Author Topic: Please help me plot a new PC  (Read 14979 times)

getter77

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Please help me plot a new PC
« on: November 11, 2009, 12:31:27 AM »
Plan is to order the bits from Newegg and have it ship in time for the Winter break to start school wise so my good friend will then have time to assemble it proper (he's done this before and all with no issues) before his teaching gig would start up again.

NOTHING can be salvaged from my current old PC...so this is a full tilt affair. Theoretical budget is $2000, but I really NEED to come as far under that as possible without runnign a risk of screwing myself over somehow. I've gone off the deep end somewhat in a nigh Quixotic fashion and am planning on starting up my own one-man game development, home based entity---so this is to be my effective workhorse of sorts. That said, STABILITY is of key value to me so things like overclocking and such are not really what I'm about. Considering this is my last bit of saved money from my last job, what money not spent on hardware is then in the software pool should it come down to some of the non free software out there just being too damn useful in a timely perspective to not get...and then in the startup fees and such pool from there.

Here's what I know I'm going to want so far, while the rest and particulars I'm unsure of.

-Dual monitors for a productivity boost as I need all the tricks I can muster. Would be nice if, in theory, could function as an HDTV equivalent for some manner of HD console somewhere in the future.
-Win 7 64...Ultimate I presume.
-In turn, 4 GB good RAM to make something of finally having access to 64
-Webcam of some sort, good/accurate Mouse, nice Microphone with a stand, keyboard that works/possibly glows. I haven't used a printer in years so probably not important
-Ability to burn DVDS to back things up at long last. I also have one of those WD My Book 750 GB external dealies, but still.
-Ability to make use of SD cards strikes me as potentially useful.
-Will play nice with my Cable internet

Otherwise on it, I've missed out quite a lot videogame wise these past several years so it'd be nice to be caught up and capable for some years to come now---not about maxing things/playing Crysis just running as intended. Likewise, I have interests in projects that would entail messing about with Saturn, Dreamcast, PS2/PSP, and Wii emulation so it would also be good if the power of the machine would allow me to again comfortably explore those avenues.

Thing go full tilt bonkers for me on Project Roguelike Renaissance and beyond with this PC folks, hence I'll also ask here to add to the list and see how things pan out advice wise.   I've precious little cash left, so I only get one crack at this barring some other kinda employment situation the likes I can't imagine working out in the very near future----this shall cast the dye.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 05:39:04 PM by getter77 »
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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 04:28:26 AM »
I think the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT video card has a great balance between affordability and performance.

If you're a student now you can buy an "upgrade" for Windows 7 Home Premium here for just $29.99.  I'm not sure how the whole upgrading process works (as opposed to a regular fresh install), and I don't know whether it's 32 bit or 64 bit, but it may be something to look into.  And in any case, home premium may not have all the features you want.

If you look here at the different versions of windows 7, there really isn't too much of a difference between professional and ultimate, so you may be able to save a few bucks there.  You also might be able to get an OEM version of it as well which is much cheaper, but if I understand it correctly, it means that you won't be able to get support from Microsoft if something goes wrong.  Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.  This is probably what I would go with.

I'm not a big expert on these things though, so I'd still recommend looking into them yourself rather than just trusting my word on it.  If anyone sees that anything I've said is incorrect or suspect, please correct me.

getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 01:04:19 PM »
It definitely looks like Professional would do the trick versus Ultimate as a way to save $20 at the expense of many languages I'd never use and their Bitlocker thing that doesn't jump out at me.   The XP emulator stirkes me as being a key feature both in terms of 7 itself and how things shake out with older styff trying to play nice with 64 bit.  No go on any manner of student discounts though unfortunately.

I've heard of that video card.  IIRC, NVIDIA has their crazy new generation card coming, but not until sometime next year where it'll be far too late/I reckon too expensive to consider waiting.   Also IIRC, wasn't NVIDIA the "good one" about 64bit driver support versus...what was it...ATI?

