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Old 08-04-2009, 01:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

After 9 lovely years of upgrading my old computer, the third mother board to be housed in her breast has died. I've decided to build a system from the ground up - preferably something with staying power, as I don't want to build a new system for a long while. I have a budget running from 800 to 1100, 1300 max, and I'm looking to build an
allaround good system. I have a few questions though,.

1. I do some gaming, and I'm going to put newfangled dual graphics cards into the system. What would the performance gain be from a 2x9400GT to 2x9500GT, or would I be better off purchasing a more powerful single card.

2. I've herd that if you're running SLI you should get the i7 over the quad core. What are the actual advantages of this.

3. DDR3 - it would make sense to me that springing for a tri channel mobo would better utilize the ram. Is this true?
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

1. Not a good idea, both those are really really weak.
2. Not true.. but the Core i7 is faster than any of the other CPU's out right now (it has the ability to support SLI and CFX)
3. You have to if you get i7 as they all support DDR3. It'd be best to get it with Triple Channel though.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

They were only an example, I meant more in the sense of two models in the same line with only marginal difference between them, what would the difference be when amplified x2? And that was probably the quickest reply ever - hats off to you.

In another note, I loved the Centurion case, had a good friend with one - looked classy, unlike so many gaming cases these days with neon lights and lasers and ugly fronts that look like B list movie aliens.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

If you can a single more powerful gpu is a better way to go than running sli or xfire. You can always add a second later when they are more affordable.

Less heat, less driver issues.

Cases are definitely a personal choice. I myself prefer clean and simple case designs.

What type of budget are we working with here?

btw I grew up in Santa Rosa which is somewhere close to Sonoma.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

Phenom II X2 550
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

These use quad core dies with two disabled cores. Enabling Advanced Clock Cailbration in BIOS often allows you to unlock the two disabled cores. I've done it myself successfully on a system I built for someone.
Successfuly unlocking an X2 550 CPU gives you the best value quad core you can get.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

yes, it seems that many people with the 550 have had luck with unlocking them to quads, but i dont think it would be a good idea to buy it as a guaranteed quad core. the extras cores are locked for a reason.

if you're on a budget and you get the 550, and you unlock it, thats great. im just saying, if you have the money, id get a guaranteed quad upfront, and not have to deal with any hidden issues, if any, later on. its kind of a gamble.

plus, for $1k+ you can get an i7, but do you also need a monitor, keyboard & mouse?
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A fond fairwell to my first computer of 9 years - specing a new one

If there's no issues now with the CPU, there won't be any later.
Well, they will have as much chance as any other CPU of developing issues (which is to say 3/5 of bugger all)

For about $500 or less you can easily upgrade your system to a nice Phenom II system.
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