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Windows 7: Custom Gaming rig - Any good?

20 Jun 2009   #51
weh

Win.7.Ult.x64
 
 

For all practical purposes, Office applications don't care what kind of computer they run on -- as long as it runs properly. Any low-end, dual-core processor with 2~3GB of available ram will do an excellent job. This applies to internet and browsing functions, also.

Games have in the past been single-core oriented, placing demands on the graphics system, not the CPU. To a great extent, that's still true. Even Crysis, one of the most demanding games available, runs best on a very fast dual-core machine as opposed to a slower quad-core machine. Ignoring the graphics subsystem, and using a flawed analogy, gaming needs horsepower (speed), not torque (multi-core) from its CPU. In truth, for a gaming machine, you are better off looking at one of the high-end (meaning high speed) AMD dual-core CPUs than at any of the Intel chips. Then pair it with the most honkingly-powerful, turbo-charged graphics card you can afford.

Engineering (AutoDesk's heavy hitters), scientific (serious physics, atmospheric modeling, etc), video editing (Adobe Premier), image & file rendering (DVD ripping & conversion to .avi/.mkv), and file compression/decompression (WinRAR, 7-zip, etc) need torque. Speed and workspace (memory/ram) don't hurt, either, but torque is king. Here is where the i7 shines, but the i5 is no slouch here, either.

Any build is a balance of the various parts. None is perfect for every application -- even monster workstations like my own aren't perfect. Mine is a mediocre gaming machine and serious overkill for office apps and internet/browser usage.

Given that you are in high school and will probably use the machine for 3.5-to-5 years, upgrading some of its parts at about midway its life, and given that you are interested in some of the heavy applications as well as some of the more resource-hungry games, my best advice to you is to look for a higher-speed processor and worry less about cores or memory channels.
  • CPU: (horsepower vs torque) go for a faster i5 (or one of the faster, new AMD CPUs) as opposed to the higher torque at the expense of speed i7-920
  • RAM: (workspace) 4-or-8GB with the i5 or AMD; 3-or-6-or-12GB with the i7
  • GPU: (turbocharge those games) spend what you can afford; CPU doesn't help you here
  • HDD: (storage)
    • OS & Apps on the fastest drive you can afford, SSD, VelociRaptor or Caviar Black, in that order. Don't bother with RAID-0, it's usually a waste unless you can similarly soup up everything else.
    • Primary data storage on Caviar Black
    • Secondary data storage (and/or backup) on Caviar Green
Typical system as described, 450-500 watt PSU using single-GPU AMD/ATI graphics card, add 100 watts if using a 2nd GPU. Add 50 watts per GPU if using nVidia graphics card(s).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #52
akash3656

Windows 7 32-bit; no 64 coz its a P4 478
 
 

Well, although you hate the craptop, I would suggest you to re-romat it with 7/XP.... Coz even my dad's almost antique laptop (P4 1.6 Ghz, 256 MB RAM) does Office 03 fine...
I think your OS is screwed (or perhaps the installation)....
I know, I know, you may not want to waste time backing up, etc. and flushing down the old OS, etc.... So then get a new computer would be GREAT! Like the guy above me said, gaming in future WILL USE Quads; not dual core or triple core would be excellent for gaming... But since your doing some really advanced work, you may just grab the i5 than wasting time and money with Core i7, Core 2 * and AMD Phenom 2 * system today....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #53
misterck

Dual Boot : Windows 7 7264 X64/Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161265

isnt this a better gpu for cheaper?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Jun 2009   #54
weh

Win.7.Ult.x64
 
 

He's talking about buying in September, not now. It is really too soon to pin down the actual product choices. There will be a number of new products released over the course of the summer and early fall, including new video boards, motherboards and CPUs. Moreover, prices will change, considering the economy, most likely, downward.

But it is a really good idea to flesh out a well-balanced 'concept' of what he wants his computer to be. That way, when the time comes, it's much easier to select products that match the overall plan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #55
misterck

Dual Boot : Windows 7 7264 X64/Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

im starting my 1st gaming rig build just now,nothing spedtacular but i have most of my parts picked out but after 5 days looking around i still cant even make my mind up on a case lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #56
weh

Win.7.Ult.x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by misterck View Post
im starting my 1st gaming rig build just now,nothing spedtacular but i have most of my parts picked out but after 5 days looking around i still cant even make my mind up on a case lol.
I build about 40 computers a year (been rolling my own since '92 - 17 years). I've pretty much settled on three brands, unless a client really wants something else. All three are top quality. I pick the model based on what needs to go inside and whether the case will be re-used for future builds. I avoid "front doors" like the plague. I seldom use case windows, although a few of my clients have requested them. Above all, avoid gimmicks. Multi-LEDs are your enemy. (They'll annoy the h-e-double-hocky-sticks out of you after the first few weeks.)

The three brand are Antec, Lian-Li and Silverstone.

I've never been disappointed in their quality.

There are certainly many other brands with quality product. I just haven't seen the need to go for them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #57
misterck

Dual Boot : Windows 7 7264 X64/Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by weh View Post
I build about 40 computers a year (been rolling my own since '92 - 17 years). I've pretty much settled on three brands, unless a client really wants something else. All three are top quality. I pick the model based on what needs to go inside and whether the case will be re-used for future builds. I avoid "front doors" like the plague. I seldom use case windows, although a few of my clients have requested them. Above all, avoid gimmicks. Multi-LEDs are your enemy. (They'll annoy the h-e-double-hocky-sticks out of you after the first few weeks.)

