Seeking help with building / purchasing a new computer.

Message boards : Number crunching : Seeking help with building / purchasing a new computer.
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Profile Samaritan Jim Project Donor

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Message 1334729 - Posted: 4 Feb 2013, 22:10:17 UTC

Hello Everyone,

I am interested in getting a new computer that will use the GPU for more compulations then my standard computer I currently have which is just a Gateway 2.8 dual core with 3 gb of ram.

I saw a quad core at best buy with a raedon card in it for $400.00 would this be a good machine to buy or should I look at something else with another card in it?

And if you have a home built, do you have a list of what you used that I could work from?

I would like to stay under the $500.00 mark for this project.

I have read a few threads about how some have gotten 10x the work with one computer and would like to start taking advantage of this through the use of a single or double GPU unit.

Thank You all for the help
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Profile Mike Special Project $75 donor
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Message 1334731 - Posted: 4 Feb 2013, 22:20:49 UTC

Depends on which card it is.

Specs please.

Usually cheap computers have weak PSU`s that makes it expensive to upgrade.

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Message 1334815 - Posted: 5 Feb 2013, 5:14:16 UTC - in response to Message 1334729.  

Does your existing PC have a PCI-e expansion slot? If it does, you can probably add a mid range CUDA (or ATI) graphics card and give it a real boost. Chances are the standard power supply wont handle one of the top end cards, not enough current capacity, and probably case cooling.

But you can get something like a Nvidia 630 card for around $75 that doesn't need any special power or anything, can run in a standard PC case, and maybe boost the throughput of your little dual core by 10X.

If you do want to build a new PC, just because you want one, that's fair enough. Don't worry too much about the CPU, an I3 or a dual core AMD will run things just fine. Spend your $$ on a case with good cooling, a grunty power supply and the best graphics card you can afford. That's where your biggest increase in crunching comes from, so you design your machine to support that GPU.

Any modern CPU will run Windows just fine, given a decent amount of RAM and a modern hard disk, so don't get carried away thinking you NEED and I7, and solid state disks, and motherboards with 3 PCI-e slots etc. If you are building a "super cruncher", then you buy those things. But with a $500 budget, get a decent GPU and be happy.

The machine will still be a decent "daily driver" PC, and a decent game playing machine with that good graphics card.

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Profile James Sotherden

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Message 1334932 - Posted: 5 Feb 2013, 14:45:19 UTC

This is just a quick search I did on newegg. If you want to build here is a list that i just did. Now the brands I listed are what I use for my build I built an Intel I7 3770. You may use what ever brands you want.

Case- Antec 900- $99.99
PSU- Cosair Enthusiast series TX650- $89.99
Mother board- Asus p8b75-V- $94.99
CPU- two choices here.
Intel I5 2310 3.1 GHZ Quad core- $179.99
Intel I3 2100 3.1 GHZ. dual core-$119.99

Now for the GPU. Newegg has a bunch.

Asus ENGTX 550 TI- $129.99

So with the I5 chip the total is $594.95
The I3 chip is $534.95

You still need an operating system and memory and a DVd drive. But the last two you can salvage from another computer. And Windows 7 was only $89.00 when I bought it.

I wish you luck on what ever you decide to do.

Old James
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Message 1335236 - Posted: 6 Feb 2013, 20:35:17 UTC

The biggest problem with buying brand name pc is the power supply. Frankly, the power supplies are crap. They are usually 250-400 watt. You would need at least 450-550 watt power supply to run a decent video card.

Example. I have a Nvidia GTX 460 video card. Nvidia specifies that for GTX 460 your basic system should have 450 watt power supply. This is not exact, but most brand name systems don't even have 400 watt power supply. So right there you have a problem. I have no name, cheap ass 520 watt power supply that I bought for 30 or 40 dollars, everything works just fine.

If you want to do it the easy way. Pick a brand name computer, ignore video card and power supply. Find out if the computer takes regular power supplies, ask on the forums dedicated to the brand. If it does, then buy the computer, take the original power supply and throw it away. Buy cheap power supply in 500-600 watt range (read reviews, make sure it is cheap and it works), buy a nice video card and install them into your store bought computer.
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Profile James Sotherden

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Message 1335474 - Posted: 7 Feb 2013, 16:10:15 UTC

+1 ^ The Op stated that he has a Gateway. MY old Gateway P4 has a small PSU and a real PSU wont fit in the case with out big modifying. Even if he wants to gut out another computer, Id still by a case. Much more room to put stuff and they are cheap.

Old James
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Message 1335568 - Posted: 7 Feb 2013, 20:05:35 UTC
Last modified: 7 Feb 2013, 20:08:55 UTC

I'm guessing he's talking about a rig built around an AMD Fusion APU (likely a A8-5500).

I'm using a slightly older AMD APU and it's adequate, doing the same work as 3 of it's CPU cores. My RAC is 4300ish and that's including reducing the crunch workload when I play games for an hour or two or shutting down the GPU crunching to watch a movie (the system is up 24/7). That places it in the top 5000 hosts.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Seeking help with building / purchasing a new computer.

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