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the2ndgenesis
Mar 18, 2009

You, McNulty, are a gaping asshole. We both know this.


Is it normal for some Newegg orders to stay in the "packaging" stage for a number of days? I ordered an admittedly rather large batch of parts last Friday that still hasn't been shipped according to Newegg tracking. I understand that it being New Year's time probably has a lot to do with that, though.

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Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead.


Besides being dumb enough to order late on a Fridays, my orders look like it needs to fill out papers in triplicate before it gets shipped at random times.

Sir Unimaginative
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




Newegg took off New Year's Eve. Your order may not have even been acted on yet.

Philthy
Jan 28, 2003

Oh yeah.

It says it can take 2-3 days to get stuff ready for shipping unless you paid the $3 extra. I've had good success with them shipping same day for the most part, but the only time I've ordered a larger pile of parts I did next day shipping, so who knows.

CaseFace McGee
Mar 27, 2007

Where did you learn to drive?


I ordered all of my stuff from NewEgg late the night of Christmas Day, without rush processing, and they sent it out before noon on the 26th!

If only UPS would cooperate as well as that... my new parts won't be delivered until this afternoon...

ryanbruce
May 1, 2002

The "Dell Dude"



It should be noted that you should also:
a) Skim the first few pages of the Coupon and Deals forum (subforum of SA-Mart) to see if there's anything good for deals before pulling the trigger.
b) (Dell Outlet specific) you should check out @DellOutlet's Twitter feed for coupon codes that can sometimes save you another 20%. http://twitter.com/delloutlet

Karthe
Jun 6, 2007

the Mac you say?



What's a good amount of RAM for a video card to have? I'm thinking of upgrading from a GTX 460 to a GTX 660 (like this) but am freezing up on whether I want one with either 2GB or 3GB of memory.

And is memory bandwidth even worth worrying about? I see it advertised on just about every card, but I don't know if a 192-bit bus is objectively better than a 256-bit bus for [reasons], or if it even matters at all when the memory clock speed on one is twice as fast as the other. What's the best metric to judge GPU RAM performance?

uhhhhahhhhohahhh
Oct 9, 2012


Karthe posted:

What's a good amount of RAM for a video card to have? I'm thinking of upgrading from a GTX 460 to a GTX 660 (like this) but am freezing up on whether I want one with either 2GB or 3GB of memory.

And is memory bandwidth even worth worrying about? I see it advertised on just about every card, but I don't know if a 192-bit bus is objectively better than a 256-bit bus for [reasons], or if it even matters at all when the memory clock speed on one is twice as fast as the other. What's the best metric to judge GPU RAM performance?

You don't need 3GB. That's assuming you're at 1920x1080p or below, but even 2GB is more than enough for that. A higher memory bus is objectively better, but just because a card does have a higher bus doesn't mean it will perform better. The performance hit from a lower bus can be offset by using faster rated GDDR5 RAM, for example. Larger memory buses normally cost more, too.

There a GPU megathread where they might be able to explain things better but ultimately don't worry about it, just look at benchmark performance for modern games/games you play at the resolution you play at and the value of the card compared to other similar performing ones.

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


Karthe posted:

What's the best metric to judge GPU performance?

Actual game benchmarks. You cannot judge cards on architecture numbers like ram speed/amount, bandwidth, processor speed, etc. Use the GPU charts in the OP and they'll show you actual performance numbers in games (not synthetic stuff).

As for memory, don't buy a card that comes with more than the default amount - for example the default on 660s is 2G. Don't buy a card that has more than that.

Karthe
Jun 6, 2007

the Mac you say?



Crackbone posted:

Actual game benchmarks. You cannot judge cards on architecture numbers like ram speed/amount, bandwidth, processor speed, etc. Use the GPU charts in the OP and they'll show you actual performance numbers in games (not synthetic stuff).
Fair enough. I found Anandtech's GPU comparison page thanks to the GPU megathread - it seems to have a nice mix of gaming and synthetic benchmarks.

Crackbone posted:

As for memory, don't buy a card that comes with more than the default amount - for example the default on 660s is 2G. Don't buy a card that has more than that.
So there are a reference cards for each GPU off of which card manufacturers base their offerings?

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


Karthe posted:

Fair enough. I found Anandtech's GPU comparison page thanks to the GPU megathread - it seems to have a nice mix of gaming and synthetic benchmarks.

