really appreciate if you guys can help me get the most bang for the buck for a <$1500 system (any words/reasons/reassurances to convince her she doesn't need certain things would be helpful too if you recommend something less than what she asked for). You guys helped me a ton with my very first build last year, and I absolutely loved it. I'm counting on you again!

" * Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-870 quad-core processor [2.93 – 3.06GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]

* Hard Drive: FREE UPGRADE! 1.5TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 750GB. I would be OK with 1TB

* Memory: 8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs] Really would like more

* Graphic card: 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 315 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter] OR 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter] OR 2GB ATI Radeon HD 5570 [DVI,HDMI, DP, VGA adapter]. Which is the best?????????

* Windows: Windows Professional 64 bit. Full bootable CD
* First DVD/CD Writer-Player: LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive OR Something better. Has to be able to write to both CDs and DVD’s.
* Second DVD/CD Writer Player: ? Blu-ray player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner. At least like another player/writer as above so in case one goes out I can use the other to keep burning my CDs. Has to be able to write to both CDs and DVD’s.
* Networking: Integrated Ethernet port, No wireless LAN
* Front Productivity Ports: 15-in-1 memory card reader , 2 USB ports, 1394, audio
* USB Ports: At least 6-8 altogether
* Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer. I have this now
* Keyboard& Mouse: Don’t think I need
* Monitor: Do not need"

More about : 1500 system mom

December 11, 2010 5:06:47 AM

You were right the 1st time about being vastly overkill LOL
Camtasia Studio 7 System Requirements
http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/system-requirements/w...

Quote:
Camtasia Studio 7 System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
Microsoft DirectX 9 or later version
1.5 GHz, single-core minimum ~ Recommended: Intel 2.0 GHz dual-core or better
1 GB RAM minimum ~ Recommended: 2.0 GB or more
500 MB of hard-disk space for program installation
Display dimensions of 1024x768 or greater
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December 11, 2010 5:45:41 AM

TopGun said:
Hey guys,

My mom asked me to build her a new system. The quote below is an email I got from her and is a place to start for ideas. She would like it to be less than $1500. I know she does a lot of recording sewing videos from her PC...I believe using Camtasia? I'm fairly certain that everything on her below "wish list" will be a huge overkill, but I want her to be happy too. I'd really appreciate if you guys can help me get the most bang for the buck for a <$1500 system (any words/reasons/reassurances to convince her she doesn't need certain things would be helpful too if you recommend something less than what she asked for). You guys helped me a ton with my very first build last year, and I absolutely loved it. I'm counting on you again!

" * Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-870 quad-core processor [2.93 – 3.06GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]

* Hard Drive: FREE UPGRADE! 1.5TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 750GB. I would be OK with 1TB

* Memory: 8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs] Really would like more

* Graphic card: 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 315 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter] OR 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter] OR 2GB ATI Radeon HD 5570 [DVI,HDMI, DP, VGA adapter]. Which is the best?????????

* Windows: Windows Professional 64 bit. Full bootable CD
* First DVD/CD Writer-Player: LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive OR Something better. Has to be able to write to both CDs and DVD’s.
* Second DVD/CD Writer Player: ? Blu-ray player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner. At least like another player/writer as above so in case one goes out I can use the other to keep burning my CDs. Has to be able to write to both CDs and DVD’s.
* Networking: Integrated Ethernet port, No wireless LAN
* Front Productivity Ports: 15-in-1 memory card reader , 2 USB ports, 1394, audio
* USB Ports: At least 6-8 altogether
* Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer. I have this now
* Keyboard& Mouse: Don’t think I need
* Monitor: Do not need"


Lol I'll start off by saying if shes not convinced now, chances are she won't be convinced by us. But that aside, instead of getting an i7 and in a gamers eye a meh graphics card, why not get a higher clock speed i5: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $279.99 vs $179.99, and use that $100 savings against a better card? Like ole trusty 5770?

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December 11, 2010 6:20:52 AM

Hi topgun, an i7 machine for sewing videos? Seriously? :pt1cable: 

Go with the BD Burner and the i5 760 that Patel suggested. Get a H55 mobo for 80 odd bucks. And a Radeon 4650 for 50 odd. Should last the better part of a decade for most people.

If however she wants the best/newest tech, wait for a few more weeks because both the current high end sockets (LGA 1156 & 1366) are gonna be usurped in a few weeks time.

So for somebody who wants new high-end tech like your mom and can afford it, she would definitely appreciate it a whole lot if you were to build her a brand new 1155 system, come January 2011.

Buying a $1500 system in December 2010 makes no sense whatsoever IMO.
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December 11, 2010 3:03:53 PM

I wrote her an email trying to figure out the best way to get what she really wants. I will let you know once I hear back, and we can figure out if we will be saving some dollars and just get what she needs but not crazy overkill...or if we will just be going for the best value that $1500 can buy.

