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#1 Jul 01 2010 at 11:40 AM Rating: Excellent
(I'm at work right now, and will continue updating this when I get home tonight)

Now that we have a release date in sight and some minimum specs to work with, it's probably time people start thinking about what they are going to play the game on, and where they can best spend their money to make a system that will work.

First things first...
Run the benchmark.
Consult the why did my computer fail the benchmark thread.
Check your wallet.
Read this entire post.
Before you buy anything, post what you are thinking of doing in this thread so someone else can double check.

Mikhalia's Giant PC building guide <---- read it.... twice

We'll divide the guide into 3 broad sections, upgrading an older computer, building a computer from scratch, and making the most of off the shelf PCs.

Disclaimer: I am certainly not and don't claim to be the end all authority on PC hardware, and hope that many people will help contribute to make this guide useful to the community. With that being said, I make no guarantee that if you follow the advice here your house won't burn down.

 
                  | Windows XP 32-bit SP3  
 Operating System | Windows Vista 32-bit/ 64-bit SP2  
                  | Windows 7 32-bit / 64-bit  
                   
              CPU | Intel Core 2 Duo (2.0 GHz)  
                  | AMD Athlon X2 (2.0 GHz)  
  
              RAM | Windows XP: 1.5GB or Higher  
                  | Windows Vista / 7: 2GB or Higher  
  
          HDD/SSD | Installation: 15 GB or more  
                  | Download: Space on the hard drive where My Documents should be 6GB or more.  
  
    Graphics Card | NVIDIA GeForce 9600 Series or Higher with VRAM 512MB or Higher  
                  | ATI Radeon HD 2900 Series or Higher with VRAM 512MB or Higher  
  
       Sound Card | DirectSound compatible sound card (DirectX 9.0c or higher)  
  
   ISP Connection | Broadband Internet Connection or Higher  
  
Screen Resolution | 1280 x 720 or Higher, 32-bit or Higher  
  
          DirectX | DirectX 9.0c  
  
           Others | Mouse, Keyboard, Gamepad (not required)  


We'll start with the situation many people probably find themselves in.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Upgrading

So you've run the benchmark and your score was abysmal, or worse it didn't run at all, wipe away the tears there is still hope. In order to pin point the problem and figure out where you can best spend your money we'll first investigate the primary suspects. Always remember though, a good computer is much like a good party, you need a balance of all components, so don't expect to pop a $300 video card into a 4 year old computer and bust out a 5000 on the benchmark.

Video Cards
FFXIV being a modern graphics intensive game is very taxing on video cards, and unfortunately for most, if you have a stock retail PC you probably don't have a very good video card. There is hope however, video cards are very easy to replace even for people who have never opened their computer.

What is a video card you ask.
A video card is pretty much a separate processor in your computer with it's own memory, that performs graphical computations, such as anti-aliasing, shaders, post processing effects and various other nifty game things. The on-board memory, or video RAM, is used to store textures, so the more you have the better it will be at quickly displaying more and more higher resolutions textures. However, the video RAM isn't everything, you also need to look at the processing power of it. Since these numbers can be confusing it's best to just look at the model numbers on the video cards and use a nice hierarchy chart, like this one. Video cards these days typically use what is called a PCI-E connector to attach to your computer. Most desktops will have one of these, unfortunately laptops do not, and it is typically very difficult to upgrade laptops.

Figuring out what video card you have.
2 pretty easy ways to figure out what video card you have.

Option 1:
Use the windows device manager to find out.
Opening the device manager on Windows Xp
Opening the device manager on Windows Vista/7
Once you have opened the device manager expand the "Display Adapter" node. You will see your video card model listed here, you can also double click on it to check the driver version.

Option 2:
You could also download a hardware profiling program. These can be useful as they typically will display more information about your components than the Windows' device manager.
I would recommend CPU-Z, as it is free, small, and pretty detailed.

Picking out the best value for a replacement
Best Graphics Cards for the Money (July 2010)
GPU Hierarchy Chart

Installing a video card
(Will find a good source)
Before you even think about buying a video card you need to make sure of a few things first. In the last few years video cards have been getting ridiculously long and often people have a hard time fitting them into their case. Another issue to look out for is whether or not your power supply can support it. There are 2 things that could go wrong with a power supply, some cards require their own cable attached to the power supply, and many don't have that one. Also you could have a lower wattage power supply that won't be able to power it when it starts really drawing power.
(I'll edit some more info here)

Memory
The memory requirements for the game a pretty low so most people will be able to skip this section.

Honestly I could write a book on memory, but for most people CAS/RAS, voltage, timings and optimizing memory channels are overkill. So I'm going to focus on the 2 things that really really matter, capacity and frequency. Windows will really only tell you the total amount of memory you have, so to get the most out of this section, you should really consider downloading CPU-Z, as it is what I will be using to demonstrate.

3 terms you will need to know to work with memory.
DIMM Slots - The slots memory fits into on your mother board.
Frequency - How "fast" your memory is.
Capacity - Pretty self explanatory.

Figuring out how much memory have.
Opening up the system profile in Windows will tell you the current total amount of memory in your system. This however doesn't tell you two of the more important bits of information, how many DIMM slots you are currently using, and how many are available on the motherboard. To find this out you have 2 options, pop open the side of your case and count, or fire up CPU-Z and let it tell you. Go to the SPD tab, and it will tell you how many slots you have (in the drop down box), how large each stick of memory in your computer is, and the frequency of each stick.

Adding additional Memory
So now you know, how much total memory you have, if you have any additional slots, and what speed your current memory is. Now comes the hard part, you will need to figure out how to add more memory. You hopefully fall into one of the two groups below.

Group 1: I have additional memory slots open
Unfortunately, this is the more complicated of the two situations. You will have to try and locate memory that is either the same frequency or higher (a computer will lower the frequency of all memory to the slowest, so you should try and maintain the same frequency, so you don't waste money), the same type of memory (DDR/DDR2/DDR3), and one that will give you enough capacity. You also will probably need to try and find your motherboards owners manual and consult, the order in which memory needs to be placed into the computer.
(I will add more here later)

Group 2: My box is full of memory, and I still don't have enough Smiley: cry
Don't fret, modern day memory is really cheap and you will really only need to buy 2 sticks. First, back in CPU-Z check what "type" of memory you have, it should either be DDR, DDR2, or DDR3. DDR is rather old and hard to find now a days, DDR2 is abundant and cheap, and DDR3 is newer and slightly more expensive.

The easiest and probably most cost effective thing to do at this point, is to order 2 sticks of 2GB memory of the same type. I would highly recommend ordering them online as brick and mortar stores tend to really mark memory up. So for example over on Newegg, you would want to click the type of memory you have on the left...
 
    100-Pin DIMM100007611  
    168-Pin SDRAM100007611  
    184-Pin DDR SDRAM100007611  
    240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM100007611  
    240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM100007611  


Then also select 4GB 2x2GB on the left to narrow it down to kits of 2 sticks. From there just pick something in your price range that has decent reviews.

