Looking to buy a computer...

But im lost as to what system specs are considered “high-end” these days. I want this PC to last me for awhile, so i want it to be top of the line.

What is top of the line? Is a P4 good enough? Or should i go to 64 bit? Is 128mb enough ram for a video card? Is 512 enough ram?

So uh, yea, help me out here, what are the latest system specs?

The big question is how much you’re willing to spend, without knowing that we can’t really help you.

Well high would probably be:

AMD Athlon64 3400+ or Pentium 4 Prescott 3.06ghz
1024 megs of Corsair PC3200 DDR Ram
ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition or nVidia GeForce FX 6800 Ultra
120gig HDD
Sound Blaster Audigy ZX Platinum
A top of the line ASUS Motherboard for whatever processor you want…
The rest is pretty much up to you. But keep in mind that if your gunning for this that it should last you a while but will cost an arm and a leg :stuck_out_tongue:

And pop down some cash for lots of ram. Get at least a gig of ram. That should keep you going for a while.

Hmmm if you want to buy it straight out then good luck but if you want to build it i think i’ve got just the things for you.

This is all really up to you but I personally like these.
Everything is from http://www.tigerdirect.com

Case: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=506067&Sku=S450-4010 $60

Hard drive: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=876844 $98

Processor/motherboard: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=712762&Tab=0&NoMapp=0 $270

Sound card: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=188612&CatId=107 $50

Video card: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=29519&Tab=0&NoMapp=0 $180

CD/DVD r-rw drive: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=931732&CatId=89 $90

Memory: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=637682 $195

May not be necessary

Operating system: depends on if you’ve already got something from your old computer that you want to keep I recommend Windows XP http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=335900&Sku=M17-7502 $160

CRT Monitor: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=674961&CatId=169 $140

Lcd Monitor: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=699270&CatId=167 $320

I think thats pretty much it I hope this helped

I’m probably going to buy a computer in the next two weeks also… but wouldn’t really like to spend more than $1000. What’d be the best bet for that price?

Building a computer yourself can save money, but you need to know enough about computers to be able to fix it yourself when something goes wrong. Your best bet would be a desktop in the $1000 from Dell. It won’t be a powerhouse, but it’ll work fine and have a good warranty and tech support for when you need it.

Yeah, if you want a cheap and effective computer, get one of those Desktop Dimension Dells. Those are quality desktop computers, and if you wanted to branch into computer gaming then all you would have to do is pop in a better video card, which wouldn’t take much.

Hmm, Personally, I’d go for a decent LGA775 Motherboard, mainly because I like the HT stuff, and I saw a nice little video of what happens when your heat sink comes off, thanks to tomshardware.com.

Anyways, You can find a decent LGA775 motherboard with all the extras for like $180AUD (I won’t bother converting, as it’ll be cheaper in the Americas than over here).

Also, there is DDR2 Ram out, which should up preformance a bit too.

I’d also make sure that the Video Card slot was PCI-Express, mainly due to the cheapness of the cards.

For a Hard drive, I’d go for around a 120GB SATA drive, maybe more depending on the prices where you live.

You can also pick up a DVD burner pretty cheap here in Australia at the moment, so I can assume that with the current prices, it would be a worthwhile investment.

With cases, I honestly cannot help. Just try and get something with a Front USB thingyconnectormabob.

So, Using the Current stats, Here’s what I’d go for… (and will, as I’m upgrading at within the next few weeks)

<hr width=50 align=center>
<li>Motherboard: Intel D915PCY - 800FSB, 4xDDR2/533(2x), 1xATA/100, 4xSATA/150, PCI-E, On-board Sound.
<li>CPU: Intel Pentium 4 processor 520 - 2.8GHz, HT Technology, 800FSB.
<li>RAM: Corsair 512Mb XMS2 533MHz Dual Memory Kit (or you could go for the 1GB pack).
<li>Video: There are few cards out, and most of them are decent value for money. Australia is a little slow in this area, so I can’t give a propper answer. However, with my upgrade, I’m going for a Abit RX600XT 128MB PCI-E card, so I guess something similar, depending on prices.
<li>HDD: 120GB SATA - 8MB Cache.
<li>DVD/CD-Rom: I honestly don’t know much about the brands in this area, but as the DVD-Burners are cheap, I’d just grab one. Might want to grab a basic DVD-ROM as well to make copying a bit easier.

