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    Help me go shopping!

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    Cander
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    Help me go shopping!

    Post by Cander on Fri May 09, 2008 10:06 am

    First, I know enough about computers to mess them up. I "fix" things by pushing all kinds of new buttons hoping they work. Sometimes buggering up the computer even more. LOL

    My current comp will run AoC on it's lowest settings, and even then it's meh. So, due to the joy of gov't rebate checks and having four kids, I have a nice sum of money to drop on a new system. Wife isn't super happy about it because she's afraid I'll run out of cash to finish the patio out back LOL but she finally get's her own comp in our room so she doesn't have to use her work laptop all the time.

    So then, I'm trying to get the best I can with the money I have available to me. And have two choices and a few questions. First, Xp or Vista? I keep hearing from some places that Vista still has issues...other people say with enough memory and RAM Vista runs fine. So then these are the two I found on Dell that fit what I'm looking for w/o going nuts. (Yes, I would LOVE to drop 4Gs on a system, but that's just not possible LOL)

    Choice #1 Dell XPS 420:

    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)

    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium with Digital Cable Support

    MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 4 DIMMs

    HARD DRIVE 500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache

    OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability

    MONITORS 22 inch E228WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel

    VIDEO CARD nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB

    SOUND CARD Integrated Sound Blaster®Audigy™ HD Software Edition
    Total price: $1,467

    Or, choice #2 Dell XPS 630:
    SYSTEM COLOR Black Bezel Chassis

    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 E8400 (6MB,3.0 GHz, 1333FSB)

    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium

    MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 4 DIMMs

    HARD DRIVE 500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache

    OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability

    MONITORS 22 inch SP2208WFP Wide Flat Panel with Webcam and Mic

    VIDEO CARD nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB

    SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

    SPEAKERS Dell AX510 10W Attached Speaker for UltraSharp™ Flat Panel Monitors

    Total cost: $2032 (which, is a little outside my comfortable range, but /shrug.)

    So whatcha say? Now I hear people complain about Dell all the time, but frankly I've never had a big issue with them. But if you know of a better computer company that makes comparable desktops (no laptops please!) for a similar, or cheaper Wink price, please, tell me!

    Stigma
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Stigma on Fri May 09, 2008 2:22 pm

    I'm confused. Why does option #2 cost $600 more? It's essentially identical to choice #1, with the exception of the processor. However, a Q6600 processor retails for around $230, whereas the E8400 is about $200. And functionally, either one of those are more than enough to easily run AoC. (I use a E8400, and Bullarky uses a Q6600, and neither have shown anything but love for the game.)

    Honestly, get #1. With #2 you're paying $600 more what appears to be a webcam, speakers, and a microphone. You can buy that stuff on your own for under $100.
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    Cander
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Cander on Fri May 09, 2008 2:43 pm

    Dao Jones wrote:Honestly, get #1. With #2 you're paying $600 more what appears to be a webcam, speakers, and a microphone. You can buy that stuff on your own for under $100.

    Hehe, well I think, with #2 there was a couple things I added, like a printer and what not. And two I have trendmicro anti-virus instead of McAfee...which I'm not as fond of McAfee. And #1 has the speakers as well, I just cut that line off.

    But the processors won't be all that different? Will quad core run more smoothly? Or will that not matter if the game doesn't support it? I don't honestly know. LOL

    Thanks for helping the computer boob. My wife knows stuff, but she's strictly a software kinda gal. (there's a joke in there...somewhere)
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    Otolith
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Otolith on Fri May 09, 2008 3:14 pm

    cyberpower has some decent rigs too, unless you are sold on the dells
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    Cander
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Cander on Fri May 09, 2008 5:31 pm

    Otolith wrote:cyberpower has some decent rigs too, unless you are sold on the dells

    Hmmm, I checked them out. Never heard of them, and I was rather impressed with their prices. I put together a rig that's actually about $100 cheaper than the #1 choice, but now, I have even more questions lol

    The Cyberpower cpu has dual NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express. Can I assume that two of those would be as good or better than one nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB?

    And also, anyone have an answer to the difference, benefitwise, of quad core over duo core?

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Guest on Fri May 09, 2008 5:42 pm

    Do you have to buy a premade one? Building it yourself will be way cheaper or for the same money you can get a lot more. Newegg.com is your friend.
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    Cander
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Cander on Fri May 09, 2008 5:45 pm

    You must have missed the part where I basically said I know jack and crap about computers. LOL And, I asked a hardware guy about that, and he said this day and age it's typically cheaper to have one built. scratch

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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Guest on Fri May 09, 2008 5:55 pm

    Collosia wrote:You must have missed the part where I basically said I know jack and crap about computers. LOL And, I asked a hardware guy about that, and he said this day and age it's typically cheaper to have one built. scratch
    Well it is not much different than building anything else and there are plenty of guides for it but you are correct I did miss that part.

    Whatever hardware guy you asked that gave you that answer I would steer clear of him for any other advise. I would bet money that a prebuilt is always more expensive than buying the exact same parts and building it yourself. Hell just take the OS. Dell and others buy it at OEM price and sell it back to you at retail. You can buy OEM version right from Newegg and save 100+ in that alone.

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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Khalrez on Fri May 09, 2008 6:51 pm

    Collosia wrote:
    Otolith wrote:cyberpower has some decent rigs too, unless you are sold on the dells

    Hmmm, I checked them out. Never heard of them, and I was rather impressed with their prices. I put together a rig that's actually about $100 cheaper than the #1 choice, but now, I have even more questions lol

    The Cyberpower cpu has dual NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express. Can I assume that two of those would be as good or better than one nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB?

    And also, anyone have an answer to the difference, benefitwise, of quad core over duo core?