Installing Memory
Pretty simple



CPU
Ha, and you thought memory was complicated.

Upgrading a CPU is complicated, involves checking many things, and then things can still not go swimmingly. So we are just going to focus on making sure your CPU meets the minimum requirements. If it doesn't, or you think it is the bottleneck your computer is facing you should probably start thinking about doing a total upgrade, but I will still post a basic guide to upgrading a CPU.

Figuring out what CPU you have
Yet again 2 options, our old friend the system profile, or CPU-Z. First you need to make sure you have a dual core processor that is over 2Ghz. Easiest way to do this is to open up the system profile and look on the processor line.

Picking out a new CPU
The main thing you need to look out for when selecting a new CPU is the socket type. You can either figure out what socket your motherboard has, or find out what socket type your current processor has. Once you know that, you just need to select a more powerful processor with the same socket type.

CPU hierarchy chart

(more to come later)


--------------------------------------------------------------
Building

The goal of this section is to come up with a few from scratch PC builds, that will decently run the game.

(I've thrown in some rough dollar amounts as a starting point, when you think about the price of an OS, the low end might be a little difficult, but we'll see what people can come up with)

Easy Prey
$550 PC build
 
CPU 
	AMD Athlon II X3 435 
	$75 
CPU Cooler 
	Cooler Master Hyper TX3 
	$20 
Motherboard 
	Asus M4A77TD 
	$85 
RAM 
	Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3-1333 (PC3 10600) Model CTKIT12864BA1339 
	$58 
Graphics 
	PowerColor AX5770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 5770 1GB 
	$150 
Hard Drive 
	Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0 Gb/s 
	$55 
Sound 
	Integrated 
	$0 
Network 
	Integrated 
	$0 
Case 
	Cooler Master Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black 
	$40 
Power 
	Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W 
	$40 
Optical 
	Samsung Black 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-S223C 
	$22 
 
Total 
	$545 



Even Match
$1000 PC build
 
Motherboard 
	MSI 790X-G45 AM3 Chipset: AMD 790X 
	$100 
Processor 
	Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition 2.8 GHz 3Cores, 6MB L3 Cache (OEM) 
	$90 
CPU Cooler 
	Cooler Master HyperTX 3 
	$20 
Memory	 
        Crucial 4GB (2x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3-1333Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit 
	$112 
Graphics 
	2 x Radeon HD 5830 (CrossFireX) 1GB GDDR5-4000 Per Card 
	$480 
Hard Drives 
	WD Caviar Blue 320GB 320GB, 7,200 RPM, 8MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s 
	$48 
Optical 
	Lite-On iHas124 24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM 
	$23 
Case 
	Antec Three Hundred 
	$60 
Power 
	Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650WATX12V, EPS12V , 80-Plus Certified 
	$90 
 
Total Current Cost 
	$1,023 


Impossible to Gauge
$2000 PC build
 
Motherboard 
	Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Chipset: Intel X58 Express 
	    $210 
Processor 
	Intel Core i7-930 2.80 GHzFour Cores, 8MB L3 Cache 
	    $289 
Memory 
	Crucial 6GB DDR3-1333 Triple-Channel Kit3 x 2GB (6GB Total), CAS 9-9-9-28 
	    $168 
Graphics 
	2 x Gigabyte GV-N470D5-13I-B in SLI 2 x 1.28GB GDDR5-3482 2 x GeForce GTX 470 GPU at 607 MHz 
	    $700 
Hard Drive 
	Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB, 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache, SATA 3 Gb/s 
 	    $80 
Optical 
	Lite-On Blu-ray Disc Combo Model iHES208-08 8X BD-ROM, 12X DVD-ROM DL, 16X DVD±R 
	    $108 
Case 
	Antec Three Hundred Illusion 
	    $70 
Power 
	SilverStone DA750 750W Modular ATX12V 2.2, EPS12V 2.91, 80-Plus Silver 
	    $110 
CPU Cooler 
	Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B 
	    $62 
CPU Fan 
	Scythe Slip Stream SY1225SL12LM-P 
	    $11 
 
Total Current Cost 
	        $1,808  


--------------------------------------------------------------
Over the Counter PCs

Contrary to what you may believe, many non-gaming OTC desktop PCs can be upgraded to a pretty decent gaming rig with only the addition of a video card. Look under the upgrading section for advice on selecting and installing a video card.

I'll dedicate this section to a few things to look for when selecting an OTC PC.
(more to come)


--------------------------------------------------------------

Well I've throw a skeleton of a post above, and hope we can cultivate a healthy discussion to fill it out. If anyone has the very basic question of, these are my specs can I run the game, feel free to post them below and we'll see what we can do to help.




Also please leave any PC/PS3 bashing or flaming somewhere else Smiley: deadhorse

Edited, Jul 5th 2010 7:09pm by Lamnethx

Edited, Jul 5th 2010 7:12pm by Lamnethx

Edited, Jul 5th 2010 7:14pm by Lamnethx

Edited, Jul 8th 2010 3:47pm by Lamnethx

Edited, Aug 14th 2010 12:08am by Lamnethx

Edited, Aug 9th 2013 1:57pm by Wint Lock Thread: Necro. In this case I'd approve just making a new thread.
#2 Jul 01 2010 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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1,142 posts
I've been building one recently. Well, looking for parts. I'm keeping my eye on sales on Newegg. I want something under $1000, but still aiming for the i7 (930 or 920). Here's what I have so far:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131357
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

So the main thing I need input on is a video card. I'd rather not spend like $500 one on though.
____________________________
-Zenoxio (FFXI)
-Zeno Silverberg (FFXIV)
The Dunes, circa 2003
@redditFFXIV
#3 Jul 01 2010 at 12:19 PM Rating: Decent
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886 posts
Quote:
I've been building one recently. Well, looking for parts. I'm keeping my eye on sales on Newegg. I want something under $1000, but still aiming for the i7 (930 or 920). Here's what I have so far:


If i may ask, why an i7 if your on a budget? Newegg has a $180 i5 that runs at 3.2 ghz dual core (though its not quad core realize most things cannot use all 4 cores anyway) which is way above the 2.0 ghz min spec.
____________________________
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Black Mage for life
75 Warrior 75 Dragoon
Henry Miller wrote:
Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.
#4 Jul 01 2010 at 12:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Zenoxio wrote:
I've been building one recently. Well, looking for parts. I'm keeping my eye on sales on Newegg. I want something under $1000, but still aiming for the i7 (930 or 920). Here's what I have so far:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131357
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

So the main thing I need input on is a video card. I'd rather not spend like $500 one on though.


After doing a lot of research on graphics cards there are a couple different options for you to choose from right now.