"Hey mom,

There are a few directions we can go for your PC.

1.) We can go for extreme "value" while getting you parts that will still be overkill for what you will be using it for. This will allow you to get better/more X-mas presents for me. :) 

2.) We can go for a more "high-end" system getting the most value we can for <$1500, but for the best next-gen CPU we might want to wait until after January. While this would definitely make me jealous, I can't help but think you might be wasting some dollars."

By the way...does anybody know if "mom" should be capitalized or not?
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December 11, 2010 7:51:34 PM

Capital M :) 
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December 11, 2010 7:59:39 PM

Whatever you do in this budget for non gaming get an ssd.

I just got my mom a 60gb corsair force and it's blazing fast ;) 
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December 11, 2010 9:28:39 PM

OK guys...she's going for the overkill option. I need the most value that I can squeeze out of the $1500.

I have some questions for you while I'm starting the research.

@cpatel1987-You suggest getting 2 blue ray drives...what is the purpose for this? What would you be able to do differently than 1 blue ray and 1 regular (but much cheaper) drive?

@calguyhunk-What exactly is the new January tech you are talking about? If it's the latest and greatest, won't that end up being over the $1500 limit...or are you suggesting that once the new tech comes out it will force down the prices of all the current tech?

@Somebody_007-I don't think I'll be able to talk her into a 60GB storage device when she is asking for a 1TB+. I don't have a lot of knowledge about SDD...is there something I should know about it that would make a lot less storage for the same price a better choice? I feel like I'm missing the point about all these new SSDs. They seem to be the hot new thing. Why?

I will probably start a new thread for the best bang for the buck <$1500 build once I get a little more advice from you guys about where to start. If you can give a little endorsement for your recommendations, that would be ideal.

Thanks for all the help so far.
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December 12, 2010 3:41:28 AM

Quote:
^
2. the new januaru tech are the Intel Sandy bridhe processor lin-up.
a preview of a medium range model showed it to be comparable to intels fastest processor. so better to wait for a month.

3.the ssd is just for OS/booting and keeping the commonly used apps. with ssd, the whole OS will respond faster.



So will the Jan. tech be comparable in price to say the i5-650 being recommended, i5-760, or the i7-950?

Do you get both a SSD and a regular HDD then? Could you (or someone) point out a good article or explain about the differences/benefits/how to use effectively/set-up the SSD and or HDD?
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December 12, 2010 4:36:39 AM

Hey TopGun,
If your logic is to have a backup, then why not have a backup for the Bluray function also? Wouldn't hurt considering the excess $1500 budget ya have. In my eyes, and I'm sure yours, for her needs, you can keep this build as low as $500-$700. If this was even for me, I wouldn't get two bays in the first place.

Definitely agree with the SSD comment. Get it for the OS, then secondary storage use internal Hard Drives.
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December 12, 2010 7:02:34 AM

Yeah SSDs are never supposed to be used alone ussually one goes with a 60gig or 120gig SSD for OS and apps and then a 1-2tb HDD for all the rest. If your mom thinks it's too much hassle organising apps and data and all this thing does it for you http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... essentially you'll have a 1060 or 1120gb partition and the HDD boost software organisises it that all the much used apps(including the OS) are stored on the SSD and all the rest on the HDD.
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December 12, 2010 9:54:33 AM

SSD- I can perfectly understand where 007 is coming from, but personally, I really think that shaving a few seconds off of your boot time is prolly not worth that much money. I don't use 1 myself.

But if you do intend to go with one, get yourself an OCZ Vertex 2, or a G.Skill Phoenix Pro. They are the fastest ones right now to the best of my knowledge.

Sandy Bridge- You asked bout the new range that is coming out in Jan - Intel's gonna release their (Unofficially named) Sandy Bridge range of CPU's (i3, i5 and i7) in different sockets (LGA 1155) from what they are using now (LGA 1156) - and with different Northbridge chipsets too (6-series) as opposed to the 5-series range in use now (P55, H55, Q57, X58 etc.). So you won't be able to upgrade from the current ones in a few year's time. Not that you'll be needing it though if you're going with a top-of-the-line 760/950.

The top of the line as of now will be the Core i7 2600K which will be a quad core 8 threaded processor with hexacore ones (6 cores) in the pipelines.

Prices- The price of the current gen is indeed likely to fall a little bit. But going with a Core i3/i5 2xxx range will actually not cost any more overall. The CPU+Board premium will be around 20%, and with RAM and other hardware prices in general constantly on it's way down, overall excess expenditure will be insubstantial if any.

