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aznriptide859

The Computer Question Thread

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Figured one of these should be posted - since all of us are somehow computer nerds (comon, we're all forum rats, right? XD), I figure there should be a thread where people can come and discuss computer questions. This can include, but not limited to:

 

PC building

PC modification

Software problems

Software tips

Computer builds

Etc.

 

Anything you want to know about computers, hardware and software, or whether you just want advice in buying a new one, post here and I'm sure someone in this great community will come and help.

 

I'll start off with something interesting: something I wasn't aware of, but apparently is common, is unlocking GPU potential with a BIOS update. http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/159

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Current PC Build:

 

Antec 902 Case

Intel i5 750 w/ Corsair H50

Asus MOBO

8GB DDR3

2x GTX470 in SLI

2x WD Caviar Black 1TB

Corsair 850W PSU

 

Dell Ultrasharp 2407WFP 24'' LCD

Dell Ultrasharp U2410 24'' LCD

 

 

Logitech G5v2

Some random hp keyboard that needs a mechanical replacement

 

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-Bit

 

 

My problems: Getting OpenCL dependencies set up with Visual Studio sucks donkey ballz

Edited by Azulsky

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I heard about that 6950-6970 unlock. Makes me wish I bought one of those instead of a 6870. Oh well. 6870's are still real nice cards too.

 

My build:

 

AMD Phenom II 555 BE 3.2 GHz Dual Core CPU (Unlocked to Quad-core, running at 3.6 GHz. I plan to OC it further when I have the ambition.)

MSI 870A-G54 Motherboard

4GB DDR3 RAM

MSI AMD Radeon 6870 Twin Frozr II (OC'd 1000 MHz Core, 1150 MHz RAM)

1TB 3.5" HDD

650 watt power supply

LG DVD burner

Antec 300 case

Edited by WeirdoTransvestite

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Supposedly GPU improvements in 2011 are going to be pretty tame until the fab(which makes chips for both AMD and Nvidia) overcomes some issues. For once i got a card(s) and they wont be trash a few weeks later

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Supposedly GPU improvements in 2011 are going to be pretty tame until the fab(which makes chips for both AMD and Nvidia) overcomes some issues. For once i got a card(s) and they wont be trash a few weeks later

 

Well, with consoles driving graphics in games lately, I can see almost any mid to high range cards lasting for a while.

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Do you guys have more a tendency towards ATI over NVidia? At least to me it seems ATI got in the DX11 game early (wider range of cards), but both brands seem to be equal in performance power. I do like ATI's newer, very energy-efficient cards.

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Well, with consoles driving graphics in games lately, I can see almost any mid to high range cards lasting for a while.

 

Yeah no kidding

 

The best graphics chip for the current console generation is on the PS3, which is the Nvidia G70 or GTX 7800 series, i bought one of the those back in 05.

 

 

 

 

 

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I prefer ATI(AMD) over Nvidia at the moment, really just because my motherboard only supports Crossfire, not SLI. I really have no preference between the two.

 

And yeah, the 6000 series is very low power. GPU-Z and Furmark say it only draws 87W at full load. Most likely not accurate though. Sounds way too low. I should get one of the wall outlet things.

Edited by WeirdoTransvestite

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I prefer ATI(AMD) over Nvidia at the moment, really just because my motherboard only supports Crossfire, not SLI. I really have no preference between the two.

 

I had the ultimate ATI card the 9700Pro back in the day, as very happy with it. But I have been bleeding green after that.

 

 

I do not particularly like the complexity that AMD has created with setting up multimonitor/ multicard setups, and EVGA has the best customer service i have gotten from a vendor in my life.

If you want to try 3D gaming then nVidia is the way to go, or if you want to do general purpose computing with GPUs Nvidia is leagues ahead.

 

 

I look forward to trying out AMD's new Brazos architecture though on a laptop or tablet sometime in the future.

 

The Fermi series cards are nice little space heaters, seriously

Edited by Azulsky

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Not sure what you mean by complexity, since Eyefinity supports up to 4 monitors on the 6870. You need 2 graphics cards to do that with an Nvidia card, even the new GTX 500 series cards.