In terms of performance per dollar, ATI is and has been king of the game for a while. Nvidia has entered this phase of graphics card development fairly late and have a couple huge factors working against them as we speak, but they are still a very powerful card. Here is how I see it:

ATI Cards:

Like I've said, these are the best bang for your buck. The 5850 is ATI's leader in this category. Good overclock abilities, low idle, low power consumption, low noise, and low gpu temps at idle and load (compared to its nvidia rivals). If you are going ATI and want to expand this machine in the future I would suggest the 5870 (or 5970 if you got the $$$) for future crossfire use.

Nvidia:

Showed up late to this round of GPU's with a new technology to the video card game. Fermi tech is Nvidias new toy, and they haul, but have a couple disadvantages for picky builders. In tests the new gtx 465/470/480 match up right in between it's ATI counterparts in this order: 465 > 5850 > 470 > 5870 > 480. The new GTX cores take advantage of higher tessellation and perform much better at lower resolutions, but the higher the resolution, the smaller the difference (becoming almost negligible with 4-5fps difference at 1920 x 1200). With that said here is my major dislike with these cards...they are hot...extremely hot. GPU stress tests show them running up to 11° hotter than its ATI counterparts. Also, this GPU is much louder and requires more wattage at full power.


Here is a really in depth guide of the latest tech in GPUs:

http://hardocp.com/article/2010/03/26/nvidia_fermi_gtx_470_480_sli_review/7 (I have it on the power, heat, and noise page as these are HUGE deciding factors for many).
#5 Jul 01 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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I'd like to add that big video cards require big power supplies. If you're going to upgrade your GPU, make sure your PS can run it!
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#6 Jul 01 2010 at 12:33 PM Rating: Good
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A good tip which seems obvious to people in the know, but catches so many people out, is the most modern graphics cards are not always the best! Take for example the ATI 5850, which costs around £250. It has 1gb of DDR5 and a memory clock speed of 4ghz. Now look at the ATI 5770 which is a higher spec, earlier generation to the 5850. It too has 1gb DDR5 but has a clock speed of 4.8ghz. Price? Only £135. Its nearly half the price than the 5850 and equals, if not excels the 5850 in many areas. True, the 5850 does have other areas that it is better than the 5770 but is it worth double the price? I don't believe so!

It is generally better to get the higher spec of the last model, than the lower spec of the newer model!
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#7 Jul 01 2010 at 12:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Kordain wrote:
A good tip which seems obvious to people in the know, but catches so many people out, is the most modern graphics cards are not always the best! Take for example the ATI 5850, which costs around £250. It has 1gb of DDR5 and a memory clock speed of 4ghz. Now look at the ATI 5770 which is a higher spec, earlier generation to the 5850. It too has 1gb DDR5 but has a clock speed of 4.8ghz. Price? Only £135. Its nearly half the price than the 5850 and equals, if not excels the 5850 in many areas. True, the 5850 does have other areas that it is better than the 5770 but is it worth double the price? I don't believe so!

It is generally better to get the higher spec of the last model, than the lower spec of the newer model!


the main difference between the two is that the 5850 will be able to take advantage of some AA and other effects that the 5770 will not be able to. its all a personal decision...I should be clear in stating that with any of the components I'm suggesting here you will most likely be required to spend around $1000 to get a system, but it will run the game on high with medium settings no problem (low with almost full settings). With the 5770 you can easily run the game on low settings and build a budget machine for around $600.
#8 Jul 01 2010 at 12:45 PM Rating: Decent
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TaruScud wrote:
Quote:
I've been building one recently. Well, looking for parts. I'm keeping my eye on sales on Newegg. I want something under $1000, but still aiming for the i7 (930 or 920). Here's what I have so far:


If i may ask, why an i7 if your on a budget? Newegg has a $180 i5 that runs at 3.2 ghz dual core (though its not quad core realize most things cannot use all 4 cores anyway) which is way above the 2.0 ghz min spec.


Wanted to quote you and keep this topic separate. It all really depends....are you going to be playing music, opening different browsers, running vent/teamspeak, frapsing your kill, and chatting while playing XIV? If so it might not be a bad idea to grab an i7. Either way I will say that a core i5 750 is a GREAT cpu, and if you decide to stick w/ a i5 please please go with that one. Either way, the price difference is very minor and the benefits are all going to be based upon the user. The main thing to worry about is that you are getting 4 cores. I would suggest an older quad core architecture like the 775 if you are looking to stay around that $500 mark for a build.
#9 Jul 01 2010 at 12:50 PM Rating: Decent
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1,142 posts
TaruScud wrote:
Quote:
I've been building one recently. Well, looking for parts. I'm keeping my eye on sales on Newegg. I want something under $1000, but still aiming for the i7 (930 or 920). Here's what I have so far:


If i may ask, why an i7 if your on a budget? Newegg has a $180 i5 that runs at 3.2 ghz dual core (though its not quad core realize most things cannot use all 4 cores anyway) which is way above the 2.0 ghz min spec.


I have a dual monitor setup, so I do a lot at once including multiple games at once.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 3:12pm by Zenoxio
____________________________
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The Dunes, circa 2003
@redditFFXIV
#10 Jul 01 2010 at 1:13 PM Rating: Decent
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886 posts
Quote:

I have a dual monitor setup, so I do a lot at once including multiple games at once.


Ah gotcha

Quote:
Wanted to quote you and keep this topic separate. It all really depends....are you going to be playing music, opening different browsers, running vent/teamspeak, frapsing your kill, and chatting while playing XIV? If so it might not be a bad idea to grab an i7. Either way I will say that a core i5 750 is a GREAT cpu, and if you decide to stick w/ a i5 please please go with that one. Either way, the price difference is very minor and the benefits are all going to be based upon the user. The main thing to worry about is that you are getting 4 cores. I would suggest an older quad core architecture like the 775 if you are looking to stay around that $500 mark for a build.


Ah gotcha, I'm actually building a rig that will run me about 600 (not including memory, case, monitors, and other accessories some of which i own already), the quad core seems to be worth it so I'm probably going to go with the i5 750. Thanks =P

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 3:30pm by TaruScud
____________________________
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Black Mage for life
75 Warrior 75 Dragoon
Henry Miller wrote:
Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.
#11 Jul 01 2010 at 1:23 PM Rating: Good
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88 posts
Kordain wrote:
A good tip which seems obvious to people in the know, but catches so many people out, is the most modern graphics cards are not always the best! Take for example the ATI 5850, which costs around £250. It has 1gb of DDR5 and a memory clock speed of 4ghz. Now look at the ATI 5770 which is a higher spec, earlier generation to the 5850. It too has 1gb DDR5 but has a clock speed of 4.8ghz. Price? Only £135. Its nearly half the price than the 5850 and equals, if not excels the 5850 in many areas. True, the 5850 does have other areas that it is better than the 5770 but is it worth double the price? I don't believe so!

