pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
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Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:15 am

Howdy,

i like to think i know about computers but there are just so so many options out there i really dont even know what to look for! Im not a massive gamer but i enjoy playing games and want a computer that will serve me for a few years.

Obviously ive heard nothing but good things about the alienware systems, and their service is apparntley top notch. Ive been looking at Dell's gaming computers as well but i know a few people that own Dells and work we use Dells and they just seem to be done on the cheap.

At the moment my budget is 5k or just a little over, im pretty sure from looking at all websites etc you can get a good quality gaming/high end system for that kind of cash. Ive seen some systems up to 8-9k, thats kind of ridiculous for a computer!

All i want is something that can play games now and in the future without stumbling frame rates and something that is quick for video editing etc. Also i'll be playing FS X etc so something that supports DirectX10 is a must! Water cooling is defintley a plus, as its always going to be 22 degrees c inside the house with a couple degrees on top of that for where the pc sits, and my compaq at the moment is noisy as hell as it always needs the fans on cause its heating up too much.

Want something that is reliable, well built, a quality machine (quality parts etc) and value for money.

Anyway heres what i have been looking at......

Alienware systems

Dell gaming comps

Plus Corporation gaming comps

Have looked at a few overseas, generally US companys but no idea if they ship ready for use in Australia.

So throw in your ideas, thoughts basically anything! i really dont know what i should be getting, ever magazine says opposing stuff so really stuck. If you own any high spec gaming systems defintley put your thoughts in and why you chose it etc especially owners of alienware im interested to know if it lives up to the hype.

Cheers and look forward to ideas etc.    

edit: i did look at buliding my own pc but i just dont have the time and i'll screw it up anyway and most companies allow you to fully customize your system.

[Edited 2008-01-16 02:17:10]
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TheSonntag
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:27 pm

I use a Dell notebook (Inspiron 1720), and I am very satisfied with it. The game performance is not that great, though, as the Geforce 8600M GT is good for normal games, but too weak for crysis.

If you want to use a stationary pc, you should try the new Geforce 8800 GT, it is said to be priced fair, and is still reasonable fast for modern games.

I have heard that there is a difference between Dell in the US and Dell in Europe. Dell in Europe has a good reputation, and my notebook has, as said, good quality.

If you want a gaming pc, you should, btw, consider installing Windows XP instead of Vista. Much faster and better for games., even if it lacks DX10

[Edited 2008-01-16 04:28:43]
 
SBBRTech
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:11 pm

Alienware is cool but somewhat overpriced in my opinion. Dell, as any other big corporation will give you the latest hardware for a good price but you won't find any model with a decent graphic board.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 1):
If you want to use a stationary pc, you should try the new Geforce 8800 GT

It's a fair card and it's GX10. The 8800GT, GTS or GTX will give you that edge for most current games and those about to be released. But mind the energy requirements of those cards!
Some proprietary cases like most Dell i've seen might use weird sized power supplies that can't be replaced by stronger ones (like a 500W seventeam or thermaltake for ex) necessary to feed the 8800 series.



My current "gaming PC" is a plain HP DC5750 Business PC with AMD 4200X2, 2GB RAM, GF 7900GT, a 480W Thermaltake PSU and the good old XP. It plays flawlessly on full settings BF2, BF2142, COD4, FSX....and even Crysis on normal (not low) settings.
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FlyKev
Crew
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:13 pm

I personally feel that with Alienware pc's your buying the name, and the computer is overpriced.
I think you'd find it easier to build the pc yourself, my mate for example paid about £800 for his computer when he built himself, and it was higher spec'd than the top Alienware computer.
If you arent confident in building a computer, then I'd say look at dell's xps range, as they seem to be better, plus support is absolutely top notch.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
ag92
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:24 pm

Quoting SBBRTech (Reply 2):

My current "gaming PC" is a plain HP DC5750 Business PC with AMD 4200X2, 2GB RAM, GF 7900GT, a 480W Thermaltake PSU and the good old XP. It plays flawlessly on full settings BF2, BF2142, COD4, FSX....and even Crysis on normal (not low) settings.

Wow, with that PC, I always thought that FSX is really intensive. Just a question how well do you think a Quad Core 6600, 8800GTX and 4GB ram with a 24inch Vista play with FSX and other games such as BF2142

Edit: Sorry I may have sounded a bit mean, I meant to say that early on in its release I thought that people with better PC's were complaining how they can't play FSX

[Edited 2008-01-16 05:26:06]
 
SBBRTech
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:43 pm



Quoting Ag92 (Reply 4):
Wow, with that PC, I always thought that FSX is really intensive. Just a question how well do you think a Quad Core 6600, 8800GTX and 4GB ram with a 24inch Vista play with FSX and other games such as BF2142

Ag, FSX is quite "heavier" than FS2004 for instance, but not as much as Crysis. So my system handles it pretty well. FSX is the only one I don't play online but as a single player my fps is pretty low. So you get the picture - the computer you described is more perfect for FSX and for BF2142 it's overkill !

