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New PC Suggestions

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Greg Hook, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Hi

    In the next few months, I should be hopefully getting a new PC.

    Just wanted to check here, as I remember reading somewhere that there was going to be a whole new PC spec coming out soon, i.e new Hard drive type, motherboard, memory, CPU etc. Can anyone shed any light on this?? Wouldn't want to buy a PC and find out I can't upgrade it as all the specs have been superceded.

    On the PC, I mainly use it for the net, games and as a HCPC. Noise is not an issue as the PC is in another room to where my projector is. But I would like a really good graphics card though for the games.

    Could someone recommened a good spec to go for?

    Thanks
    Greg
     
  2. KraGorn

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    Not sure about the 'new spec' thing unless you're thinking about the introduction of 64-bit systems. The 'hard disk' issue I guess is the introduction of SATA hard disks to eventually replace the ATA/IDE we've had for ages.

    The advent of 64-bit systems means may aspects of PCs are in flux and will be until Intel and AMD have settled on theif final designs ... IIRC Intel have already said the current 64-bit systems will be obsoleted by a sort of Mark-II in the not too distant future.

    AFAIK there is no radical overhaul of 32-bit systems, just incremental changes like AGP 8x not long ago. There are other technologies in the works, such as Blu-Ray/HD-DVD which will inevitably impact PCs and Wi-Fi continues to spit out competing and incompatible-to-an-extent 'standards'.

    My advice is, as in the past, ignore what may come in the future .. same as in the A/V world really .. becuase it's always the wrong time to buy. ;) IMHO the 'upgradeability' of systems has always been more illusion than reality, even when some new gadget fits the software that supports it needs the then-current flavour of Windows, which in turn leads to .. you get the idea. :D

    Graphically I'm an ATI 'man' so would suggest the 9800 XT is money's no object, not sure when the next iteration of ATI's products are due and don't consider nVidia any more so don't know their plans.
     
  3. scooby do

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    Look out for the possible demise of AGP, PCI express apparently is coming!??
     
  4. rOAdeh

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    PCI Express, DDR II, BTX Form Factor, Fully Supported 64 Bit CPUs + Software, Dual Layer DVD Writers..

    All stuff that's been promised to make an appearance this year but who knows - plus the early revisions might prove to have some teething problems. I bought a new shuttle system right after Christmas but had waited for a couple of months trying to gauge when the best time to buy would be but you just got to take the plunge sometime.

    I went with intel in the end and had thought about waiting for the prescott cpu but in the end am relatively glad i didnt since it hasnt become anything radically superior to the old northwood cores.

    The only thing to maybe wait a couple of months for are the new A64 socket designs to come into the consumer market as this should open a whole new area of stability, support, longevity in terms of support for future processors and also perhaps decent overclocking.

    Its still all a bit of a gamble though.
     
  5. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    The main thing that concerns me is buying a PC that I can't upgrade very much.

    When I bought my last PC almost four years ago (P4 1.7ghz, 256mb ram) it was pretty much top spec, but to my dismay then discovered that the CPU could only be upgraded to a 2.0.

    I have been able to upgrade the video card and could do the memory if I wanted. Is memory upgradeability more important the CPU?

    Greg
     
  6. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    bump

    what I'd really like is one of those Alienware PCs, they look pretty cool with a great spec, but very pricy.

    Has anyone on here got one of those PCs? if so, what are your thoughts?

    Also did anyone see an Alienware PC on Smallville this week?

    Greg
     
  7. sberemski

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    Hi

    Although AlienWare make good PCs( relativley) you are better of building your own. If you dont feel comfortable with that consider getting ready-built PC.

    In terms of standards:

    There wont be any 'revolution' in PC standards - there probaably will be a slow upgrade to 64biy systems however.

    If you are building a PC in the next few months my advice would be to forget 64bit CPUs; they are in their infancy in terms of performance and support.

    Get you self an AMD Barton processor(cheaper but run hotter than Intel so will need more cooling). These processors range from 2500+ (which can be overclocked to 3200+) to 3400+ ( which can be overlclocked to something even higher). The 2500+ will set you back about 50-60 quid while a top-of-the-range Barton will set you back ~ £150 ( I think). Depending on you budget I would probably go for a 2500+; that is more than enough for even the most demanding games ( coupled with a good GFX card:p )

    Motherboard wise I think it is safe to buy a know as I dont see any major revolution coming up anytime soon. The best mobo around (for the price) is the Abit NF7-s. It supports any kind of Barton CPU, has Serial ATA Raid, Soundstorm onboard audio ( v. good for a PC --->5.1 speakers ~ SB Audigy), supports up to 3GB DDR 400 RAM, 10/100 LAN, has AGP x8 and is a good overclocker (i.e goodbios and ocing options). This will set you back £60

    RAM. RAM is dirt cheap at the mo. 1GB of Dual Channel DDR 400 RAM ( that has low latency i,e overclocks well) will set you back arounf £160. This should set you up for at least 2 years.

    GFX. This is a very important component. It is also the most difficult to address at the moment. The new generation of GFX card are coming out in April/May. Nvidia and ATI are bringing out chips which will be ultra fast (supposedly). These chips coupled with a decent processor should be able to push the frame rate of games such as Half Life 2 and Doom III into the hundreds ( in my opinion - that is if they live up to all the hype). It is a very hard decision wether to upgrade now or not. I dicided to upgrade now ( i had a GF4ti4200, now I have a powercolor ATI radeon 9800 non pro ( which I will be flashing to a pro;)) I bought this card for 140 a week ago. Already the pro version of my card which costed 160 quid now cost 140 ( at Komplett). I am hoping that this card will last me at leats a 1-2 years.

