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New Computer - Spec Questions - Page 2

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC View Post
I'd have to disagree. Windows 7 runs much better than Vista- my single-core Thinkpad z60t barely runs Vista but Win7 beta performs better than XP on it. A machine that runs Vista now will be faster with Win7 in the future. PCs have reached a sort of plateau in useful non-gaming performance in the last couple years. Upgrades aren't needed nearly as often anymore.
reasonably good point, but the plateau isn't in terms of "useful non-gaming performance", its global, and quite complex (just as a painful hour of your time, find whatever professor at your school works with SMP or CPU microarch, and ask them to go into detail on the software side of explicitly parallel processing, especially highlighting contrast between vector and superscalar execution, and I don't doubt you know this as well, its just that most professors will spin a yarn a mile long about the subject)

honestly while Windows 7 may or may not perform "better", its ridiculous to claim five years of usage from a box, best case scenario you'll still need more storage down the line
post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
snip...

and the OP didn't talk about getting any specific computer, nor will any modern hardware of 2009 be in any way "sufficient" in 2014 (just like Pentium 4 at 2.5GHZ with 256MB RAM isn't "sufficient" in 2009)
I'm still running a P4 2.53Ghz, admittedly with 1Gb ram, and it does everything I need. And, I have no need or desire to upgrade - XP is fine for me.

A little while back I built another PC (for the kids) based on the E8400. Bang for buck at the time, this was a great buy. It has 1333Mhz FSB, 6MB L2 cache and because it's based on the 45nm architecture it uses less power and runs cooler (smaller PS and quieter PC ).

I used the charts at Tom's Hardware to help me select the best bang for buck for my needs based on various benchmarks.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
I'm currently looking at a Core 2 Quad processor but how much difference is there going from 2.33GHz to 2.5 GHz to 2.66 GHz, etc.? I'm guessing the Core i7 is more than the average person needs (at least for now).

I'm planning on starting off with 4GB of RAM and at least a 500GB hard drive. Also, can I get away with using a video card with 256mb? I know I can always upgrade it at some point if I need to. I'm planning on running Vista 64bit (at least until Windows 7 comes out).

Basically, what's considered the current standard as far as computer specs go? My goal is to aim a little bit higher than that.
4GB of RAM and a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad should be fine for 5 years, provided you are not doing any gaming.
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by fordgtlover View Post
I'm still running a P4 2.53Ghz, admittedly with 1Gb ram, and it does everything I need. And, I have no need or desire to upgrade - XP is fine for me.

A little while back I built another PC (for the kids) based on the E8400. Bang for buck at the time, this was a great buy. It has 1333Mhz FSB, 6MB L2 cache and because it's based on the 45nm architecture it uses less power and runs cooler (smaller PS and quieter PC ).

I used the charts at Tom's Hardware to help me select the best bang for buck for my needs based on various benchmarks.
ewww, tom's

what was once wonderful, now a breeding ground for viral marketing and shills (sorry, I've just seen the evolution from 2003 onward)

I really have an issue with this "its fine for five years" claim, because its a false sense of confidence, if you never plan to purchase new software or expand the abilities of the system, then yeah, but you have zero upgrade route, so why kneecap yourself because its "good enough" today? at least leave yourself some upgrade options....
post #20 of 65
^

I agree about your Tom's comments. I've watched it decline from the start. These days, I find it convenient for the charts, but little else.
post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by fordgtlover View Post
^

I agree about your Tom's comments. I've watched it decline from the start. These days, I find it convenient for the charts, but little else.
TR offers the same quality of charts, with none of the ads, and the commentary is worth reading

G3d always has decent reviews, but they're sparse (I'm still like 99% sure its just one guy, as much as they insist it isn't)
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
snip...

I really have an issue with this "its fine for five years" claim, because its a false sense of confidence, if you never plan to purchase new software or expand the abilities of the system, then yeah, but you have zero upgrade route, so why kneecap yourself because its "good enough" today? at least leave yourself some upgrade options....
In my experience hardware upgrades are driven by one of two reasons.

