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Last post Author Topic: new PC options:-  (Read 15426 times)

tomos

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new PC options:-
« on: August 01, 2007, 04:38:10 AM »
hi y'all!
I'm planning on getting a new computer from a site where you choose a computer & can then configure your requirements from a fairly limited choice..
[I've been keeping an eye on jammo's thread about building a PC & picked up a few tips there already]
There's a few optons I'm not sure about.. relevant & possibly irrelevant specifications at the end - it's a bit uneven so if you wantmore info i try find out - sometimes the site isn't that clear with info etc.

a) I've been looking at a flatscreen monitor with D-Sub & DVI connections.
The Graphics card below has "DVI dual link: 2"
I have no idea but presume thats directly accessible for the monitor - or does that connection have to be routed through the mainboard somehow?

b) Was wondering with mobo #3 (from newegg comments-No DVI output or Component output but the HDMI should be enough") would it be helpful in any way for simply desktop/graphics use as opposed to multimedia - or would it just be recommended for multimedia/TV etc.

c) I was thinking of possibly getting it with no hard drives & adding two myself - I'd have more control & probably get better value for mah money that way but I'm afraid of "technical difficulties" - could anyone rate that, keeping in mind all I've ever done inside a computer is to change a DVD burner - that was scary enough but nice when it worked!

GRAPHIC CARD
256MB ATI Radeon HD 2400XT
   * DVI dual link: 2
   * Video-out
   * TV-out
   * HDTV 720p/1080i
   * HDTV / /720p/1080p
   * HDCP
   * Cooling: Passiv
   * Format: PCI-E x16
   * Energy: 50Watt
MOTHERBOARDs
1) Gigabyte MA69VM-S2
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16813128043
Customer comments: (reasonably good reviews)
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16813128043
- Only downside is that the ATI RAID 1 runs slower than others, its based on Promise.
Other Possible Motherboards:-
2) MSI K9N4 UltraF (Nforce500 Ultra Chipsatz)
http://www.newegg.co...=MSI%2bK9N4%2bUltraF
Customer comments: (very mixed reviews)
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16813130063
- i got this and a AMD x2 3800+ 2.2 g CPU with 1gb of ram and a msi nx7600gs 512mb video card. there is pretty much NO SOUND from my case
- Cons: no Video Output.
- Great chip, runs cool and great for entry into the Am2 socket
- poor cooling on chipset.  :D
3) MSI K9AGM2-FIH (AMD 690V/HDMI Chipsatz) (additional 20€ charge)
*  Back Panel I/O Ports include:
- 1 x HDMI port
- 1 x Graphics Card port
think this from newegg the same:-
MSI K9AGM2-FIH Socket AM2 AMD 690G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16813130091
Customer comments: (generally good reviews)
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16813130091
- This is a good board for those looking for a HTPC board with firewire. No DVI output or Component output but the HDMI should be enough.
- Spend a few bucks to replace the noisy cooling fans came with the case, then you are all set with your HTPC

any opinions greatly appreciated - thanks,
tom
Tom
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 04:39:41 AM by tomos »

f0dder

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 06:23:14 AM »
a) there's basically two versions of DVI, single- and dual-link. You need dual-link if you want to run insane resolutions. Two outputs are normal for any recent graphics cards. Also, if you only have analog monitors (regular VGA/D-SUB), don't despair, cheap dvi->vga exist, and most cards today come with at least one.

b) hm, onboard graphics that comes with HDMI? fancy. I have no experience with HDMI, so can't really comment on that... but as long as you can connect your monitor to it, you should be just fine :)

c) as long as you get the right type of harddrive (IDE vs. SATA), it's really a no-brainer... it's just about impossible to mount harddrives wrong. For IDE drives you'll have to worry about MASTER/SLAVE jumper setting, for SATA drives there's no such thing, making it even simpler.

Personally I'd go with an nvidia based card instead of ATi, I've had bad experience with ATi drivers... I'm currently running a passively cooled GF7600, and it works just fine.

