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Colinevan
06-02-2012, 07:22 PM
Id thought id ask on here as some peeps are very clued up on there pc's.:thumbsup:

My current setup is an advent core 2 quad 2.4 ghz
4 gb ram
Nvdia gforce 8300 gs 128 mb card. its still available on ebay and seems to be popular from some reason. Some sellers want 40 for it.:o

Now i mainly use this pc for looking at pics from my dslr, music itunes and a few games , but i have now started to watch dvd's or downloaded films on a large hd tv in the bedroom. So far it plays ok, however windows base scores are low (3.4 as opposed to 5.9's for most other performances )for graphics department so i guess its either upgrade or even replace machine as it runs vista 32 so doesn't maximize all the ram available.

Now i see graphics cards of around 1gb for a rather lowish 40. Im open to recommendations or even second hand bargains if anyone can advise of a prticular card or indeed ones to avoid ( maybe high gb speed but crap in other areas).

Any advice is greatly appreaciated.

Col.

Dombrasky
06-02-2012, 07:42 PM
Hi
IMO stick with nvidia something like this maybe :)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/nvidiageforcegraphicscards/nvidiagt430fermiseries/gv-n430oc-1gl.html

almunro
06-02-2012, 08:42 PM
Do yourself a favour and upgrade to win 7, vista is a pig and terribly slow. Go to Win7 and you will find your computer is faster without changing anything else.

Colinevan
06-02-2012, 08:52 PM
Do yourself a favour and upgrade to win 7, vista is a pig and terribly slow. Go to Win7 and you will find your computer is faster without changing anything else.

To be honest I was looking at having a dabble with windows 8 beta as I'm under the impression that if younusebthe beta version, when it's commercially available you can purchase it for a reasonable price . Something like 30

However with the sensible side, I decided to leave things ha ha.

In all honesty a new operating system and graphics card , your probably talking 150 . I bet the pc is probably worth 180 second hand value and it's more cost effective to buy a new machine. From memory my hd is only 380gb.

Or can I ask what would ou guys do.

Colinevan
06-02-2012, 08:54 PM
Hi
IMO stick with nvidia something like this maybe :)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/nvidiageforcegraphicscards/nvidiagt430fermiseries/gv-n430oc-1gl.html

Thanks. If people think its worth spending, I'll prob go for that or a second hand card equivalent .

Cardnim
06-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Hi Colin,

Good question about the upgrade mate, and I would very much add my recommendation to go ahead and do it.
Your computer spec seems average, with a decent enough processor and a nice chunk of RAM. That 128Mb video card certainly isnt up to the rest of the spec you mention.

I would also recommend something like that Gigbyte nVidia video card which Dombrasky linked to in his post.
I run a similar machine to you; and I run it as a Media Server and currently have an nVidia 9800 GT (1Gb) in it. An older card by todays standards, but cheap to pick up and really great performance AND reliability (a key point worth considering for any video card)

The Windows Vista issue I would only worry about if you feel that the Operating System is unreliable, crashing often or you need software which only works on WIndows 7.
Dont go Windows 8 chum - or any BETA route for that matter - can be a nightmare if you dont know what you are doing, and / or you dont like spending hours tweaking and rolling back driver installs and setup features. yuk. :)

Hope it helps mate. :thumbsup:

Colinevan
06-02-2012, 09:24 PM
Hi Colin,

Good question about the upgrade mate, and I would very much add my recommendation to go ahead and do it.
Your computer spec seems average, with a decent enough processor and a nice chunk of RAM. That 128Mb video card certainly isnt up to the rest of the spec you mention.

I would also recommend something like that Gigbyte nVidia video card which Dombrasky linked to in his post.
I run a similar machine to you; and I run it as a Media Server and currently have an nVidia 9800 GT (1Gb) in it. An older card by todays standards, but cheap to pick up and really great performance AND reliability (a key point worth considering for any video card)

The Windows Vista issue I would only worry about if you feel that the Operating System is unreliable, crashing often or you need software which only works on WIndows 7.
Dont go Windows 8 chum - or any BETA route for that matter - can be a nightmare if you dont know what you are doing, and / or you dont like spending hours tweaking and rolling back driver installs and setup features. yuk. :)

Hope it helps mate. :thumbsup:

Wow thanks for some good advice so far guys.

Im amazed you can understand my typing as well, as on the ipad oople is extremely laggy and auto corrects and errr anyways ill get my coat ha ha.