The first is the killer app. The application that you just have to have. Whether it's the latest game, or the new version of your home movie editing software, or even the latest OS. You get to a point where to run this software you need a contemporary OS and hardware.

If you don't expect to change you computing habits significantly over a five year period, then the hardware should be fine. Me, I used to play games. These days I don't. Everything I need to do is handled by my P4 2.53Ghz, which was released in 2002. I run the latest versions of Gimp, open office, various audio applications and firefox. I buy a new hard drive every few years for $80, and I pick up a performance boost.

The second cause is the OS is running slower than it used to (perception or reality). If you haven't loaded up one of those killer apps recently, it's probably just that windows is all clogged up. An OS rebuild will fix the problem and away you go again. A dedicated system hard drive helps to defer this.

I have seen, and been part of, both of these trends over the past 20 odd years.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
TR offers the same quality of charts, with none of the ads, and the commentary is worth reading

G3d always has decent reviews, but they're sparse (I'm still like 99% sure its just one guy, as much as they insist it isn't)
TR?

Edit: Tech Republic?
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by fordgtlover View Post
TR?
The Tech Report - PC Hardware Explored
post #25 of 65
^

Cheers
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC View Post
L2 cache is an important factor when choosing a chip. The last generation is better in this regard.

Example (nearly equal prices):
The 2.5GHz Q8300 has a 1333MHz FSB and 4MB of L2 cache
The 2.4GHz Q6600 has a 1066MHz FSB and 8MB of L2 cache

You can fix the lower FSB on the Q6600 with overclocking, but a chip with half the cache is just that. My Q6600 is rock solid stable at 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz FSB and I still have 8MB of L2 cache.

You can definitely get away w/ a 256MB video card- I ran my current system with a $20 Radeon X1550 while I waited for the 4850.
There are two main types of Front Side Bus clocks in the computer:

1) Motherboard FSB (not adjustable)
2) CPU clock core FSB (adjustable)

The 1333MHz and 1066Mhz FSB are fixed clock numbers of the motherboard, it is IMPOSSIBLE to adjust them.

But If you running 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz CPU clock core FSB, that would mean that you running a core multiplier of 2. That is ridiculously impossible to run anything stable at a 2 core multiplier. Especially with the Q6600, I have three of them and I how to overclock them well. Also, that chip technically only have 4Mb for cache and another 4Mb in second cache which isn't very efficient, but normal people can barely tell a difference.

Plus, I don't think you clearly understand the purpose of cache. The Motherboard FSB is far more important than cache. That is the speed that accesses the cache and the external memory (RAM), you would perform better if you have a faster FSB for the motherboard. The purpose of cache is that it is the fastest accessible memory for the processes coming from the CPU. If a process requires more memory than the L2 cache of the CPU, the process then jumps over to the external RAM (which is always upgradable).

You obviously don't know anything about overclocking, it's best you don't feed ignorant BS to people who actually need help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
It looks like I'm going to need a new PC and a lot has changed in the five+ years since I bought my last one. I don't need a high performance/gamer machine but at the same time I want something that will have staying power. I'm currently looking at a Core 2 Quad processor but how much difference is there going from 2.33GHz to 2.5 GHz to 2.66 GHz, etc.? I'm guessing the Core i7 is more than the average person needs (at least for now).

I'm planning on starting off with 4GB of RAM and at least a 500GB hard drive. Also, can I get away with using a video card with 256mb? I know I can always upgrade it at some point if I need to. I'm planning on running Vista 64bit (at least until Windows 7 comes out).

Basically, what's considered the current standard as far as computer specs go? My goal is to aim a little bit higher than that.
Seems like you are comparing between these two CPUs.

