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Author Topic: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.  (Read 1126 times)

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Offline Cold HeritageTopic starter

In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« on: November 15, 2009, 01:46:54 AM »
I'm not really sure what is good. I mainly want it to be good at gaming (I want to be able to play Starcraft 2 whenever that comes out, and Dawn of War 2, and have it run nice). I'm not really sure what things are good to get. It's difficult finding product reviews for the parts at Dell that make sense to me.

This is pretty sad, but if anyone can help me out, it'd be great.

Offline Pierre

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 02:48:49 AM »
What is your budget for a system? That is a determining factor.

Do you want a full system (Monitor on top of a system) or just the unit itself?

Offline Cold HeritageTopic starter

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 02:55:53 AM »
Probably not more than 5,000$ before taxes. I do not need a monitor or any stuff (I'll probably get a new keyboard from some local store, and I'm good for a mouse). So just the unit.

Offline Pierre

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 03:38:40 AM »
Probably not more than 5,000$ before taxes. I do not need a monitor or any stuff (I'll probably get a new keyboard from some local store, and I'm good for a mouse). So just the unit.

5,000$ from Dell ..? Wow. I don't think I've ever spent near that much on a computer and I buy top of the line!

I'm just looking at their gaming desktops, and they don't look very compelling (pricing wise, that is). Have you considered building a computer for yourself? If not .. Any of the "Alienware Gaming Desktops" would be good. But for that kind of cash you can go solid state for your drives at a much cheaper price then Dell.

Offline Cold HeritageTopic starter

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 03:58:03 PM »
I briefly considered building a computer for myself, but discarded the notion because I'd probably end up buying parts that aren't compatible. The attraction of dell is I just have to point, click, and never worry about it again.

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Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 04:07:21 PM »
I would go with HP myself but Dell's good. I wouldn't go for AlienWare or any other "Gaming PC" they're just making you pay for the name.

When I bought my last computer I got an HP top of the line, dual core drives, etc. For 2k and change. The AlienWare counterpart was 5k and change and wasn't as good.

I'd say just keep your options open. That's the best thing you can do. Also if you have any friends that are good in computers help them put one together with you.

Offline Vekseid

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 06:14:49 PM »
Probably not more than 5,000$ before taxes. I do not need a monitor or any stuff (I'll probably get a new keyboard from some local store, and I'm good for a mouse). So just the unit.

* Vekseid could build a rather nice server for Elliquiy with that >_> <_<

Given the depreciation rate of top of the line hardware, I've generally taken the route of buying a good motherboard with solid upgrade options. Looking at Dell's site... god damn. "Future proof your system with a 1.1kw power supply!" ... wtf. Naturally, you can't buy an SSD as your main drive with the Aurora, even though it apparently supports better RAM than the Area 51.

This is why we like to build our own.

You may want to consider going halfway - buy a stock XPS 9k from Dell, grab a high performance, high-density SSD, set that as your primary drive and do a system restore to it. >_>

A couple years down the road, pick up the 24gb of 1333mhz DDR3 on the cheap. You'll probably want to buy a better video card too.

Offline Pierre

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2009, 07:05:39 PM »
Here's what I came up with, which is less than the Dell system (this is a Canadian retailer called NCIX, I also believe they ship to the states):

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/8434/1258278861983.png

Pretty much the same specs as the Dell machines except with way faster storage (albit smaller).

Offline Pierre

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2009, 07:09:15 PM »
Just noticed Vekseid's post above. He's right about the server. I picked up a Supermicro machine with 2 Intel Xeon E5520's and 24GB DDR3 ECC for around $2.6k CAD w/ tax for PSU+MB+RAM+Case.

Offline Vekseid

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2009, 08:27:50 PM »
Having some more time to look at it, the Studio XPS 9000 on special (the one with the NVidia 1gb card and a few extra goodies) looks like a better deal in the long run than the Alienware stuff.
* You may want to spend $100 for getting 6GB (for Triple Channel)
* Likewise $150 for the windows ultimate upgrade...
* Similarly, $80 to upgrade the video card is not that bad.

Even without all of that, it will eat Dawn of War II and probably SC II for breakfast. Considering my three year old machine still eats their minimum specs alive... it's fairly future proof.

My main concern is their hard drive selection, which honestly sucks rocks all around.



Regarding the server, I'm not lacking for processor power. I'm lacking for disk I/O (thus my SSD fetish). We routinely have moments during peak hours where we approach a thousand queries per second. The el cheapo CPU is not breaking a sweat. The dinky RAID, however...

Offline Cold HeritageTopic starter

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2009, 08:35:26 PM »
I am in Canada, so a Canadian retailer is good. I'll go have a look around that site, Pierre. Thanks for the advice!

I'll also look at the model you talk about, Vekseid! Thanks a million for taking some time out to give me hand! Much obliged! :D

Offline Pierre

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2009, 09:33:33 PM »
I highly recommend NCIX if you just want to pick out parts.

