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I'm gonna buy individual parts and set up my own computer. I already have 1 gig ram so I will not focus on buying anymore ram (but if you advice to get more...). Video card is just 256 mb so I'm planning to upgrade it. Processor is a sure upgrade from 2.4 ghz and so will be the motherboard. Of course, because I have only 40 gb hdd, I plan on buying a new one with greater size. I plan to keep all other accessories (monitor/lcd, mice, keys, etc).

I'm more of a gamer/multimedia type user. I multitask a lot. So, here come the questions.

What Processor should I go for? Which among the processors are good for gaming and multimedia?

What graphics card do you recomment? (And I hope it is compatible with vista).

Should I get more ram?

What parts should I prioritize (processor/mainboard, graphics or ram)?

How much would your recommended parts approximately cost?

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Last Post by jbennet
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First of all, newegg is the number one spot for computer hardware :)

If your going to use Vista, then 2 gb of ram is a must if you will be gaming.. There are many awesome graphics cards.. I prefer nVidia, but just search on newegg for a price range, type, etc. I'd recommend going with PCI express as AGP seems to be losing support.

Gaming priotity should be: graphics, processor, ram mb.. Gaming builds can run pretty expensive depending on how hardcore you want your graphics card and such.

I'd go with a sokcet AM2 amd athlon 64 x2 dual core processor.. cheaper, awesome quality, easy to overclock.. However, there is no substitute for the quad core :)

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if you can go intel do so, because you'll get a lot more performance from a dual core intel :-).

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Video card should be your number 1 priority. Before buying check if its DX10 compatible. Quad core extreme OC'ed intel core 2 should pwn. 2 gigs of ram definetely (maybe even 4, rams cheap). You will probably want a 10,000 rpm harddrive.

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However, there is no substitute for the quad core :)

Hey, what quad core processors are already in the market? Amd Opteron? How about Intel Core2 Extreme Quad core?

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go with a core2duo.

Yeah the Xeons and Opertons are nice... But they're also built for servers.
I recently heard them compared like this:
Xeons are designed to perform effectively while still maintaining stability. Core2Duos are just really fast.

Unless you're going to be doing a bunch of CAD/Multimedia editing, the core2duos are the best bet. Cheaper than the Xeons.

Agreed, the video card is the #1 priority... but don't go crazy. A $200 card with a $250 cpu will outperform a system with a $800 card and a $100 cpu any day.

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Yea, but amd is cheaper, cooler, and nearly operates with the same performance..

Not always.


side note:
I look for INTEL to wipe the floors with AMD real soon... from what I've been told, AMD wasted all their money on ATI which isn't going how they wanted... that's millions that could have been spent on R&D. There was another half to this story... but i can't remember it :(

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Really? I'll have to watch for that.. I've always preferred AMD, because they're cheaper, more efficient, generally cooler, and easily overclocked.. However, the new ones have locked speeds like intel's chips..

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Unless you're going to be doing a bunch of CAD/Multimedia editing, the core2duos are the best bet. Cheaper than the Xeons.

I'm gonna do a lot of CAD editing next year. Multimedia.. meh, don't edit much but I do when I need to.

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In my experience, the Core2Duo wipes the floor with the AMD X2

when amd started losing the speed wars, they focused on efficiency, but now with the core2 intel is trying to beat them at thier own game

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I'm gonna do a lot of CAD editing next year. Multimedia.. meh, don't edit much but I do when I need to.

What sort of CAD? 2D or 3D? any rendering?

About 4 years ago I would debate all day long with someone who though Intel was better than AMD... sad to see the playing field change like this. AMD still has a leg up on Intel with streaming... but I'm sure that will change in the near future.

If I was going for a strictly all-out gaming machine... I would probably still go with AMD if for nothing more than their reputation in that area.

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What sort of CAD? 2D or 3D? any rendering?

3D and nope, no rendering. I said I'm gonna do some cad editing but I guess it will only be for a short time (one semester) so in the long run, it will not matter. I guess I'll go for AMD.

For VCards, what would be best for gaming? GeForce, Radeon or any other cards?

Cheers
~scud16~

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>D and nope, no rendering. I said I'm gonna do some cad editing but I guess it will only be for a short time (one semester) so in the long run, it will not matter. I guess I'll go for AMD.

you might like it, I know I did.

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My strong advice is...
DON'T GET A DELL!!!
get anything other than a dell.

edit: i would advise getting an ATI radeon of some sort ~mine is an X1600XT (256Mb of V-RAM)
and it works beautifully :)

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in my experience of them, at college and through JBennet, they overheat if not cooled correctly, and the ones we have at college are annoyingly slow.