Q6600 (2.66)
Q8300 (2.5)
Q8200 (2.33)

According to the chart from Tom's, the Q6600 is a better performer and difference its quite noticeable too.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/d...se-10,835.html

For RAM, 4gb is perfectly fine. Depending on your resolution you can get a graphics card with more memory, otherwise if you're running below 1440x900, 256mb is perfectly fine. Also, the graphics card is very dependent on your type of work on the computer? Is it for CAD or modeling/animation? If so, 256mb won't really be enough and the GPU clock is also very important in that case.

Vista is fine, I still prefer XP for it's stability. But for looks, it's up to you.
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by m11a1 View Post
There are two main types of Front Side Bus clocks in the computer:

1) Motherboard FSB (not adjustable)
2) CPU clock core FSB (adjustable)

The 1333MHz and 1066Mhz FSB are fixed clock numbers of the motherboard, it is IMPOSSIBLE to adjust them.

But If you running 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz CPU clock core FSB, that would mean that you running a core multiplier of 2. That is ridiculously impossible to run anything stable at a 2 core multiplier. Especially with the Q6600, I have three of them and I how to overclock them well. Also, that chip technically only have 4Mb for cache and another 4Mb in second cache which isn't very efficient, but normal people can barely tell a difference.

Plus, I don't think you clearly understand the purpose of cache. The Motherboard FSB is far more important than cache. That is the speed that accesses the cache and the external memory (RAM), you would perform better if you have a faster FSB for the motherboard. The purpose of cache is that it is the fastest accessible memory for the processes coming from the CPU. If a process requires more memory than the L2 cache of the CPU, the process then jumps over to the external RAM (which is always upgradable).

You obviously don't know anything about overclocking, it's best you don't feed ignorant BS to people who actually need help.
you're kidding me right? those values are the "CPU FSB", and can be adjusted at will, unless you've got a fancy pants chip with an unlocked multiplier, its the only option for overclocking, and there is no "motherboard FSB", unless you're trying to talk about the bus which sits between the MCH and the ICH, which is adjustable (to a degree, on some boards), but I don't know why you'd even bother with it (you'll knock things all wonky if you do)

"CPU core clock FSB", what are you even trying to say here? the CPU operational clock? or the system FSB? (there is only one FSB, period, if you're so wonky from AMD's HT topology, you've got things mixed up with their re-named busses that in effect "emulate" an FSB for clocking purposes)

and please don't try to explain cache hierarchies or architectural specifics if you're going to bloody mangle it

and the multiplier is invariable on standard/consumer hardware, only enthusiast hardware sees such a feature, and the selected multiplier means relatively little for stability, as long as it doesn't require excessive over or undervoltage to "stabilize" (in other words if the operational scenario were to require something so far out of spec that it makes the system inoperable)

in general, the words "you should talk" come to mind

::edit
been bloody dying to use this one:
post #28 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input everyone but please, let's keep this civil. In answer to some of the comments made, I am well aware that there is no such thing as a futureproof computer. For the most part I'm just an average user who doesn't need high performance. I play the occasional game and I'll certainly take advantage of what my PC can do, but I'm not the type of person who buys a new PC just to play a game.

I do want something that has expandability and upgradability, and I'm sure at some point I'll be adding more RAM, getting a good sound card and possibly upgrading the video card. My main concern is the processor and I think the Core 2 Quad should suffice me and my needs for a few years.

Regarding the Core i7, does anyone have any experience with it? I've read that some people are having issues with a number of apps not working. Also, how soon do you think it will be before it becomes the "standard" processor? Right now they're considerably more expensive than the Quad and I was hoping to spend only about $650 total.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
Thanks for the input everyone but please, let's keep this civil. In answer to some of the comments made, I am well aware that there is no such thing as a futureproof computer. For the most part I'm just an average user who doesn't need high performance. I play the occasional game and I'll certainly take advantage of what my PC can do, but I'm not the type of person who buys a new PC just to play a game.

I do want something that has expandability and upgradability, and I'm sure at some point I'll be adding more RAM, getting a good sound card and possibly upgrading the video card. My main concern is the processor and I think the Core 2 Quad should suffice me and my needs for a few years.

