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View Full Version : Performance PC ? Waste of money ?



parkinrg
May 26th, 2009, 08:29 PM
Hi
Its time for me to build a new PC , and like a lot of people (mainly men I guess ) I feel drawn to to higher performance components . It just wouldn't feel right building a low or average performance machine. I guess its the same with cars , we like big numbers !
I notice a lot of people that post on Ubuntu forums have fairly powerful machines , by my standards anyway.
I am not talking huge performance , maybe Intel 2.6GHz cpu , Nvidia GTS250 graphics card 4g ram.

What do you think , am I wasting my money when I will only use Ubuntu ?
Go on give a good reason to build a decent PC

SuperSonic4
May 26th, 2009, 08:34 PM
Futureproofing

Audio/Video editing uses a lot of ram
making dvds in DeVeDe uses a lot of cpu

Whilst using Kopete, Firefox, Dolphin and Amarok in Arch with KDEmod I'm using about 1GiB of RAM which means 3GiB free.

Note that if you want 4GiB RAM get a 64bit OS. 64 bit support in Linux is excellent - only wine causes issues imo. You may want to check if your nvidia card is supported by nvidia too

Gucko
May 26th, 2009, 08:35 PM
Why do you need a decent PC? That's the question dude.

stefangr1
May 26th, 2009, 08:36 PM
What CPU do you mean by Intel 2.6Ghz? A powerfull pc would be a core i7, which starts at 2.66Ghz. I believe the gtx250 is not a very good choice as it is a rebranded GTX9800 or something, the gtx260 is of the new generation and much more powerfull.

I think a lot of people here spend a lot of time at their computers, so I imagine thats why they're comfortable with spending a little more on their systems. I would say you should really base your decission on your specific needs. More RAM is always better, but if you're doing graphics or virtualization you might as well get a lot of it. A fast GPU is not always usefull, on the other hand, but it is for gaming when you want to use cuda.

lisati
May 26th, 2009, 08:40 PM
Why do you need a decent PC? That's the question dude.

I concur: having a good idea of the main thing you'll be using the computer for can help steer your focus on what kinds of bells and whistles to focus on when choosing the specs. My old Win98SE machine was good enough doing stuff like dial-up, casual surfing, email, the occasional bit of word-processing, but once I got interested in video editing and DVD authoring, things like memory, cpu speed and disk storage capacity became more important than they had been.

rob2uk
May 26th, 2009, 08:41 PM
My advice is usually to work out how much you can afford to spend on your new PC, and then build the best machine you can for that amount, even if it gets you a higher spec machine than you think you need.

As SuperSonic4 said... futureproofing.

Works out cheaper in the long run than realising 2 years down the line that your PC isn't up to scratch any more and having to build yet a new machine

Yashiro
May 26th, 2009, 08:42 PM
If you just use Linux then you'd be better off building a computer that's small, meets your needs but uses as little power as possible.

High power, high cost machines are generally for specific needs or cutting edge gaming.

As for future proofing, it's humbug. A high power PC de-valuates very quickly. In order to keep at the level you have become accustomed you will have to upgrade within two years anyway. Or accept you're falling behind. Time your purchases well and take advantage of sales.

Again, build a computer that meets your needs. You wouldn't buy a Ferrari to do the weekly shopping.

MJWitter
May 26th, 2009, 08:43 PM
I built a pretty decent pc last year, but have realised that, now that I am not playing games in windows(not this year at least), buying a really good graphics card seems to be a bit of a waste, as all it is being used for is Compiz..

rob2uk
May 26th, 2009, 08:43 PM
High power, high cost machines are generally for specific needs or cutting edge gaming.

But last longer without needing upgrades or replacement...

LowSky
May 26th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Well it kinda matter on what you need, for me I needed a multi-core processor and 4GB of RAM, because I use my PC to do normal day to day and to encode video and as a media PC, more cores mean that I can do more at the same time. But on the same side I purchased a lower end motherboard and graphics card because gaming and ports are not a big a big consern. I dd spend alot on my case and mouse and keyboard, but that is because I wanted quality components. The case can be reused and the mouse and keyboard are for comfort.

