Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Advice on a new computer

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 24, 2011 10:07:45 AM

I've decided that it's time to replace my old computer, I'll use the upgrade for gaming but also because using such an old rig was becoming generally impractical.

I've got a budget of £700-£750 (about $1100 - $1200). I've found something with the following spec within my budget:
MB: Asus M4A87TD-EVO
CPU: AMD Phenom x6 1075T 3.00GHz
GPU: Nvidea GTX460 1GB
RAM: 8GB PC10600
(full spec)

For a bit of extra money I can get an AMD 6850HD 1GB; but I'm not sure if this is worth it. The AMD seems to slightly beat the 460 while not overclocked, but I hear there are compatibility issues between linux (which I have as a secondary install and use occasionally), and also certain games, with ATI.

Two main questions:
Is this good value for money?
Are the parts good enough to run some newer games (e.g. Total War Shogun 2, Crisis 2, etc.) at a decent level and include some AA? [EDIT: Forgot to say, my monitor resolution is 1920x1080.]

I have also thought about building my own but I have very limited experience and not much free time, I'm also not sure if I would be able to actually save any money by doing it - or even of any of the advantages of building one myself.

Thanks in advance for any replies. :D 

More about : advice computer

February 24, 2011 10:37:21 AM

I've been meaning to write an article about building vs. prebuilt, so let me throw out some ideas.

The primary reason to build your own is not cost savings. If you do it right you'll spend about the same amount as the prebuilt. What you get is a higher quality computer with LONGER WARRANTY.

Two major components where you will usually see big improvements over a store bought computer are the power supply and case. These are places the builder will mistakenly cut corners in order to make a profit. The PSU ultimately has an impact on the longevity of all the electronics of your comp, and will also save you money by being more efficient. When you buy a quality PSU it will have at least a 3 year warranty and perhaps as long as 7 years.

You will be able to choose a case that exactly fits your tastes, but will also be highly reusable. It will likely have better cooling and more room for expansion.

You will have a motherboard with 3 year warranty.... although it would seem you might be getting that now with the Asus board, depending on how the builder is handling it.

This is the point where I clicked your link :)  That's really a very nice system, if it's for very general usage. As a gaming system the 6-core isn't the way I would go.

The 2 year warranty is not bad. I'm sure they got their parts OEM, so none of the warranties that would normally apply to the parts are in effect.

The Xilence PSU is crap though, most likely. They do not send units to serious reviewers, for good reason.


In that budget range I would say you are better off waiting for the sandy bridge fix and going with an Intel 2500K.
February 24, 2011 10:59:53 AM

Proximon said:
I've been meaning to write an article about building vs. prebuilt, so let me throw out some ideas.

The primary reason to build your own is not cost savings. If you do it right you'll spend about the same amount as the prebuilt. What you get is a higher quality computer with LONGER WARRANTY.

Two major components where you will usually see big improvements over a store bought computer are the power supply and case. These are places the builder will mistakenly cut corners in order to make a profit. The PSU ultimately has an impact on the longevity of all the electronics of your comp, and will also save you money by being more efficient. When you buy a quality PSU it will have at least a 3 year warranty and perhaps as long as 7 years.

You will be able to choose a case that exactly fits your tastes, but will also be highly reusable. It will likely have better cooling and more room for expansion.

You will have a motherboard with 3 year warranty.... although it would seem you might be getting that now with the Asus board, depending on how the builder is handling it.

Thanks for those points, if those are the advantages, I think I'll stick with buying pre-built.

Proximon said:
This is the point where I clicked your link :)  That's really a very nice system, if it's for very general usage. As a gaming system the 6-core isn't the way I would go.

Could you explain why please? Is it because of lack of 6-core optimization in games?

Proximon said:
In that budget range I would say you are better off waiting for the sandy bridge fix and going with an Intel 2500K.