I think people complaining about FSX have other issues, maybe too much crap loaded in memory I don't know. But I started playing FSX in this computer a while ago with a GF 7600GT and I had no problems. It just got better with the 7900GTO.
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bagpiper
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:01 pm

Honestly, I really think the best way to go is to build a computer. It seems daunting at first, I know. I just built my first one this past fall, and once I got everything via UPS, it took 20 minutes to put it all together, and then I just had to install the OS.

Also, you get better warranties in some cases. My CPU has a 5 year parts and labor warranty... graphics card has a 2 year, and get this... my RAM? Its got lifetime warranty. So anytime it fails, I just call them up, they send me more, and I send the defective back.

Also, you can make sure Dell or the other OEM manufacturers don't rip you off in things like FSB speed, memory speed, etc.

my 2 cents
 
sv2008
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:01 pm

Some companies offer build your own computers (you spec them and they build them), but often I think just a little research and buying a computer off the shelf is cheaper and just as good for the average person.

I'd buy:

Intel Core Duo E6850

Geforce 8800 GTX

4 GB Ram

Vista Home

Thats pretty much all you need - just make sure it has enough PCI - E slots, you can worry about SLI, soundcards and that stuff later as you have the money - don't make it too complicated! Just get the basics right and it'll be fine. In the Uk you can buy that for around £900 ($1900 ish) without monitor.

I wouldn't worry about temp unless your overclocking - 22'C is no problem. For average use, the PC will have enough cooling in most cases (another good reason from buying from a shop). Also you get some warrenty with a shop.

The Quad cores as far as I know don't really offer much, if anything, over a fast Duo at the moment for games. I'd saty with the duo (but thats just me).
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:16 am

Thanks guys,

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 7):
The Quad cores as far as I know don't really offer much, if anything, over a fast Duo at the moment for games. I'd saty with the duo (but thats just me).

Yeah from what i hear they dont do too much whatsoever, just improve performace just a little.

Now i have been thinking, im going to price it up and see whats cheaper to build or buy, i guess i could make time  Smile

Do you just buy one of the towers? ive been reading reviews etc and most seem to come pre built ready for toolless instalation and with the fans and power cords etc all connected.

Is it just then a case of installing everything?

Keep putting ideas etc in, thanks so far!
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IFEMaster
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:52 am



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
Obviously ive heard nothing but good things about the alienware systems, and their service is apparntley top notch. Ive been looking at Dell's gaming computers as well but i know a few people that own Dells and work we use Dells and they just seem to be done on the cheap.

Dell and Alienware are one and the same company. Dell bought Alienware a couple of years ago and have aligned components between the various Dell and Alienware lines. The biggest difference in the two lines comes aethetically; performance wise, you can have the same for cheaper if you buy Dell. Same components, same customer service, same supply chain, same build facility, different case.
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Springbok747
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:06 am

Pilotdude, you'd be better off getting a Dell. Also if you're planning to use it for games, get a desktop, laptops simply cannot match a desktop when it comes to hardcore gaming...and for 5k you can get a pretty decent gaming desktop. The Alienware m9750 is an awesome gaming laptop..but waaay too expensive (its A$ 4500 I think..for a decent one).
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pilotdude09
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:48 am

Its a real pain that you cant buy american PC's some of those are great value for money! even their top dell with liquid cooling etc etc is a great buy compared to anything over here.

And the HP Blackbird, its HUGE but its a dream come true!!! but then you would have to remortgage something to pay for it...

At the moment its between the Dell and The Alienware.

Some questions though,

Is it better to have 2 Graphics cards?

Quad core Extreme really worth the extra money? over the standard quad core?

PhysicX accelarator needed?

800ghz Ram required for latest games etc etc?

Nvidia 8800 GTX a good graphics card?

Im reading reviews on all of these but my god do opinions vairy, some say things are good, some say crap others say they arent able to run future games etc.
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ouboy79
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:05 am

I personally own a Dell XPS 720. Granted I worked for Dell for a couple years, but the discounts for normal people through the website is better than the employees get - so price wasn't the kicker.  Smile The XPS line has always been about putting out a quality gaming machine, especially after the initial XPS 700s rolled out (they had a few motherboard issues).