Right , hmm seems a card is the way forward, and then possibly for the future an additional hard drive.

/tobys
06-02-2012, 09:46 PM
Win7 is faster than Vista and I would strongly recommend upgrading. You will need to perform a fresh install to feel the full benefit, which you may think is too much hassle but it would be worth it :thumbsup:

Richard Lowe
06-02-2012, 10:42 PM
Look at second hand stuff on eBay, you'll be able to get yourself a GTX260 or 280 for almost nothing now which will be a MASSIVE leap up from what you have now - an 8300GS is pretty much the same as the Intel integrated graphics :lol:

You should have a nice balanced PC then even with your (I assume) Q6600, you should be able to get 3Ghz out of it pretty easy with a bit of tweaking although be prepared for some monster heat output if you go much past that!

Colinevan
07-02-2012, 01:10 PM
Look at second hand stuff on eBay, you'll be able to get yourself a GTX260 or 280 for almost nothing now which will be a MASSIVE leap up from what you have now - an 8300GS is pretty much the same as the Intel integrated graphics :lol:

You should have a nice balanced PC then even with your (I assume) Q6600, you should be able to get 3Ghz out of it pretty easy with a bit of tweaking although be prepared for some monster heat output if you go much past that!
Spec wise how does that second hand card compare with the other recommended card. Am i reading it correct that they are both 1GB.

And is it too much hassle to overclock? Or do i risk melting everything ha ha. Any info links that i can read up on, i wouldn't know where to start.:blush:

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 01:19 PM
Spec wise how does that second hand card compare with the other recommended card. Am i reading it correct that they are both 1GB.

And is it too much hassle to overclock? Or do i risk melting everything ha ha. Any info links that i can read up on, i wouldn't know where to start.:blush:
Have a look at the HWCompare website...

http://www.hwcompare.com/1805/geforce-9800-gt-1gb-vs-geforce-gtx-260/

You can change the two cards to compare at the top of the page, 8300GS vs a 260 is quite funny... ~1700% potential average performance increase :lol:

http://www.hwcompare.com/1825/geforce-8300-gs-oem-vs-geforce-gtx-260/


Unless you go much higher up in graphics cards you won't really notice any difference in games by overclocking that CPU as you'll still be limited by the card. You'd get more benefit from moving to Windows 7, although it's probably not worth the hassle/expense if everything's working fine as it is. Just pop a better graphics card in there and make sure your power supply can handle it :)

260's can be had on ebay for 50-60
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GTX-260-Zotac-896MB-Nvidia-Graphics-Card-/250979361605?pt=UK_Computing_Computer_Components_G raphics_Video_TV_Cards_TW&hash=item3a6f892345

Colinevan
07-02-2012, 01:32 PM
Have a look at the HWCompare website...

http://www.hwcompare.com/1805/geforce-9800-gt-1gb-vs-geforce-gtx-260/

You can change the two cards to compare at the top of the page, 8300GS vs a 260 is quite funny... ~1700% potential average performance increase :lol:

http://www.hwcompare.com/1825/geforce-8300-gs-oem-vs-geforce-gtx-260/


Unless you go much higher up in graphics cards you won't really notice any difference in games by overclocking that CPU as you'll still be limited by the card. You'd get more benefit from moving to Windows 7, although it's probably not worth the hassle/expense if everything's working fine as it is. Just pop a better graphics card in there and make sure your power supply can handle it :)

260's can be had on ebay for 50-60
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GTX-260-Zotac-896MB-Nvidia-Graphics-Card-/250979361605?pt=UK_Computing_Computer_Components_G raphics_Video_TV_Cards_TW&hash=item3a6f892345

Lmao. hmm a slight increase i see, like going from a silver can 540 to a 3.5r then methinks.

When i compared the new card recommended

http://www.hwcompare.com/7050/geforce-gt-430-vs-geforce-gtx-260/

compared to the gtx260, it also trumps that as well, see even though they are both 1gb, miles apart hmmm.

How would i find out if my power supply has enough juice or would it be the motherboard. Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks for you time.:thumbsup:

AC199
07-02-2012, 01:49 PM
Upgrading the graphics to something that's even midrange nowadays, something like a 260GTX or a 4890 would in all likelyhood kill your current PSU. While I appreciate that there are other people with opinions, you need to look at the system as a whole before deciding what to do. If your PSU is the one that came with your case, forget about it, you might as well bin the PC and start again. If its an elcheapo no name brand like Qtec or Trust, again, bin the pc and start again.