 

I love this 6870. OC'd to 1000 MHz Core, 1150 ram.

Edited by WeirdoTransvestite

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Yes but dongles are required to convert the DisplayPort to DVI right? Once DisplayPort catches on like HDMI has it will be a nil point though.

 

At the time i first got my build the 68XX series wasnt out yet, and the 58xx/59xx were having terrible CFX scaling until a patch came out in october, so that is what sealed my decision for this last generation.

I would have to find the HardOCP review but two GTX460's were outdoing CFX 5870's last fall.

 

Seeing the 6870 in CFX drawing about 20 more watts than a single GTX470 is pretty amazing.

 

 

Ill just have to save coin until Nvidia starts playing the performance per watt arena again

Edited by Azulsky

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my rig:

.core i7 920 with one of those zalman dual ring coolers (forget the name)

.asus P6T MoBo

.6GB 1866mhz OCZ reaper DDR3 RAM

.2x asus directCU 768mb GTX460 in SLI

.1TB HDD, 7200RPM 32mb cache

.corsair 650W PSU

.coolermaster CM690 nvidia edition with 4x120mm and 3x140mm fans

 

as im sure most of you know, i'm an nvidia fanboy

their current cards are far better than ATI's offerings IMO. ATI's current flagship (6970) is pitted against the cheaper GTX570 and still falls behind, especially when AA or tessellation is involved (things that fermi cards handle very well indeed).

the likes of CUDA, 3d vision and physX are far more useful/desireable features than ATI's eyefinity IMO. why ATI chose to incorporate a feature that only appeals to the select few willing to shell out for a triple monitor setup is beyond me. and lets face it, if you're buying 3 monitors odds are you have a beast of a machine to plug them into... most likely with a multi GPU configuration, negating the need for eyefinity.

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Is anyone else tempted by Sandy Bridge? The prices are ridiculously competitive.

 

http://www.microcenter.com/storefronts/powerspec/index.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=E0972%20ENEWS%20Special%20Ed%2020110109&utm_source=ACT_BYO&

Edited by aznriptide859

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i had a look at sandybridge earlier today. actually looks really good, and as you say the pricing is very reasonable. just a shame i cant seem to find any reviews with decent info relating to gaming performance (looks promising though). they seem to overclock really well too.

cant see myself changing my i7 though, it gets the job done nicely and i have other things to spend my money on.

 

annoyingly, i specced up a sandybridge i5 rig this morning and even with a needlessly expensive lian li case, GTX 570, 8GB of corsair vengence RAM and a pair of pricy WD caviar black 6GB/s drives it worked out less than i paid for my i7/GTX275 setup a year ago :( damn technology!

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As long as you are playing at a high enough resolution the CPU will never be a bottleneck

 

 

 

http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-sabertooth-p67-tuf-review/1

There are a few gaming benches at the end of that review

 

Assuming a well threaded game, once you are at 1900x1200 an AMD X4 and the I7-2600K perform the same, all up to the video cards at that point

 

Apparently they have gotten around the overclocking barrier with the Sandy Bridge architecture already. All done with hardware provided by the motherboard vendors.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Core-i7-Core-i5-Origin-PC-5.0-GHz-ASUS-P8P67,11918.html

It was not supposed to be doable due to the the design locking in multiple buses together on the same clock.

Edited by Azulsky

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Contemplating building another PC, spurred on by the fact my old PC's Windows has crapped out me, and figured it's time to move to next gen.

 

Here's the parts list I'm thinking:

 

NZXT Phantom (the case just is OMGGAWD)

Intel i5-2500K

ASUS P8P67 Mobo (bundled with the CPU)

750W PSU (probably Antec)

8GB DDR3 RAM (probably Patriot or Corsair)

Crossfire 6870's

2 x 2TB Hard Drives

 

What do you think? XD

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Never did care too much for the Phantom, looks too much like an Alienware case to me. I've always loved the Fractal Define R2.

 

Other than that tiny detail, the computer looks pretty good to me, the 6870's OC nicely too.

Edited by WeirdoTransvestite

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Thread medic.

 

Need some help - looking at getting a HTPC, and all my available options for doing so.

