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Author Topic: My Planned First Build  (Read 12750 times)

Offline Fennecfox

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My Planned First Build
« on: April 19, 2010, 05:55:22 PM »
Well, I am getting close to ordering things, but I wanted to see what you guys think  :).  My budget is about $500

I wasn't sure if you were the best crowd to show since Descent 3 doesn't require much hardware.  Descent is actually the most intensive game I've played, ;) but I do plan on trying out these nice looking games.



Case: NZXT Beta EVO Classic Mid-Tower*
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 555 3.2Ghz Black Edition*
Ram: OCZ Obsidian 4GB ddr3
Motherboard: MSI 785 GM-E51
Graphics Card: XFX Radeon HD 4770
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB
Power Supply: Antec BP550 Plus 550W PSU


*I already got the Case and Processor.

I plan on attempting to unlock any cores in my processor if I get lucky, hopefully the motherboard will do.  

The ram has bad reviews for not working with certain motherboards, but I think I will take the risk with its price and 4 gigs would be nice.  I'll just send it back if it doesn't work =/

I'm going to use an old CRT monitor and keyboard from my dad's basement that I cleaned off (until I find more money).  He has over 6 monitors as he didn't realize buying a new computer is not always necessary if something happens to it  :D.

If you want pics I guess I could update with some...

So what do you guys think? ;D


Edit: Whoops, I just realized I included the OS, unfortunately thats not included in my $500 =P

Windows 7 Home Edition 64-bit (sorry Techpro  ;))


« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 03:59:08 PM by Fennecfox »

Offline Ronin RedFox

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 06:54:19 PM »
I dont really know much about building computers, but im going to build one pretty soon. My budget is 600$. About the same as yours.  :) So if people really like this, i might make something similar. But dang, 4 GB ram is alot. Nice.  :)
http://www.odf-online.org/ Home to Flight Back, D321GO!, and other Descent related projects, all open source!

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 09:03:29 AM »
Awesome! I'd just like to point out one thing:

I've had a heck of a time with my MSI board. I purchased an Intel board LGA775 for my P4HT machine and I'm currently undergoing my second RMA for a board that does not have a lava-hot northbridge chipset (200 degrees F +). However, I've had other MSI parts before that I've never had a problem out of (including an ATI Radeon 7500 Pro that lasted 8 years).

Otherwise, looks like a good build. I really recommend Intel over AMD (I loved AMD until they acquired ATI), but it sounds like it's a pretty good deal from what you're saying.  ;)
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Matthew

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 12:31:48 PM »
I'm not sure how good that card is, my ATI-speak is a bit rusty (IE non-existant), but I'm curious... Where the heck did you find all that for 500$? Just looking at a new mobo, RAM, and processor I was looking at into the $300s.

Offline Fennecfox

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 03:34:28 PM »
Ehhh, your right this isn't a 500 build.  Well I am using Newegg, and the good discounts fell a bit.  So this is $600 and $548 after rebate.  I don't know what happend to my math before. =/ 

I didn't mention that I got the processor for my birthday  :)

I recall it being 475 before... weird.

Offline Matthew

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 04:59:47 PM »
Ah, that would certainly lower the price a fair bit. I got my GPU and PSU for my birthday. Which leaves only a mobo, RAM, and CPU for the rest of my build. I don't really care about the disc drive or HDD, so I'm not including those...

I'd say what you're getting should be adequate for an average gamer. I wouldn't expect to run new games on max, but medium should certainly be doable.

EDIT: Oh and take it from me, Darc, 4GB doesn't go as far as you'd think. I have 3GB and I run into RAM issues on a daily basis playing Supreme Commander. Granted that's just a few steps above D3 on the intensiveness scale :P
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 05:02:42 PM by Matthew »

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 05:45:04 PM »
The amount of RAM is completely secondary to a number of other factors, including the speed of the RAM, speed and cache of the CPU, speed and number of pipelines and shaders (and presence of) a GPU, the amount and speed of VRAM, etc. 3GB of RAM is plenty enough for nearly any application, unless you're really wanting to crank graphics up or do hardcore audio/visual stuff, or if something is getting hosed in the CPU really good, as would happen if running games on integrated graphics.
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline TechPro

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 06:02:41 PM »
However, the amount of RAM can be an important factor, especially when considering what OS you're running.

I seem to remember you originally saying you were going to run Windows 7 64bit.  If you're running 64bit, I recommend no less than 4 GB RAM, simply because that's the point where it really starts becoming worthwhile to run a 64bit OS.  Your 64bit OS only starts giving real noticeable gains when you get over the 3 GB RAM 'barrier' that 32bit OS versions are pretty much limited to.  There are other reasons to run a 64bit OS even without 4 GB RAM, but those reasons are not that big of a deal.  4 GB RAM or more + a 64 bit OS = computing goodness

Offline Matthew

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 06:48:13 PM »
I can attest that 3GB is not plenty when running an 81x81 map with 8000 units.