Regarding the Core i7, does anyone have any experience with it? I've read that some people are having issues with a number of apps not working. Also, how soon do you think it will be before it becomes the "standard" processor? Right now they're considerably more expensive than the Quad and I was hoping to spend only about $650 total.
well, on that budget, you can only get what you can afford, and the i7 likely isn't a good option, I wasn't aware of your budget (as you didn't state it), and suggested the i7 because its the future (plain and simple truth, LGA 775 is on the up and out)

what applications are you talking about? got any proof here, or is this heresay? (its a CPU for chrissake)

I'd honestly go with "anything" given your description of needs, so find something which suits your budget, get a good PSU, and keep truckin, or buy something off the store shelf, either way, you'll get a decent 2-3 years before you feel the age, at which point you can re-asses the situation, if you want exact spec-out, well, I'm just too lazy to be doing that for you, go plug some stuff into newegg until you hit ~$600, come back, and I'll be happy to give you opinions

and m11a1, please just stop, I don't have the time or energy to correct everything thats wrong with your post right now, and believe me, theres a lot.
post #30 of 65
Moderator Edit

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
you're kidding me right? those values are the "CPU FSB", and can be adjusted at will, unless you've got a fancy pants chip with an unlocked multiplier, its the only option for overclocking, and there is no "motherboard FSB", unless you're trying to talk about the bus which sits between the MCH and the ICH, which is adjustable (to a degree, on some boards), but I don't know why you'd even bother with it (you'll knock things all wonky if you do)

"CPU core clock FSB", what are you even trying to say here? the CPU operational clock? or the system FSB? (there is only one FSB, period, if you're so wonky from AMD's HT topology, you've got things mixed up with their re-named busses that in effect "emulate" an FSB for clocking purposes)

and please don't try to explain cache hierarchies or architectural specifics if you're going to bloody mangle it

and the multiplier is invariable on standard/consumer hardware, only enthusiast hardware sees such a feature, and the selected multiplier means relatively little for stability, as long as it doesn't require excessive over or undervoltage to "stabilize" (in other words if the operational scenario were to require something so far out of spec that it makes the system inoperable)


I made a mistake of calling that FSB, yes, you're right there's only one FSB and another Bus speed. The Bus speed is no where adjustable. Whereas the FSB is, MCC obviously had those messed up.

You obviously don't understand why I mention the multiplier then, according MCC, he would have been running a 2 multiplier which is impossible for the Q6600, and how would I know that? Because I have it and I have overclocked it before. Yes, I know that is possible to have a 2 multiplier on some chips but just not on some of the newer quad cores.

Quote:
and m11a1, please just stop, I don't have the time or energy to correct everything thats wrong with your post right now, and believe me, theres a lot.
Nor can I with you, you seem to have made some mistakes yourself, not to mention your attitude as well since you have this "oh look at me, I know everything" stubborn .

Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
Thanks for the input everyone but please, let's keep this civil. In answer to some of the comments made, I am well aware that there is no such thing as a futureproof computer. For the most part I'm just an average user who doesn't need high performance. I play the occasional game and I'll certainly take advantage of what my PC can do, but I'm not the type of person who buys a new PC just to play a game.

I do want something that has expandability and upgradability, and I'm sure at some point I'll be adding more RAM, getting a good sound card and possibly upgrading the video card. My main concern is the processor and I think the Core 2 Quad should suffice me and my needs for a few years.

Regarding the Core i7, does anyone have any experience with it? I've read that some people are having issues with a number of apps not working. Also, how soon do you think it will be before it becomes the "standard" processor? Right now they're considerably more expensive than the Quad and I was hoping to spend only about $650 total.
In my personal opinion, the Core 2 Quad is perfectly fine for you. No need to really jump to i7 technology right now especially when 775 isn't dead yet and it won't be for a while too. As far as expandability and upgradability, invest more in a better motherboard; with more RAM slots, ability overclock, PCI-E 2, and for build quality too.
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