I sort of lucked out an got the the 1GB GeForce graphics card that is no longer available - simply costs too much for Dell's price point...its a $1500-2000 graphics card. I got the 750 watt power supply, 4gb ram, 1 TB HD, and all the other nice stuff...including dual 20" wide monitors (no sense for anything bigger).

With your budget of around $5K - which is about what I spent, you can get a great machine from Dell. If you want, send me an email or whatever and I'll shoot you over a cart/configuration to look at.
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:17 am



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 7):
The Quad cores as far as I know don't really offer much, if anything, over a fast Duo at the moment for games. I'd saty with the duo (but thats just me).

You mean they don't double the size of your penis? Damn, I was misled.

I have a quad core Intel and it's fast. However, I have no basis for comparison.
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TheSonntag
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:26 am



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 7):
4 GB Ram

Vista Home

For the 32 bit Vista, 4 GB RAM is overkill, as the system cannot even use that properly.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 7):
The Quad cores as far as I know don't really offer much, if anything, over a fast Duo at the moment for games. I'd saty with the duo (but thats just me).

This is correct. There was an article in the German magazine C´t about this, and they explained in detail that Quad Cores are not much better than the fastest dual cores for games (which were a real recommendation).
 
ThePRGuy
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:28 pm

I gotta say - if your not happy building one yourself, you can't go wrong with a XPS from dell.

Well made and very good after sales support/warranties.

Good displays too.

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Think i may just go with the dell as they are offering a $500 cash back so i can put a few more features into it, upgrade to ulimate windows vista, better monitor and the better processor and its still under 5k.

Thanks guys.
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ThePRGuy
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:02 pm



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 16):

Unless you've tried vista before, I'd recommend keeping XP.

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:08 pm



Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 17):
Unless you've tried vista before, I'd recommend keeping XP.

I have Vista on my laptop and honestly i find it runs alot faster and smoother than XP and looks much more modern as well.

Also alot of games microsoft has said they will only be available for Vista, so it'll be interesting to see what happens there.
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ThePRGuy
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:54 pm



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 18):

Fair enough. Only reason I said so was because Vista turned my trust IBM Thinkstation into a nervous wreck!

Luckily its got XP back on it now!

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
sv2008
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:30 pm

Vista is a huge improvement over XP.

It's the same as XP, with most of the anoying features removed. I have it on my laptop now. It's much much faster and I haven't had any problems.

It's pointless not upgrading, you are going to have to move to it one day, might as well be now, unless you have an issue with a specific program that you just can't solve on Vista. But even then, worst case, just set up a dual boot with XP/Vista.

MS will stop supporting XP one day, so it's either Vista or buy a mac.
 
Klaus
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:47 pm

First let me clarify that gaming is not a core interest for me. Others can certainly speak to these issues with more practical experience.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 11):
Is it better to have 2 Graphics cards?

Graphics card coupling (such as SLI) can increase the rendering speed and thus the resulting frame rate on a single screen. In an extreme case even with multiple pairs of graphics cards for multiple screens, but you'd need lots of power, you would probably run into PCIe throughput limitations and there may be driver issues in such an extreme configuration.

This kind of coupling always requires special graphics cards explicitly prepared for it and the accompanying special drivers.

As long as the games you're actually interested in will run with decent frame rates (more than 60fps are pointless - your TFT only displays 60 fps anyway), a single card will suffice.

The motherboard can make a difference as well: A high-performance machine shold have PCIe 2 (PCI express 2) slots with at least one of them supporting a full complement of 16 PCIe lanes for the graphics card. If you want to use more than one graphics card, at least two slots should have as many PCIe lanes as possible.

The total number of lanes the chipset supports is limited, so a chipset with only 16 lanes in total can either split them 8-8 between two cards, dedicate them all to one card and leave all others dead or provide other combinations spreading the lanes thinly across all the cards. The various combinations possible may also depend on the BIOS.

High-performance graphics is one of the biggest throughput hogs on a computer, so skimping on the PCIe infastructure (or on the main memory throughput which feeds it) can restrict the benefits of lavish investments in other components.

The system should be balanced for the kind of use it is intended for. Bottlenecks in one place can ruin the overall effort.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 11):
Quad core Extreme really worth the extra money? over the standard quad core?

It is basically an advance on upcoming faster CPUs, at massive additional power requirements. I doubt many (if any) games would actually benefit. Get a decent modern and halfway power-efficient CPU (currently Core 2) and maybe upgrade it later if you really need to.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 11):
PhysicX accelarator needed?

