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Thinking of getting a new rig

 
 
Crunchie Cat
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Wales
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      13th Aug 2012
My trusty rig, (from PC Specialist, custom-built) has now just entered it's 6th year, so unsurprisingly, it's slowing down a bit. It still crunches 24/7 and recent forrays into Guild Wars 2 has shown that it can still perform adequately. Do you sense a "but" coming...? BUT, when I close GW2, everything grinds to a halt and is slow to "recover."

Also - a tad worryingly, I got this message when I opened GW2's client to update it this morning. "We've detected that your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements. Continuing to play may result in side effects, such as reduced client performance, visual artifacts, and crashes. Please refer to our support forums for minimum system requirements." I've re-checked and it is within the minimum requirement parameters set out on the GW2 website... but there's a disclaimer which says "Note: Due to potential changes, system requirements may change over time and you may be required to upgrade your current system (or obtain a new system) to continue to play the game." So perhaps that's happened....

Anyway, I realise I could probably poke about and perform a RAM-ectomy or even reinstall Vista (yes, I did say Vista, lol) But it's still only 32-bit, so fairly major (for me that-is) upgrades would be needed, to bring it more up-to-date and inject a bit of oomph!

.....I've also been saving-up and quite fancy getting a new one.

So cutting to the chase, I'm basically seeking opinions on this build please. Is anything glaringly "wrong" that I've not noticed? I will be using it for games (such as, GW2, Assassin's Creed II, Elder Scrolls,) music storage, photos, crunching, etc.

If you notice, it has a SSD Hard Drive, plus a SATA HD, which, as I understand it, will speed-up not only booting-up, but regularly accessed programmes, etc.


Processor Description : Intel Core i7 3770 Processor

Cache : 8MB
......
Clockspeed : 3.40Ghz

Manufacturer : Intel

No. of Cores : 4

Memory Description : 2 X 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Memory

Speed : 1333Mhz

Harddrive Description : 1TB 3.5" 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

Description : 128GB SSD Hard Drive

Interface : SATA

Interface : SATA Case

Description : Novatech ATX Gaming Case

Colour : Black & Silver

Dimensions : 200(w) x 440(d) x 430(h)mm

Drive Bays 3 1/2" : 6

Drive Bays 5 1/4" : 4

Optical Drives Description : 22x DVD Writer

Interface : SATA

Graphics Description : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 TI 1024MB Graphics Card

Motherboard Form Factor : ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 21.5cm

CPU Support : Support for Intel Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/ Intel Core i3 processors/Intel Pentium processors/Intel Celeron processors in the LGA1155 package

Chipset : Intel Z77 Express Chipset

Audio : Realtek ALC887 codec

IO : 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x HDMI port
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
1 x RJ-45 port
3 x audio jacks (Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

LAN : Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Socket Type : LGA 1155

USB : Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

RAID : Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

SATA Ports : 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
3 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2/3/4) supporting up to 3 SATA 3Gb/s devices

PCI : 2

PCI-EX : 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
2 x PCI Express x1 slots

Max FSB : DDR3 2400(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules

Memory Slots : 4

Max Memory Capacity : 32GB

Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium (plus disc.)

It's tempting to return to PC Specialist, as I've had no cause to complain about my current PC. But on the other hand, Novatech are just a few miles away and when I compare builds, Novatech seem to offer slightly more more bang-for-your-buck. (Also, we have another PC of identical age to this one, purchased from Novatech - absolutely no complaints about that either.... and still working well.)

Sorry this is so long... but thank you for reading.
 
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Crunchie Cat
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      13th Aug 2012
Blunder alert! Sorry all, I thought I was posting this in the "General" thread...
 
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Captain Crunchie, Retired
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      13th Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taffycat View Post
Blunder alert! Sorry all, I thought I was posting this in the "General" thread...
cordially moved.


I like, but I would like to know who makes the motherboard.

I haven't any personal knowledge if whether a SDD HD is really worth it, so I personally have stuck with what I know.

Make sure you use [edit: Win7] 64bit OS.

 

I am the dreadful menace. The one whose will is done. The haunting chill upon your neck. I am the Conundrum.
 
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      13th Aug 2012
Personally I am dubious about SDD cards as I understand they can fail without notice. The plus side is the boot time is very fast.
 
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Crunchie Cat
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      13th Aug 2012
Thank you for moving the thread Mucks, appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muckshifter
I like, but I would like to know who makes the motherboard.

I haven't any personal knowledge if whether a SDD HD is really worth it, so I personally have stuck with what I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootneck02
Personally I am dubious about SDD cards as I understand they can fail without notice. The plus side is the boot time is very fast.
Ooh-er... perhaps a bit more research is needed on the SSD.

Perhaps I could ask Novatech about the motherboard.

Thanks for your observations
 
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Cookie Monster
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      14th Aug 2012
Nothing wrong with SSD's, there are one of the best upgrade for any PC.

Why don't you have a go at building yourself? Its easy enough, plenty of people to help here!

 
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sugar 'n spikes
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      14th Aug 2012
Any component can fail without notice. Lots of people here are using SSD's as their primary disk, ask anybody here if their SSD has 'failed without notice' Then ask anybody here if they've ever had a mechanical HDD fail on them...... I suppose you could argue that if you really want notice that a hard disk is failing then the mechanical disk will be your choice as it usually gives out lots of noises before keeling over and dying whereas an SSD will probably just fail, silently. Is that any reason to influence choice?