This is the main issue with Advent PC's is they are always built to a price point, and that price point requires certain corners are cut. Unfortunatley for you, it does mean that when something dies, unless you can replace with a like for like, you will almost always end up stressing another component to the point of failure, and thus begins the cascade which will end up with you going and buying a new PC.

Ultimatley, if you're planning on moving to a HTPC type setup, you really are best of spending the cash to build a proper unit, they arent that expensive, mine cost me 400 quid all in, nothing spoils a movie more than having a fan whining while you're watching a film.

Grab a cheap i3, mATX board, Corsair PSU, 4gb RAM, copy of windows 7 home premium (OEM) and a cheap silverstone case, whack your current HDD's in and jobs a good un. Nothing bad to happen wondering if your current rig will blow with an uprated card in, and nice and quiet.

AC

Cardnim
07-02-2012, 02:41 PM
...bin the pc and start again.
Rubbish. :thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown:

Upgrading your graphics card causes your CPU to implode or melt or something?
Rubbish. :thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown:

At worst, it will move the bottleneck of performance from the graphics card to the CPU, but it wont wreck it.

Fair point that the Power Supply Unit may not be up to the task, but even if it isnt, this can be replaced for about 13 for a decent one.
Compared with how much.... 400 for a decent PC?!?!?

Sorry, but in my experience (and I repair PCs as part of my job) that just isnt what I would do at all.

Top expense = 50 vid card + 13 PSU (if needed). Job done.

Cardnim
07-02-2012, 02:47 PM
How would i find out if my power supply has enough juice or would it be the motherboard. Sorry for all the questions.

Questions are good mate - and as you can see has sparked some debate. :thumbsup:

The power supply (PSU) rating is easy enough to find out hopefully.
You need to pop open the side panel on your computer, locate the PSU (its what the plug goes into!:woot:) and on the side of it usually on a sticker it will say what wattage it is. 200W, 350W, 600 etc etc.

If its an older machine (i.e. > 5 years) then its probably at the lower end of the scale of say 200-300; and might need replaced.
But it also depends on what other peripherals you have in the computer - floppy disk, CD drive, DVD drive, hard disks (HDD) expansion cards (for sound, firewire, usb, etc)

Cardnim
07-02-2012, 02:51 PM
Have a look at the HWCompare website...

http://www.hwcompare.com/1805/geforce-9800-gt-1gb-vs-geforce-gtx-260/

You can change the two cards to compare at the top of the page, 8300GS vs a 260 is quite funny... ~1700% potential average performance increase :lol:

http://www.hwcompare.com/1825/geforce-8300-gs-oem-vs-geforce-gtx-260/


Unless you go much higher up in graphics cards you won't really notice any difference in games by overclocking that CPU as you'll still be limited by the card. You'd get more benefit from moving to Windows 7, although it's probably not worth the hassle/expense if everything's working fine as it is. Just pop a better graphics card in there and make sure your power supply can handle it :)

260's can be had on ebay for 50-60
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GTX-260-Zotac-896MB-Nvidia-Graphics-Card-/250979361605?pt=UK_Computing_Computer_Components_G raphics_Video_TV_Cards_TW&hash=item3a6f892345

Great links Richard - Cant believe the ratings for my 9800 GT against the GTX 260. I knew the GTX would be better, but it is a pretty sizeable boost in many areas... then again, at nearly twice the wattage, I would expect good things! :)

AC199
07-02-2012, 03:03 PM
I do apologise, clearly I've hit a bit of a nerve, obviously you know best.

If however, you think 12 quid for a PSU will get one that'll support a 260GTX without detonating the motherboard mosfets and most likely taking the CPU, RAM and PSU with it, then I'd say its you speaking rubbish.

Just for future reference, http://www.scan.co.uk/products/600w-psu-corsair-gaming-series-gs600-cmpsu-600guk-80-eff-80-plus-sli-crossfire-eps-12v-quiet-fan-atx is a decent PSU, thats the one I'd use for a 260GTX due to having separate rails for the 12v line, so that the graphics cards 2 PCI-E connectors dont suck it dry... As you can see, its a lot more than 12 quid...

I've been building, overclocking, benchmarking and gaming for 15 years bud, while you may have an opinion, it doesnt mean that yours is correct, or that mine is for that reason, but bad advice is the leading source of problems in the world, and replacing low end components with, for want of a better word, shit components, is only going to cause more issues in the long run.