The three brand are Antec, Lian-Li and Silverstone.

I've never been disappointed in their quality.

There are certainly many other brands with quality product. I just haven't seen the need to go for them.
my only problem with lian li and silverstone are the price of em, i really dont wanna go too pricey on a case, atm i have 200 which i plan on buying a psu and case with,psu im going with is the Corsair TX650W which is roughly 75 which leaves me with 115 for a case and 10 for shipping.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #58
ikilledkenny

Windows 7 Professional, Windows Longhorn 4074
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by weh View Post
For all practical purposes, Office applications don't care what kind of computer they run on -- as long as it runs properly. Any low-end, dual-core processor with 2~3GB of available ram will do an excellent job. This applies to internet and browsing functions, also.

Games have in the past been single-core oriented, placing demands on the graphics system, not the CPU. To a great extent, that's still true. Even Crysis, one of the most demanding games available, runs best on a very fast dual-core machine as opposed to a slower quad-core machine. Ignoring the graphics subsystem, and using a flawed analogy, gaming needs horsepower (speed), not torque (multi-core) from its CPU. In truth, for a gaming machine, you are better off looking at one of the high-end (meaning high speed) AMD dual-core CPUs than at any of the Intel chips. Then pair it with the most honkingly-powerful, turbo-charged graphics card you can afford.

Engineering (AutoDesk's heavy hitters), scientific (serious physics, atmospheric modeling, etc), video editing (Adobe Premier), image & file rendering (DVD ripping & conversion to .avi/.mkv), and file compression/decompression (WinRAR, 7-zip, etc) need torque. Speed and workspace (memory/ram) don't hurt, either, but torque is king. Here is where the i7 shines, but the i5 is no slouch here, either.

Any build is a balance of the various parts. None is perfect for every application -- even monster workstations like my own aren't perfect. Mine is a mediocre gaming machine and serious overkill for office apps and internet/browser usage.

Given that you are in high school and will probably use the machine for 3.5-to-5 years, upgrading some of its parts at about midway its life, and given that you are interested in some of the heavy applications as well as some of the more resource-hungry games, my best advice to you is to look for a higher-speed processor and worry less about cores or memory channels.
  • CPU: (horsepower vs torque) go for a faster i5 (or one of the faster, new AMD CPUs) as opposed to the higher torque at the expense of speed i7-920
  • RAM: (workspace) 4-or-8GB with the i5 or AMD; 3-or-6-or-12GB with the i7
  • GPU: (turbocharge those games) spend what you can afford; CPU doesn't help you here
  • HDD: (storage)
    • OS & Apps on the fastest drive you can afford, SSD, VelociRaptor or Caviar Black, in that order. Don't bother with RAID-0, it's usually a waste unless you can similarly soup up everything else.
    • Primary data storage on Caviar Black
    • Secondary data storage (and/or backup) on Caviar Green
Typical system as described, 450-500 watt PSU using single-GPU AMD/ATI graphics card, add 100 watts if using a 2nd GPU. Add 50 watts per GPU if using nVidia graphics card(s).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by weh
I build about 40 computers a year (been rolling my own since '92 - 17 years). I've pretty much settled on three brands, unless a client really wants something else. All three are top quality. I pick the model based on what needs to go inside and whether the case will be re-used for future builds. I avoid "front doors" like the plague. I seldom use case windows, although a few of my clients have requested them. Above all, avoid gimmicks. Multi-LEDs are your enemy. (They'll annoy the h-e-double-hocky-sticks out of you after the first few weeks.)

The three brand are Antec, Lian-Li and Silverstone.

I've never been disappointed in their quality.

There are certainly many other brands with quality product. I just haven't seen the need to go for them.
After reading these two messages, I'm going to go with an AMD Phenom II (955, since it's fast, and cheap [as far as I know]), and look into a 4870x2...

Does anyone have any info about that "Dragon" platform thing that AMD does? I can't wrap my mind around that. Or get any info on it b/c you can never just look up anything any more...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #59
digitalrurouni

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

I just wanted to say that having a powerful gaming computer does not necessarily equate to a loud machine even if it is air cooled. Sure during gaming my video cards get cranked up but the noise from my speakers is more than enough to drown that out.

120 mm fans are the way to go basically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2009   #60
weh

Win.7.Ult.x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ikilledkenny View Post
Does anyone have any info about that "Dragon" platform thing that AMD does? I can't wrap my mind around that. Or get any info on it b/c you can never just look up anything any more...
Essentially, leaving out the marketing hype, it's motherboards based on the 790FX (no built-in graphics) and 790GX (built-in HD 3300 graphics) chipsets and video boards based on the HD 4870 and HD 4890 GPUs along with the Phenom II Quad-Core CPUs.

As to your choice of the HD 4870 X2, the dual GPU helps in some games and not so much in others. Were I you, I'd go for the more powerful (and less expensive) HD 4890 (single GPU). Then, later, add a 2nd HD 4890 if you really want to add the complexity of CrossFire to the system. But don't set anything in stone, yet. There are rumors of HD 5xxx GPUs on the horizon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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