The "beefy" games I even know of coming out that I'd want to run/came out recently would be things like King Arthur, Borderlands, Civ IV for the Fall from Heaven stuff, Elven Legacy, King's Bounty: The Legend/sequel, Drakensang, etc---RPG/Strategy related fair really that I would think be easier on a system compared to the biggest of FPS affairs.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 02:24:51 AM by getter77 »
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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 02:55:07 PM »
I am aware that this is personal experience/"taste" and my experiences aren't fair maybe, because it's years since I built a PC with Intel-processors..however! When I build computers, I -always- make sure to get some kind of build, including AMD processor.

I have Geforce 8800 GT and am very pleased with it, although I have never attempted dual-monitoring etc.

Anyway, I know alot of people say: "Oh Intel have improved alot now!" "Intel isn't so bad anymore!" etc.. but since I started sticking with AMD processors, -ALL- my computers have been very stable. I think Intel is more about squeezing out maximum power there and then when it's needed the most, but AMD is more like a steady worker that know its limits. I personally prefer a computer I can just keep on for 2 months, then sit down and play a high-end action shooter without any problems, than a computer where I can crank up the quality of graphics 'one more notch' but keep having strange hangups, freezes etc.

RAM is so cheap now anyway, it's worth getting quality RAM. When RAM is corrupted or doesn't do its job, it's usually hard to find that error, and it's very annoying.

Good luck :)

getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 05:12:14 PM »
From what I can tell, and subsequently about to pull my hair out browsing Newegg and trying to wrap my head around things,  DDR3 RAM is the way to go to gain some future proofness---yet seems to vary on expense.

Where's AMD at nowdays on something robustish for lasting everything?  All I keep seeing for Intel is this i7 thing 900something...

I don't really have a slant seeing as how my old PC thing, while being an Intel, was cobbled together on Dell a great many years ago and has worked for what it is.  Also, I can't believe how very unintuitive Dell's site has become for this sort of thing compared to all those years ago---that or I just don't know how to get to the right "from scratch and here's what things mean" page proper.

ARRGH.
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getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2009, 08:06:02 PM »
Good KB/mouse?  Know of a better/sameish/cheaper ones?  Looking for functionality on both and a bit of glow with a wired keyboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104178
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823239006

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 05:06:09 PM »
Personally, I'd go for a Logitech G15 rather than that keyboard - better support.

And also, I'd go Intel rather than AMD, for the same reason. However, you won't get as much bang for your buck.

I won't give direct info, because I'm in the UK and prices will be out of whack.
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getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2009, 05:44:45 PM »
The biggest thing is cost issues..as it seems to go especially high end for lasting everything, like DX11 support, has a fair bit of a premium to it especially coupled with my need for 2 monitors.  And the little bits add up...like I still have no clue for a decent Win 7 64 compatible webcam, microphone, etc.

I HAVE figured that I surely won't get dual videocard in any kinda SLI dealie or some such as that just seems needless for what I'll be messing with.  I don't care about high resolutions  (1900xwhatever...meh!) really as I'm the type that only gets concerned about stability/framerate.  Not going to mess with overclocking either since it isn't worth the extra heat/cooling considerations and possibly lessening the lieftime of whatever piece I'll have no cash to replace if after warranty.

Still time though, so I appreciate everybody popping on Newegg or some such and rattling their brains for details and explanations on the lot of it for various potential builds or even just some parts of it.
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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 11:53:25 AM »
My strategy is to buy the best available mainboard with onboard chipset, a cheap cpu and as much ram as needed within 1-2 slots and focus on silent but powerfull components (hdd/chasis) instead. This allows to play some games and dual-monitor developing in its first stage while giving the ability to add another graphics-card and more ram later on if needed.

Just my 2 cents

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2009, 11:23:48 AM »
Motherboards are generally cheap. Unless you want some fancy schmanzy state-of-the-art 600$ thing, just because it has "that new feature that nothing yet really uses". There is a difference between good and bad motherboards though, and it doesn't really vary in price accordingly.

1) Google for some recent reviews on low-cost motherboards.

Stability: I've had 3 PCs since 1999. After LOTS of trouble (random crashes, freezes, reboots, overheating) with my PCs before that, I switched to AMD-processors instead of Intel. Honestly, on all of these 3 PCs, they've been so stable that I've been able to just let it stay on for almoast a year, and still do work on it/play fast-paced 3D shooters, etc. (With exception of when I had Windows ME installed xD)

2) Sturdyness, solid power, stability - Get an AMD processor.

