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Last post Author Topic: Buying New PC. Suggestions?  (Read 25430 times)

dk70

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2006, 10:41:01 AM »
They could argue it is a XP tweak wrongly implemented or with unfortunate/unexpected side effects. They could... I have not checked Knownledge base details but it is still in there - and so is relevant today. Well you get my point, we all have success or disaster stories and it will be tough to find really good universal arguments for chosing ATI or Nvidia because of their driver support. Interface of both can more or less be ignored and replaced by nice 3rd party tools, Rivatuner for Nvidia - ATI Tray Tools for ATI.

Last week I changed motherboard on my sisters computer. She has a 6600GT. Try go to Nvidias official forums and see a mile long thread on 6600GT problems with corrupted graphics, bsod or worse. Like 25 suggestions of fixes at least. Almost comical. Solution for her was to go from KT600 to NF2, runs perfect now, yet I know people with same KT600 motherboard and 6600GTs with zero problems. Ive spend probably 5 hours trying all tricks and workarounds. The general conclusion is Nvidia have full blaim. My guess is problem has to do with what must be picky reference bios of video cards, but then Nvidia have nothing to do with it! They dont answer for brand "specific" bios - even if ripped 100% of original bios. ATI will have similar horror stories - or just crap products trying to fool consumers. Both are the same at the end of the day.

JavaJones

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #51 on: October 07, 2006, 03:35:35 PM »
As far as I've seen ATI's drivers are still somewhat crap. :P There are plenty of problems between the two manufacturers, I just find ATI's drivers to be less stable and have more frequent problems even with official releases. I get a chance to test the latest drivers from both on fairly recent cards so that's what my experience has been.

f0dder: not sure how you can say ghosting doesn't matter in FPS's - that's exactly where it *does* matter and it's extremely distracting. 8ms I've tested and it's really unacceptable. 5ms is getting better 2ms is acceptable I think. But really any ghosting is unacceptable to me. I want SED or OLED displays NOW (OLED refresh rate is 1000's of times faster than LCD and no need for backlight). :D

You are right that the corporate lines do include less software crap. If you must go Dell, do it that way for sure. I still think they are fairly crap though.

- Oshyan

MilesOhToole

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2006, 06:14:28 PM »
Budget changes again  8) Did you forget XP or found other solution?

My wife is currently enrolled in college.  The campus IT dept gave her a free copy of XP Pro, since her biology class used software that required it.   

 
You want more headaches? Ok, External sound card might be better with some games as in more fps but integrated is not useless. So since on not without limits budget may be take advantage of that and spend more on the important video card? ATI 1300Pro is better http://techreport.co...et-gpus/index.x?pg=1 Use selection box at bottom to see benchmarks where it is compared to 7300GS. 10-20% faster overall for 10$ extra? No sound card almost let budget get away with that. Video card must have highest priority when it comes to games. So what about 1600Pro then  8) With no soundcard that will be 30$ more. Faster again and about to leave budget card label. GeForce 7600GT cost so much more it is another question but I would consider 1300Pro or 1600Pro. 1600Pro not really in same class as the other 2. Difference is bigger than that of 7300GS vs 1300Pro. As is extra cost... Must put foot down at some point but since video is so important I would do what it takes to get 1600Pro. Same you did when picking 160gb hard disk, extra cost but double capacity. Hope you see what I mean - priorities.

OK.  I'll go with the integrated sound and 1600Pro.  Can't really afford to go with anything higher.  At any rate, I can always upgrade sound cards at a later date.  Price updated to $684.96.  Well within my budget range.

Good thinking about the monitor! You do not want to mess what is inside box but have to set up monitor anyway so might as well look for alternatives. Looks ok, best buy if good.

No matter this is a ready to go computer I would still do own check of components. Like running a ram-tester, checking bios settings. I hardly trust myself and external sources I believe only want my money  8) All this is very easy and painless or I wouldnt say it - but return with later questions, many here can guide you through. 5-10 minutes of demonstration and you could build own computer. Basically all you need is a screwdriver, same shop and Dell uses. They dont do much more so when box arrives dont be afraid of tinkering a bit and dont put up with things that only work 50%. Dont experiment though... 