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2010, 08:17:28 PM »
TechPro is certainly correct. I'm using Windows 7 32-bit on my Pentium 4 machine currently, so 3GB is as much as I can use. With so many units, it's a very real possibility that your RAM is getting clogged up with information that can't be processed in VRAM (because that's not what video cards are supposed to handle). Sometimes games can be taxing on the system in different ways; perhaps Supreme Commander is RAM-intensive. Likewise, Quake 4 is very CPU-intensive, and hardly runs better on my P4 machine with the nVidia GeForce 8600GT than it did on my Intel-GMA powered Core 2 MacBook. Contrarily, Unreal Tournament 3 is very GPU-intensive, and looks absolutely gorgeous on my P4 despite the low processing power.

If it's true that Supreme Commander taxes the RAM, then having more is going to result in an increase of performance.

Every computer suffers from a limiting factor that will rear its ugly head eventually. Even if I had a 3.0 GHz Core i7 with 12GB of DDR3 1333 RAM and three GeForce GTX 295s, it would mean very little if I were running everything off of a 4800RPM IDE hard drive. Of course, such a limiting factor could be easily resolved with a new SSD of some sort. For others, it's more difficult, and sometimes performance loss can be attributable to something as seemingly small as the amount of L2 cache on the CPU die.

Even so, often a limiting factor is only as limiting as the demand for its use is made by an application. Should your limiting factor be RAM and Supreme Commanders heavily uses RAM, then you'll be quick to notice the performance loss. Should another application heavily use the CPU and GPU, then the performance may be excellent.

Engine is everything in gaming. A flashy engine need not be taxing if it's very efficient in processing; unfortunately, most companies just throw off all the processing power on the GPU and VRAM. Tailoring an engine to the vast number of potential combinations of hardware for PC is nearly impossible and therefore can very much tax a system with four times the hardware power of an XBox 360 and still suffer a much greater framerate loss. A lot of the performance of a game has to come from the game itself.

The best way to immunize yourself from potential hardware limitations is to get the best of everything, but since that's impossible, you simply have to pick your poison and try to spread the limitations across a number of pieces of hardware so that no one piece is responsible for major performance loss.

Phew. That was long. Those are my theories on computing performance, hope they help. Otherwise, I'll sit back and wait for someone smarter than I am to come correct me (enter: TechPro).  ;)
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline karx-elf-erx

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 02:01:38 AM »
Besides memory, Supreme Commander most of all wants at least 2 CPU cores. Unit management is CPU bound by its nature (you might offload some of it to the GPU, but probably not too much, depending on how individual units should behave and how much of that you can handle with a well parameterized set of general functions). On the other side can it very well be dispatched to many cores. While a GPU is good at handling a lot of parallel tasks all doing the same stuff, a CPU is good at handling parallel tasks doing different stuff.

If you have 12 GB of RAM, the HD will not be a limiting factor, and definitely not for games.

Actually game performance depends on a lot of factors. Depending on the hardware, you can offload more and more tasks to the GPU (be it effects like particle systems or physics). A lot also depends on your game settings. If you chose a high texture quality resulting in big textures to be used by the game and have too little memory on your gfx card, the system may start to constantly swap textures in and out of video memory which will result in a hefty performance hit.

With Win7 32 bits you should be able to address 4 GB RAM, not just 3 GB (as was the case with WinXP 32 bits).
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 06:35:25 AM by karx11erx »

Offline Matthew

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2010, 12:09:53 PM »
Supreme commander requires at least 3Ghz to function at any sort of reasonable speed on larger maps. Graphics can be toned down to the point where its almost a non-factor, but even then the sim side still requires copious amounts of RAM and CPU.

Offline karx-elf-erx

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2010, 12:54:39 PM »
Is that what the text on the box says: 3 Ghz?

I bet it would run great on a Core i7 920 @ 2.66 GHz with the 4+4 (hyperthreading) cores it offers (provided the rest of the system is up to par, which will probably be the case when such a CPU is being used).

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2010, 01:07:08 PM »
Speed requirements are pretty much moot when multiple cores are involved. Back in the day when a 1.6GHz processor was better than a 1.0GHz processor, that was an easy number to slap on the requirements list, but now a slower quad-core processor could run circles around even a dual core at unholy speeds.

Of course, a Core i7 is pretty high-end, so I'm sure Supreme Commander would have no trouble using its full capability.
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Matthew

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Re: My Planned First Build
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 02:24:19 PM »
It doesn't say 3ghz on the box, no, but it gets slow on large maps with 6 or 8 players.

That's only true on multi-threaded programs, D2Junkie.

 

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