So there are a reference cards for each GPU off of which card manufacturers base their offerings? Does AMD/nVidia release that information when they announce a new GPU?

Let me re-emphasize synthetic benchmarks are useless. They don't correspond to real-life scenarios (ie games). Additionally, both AMD and Nvidia have a long history of "tweaking" their drivers specifically to perform better on those big synthetic benchmarks. They really don't tell you anything worthwhile.

As to your question, yes, both companies release reference designs - whenever you have a "debut" review (ie reviews of a new card model launching) you'll see their reference amount. You can also just go to Amazon/Newegg/Google and search for the model you want, and the vast majority of cards will have the reference amount.

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


Rageaholic Monkey posted:

The only thing I'd add is a note about not needing an i7 over an i5 unless you're doing lots of video encoding, which most people here probably aren't. That seems to be a question that gets asked pretty frequently. But you covered a ton of stuff, so maybe it's in there already and I just missed it vv

It's in the "How many cores" question - or at least I think it is...

morcant
Sep 27, 2009

I was programmed to be helpful and answer any questions I was asked. I guess nobody bothered to restrict who I answer questions for. That was probably pretty dumb, huh?


The Steam winter sale has gotten me back into PC gaming (and because my MacBook Pro can't handle Far Cry 3 as well as I'd like), I'm considering building a PC primarily for gaming, with a bit of Netflix on the side. I have a 42"-ish TV that I would like to use for the primary/only monitor. I'm not sure on its specific specs, but I can check after work).

I have a machine that I built in October of 2011, but I abandoned it in favor of the MBP for want of portability and various other reasons. Also something in it is busted and causing random 10-second lagging, but that's another issue. Hopefully I could re-purpose some of the parts, but the HDD has got to go - I'm thinking the 1TB one in the OP. As well, a more portable case would be great, but that's more a luxury item.

Anyways, I'm looking to play Far Cry 3 and Skyrim at max-or-near-to-it graphics, with a ton of random mods tacked onto Skyrim. I'm also looking to play the following, but I think most of them are older/less intense than FC3 - Saints Row: The Third, Fallout: New Vegas, Batman: Arkham Asylum/City, Mass Effect. If a full rebuild is necessary, I'd like to keep it under $800, but I'm pretty flexible.

My old build is this:

I'm considering the following substitutions:

I respectfully ask for input, with the hope that I was able to keep dumb questions to a minimum.

kedo
Nov 27, 2007



Can anyone recommend a brand / specific AV receiver that plays nicely with HTPCs? I'd ask in the A/V Arena but it is... gone?

My old one died two nights ago and I (stupidly) decided to pick one up at Best Buy on a whim. Protip: Yamaha receiver + Radeon HD 7900 via HDMI = catastrophe.

I'm open on price as long as it's below $700 or so. Specs I'm looking for:
• 3+ HDMI ports
• 5.1 surround



e: In a similar vein, how are surround sound headphones these days? I bought a pair probably three or four years ago that were just crap and not really surround-ey, and at the time there wasn't much else on the market. Again, any recommendations? Open on price, I have no idea how much they cost, just curious.

kedo fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2013 around 19:01

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


morcant posted:

The Steam winter sale has gotten me back into PC gaming (and because my MacBook Pro can't handle Far Cry 3 as well as I'd like), I'm considering building a PC primarily for gaming, with a bit of Netflix on the side. I have a 42"-ish TV that I would like to use for the primary/only monitor. I'm not sure on its specific specs, but I can check after work).

I have a machine that I built in October of 2011, but I abandoned it in favor of the MBP for want of portability and various other reasons. Also something in it is busted and causing random 10-second lagging, but that's another issue. Hopefully I could re-purpose some of the parts, but the HDD has got to go - I'm thinking the 1TB one in the OP. As well, a more portable case would be great, but that's more a luxury item.

Anyways, I'm looking to play Far Cry 3 and Skyrim at max-or-near-to-it graphics, with a ton of random mods tacked onto Skyrim. I'm also looking to play the following, but I think most of them are older/less intense than FC3 - Saints Row: The Third, Fallout: New Vegas, Batman: Arkham Asylum/City, Mass Effect. If a full rebuild is necessary, I'd like to keep it under $800, but I'm pretty flexible.