Since you're getting a discrete graphics card, don't worry about onboard graphics for the motherboard... I'd go without, personally (although it could come in handy if your graphics card blows up).

Any reason you're going for AMD64 instead of core2duo? price? :) . Anyway, if you do go for AMD64, be sure to get a motherboard with socket AM2.
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 07:30:51 AM »
Any reason you're going for AMD64 instead of core2duo? price? :) . Anyway, if you do go for AMD64, be sure to get a motherboard with socket AM2.
thanks f0dder!
yeah,
the mobos are all with sata & with socket AM2.
The AMD64 computers are a good bit cheaper!

Quote
Personally I'd go with an nvidia based card instead of ATi, I've had bad experience with ATi drivers... I'm currently running a passively cooled GF7600, and it works just fine.
re nvidia, they are only offering:
512MB Nvidia Geforce 8500GT (Geräuschlose Kühlung) PCI-E, which is i think a lot more than I need -
I was even considering just getting 256MB ATI Radeon X1250 Onboard with the basic motherboard..
They offer the ATI onboard with the basic (#1) or the HDMI motherboard (#3 above)

Quote
(although it could come in handy if your graphics card blows up).
:tellme: :D

a) there's basically two versions of DVI, single- and dual-link. You need dual-link if you want to run insane resolutions. Two outputs are normal for any recent graphics cards. Also, if you only have analog monitors (regular VGA/D-SUB), don't despair, cheap dvi->vga exist, and most cards today come with at least one.
monitor i was interested in has DVI-D (dual link) - reviews say picture better with the DVI connection -
Graphics card site says:
Two integrated DVI display outputs
* Primary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions
up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)1
a pdf comparing their cards says
"supports DVI-I to HDMI adapter" [I need a scratch my head smiley here]
not fully clear will they connect...but I'm not overly worried about it either way

As I say though I'm not even sure about graphics card..
if DVI connection didnt work out I might just go with the onboard graphics option....
Contacting AMD as I write (they have a very sluggish website  :D) for more details
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 07:40:59 AM »
Quote from: tomos
The AMD64 computers are a good bit cheaper!
I do wonder, really... I haven't checked up on performance reviews for quite a while, but the low-end core2duo are pretty cheap now. You should decide how much you want to pay for a CPU, then find & compare benchmarks between similarly priced core2duo and AMD64x2... obviously comparing gigahertz won't do it.

Quote from: tomos
re nvidia, they are only offering: 512MB Nvidia Geforce 8500GT (Geräuschlose Kühlung) PCI-E, which is i think a lot more than I need
Oh, shop has very limited choices? And you can't shop somewhere else?

If you don't need gaming at all, onboard graphics will work just fine for you. But if you do any kind of gaming that uses 3D graphics, onboard solutions tend to be too slow.

Quote from: tomos
reviews say picture better with the DVI connection
Haven't really been able to tell with my TFTs in 1280x1024@60Hz... but I suspect it might matter for larger displays, especially with higher refresh rates.

Afaik the whole HDMI thing is more about being able to play copy-protected content, but again - haven't really looked into it.
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 08:38:56 AM »
well, I think I'll stay with this shop cause they're the cheapest I've seen & seem to use fairly good parts.

The intel one is €70 more expensive for equivalent (except FWIW intel is 2x2.0mhz, AMD is 2x2.3)
I've been chugging away on less than half that for years so think I'll be happy with AMD

