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> What to buy?, Help Sor spend money!
Soresha
post Fri, Nov 23 2007, 19:27
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Hiya,

I think it's time for some new toys. I got a biiig bonus at work a couple of weeks ago (= 2 months pay!) and it finally occurred to me yesterday that I could actually spend some of it. So I'm open to suggestions for what I could spend it on, and no NOT you guys! haha. I mean something nice for my PC!

Here's my current spec:

CPU Type DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo E6700, 266 MHz (10 x 267)
Motherboard Name Foxconn P9657AA Series (3 PCI, 1 PCI-E x1, 1 PCI-E x4, 1 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN)
Motherboard Chipset Intel Broadwater P965
System Memory 2048 MB
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX (512 MB)
Audio Adapter Creative SB X-Fi Fatal1ty Sound Card

The real question is - what's the weakest point atm? Should I be looking at upgrading the processor or the graphic card, where am I falling behind?
Say for something like Vanguard, I'm guessing better graphic cards mean you can turn the settings up, but is there anything spending money can do for the very low FPS you see in the big cities?

Then there's that SLI thing where you join 2 cards up together, I've never done that. Am I going to have power supply problems or is there anything else to watch out for with 2 graphics cards? Which is better, 1 absolute top-of-the-range graphics card, or 2 pretty good ones? Hmm, and how the *bleep* do you fit 2 in anyway?

My sound card is pretty decent, and I'm very happy with my monitor. I suppose there are those fancy keyboards, but I'm fussy I need a VERY light action keyboard more than I need extra buttons. Any other ideas for PC-related toys?

Advice and suggestions please!

Sor smile.gif

This post has been edited by Soresha: Thu, Dec 6 2007, 21:14


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Chaldor Itieles
post Fri, Nov 23 2007, 19:41
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if u want to use SLI, check the combined power output (not the marketing value) of your power supply and calculate if it has the needed reserves for a second VGACard
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Joaqim
post Fri, Nov 23 2007, 19:58
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bleeeb *everything but the memory is beyond my spec*

well I would check the official forums if the issues that been mentioned with the Geforce 8800 GTX some ages ago are solved - oh right I allways take used graphic crads as donation :b
For SLI you also should have pretty identical cards and a well powered power supply - and see how good SLI mode is supported by VG in the forums.
The other parts, well max. clock is 3 GHz, so not that much more and personally I wouldn't expect too much from quad core for gaming atm - but maybe I am wrong. Well and the other point, there are a lot changes upcoming, like 45nm structures for the CPU which should also come with increased CPU clock at some point - which might make DDR3 RAM usuable which might get down to a reasonable price some time.
Oh and don't forget the old rule: never buy those stuff just before Xmas wink.gif

Joa ph34r.gif

EDIT: haven't checked the board before - forget SLI with that one, only boards with Nvidia chipset can support SLI atm.

This post has been edited by Joaqim: Fri, Nov 23 2007, 20:01


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Arcat
post Sat, Nov 24 2007, 14:06
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Don't go for SLI unless you want to invest a lot of time before you play a new game or upgrade drivers.

New Games:

By default SLI is disabled for games newer than the driver release date.
You'll need to manually adjust the settings which is just damn annoying.


Drivers:

Every new Beta breaks SLI for my machine, I have to use modded drivers since months.
Another BIG unmentioned issue is that SLI doesn't support two monitors.

Don't get me wrong - SLI is super fast and my system is bottlenecked by the CPU at each game - but it took me almost half a year to get the system stable.
I had to buy a 3rd (!) graphics card to get dualscreen again. Bottom line: I'll never go for SLI again.

About mixing card: The Graphics chipset must match, memory doesn't need to but the smaller amount will be used. Mainboard must also handle SLI plus you need a very good PSU.



Regarding your System:

Harddrive, Harddrive, Harddrive. smile.gif Games which constantly load stuff (like MMOs or games with no level/maps system) use the Harddisk a lot.
Buy a very fast S-ATA HDD.


best,
Arcat


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Soresha
post Sun, Nov 25 2007, 15:26
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Hard drive is a SATA 400 GB, 16 MB Cache, 7200 RPM
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=132
Anyway it already meets with Arcat's approval hehe.

