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Old 08-13-2008, 12:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

Hi,
I'm looking into a new computer (the first of my own) and have some questions. I will primarily use it for music recording/editing, Photoshop, some games (lower priority), and possibly video editing (lower priority).

Processor: I have kind of an old mindset when it comes to this, thinking that the fastest available single processor (3.4ghz?) will be better for me than a dual core processor, though I don't actually know if this is true. The games I want to play are older (BF2, BF1942) and apparently don't run as well with dual core. However, from what I know, a dual core would help me more with the creative/productivity programs. These programs are the most important as I stated above. Which would be best? Also, is AMD still preferred for productivity programs?

OS: I'm planning on 4GB of RAM, and I prefer XP, so I'd need the 64-bit version. I can check compatibility for each program ahead of time, but I'm just wondering how compatibility is in general with 64-bit for programs like Photoshop, etc. On the other hand, for my uses would Vista be suggested over XP, for newer hardware components etc.?

Soundcard: I know this is a specialty concern, but I'm wondering if the type of soundcard apparently required for music recording (full duplex) would also function regularly for other programs, or would a regular soundcard be required as well.

General: I will either be putting the computer together through Tiger Direct or some other site, or will be finding a used/basic one on ebay, etc. that I will then upgrade. I admit I'm siding with convenience of the used/basic option, despite general benefits of building your own, however if the expenses would come out better or the same I would feel all right about it. So, should I go with a configuration through something like Tiger Direct, or find a good deal on a used/basic system with good groundwork specs to build off of with a few components from Tiger Direct, etc.

Thanks very much for any help, and I'll be happy to elaborate on any points.
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

get a dual core! so much better. I play BF2 on full graphics settings online for hours without any lag. I have 3 gigs of ram and a SATA harddrive and am usually close to the first to load each game. dual core is the way to go!

Use a mix of tigerdirect and newegg. a lot of times newegg has teh same stuff slightly cheaper.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

Processor: Even a $70 budget E2200 (2.2ghz Pentium Dual Core) will demolish a 3.4ghz Pentium 4. Its not just that its two cores, its a completly different architecture, more efficient. Also, AMD are not more powerful/productive/favoured. Intel is very much in the lead in this department. Ie, a 2.6ghz Intel Core 2 Duo can be compared to more than a 3ghz Athlon X2 from AMD. And, Windows tries to share the load evenly between cores so really, a single core should never be considered anymore.

OS: 64bit is definanlty a good idea, almost all design and production software works BETTER in 64bit than 32 bit. As for other general programs, 64bit is now becoming the norm and should not be a problem for you.

Soundcard: Dont know much on this sorry.

General: Its much better just to buy your bare parts straight from newegg.com or TigerDirect (with NewEgg being alot better btw) and do it yourself. I wouldnt go to ebay especially since the cost will be in the same ball park. When your ready, post what parts you had in mind and we'll help you out.

Hope i helped.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ancientbear View Post

Processor: I have kind of an old mindset when it comes to this, thinking that the fastest available single processor (3.4ghz?) will be better for me than a dual core processor, though I don't actually know if this is true.
Only look at clock speed when comparing similar processors, not all in history. Newer processors are better(faster), despite a possible lower clock speed.
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

Hmm, not so sure on the 64 bit part. A lot of programs still don't work well with 64bit and I heard that there aren't a lot of drivers to go with it.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

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Originally Posted by Thresh25 View Post
Hmm, not so sure on the 64 bit part. A lot of programs still don't work well with 64bit and I heard that there aren't a lot of drivers to go with it.
Vista should have never been released with 32bit, 64bit is the way to go, many of our members have it and its never been an issue. Especially if hes asking about programs like Photoshop etc.
The only drivers that might have issues with 64bit are old peripherals and odd items, but video cards, sound cards, anything important like that should work great.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll go with Newegg then. For clarification though, should I choose a barebones system to build from or a brand system to upgrade? Newegg doesn't have a configuration option, so I'm kind of lost on how to go from 'scratch' with a barebones system. I suppose I can get help with that though when I'm ready...

Thanks again!
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Processor choice, etc. for new Comp.

I don't like many barebones kits that I've seen. They all look pretty ****** and a lot of times give you some crap parts. I'd just pick all the parts out yourself.
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