Noted.  Thanks again for your help!  :Thmbsup:

*One note of interest regarding OS.  On my way home from work today, I was listening to Kim Komando's radio show.  She mentioned that beginning Oct 27th, PC's shipped with XP Pro will include free upgrades to Vista.  PC's with XP Home will include upgrade coupons for $50.00.  Not that I'm interested in Vista--just something I thought I'd mention.

EDIT:  One more question...this one about RAM.  I did some light research on ECC vs Non-ECC RAM.  It appears (from what I understand) that many motherboards will support ECC RAM, but will not actually correct any errors.  I thought I'd save some money and take a chance with Non-ECC.  Opinions?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2006, 06:27:15 PM by MilesOhToole »

dk70

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2006, 11:33:17 PM »
Do use non-ECC ram, everyone else does. ECC is for servers and critical equipment not desktop computers. If you want to make sure ram is not delivering wrong data then run Memtest86, http://www.memtest.org/ All new ram should be tested with this generic tool, recommended by most memory makers. No matter price you can never be sure ram is not faulty. If errors you simply send ram module back and will get a new. Result will not be questioned. A few things you have to be aware of with ram. Timings, what speed you set it to, must be correct. The voltage you tell motherboard to deliver must be correct. A 100% healthy module can give errors is setup is wrong. This should be done by shop, what you pay - but lets see...  8) Ram can be very picky to set up, the ram I have now only works well with 2.6v. 2.7v and it will fail. If motherboard overvolts a 2.6v setting what works could be 2.55 or 2.5v - even if "wrong". Makers happily say use 2.8! Lots of strange things can happen. With ram it is a very good idea to test properly, as with Memtest86. Give peace in mind. Ram errors are evil and can be hard to diagnose if not aware of this. Works perfect or must be replaced is all you have to go by.

I doubt that upgrade price to Vista. There will be several versions but the prices Ive seen up to now have been way above what you mention.

DirectX 10 eyecandy, games starting to make use of DX10 could make you interested in Vista. Have to buy new video card then, probably as another 1gb of memory too. All are in same boat. Was it not for the DX10 stuff I think Vista will take ages to become popular - most are happy with XP as it is. Windows 98 -> XP really meant something, now it is like you get/pay for something you dont even feel you need  8)  If Vista really becomes so cheap upgrade cycle will be accelerated of course, I want to see price tag in an advertisement before I believe it  8)

thunder7

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2006, 02:37:39 PM »
When Disability killed me off with a mouse click.
Then found out I was not dead (duh!) I had lost everything including my PC so Once they re instated me I spent $950 @ newegg...

  • XCLIO XClio CS528BK Silver/Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case -  XClio CS528BK
  • MSI K8N Neo4-F Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard -
  • XFX Geforce 6200 256MB DDR PCI-Express x16 Video Card -
  • AMD Athlon 64 3500+ ClawHammer/Hammer Integrated into Chip FSB Socket 939 Processor
  • mushkin Value 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model
  • Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 73GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
  • NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3520A - OEM
$950
Since my girlfriend is a PC tech one of her work mates put it together for me. And she bought me a copy of Windows XP Pro

I since bought a 250GB hard drive from newegg $89 (which is not big enough) Need more room...sigh.

f0dder

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2006, 04:58:22 PM »
How much noise does the Raptor make when your room is otherwise quiet? I'm interested in both the (high-pithc?) spinning sound, as well as the head movement noise.
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2006, 02:08:50 AM »
i have a couple of raptor drives: they are as quiet as any other drive if you are talking about spinning - maybe even quieter than the 'silent' samsung spinpoints. i know this because i've deliberately swapped drives in and out of the machine to try and work out where a typically annoying hard drive sound was coming from.

the problem you may find with the raptor is the head movement noise - there is no escaping it. i've got both raptor drives inside noise reducing cases and the head movement noise is still very obvious. it's quite a regular noise - funny that it's stopping doing it whilst i'm typing this.

