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Old 05-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
Ras

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New computer help
My computer is from 2003 for two reasons: I took George for serious when he said wait for Duke, and the terminology they went to is off-putting for someone who doesn't spend a lot of time looking at hardware. P4 1.6Ghz vs. P4 3.2Ghz, I can understand, but i7-2600 vs. i7-960 is beyond me. Anyway, some of my components are newer, like a better GPU and PSU, but it's completely out of date now.

Here's a computer I'm looking at. It's a little expensive for me, so if you have any "you don't need thats," it would help. Basic info:

i7-960 3.2GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache
9GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM
2TB RAID 0
Radeon HD 6850

I could save nearly $100 if I dropped to 8GB memory and a non-RAID 0 HD. Will those two items gain me a lot of performance? I mainly want to know if the CPU and GPU are aces. I know this computer could run DNF, because even with my limited knowledge, the recommended specs look like a really low hurdle. But, I'd like to know if it can probably handle Rage, maybe that new airship Bioshock, maybe even the old Crysis. I really want a computer for a change that won't struggle with current stuff even when brand new like most my computers have done.

Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
What is your budget? Are the above items everything you plan to purchase?

Right off the bat I would suggest dropping down to 6 or 8 gigs ram. Losing the raid 0 hdd.
Go up to a 6870.


Edit: if you want loading speed picking up a 120gig ssd would be beneficial.

Also the 2600 is newer and performs mildly better than the 960.
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Last edited by Inanimate Carbon Rod; 05-29-2011 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
Ras

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Re: New computer help
This is about $1300, which is kind of steep for me. I don't care too much about loading speed if we're talking about the wait before a level loads up, but I want to eliminate the old loading textures from the HD bottleneck, if that's even an issue anymore. The SSD drive is a little pricey and I would miss the space (though a TB drive is a cheap thing to add, but if I put games on there, wouldn't it defeat the porpoise of the SSD?). I'm going to look at the 2600 and see how much more the 6870 is. Would it be better to get a fairly inexpensive GPU and plan to SLI it with another fairly cheap card? Would it be tough to get a combination that would top the 6850 or 70?

If I come off like I don't know what I'm talking about, chances are, you're right.

---------- Post added at 12:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:32 AM ----------

I can drop to a HD 6450 and save a ton of money. Would that hold me for at least a few months until I could get the 6870 (which is to say, could it run DNF like a top)? Would I be able to cross a new 6870 with the 6450?
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:24 AM   #4
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
Do not buy a 6450.

CPU
http://www.buy.com/prod/intel-core-i...219509813.html

This memory / motherboard combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.657267

Video Card (free game)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.620463

1tb HD if you also buy an SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152173

1tb HD without an SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136284

SSD (free game)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-050-_-Product



Total without SSD: ~$775

Total with SSD: ~$965



SSD's make everything faster. Everything is near instant. The ssd would be your boot drive + drive that you would install a couple of games on to. Everything else would be regulated to the large and much slower 1tb drive for storage.
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Last edited by Inanimate Carbon Rod; 05-30-2011 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:07 AM   #5
Ras

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Re: New computer help
After your post, I read about the 6450 and it sounds like a POS. Okay, I built a shopping cart with the CPU, memory/mobo combo, video card, and 1TB w/o SSD. I then added Windows 7 Home Premium Full, which I know I'll need. That takes me up to $972 + $7 shipping.

I hate to bother you, but if I go this route, it'll be my first time to build a system from scratch. I have a pretty new PSU--I'd have to open the case to see the size, but I'm pretty sure it's north of 500W. I can use my existing DVD drives for now. I'd obviously need a case, but what else would I need? Does the CPU come with a heatsink or do I need that and some case fans? Do I need cables, or do all the parts come with the necessary cables? I've been inside a computer case before and know how to plug in cards and memory and things like that, but is it pretty much a matter of screwing the mobo to the case and then everything plugs in like a charm? I assume the HD has a program to set it up and then I can install Windows. If you can point me to a decent case (the smaller the better, though it doesn't really matter). It may just be that I'd be better off letting someone else handle it, but the online prebuilds don't even list the mobo. I don't want that to be my bottleneck.

Again, sorry, but thanks for your help so far.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:42 AM   #6
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
Are you a student anywhere? If so you can get a windows 7 much cheaper.

A retail box (non-oem) cpu will come with a cpu fan. The motherboard box will come with necessary cables for your harddrives.

You can only use your existing dvd IF it is a serial connection as opposed to ide. You will probably need a new one. You can buy a dvd/cd burner for around $20-30.

Any decent case will come with case fans.
Cheapish end look at the Antec 300 or Thermaltake v3.