so think I'll go like this

Prozessor: AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual-Core-Prozessor 4400+ (2x 2.3Ghz) AM2
Arbeitsspeicher: 2048 MB (2x 1024MB) Dual-Channel-DDR2-Speicher mit 800Mhz (PC6400)
Festplatte: 320GB SATA-II 7.200U/Min 16MB Cache
Grafikkarte: 256MB ATI Radeon X1250 Onboard
Laufwerke: 18x DVD-R/+R/RW Duall.Brenner
Mainboard: K9AGM2-FIH (AMD 690V/HDMI) _could well go for basic one_would be minus €20
Gehäuse: Midi-Tower Blacktower Black
Netzteil: 550W Netzteil LC-Power Silent
Diskettenlaufwerk / Card-Reader: 7in1 Card-Reader mit Diskettenlaufwerk Kombo
Zubehoer: 56k PCI Modem V.92
Servicepaket: 3-Jahre Gewährleistung - 48Std. Pick UP & Return Service
for €507 (+ delivery)
add  65 for a second 320GB drive, I have a copy of XP, a good DVD burner which I could add as well
€580 roughly - I think it's okay
It's from http://www.neobuy.de based on their €299PC - if anyone has any better suggestions I'm all ears :D
Tom

f0dder

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 06:21:59 PM »
Quote from: tomos
I've been chugging away on less than half that for years so think I'll be happy with AMD
A big advantage with intel is that you can get a motherboard with intel chipset... imho those are generally better than what you get for AMD platforms, especially now intel has introduced their "raid matrix" sytem :-*

I currently have a Socket-939 AMD64x2 4400+ system, which is pretty sweet - but I'd definitely go for a core2duo system if I were to purchase something new now. Then again, what will you be using the system for? Doesn't sound like too bad a system :)
- carpe noctem

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007, 07:15:51 PM »
Let us see... if you're going to do some 3D gaming, you'll run into problems with that on-board video chip. For gaming, a good discrete graphics card is what you need, unless you plan to play old games or games with low requirements. In those cases you don't need one. Like f0dder says, an overview of the system future usage will be good.

Also, be sure to have that case well cooled if you plan to go with the on-board video. I heard they heat quite a bit if you stress them.

Could you give us some insight over that PSU? 550W may be overkill for your system, although that's not my main concern but the quality of the components housed inside it. What's the price?

With AMD you get a good system for that price. Despite that speed difference, Core 2 Duo architecture tends to bring higher performance than higher speed Athlons. That said, with that 70 € tag, you're better with the AMD, it's not likely you're going to perceive any difference, unless you overclock, of course.

What's that burner you have in the budget? And one final thing: if your HDD is a Seagate, be sure to remove a little jumper that comes in the far right side, to avoid limiting the bandwidth available for the hard drive to 150 MB/s (not that you're going to fill all that...). The little one is a bitch, so don't give up easily. I think that's all...

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 03:15:08 AM »
thanks lashiec
no, I grew up hanging out in video arcades playing asteroids & spaceinvaders (you can even play it here) -
that dates me I guess (do they still exist even, great games!) but I never got into computer gaming so no worries there..

I do a lot of photo editing also work with high resolution A4/A3 scans (very big file size) - still using old (5.5) photoshop which doesnt need lots of resources but I may upgrade at some stage. Then I use Freehand for vector drawing, again it's very easy on resources. Of course I often have Firefox open with sixty or so tabs open as well  :P

Quote from: Lashiec
Also, be sure to have that case well cooled if you plan to go with the on-board video. I heard they heat quite a bit if you stress them.
considering getting new fans anyway (want reasonable quiet), but will probably have a look inside first & see what the manual or website for mobo says about it
EDIT - if going for onboard video, do you think is it possible (in general) to later upgrade to a card?

Quote from: Lashiec
Could you give us some insight over that PSU? 550W may be overkill for your system, although that's not my main concern but the quality of the components housed inside it. What's the price?
unfortunately they dont give any more details about the PSU
even price I cant say -
they offer various machines for set prices & you can then "configure" them / upgrade parts
The basic AMD dualcore €299 PC comes with "500W Powerline Silent"
which you can upgrade to "550W LC-Power Silent" for €20  :-\
EDIT- strange,
the €399 PC (similar but with graphics card) comes with a "430Watt Powerline Silent" ...
Tom
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007, 04:45:43 AM by tomos »

f0dder

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2007, 04:44:20 AM »
Well, with that usage on-board graphics should be just fine :)

I wouldn't be very comfortable about a shop that doesn't mention which brand the powersupply is, though. It might be 500W or 550W, but if it can't deliver stable voltages when under load, you're going to have an unstable system. Also, if it's not energy efficient, you risk getting a higher power bill if you have the system on a lot.

