Need bang for buck and I'm not as knowledgable anymore

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by VladTemplar, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    I'll admit it, I love everything computer related but I don't have the time that I used to to read around and find the best of the best. So I was wondering if you guys could give me a little help here.

    First, I need a laptop. The primary purpose of this laptop will be for law school and anything related to it, but I want it to be useful in the realm of some light RTS gaming and the ability to watch 1080p videos.

    Second, I need a desktop. My old desktop is rocking an AthlonXP 1900 and a GeForce 4600. So I seriously need an upgrade here. I don't know if I need to go with water cooling, since that seems to be almost required anymore since I don't want my desktop to sound like a turbine engine when I turn it on. The desktop will be used for gaming and everything inbetween. I'd really like to have a SSD for my system partition and some decent storage outside of it. I already plan to build a file server for bittorent and usenet storage.

    Can you guys give me some direction and guidance here? I don't necessarily need you to give me outright build instructions, but just a little guidance.
     
  2. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    You don't need water cooling if your case allows for 120mm fans.
    Or even 92mm, really. But if it only runs 80mm fans, you need a new case.

    Besides that, we need a budget.
     
  3. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Current case is an older Lian-li that only runs 80mm.

    I'd like to spend no more than 4000 on the pair, I might be able to stretch up to 5000 if it made a significant difference.
     
  4. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Yeah, that's a tight budget right there...


    :squint:
     
  5. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Well that's the budget I have.
     
  6. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Well for the sake of clarity, when most people say bang for the buck,
    they usually aren't talking about 4-5 grand.

    :eek3:


    For that much, you can pretty much have your cake and eat it too.
     
  7. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    That's the thing though, I don't want to waste money. I don't know if I need the 8800 series, do I need 2? Will I really ever be in a situation that needs dual video cards? That's the thing, that's a huge cost and I don't even know if it's worth it.

    I may have the money, but I don't want to throw it away.
     
  8. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    You can get a quality laptop with good graphics for less than $1500.

    And for $2500, you can put together a fairly badass computer.

    Quad core, 4gb, 8800GTX, a couple of hard drives, burner, new case and psu, and still have enough for an lcd monitor.
     
  9. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Will the laptop be able to play 1080p? My current laptop struggles to do 1080p (P4 3.2 ghz prescott and ATI Mobility Radeon 9800 (128mb)).
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Ok, I see where you're coming from. We just don't get a lot of people spending that much money for a "bang for the buck build".
    :mamoru:

    Well let me give you a couple of tips.

    Do NOT go with a board that uses DDR3.
    It's a MASSIVE waste of money right now.

    That means all the next gen stuff that everyone is going to come in here and tell you to get.

    Any of the Intel P35 chipset boards that still take DDR2 will do.
    I highly recommend Gigabyte boards.

    Use a smaller, faster drive for your os and then a big drive for backup.

    You only need 2gb of memory.
    4GB of memory is a waste of money, but they're going to beat on you in here until you submit to their wills and get the 4gb.
    :squint:

    If you must, get a 2x1gb kit, and a 2x512mb kit. Then you can run 1.5gb per channel, and at least windows will be able to use all of it.
     
  11. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I'm not the guy to ask about laptops, but my backup computer plays 1080p with onboard intel graphics. So I'm guessing a core 2 duo laptop with a dedicated grahics card should be able to play 1080p files.
     
  12. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Anyway you could toss together a setup for me to look at? If it's not too much to ask.
     
  13. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Sure.

    Be back in a few.
     
  14. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Also, is there any real worth in getting the 64bit version of Ultimate?
     
  15. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

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    have fun getting drivers on 64-bit vista :eek3:
     
  16. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Does nothing work?
     
  17. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    There's just not much point in it, is the real issue.

    There's just no real world improvements to be found.

    Other than it recognizing more memory.
     
  18. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Motherboard if you don't plan on overclocking -
    Intel P35 - $132 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121314



    If you might want to do some overclocking -
    Gigabyte GA-P35 $177 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128064



    CPU - Intel Quad Q6600 Retail - $279 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017




    Memory - Corsair XMS2 2x1gb $102 shipped ($62 after $40 rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145034




    PSU - Antec True Power Trio 650 Watt.
    $120 shipped ($79.99 after $40 rebate)
    Antec haters will yell about this, but it's made by Seasonic so tell them to stfu.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371001

    Or the Corsair 620HX 620 watt, also made by Seasonic
    $169 shipped ($149 after $20 rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139002

    Seasonic S12 650 watt $161 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151028

    Also very good is Fortron - FX700 700 watt - $129 shipped ($105 after $25 rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104015




    DVD burner - The Samsung SH-S203B is the fastest burner made per
    the tests ran by MaximumPC mag. $37 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151153




    Graphics - XFX 8800GTX - $549 shipped ($499 after $50 rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150232




    Hard drives - Western Digital Raptor 10,000rpm for the os - $165 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136033

    And one of these -

    Seagate 750gb $210 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148134


    Hitachi 1TB $329 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145143



    That's $1,584 without case if you go with the Gigabyte, Fortron and Seagate 750gb.

    That leaves you enough space to get Vista if you want, plus a case and widescreen lcd.
     
  19. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Thanks for the list. Came out to just under 3000.

    Edit: With Hitachi, Ultimate, and a 24"
     
  20. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Hey, if you're going to go with the 1TB drive, get the Seagate.

    Almost the same price ($335), but comes with a 5 year warranty instead of the 3 year one that Hitachi has.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148274
     
  21. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Can you recommend a case? I know Lian Li kicks ass, but it's damned expensive.
     
  22. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    if you don't do lian li, then i'd recommend silverstone as 2nd place (cheaper).
     
  23. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    There's so many good cases right now, it's impossible to suggest one.

    The only thing I insist on with a case is that it have either 92mm fans or 120mm fans (preferably 120mm) in front of the hard drive cage.
    That way you can run 3 speed fans on low or medium, and have a very quiet case, and also cool hard drives.
    I don't care how great a case is made, if you can't keep your drives cool, then look somewhere else.

    The Antec cases have good cooling in front of the drive cages.
    The Antec Nine Hundred case is probably the best deal on a solid case with amazing cooling. $140 shipped.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021


    Lian li's have terrific quality but like your case, not all of them have good sized cooling. The PC-v2100B Plus II is great, but it's crazy expensive.
    $351 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112064


    Some Cooler Master cases have good fan placement, and look great.

    Silverstone as has been mentioned, has great build quality.
    Again, make sure it has good drive cooling.

    Here's a newegg list of good cases that have at least two 120mm fans, from least expensive to most expensive.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&Subcategory=7&Description=&Type=&N=2010090007&srchInDesc=&MinPrice=&MaxPrice=&Manufactory=1516&Manufactory=2031&Manufactory=1314&Manufactory=1375&Manufactory=1333&Manufactory=2120&Manufactory=1647&PropertyCodeValue=548%3A8288&PropertyCodeValue=548%3A8289&PropertyCodeValue=548%3A8287&PropertyCodeValue=551%3A8418&PropertyCodeValue=870%3A8027&PropertyCodeValue=870%3A27878&PropertyCodeValue=870%3A8028&PropertyCodeValue=870%3A8026&PropertyCodeValue=870%3A30242
     
  24. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Thanks, now I just have to figure out the laptop.
     
  25. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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