Personally If you need a machine to web surf, word process and maybe an occasional video/game then spending more than $600USD is crazy.

off the top of my head here is what I think I spent, prices are now much lower so bear in mind, also many parts get reused from build to build, why buy a new power supply or DVD drive if the old ones will work in the new system, right?

$190 - AMD Phenom 9950 Processor
$80 - 4GB Ram
$100 - 750 GB Hard Drive
$180 - Lian-Li Case (reused from old build)
$70 - Power Supply (reused from old build)
$150 - Nvidia 8600 GT (reused from old build)
$25 - DVD-RW drive (reused from old build)
$80 - Motherboard
$150 - TV capture Card
$50 - Mouse
$65 - Keyboard
$40 - Case Fans -- like 4 or 5 of them

total $1180, and thats a PC made up of parts spanning almost 3 years

stefangr1
May 26th, 2009, 08:55 PM
If you just use Linux then you'd be better off building a computer that's small, meets your needs but uses as little power as possible.

High power, high cost machines are generally for specific needs or cutting edge gaming.


I don't entirely agree here... As the first poster said, it's like buying a car. A $2000 second hand will do the job fine, but I don't know a lot of people who come up with that when asked which cars they like. I mean, in western countries it's not really about what you "need" but more on luxury things you "want".

I usually buy computers that are a little faster than what I really "need", mostly because the price difference between a basic computer and one that's really nice (admittedly, this depends on your standards) isn't that big in absolute terms. So I don't see why not to buy a fast system, especially if you are going to spend a lot of time on it and can afford it.

Gucko
May 26th, 2009, 08:56 PM
I built a pretty decent pc last year, but have realised that, now that I am not playing games in windows(not this year at least), buying a really good graphics card seems to be a bit of a waste, as all it is being used for is Compiz..

+1...That what was going to happen with me....but finally I saved my self and my money :)

Most people when plan to buy a new PC think that they are going to do lots of gaming and heavy stuff. Those people just fool themselves. The best thing to do is to ask your self: Why do I need the new computer MAINLY?

Look I'm a computer engineering student and spend 90% of my time on my computer. These are my specs:
2.4 Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 8500GT 512 VRAM nVidia. My pc cost me about $300. I was going to waste about $800 for more decent stuff, but finally I realised what I REALLY need.

Gucko
May 26th, 2009, 08:58 PM
If you can afford it...then I can tell you GO AND BUY IT IMMEDIATELY

It's not wrong to have some luxury man :)!

CharmyBee
May 26th, 2009, 11:42 PM
But last longer without needing upgrades or replacement...

Until the next FancyFeature(tm) comes out that new games use suddenly forcing the players to upgrade. (Like "Pixel shader 3")

I'm very happy and content with a dual core and 2GB of RAM. I don't feel any need for anything more than that.

Be careful of fanboy suggestions though. Some believe a few numbers less than another part in a synthetic benchmark is a significant loss and must avoid regardless of differing price.

mamamia88
May 26th, 2009, 11:46 PM
i say you don't need the highest performance pc but at least choose the best quality components for your budget and needs.

doas777
May 27th, 2009, 12:06 AM
Hi
Its time for me to build a new PC , and like a lot of people (mainly men I guess ) I feel drawn to to higher performance components . It just wouldn't feel right building a low or average performance machine. I guess its the same with cars , we like big numbers !
I notice a lot of people that post on Ubuntu forums have fairly powerful machines , by my standards anyway.
I am not talking huge performance , maybe Intel 2.6GHz cpu , Nvidia GTS250 graphics card 4g ram.

What do you think , am I wasting my money when I will only use Ubuntu ?
Go on give a good reason to build a decent PC

your specs there will do you well, but make sure not to skimp on the proc or mobo. get decent quality parts, rather than focusing on benchmarks/GHZs. also remember the GHZ is not really the best metric for proc performance anymore, so be sure to do a little homework. PSUs are also important not to skimp on, as a bad PSU can fry all your other parts given half a chance.

