PC advice.
Sep 28, 2008 at 5:52 PM Post #18 of 42

Originally Posted by JamesL /img/forum/go_quote.gif
From what I heard, nehalem is expected to perform 2x faster than today's offering. 'Futureproof' is such a misunderstood word in the PC industry. =/

My $.02:

I do (theoretical) computational work for a living, and also enjoy playing computer games on occaison (FPS's mostly). I also produce 3D animations and process RAW photos as a hobby. This is CPU-intensive stuff. With the exception of running the latest games at high settings, my relatively meager machine handles it all just fine. (1.8 Ghz C2D, 4GB RAM, 7900 GS).

You say you do web surfing with occasional gaming. If you want a big badass machine, cool, gofer it. But that will be satisfying your desire to have a cool gadget, not satisfying your compute needs, really. You can suit your needs quite well for 3+ years on an average processor, good video card, lots of RAM and a big/fast hard drive or two. $600-800 should do nicely if you can build it.

SLI is pointless, unless you want to sit at the bleeding edge. For the last 2 years, two medium power cards at price X + X have underperformed relative to a single high power card at price 2X. And power consumption and heat are usually less on the high power card (versus double medium cards). I have SLI and also intended to buy an aging card for SLI double when they got cheap. Even so, I'm still better off buying a single more powerful card.

Nvidia has been working on a GPU offload solution for many years. It will never mature to the point that it replaces multi-core solutions on the desktop. GPU's are good at calculating many simple things in parallel...like pixels in a projected texture, or vectors in a 3D scene. They simply do not have the architecture for performing more complicated serial tasks efficiently. That is the purpose of a CPU--it is good at processing serial tasks, one after another. There is some promise for optimizing high performance computing problems (ie, scientific problems in physics, biology, etc) for GPU calculations...but this will probably not impact the desktop. The recently announced desktop acceleration in Adobe CS4 generation products is cool, but it only affects a small subset of processing options in the program...the bulk of calculations are still done on the CPU, not the GPU. And that is still at least 3 months off, IIRC.

There is always the "next best thing" on the horizon in computing hardware. Best to think of hardware like a commodity, not an asset!

I'd suggest you do what a couple previous posters have suggested...save yourself $800-1000 and try building something yourself. It can be fun, you get exactly what you want, and the warranty is often better. The process will make a trouble-shooter of you...no support necessary! You are essentially trading some of your time (~hours) for the cost of building. It is less important to buy the best motherboard than it is to get a rock-solid power supply. I used to like Seasonic (and some of the rebadged units like Corsair), but haven't looked at them for a year or so.

I don't recommend the average lay person assemble their own computer...but it is safe to assume that the Head-fi audience is, in general, more interested in techie gear and more proficient in assembling kit. Good luck!
Sep 28, 2008 at 6:07 PM Post #19 of 42
Build it yourself, Blitz? Unless you don't want to put in the time. Don't be fooled by kids who make out computer building to be a genius venture. If you're literate and can stack Legos, you can build a computer.
Sep 29, 2008 at 8:38 PM Post #21 of 42
Alright...I think this is my final system (the only thing I may change is buying a 1 GB card of the same model).

My goal is for this to last me three years, with no upgrades outside of perhaps a video card.

The system will be overclocked by the builder to 3.8 ghz, which I was told was safe.

Am I good to go, you guys think?

Desktop: Motherboard, Intel S775: ASUS P5K, Intel P35, S775
Desktop: CPU Model, Intel S775: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3.33GHz Dual (6MB),1333MHz, 45nm
Desktop: Intel CPU Cooling: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283, S775 w/ secure clips
Desktop: Memory, DDR2: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 CL4 RAM, GSkill
Desktop: Case: Antec Nine Hundred Gaming
Desktop: Power Supply: Thermaltake 600W Purepower
Desktop: Hard Drive: Western Digital 640GB SATA2, 7200rpm
Desktop: SATA Cables: High Quality SATA Cables With Clips (Qty 2)
Desktop: CD/DVD Drive: ASUS 20x DL DVD-RW Burner, Lightscribe, quieter
Desktop: Gaming Video Card: ATI Radeon 4870 512MB PCI-E
Desktop: Sound Card: On-board Sound
Desktop Software: Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium, 32 or 64-bit
Desktop Services: Warranty: *** 1 Year Warranty On All System Components ***

$1,700.00+$50 overclocking/testing = $1,750.00
Sep 30, 2008 at 10:28 PM Post #23 of 42
thats a good mobo and a nice processor too. getting it oced by the manufacturer is a plus too. anything goes wrong and hes to blame =p you also saved yourself as pretty penny from your first build. that pc should scream through anything. enjoy.
Oct 1, 2008 at 5:28 AM Post #24 of 42
Overall, your system looks very good to me. I have an Asus P5K Deluxe in my current system, and it is perhaps the best mobo I've used. A Wolfdale at 3.3Ghz is plenty fast, and you'll be able to OC for more if needbe with that cooler. The WD640GB is a very fast and quiet drive. That PSU is said to be very reliable. My only concern with the system is noise, but I assume if that were a major issue, alternative decisions would have been made. It shouldn't be bloody loud, just not as quiet as it could have been.
Oct 1, 2008 at 4:46 PM Post #26 of 42

Originally Posted by olblueyez /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Slowest thing in that box is the hard drive, especially if its 7200 rpm. Shame to unnecessarily increase a bottleneck anymore than is necessary.

I researched that, and it didn't seem that getting a 10,000 rpm hard drive would improve gaming performance much. My recollection is it wouldn't have a dramatic effect on other performance either.

Do you have expanded thoughts?
Oct 1, 2008 at 5:53 PM Post #27 of 42
It wont, it might slow down loading times by a fraction of a second, but once a game is loaded onto the ram it doesn not usually use the hard drivers any more, expet for trivial things that wont affect performance.
Oct 1, 2008 at 6:03 PM Post #28 of 42
I have both and applications load much faster and games load faster. The person above me is dead wrong. Get a Raptor for your system drive and forget raid. I have a desktop I built and it has a Raptor. It is an Opteron 185 with DDR1 and it loads applications faster than my core 2 Duo 2.4 with DDR 2 and a 7200.
Oct 1, 2008 at 10:38 PM Post #30 of 42
Meh, i have both too with a quad core and ddr2 and i cant really see ones advantage over the other. for the price difference id still go with the 7200. also as you said all it does is speed up loading, which in any case is not more than 1 minute (loading crysis) so really unless you could be making millions with that 1 minute it should not really matter.

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