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View Full Version : Buying a gaming beast...cont



Bigb88
15-07-2004, 06:05 PM
Thanx for all the suggestions guys, unfortunately i didn't quite get to read them all before i shot off and being quite an impulsive buyer got this system:

AMD Athlon64 3200+ 754Pin
1GB DDR-400 Dual-channel
DVD Writer/RW
2x seagate 80GB HDD 7200rpm Serial ATA (RAID 0)
Cooler master tower
Thermaltake 480 power sup.
ASUS X800XT Card
19" Phillips 109b5 CRT
Logitech K/board
Logitech MX-500 Op Mouse

Total cost: $3,880.00

I'm relatively new to the gaming scene and don't quite have the experience or nerve to build my own yet, maybe in a couple years...system will be ready to pick up tomorrow and i'll get Farcry and BFV and probably won't sleep for the next 48 hours :-)

I'm glad i found this forum though, i only wish i had found it a little bit earlier or could have waited a bit longer before buying, but you know what it's like.

Again, thanx heaps.

Bigb

Growly
15-07-2004, 06:18 PM
>Total cost: $3,880.00

DAMN!!! (Uh, i mean, oh blast...)

That looks like a helluva setup you got there - but if you ain't building it, who is? (Apologies if this was covered in other post, much to lazy to read it)

>probably won't sleep for the next 48 hours

I'd say more like next three weeks....

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 06:30 PM
DTC Systems in Dominion road

Pete O\'Neil
15-07-2004, 06:32 PM
Now thats a good system that thing will kick ass for a long time to come. Well done you made some good choices. What brand of RAM & DVD-RW is that?

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 06:55 PM
Liteon...i've never heard of it b4

Pete O\'Neil
15-07-2004, 06:59 PM
Lite-On is good, one of the best actually. What about the RAM? Let me guess i bet it is Twinmos.

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 06:59 PM
the ram is TwinMOS, not sure if this was the brand but only have the spec sheet tonight

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 07:06 PM
You seem to be a fountain of knowledge Mr O'Neil...someone mentioned the athlon64 3500+ would be better and better for upgrades in the future, what do you think?

kiki
15-07-2004, 07:09 PM
Oh my, cancel your order - now!

> AMD Athlon64 3200+ 754Pin

You should be looking at a Socket 939 chip with motherboard to match preferably Asus with that amount of money. You are effectively paying for something that will be non-upgradable in the near future.

> ASUS X800XT Card

Should be pretty good but who knows how long AGP will be around for now.

> 2x seagate 80GB HDD 7200rpm Serial ATA (RAID 0)

According to Anandtech Raid-0 is useless for desktops and offers no performance increase, just greater risk of losing your data. So at the moment you should put that into either Raid-1 for redunancy and good backup, or use as two separate drives.

> DVD Writer/RW

Well I hope you got a good brand here. Dual layer? Not every DVD writer is good.

> 1GB DDR-400 Dual-channel

Again I hope you got a reliable brand of RAM. At least CAS2 or better at that speed.

> 19" Phillips 109b5 CRT

Might be ok, but...

> Total cost: $3,880.00

At that cost I'd be expecting an LCD screen. You got ripped off.

Lohsing
15-07-2004, 07:17 PM
> At that cost I'd be expecting an LCD screen. You got
> ripped off.

Ouch... tell us what you really think... ;)

Kiki makes some very good points though. I would've gone out and looked around before buying anything... quotes, quotes and MORE quotes...

Lo.

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 07:46 PM
I'd had about 4 of 5 different quotes from TLS, Computer direct, JDI, Ultra and even from a friend of mine that works at acer which was at cost...and this quote from DTC surpassed them all...

I have done as much research as i know how and have based this system on what other people (and advice from PC World) have told me. I'm quite happy with what i see on the spec sheet, yeah maybe i could have done better by building a system myself or spending weeks finding the right combination but all i wanna do is play games damit...

