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Are these pc specs and price good?

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I'm a CS student interested in graphics and AI programming who will be buying a computer soon and wanted to know if the specs and price of the desktop I'm planning to buy are good. I will appreciate all of your advices but keep in mind that I only have $1300 to spend on the computer. NOTE: Aside of programming I will be playing Flight Simulator X and Crisis Here are the specs: Case: Apevia X-Jupiter Jr. Fans: 120mm fan ( Qty: 3 ) PSU: CoolerMaster Unit 600 Watts Extreme Power-SLI Supports CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66GHz CPU Cooling: CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Motherboard: Asus P5N-D nForce 750i SLI RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) Corsair Value Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB 16x PCI Express (Only one) Monitor: 19" ViewSonic VA1903 WB WXGA+ HDD: 320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Optical Drive: 20X DVD DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER Optical Drive: 16X DVD ROM Sound: Integrated 7.1 Sound Speakers: Logitech (BLACK) X-540 70Watts 5.1 Configuration Speaker System Network: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card Media: 12 in 1 Flash Media Reader/Writer Software: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 All for a total price of $1238 before shipping and handling Is the 600W PSU a good option or should I get a 500W or 535W PSU instead? Thanks in advance, CircuitX [Edited by - CircuitX on February 13, 2008 7:56:28 PM]

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I have a 600 watt PSU in a very similar system (same processor, but 8800GTS) and it is more than enough for the system. Actually way more than I really needed. I've personally been happy with mine (OCZ StealthXStream. I was surprised when I was shopping for power supplies, at how limited my choices where if I didn't want it to have LEDs) and means I don't have to worry about upgrading with more drives and that. I haven't found any drawbacks to it as of yet.

First thing I would suggest, unless you are planning to really overclock that CPU, ditch the cooling. Stock Air is way more than enough (Mine idles at 30 something C, and stresses out at 60 something when pushed)


I can't really think of a valid second, other than my very strong dislike of cases such as that. I don't think I'll ever want anything too different from my Antec P-180. (the only drawback to my case is it is fricken huge! and heavy.)

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Thanks for your reply. I have a little doubt about what you mean when you say ditch the cooling (I'm a Spanish speaker with average english knowledge). Are you referring to the cpu liquid cooling or the extra fan when you said ditch the cooling? About the PSU then I think a 500W should do it because the 8800GT is less power hungry. Am I right or should I stay with 600W? You said you didn't liked the case, can I know why? Is it bad for upgrades or messy to deal with the cables on it?

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Do you have a specific reason for getting a burner and a non-burner drive? If you aren't doing disc-to-disc copies I'd just get one (the writer).

Then again you'd only save like $30 so it's not that big of a deal.

Other than that the price looks spot-on for the components you listed.


I agree with Talroth - I wouldn't buy the liquid cooling system because a good fan should be good enough.

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I'd ditch the water-cooling. It's not necessary, and there's too many things that can go wrong if you're not experienced with it.

Use the money you save on that to upgrade to a Q6600 CPU (If you're doing computationally heavy AI stuff, you'll love the Q6600 over the E6750).

If you get a Q6600 G0 then the fan that comes with it is sufficient to keep it running cool.

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Thanks guys for all your advice. I will stay with the stock CPU fan and the 600W PSU. Also I will change the case to the Apevia X-Telstar Jr.

Now my PC will cost $1197 so it is a good price.

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I assume you are ordering from www.cyberpowerpc.com ? I got a pc from them and its great but I have been very unsatisfied with their service. First my order took 33 days to build and ship! Second I ordered the mushkin extreme memory but when the pc arrived it had regular mushkin ram. It then took them 3 weeks to verify and ship out the correct memory, which when this happened they charged me for the correct ram, did not tell me they were going to charge me, and claimed they would refund the money once the wrong ram was sent back to them. Its been two weeks since they received the wrong ram back from me and I have yet to be refunded this second charge. I have been trying to call them and they do not call back. So buy at your own risk from them, they have good reviews on some sites but there are horrible ones like mine mixed in with them.

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Sorry about that CircuitX.

I did mean to not bother with the Water Cooling system (They're risky, and eat up a lot of electrical power).

