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Old 04-19-2006, 02:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 11 intermediate topics (kinda long)

I'm thinking of building a whole new system. After about a month of rigorous research I'm distressed about a couple things. I see that DirectX10 is soon to be out, along with the new graphics cards that can fully use it. Windows Vista is soon to be out. And apparently new processors that will smoke the current ones. BTW this system is definitely for games and possibly for video and 3d editing.

1) Can I build a computer right now that can be upgraded easily to new hotness when those things arrive?

2) What mobo/socket type should I go with that will work with future cpu's? I hear Intel's gonna have the leg up in the next cpu generation. Do you think the AMD 939 socket will be used for future cpus?

3) Does cpu power actually matter that much? If I built right now, I've decided it would be Opteron 165, which I will slowly overclock as I see fit. Will that be alright for the next few years? The price of that is my limit BTW. Lower price would be better of course. CPU power doesn't matter much to me as long as I can run games and stuff at a working speed.

4) Should I get a geforce7600 now through EVGA and hopefully StepUp when the new stuff comes out? Does anyone have any idea how much longer that would be? I say 7600 and not 7900 because as I understand it the 7600 can run current games fairly well and I don't mind lowering settings to make it work. Anything to lower the final PC cost. Would two 7600's in SLI be better than a 7900? to be specific I guess I'm talking about gt's.

5) Can I get 2x1gb dual channel memory now and add another couple 1g sticks later? Will Vista support that much?

6) Can DDR500 or greater memory still work with motherboards that say "DDR Standard" DDR400? I think so because on newegg neither Intel or AMD mobo's have any DDR Standard options that say greater than 400. I know there's some tweaking necessary to make memory run at the right frequencies, so I'm guessing if I got 500 or greater I'd have to do that.

7) RAM timings. I hear the lower the better. Can anyone give me a timing to look for maybe?

8) What's the performance difference between DDR and DDR2 and should I do an intel build since apparently only those motherboards take DDR2? (can you tell I've learned a lot from NewEgg?)

9) What are the best case and psu brands? Please don't suggest specific cases cause I know you're gonna say Thermaltake Tsunami and honestly I'm not sure I want a case with a front door. I really have no need to block my drives.

10) Hard Drives. What's most important when finding a fast drive - Cache (8mb/16mb), RPM (7200/10,000), or interface (sata150/sata3gb)? The only 10k drive with 16mb cache is WD but it only has sata150. So is that slower than sata 3gb/s?

11) Finally, LCD or CRT? I've pretty much decided on LCD for the portability and size. As a FPS gamer, is 2ms response time overkill or should I concentrate on low pixel pitch or what? Should I use DVI, HDTV, or S-Video? If I had the choice that is.

I appreciate any answers you can give. Yes I could research to find out the answers (and believe me I've tried) but that would take hours compared to some helpful and more experienced people taking a minute out of their time
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1) 2) 3) Wait a while for the new Intel Conroe CPUs. They might use a whole new socket (I think). All and all, I say wait another 3-6 months instead of building a PC now that can't be upgraded 18 months down the line. I'm not sure, but I think that when AMD moves to AM2, that they are going to a new socket as well. And even if they didn't, you would have to get a new Mobo anyway that supports DDR2. If you decide to build now, the Opteron 165 is a very good choice. If overclocked, it will be as fast as anything else out there at the moment. Keep in mind that even if, lets say, the AMD FX60 which is pretty much the fastest CPU out there today, can't be upgraded in the future, it will be at least 5 years before it reaches the bottom of the performance league! At which time it would be time for an upgrade anyway! So getting a good CPU now will always be a good investment!

4) Go for the 7600 now, and wait for the DX10 cards.

5) 2 x 1GB should be fine for now, should be fine for at least 6 months. Not sure, but one would assume Vista will support that much memory.

6) For you Mobo to access the DDR500 at its intended speed, you would have to OC your CPU. AMD CPUs run with a 200MHz "FSB", meaning at 400MHz efective with DDR memory. Even if you have DDR500, if your CPU is running at stock speeds, it will effectively underclock your DDR500 to DDR400. Simply up your "FSB" to 250, and your memory will run at DDR500 speeds.

7) I think for DDR500, should be something like 3-4-4-8 for the best. DDR400, try for 2-3-3-5, or 2-2-2-5 for the ultimate! Anybody can correct me, but timings don't really make a **** of a lot of difference at stock speeds. But the lower the stock timings, the more (I assume) they can be OCed.

8) DDR2 runs at faster speeds than DDR, but have worse timings and are more expensive. The advantages Intel gain by using DDR2 are negated by the fact that AMD 64 CPU have the memory controller on the CPU, thus enabling quicker communication between the CPU and RAM. Go for AMD instead of Intel if building now. If your going to wait, go for the Intel Conroe chips (see point 1).

9) Cases are your choice, depends on your preferences. Dont buy a case with an included PSU. As for PSUs, Antec/Fortron/OCZ

10) Cache and RPM play a big part. Obviously, the quicker the drive revolves, the faster, and more expensive it will be. SATA3GB is the fastest interface at the moment, but you as an user will rarely see or feel the difference in speeds. No matter what people say, I don't think the price of a WD Raptor 10k drive justifies the 5 seconds less it takes to load a game or program. The major differences in speeds between cache sizes and RPM and interfaces can only truly be noticed in synthetic benchmarks. If you are on a budget, buy what fits your pocket. Look at things like $/GB when deciding on drives.

