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Old 2009-12-01, 19:04   Link #61
synaesthetic
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Yeah, but most integrated sound chips' analog stage are cheap jellybean-based amplifiers with terrible components. The DC filtering capacitors are likely going to be electrolytics (which is bad period) and probably undersized. Corner frequency is going to be somewhere in the midbass and you'll get some pretty awfull roll-off as a result. It's never a good idea to have electrolytic caps in the signal path.

If you're serious about your audio, you really don't want your analog stage anywhere near the PSU. A computer's PSU is switching and throws off all kinds of yucky EFI. The point of external USB DACs or audio interfaces is to get them away from the interference of the PSU.

There's a lot of good bang-for-the-buck USB DACs and pro-audio interfaces out there that'll ruin you for junky AC'97 integrated for life.
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Old 2009-12-03, 01:01   Link #62
Urzu 7
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If I decided to get a built computer and it comes with DDR 2 RAM, can I put DDR 3 RAM in the motherboard in the future? Does it depend on the motherboard? Do DDR 3 motherboards take DDR 2 RAM?
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Old 2009-12-03, 05:45   Link #63
mechabao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
If I decided to get a built computer and it comes with DDR 2 RAM, can I put DDR 3 RAM in the motherboard in the future? Does it depend on the motherboard? Do DDR 3 motherboards take DDR 2 RAM?
Nope. The notches on DDR2 and DDR3 modules are in different places.
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Old 2009-12-03, 10:16   Link #64
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Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
If I decided to get a built computer and it comes with DDR 2 RAM, can I put DDR 3 RAM in the motherboard in the future? Does it depend on the motherboard? Do DDR 3 motherboards take DDR 2 RAM?
Well, there are motherboards that can support both, since they have 2 different types of memory slots. Some Asus and Asrock have these kind of "combo" motherboards (mostly Intel "Core2" socket 775 motherboards).
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Old 2009-12-03, 11:42   Link #65
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Can someone quickly tell me what is the difference between Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB and Asus EN9800GT 512MB graphic card? I know people spoke of 9800GT all the time through forums but on what do they mean?
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Old 2009-12-03, 11:53   Link #66
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Originally Posted by Crimson Cloud View Post
Can someone quickly tell me what is the difference between Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB and Asus EN9800GT 512MB graphic card? I know people spoke of 9800GT all the time through forums but on what do they mean?
If you are talking about this Gigabyte and this Asus Geforce 9800GT, both card are about the same, they both have the same gpu/memory clockspeed; the only difference I see is that the Gigabyte one has a Zalman OEM heatpipe vga cooler and the Asus one only has a normal aluminium vga cooler; the Zalman OEM heatpipe cooler probably will cool the vga card better, which should give you better overclocking results (see the two reviews posted earlier; the Gigabyte one does overclocked better than the Asus one).
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Old 2009-12-03, 16:29   Link #67
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Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
Well, if I buy my own PC, what do I need? I'll list what I know...

Motherboard
Graphics Card
CPU and fan
Hard drive
RAM
Optical drive
PSU
Case
Here's my recommendation:
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-M770T, $80
CPU: Athlon II X4 620, $100
RAM: 4GB (2X2GB) OCZ Obsidian DDR3-1600, $94
Graphics: XFX Radeon HD5750, $145
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black, $75
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-223C, $27

Two options for case/psu:
option one: Antec Sonata III, includes Antec's own Earthwatts 500 watt power supply.

Option two, Antec Three Hundred case ($55) and a 600 or 700 watt OCZ unit for $80 - $90.

The Sonata's III's cooling and power supply are definitely good enough for the rig (I've built a number of Sonata II and III based computers), but the second combo provides you with some headroom if you ever decide to upgrade to a really power hungry CPU/GPU.

Anyway, looking at $631 for the Sonata III based config and $25 more for the THree Hundred/OCZ 600 watt combo. You could also consider upping the CPU to a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition for $66, which would get you another 600 mhz plus a 6MB l3 cache (which boosts performance in a lot of situations).

Just remember you'll need a copy of Windows to run on it too. Also, depending on the backup strategy you plan to use, you might want more than one hard drive. You might be able to run backup software like Acronis True Image with only one drive but I'm not sure.