AC

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 03:09 PM
I'm not sure I'd trust my PC to a 13 PSU :woot:

For a Q6600 with a decent graphics card just look for something >500w made by a manufacturer you've heard of, as a general rule Antec don't make bad stuff so anything by them will be good :) The Q6600 is a power thirsty chip even at stock, I used to struggle to keep mine (@3Ghz) at sensible temperates without being too intusive noise-wise, yet the same cooler handles my i5 2500k @ 4.8Ghz no problems.
A good PSU is an investment as you can carry it over from machine to machine, they do loose their maximum output as the components age but that's why you buy a decent one in the first place, 500 Antec watts are more than 500 cheapo PSU watts...

I suggested the 260 as I had one which lasted me about 3 years playing the latest stuff, I only made the jump to a 580 so I could run BF3 with all the shiny on :p

A GTX460 1Gb is about the biggest bargain around right now, a little more oomph than the 260 and they are around the 100 mark brand new, less heat/power and DX11 capable too.

AC199
07-02-2012, 03:35 PM
Well said, Mr Lowe.

Ultimatley, its Amps, not volts that decide whats right for your system, named and known brands tend to have more amps due to being built better with better components.

Cardnim
07-02-2012, 03:57 PM
@AC199 - Fair enough mate, I didnt mean to get on my high horse, but I would agree with what you said...

...but bad advice is the leading source of problems in the world...

and I think it is bad advice to tella guy to sell his whole computer, buy a new build it yourself machine and new OS, when all he asked was to watch streaming content better.
Building computers from scratch is a bit of a task with many pitfalls to avoid. You and I both know how to do it as we have been doing it for so long (and only 15 years? try 25 here!) but perhaps the guy who psoted the question isnt familiar with putting a computer together from scratch.

But look, I apologise if I came across strong - just I see this on forums all the time, that people in the know with computers recommend awesome things (and what you recommended is a great machine) but perhaps overkill for the average punter.

PSU - At that price I could buy four of my EvoLabs ATX 650W. I would rather have 1 perfectly adequate one in the machine and 3 spares (or better yet, my cash in my wallet) than invest more for just a media server machine.... but again, just my opinion.

Trying not to offend, just offering an opinion :thumbsup:

AC199
07-02-2012, 05:05 PM
I think it is bad advice to tell a guy to sell his whole computer, buy a new build it yourself machine and new OS, when all he asked was to watch streaming content better.


Heh, having done tech support for my whole family and friends for the better part of 10 years, its easier in the long run, without having 12 conversations like this, so simply buy properly in the beginning, but everyone has to start somewhere...

Building computers from scratch is a bit of a task with many pitfalls to avoid. You and I both know how to do it as we have been doing it for so long (and only 15 years? try 25 here!) but perhaps the guy who posted the question isnt familiar with putting a computer together from scratch.

With the greatest respect, Tab A in Slot B is all thats involved with building a modern day PC, no messing with bios, worrying about compatability etc, its the easiest its ever been. So long as you arent wearing nylon pants and licking 9v batteries, its very difficult to do anything wrong.


But look, I apologise if I came across strong - just I see this on forums all the time, that people in the know with computers recommend awesome things (and what you recommended is a great machine) but perhaps overkill for the average punter.


Built the EXACT same machine for my brother for his company not 3 months ago, and my brother is the ultimate technophobe. I dont think its overkill at all, its pretty much an entry level PC with some upgrade capability for in 2 years when they want to game harder... but I see your point.


PSU - At that price I could buy four of my EvoLabs ATX 650W. I would rather have 1 perfectly adequate one in the machine and 3 spares (or better yet, my cash in my wallet) than invest more for just a media server machine.... but again, just my opinion.


I'd rather blend my head than use a budget PSU. As someone who used to game hardcore, the 3 parts of the PC you NEVER try to save money on are PSU, Motherboard and RAM. If you buy cheap, you'll buy more of them and wish you'd bought properly in the first place. Its just a fact of computing.


Trying not to offend, just offering an opinion :thumbsup:

Heh, you'll have to try harder than that to offend me fella, I just dont want someone to spend money in the wrong place.

Also, by the time you've bought a PSU that'll cope with a decent Graphics card, bought the decent card and fitted it, found out it wont fit in the case, bought the exhaust fans to cool the case etc, its almost 400 quid, you might as well have bought the new PC and had the faster processor and ram in it...

