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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Tech Help » Buying a new PC

Default Buying a new PC

August 3rd, 2009, 23:10
Hi

I'm buying a new PC, as the old one seem to be slowly dying (please don't suggest things to do to fix it, like reinstalling win Xp. I need the excuse. And the wife has accepted it).

I have a couple of questions.

1) Vista32 or Vista64 (Upgrading to Win 7 is free)? Where can I find information about compatibility problem with 64 and for instance games? (I have a laptop with Vista 32, no problems there, so far)

2) Radeon HD4870 or Geforce gx275. Performance should be about the same, but I've no experience with Radeons - I'm a nVidia guy, and thus I've heard nasty things about compatibility problems and image quality with Radeons.

3) I can get a PC with Intel Core i7 920 for about the same price (+200USD) as a PC with Core™ 2 Quad Q9650 (with water-cooling). Should I go for i7, or is the Q9650 safer?

I prefer not to buy the latest and best technology, but the next best, since that usually gives more bang for the bucks. I also can't spend too much time evaluating a million options, therefore I've mostly selected brands I'm familiar with (thus no AMD cpus).

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August 3rd, 2009, 23:45
1) I think that most companies by now have an option for free upgrade to Windows 7.
Even if they don't you might want to check the preorders on Amazon as it's really cheap.
2)I'm an nVidia guy too but I've read some nasty stuff about nVidia driver problems so I can't be of help here.I would though point out that Windows 7 (and Direct X11) isn't really far and that getting a top notch DX10 card right now doesn't seem a great idea because in approx 2-3 years there will be plenty of games which will take advantage of DX11. I know that Ati are already desinging DX11 cards right now but nVidias seems to be a step back.
3)I'm not really sure but I've read that i7's performance is pretty much untouchable.Id I would go for the i7.
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August 4th, 2009, 02:48
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
1) I think that most companies by now have an option for free upgrade to Windows 7.
Even if they don't you might want to check the preorders on Amazon as it's really cheap.
Do you know anything about compatibility issues between vista64 and older games?

2)I'm an nVidia guy too but I've read some nasty stuff about nVidia driver problems so I can't be of help here.I would though point out that Windows 7 (and Direct X11) isn't really far and that getting a top notch DX10 card right now doesn't seem a great idea because in approx 2-3 years there will be plenty of games which will take advantage of DX11. I know that Ati are already desinging DX11 cards right now but nVidias seems to be a step back.
That is a good point. One can always claim that if you postpone spending money on a pc, you will get a better one for a lower price, and thus never get around to buying one. But perhaps this time, there really IS wise to wait and see for a couple of months.

(I hate you of course, since I WANTED A NEW PC NOW!!!!! :-))

3)I'm not really sure but I've read that i7's performance is pretty much untouchable.Id I would go for the i7.
Thanks.

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August 4th, 2009, 03:13
"untouchable performance" for 3D Studio or for gaming? I'm not convinced an i7 is faster at all for gaming in combination with a mid price graphics card.

I would wait until Windows 7 has been released. Migrating to a new Windows is no fun.
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August 4th, 2009, 04:53
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
"untouchable performance" for 3D Studio or for gaming? I'm not convinced an i7 is faster at all for gaming in combination with a mid price graphics card.

I would wait until Windows 7 has been released. Migrating to a new Windows is no fun.
But then again, it may be reasonable to wait with installing win7, until we have more experience. And yes, installing a new OS IS FUN!! Hah!

*ponders

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August 4th, 2009, 10:56
1. Don't waste your money on Windows Vista, - Windows 7 is too near.

2. You really can't go wrong with nVidia right now. Just stay away from any card with a model # that ends with "GT".
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August 4th, 2009, 13:41
1. Win7 64-bit.

2. CPU choice probably won't matter - as long as we're talking multi-core and Quad is definitely a good choice.

3. Nvidia and Radeon are both good performers, but generally Nvidia is known to be slightly less problematic. You want GTX260 or better. Check Tom's Hardware Guide for tests.

4. Get at least 4GB ram and make sure it's fast and that your motherboard can support the speed (FSB).
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August 4th, 2009, 14:11
The latest GameStar (issue 9/09) has a CPU special. They tested the currently available CPUs and evaluated their price/performance ratio.