---------- Post added at 12:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:31 AM ----------

If you are not a student, did you add the OEM version of windows 7? If not it is MUCH cheaper.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-983-_-Product

The case will come with motherboard standoff's which you place in pre drilled holes inside the case on the motherboard tray/area.
You place the standoff's on the motherboard tray/area where there are holes in your motherboard for screws.

You will need a screwdriver that is NOT magnetized.

Installing the processor isn't that hard, just make sure you apply the supplied thermal paste according to instructions (ie a thin layer).

---------- Post added at 12:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 AM ----------

Or if you don't want to mess with it. This is basically the pc we are talking about:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883227324

BUYPOWER Gamer Extreme 969i Desktop PC Intel Core i7 2600(3.40GHz) 8GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6870 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Average Rating 5 out of 5 eggs(1 reviews)

In stock.
Was: $1,199.99
Now: $1,179.99
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Last edited by Inanimate Carbon Rod; 05-30-2011 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:08 AM   #7
Ras

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Re: New computer help
Not a student, unfortunately.

I think I'm going to go ahead and do it. I'm already almost $250 in savings with a much better video card to boot. I will probably have to get a DVD drive and maybe even an audio card, but I can just run down to Fry's mid-build to get whatever of those I need. I may look there tomorrow for what kind of cases they have, though I'll probably just get this Thermaltake v3 that comes with a PSU and has four fans already installed.

You may hear from me again if I need a little help during the build!

Edit: Okay, I'm going to take a look at the prebuild you linked in the morning and see if that might be the way to go. The PSU would be better right away, and it would have the drives and sound already. As long as the mobo is solid, that might be okay for me.
Last edited by Ras; 05-30-2011 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #8
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Memorial_Day_E2_Special

They have a sale today. You can custom build the machine a bit cheaper than it is on newegg.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:58 PM   #9
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I already ordered the other one, but thanks for the option. It looks like I could build nearly the same thing for about $70 less direct from the source, but then the shipping is $55 more. I think since this is Memorial Day and newegg isn't able to ship until tomorrow, I probably have time to cancel the newegg order once I can get to my own computer and really look at what I could build with this. I see immediately that I can go to the 2600K for a very small amount, though I'm not sure I'm going to overclock.

Reading some of the forum discussions at Tom's Hardware, I'm thinking I'm probably buying more power than I need with the i7. But, I figure it should carry me along maybe a little further if I buy too much now.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
You are getting a fast machine... no doubt about it.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #11
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I've got a bit of an issue with this computer and tech support doesn't work until Monday, so I figure I'll run it up the flagpole. A few minutes after first powering up--and doing nothing more powerful than setting up Firefox--the left side of the screen was suddenly on the right. I rebooted, and it happened again at some point. Sometimes, it's just the screen being on the wrong side but otherwise normal, and sometimes everything looks flakey. It went from annoying to kill somebody time when it messed up my first DNF time after 14 years.

The machine is the one at the link and the monitor is an Acer X233H. Let me see if I can attach a photo of this (after taking the shot, another instance split the screen almost down the middle).



A few times, I've booted into blackness--nothing visible. I uninstalled and reinstalled the Catalyst drivers to no avail.
Last edited by Ras; 06-04-2011 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #12
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
The only thing I can think of is a cable issue?

Is your monitor cable snug? If so try the other output on the video card.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:13 PM   #13
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I've tried it on both inputs, but a guy at Fry's just suggested it's probably an issue with the monitor. I'm going to try a different monitor and see how that goes. Probably couldn't hurt to check the snugness of the cable at the monitor. Thanks.

---------- Post added at 05:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:33 PM ----------

I think I can rule out a monitor issue. I forgot my monitor had an HDMI out, so I hooked it up that way and things seemed cool. Then, Duke started exhibiting the same trouble. This time, I made it back to the desktop and it said the ATI drivers had crashed and recovered. I tried a little bit of Portal, and the screen got all corrupted and everything locked up. I'll probably have to see about getting a video card exchange.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:14 PM   #14
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
You could also contact newegg since it was defective out of the box. Maybe just ship another one too you and ship yours back?
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #15
Ras

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Re: New computer help
It's looking like it's a bad vid card. I borrowed another 6870--an Asus, whose build quality with steel makes the included HIS card look terrible in comparison--and things are looking fine. I'm hoping Newegg will just let me send in for a new card rather than the whole machine. Maybe they'll let me throw in a few more dollars for an Asus.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:26 AM   #16
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I've got a couple of these:



Do I have to plug in both molex connectors? With a card with two PCI-E, that'll mean I'll have to hope there are four open molex connectors. I've only found two (both pairs of male/female). When my replacement card comes in, not sure how I'll be able to crossfire if I have to plug in all four.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:55 PM   #17
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
The one with three wires is the only one you need to plug in. The other 2 wire plug would allow you to daisy chain it to another device... it is important however that other device not be a video card. The other device should be a low power draw item such as dvdrom or a fan.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:59 PM   #18
Ras

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Re: New computer help
Okay, cool. In the brief moment when I had two cards, I tried to Crossfire them to see what it would be like. After the drivers installed, I got a black screen. Either it's because the one card is flaky (thus my returning it), or I could have used the two wire connector on the one card, in my ignorance. I wish this stuff would come with instructions for dummies. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #19
GambitMR
Re: New computer help
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ras View Post
I've got a couple of these:

If what you are saying is true and you have a relatively new PSU, then I recommend using the PCIe-power connectors from the PSU and not the adaptors from the picture.