My old build is this:

I'm considering the following substitutions:

I respectfully ask for input, with the hope that I was able to keep dumb questions to a minimum.

Your TV is 1080p unless it's exceedingly old.
Honestly, you rig as-is is solid. The 460 is a little long in the tooth, but still serviceable. Maybe consider getting a Hyper 212 and overclocking your chip, but that's not really needed.

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


kedo posted:

Can anyone recommend a brand / specific AV receiver that plays nicely with HTPCs? I'd ask in the A/V Arena but it is... gone?

My old one died two nights ago and I (stupidly) decided to pick one up at Best Buy on a whim. Protip: Yamaha receiver + Radeon HD 7900 via HDMI = catastrophe.

I'm open on price as long as it's below $700 or so. Specs I'm looking for:
• 3+ HDMI ports
• 5.1 surround

AV Arena got folded into Inspect Your Gadgets.

"Plays nice with HTPCs" is a bit of misnomer, as it's really just the video card that the receiver is interfacing with, and in my experience the video card can be the problem just as well as the receiver. What card model exactly do you have in your rig?

kedo
Nov 27, 2007



Crackbone posted:

AV Arena got folded into Inspect Your Gadgets.

"Plays nice with HTPCs" is a bit of misnomer, as it's really just the video card that the receiver is interfacing with, and in my experience the video card can be the problem just as well as the receiver. What card model exactly do you have in your rig?

I've got this'un.

And you're right – the video card probably is the problem in my case as the receiver works perfectly with my 360 / mac mini / PS3. I think it's basically a driver issue, but if there's one thing I've learned it's that waiting for a driver fix for hardware incompatibilities is kinda foolish. I'd rather just return it and get something that works.

e: After hours of troubleshooting I do know that at least some AV receivers work with the card (based on what various folks on various forums are reporting), but I'm just wondering if goons have any suggestions.

Require More Fire
Feb 18, 2010

"Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser."

Re: this part of the OP:

"Note: for this answer, hyperthreading on Intel chips counts as having double the actual cores - so an i7 is 8 cores, and an i3 is 4 cores. This isn't really accurate but is close enough for decision-making purposes."

Will most programs/games naturally take advantage of hyperthreading or is it something that has to be specifically programmed to look for?

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


Require More Fire posted:

Re: this part of the OP:

"Note: for this answer, hyperthreading on Intel chips counts as having double the actual cores - so an i7 is 8 cores, and an i3 is 4 cores. This isn't really accurate but is close enough for decision-making purposes."

Will most programs/games naturally take advantage of hyperthreading or is it something that has to be specifically programmed to look for?

Hyperthreading doesn't require special programming.

Fano
Oct 20, 2010


I have a quick question after re-reading the OP:

quote:

14. What sound card should I buy? Should I use my old one?
Onboard sound is now very good, and you'll be perfectly happy with it. Discrete audio cards are reserved for people doing audio production work, high end audio setups, or high end headphones (like Sennheisers). If you do have one of these needs, we recommend an Asus Xonar DG for headphones, and going to A/V Arena and/or Creative Convention for your crazy audiophile things.

I just recently got my hand on a pair of these nice Audio-Technica Headphones. I'm super happy with the quality but I'm wondering if they would sound even better if I picked up this here recommended sound card.

I'm not THAT big of an audiophile but I really enjoy listening to music and I play quite a few rhythm games like DJ Max on my computer that really shine with a good audio setup.

Is it worth it?

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


Fano posted:

I have a quick question after re-reading the OP:


I just recently got my hand on a pair of these nice Audio-Technica Headphones. I'm super happy with the quality but I'm wondering if they would sound even better if I picked up this here recommended sound card.

I'm not THAT big of an audiophile but I really enjoy listening to music and I play quite a few rhythm games like DJ Max on my computer that really shine with a good audio setup.

Is it worth it?

Are you happy with the sound you get currently?

If yes, stick with what you have. If no, get a discrete card.

Factory Factory
Mar 19, 2010

I can do sex. It's just alien sex.


Require More Fire posted:

Re: this part of the OP:

"Note: for this answer, hyperthreading on Intel chips counts as having double the actual cores - so an i7 is 8 cores, and an i3 is 4 cores. This isn't really accurate but is close enough for decision-making purposes."

Will most programs/games naturally take advantage of hyperthreading or is it something that has to be specifically programmed to look for?