I'm sorry but I don't understand what you mean by waiting for the sandy bridge fix, haha. Could you link to any pre-built systems that you would recommend? [EDIT: Oh, I see now. Do you know how long it will be until it's safe to buy one?]

Thanks for your reply :) 

[EDIT: I've been reading through some of the links in your signature, and coupled with your advice in this thread have found this: http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/system/weekly_sales_I...

It uses sandy bridge though :/  ]
Related resources
February 24, 2011 9:16:26 PM

Many games that claim to take advantage of multiple cores do it poorly, and most don't still. That's not to say there aren't advantages since cores can be tasked with other programs while a game is running.

Sandy Bridge CPUs handle core utilization more efficiently, so that when cores are not needed they are put to sleep kind of, and the cores that are needed get bumped to higher speeds. It's like having the advantages of dual core when you need it and quad core when you need it. I'm waiting for the boards to come available again so that I can switch from dual core to quad, finally.

This is one of the reasons this new architecture is so popular. If Cyberpower is actually selling SB systems that is fine... Intel is replacing the faulty chips on the motherboards already... probably the systems are on backorder though.

It's really safe now to use/buy a SB board. It's just that SATA ports 2 and 3 will degrade over time. Often you can just avoid using them.

The only issue I see there is that the only good PSU on the list is the 875W Thermaltake, which is overkill.

February 24, 2011 11:02:21 PM

Some very good points from Proximon. reread and heed them.

My thought is that you are over cpu'ed and under gpu'ed.

The prime determinant of gaming capability is the graphics card. Spend your budget there.
In your case, look for a GTX570 class card.

For gaming, nothing competes with a sandy bridge 2500. You will suffer buyer's remorse if you buy anything else.

Lastly, by building it yourself, you get a great deal of satisfaction,-------- which is priceless.
February 25, 2011 11:34:23 AM

Proximon said:
Many games that claim to take advantage of multiple cores do it poorly, and most don't still. That's not to say there aren't advantages since cores can be tasked with other programs while a game is running.

Sandy Bridge CPUs handle core utilization more efficiently, so that when cores are not needed they are put to sleep kind of, and the cores that are needed get bumped to higher speeds. It's like having the advantages of dual core when you need it and quad core when you need it. I'm waiting for the boards to come available again so that I can switch from dual core to quad, finally.

This is one of the reasons this new architecture is so popular. If Cyberpower is actually selling SB systems that is fine... Intel is replacing the faulty chips on the motherboards already... probably the systems are on backorder though.

It's really safe now to use/buy a SB board. It's just that SATA ports 2 and 3 will degrade over time. Often you can just avoid using them.


I found this statement from Cyberpower which says the ones they are selling could still be faulty and any orders placed which only utilise 2 SATA ports will still be shipped but they will replace the motherboard in due time.

Proximon said:
The only issue I see there is that the only good PSU on the list is the 875W Thermaltake, which is overkill.

Is there any sort of work-around for this?

geofelt said:
Some very good points from Proximon. reread and heed them.

My thought is that you are over cpu'ed and under gpu'ed.

The prime determinant of gaming capability is the graphics card. Spend your budget there.
In your case, look for a GTX570 class card.

I don't think there's any way I'll be able to get a GTX570 with my budget, unfortunately.
[EDIT:I can get a GTX460, however. Is this an acceptable substitute?]
geofelt said:
For gaming, nothing competes with a sandy bridge 2500. You will suffer buyer's remorse if you buy anything else.

I'm pretty set on getting 2500/K now, it'll probably mean I'll just have to wait a little though.

geofelt said:
Lastly, by building it yourself, you get a great deal of satisfaction,-------- which is priceless.
I'll probably build in the future, but for now I'm quite sure I'd rather buy prebuilt.

Thankyou both for your help and replies.
February 25, 2011 8:10:50 PM

You might call them up and ask if they have any other PSUs I suppose. I'm surprised they aren't at least offering Corsair PSUs.
!