But imo it's a mute point and smacks of a Luddite tendency. Again, imo, an SSD is the way to go. An SSD has no moving parts and a mechanical HDD is a mechanical device. Now, which, when you think about it, is most likely to fail?

An SSD won't last forever, there's only so many times you can change the state of silicon between 0 & 1, but I reckon an SSD will usually outlive a mechanical HDD though tbh they haven't been in widespread use long enough yet for solid comparisons to be made.

An SSD is faster than a mechanical disk, I'm using a Corsair 128Gb for Win 7 64 Bit and it compares favourably with the pair of Western Digital 150Gb Velociraptors in a RAID 0 I was using previously. My observation is the SSD may just have the edge on that combo but it's a close thing. I haven't made benchmarks so can't prove for certain.

Now then, the system you have chosen is an excellent machine for your requirements but look to upgrading the graphics card in a year or two's time. And as Mucks said, find out the make and model of the motherboard. Also find out make & model of PSU, I notice it's not listed there, that's a bit of a glaring omission imo, as well as not knowing make and model, we don't know how much power is powering that combination of parts.

If the games you play are going to number no more than around ten, then a 1Tb storage HDD is fine. If you're figuring on storing more games, music, photos, lots of documents, then consider a 2Tb disk, Novatech will 'upgrade' to that in their spec for you, it shouldn't cost a lot more.

Finally, your whole upgrade - imo - is almost a complete waste of time if you stick with Vista. Vista is absolute tosh and slower than a snail wearing weliies wading through a sea of treacle. I know this as I'm still using Vista for my media machine, where for me speed is not so important, just selecting music and films.Ditch it and get yourself a 64 Bit copy of Win 7 Home Premium. When last I looked an OEM version was selling for around 70 but Novatech may supply cheaper with their options for 'upgrading' one of their machines.

Not worth spoiling the ship for a happorth of tar as they say EDIT! Ignore last paragraph - just noticed Win 7 supplied with Novatech machine - me bad

I will also comment that despite your positive experience with PC Specialist my own observations show that they have had many more complaints than Novatech, I'd stick with a company that has a pretty flawless record of service. Not perfect, but no one company is, but better than PC Specialist.

 
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Captain Crunchie, Retired
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      14th Aug 2012
I'm no Luddite, and while I appreciate the fact that comment wasn't aimed at anyone in particular, I did my own research however, not bothering with an SSD is my choice based on my interpretations of real-world finding.

Ask which SSD drive they gonna fit, SATA 6G will help. They are NOT all equal.

My SATA 3 system boots in 22secs.

YMMV

 

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sugar 'n spikes
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      14th Aug 2012
Yes, 'Luddite' wasn't aimed at anybody in particular. I did think to myself though that one throwaway comment appearing on the 'net or elsewhere can take root as a given, sometimes that's dangerous.

I only ever comment based on my own experience and what I've read and when it's something I've read as far as possible have seen to be proved. If it's a view I'm expressing not based on facts then I will say so.

And yes, SSD's do vary, the transfer rates are always worth noting, something I wish I'd realised when I bought my own SSD though I was lucky, mine has favourable rates, more by luck than judgement though.

SSD prices have also fallen a great deal in the last twelve months, now worth considering 250Gb for primary drive.

YMMV = 'Your mileage may vary'

I had to look that one up, which possibly makes me a Luddite

 
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Crunchie Cat
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      14th Aug 2012
Many thanks for all the helpful replies - I appreciate them very much.

Okay, so returning to the site, with the intention of making contact... I took another look at specs, etc.

The next build up from the one I've mentioned above, comes with these "upgrades" ....unless you guys think otherwise, that is.

Intel Core i7 3770K Processor - Gigabyte Z77 Motherboard - 16GB DDR3 Memory - 2TB 6GB/s Drives - 128GB SSD - NVIDIA GTX 670 Graphics

Is that graphics card better than the previously mentioned NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 TI 1024MB? I'm sorry if that sounds dumb, but sometimes the "lower numbers" seem to be considered better.... I find it a tad confusing tbh.

Another difference is that the Processor - although the same i7 3770K as the first one... has a 6 MB cache, instead of an 8 MB cache..... is that small discrepancy of much importance, do you think?

As you can see, the PSU is Novatech branded. I don't know how well these are regarded generally... but I purchased their 750W unit a couple of years ago, when my Vista rig suffered a power-failure. Our other PC (which still runs XP Pro...) is a Novatech, still with its original Novatech PSU (only 350 W if memory serves). This is now going into its 6th year too. Granted, it's not used for gaming... but it runs 24/7 to crunch, and gets a lot of daily use from OH.

Regarding the SSD.... I read somewhere, that when both SSD and a conventional HDD are installed, they are BOTH seen as a C: drive by the PC. That sounds pleasantly non-confusing if it's correct...(?)

@ Reefsmoka - I'd genuinely like to try a self-build, it would certainly be saving a few moths from becoming homeless (as I eject them from my wallet, lol.) But right now, I'd be biting off a little more than I could chew. (Still waiting for a hospital appointment to have my eye problem checked-out, for one thing.)

Hope I've not given you all a headache, lol.
 
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