Its different sides of the same coin, both achieve the same goal.

AC

Cardnim
07-02-2012, 05:15 PM
Fair points all of them. :)

Couple of questions though - genuine ones, not me trying to be a prick! :)

I am still struggling to see how buying a whole new computer and then building it and setting it up is better for the original poster of this question.
From the problem he described which he wants a solution to, surely an upgraded video card is perfectly adequate?

Secondly, I agree with you about budget parts for a hardcore, topend machine which is going to be pushing performance benchmarks; but again, I dont think this is what the original poster wanted.

You and Richard seem to be going down a tangent talking about hardcore gaming machines, the latest hardware to run BF3 with all the graphic options turned to max, and overclocking.
The original poster simply wants a bit of a better video performance from his machine.

ergo... I stick to my original recommendation:
Better graphics card and cheap PSU if he needs it.

However, (genuine question!) do you really believe its better to invest in the good PSU at this stage? (bearing in mind this guy may never build his own PC and therefore the fact that the PSU can go from machine to machine may be irrelevant).
If so, then I am maybe not being as good as I could be with my computer repair business and need to rethink.
Thanks for the advice and discussion.

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 05:58 PM
I'd wouldn't really put a GTX260 level card and Core 2 Quad into the league of 'hardcore' gaming hardware these days, more like lower mid-range!

In my experience cheap PSU's are a bit of a lottery, they might be able to power what you plug them into but if anything does fail there's a 75% chance it will take everything else connected to it with it. Whereas the better PSU's just die quietly and leave everything else intact, you also get better warranties with branded PSU's :)

It's like risking driving round without a seatbelt on, you might arrive OK if everything goes fine, but have an accident and you're in trouble.

Rich D
07-02-2012, 06:41 PM
Rich - whats the difference between DX10 and DX11 ?

I built myself a new machine about a year ago. Reasonable spec. Pre overclocked mainboard/cpu combo from overclockers.co.uk

GTX470 GPU, SSD for the OS, Intel i5 260 OC@4.01 ghz, 4 gig ram

Scores 7.4 on the windows 7 benchmark - the SSD is the bottleneck.

Says its DX10 though ?

I pretty much only play Counter Strike Source :woot: but theres a new version in the pipeline.

Cheers

AC199
07-02-2012, 07:10 PM
Fair points all of them. :)

Couple of questions though - genuine ones, not me trying to be a prick! :)

I am still struggling to see how buying a whole new computer and then building it and setting it up is better for the original poster of this question.
From the problem he described which he wants a solution to, surely an upgraded video card is perfectly adequate?

I'll answer this the same way I did for my other brother.

You buy the uprated graphics card, we'll say 100 quid for arguments sake, ideal card for HTPC that does some gaming.

That card generates more heat, so you have to put extra fans in, you want quiet, mainly because 120mm Deltas are noisy buggers, secondly because you want something thats not going to blow your elcheapo psu. Figure 3 fans, 120mm so a tenner each. 30 and thats ignoring the fact that you'd probably want to put a better cooler on the CPU as you're getting random reboots due to the extra heat in the system...

Your psu dies, not an occurance thats going out of the realms of possibility with a new gen card, so you put another cheap one in, 20.

You realise that the new game you've bought wont run with the amount of ram you have, or you realise that its chugging, buy new ram 60.

You then realise that you've got 4gb of very nice ram, but its just not running right or you arent seeing all of it, suddenly Windows 7 64bit looks nice, so you buy that 120 quid...

All of a sudden we're talking near as makes no difference 350 quid. Thats just to upgrade, and we're assuming that the cheapo PSU doesnt brown out, overheat or cause a ton of BSOD's due to the amps dropping below critical.

While the solution that you're giving is a viable solution if the graphics card being mentioned wasnt a power hungry SOB, eventually something will give and if its the psu and you end up with 240v going down the 12v rail (It happened to me, and its painful let me tell you) then kiss good bye to your CPU, Mobo, RAM, HDD's and graphics card. Not only at this point do you have to buy completely new internals, that nice shiny graphics card you put into the PC 1 month ago is an expensive ugly looking paperweight, and you have to buy another, no manufacturer is going to RMA something thats dead because of a cheap component.

Upgrading when the tech is new is the way to go, when the tech is old, is a complete false economy, the cascade of upgrades means you may as well have bought new at the start of this process.

