Building a PC after 8 years


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Mikal

Mikal

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 39 posts

Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:46 AM

OK the topic says it all. After 8 years relying on off the shelf kit I've decided to start building my own again. My key problem is I'm very out of date and have never before considered AMD CPUs for example.

So can anyone tell me what I should be aiming for and in some detail?

The only reason I'm changing my current box is because it is a Dell with an early dual core CPU (P4 3.06GHz) and the fan noise is terrible - and yes I have attempted to deal with it but the architecture isn't generic enough to solve the problem. The machine is almost unusable during the summer heat without ear plugs. It's a very good box when the ambient temperature is below 22 centigrade.

edited to add the original Dell is a 8250

#2 Praetoris

Praetoris

    Sergeant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 63 posts
  • Location:Kil, Sweden

Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:51 AM

Quote

...I'm very out of date and have never before considered AMD CPUs for example
How ironic that AMD just got beaten by the intel's "Core2 Duo" then :drink:

Anyway, I'd love to help you out but I have a feeling there are others on this forum that could do a way better job at it than I could.

so I'll just leave you with a Good luck for now :drink:

#3 Bomb Bloke

Bomb Bloke

    The Smily Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tasmania (AU)

Posted 12 August 2006 - 10:15 AM

Sounds to me like the only problem is the fan. That means the cheapest solution would be to take the current fan off and replace it with a ducted fan. Even if one won't fit in your current case, it should still be cheaper then changing the motherboard, and a ducted system doesn't have to clip onto the CPU itself - All you need is a heatsink, and one should be attached to your old fan.
BB's X-Com Projects Page - X-Com Games At GamersGate
You're just jealous 'cause the voices only talk to me :P
We love Tammy! :)

#4 Crazy Gringo

Crazy Gringo

    War is hell and war never changes therefore hell never changes

  • Site Staff
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 512 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Albertslund, Denmark

Posted 12 August 2006 - 10:26 AM

Glad to help Mikal.

It is more a question of how much money are you willing to spend and what kind applications will you be using it for....

The intel Core2 Duo is possible contender concerning low power usage (power usage = more noise). The 2.4 Ghz version aka. Core 2 Duo E6600 is reasonibly cheap and has that lovely 2x2MB cache that the E6700 and E6800 got except they are bit pricey compared to the E6600.
Just make absolutely sure that the motherboard can use Core2 processor (975BX chipset needs to be version 4.03 if I recall).

Fans and coolers are an jungle....Go for watercooling if you want quiet or are the mad overclocker from Modheaven

Graphics cards are also a major consideration when building a system.
Nvidia is leading the race with their 7900 and 7950 cards at the moment. Even their 7600 and 7800 might still be a good buy.
But ATI has something on the steps....
To SLI/Crossfire or not that is the question....

At least 2 GB of ram I'll say is required to run things smooth.

At least 160 GB worth of harddrives.

DVD-drive is a must. You can find a SATA DVD-drive with burner from Plextor. IDE controllers are on the way out. (Intel 965 boards doesn't even support floppy drives any more due to they come with the ICH8 controller.)

Sound cards are up to you. There are sound cards build in to most motherboards today. But if you want that rearkicking 750 W Creative Gigaworks setup go for a Creative X-fi card.
Words to live by from Sergent Gunnery Highway: ' You adapt, improvise and overcome!'

'To kill a dream it is not enough to kill the dreamer', -Quote by Crazy Gringo until proven otherwise.

Mental Father of Air Morelman and Air Wargot!

Official StrategyCore UFO: Afterlight previewer. Preview here!

Has joined the league of 'The Crazy 8800s'

#5 Bomb Bloke

Bomb Bloke

    The Smily Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tasmania (AU)

Posted 12 August 2006 - 10:36 AM

:drink:  :drink:  :D  2GB of RAM?!  :kiss:  ;)  :drink:

*wanders around in a daze, bumping into various items*
BB's X-Com Projects Page - X-Com Games At GamersGate
You're just jealous 'cause the voices only talk to me :P
We love Tammy! :)

#6 Slaughter

Slaughter

    Colonel

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,409 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norway, Oslo

Posted 12 August 2006 - 11:00 AM

I have 1 GB RAM on my 3 year old laptop... :drink:


#7 Matri

Matri

    Official Love Nest Mascot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 587 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 August 2006 - 12:39 PM

Here. The Voodoo OMEN. Take a look at the specs. :drink:
"Never be normal!" - Ron Stoppable

MechQuest. Get your mecha RPG fix.
Star Citizen.