Does the shop offer some picture of the casing? Especially inside pictures. It's important that the PSU isn't going to be located right above the motherboard, as with some smaller cases.
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2007, 04:56:14 AM »
What's that burner you have in the budget? And one final thing: if your HDD is a Seagate, be sure to remove a little jumper that comes in the far right side, to avoid limiting the bandwidth available for the hard drive to 150 MB/s (not that you're going to fill all that...). The little one is a bitch, so don't give up easily. I think that's all...
forgot these:
burner is LG, dont know model, they're only charging €20 less if you dont get it - so it cant be that great, but I have a Plextor 716A which I'll probably add to machine so I might even just get a basic DVD drive.
Drives are Samsung or Maxtor so no worries there again  8)
I've heard/read Samsung good & quiet which why I was thinking buying drives & adding them myself. Also was thinking of 2 x 320GB (and maybe even add another later) & they dont offer that option (they do offer 2 x 250 but not for good value)
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2007, 05:11:03 AM »
Maxtor drives = a lot of heat - be sure to get two 120mm case fans and have intake right in front of the harddrives if you're going with maxtor. Dunno about samsung, never really used those myself... I'm buying western-digital from now on, they seem to be faster and run a lot cooler than the maxtors I've had.
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2007, 05:20:29 AM »
I wouldn't be very comfortable about a shop that doesn't mention which brand the powersupply is, though. It might be 500W or 550W, but if it can't deliver stable voltages when under load, you're going to have an unstable system. Also, if it's not energy efficient, you risk getting a higher power bill if you have the system on a lot.

Does the shop offer some picture of the casing? Especially inside pictures. It's important that the PSU isn't going to be located right above the motherboard, as with some smaller cases.

I'll contact them about - they give loads of details for some things but not that
No internal pics but it is a "midi-tower" case so I would hope they dont cramp it too much

Hmm, if Maxtor are that hot maybe I'll just go ahead & get the drives myself, least I'll know what I'm getting then - Samsung are supposed to run reasonable cool. 8)
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2007, 05:38:11 AM »
just having a quick look -
the LC-Power 550W gets a very good review here (in german though)
says very stable, very quiet, doesnt talk about power consumption though (not in a language [computer/german?] that I understand at any rate)
Seems like maybe the better choice - if the other ones are listed as no-name they're hardly likely to be as good
Tom
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007, 05:41:57 AM by tomos »

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2007, 06:02:33 AM »
Just a quick comment, make sure the PSU power rating is AMD approved, is suitable for the mobo type and fit the case. I can't read German so maybe it's all in the link you've provided.

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2007, 12:47:03 PM »
Just a quick comment, make sure the PSU power rating is AMD approved, is suitable for the mobo type and fit the case. I can't read German so maybe it's all in the link you've provided.
I'll check that out Phil
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2007, 06:53:00 PM »
Try to get as much input on that PSU as possible. Most sites are content to say "yeah, very stable, very quiet" but that's only VERY subjective appreciations. It needs a thorough test using special equipment. It's quite strange that a 300 € computer could bring a good 500 W PSU, as the best ones can go over 100 € alone. Unfortunately, it's quite difficult to find a good site with those reviews, and those there doesn't do as many reviews as they should... :(. I'm saying this because a PSU is quite important for a system to perform as it should, and to get as much life as possible of those components used in the PC.

LG... OK. They're not the best burners, but they're quite good anyway, and if you have a Plextor... :D. Samsung, those HDDs are good, they perform more silent than those manufactured by other brands. It's not that you're going to hear the HDD working anyway. Maxtor... I won't comment those. By the experiences of a couple of friends, I wouldn't buy those HDDs even if they paid me. But that does not have to do something with you opting for another brand. After all, they're owned by Seagate now.