Secondly, I agree with you about budget parts for a hardcore, topend machine which is going to be pushing performance benchmarks; but again, I dont think this is what the original poster wanted.

You and Richard seem to be going down a tangent talking about hardcore gaming machines, the latest hardware to run BF3 with all the graphic options turned to max, and overclocking.
The original poster simply wants a bit of a better video performance from his machine.

ergo... I stick to my original recommendation:
Better graphics card and cheap PSU if he needs it.


Thats something for the original poster to think about, its his call what he spends his money on at the end of the day, all I'm trying to do is save him from doing what I've done in the past.

However, (genuine question!) do you really believe its better to invest in the good PSU at this stage? (bearing in mind this guy may never build his own PC and therefore the fact that the PSU can go from machine to machine may be irrelevant).
If so, then I am maybe not being as good as I could be with my computer repair business and need to rethink.
Thanks for the advice and discussion.


Always, absolutley! The PSU is the only part of the PC which has a direct and potentially deadly effect on every single other component. Buying cheap is saving money where money should never be saved. If he was just wanting to replace his PSU, then go for it with elcheapo, its a like for like replacement. Given he wants more performance, then you have to ensure that the system is going to be able to give the power when its needed. The cheap PSU's may have 500watts rating, but if they were asked to provide 500watts for more than an hour, they would blow, thats the peak wattage quoted, my old Enermax 500w was a 700 peak psu, 500w was a sustained draw rating.

For the common home user who browses facehack and watches Youchoobe vids, cheapo is fine, as soon as performance heardware is put into the equation, it has to be a performance PSU or you are genuinely asking for trouble.

AC

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 07:13 PM
whats the difference between DX10 and DX11 ?

Not a lot, I think it's more about making certain shaders more efficient so feature for feature 11 will run faster than 10 on the same hardware. You turn on stuff like tesselation that 11 supports and your performance drops down again depending on how much graphics horsepower you have.

Rich D
07-02-2012, 07:16 PM
Not a lot, I think it's more about making certain shaders more efficient so feature for feature 11 will run faster than 10 on the same hardware. You turn on stuff like tesselation that 11 supports and your performance drops down again depending on how much graphics horsepower you have.


Ok cheers, so as its not been downloaded via auto update can i assume that im best off sticking to DX10 for now ?

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 07:27 PM
7 actually comes with DX11, any DX updates you get are just runtime updates. There's still lots of games now that don't support 11, I wouldn't worry about it too much ;)

What exactly is telling you yours only supports 10?

Rich D
07-02-2012, 08:10 PM
7 actually comes with DX11, any DX updates you get are just runtime updates. There's still lots of games now that don't support 11, I wouldn't worry about it too much ;)

What exactly is telling you yours only supports 10?

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj305/D3URY/perf1.jpg

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj305/D3URY/perf2.jpg

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj305/D3URY/perf3.jpg


Hmm not sure now Rich as you can see DXDiag tells me its DX11 anyway having looked. Just noticed it when i did the windows 7 benchmark. What do you reckon ?

Sorry for the thread hijack Colin :blush:

To add my 2p, for something that most of us use daily, i think that money spent on a well specced pc is money well spent. I tend to spend as much as i can afford and build a mid high system every 4 years. Prices only seem to come down each time you do a new one anyway. This way, you always have a system thats fast and can run pretty much anything you wish to throw at it with speed. You`re not having to find the complete new purchase price anyway, as your second hand components are always worth something if they were mid/high end when you bought them.

Each to their own i guess. Provided you dont try to build the very best, you dont have to spend a fortune each time you build another system that will be fast for 4 or 5 years. I dont do it for a living like Rich, just dabbled since the days of the spektrum 16k :)

Colinevan
07-02-2012, 09:01 PM
No problems Rich. Fire away pal!

Its more learning for me anyways.:lol:

Its good to see and read peoples advice and opinions.

AC199
07-02-2012, 09:16 PM
@Rich D

Dude, you have a gorgeous PC, stunningly well specced, (i know, mine is literally identical) and yet for some godforsaken reason you're using 32 bit windoze? Sort it out! 32 bit windoze will only use 3.5gb ram....

Rich D
07-02-2012, 09:24 PM
@Rich D

Dude, you have a gorgeous PC, stunningly well specced, (i know, mine is literally identical) and yet for some godforsaken reason you're using 32 bit windoze? Sort it out! 32 bit windoze will only use 3.5gb ram....


