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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: PC Advice
Thread: PC Advice This thread is 5 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 · NEXT»
Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Smooth Snake
posted May 30, 2011 10:07 PM

PC Advice

Hello guys I'm back from my little leave of absence.

And I need some advice. I've saved up some money from work and now have 700€ to buy a new pc with since my current Dell XPS is almost 6 years old now and while it has served me faithfully and I love it very much it's getting weaker and weaker and I want to play games without horrendous lag due to my ram chocking and be able to play on graphic settings that aren't "ultra low" at best.
The thing is I know very little about PCs and HC has always had its fair share of people who are knowledgeable on the subject so why not make a thread where we can ask our local gurus for their unparalled insight.

What I'm looking for: A PC that can run current day games without much problems. It doesn't need to be a beast but I would like it to last me another few years (I don't game much but still the occasional rpg or heroes VII should still be doable). I wanted to wait for winter to get a good sale price but my pc has been having a lot of issues as of late so I my patience is rather thin.

Here are a few candidates:
The Gaming-PC X4 640 4 GB 500 GB HD5670
The Packard Bell iXtreme A6920GE
The Gaming-PC X4 630 4 GB 500 GB HD5670
And last but not least Dell Studio XPS 7100

I would appreciate it a lot if you guys could give me some advice since the biggest difference I can see is in harddrive space and usb ports.

Or am I totally retarded going for these pcs? Is there a site where I can find cheaper pcs at very similar powerlevels? I'd appreciate your input everyone.
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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 30, 2011 10:12 PM

If you want a desktop, I'd highly advise building it yourself. It's not difficult and you'll save a lot of money.
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Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Smooth Snake
posted May 30, 2011 10:14 PM

You mean buy a case and then the individual components and then piece it together? But then I'd have to buy the operating system as well and what not would that still be cheaper?
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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 30, 2011 10:54 PM

Yes, it should still be cheaper. Plus you'd have the components you want, instead of just the ones the manufacturer offers.
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Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Smooth Snake
posted May 30, 2011 11:02 PM
Edited by Azagal at 23:04, 30 May 2011.

What about warrenty etc.? I mean I'm talking to a old class mate of mine and he just build himself a pc that is actually better than the first one I posted (atleast in a few areas, mainboard and CPU has less harddrive space though and a similar graphics card) and it cost him 492€. I'd be retarded to buy a finished one... I'll probably build one myself then.

Still it be nice to get some input on the components so I know what I should go for.
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JoonasTo
JoonasTo


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Undefeatable Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted May 30, 2011 11:14 PM

Warranty for invidual parts is still valid if you build it yourself.
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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 30, 2011 11:22 PM

Here's a good guide.
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Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted May 30, 2011 11:43 PM
Edited by Zenofex at 23:45, 30 May 2011.

Quote:
If you want a desktop, I'd highly advise building it yourself. It's not difficult and you'll save a lot of money.
And I'd highly advise against it except if you don't know what you are doing. Incompatibility between the different parts could lead to many problems, starting from performance degradations and getting as far as frequent system crashes. Each type of motherboard is capricious when it comes to the components that will be installed on it and you'd better let a specialist build your configuration with only a general description from you if you are not intending to get a pre-built one.
As for the options above - there's quite a difference actually. The first and the third one have quad core processors and the second and the sixth one have six-cored processors. I personally prefer AMD over Intel when it comes to the manufacturer but in you case all are AMDs. Also the second one is with 6 GB DDR3 RAM (probably 3x2) and the graphics adapter of the first one seems to be superior to the others. All in all I'd say that you'll get very good performance with all of these machines but the second and the fourth seem to be worth it more than the rest. You might also check how many RAM slots each of these has (I can't see it on the web-site) so you can eventually plan future upgrades. AND pay attention to the cooling - it's very important! The multi-core processors tend to heat up quite a lot and the last gen graphics adapters don't really fall behind as well. It's always good if the case can support larger coolers (specifically for the CPU) and additional fans.

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Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Smooth Snake
posted May 31, 2011 01:20 AM
Edited by Azagal at 01:21, 31 May 2011.

Thanks for the advice Zenofex I appreciate it a lot. I thought it was as easy as buying the stuff and putting it all in a housing with the right sockets.

Is there any way I can find out which parts work well together or atleast find out which products I shouldn't combine?
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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted May 31, 2011 01:41 AM

You should take the CPU you want, find out what socket it has, and find a motherboard with that socket. Then refer to your motherboard for everything else.
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Adrius
Adrius


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Stand and fight!
posted May 31, 2011 04:07 PM
Edited by Adrius at 16:15, 31 May 2011.

****, I knew absolutely nothing about assembling PCs when I wanted to build my own PC. HC helped me out a lot though, and it's really not that hard actually. Once you know how do it you'll save a lot of money in the future, not just by the fact that you can remove the assembling cost, you can also re-use the chassis etc... you also get that awesome feeling of "This is my computer, I built it, it's MINE!"

If it's any guideline, my PC maxes out The Witcher 2 (well except for the Übersampling option but then again my PC was built for gaming not launching NASA rockets) and it was cheaper than those PCs you've mentioned. Today it's probably cheaper since it's been a year since I built it.



Look at how LEET it is with those blue leds man. I'm like "Yo b**** that dude may have a Lamborghini but my computer has blue fans ffs", and she's all like "do me nauw". Yes that's what happens, totally.