(For those unfamiliar with True Image, it basically can take an "image" of your Windows install, compress it, and then store it. You can then restore your PC to that exact state captured in the image using a rescue disk if necessary. I use it so that I can restore my PC in minutes if it goes down, although this takes some planning (keeping files on a separate partition from the OS, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu7
Do I need a sound card? Or will onboard sound be good enough for games? Should I just get a cheap one?
My general opinion is that integrated is "good enough" for most people, so I wouldn't bother upgrading unless you have good speakers or headphones. Although I will warn that the electrical interference some people have mentioned being audible with integrated sound actually is audible when using headphones directly hooked up to the integrated sound, since unlike speakers headphones rely on the integrated sound for amplification of the signal. With my headphones on integrated sound, I can hear the electronic interference of my hard drives spinning up, for example. Granted, that's only when things are otherwise silent, but I thought I'd mention it.
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Old 2009-12-03, 17:22   Link #68
synaesthetic
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Antec Three Hundred is the best only PC case to use.

All others are horrifyingly ugly and also insufficiently awesome.

In terms of Nehalem architecture, which Core i7/5 is the best from a price-performance standpoint?
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Old 2009-12-03, 19:56   Link #69
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Antec Three Hundred is the best only PC case to use.

All others are horrifyingly ugly and also insufficiently awesome.
I wouldn't go as far as to call it the only choice, but it's certainly my favourite case in that price range... that's why I used one in the last build I did, which went to my dad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic
In terms of Nehalem architecture, which Core i7/5 is the best from a price-performance standpoint?
Probably the cheapest i5-750... bumping up to the i7-860 gets you hyperthreading and an extra 133 mhz for $90.

(Admtitadely, some people mentioned being able to run Assassin's Creed (one of the first dual core required games) on a single core Pentium 4 with hyperthreading... but I don't know if this would work for other dual core games and even if it does... for an i7 to take advantage of it, you'd need a game that needs more than four threads...)
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Old 2009-12-03, 20:31   Link #70
synaesthetic
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Thanks for the info on the i5.

Regarding the case, I'm just disgusted and horrified at the aesthetics of all things computer these days, especially anything labeled "gaming." Why does it all have to look so garish with all that glossy plastic and stuff?

Man I'd kill to have a 15 or 16" laptop with a matte, clean, minimalist Thinkpad or Sony design but with the same Core i7-720QM and nvidia GTX 260M as the Asus G51J. (No the HP Envy 15 does not count, it's a POS that costs too much, the trackpad is terribad and it has no bluray drive, what a waste).
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Old 2009-12-03, 21:36   Link #71
0utf0xZer0
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Okay, I messed up, there's a few other differences too in terms of l3 cache speed, memory speed, and how turbo mood works:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17545/2

I'd be interested in knowing how much of i5s advantage vs. AMD in a lot of gaming benchmarks is due to turbo mode, since technically that will disappear when games start using more cores.
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Old 2009-12-03, 22:21   Link #72
synaesthetic
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That's what's bothering me about the Nehalem chips, not to mention the fact that AMD is cheaper...
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Old 2009-12-03, 22:50   Link #73
chikorita157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Okay, I messed up, there's a few other differences too in terms of l3 cache speed, memory speed, and how turbo mood works:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17545/2

I'd be interested in knowing how much of i5s advantage vs. AMD in a lot of gaming benchmarks is due to turbo mode, since technically that will disappear when games start using more cores.
The extra cores won't have much benefit since most games right now are optimized mostly for dual core, but future games will probably benefit it once Quad core goes mainstream... The possible good thing about the i7 is faster encoding of video files, photo processing and other CPU intensive tasks... I don't own a i7 or i5 myself, but if I did, my games would probably run faster... but I depend on portability so...

AMD may be cheaper, but Intel already destroyed them with performance... a i5 and i7 can easily outperform a AMD... sadly...
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Old 2009-12-04, 14:08   Link #74
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I'm going to bother you one more time. My buddy wants to buy a computer, not so super powerful but it looks alright. My country is not so well equipped with good stuff so this will have to suffice.

MB ASUS P5QL Pro Intel P43 Glan
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2,8GHz
Memory DDR II Kingston 2GB 2X
Asus EN9800GT 512MB
Tower ThermalTake Soprano RS101
Codegen Power Supply 500W

I recommended for him to get 4580 but he says that the guys in the shop said to him that 9800GT works better on Asus MB. Is that true?