Also mind that for Crossfire there should be an additional Molex-Connector on your Mainboard for delivering the extra power to the PCIe socket.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:32 PM   #20
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I was using the dedicated PCI-E connectors for the first card. Both cards require two of those PCI-E connectors, though, and I wasn't sure if I needed to hook up both legs. Until ICR's post, I hadn't noticed the two wires were different.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:07 PM   #21
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Re: New computer help
Huh, I never noticed they were different either. With my old PSU when I had to use those adapters I plugged both ends in
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:26 AM   #22
Ras

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Re: New computer help
See, they need to put basic instructions in. Then again, with this Asus stuff, it's clear that they aren't proficient in English. Even the installation prompts have little mistakes and quirks.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:20 AM   #23
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I got my replacement HIS card and Crossfired it up with the Asus. DNF pretty much runs like shit, even when I knock the rez down to the lowest. My 3DMark11 Basic score is P7803, which they say is low for my hardware. Their suggestions don't seem very helpful, maybe because I haven't paid them.

On the plus side, Borderlands runs great with everything on max and vsync enabled via the cfg file. It looks a hell of a lot better than Duke, too. I've been a DNF cheerleader for years, but maybe it's because of the poor performance, but the game so far just feels a little off. Controlling a remote control car to get a powercell--fun, but why the hell would that scenario even exist? The Mothership battle was pretty cool, as was driving around in the RC.

Anyway, I wonder if Borderlands runs better because a Crossfire profile exists for it. I don't know if one exists for Duke. I downloaded them, but if there's a list, I can't figure it out.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:10 PM   #24
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
Crossfire and SLI basically don't work with DNF, you get worse performance than if you had one card alone.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:05 AM   #25
Ras

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Re: New computer help
Borderlands got a bit flaky after a while. Do you think my PSU might be inadequate? I've got a 700W, and I just ran the ASUS calculator and they are recommending a 950W. Also, would an SSD help with things like when I round the corner at the start of Duke and things are a little jerky, or is that solely graphics card?

Ooh, when I dropped it back down to 1 card on their calculator, it only needs 650W. But, I was still jerky in Duke with the one card. I'm going to disable the one card in a minute and run 3DMarks and see what I get. If it isn't a significant change, I'm going to hope that Fry's takes video cards back after 15 but before 30 days. It isn't one of the components listed in their "15 day policy" examples, but the rest are pretty similar computer parts.

It's probably asking a lot to ask you to look over my 3DMark results, but if you have a chance (it's pretty much Greek to me):

With only the HIS card enabled:

http://3dmark.com/3dm11/1426991;jses...xHLJh4CUayVQzu

Crossfired with an ASUS card:

http://3dmark.com/3dm11/1422087;jses...C66DBPS6ZQeezP

Enough of an improvement that I should probably keep the second card, though probably with a greater PSU. Or, maybe I should take it back and keep the one card until I can afford a single card that can outdo a two-card solution.
Last edited by Ras; 06-25-2011 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:15 AM   #26
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: New computer help
The second card is just going to get cheaper and there isn't a real need for it right now. Your card will be able to run crysis and as a consequence most games just fine.

An SSD will help slightly with everything you do on your computer. Windows 7 will start faster, windows and programs will open quicker, game levels will load sooner.
Whenever I use a computer with a standard harddrive it feels like I went back in time and am dealing with a dinosaur. Brand really does matter if you decide to go the ssd route... intel seems to be the most dependable.


Unfortunately DNF needed some more time to bake in the oven; dnf is poorly optimized and buggy. Dnf isn't a good metric to judge your pc by.


The following are some of my suggestions for demo's to try out your new comp:

Crysis single player demo
http://www.gamershell.com/download_21700.shtml

Bulletstorm Demo (kind of like Duke)
http://store.steampowered.com/app/99810/

Crysis 2 Multiplayer demo
http://www.shacknews.com/file/25781/...ltiplayer-demo
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:37 AM   #27
Ras

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Re: New computer help
I tried the Crysis demo and it ran great on full. I'll try the others later today--my allergy medicine is finally kicking in with the drowsiness. Thanks for the suggestions.
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