is it a very loud annoying noise? not really. i really hate hard drive noises, i hate noisy pc's, but the noise the raptors make isn't what i'd call annoying. it's not a high pitched sound so that probably helps.

i read on another forum where someone described the raptors as sounding like machine gun fire from a few miles away. which is quite accurate.

i'd describe it like this: if you image someone drumming there fingers on top of a book, tap, tap, tap, in quick succession - then that's the sound of a raptor - how muted that sound is will just depend on the sound insulation you use in the pc.

if want total silence - forget about raptors. if you can handle a slight tapping background noise then they are okay. i do have the pc at ear level with open grills at the front of the case so this will obviously make the sound more noticeable to me. the 120mm slow moving fans in the case are just as loud as the sound of the raptors really, i.e. not completely silent, but more like an acceptable kind of sound - a low humming sound.

(if you really wanted i suppose i could do an audio recording and post it.)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2006, 08:42:55 AM by nudone »

thunder7

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2006, 07:23:43 AM »
My PC is pretty loud!.
But not from the raptor.
I have 3 fans (Front of case where hard drives are - Side of case - Rear of case).

Then there is my Power Supply fan, My Video Card Fan, CPU fan.

It sounds like a jet ready to take off.

f0dder

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2006, 09:19:21 AM »
Well, the "machine gun sound" should only be when there's read/write activity (which, granted, there will be a lot of the time on a windows box). Those head movement sounds haven't ever really annoyed me, though - so it's the sound (including pitch) of spinning I'm interested in.

My computer is fairly quiet - at least quiet enough I can sleep with it turned on. The only really annoying thing about it is that sometimes there will be a "cyclic" kind of noise, instead of a "constantly shaped" background noise (a bit hard to describe :)). It's because of resonance, and pressing a bit against the side of the box for a few seconds usually stops it. I need a 50kg steel case, I think :)
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2006, 11:01:16 AM »
well, i'm pretty sure the raptor is quiet when it comes to spinning (mine are in cases, so i can't say what they sound like out in the open).

OldElmerFudd

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2006, 09:03:53 PM »
Hmmm...

Lots of good ideas. I've built and re-built 9 machines in the last five years. They're all in service, working fine. Five are shared more or less by Bite-sized trouble and I, and the others are virtually networked to my primary box.

I've used Newegg and Mwave, (even Tiger Direct once or twice), so the links from tinyvillager are nice to see. I agree that Dell is flexible in configuring to a customer's wishes, but their reliability is suspect, IMHO. Worse is HP; their machines are so proprietary as to be nearly impossible to alter. (They rivet drives in place!)

Unless you need to live on the bleeding edge of tech, I've found that it's easier to build solid, robust boxes using components that have been out long enough to get thorughly discussed in their respective forums. I also wait for the inevitable price drop!  :Thmbsup:

Frankly, I've learned everything by trying. We was all newbies once, after all...
After I overcame the terror the first time I cracked open a case, it was Wahoo! from there.
OEF
 :Thmbsup:
Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath and knows where you live.

MilesOhToole

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #61 on: October 14, 2006, 07:13:35 PM »
OK, fellas.  I've got my order in.  Some slight changes from the above setup, though.  I decided to go with the 250GB HD and the 9-in-1 card reader.  Total, on-site, came to $794.94 plus $209.99 for the monitor. 

That brings the total to $1004.93 (minus $50.00 monitor rebate comes to $954.93).  Now, the best news of all...my "employee" discount brought the total down to $699.00 for the PC and $190.00 for the monitor=$889.00.  Take another $50.00 back with the monitor rebate and it comes to $839.00.

Considering no charge for shipping, the company saved me over $116.00.  Now I'm having buyers-remorse...wishing I had poured more money into a better video card or more RAM  :D

Thanks again, guys.  You're all exceptionally courteous in sharing your expertise and wisdom.  I truly appreciate the input.

 :Thmbsup:

dk70

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2006, 09:15:06 PM »
Will be nice Im sure. Many times faster than current 500mhz Dell thats for sure.

