Purchasing a PC - Moore's law

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Kees1958, Nov 25, 2010.

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  1. Kees1958

    Kees1958 Registered Member

    Jul 8, 2006

    Three and half years ago I purchased a gaming PC for my son. At that time the quod cores became the top dogs of the market. So we bought a dual core, overclockable mobo, smart case and a top-class video card (just two notches under the market leader at that time).

    Bought it from an internet store which installed everything for us for just 50 euro's.

    The dual core and mobo were able to overclock from 266Mhz font bus to 430Mhz. By buying a smart casing, we were able to use the standard cooler. Only mistake at that time was using standard cooling paste :'( (explain later).
    A smart case allows you to buy a cheap 120mm or 150mm fan and direct the fresh air intake through a sleeve directly on the head of the standard cooling fan. See picture.

    Since 95% of the games were based on single CPU processors, his gaming experience was as good as his two friends who bought a 4core with same GPU video card. We overclocked his GPU also (a 'safe' 30% :D ). At that time I paid around 280 Euro less for the cheaper mobo, memory and CPU than his friends.

    They kept their 4cores at the standard 2.66 Ghz his overclocked dual core ran at 3.44 Ghz. On the 3dmark06 he scored a 13% higher (problably overclocked GPU) than his friends

    After 3.5 years his CPU died (dried cooling paste) and mobo became unstable, so we bought a AMD 3.0 Ghz quad core CPU with 12800 Memory (4gb) and cheap 870 Asus mobo (with delivery and CPU/fan install and better cooling paste) set us back 240 Euro's. I had expected to buy a new CPU, the additional mobo (plus switch from ddr2 to ddr3) was not anticipated (so a setback of 140 euro's).

    So when buying with Moore's law in mind, even in worst case scenario's you play break even. Allthough first buy you have to argue with you kids (for not buying top-notch) and with replacement you have to argue with your wife (assuming most nerds are male, for "why they need new again", so I promised to not overclock this one :).

    When the mobo had not become instable, I would have considered buying a new GPU also (now for 112 euro's 30% faster than his overclocked 330 Euro original card). I discussed new GPU with him (he had to pay half of everything) but he likes battlefield over call of duty. So old performance will do (he keeps his money in his pocket until battlefield with enhanced call of duty like graphics might be released in future).

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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  2. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    The formula that's served me well for the past decade with my personal PCs is to build a particular system,like yourself using slightly below the top components.I'll run it for some months,then,when there are some great offers I'll sell the system and upgrade myself for free (or very small outlay).

    I've never felt inclined to pay a big premium to own the latest,cutting-edge hardware,especially with the ease of overclocking nowadays.
  3. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    I normally always go with the "get most bang for your bucks" attitude. Meaning that I look at getting newest and best technology available for reasonable money (meaning that I, or people I help, very seldom got that extreme high end component) and I always estimate where the price raises too sharply compared to what one gets for ones money.
    I have build some AMD systems, but prefer Intel - especially after trying some AMDs and being less than satisfied, some people are "die hard" AMD fans, I normally always go with Intel.
    I as good as never 'over-clock' , but on the other hand I can't remember that a system I built ever "died on someone else", have had a few dead PSUs, and myself advanced electrical problems with the result that equipment were damaged. (If you are either the first to discover, or do too advanced stuff, you won't know until it is too late)

    Sell the system and upgrade myself for free (or very small outlay). Gee... , that sounds very nice, however that has been totally impossible, where I live, for years, if one have any conscience anyway. Prices on most new type equipment has either dropped like a rock or you get very much more for the same money as you paid before. And when they also sell people brand new systems for as little as a few hundred dollars , and people looks stifly at the price, then one can either give ones stuff away or keep it. We got one shop in particular that has specialized in second hand PCs (they buy bulk) they have been selling P4 systems 2.4GHZ to 2.8GHZ ready to run execpt O.S. and CD/DVD drive and they sold for like $60 , try matching that. (Of course it depends on what's inside, but most people look at the price and those that don't will rather go with cheap new high performance stuff , unless , again , you are ready to throw your stuff at them for nothing).
    Years back I had specialized at helping friends and family to upgrade to newer technology for little or nothing by selling systems mainly based on their key component parts and then buying new key components for them but that has not been an option for a long time where I live.
  4. Kees1958

    Kees1958 Registered Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    I am a die hard overclocker.

    In the 80-ties when I worked as free-lance IT projectmanager/consultant I had a side kick, importing stuff from the US. Due to stupid law in the Netherlands (at that time) I had to have more than 3 customers to not pay employee social benifit taxes (stupid because with less than 3 customers a year I had to pay for it, but could not get the benefits when between contracts, contracts lasted 9 months to a year, so I needed this side kick).

    I had a cousin of mine assemble, test and overclock it (by changing the timer crystals :D ) and sell them 800 guilders below market price. Incrediable to imagine that a high end PC system would set you back for 4000 to 5000 guilders. A laptop (more a moveable PC) would cost you back 10.000 guilders. To todays standards that would be the same equivalent to euro's :cautious:

    I still think for desktops OC (over clocking) is the way to go. For laptops/notebooks life can be extended by adding memory and changing harddrives (seagate's Hybrids are a great performance booster on old laptops).

    regards Kees
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Jun 29, 2007
    Nebraska, USA
    That's a good post but really has nothing to do with Moore's Law. Moore's Law says that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits roughly doubles every two years. While more transistors per square inch is certainly related to processing power, it does not translate to a 1:1 improvement in gaming performance - there are too many other factors involved.

    Note particularly that Moore's Law is not exclusive to CPUs. That is important to consider in today's computing environment which is so graphics intensive and where the graphics card plays a major, if not "the" major role in gaming performance. My point is, it is not surprising gaming performance with a computer using a lessor CPU equals that of more advanced CPU unless EVERYTHING ELSE (RAM, drives, motherboard, and graphics solution) are identical.

    Also note that a properly applied layer of TIM (thermal interface material) does not go bad unless the cured bond between the mating surfaces has been broken. The stuff that oozes out over the edges may dry out but that is not a factor in the heat transfer process. It is important to note the purpose of TIM is to only fill the microscopic pits and valleys of mating surfaces in order to push out the heat trapping air. The most efficient heat transfer occurs with metal-to-metal contact. This is why too much TIM is a bad, counterproductive thing.

    The only way the bond can be broken is if the user removes or manhandles the heat sink, the heat sink fan assembly is improperly secured, if the whole computer is jostled about during transport, or a misguided kick causes a heavy heatsink to move and break the bond. If the sealed bond is not broken, air cannot get in and the TIM can remain effective for 10 years or more.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Good post for sure, and we all certainly want to get the most bang for the buck, once one's needs are determined, so a big savings if gaming or graphics-intensive use, for example, is not required. However, the one area I especially don't want to cheap out on is the PSU, where I will spend for at least an 80 Plus Silver rating, with lots of overhead for minimum power requirements. Why bombard all those thousands of transistors with excessive oscillations and harmonics, and fluctuating voltages if unnecessary? ;)
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