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  • need a new computer

    My daughter needs a computer. This means I upgrade my computer and then make her something with the leftover parts or I just build myself a new rig and give her the old one. I have a $1500 budget. I already have an extra monitor, mouse, speakers, keyboard.

    What i have now is an Asus P5E LGA 775 board with an X38 intel chipset with two 16x pcie slots. I flashed it over to use a Maximus Formula bios and it overclocks pretty nicely, my 2.66ghz E6750 dual core runs at 3.4 no sweat, i could have gone higher but it has the stock cpu cooler. It has 2 gigs of ram and a Radeon X1800, two WD raptors running in RAID 0 for a boot drive and two 500 gb segates running in RAID 1 for storage. It has a 650 watt antech PSU. I had two x1800's at one time running in crosfire but one died.

    It runs most of my stuff OK at my monitors max 1650x1080 but it slows down a little when I put al the graphics setting up high. I play mostly Left for dead and Half Life 2. The most graphic intensive game my daughter plays is World Of Warcraft and Simms 3.

    I was thinking of putting a quad core in this rig and new graphics card like an ATI 5870, I'm partial to ATI as they seem to have the best picture. Then I could build something cheap with the old CPU and graphics card for my daughter.

    I was prety much on top of what's hot and what's not but with all the new core i3, i5, i7 stuff I have no clue as to where the best bang for the buck is right now.

    thanks for any advice,

    Chris
    Chris Krug
    owner, turbine minivan
    http://www.youtube.com/krugtech

  • #2
    If I were you I'd look to get a motherboard that can handle i5/i7. If I recall correctly, i5 is the "middle" and i7 is the "extrememe" level of the cores. There are some 1156motherboards out there that look pretty decent, but if there's wiggle room go for the 1336 motherboards - from what I understand they will have the best chance with the i9. Intel changes often so who knows really but that'd be your best bet from what I've heard.

    You could get your daughter a PCI-Express card for $100 or less and it'd likely do WoW without too much grief. That'd be a good start I guess for her.

    If so I guess I'd go for the upgrade you and give her recycled parts. I just saw a SATA 6 1TB Western Digital Black drive hit Newegg today for $90 (Coupon code: EMCYSYR59).

    So my vote is: Get a 1336 motherboard with an i7 processor, some DDR3 RAM, new HD, new PSU and recycle your video card into the new rig. Then get an inexpensive dedicated graphics card for your daughter to put in the old setup.

    I specced out an entry level i5 with 1336 motherboard as just a basic "office" machine for $600ish.
    FAQ to the FAQ - Great Starting Point

    My 2006 Honda Accord Carputer - Work In Progress
    My 1997 Chrysler Concorde Carputer - Died

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    • #3
      I was just going to post up a topic about this, but I'll ask here as you guys seem to know quiet a bit more then me. I haven't built a desktop for a few years since I have been busy with college and use my laptops. I now want to build a mild gaming computer and set it up for two monitors. I want it to be able to handle games like WOW and especially Starcraft 2. I pieced one together on newegg and I was wondering if you guys had any insight. I found this motherboard and this processor. I picked this motherboard because of the duel PCI Express 2.0 x16 ports in hope to find two video cards that I can run for my monitors unless you guys know of a good single video card that I can use for both monitors.

      Thanks, Drew
      1998 Camaro Worklog Starting over, New setup for 2010

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      • #4
        Honestly, if you're looking for high-end computing (for gaming or media production, etc.), there are far better resources to cover that hardware.

        HardOCP, Toms Hardware, and other sites cover these sorts of things, and will give you far more information.

        chris & drew: Any current-gen video card will do you well, even to push dual monitors and/or ultra-high resolutions. As far as feature sets or ATI vs nVidia, that's more of a personal choice.
        Do you need SLI or Crossfire for what you want? No.
        Will you get better 3D performance from dual cards? In most cases, yes.

        My opinion is that SLI or Crossfire w/ a pair of mid-range cards is a decent value, but rarely will it beat the performance level of the top-tier cards available. The price will be roughly the same for a top-tier card or a pair of mid-range cards.

        If you want hard, cold numbers, though, I'd look at a dedicated enthusiast's site (or two... or three... or ?...) and do some in-depth research as to what is available, performance levels, pricing, and so on.
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?