In any case, if you feel it'll be out of your budget, you can always get the current gen ones. I'll say just wait a few more weeks to check out the reviews and the prices before you invest.
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December 12, 2010 11:53:46 AM

Okay, that $1.5k is waay overkill, this would work fine too:

CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1055T - $179.00
Mobo: ASRock 880GMH/USB3 - $81.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 2x4GB DDR3 1333MHz - $99.99
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD5670 1Gb DDR3 - $99.99
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb 7200rpm - $69.99
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W - $64.99
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
Blu-Ray: LG Blu-Ray Burner w/ Software - $99.99

Grand Total: $755.93

You won't need any better PC for some video-editting. I wouldnt get anything better than this build. SSD's aren't worth the cash currently, as they only speed up starting-up-windows and loading times a little bit. Just get a normal HDD.
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December 12, 2010 12:44:07 PM

@calyhunk

It don't really care about boot times. No-one really cares whether you need to get a drink for 30seconds or 60. But SSDs speed up your entire system. With every action on an HDD their is quite a delay especially things like opening word and excel. Whereas you'll be getting a several second delay with an HDD an SSD will give you almost instant acces. It won't save lives but in terms of speeding up a pc it will make opening, searching, loading, booting 2-4times faster.
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December 12, 2010 6:25:37 PM

Absolutely, it is a bit of a PITA when you gotta wait for several seconds on end before any app opens, but I was just talking 'bout priorities.

Someone like myself would much rather wait for a few more seconds to open an app, rather than spend an extra 150-250 on a minuscule little SSD. I'd much rather spend that money on a higher end processor+RAM to actually speed up my computations. (R, Matlab etc.)

SSD's will definitely be worth the premium when the prices come down to more reasonable levels, but I guess (to me) not 20-30 times a general 7200 RPM HDD in price per GB terms.

To each his own, I suppose :) 

For those of us who know exactly what we want and more importantly, what we need, the decision is pretty simple. But when we do advise someone else, we've gotta really see as to whether it'll really be worth the money in overall value terms IMO.
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December 12, 2010 6:31:31 PM

Yeah you're absolutely right when you're budget contricted.I've spent far more on my system than 1.5k and don't have an ssd(got my mom one though). Because my priorities lie elsewhere mostly in music quality and gaming experience. But when you're talking about a working computer that needs to do simple tasks I think spending on an ssd is a better choice than on upgrading the already overkill ram/cpu.

just my 2 cents.
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December 12, 2010 6:41:25 PM

Yeah, for the OP, I think most of what's being discussed on this thread is way overkill, but I guess if his mom can afford it, she should be entitled to a little bit of indulgence :) 
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December 13, 2010 12:23:36 AM

calguyhunk said:
Yeah, for the OP, I think most of what's being discussed on this thread is way overkill, but I guess if his mom can afford it, she should be entitled to a little bit of indulgence :) 


Ya, I've explained to her that a lot of what she wants is overkill. She is OK with that.

What I'd like to do (and I think would make her happiest) is walk on the diminishing returns edge as far as value/best bang for the buck. I want to push the tech as high as we can go before it becomes not a good value anymore...or possibly just a little bit past.

For example...I read on the hierarchy chart for graphics cards-->

"the new cards do offer support for DirectX 11 compatibility and high-def audio bitstreaming over HDMI."

and

"This is the first card that has really blown us away at $200 since AMD's Radeon HD 4890 was phased out, and the introduction of the new Radeon HD 6800-series recently forced prices even lower. Where it sits, the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB is an undeniable value."

It seems to me that if Tom's is recommending this card as an undeniable value at $200, then $139.99 after rebate would be just before the DR edge. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This card at $169.99 after rebate would give my mom the 1GB she wanted, but imo would be just past the DR edge. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also read on the CPU hierarchy chart-->

"if a gamer plans to use more than two graphics cards in CrossFire or SLI, the LGA 1366 Core i7-900-series processors are the way to go."

and

"Intel's Core i7 has proven itself to be the most powerful gaming CPU option available, and the Core i7-950 is the obvious choice for systems coupled with multiple graphics cards in an SLI or CrossFire configuration, thanks to a recent 50% price reduction ($294.99)."

This would give me the (almost) best of the best at good to great value while allowing for a little bit of "future-proofing" (getting another GTX 460 later for SLI and being able to use DirectX 11)I'm not saying that these will for sure be my choice (obviously I will check out the new Sandy Bridge too), but hopefully this gives you guys a little better idea of what direction I want to go with this.
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December 13, 2010 12:31:58 AM

Somebody_007 said:
Yeah you're absolutely right when you're budget contricted.I've spent far more on my system than 1.5k and don't have an ssd(got my mom one though). Because my priorities lie elsewhere mostly in music quality and gaming experience. But when you're talking about a working computer that needs to do simple tasks I think spending on an ssd is a better choice than on upgrading the already overkill ram/cpu.

just my 2 cents.


Ya, I read some articles about SSDs. I'm still unsure about them. It sounds like there will be better value for them in a year or few and they should be fairly easy to add to an already built machine afterward.