It is generally better to get the higher spec of the last model, than the lower spec of the newer model!


sorry thats wrong
the 5850 is a fair bit faster than the 5770 only have to check some benchmarks. it is the same generation as the 5850. anything 5xxx is current gen and 4xxx is last gen.

but yes the 5770 is still good for the price but better than the 5850 deffinitly not.

your last statement is right though eg 4890 from the last generation for example is much faster than a 5670 and a tad faster than a 5770 even though - the dx11 support.

those who may not understand the ati naming scheme

xyz0

x= tech revision - new dx version new features such as eye infinity. will be faster than same card of previous gen ie 5870 faster than 4870 but doesnt strictly relate to speed.
y= major performance number - as this gets higher represents a pretty large boost in speed ie a 5770 a fair bit faster than 5670 etc
z = minor performance number - a 5870 is a tad faster than a 5850 etc.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 3:25pm by jamiehavok
#12 Jul 01 2010 at 1:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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11,539 posts
When in doubt:

http://videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

If you're wondering "Is this Intel blah better than this AMD blah" or "Is this nVidia bleh better than that Radeon blargh?"

Check there.
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#13 Jul 01 2010 at 2:39 PM Rating: Good
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May I make the suggestion of adding a section for buying a new computer on a budget? Both for desktops and laptops. I think people who need a guide such as this are more likely to purchase a new computer rather than attempt to build one themselves and people who have money will just buy the most expensive one they can find at alienware. I've seen several threads in the past few weeks with some people so oblivious to the world of computers that encouraging them to build their own would be a disaster.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 2:40pm by Yogtheterrible
#14 Jul 01 2010 at 2:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
May I make the suggestion of adding a section for buying a new computer on a budget? Both for desktops and laptops. I think people who need a guide such as this are more likely to purchase a new computer rather than attempt to build one themselves and people who have money will just buy the most expensive one they can find at alienware. I've seen several threads in the past few weeks with some people so oblivious to the world of computers that encouraging them to build their own would be a disaster.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 2:40pm by Yogtheterrible


I can understand your point on this matter, but I think anyone with the time and effort can learn fairly easy how to build a good PC, overclock their CPU/GPU and make sure everything is stable. Either way, here are some of the top options for custom PC builds:

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

http://www.falcon-nw.com/

http://www.ibuypower.com/


Any of these will have good pricing on custom built PCs.
#15 Jul 01 2010 at 3:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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burtonsnow wrote:
I can understand your point on this matter, but I think anyone with the time and effort can learn fairly easy how to build a good PC, overclock their CPU/GPU and make sure everything is stable.


You know...you would think that is the case, however, I've noticed some people are just complete idiots when it comes to computers. There's just some mental block in their head that prevents them from understanding anything about them beyond knowing that if you click on a picture on your desktop it opens a program.

My roommate isn't quite that bad but he just does not know much about computers no matter how much I try to teach him. When I was building my computer he kept asking over and over, "How many terabytes does it have?" As if the size of your harddrive had some sort of cure-all effect on the performance of your computer but no matter how many times I'd tell him exactly how many I have (not even one, just 650 GB) and that it's not the size but the speed that matters he'd just ask me again with the same sort of mindset as the first time.

Some people's memories just don't hold this sort of information.
#16 Jul 01 2010 at 3:15 PM Rating: Good
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Mikhalia wrote:
When in doubt:

http://videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

If you're wondering "Is this Intel blah better than this AMD blah" or "Is this nVidia bleh better than that Radeon blargh?"

Check there.


Love you. Will be building one this summer, but I'm new at this so this will really help. Already know where I'm going, but this is good research, thanks. I plan on spending $1000-1200 Canadian.

Am using this to help me figure out what I want, but having to figure out what all of the things listed are is difficult, and if they'll work together.
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#17 Jul 01 2010 at 3:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
May I make the suggestion of adding a section for buying a new computer on a budget? Both for desktops and laptops. I think people who need a guide such as this are more likely to purchase a new computer rather than attempt to build one themselves and people who have money will just buy the most expensive one they can find at alienware. I've seen several threads in the past few weeks with some people so oblivious to the world of computers that encouraging them to build their own would be a disaster.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 2:40pm by Yogtheterrible


There are two problems with this:

First, I have a difficult time picturing how someone could buy a laptop "on a budget" that would run XIV at all well. I could be mistaken, but Alienware's cheapest is $800 with a Cure 2 Duo; $950 for a Core i5 or better (and I'd strongly recommend a quad core processor for XIV based on benchmark results).

I can't see a laptop playing XIV well for lower than $1000, possibly $1250-1500. Again, I could be wrong.

This system, the $950 one I mentioned earlier, comes with a GeForce GT 335M. It probably wouldn't even run XIV since it's benchmarked lower than a 9800, and there is no option to upgrade it at all.

Combining the words "Budget" and "Gamer" requires a little bit of compromise (either coming up a little on the price end, coming down a little on the performance end, or both), but I can't see the words "Budget Laptop Gamer" applying to XIV.

You can have a relatively inexpensive system, you can have a laptop, and you can have a system that will play FFXIV. Pick two.

As for desktops, they're cheaper than laptops and desktop graphics outperforms mobility graphics pretty much across the board. A desktop 5770 will significantly outperform a mobility 5870, which only barely outperforms a GeForce 9800 GTX.

If you're buying retail in the $500 or lower price point, you're going to get basic internet usage, basic gaming, and your generic "burn CDs/DVDs and store photos". If you're buying retail in the $600-800 price point, you might be able to get a little better, but not much. You'd be hard pressed to find a retail system for under $1000 that will run FFXIV out of the box. You MIGHT be able to buy a decent one for $600-700ish and spend an extra $140-200 to put a better graphics card in there, which still brings you to $750-900ish.

Again, this comes down to a similar aspect as above:

You can buy a retail system, you can avoid spending a lot of money, and you can play FFXIV. Pick two.

I'm inclined to agree that if someone doesn't feel confident enough to build their own system and has no friends to do it for them (You know those people you made fun of in high school? Yeah, you probably could have asked them), they do run the risk of ******* it up and might be better off buying retail (or paying Geek Squad or some other less expensive local equivalent) to do it for them. Again, the whole idea of DIY, be it building a computer, building a deck, or building a pool is to -save- money. If you get someone else to do it, it will cost you more. Fact of life.

So I agree with your sentiment regarding the potential for a disastrous PC build. But I just feel that people looking to upgrade or replace need to be aware of their options.

You can save money.
You can get something from a store.
You can play FFXIV on it.

You can pick two. Which two is ultimately up to the person spending the money.
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#18 Jul 01 2010 at 3:28 PM Rating: Good
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If you live near a Fry's or Microcenter, keep an eye out on their sales. Fry's has some good CPU/Motherboard sales often. At Fry's, I got a Phenom II X4 965 and a Gigabyte mATX mobo (I don't really want to run SLI/Xfire) for $165 bucks with a $15 mail in rebate. The CPU at the time went for around $190 and mobo for ~$100 separately. I actually made money on that purchase.

