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Thread: Let's be realistic

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    Let's be realistic

    I recently put forward a request to find out if I could find a rig using scan:-

    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=121260

    of course I forgot some of the components (monitor, kb+m ... you know the unimportant things ) the fact is when im at work i cant use the customise page on the 3xs site.

    paulm kindly got on board and submitted an offer for one of their machines (i havnt got back to him yet ... dont worry i will at some stage! ).

    but my real question is just:- when does paying too much become an issue of wasting ... what is the realistic price I should spend for a pretty decent rig? only just that I started my search about 9 months ago with a budget of £2,500 (upto £3,000 for amazing) and every company I go to I rise the value somewhat ... having just spent £7,500 on a car I dont really want to spend the same for a rig! i put £3,000-£4,000 on the forum, and naturally offered one about £4,000 .

    Now I like quality but is paying that much for a rig stupid or good enough to see me through at least 5 years of upgrades.

    I bought a computer 6 years ago and it would still be suitable for an entry level PC now (albeit a single processor) and that cost me £1,500. So I do go for "cheap" and cheerful or "invest" in the white cobra ...?

    Answers on a postcard ...

    -Spoil3r-

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    Re: Let's be realistic

    You can get a base unit with pretty much the best components for under £2000 no problem

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    Re: Let's be realistic

    It all depends, what do you want from a computer? To give you an idea, the latest graphics cards performance outstrips the capability of most sub £300 monitors by a fair way in *most* games. Unless you are also spending on a very good quality monitor, you don't have to get a pair of 8800 Ultra's in SLI.

    Given you've just bought a car, you'll appreciate the analogy that buying the White Cobra is the same as purchasing a Ferrari, it looks awesome, has silly amounts of performance available but ultimately, you'll never really get to use it on the open roads. You can get just as much use out of a Ford Mondeo.

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    Re: Let's be realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    It all depends, what do you want from a computer? To give you an idea, the latest graphics cards performance outstrips the capability of most sub £300 monitors by a fair way in *most* games. Unless you are also spending on a very good quality monitor, you don't have to get a pair of 8800 Ultra's in SLI.

    Given you've just bought a car, you'll appreciate the analogy that buying the White Cobra is the same as purchasing a Ferrari, it looks awesome, has silly amounts of performance available but ultimately, you'll never really get to use it on the open roads. You can get just as much use out of a Ford Mondeo.
    LOL thanks for opening up my analogy there lucio! as i said in the other post i would at this moment in time get a DELL 2407-HC and possibly dual monitor (1920 x 1200 res) with a 17inch Iiyama LCD, so maybe SLi is viable?!

    although I havnt got the details of which upgrades I would use, I thought the nForce 680 machine would be sufficient and can be upgraded quite nicely. I dont need UV lights or show off my PC BUT i DO want a good high performance machine thats "maybe" too good now but in about 2-3 years time will still be an awesome specimen. Seeing rigs about the 3k mark that have most components but slower FSBs and no OC etc.

    also can we please put a n00b question to rest .... ive never overclocked so bare with me on this one .... is overclocking literally "a boost in speed" with actually no bad affects??? i mean, i understand more heat dissipates so it needs extra cooling, but does this affect the life of the component. id rather have a longer life by using stock (or even underclocking for now) than pwn the new parts and have to replace them!

    -Spoil3r-

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    Re: Let's be realistic

    The basic idea is that overclocking will reduce the lifespan of your components, but given that most systems are designed with a 5-10 year lifespan in mind, the reduction won't be an issue as you'll have changed your rig by then.

    SLI isn't needed for dual monitor support, in fact using SLI precludes using multiple monitors.
    Given you've got're planning to get a Dell 2407-HC monitor, you're gonna need an 8800GTX to run it comfortably at it's native resolution.

    To give you an idea, you can get a mid range tower unit for about £1500 (check out Hexus's review of the kit from PC Specialist for an idea of what comes in at that price range). From there, figure out if there's any "must haves" that you want in addition (such as NAS box, watercooling, extra overclocking etc.)

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    Re: Let's be realistic

    Personally I wouldn't go for a £4000ish system even if I won the lottery.

    A £1500ish system will cope with anything you can throw at it and should be able to for 2 years. Pay the same again in maybe 3 years and you'll be able to get a significantly better system, having spend less overall.
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    Re: Let's be realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    ....

    Given you've just bought a car, you'll appreciate the analogy that buying the White Cobra is the same as purchasing a Ferrari, it looks awesome, has silly amounts of performance available but ultimately, you'll never really get to use it on the open roads. You can get just as much use out of a Ford Mondeo.
    I agree with your first paragraph entirely, but we part company on that one.

    I've driven Mondeos, and I've driven Ferraris, and given the choice and budget, I'd go for the Ferrari every time .... provided it wasn't my only car.

    But my chosen alternative faced with that situation, and I seriously considered the Ferrari, was a BMW M3. Why? Handles well, flippin' quick, but reliable as hell and a practical day-to-day car too. Oh and it cost a third of the Ferrari (then, not now) .... but about three times the cost of the Mondeo.

    That analogy would be my answer to Spoil3r too. It's about YOUR evaluation of value for money.

    I'm spec'ing a new PC now. Been doing it for months, in fact, and just not got around to ordering. There always seems to be something tantalisingly just over the horizon .... currently whether X38 (DDR2 versions) are worth it over P35? And to think I used to be indecisive. These days, I'm not so sure.

    Anyway, my point (which I'll get to eventually) is .... Spoil3r, decide what gives value for money for you.

    Personally, I'm going Q6600, because the extra cost of 'Extreme' chips seems, to me, to be about willy-waving and about benchmark scores. I'll probably go for an 8800GTS because it'll give me a decent gaming capability and the price jump to GTX simply isn't worth it to me. And as for Crossfire/SLI ..... well, I'm a GTS end of the market person.

    But then, gaming for me is not a priority. Digital photography is. If I thought it would serve my purposes, and pay back in performance on large edits, I'd cheerfully put 4GB, 8GB or even 16GB in the machine, and I'd spec the motherboard accordingly.

    Years ago, I used to run state of the art processors. In fact, I was often running pre-release samples, either because I was reviewing them or because a friend was the technical director of a large OEM and I'd talked him into selling me one on the quiet.

    But these days, I look at the increase in performance (and I mean real-world. not benchmark) I'll get from going up another rung on the ladder, and then I look at the cost of doing so. I find there's a sweet spot, beyond which the cost of each performance increase goes up exponentially, and probably, the marginal performance decreases, too. The same applies to mychice of hard drive sizes. Currently, 500GB occupies the sweet spot, but a year ago it was 250GB .... maybe 320GB.

    That sweet spot is where I'll buy, because that's where my value system says I'm getting the best value for money.

    But some of this is about what you want rather than because it makes sense or is good value. It also depends what you can afford. If you can buy that Ferrari out of spare change, then why not do it if that's what you want? It's your money, after all. But most of us have to live with the cost of making that kind of decision, that being that if you spend the money on one thing, it means not spending it on something else.

    For instance ... :-

    Option A) A £4000 Pc.

    Option B) A £1500 PC and a £2500 holiday.

    Obviously, substitute your own preferred values and alternatives, but are you prepared to give up the "holiday" option for the benefit you'll get from a £4000 PC over a £1500 one? If so, do it. If not, don't.

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