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Thread: My first confession...

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    My first confession...

    It has been six years since my last overclock (!!!!) and I have been a lurker in the shadows since

    So what's changed while I've been away?

    Is the current price tumble of Radeons because the DX11 cards really are close? I noticed that overclockers have a 4870 512 for only £113

    Right now my main systems are:
    * Inspiron 8500 - P4 2GHz, GeForce 4 4200 - old laptop now acting as my VPN gateway
    * IDEQ barebone (Duron 1800/Radeon 32Mb) - General purpose linux machine
    * Self build - Athlon XP 1.4 GHz @ 2.5 GHz / Radeon 9700 (non-pro) - The last overclock
    * Dell Inspiron XPS 1710 - 2Ghz Core Duo / GeForce 7900GS

    The latter two are due for replacement... so any recommendations? Budget (for both) is around £2400

    Not sure whether to go for another self-build... I do like building my own, but it always ends up taking longer than I expect and I have less time than I used to (plus the overclock - I'll need to relearn, and I guess many things have changed since I last built a system for myself).

    G'night

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    Re: My first confession...

    Oh the other thing... Vista/Win7.... I need a license for Windows on the desktop and will get what I'm given on the laptop, but it seems crazy getting a license for Vista now when Win 7 is around the corner - I guess I could just install Linux/use the Win 7 RC for the time being on the desktop - but the laptop is another matter; I'm itching to replace the existing machines (particularly the laptop as the battery is at the end of it's life and the machine is going to live on a desktop when I get the new laptop so not a great need of a long battery life - it'll just be a UPS - I only get 1 hour out of it per charge), but is waiting the wiser course?

  3. #3
    hexus.zombeh! format's Avatar
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    Re: My first confession...

    Just a quick note, overclocking (at least on an intel board) couldn't be simpler, simply a matter of upping the clock speed a little, checking stability and temps etc, then keeping going til you get bad temps/stability or a speed you are happy with
    ~'Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity'~ Aldous Huxley




  4. #4
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: My first confession...

    Wrong forum.

    I've reported it so a mod can move it.

    Edit - By Peterb - now moved to hardware thread
    Last edited by peterb; 15-05-2009 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Add to original post

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    Re: My first confession...

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Wrong forum.

    I've reported it so a mod can move it.
    Sorry I had meant this to be a "Hi I'm new here" thread, but added some extra questions too. I can see that it may be more approrpriate in a different area though. Thanks

  6. #6
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: My first confession...

    I would look at getting a Phenom II based build as they are excellent value for money!


    Build

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 ~ £198

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=1003114

    Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P ~ £112

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...-SATA-RAID-ATX

    This is a crossfire motherboard with 2 PCI-E 16x slots.

    If you do not want to go crossfire I would get a cheaper 790GX or 780G based motherboard instead.

    4gb 1066mhz DDR3 RAM ~ £58

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...d-CAS-9-9-9-24

    HD4890 ~ £184

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...S-5-5-5-15-EPP

    If you go with a crossfire motherboard you could also go for two HD4850 512mb cards instead(around £172):

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...VI-XXX-EDITION

    Even a pair of HD4770 cards can be had for around £160:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=hd+4770

    I prefer single card setups though although crossfire can have big advantages in many games. The extra 512mb of the HD4890 will help at higher resolutions though.I would definitely look at reviews first though.

    Samsung 1tb hard drive ~ £66

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=723884

    Samsung Lightscribe DVD rewriter ~ £18

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Samsu...k-OEM-plusNero

    Enermax 500w modular PSU ~ £82

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500W-...PeakPower-550W

    Total ~ £700

    Including a copy of an OS and a case the total should not exceed around £900.

    Scan also has many items on their Today Only webpage on special offer so it is worth checking it before any purchases.

    This will give you around £1500 for the notebook.

    One of these notebooks may do the job:

    http://www.rockdirect.com/configureN...Sku=X780-Q9000

    http://www.rockdirect.com/configureN...Sku=X780-P8400

    http://www.alienware.co.uk/configura...de=SKU-DEFAULT
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 15-05-2009 at 03:51 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  7. #7
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: My first confession...

    Hard to argue with CATs build, to be honest - it's as good as you're likely to see at that price.

    The other option, since you have the budget, is to divert more money to the desktop and go with an i7 build. To get an i7 920, decent Mobo and 6GB of DDR3 is going to cost you a bit more, but it'll give you a lot of longevity - and in most tasks (particularly heavily mutlithreaded stuff) the 955BE will struggle to keep up. Also, the i7 920 overclocks like a very overclockable thing (particularly the new stepping - D0 I think - most etailers advertise their stock of these separately), so if you're building specifically with overclocking in mind that may sway you. Of course, the trade off is less money for the laptop, but even if you devoted £1400 to the desktop you should still be able to get a good laptop for £1000...

    Of course, the other option if you're looking to overclock is to get a much cheaper processor and try to clock it through the roof and get the performance of the more expensivce processors at stock speeds: the Phenom II X3 720BE would be a good option for that approach

  8. #8
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: My first confession...

    TBH that lappy doesn't look too bad, the desktop is well out of date though.

    What is it that the laptop is struggling with?

    A new battery seems about 53 quid?

  9. #9
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    Re: My first confession...

    TBH the notebook the OP has looks great even now!! I would probably keep it a while longer unless you need a better graphics card. I would also look at notebooks having the ATI Mobility HD4860 as it a 40nm GPU and has decent performance.

    The Phenom II X3 720BE is also good value for money for around £115 as is the Phenom II X4 940BE which can be had for under £150.

    The Core i7 is also a very good choice too if you want to spend less on the notebook.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 15-05-2009 at 05:18 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: My first confession...


    is what I would have, which would be around £1150 including case, leaving £1250 for notebook

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    Re: My first confession...

    no point in going i7 if you're not going SSD aswell tbh.

