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Author Topic: THinking of buying first desktop in about 5 or 6 years-help!  (Read 1120 times)
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Canuck
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« on: July 20, 2009, 12:07:33 AM »

So I could use some help here!  Other than my last years purchase of a netbook, the last time I bought a real laptop was 4 years ago and the last time I bought a desktop was a couple of years before that!  So I'm thinking of getting a new desktop to compliment my netbook and I'm thinking of around the $1000 mark (CDN).  I want a computer that can play games but not necessarily a gaming computer.  There are a lot of older games that I've had to pass up because I didn't have the specs to run it at the time so I would probably be playing mostly 3 and 4 year old games (and of course strategy/wargames).  About the most system intensive game I would like to play right now is Mass Effect (and maybe Mass Effect 2 when it comes out).  That said I've found this computer on Dell.ca for about $1k.  What do you think about it?  Is it ok?  How about the video card? Is it decent?  There are so many video cards out these days that really it's impossible to know which is good and which is bad.

Studio XPS     Studio XPS featuring Core i7 processors
Operating System    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
Processors    Intel® Core™ i7-920 Processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
Memory    6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs
Keyboard    Dell USB Keyboard
Monitor    No Monitor
Video Card    ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB
Labels    Windows Vista™ Premium
Hard Drives    1TB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Floppy Drive or Media Card Reader    No Floppy Drive or Media Reader Included
Mouse    Dell Optical USB Mouse
Modem (External)    No Modem Option
Adobe Software    Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0 Multi-Language
Optical Drives    Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Sound Card    Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Speaker    No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed)    Microsoft Works 9.0
Security Software    McAfee Security Center with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, 30-Days
Hardware Support Services    1 Yr Limited Warranty with 1 Yr NBD Onsite Service and 1 Yr Tech Support
Optional Support Services    Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Installation    No Installation
Internet Access    Please contact me with more details
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drifter
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 11:28:33 PM »

how about this from newegg.ca  (thats in canada eh)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229073

General Spec
Brand CyberpowerPC
Model Gamer Ultra 9215
Recommended Usage Gaming
Processor AMD Phenom X4 9950(2.6GHz)
Processor Main Features 64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Cache Per Processor 4 x 512KB L2 Cache
Memory 8GB (4x2GB) DDR2 800
Hard Drive 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 7200RPM HDD
Optical Drive 1 20X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive
Optical Drive 2 16X DVD-ROM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 896MB PCI Express Video Card
Audio Sound card - Integrated
Ethernet Gigabit LAN
Power Supply 800W
Keyboard Logitech Deluxe 104 PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse Logitech Optical Wheel PS/2 Mouse
Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit
Special Features Raidmax Sagitta II Gaming Case
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rittchard
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 09:51:58 PM »

I saw the build you mentioned on the Dell site.  Personally I would forgo the i7 in favor of a better graphics card based system.  Unless you plan to be doing something specific that you feel the need for a quad-core.  I believe the 4350 is really on the low low end for gaming but I could be wrong.

Anyway, for the same price at Dell, you can get:

Intel® Core™2 E8400 (6MB,3.0 GHz, 1333FSB)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
XPS Standard System Cooling
1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
Microsoft Works 9.0
SLi, Dual nVidia GeForce 9800GT 512MB
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs
500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
No Monitor
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
No Keyboard
No Mouse
Black Bezel Chassis
My Accessories
Norton Internet Security™ 2009, 15-Month, English
Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Also Includes
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0 Multi-Language
Windows Vista™ Premium
Dell Remote Access, free basic service
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rittchard
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 10:01:17 PM »

Now of course if you don't mind the bargain sites, I always go back to cyberpower, this one came in at $902 US, you get the i7 AND a top notch graphics card (GTS 250).

