TechSpot

new system advice plz

By rustic
Oct 15, 2003
Topic Status:
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  1. hello. nice forum here. was wondering if i could get some advice.
    ive got a gateway system now but looking to buy a whole new system. i cant build my own so i went to my local computer guy and he suggested these specs

    amd 64 bit processor
    gforce 5900g ultra
    250 gb hard drive with 8mb cache
    1 gig of ddr ram
    18" flat screen
    sound blaster audigy 2 with fire wire
    cd rom
    dvd rom
    cdrw
    dvdrw

    not sure what this will cost me yet

    i do gaming online and my wife wants to do home movies and pictures.

    this will be our third system and i am just tired of having to get new systems every two years. the first two times we were ignorant(still are). we just dont really know what is all out there.

    i want a system that i can keep for a good while with an occasional upgrade every now and then.

    the system i have now doesnt have dvd burner,firewire, and my vid card is only 64 mb. hard drive is only 40 gig, 1.7 intel p4 cpu.
    it has gotten real slow.

    i figured i would go for the most recent stuff this time.

    any input i would greatly appreciate. thanks a lot.
  2. Steg

    Steg Newcomer, in training Posts: 422

    well the simple answer is - do you need the machine now?
    if you can wait then wait until AMD release the Athlon 64 939's in first quarter next year - they will b faster, cheaper (esp RAM - wont need regestarded RAM - which is EXPENSIVE) and have a much long upgrade potential - the motherboards and bios for Athlon 64s are also in a fairly early stage of development ATM - it might b and idea to wait until the settle down a bit
    also - if you do wait for the Athlon 939's you might also want a Geforce 6 (nv4x) of some kind - which we will (hopefully) see some time next spring
    also - do you need 250gb HDD space? If yes then make sure you buy 2 120gb or even 150gb SATA drives and get them set up in a RAID 0 array

    if you do go for that machine you will needed have a machine that will fly like the ..... flying thing - itll b damn fast
    but in the IT industry you could wait FOREVER for the next piece of hardware so find a spec and a price you like - and buy away

    hope that helps alittle

    Steg
  3. rustic

    rustic Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thank you for the heads up on the 939.

    could you explain about the hard drives.
    are you saying 2 smaller drives are better than 1 big one?

    thanks for your time
  4. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 829

    Judging from your post, I would venture to guess that this machine was more than adequate for you at one time, but has now become overloaded. Have your activities changed?

    The system your local computer guy wants to sell you is very highend, and undoubtedly very over priced. And regardless of how fast a machine you get, if you let it become overrun with spyware, malware and virus's (which I am guessing your current machine is in this state) you will be in the same boat.

    I would suggest that you put off buying a new computer until you fix up your current PC. This way you can then determine if an upgrades is even necessary, let alone an entirely new $3000 machine.

    First things first, if you don't have an anti-virus, you must get one. AVG is a great anti-virus and is 100% free. You can get it at grisoft.com
    Next, if you're running windows, go to Windows Update and install all of the latest critical patches.
    Then go to Lavasoft and download Ad-aware. This program is free and will remove any spyware/ malware on your system.

    Finally, read a few of the OS guides on this website, they are well writen and will help you optimize your computer. After doing all these things, I believe you will find your PC will run like a whole new machine.

    post back with any questions or problems, if you want to upgrade your current system, post all the info you know about it (i.e. Motherboard, memory, video card model, etc.) And we'll give you some recommendations.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,493   +292

    What type of games are you playing online?
    Is your wife doing video editing and lots of image editing?

    That system would be - well thats almost as good as you can get currently. I'm not sure how much you can spend, but I think dropping the processor to a 32 bit one like a P4 or an XP 3200+ or something would be fine for all but the most serious users.