#8 Tammy

Tammy

    Her Imperial Majesty

  • Retired Staff
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Location:Alabama, USA

Posted 12 August 2006 - 03:29 PM

Does that say $24000 at the bottom???
Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

#9 Accounting Troll

Accounting Troll

    Bridge troll

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,060 posts
  • Location:Wales

Posted 12 August 2006 - 05:12 PM

But you get a free T-shirt  :drink:

#10 Tammy

Tammy

    Her Imperial Majesty

  • Retired Staff
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Location:Alabama, USA

Posted 12 August 2006 - 07:05 PM

For that kind of money, I want two T-shirts.
Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

#11 Crazy Gringo

Crazy Gringo

    War is hell and war never changes therefore hell never changes

  • Site Staff
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 512 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Albertslund, Denmark

Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:31 PM

To Bomb Bloke: Yes you do need that amount of RAM at least when you are a gamer like me. My workstation at work also has 2 GB RAM which is needed when you fool around with Autodesk and Adobe applications at the same time.
We have managed to bring the PC's to a grind serveral times when they 'only' had 1 GB RAM in them. So after some persuasion we got the boss to get some more RAM (He is that kind of a person that just wants things to work with no fuzz or problems).

The only thing from that beast that I want is the cooling system. Coolit Freezone Cpu Cooler if I not am mistaken which is currently not available here in Denmark.  :drink:
The RAM could be anything....I would prefer some PC2-8000 or PC-2 8500 RAM to go with my future Core 2 Duo processor. It is just a matter find find the correct motherboard....
For 24000 USD I could build 2-3 monster machines.....Including 30 inch screens and your local earthquake maker of a speaker system.

If the package does matter. Then I would suggest this little case.
Aplus Case CS-Twin Engine
2x25 cm case fan goodness....I need one of those..... :drink:
Words to live by from Sergent Gunnery Highway: ' You adapt, improvise and overcome!'

'To kill a dream it is not enough to kill the dreamer', -Quote by Crazy Gringo until proven otherwise.

Mental Father of Air Morelman and Air Wargot!

Official StrategyCore UFO: Afterlight previewer. Preview here!

Has joined the league of 'The Crazy 8800s'

#12 Mikal

Mikal

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 39 posts

Posted 13 August 2006 - 09:57 AM

Thanks for the answers so far peeps, keep 'em coming :drink:

Preatoris - I thought it was about time to consider AMD as well as Intel since I've only ever used Intel even though they've not been totally reliable in their policies and practices.

Bomb Bloke - sadly the case used byDell is a total pain in the rear and does not allow the cooling I wanted to put in it. Furthermore the small amount of upgrading I've done on it to date means the machine is woefully underpowered and how I manage to keep it running at times is beyond my ken. There isn't a more powerful Dell PSU available for this box hence my consideration of an Own Build.

Crazy Gringo - great info. I'm not sure about going down the SLI route for graphics because I don't think I use the machine eneough for games requiring that kind of grunt. This machine has a 6800GT in it since the start of the year and I've been quite impressed. For the new box I'm considering a 7900GT. I use Adobe apps and RAM is a must so I'm aiming at 2GB to start with. The HDD will be 200GB with room for a slave.

Current games in play are Far Cry, Fallout Tactics BoS, Civ4, Hearts fo Iron II, Empire Earth II, both Divine Divinities, and online Realms of Mayhem and Urban Dead. Core apps for me outside of gaming - Adobe Photoshop CS2, MS Publisher, Macromedia Studio (just installed), Extensis Studio suite.

This biggest annoyance about my current PC is how poor it is for upgrading althogh it is well up to spec for most bits I mess about with.

Peeps one thing I am leery about and that's the apparent fact most mothercards come with on board sound. Just how reliable is it when it comes to gaming?

#13 Matri

Matri

    Official Love Nest Mascot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 587 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 August 2006 - 11:26 AM

 Mikal, on 13th August 2006, 5:57pm, said:

Peeps one thing I am leery about and that's the apparent fact most mothercards come with on board sound. Just how reliable is it when it comes to gaming?