Cheers mate :)

Had some peripherals at the time that i couldnt find 64bit drivers for ! They have since been removed so ill maybe think about that. Is it worth it for the sake of the extra 512MB do you think ?

Colinevan
07-02-2012, 09:34 PM
Wow mine only goes upto 5.9 for most.

However graphics wise is a poor 3.4:lol:

Iv read about cheap windows 7 oem deals of 79 for 64gb however iv researched and found people selling dell windows cd's and the serial number of a destroyed machine.

I was told a while back that you could buy serial numbers that were supplied for the likes of graphics card/motherboard manufacturers and they were legal(ish),

Might be an option for you as well Rich. ALthough at the moment I cant seem to find any.

Col.

AC199
07-02-2012, 09:37 PM
Yes, its not just the ram, the 64 bit instruction set makes a huge difference...

Rich D
07-02-2012, 09:46 PM
Yes, its not just the ram, the 64 bit instruction set makes a huge difference...


ok cheers, ill have a think about that. Just at the time i built this, 64 bit OS drivers were a pain so i didnt wish to have more aggro than i needed !

It seems pretty good all round really although the overclock isnt 100% stable. It does crash on rare occasions. If i use the std clockspeed BIOS settings in the memory it runs faultlessly.

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 11:06 PM
Don't worry Rich mine says DX10 on that section too...

http://img857.imageshack.us/img857/5981/90077484.jpg

Ignore where it say's the CPU's at 3.3Ghz, Windows doesn't see the overclock for some reason. It'd be interesting to see what the actual numbers are as the 7 benchmark stops at 7.9 :lol:


The memory limitations on 32bit Windows are 3.25Gb TOTAL addressable system memory (which includes stuff like your graphics card). So if you had a graphics card with 1Gb of VRAM that would be taken off the 3.25Gb total too, giving you a maximum RAM amount around 2.3Gb. Applications running on a 32bit OS can't see use more than 2Gb of RAM at once either, so no single program will use more than 2Gb.

Rich D
07-02-2012, 11:12 PM
Don't worry Rich mine says DX10 on that section too...

http://img857.imageshack.us/img857/5981/90077484.jpg

Ignore where it say's the CPU's at 3.3Ghz, Windows doesn't see the overclock for some reason. It'd be interesting to see what the actual numbers are as the 7 benchmark stops at 7.9 :lol:


The memory limitations on 32bit Windows are 3.25Gb TOTAL addressable system memory (which includes stuff like your graphics card). So if you had a graphics card with 1Gb of VRAM that would be taken off the 3.25Gb total too, giving you a maximum RAM amount around 2.3Gb. Applications running on a 32bit OS can't see use more than 2Gb of RAM at once either, so no single program will use more than 2Gb.


Cheers Rich, that explains it then. Nice system ! Whilst we are geeking off about PC specs :blush:, what SSD are you using for your primary ? Mines a patriot which was one of the early ones, i heard good things about the Corsairs !

Richard Lowe
07-02-2012, 11:19 PM
what SSD are you using for your primary ? Mines a patriot which was one of the early ones, i heard good things about the Corsairs !
Corsair Force Series 3 120Gb :wub

Rich D
07-02-2012, 11:27 PM
Corsair Force Series 3 120Gb :wub

That will explain that 7.9 then !

cigbunt
07-02-2012, 11:35 PM
What games do you play?
Your current card is good enough for hd play back there's no point upgrading on the basis of your windows score. Unless your going Push you graphic it's fine!

Cardnim
08-02-2012, 09:34 AM
The memory limitations on 32bit Windows are 3.25Gb TOTAL addressable system memory (which includes stuff like your graphics card). So if you had a graphics card with 1Gb of VRAM that would be taken off the 3.25Gb total too, giving you a maximum RAM amount around 2.3Gb. Applications running on a 32bit OS can't see use more than 2Gb of RAM at once either, so no single program will use more than 2Gb.

You all probably know this anyways, but under 32 bit Windows, you can "tune" your memory to in some small way help out the limitations Richard describes:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb613473%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

@Richard - doesnt the GPU address the video card memory directly when called from the likes of a game? i.e. while the 1gb video card in your example isnt adding anything because the system already has maxed physical memory; in a 3D game for example, this 1gb VRAM can be utilised above the 4gb system ram as the GPU iterates through its own instructions from the application code. - i.e. nothing to do with Windows or the CPU. (I think thats the big push that nVidia marketed when they released their first GPU's back 12 years ago or so)?
And if memory serves me even better, then the latest round of Adobe products (eg, Photoshop) are also GPU capable and can therefore make use of the additional VRAM?

