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Computer Tech Q&A

Discussion in 'UO Sonoma' started by Invertigo, May 24, 2009.

  1. Invertigo

    Invertigo Guest

    Alright so I have about 50 days left in country(give or take). I'm currently in transit to the base I'll be goin home from and I've used this time to look at desktops I'l be wantin to purchase. So far I've set my mind on alienware. I know I'm buyin 30% of it for the name, but I'm not too positive on any other desktops as far as performance. I know kinda what I'm lookin for and what's what but I'm not big on details.

    Basic build I'm goin for the Alienware 705i gaming edition hopin to upgrade to memory and video card. For your pros and cons to look at(sorry if you wanted to help and I had to give ya some extra work pullin up the website.

    So far for RAM I'm thinkin long as I'm at 4gigs I'm good.

    Processor I'm lookin at the intel I'm lookin at a duo, not sure what's a good processor speed though so any tips on that.

    Video card I'm not sure what I was lookin at so any pointers.

    Memory gunna go for the lower storage(prob 300g). Just curious on the dirrence between 16 and 32 cache if at all noticable.

    Cooling system(would the standard be sufficient for 1200? bein it's included with the 800) I figured was a must being I'ma go for the upgrade for the 1200watt power supply for future updating.

    Then prob throw in an extra $150 for the improved ethernet ports(we all kow connection is a must)

    Then of course a dvd slot and probably a USB or two with a firewire 400 or e-sata(knew techno for me not sure which is the better of the two)

    Basic keyboard I'm guessin as far as a mouse goes, a gaming one for sure just anyone list there personal favs? (looked at the logi g9 and didn't like the button layout too well, seemed you had to curl yer thumb in a bit much to hit the keys.


    Internet here is really slow and it's taking forever to load the websites, so I'm pretty much going offa memory, 30min time limit isn't gunna allow me to function the webpage all to well to give ya'll my desired specs to imp on. Again I apologize.

    Any pointers would be great. I also looked into building my own but it'd be my first time and I'd rather not fux it up.



    Heh forgot price range for ya'll. Lookin anywhere from 2-3.5grand would rather it be lower the better but I understand with performance comes price.
     
  2. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    Wish I could sell you a comp, but I am in the middle of adding a new distributor. Anyways here is my 2 cents.

    1. UO is a sprite based game and the graphics are rendered through the CPU, not the graphics card.

    So you need fast throughput overall.

    CPU - Fastest on the block

    Intel I7
    AMD Phenom 2
    Intel DUO

    RAM - Depending on the build DDR2 or DDR3 OCZ in my opinion the best brand. Always go for their top of the line. Visit their website.

    HD - All i can say is go with the 32mb cache. My current Seagate trumped my Raptor in performance.

    Chipset/fsb - You need the fastest bus for sure, don't get snookered into a system with an older system bus.

    Networking cards - EVGA's Killer Xeno pro - It works good is all i can say.

    All in all do some research and read a ton of customer reviews. Visit overclocking sites can give you an in depth perception of the products potential.

    If you are looking to make th is PC into a dedicated gamer and use every trick in the book to get better gaming performance I would do 2 things.

    Use Xlite or Vlite to make a custom installer for your OS, thus getting rid of processes you don't need and visit tweakguides.com and download thier free Vista,XP optimization guides. The Author leaves nothing out that I can tell.

    Good luck on your quest and purchase.
     
  3. Jagerstadt

    Jagerstadt Journeyman
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    All those gamer PC companies offer the same internals. The only difference is the cases they use and their warranties. With Alienware, you are paying for the name, as there are companies with comparable products and warranties that sell for much less. However, if it's what you like, don't let me stop you.

    Like Lefty said, since UO is 2D (unless you're on 3D client), everything is dependent on your CPU. Intel Core i7 and AMD Phenom II 940 are the big boys on the block. I'm an AMD person myself, but from what I understand, while the Phenom overclocks like a monster, the Core i7 will be faster out of the box. However, a Core i7 will cost significantly more because it will require the latest motherboards and the new DDR3 memory. Keep in mind, the model 750i refers to the motherboard chipset, which supports the older Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad. You're going to want the X58.

    For video cards, if you play any other games than UO, like WOW or Eve Online, a GTS 250 is more than capable, the stock option on the X58, but the Radeon 4870x2 will blow it out of the water. I would not suggest Nvidia cards in SLI with an Intel processor as Nvidia has screwed Intel on that tech in the past. If you don't have any plans to play 3D games, stick with the GTS 250, and put that $400 down on the processor upgrade.

    For your hard drives, 32mb cache will yield a slight performance increase over 16mb. Also, Raptors aren't justified in their price for 10k rpm. Alienware does want $150 more (as compared to the 500mb) for their smallest 32mb drive at 1TB of storage, whether it is worth it or not is up to you. I believe the money could be better spent elsewhere.

    For your power supply, 1kw is more than plenty. Products are becoming more and more energy efficient, and 1200w will yield no bonuses other than running up your electric bill. I would also not recommend liquid cooling for someone that hasn't worked with it, as it may require an occasional top off, or drain and fill, and though the fluid is nonconductive, if it springs a leak it will still be a pain. It wouldn't make that much of a difference on the i7 anyways.

    As for mouses, that choice is different for everyone. How do you grip your mouse? If you only touch it with the tips of your fingers, as if you had claws, that's called a claw grip, and this type of person is who the G9 is designed for. If the entire palm of your hand touches your mouse, you want something like the SteelSeries or Microsoft mouse. Keep in mind, anything but the Microsoft mouse will need special drivers and hardware to run, which is just a hassle for some.