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2007, 07:10:37 PM »
dunno does this speak to you  :-\
mbm5.jpgnew PC options:-
Tom
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 04:03:44 AM by tomos »

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2007, 07:14:22 PM »
also say weaknesses are:
- schwach an +5V und +12V = weak with ...  :-\
- no U/Min Monitor
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2007, 07:44:56 PM »
Ow, I overlooked that :-[. Well, that's a start. I wouldn't trust Motherboard Monitor for offering that kind of information though, as that information is provided by the motherboard's sensor chip, and it's not as exact as measuring it with appropiate equipment. I was meaning something like this showed here. You can view the equipment used in the previous page.

I think the article is talking about the low voltage delivered on the +5V and +12V lines. It's always better to have a bit more power delivered on those lines than to falling short. I don't understand the second point, though.

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2007, 03:59:41 AM »
BIG change of plans

Accidentally found a german forum aimed at people building their own
they recommended a better site for built PCs (alternate.de)

where I came out with this:
CPU Lüfter: Arctic-Cooling Alpine 64

CPU: Sockel AM2 AMD Athlon64 X2 4400+

Floppy-Laufwerke: Teac Diskettenlaufwerk (with card-reader)

Netzteile: Seasonic S12II-380HB (380W)

Gehäuse Midi Tower: Cooler Master Elite RC-330

Modem analog: Devolo MicroLink 56K

DVD-Brenner: SATA Samsung SH-S203B

Gehäuse Lüfter: Arctic-Cooling AF12025 Fan L Box

Mainboards: Sockel AM2 Asus M2A-VM/HDMI

Festplatten: 2 x 3,5 Zoll SATA Samsung HD321KJ (320GB)

Arbeitsspeicher: MDT DIMM 2 GB DDR2-800 Kit
for €635
more expensive but sounds better I think!?
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2007, 04:09:50 AM »
am i reading that right that you have specced out a 380w power supply? that does not sound sufficient to me.

tomos

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2007, 04:22:26 AM »
It was recommended at that forum - I was wondering the same -
(have queried it there but havent got reply yet)

Could go up to 430 - do you think would that be enough
if I add more HDDs (or/ graphic card - unlikely but..) would that need even higher W?
Tom

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2007, 04:43:58 AM »
@tomos

Check out  http://www.buildyourown.org.uk/ and http://www.mysuperpc.com/ for an extensive info and guides on this topic. You should post your specs at the forum (http://www.buildyourown.org.uk/forums/ and http://forums.mysuperpc.com/). My Super PC Web site looks a bit disorganized but has great tutorials (just all the way scroll down for the links)

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2007, 04:45:16 AM »
Personally I would go for 450W minimum these days and if you might want to use more than one graphics card go higher (500W+). If you potentially want to build a system in the future this is one item (and possibly the case too) you might want to overspecify now so that it can still be used in your next system - you'll save money in the long term.

Most PCIe motherboards support more than one graphics card - haven't checked the spec on yours ... if it has an ATI chipset it will probably support Crossfire / nVidia boards support SLI mode. These allow two cards to drive a single monitor - or you can run two monitors side by side.

Does the mobo above have built in graphics? If not have you thought about a graphics card?

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Re: new PC options:-
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2007, 05:06:00 AM »
i am paranoid about a powersupply being underpowered just because it seems like one of those things that could cause mystery problems, it's also one of the harder things to replace once the pc is built so again i'd rather be safe than sorry here.

are you the kind of person who maybe be trying to upgrade this box in a year or two? or are you the kind of person who will not likely be upgrading this computer but instead be building a new one in a few years.  if you are the kind that might upgrade, i'd rather buy a bigger power supply now so you dont have to mess with it when upgrading.  if you're not going to do that, then it doesnt matter as much.

i would think 450 would be minimum.