    Thanks again!

    You would be far better off with just one 8800GT than 2 8500's. The 8500 just doesnt have anywhere close to the power of the 8800 and just because you have them in SLI doesnt mean 2X the power.

    So yeah, go with a 8800GT or an 8800GTS 512.

    Also, if you want to go with a Dell option, I'd reccomend the #1 setup but change the processor to the E8400. Less power consumption, and there's no real need for quad core right now. By the time games fully support quad core it will be time to upgrade again.

    PS: DONT BUY ANYMORE RAM FROM DELL THAN YOU HAVE TO! Dell charges through the nose for ram upgrades. You can buy 2 gigs for $40 no problem at Newegg.com, and it'll be 800mhz unlike Dell's 667 stuff. They're as easy as pie to install, just make sure you get 240 pin ram.

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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Stigma on Fri May 09, 2008 7:00 pm

    Collosia wrote:But the processors won't be all
    that different? Will quad core run more smoothly? Or will that not
    matter if the game doesn't support it?
    Currently, I think only Crysis supports quad-core processors. While there was a bit of discussion here about quad versus dual core processors for gaming, the reality is that no current game (AoC included) is optimized to run on a quad core processor. So in that respect there's no read difference.

    However, a quad-core processor is a stronger processor overall than a dual core, and Bullarky's assertion that his chip will be better (than my E8400) for most other tasks is essentially correct. My chip is newer (uses more energy efficient architecture, as well), but the Q6600 is very good. So really, go with whatever cheaper deal you get, but in a tie, favor the quad-core.

    The
    Cyberpower cpu has dual NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express.
    Can I assume that two of those would be as good or better than one
    nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB?
    No you may not. Very Happy While SLI is highly touted, the truth is that you are almost always better off with a stronger single card than two weaker dual cards. Without boring you with a lecture about the mechanics of video cards, the simple answer is that the 8500 is a weak card, and the 8800 is a great card. Two weak cards do not equal one good one. As a general rule of thumb for gaming and nVidia video cards, if the make is not x8xx (6800, 7800, 8800, etc), don't buy it. You may find that the x6xx cards are okay for low-end tasks, but anything else (x5xx, x4xx, x2xx) is generally a stripped down, underpowered card that will be all but useless for gaming.

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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Guest on Fri May 09, 2008 7:10 pm

    I also prefer the single card vs. SLI. I thought I read somewhere that you cannot run 2 monitors in SLI mode but I could be wrong. I have a 22inch wide and 19inch and I cannot imagine ever going back to single monitor.
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Killer_Shark on Mon May 12, 2008 1:35 am

    Honestly I would stick to a single vid card. I used to run dual cards and it is more trouble than it is worth in my opinion. It is more expensive and it always seemed like there was always something glitchy and funky going on with drivers and what not.

    I also believe that at this point in time, quad core is nice but dual core is the place to be at this point.

    Both of the systems you listed can run AoC nicely. The important thing is setting your in-game video options and your video driver options properly to get the most from your hardware.

    Another thing to remember, if it hasn't already been said, pre-made systems always come pre-loaded with a bunch of extra software that you don't or won't need.........otherwise known as "bloatware". If you delete and/or uninstall all the extra junk they put on your machine, you will get better performance.

    Good Luck and happy shopping.
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Cander on Tue May 13, 2008 3:17 pm

    Well, a big thank you to everyone who gave advice and insight! Very Happy I actually went with...neither. LOL


    I have always wanted an Alienware computer. Y'know, like some people have always wanted a Cadillac or something? Yeah, paying for the name, I know. But I skipped out on getting a new monitor (I have a 20" flat screen, just not wide screen) and dug around eBay for a while. And stumbled across Alienware's "outlet store" there. This was listed originally for $1519, marked down to $1379.00 and they were accepting "Best offers."


    • Condition: New
    • Processor Type: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Brand: Alienware Processor Speed: 3 GHz
    • Operating System: Windows XP Professional
    • Processor Configuration: Dual Core
    • Primary Drive: DVD+/-RW
    • Memory (RAM): 4 GB
    • Bundled Items: --
    • Hard Drive Capacity: 250 GB


      For a $900 offer. YIPPIE! And don't rain on my parade...I think I got a good deal. LOL I don't care about Vista, it has the 4gb ram that I want, the speed and processor I was looking for. I'm a happy camper. And again, thank you for your insight. Saved me from dishing out money for stuff I thought sounded better but was not really the case. LOL
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by hsalive on Tue May 13, 2008 3:23 pm

    nice good price
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    Cander
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    BAH!

    Post by Cander on Thu May 22, 2008 11:13 pm

    Ok techie heads...I just got this email from the Alienware reseller I purchased the above computer from:
    Michael, We have discovered that Alienware has sent us the wrong specs on this item. It is a 8600 and not the 8800gts. Alienware is sending us a few of the units with the 8800 if you would like to wait until we receive them. I don't know when they will be in. If you don't want to wait we can discount your purchase $300.00 and ship it with the current 8600 card. Please let us know what you would like to do. I apologize for any inconvenience.

    So I get the exact same thing, but it's an 8600gt instead of the 8800gtx(Yes I see she put down 8800gtS. I'm hoping that's a typo, otherwise she and I are gonig to have to have a long discussion about representation of product. LOL) with a discount. Think I should hold out for the 8800gtx? Or is the 8600 pretty good too? And just take the $300 discount and get the CPU sooner?
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    Re: Help me go shopping!

    Post by Fellin on Thu May 22, 2008 11:34 pm

    If they are going to send you that one with the 8600 for $600 instead of $900 I would go ahead and take it. You can buy an 8800gt or 9600gt for well under $200 and be money ahead. Then just put the new vid card in and ebay the 8600.

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