 

Basically, I want the smallest, cheapest gaming PC possible that I can run straight through my HDTV. I don't have space for a computer desk or monitor, so it'll sit in my home theatre running through the TV, and I'll have a wireless keyboard and mouse.

 

It'll basically be used for browsing, but needs to be able to run Civ 5, Shogun 2, and other games in that kind of genre.

 

The Cryo Nano is too expensive. The DinoPC Mini Carnivore is in the right price range, but under-spec.

 

Any ideas?

 

Ben.

 

EDIT:: Been looking at the DinoPC Pico.

 

Reasonable price, fairly good specs - 8GB DDR3 RAM, ATI Radeon HD6870, choice of SSD or HDD, Intel i5 or i7 processor.

Edited by L4byr1nth

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Shuttle XPC? Barebones are pretty cheap (average around the $200-300 mark) and include everything besides a CPU, HDD, optical drive, RAM, and GPU (it has a built-in GPU, but if you do gaming it's definitely not enough). Dimensions are also very small, and most of the more modern ones all have built in HDMI ports - my SG45H7 does.

Edited by aznriptide859
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I don't really have the techy know-how or the time to build my own.

 

This 'barebones' option sounds interesting, sure, but again I'm not really skilled enough to put the thing together.

 

Which is where I'll pay through the nose, because any of these custom built gaming PC's seem to be very expensive for the spec.

 

Ben.

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I don't really have the techy know-how or the time to build my own.

 

This 'barebones' option sounds interesting, sure, but again I'm not really skilled enough to put the thing together.

 

Which is where I'll pay through the nose, because any of these custom built gaming PC's seem to be very expensive for the spec.

 

Hmm.... If you can get the parts and bring them to Canterbury I can put it together for you over an afternoon (on a Wed/Thurs or weekend perferably). All I ask for is a 6 pack (or a 4 pack or whatever).

 

Otherwise I'll be in Guildford in April (EDIT: But according to Google maps I need to go to Heathrow first then backtrack? And it seems like it takes just as long to get to Guildford than it does to Canterbury?)... In that case all I ask is for train/coach fare to Brighton then return to Canterbury and maybe a meal (are fish and chips good there?). PM me if you want to work something out. For sure I'll be cheaper than any retail store and do just as good if not a better job. I take a lot of care when assembling, do cable management, and keep everything clean so that airflow is maximized, a concern especially with mATX computers since the parts are in a smaller package.

 

As for buying a prebuit.... You're going to get raped on the price of the parts anyways, the build below you'd probably pay a good $1100-1300 (CAD) for it prebuilt (like 700 quid for 400 quid worth of parts. The stores make a killing on these prebuilt gaming computers and the manufacturers even more by including all that bloatware) from a company like HP/Sony/Acer/Dell etc.

 

Try this, it comes to 402 quid and is pretty decent; Phenom 955 at 3.2 Ghz with an unlocked multi (with C3 stepping I've heard people get 3.8 Ghz overclock on stock voltages but YMMV), HD5770 which is no slouch IRT modern games (plays BFBC2 nicely according to my brother), 4GB RAM which is pretty standard for gaming computers, 1TB Hard drive for all your storage needs, and toss that all in an mATX package (18x35x44cm):

 

AMD Phenom II X4 955: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP-244-AM

XFX HD5770: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-149-XF

Gigabyte 760G mobo (mATX): http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-245-GI

4GB OCZ Intel Extreme RAM (Don't worry there's no such thing as "Intel RAM", it's just a marketing ploy and just means that it's validated for use with the Intel P55 chipset): http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-188-OC

1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-082-SA

OCZ 500W StealthXStream: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-045-OC

Coolermaster Elite 342 (mATX): http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-229-CM

Samsung SATA DVD+/-RW: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD-099-SA

 

Only things I would really change are the mobo and the case but since you have size constraints I'll just leave the mATX stuff alone. The other thing is that the mobo's chipset is outdated but IMO it's not like you're going to notice the difference between a 760G and an 890FX chipset anyways.

 

PS: I can also install Windows 7 for you, I have an extra copy of Win7 Professional edition that I need to get rid of.

Edited by L473ncy

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