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There optiplex workstations though, there not meant to be fast

I have 3 dells

Pros:

Cheap

Cons:

Bad cooling - abysmal. My P4HT dell runs at over 80 degrees C (im not joking , i neaely got 3rd degree burns off the heatsink). My dads core2duo runs at about 75 degrees c.

Nonstandard Motherboard, Case (and on some models, PSU) meaning that if either of these breaks you need a new PC, which isnt a big deal as they are cheap

Pain in the ass to upgrade. There is no possibility for overclocking whatsoverevr and the BTX format is utter crap. You cant run any modern gfx cards as the pci x16 slot is at the end, so there is no free grille for the fan exhaust.

Also the PSU in most models is very low indeed. The P4 dells are 250w and the Core2s and under 350.

Also my dell is noisy as hell. The case is really sjhoddy construction (the front panel on all 3 of my dimensions is loose so that when you plu in usb devices it nearly comes off)

Also Dells standard ram config is crap. I have 4 slots so dell gave me 4x 256 modules, which means that to upgrade to 2gb ram i will need to buy all new ram (has a max of 512 per slot for some lame ass reason) and that will cost more than my PC

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we have Dell Dimension 400 series at work, most of which are capable of running our CAD software. You can't blame the vendor for the lack of funding the school's IT dept has. We just got new dell's in my Cisco lab, which are slow as molasses; after checking the specs I found they have 256MB ram.
Heh, actually I don't think I can remember a fast school computer. :p

Overheating could have some truth to it, but it's the price you pay for a quiet computer sometimes. I haven't personally had any experience with Dell's overheating, but hey... I'll sacrifice half a year of life if it means the other 4 years you could barely hear the computer. Granted, if you have an office and the PC isn't in your bedroom then you'll have a different scenario than I do.

I'll run some heat tests on my Precision and let you guys know what it comes out to for comparison.

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Noisy? really?!
Wow, that's strange. I've yet to find a Dell here in the states that you can distinctly hear.

Most of my experiences with Dell are in the business section. I have noticed a big difference between the Dimension and the Precision series systems.

Maybe different manufacturers in the UK?

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Noisy? really?!
Wow, that's strange. I've yet to find a Dell here in the states that you can distinctly hear.

Most of my experiences with Dell are in the business section. I have noticed a big difference between the Dimension and the Precision series systems.

Maybe different manufacturers in the UK?

Hmm. yea, I'd have to agree with Duki. Every dell I have seen has been really quiet.. Most desktops are relatively efficient.. I prefer custom though.. As for their laptops, dell is probably the international leader in sells.. It depends how much you pay I suppose.. The laptop I'm getting will have an awesome graphics card, dual core processor, and mb.. I've never had any problems with dell..

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Speaking of heat, I just built my computer and the case has two heat sensors built into it. One for the cpu and the other for the hdd. I've also have an intel desktop monitoring software. I was freaking out because the cpu would get like 45degrees c. or 110Degrees f. BTW it is a intel dq965gf mobo with a pentium 4 cpu, 2g of ram,no video or sound cards, using the onboard video and sound. So if the Dells are running at 70 degrees cel. then I don't have to worry about mine to much.:)

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thats another reason i dont like dells, they have no motherboard temp sensors in the dimesnion so its easy to damage the cpu.

and yeah my dell is quiet but the shooddy case construction maens it rattles insanely badly if you use the optical drives

and 45 degrees c is good. its supposed to be that sort of temp.

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Personally, I wouldn't spend too much money on a GFX card atm, untill DX10 becomes a little more mainstream. Not many games atm really push hardware too much, so a reasonable card will do for a while. Personally, I would still get one good card instead of two.

CPU again are moving ahead of anything that is required to use it imo, so don't go too nuts their. I'm an AMD Fanboy, so would probably go for AMD 64 X2.

RAM is important if you play online games, so definately 2Gb if not more.

I don't know any good US Component sites, so can't advise their.

I haven't used CAD much, but seen Inventor 11 running on some old Dell Precision's. Doesn't seem excesively PC Intensive, so anything good for gaming should be fine.

What sort of money are you looking to spend?

My experience of Dell, is its a false economy. The cheap price for a seamingly good spec, belies the fact that component performance is poor.

Regards, Dave

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On Hard Drives. I really like Western Digital Raptor Drives. They run at 10,000 RPM, and the read/write times, if loading software, or accessing data is noticably better than a standard 7,200rpm drive . A good buy imo.

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I recently built a rig for gaming, and I would go for an upper-range core 2 Duo (maybe 2.66 Ghz) remember the clock speed isn't the only player in the dual core game. I've been able to OC mine very effectively.

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general rule for gaminvg on vista is to add 1gb to what it says on the box

e.g if a game needs 1gb , you need 2gb ram to play it well under vista

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