Building a new machine for a friend

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Cadmus
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Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Cadmus » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

I'm trying to build a machine for a friend, but I'm hitting my usual brick wall of having not looked for 6 months and lost what's happening with graphics cards (and most other hardware)

We have a budget of £500-600 so I'm looking at a Q6700 based machine for gaming. I'm just worried that I've been gone too long (last seriously looked at hardware a year or so ago) and I'm going to make him a lemon if I'm not careful.

As I understand it in this price range I'm not going to have i7 as that's still bleeding edge tech. So I was looking at a Q6700 (PC Gamer recommends it still), but now it comes to graphics cards and I get lost. I know PCIe 2.0 is out, but is it worth it right now or should I stick with 1.1 (looking at a 9800 GT)? Is 500W going to be enough for a machine like this? And finally is it worth sticking with 32-bit Windows or should I make the jump to 64?

Dear xkcd, please pimp my ride help me system build.

So far it's looking like a Q6700, 4GB PC2-8500 RAM, 9800GT, 500GB HD, 500W PSU with Vista Home Premium 32-bit. I don't see much point in giving exact makes and models as it simply confuses everyone :lol:

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Axman
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Axman » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

There have been a few threads with this exact same budget and idea. Suffice it to say many of them have opted to go Phenom II. But right now isn't necessarily a great time to buy--admittedly, ATI graphics are cheap cheap cheap and pulling NVIDIA prices down right behind them--given that DirectX 11 is due in a few weeks with the accompanying hardware, you might just want to wait.

If you can't, though, seriously, at least consider Phenom II/ ATI HD 4800 for better prices, performance, and DX10.1 compared to Core 2 and NVIDIA 9800.

Lastly, your video card pick is pretty limp nowadays. At least go 9800 GTX+/ GTS 250/ GTX 260-216 (or HD 4850, 70, or 90).

Oh, and 4+GB of memory is wasted with 32-bit operating systems.

Cadmus
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Cadmus » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

I see what you mean about the Phenoms being cheaper, the X4 9950 seems to be at a price sweet-spot right now, combined with a solid 4850 (seems to cope with heat better).
It turns out 64-bit Vista is cheaper than 32-bit, what sort of devices have caused problems for people? And I'm still unsure on 500W, but I seem to remember only SLI/Crossfire or a huge card drain more than that will give.

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kernelpanic
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby kernelpanic » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:21 am UTC

I think you are forgetting the MB and case. Just a note of caution, in my experience Intel MBs are very good while they last, which is 6-10 months. I'd go for GIGABYTE, ASUS or NVIDIA [They still make motherboards, right?].
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Pinky's Brain
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Pinky's Brain » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:57 am UTC

I haven't really had any bother with 64 bit, with 32 bit you end up wasting a GB of memory. One could say you don't really need it, but the same goes for quad core. A q9950 is only a little more expensive than the q6700 and has a lot more OC potential. DX11 cards are coming soon and thanks to ATI new tech gets consumerized really fast ... so I wouldn't spend too much on a video card, 4850 is a nice sweet spot. The PCI-E standard the card uses in the end is not really relevant though. A ~500 Watt PSU is plenty, get a decent one.

Cadmus
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Cadmus » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:36 am UTC

kernelpanic wrote:I think you are forgetting the MB and case. Just a note of caution, in my experience Intel MBs are very good while they last, which is 6-10 months. I'd go for GIGABYTE, ASUS or NVIDIA [They still make motherboards, right?].


I'm budgeting ~£70 for a motherboard which seems to fit onto the price curve with the features I want. The case is going to be the PCG(UK) favourite, the Antec 300, a friend has built a machine on that and seemed quite pleased with it.

I do appreciate the brand reccomendations, I think the one I'm provisionally looking a is a Gigabyte.

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Atmosck
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Atmosck » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:52 am UTC

Go with at least (if you're stickin to nvidia), a GTX 250, or if you can find a good deal a GTX 260 (if you look around, you should be able to find the origional (Core 192) GTX 260 in the $140 range).

And definately get 64-bit. You'll be wasting a lot of memory, as the limit is about 3.5G, and that includes video memory. The only compatibility issue i've had with it is with my Creative X-Fi, but it's gradually gotten better over the last couple driver updates.

I have the Q6600, which is the less handsome little brother of the Q6700, and it works like a charm.

I would get at least a 600W psu, and make sure it has an 8-pin +12 volt (cpu power) connector, and 2 6-pin PCI-e connectors. The 9800GT only takes one, but it's good to have some headroom so that power can't become an issue, and some room for future upgrades. And look up reviews of the PSU before you buy it, as to avoid any suprises. (Cooler Master and Corsair PSUs are generally good)

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cmd
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby cmd » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:15 pm UTC

Atmosck wrote:Go with at least (if you're stickin to nvidia), a GTX 250, or if you can find a good deal a GTX 260 (if you look around, you should be able to find the origional (Core 192) GTX 260 in the $140 range).


Agree with the 260 recommendation. A 216 core 260 should cost you about $165 though, so you may want to just go with that. I would go for a Phenom II though, when looking at a processor. AMD have better value right now, and the x3s are pretty nicely priced for those who don't need the fourth core.

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Axman
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Re: Building a new machine for a friend

Postby Axman » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:06 am UTC



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