    If you have the money though go for it, it will be a nice system for quite a while.
  6. rustic

    rustic Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks for the replies. panicx you are right about my pc being clogged up and also about the price of the new system. i am very interested in the new system tho. my computer guy went over everything with me today here it is

    motherboard=gigabyte k8vnxp amd approved
    processor =amd athlon 64 1600fsb hypertransport
    memory =1 gig of kingston 400fsb pc-3200 ddr ram
    hard drive =250 gig serial ata/133 maxtor or western digital w/8mb cache
    4x dvd +-rw burner player w/dvd copy express
    52x24x52 cd-rw burner player w/nero express
    video card=evga gforce fx5900 ultra 8x agp
    monitor=viewsonic vg800 18" flat
    6 channel sound
    logitech speakers

    and a few softwares and windows xp pro for 3200 plus tax. it is of course more than what i expected but i went to compusa and priced each part and it does seem reasonable.

    he was buiding a similar pc for a demo and im gonna go tommorrow and look at it

    i play mostly first person shooter games. i play ghost recon:IT on xbox live. havent played on the pc much anymore cause its slow now.
    my wife wants to do home movies and make pictures and stuff.

    i feel that im always behind you know. we paid 1800 for this pc thinking we had it all figured out but we were wrong. not even 3 months after we bought it we found out stuff that we should have looked for but the nerd at gateway store didnt tell us about.

    so i figure if i bite this big bullet now ill only have to bite smaller ones later, know what i mean?

    anyways i appreciate your help.
  7. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268


    Hello rustic, when buying a PC especially from brand companies like Dell, Gateway, always do a research before attempting to visit the store. Well some salesperson don't do their job well, they are not always the sort of nerd you'll expect.

    Do you really need such a big hard drive? 250GB is way too big for general task. A 120GB should suffice.

    Another question, are you gonna really spend alot of your time using the pc to play game? If not its definitely a waste of money, i suggest you stick to mid-range models like FX5600 or even better ATI Radeon 9700/ 9600pro.

    Is the monitor a LCD? For gaming purpose, LCD are not that mature to handle them.

    Final question. Do you really need good pc speakers? If you don't plan to use them often might as well not get them.

    I hope this helps.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,493   +292

    Looked over your stuff, and if you can deal with the price (not trying to convince you otherwise anymore) that looks like a hell of a system.
    You are pretty much right on big bullet now smaller ones later, espically if you are going to hit up top of the line games, that system will handle new ones for the next year and a half IMO VERY well, and handle them for a few years following. Although that is just a guess based on my current system (1 gig athlon t-bird 512sdr ram and gf2mx video card) I can't play the newest games, but I can still play some pretty new ones if I drop the resolution to 800x600 and kill the eye candy.
    Young&Wild is right about the HD I think, I'm not sure what you'd need that space for, I have tons of video clips on my hard drives and I'm only up to about 130gigs used (172 total). I think you are best off with a smaller drive and then buying a drive/drives as needed in the future because they will be cheaper then.
    Actually I think my hard drive advice (unless you are wanting to RAID them) is some of the best I've ever given here. Buy what you need now, add on later. Thats almost directly opposite of what you want to hear for a video card.
  9. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    If you can get it a bit cheaper then go for it, but otherwise I think you would be better going with a high-end 32-Bit chip, such as a Pentium 4 3 or 3.2Ghz (800FSB "C" Model) and overclocking it to 4Ghz.

    The main reasons for doing so are:-

    - Probably Cheaper
    - Lack of 64-Bit Windows for Athlon-64 Yet
    - Lack of 64-Bit Apps/Games Yet
    - Only small performance increases when running 32-bit programs, which would be ofset if using a high clock speed P4
    - 64-Bit CPU socket will change leaving you in the same situation as the people who bought the 423-Pin First Generation P4

    Just my Opinion :)
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,493   +292

    I suggested that too at first, but I think if he wants this to last a long time he might as well go with it now, I don't think the costs justify it in his circumstance to upgrade again in another year or so when 64 bit crap comes out.
  11. rustic

    rustic Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks for all the replies. i am sorry i called the gateway guy a nerd. i had a flashback.