Cheers anyway Pete O'neil

kiki
15-07-2004, 07:56 PM
Well you seem content flushing $1500 down the toilet, we shall leave you alone to your madness. ;)

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
15-07-2004, 08:13 PM
> Well you seem content flushing $1500 down the toilet,
> we shall leave you alone to your madness. ;)

I shall agree. While the computer may be great, it seems you have flushed alot of money down the drain. It doesn't look very upgradable and future-proof...:8}

Pete O\'Neil
15-07-2004, 08:14 PM
> Oh my, cancel your order - now!
>
> > AMD Athlon64 3200+ 754Pin
>
> You should be looking at a Socket 939 chip with
> motherboard to match preferably Asus with that amount
> of money. You are effectively paying for something
> that will be non-upgradable in the near future.
>
> > ASUS X800XT Card
>
> Should be pretty good but who knows how long AGP will
> be around for now.
>
> > 2x seagate 80GB HDD 7200rpm Serial ATA (RAID 0)
>
> According to Anandtech Raid-0 is useless for desktops
> and offers no performance increase, just greater risk
> of losing your data. So at the moment you should put
> that into either Raid-1 for redunancy and good
> backup, or use as two separate drives.
>
> > DVD Writer/RW
>
> Well I hope you got a good brand here. Dual layer?
> Not every DVD writer is good.
>
> > 1GB DDR-400 Dual-channel
>
> Again I hope you got a reliable brand of RAM. At
> least CAS2 or better at that speed.
>
> > 19" Phillips 109b5 CRT
>
> Might be ok, but...
>
> > Total cost: $3,880.00
>
> At that cost I'd be expecting an LCD screen. You got
> ripped off.


Oh God where do i start, somebody is showing their ignorance. Theres nothing wrong with Skt 754 its going to be around for a long time and AMD will continue to provide updates. Skt 939 does offer some benefits, namely dual channel memory, but unless your a benchmark whore you wont notice it.

I'd have to disagree with the Anandtech article i've got 2 120Gb PATA Seagate Barracudas in RAID and in games such as BFV and UT2k4 my load times are nearly half, you'll find many other websites on the net that agree with me. I have read the Anandtech article when it first came out and they make some good points but, in the real world there is a preformance increase especially in games and multimedia. Anyway most motherboard have onboard RAID so you may aswelll make use of it, the cost of 2 80Gb is that much more than the cost of a 160Gb and you get added preformance. Lite-On is a good brand, Dual Layer is the way of the future and if you havent already handed over the cash you might want to consider changing it to a dual layer drive. No real problem if you dont as single layer DVD still offer heaps of space and are compatiable with lots of players. Just remember you'll pay a premium for the latest hardware.

Technically you dont have dual channel ram, what you have is a dual channel kit that is guaranteed to work in dual channel mode in motherboards that support it. This isnt a big problem and it has been shown that the Athlon doesnt really benefit all the much from dual channel memory. Twinmos ram doesnt have the tightest of timings, but then again you probably dont have any idea what timings are. There not overly important but tight timings do make a system feel snappier. Athlon unlike P4's do benefit from tight timings, so it might be worth considering some RAM with tight timings. Unfortunatly RAM with tight timings isnt cheap, if your interested in some ram with tight timings have at look some OCZ or Geil ram, in terms of quality they wipe the floor with Twinmos.

I've got a Philip 107S on my spare system and its a awsome monitor, Philips make some of the best CRT's avaliable in NZ. Of course you can spend shitload on Sony etc but sometime you have to know when to say enoughs enough. Are you sure thats the right model number cause im having trouble finding it on the Philips site. Any how its on the acsent site, and from their specs it sounds like a very nice monitor. Good choice

AGP is going to be around for ages, and i mean ages. Benchmarks have shown that PCIe offers no preformance increase over AGP. Plus both ATI and Nvidia use bridge chips to converter their AGP cards to PCIe, there are no true native PCIe cards on the market. These bridge chips negatively effect preformance.

I dont think you got ripped off the graphics card will be contributing over $1000 worth perhaps consider down sizing to a X800pro and using the money you save to get better ram?

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 08:21 PM
so if i changed to the "Socket 939 chip with motherboard " would this cost me less....where can i make these savings exactly?

