understanding what makes a computer fast

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understanding what makes a computer fast

Postby Layzie Bone » Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:58 pm

Most people arent computr savy when looking for a new computer consider everything:

CPU: initially this is very important, but if all you're doing is getting on the internet and checking mail, you wont need anything too high end, in this case go with something like a celeron processor, which are usually less expensive.

Memory: This is equally important as the processor, how much and what type are what you should look for. This is dependant on what OS you're going to run, if you're running XP you can get away with less memory, if you're running Vista you might as well get 2 GB of memory, if you need more, consider getting a 64 bit version of XP or Vista, as 32-bit OS's can only use about 3.5 GB, where as 64 bit you can easily run a system with over 8 or 16 GB of memory, though those figures are really for servers and not PC's.

Hard Disk: A lot of people overlook this, but when runnning a lot of programs having a fast hard drive can help speed things along, a Western Digital Raptor drive are the fastest for your buck with a 3.5 ms latency. Most drives you will see are 7200 rpm, the raptors are 10,500 rpm. On laptops usually 5400 rpm and 7200 on the higher end. Next question how much storage do you need? Are you a pack rat? Like me, if you're a pack rat and never delete anything, consider getting a large drive, like a 500 GB up to 1 TB (1024 GB), drives of those sizes go from 130 to 230 usd.

Video Cards - You really wont need a video card in most cases unless you're gaming. If you're gaming and wanting to play games that are coming out 2 years from now consider getting a card that supports DirectX 10, I'm an nVidia fan, the Geforce 8800, or 8500 supports DX 10, and provide excellent gaming, be sure to beef up memory and CPU for this. Ultimately your video card is the bottleneck when it comes to gaming.

If you're still a little lost, here's what I would set you up with, this is assuming you're going to run Vista 32-bit versions.

I just use my computer to get on the internet and check mail and a few odds and ends, nothing special here

Board: MSI P4M900M2, Intergated Video, 8ch Audio, Ethernet, USB 2.0
CPU: Intel Celeron 420 [1.6 GHz Dual Core, 800 MHz FSB]
Memory: 1 GB DDR2 667 [PC 5400] Kingston Value Memory
Hard Disk: 80 GB Segate Barracuda 7200 RPM, 2 MB cache

Looking for a case for this? Search "TM-163" this is smaller case that is sturdy and inexpensive while giving your computer a decent look. Dont forget to get a DVD burner or a CD burner and or a floppy disk or card reader to go in the 3.5 bay. This is optional, you really dont need either, unless you still happen to use floppy disks, yes there are people that still use the floppies.

I want game and and I want high end

You got it :wink:

Board: MSI P6N-SLI 8ch Audio, ethernet, usb 2.0
CPU: Intel Core2Quad QX6600 Quad Core, 3.0GHz, 1x4 L2 Cache, 1333 MHz FSB
Memory: 2 GB DDR2 800 MHz Kingston, might want to get memory with a heat spreader.
Hard Disk: 320 GB WD Raptor
Video Card: MSI nVidia GeForce 8800

Get a good case, cooler master makes great cases, you dont have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a case that has good airflow. Are you a gamer and wonder why I'm not using Asus, or so and so. Asus makes good boards but they have a higher failure rate, MSI boards I find to be rock solid and have a 3 year warranty and the RMA process is easy without hassle.

Got questions or want me to spec out a computer for you, I can tell you everything you need to order, might not be able to help you build it, though I can be of some help there, just not as much if I were standing over your shoulder.
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Layzie Bone
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