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Thread: WOW, dead lappy!

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    WOW, dead lappy!

    Hi

    A family memeber who shall remain nameless has destroyed his £1k laptop in a little over 12 months. Since the original warranty expired he spent extra ££ on some additional cover/ repair thing and the machine has been returned several times for repair but keeps being returned faulty. Apparently they can't reproduce the error despite the fact that the it freezes several times a day in its native environment, anyway some vouchers have been offered as they can't fix it (for PC World I think).

    He is a heavy WOW user and my guess is that it during extended sessions in a poorly ventilated flat it has been overheating and should never have been sold this laptop as a "high end gaming machine" in the first place. He has been convinced that a desktop set up is probably a better option for him this time round and I am trying to get him to hold out for cash rather than vouchers so we can build him a nice machine.

    Now I know nothing about this game other than the fact that is only slightly less addictive than crack cocaine and that it is not particularly graphic intensive compared to some of the first person shooters out there so I was hoping for some advice on what he ought to be looking at and which bits he should be spending the most money on.

    He is not frightened to break out the wad when it comes to his toys and I am guessing he'll be looking for a decent display to go with it.

    Cheers for any help.
    TB
    don't drink and derive

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    I played WoW for over 3 years (unfortunately).

    It doesn't require much at all. I played for a long while using an Athlon 3200/Single Core, 2Gb Ram, and an Nvidia 7800GS (I think). That was at 1680x1050 - med/high settings, top-end raiding.

    Any modern dual-core should handle it nicely, couple it with 4Gb Ram, and a 4830 and you're away. What is the budget of the system?

    Don't have time to spec up a system, but £350 should be able to get a system that will blow WoW away (excluding monitor etc). Remember, Blizzard want their product to work on as many systems as possible so their subscriber base will continue to grow.
    "Don't wanna see your face, don't wanna hear your voice . . ."

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    I used to multi box with 2 PCs similar specced and they werent awesome either.

    One was an AMD64 with a 7 series geforce and 2 gig of DDR 3200 ram.

    The other was a AMD FX53 with a geforce 6800 ultra and 2 gig of ram.

    WoW doesnt need an uber machine to run on. Even with alot of add ons you can comfortably run it with a cheap machine. Its not multi core enabled either as far as i know.

    Probably opt for one of cat-the-fifths legendary amd builds he does, if you want value for money? Or if money is no object and you want complete overkill go for an i7 rig.

    Luckily i stopped playing wow as its nearing its death bed imo. Bring on diablo III

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    spend as much as you can on a good monitor, this will make the most of the game. i run mine on a Q6600, 4870 4gb ram, and a dell 2405 24" monitor. easy.

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    I think a 24" screen is definitely on the cards - would £250 cover that or should he be looking to spend a bit more?

    For processor/mobo will probably be recommending E8400/P45 or Phenom2 X3 720/790GX (~£200)

    I think perhaps a GTX 260 rather than a 4870 for power and temps given his track record (~£150 for an evga/bfg) and perhaps an aftermarket cooler for the intel (~£25)

    Couple of hard drives, I like having a little and large combo say WD Blue 320gb/ Seagate 7200.12 500GB for the system/ games and a Samsung F1 1TB for all his bloomin' lossless audio (~£100 total).

    4GB Corsair RAM (~£50)

    Plain black midi tower, Antec, Lian Li, Coolermaster (~£75 with a couple of decent fans)

    According to one of the power online calculators 520W Corsair HX Modular PSU (~£75) will be man enough for that lot.

    Speakers not required atm so that is about £925!

    Does anyone know anything about the KillerNIC K1 or M1 network cards, are they worth cutting corners elsewhere for?
    don't drink and derive

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    I R Toff Pandi! TAKTAK's Avatar
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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Bandit View Post
    Does anyone know anything about the KillerNIC K1 or M1 network cards, are they worth cutting corners elsewhere for?
    No,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no....

    Not even worth buying...

    Do a search on the forum and have a lovely peruse of what has been said about them compared to what is claimed...
    Post Counts and Other Rewards, Rules, Folding@Home, Fans: Push vs Pull vs Push-Pull, Corsair PSU OEMs.

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    This is what I would look at getting if you want to go a bit OTT on the specs:

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BlackEdition ~ £145

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P ~ £97

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    1TB Samsung HD103UJ Spinpoint F1 ~ £61

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    4GB (2x2GB) CorsairTwinX XMS3 DDR3 RAM ~ £52

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    DVD rewriter ~ £16

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    320 GB Samsung HD322HJ Spinpoint F1 ~ £33

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/320-G...MB-Cache-89-ms

    HD4890 1gb ~ £144

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-X...DTV-HDCP-Ready

    Corsair HX520W PSU ~ £74

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/520W-...-year-warranty

    There are also some decent PSUs in a similar price range from Enermax and Be Quiet.