Check out your primary games of interest whether they benefit from it and how much. In the long run I expect multi-core CPUs to obsolete separate physics engines anyway (even though right now most games don't seem to benefit much from multiple cores, but that will change over time).

Don't skimp on the CPU in terms of cache, though - it can throttle CPU performance by overloading the frontside bus.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 11):
800ghz Ram required for latest games etc etc?

MHz, I'm sure?

Depends on your CPU, chipset and graphics card setup, but as far as I'm aware main memory speed is not (yet) a major bottleneck with the current chipsets if multiple memory channels are actually used.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 20):
MS will stop supporting XP one day, so it's either Vista or buy a mac.

Macs run both XP and Vista as well, so it's not an "either - or" but "just this or all of it".

Within the budget given, a Mac Pro with "just" one quad-core Xeon CPU (configured down from its default two) and a GeForce 8800 GT 512MB would amount to A$3579,- including tax. Under Windows it should be a decent gaming machine as well, even though that's not it's original purpose.
 
sv2008
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:13 pm

Pretty much agree with the above.

with SLI it's maybe 15-20% extra fps for double the cost, so really it depends on how much money you have!

I think the problem with the Quad cores is that few games support multi-core processing. This is true of the Dual core, but at least background programs can be run on the other core, but beyond that, not many people have use for four processors. In theory a fast dual core could easily outperform a Quad for games - So you might be better off buying a faster Duo anyway, even if you can afford a Quad. I think some games (like Unreal?) support multi cores though - FSX apparently does too. This will get more common.

If you are into macs or not, windows is the only choice for games. And a PC is much cheaper - with all that money you save, you can buy much better hardware.

As I wrote before, the Dual Core E6850 is currently the CPU I would probably buy (although you could pay extra for the extreme version). Very fast, affordable, lots of cache, high clock speed, probably the best option until AMD (and intel) release the next lot.
 
Klaus
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 22):
If you are into macs or not, windows is the only choice for games.

Not in general, but when it's the main interest, Windows will certainly be the better choice. Macs can also be used as Windows PCs as well (and quite fast ones at that), so it's just down to the specifics.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 22):
And a PC is much cheaper - with all that money you save, you can buy much better hardware.

Depends on what the priorities are. I'm not saying a Mac Pro had been designed for gaming - it wasn't. But it's built like a tank and it's one of the fastest PCs money can buy at any price, including special provisions for large and hungry graphics cards. And in its performance range it's actually quite competitive.

But I've kept my explanations above generic for a reason - the Mac Pro is certainly not the conventional choice for a gaming machine, even if it may be a mistake to discount it out of hand. The question is which configuration would serve the intended purpose best, and that can depend on several different criteria.
 
sv2008
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:52 pm

I would never discount anything, but generally macs aren't considered as good for games. Obviously if the computer is needed for other things, that might be different, but he did say it was for games.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
Also i'll be playing FS X etc so something that supports DirectX10 is a must!

All the GF8xxx support DX10 I think, but it isn't needed. FSX will run on 9x just as well. You just don't get some of the nicer hardware graphic effects. Not sure about performance because i haven't tried it. Only Vista might support DX10 though (not sure but I think XP dosn't - something else to think about when buying XP over Vista!)
 
Klaus
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:07 pm

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 24):
I would never discount anything, but generally macs aren't considered as good for games.

You've discounted it right there - without really knowing why. The main reason for that blanket statement is probably that most people don't have the budget to even consider a Mac Pro ("even" an iMac is quite serviceable for many games, but for enthusiasts it probably won't suffice). But for Pilotdude09 it's easily within range:

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
At the moment my budget is 5k or just a little over, im pretty sure from looking at all websites etc you can get a good quality gaming/high end system for that kind of cash. Ive seen some systems up to 8-9k, thats kind of ridiculous for a computer!

  

A$3579,- for a decent configuration still leaves quite a bit of room for added options.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
All i want is something that can play games now and in the future without stumbling frame rates and something that is quick for video editing etc.

  

Actually, the primary purpose of a MacPro is serving as a professional high-end video editing workstation (you'll find plenty of them in TV stations and production companies). It even comes with some perfectly usable HD-capable editing tools for free which should positively fly on it (iMovie etc.). And you can upgrade to Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro if you need to.

I don't know enough about Windows gaming to give any guarantees, but some of the the build-to-order graphics cards should offer good game performance.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
Also i'll be playing FS X etc so something that supports DirectX10 is a must!

That should be the case (check the cards, in any case).