If there is still $$$ left in the budget I will reconsider a SSD. For the moment...I have so much other research to do on "must have" parts.
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December 13, 2010 3:40:47 AM

TopGun said:
This would give me the (almost) best of the best at good to great value while allowing for a little bit of "future-proofing" (getting another GTX 460 later for SLI and being able to use DirectX 11)I'm not saying that these will for sure be my choice (obviously I will check out the new Sandy Bridge too), but hopefully this gives you guys a little better idea of what direction I want to go with this.
Now we're seriously getting into the realm of the unreal. The GTX 460 is already a very high end card meant for the hardcore gamers. Till recently, the stock 1GB version was priced at $230+. So is it gr8 value at 170? You bet it is. But this card is meant to play demanding games at 1080p. Not for HTPC purposes or indeed Netflix or Camtasia.

And you want to SLI it? For what? Performance gain will be zero. Actually, in that case, an SSD will indeed be much better value. Apps will open faster and smoother and give you a Mac-ish feel.

Actually, now that I think of it, you should seriously consider getting a Mac considering all her requirements :p 

For a PC, most sub-50 dollar graphics cards will do the job plenty well in your mom's case - the Radeon HD 4650 being the 1 I'll go for.

But since you want a hardcore gamer's card, I'll strongly suggest the GTS 450 or the Radeon HD 5770.

If you insist on the GTX 460, awesome as it is, 1 will be way more than anything you'll ever need, whether you get the 1GB or the 768MB version.

And if you talk 'bout future proofing, unless your mom sees blood splattered games like Crysis, Metro 2033 etc. in her future, she won't need a 460 SLI system, not because of anything else, but for the fact that there will be absolutely no performance gain whatsoever. Apps won't open any quicker, display wont get any clearer, mathematical computations won't get any faster, videos won't look any better. No benchmark will show any perceptible increase for what she does. Not even 1 percent. So what's the point?

As I said - if you want a higher Windows experience index, an SSD will actually help you. Because this system - if anything - will be bottle-necked by a 7200 RPM drive, not by an already crazy-a$$ graphics card :) 

BTW, lemme get one thing straight, your $1500 system - does it include peripherals (Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers etc.) and Software (Windows, Office, Camtasia etc.)? Or is it only the tower (CPU+Mobo+RAM+HDD+ODD+GPU+PSU+Case)?
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December 13, 2010 4:08:44 AM

@calguyhunk-I said I wasn't for sure getting that stuff...I was just trying to make a good example of what I was thinking. I don't think she will be happy if something is just "good enough". It will be much easier to convince her that something is the best that she could get for her money than to convince her that she doesn't need even 1/2 of what she wants. Don't you have a mom? I think mom's have a creed they live by "Overkill is underrated". LOL...Besides, who's to say she won't want to pass it on in a few years? -_^

I believe she will use her current Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Speakers. I think she will need Windows...I am not sure about Office and Camtasia. Let's assume for now she will only need Windows.

BTW...I did give her the link to this thread so she could follow along too...so please be kind if/when trying to persuade her.
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December 13, 2010 4:23:42 AM

Overkill is indeed very underrated lolz.

Anyways, the difference between a 1k system and a 1.5k sytem is pretty small. SO i would just get a 1k system and spend the rest on a good 24 full HD monitor, ergonomic keyboard/mouse and a decent set of speakers. That will make so much more difference than upgrading to a gpu which is better than mine and mine is already an overkill gaming computer lol. I've got friends with better hardware, but my system is just ssoooooo much nicer to use due to the wonderfull peripherals. Trust me peripherals are so important.
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December 13, 2010 1:54:02 PM

TopGun said:
Don't you have a mom? I think mom's have a creed they live by "Overkill is underrated". LOL...
:D  If I was a teen-aged girl, I would've replied...

"OMG...OMG...OMG...That's like so totally true..." :bounce: 

Especially, when it comes to packing sweaters and jackets when leaving on a vacation trip to a hill station :lol: 

Somebody_007 said:
i would just get a 1k system and spend the rest on a good 24 full HD monitor, ergonomic keyboard/mouse and a decent set of speakers. That will make so much more difference than upgrading to a gpu. Trust me peripherals are so important.
Couldn't agree more. 24" 1080p monitor from LG/Samsung, ergonomic keyboard/mouse from Logitech, and 5.1 channel speakers from Altec Lansing/Creative will make the overall experience pretty awesome. Also Win 7 Ultimate in place of Home.