    I went through and put together a sample order for you to check out, if interested. It's got Intel's X58 chipset, Core i7 920 cpu, Radeon HD4870x2 graphics card, 6GB Triple Channel DDR3 1333MHz, 500gb hdd, Killer Xeno card, 1kw power supply, 24" widescreen LCD monitor, Logitech 2.1 (2 speakers + sub) speaker setup, and basic mouse and keyboard (though through Alienware I'll bet they're anything but basic), for just a touch over $3k. This system will stomp any of the 750i models into the ground.

    You can check it out here (you will need to click on the 'Retrieve Order' button on the right, and pop this code in the box, without quotations "*****"). Keep in mind, if you're not gonna play 3D games, selecting the default video card (which is still a good card), and upgrading the CPU to the i7 940, will yield a more powerful system on a general level, with less 3D performance, at about $100 more. Also, no extended warranties, lighting/customization, or software options have been chosen as this is just a reference build to give you an opinion of a system that I would be drooling over.

    Edit: If price is still a concern, you can select the default GTS 250 video card, keep the default i7 920 processor, and you will still have a badass computer, but it'll run you less than $2700.

    /end $.02
     
    #3 Jagerstadt, May 24, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  4. Invertigo

    Invertigo Guest

    Ran outta tim ebefore I could repost, thanks for the advice, I'm likin the x58 build just the recommended graphics requires a 1200 power, tips? Plus the cooling system comes standard, so is there a difference in performance and upkeep with the upgraded one? I'm likin the ikari mouse. Only other thing I can see other than recommended is stick with the 920 and get the 32cache which will run me almost 4g(including monitor).
     
  5. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    Well Jag, let me clear up some misconceptions. The KR client is a 3d engine per say, but everything in that is also 2d. Only thing that gets off loaded to th GPU is the particle effects. Such as spell effects as well as the targeting cursor. The avatars are 2d. 3d models that were rendered to 2d. And the static houses, as well as player houses are the same old 2d variety. Thus if the 3d engines camera was unlocked, you would not get a 360 degree perspective.

    On the I7 vs the Phenom 2's. That is an iffy subject. AMD typically has bigger bridges built in their line of CPU's that can handle bigger loads of data.

    Anyways the true performance of any gaming rig is through the optimization.
    In UO I can take an old Athlon XP CPU based system, Strip down Win XP , Overclock it a bit and it would be quite competitive to any quads. The reason of this is because UO is a single threaded game. Thats why old clunker pc's can run it:D
     
  6. Jagerstadt

    Jagerstadt Journeyman
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    @ Invertigo: The setup I ran through uses a *single HD4870X2*, which is a special card that has two high-performance chips on one board. It is one of the best performing cards out there at the moment, and can handle anything you throw at it. If you selected dual 4870X2's (the equivalent to four video cards), Alienware would prompt for a 1200w power supply. I can't think of any games out there right now that would require two of those. If you stick with one 4870X2, keep the 1kw power supply, and only upgrade to the 1TB hard drive w/ 32mb cache, you will save $750, keeping the price under $3300.

    Also, if you already have speakers, you can de-select the ones I checked and that should save you some cash as well. As far as cooling, if you want the noise dampening option, that will make your computer quieter. As for water cooling, it is pointless, as Alienware won't overclock this cpu, and the water doesn't run to the video card. Of course, being able to say you have a water-cooled computer is pretty sweet, and it is silent, whereas the stock air cooling is not. If you want to opt for water, go for it, just know that there will be no difference in performance. Also, I'm not sure on the upkeep, as I'm not familiar with Alienware's system, but it should be very little at best, maybe the occasional top-off. It would be no more hassle than brushing the dust out of your cpu fan.



    @ Lefty - I had no idea about the KR client. Thanks for the heads up. XD
    I definitely agree with you on the cpu subject, and have always been partial to the HT/IMC combo that AMD runs myself. Although, the performance numbers that the i7 is putting out are making me think bad thoughts, especially with multi-threading optimized apps.

    And so you know, I'm running a stripped down, oc'ed, XP-based Athlon X2 system myself hehe. :p
     
  7. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
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    Mine is Athlon 939 X2 4800+ 2mb L2 Cache. It was hard to find.
    Motherboard Asus A8932SLI Deluxe
    1TB 32 Seagate
    2gb OCZ Plats DDR1
    1 very old 7300GT (the other one died)
    1 EVGA Killer Xeno Pro NIC
    Running Vista Ultimate.

    This is doing double duty though. Running IIS7 web server, FTP server, a Mail server, and UOAM at the moment. I game with it with all this stuff running. Not lagged one bit :}
     
  8. Jagerstadt

    Jagerstadt Journeyman
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    o_O

    Up until about a year ago, I was running an old Pentium 4 Prescott on an Asus P4C800 mobo circa 2003, oc'ed to 4.0ghz on air. It ran UO like a beast, but I'd started playing Eve Online/Wow and the old Radeon 9550 couldn't handle it lol. Seriously considered putting together a s939 system, as the price/performance was very attractive at the time...unfortunately I just couldn't find a dual core 939 ANYWHERE.

    Atm, sitting on:
    Athlon X2 5000+ @ 3.206ghz on air
    Asus Crosshair II Formula
    2gb Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500 @ 400mhz atm
    XFX G92 8800GT
    PCP&C Silencer 750w

    Spent more than I'd planned, but dual core + modern video card just murders my old setup. And I still have upgradeability--hoping to swap in a Phenom II + Nvidia GTX-anything here soon. I still like those 939 setups a lot. Server duty + Vista + UO = no lag? That's just sick.