I'd trust it to make noises. Beyond that I'm more comfortable ripping it out and installing a genuine Sound Blaster.
"Never be normal!" - Ron Stoppable

MechQuest. Get your mecha RPG fix.
Star Citizen.

#14 Mikal

Mikal

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 39 posts

Posted 13 August 2006 - 11:59 AM

 Matri, on 13th August 2006, 12:26pm, said:

 Mikal, on 13th August 2006, 5:57pm, said:

Peeps one thing I am leery about and that's the apparent fact most mothercards come with on board sound. Just how reliable is it when it comes to gaming?

I'd trust it to make noises. Beyond that I'm more comfortable ripping it out and installing a genuine Sound Blaster.


Yup. The last time I relied on onboard sound was back in the days of Red Storm Rising.

#15 Knan

Knan

    Napalm squaddie

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 556 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:XCOMOSL

Posted 13 August 2006 - 08:27 PM

 Mikal, on 13th August 2006, 11:57am, said:

Peeps one thing I am leery about and that's the apparent fact most mothercards come with on board sound. Just how reliable is it when it comes to gaming?

Reliable? It's crap, but it is working crap.

If you hook your pc up to anything better than 10-euro "computer speakers", you will hear background hiss, and miss out on some low-volume sounds. Don't watch dvds with onboard sound - you will definitely notice a difference when upgrading to ... anything else.

#16 Kernel

Kernel

    Her Majesty's Imperial Guard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:57 AM

To be fair if you get a decent motherboard the onboard sound will be OK but they do use the CPU for some of their calculations and so will slowdown games by a very small fraction.
As other people have said your better off going for something like a Sound Blaster X-Fi. (The one designed for games is called the "Fatal1ty" IIRC (Yes with a 1 and not an i  :drink: ) but it is a little pricy ) The X-Fi does more in hardware and so takes more of the workload off the CPU.
"Any rumors of a military coup by the Imperial Guard are greatly exaggerated."

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....
-- Carl Zwanzig

#17 Mad-PX

Mad-PX

    Squaddie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Europe

Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:10 AM

 Kernel, on 14th August 2006, 12:57pm, said:

To be fair if you get a decent motherboard the onboard sound will be OK but they do use the CPU for some of their calculations and so will slowdown games by a very small fraction.
As other people have said your better off going for something like a Sound Blaster X-Fi. (The one designed for games is called the "Fatal1ty" IIRC (Yes with a 1 and not an i  :drink: ) but it is a little pricy ) The X-Fi does more in hardware and so takes more of the workload off the CPU.
Actually - but I'm not really up to date regarding this matter - I heard that the X-Fi is a big troublemaker and might even slow down the PC under some circumstances. Don't get me wrong, I love the genuine SB stuff, but I have also experienced some pretty nasty performance issues with quite a few of them, including, but not limited to the SB Live! Player 1024 under Windows XP (interestingly it works fine unter 98....  :drink: ). So, I guess, all I want to say is, be careful with the choice of your soundcard... :drink:

#18 Kernel

Kernel

    Her Majesty's Imperial Guard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Posted 15 August 2006 - 11:43 AM

I've got the X-Fi Fatal1ty and I've had no problems with it. The only problems I've heard of are if people don't connect up both power leads to the card and the drive bay box. It causes games to crash, sound to stutter etc.
Much like modern GFX cards the X-Fi is a power hungry beast.

When you build your PC make sure your power supply is rated for at least 450 watts and make sure it's a decent one from a good manufacture like Antek, Thermaltake, etc. Don't go for some unknown, unnamed brand even if it does say 450 watts.
"Any rumors of a military coup by the Imperial Guard are greatly exaggerated."

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....
-- Carl Zwanzig

#19 Bomb Bloke

Bomb Bloke

    The Smily Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tasmania (AU)

Posted 16 August 2006 - 09:32 AM

On board sound is useless for recording purposes. Sure, it'll work, but so will a tape recorder. There's a huge quality hit.

My favourite sound card is my ISA SoundBlaster 16.
BB's X-Com Projects Page - X-Com Games At GamersGate
You're just jealous 'cause the voices only talk to me :P
We love Tammy! :)




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users