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View Full Version : Best PC for your Pound



Falimer
02-09-2008, 05:36 AM
I have LW 9 and am atm running on a older xp system with an Nvidia 8800 card.
I would like to have GENERAL ideas on what type of Comp i should be looking at to get better performance for my money, I am not rich. I would prefer to stay on PC format due to having a PC lisence for PS CS2. I use both Mac and PC equally well as my day job is Studio Manager for a print company.

I also like feedback re 32 or 64 bit and XP v Vista.

Many thanks in advance.

Falimer

DogBoy
02-09-2008, 07:21 AM
Intel Core 2 Q6600 (150-60), plenty of DDR2 (4x2GB PC6400 140) and keep the old vid card. An OK mobo to run that (60-100).

Would need XP64 for that much RAM, but cut it by half and XP will run on it.

I'd do Core 2 as they are generally pretty nippy. A Quad will rip through your renders like a warm knife through butter. RAM is cheap and LW memory intensive.

LW_Will
02-10-2008, 03:42 AM
4 gigs of ram for $76!!! (Fry's in Cali this weekend) Wow!

cresshead
02-10-2008, 03:53 AM
i see your in the uk so am i...

i had a quadcore intel single chip pc built with 8 gig ram and vista ultimate 64bit
was pretty cheap at the time and now [4months later] dell can offer you a similar packaged pc but without 8gig ram and without vista ultimate 64 for a similar price...so their m/boards don't support 8gig and you can't choose a 64bit o/s

i suppose it depends on what you really need in the performance stakes?

my main task was to get faster renders...so the quad core 2.4ghz was what i built my pc choice around then looked for a m/board that can hold/use 8gig ram and then of course i'd need a 64bit O/S to use that 8gig ram!...last of all i needed a graphics card so chose a cheapy nvidia as i'd had my fill of ATi cards..
to cap it all i added a cheap acer 24" monitor.

performance could mean..

1.screen space to make working in your app faster by keeping panels open or just having a LARGE viewport into your 3d world.

2.faster renders..so a quad core or octacore system...

3.opengl and direct x performance so a better graphics card

4.more ram for heavy scenes in lighwave or multi million/billion polys in vue or zbrush.

if your looking at going octacore then the new apple mac's are they cheapest/fastest currently..just throw xp or vista onto the system..the only thing you'd wait for wouydl be for their price of ram to come down..so go with a basic 2gig then add more later.

Qexit
02-10-2008, 06:46 AM
I have LW 9 and am atm running on a older xp system with an Nvidia 8800 card. If that is a PCIe graphics card, then it is already good enough :thumbsup: Also, can the motherboard in your existing system be upgraded to a Core 2 Quad simply by swapping out the current cpu ? If you are working to quite a tight budget, then upgrading your existing PC may be the most cost effective option. So it would be useful if you could provide a more detailed description of what you currently own (i.e. current motherboard + cpu, amount and type of RAM, hard drives, etc.) and also some idea of the budget you have available for the upgrade.

robk
02-10-2008, 09:26 PM
We got a Q6600 for $599 Canadian (about 308 British pounds)
It was a great deal and we paid about $200 for 4GB of ram. Had a mediocre video card but would still run vista and LW.

In my books the Q6600 is your best bang for buck

AbnRanger
02-11-2008, 12:18 AM
i see your in the uk so am i...

i had a quadcore intel single chip pc built with 8 gig ram and vista ultimate 64bit
was pretty cheap at the time and now [4months later] dell can offer you a similar packaged pc but without 8gig ram and without vista ultimate 64 for a similar price...so their m/boards don't support 8gig and you can't choose a 64bit o/s

i suppose it depends on what you really need in the performance stakes?

my main task was to get faster renders...so the quad core 2.4ghz was what i built my pc choice around then looked for a m/board that can hold/use 8gig ram and then of course i'd need a 64bit O/S to use that 8gig ram!...last of all i needed a graphics card so chose a cheapy nvidia as i'd had my fill of ATi cards..
to cap it all i added a cheap acer 24" monitor.

performance could mean..

1.screen space to make working in your app faster by keeping panels open or just having a LARGE viewport into your 3d world.

2.faster renders..so a quad core or octacore system...