Richard Lowe
21-02-2012, 04:00 PM
AFAIK the video memory is available in full, it's just subtracted from the total 'pool' dictated by the limitations of 32bit OS's and comes out of the RAM - at least thats how I understand it.

Cardnim
21-02-2012, 04:06 PM
You could be correct mate, but when I was writing computer games, the tech support guys at nVidia were always pushing the split between CPU and their GPU and the resources that each can poll independantly.

It makes sense for it to operate as you describe; with the limit in place, but that doesnt seem to fit with what we were doing back then.

Interesting - I'll have to dig around and see what I can find on that one just for my own curiosity.
Cheers :)

Richard Lowe
21-02-2012, 04:15 PM
I'm not 100% on it either having not had any programming experience, there might be all sorts of stuff put into directx to get round limitations like this now but since we're pretty much all on 64bit it's not really an issue these days :)

Cardnim
21-02-2012, 04:19 PM
my 32bit computer would disagree with you on that one...

...except its too busy trying to grind through opening Firefox to realise you have said anything yet :)

Richard Lowe
21-02-2012, 04:26 PM
...except its too busy trying to grind through opening Firefox to realise you have said anything yet :)
:lol:

I'll raise you a customers laptop with 1Gb of RAM and Vista Business 32bit, chug chug ch......u.......g.
The hard drive is working so hard just sitting in windows it looks like it's got two power LED's :woot:

Cardnim
21-02-2012, 04:29 PM
lol. *shudders at Vista*

You didnt ask it to DO anything did you?
Thats like torture or something for that poor thing - Im sure there is a bit in the Geneva convention against that kind of cruelty to OS's :p

colmo
22-02-2012, 02:07 AM
I'll just have my usual pop at Windows - I hate it, I never want to have to buy it again, and I can't wait for the day my laptop pushes me to install Linux on it as well.

Without the need for games, I see no reason to fork out for Win 7 - Ubuntu or OpenSuse is just a download away.

This is the best reason for me:
http://media.bestofmicro.com/1/G/325348/original/rawtherapee21110.png (http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ubuntu-oneiric-ocelot-benchmark-review,review-32377-22.html)

As for the graphics card - the TDP of the nVidia 260 card horrified me at 182W!! I thought it might be a candidate to replace my 8800 GS, but I'll pass on that. I never saw the need to overclock my Q6600 (I got the one that does it well) - the extra cores mean performance is very consistent. I will say that editing HD video is the first time I've even had cause to want moar powah!

The modern integrated graphics cards do HD pretty well, and use a tiny fraction of that wattage. As that would necessitate gutting his PC, how about a nice, latest generation, low spec ATI card? They're noted for their video performance and are parsimonious on the power. The PSU issue goes away too.

AC199
22-02-2012, 03:50 PM
I hate windows

Typical Linux user, arrives late to the party as he had to spend so long compiling his latest kernel...

:p

I run Linux on my Laptop, it does the job well, but thats because all I ever do on my laptop is code websites...

Its awesome if you dont want to game, if you do, forget it...

colmo
22-02-2012, 05:11 PM
Typical Linux user, arrives late to the party as he had to spend so long compiling his latest kernel...

:p

No kernels were compiled in the making of this post! With the repositories as they are now (in my case OpenSuse), there's no need to compile anything for ordinary use. Indeed, I think Linux has better driver support than Win 7 these days, certainly for older devices.


Its awesome if you dont want to game, if you do, forget it...

No arguments there - I do game on Linux, but not that much - some games have ports or work through Wine. Many don't work at all. Problems usually arise with copy protection. I've discovered ripping an ISO of the game disk and mounting it as a drive letter for Wine solves a lot of issues, esp. with multi-disk volumes.

Now for HD video - there are a host of good players- Kaffeine, VLC etc., and quite a few decent video editors (I've settled on OpenShot). I've long since settled on apps for most other desktop uses.

Getting back to the graphics card issue, a high-power graphics card is a total waste (mostly excess idle power consumption) if it's not used to game. From the OP, it sound like he's after the same sort of cards that HTPC users go for - principle features would be HD video hardware acceleration, multiple outputs and silent running.