Upgrading Computer - Advice Please!

vbimport

#1

Hi everyone, I’m a long time reader and admirer of this forum, though I don’t post very often. I do a lot of video encoding and my AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5600+ 2.8 GHz can’t seem to keep up with the amount of multi-tasking that I do constantly.

My computer is never off and since I sometimes have 20 programs running simultaneously, I need something a little faster. Some people tell me that I should just run less programs but that is not a possibility due to my hectic schedule so, I’m thinking about upgrading from this computer:

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/hp-pavilion-media-center/1995-3118_7-32473154.html

to this computer:

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=208132098&adid=17654&dcaid=17654

Though I haven’t been able to find any reviews, the fact that it’s only 600 dollars, a quad core, and an HP all catch my eye. I know it’s a refurb, but I have purchased many refurbished items off of buy.com in the past and have never had any problems. A matter of fact, the 37 inch tv I’m typing on now is refurbished and it was brand new when I received it.

My questions for the EXPERTS out there are:

What are the major differences of these two pcs?

I paid 900 dollars last year at best buy for the first listed computer and will only pay 600 for the second one. Is the second one worth 600?

Do you think the Q6600 Quad Core with help with my encoding and multitasking? I never play games on my pc so that is not an issue.

Other than the fact that it’s refurbished, do you find any obvious discrepancies in the tech specs?

Thank you and I look forward to your answers since my wife wants to order this computer tomorrow. I really appreciate your help.

-PEACE-


#2

I have a Q6600 and it does like number crunching for video work, its not the fastest thing in the world but it is alot faster than the system you have currently

However, saying this you may just want to look at the possibility of swapping out your current dual core AMD chip for a new Phenom Quad core as they are alot faster (mainly due to the 2 extra cores) and will save you a bit. I doubt you could go for the fastest and the update will be totally dependant on the motherboard you have currently but its an alternative (plus you could sell the old chip as they are still current).

The other option is to build a new PC for yourself, that way you get everything you need and want but the $600 is pritty cheap.

Dissadvantage of the Quad core system

Slow memory, it uses PC5300 ram and not faster PC6400 which will slow the number crunching down slightly
It uses an integrated graphics chip, this will slow things down quite a bit as it slows the already slow ram down even more.
but for $600 its dirt cheap.


#3

Your current MB most likely won’t support a new Phenom processor becuase its OEM and atleast a year old.

My suggestion: Sell the current MB+CPU+RAM and use that money towards some new stuff that will blow away that buy.com setup.

4 gigs Gskill RAM
Gigabyte P35 MB
Brand new 45nm Intel Quad core 2.66GHz

That is only 520 bucks and will blow the other PC out of the water.
You most likely will be able to reuse your current PSU becuase the new 45nm cpu’s use less power. Even though the TDP is rated at 95W they won’t be consuming that much power, and have been proven to be 40-45 percent more efficient than that Q6600 that you were looking at.

You would also want to get a second HDD becuase your HDD is technically the slowest link when your trying to run 20 programs at the same time.


#4

[QUOTE=eric93se;2067691]Your current MB most likely won’t support a new Phenom processor becuase its OEM and atleast a year old.

My suggestion: Sell the current MB+CPU+RAM and use that money towards some new stuff that will blow away that buy.com setup.

4 gigs Gskill RAM
Gigabyte P35 MB
Brand new 45nm Intel Quad core 2.66GHz

That is only 520 bucks and will blow the other PC out of the water.
You most likely will be able to reuse your current PSU becuase the new 45nm cpu’s use less power. Even though the TDP is rated at 95W they won’t be consuming that much power, and have been proven to be 40-45 percent more efficient than that Q6600 that you were looking at.

You would also want to get a second HDD becuase your HDD is technically the slowest link when your trying to run 20 programs at the same time.[/QUOTE]

In addition to those components, the OP might want to get a new case as well: Although the HP’s use the microATX form factor (not a full-sized ATX form factor), some of their front-panel headers are proprietary. This means that the OP might not be able to use the power switch or front USB connectors. And most current P35 MBs, the GigaByte P35 motherboard in the above link included, are full-sized ATX boards (which may not fit the HP cases which were designed only for microATX boards).


#5

Wow, since you guys basically built most of the components needed for the computer, would you mind finishing it off. Do me a favor if you don’t mind. If you are sure these pieces are compatible, list everything else I would need and I’ll be wise and follow your instructions to the letter. I’m actually quite excited at the prospect of building my own pc now and since I’ve never done it before, only repaired broken pc’s, and changed out old parts for new ones, I might need a little direction. Thanks again. I look forward to your responses.

P.S. I really hate vista…I just really do and I was wondering if the above components would be compatible with XP. Are there drivers available I mean. You guys are great.

-PEACE-

P.P.S. Also, if possible, do you think we could build this pc for around 800 dollars. I dont want to skimp out but I want something that is not going to be obsolete next month but also kick@$$, but also not break me financially.

P.P.S. I’m also a recording artist with my own mic etc but the above computer that I mentioned didn’t allow me to record any music because when I plugged the Mic in, it recorded in mono, meaning it only played out of one speaker, the right one if I remember correctly. I haven’t been able to release new music in 2 years because of this and since I couldn’t find any drivers for the last computer, I wasn’t able to determine whether or not it was the audio card or vista. Anyways, I don’t mean to be a bother but I want to make sure I can record on this as well.


#6

Okay, couple questions.

Do you plan on re-using any of the old componenets? ODD’s, Monitor, keyboard and mouse? Or are you going to keep the old PC and build one totally fresh.