I would price that upgrade at 5-600$ for internals, and whatever you want for case and fans.

if you start out with good parts, you will avoid a number of tiny annoyances. a buggy motherboard is the worst thing ever. time consuming to isolate, and expensive to correct.

good luck!

doas777
May 27th, 2009, 12:07 AM
i say you don't need the highest performance pc but at least choose the best quality components for your budget and needs.
beat me to it. cheers

pwnst*r
May 27th, 2009, 12:08 AM
Hi
Its time for me to build a new PC , and like a lot of people (mainly men I guess ) I feel drawn to to higher performance components . It just wouldn't feel right building a low or average performance machine. I guess its the same with cars , we like big numbers !
I notice a lot of people that post on Ubuntu forums have fairly powerful machines , by my standards anyway.
I am not talking huge performance , maybe Intel 2.6GHz cpu , Nvidia GTS250 graphics card 4g ram.

What do you think , am I wasting my money when I will only use Ubuntu ?
Go on give a good reason to build a decent PC

to be honest, it seems quite a few members just can't afford a newer spec pc. i mean, really, 512MB of RAM? as cheap as RAM is, they must really be hurting for $.

i say get the most spec your dollars can muster while keeping in mind compatibility with ubuntu (or whatever distro you choose)

mips
May 27th, 2009, 12:47 AM
to be honest, it seems quite a few members just can't afford a newer spec pc. i mean, really, 512MB of RAM? as cheap as RAM is, they must really be hurting for $.

i say get the most spec your dollars can muster while keeping in mind compatibility with ubuntu (or whatever distro you choose)


Not everyone lives in first world countries. Most people in the world are struggling to feed themselves, never mind buying computers.

Mehall
May 27th, 2009, 12:59 AM
Not everyone lives in first world countries. Most people in the world are struggling to feed themselves, never mind buying computers.

Or we're students. Working part time. Paying bills. having social lives, etc, etc, etc. There are a lot of factors.

If I had the cash, I'd upgrade the ram in my old desktop, but if I had the cash, I'd also save up for a PS3, or get a PSP and softmod that biotch with Linux.

As it stands, I have parents who pay all the bill,s I just have to give them a bit of money, and I also need travel pass, and that's STILL a good third of my wage, and I then need money for food most days, money for any social events, money to buy any games or anything if I want them, money to pay back overdraft, money to pay back money I owe into another account of mine, etc, etc, etc.

monsterstack
May 27th, 2009, 01:50 AM
Not everyone lives in first world countries. Most people in the world are struggling to feed themselves, never mind buying computers.

Or we're students. Working part time. Paying bills. having social lives, etc, etc, etc. There are a lot of factors.

If I had the cash, I'd upgrade the ram in my old desktop, but if I had the cash, I'd also save up for a PS3, or get a PSP and softmod that biotch with Linux.

As it stands, I have parents who pay all the bill,s I just have to give them a bit of money, and I also need travel pass, and that's STILL a good third of my wage, and I then need money for food most days, money for any social events, money to buy any games or anything if I want them, money to pay back overdraft, money to pay back money I owe into another account of mine, etc, etc, etc.

Those are valid come-backs for the brainless original post. But I think the original intention was to imply that forum members are cheapskates and spongers, not genuinely disadvantaged members of society.

khelben1979
May 27th, 2009, 02:11 AM
I notice a lot of people that post on Ubuntu forums have fairly powerful machines , by my standards anyway.

Look at my signature what I've got! ( get ready to be impressed! :D ) It's not even a PC and who says you need one. :)

pwnst*r
May 27th, 2009, 03:12 AM
Not everyone lives in first world countries. Most people in the world are struggling to feed themselves, never mind buying computers.

give me a break. that has nothing to do with members here. if they're struggling to feed themselves, they surely wouldn't be wasting money on internet access.

Regenweald
May 27th, 2009, 03:15 AM
Those are valid come-backs for the brainless original post. But I think the original intention was to imply that forum members are cheapskates and spongers, not genuinely disadvantaged members of society.