CASE: New! CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower Case with See-Thur Side Panel
Neon Light Upgrade: NONE
Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
POWER SUPPLY Upgrade:  420 Watts Standard Case Power Supply
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-920 2.66 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366
COOLING FAN : Intel LGA1366 Certified CPU Fan & Heatsink
MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE X58 GA-EX58-UD3R 2 WAY CROSSFIRE/SLI DDR3
MEMORY: 3GB (1GBx3) PC1333 DDR3 PC3 10666 Triple Channel Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Optical Drive: (Special Price) LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive (BLACK COLOR)
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
SPEAKERS: None
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
MODEM: NONE
KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
USB PORT: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
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warning
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 10:16:43 PM »

I'd just wait till the end of Oct or Nov and get one with Windows 7 installed.
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StriderGG
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 05:10:27 PM »

Quote from: warning on July 21, 2009, 10:16:43 PM

I'd just wait till the end of Oct or Nov and get one with Windows 7 installed.

IIRC, if you buy a system before Oct, you will be getting an upgrade coupon that will allow you to upgrade to Win 7 for free. Not sure if it's true and definitly check if your retailer supports this.

I disagree with Rittch' first post and agree with the second one. smile
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rittchard
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 08:29:53 PM »

Quote from: StriderGG on July 22, 2009, 05:10:27 PM

Quote from: warning on July 21, 2009, 10:16:43 PM

I'd just wait till the end of Oct or Nov and get one with Windows 7 installed.

IIRC, if you buy a system before Oct, you will be getting an upgrade coupon that will allow you to upgrade to Win 7 for free. Not sure if it's true and definitly check if your retailer supports this.

I disagree with Rittch' first post and agree with the second one. smile

You have to be careful with the update - not every computer from every manufacturer "qualifies" for the free upgrade.  I think Dell is pretty explicit about which ones do and don't.  I was disappointed to find out recently the cheapy Gateway I bought for my parents didn't qualify.

What do you disagree with on my first post?  Is the 4350 good enough or are you saying go with the i7 instead of the E8400?  In terms of gaming performance, I think the Dell would actually outperform everything thus far listed here since it's got the 9800GTs in SLI.  The E8400 is a really nice/fast processor; frankly I felt like I had better overall speed back when I was using that over my present i7.
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Creepy_Smell
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2009, 02:47:12 AM »

I dont think the 4350 would be a good card. While it would probably play the older games you missed out, the card would hold back your system for recent games.

My old rig just died and I needed a new one (AMD 9750 q 8GB RAM) quickly so got one at the local best buy with a 4650 in it. For $100 less I could have gotten the same rig with a horrible card and used the $ to get a better card but I didn't want to worry about power supply issues or wait. So far the 4650 is quite good. Beats the snot out of my old 7600 (along with a quadcore being able to push it better than my old rig pushed the 7600). Bioshock, Fallout 3, Arma1, The Witcher and both Stalkers all run excellent with normal to high settings (Old rig was mix of low and med). Also runs the COD4 and Arma2 demos well. I normally build my own but didn't want the hassle this time so at least planned on buying a store one with a horrible video card and then updating it but am happy so far with my 4650.

If you can't get a better video card from dell maybe try to pick a cheaper/free one and use the extra money to buy a different video card. The 4650 I have is ~$50 US on newegg while $120 US at Best Buy.

EDIT: If you like Nvidia, at the least I would go with a 9600gt. I believe its better than the 4650 but don't think the 9500 is wrong (I haven't looked at this comparison a lot but wouldn't want a Nvidia below these 2).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 02:59:08 AM by Creepy_Smell » Logged

Canuck
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2009, 01:51:32 PM »

How about something like this?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229112

It's a lan box which appeals to me because I would be hauling it to Japan and possibly back.  Can anyone see any problems with this?

To be honest I think it's more than I need.  I saw an Athlon on Newegg.ca for about $600 which seemed promising.  I want to use it mainly to play older games and newer strategy games like Men of War and EU:Rome and stuff like that.  I would most definitely not be running things like Crysis or anything although I might try playing through Fallout 3 for a lark.

