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    Shopping for new PC - questions

    I know a lot of you build your own machines, but, I can't do that. Browsing PC web sites I have limited time to still get XP and I'm not too sure I want Vista. Most reviews say it is a bloated pig with lots of bugs and no real benefits.

    When XP came out, MS claimed it would run on 256 of RAM. It would, but just barely and 512 was what was really needed. How much RAM does Vista REALLY suck up? I don't want to get an OS that eats most of my RAM upgrade.

    Dual or quad core? Lots of mixed signals from reviews on the subject like,
    "Nothing really utilizes quad."
    "Higher clock speed in dual is better than lower speed in quad for same price range."
    "Buy quad to future proof"

    Is there a noticeable benefit from a physics card?

    #2
    Originally posted by Grasshopper View Post
    I know a lot of you build your own machines, but, I can't do that. Browsing PC web sites I have limited time to still get XP and I'm not too sure I want Vista. Most reviews say it is a bloated pig with lots of bugs and no real benefits.

    When XP came out, MS claimed it would run on 256 of RAM. It would, but just barely and 512 was what was really needed. How much RAM does Vista REALLY suck up? I don't want to get an OS that eats most of my RAM upgrade.

    Dual or quad core? Lots of mixed signals from reviews on the subject like,
    "Nothing really utilizes quad."
    "Higher clock speed in dual is better than lower speed in quad for same price range."
    "Buy quad to future proof"

    Is there a noticeable benefit from a physics card?
    Honestly, IMO get XP for now. It should do well until Windows 7. If you do get Vista, then I recommend 2GB minumum.(4GB is best) With XP 2GB should be plenty.

    On the subject of Dual VS Quad. Ill give you a few facts: 1. The only game that actually uses all 4 cores is UT3 right now. 2. Duals may be clocked higher by default, but if you dont mind overclocking the quad, it's pretty easy to reach the same clock speeds as the dual core. 3. In my belief, yes quads will be more utilized down the road. Since Intel/AMD are going in that direction, game developers will follow eventually. So with that in mind, I would recommend the quad, and have fun learning how to tweak your computer.(not hard to OC at all, if you have Intel. LOL.)

    With physics cards. From what Ive been reading, UT3 is the first and only game to take advatage of Nvidia Physx. About 80-85% of games in development are using Havok physics, or thier own physics engine. Right now its hard for me to recommend a nvidia card for physics, since its too "new" right now.(needs alot of optimizing) If anything, get an Agiea physx card, if you can find one. Supposedly they perform the physx alot better right now. FYI. No one usually ever plays the physx maps online anyway, so if you dont have it, its not that big a deal.

    Hope this all helps somewhat.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks. I was leaning toward XP. I'll have to buy a rig soon to get it.

      Comment


        #4
        hi there,

        just want to throw in my cents:
        the nvidia cards perform a lot better (!) than the ageia physx card. the new gtx280 is supposed to do better (faster) by the factor 10. i bought one physx-card before ageia was a group of nvidia and sold it after 2 weeks. there is no advantage of performance in normal maps! of course, the maps built especially with physics working much better. but when your are playing these, your are very restricted in the amount of available maps on servers and in my time there were only a few players around that were able to play physxmaps.

        i built a system 5 mothns ago. i took a E8400 (dual core) and overclocked it to 3.6ghz. it is running like hell with 4 gb ram and vista 64bit. the only weakpoint is my graphics card: hd3870. but i have choosen this card considering the overall power consumption. ut3 is the ONLY game i want to play. so you can say that my system was built right for one game. if you are feeling similar than i would recommend a fast dual core and overclock it. quad cores are not in advantage considering heat and power consumption with fps. ut3 uses 4 cores but the 3rd and 4th core have only little to do while playing this game. you can get the same or better fps with a fast dual core with less heat and power (even if it is overclocked). in the future quad cores will be in more advantage but that will need a little time.

        so just decide: do you want to use your system maybe for some years and play upcoming games than you schould buy the best quadcore you can get for your money. if you are focused on a special game - like me - than you often can get the same gamespeed for less money.

        p.s.: vista is a very good os (compared to other windows-versions even xp, too). in fact it is the best working windows-system out of the box ever - for me . i started with msdos 7.0. most of the problems came from bad drivers. but companies do their best and it is getting better and better. if you are building up a completely new system why not using a 64bit os?

        Comment


          #5
          Quads(or higher) are the future. Hands down! The duals do have better performnace for games out right now, but in a year you may need to upgrade your processor when games start taking advantage of quads more often.

          With windows 7 right around the corner, on a new build XP should sufice. If you already have a copy of XP laying around, IMO it would be a waste of 100$(OEM vista), or 350$(retail vista), when Win 7 will be out in a year anyway.

          Anyway, when I make recommendations on hardware, I try to go the bang for buck route direction, but if someone is looking for a computer to do them for 3-4 years, I always recommend the quad core. IMO a dual core upgrade this late in the game, will probally start bottlenecking overall performance in a year or two, and then its time to shell out for a quad core. Why not just get a quad now? Atleast you will know that your good when the quad applications start appearing.

          Well, everyone is intitled to thier own opinions, so to the OP'er, do what you think is right, and do some research for yourself. When its time to start looking at what you may be getting, hit me up with a PM. I may be able to help you save some $$$ without sacrficing performance.

          Comment


            #6
            Windos 7 will suck as much as Vista does...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Grasshopper View Post
              I know a lot of you build your own machines, but, I can't do that. Browsing PC web sites I have limited time to still get XP and I'm not too sure I want Vista. Most reviews say it is a bloated pig with lots of bugs and no real benefits.

              When XP came out, MS claimed it would run on 256 of RAM. It would, but just barely and 512 was what was really needed. How much RAM does Vista REALLY suck up? I don't want to get an OS that eats most of my RAM upgrade.

              Dual or quad core? Lots of mixed signals from reviews on the subject like,
              "Nothing really utilizes quad."
              "Higher clock speed in dual is better than lower speed in quad for same price range."
              "Buy quad to future proof"

              Is there a noticeable benefit from a physics card?
              Quad Vs. Dual = Dependent on the games you want to play. UT3 does work smoother with a Quad (I recently upgraded to Q6700 from E6600 and I can feel the difference - less hitching, faster loading etc.). If you want to play the current generation then a Wolfdale dual is also a good option. If you have multi-tasking needs and want to wait for more Quad-optimised games, then you cannot go far wrong with a quad. Personally I think the main factor in enjoying a game is the minimum FPS and that is nearly always dependent on your Graphics card.

              Vista at this point is a very stable OS for home use. Remember, you can only get DX10 and soon, 11, on Vista. For business use it sucks afaik. It does need 2 GB RAM miminum (4 GB is better, but try and see if you want to go for the 64-bit version to make use of all of it!), but DDR2 is dirt-cheap these days.

              Buying a new PC depends on so many factors. The main one is budget of course. If you are looking for a VFM Graphics Card, the 4800 series from ATI is considered the best at the moment. Mind you, my 8800 GTX is running UT3 just fine.

              Let us know if you have any more questions.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi there,

                Buy a decent motherboard (Asus P5E3 Deluxe, Socket 775 Intel X38 Chipset) for example, to allow you to upgrade hardware later without doing a full re-build..

                Or get a cheep one and upgrade the whole lot in 12 month..

                Intel Core 2 Duo (E6850) 3.0GHz 4MB L2 Cache
                2GB DDR3 which runs something like 1333Mhz
                ATi 3850 or 3870 Or Asus Nvidia EN9600GT
                Windows XP Pro Service pack 3.

                Comment

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