11)LCD!!!!! 2ms is overkill, you won't see ghosting on any new LCD below 8ms response times. I could be wrong, but Windows Vista uses something like DHCP which might mean your monitor might not work with Vista. The new 7900 series of cards already support that. Please don't take this as a fact, wait for what other people say. I'm pretty sure LCDs use DVI, which all new graphics cards have anyway.

Hope it helps a bit! Cheers
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Another thought is if you are going to wait for the new Intel Conroe CPU

I think that about the same time as Vista is released the DDR3 ram will also be out or pretty dam close to it, companies are already shipping them to Intel.

Think they suppose to run at speeds in excess of 1GHz. which I read on some websites with speeds of GHz not MHz

1.3GHz by Elpida's and 1.06GHz by Samsung both running witha capacity of 512 Megabit's

I am in the same boat get some decent parts now that I know that I will have to change out maybe mid 2006, in order to run Vista and the DX10 cards, with DDr3 memory. Its just a bad time for me to make decisions but I will have to...
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 11 intermediate topics (kinda long)

Ok i'm going to chuck in my 2c, I havent read all replys so sorry if I repeat anything.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
1) Can I build a computer right now that can be upgraded easily to new hotness when those things arrive?
Sort of, new sockets will be used and new ram too so you'll have to swap out the mobo, proc, ram, and vid card... practically a new PC

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
2) What mobo/socket type should I go with that will work with future cpu's? I hear Intel's gonna have the leg up in the next cpu generation. Do you think the AMD 939 socket will be used for future cpus?
No, new sockets will be used. Also I wouldn't discount AMD, just because they're holding their cards close doesn't mean they dont have a hand.
I recon they're just getting what sales they can on the current chips but as soon as intel better the current stuff I think AMD will lay down better stuff straight away.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
3) Does cpu power actually matter that much? If I built right now, I've decided it would be Opteron 165, which I will slowly overclock as I see fit. Will that be alright for the next few years? The price of that is my limit BTW. Lower price would be better of course. CPU power doesn't matter much to me as long as I can run games and stuff at a working speed.
I'm sure an opty 165 would be fine for a few years.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
4) Should I get a geforce7600 now through EVGA and hopefully StepUp when the new stuff comes out? Does anyone have any idea how much longer that would be? I say 7600 and not 7900 because as I understand it the 7600 can run current games fairly well and I don't mind lowering settings to make it work. Anything to lower the final PC cost. Would two 7600's in SLI be better than a 7900? to be specific I guess I'm talking about gt's.
Get a 7900GT, the EVGA step up program is within 90 days so that won't cover you for DX10.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
5) Can I get 2x1gb dual channel memory now and add another couple 1g sticks later? Will Vista support that much?
Yes, I think Vista supports atleast 32Gb ram if not more. And yes you can add more memory later but be sure to get exactly the same stuff or your performance will suffer.
At the mo 1-2GB is fine.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
6) Can DDR500 or greater memory still work with motherboards that say "DDR Standard" DDR400? I think so because on newegg neither Intel or AMD mobo's have any DDR Standard options that say greater than 400. I know there's some tweaking necessary to make memory run at the right frequencies, so I'm guessing if I got 500 or greater I'd have to do that.
DDR2 is pretty sucky, the latencies suck. Stick with PC3200 at the mo, get nice low latencies atleast 2.5 CAS.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
7) RAM timings. I hear the lower the better. Can anyone give me a timing to look for maybe?
Like I say with PC3200 you want atleast 2.5 CAS, if you're looking at value stuff then perhaps 2.5-3-3-7 but dont go higher than that.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
8) What's the performance difference between DDR and DDR2 and should I do an intel build since apparently only those motherboards take DDR2? (can you tell I've learned a lot from NewEgg?)
Forget INtel IMO and forget DDR2 as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
9) What are the best case and psu brands? Please don't suggest specific cases cause I know you're gonna say Thermaltake Tsunami and honestly I'm not sure I want a case with a front door. I really have no need to block my drives.
Like Lian-li cases and antec psus are fine. There are better PSUs if you want to splash the cash.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
10) Hard Drives. What's most important when finding a fast drive - Cache (8mb/16mb), RPM (7200/10,000), or interface (sata150/sata3gb)? The only 10k drive with 16mb cache is WD but it only has sata150. So is that slower than sata 3gb/s?
unless you're raiding a buttload of drives dont worry about SATA3gb. even the fastest drives dont come close to using the bandwidth of SATA1.5GB.
10k drives will cost you $$$ and the performance difference isn't worth the price. Still nice to have though.
go for some maxline IIIs or something.

Quote:
Originally posted by saek
11) Finally, LCD or CRT? I've pretty much decided on LCD for the portability and size. As a FPS gamer, is 2ms response time overkill or should I concentrate on low pixel pitch or what? Should I use DVI, HDTV, or S-Video? If I had the choice that is.
with the right panel 8MS is zero ghosting but performance does vary so look at reviews. DVI is fine but vista is supposed to have HDCP so if youre getting an expensive LCD that you dont want to have to replace then make sure its HDCP capable.
Forget CRT, the performance is better but its not worth the space and power use.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think that it would be better for u to get a PC 4000 DDR500 memory, because if ur going to overclock, like u said u woulld, that extra 50Mhz on the Ram would take u a long way (500/2= 250, DDR400 has 200, extra 50) even if the divider is set to 1:1m u could, say ur multiplier is at 10, u can increase ur speed by 500Mhz, which is good. If you are a n00b overclocker like myself, and dont want to get into the complicated parts of overclocking i'd suggest the ddr500 for ez boosts.
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