thinking about getting a new PC

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Eliot
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thinking about getting a new PC

Postby Eliot » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:49 pm

Check out this system, price, and supplier and let me know your opinions please... I don't really want to spend more than $1100 on the system, including shipping, ect.

PROCESSOR AMD Athlon 64 X2 AM2 4000+ Processor at 2.1GHz, 2000MHz FSB, 512KB X 2 Cache
RIG Vigor Cooler Master CM 690 Screwless Chassis
RIG COLOR Black
RIG STYLE None.
RIG COOLING Vigor Cool BlastTM Cooling System with Triple 120MM Case Fan
RIG POWER Standard AMD/Intel Certified 500 Watt Power Supply
RIG DIMENSIONS 8.39" Width X 20.65" Depth X 18.98" Height.
MB CORE LOGIC MSI K9N4 SLI-F nVidia nForce 500 SLI w/2000MHz FSB
MEMORY 4GB Kingston KVR667D2E5K2/2G X 2 DDR2 667MHz Memory (4 X 1024MB)
HARD DRIVE 1 320GB S-ATA II 7200 RPM Hard Drive
HARD DRIVE 2 None.
RAID SETTING None.
VIDEO CARD SLI SLOT 1 nVidia GeForce 9600 GT 512MB Xtreme Edition @700MHz, DVI and TV Out
VIDEO CARD SLI SLOT 2 None.
OPTICAL DRIVE 1 SONY/NEC Internal AD7190A 20X Dual Layer DVD+/- RW + CDRW Rewritable Drive
OPTICAL DRIVE 2 None.
RECORDING SOFTWARE Bundled DVD/CDRW Software
SOUND Digital High Definition 3D 7.1 8-Channel Sound
NETWORK PORT Onboard Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) PCI Network Card
WIRELESS NETWORK PORT None.
I/O PORTS 1 Parallel, 1 Game/Midi and 6 to 10 USB ports (Varies by Motherboard)
MONITOR None.
SPEAKERS None.
KEYBOARD None.
MOUSE None.
FLOPPY DRIVE 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 w/Original Disc
SERVICE Standard 3 Year Limited Parts and Life-Time Labor Warranty
STORAGE MEDIA None.
SOFTWARE BUNDLE Microsoft Works 8.5
ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE None.


$981.00 includes shipping

this is the base model, the lowest end machine they offer... I upgraded the video and the RAM, dropped Vista for XP home, and got MS Works for $15...

http://www.vigorgaming.com/product/config_hornetae.html

Looking for any feedback/advice/better ideas... I don't really want to go through the trouble of building my own... just want it made and shipped to me with the warrenty, ect.

I'm due for an upgrade I think... I still play on a HP Lap Top (external monitor and peripherals, but yea... I'm getting like 15-25 fps in our raids usually [or less], I'd rather have like 60 with everything maxed, also I could play some other games that I can't play now...)

Thanks!! :D
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aetha
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Postby aetha » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:29 pm

I go hardcore into computers HW when i'm looking to buy new stuff and I haven't done that recently, so i'm not so up to date, but is AMD the way to go at the moment? Thought the intel chips had more oomph at the moment.

there a reason you are getting an SLI board and only putting one card in it? Going to put in a 2nd at some point in the future?

Seems like a decent enough price, not sure if XP home is at all crippled or not, would be my only other concern. Is vista not compatible with some of your stuff? with 4g of ram, figure you would be able to run it without any issues.
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Postby hanikan » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:47 pm

will windows xp even show 4gig? i know u cant run four gig on vista unless u have the 64 bit edition. dont remember if XP has the same problem.
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Ulwar
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Postby Ulwar » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:01 am

XP *can* support up to 4GB, but it's really a waste - half that is plenty. And, you can always add it. I'd put that money into a larger hard drive (320GB is on the low side - go for at least a 500), better video card, or ideally a faster processor (like the 5000).

From a gaming perspsective, yes the Intel chips are quicker, but they also cost more. So, it's a tradeoff. Either way, you're going to pay for the power you get.
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Normy
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Postby Normy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:29 am

Bit of clarification. Windows XP maxxes out at 4GB. However, your video RAM takes up some of that.
General rule is to have no more than 3GB of system RAM since it allocates 1GB for video RAM.

So yeah, if you want to toss in 4GB, get Vista 64-bit. Otherwise, save some cash and only get 2GB of RAM (or 3GB if you want to split it out).
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Postby Greyhawk » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:33 am

Normy wrote:Bit of clarification. Windows XP maxxes out at 4GB. However, your video RAM takes up some of that.
General rule is to have no more than 3GB of system RAM since it allocates 1GB for video RAM.

