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Old 08-17-2004, 03:29 PM   #1
mopelie
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Purchasing a New CPU

Good evening all! Did some searches on older postings of people purchasing new cpus but they weren't up to speed to my liking so I was wondering if I could get some current opinions on Desktop Stats for the following System:

Alienware Area-51 Perfomance:

-1 Year 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service
-Alienware Full-Tower Chassis with 480 Watt Supply
-Space Black
-650 Wat Max Power Supply Upgrade (is this needed?)
-Intel Pentium 4 Processor w/ HT Technology 3.0GHz
-512 Extreme Dual Channel DDR PC-3200 SDRAM at 400MHz - 2 x 256MB
-NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT 128MB DDR w/ Digital and S-Video Out
-AlienAdrenaline: Video Performance Optimizer
-AlienIce Video Cooling System (Blue)
-High Perfomance - Serial ATA 80GB Seagate Barracuda 7,200 RMP w/8MB Cache
-Lite-On® 16x DVD-ROM Drive with Software DVD Decoder
-Lite-On 52x32x52x CD-RW Drive
-3.5" 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive - Black
-Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 High Definition 6.1 Surround
-Integrated High Performance Intel® Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
-US Robotics® 56K V.92 Performance Pro
-Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional with Service Pack 2
-Norton™ AntiVirus™ 2004 Professional Edition
-Alienware® 8-in-1 Digital Media Reader / Writer with FireWire
-Iomega® Zip® 250MB USB Zip Drive (External)

Total:

$2,398.00 (not including possible rebates)

If there are any good rebates being offered that I am allowed to get will depend on what I will bump up on the CPU stats (either RAM or Video Card). For the most part it is ideal for what I need, not to much but just above average and better then what I have now. Let me what you tihnk.

stucco
 
Old 08-17-2004, 04:29 PM   #2
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No monitor? For $2400, I'd want a monitor.

If you are savy enough, I would recommend building it yourself.
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:24 PM   #3
Dennik
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Thats why i hate pre made systems. They force you to buy stuff you don't need.
I personally think that 480Watt supply is an overkill. Don't know how many devices is that for.
You could get away with a 350 Watt if that makes any difference in price.

Change that DVD rom to DVD writer (its very handy for backups on DVD), Plextor is my all time favourite brand. If i remember well i had a Lite on Cd writer once, it was realy loud and destroyed many cds during writing. If it comes cheap, don't trust it.

You need AT LEAST 1gb ram if you are into CG.

80 GB Hard Disk is small capacity. Make that at least 120GB

Don't include a modem if there is a Cable or DSL intenet provider in your area. It costs much less to use broadband internet. You could use it though for sending and receiving faxes.

The cooling system seems to be nice. Keeping that noise low is realy important when you work many hours with that computer.

I don't think you need a Zip drive unless you constantly deal with customers that have that drive. Otherwise IMHO its a waste of money. The DVD writer can do that job for you, with rewritable DVDs.
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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Yeah I agree with Dennik, RAM is cheap, go for 1GB at least, but stay away from 1Gb modules unless it's a quality brand. Although, I'm of the opinion that power supplies are like RAM, you can never have enough. I'd get a quality 450-500 over some generic 650 Watt. Stick with Antec or Enermax.

Last edited by Pin_pal : 08-17-2004 at 07:04 PM.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 06:04 PM   #5
mopelie
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Dnnik/Pin_Pal:

I see your point. I would build it myself but it would be my first and dont want to take any chances in screwing something up. I have read some articles and I have two friends that have built theres, I will just have to think about it. But you are right they always put the "Recommended Upgrades" just to get you to spend more money and I am, for the most part, computer stupid when it comes to some components of the cpu, so I am not sure if I should take the upgrade or not. I will take your guy's advice and up the ram, down size the Power Supply to the standard 480watt, put the DVD burner in, take out the External Zip drive(plus I have an external for current cpu just remebered) and up my storage compacity. The modem was purely for back up and also for fax if I every need or aquire one; currently connected to internet via DSL.

MattClary:

No monitor just cause of budget. But I do plan on going dual ViewSonic CRT monitors 21" eventually, once I get some more $$$ saved. Current monitor -19" Tube- should last and do ok till then...I hope. Also, there may be some rebates they offer so hopefully price will come down atleast a $100 or so.


Thanks
stucco
 
Old 08-17-2004, 06:20 PM   #6
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Went back and built again changing what was talked about. Price came down from $2,398 to

$2,288 (still not including any rebates). And I actually went up to 160GB Storage Copacity Hard Drive. System looked better also. Thanks. Now, when the time comes I know what I am looking for. Thanks.


stucco
 
Old 08-17-2004, 07:43 PM   #7
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Talking New System

I recommend building your own system. I think the last system I bought was a 386-25. Ever since then, I've upgraded and built my own systems. You have the flexibility to get EXACTLY what you want. You'll save a lot of money and IMO, be happier with what you get.

I JUST ordered parts to build my own system:

AMD 64 FX-53
1gb RAM (2X512)
GeForce FX 5900XT 128 Megs 256-bit
160 gb HDD 7200 rpm 8mb buffer
8x DL DVD burner (yes, dual layer! 9 gb here I come!)
Audigy 2z sound
Keyboard, mouse, case w/420 Watt power

All for about $1700. I priced a comparable system at Alienware and they were asking almost $1000 more! So, if you know how to build your own (not that difficult IMO) or know someone who does, I highly recommend it. Check pricewatch.com to get an idea of prices and then start shopping!