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
Water cooling is defintley a plus, as its always going to be 22 degrees c inside the house with a couple degrees on top of that for where the pc sits, and my compaq at the moment is noisy as hell as it always needs the fans on cause its heating up too much.

  

The Mac Pro has a very elaborate and quiet cooling system (no liquids necessary there at this time, though).

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
Want something that is reliable, well built, a quality machine (quality parts etc) and value for money.

  

Mac Pro design

Heavy-duty aluminium case, easy and screwless access and mounting of replaceable components and a bunch of other nice features at a decent price. I'm currently using the Mac Pro's predecessor (PowerMac G5) in basically the same case and I have yet to see a PC built to the same standards.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Thread starter):
So throw in your ideas, thoughts basically anything!

There you go. As I said: It's a bit of an exotic idea for gaming, but it could actually be an interesting option.

There can be very good and valid reasons to get anything else, but my point is that it's good to be aware of what the choices are and especially being aware of the technical criteria (see my other post above).

I don't really expect him to finally end up with a Mac Pro, but as I said: It's always good to know why one decides for or against something, not just by hearsay.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 24):
Only Vista might support DX10 though (not sure but I think XP dosn't - something else to think about when buying XP over Vista!)

Indeed: DX10 is Vista-only as far as I know.

[Edited 2008-01-17 15:13:56]
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:37 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
Macs run both XP and Vista as well, so it's not an "either - or" but "just this or all of it".

So does a properly equipped PC. I just built mine up and I am running vista with no issues to speak of.

Yes, it is different from XP.

Yes, there are a couple things I am not wild about- but will get used to.
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pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:25 am



Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 19):
Fair enough. Only reason I said so was because Vista turned my trust IBM Thinkstation into a nervous wreck!

Yeah i know this computer im on runs like crap with Vista....just re read my original comment to you and i sounded really rude, sorry bout that if i came accross rude  Smile

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):

Thanks heaps for all that info, much appreciated! Big grin

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
MHz, I'm sure?

Hahaha yeah! whoops.....

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Actually, the primary purpose of a MacPro is serving as a professional high-end video editing workstation (you'll find plenty of them in TV stations and production companies). It even comes with some perfectly usable HD-capable editing tools for free which should positively fly on it (iMovie etc.). And you can upgrade to Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro if you need to.

I should have said orginally, i actually have a Mac Pro, its almost 3 years old. Had a friend of a friend (as you do) working for Mac in NZ and they got me one very very very heavily discounted. Had been used by a production company that upgrades every couple of months, it was in mint condition too. I use it for, web design, movie making, burning, photo editing and animation.

Thats all i use it for, its extremely fast as it only has 10-12 programs loaded on it and thats it.

Final Cut Pro is AWESOME!!, when i was at school we had licences for it and install discs the multimedia teacher actually gave me the discs to take home and put it on. It is one powerful piece of software! Just amazing what you can do with it.

Thanks heaps for all the info etc Klaus!


Also thanks to everyone else for putting in, keep it coming  Smile
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ThePRGuy
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:55 am



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 20):
Vista is a huge improvement over XP.

Hmm...I'm sure you enjoy it but for doing real things (which require stability and no crashing) XP is still much better. I use XP on a day to day basis along with Macs and they are similarly stable most of the time.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 27):

No worries! Enjoy your PC

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
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cpd
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:35 am

What I did was build my own:

Intel QX6700 Extreme CPU
Intel D975XBX2 mainboard
Asus 8800GTX 768MB
Creative XFI sound card
300GB HDD
250GB HDD
Antec P180 case

Already had a DVD-RW drive, a screen (Apple A1081), speakers (Sony Home theatre system), printer (Lexmark C762 duplex colour laser + X4500 MFP option) and keyboard/mice. I still use Windows XP Pro SP2. The whole thing runs reliably and fast.

If you do build your own, don't bother with the included Intel CPU coolers, they don't work well in our warmer weather. A large 120mm thermaltake heatpipe+fan cooler or one of the other accepted high performance (but low fan speed) coolers will be much better.
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:15 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 29):
Intel QX6700 Extreme CPU
Intel D975XBX2 mainboard
Asus 8800GTX 768MB
Creative XFI sound card
300GB HDD
250GB HDD
Antec P180 case

Pretty close to what i want actually.

How much that end up costing you?

Also one more question......The dell's i believe come with 32bit windows, whats the main difference between 64bit and 32 bit??
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
Klaus
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:29 pm



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 27):
I should have said orginally, i actually have a Mac Pro, its almost 3 years old.

Then it's a PowerMac G5, isn't it? The first Mac Pro was introduced only in August 2006.

