View Full Version : is it time to get a new system? recommendations?
07-26-2008, 11:20 PM
My desktop's PSU suddenly crapped out 3 weeks ago, i replaced the psu and it worked until last night...thinking it was the psu again, i got a new one, but now the thing won't even power up. I tried to reconnect everything and the motherboard started smoking!
Is it time to get/build a new system? I have NOT kept up with industry changes and have no idea what is a good chipset/mobo/etc...
my system was an old AMD Barton 3200 (i think), all the drives were IDE....i think all drives are now SATA...argh
07-27-2008, 03:48 AM
What were you doing? You weren't supposed to let the magic smoke out! :P
(All joking aside, smoke from a motherboard isn't good).
Right now, the Intel Core 2 processors are generally your best bet. In terms of chipsets, the X38 & new P45 chipsets are probably the best ones to look for (both of these use DDR2 memory, which is far more affordable than DDR3).
Basically, you'll need:
- RAM (your system probably uses DDR memory -- not DDR2)
- Hard Drive (if you have one IDE drive you'll be OK, since all motherboards have one IDE port still)
- Video Card (if your system uses AGP for video, you'll need a new PCI-Express card).
As far as recommendations, here goes (bear in mind I don't know what types of applications you run, but just thinking of a good balance between price/performance):
Processor: I'd go with an Intel Core 2 E8400 or similar, unless you plan to do some video encoding and such (at that point, the Q6600 or Q9350 would be a good starting point). Not many applications take advantage of a quad-core, but you'll definitely notice a difference with a dual-core system over what you have now.
Motherboard: If you're looking for a basic board, I'd take a look at Gigabyte's boards. They've really become quite popular these days, and generally don't suffer from the reliability issues that ASUS' budget boards have as of late (I know a fair number of people who've RMA'd ASUS boards recently).
Video Card: If you plan to play some recent games, I'd look for something like the nVidia 8800GT. Reasonably-priced, yet still offers fairly good performance in most games today.
07-27-2008, 10:08 PM
thanx for the advice...i stopped by frys today and was amazed at how obesolete and outdated my build from 5 years ago was...
07-28-2008, 07:45 AM
My recommendation -
If you're gaming or doing any other high end work, go to the Dell outlet (http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb)& get a basic Precision Workstation T3400 - they start out around $500-600, and 1) the build quality of the case & PS are amazing; 2) they are highly upgradable; 3) they use Intel boards with dual video card support; and 4) they come standard with 3 years of next day, on site service.
Upgrade the components you need to & away you go. If you compare the cost of one of these vs. buying the same components & building yourself, you'll find that the cost is the same or less, and you just can't go wrong with the 3 years of next day on site service.
If you just need a basic machine, I'd recommend an Inspiron 530 desktop or an Inspiron 1525 laptop from the Home/Home Office outlet (http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh). Keep in mind that these only come with 1 year warranty - mail in for the laptop & on site for the desktop.
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