Well should you start to get picky with eyecandy demands in the latest games, want monster dual core cpu etc. the good thing is you most likely did a good deal with not much effort, tears or sweat. And computer is easy to upgrade with faster video card and more ram. Best if ram is of same brand/type/model as the one already installed but should be minor problem.

Hard to buy perfect configuration when not sure of needs. May be gaming will bore you? Good you didnt spend too much then  8) Just about adequate for games and perfect for other tasks might be what you want.

MilesOhToole

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2006, 09:58:25 PM »
Will be nice Im sure. Many times faster than current 500mhz Dell thats for sure.

That'll be an understatement.  I'm a kid of a pilot...with flying in my blood.  My dad is a WWII vet, who worked on C-47's and B-24's with the 5th AAF in the Pacific.  I grew up flying his Piper Cherokee since the age of 8 (no take-offs or landings, of course).  I've been hooked on Falcon 4, FS 98, CFS and B-17 The Mighty Eighth.  My next purchase will be either a new joystick or Flight Simulator X.  I can't wait!!!   8)

Well should you start to get picky with eyecandy demands in the latest games, want monster dual core cpu etc. the good thing is you most likely did a good deal with not much effort, tears or sweat.

Couldn't have done it without you.  I submitted this query to a number of different forums, but this site is the only one that was actually helpful.  Funny that I'm also involved in political debates on certain other (unnamed) sites, and unaware that something seemingly cut-and-dry would cause such diversity in opinion.  It's peaked my interest, already.

And computer is easy to upgrade with faster video card and more ram. Best if ram is of same brand/type/model as the one already installed but should be minor problem.

Hard to buy perfect configuration when not sure of needs. May be gaming will bore you? Good you didnt spend too much then  8) Just about adequate for games and perfect for other tasks might be what you want.

Welcome me to the 21st Century.  It's about time, I guess  :graduate:

dk70, thanks again.

f0dder

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2006, 06:55:23 AM »
Couldn't have done it without you.  I submitted this query to a number of different forums, but this site is the only one that was actually helpful.  Funny that I'm also involved in political debates on certain other (unnamed) sites, and unaware that something seemingly cut-and-dry would cause such diversity in opinion.  It's peaked my interest, already.

Hardware is almost a religion - you will find very biased AMD or intel, NVidia or ATI, fanboys that simply haven't realized "pick the best bang for the buck", but will instead defend "their" hardware religiously...

Fantastic that it went so smooth here, DC is a fantastic place :)
- carpe noctem

f0dder

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2006, 05:30:52 PM »
Okay, I take back my kinds words for Dell.

The boxes I've had so far from them didn't really have any extra fluff on them, and worked great. The most recent box I got for the museum though, while working great, had an insane amount of trial crap installed; corel paint shop pro, roxio software, mcafee antivirus suite and whatnot. And darn it was quirky getting rid of mcafee!

I think I'll go as far as installing a clean XP Pro on it, just hope the included license key will work for a non-dell CD...

(and yes, this was a business line box, not a home-user one).
- carpe noctem

dk70

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2006, 06:20:08 PM »

f0dder

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #67 on: October 18, 2006, 06:30:46 PM »
Interesting, thanks for the link dk70! - bookmarked.

I still think I'd prefer doing a *clean* install, to make absolutely sure every bloody last trace of all that crapware is gone :)
- carpe noctem

JavaJones

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #68 on: October 18, 2006, 09:09:48 PM »
Woah, nice find dk!!! You get creds for that one. :D

F0dder, I'm glad you finally see the light. ;) Although sad to see it confirmed once again that this is how Dell is addressing its bottom line. :( I wonder how much they really make from these bundles...

- Oshyan

f0dder

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Re: Buying New PC. Suggestions?
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2006, 04:55:14 PM »
F0dder, I'm glad you finally see the light. ;) Although sad to see it confirmed once again that this is how Dell is addressing its bottom line. :( I wonder how much they really make from these bundles...
Weird though - I've bought five or so other computers through them, and all those were pretty clean :(
- carpe noctem