Actually, TBH, the most top of the line Home PC available today costs only about $1700 (Peripherals & OS included) -

i7-950 ($295)+ x58 board ($200) + 6GB DDR3 RAM ($90) + 60GB SSD ($120) + 1TB HDD ($70) + 550Watt PSU ($50) + Case ($50) + GPU ($170) + Monitor ($250) + high-end Wireless KB/Mouse ($50) + 5.1 Ch. Sound ($100) + Win 7 Ultimate ($180)

Comes to around 1.7K. This is basically the best that you can get today. If you search around for deals and discounts, the price will come down further. So you'll actually struggle to build a $1500 system which excludes those unless you drop 400 bucks on a GPU or get a $1000 CPU :non:  . Or indeed go with a $100 PSU or case :o 
TopGun said:
BTW...I did give her the link to this thread so she could follow along too...
Hi Mom, I think you should upgrade the whole system in it's entirety, and maybe, get a Mac. Is that even an option? It's not every day that a PC guy like myself thinks that a Mac might just be a better overall alternative. What 'bout a big 17" laptop? OR does it absolutely have to be a Desktop PC? (Not a desktop iMac or a Laptop PC, that is)

Whatever be the case, wait around for a couple of weeks more and come Jan 5th, you'll get to know whether you can get the newest/baddest tech in the industry there is (or rather will be :) ).
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December 13, 2010 9:06:56 PM

I've never looked into Macs at all. What makes you recommend one?

Also, we may have some luck going with some less expensive parts for her. She just doesn't know a ton about all the different components, so I think she wanted to err on the side of overdoing it.

I think as long as we can explain/show her an article or something that she will be OK with less overkill.

She said she read that programs aren't really taking advantage of a quad core currently so she would be OK with a dual core (still waiting until January).

I also tried to explain that "future-proofing" is somewhat impossible, and that we could save her enough money now to get a good head start on her next system when/if technology ever leap-frogged past this system's usefulness. The other alternative being spending much more now for a small performance increase that she would never even be able to notice...and technology would still leap-frog past it making upgrades difficult at best with newer incompatible parts.

Overall it's much better to get 10 times what you need for a great value than get 20 times what you need for twice the cost...use that extra savings towards when it's time to move on to the next build.

I still think that 460 GTX is a great value @ $139.99 compared to the recommended trusty 5770 @ $149.99. What difference (if any) is there between a 768MB and 1GB card?

Also, what is the difference between the Intel Dual Core i5-650 Clarkdale 3.2GHz @ $179.99 and Intel Quad Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz @ $204.99? Is $25 more for a quad core not worth the drop from 3.2GHz to 2.8GHz? I'd think it would be pretty easy to OC the quad to 3.2 GHz wouldn't it?

Again...thanks for being good teachers/gurus!
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December 14, 2010 10:17:20 AM

TopGun said:
I've never looked into Macs at all. What makes you recommend one?
What your mom needs is a good, reliable, sexy, stylish, compact computer that is new-tech and a tad overkill. Not a road-rolling, bulldozing, all annihilating monster. Mac is gonna be perfect.
TopGun said:
She said she read that programs aren't really taking advantage of a quad core currently so she would be OK with a dual core (still waiting until January).
Come Jan, you can actually get a dual-core with 4 threads unlike the current ones with just 2. There are enough multi-threaded apps today, to warrant a quad core or a dual with 4 threads if you can afford it. And since you can, I'll say going with one isn't a bad idea.
TopGun said:
Is $25 more for a quad core not worth the drop from 3.2GHz to 2.8GHz? I'd think it would be pretty easy to OC the quad to 3.2 GHz wouldn't it?
Umm...If only things were that easy :whistle:  Some apps are multi-threaded and they'll do better on a 2.8Ghz quad. Some single or dual threaded apps will do better on a 3.2Ghz dual. Though from 2.8 to 3.2 is relatively minor and very achievable, you ought to know that OC'ing might affect the lifespan of your CPU.
TopGun said:
Also, what is the difference between the Intel Dual Core i5-650 Clarkdale 3.2GHz @ $179.99 and Intel Quad Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz @ $204.99?
You called most of it already - Dual Vs Quad. 4MB Level 3 Cache Vs 8MB.
TopGun said:
I also tried to explain that "future-proofing" is somewhat impossible, and that we could save her enough money now to get a good head start on her next system when/if technology ever leap-frogged past this system's usefulness. The other alternative being spending much more now for a small performance increase that she would never even be able to notice...and technology would still leap-frog past it making upgrades difficult at best with newer incompatible parts.
Yes, while total future proofing is indeed difficult, getting a new socket will mean that you'll be able to upgrade to a different , more powerful system in a couple of year's time if you so desire.

