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 Computer equipment (ongoing?)

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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:13 pm

I'm in "need" of a new gaming rig. My only real option right now, financially speaking, is building from raw parts, or starting with a "bare-bones" and building up from there. Vader recently put a bunch of parts together, making a decent system from the sounds of it. I have been out of the loop for quite a while so I asked him for help, and he said later he would explain some of the new parts on here. Me being impatient, I started searching also, and I think I found a barebones that is kindof affordable (meaning maybe I can squeeze it before christmas, or for christmas, or maybe right after...ANYWAY...) and should play all the games I want to play. I told Vader I would post the link to the barebones, and he can advise what parts suck, which are great, and how upgradeable things will be later. I mention that because I keep looking and for extra $$$ I can double the hard drive, or add bluetooth, or get an 850w power supply...or, or or... Then I have to stop and remind myself this is a BAREBONES that I can probably afford soon, and as is it SHOULD do what I need, so I need to just be happy and shut up! Once it's up and running, THEN a little ways out I can maybe stick a second graphics card in, or add a second hard drive, or double the RAM (yes, the mobo is SLI/Crossfire ready Very Happy ).

I mention 'ongoing' in the subject because of this crap of being out of the loop. IF we can keep a running thread on tech we're seeing, we should be able to eventually have a road map of what a person should/could look for. And I titled it computer 'Equipment'.... Monitors, mobos, power supplies, cases, keyboards, joysticks, mice...oh hell yeah!!!

That said, let's start discussing how to build awesome rigs for little money down! cheers

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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:40 pm

Yes, this was a stupid way to do it, but I realized if I want to DISCUSS the tech of the equipment, there might be points to make about this or that. And I do in fact have some extra info on the graphics card this barebones kit comes with. First, the link:
barebones

Now if you scroll down, you see this kit has a Case, motherboard, processor, CPU fan, RAM, hard drive, graphics card, DVD burner (does anybody burn anymore?!) and power supply. Pretty much everything needed to run right out of the box. In fact, I think if you put it together and install an OS, I think it IS everything. Can't think of anything it's missing. Oh yeah... an OS would be nice, but Tigerdirect has Windows 7 Home Premium for under $100, and the local PC shop usually carries OEM operating systems for less than retail, so I have options.

BUT, that kind of processor SHOULD have some thermal paste on the heat sink. AND, I've skimmed the whole page several times and didn't see anything about "includes all cables to hook up the parts included." That would suck to get it in the mail and not be able to plug anything in!!!

Now, I don't know much about any of these parts... scratch that. I know what 8Gb of RAM does, I know a what a quad core is, I know...okay never mind. I don't know how this particular quad core benchmarks compared to the equivalent intel (like I give a crap about intel anyway). I don't know if the included heatsink/fan is the bare minimum, or a middle-o-the-road option. I don't know how fast of a processor will eventually squeeze into the mobo... which is all where I'm hoping Vader has some clues.

However, the graphics card... right away I got turned off because it only packs 512Mb of memory, when I know there's cards out there sporting 1 to 2 gbs. Again, gotta remind myself of the price tag. BUT, that 512Mb is DDR3, which is a bonus, AND the card has NVidia's 'CUDA' technology. Don't know much about that, but I do know the latest versions of Blender can use CUDA to increase performance and rendering times all around. SO... if I'm building a "cheap as possible" rig to play games AND do what I do, being able to enhance my Blending would be a big step up in my opinion. And the card could be upgraded later, or one could even just buy it a friend to sit in the next slot over and VROOOM!

Comments? Advice?

Oh, before I forget AGAIN... I wanted to list the games already out, and coming real soon, that I would want to run on this rig. I believe all should run with absolutely zero problems!

1. Skyrim
1a. Oblivion turned all the way up
2. Stalker series (grafx turned all the way UP to 11 for a change Very Happy )
3. Assassin's Creed 3
4. Dishonored
5. Mechwarrior Online
6. World of Tanks/Warplanes turned all the way UP
7. Deus Ex 3
8. Portal 2

That's all so far... I realize most of these can be had for the PS3, but I needs my mods, my mouse and keyboard... hells yeah!


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VaderXanth
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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:46 pm

I myself have fallen victim to the 'I want it now!' bug, but with my last build, I am happy that I waited for the items that I wanted.

I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but the list of games which you have there, I checked my system on 'Can I Run It'... I can. All well above the recommended requirements..

For a barebones system, it does look really good. However, that price seems a little low for a gaming system. If I were you, I'd look up each critical component individually and see how it stacks up with what you want to do with it.. In example, I'd google: 'MSI Geforce 8400 GS 512MB DDR3 Skyrim' to see if there were any disappointments. -Or- google: 'ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ Motherboard issues'....

The worst thing to have is something that promises you the world, just to have it shown from the eyes of a 3rd grader using a 64 pack of crayons....

Research is the key and it is VERY essential for a decent system.

Do-it-yourself projects are always cheaper if you have the know how to do it, which I do not doubt your skills here. Doing my rig, I saved $600-$800, pending on what site I went to, by doing it myself!
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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:53 pm

I hadn't thought of comparing parts to particular games (and forgot to mention the Witcher 2!!!), but the next step I was planning was digging into part specs. Along the lines of:

1. Mobo is SLI/Crossfire ready, comes with one graphics card. Can graphics card run SLI/crossfire?

2. How much 'bigger' of a graphics card can mobo handle in single/dual modes in case of future upgrades?

3. Will the 650w power supply run dual graphics cards, and a printer, and all wireless peripherals?

Things of that nature. I got burned twice now with having to get a whole new system from the mobo up because my mobos at the time couldn't take more RAM, and the next couldn't take a new graphics card (when I went from AGP to PCIe...bastards...)

Oh, and thanks for the ideas!!! Thumbs Up

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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Thu May 23, 2013 7:40 am

Most likeliest of existing topics, so here it goes...

Seems that there was a power surge of sorts going through our phone line this past Tuesday. Fried the router. Got a replacement for it yesterday, went through the install / set-up, and noted that the PC would not connect. I'm not talking about not getting an internet connection, but rather would not connect to the router. PC wouldn't connect, and the router itself, on the display panel that shows what's plugged in, wouldn't light up to show an ethernet cable was in use.

Turned everything off, rebooted, same thing. Plugged one of the boy's netbooks into the router, and the router acknowledged a cable was in use. Finished the set-up, and everything is fine, except for the PC.

Seems to me that whatever had fried the router also took out the ethernet connector (or whatever it's called) on the PC. Bloody hell.

So, I pose this. Seeing as how I have an old computer sitting in the basement, would it be possible for me to swap parts?
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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Thu May 23, 2013 10:03 pm

IF (get it? "Big if" Laughing ) you're ethernet port is on an expansion card, you could easily do the ol' switcheroo. However, MOST people have said connector on the motherboard, and unless they need serious expansion in the home network, they never get an expansion card. I suppose, depending on the age of your old system, it is possible it was pre-thernet (see what I did there?) on the motherboard. Yeah, check it! If it's a card that snaps into a slot on your motherboard you should be good to go!

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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Fri May 24, 2013 10:05 am

Old system is... umm... hell, I ordered it from your place when you and Margaret were living together, so it has to be at least 10 years old. No, scratch that, it's at least 13 - 14 years old.
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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Fri May 24, 2013 9:01 pm

Took the panel of the newer machine and gave it a good vacuuming. Noted the ethernet port and two USB ports shared one silver cube. Couldn't get the bastard out. So, just ran to Radio Shack and got a USB/ Ethernet adaptor. Bastards charged $30 for it! Online price checks show that it normally runs about $18 - $24.

Why so much? Freaking Apple logo stamped on it. "For Macbook use only". I asked the cashier guy if he had any that didn't have an Apple stamp, and he said no. Told him I suppose I'll have to get it anyway... to which he asked if I had an Apple product.

"Nope, going on a desktop PC."

"But sir, this says it'll only work on a Macbook."

"Yep, it does, but all it is is a plastic housing for the ethernet so it can plug into a USB port. Their universal."

"Uhh... I don't know about that."

"Besides," I continued, "if it doesn't work, I'll just return it."

...

Typing this up from my desktop PC. Remember when Radio Shack had employees that knew about computers and electronics? Hell, remember when Radio Shack had more than just shelves of freakin' iPhone cases and accessories? Where are the modeling circuit boards, the crystal radio sets? The programmable robotic arms? I used to love going to Radio Shack, bought motors and magnets and wiring and light sensors and and and... but now? Now I got some pimply faced kid playing on his damn phone giving me a funny look because I want a kit, and not the latest in Apple slave devices.
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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:46 am

@soothsayer wrote:
Noted the ethernet port and two USB ports shared one silver cube.  Couldn't get the bastard out.
Just re-read this again tonight.... Shocked Were you talking about.. wait.... Shocked  nevermind....


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PostSubject: Re: Computer equipment (ongoing?)   Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:54 am

Radio Shack now has more kits then when Sooth posted his last post in this thread. More notable to check out would be the RaspberryPi and Arduino kits. Lots of fun things to do from creating an entertainment server to a NES/SNES emulator to many more things. I have many books upon the Pi and Arduino which if you wished to look through, I'd be more than happy to drop off a flash at work for you.
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