Pete O\'Neil
15-07-2004, 08:26 PM
> so if i changed to the "Socket 939 chip with
> motherboard " would this cost me less....where can i
> make these savings exactly?


Nah that will cost you more. If you want to make savings change the video card to a X800Pro as opposed to the X800XT. What motherboard does that system come with? Does that price include Windows?

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 08:41 PM
So if i stayed with the X800XT, what RAM would you suggest i get pete?
I'm not really worried about the overall cost, how much more would better RAM cost me?

kiki
15-07-2004, 08:57 PM
> Oh God where do i start, somebody is showing their ignorance. Theres nothing wrong with Skt 754 its going to be around for a long time and AMD will continue to provide updates. Skt 939 does offer some benefits, namely dual channel memory, but unless your a benchmark whore you wont notice it.

Indeed you are. The advantage with the Socket 939 is you can put a combination of chips in it, ie. if you wanted to upgrade later you could put an FX-55 in it or similiar as a good upgrade. Socket 939 does seem to be their new flagship socket that they will support more than the older one. While there isn't many good motherboards out for it yet, they will get better with time and eventually you will see a good speed difference.

With the amount of money he's spending, he should be expecting a top end system that performs at that level. At present he has wasted a lot of money for lower performance.

> I'd have to disagree with the Anandtech article i've got 2 120Gb PATA Seagate Barracudas in RAID and in games such as BFV and UT2k4 my load times are nearly half, you'll find many other websites on the net that agree with me. I have read the Anandtech article when it first came out and they make some good points but, in the real world there is a preformance increase especially in games and multimedia. Anyway most motherboard have onboard RAID so you may aswelll make use of it, the cost of 2 80Gb is that much more than the cost of a 160Gb and you get added preformance.

Well you can disagree with it if you want. I'm sure the people at Anandtech have many more years of experience in the IT industry than you. If it was me I would definitely get a Raid0+1 setup. I can't imagine how much it would suck having 160Gb disappear on you. I've lost 120Gb when my drive died and yes it is a pain in the neck to lose that much data. Fortunately I could afford some data recovery. Presently he's probably got himself two 80Gb drives with 2mb of cache which was a complete waste of time with probably no "preformance" benefits over a single drive with 8mb of cache. If you are going to go Raid-0, at least do it right!

> Lite-On is a good brand, Dual Layer is the way of the future and if you havent already handed over the cash you might want to consider changing it to a dual layer drive. No real problem if you dont as single layer DVD still offer heaps of space and are compatiable with lots of players. Just remember you'll pay a premium for the latest hardware.

Yes, get a dual layer Liteon then you'll be able to make backups of those 2x80Gb drives which could fail at any minute. :^O

> Twinmos ram doesnt have the tightest of timings, but then again you probably dont have any idea what timings are. There not overly important but tight timings do make a system feel snappier. Athlon unlike P4's do benefit from tight timings, so it might be worth considering some RAM with tight timings. Unfortunatly RAM with tight timings isnt cheap, if your interested in some ram with tight timings have at look some OCZ or Geil ram, in terms of quality they wipe the floor with Twinmos.

Well yes he should change his RAM. Why pay for a Gb of RAM with slow timings? It defeats the purpose of this "high-end" system he is trying to build.

> I've got a Philip 107S on my spare system and its a awsome monitor, Philips make some of the best CRT's avaliable in NZ. Of course you can spend shitload on Sony etc but sometime you have to know when to say enoughs enough. Are you sure thats the right model number cause im having trouble finding it on the Philips site. Any how its on the acsent site, and from their specs it sounds like a very nice monitor. Good choice

They are good. Not as good as a Sony with Apeture grill but would be fine anyway. I was saying with the price he was paying, he could have saved some money on other components and bought an LCD instead if that was his interest. Let's face it, CRTs are just a pain in the neck. Big and bulky, a pain to cart around, take up heaps of desk space and LCDs finally have some decent response times like 10ms. More than enough for gaming. If he has the money, why not. Better than flushing it down the toilet I say.

