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Place to buy gaming pcs

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May 17, 2012 6:17:05 PM

1. I have been to the cyberpowerpc site. Are there any other good ones you can recommend? I need one that is highly configurable. I want to get RAID Mirroring. Most of the online companies make you pick from pre-packaged options. So to get RAID I have to go up a lot in price.

2. Is there a good way to swap in parts and compare in some kind of a utilty how much value I gain from it? On the cyberpowerpc site where you configure your own PC, they give you frames per second. Is this reliable? In practical terms what can I run in a game (or type of game ) for something that gets 50 fps over 40 fps?

3. Are there any places I can buy a barebones computer where they will configure the hardware RAID and just send me the rest of the parts? I have had RAID before. The nvidea manual that comes with the motherboards are really vague for someone who does not do this alot. When I googled it, I had trouble figuring out how to configure it. if not , can someone recommend a good set of tutorials on configuring RAID yourself ? They all seem to be done by nvidea(is that true) ? Will configuring RAID 0 be the same from board to board since it is all nvidea? If not , what do I look for? I don't need anything high end. Yeah I do backups.

4. What value does an SSD give me over a Hard drive in practical terms. I read you can boot up faster. I don't care about that. i read that they have a lower failure rate (but its cheap for me to get 2 HDs and have them configured with raid), so I don't really care about this. Will an SSD make any difference with playing games? I thought that is mostly CPU, GPU, and memory?

5. What do I need to know about cooling? How do I determine if I need 1 fan or multiple fans? What about water cooling? I have not bought a PC in 5 years and they did not have water cooling back then.

6. What is crossfire?

7. How much value is there in running 2 lower end video cards? Say 2 Radeon 6770s (these get good reviews on price to performance) over say 1 card that costs about the same as 2 6770s?

8. If an 8 core AMD is $50-60 more than a 6-core AMD? Is it a beter price to performance buy? Or would I be better off sticking with a 6 core AMD and spending $50-60 more on a video card?

9. if i get a motherboard that can handle 1866 speed ram, will there be any practical difference if I spend a little less money and get 1333 speed ram? Will I have to lower down the settings on games, etc...

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May 17, 2012 8:10:05 PM

guessoso said:
1. I have been to the cyberpowerpc site. Are there any other good ones you can recommend? I need one that is highly configurable. I want to get RAID Mirroring. Most of the online companies make you pick from pre-packaged options. So to get RAID I have to go up a lot in price.

2. Is there a good way to swap in parts and compare in some kind of a utilty how much value I gain from it? On the cyberpowerpc site where you configure your own PC, they give you frames per second. Is this reliable? In practical terms what can I run in a game (or type of game ) for something that gets 50 fps over 40 fps?

3. Are there any places I can buy a barebones computer where they will configure the hardware RAID and just send me the rest of the parts? I have had RAID before. The nvidea manual that comes with the motherboards are really vague for someone who does not do this alot. When I googled it, I had trouble figuring out how to configure it. if not , can someone recommend a good set of tutorials on configuring RAID yourself ? They all seem to be done by nvidea(is that true) ? Will configuring RAID 0 be the same from board to board since it is all nvidea? If not , what do I look for? I don't need anything high end. Yeah I do backups.

4. What value does an SSD give me over a Hard drive in practical terms. I read you can boot up faster. I don't care about that. i read that they have a lower failure rate (but its cheap for me to get 2 HDs and have them configured with raid), so I don't really care about this. Will an SSD make any difference with playing games? I thought that is mostly CPU, GPU, and memory?

5. What do I need to know about cooling? How do I determine if I need 1 fan or multiple fans? What about water cooling? I have not bought a PC in 5 years and they did not have water cooling back then.

6. What is crossfire?

7. How much value is there in running 2 lower end video cards? Say 2 Radeon 6770s (these get good reviews on price to performance) over say 1 card that costs about the same as 2 6770s?

8. If an 8 core AMD is $50-60 more than a 6-core AMD? Is it a beter price to performance buy? Or would I be better off sticking with a 6 core AMD and spending $50-60 more on a video card?

9. if i get a motherboard that can handle 1866 speed ram, will there be any practical difference if I spend a little less money and get 1333 speed ram? Will I have to lower down the settings on games, etc...


Let me take a stab at your questions:

1. There are a number of sites that will configure RAID, including major vendors such as Dell.

2. You can look at reviews regarding GPU performance. Tomshardware has a lot of articles on relative GPU performance, etc.

3. RAID is very easy to configure, even on your own. Go into the BIOS, select the type of RAID and the drives you want to assign. Save and reboot.

4. SSD will give you significantly faster read/write speed than standard HDDs. It is one of the best performance improvements you can make to a computer. Use a single SSD (NO RAID) for your OS/boot and perhaps a couple of games. Then add a couple of large HDDs for storage of non-performance critical app/games and dat storage. RAID these for redundancy, perhaps RAID 5 or mirroring of the drives.

5. Unless you are overclocking, any standard case and components will run fine. Get a good case with good airflow and you shouldn't have to worry too much in this department.

6. Crossfire is AMDs implementation of multiple GPUs. You can harness the power of two GPUs. For Nvidia this would be SLI.

7. Go with the best single card you can afford, that is the general concensus.

8. Games normally dont leverage more than 4 cores, so if games are your niche then dont worry about 8-core. And go with Intel i5, best bang for the buck when it comes to gaming. Core i5-2500 and an AMD 79xx GPU or an Nvidia GTX 680 would be a great combo.

9. You probably wont notice any real world performance degredation with lower speed memory, but you arent getting the most out of your system. I would get the 1866, just to run optimally.

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May 24, 2012 6:24:39 AM

Get an SSD. From booting, to installing programs and games, to doing any kind of real work on the computer, SSD just kills platters. Once you've had an SSD, you will never go back to HDD for your OS and programs.

Also, get the single best card if you can. Why invite heat, room, and complexity issues when for a few dollars more you can get even better performance in a single card.

Finally, if you can spring for a HD 7970, do it. Get the cheapest 7970 available, because you can overclock it yourself, AMD will give you the software to do it. Also, read the online reports about overclocking the 7970 -- it is a really, really good card. You can boost it 20% on the stock voltage, just move two sliders in the AMD software. But the overclockers really pushed the 7970, boosting performance something like 47%, albeit with the fan at 75% so it doesn't fry. But even there the 7970 was stable. Again, I think it's an amazing card for the money right now, I love mine, happy it has mini display ports for my Apple 2560-by-1440 LED display (which looks absolutely stunning on this card, it shines playing games at max settings and highest resolution, one of the best on the market).
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