Good luck with your hunt for a new rig.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 07:46 PM   #8
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Prices from Newegg.com. You could spend more or less, as needed.

158 Intel D875PBZLK
216 Intel P4 3.0
100 case
80 Power Supply
156 Crucial 512mb ram PC3200 ($78 x2 for a total of 1gb in dual channel mode)
175 Chaintech GF FX 5900XT 128mb
95 Western Digital 120 gb SATA HD
565 Samsung 910T 19" LCD monitor


~$1545

You would definitely not want to take the task on by yourself, but if you have a friend who can build a machine... Well, $1545 (you will need to add some items) WITH a monitor, beats the hell out of ~$2200.
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Last edited by MattClary : 08-17-2004 at 07:51 PM.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 07:49 PM   #9
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Talking Oh yeah...

I forgot to mention I ordered from Newegg.com. They have a very good merchant rating and the prices (comparing what I've seen on pricewatch.com) have been good too. Don't forget to research the merchants too, if ordering online. Be suspicious of high rankings with few votes. This goes for components too. Newegg.com lets people rate components too.

Again, good luck. I can't wait to get my paws on my new scream-machine! A big change from my Athlon 2000XP+
 
Old 08-17-2004, 08:05 PM   #10
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- That system looks a complete rippoff, dreadful prices. You can build TWO of those for that price.
- 512 megs isnt enough
- A 650watt psu is frankly, morornic. That system would run fine on 300, 350 if you want to be safe, 400 if you plan on doing upgrades.
- "AlienAdrenaline: Video Performance Optimizer" which is?...
- 80 gigs of space isnt much these days

Basically I would recommend you ask them for a better deal or look elsewhere.
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:45 PM   #11
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Good point(s). Yeah, I would save a bundle if I built it myself (with some help from a friend or two) to put it together and load it. I worry though about ordering parts. Ordered a video card for my current PC NVidia FX 5750 Utlra (from GainWard) and had to return it 2 times, havn't tried to install it yet for the 3rd time (bought from Pricewatch.com) but that could be just because it not compatible with the system. I will have some time to think about it before I get the ball rolling. Any web articles on Building a CPU would be nice to read if you know of any. Either way I go I do need a new CPU if I plan to take CG to the next level.

Basically the hardware I need to build a cpu from scratch is:

-Case
-Mother Board (Asus)
-Power Supply (at least 350watts?)
-Operating System (Windows XP Professional
-Video Card (NVidia/Radeon)
-Sound Card (Creative Sound Blaster)
-Network Card (Anything)
-CD/RW/DVD drive(s) (Plextor/Lite-On)
-RAM (lots of it) (DDR Dual Channel)
-Processor (Intel/AMD)
-Cooling System (recomended?)
-Hard Drive (120GB+) (Seagate/Western)

I think that is everything. Been told the hardest part is just getting all the software loaded correctly.


Again Thanks for the Help,
stucco

will keep thread saved for easy reference.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 11:03 PM   #12
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Components

As a general rule, ALWAYS check the merchant ratings for any company you do business with online. There are some companies with less than stellar ratings that is probably a good idea to avoid. Don't go by price alone, especially if one or two companies are selling items for a price that is greatly cheaper than others...

Also, keep in mind what this computer is for. It is possible to build multi-purpose machines, but it really is best, if you can afford it, to build a machine geared toward one main purpose: 3D, games, video production, etc...

An other thing, most motherboards have on-board LAN, so there's usually no reason to buy a seperate network card. Same goes for audio. If you're building a work rig for 3D, no real reason to get an audio card. For gaming, yes. Also, there are video cards that are geared for graphics work, and ones for gaming. Generally speaking, they will do a decent cross purpose job, but it's best to focus on the main purpose of the machine and get a card best suited for that.

HTH.
 
Old 08-18-2004, 01:10 AM   #13
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Here's a more mac-daddy rig. If you're going to do it, do it right. Includes 19" LCD and WIn XP Professional.


ANTEC Black Performance Series II SOHO File Server Tower ATX Case with 400W Power Supply, Model "SX1040BII"
$105.00

ABIT "AV8" K8T800 Pro Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL
$119.85
CHAINTECH nVIDIA GeForce FX5900XT Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "SA5900X" -RETAIL
$175.00
AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 512K, L2 Cache, Windows Compatible 64-bit Processor 939 Pin - Retail
$439.00
(2 x) Crucial 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200 8T - OEM
$156.00
NEC 1.44MB Black Internal Floppy Drive, OEM
$9.50
Western Digital 120GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD1200JD, OEM Drive Only
$94.75
SAMSUNG 910T-Black 19" LCD Monitor -RETAIL
$559.00
Lite-On 12X DVD±RW Drive, Model SOHW-1213S BLK, OEM w/ Nero and PowerDVD 5 Software
$78.99
Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack SP1a - OEM
$137.00

~$1874.50
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:12 AM   #14
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If you keep getting bad video cards, you either need to find a new vendor or start questioning how you are installing them. I can't stress enough to seek help from a knowledgeable friend, reading about it just isn't the same.
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Old 08-18-2004, 02:13 AM   #15
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YOUR GETTING WORKED HERE!!!! I went to cyberpowerinc.com and built a system twice as powerful with a monitor and XP pro for four hundred bucks less. When you buy alienware, your buying a name not a computer. Go to cyberpowerinc.com and build your system.
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