It was still an immature comment to make. These are international forums, all walks of life commune here and all our pocketbooks are not created equal. Some members don't have mommy and daddy indulging our every need.

As to the OP, I think you should start at Newegg, on this page :)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000340343%2050001028&name=AMD

and work your way outwards...Sixty-Seventy dollars still buys a black edition :)

arsenic23
May 27th, 2009, 03:25 AM
I think all of the 'Oh, if you are only using linux...' posts are a little offputting. I have no more need for a high-end PC if I'm runnning Windows then if I'm using linux. The only thing I might choose differently would be the video card.

doas777
May 27th, 2009, 03:32 AM
I think all of the 'Oh, if you are only using linux...' posts are a little offputting. I have no more need for a high-end PC if I'm runnning Windows then if I'm using linux. The only thing I might choose differently would be the video card.

agreed. though i'm not sure I'm ambitious enough to try raid-0 or SLI in linux for the first time.

Bios Element
May 27th, 2009, 03:38 AM
It was still an immature comment to make. These are international forums, all walks of life commune here and all our pocketbooks are not created equal. Some members don't have mommy and daddy indulging our every need.

*most. Though it'd be nice...

Xbehave
May 27th, 2009, 03:43 AM
My advice

spend a little more on a mobo (4 ram slots) & case ( thick to keep noise in)
But cut back on easily upgradable stuff (HDD, ram), overtime you get more HDD/ram for your buck, so only buy what you need and upgrade when you need more
So that you get a powerful CPU & GPU (these are harder to upgrade

monsterstack
May 27th, 2009, 03:47 AM
My advice

spend a little more on a mobo (4 ram slots) & case ( thick to keep noise in)
But cut back on easily upgradable stuff (HDD, ram), overtime you get more HDD/ram for your buck, so only buy what you need and upgrade when you need more
So that you get a powerful CPU & GPU (these are harder to upgrade


+1.

Although then you might run the risk of fretting about when to buy your next hard disk. I flip-flopped for a while. The thought, "But if I wait a couple more months, they will be even bigger!" was nagging me right up till I actually went and bought one.

arsenic23
May 27th, 2009, 03:52 AM
agreed. though i'm not sure I'm ambitious enough to try raid-0 or SLI in linux for the first time.

I've always thought of (software) raid and SLI as kinda gimicks.

Really though, I've never seen how anyone could spend more then $600 dollars on a PC tower. $600 will buy a fairly powerfull machine if you shop smartly.

pwnst*r
May 27th, 2009, 03:52 AM
ISome members don't have mommy and daddy indulging our every need.



l.o.l.

aschwerin.moses
May 27th, 2009, 05:49 AM
I recently built a system for myself.. cost me Rs 20000, that should be around $400

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L
Processor: E7400
Video Card: NVidia 8600GT
HDD: Seagate 320GB
Power Supply: 450W

used my old DVD drive, keyboard and mouse...

the Motherboard is a stable one, can over clock a bit but not much.. the processor is decent enought, the video card is very good, i can play crysis if i want to..what else u need.. and the best part for me atleast is.. this combination is compatible with Ubuntu and Machintosh ... what else do i need.. i can play games with decent resolution, can watch HD movies if i ever do.. can install the latest OS.. Decent enough for me..

Yashiro
May 27th, 2009, 09:51 AM
I think all of the 'Oh, if you are only using linux...' posts are a little offputting. I have no more need for a high-end PC if I'm runnning Windows then if I'm using linux. The only thing I might choose differently would be the video card.
You do need one if you're playing games. Which means you will be using windows.
It would be idiotic to build a high power PC to play games on Linux.

parkinrg
May 27th, 2009, 01:39 PM
The header for this forum says

The Community Cafe
The Community Chat area is for lighthearted and enjoyable discussions
Which is what I inded this to be
Sorry if I have upset anyone

doas777
May 27th, 2009, 02:33 PM
The header for this forum says

Which is what I inded this to be
Sorry if I have upset anyone


nah man. don't worry about the trolls, or whatever. your thread is pertinent.

automaton26
May 27th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Go on give a good reason to build a decent PC

If you don't have a good reason, you don't need a decent PC.