Almost no difference on the screen, but a PowerMac can't run Windows games natively, while the Mac Pro can. The PowerMacs had just one optical drive, the Mac Pro has doors for two on the front, while both use basically the same outer aluminium casing.

Check "About this Mac" in the Apple menu.

A current Mac Pro has one or two Intel Xeon CPUs with four cores each, which lets it run Windows natively while still supporting all your existing Mac applications at the same time (even the purely PowerPC ones in the Rosetta emulation).

The G5 CPUs have their strength primarily in floating point and vector processing, while the Intel CPUs have a relative weakness there. My MacBook Pro is four to six times faster than my first-generation PowerMac G5 on many if not most applications, but rendering video is about the same speed between them. It could be, however, that the video codecs on the Intel side are not as optimized yet as the PowerPC ones are.

Of course the older PowerMacs had just one or two (later up to four) CPU cores versus four or eight cores in the current Mac Pros, so the sheer number will more than compensate for that even in media applications, as long as they actually use all the cores (games usually don't - at least not yet!).


A Mac Pro could actually replace your current PowerMac and be a rather powerful Windows game machine at the same time (depending on the graphics card you'd get).

With Boot Camp you're booting into either MacOS X or Windows; But as long as Windows 3D graphics (games) are not needed, you can even run Windows alongside MacOS X, sharing the same screen with MacOS and Windows applications at the same time.

The selection of graphics cards sepcifically offered for the Mac Pro is of course limited, but as far as I'm aware at least one of them should be at or near the current high end for Windows games as well.

Besides that, other cards should still be usable in the Mac Pro as well, you'd just need at least one MacOS-supported card to boot OS X, since the Windows-only card(s) will not show up there.

So if you're looking at one specific card which isn't offered for the Mac Pro at this time, this can be a concern, and in extreme cases might make it difficult to use in the Mac Pro at all.

A separate gaming PC can still make sense, it just depends on what your needs and priorities are in the end.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 27):
Thanks heaps for all the info etc Klaus!

You're welcome!
 
sv2008
Posts: 591
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:40 pm



Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 28):
Hmm...I'm sure you enjoy it but for doing real things (which require stability and no crashing) XP is still much better. I use XP on a day to day basis along with Macs and they are similarly stable most of the time.

XP crashes all the time. So does Vista.

But Vista is no worse for home use than XP. A crash in a game isn't a big deal, anoying but games have been crashing randomly since win 95 was released, it just somehing that happens. Everyone will have to move to Vista in the next 4-5 years anyway. Probably many of the problems are becasue it's new; XP had many many problems before SP1 was released and had endless patches and updates.

Does Klaus work for apple?
 
Klaus
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:52 pm



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 32):
Does Klaus work for apple?

Nope. I've just worked with Apple products for a good while now and know both (Mac and PC) hardware and software platforms by direct comparison.

And in this context, some of my specific knowledge and experience is just pertinent, especially since Pilotdude09 apparently uses a Mac already.

I only follow the gaming scene occasionally to keep halfway current and mainly from the technological point of view, so I certainly don't know much about which graphics card or setup playing well with which game title or about specific driver issues; I'm quite sure that others know more about that side of things.
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:53 pm



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 32):
Does Klaus work for apple?

Every PC thread on this forum gets hijacked by the Mac crowd. It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN. Kind of like the Borg.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20622
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:10 pm



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 34):
Every PC thread on this forum gets hijacked by the Mac crowd. It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN. Kind of like the Borg.

1.) He's already using a Mac (the predecessor model of the one I've been mentioning). So getting a system that covers both uses at once would be a plausible option, if of course not the only possible one.

2.) I've explained a few technological issues quite neutrally above, most of which are pertinent to the selection of any PC or Mac or separately available components.

3.) I've merely mentioned the Mac Pro option initially, since it apparently fits his criteria pretty well, and only expanded on that in response to an unspecific and apparently uninformed standard claim: "Macs can't be used for gaming". Yes, they can: Boot Camp First Look: Half Life 2 Video + More even just on an iMac, in that case.

4.) The times when Macs didn't matter in a Windows discussion are simply over. Every current Mac can also be used as a Windows PC without undue restrictions, and many people do just that, either in addition to MacOS X or even exclusively. When people incorrectly claim that that wasn't possible and get a correction in response, that is not "hijacking" of the thread. If you want more information about Windows-only PCs in this thread, just provide that information, please.
 
sv2008
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:05 pm

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:17 pm



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 34):
Every PC thread on this forum gets hijacked by the Mac crowd.

Off topic, but was this a joke? Just saw it 10 min ago.

