14 August 2008

What should my next computer be?

So it's time to upgrade my computer.

Should I build or buy? Suggest components or a manufacturer.
Should I chose a slightly slower quad-core or a slightly faster dual-core?
Intel or AMD?
nVidia or ATI/AMD?

OS will probably have to be 32-bit to use VPN at work but I'm not opposed to running a 64-bit OS as a dual boot. However, if you suggest Vista, anything you say will be held against you. You have been warned. :)

We'll say that my budget is around $1500 and including a 1920x1200 flat panel.

Comment away!


Matthew Pass said...

Sometimes I think I'm the only fan of Vista in the world... I like it, and I'd definitely recommend it: if only so that some of the EQ II devs get the 'aha!' moment and realise that running everything as Administrator is such a pain! :-)

Mikul said...

For hardware, i've been a life long nVidia user. However nVidia could very well go bust in the next 6 months so one reason to stay clear on a new system. Also the ATi parts are half the price for only a 10% drop in performance. I'd get a 4850 or 4870 for sure. As for Processor, depends on how long you can wait, its looking like Core i7 will enter the market in September and if these are going to be out of your price bracket they will have an impact on pricing of everything else and moving them down a price bracket probably 2 weeks before i7 release. As for Monitor, i'd go for ViewSonic every time, i've yet to have a pixel fail on my 24inch's.

But as for Vista, if your stuck to 32 bit, yeah you should avoid it. It runs like a donkey in 32bit. In 64bit with 4 gig of ram, it's actually very good.

MJ said...

Don't go AMD. I've never had anything but issues with AMD. Unless of course your idea of fun is to spend your free time trying to figure out why your computer keeps blue screening.

Anonymous said...

I have experiences with Q6600 (Quad) and E8400 (Dual). Understanding that we are looking for multi-core for better efficiency, I found my experience matches pretty well with that is commonly reported. With multi-thread program, for Q6600, the x factor in speed was, with 2 core 1.8, and mere 2.5 with 4 core. So effectively you are buying 2.5 core machine assuming it is quad core. For E8400, the speed up factor was about 1.8 as expected. This actually represents the logic behind the market price of dual and quad. They are not very much different in the price (probably mere the 2.5/1.8 factor, or even less). With other concerns, such as power efficiency and L cache size, I bought 64 E8400's to build a Linux MPI cluster. - N.Park from Irvine -

kungfunate said...

Personally, Dual-Core Intel is my preference. This might be worth a read. It basically states there aren't enough 4 core optimized applications to justify a Quad core cpu, especially with how power hungry quads can be. In Everquest 2 a quad can be a performance hit due to lower clock speeds and smaller L2 cache.

The Nvidia 8800GT is a great card for a low price. ATI 4850 and 4870 are worth a look as well.

XP Pro 32-bit is where I'd stay as long as you can. Oh, and build it from pieces purchased from Newegg! :)

Joshua said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Anyone have any recommendations on motherboards? I found a fairly good recommendation on the Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 but at $235+tax from Newegg it seems a little steep.

kungfunate said...

In response to your Gigabyte GA-X48 DS5, $235 is a bargain for a high end overclocking board. Considering the X48 boards start at $200 for an el'cheapo ECS, I'd say it's money well spent.

Anonymous said...

Joshua -
I work for HP and I highly recommend our newly announced line of workstation notebooks. If you really want performance, both graphics and I/O - take a look or email me. I'll get you all the latest info to help you out.
Lee Hooper