If you plan on building your own, keep an eye on Slickdeals.net and you can find some great deals. I bought all my parts on-sale via links to retailers on that website and built a pc that can get ~4000 @ high and ~4500 @ low on the benchmark for about $700 with all quality, name-brand parts.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 4:30pm by Rysa for clarity

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 4:33pm by Rysa
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#19 Jul 01 2010 at 3:33 PM Rating: Excellent
Quote:
May I make the suggestion of adding a section for buying a new computer on a budget? Both for desktops and laptops. I think people who need a guide such as this are more likely to purchase a new computer rather than attempt to build one themselves and people who have money will just buy the most expensive one they can find at alienware. I've seen several threads in the past few weeks with some people so oblivious to the world of computers that encouraging them to build their own would be a disaster.


I didn't really explicitly say it, but I do plan on making a section devoted to store bought desktops with a video card added to it. You lose a little money compared to building it yourself, but a lot of people are turned off from full PC building. However, if people can install a video card, and it's really easy, then you can pick up an off the shelf PC and turn it into a decent gaming rig.
#20 Jul 01 2010 at 3:42 PM Rating: Good
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AnaraWarren wrote:
Mikhalia wrote:
When in doubt:

http://videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

If you're wondering "Is this Intel blah better than this AMD blah" or "Is this nVidia bleh better than that Radeon blargh?"

Check there.


Love you. Will be building one this summer, but I'm new at this so this will really help. Already know where I'm going, but this is good research, thanks. I plan on spending $1000-1200 Canadian.

Am using this to help me figure out what I want, but having to figure out what all of the things listed are is difficult, and if they'll work together.


Here's what you concern yourself with, strictly in terms of compatibility:

1) Is the video card "PCI-Express 2.0" (or 2.1) -and- does the motherboard have at least one PCI-Express x16 slot (more is fine, but it needs at least one). If yes, then your video card and motherboard are compatible.

2) What socket type (LGA1156, AM3, etc) is the processor and what socket type(s) does the motherboard support? If the motherboard says "AM2/AM2+/AM3" and your processor is LGA1366, it will -not- fit (you can try to make it fit, but you'll break it). The motherboard MUST say that it supports the same socket type as the processor is. General rule: LGA is an Intel chipset (Core i5, Core i7) and AM is an AMD chipset (Phenom, Athlon).

3) What type of RAM does the motherboard support? If it supports DDR2, you have to get ram that is 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM. If the motherboard supports DDR3, then you must get 240-pin DDR3 SDRAM. The 240-pin and SDRAM parts just indicate that it is desktop (as opposed to laptop, which is SO-DIMM) RAM. (Actually, I lie; they indicate more than that but I'm trying not to confuse you so I'll stop there). Bottom line, they either both need to be DDR2 or both need to be DDR3. (DDR3 is better).

3.5) RAM speed: Most motherboards will say something like "DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600". That means it supports DDR3 800, DDR3 1066, DDR3 1333, and DDR3 1600. The number after the DDR3 is the speed of the RAM. More is better. Make sure the RAM matches one of the supported speeds on the motherboard's specs.

4) Hard Drive: Most motherboards nowadays support 3.0 GBPS SATA, and your average HD is that. IDE Hard Drives use a different type of connector which is still present on most motherboards and should still work, but SATA is arguably better. The only time you'd run into trouble is trying to use a SATA 3.0 HD with a MB that only supports SATA 1.5. If you do that, you may have to reposition a jumper (small plastic/metal piece on the back of the HD) to make it work. If you're buying a new motherboard, just make sure they both say 3.0 and you won't have to worry about it.

4.5) Optical (DVD-RW) drive: Ditto what I said above regarding that SATA/IDE thing. As long as your motherboard supports SATA 3.0 and your DVD-RW is SATA 3.0, you should be okay. If you get an IDE DVD-RW, it will work, maybe a little slower. You probably wouldn't notice it much, but just stick with SATA 3.0 all around. It's pretty much the standard nowadays.

5) Power Supply: Most motherboards are ATX and most power supplies are ATX too. Just make sure they both say ATX. They may say "24 pin ATX"; that just indicates that the power connection is 24 pins; something technical that you don't have to concern yourself with. If your video card mentions anything like requiring a certain wattage power supply or a certain amperage 12V rail, make sure the PSU has it. Your PSU will also likely need a 6 pin PCI connection, but most newer PSUs will have this (and most video cards have an adapter that will allow you to convert them if they don't). If that last part confused you about the PCI connection, don't worry about it; mainly take heed of the Wattage/amperage requirement (if your video card has one) and make sure your motherboard and power supply both say "ATX"

6) Case: Mid tower is the average size and they support most motherboards. Full tower are larger, if you like a bigger case. Anything other than these two types may result in a situation where your motherboard or power supply may not fit properly, so I advise picking one or the other.


That little checklist should cover your "Will everything plug into everything else?". I should mention that some of the things I've said are only partially true or may not be entirely true, and some computer savvy folk may want to try to correct them; this list should cover everything a beginner would need to know, and I'm trying not to venture into "confusing" or irrelevant sh*t. (EDIT: I put all the semi-technical irrelevant stuff in italics; if you don't understand something in italics, don't worry about it. The stuff NOT in italics is important though)

If you have specific "Will this part go with this part" questions, feel free to post them and someone will likely be kind enough to tell you.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 5:48pm by Mikhalia
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#21 Jul 01 2010 at 3:44 PM Rating: Good
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Rysa wrote:
If you live near a Fry's or Microcenter, keep an eye out on their sales. Fry's has some good CPU/Motherboard sales often. At Fry's, I got a Phenom II X4 965 and a Gigabyte mATX mobo (I don't really want to run SLI/Xfire) for $165 bucks with a $15 mail in rebate. The CPU at the time went for around $190 and mobo for ~$100 separately. I actually made money on that purchase.

If you plan on building your own, keep an eye on Slickdeals.net and you can find some great deals. I bought all my parts on-sale via links to retailers on that website and built a pc that can get ~4000 @ high and ~4500 @ low on the benchmark for about $700 with all quality, name-brand parts.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 4:30pm by Rysa for clarity

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 4:33pm by Rysa


Pricewatch.com is another good price comparison site, but it does kinda require you to already know what you want.
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#22 Jul 01 2010 at 3:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
May I make the suggestion of adding a section for buying a new computer on a budget? Both for desktops and laptops. I think people who need a guide such as this are more likely to purchase a new computer rather than attempt to build one themselves and people who have money will just buy the most expensive one they can find at alienware. I've seen several threads in the past few weeks with some people so oblivious to the world of computers that encouraging them to build their own would be a disaster.


