The Carbon Comrade
14th July 2004
So, buying a new computer (or at the very least, might be, depending upon money, what I can find in and around xmas, and windows operating systems etc), I've a few questions as to what the differences are for various parts. I used to know a fair bit, though now, am not as with it as I once was. 1) XP vs Vista - just a general answer here, I don't want a long heated debate on the subject. 2) Vista 32-bit vs Vista 64-bit. Whats the difference? What can one do, that the other can't? Would there be things that the 64-bit version couldn't do? 3) Duel Core vs Quad Core; Which is best suited for general use? 4) I'll be needing a good graphics card. At the very least, it has to be able to run Supreme Commander with ease. This card will have to last me a while, so needs to be prepared for future games too. 5) Is there anything going to stop me having X amount of Ram? IE: If I got 4GB's of Ram, or 6GB's of Ram, would there be anything, based on this list, that would stop one from working? Thank You in advance for all answers. :)
1. Vista 2. 64bit 3.Quad 4. Radeon 4870 1gb or Geforce 260gtx 216 shader. (or radeon 4850 if you want to go a step down) 5. Vista 64 bit will support 4gb of ram or more, 32bit will limit you to 3.whatever gb of ram.
I will add to what KC said that the new Nehalem quads are much faster then the core 2 quads, which are merely two duals on one die. If you can afford it, an X58 MB and a Nehalem quad is a good investment. Many X58s support both SLI and Crossfire too, in case you end up waffling between GPU brands. You said you want to keep the system a while, so I would go with parts, esp core parts like MB and CPU, that you will be happy with through at least a few yrs. Even triple channel DDR3 RAM kits are becoming common and fairly affordable. The biggest difference in the above setup is the MB pricing, you'll spend a good $150 more there. IMO it's worth it to start with a MB you'll keep for yrs though.
KC's point on Vista 64 bit's RAM support is very valid too. It's getting common to see X58 gaming setups with 6GB of RAM.
It cracks me up how they put subtitles in that WoW ad for Ozzy's speaking parts. LOL
I dont know about that. I would wait and see what AMD has up their sleeves. Phenom II might compete with I7 just not for the pure performance crown.
Well to be honest, I really hoped AMD's having debuted the first true integrated quad with shared cache would be more competitive, but obviously it's not. For a while there I was much less impressed that Intel was juicing lots of money out of people for their cookie cutter two duals on on die "quads". Once I knew big devs like Valve and others were putting a lot of effort into writing for quad, I knew I wanted one, but I wasn't about to settle for a core 2 quad. After seeing what Intel can do when they get serious about design though, I would really like to see them go full circle and start making high end dedicated GPU chips.
There's been a bit of talk about the i7s not getting their max potential yet due to data being stored in cache for a few CPU cycles, but I don't see it significantly affecting their overall performance, and it may be more due to limitations in certain test setups and/or drivers not being perfected yet. It also takes a while to perfect writing games and other software for new hardware advances, just like it did the console devs to write for the 360 and PS3 multi cores. So far the i7s have shown a significant performance gain over the Core 2s though.
I7 still doesn't impress me too much. The gaming performance leaves much to be desired. With video cards being able to do video encoding/ decoding I dont really see a need for I7 if you have a video card to back you up. Esp. if you have an ATI card since the new "stream" software supposedly owns CPU's. Nvidia's version "badaboom" isn't too shaby either but the only downside is that you have to pay for it =/
You can't really judge the i7 solely on gaming performance because quad game writing is still in it's infancy on the PC platform. Even with Core 2s many games don't even utilize all 4 cores, and Phenoms aren't any better there. Sadly a lot of PC games are just horribly written anymore even for dual core. Asking all the devs to do much better optimizing for quad overnight is something that is an unrealistic goal. Concerning gaming, it is not the hardware's fault when it comes to quad efficiency, it's clearly on the software end at this point.
However there IS significant gains over Core 2 quads even on games. I think where you're seeing the gains as not impressive is in comparing them to tasking gains, which is not really a fair comparison. In games where the CPU streaming AI, physics and control data are key, and the devs need carefully thread them, it's an entirely different ballgame.
ATI's stream software is only supposedly significantly better, it remains to be seen. Personally if I have to bank on my GPU running better based on ATI's software writing skills, I'll not feel too confident, and I don't see Nvidia's pricing being exorbitant anymore. They adjust it just like ATI does when Nvidia smacks them.
Well, the sad thing is that when you make it multithreaded its not that much harder to make it quad over dual. Its just the devs being lazy and not writing the code properly since most games are just console ports. If they wanted to write the software for it they would. There are just not enough people who have quads for it to be a big deal yet. Heres a link of stream performance over a quad.
A Phoenix from the ashes
18th April 2006
2: 64-bit. 32-bit is limited to 4GB RAM total, and everything is else gets first pick. Video card (-1GB), other system crap (-0.5GB), remaining: 2.5GB. Get 64. The only drawback is that you require digitally signed drivers for essential components with a 64-bit OS, but 99% of drivers are signed, so you're fine.
4: nVidia GTX-260 216 or wait for the 55nm version coming Q1 '09. Higher clocks and it should be cheaper too.
5. The only limiting factor would be a 32-bit OS (see question 2. ;))
16th October 2008
1. Vista 2. 64bit - to add to what Daedalus said, which was 100% correct, you must also realize that a 64 bit os allows for 64bit instructions to the processor, which can result in slightly faster performance. in some cases. 3. Quad. For general use, you will see a lot more ability in multitasking and it will be quite hard for you to get hickups. 4. I agree with Daedalus on this one as well. 5. To add to what daedalus said, if you buy a very cheap motherboard, there can be issues with ram. I am having that issue now, in fact :P.