I'm so behind the times... help me!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by agravlin, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. agravlin

    agravlin Bearer of Reason

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    I'm a poor college student, so because I haven't been able to afford it, I've been kind of out of the computer upgrade loop for a couple of years.

    Last time I bought new computer parts was when I bought my current desktop's Asus Motherboard (P4S800X), 2.8GHz P4, PC3200 RAM, Radeon 9600XT, and a 120 GB hard drive - when this stuff was nearly top-of-the-line back in maybe 2003/2004.

    Unfortunately because I'm so damn poor, I'm completely unaware of what the current top-of-the-line (or just above average) hardware specs are.

    Could someone tell me what is the best available hardware for each of these components, and then a semi-best one (as the 2.8 P4 was when 3.4 was the best), preferably with Intel, ATI, and ASUS components?

    Also, I don't know a thing about the multi-core stuff. I keep seeing "Dual-Core T5200 and T5500" and stuff like that. Does this mean they're 5.2GHz and 5.5GHz respectively? Also, I've seen "Dual-Core 1.8GHz" - does this mean that it's actually 1.8GHz of power, or is it two 1.8's, so equivalent in power to a 3.6GHz? This crap is confusing...

    What is "DDR2" when it comes to memory? There was only regular DDR last time I was shopping for upgrades.

    Do current motherboards allow more than two slots of physical memory? My Asus from a few years ago only takes two, and I'm hoping to buy 1GBx2, but in case that's no longer sufficient, I might have to go with 1GBx4.

    How large are game installations these days? Last time I was really able to afford any new games, they were usually around or under 1GB. Is this still the case, or do I need a massive hard drive now, like 500GB for larger installations?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    I think you'd be better off finding answers on Wikipedia. I have a BS in CompSci and I barely have a clue on half of this stuff.

    My advice is to get an iMac - keep an eye on their refurbished deals. Because they're Intel-based now, you can dualboot to Windows XP to run games, should you so desire. And you should get a discount since you're a student. But that's just one man's opinion.
     
  3. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I was going to say pretty much the same thing. This is all stuff I SHOULD know, but I just don't keep up.

    I wouldn't go so crazy as to recommend a mac, though. That's just nuts!
     
  4. agravlin

    agravlin Bearer of Reason

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    And I wouldn't be so crazy as to purchase an Apple product... ever. Sorry.
     
  5. cobra zartan

    cobra zartan Think's He's a Detective.

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    Intel and ati...ewwwww
     
  6. agravlin

    agravlin Bearer of Reason

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    Wow, thank you for that insightful, helpful reply.
     
  7. TheJacker

    TheJacker Banned

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    i just do graphics and repair not ipgrades sry i cant help

    hi im a mac and im a pc (lights mac on fire and makes toast)
     
  8. TheIncredibleHulk

    TheIncredibleHulk Find Gary Busey!

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    I hate when people call in and expect me to get them online with their MAC. I haven't touched one since I was in high school, and back then, it was an Apple II. I had one guy call in, he didn't know how to use the Mac himself, but expected me to know. Mac's need to just go away.....
     
  9. Metal Soldier

    Metal Soldier The Robot

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    Others can point out what's the best of the best, but right now Intel's Core 2 Duo cpu's and nVidia's GeForce 8XXX series cards are the top performers. Dual Core processors are basically just though, CPUs with 2 cores on one chip. They don't have the high clock speeds the P4's had toward the end of that line, but they out perform them and are 64 bit. As for DDR2, its similar to DDR, except its primary advantage is speed. As for harddrives, I'd say get at least a 300GB SATA drive. HDD prices are pretty reasonable these days. You can get 300GB under $100 pretty easily.
     
  10. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    My mobo's not nearly up-to-date and it's got four RAM slots. But apparently it flakes out and puts a cap on the RAM speed if you use them all. YMMV especially if you get an intel machine, mine's AMD.
     
  11. jedi prime1

    jedi prime1 Well-Known Member

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    You think thats bad, try a AMD 1.2 gig with 586 megs of ram, and only a 20 gig hd.
     
  12. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    Also, I love saying mobo. I don't know why. It's a very round, dark word. Brown like coffee with a very little cream. Mobo mobo mobo. hee hee hee

    (Note: I am neither stoned nor synaesthesic!)
     
  13. agravlin

    agravlin Bearer of Reason

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    How great are the dual-core benefits over a single core? Is it literally going to be twice as powerful as a single core at all times, or will it just use the second core to pick up some of the slack from the first?
     
  14. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    I think a lot of that depends on the software; there are plenty of designers who aren't taking advantage of the parallel processing offered by an n-core. (Neverwinter 2, I'm looking at you, hoss.)
     
  15. Metal Soldier

    Metal Soldier The Robot

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    Twice as powerful? No, but quite a bit. The biggest problem is just like Phy said, not enough developers have been taking advantage of it. However that's changing, plus Vista should help with that.
     
  16. agravlin

    agravlin Bearer of Reason

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    Oh yeah, that's something else I wanted to ask about...

    Vista Home Premium vs. Vista Ultimate? Can someone do a very quick comparison of the two so I know which one I need? Every article I read just shows like two or three features that don't seem like they'd lead to an extra price like that.
     
  17. cobra zartan

    cobra zartan Think's He's a Detective.

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    Ultimate pretty much has everything from each diff vista package where as home pre is like xp home but sexier. Honstly wait to upgrade quad cores will come down in price and by xmas 8 cores will be out.
     
  18. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Dude all those components are manufactured in like Japan, Taiwan and China. Are you sure you want to buy something from a country that isn't AMERICA, THE MOST AWESOME PLACE ON EARTH?

    To answer a question about game sizes, most games now are about the size of DVD, so around 4 gig. But some can be as small as 1 - 2 gigs, depending.
     
  19. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

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    All I can say is I can understand where you're coming from, as a fellow poor college student I can't afford frigging anything I want or need
     
  20. agravlin

    agravlin Bearer of Reason

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    Yeah, it sucks living in poverty just because you decided to get an education.
     

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