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    Re: My first confession...

    Wow! Thanks all for the ideas - lots of food for thought! I've been trying to figure whether to go for Phenom II and a beefier laptop or Core i7 and a slightly lesser laptop

    For the latter I was considering something like this:
    Acer_Aspire_6935G-944G32B (that was a URL from laptops direct but I'm not allowed to post URLs yet - If you do go to their site it's the £889 one).
    Which seems a reasonable spec for the money though it would be nicer to have a higher spec graphics card - Really I'd prefer 9700Gt + or N130+ / Radeon 4650 +. I like the high res panel (I'm currently on 1920x1200) but would like to go a little lighter - commuting to London everyday carrying this beast is quite a bit of work - particularly if I have to run to catch the train! It's not entirely unmanageable. Slightly better battery life would be nice too (with a new battery the XPS gives me about 2.5 hours - plenty for my needs most of the time except for the few times when I'm entirely away from power, but it does mean that I need to replace the battery every 8 - 12 months because it falls to just over an hour which isn't quite enough). I'd even consider going down to a 13.3" / 14" screen (lower res, but better portability) but getting something like that that can also cope with games is tricky. The Asus N81VP looks nice but not available in the UK as far as I can see.

    If I were to go for the Phenom I was thinking maybe the MSI GT725 (Q9000/Radeon 4850) or GT627 (Q9000/GeForce 9800 GS) - good prices for good specs, though not so sure about build quality/screen quality (now if they did the Dell Studio XPS 16 with the RGBLED 1080p panel and a Radeon 4670 I think I'd be happy too, but they've only got the 3670 in it)... Another XPS may be nice (XPS 1730 - another back breaker though I think and even less battery life) - You can also find some quite good deals at the Dell outlet (and some abysmal ones). I used the outlet before and the system was exactly the same as if you'd ordered it via the main Dell site (you just have to accept the spec as is).

    The Alienware and Rock laptops do look good but they seem quite expensive for what they offer (once you push the RAM up to 4Gb and put a reasonably sized HDD in).

    On the Core i7's do you really need SSDs to take advantage of them? I'm not so keen on SSDs right now; keen on the performance but prices are so high for a relatively small drive (we'll be laughing at the prices we paid for SSDs at such low capacities in a couple of years time I think).

    One thing I would say is that for me more cores are better - I write multithreaded code for both work and leisure (for work I get to play with 128 - 256 processor systems now if only I could take one of those home ).

    DancesWithUnix (I do too ) - The XPS is struggling with everything at the moment (I've been sloppy and not reinstalled for a while and I think a good cleanout may improve matters - I do need more storage and more RAM (currently 2Gb) - I run lots of stuff at the same time, including VMWare: XP as the primary OS and SuSE on the VM. But the thing it seems to struggle with most is Firefox!! It always ends up keeping one core to itself!

    Cat-the-fifth - Have you seen any laptops in the wild with the Rad 4860? I've been keeping an eye out since AMD announced them, but not seen anything so far. Maybe we'll see more coming out of computex in a couple of weeks (not seen very many machines using the Radeon 4xxx's or Nvidia 1xx/2xx series - I know the Nv's are still based on the previous generation still but I think they're higher clocked and are also 40nm so they could be interesting too).

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    Re: My first confession...

    More questions

    For the desktop my ideal case would be something that's understated, but which offers good cooling and fits in my budget while being as quiet as possible - My current rig makes conversation at normal volumes a little difficult while it's switched on! I'm not so keen on cases with lots of lights and 'bling' (though I'll use one if that proves best) - Ones that look good in terms of the features are the Antec 902 and Coolermaster HAF 922 (smaller version of the 932); but I'm not so keen on the design - do you have to go for cases like these or are there some good understated cases (I don't mean a beige box - but something that looks good without the need to look flashy if that makes sense)

  14. #14
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
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      • Massive E-PEEN
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      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
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      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
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      • OVERSIZED
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      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
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    Re: My first confession...

    With notebooks you get what you pay TBH and they are hard to upgrade too so I would look at spending as much on a notebook as it will last you longer.

    With a desktop you could upgrade the core components(CPU,Motherboard and RAM) in a few years time relatively easily whereas in a notebook you are pretty much stuck with what you get.

    Here are some 15" notebooks with decent graphics cards:

    http://www.alienware.co.uk/configura...de=SKU-DEFAULT

    http://www.rockdirect.com/viewNotebo...REME%20620

    The Alienware can be configured with a 1920x1200 15.4" screen too!!

    Reviews:

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/laptop...rea-51-m15x/p1

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/lap...area-51-m15x/1

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/19427...ea51-m15x.html

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/08..._area_51_m15x/

    Alienware is part of Dell IIRC.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 15-05-2009 at 11:41 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: My first confession...

    Hmm, still considering those two

    Now cases - that seems to be the most difficult thing to find!

    I hear that the HAF 932 and Antec 900s get full of dust pretty quick - I'd rather not be dusting the PC every 5 mins. Looking at the cases around what do you think of these:

    - Coolermaster 690
    - Antec 300 - I think that looks better than the 900 (more understated)
    - NZXT Hush
    - Lian Li - there's lots... quite like the look of them but it seems that the look will be spoiled as soon as you fit an optical and floppy drive

    Most of those are cheaper cases but would they offer adequate cooling? I've read a bunch of reviews but there are tradeoffs for all - are there more expensive ones that would do better?

    I really like the look of the ATCS 840 but that's rather expensive

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    Re: My first confession...

    get a lian-li if you can afford.

    I would have something like http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product...25&ss_index=62 or (more expensice) http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product...25&ss_index=62

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