As for the case, I can't really comment on it beyond I simply hate the look of it. But to each their own. (That is assuming the one Google showed me which had all the bright lights and clear parts to the case is the same one you are getting)

I agree on using the money you would have spent on the water cooling system to upgrade to a quad core processor.


Side note question. Any idea if the difference in FSB would have much of an effect on the processors? Q6600 being 4 cores at 2.40GHZ and 1066 FSB, vs the E6750's 2 cores at 2.66GHZ and 1333FSB? How much of an impact is that likely to make for single core programs?
Any reason why the Core 2 Quads aren't at 1333, only Xeons?

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Quote:

Posted by Talroth

I did mean to not bother with the Water Cooling system (They're risky, and eat up a lot of electrical power).


Don't worry Talroth you didn't bother me instead you gave me a very good advice that I will follow, and about the case I was in doubt of it so I change it for a better looking Apevia X-Telstar Jr (blue color), I like cases with side windows on it ;).

Quote:

Posted by Talroth

Side note question. Any idea if the difference in FSB would have much of an effect on the processors? Q6600 being 4 cores at 2.40GHZ and 1066 FSB, vs the E6750's 2 cores at 2.66GHZ and 1333FSB? How much of an impact is that likely to make for single core programs?
Any reason why the Core 2 Quads aren't at 1333, only Xeons?


Well I don't know too much of the differences between Quad and Dual Cores but my Computer Science Professor told me that it will take long for programmers to take advantage of the 4 cores so I should stick with 2 cores for now. I'm taking his advice, he is an electric/computer engineer and he must be doing some intensive calculations because his specialty is in neural networks. That is as far as I can go because I don't know too much about that, I'm only in my second year of CS.

In reply to xDS4Lx,
Do you order it during christmas rush?
Your guess was right I'm ordering from cyberpowerpc and it's good to know that there's a chance of having some issues with them, at least I can be sure that my pc will arrive if I order it. Maybe it will took long for me to be shipped because I'm from Puerto Rico but that price can't be matched, I had checked some other sites and no other is giving those specs at that price, they are at $1400 and over. I will have to think if I will take the risk of having those kind of issues. I will check more reviews of them.

[Edited by - CircuitX on February 13, 2008 11:57:22 PM]

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I ordered my PC Dec 1. I expected some delay but not 33 days to build, especially since when I called I was told nothing was on back order. The pc works great I have no complaints other then them switching out cheapo memory on me. And I have the same case, the Apevia Telstar Jr, I like it.

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Well I looked at reseller ratings.com and cyberpower is rated better than dell, I found that very strange because I had a great experience with dell, so based on the reviews on that site cyberpower isn't that bad then. Now I don't know if I will take the risk or build it myself.

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I know this contradicts myself but I have several friends that have ordered from cyberpower and had no problem, so I was the unlucky one in the 3 of us. Like I said the pc is great but they did change my memory without telling me and then took forever to correct the problem and still haven't refunded my money. The best advice I can give you is to trust your gut.

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Well, I ALWAYS build my PC's from parts. My preferences are a bit different to what any retailer will make.

* I like to have one smaller capacity, high speed HDD (last time round I used software RAID) for applications, and larger, slower ones for large file storage. This makes a HUGE difference to speed, w/o the compromise on storage capacity. (e.g. a striped RAID array of 2x10000rpm, 72gb hdd's for the OS, and a single 260gb hdd of some kind for files)

* I also prefer a smaller amount of higher speed RAM. My next PC will have

* I usually save money by buying a mid range processor. There is an extra markup
on higher speed ones.

* I keep an image of a base install of the OS'es seperately for reinstallation purposes, thus saving myself the hassel of dealing with "winrot" (windows stability slowly deteriorating due to viruses, spyware, dodgy updates, etc).

* I don't have to worry about bloatware.

* More choice of OS. In fact, I may just drop the HDD's from my current PC into a new load of hardware, battle with the drivers for a week or two, then take a new disk image and have the same machine with new guts.

* I saved myself 5% last time round over dell's most suitible offering.

* I guided my brother through the process of doing this, and he saved a packet too. Plus, he picked up some life skills. (and his machine glows red and blue. You don't get that with a Dell)

Most of the machines you get in the shops, and even the options you customise, are designed to have lots of bug numbers that don't add up to the best value for money. DIY saves you money, and gets you better value. I plan to do this again in a years time.