SLI sounds like waaay too much hassle for me, so I think that leaves me looking at getting a single, top of the range (or near the top) graphics card. Time to read up on the reviews I guess, and Vanguard compatibility. Bah, I hate research! wink.gif

And erm, why not buy before Xmas? Are you thinking of stuff being cheaper after Xmas in the sales, or that retailers send out dodgy stuff pre-Xmas? Both my last 2 PCs were bought in the pre-Xmas months, heh I'm actually making a habit of this...

Sor


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tramsan
post Mon, Nov 26 2007, 07:19
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I'd suggest getting two harddrives, so you can have Windows and pagefile on one, and game on the other. I also strongly suggest not getting a Creative card. Soundblasters practically rape the PCI protocol, potentially making your system more unstable than it needs to be. Try a Turtlebeach instead. Since it's all abstracted in DX, the games won't know the difference.


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Arcat
post Mon, Nov 26 2007, 11:14
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Sorry, Joa - you posted a minute before I turned off the Database for an update. Your post wasn't in the backup.


Reconstruction: Original by Joaqim


Umm WDC, seems you had luck, seen a lot of the consumer hard disc drives crashing - so it seems they saved a bit too much money on the construction, also talked with a computer dealer a while ago and they have a lot of those coming back. Well, else if you want it fast, go for their 10k series, not that much capacity but seems to be pretty solid and high performance, if you need more and your mainboard is supporting it well, do RAID O. About the suggest from trams, that way I seen more effect for Hz then VG, but maybe just my crappy system.
About the soundcard, creative is a good one, as long as the system is running with it smile.gif

About Xmas, at least around here the month after Xmas the prices are dropping quite a bit.

Joa


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Arcat - (Cleric 100, Warrior 100) - Live Stats (v2.1) | Resources | Need Armor?
Carpenter 100, Enchanter 100, Weaver 78, Fitter 41, Mason 22 - Gatherer 86, Miner 51
Alchemist 100, Fletcher 100, Outfitter 100, Tinkerer 37, Rest at 20+

Critter of Arcat - (Adult Dragon 37)
Dragon Crafter 53, Hoard ~5mio, Path of the Helian

8-Ball: Signs point to yes.
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Soresha
post Wed, Dec 5 2007, 21:53
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Right then, one new hard drive coming up! smile.gif
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 750GB 7200rpm 32MB cache

Now for a peek at graphics cards...




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Soresha
post Wed, Dec 5 2007, 23:23
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Hmm. 8800s seem ok in Vanguard: 8800 issues resolved?

8800 Ultra is really too much money to spend, given how much time I spend on Vanguard instead of in Vanguard hehe. But an 8800 GTX would make it look pretty I bet. smile.gif

So for my next question: Does it matter which card manufacturer I go for? Maybe not the cheapest, most budget version...?


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Joaqim
post Thu, Dec 6 2007, 00:33
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QUOTE (Soresha @ Wed, Dec 5 2007, 23:23) *
8800 Ultra is really too much money to spend, given how much time I spend on Vanguard instead of in Vanguard hehe. But an 8800 GTX would make it look pretty I bet. smile.gif

So for my next question: Does it matter which card manufacturer I go for? Maybe not the cheapest, most budget version...?


Well, the Ultra also might be a bit....ummm...hot - perfect for PSU stress test.
If I'd looking for a 8800 GTX I guess I'd preferably loooking for one from XFX, but don't forget to check your PSU as well - even this one is able to consume something like 150 watt at max.


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Soresha
post Thu, Dec 6 2007, 00:39
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Hehe Joa you just beat me to it...

Power supply recommended for 880 GTX = 450W

*looks in case*

Power supply in my PC = 420W

waaaaa!!

*wonders how hard changing a power supply would be, and looks up what they cost*

Hmm not that cheap, and no way I could risk getting a cheap crappy power supply, that's what blew up in the old PC (and took the motherboard with it). So now the 8800 GTX is looking both more expensive and more hassle....

*does some more research*

Okay, the newer 8800 GT is looking like a very nice option, only needs 400W power supply, quite a bit cheaper and has some good reviews:
8800 GT Review
Only problem now is they're seriously out of stock everywhere, haha!


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tramsan
post Thu, Dec 6 2007, 03:58
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Putting in a new PSU is pretty easy. All the cables only fit where they're supposed to go, and the PSU itself comes loose with 4 screws.