    i do have a question about the socket changing. themightyd8 said the 64bit socket will change. my pc guy said it is a 745 socket. this is for the amd athlon 64. what exactly does that mean. does it mean ill need to buy a new processor?
    about how long wil the 64 bit applications be available?
    thanks again for all the help
     
  12. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond Newcomer, in training Posts: 164

    I would drop the Nvida Video card they are having problems with games that use DX9 and are slower than the ATI Cards. An ATI All-In-Wonder with a TV/DVD/cable input might be a nice option. Of course a video card with a Dual Monitor setup that would let you watch TV and do work at the same time might be nice too. They have this option on the ATI 9600 Pro all-in-wonder, but not on the 9700 or 9800 yet.

    Personally I would stay away from any Opteron or Athlon64 CPU Systems for a while. It is not because I hate AMD. It is because it is brand new technology. Let it go through a break-in period. Why should you be the beta tester for their new motherboards and CPU's. If you look at the motherboards like the Asus A7N8X Deluxe, the later versions were more stable.

    I would opt for a P4 800 Mhz CPU BUS System. One reason is it is really faster than the current AMD XP processors. Another reason is that it has more room for memory! If you do video work on a computer you want lots of memory. It has 4 memory slots. You can drop a 512 Meg Chip in each slot for a total of 2 Gig without breaking the bank too bad. I would do some research and find out what motherboards will support the new P4 Chips that will come out. The P4 EE CPU's with 3 Megs of Cache memory would be ideal for video/audio encoding.

    I am not sure that sound card is what I would choose either. May want to look at the M-Audio line of sound cards. They can harware decode to 24 bit a DVD sound track in a single pass using on the sound card hardware.
  13. somekid007

    somekid007 Newcomer, in training Posts: 369

    sound like a nice system

    wut about the case? a minimum of a 400 watt psu from enermax, antec, etc is a must

    i suggest going to a 9800pro 128mb and saving a few bucks to put it into 2 120gb SATA drives for Raid 0 config. Asus K8V is a hell of a board and is on my x-mas wish list

    wut are u gonna do with that pentium4 system of yours?
  14. rustic

    rustic Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    the case has a 420w power supply.

    i already ordered the system with the gforce fx 5900 ultra 256, am i screwed?

    i am gonna sell my old system to my in laws for 600 bucks

    i have no idea what raid is

    does SATA mean serial ATA?
    cause my hard drive is 250gb serial ata/133 maxtor. is that what you are talking about?
  15. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    RAID = Redundant Array of Inexpensive(Independent) disk. The definition of RAID can be found here

    Yes, SATA is Serial ATA.
  16. somekid007

    somekid007 Newcomer, in training Posts: 369

    no you are not screwed, the 5900 ultra and 9800 pro are about the same in performance, though the 9800pro is (gernerally) a little cheaper. either way, you get a great video card that i dont even think a bout buying :(

    yes, SATA is serial ata, but should be SATA150, not 133. RAID 0 is also known as striping and actively uses two drives for added speed.
  17. rustic

    rustic Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks for settling my nerves about the video card.

    i dont believe my computer guy is doing the hard drives that way.i guess ill have to deal with what he is gonna order. you think its worth talking to him about it?

    thanks again
  18. vassil3427

    vassil3427 Newcomer, in training Posts: 822

    No, I dont think its even worth bothering with. Your system will be awesome to say the least...makes me drool..j/k...
  19. somekid007

    somekid007 Newcomer, in training Posts: 369

    yes, its a matter of personal preferance. me personally would ill for a raid setup. howevwer, i have heard that raid 0 is only reallty beneficial with the use of a pci raid controller card. i have heard that the onbard raid controller of the mobo is "software raid" and therefore stresses the cpu, which results in a minimal performance gain. so no, it probably isnt worth bothering to make it raid
  20. somekid007

    somekid007 Newcomer, in training Posts: 369

    hey thats what these forrums are for. thats a nice price you are selling your current computer at btw
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