3.opengl and direct x performance so a better graphics card

4.more ram for heavy scenes in lighwave or multi million/billion polys in vue or zbrush.

if your looking at going octacore then the new apple mac's are they cheapest/fastest currently..just throw xp or vista onto the system..the only thing you'd wait for wouydl be for their price of ram to come down..so go with a basic 2gig then add more later.Hey Cress, how's Combustion working for you since you got that new kit?
Also, what's the RAM limit showing (in the lower right hand corner)? Curious if it's up to 4GB or still down to 3.

AbnRanger
02-11-2008, 12:22 AM
We got a Q6600 for $599 Canadian (about 308 British pounds)
It was a great deal and we paid about $200 for 4GB of ram. Had a mediocre video card but would still run vista and LW.

In my books the Q6600 is your best bang for buckYou can overclock it considerably too. That's the main benefit over AMD quadcores at the moment.
Sure wish AMD would get back up from the mat and put up a real fight again.

Falimer
02-11-2008, 05:45 AM
Basic PC I am using atm is a Dell XPS600 and will support a dual core and 8GB RAM if on a 64bit system. the VGA is a PCIe and can be SLI, also running it with twin HD in RAID 0 for performance. XP 32bit atm so only 2 GB RAM. Budget is with the wife so will be a discussion :help: .
I was looking at a complete system really as I have enough old Cases HDD PSUs cables etc. in my loft. (yes its about 1/4 of the space up there).
So I was looking mainly at a MoBo CPU RAM HDDs & OS, combinations. Might if the good lady agrees move onto a 3 or 5 HDD RAID so I have speed and redundancy.

Thanks for all feedback so far and in advance for any more.

Fal.:thumbsup:

starbase1
02-11-2008, 07:57 AM
I go along 100% with the people who say maximum ram!

You may also find it handy to take a look at Custom PC magazine - although they do a lot on the flashy expensive kit, it's well worth looking at their best buy lists...

One thing that surprised me was how much faster I was able to work with a bigger monitor. Being able to have reference pics on screen beside your model is a HUGE help. And with 22" at well under 200 quid, it's not expensive. I even saw a new 24" for under 200 the other day...

Nick

Qexit
02-11-2008, 01:29 PM
I go along 100% with the people who say maximum ram!I would agree but with the rider of 'the maximum RAM that your O/S can handle'. Not much point buying 8GB of RAM if you stick with a 32-bit version of Windows. In fact, it could lead to problems if you installed it all ;)

The Q6600 CPU is definitely the best price/performance processor around at the moment...but make sure you get the Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 G0 SLACR, 95W version (available from www.scan.co.uk amongst others) as it uses less power, runs cooler and is probably the easiest to overclock if you want to go that way :thumbsup:

I've stopped bothering with RAID 0 setups. For most applications, single SATA drives are more than fast enough and with drives getting so large now I feel happier not linking them as the though of losing so much data is scary. Probably worth looking at an external drive for data backup purposes.

Your Dell probably won't take a Quad Core cpu, and would probably involve quite a bit of faffing around anyway. I just parted with two Dimension 9150s that had BTX format motherboards. The CPU H/S and fan assembly was really quiet and kept everything nice and cool but would have been a nightmare to remove and reinstall. You wont be able to upgrade the Dell motherboard, so you probably are looking at a new machine. Make sure you get a decent power supply if you build it yourself. If you'd posted this query in early December, I could have pointed you to eBay for a very cost effective route to a good system that I took advantage of. Now, you'll have to do it the hard way.


One thing that surprised me was how much faster I was able to work with a bigger monitor. Being able to have reference pics on screen beside your model is a HUGE help. And with 22" at well under 200 quid, it's not expensive. I even saw a new 24" for under 200 the other day...

NickA big, wide screen monitor would be nice. I have dual 17" monitors which work quite well and were more affordable at the time than a single wide-screen one.

starbase1
02-11-2008, 04:12 PM
I would agree but with the rider of 'the maximum RAM that your O/S can handle'. Not much point buying 8GB of RAM if you stick with a 32-bit version of Windows. In fact, it could lead to problems if you installed it all ;)


Well, not entirely!
:devil: :devil: :devil:

One thing I want to look at, if I ever get the new &^%ing new PC working reliably, is to whack 8 Gb onto it. I should be able to run 3 copies of XP in 3 virtual machines under Ubuntu with no swapping if everything goes to plan!