> AGP is going to be around for ages, and i mean ages. Benchmarks have shown that PCIe offers no preformance increase over AGP. Plus both ATI and Nvidia use bridge chips to converter their AGP cards to PCIe, there are no true native PCIe cards on the market. These bridge chips negatively effect preformance.

Again if you held off a little longer things can only get better. PCI-E is very new, so you can't expect too much at this stage.

> I dont think you got ripped off the graphics card will be contributing over $1000 worth perhaps consider down sizing to a X800pro and using the money you save to get better ram?

Yes the XT PE is the best offering Ati have so far, but you are only getting an XT which not quite as good and is only what, 5-10fps better than a Pro.

Bigb88
15-07-2004, 08:57 PM
Thanx again Pete, i'll probably go with the system that i'm getting built, maybe i will look at getting the RAM upgraded but other than that, and from what you've said, i'm quite happy...

Gotta shoot now, 2am start tomorrow...i'll check back tomorrow and let you know how the system runs BFV and Farcry over the weekend.

Good night all, maybe except KIKI :-), nah just joking, thanx all for your guys input.

michael y
15-07-2004, 08:57 PM
> So if i stayed with the X800XT, what RAM would you
> suggest i get pete?
> I'm not really worried about the overall cost, how
> much more would better RAM cost me?

Corsair, OCZ and Mushkin are very repuitable, any of these will be good. It will cost you a couple hundred more to get these, but it will be worth it if you intend to overclock your system.

> I'm not really worried about the overall cost
If this is the case, I suggest you get 2x WD Raptor 73GB HDD and set it into RAID 0.

Have you thought about getting a Nvidia graphics solution instead? It performs about the same as the ATI and it has more features, check anandtech for more information.


Michael Y

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
15-07-2004, 09:15 PM
> Good night all, maybe except KIKI :-), nah just
> joking, thanx all for your guys input.

I am highly offended by your comment. Right from the start I knew you wouldn't be making the most of your money. The fact that you just ran for DTC and ordered a system, then following the advice of one person wasn't the best idea. DTC is not the best shop around in my books. Kiki has put a lot of time and effort to help and yet, you don't seem to make any reference in appreciation. "nah just joking"? I can't take a joke? Well this is no joke. Why did you target kiki? I must say I agree more with kiki.

Please remember PressF1 is a user-friendly site as stated in the rules. You may want to refer to it seeing as your new.

Sb0h
15-07-2004, 09:20 PM
Guys guys guys.....sure he could have waited a bit longer and got newer this and faster that but we all know that technology doesn't stop and what is hot today is crap tomorrow. So he's got no choice but to buy the system that suits his needs best at the present time.

RAID 0+1: Seriously we all know that RAID 0 should not be used for mission critical data and if it is you should be employing some external backup. RAID 0 + 1 is not much better. OK if one drive fails you can rebuild the data and you're sweet. But if one drive writes faulty data, it is mirrored to the other. So really for the price of an extra two HDD's you are only protecting against one drive failure....not sensible IMHO. Far better to use RAID 0 only for non important data like games (which you can easily reinstall) or video editing (where you still have all source tape/DVD) or music etc. Just don't keep your financial statements on it without a reliable backup.

Realistically, some serious money and a better system could have been made for less money. But as he indicated it was not the right time and not in his interests to attempt a build. So given that he hasn't done too bad at all really, cut him some slack.

Pete O\'Neil
15-07-2004, 09:21 PM
i really cant be bothered debating this tonight, but there is nothing wrong with socket 754, AMD have commited to providing new chips for a long time to come, bar dual channel ram socket 754 has everything else socket 939 has they even use the same chipset. Skt 754 might not get the fastest chips straight away but eventually they will get faster and faster chips.

If moneys not an object then wouldnt RAID 5 be a better optoin Kiki? Or is that beyond your level of thinking. Read one article and then treat it like the bibel. Have you actually ever used RAID?

Last time i checked Philips use the Apeture grill, and at the end of the day CRT are the gamers choice for a screen. LCD's are gettin better but you still cant beat a CRT for gaming. Could you please provide a link to a LCD with response time of 10ms that 17' or bigger and cost under $1000? We're talking about a quality brand aswell not CMV or sum crap brand like that.