Just remember to de-zap yourself first. tongue.gif


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Joaqim
post Thu, Dec 6 2007, 09:37
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Heya Sor,

as trams says, changing a PSU isn't too hard, only really bad hing is that you need to log out from Vg to do this smile.gif . And don't look at the power output only, better expect that the 8800 GTX can produce a peak current of 18A on the 12V line. And no, no crap PSU please, too many eat loads of power but aren't very efficient so their output is still not as high as it should be - and of course they also easily blow up.

The 8800 GT with 512MB, yeah it's slower, but still higher performance as the 8800 GTS and less power consuming, as the 8800 GT is shrinked to 65nm while the 8800 GTX (GTS) is made in 90nm. Memory bus is just 256 Bit though, not sure how much effect this got for VG......
But atm I guess it's way easier to get a 8800 GTX + PSU then a 8800 GT wink.gif


regards
Joa ph34r.gif


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Soresha
post Thu, Dec 6 2007, 19:29
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8800GTX + decent power supply is at least 200 more than a 8800GT, and given that I just ordered a HDD as well that would be going a bit too far hehe. I'm sure that during the few hours a week I spend in Vanguard it'll look suitably prettier with a 8800GT than it did before!

I hunted around and found a shop with 10x 8800GT cards left in stock and ordered one before going to bed. No surprise that today they're now out of stock as well, but mine has been despatched and should arrive in the next couple of days. smile.gif

Thanks for all the advice guys!

If I can be bothered, I'll record my average FPS (in and out of a city) with the old card and the new card, let you know what happens. Could then repeat the same thing when I switch the installation to the new HDD.

Hmm, what's the chance of being able to simply move the Vanguard installation to another drive I wonder? Might have to reinstall, copy in the newer assets and do a full scan... oh well playing with hard drives can wait until the Xmas break!



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Arcat
post Sun, Dec 9 2007, 14:30
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QUOTE (Soresha @ Thu, Dec 6 2007, 19:29) *
Hmm, what's the chance of being able to simply move the Vanguard installation to another drive I wonder? Might have to reinstall, copy in the newer assets and do a full scan... oh well playing with hard drives can wait until the Xmas break!


You might need to review the windows registry for hardcoded paths.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software - look at both trees for Sony, SOE, Vanguard or Sysomething (vendor of the game)


best,
Arcat


--------------------
Arcat - (Cleric 100, Warrior 100) - Live Stats (v2.1) | Resources | Need Armor?
Carpenter 100, Enchanter 100, Weaver 78, Fitter 41, Mason 22 - Gatherer 86, Miner 51
Alchemist 100, Fletcher 100, Outfitter 100, Tinkerer 37, Rest at 20+

Critter of Arcat - (Adult Dragon 37)
Dragon Crafter 53, Hoard ~5mio, Path of the Helian

8-Ball: Very doubtful.
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Soresha
post Thu, Dec 13 2007, 23:02
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I don't think things can get much worse this week... the delivery company has lost my parcel. The parcel with my graphics card in. The graphics card that is now completely out of stock everywhere, so getting a refund won't get me another card. whaaaaaaa!!! *sob*


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Joaqim
post Fri, Dec 14 2007, 00:10
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QUOTE (Soresha @ Thu, Dec 13 2007, 23:02) *
I don't think things can get much worse this week... the delivery company has lost my parcel. The parcel with my graphics card in. The graphics card that is now completely out of stock everywhere, so getting a refund won't get me another card. whaaaaaaa!!! *sob*


Yeah it must be really rare now - if workers of the delivery company already start to pick it out....


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Soresha
post Fri, Dec 14 2007, 08:19
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QUOTE (Joaqim @ Thu, Dec 13 2007, 23:10) *
Yeah it must be really rare now - if workers of the delivery company already start to pick it out....


Call me paranoid, but I thought of that too.


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Hag
post Tue, Dec 18 2007, 17:02
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QUOTE (Soresha @ Fri, Dec 14 2007, 08:19) *
Call me paranoid, but I thought of that too.


Hehe, a good one comes to my mind which i've read just recently:

"Just because i'm paranoid doesn't mean i'm not being persecuted." tongue.gif


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Soresha
post Tue, Dec 18 2007, 19:06
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It's back in stock, woohoo! So they're sending a replacement out as fast as they can, maybe a couple of days....

Please no one steal, erm, "misplace" this one too...


PS: For guildies living in the UK, Play.com gets kudos for how they've handled it. Not their fault the delivery company screwed up, and they've been great on the phone twice now. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Soresha: Tue, Dec 18 2007, 19:12


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