Most microphones are mono and I’m assuming the software is what you would use to get both channels to record and mix. Adobe Audition is pretty awsome software but its not cheap. Your current PC should be able to do the job, especially if there is a decent audio card in it. If you want to buy a high quality audio card take a look at the Asus Xonar cards

Yup the new componets will work with XP 100 percent. :slight_smile:


#7

Another good option would be to just buy a separate computer to use for all you non video work, and have a dedicated video system. That is the very best option, as far as ensuring quality video (due to lack of competition for resources)…

Besides, the professionals will all tell you not to mulitask while doing video work… Yes you can, and you can generally get away with it. But it’s never a good idea…


#8

I just bought a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse a month ago so I wont need those. My computer is hooked up to my 37 inch tv so no need for a monitor. Basically, I need everything inside the case, including the case. I’ve been doing loads of research since my last post and discovered that the 45nm processor that you recommended is now sold out at new egg but they should be getting another shipment by 6/03. Comp USA does have some though so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I plan on building a brand new pc from scratch at the moment. I’ve been looking into parts but as of now have like 20 open tabs because the amount of parts I need is overwhelming.

I talked it over with my wife and she’d prefer that I build one as well because we are tired of having mediocre computers for the price we pay.

As of now I need a case, a motherboard, a cpu, memory, hard drive, graphics card, so basically almost everything.

So far I like the PROCESSOR though I was looking at this one:

and this cooler:

and this graphics card:

I figure I can always upgrade the graphics later because I never play games.

The motherboard you recommended has less than spectacular reviews and I don’t think I’m going to go with it as of now because I do need firewire and it has a bios problem that needs some wrinkling.

I do like the processor you recommended though tons of people have claimed problems when trying to overclock it.

I’m not worried about the dvd burner because I can get one for 40 bucks at walmart that I’ve been using in my other computer forever and I know it works flawlessly.

Let me know what you think and recommend products if you have the time so I can review them. I have limited experience in these departments but am relying most on reviews, research, and the abilties and knowledge of the members here who will help me. Thanks.

Edit: The mic is a studio akg mic and I used it on 2 other computers running XP to record my very first album. When I hooked it up to the new machine using the exact same software, it would only record in mono. I tried different mics with the same result. I did some research and discovered that many people have this problem when trying to record using vista. That’s why I didn’t want to blame vista or the audio card until I was sure. I honestly prefer XP though for many other reasons. I guess I’m just not a Vista person and all of the operating system tweaks I’m able to do with XP makes it worth while for me.


#9

If you have no intentions of playing games then don’t waste so much on it, get an AMD card since they have better image quality Link

You CPU and Fan are fine.

This Asus MB adds firewire and esata. The issue with having a big video card and not being able to use the adjacent slot is very common. The card suggested above will not obscure the adjacent slot.

Cooler Master Case
Seasonic 420W PSU Top quality and efficient.
4 gigs ram


#10

Okay, here is the current lineup I decided to go with. I looked at that graphics card you recommended and appreciate your warning but I have owned Radeon’s in the past and never liked them. I’m a Geforce guy. Plus I think I want to try crysis on this beast and see what it looks like.

Here’s the lineup that totals 809 dollars. Now is the time to disagree if anyone thinks I need something else, more or less of anything, etc.

Case: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16811119068

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16813131225

Graphics card:

I wish there was something a little cheaper that could run crysis without problems made by geforce…

power supply: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16817151033

Are you sure this is enough power?

Processor:

Which I plan to overclock following a step by step guide since I have no idea how to do that…

Ram:

Cpu fan:

Now all I need is some thermal grease and a cheap hard drive and I’m set. I have never messed with a processor before and am kind of afraid of what I’m supposed to do with the thermal grease or glue to seal it.

Well, what do you think people? Do I need anything? Missing anything? Anything not compatible, not enough, too much, etc? I need to know so I can order all of these parts today before the sale on some of the items ends…

GRAND TOTAL W/SHIPPING AND TAX: $884.35


#11

You’ll also need an OS.


#12

[QUOTE=Cressida;2067854]You’ll also need an OS.[/QUOTE]

I already have XP waiting to be installed.


#13

[QUOTE=Jusdafide;2067858]I already have XP waiting to be installed.[/QUOTE]

All ready then.


#14

Do you think I’ll need a bigger power supply or is the one I chose sufficient?


#15

Looks good.

For the HDD get the Western Digital 640GB HDD it has new higher density platters. It was rated well by techreport as well.

For thermal paste get, Arctic silver 5, its very goods stuff.


#16

I think the 430W is enough, but for only 6 bucks more you can get the 500W version :slight_smile:


#17

Wow eric93se, you’re really very helpful. I wish there was some way to rate you on here as I’d give you a 10/10. Thank you for all your help! I’m going to order this baby today. Now when I get the thermal paste, how do I apply it?


#18

There are directions on the Arctic silver web site:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/ins_route_step2intelas5.html

If there is preapplied compound on the tuniq tower, you can clean it off with isopropyl alcohol.


#19

I was thinking about getting this case w/power supply instead because it’s thirty dollars cheaper, has over 900 reviews and is mid size w/ a rating of 5. What do you think>?


#20

The power supply specs seems poor and it won’t be high efficiency like the seasonic. When it comes to buying a new case, 120mm fans are manditory, 80mm are noisier and flow less air. Since your going to run a power hungry quad core you need good case cooling as well as a quality PSU, so I cannot reccomend it. I’ll admit it looks cool, if you were willing to mod the case by chopping a larger hole to fit a 120mm fan for the back of the case, but then there still the sub-standard PSU. :slight_smile: