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Thread: Q: New PC Suggestions

  1. #1
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    Q: New PC Suggestions

    Hi all,

    I've had my PC for about 5yrs now and seem to need to do an upgrade to a new machine. The single core 3.06Ghz P4 has held up well, but last night something in the case burned out (I'm still finding the cause) and this morning it won't operate even with a new power supply. I'll be doing some further fault finding later as I have time.

    One thing I must start to consider is purchasing a new Motherboard matching Processor and a new graphics card, it's been a few years since I looked at PC's and a lot has changed. I have little or no need for a new monitor or peripherals.

    As I mainly do photo processing, a bit of gaming and the usual web surfing I need a reasonable all round machine ...

    Any ideas on technologies or ideal combinations I should look out for?
    Last edited by enduro; 13-12-2009 at 3:10pm. Reason: update title
    "Nature photography is about choosing a location, crawling through dirt, being bitten by insects and occasionally taking a great image". - Wayne Eddy.

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  2. #2
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Not going to matter a whole lot, Wayne.

    1: In general, triple core and quad core gain you very, very little over dual core, so only go past a dual core CPU if you can find either (a) a compelling advantage in one of your applications (unlikely) or (b) a trivially small price difference. Please yourself whether you go AMD or Intel.

    2: Graphics cards are almost (but not quite) obsolete for non-games uses. Get anything that's cheap. It really won't matter. Even a $50 PCI-E card will be massively powerful for anything except games.

    3: Hard drive, big as you like. As always, get Samsung or Hitachi if you can. try to avoid Western Digital.

    4: RAM: 4GB if you are going to run a 32-bit Windows, more is pointless. If you plan to run one of the Win64s, make absolutely certain that all your programs and peripherals will work OK with it first - there are some gotchas - and add more RAM if you can afford it.

    5: Remember that the best value in PCs is always - repeat always - in the middle of the range. Year in and year out, this remains true. Ignore those fools who tell you to buy top of the range anything. You will gain very little performance, quite possibly lose a lot of reliability and fuss-free usage, and spend far too much money. Equally, do not skimp, and be sure that, whatever the performance level you aim for is, you are getting there with solid, reliable components, not cheap flimsy crud or fancied-up junk with glowing blue lights on it.

    In computing, the rule is: spend a moderate amount, moderately often. That will give you the best performance and most reliability, year in and year out.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tips on the Samsung and Hatachi Drives. I've had some poor success with WD in the last 2 years - couldn't have been worse actually!

    I am a mid spender when it comes to computing and past experience in building machines has been worthwhile in product selection in the past, however as said much has changed in the last few years. I need to get myself running again ASAP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    Not going to matter a whole lot, Wayne.

    1: In general, triple core and quad core gain you very, very little over dual core, so only go past a dual core CPU if you can find either (a) a compelling advantage in one of your applications (unlikely) or (b) a trivially small price difference. Please yourself whether you go AMD or Intel.

    2: Graphics cards are almost (but not quite) obsolete for non-games uses. Get anything that's cheap. It really won't matter. Even a $50 PCI-E card will be massively powerful for anything except games.

    3: Hard drive, big as you like. As always, get Samsung or Hitachi if you can. try to avoid Western Digital.

    4: RAM: 4GB if you are going to run a 32-bit Windows, more is pointless. If you plan to run one of the Win64s, make absolutely certain that all your programs and peripherals will work OK with it first - there are some gotchas - and add more RAM if you can afford it.

    5: Remember that the best value in PCs is always - repeat always - in the middle of the range. Year in and year out, this remains true. Ignore those fools who tell you to buy top of the range anything. You will gain very little performance, quite possibly lose a lot of reliability and fuss-free usage, and spend far too much money. Equally, do not skimp, and be sure that, whatever the performance level you aim for is, you are getting there with solid, reliable components, not cheap flimsy crud or fancied-up junk with glowing blue lights on it.

    In computing, the rule is: spend a moderate amount, moderately often. That will give you the best performance and most reliability, year in and year out.

  4. #4
    It's all about the Light!
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    What Tony said!! +10

    As for specifics... Whirlpool is a good guide.

    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rmp_sg_whirlpoolpcs
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    I gave Whirpool a look over and the mid range setup looks like a reasonable starting point ad in my price range.

    Today I salvaged a PSU (power supply unit) from a friends failed PC and it's working a treat. I'm starting a backup process now and will further consider a new system for the future.

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