But the thing is, your 950/760 systems are already gonna be so powerful, that you'll not really need to upgrade any time soon - actually, in a long time to come.
TopGun said:
I still think that 460 GTX is a great value @ $139.99 compared to the recommended trusty 5770 @ $149.99. What difference (if any) is there between a 768MB and 1GB card?
Firstly, Nvidia released the 768 card to compete with the 5770. It is a segment below the 'Real' GTX 460 :) 

Also, while I haven't checked out the prices in the last few days, when I last checked, the stock 5770 cost around 120 odd on Newegg. The 150 dollar one must be an overclocked one. (the more expensive ones have a higher core-clock frequency - watch out for that)
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December 14, 2010 10:46:19 AM

Another note: Nvidia last month released the 460 SE card, which can be described as more like a '455': slower clock than a 460, but still 1 GB RAM, performs faster than a 450 but slower than the 768MB 460.
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December 14, 2010 11:49:30 AM

calguyhunk said:
What your mom needs is a good, reliable, sexy, stylish, compact computer that is new-tech and a tad overkill. Not a road-rolling, bulldozing, all annihilating monster. Mac is gonna be perfect.
Come Jan, you can actually get a dual-core with 4 threads unlike the current ones with just 2. There are enough multi-threaded apps today, to warrant a quad core or a dual with 4 threads if you can afford it. And since you can, I'll say going with one isn't a bad idea.
Umm...If only things were that easy :whistle:  Some apps are multi-threaded and they'll do better on a 2.8Ghz quad. Some single or dual threaded apps will do better on a 3.2Ghz dual. Though from 2.8 to 3.2 is relatively minor and very achievable, you ought to know that OC'ing might affect the lifespan of your CPU.
You called most of it already - Dual Vs Quad. 4MB Level 3 Cache Vs 8MB.
Yes, while total future proofing is indeed difficult, getting a new socket will mean that you'll be able to upgrade to a different , more powerful system in a couple of year's time if you so desire.

But the thing is, your 950/760 systems are already gonna be so powerful, that you'll not really need to upgrade any time soon - actually, in a long time to come.
Firstly, Nvidia released the 768 card to compete with the 5770. It is a segment below the 'Real' GTX 460 :) 

Also, while I haven't checked out the prices in the last few days, when I last checked, the stock 5770 cost around 120 odd on Newegg. The 150 dollar one must be an overclocked one. (the more expensive ones have a higher core-clock frequency - watch out for that)


To answer his question about 768mb vs 1 gig GTX 460.
Well, firstly, the video ram really only comes to play at high resolutions. At low resolutions they'd perform identically.
That said, the 30" monitor resolution of 2560x1600 gives a grand difference of 1-2 fps in the benchmarks i looked at.

Trust me, get the 768MB GTX 460 unless you want to drop at least $70 bucks.

Also, the GTX 460 768mb was a month ago, $115 on newegg. Perhaps wait for sandy bridge and get a mid range CPU from them - it will be priced at probably $250- and the 1155 mobo. Corsair 550W / 500W / 430W will power the GTX 460 (trust me, if shes not OCing or playing with furmark thats enough with a 95W CPU) as 95+150 = 245 which leaves... heaps.. around 100 watts for the rest of the components (which is heaps) and heaps more for ocing - thats with parts at high load too. Get 500 if you want a tonne of headroom/aging.

You won't need 2 x 460's but try get a 1155 mobo that has sli support in case you wanna trade pcs with ur Mom.
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December 14, 2010 12:03:37 PM

Eurm about macs. You can ussually get a better performance machine with higher stability for half the price(not so for their 27" imacs because they seem to get amazing deals on the huge expensive displays).

Sure macs are stylish in sone strange white fruity way, but more stylish than say a ft02 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I mean seriously? what can be more stylish than that? and besides style that case is also extremly quiet, very very high quality oohh and as an added bonus it's the best air cooled case on the market ensuring a long stable lifespan for everything it houses.
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December 14, 2010 6:07:18 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Sure macs are stylish in sone strange white fruity way
While I completely share your enthusiasm 'bout PC's, the thing is, you've gotta give the devil it's due. If Apple has one thing going for it, that's style (and of course marketing, but that's beyond the scope of this thread). The fact is, if compatibility with OSX wasn't an issue, Macs would definitely outsell PC's by a million to one. (The 100 year old firmware's just gotta go by the way).

What would I give to have a PC that looks identical to a mac, is technologically as 2010 as a mac, aesthetically as easy on the eye as a mac, but is as versatile as a Windows PC, and priced like one to boot? Asking for the best of both worlds? You bet I am. But why can't we have choices like every other major consumer product?

I'd love for PC's to come exactly that way and you're right, not just in white. Even Macs should give you choices in white, black, shocking pink among others.

Disclaimer: That pink thing wasn't for me but for my girlfriend who (like most girls I'd imagine) has everything from her cell to her i-pod to almost every piece of whatever she owns covered in various shades of that fairly annoying color.
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December 14, 2010 6:31:20 PM

IMO you can define an apple product with one sentence(both the good and the bad):

It just works, while trying to look good.

The first part as I assume you agree is that the essence of a mac is that it just works. No hassle no nothing. But it doesn't go beyond that. Customization is hard to find if there is any whereas in windows you can change every single thing with a little know how(the little know how part is why windows doesn't apeal to most non-enthousiasts). I mean have you ever used win7 godmode? the customization options there are endless. Then comes hardware support: windows is just so much more versitale. Considering the relative maturity of SSDs it's almost unbelieveable that only win7 can support them properly(trim, defrag off and all the other stuff).