So yeah, if you want to toss in 4GB, get Vista 64-bit. Otherwise, save some cash and only get 2GB of RAM (or 3GB if you want to split it out).


Video shouldn't be utilizing any system memroy at all unless it's a built-in card on the board, then that RAM becomes shared. The video card he wants has the 512MB, and it's PCI-e I would hope. AGP will try to do the shared memory, but at 4GB, I seriously doubt it with that high performance card even if you drop to 3GB. It won't need to.

BTW, Windows XP 32-bit won't see anymore than 2GB by default, and it will utilize up to 3GB with a /switch command in boot.ini. Vista utilizes 4GB for 32-bit natively. There are a ton of articles about this on the Internet. You can get Windows XP to see the 4GB, but you must turn off the system pagefile. Windows sees that as system memory and that is taken into account for total memory.

I run Vista 64-bit, and honestly, XP is coming back on my system. You will see no performance increase running 64-bit OS in a 32-bit (64-emulated) environment. 64-bit's biggest selling points are the 4GB limitations increased, and security. If you run hacked drivers for video or what have you, 64-bit versions are going to continue to smack you in the face. They want certified drivers to run the system - that's the point of it.
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Postby Eliot » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:35 am

Thanks for all the feedback guys, its really helpful!! I know a little about this stuff, but not nearly as much as any of you guys it seems! :D

PROCESSOR AMD Athlon 64 X2 AM2 4000+ Processor at 2.1GHz, 2000MHz FSB, 512KB X 2 Cache
RIG Vigor Cooler Master CM 690 Screwless Chassis
RIG COLOR Black
RIG STYLE None.
RIG COOLING Vigor Cool BlastTM Cooling System with Triple 120MM Case Fan
RIG POWER Standard AMD/Intel Certified 500 Watt Power Supply
RIG DIMENSIONS 8.39" Width X 20.65" Depth X 18.98" Height.
MB CORE LOGIC MSI K9N4 SLI-F nVidia nForce 500 SLI w/2000MHz FSB
MEMORY 2GB Kingston KVR667D2E5K2/2G DDR2 667MHz Memory (2 X 1024MB)
HARD DRIVE 1 400GB S-ATA II 7200 RPM Hard Drive
HARD DRIVE 2 None.
RAID SETTING None.
VIDEO CARD SLI SLOT 1 nVidia GeForce 9600 GT 512MB Xtreme Edition @700MHz, DVI and TV Out
VIDEO CARD SLI SLOT 2 None.
OPTICAL DRIVE 1 SONY/NEC Internal AD7190A 20X Dual Layer DVD+/- RW + CDRW Rewritable Drive
OPTICAL DRIVE 2 None.
RECORDING SOFTWARE Bundled DVD/CDRW Software
SOUND Digital High Definition 3D 7.1 8-Channel Sound
NETWORK PORT Onboard Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) PCI Network Card
WIRELESS NETWORK PORT None.
I/O PORTS 1 Parallel, 1 Game/Midi and 6 to 10 USB ports (Varies by Motherboard)
MONITOR None.
SPEAKERS None.
KEYBOARD None.
MOUSE None.
FLOPPY DRIVE 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 w/Original Disc
SERVICE Standard 3 Year Limited Parts and Life-Time Labor Warranty
STORAGE MEDIA None.
SOFTWARE BUNDLE Microsoft Works 8.5
ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE None.
Price: $890.00


This particular company only offers AMD processors, but yea I'm pretty comfortable with the trade off of cost vs. speed (but I guess I could look at some other companies, this one got some decent reviews though http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Vigor_Gaming) .

I'm not sure about the SLI mother board, I'm not really sure what that means, but all the options for different ones say SLI too, so I just picked the cheapest one :p

These are the changes I've made, per some of youz guyz' suggestions:

1. changed from 4GB of RAM back to 2GB.

2. upgraded to a 400GB hard drive

3. Kept XP- so if I understand correctly, XP is better overall/more stable/simple and will be ideal with my 2GB of RAM? I'm thinking that the 2 GB RAM plus the beefy 512MB video should be plenty to do just about anything game wise, right? I wouldn't really mind making the switch to Vista and getting the 4GB, but I hear so many negative things about Vista so I just don't know...

$969.00 saved me a little money but not much... I really don't want to spend much more than this. Seem pretty solid?
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Postby Oakshard » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:56 am

SLI just basically means using two video cards in tandem. It's nice if you have it, but few use it nowadays.