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/2217/30133717hu3.jpg

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 34):
Every PC thread on this forum gets hijacked by the Mac crowd

I don't understand it either - the thread title says he wants a PC! A PC not a mac!

I personally hate them and would never use one, but then I mostly use them for games/home use.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20622
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:39 pm

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 36):
Off topic, but was this a joke? Just saw it 10 min ago.

Obviously...!   

My guess is that Goldenshield talking about "hijacking" above triggered the ad selection engine.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 36):
I don't understand it either - the thread title says he wants a PC! A PC not a mac!

Every current Mac is also a PC! You get two for the price of one.

If he had asked for a cheap gaming PC, I would not have added that little aside at the end of my reply 21 and left it to just my explanations of technology. But at a budget of A$5000, a Mac Pro is easily within the range he specified, even as a kind of exotic choice as I said.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 36):
I personally hate them and would never use one, but then I mostly use them for games/home use.

You're contradicting yourself more than just a little there...!   

Besides that, "hating" Macs without knowing much if anything about them (see posts 24 and 25 above) doesn't do anybody any good, especially not anybody asking you for information.

Irrational issues aside, Macs can be used in place of or even as PCs for most applications which exist; You can certainly choose something else, but in most cases they're a pretty decent option. There is no factual reason to segregate them out of PC discussions nowadays. Before Apple's Intel switch that was a different thing, but Intel Macs are also part of the Windows PC landscape since then.

So you might just want to get your "hate" in check and learn to live with it, as long as no rules are violated (which hasn't been the case here).

[Edit: A few corrections]

[Edited 2008-01-19 06:43:47]
 
ThePRGuy
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:07 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:43 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):

Nope. I've just worked with Apple products for a good while now and know both (Mac and PC) hardware and software platforms by direct comparison.

Most mac users are capable of understanding the advantages of both operating platforms, its sadly many of the windows users who are such fascists.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 36):
I personally hate them and would never use one, but then I mostly use them for games/home use.

Heres one now.
 rotfl 

Stupidity

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
sv2008
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:05 pm

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:56 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
Obviously...!

My guess is that Goldenshield talking about "hijacking" above triggered the ad selection engine.

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/9127/58409184wj4.jpg

here is a higher quaity version - notice the hyperlinks - are those real sites? Looks like someone removed them quick though.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
Every current Mac is also a PC!

By PC i mean type/standard PC. Most people use PC to mean this.

I personally hate them and would never use one, but then I mostly use them for games/home use.

I meant

I personally hate them and would never use one, but then I mostly use computers for games/home use.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):

Besides that, "hating" Macs without knowing much if anything about them (see posts 24 and 25 above) doesn't do anybody any good, especially not anybody asking you for information.

Well, I've used them and I don't like them  Smile

Fair enough is you want to use them, but I think they are overpriced and thats a lot of money to spend on a system just so you can use another OS, on inferior hardware.

What I really don't like though is been forced to use proprietary formats like quicktime, .mp4 and all that just because apple says i have to. I won't use itunes or buy an ipod either for the same reason.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20622
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:53 pm



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 39):
By PC i mean type/standard PC. Most people use PC to mean this.

And most people are quite surprised when they learn that every current Mac is also a standard PC which can run Windows like any other.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 39):
I meant

I personally hate them and would never use one, but then I mostly use computers for games/home use.

I got that.

But apart from your issues which we can discuss in a separate thread if you want, does that help Pilotdude09 with his questions in any way?

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 39):
Fair enough is you want to use them, but I think they are overpriced and thats a lot of money to spend on a system just so you can use another OS, on inferior hardware.

Especially the Mac Pro is very competitively priced in its performance and quality class.

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 39):
What I really don't like though is been forced to use proprietary formats like quicktime, .mp4 and all that just because apple says i have to. I won't use itunes or buy an ipod either for the same reason.

Actually, QuickTime is only a container format which wraps around various codecs, most of them officially standardized ones.

MP4 is as officially standardized as it gets.

Windows Media, on the other hand, is completely proprietary, top to bottom.

But since you apprently refer to the link I posted above, here it is again with the Youtube video which the author has linked to as well:

Boot Camp First Look: Half Life 2 Video + More

YouTube - Intel iMac + Half Life 2 = Boot Camp

It shows an older Intel iMac (1.83GHz, not even Core 2) running Windows + Half Life 2. The iMacs have since been upgraded significantly, and the Mac Pro is far more powerful yet again.


I've waited for anyone to comment on this, but it seems it's up to me again:

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 30):
Also one more question......The dell's i believe come with 32bit windows, whats the main difference between 64bit and 32 bit??