    Samsung T240 24" LCD monitor ~ £241

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143848

    Antec 300 case ~ £45

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

    Using the free Scan postage for Hexus members and the free postage at Ebuyer for orders over £49.99 the total cost of the build comes to around £907.

    This spec should be able to handle most modern games well including Crysis. The HD4890 is much faster than either the HD4870 and GTX260.

    You can use ATI Tray Tools to set custom 2D and 3D clocks if required.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 10-07-2009 at 11:35 PM.


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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    If you want to shave some money off the build I would go for the following instead:

    AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition ~ £74

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    512mb HD4870 ~ £98

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...VI-I-HDTV-HDCP

    Gigabyte MA770-UD3 ~ £64

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...D3-Motherboard

    I would keep the other bits I mentioned in my previous post. Even this system should be able to run WoW and most other games at decent settings. You maybe able to go for an HD4850 for around £80 and save some more cash.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Quote Originally Posted by TAKTAK View Post
    No,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no....
    . . . so I guess that means wirelss n routers and gaming adapters are also to be avoided!

    CT5, thanks for your input, I will look again at the P2 X4 955/ 4890 combo, although I am concerned about temps given the environment that it will be operating in (confined space, limited airflow, high ambient temp). Also interested in why you prefer the GA-MA790XT-UD4P over the Asus M4A78T-E.

    As mobility is a bit of an issue we will be looking at mounting arms for the monitor an I was wondering if anyone had anything to say about wireless keyboards with touch pads or even trackballs. Opinion seems to be firmly divided on the latter but it would be cool if we could operate with a proper desk.
    don't drink and derive

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Bandit View Post
    . . . so I guess that means wirelss n routers and gaming adapters are also to be avoided!
    Nope, as they do have the benefit of penetration () i think, so if you have thick walls, N can cope better

    The KillerNIC things claim to boost your framerates by having an NPU, also, when everyone was saying how it doesn't do what it states (in one of the threads about it) killerNIC appeared and said that they had just shipped a sample to HEXUS for them to review... never appeared... twice i think they said they would ship again, so still no unbiased 3rd party review of it...

    It's just a NIC... With a horrendous price tag, you're much better off spending the money saved for not buying one, elsewhere in the rig
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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    If you want something smaller you could always go with a Shuttle instead.

    For example you could get the following:

    Shuttle SX48P2E Barebones ~ £290

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145419

    Intel Q9550 ~ £168

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    4gb PC2-6400 RAM ~ £38

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140132

    I would use the other bits suggested in my Phenom II X4 955BE build. It will cost a bit more but the system will be much smaller.


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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Lots of good advice, thanks again.

    I like the shuttle, but I think the narrower footprint for a tower set up may work better in the available space (will have to go over with the tape measure).

    I have to admit I hadn't properly considered the Phenom II dual cores, but these may be an excellent option if he doesn't get enough back on the laptop.

    Still waiting on the repairers but in the meantime, I put some of these ideas together in a shortlist for him to look at and he is grateful for your efforts.
    don't drink and derive

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    The laptop could just be full of dust? tried cleaning it out with a short burst of compressed air, make sure its short, and that any fans are stopped from moving, incase you create a voltage that damages the fans connection on mobo.

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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaineoliver View Post
    The laptop could just be full of dust? tried cleaning it out with a short burst of compressed air, make sure its short, and that any fans are stopped from moving, incase you create a voltage that damages the fans connection on mobo.
    Good idea TBH!


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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    I'd use a mix of CAT's builds
    stick with a dual core cpu there is no point in 3 or 4 core cpu's for WoW, they also tend to use more power and are hotter
    graphics a 4850 with a good cooler
    eg http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-X...VI-I-HDTV-HDCP
    although the sapphire vapor chill is very tempting
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-S...DMI-D-Sub-HDCP

    alternately a gts250
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...ores-2x-DL-DVI

    2gb memory min and a good hard drive tend to be most important for mmo's

    nic and such not really worth it

    big screen in nice, so is two screens, does depend on how he plays.
    I have friends who run two accounts at once or run other programs that keep track of stats&numbers (if your friend is a number cruncher player)

    programmable keyboards are also a big thing with some of the hard core mmo players
    mainly the Logitech G11 and G15
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Logit...CD-Illuminated
    not cheap
    The one thing I will stress is Wired not wireless, when doing long gaming sessions having the battery die in a wireless keyboard or mouse is very annoying.

  16. #16
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    Re: WOW, dead lappy!

    Novatech have the HD4850 512mb Vapor X for around £80 delivered:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...tml?SAP-4850VX

    Also a reference HD4890 1gb can be had for around £144 delivered:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-X...DTV-HDCP-Ready

    I have a Logitech G11 keyboard and G5 laser mouse and they are ideal for gaming IMHO.


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