As mentioned above, for gaming there is no reason to have more than 2 GB RAM.

XP >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Vista.
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Postby Fatal » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:16 pm

Vista is a pain in the ass to configure.... i have also read that microsoft is going to stop selling XP come June 30th.

about the video card: nVidia GeForce 9600 GT 512MB Xtreme Edition @700MHz, DVI and TV Out

not bad, id suggest seeing how much more it would cost with a geforce 8800 one with 512MB. Try to avoid the one with 765MB as i heard they over clocked the cpu on those vid cards. Also a 8800 will probably last longer than the 9600.

If your monitor supports DVI input you probably want to buy a DVI cable as well for improved graphic quality.
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Postby Ulwar » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:31 pm

Normy wrote:Bit of clarification. Windows XP maxxes out at 4GB. However, your video RAM takes up some of that.
General rule is to have no more than 3GB of system RAM since it allocates 1GB for video RAM.

So yeah, if you want to toss in 4GB, get Vista 64-bit. Otherwise, save some cash and only get 2GB of RAM (or 3GB if you want to split it out).


I think a little further explanation might be helpful here:

<geekspeak>
32-bit operating systems can address 4GB of memory. The problem comes in the fact that other devices besides system ram use that address space. Almost every device that deals with data uses part of the address space. This includes video cards, network cards, scsi, 1394, USB and disk controllers, just to name a few. Each one will use this space to a varying degree, video cards clearly being the largest user. As these addresses get used by these devices, it reduces the free address space that the system can use to address RAM. So, if your video card has 512MB of RAM on it, then your OS will only be able to use ~3.5GB Now, to complicate things, integrated video actually uses system RAM, so it doesn't apply in the same fashion. But in this case, you're using a seperate video card with it's own RAM. So, what it means is that your OS can only take advantage of 4GB minus whatever address space your other components are using. In this case, that would appear to leave roughly 3.5 GB of address space. If you ever upgrade to a 1GB video card, then the available address space would drop accordingly to roughly 3GB.

This is where 64-bit operating systems start to shine. Windows XP 64-bit can use up to 128GB of physical RAM, and it has an address space of 16TB.
</geekspeak>

The long and the short: Either buy less RAM, or buy Windows XP/Vista 64-bit.
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Postby Cathas » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:35 pm

Doesn't XP 64 generally suck though because of lack of driver support?
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Postby Ulwar » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:41 pm

Ataraxia wrote:
BTW, Windows XP 32-bit won't see anymore than 2GB by default, and it will utilize up to 3GB with a /switch command in boot.ini. Vista utilizes 4GB for 32-bit natively. There are a ton of articles about this on the Internet. You can get Windows XP to see the 4GB, but you must turn off the system pagefile. Windows sees that as system memory and that is taken into account for total memory.


I believe this is incorrect on a few points. The /3GB switch has nothing to do with how much the OS can see. It changes the allocation of the virtual address space (the swap file becomes the non-physical memory) between the OS and applications. It's typcially split on a 4GB system - 2GB for the OS and 2GB for the applications. There are a few extremely-RAM hungry programs that take advantage of having more RAM for applications, the most common being Microsoft Exchange. So, it typically only applies to servers, and can actually degrade performance because the OS gets "squished" into only using 1GB of virtual address space.

For a good understanding, click here.

Ataraxia wrote:I run Vista 64-bit, and honestly, XP is coming back on my system. You will see no performance increase running 64-bit OS in a 32-bit (64-emulated) environment. 64-bit's biggest selling points are the 4GB limitations increased, and security. If you run hacked drivers for video or what have you, 64-bit versions are going to continue to smack you in the face. They want certified drivers to run the system - that's the point of it.


Agreed. Vista is slower on the same hardware than XP. Nvidia and AMD are pretty good about having 64-bit drivers. It's the other components you have that might be missing drivers. And, you can turn off the requirement for certified drivers if you want by editing the registry.
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Postby Eliot » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:07 pm

So my latest spec should be solid then!! 2GB + 512mb video seems like the best situation for both effectiveness and price...
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Postby Eliot » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:00 pm

http://houston.craigslist.org/sys/653623695.html

please check this out!!! you guys think this is a good deal??? this is pretty much very affordable to me and seems like it would run WoW really nice (which is why I want a new comp).

Opinions?? I can meet this dude as he lives within 2 miles of me.... what questions should I ask him??
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Postby Ulwar » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:19 pm

Looks like a good machine for the price. PS is maybe a bit weak (and I think he means 450, not 405), but if need be, it's easy to replace.
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