Regarding the server, I'm not lacking for processor power. I'm lacking for disk I/O (thus my SSD fetish). We routinely have moments during peak hours where we approach a thousand queries per second. The el cheapo CPU is not breaking a sweat. The dinky RAID, however...

Sorry for hijacking this thread with server related talk. What kind of RAID controller are you utilizing? I'm using two 3Ware 9650SE's in my main server with 4 640GB WDC Black's in a RAID10 array on each, and I can easily push 5,000q/s without breaking a sweat. Have you tuned MySQL (or whatever RDBMS you are using) to allocate more memory to query cache?

Offline Vekseid

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2009, 11:27:25 PM »
I've written an article on Elliquiy's MySQL configuration here, though it's a bit dated. If you have a real multi-gb database for a cms pulling 5k queries/second with both reads and writes to several hundred tables, I'm not sure why you'd suggest something like the query cache for such a scenario. It's still more effective than it costs for us, but that's only for the moment. Eventually I'll have to turn it off.

Offline Maeven

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2009, 09:11:51 AM »
Seems like you've gotten some good suggestions but I'll just throw this in.  I've gotten my last 5 or 6 gaming computers (for my household, not just myself) over the last 5 years or so from http://www.ibuypower.com/.  It's essentially a pick and choose what components you want, they ensure compatibility and put it all together for you and ship it. 



Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2009, 11:54:59 PM »
I would heartily recommend against spending anywhere near $5K for a machine.  WAY too much money.  You should be able to get a very good PC for around $1200.  Here's an example:
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Gamer_Ultra_CrossFire_FX/ 

Any more than that, and you're spending a hell of a lot of money on a small extra bit of performance.  Throw in a nice big LCD screen like this one
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/adet.to?poid=438783 for around $300. 

That's $1500.  Throw in $200 for miscellaneous sundries, and you're up to only $1700.  For a computer system that's probably in the 95th percentile of PC systems out there now.  Sure, if you shell out another couple Gs you could get into the 98th percentile, but why?  If you're just burning to unload the remaining $3300 on electronic entertainment, get this TV and Blu-Ray for $1300:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5512057&sku=T24-5230%20W

An X-box 360 or PS/3 for $500 or so

And some nice surround sound speakers for $300
http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/fluance-sx-htb/4505-7868_7-21114465.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

That would still leave you with, what, $1200?


Offline Hemingway

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2009, 06:44:49 AM »
I recently upgraded my computer, and I didn't have the patience to wait, but it might be a good idea, as I understand the GeForce 300 Series is being released towards the end of this year. I don't know that for a fact, but it might be worth looking into, as that tends to push down the price of previous series.

Oh, will you be getting Windows 7?

Offline Kate

Re: In the market for a new computer and would like advice.
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 08:46:36 PM »
I agree with gamer

with  a 5k budget your FAR into diminishing returns on investment.

pay 1/2 of that.

Try and get systems already to go (if you dont know much about PCS - try and choose " componets that are well known eg INTEL CPUS etc - even if they are not the best performance for your cash - simply because you likely will have higher warranty / more support / easy to find forms talking about them concerning compatibility issues etc)

Get a hot motherboard first that is compatible with anything, as much of the fastest RAM you can put on it. Dont go larger than a 19 inch monitor
(choose one with fast refresh rates).. get a case with a power supply that seems on the verge of top as later you may use it for energy hungry things like newer CPU's or graphics cards )

UPS ! (Yes do so this smooths power fluxes more than just your power supply in your case and increases the lifetime of your computer - and protects it from all sorts of shit - as well as giving you some time for you to close your computer if a black out happens !)

it soulds silly to talk of keyboard and mice before CPU and graphics cards now but strangely - a keyboard that "feels right" and a mouse that "feels" right (these may not be the most expensive - goes A LONG way concerning enjoyment of your machine.

No real need to bother with a sound card as motherboards now have good enough sound in them (you can get subwoofers etc for just the normal leads they have) - unless your a sound super freak with sound and like experimenting with how good sound can get crap.

After those choices the CPU / hard drive / graphics card thing you should reserve about 200 each for - and say if i reserve 600 for these three - concerning my mother board what is the best options for gaming ? they may say "for an extra 80 dollars" you can do so and so.
likely probably just do so - but try and let them sell it before caving.... anything concerning overclocking just ignore them (dont do it - it causes more grief than good if you dont have a friend that knows it inside out)... you will likely need som OEM versions of s/w such as OS / firewalls etc

DVD read/writer drive is a must - likely a cool CORDLESS headset that has voice also IS very good.

this you can do for 1/2 that price.

with the extra get a WII and an XBOX360 ALSO ... so you can enjoy the best of all worlds.

btw many GIRLS love WII stuff - if you have sing star or some girly games for girl visitors (even tennis) girls are more likely to hand out and enjoy your pad.