I didn't really explicitly say it, but I do plan on making a section devoted to store bought desktops with a video card added to it. You lose a little money compared to building it yourself, but a lot of people are turned off from full PC building. However, if people can install a video card, and it's really easy, then you can pick up an off the shelf PC and turn it into a decent gaming rig.



If you are going to include this option I would say the best deal out there is through dell. There are occasionally deals for a pc (that meets minimum specs) for around $700...these machines would originally be over $1000, but thanks to dells instant $$$ off you save. There might be some big ones this weekend too! Plus they have warranty and pretty good customer service.
#23 Jul 01 2010 at 3:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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If you are going to include this option I would say the best deal out there is through dell.


I'll try and stay vendor neutral even though I personally am extremely biased... (I work at HP)
#24 Jul 01 2010 at 3:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
If you are going to include this option I would say the best deal out there is through dell.


I'll try and stay vendor neutral even though I personally am extremely biased... (I work at HP)


Speaking as someone who has worked on a lot of other people's ****, and as someone who has had to call a lot of vendors, my favorite vendor to call, in terms of support and warranty service, is HP.

And I've worked as a contractor for Dell.
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#25 Jul 01 2010 at 4:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
If you are going to include this option I would say the best deal out there is through dell.


I'll try and stay vendor neutral even though I personally am extremely biased... (I work at HP)


lol, sorry I find it ironic that I stated that now.

Definitely not trying to put your company down...out of major pc manufacturers you two are the only I trust.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 6:21pm by burtonsnow
#26 Jul 01 2010 at 4:10 PM Rating: Decent
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I'd have to check what the Power Supply is and if the board has PCLe slots but either way is this a good computer to upgrade in you guys opinion?

http://www.walmart.ca/details?tabId=1&departmentId=70&assetId=64644&categoryId=678

I can throw another $150-$200 on a video card that should get me a good card right?
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#27 Jul 01 2010 at 4:26 PM Rating: Decent
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SolidMack wrote:
I'd have to check what the Power Supply is and if the board has PCLe slots but either way is this a good computer to upgrade in you guys opinion?

http://www.walmart.ca/details?tabId=1&departmentId=70&assetId=64644&categoryId=678

I can throw another $150-$200 on a video card that should get me a good card right?


I'm not sure that is the best CPU for this game, 2 core @ 2.6Ghz is the lowest I would run this game at. That processor is a single core at 2.2Ghz.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 6:26pm by burtonsnow
#28 Jul 01 2010 at 4:27 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, Mikhalia, I think you have a misunderstanding of the word 'budget'. A budget is simply an amount of money you allot to do something...but it seems like you have a certain number in mind that is the definition of 'budget'.

I think it would be beneficial to list the cheapest parts available that should be able to play the game that you might find in a common laptop and then show an example of a laptop that would work. If this happens to be a $1000 or $1500 laptop, so be it, but at least they will be able to budget the money for it or decide they don't have the money for it.

Oh, and your use of alienware is a little misleading since they are extremely expensive for the amount of power you get, especially since dell bought them. Better to use the links burtonsnow posted to buy a laptop or if you are a member of Costco buy HP from them...they are mega cheap there (literally up to a few hundred dollars cheaper than any other equivalent laptops on the market and you get an extra year of warranty for free...it's actually even worth buying their $50 membership)
#29 Jul 01 2010 at 4:31 PM Rating: Good
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That sempron is pretty bad.

I'd strongly suggest a Core i5/i7 or a Phenom II x4 processor.
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#30 Jul 01 2010 at 4:37 PM Rating: Good
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
Yeah, Mikhalia, I think you have a misunderstanding of the word 'budget'. A budget is simply an amount of money you allot to do something...but it seems like you have a certain number in mind that is the definition of 'budget'.

I think it would be beneficial to list the cheapest parts available that should be able to play the game that you might find in a common laptop and then show an example of a laptop that would work. If this happens to be a $1000 or $1500 laptop, so be it, but at least they will be able to budget the money for it or decide they don't have the money for it.

Oh, and your use of alienware is a little misleading since they are extremely expensive for the amount of power you get, especially since dell bought them. Better to use the links burtonsnow posted to buy a laptop or if you are a member of Costco buy HP from them...they are mega cheap there (literally up to a few hundred dollars cheaper than any other equivalent laptops on the market and you get an extra year of warranty for free...it's actually even worth buying their $50 membership)


Well, "budget" has two meanings; One, the noun, referring to "An amount of money being spent"; e.g. a food budget or a project budget. Another is the adjective as in "budget house" or "budget dining".

When most people use the term "budget computer", they are typically referring to "an inexpensive (but not necessarily 'cheap') computer", so that's how I was using it.

I also agree that Alienware does tend to be a little overpriced; they were unnecessarily expensive even before Dell bought them. If you go to Dell.com and tell them you are a gamer, they redirect you to Alienware and don't even offer a "Dell"-branded option anymore.

I was just pointing out that someone could buy parts for a desktop and build a good one for less than a retail desktop would cost, and retail/custom desktops are A LOT less than a comparable laptop of similar specs. You're right that someone could set budget $1000-1500 for a gaming laptop, but a $1500 system is not what most would refer to as a "budget computer" in the "inexpensive" sense.

Budgeting (verb) for a computer and a computer budget (noun) are not the same thing as a budget (adjective) computer.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/budget

EDIT: Looked at Costco's site, at HP laptops. The $999 ones MIGHT run XIV on bare minimum. No promises.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 6:45pm by Mikhalia
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#31 Jul 01 2010 at 4:46 PM Rating: Decent
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burtonsnow wrote:
Yogtheterrible wrote:
May I make the suggestion of adding a section for buying a new computer on a budget? Both for desktops and laptops. I think people who need a guide such as this are more likely to purchase a new computer rather than attempt to build one themselves and people who have money will just buy the most expensive one they can find at alienware. I've seen several threads in the past few weeks with some people so oblivious to the world of computers that encouraging them to build their own would be a disaster.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 2:40pm by Yogtheterrible


I can understand your point on this matter, but I think anyone with the time and effort can learn fairly easy how to build a good PC, overclock their CPU/GPU and make sure everything is stable. Either way, here are some of the top options for custom PC builds:

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

http://www.falcon-nw.com/

http://www.ibuypower.com/


Any of these will have good pricing on custom built PCs.


I just want to warn anyone looking to buy from Cyberpower PC. A couple years ago I purchased a laptop from them and had nothing but problems. It would constantly blue screen, crash, overheat (and run hot when it wasn't overheating). Drivers were impossible to come by and I eventually had to get rid of it.

My experience may not be the norm but my suggestion is to stay away from the chop shops and buy from a reputable retailer.

If you're looking for a gaming laptop in particular, I highly recommend getting a Sager laptop. I purchased mine last December and have had no problems with it.