Brand     CyberpowerPC
Model    Lan Box Extreme 1013
Recommended Usage    Gaming
Processor    Intel Core i7 920(2.66GHz)
Processor Main Features    64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Memory    6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 Tri Channel Memory
Hard Drive    500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 7200RPM HDD
Optical Drive 1    22X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive
Graphics    NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB PCI-Express Video Card
Audio    Sound card - Integrated
Ethernet    Gigabit LAN
Power Supply    680W
Keyboard    Xtreme Gear USB keyboard
Mouse    Xtreme Gear USB Mouse
Operating System    Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Free upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7
Special Features    Thermaltake Lan Box
Motherboard
Chipset    Intel X58
CPU
CPU Type    Intel Core i7
Installed Qty    1
CPU Speed    920(2.66GHz)
L2 Cache Per CPU    4 x 256KB
L3 Cache Per CPU    8MB
CPU Socket Type    LGA 1366
CPU Main Features    64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Graphics
GPU/VPU Type    NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
Graphics Interface    PCI Express x16
Memory
Memory Capacity    6GB DDR3
Memory Spec    2GB x 3
Hard Drive
HDD Capacity    500GB
HDD Interface    SATA II
HDD RPM    7200rpm
Optical Drive
Optical Drive Type    DVD±RW
Optical Drive Spec    22X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive
Audio
Audio Chipset    Integrated
Communications
LAN Chipset    Integrated
LAN Speed    10/100/1000Mbps
Front Panel Ports
Front USB    2
Front IEEE 1394    1
Front Audio Ports    2
Card Reader    Internal 12-in-1 Media Card Reader
Back Panel Ports
PS/2    2
Video Ports    2 DVI
TV Out    1
Rear USB    6
Rear IEEE 1394    1
eSATA    1
RJ45    1 port
Rear Audio Ports    6 ports
Mouse
Mouse Type    USB Mouse
Keyboard
Keyboard Type    USB Keyboard
Manufacturer Warranty
Parts    1 year limited
Labor    1 year limited
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Canuck
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2009, 01:53:56 PM »

How about this one?? The price point is certainly tasty.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229100

Brand     CyberpowerPC
Model    Gamer Ultra 7208
Recommended Usage    Gaming
Processor    AMD Athlon X2 7850(2.8GHz)
Processor Main Features    64 bit Dual Core Processor
Cache Per Processor    2 x 512KB L2 Cache
Memory    4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800
Hard Drive    500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 7200RPM HDD
Optical Drive 1    22X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive
Graphics    NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT 1GB PCI Express Video Card
Audio    Sound card - Integrated
Ethernet    Gigabit LAN
Power Supply    420W
Keyboard    Logitech USB Keyboard
Mouse    Logitech Optical USB Mouse
Operating System    Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Special Features    Coolermaster Elite 310 Case
Motherboard
Chipset    AMD 760G
CPU
CPU Type    Athlon X2
Installed Qty    1
CPU Speed    7850(2.8GHz)
L2 Cache Per CPU    2 x 512KB
CPU Socket Type    AM2+
CPU Main Features    64 bit Dual Core Processor
Graphics
GPU/VPU Type    NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT
Graphics Interface    PCI Express x16
Memory
Memory Capacity    4GB DDR2
Memory Speed    DDR2 800
Form Factor    DIMM 240-pin
Memory Spec    2GB x 2
Hard Drive
HDD Capacity    500GB
HDD Interface    SATA II
HDD RPM    7200rpm
Optical Drive
Optical Drive Type    DVD±RW
Optical Drive Spec    22X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive
Audio
Audio Chipset    Integrated
Communications
LAN Chipset    Integrated
LAN Speed    10/100/1000Mbps
Front Panel Ports
Front USB    2
Back Panel Ports
LPT    1
Rear USB    6
RJ45    1 port
Expansion
PCI Slots (Available/Total)    1 x PCI-Express x16
1 x PCI-Express x1
2 x PCI
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Destructor
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2009, 03:59:40 PM »

Those both look like pretty nice PCs there. Unless I'm missing something really obvious. anyway.
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 01:59:23 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on July 26, 2009, 01:51:32 PM

How about something like this?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229112

It's a lan box which appeals to me because I would be hauling it to Japan and possibly back.  Can anyone see any problems with this?

I've never messed with that form factor of a case, but with all the cool bits and pieces going into that thing, it seems that two 60mm fans wouldn't be enough to keep it cool.  Everything is in very close proximity with everything else, so even with those big honkin' vents on the side I'd be concerned about proper air flow.  I skimmed a couple of pages of reviews(newegg) for that case and some people mentioned heat and noise on their cons.
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