And then we get to the hardware: It's old and they sell it at a high price trying to decieve us by giving us a lack of info. The macbookpro for example claims to come with a 2.8ghz i7. Nowhere does it state which one. And for good reason, because as it turns out that cpu get's an ass-kicking from the i7 quad 1.6ghz most other laptops use. Also there cooling is a joke, and upgrading is impossible. The latter two result in a shorter lifespan which again amounts to higher expenses. And customizing a mac on their website lol? They charge around 3 times the price for an upgrade from 4gb of ram to 16gb as the competing windows companies(falcon-northwest which are also very oriented towards style be it from an elite gamer's perspective).

Okay they have some things going for them which is: good user interface on many macs(their cinema displays and imac displays are extremely good and so is their keyboard for their laptops, but the screens on the laptops suck and the magic mous+ desktop keyboard without number pad is a joke).

So yes they have advantages, but you can make any pc stylish aswell(even more stylish IMO) by getting silverstone ft02, dell display and a decent kb/mouse at a far far lower price and with all the advantages I have stated above.
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December 14, 2010 7:24:29 PM

I agree with you almost entirely but for the Windows part. I use Windows because I have to. Not because I want to.

As I said, I would have used Ubuntu/Snow Leopard hackintosh but for compatibility issues.

The 2 Biggest advantages PC has over Mac other than the aforementioned are customizations and pricing. But for 90% PC users, who order pre-packaged Dells and HP's, customization is not exactly paramount on the top of their decision making. And all the confusing options are frankly a little PITA for all of 'em.

All they want is something that - as you put it - "just works. No hassle no nothing".
That's why most people don't go with CLI based free, open source OS, and pick the completely GUI based OS, even though, they have to pay through their noses for it.

The number one thing stopping them from getting a Mac is the prohibitive pricing and no. 2 would be universal compatibility (or lack thereof). - That 2nd one is my reason anyways.

EDIT: BTW, 'bout that Godmode thing, I find it easier to type in a word or 2 in the search box to get to my required option. For example, typing "reg" gets me to regedit. Or "task" leads me to task scheduler. Nifty little tool, but the search box takes the pain away from sifting through a hundred entries for what you don't want - if you do know what you want, that is. And if you don't, then Godmode is not for you anyways.

Talking 'bout small and seemingly insignificant little customizations though, I'll much rather Windows give me an option to erase randomly created System Restore points, or sort files by extensions or change logon and boot screens etc. without downloading anything or indeed manually editing that thing called the registry.
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December 14, 2010 10:36:13 PM

Really good info guys.

I don't think we'll go the Mac route...just too unfamiliar with it.

It sounds like we can probably wait for a price drop on either the 460 or 5770.

I still don't understand what the better value would be between the 3.2 dual and the 2.8 quad...but that probably doesn't matter with Sandy Bridge coming out.

I don't think we're going to get a $250 case...I was checking that out though before...it's pretty awesome. Besides the price, she is looking for a magenta or turquoise tower, or at least a window and some neon lights.
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December 15, 2010 4:15:39 AM

teah the search bar is little miracle isn't it? I remember when I was on vista and everyone said it was horrible(which it wasn't people just didn't have the hardware to power it), I was like seriously? How on earth can you do anything without the search bar lol(I mean xp has a search but the vista/win7 one is blazing fast).

And yeah justr tag along till SB is out then make your move.

And about the case: my advice is get a sturdy mid-tower which she likes the looks of.
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December 15, 2010 5:19:43 AM

TopGun said:
I still don't understand what the better value would be between the 3.2 dual and the 2.8 quad...but that probably doesn't matter with Sandy Bridge coming out.
:p  I hate to break it to you, buddy, but you're gonna face the exact same dilemma with SB as well. A higher clocked CPU with less cores/threads, or a lower clocked one with more?

The thing is, if you're into 3D rendering and stuff, the extra cores are gonna help. Otherwise, the extra clock speed is the way to go.
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December 16, 2010 12:48:01 AM

Hmmm...not sure if she does any 3D rendering in her sewing videos. I'm almost positive that whatever we end up with will be much more powerful than she will (ever?...ever in the next 10 years anyway?) need. We'll probably just end up going with whichever has the most bang for the buck/value.
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December 16, 2010 9:13:36 PM

Hey guys,

Do I need to jump on one of these Newegg daily deals? They all have free shipping too. Also, what is the difference between 128-bit GDDR5 and 256-bit GDDR5?

1.) HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity $99.99 after mail-in rebate card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2.) SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $121.99 after mail-in rebate card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3.) MSI N460GTX Cyclone 768D5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $119.99 after mail-in rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4.) EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $139.99 after mail-in rebate card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 17, 2010 1:36:28 AM

I did answer your PM, but from the extra choices on offer here, I'll definitely go with the 1st option.