Give me a number and I can try suggesting some parts for ya within that price range

Or follow Mvass' tip, that's how I found my parts. I then asked HC if my computer would blow up or not. Joonas said "no" and here I am
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Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted May 31, 2011 05:03 PM

It's not about the difficulty - assembling a PC is relatively easy (with the only slightly tricky part being the CPU installation + the cooler as it could require some finesse depending on the model). The problems could arise from incompatibility between the different parts but in general - yes, if you have a motherboard as a base, you can check what works OK with it and this should suffice to build a working configuration. Just don't choose the components randomly.

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted May 31, 2011 05:33 PM
Edited by alcibiades at 17:34, 31 May 2011.

I've done some sideline DIY PC assembly (primarily with me standing on the sideline and my sisters BF doing the dirty work), and while most of the individual steps are not that difficult, I must say there are a lot of pitfalls when buying components etc: You need to get stuff that is compatible with each other both in terms of work with each other and physically fit into the cabinet and have the right kind of connectors etc. I won't advice against it per se, because if you do it right, it can have its advantages, but I also think you can go wrong and get frustrations (and lose money!) if you don't have a quite good idea of what you want and what you need to get.

My impressions from the last couple of times is not so much that it saved me money, because in the end I did end up paying as much as I would have for a pre-assembled solution, but I *did* get better individual components, and the DIY approach allowed me to pick components that suited my specific needs (which means upgrading areas I need more and downscaling areas that are not important to me).

During the process, the trickiest part was deffinitely mounting the fan on top of the CPU (you need a special Silver paste, and if it's not done correctly, CPU will overheat = lots of wasted money). Also, you need to buy all the software and install it yourself, which can be a pain, particularly if you're not familiar with working on a PC where no control system is installed. If you work like that, you should take note that you can buy much software in legal versions which are aimed at PC distributors, which has a license which is tied to a specific CPU. I don't remember what it's called, but they retail at about half the normal price.
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Adrius
Adrius


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Stand and fight!
posted May 31, 2011 07:56 PM

Most CPUs come with a fan that already has thermal paste applied though. Mine did, and it's not really noisy at all and cools very well. If the fan sucks you'll have to apply it yourself for the new one though, but it doesn't really look that hard.

If you're unsure of whether it has thermal paste applied or not it usually says so in the manual. In my case it was applied so perfectly that I couldn't tell whether it was there or not.

I started up my computer and the motherboard said "insert OS installation disc", so I did and it installed itself, so software installation wasn't that hard for me After you've installed windows everything is as usual.

After installing the most essential drivers with the discs I plugged it into the internet and let it update itself for a few hours... been running smoothly ever since.
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Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted May 31, 2011 08:21 PM

Quote:
During the process, the trickiest part was deffinitely mounting the fan on top of the CPU (you need a special Silver paste, and if it's not done correctly, CPU will overheat = lots of wasted money).
The thermal paste is not necessarily silver-based, it could be made of various chemical elements with the general idea to improve the heat conductivity between the CPU and the cooler. Even without it the CPU won't fry immediately and could actually work fine for quite some time but it's undeniably better to have it.
When installing the CPU cooler the most important thing is to have a good contact between the surfaces of the cooler and the CPU. If the cooler "floats" or is not positioned properly, the CPU will certainly overheat (this thing warms up very quickly and reaches 100 degrees in a matter of seconds without the cooler). Also one has to be careful when applying the paste to the CPU in order not to contaminate it and not to make the paste layer too thick because this does the opposite of what it's supposed to do. That's what could scare some people although it's not really something complicated (if you think that you can't do it though, better don't).

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Adrius
Adrius


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Stand and fight!
posted June 19, 2011 10:48 AM

So... how's that going for ya Azzie?
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Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Smooth Snake
posted June 19, 2011 11:53 AM

Thanks for asking my lack of updates here isn't due to ungratefulness or anything I just got a f*cking lot of bi*** a$$ annoying stuff to do lately... I'm super busy with exams and my fuc*ing cellar got flooded during 3 days of rain the thing is a lot of stuff from my parents and sister were stored down there because we moved and I have to some money things to attend to so life is pretty fu**ing snow lately.... well of course it's not snow I could do a lot worse but I'm in STRUGGLEBEAR-MODE so when I meet friends I'm very huggy and not too testosterone driven... unless of course I meet an attractive female...

Eitherway I'll be back to normal more or less in 1 month.
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his speech but exceeds in his
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Adrius
Adrius


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Stand and fight!
posted June 19, 2011 12:02 PM

Ah damn, yeah I see how new computer might not be priority nr. 1 at the moment then. Good luck.

Ah yeah, computer question: Is a soundcard worth it? I'm thinking about how much performance load it can help with rather than sound quality.
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Shyranis
Shyranis


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted June 19, 2011 12:05 PM

Depends on the sound card you get, a cheap one may only be as good as your onboard sound. But by the same token, an expensive one might require complex software that more than negates any gains by having it process on the card.
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Adrius
Adrius


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Stand and fight!
posted June 19, 2011 12:10 PM

Ah yeah... didn't think about additional software running...

I recently got an e-mail from a store who said they were sorry about the delay of one of my shipments, and then they gave me a $30 discount on anything I'd like... thing is I can't figure out what I need right now

Current rig:

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 560 3.30 GHZ
Memory: 4,00 GB
Motherboard: MSI 870A-G54
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD5850 Xtreme 1GB
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