Windows has been split up into separate 32bit and 64bit versions which are largely incompatible. Most 32bit applications should run on a 64bit Windows (but of course not vice versa). Drivers and extensions are generally not cross-compatible.

With Vista the situation is exacerbated additionally through the mandatory signing of drivers and the added DRM restrictions in the 64bit version.

Since you're forced to decide for one or the other at system installation, at this point the 64bit capability does not offer significant advantages for a private user, but the incompatibility can become a major problem.

So the 32bit version of Windows will generally be the version to choose now, especially when gaming is the intended use. So Dell's default will suit most people best indeed.

(MacOS X 10.5 Leopard supports both 32bit and 64bit in a single version, including backwards driver compatibility. No need to decide up front.)
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:09 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 31):
Then it's a PowerMac G5, isn't it?

Yeah, its a 2005 G5 Powermac, no idea why i said Mac Pro??????

Quoting Klaus (Reply 40):
So the 32bit version of Windows will generally be the version to choose now, especially when gaming is the intended use. So Dell's default will suit most people best indeed.

Cool, thank you.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 40):
(MacOS X 10.5 Leopard supports both 32bit and 64bit in a single version, including backwards driver compatibility. No need to decide up front.)

Leopard is great, i upgraded the computer for AUD$168 and compared to buying Vista its cheap as chips  Smile runs well but i do feel it has slightly slowed the computer, nothing too noticeable.

Thanks guys........
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
Klaus
Posts: 20622
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:22 pm



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 41):
Yeah, its a 2005 G5 Powermac, no idea why i said Mac Pro??????

You're not alone with that mistake. After all, it was the "professional Mac" as well, and it even looks almost the same as the Mac Pro.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 41):
Leopard is great, i upgraded the computer for AUD$168 and compared to buying Vista its cheap as chips   runs well but i do feel it has slightly slowed the computer, nothing too noticeable.

It probably depends on the setup and on what you've got installed... I'm not sure I've got a noticeable overally performance change on my PowerMac G5 or on my MacBook Pro. But Spotlight has certainly sped up a lot! Big grin
 
ThePRGuy
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:07 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:48 am



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 32):
XP crashes all the time. So does Vista.

Just saw this.

XP does not crash all the time. I use it for work which does not consist of Games and Porn, so it kicks Vista's pathetic glitzy little "i wanna be OS X Tiger" look HANDS DOWN.

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
User avatar
cpd
Posts: 4597
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:34 pm



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 30):
Pretty close to what i want actually.

How much that end up costing you?

Also one more question......The dell's i believe come with 32bit windows, whats the main difference between 64bit and 32 bit??

Almost AUD$4200, but I ordered everything before any of the major components (video card, CPU, etc) were released here - so I did get stung rather badly by the early release prices.
 
sv2008
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:05 pm

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:57 pm



Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 43):
Just saw this.

XP does not crash all the time. I use it for work which does not consist of Games and Porn, so it kicks Vista's pathetic glitzy little "i wanna be OS X Tiger" look HANDS DOWN.

Alex

But he already said it was for home use, not business, so why does this matter?
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:00 pm



Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 43):
XP does not crash all the time.

I agree. There's a lot I don't like about it, such as the registry, but crashing has never been a problem for me. I've run my main XP system since late December 2004 and while it has slowed down, it doesn't crash.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:31 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 44):
Almost AUD$4200, but I ordered everything before any of the major components (video card, CPU, etc) were released here - so I did get stung rather badly by the early release prices.

Yeah thats gotta suck!
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
ThePRGuy
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:07 am

RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:08 pm



Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 45):
But he already said it was for home use, not business, so why does this matter?

Home use is games and porn is it? Not browsing the internet, working on word processing/projects for college/work?

XP is far more reliable, its a fact. Not only that, but its actually nice to use. Vista is cheap looking. Reminds me a lot of a '96 Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0

Quoting Aloges (Reply 46):
I've run my main XP system since late December 2004 and while it has slowed down, it doesn't crash.

I agree, XP is consistent. Vista is not.

Even Microsoft have said that Vista has not stood up to their expectations. What more do you want?

Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
CaptOveur
Posts: 6064
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RE: Gaming Computer Purchase.....Help!

Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:14 am



Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 43):
I use it for work which does not consist of Games and Porn, so it kicks Vista's pathetic glitzy little "i wanna be OS X Tiger" look HANDS DOWN.

I use Vista for school work, work work, and games, and porn.. I have yet to have a crash and I have been running it almost 2 weeks I think.

Its not the OS, its the machine. Put Vista on a computer that can handle it and you won't have a problem.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.

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