Their recommendations:
CPU<200 EUR: AMD has the clearly better offers. I can dig up the details if you're considering this route. Older Quadcore users have no reason to upgrade into this segment.
CPU>200 EUR: Buy Intel i7. They especially like the Intel Core i7 920 with 2,67 GHz. It costs only 230 EUR and is very fast. Warning: The i7 has 3 memory channels. This means you should buy 3 identical RAM modules. 3 GB is not enough, so this means 3*2 = 6 GB. Which leads to Windows 7 64bit.
The article implies that an i7 should be paired with a fast graphics card.
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August 5th, 2009, 14:18
Graphics-wise I just want to add that I've had a Radeon HD 4870 for almost a year now and it has served me flawlessly. The newer GeForce cards may be great (they weren't when I bought my card) but you can't go wrong with a 4870 either IMO.
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August 5th, 2009, 14:59
@JDR13: Upgrade to Win7 is free.
@Toaster: Thanks for the information. Just what I needed.

@All of you: Thank you for your feedback. Very useful.

I ended up with the i7 machine (which btw also included a Blue Ray drive). 6 Gb RAM. XFX Radeon HD4890 'xxx' edition (sounds a bit sleazy). For some reason, changing to an nVidia cost quite a lot. Vista 64 Home Premium, which I will upgrade (for free) to Win7 when it's due and I feel lke doing it. And as I said: Installing OSs is FUN!!!!

I wondered whether I should go for Vista (and Win7) Ultimate edition, but so far the only thing that would interest med was the Remote Desktop Server. Which I have on my Xp Pro machine, but don't use anymore. So, actually … I dropped that.

I chose not to buy a top card like the Geforce gx295 (which cost a lot). Thus, I can change to a DX11 card in a year or two if I like, without having wasted a lot of money.

The price of it all was comparable to a water-cooled Quad 9650 (without the Blue Ray) from another supplier. Which make me a bit suspicious. On the other hand, I selected standard no-no-brand components, and I've bought from this supplier before, and I'm happy with them (I hope they include a piece of chocolate in the package, they used to do that)

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August 5th, 2009, 18:14
Here's a direct comparison of the Windows 7 versions.
I don't really see the Ultimate edition being much superior to the Professional edition.
IMO it's not worth the extra money.

How much did you pay for that system?
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August 5th, 2009, 19:23
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
Here's a direct comparison of the Windows 7 versions.
I don't really see the Ultimate edition being much superior to the Professional edition.
IMO it's not worth the extra money.
Agreed.

How much did you pay for that system?
12000 NOK - approximately 2000 USD.

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August 5th, 2009, 21:38
Originally Posted by lghartveit View Post
12000 NOK - approximately 2000 USD.
Ouch, that's a lot. Did that package include a monitor and\or printer?
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August 5th, 2009, 21:52
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Ouch, that's a lot. Did that package include a monitor and\or printer?
No. But it's a fairly decent price by Norwegian standards. We're definitely a high cost country.

One example: According to a review in techwarelabs, you can buy the i7 920 CPU for 280 USD, I assume that's in the US. I've checked a couple of internet shops in Norway, and the CPU is listed at 390 USD on the average.
Last edited by pibbur; August 5th, 2009 at 22:02.

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August 5th, 2009, 22:48
Originally Posted by lghartveit View Post
12000 NOK - approximately 2000 USD.
That's exactly the amount of money I'll spend on my next rig around Christmas.

Did you build it or it was ready?
Is water cooling really expensive?
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August 6th, 2009, 16:28
I dualbooted my newest machine with both xp32/vista64 and in the last 9 months I have found it to be a very wise decision. I dont know about windows7 but vista64 isnt all that compatible with older games (which work perfectly with xp32 though).

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August 6th, 2009, 16:37
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Ouch, that's a lot. Did that package include a monitor and\or printer?
That *is* a lot … recent price surveys show the average price on a PC is ~$550 (and ~$700 for a laptop) in the US. You can get a solid gaming laptop for <$2000 these days … I imaging a good desktop should be possible for <$1250.

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August 6th, 2009, 17:12
Yes, really a lot. Personally I wouldn't even spend half of that on a gaming PC.
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August 6th, 2009, 19:55
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Yes, really a lot. Personally I wouldn't even spend half of that on a gaming PC.
Which means that you wouldn't be able to buy a gaming pc at all if you live where I do.

As I said, prices are high in Norway (as are our wages), and this machine isn't particularly expensive here. In fact it is cheaper than a lower specced machine I also considered.

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August 6th, 2009, 20:32
Well Norway sucks…..



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