Upgrade Hardware. Best strategy

originally i want it to buy an imac since i liked the design on the computer and it fit on the desktop. But it is out of reach and i am not sure if i want to wait so long.

Now, i can still build a nice PC and have to two choices. Build myself one or buy one.

Most importantly. Which components are save for a while. With that i mean the cpu mostly.
Right now i have an E8600 intel (dualcore), but now there are so many different cpu’s out there that i can not even say which one is better or not so good.
Then the choice of brand, intel or amd.
My main use would be large image collections and movies. So it needs to be somewhat powerful.
Also what graphicscard. Well, i do have a Nvidia GT8800. Not that new anymore but still fine i assume. Altough i think it is overpowered for my use. Used to game with it.

The other thing i like to accomplish is to have a fairly small case. Most people tell me that ATX is the best way to go, but i have always an eye on these ITX formfactors since they are so small.

So either way. If i buy or build it myself, it is a though choice.

Did anyone buy recently a new computer or build one and can give some tips.

btw. does a used or refurbished mac make sense? That would be another choice. It just needs to be powerful enough to these couple of tasks.

Well, let me hear what you have to suggest. :slight_smile:

For a box I always self build.
Only you know what you need / want.
To me a GT8800 GPU is more than enough and currently I use AMD (oldish AM2 X2_64 5200) which will keep me going a good while yet.
My 8500GT GPU is modified to be fanless. My case is full size with a full 120mm case outlet and fan. 1x320GB WD HD + 1x500GB WD HD + 1x500GB WD USB HD
C-Media Electronics Inc CM8738 sound card and D-Link Network Card - both added for assured Linux compatibility. This should be your main focus with all components.

Hello again yester64,

**Definitely build yourself! ** The biggest advantage … at the end of the project … it’s EXACTLY what you want! I have not purchased a pc (other than laptop) in almost 20 years! I love my self-built rig in a beautiful Lian-li case! (Buy a nice case … you’ll be glad you did!)

If you are serious about building and need support and/or ideas, you should read tomshardware, Tom’s Hardware: Hardware News, Tests and Reviews … they have articles and reviews on everything from cases to cpu fans. And they cover the gamit, from building a box on a budget to breaking the budget. It’s an excellent site!

I have an 8800GTS … I bought it to play one game, a game I lost interest in rather quickly … so I’m overpowered on the graphics as well.

And don’t forget EOL plans for the box; be green: http://www.inpic.ru/pic/2865-fe7936f3.jpg

I think it is also worth noting that a 32bit gnu/linux os running on 2 cores with 2 gig of ram is FASTER today than it was 2 years ago. If you don’t need to run win7 or 7 simultaneous virtual machines, you don’t need anything more.



Build yourself , in the long run you get exactly what you want and with research the right Hardware (chipsets e.g.) that works for your setup. Also if you choose right , less likely to upgrade sooner.

Like oxala said Toms is a good resource for hardware reviews. For lots of multimedia (rendering, ripping, encoding, decoding, whatever) I would go nothing less than a quad cpu you will notice the difference from a core2duo.

Since it appears you have an E8600 which would be lga775 socket? you can pick up a core2quad for that socket rather priceworthy these days, doing so you can keep your current mainboard if it supports quads. Otherwise for lots of power go i7 platform which are not all to expensive these days (Ok, I personally like intel and tbh I am not all to up-to-date on amd platforms).

Now if you want a mini system you can get a shuttle for e.g. with a Mini ATX board, and basically choose what hardware you want to put in it. If you have a mainboard in sight I would seriously look into what chipsets,bios, etc it has and research possible problems for your future setup.
I would keep the graphics card , should be powerful enough , unless you are doing lots of hardcore video rendering (I am not sure what you mean by movies :slight_smile: ) Put that extra money somewhere else like ram or other components, a fast HDD like velociraptor from WD comes to mind.

I just want to reply in general this time.

Ok, if i get it right my cpu should be fine still. Or perhaps switch to quadcore. Do you need or should upgrade to the new lineup from intel or equal from amd?
Does linux take advantage on quad cores? Or is this application related.
For video i use handbrake most of the time.

I really like to have a smaller case. At the time i bought mine it was ok. Because you thought, man i build me a gamer pc with tons of accessories.
Now that did not happen and now i have a big gfx card which i don’t use.
So i might buy a smaller card (this one is big, it has double size fan and 1 meg).

What cases do you use? Any small?

Also thanks for the replies. :slight_smile:

your cpu and graphics is really ok if you are looking to spend money elsewhere. With linux and cpu’s well yes it does take advantage although I find mostly only after rolling your own kernel , the stock kernels from most most distros really suck imho.

If you want a smaller case look into the case (most likely) mini atx (unless you want an atom/nvidia setup which are a but pricey imho), also the board mini atx for lga775 which is your socket. Another thing check the measurements to make sure your graphic card fits before you buy , although a lot of mini atx boards have emebedded graphic chips on them ( imho, 90% of the time those embedded chips really suck). Also ram , if the modules have heatsinks then space can get tight really fast. Power supply is another concern , make sure it is dimensioned for your needs (this can sometimes be a problem with mini formats and building yourself) with beefy graphics cards and quads or core2duo . Although lately I havent seen to many problems in the PSU area, I think the manufactor’s got smart as of late :slight_smile:

There are some really nice mini Atx cases out there , just google around . Shuttle , thermaltake , lian li , etc etc .

Hello Heremod,

You piqued my curiosity with the statement:

yes it does take advantage although I find mostly only after rolling your own kernel , the stock kernels from most most distros really suck imho

I know … wrong thread … but I would really like to know why you think the stock kernels fail to deliver (a.k.a. suck … ) and what configure options you like to change. Have you been able to achieve measurable improvements?

yester64, I found myself looking at cases online today … because of this thread … urg … this thread could cost me some money yet … :stuck_out_tongue:

Happy hackin!


Well, if i see it right then a new cpu does not really benefit me. My dualcore is 3ghz, i bought it for gaming (speed) and quadcores are somewhat slower. Then again you get 4 cores.
So times changed somewhat. Cpu’s are not anymore so quickly outdated. :slight_smile:
I will concentrate on case and new mobo. That should do fine.