And that’s all I can be arsed typing for now, as the Australian big brother final eviction is on. Fare well.

For the case or any mods go here: www.xoxide.com

Truest truth ever! EVER!

Up to 1500 USD. Im going to put down alot of money so that i wont have to upgrade or buy a new one anytime soon.

I know that, and im willing to sacrifice the tech support to use the money i save on better parts. :stuck_out_tongue:

So uh, thanks for the pointers guys. :stuck_out_tongue: Just a few questions i’ve come to.

When im buying the processor, should i save money and buy it “OEM” or buy the “distrobution box” that comes with a heatsink and fan?

And rud, what about AGP cards? Do then tend to carry i higher price than the PCI express you suggested?

I’ve been looking at the ATI “All-In-Wonder” card, mainly because the cable TV feature seems pretty cool, do anyone know anything about those?

I have an All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro and the TV tuner is a neat feature, let’s you watch basic or digital cable over your computer and the all-in-wonder cards are jam packed with loads of stuff including a game and 2 programs that let you record your cable and edit stuff and you also get some converter wires… alot of stuff comes with an all-in-wonder, one of the best would be the Remote Wonder which basically gives total control over your computer at a distance. It’s really handy if you don’t have a wireless mouse cause the remote wonder will let you watch cable on your computer like you do on your normal tv. And so you know, the programs that come with the all-in-wonder are Mediator 7 and pinnacle studio and are both worth about 100$ each. I also got Elder Scrolls III ^^

So yeah, if you’re into editing movies, normal tv, pictures, recording cable and watching it all on your computer, than this is the card for you. But if I were you (and i’m not) i’d look at PCI Express motherboards and video cards cause those are looking mighty sweet right.

This is what I got:

AMD Athlon XP 2400+
1024 KVR Kingston PC2700 DDR Ram
60gig Western Digital 5400rpm
120gig Western Digital 7200rpm
All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro
Sound Blaster Live (have it since my older computer)

That’s from last year… if this is what you’re looking for in a computer i’d still suggest looking into PCI-Express :stuck_out_tongue:

The hardest part about building a high-end system is figuring out what you need and want, from what might come in handy latter. Take the all-in-wonder video card, sure being able to watch TV on your PC sounds like a cool idea, but are you really going to use it? What you need to consider when designing a high power PC is when the novelty wears off in a few month, what am I still going to use?

I’ll add my own suggestion list as soon as I have some free time.

yeah that’s true, I still watch TV on my computer though ^^

Well, i guess you are right, i just thought it would be neat to consolodate my TV and computer, and save some space in my room :P.

Thanks for the help guys, i’ll post some specs of what im thinking of ordering soon.

Well, since I’ve been really busy today and it doesn’t look like I’ll have that much free time in the next few days and since several people have posted suggestions for parts for your system, I won’t post a full blow list of parts like I usually do. However, I’ll give you some advice which you should consider before making any decision, it’ll probably help you avoid expensive mistakes and get the system you really want.

  1. In most modern systems, RAM is one of the, if not the, most determining factor when it comes to overall system performance. Let me explain, for the last several years, the speed of CPUs has steadily increased, so much so that contrary to a decade ago, the CPU is no longer the bottleneck in the system, the problem is in fact the opposite, the CPU processes information so fast that in my cases the hard drive can’t supply data fast enough. This is why it’s important to have lots of high speed RAM. It takes much less time to access data stored in the RAM than on the hard drive, so every extra byte you can store in the ram is one you won’t have to wait for the hard drive to supply.