Some sites I recommend if you want a Sager:

www.powernotebooks.com (I purchased from here)
www.xoticpc.com
www.sagernotebook.com (The official website)

You should buy through a retailer like XoticPC or PowerNotebooks because they offer extended warranties and an option to buy the laptop with no operating system. (Great if you already have a copy of Windows)


Regardless if you get a Sager or not, just be wary about purchasing from Cyberpower PC.
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#32 Jul 01 2010 at 4:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
Oh, and your use of alienware is a little misleading since they are extremely expensive for the amount of power you get, especially since dell bought them. Better to use the links burtonsnow posted to buy a laptop or if you are a member of Costco buy HP from them...they are mega cheap there (literally up to a few hundred dollars cheaper than any other equivalent laptops on the market and you get an extra year of warranty for free...it's actually even worth buying their $50 membership)


About 2 years ago I built a PC for my home, q6600, GTX 8800, 6 GB DDR2 that cost me around $1300 to build...A friend of mine bought a HP PC from costco about 6 months after my build with a GTS 8800, q6600, 4GB RAM for a little under $1500. Costco has some great deals on PCs once the newer tech comes out. His PC has run the alpha version fine so far and scores in the 2000s on low. Plus it is an HP so its good quality and customer service.
#33 Jul 01 2010 at 4:48 PM Rating: Excellent
Quote:
Definitely not trying to put your company down...out of major pc manufacturers you two are the only I trust.


I honestly don't even work with consumer products, so I can't really comment on the quality or anything like that.
#34 Jul 01 2010 at 4:49 PM Rating: Good
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Thanks for all the work and advice. Both from Lamnethx and from all other contributing. It's definitely gonna be of assistance down the road. Keep it up!
#35 Jul 01 2010 at 4:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
Definitely not trying to put your company down...out of major pc manufacturers you two are the only I trust.


I honestly don't even work with consumer products, so I can't really comment on the quality or anything like that.


I've worked with both on an enterprise, workstation and home pc level. Alls good in the hood man.
#36 Jul 01 2010 at 5:01 PM Rating: Decent
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I know some of you are suggesting the i5/i7 for processors but they're both a little steep on price, any suggestions for something easier on the pockets but still viable?

EDIT: anything wrong with, say, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.6 GHz?

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 7:02pm by SolidMack
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#37 Jul 01 2010 at 5:04 PM Rating: Good
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burtonsnow wrote:
Lamnethx of the Seven Seas wrote:
Quote:
Definitely not trying to put your company down...out of major pc manufacturers you two are the only I trust.


I honestly don't even work with consumer products, so I can't really comment on the quality or anything like that.


I've worked with both on an enterprise, workstation and home pc level. Alls good in the hood man.


Over the years, I've worked with a number of manufacturers for clients, servers, printers... In terms of when I have to break down and call customer service for replacement parts, HP is usually the easiest for me to work with. It seems that about 95% of the time, if I call HP and say "I've done A, B, C, D, E and determined that Blah has failed and needs to be replaced", the person on the other end is nearly always going to respond along the lines of helping me to get the new part under warranty.

Conversely, if I call Dell, I get that maybe about 50%. The rest of it is having someone trying to ask me **** like "Have you tried rebooting the computer?" when the video card is dead or "Have you tried a system restore?" when I'm calling because the HD has died and the BIOS won't see it anymore. One time, my personal laptop had stopped charging; AC adapter was not recognized in the BIOS or in Windows. When I called, I was told that it could be a virus causing it, and that I should run a full system scan with McAfee (-specifically- McAfee). My personal favorite was probably when I called because a power supply started smoking and wouldn't power on any more and the guy asks me to boot up to the Dell Diagnostic partition and run a test on the RAM.

I've heard some great reports of customer support with Dell, but it seemed like the only time I ever got good service from them was when I was a contractor for them and had a separate line I could call that was set up just for vendors. I will have to say that THAT support was good, however. And their server-based support is pretty nice. But as far as consumer support for Home user or Small/Home business... terribad.

And since every manufacturer is just taking a bunch of pieces and throwing it in a case with their name on it, all you're paying for is the case logo and the support/warranty. I personally am not a fan of retail, but if you're going to buy retail, at least buy from somewhere with good support.
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#38 Jul 01 2010 at 5:07 PM Rating: Good
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SolidMack wrote:
I know some of you are suggesting the i5/i7 for processors but they're both a little steep on price, any suggestions for something easier on the pockets but still viable?

EDIT: anything wrong with, say, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.6 GHz?

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 7:02pm by SolidMack


I'd suggest an Athlon x4 or a Phenom x4. The benchmarks seem to perform notably better on quad cores.

Something like this or this.
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#39 Jul 01 2010 at 5:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for the suggestions Mikhaila, now this maybe a stupid question but which one is the better option and what's the difference between them? (other than price of course). Price wise though I'm liking both, but I guess I want to know if its worth the $30 extra for the Phenom.
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#40 Jul 01 2010 at 5:38 PM Rating: Default
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SolidMack wrote:
I know some of you are suggesting the i5/i7 for processors but they're both a little steep on price, any suggestions for something easier on the pockets but still viable?

EDIT: anything wrong with, say, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.6 GHz?

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 7:02pm by SolidMack


Ah, this I can help a little with, since I have a CPU from that same "line." I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ @3.2 GHz. If the benchmark is anything to go by, I'm pulling about 2500-2700 on low and 2000-2100 on high. Because the two scores are so close I have a strong feeling that this CPU is the bottleneck, and will NOT be able to max the game by any means, but again, if the benchmark holds true then it should be "good enough" for low settings.

Thinking it over, I would have to agree with Mikhalia and suggest a Phenom II X4. The Phenoms definitely outperform the Athlons, so unless you really need to allocate that $30 elsewhere, I'd take the Phenom.
#41 Jul 01 2010 at 5:39 PM Rating: Good
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Benchmark results put the Phenom II slightly higher than the Athlon II, roughly a 2% performance increase. There are two ways to look at it:

1) It's only $30, so why the **** not.
2) It's not lower enough that it's worth a 30% price increase.

If it were me, I'd get the better one, but if you're more concerned with price than performance, you probably won't notice a difference between the two.

There is no wrong choice.
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#42 Jul 01 2010 at 5:42 PM Rating: Good
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Rhysen wrote:
SolidMack wrote:
I know some of you are suggesting the i5/i7 for processors but they're both a little steep on price, any suggestions for something easier on the pockets but still viable?

EDIT: anything wrong with, say, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.6 GHz?

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 7:02pm by SolidMack


Ah, this I can help a little with, since I have a CPU from that same "line." I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ @3.2 GHz. If the benchmark is anything to go by, I'm pulling about 2500-2700 on low and 2000-2100 on high. Because the two scores are so close I have a strong feeling that this CPU is the bottleneck, and will NOT be able to max the game by any means, but again, if the benchmark holds true then it should be "good enough" for low settings.

Thinking it over, I would have to agree with Mikhalia and suggest a Phenom II X4. The Phenoms definitely outperform the Athlons, so unless you really need to allocate that $30 elsewhere, I'd take the Phenom.