3) RAM varies in price after speed/quality. Don't get the cheapest ones! :P It sucks when you've put together the computer, and it won't boot. Just because some cheap-ass RAM-chip was destroyed when you recieved it. (You can even find lots of reviews on new RAM-chips)

4) Video-card.. Again, after having lots of dreadful issues with other video-cards, I went back to Geforce this time. Geforce 8800GT was cheap (one year ago!) and now you can probably get a much better model for the same price. NVidia seems to be very compatible, versatile, yet powerful, at a low cost.

Throw in a cheap DVD-burner. Buy acouple of SATA-harddrives. Now you have an awesome computer! :) Mouse, keyboard and webcam aren't issues you have to think about when building the computer.

getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2009, 02:06:30 PM »
My current thinking in part:

-HD seems easy, either one of those Western Digital Caviar Blacks or an equivalent Samsung one that people like.  Like 640GB-1TB so plenty of space me thinks since I also have that external MyBook.

-Dvd burner drive seems easy, one or so on Newegg that is cheap and award winning in some respects unlike most.

-GPU:  Might well go with this ati 5770 model so as to actually have DX11 support in general as well as it apparently being decent on price/heat/power consumption.

-CPU:  Currently leaning towards that AMD x3 965(or was it 945?) thingie, which I think is there most modern of the AMD CPU's or perhaps an i-5 from Intel as it isn't much more expensive---though all the different incremental versioning are headscratchers.

-DDR3 4 GB ram in 2 sticks....tied into whatever works CPU and Mobo wise.  One of the many on Newegg... G.SKILL or something but none of the ripoff "Dominator" or aother Alienware sounding special editions.

-Unsure on cooling, case, and the other misc bits.   REALLY have no clue in what direction to go for the 2 monitors as the variety is immense and I was hoping to spend as little as needed on them....like 100-200 each would be great...200-300 each would be painful.  While I don't care much resolution wise, refresh rate, colors, and so on are kinda critical to a solid picture.

Keep it coming, order seems likely to happen any week now.  Newegg links especially welcome so I can bookmark it and such to add to the comparison heap onsite later.
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getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 03:16:45 AM »
Order finally done today after various figurings and browsings....for all included/2 HD capable monitors we were able to get it just a bit under $1500 from the 2k ceiling.  Various "ideal" bits didn't really manifest as they were out of stock and such unfortunately, but a good Intel CPU with no OC aspirations, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, and a 5770 as that should at least allow experimentation with DX 11 a bit down the line....7200 harddrive that holds much data....Intellimouse4...basic keyboard....mic on a stand.  Only bits that remain/to be handled closer to time of need would be a webcam of some sort and a package of DVD-Rsomethings to finally have a good many things backed up to a disc.  I guess I might need speakers if the built in ones to the monitor(s) are just horrendous or something....but nothing fancy.

Glad this is done, now just waiting on the brisk shipping and hoping HARD that we don't have to RMA stuff that is dead on arrival as that would suck and likely take things beyond the scope of his winter break.   I'll likely try to watch/help some with the building phase as an experience.
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getter77

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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 11:25:58 PM »
Arrived and assembled, except for the mouse where apparently something went wrong, made to it a screen where you are supposed to install an OS.

Will hook it up to monitors and do just that tomorrow morning....then in the next week or 2 get everything backed up, moved over, then get all things tweaked and updated to bring the New PC up to speed and away we go!
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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2010, 12:48:09 AM »
Yeah...some jerk stole the mouse so it is still a week or so away Newegg shipping a replacement and hopefully not botching the delivery again.

Wrong cables were included with the monitor, so I had to turn around and order correct looking ones from Monoprice.

Monoprice then shipped the wrong cables entirely, so now I have to wait yet again for them to ship me ones that I hope are correct.

MAYBE by the end of this week/start of next I can finally install Win 7 64 and get down to business.   :'(
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Re: Please help me plot a new PC
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2010, 01:00:52 PM »
This is a whole lot of bad luck. Hopefully with the next deliveries everything will be rectified.

I've been pondering about buying a new PC this year too, but lately I think I want to save money for a good digital camera, rather.