I recommend 1024 MB of 333mhz or 400mhz DDR RAM, you can get more if you like, but it probably won’t make that much difference. Make sure your board can support more than 1024 (and most motherboards do), but hold off on buying more RAM until you feel you really need it.

  1. As I mentioned previously, in modern systems, the real bottleneck is the hard drive so getting one with a low seek time is very important. You’ll often have trouble finding very large drives that have high RPMs so you’ll probably have to make a trade off between space and speed. I suggest you go for speed, you can also get a second drive if you run out of space, but there’s no way you can speed of the seek time of a drive.

  2. High-tech sound cards are a waste of money. Let me explain, I spend an average of 8 hours + a day at a computer working, most of the time I’m listening to music. I’ve had a chance to listen to music and sound produced by a variety of sound cards, new, old, high-tech, low-tech, on motherboard integrated and you know what I’ve noticed? Absolutely nothing. With the possible exception of the motherboard integrated sound card, it is virtually impossible to hear any noticeable difference in the sound quality from card to card. Sure there are some very small differences in quality, but considering how minute these are, it’s certainly not worth wasting money on. In most cases, you’ll be better off buying a slightly lower end sound card and buying a good set of speakers (4 point surround sound with a subwoofer). I happen to like the old Sound Blaster Live Value, it’s about 5 or 6 years old, but it still gives great sound with my Cambridge 4 point surround sound system.

  3. When choosing your CPU, get one that DOES NOT have an integrated fan. A fan is $10, a CPU is $150, and believe me, there’s nothing worst than having to through out a $150 CPU because a $10 fan broke.

  4. Also when choosing your CPU, I recommend that you check out the AMDs, in most cases, you’ll get more power for your buck with an AMD than with an Intel, Just be sure to get a good CPU fan and keep your case well ventilated, AMDs tend to run a little hot.

  5. The video card is often the big item in a high-end PC; it’s one of the most expensive items, but also one of the most important ones for a gamer. Here’s what I suggest, before you even look at the specs, before you even read up on the different cards, sit down and think about what YOU WANT in a card, not what you think would be cool, want you yourself want in your video card. If you really want to watch TV on your PC then buy a card that has a TV in plug, but don’t spend an extra $100 because you think a feature sounds cool.

  6. The screen is one of those items that depends on choice, some people like huge screens and don’t mind the bulge, others want to have flat screens because they have little, if any glare on them. Other still (like me) like using an LCD, they’re more expensive, but if you shop around and get a good deal they’re often worth it. Which ever type you want, make sure that you check out a working model at the store, stare at it for a few minutes and asks yourself, “Do I want to stare at this for hours on end?”

  7. Keyboard and mouse are also very important. There’s no question about it, get an optical mouse, they’re just better. Keyboards are a personal choice, some people like having shortcuts and doodads on they’re keyboards others don’t. I personally can’t stand them, I use an old windows keyboard with the windows start menu and contextual menu shortcut keys and nothing else. I’ve had to repair it 3 times to keep from having to buy a new one with all those damned buttons that I’ll never use, but maybe I’m just strange…

  8. Lastly we come to the item that I remind everyone not to forget when they assemble a PC. THE BLOODY FLOPPY DRIVE. You have no idea how many items people have asked me for help setting up a new PC and when I get there I suddenly realize that they don’t have a floppy drive because they never use it and don’t need one. I don’t care if it just sits there collecting dust, every good PC needs a floppy drive and one day, you’ll be sorry if you don’t have one.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents, it’s a quick overview of the important parts and I’ve probably forgotten tons of important stuff, but it should be enough to at least get your started.

A floppy drive is also important because if things go haywire and you need to reformat, startup discs, in my expierence, generally come in the form of floppys.

Well, once again this is based off australian prices, the PCI-E cards tend to be much cheaper for their level of power.

In Australia at the moment, a 9800XT 128MB is like $700AUD, while a X600XT 128MB is ~$340AUD.

Always get a AGP Video card before even considering a PCI one. The AGP port was created specifically for video, and will usually run faster. That and I’ve had nothing but trouble with PCI video cards.