You could buy PCIe or you could wait for dual core CPU to arrive. You can wait forever for something to arrive, sometime you just have to bite the bulllet. AGP is going to be around for ages anyway. Perhaps you havent noticed but there arent actually any chipsets that support PCIe for AMD64. Nothings expect for atleast another 3months.

Sb0h
15-07-2004, 09:28 PM
Not what you asked for but the Samsung Syncmaster 172x 17in LCD is fine for gaming and has a response time of 12ms, but it ain't cheap...$1000 last check and a healthy back order queue as well.

Pete O\'Neil
15-07-2004, 09:35 PM
No No Kiki claim LCD's with 10ms response times were avaliable, $1000 ant exactly cheap either.

Sb0h
15-07-2004, 09:40 PM
No definately not cheap, but nice to have the extra space and it's a drop dead sexy screen. :)

kiki
15-07-2004, 10:36 PM
> If moneys not an object then wouldnt RAID 5 be a better optoin Kiki? Or is that beyond your level of thinking. Read one article and then treat it like the bibel. Have you actually ever used RAID?

Meh. Raid1+0 would still be faster. He's a newbie, such logic and expensive equipment would be wasted anyway.

> Last time i checked Philips use the Apeture grill, and at the end of the day CRT are the gamers choice for a screen. LCD's are gettin better but you still cant beat a CRT for gaming. Could you please provide a link to a LCD with response time of 10ms that 17' or bigger and cost under $1000? We're talking about a quality brand aswell not CMV or sum crap brand like that.

Really? Ok well the one he has chosen is not apeture grill (http://www.ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=131782). If you want apeture grill you will have to pay for it (http://www.ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=108293)!

> Last time i checked Philips use the Apeture grill, and at the end of the day CRT are the gamers choice for a screen. LCD's are gettin better but you still cant beat a CRT for gaming. Could you please provide a link to a LCD with response time of 10ms that 17' or bigger and cost under $1000? We're talking about a quality brand aswell not CMV or sum crap brand like that.

I saw it a few months ago on some review site. Though I can't remember if they were combining the rise and fall time for the 10ms. Use google, I can't be bothered looking. Definitely not fiction either.

You seem unable to have a decent discussion, but rather turn the argument into personal attacks right from your first post. Oh well I can't be bothered with people like that. They can go back to school and learn how to spell properly.

robsonde
15-07-2004, 10:58 PM
as other have said............

not the most upgradeable system but it is so kick ass that you wont need to for a good long time anyhow....

have fun with the new toys.

willie_M
15-07-2004, 11:59 PM
>Should be pretty good but who knows how long AGP will be around for now.

All manufacturers stopped producing AGP cards q2:2004....

make way for pci express!

metla
16-07-2004, 12:15 AM
Utter Bollucks,

R2x1
16-07-2004, 02:33 AM
Well Bigb88,
Your new system sounds quite satisfactory to me, and it must have cost the Power companys a bundle already; there has been so much heat generated in this thread that heaters are being turned off all over tehe country. There have certainly been some impassioned posts ! I hope you are happy with it, but remember to allow a little sack time over the weekend. Just an aside, I have yet to see an LCD or plasma monitor that is any use whatsoever for photo matching etc. They may be ok for gaming, and sitting in bright light, but the colour rendition is tragic (to my tired eyes anyway) I got a Sony 19" for that reason, and the fact that these are the only eyes I'll ever get. I surely winced at the price when I bought it, but have never regretted it since.
Have a suitably violent weekend ;)
R2

Pete O\'Neil
16-07-2004, 12:31 PM
> > If moneys not an object then wouldnt RAID 5 be a
> better optoin Kiki? Or is that beyond your level of
> thinking. Read one article and then treat it like the
> bibel. Have you actually ever used RAID?
>
> Meh. Raid1+0 would still be faster. He's a newbie,
> such logic and expensive equipment would be wasted
> anyway.

Could you please explain how RAID 0+1 would out preform RAID 5? RAID 5 uses 4 disk in RAID 0 + 1 Disk for parity. It wouldnt be noticably faster than 0+1 but it would be faster.