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A slightly complicated spec me up

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by jesta, 11 Mar 2010.

  1. jesta

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    Joined: 19 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,884

    Well my laptop has just died on me and looking to get a desktop to tie me over until I graduate (this summer) and if I get a job then I'll be getting an iMac.

    As I'm an architecture student I need a fairly high spec computer as I use Illustrator, Photoshop, Rhino, Vectorworks and Maxwell Render a lot. What is the cheapest possible computer I can get?

    If possible if someone can spec me one as cheap as possible, maybe £500 max including monitor (no speakers, keyboard, mouse or hard drive).

    Also one for £300 (no monitor,speakers, keyboard, mouse, hard drive or case).

    Many Thanks.
     
  2. Redmint

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    Couple of questions, will you be overclocking either and what are you going to use the £300 system for?
     
  3. jesta

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    I'm not a hardcore overclocker but I don't mind overclocking if it saves me money and the CPU is easily overclockable.

    The £300 system will be for the same, its just that I have a case already and if the spec on a £300 will be fine for my needs then I'll go for a cheaper system. Also I have an Akasa Truepower 400W psu (although I doubt it can run much these days) and a Radeon X800XL card to use if that can help lower the price whilst maintaining a good performance.
     
  4. CAT-THE-FIFTH

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    A few questions:

    1.)Do you need an OS for both builds?

    2.)Do you use any of the computers for gaming??

    3.)Are the applications you are running CUDA accelerated??
     
  5. jesta

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    1. Nope have a version of Windows 7.
    2. Maybe a bit, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Football Manager nothing major.
    3.I'm not too sure about that to be honest (not even entirely sure what that is). Sorry.
     
  6. CAT-THE-FIFTH

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    Basically CUDA means that the graphics card can be used to do some of the processing the CPU does and in 3D applications which can use it can mean large gains in performance.
     
  7. CAT-THE-FIFTH

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  8. jesta

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    Oh right, in that case I believe currently there is no support of CUDA on those programs.
     
  9. jesta

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    Bump.

    Can anyone help? Need the system asap as my old desktop is not good enough to handle 3D modelling!

    Cheers.
     
  10. PhoenixUK

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    Joined: 11 Apr 2008

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    Location: Sheffield

    That's good spec.
    Anything else I can think of if you're on tight budget would be getting the x3 435, tad slower than the x4 on multithreaded apps but will save you around 35quid.
     
  11. jesta

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    Joined: 19 Dec 2004

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    Totally missed that spec. Woops.

    How is that CPU and mobo in terms of overclocking? As I said, I'm not a hardcore overclocker but if I could get some performance gain from OCing that would be great! 400W is enought to run that spec including 2 sata hard drives?

    Many Thanks.
     
  12. PhoenixUK

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    Not sure about the mobo but the CPU should do around 3.4-3.5ghz without much of a problem tho not sure about it with stock cooler and that case but still should be fine around 3.3 I'd say.

    Could save some cash if you bought 2nd hand GPU or if the GPU doesn't give much extra performance to your apps then I'd advise getting this:

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-355-AS&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat=1481

    board and use onboard GPU instead : ), could use the extra budget to get better CPU, cooling or just save the money.
     
  13. jesta

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    Cheers for the reply.

    I don't mind spending a bit more money to get a better board if it means I can get a greater performance from OCing the CPU. Do you know any decent mobo that can overclock which are MATX? Reason being that my friend may be able to get me a P180 mini for cheap and I do prefer that over the coolermaster case.
     
  14. PhoenixUK

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    I guess the http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-356-AS&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat=1481

    which is the matx version of the board I've mentioned before, the only difference I guess would be the lack of 2nd PCI-E and no additional chipset cooling but that shouldn't be a problem unless you go for very high OCs.

    On the other hand I remember Wayne had some 45quid mobo and he managed already to squeeze 3.5ghz out of that CPU so it shouldn't be much of a problem : ).
    And again I guess would be good try to just use the onboard GPU for now and see how that works for you, you can always add a GPU later if you feel that it will benefit you.
    It's already a very fast rig compared to any laptops or imacs etc I'd say, should be at least 2 or 3 times faster than your old stuff.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2010
  15. Stupot_

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    You say you have Case, HD and OS already right?

    I'd be tempted to go for something like this. You can always add to it if you need it. Integrated graphics will be fine for the moment, but if you want to play a bit of COD then you can add an 8800GT or similar to take you up to your budget. Power supply should be ok, I'm running an 8800gt on a 450w supply and it only goes up to about 250w during games. What HD do you have?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. jesta

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    Joined: 19 Dec 2004

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    I have a 320gb Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 which I can use or do you think that will be a bottleneck these days?

    From what I have been told, when using Rhino, a good graphics card is fairly important so I don't really want to leave that out if I'm to spend around £400-500.

    I think the Asus motherboard maybe a better investment for me just so I can overclock if needed.
     
  17. PhoenixUK

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    I would however try to grab a 2nd hand GPU instead. We've yet to see a price drop because the current prices aren't really good unless u're buying something like 5850.
    You should be able to spot 8800/9600/9800 for around 35-50quid max.
    It's not like laptops or imacs have powerfull GPUs you know ; ).
    I'd go with onboard and then see how it works and eventually buy card later, that doesn't cost you anything, you've got free delivery anyways. Who knows, maybe you find a good 2nd hand deal or one in your local retailer, you can only save on this and you aren't that much in a hurry right?

    The asus mobo also supports faster RAM which now isn't a big deal but you might want to upgrade to the incoming 6 cores which will be supported by it at some point and extra bandwith might help there.
     
  18. jesta

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    I have no problems buying 2nd hand GPU, may just do that. I know that imacs don't have amazing GPU but still better than onboard GPU :p. Same for my old laptop (8600GT). I may just do what you suggested, leave the GPU. I guess I could also take out my Radeon X800XL from my old PC for the moment.

    Truth be told I am in quite a hurry, as my current PC is not fast enough for rendering for my projects(architecture) and this being my final year its affecting the speed I am producing work.
     
  19. PhoenixUK

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    I wouldn't be suprised if the onboard HD4200 was actually better than the x800 ; ).
    I'd say it's around 1800xt power tbh or maybe even better : ).
    And I don't think the GPU will affect the performace this much, either way, your best bet is to give it a go with the spec that CAT-THE-FIFTH mentioned with maybe my mobo suggestion and then test it yourself and if you think that you still need the GPU, either try to get 2nd hand one or buy a new one if you need it fast.
     
  20. jesta

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    Your right, I will probably go for that. One thing though, 400W is plenty for that spec? What about for future upgrading?