At $100, the 5770 looks plenty good and more than enough for even casual/budget gaming purposes mostly. You can get that and maybe save 40 bucks. Your (and your mom's) call.
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December 17, 2010 2:28:50 AM

Ya, I didn't come across that HIS one until after I wrote you. It has some not so favorable reviews too.

We had a bad day today though. I'm not sure she'd be up to buying a card tonight...although that $99.99 card wasn't a daily deal, so maybe we'll get it in a bit.

I had installed a HD 4650 on her Vista PC and the sound stopped working. I wrote on the forums to see if we could figure it out. You can read about it here if you want.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/305262-33-help-instal...

Long story short...what was supposed to be a very inexpensive nice little GPU upgrade now sounds like she will need an expensive (also hard to find) OS...she wants to keep Vista for some of her old programs.

...and my toilet overflowed through the bathroom floor into the basement...all this after spending hours X-mas shopping all over the place.

/sigh
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December 17, 2010 11:38:25 AM

I would be thinking of a $750 system....; no need whatsoever for a highend video card, and, certainly not an SLI rig...

In fact, you could likely build a midtower for $600 she would be happy with for years....

If she suddenly takes up an interest in playing Crysis, you can say we were wrong....
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December 17, 2010 12:56:56 PM

we've already been through this... overkill doesn't matter
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December 17, 2010 3:32:54 PM

TopGun said:
she will need an expensive (also hard to find) OS...she wants to keep Vista for some of her old programs.
If you're talking about compatibility, any program that's compatible with Vista is almost certain to be compatible with Win7. Just make sure you don't mix 32 bit programs with 64 bit OS.
mdd1963 said:
I would be thinking of a $750 system....; no need whatsoever for a highend video card, and, certainly not an SLI rig...

In fact, you could likely build a midtower for $600 she would be happy with for years....
Man, read the thread. Pleeez.

I think by now, topgun has started to hate the word overkill. Actually, me too. I think I've used that word more frequently in this thread than I've done in all my previous posts on Tom's combined - and that's quite a bit :) 

BTW, I'll take a look at your sound thread now.

EDIT: So okay, it's already solved :) 
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December 17, 2010 3:36:13 PM

you can run 32bit proggrams on a 64bit OS(it has a 32bit emulator). And in the same manner you can run 16bit proggrams on a 32bit OS. The problem occurs when you want to run 16bit prggrams on a 64bit OS.
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December 17, 2010 3:47:02 PM

Somebody_007 said:
And in the same manner you can run 16bit proggrams on a 32bit OS. The problem occurs when you want to run 16bit prggrams on a 32bit OS.
You meant 64 bit programs in the 2nd instance :) 

But yeah, I swapped 64 and 32 :p 
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December 17, 2010 4:01:54 PM

oops yeah typos can cause a real fuss when all it takes to change the entire meaning is a different number.
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December 17, 2010 4:19:53 PM

Actually the other thread isn't resolved. She did a clean install and still can't get sound.

I have a few questions for you guys.

1. ) What does TX, VX, HX, AX, CX series mean when talking about Corsair PSU?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

2. ) Are either of these super great deals?

2a.) Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
$208.99
Your Price: $179.99
With Promo Code
EMCZNZV73

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2b.) Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$69.99
Your Price: $64.99
With Promo Code
EMCZNZV99
$44.99 After $20.00 MIR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And I'd like to leave you with OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL!!!
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December 17, 2010 5:02:48 PM

TopGun said:
And I'd like to leave you with OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL!!!
You use that word again and you're gonna get it from me :p 
TopGun said:
Actually the other thread isn't resolved. She did a clean install and still can't get sound.
Why did you mark it as solved then?

Anyways, I'll take a look at that thread then a little while later after this.

The 760 @ $180 is pretty awesome. They are trying to clear the stocks, I think as they'll have to stock up on the new range.

The Antec 300 is pretty divisive actually. Some love it, some hate it. Personally, though I haven't used it in any of my builds, I can't see why it'll be a disappointment especially at $45, seeing as I've loved the 900/902 in some builds that I did a while back. Truly awesome. The younger cousin should be plenty alright IMO.

About the Corsair nomenclature, HX is the modular range, comes with fan controllers and has a single 12V rail except the 1000W one, I think. The TX is the non mod series and VX is the value range with lower wattages. That range currently only has the 550, I think.

All of these are Chinese made by Seasonic and CWT with Japanese capacitors, AFAIK.

CX is the non 80+ rated value range made also in China (surprise surprise). The AX is the ultra high-end high Wattage range, but I really don't know much 'bout this non-mainstream range.
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December 17, 2010 6:21:38 PM

I marked the best answer because I thought my mom's recovery disk wasn't going to work (just found out today she finally got it to go). I thought his answer would work...seemed like a sure thing since he had the same thing happen to him.

Do any of those PSUs stand out as awesome values to you?

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