If the components above are bad or won't work well, please say so. I'm little suspicious on Codegen power supply...

Thanks in advance

P.S. Thanks to TCman and chikorita157 for previous help.
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Old 2009-12-05, 00:34   Link #75
Urzu 7
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What is a good budget graphics card? I might go with a cheap card and upgrade later. The games I want to play on PC the most (that are the most graphic intensive) are Oblivion and MW 1 and 2, and both have obsolete cards for recommended cards. What is a good cheap card? I'm thinking of getting a Geforce 9800 GT. Does it have a large power draw? Does it heat up too much? Or is that stuff not a problem?

And I'm gonna get at least a 600 watt power supply. Might go with a 700 watt power supply.

And processors...AMD processors; AM 3. I could get a dual core Phenom II and then go quad core one day if I wanted to save money.

Could I go intel and get a dual core CPU and then go quad core in the future? Or do i5/i7 CPUs have different socket types that they are compatible with?
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Old 2009-12-05, 00:39   Link #76
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http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1472785

You can get a 250 GTS for about 60 bucks total, which is a pretty damn good deal for one. Faster than a 9800 GT as well.
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Old 2009-12-05, 02:48   Link #77
mechabao
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Originally Posted by problemedchild View Post
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1472785

You can get a 250 GTS for about 60 bucks total, which is a pretty damn good deal for one. Faster than a 9800 GT as well.
Aren't GT250s just rebranded 9800s which in turn are just rebranded 8800GTs? I remember Nvidia being criticized for doing that.
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Old 2009-12-05, 03:50   Link #78
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Quote:
Aren't GT250s just rebranded 9800s which in turn are just rebranded 8800GTs? I remember Nvidia being criticized for doing that.
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They're not rebranded perse, they're shrinks. The GTS 250 has a smaller architecture than that of the 9800GTX.
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Old 2009-12-05, 04:54   Link #79
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by midnightlumina View Post
They're not rebranded perse, they're shrinks. The GTS 250 has a smaller architecture than that of the 9800GTX.
The GTS 250 is a rebrand or the 9800GTX+. The defining trait of the GTX+ vs a normal 9800GTX was that they run at 738mhz instead of 675. Many GTX+ were also 55nm rather than 65nm like on the regular GTX (the die shrink you refer to) but there are apparently some 65nm GTX+s as well. Nvidia seems to like being obtuse with their product naming.

THe 9800GT can be either a rebranded 8800GT or a die shrunk version (55nm vs. 65nm).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
What is a good budget graphics card? I might go with a cheap card and upgrade later. The games I want to play on PC the most (that are the most graphic intensive) are Oblivion and MW 1 and 2, and both have obsolete cards for recommended cards. What is a good cheap card? I'm thinking of getting a Geforce 9800 GT. Does it have a large power draw? Does it heat up too much? Or is that stuff not a problem?

And I'm gonna get at least a 600 watt power supply. Might go with a 700 watt power supply.

And processors...AMD processors; AM 3. I could get a dual core Phenom II and then go quad core one day if I wanted to save money.

Could I go intel and get a dual core CPU and then go quad core in the future? Or do i5/i7 CPUs have different socket types that they are compatible with?
-The Core i5/i7 require use their own sockets, and for now the cheapest CPU that will fit one is $200. There will be a dual core i3 eventually.
-The Phenom II X2 550 (dual core) is $102 compared to $166 for it's quad core counterpart, the Phenom II X4 955. If you have the cash just grab the quad now instead of waiting to upgrade... I think it'll be a while til you see a CPU as good as the 955 for $64.
-On graphics cards... making a recommendation here is hard. You have the 9800GT 512MB for like $100, the GTS 250 1GB for $125, and the HD 5750 1GB for $145. The GTS 250 and HD 5750 are a nice speed bump over the 9800GT from what I've seen although not one I would consider a necessity. The HD 5750 support Direct X 11 features, which Nvidia's boards don't, while nVidia's boards support nVidia's PhysX stuff in select games. You can look at some benchmarks here: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=1
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Old 2009-12-05, 18:49   Link #80
aeriolewinters
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I think when it comes to a versatile platform, I'd pick AMD over intel, easily... there are just too many sockets that intel supports, 1156, 1366, 775, and whatever they come up with the i3 compared to just the AM3+ socket..
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