To expand a bit: Assuming the operating system properly supports hyperthreading (and Windows and Linux have for a decade), a program cannot tell the difference between a hyperthreading "logical core" and an actual CPU core. The OS's job is to actually schedule processing tasks so that the actual cores fill up first, and then any CPU resources made available by the hyperthreading "logical cores" take whatever else will fit in. So as long as the program supports multiple cores, it can also support hyperthreading. However, a program that supports four cores will place no more than four process threads on the CPU, even if it's an i7-3770 and eight "cores" are available, and even if it's an i7-3930K and six real cores are available.

Penguin Bacon
Apr 19, 2010


I know this is verboten on these forums, but I am looking to buy a prebuilt gaming system. 2500 to 3000 or so. I could build it myself but my work schedule makes it difficult at best. Is there a place that won't rip me off too hard?

Rageaholic Monkey
May 31, 2005

You have my permission to
STAY OUT OF THE
FUCKING WAY!


Penguin Bacon posted:

I know this is verboten on these forums, but I am looking to buy a prebuilt gaming system. 2500 to 3000 or so. I could build it myself but my work schedule makes it difficult at best. Is there a place that won't rip me off too hard?

Any computer you buy for over $1500 is going to be a ripoff. 2500 to 3000 is highway robbery.

Penguin Bacon
Apr 19, 2010


Rageaholic Monkey posted:

Any computer you buy for over $1500 is going to be a ripoff. 2500 to 3000 is highway robbery.

I'm factoring in that I could build it myself for 1500. I just don't have the time to do it.

Fano
Oct 20, 2010


Crackbone posted:

Are you happy with the sound you get currently?

If yes, stick with what you have. If no, get a discrete card.

I'm quite happy with what I have, it's more that the discrete card is relatively cheap and my curiosity has been sparked by it. I've had lovely headphones up until recently and I'd really like to get the most out of them.

Rageaholic Monkey
May 31, 2005

You have my permission to
STAY OUT OF THE
FUCKING WAY!


Penguin Bacon posted:

I'm factoring in that I could build it myself for 1500. I just don't have the time to do it.

You don't have a couple hours free at any point? If you get a case with toolless design, that's all the time it takes. Hell, it may even go quicker than that, but allow yourself that much time anyway.

I don't think a couple hours worth of basic installation work is worth $1,000, but that's me.

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


I would give a tentative recommendation to OriginPC.com. They've been well reviewed, offer most sane choices, and actually tell you what brand of product you're buying.

Something close to our standard "performance" recommendations comes out to ~$1600 before shipping, which is a hell of a markup, but

vyst
Aug 25, 2009

Ask me about getting into Goonwaffe early or not taking too long to answer your emails!

Penguin Bacon posted:

I know this is verboten on these forums, but I am looking to buy a prebuilt gaming system. 2500 to 3000 or so. I could build it myself but my work schedule makes it difficult at best. Is there a place that won't rip me off too hard?

TBH any local shop would probably hook you up for a few hundred bucks of installation fees and order the parts for you. If you want to not talk to people you can go the Ibuypower/Cyberpowerpc or OriginPC route.

LLJKSiLk
Jul 7, 2005

We don't need a crystal ball to see the future. Roll Tide.

I was getting a lot of help prior to Christmas in the last thread, and after reading advice and making a few changes I've updated my build to where I think it is final:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($166.49 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($81.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($249.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($287.86 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Dell U2312HM 23.0" Monitor ($268.98 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Das Keyboard Model S Professional Wired Standard Keyboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1626.25

I also intend to purchase a gaming mouse, and some headphones. But otherwise, this is what I came up with.

Primary Use: Gaming, Photoshop, Visual Studio

Questions:
1. Is there any reason to go with the 16GB of RAM like I chose, or should I drop to 8GB?
2. If I drop back to the 8GB of RAM, should I upgrade any particular component here?
3. Possible Future Upgrade Path: An additional Dell U2312HM monitor, Water Cooling for Overclocking, additional HDD.
4. Anything I should change otherwise? I went with a 256GB SSD for O.S., Office, Visual Studio, etc. and WD 1TB for storage, game installations.

LLJKSiLk
Jul 7, 2005

We don't need a crystal ball to see the future. Roll Tide.

Penguin Bacon posted:

I know this is verboten on these forums, but I am looking to buy a prebuilt gaming system. 2500 to 3000 or so. I could build it myself but my work schedule makes it difficult at best. Is there a place that won't rip me off too hard?