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Quote:
Original post by CircuitX
my Computer Science Professor told me that it will take long for programmers to take advantage of the 4 cores so I should stick with 2 cores for now.

The 360 has 3 hyper-threaded cores, which makes 6 virtual cores. The PS3 has 8!

Your prof might be right about regular application programmers, but he is dead wrong about programming for video-games - console programmers are already writing code for 6+ cores.
The revolution is now!

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As far as your processor for your work goes, only you can really answer the question of 2 or 4 cores.

How are you doing your AI projects? Can you take advantage of multiple cores? The Q6600 will be a little slower on a single process than an E6750 stock, but if you can get all 4 cores to 90% load, the quad will blow the dual out of the water.

As for the case, what are your reasons for picking it? And what price are you paying for it? (Cases are a really hard thing to suggest and give advise about, as some people view them as a box to hold the computer, and others view them as a work of art to display, and people's views on art greatly differ. Myself like minimalistic style, so I went with an Antec P-180. Super quiet, and has great support for hard drives and fans. I honestly forget the number of hard drives it has space for, but I think it is 6 or 8. Oh, and the biggest thing, it has two removable air filters on the front intakes! I've had this computer for several months, and pull a massive amount of dust and hair from the filters every week, but I have yet to notice any kind of actual build up in the case itself.)

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Quote:
Original post by Talroth
I don't think I'll ever want anything too different from my Antec P-180. (the only drawback to my case is it is fricken huge! and heavy.)


Amen to that. Great case, but its a beast to haul around.

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Quote:

Posted by speciesUnknown

Well, I ALWAYS build my PC's from parts. My preferences are a bit different to what any retailer will make.


It would be nice for me to build it myself but I need some advices on trusted websites from which I could buy the components for my PC at a reasonable price. I went to NewEgg and added the same components I listed in the post but the shipping and handling killed the total price, I was charged $321 of s/h which gave a total cost for the pc of a little more than $1600. As a side note I think I should read about RAID then because I don't know anything of how to set it up. I think I read somewhere that a raid is a configuration in which you can set more than one drive and it will appear on the pc as one but I'm not sure if I am right so I will do some research on that subject.

In reply to Hodgman,
I think that I misunderstood my professor and he was talking about common programming tasks and not the heavy computational and graphics intensives one, sorry for that. But now I know something new and that isn't bad :).
Quote:

Posted by Talroth

As far as your processor for your work goes, only you can really answer the question of 2 or 4 cores.


Well I think I should have stated that I'm planning for the future and that I currently have no knowledge of AI but I will be reading of it in August after I finish my Data Structure class in summer. So I think that for now I could stay with 2 cores and not spend the extra $90 they charge at cyberpowerpc for the 4 cores.

About the case, it will cost me around $75 and I'm choosing it because I think its the better one offered at cyberpowerpc for that price.

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I quickly priced things out where I usually shop online, and came to about the same price you have (but in Canadian Dollars), couldn't find the same monitor as you have listed.

Seems like a fair price to me, but I would wait for more input and suggestions from others before ordering if you can wait.

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Guys you are awesome! You helped me a lot and I appreciate that. It seems I will have to build the PC myself because cyberpower isn't shipping to my island, Puerto Rico. As Talroth said I will wait for more input and suggestions because I used Amazon to compare prices with NewEgg but there are too many items in Amazon that can't be shipped to Puerto Rico.

Does anyone here knows a good online shop for buying my PC components at a reasonable price? Am I better buying directly from each company or is it fine to buy everything from a single online retailer like NewEgg?

I really want to build it myself to learn from it and get a PC suitable for me.

Thanks for all your replies,

CircuitX

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i would ditch that processor and get the e8400, they run at 3Ghz stock and idle are only 28 degrees Celsius. I was personally able to over clock it to 4Ghz stable with the zalman 9700 LED without any problems. It is a little more expensive than the one you picked but will make up for it in the overclocking potential should you decide to do that, BTW crysis will not play reasonable not matter what system you build, give it a couple years and new hardware will run it as well as any other game without sacrificing the settings

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Well I had to do some changes to my configuration due to budget concerns. I came finally with this configuration.