It's the X2 part more so than the Athlon part. I threw together this list of some of the earlier benchmarks and it makes it pretty obvious that the game really likes a quad core (or hexacore) processor.
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Mikhalia: and FWIW, my posts are 95% helpful, informative, or funny.
Mikhalia: only 5% or less of my posts are utter crap.
Tyapex: 393 posts of utter crap...
Mikhalia: Sounds about right.
#43 Jul 01 2010 at 5:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Mikhalia wrote:
Conversely, if I call Dell, I get that maybe about 50%. The rest of it is having someone trying to ask me sh*t like "Have you tried rebooting the computer?" when the video card is dead or "Have you tried a system restore?" when I'm calling because the HD has died and the BIOS won't see it anymore. One time, my personal laptop had stopped charging; AC adapter was not recognized in the BIOS or in Windows. When I called, I was told that it could be a virus causing it, and that I should run a full system scan with McAfee (-specifically- McAfee). My personal favorite was probably when I called because a power supply started smoking and wouldn't power on any more and the guy asks me to boot up to the Dell Diagnostic partition and run a test on the RAM.


You know it is very interesting you mention this and it actually now makes me think about my dell experience a little more in depth. Being a business customer of Dell I have personal reps who I can speak with and tech support located in the united states, not some guy reading a script with no knowledge of pcs or trouble shooting. I don't think it is that Dell's home customer support is worse, I think a lot of it has to do with the customers they are dealing with (some who literally have NO knowledge what-so-ever about computers).

As you've mentioned HP is pretty helpful in tech, although I've had a couple calls to them about my hp printers and boy was that fun :-\
#44 Jul 01 2010 at 6:01 PM Rating: Good
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burtonsnow wrote:
Mikhalia wrote:
Conversely, if I call Dell, I get that maybe about 50%. The rest of it is having someone trying to ask me sh*t like "Have you tried rebooting the computer?" when the video card is dead or "Have you tried a system restore?" when I'm calling because the HD has died and the BIOS won't see it anymore. One time, my personal laptop had stopped charging; AC adapter was not recognized in the BIOS or in Windows. When I called, I was told that it could be a virus causing it, and that I should run a full system scan with McAfee (-specifically- McAfee). My personal favorite was probably when I called because a power supply started smoking and wouldn't power on any more and the guy asks me to boot up to the Dell Diagnostic partition and run a test on the RAM.


You know it is very interesting you mention this and it actually now makes me think about my dell experience a little more in depth. Being a business customer of Dell I have personal reps who I can speak with and tech support located in the united states, not some guy reading a script with no knowledge of pcs or trouble shooting. I don't think it is that Dell's home customer support is worse, I think a lot of it has to do with the customers they are dealing with (some who literally have NO knowledge what-so-ever about computers).

As you've mentioned HP is pretty helpful in tech, although I've had a couple calls to them about my hp printers and boy was that fun :-\


Calling ANYONE about a printer hardware issue is NEVER fun.
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Mikhalia: and FWIW, my posts are 95% helpful, informative, or funny.
Mikhalia: only 5% or less of my posts are utter crap.
Tyapex: 393 posts of utter crap...
Mikhalia: Sounds about right.
#45 Jul 01 2010 at 6:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Just thought Id throw it out there for first time PC builders, make sure that the spacers are underneath the mother board when you install it, otherwise the motherboard will ground out on the case, causing the computer to not start, or start up and then turn off soon after.

:P

Other than that, Everything should slide into place like a jigsaw puzzle, meaning, if it isn't going to fit, it'll be obvious that it won't fit. The only thing I've ever had trouble with are RAM chips, as those are so close together that it's easy to turn them around in most cases. It's really not too difficult, as long as you aren't stupid. Treat it like a CD, you can handle it as long as you don't grab all over the chip and get your oily hands all over it. You wouldn't handle a CD/DvD that way, and you don't handle computer hardware that way, and for the same reasons.
#46 Jul 01 2010 at 6:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Ok cool thanks for the replies guys, I know its only $30 but its $30 I can spend elsewhere (not being cheap but honestly strapped for cash and i'm sitting here trying to build the cheapest, longest lasting rig I can build). Well, lucky you guys I have more questions :D, well atleast one more here: I think I might go with the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) {unless someone can give me better/cheaper ones} that would put me at 4G RAM. Now someone in another topic mentioned something about RAM in correlation with OS, something about 64 bit OS required for RAM above 3G? can someone clarify this please? what OS would I need to get if I go with 4G RAM?

P.S. MetalSmith what the heck are spacers? lol. I'm a noob.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 8:12pm by SolidMack
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#47 Jul 01 2010 at 6:46 PM Rating: Default
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SolidMack wrote:
Ok cool thanks for the replies guys, I know its only $30 but its $30 I can spend elsewhere (not being cheap but honestly strapped for cash and i'm sitting here trying to build the cheapest, longest lasting rig I can build). Well, lucky you guys I have more questions :D, well atleast one more here: I think I might go with the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) {unless someone can give me better/cheaper ones} that would put me at 4G RAM. Now someone in another topic mentioned something about RAM in correlation with OS, something about 64 bit OS required for RAM above 3G? can someone clarify this please? what OS would I need to get if I go with 4G RAM?

P.S. MetalSmith what the heck are spacers? lol. I'm a noob.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 8:12pm by SolidMack


Yes, a 64 bit operating system will recognize all 4GB+ of your RAM while a 32 bit OS will only show that you have 3.XX GB of RAM, regardless of how much more than that you have. Any 64 bit OS should do it, so XP64, Vista64, Win7 64, you get the idea :)
#48 Jul 01 2010 at 7:06 PM Rating: Decent
40 posts
Hey guys I have a few questions about my laptop (Dell Inspiron 1564).

Here are my specs:

OS: Windows 7 64 bit
CPU: intel core i3 M 330 @ 2.13 GHz
RAM: 4 GB
Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400 Series

Will my laptop be able to run FFxiv?
I think the Graphics Card is my weakest link here, and it is not integrated so I believe that means it can be upgraded? What are your suggestions?

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 9:55pm by yeahicanfly
#49 Jul 01 2010 at 7:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks Rhysen, got it :D.
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#50 Jul 01 2010 at 8:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Little pieces that come with the motherboard usually that you put on the bottom of the mother board so it doesn't touch your case. It insulates the motherboard from the case, otherwise the Motherboard short circuits through the case itself. I had this probably when I built my first machine and it took me 2 weeks to figure it out >.<
#51 Jul 01 2010 at 8:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Is there any sense in getting a six core CPU? (More from AMD, I KNOW there can't be sense in dropping $1k on a six core i7 for this game)

edit: also, how the **** did the 5970 bench lower than the 5870 at http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html?

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 10:57pm by LemmingKingXXX
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