If you don't have a couple of hours to build it yourself, you don't have time available for a gaming system in your life.

Maybe think about why you want one and how much time you really have available?

Penguin Bacon
Apr 19, 2010


Yah, I know I'm being gourged. It is not the best that I'm being forced into this route but I don't have the choice. I'm still sitting on a built computer from 2008. It is still good but its getting long in the tooth. If the prices get really bad, I'll just have to take a vacation day or two to get things up to snuff.

Rageaholic Monkey
May 31, 2005

You have my permission to
STAY OUT OF THE
FUCKING WAY!


vyst posted:

If you want to not talk to people you can go the Ibuypower/Cyberpowerpc or OriginPC route.

Except don't do this. My desktop originally came from CyberPower and I've replaced almost every single component of the original build. And the way they put it together, a few of the components didn't work at all until I got inside it and made them work.

I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. If you're going to go the pre-built route, I'm sure other companies do it better.

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


LLJKSiLk posted:

Questions:
1. Is there any reason to go with the 16GB of RAM like I chose, or should I drop to 8GB?
2. If I drop back to the 8GB of RAM, should I upgrade any particular component here?
3. Possible Future Upgrade Path: An additional Dell U2312HM monitor, Water Cooling for Overclocking, additional HDD.
4. Anything I should change otherwise? I went with a 256GB SSD for O.S., Office, Visual Studio, etc. and WD 1TB for storage, game installations.

1. You don't really need 16G given what you've told us. If you really want 16G you can get it for cheaper than that ($60 on Newegg).
2. No.
3. Forget watercooling, you can get equivalent performance out of a $35 Hyper 212 vs. a $100 watercooler that is louder and more failure prone.
4. There are some concerns about the NAND used in the Samsung 840 has a reduced lifespan vs other drives (including the 830). It's most likely fine, but fair warning.

Crackbone
May 23, 2003

Vlaada is my co-pilot.


vyst posted:

If you want to not talk to people you can go the Ibuypower/Cyberpowerpc route.


No no no. Both of these builders make money buy skimping like a motherfucker wherever they can, and they have nearly non-existent support. OriginPC only gets a halting recommendation from me because they actually spell out what they're putting in your case.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


When I was building a computer last summer, I remember someone in the old thread linked to a website which let you pick all the programs you would typical download after a fresh OS install, and have them all on a single installer. Does anyone have said link?

Also, I'm at a bit of a crossroads with my new SSD hardrive. It's a crucial M4 and it's freezing all the time. I've read the stickied thread, but a) it already has the latest firmware installed and b) it's only sitting at about 3500 hours. I'm hoping a fresh windows install will help, but if not I guess I need to replace it?

Factory Factory
Mar 19, 2010

I can do sex. It's just alien sex.


1) http://www.ninite.com

2) Re-read the sticky; it's not the LATEST firmware you want, it's 000F. Downgrade.

pokecapn
Oct 17, 2003

yeah, galo sengen

Penguin Bacon posted:

Yah, I know I'm being gourged. It is not the best that I'm being forced into this route but I don't have the choice. I'm still sitting on a built computer from 2008. It is still good but its getting long in the tooth. If the prices get really bad, I'll just have to take a vacation day or two to get things up to snuff.

Do you take vacation days to play your games, too? It's like an evening or two or half a Saturday. I'm sure your guild will understand if you skip out on one raid.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


Factory Factory posted:

1) http://www.ninite.com

2) Re-read the sticky; it's not the LATEST firmware you want, it's 000F. Downgrade.

Cheers,

And yeah, sorry, I have 000F (according to DiskInfo).

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Fruits of the sea
Dec 1, 2010


Fano posted:

I'm quite happy with what I have, it's more that the discrete card is relatively cheap and my curiosity has been sparked by it. I've had lovely headphones up until recently and I'd really like to get the most out of them.

The M50's can be driven really easily, so they don't benefit from an amplifier like what comes in high end sound cards.

If you notice an annoying amount of static, beeping or other noises coming through your headphones when no sounds should be playing, consider heading to the headphone thread and asking for recommendations for a cheap external DAC. Some motherboards are pretty poorly shielded against intereference from all the electricals in your case, not to mention appliances such as cell phones and microwaves.

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