Here are the specs:

Case: Apevia X-Telstar Jr.
Fans: 120mm fan ( Qty: 3 )
PSU: Antec NeoPower 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply - SLI Ready
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 @ 2.33GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) CORSAIR XMS2
Video Card: EVGA GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 16x PCI Express (Only one)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar 320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM
Optical Drive: LITE-ON 20X DVD DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER
Sound: Integrated 5.1 Sound
Speakers: Logitech (BLACK) X-540 70Watts 5.1 Configuration Speaker System
Network: EDIMAX EW-7128G PCI Wireless Card
Keyboard: Microsoft ZG6-00006 Black PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard 500

All for a total price of $1075.33 after shipping/handling and mail-in rebates

Is it a good configuration for a low budget mid-range gamin pc? Are this specs still good enough to play almost any game out there in the market at least at mid stats?

Thanks for all your your replies and advice,
CircuitX

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Quote:
Original post by CircuitX
Well I had to do some changes to my configuration due to budget concerns. I came finally with this configuration.

Here are the specs:

Case: Apevia X-Telstar Jr.
Fans: 120mm fan ( Qty: 3 )
PSU: Antec NeoPower 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply - SLI Ready
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 @ 2.33GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) CORSAIR XMS2
Video Card: EVGA GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 16x PCI Express (Only one)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar 320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM
Optical Drive: LITE-ON 20X DVD DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER
Sound: Integrated 5.1 Sound
Speakers: Logitech (BLACK) X-540 70Watts 5.1 Configuration Speaker System
Network: EDIMAX EW-7128G PCI Wireless Card
Keyboard: Microsoft ZG6-00006 Black PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard 500

All for a total price of $1075.33 after shipping/handling and mail-in rebates

Is it a good configuration for a low budget mid-range gamin pc? Are this specs still good enough to play almost any game out there in the market at least at mid stats?

Thanks for all your your replies and advice,
CircuitX

You are making mistake if you are going to be wanting to play FSX and Crysis at decent framerates!
I have a 6600 cpu and 8800 gts and only run at 1280x1024 resolution and I cannot play either of these games at max or even high quality settings!
All other games are fine but FSX is cpu bound and crysis is gpu bound or both.
I suggest fastest cpu you can afford and 45nm intel preferable and 9800 nvidia card which will be out soon.
Oh and for your professors edification FSX can use up to 32 cores!

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Thanks for your reply daviangel, then I should go with Intel E6750 and 8800GT, but wait until 9800 hit the market so I could get 8800GT at a lower price. Will I be able to play FSX at moderate framerates with those changes?. Remember I'm with a limited budget of $1300.

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Quote:
Original post by CircuitX
Thanks for your reply daviangel, then I should go with Intel E6750 and 8800GT, but wait until 9800 hit the market so I could get 8800GT at a lower price. Will I be able to play FSX at moderate framerates with those changes?. Remember I'm with a limited budget of $1300.

I was going to say to wait for the new intel 45nm cpu's to get increased framerates in FSX but from this review it doesn't look like it makes much difference if you go with a nice cpu like the q6600 which is probably ,the best cpu out right now price/performance wise, or the new 45nm cpu's!
<http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2208822,00.asp">
The oddest result is the Flight Sim X result, which was identical across all CPUs. Note that we did install the Flight Sim X service pack, so we expected some variation—but got none. While we did run at 1280x1024, anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering were not enabled, and the rest of the settings were set to medium-high. So we should have seen some difference in the results, but none were evident.
So maybe FSX is poorly coded alot of people claim or we'll have to wait for 5GHZ cpu's!
For graphics I still recommend waiting for new Nvidia cards or if you can't at least get a 8800GT card since it's like 2x the performance of the the 8600 for only a little more money.

[Edited by - daviangel on February 19, 2008 12:51:04 AM]

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Thanks for the advice, I will go with EVGA 8800GTS(G92) 512MB and stay with the E6750 due to my budget limit.

The total cost after making those two changes is $1273.28 and $1203.28 after all mail-in rebates (s/h included).

I forgot to mention that I will buy a flat panel monitor so I can't spend all my $1300 budget in the pc itself, that's why I'm not going with the E8400 cpu.

As a side note I will pass my budget by $100 if I buy a $200 flat panel monitor.
But at least I will have a moderate gaming pc.

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