    The reasoning behind me buying my GFX card now is that when the new gen card come out they will be really expensive (300-400quid) for a few months. Only after a few months have passed will ATI NVIDIa reduce their prices. In short if you want to buy a GFX card now you wont go far wrong- get a ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. If you think you will have lots of money in a few months time and you wont be playing games now then wait and get a next gen card when they come out. The choice is yours but to more research before you make it.

    Hardrive wise no real innovations their. The different standards HD (i.e ATA 33 66 100 133) are all a bit of a joke. My ATA 100 drive can output around 50mb/s on average. My advice is to get two Serial ATA (SATA) and wire them up in RAID 0. This way you will get more speed out of them. HD are usually bottlenecks in fast systems.

    All other stuff you might want to get depend on what you want you pc for... If you want me to spec you one then post here. Hope my ramblings are helpfull.

    p.s all in all you are looking at arounf 600 hundred for a PC that will be just as good as a AW( that is without the screen)
     
  8. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Thanks Sberemski, great post. That has helped, but to be honest technically I am not competent enough to build my own PC and some of the terms you used have gone right over my head (such as RAID).

    I would welcome it if you could spec me a PC, I like the £600 figure, especially as the Alienware PCs are about £2000!

    I would be using the PC mostly for games, internet and as a HCPC, although noise is not an issue as the PC is in another room to the projector.

    Thanks
    Greg
     
  9. sberemski

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    Just quickly....RAID is a system where you have two identical drives linked to you motherboard. When you use RAID 0, Windows stores half of the a file on one hard drive and half of the file on another. When it wants to access the file it can do so twice as quick becuase it effect it has two SATA150 channels to use instead of one. This is a very good system to use.

    I will spec you a PC later on today. For more information register yourself at http://forums.overclockers.co.uk. There are some very knowledgable guys on that forums...
     
  10. sberemski

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    Spec:

    AMD Athlon "Barton" XP2800+ 333FSB (Socket A) CPU - OEM (CP-038-AM) ( will probs do about 3500+) =£82.19 Including VAT at 17.5%)


    Saphire 9800 PRO 128 MBRAM around £140 from komplett.co.uk

    Samsung SP0812C 80GB - OEM (HD-010-SA)x2 (SATA HD) = (£49.35 Including VAT at 17.5%)


    Corsair 1GB DDR XMS3200LLPT TwinX (2x512MB) CAS2 (MY-018-CS) = £192.11 Including VAT at 17.5%)


    Abit NF7-S v2.0 nForce2 (Socket A) Motherboard (MB-028-AB) (also has SPDF if you want to connect it to amp) = £67.56 Including VAT at 17.5%)

    NEC ND2500A 8x DVD±R/±RW - OEM (CD-002-NE) = (£76.38 Including VAT at 17.5%)

    Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu Ultra-Quiet CPU Cooler - OEM (HS-006-ZA) = (£28.79 Including VAT at 17.5%)

    Antec Sonata Piano Black Quiet Case - 380W TruePower Silent PSU (CA-003-AT)
    (looks cool) = (£88.07 Including VAT at 17.5%)

    Gyration Keyboard and Mouse ( wireless and optical. You can use the mouse and keyboard in a different room to the PC so it is ideall for your situation. It also has some other nifty features; do a google search) ~ £100

    Cables misc ~5-10 quid.

    You can add extras if you want. This PC will cost you £825 and will kick the ass of a AW in terms of feature and performace ( probably). If you wanted you could sacrifice a bit of performance and save around £100-200 if not more.
     
  11. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Excellent, many thanks for taking the time to respond and also spec the PC.

    Regards
    Greg
     
  12. sberemski

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    no problems...I just installed a NFS7 and Barton 2500+ with 512 DDR RAM and a R9800NP at home and I have to say that it kicks ass. If you are serious about building this PC become a member of the forums stated above.

    Glad I could help!
     
  13. Sharkey

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    Hi sberemski

    You sound like you realy know your stuff.. I am also looking for a new PC, but as well as games, I want to edit video from my video camera and burn to dvd so I can pass the movie round my family.

    Any suggestions on the best system for this i.e DVD drive graphics etc.

    I am also thinking of linking it t a plasma and output to plasma screen. Does this mean the PC has to be next to the Plasma or is there a sender unit that will transmit from pc to palsmas?

    Regards
    Chris
     
  14. sberemski

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    I will put up a big thread in the next few days ( I did this about a week ago and I will share my experience). I am just a bit busy right now but I hope to be able to help you soon!
     
  15. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Hi

    Just another quick question!

    Looking to save a bit of money, at the moment I have a Gainward Geforce 4 Ti4600 128mb golden sample graphics card. Which I still can't believe I paid £315 for it 16 months ago!)

    Can you tell me, or is there a website which shows, the performance comparision between this and the card you suggest the 9800 radeon.

    I was thinking of having the new PC and using my current graphics card until I have saved up enough for a really good graphics card.

    Thanks
    Greg
     
  16. sberemski

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    http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20031229/index.html

    This comparison shows the Radeons in a poor light because of the settings being used ( which are unrealistic anyway i.e 60 hz)

    I would recommend that you wait untill the R420 and NV40 come out (april/may) if you want to get a serious card. Start saving now as they will be around £300-400.

    Having said that you can pick up a R9800Pro for £150 and a 9800np for around 135 quid. If you are not playing games at the moment then wait. I would have waited had my will power not been so low:rolleyes:

    I would just like to point out that when I bought my GF4 Ti4200 in 2002 it cost £140 and was mid range. I bought the r9800np in 2004 ( few weeks ago) and it cost me £140 and it is defo a high end card. I think the best idea is to buy at the end of development cycles as you get the bst value for money.

    If you have the cash go for a new gen card tho. You will be impressed and you will have uber bragging rights!:laugh:
     

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