        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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        • #5
          to add a little-- most of the benchmarks i have seen of sli/crossfire setups only have a 50% increase in fps over the same setup with only one graphic card-- but is double the cost..

          i would recommend getting one really good card, and forgetting about sli setups.
          as far as i know, most cards are powerful enough to run 2 monitors, but i don't know too much about how it affects fps in game..
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided

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          • #6
            Tom'sHardware has their benchmark charts you can compare against.

            sporty_drew, I have that EXACT motherboard in my desktop at home. It works great, however if I were to buy a new machine here's where I'd start. Either this or this. Either one is less than what you're looking at now but supports newer processors. Then you can take the money you saved on the motherboard and apply it to this processor. You're still at about the same price point - but you're starting off with a bit better of a machine.

            <3 That your goal is for StarCraft 2!! That's what I'm going to end up building a new machine for!
            FAQ to the FAQ - Great Starting Point

            My 2006 Honda Accord Carputer - Work In Progress
            My 1997 Chrysler Concorde Carputer - Died

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jpinkerton View Post
              Tom'sHardware has their benchmark charts you can compare against.

              sporty_drew, I have that EXACT motherboard in my desktop at home. It works great, however if I were to buy a new machine here's where I'd start. Either this or this. Either one is less than what you're looking at now but supports newer processors. Then you can take the money you saved on the motherboard and apply it to this processor. You're still at about the same price point - but you're starting off with a bit better of a machine.

              <3 That your goal is for StarCraft 2!! That's what I'm going to end up building a new machine for!
              Thanks for those links! I like the look of that second one since it has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots. I also like that they can be upgraded to a i7 if I ever felt the need (doubtful). What would you recommend for video cards? I'm going to do either two 22" or 24" monitors like this. I'm looking at something that can support 1920 x 1080 as that looks to be the native resolution of the monitors i'm looking at.
              1998 Camaro Worklog Starting over, New setup for 2010

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              • #8
                As far as video cards, personally I like nVidia. I've always had reliable experiences with nVidia but I'd say out of the dozen or so ATI cards I've owned more than half have failed. It has been a while since I've done ATI so they could've changed...

                I LOVE my Samsung LCDs, so I fully support your choice of that monitor
                FAQ to the FAQ - Great Starting Point

                My 2006 Honda Accord Carputer - Work In Progress
                My 1997 Chrysler Concorde Carputer - Died

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                • #9
                  Okay I'm having a tough time deciding on a card. I'm debating between two or just one.

                  I love my Samsung tv so I figured I'd go with their monitors.
                  1998 Camaro Worklog Starting over, New setup for 2010

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                  • #10
                    If I were you, get one that supports SLI, then if you decide you NEED two, you can do it then. I've yet to meet someone that was happy they invested that much in SLI.
                    FAQ to the FAQ - Great Starting Point

                    My 2006 Honda Accord Carputer - Work In Progress
                    My 1997 Chrysler Concorde Carputer - Died

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I decided that one card will do what I need and will be getting a GeForce 9800 GT

                      http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0320617
                      1998 Camaro Worklog Starting over, New setup for 2010

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sporty_drew View Post
                        I was just going to post up a topic about this, but I'll ask here as you guys seem to know quiet a bit more then me. I haven't built a desktop for a few years since I have been busy with college and use my laptops. I now want to build a mild gaming computer and set it up for two monitors. I want it to be able to handle games like WOW and especially Starcraft 2. I pieced one together on newegg and I was wondering if you guys had any insight. I found this motherboard and this processor. I picked this motherboard because of the duel PCI Express 2.0 x16 ports in hope to find two video cards that I can run for my monitors unless you guys know of a good single video card that I can use for both monitors.

                        Thanks, Drew
                        I have one Nvidia 285 GTX that I picked up last July. It runs both of my Samsungs at maxed out resolution. The newest game I have is Battle Field Bad Company 2. I play online with all settings as high as they can go and the card handles it no problem. I am biased to Nvidia though because that is all I have ever used. They did just come out with their GTX 480 and 470 cards but it is a bit expensive for me (has newest technology). For the games that you said you would be playing anything in their 2xx series would most likely be more than enough. You should not need 2 video cards. Use some of the extra money that you budgeted for the video card and put it into other components in the system. If your board supports 2 cards in SLI then I would say get one card at first and if you are unhappy with the performance for whatever reason you can always get another later. My plan was to get two as well but after I bought the one I found out it was more than enough for me. The 9800GT is a good card and will be fine for your application. I would look into the 2xx series though. The technology is newer and you get a little more bang for the buck. Just my opinion.

                        -Turbo Chris
                        I would look at getting a good SSD. It does not have to be a large expensive one. Just one with enough room to load your, OS, some applications and games that you use a lot. You will notice a difference. I know that intels new i-series is what many people are pushing. I just built a socket 775 rig with a E8500 OC and the thing flys. Saved lots of money. Just my opinion.

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