The often-quoted "future-proofing" reason does not make any sense at all. Because components are exponentially expensive, it's always cheaper over time to just buy the minimum spec you can stand, and then upgrade more frequently.

A pretend example:

6 years running a current top-end 5Ghz @ $8000.
3 years running a current bottom-end 2Ghz @ $2000,
and then 3 years running a then bottom-end 5Ghz @ $2000.

So you spend about half as much overall, and only have to make do with a slower machine for half the time. Although it doesn't make as much environmental sense, of course.

The same applies to games - you can buy 2 or 3-year-old games for $10 and run them on today's bottom-end hardware, with all the graphical effects on full. You can save loads of money, by not caring whether you're at the bleeding-edge of technology.

And, yes, I am a miser ;)

hyperdude111
May 27th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Futureproofing

Audio/Video editing uses a lot of ram
making dvds in DeVeDe uses a lot of cpu

Whilst using Kopete, Firefox, Dolphin and Amarok in Arch with KDEmod I'm using about 1GiB of RAM which means 3GiB free.

Note that if you want 4GiB RAM get a 64bit OS. 64 bit support in Linux is excellent - only wine causes issues imo. You may want to check if your nvidia card is supported by nvidia too

I have 64bit ubuntu and have never had any probs with wine

Dimitriid
May 27th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Performance PC is not married to Expensive PC. For example I am buying a sub $500 system that will basically play most modern pc games at reasonable resolution and detail:

Athlon 64 x2 7700
Nvidia a9600 GT
2 gb of ram

The only game I expect to have sluggish performance with is the PC version of GTA IV but I think I might be able to lower the detail and draw distance to make it playable.

This mobo can upgrade to a phenom II and better video which I plan on doing in about a year and a half or so just to keep up with the newest then.

The trick is that you don't really need to play at 1900++ resolutions with 8x AA and AF enabled: Most games I play look good enough at my native resolution ( 1360 x 768 ) on medium detail with no AA or AF. Plus this is the latest games 2008-2009, this machine should play a ton of games released this decade and the last: I still replay games like Unreal Tournament 2004 on a regular basis and it just flies on a machine like this.

billgoldberg
May 27th, 2009, 03:47 PM
It was still an immature comment to make. These are international forums, all walks of life commune here and all our pocketbooks are not created equal. Some members don't have mommy and daddy indulging our every need.


Why should we keep quit because others don't have as much?

mips
May 27th, 2009, 09:56 PM
give me a break. that has nothing to do with members here. if they're struggling to feed themselves, they surely wouldn't be wasting money on internet access.

Internet cafes help a lot for poorer people to gain access to the net. I suppose I'm wasting my breath here and will stop now.

doas777
May 27th, 2009, 09:58 PM
Internet cafes help a lot for poorer people to gain access to the net. I suppose I'm wasting my breath here and will stop now.

your point is pertinent, but so is pawnsters, in that you can't expect decent performance outta old hardware.

your both right, and theres no point picking a fight about it. all that could have been done differantly is PC phrasing, and to be honest, if being PC is all that matters, we might as well not even converse.

pwnst*r
May 27th, 2009, 10:01 PM
Internet cafes help a lot for poorer people to gain access to the net. I suppose I'm wasting my breath here and will stop now.

..and i totally agree with that. i'm not trying to start an argument, but you really can't expect each new release of Ubuntu to perform the same on someone with a very low end PC.

mips
May 27th, 2009, 10:08 PM
..and i totally agree with that. i'm not trying to start an argument, but you really can't expect each new release of Ubuntu to perform the same on someone with a very low end PC.

I never said that. All I said is that most people out there cannot afford to do this. I'll shut up now.

pwnst*r
May 27th, 2009, 10:13 PM
i didn't mean you necessarily. those who actually have... ah, nevermind.