Which hard drive/video card is best and 2nd best?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by gracie123, Nov 13, 2006.

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  1. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    I am looking into buying a new computer from Dell and just would like to know which hard drive and video card would be the best options from this selection and 2nd best:

    My basic needs for a computer is simply instant messaging, general web surfing, Microsoft Office, and very few games that I even play or would play in the future. So based on that, any recommendations would be helpful in deciding.

    256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache [Included in Price]
    256MB ATI Radeon X1300 Pro [add $50 or $1/month1]
    256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS [add $200 or $6/month1]
    1GB NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 Dual-GPU Graphics Card [add $650 or $19/month1]
    512MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GTX [add $470 or $14/month1]


    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ [subtract $120]
    320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ [subtract $70]
    500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ [add $60 or $1/month1]
    DataSafe 250GB (Includes main hard drive plus a hidden reserve hard drive) [Included in Price]
    DataSafe 320GB (Includes main hard drive plus a hidden reserve hard drive) [add $100 or $3/month1]
    500GB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 250GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs) add $0
    640GB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 320GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs) [add $100 or $3/month1]


    Thanks! Would appreciate any replies to help me out :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2006
  2. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Gracie,

    Your questions (IMHO) depend on your needs:

    Video card: Are you an active gamer, if so get the most expensive card you can afford, if not you can save a little. I would go with nVidia, I've used ATI for years & switched I'll never go back to ATI.

    HDD: Depends on your needs. Perhaps take a look at how full your current drive is & use a multiple 2X, 3X for choosing. Also the RAID 500, would be very nice! Instant backup & restore.

    If it were me (based on my wants/desires), I would choose 256 nVidia 7900GS & the RAID 500. Wow! I'm envious.

    Take Care
    rico
     
  3. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hi Rico :),

    I am just trying to figure out what hard drive/video card because I want to be able to experience the Windows Vista "Aero" interface and so forth. My basic needs for a computer is simply instant messaging, general web surfing, Microsoft Office, and very few games that I even play or would play in the future. So based on that, could you or someone give me a recommendation? :)

    Thanks so much,

    Gracie
     
  4. thebigdintx

    thebigdintx Registered Member

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    for your video needs, the 256MB Nvidia 7900 GS would be good, and I wouldn't pick the 500GB Performance set up because it's RAID 0 for performance and not back-up (you can read about RAID 0 here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_independent_disks .)

    Instead, for the hard drive, i would suggest the 500GB Serial ATA one....you can back up your important data to an external usb drive.
     
  5. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    I really suggest you picking the latest WD Caviar SE drives: fast in almost all kinds of workloads and barely audible
     
  6. divedog

    divedog Registered Member

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    First if you want vista for games you may want to rethink all of the graphics cards that are listed in you’re post. Vista will support direct x10, the only cards currently out that supports x10 is the nvidia 8800 series, just released in the last few days. There are bound to be a few bugs in these new cards so I would wait until the reviews start coming in. Here is a good place to look and ask questions, although I will warn you they will try to steer you away from dell. For good reason IMHO.
    http://forums.guru3d.com/
    Here is a link for the new 8800
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814133187
    This card will bottleneck all but a few procs, if you consider buying it you will want core duo 2.6 ghz or better. I would recomed the 2.4ghz for around $300 it easily overclocks to 3ghz on air. As for the hard drives, if you want to game I would not recommend raid 0, I would go with a single Western Digital 10,000 rpm Raptor, they are bad fast. If you want a second hard drive for data storage any of the top names will do.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  7. eniqmah

    eniqmah Registered Member

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    IF you want VIsta capability, get the best that your money can afford. In this case, that would be

    256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS [add $200 or $6/month1]
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ [subtract $120]

    Cheap and sufficient for those needs you mentioned. The only thing about this is that it's a Dell. I would spend the money on parts and put together something that is 2x the value.

    Coincidentally, Im also looking at a new system, but the advent of DX 10 is making me hold back since I really don't want to spend top dollar for a video card that's going out of style, not to mention the quad-cores that were just released today. Yummm. $$$$$$$$
     
  8. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hi everyone,

    For my hard drive, I am looking more into "better performance" than the ability to use a external USB drive so in my case.... would I want to go with the 500GB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 250GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs) or 500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ ?

    I just do general web surfing, chatting with friends and family, play very few games, and really that's all besides Microsoft Office, NOD32 Antivirus and Webroot Spy Sweeper and a few other programs.

    ~Gracie
     
  9. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Gracie,

    From the Hard Drives presented, I think the Dell DataSafe 250GB will serve you best.
    Here's why:
    RAID 0 sounds great, but for your needs the performance improvement will be nearly imperceptible.
    RAID 0 doubles the risk of losing your data to hard drive failure over a single drive. This is because your data is spread (striped, interleaved) between the two drives. When (not if) one of the two drives fail, you lose all your data.
    RAID 0 does have its uses like for video editing, but in that case, you would want a RAID 0 array only for capturing and editing the video.
    The RAID 0 array in the Dell system would be used for Windows, programs, and data.

    From what little I read, the DataSafe looks like an easy to use backup solution. Backup is very important especially on a new computer. 250GB is a lot of space even for a ton of pictures and I don't think the extra $100 was worth it for the 70GB additional space in the 320GB.
    Rather put that money into a bigger LCD monitor, I think 20"-22" is the current sweet spot.

    Can't tell you about the current crop of video cards as I won't be going Vista and haven't looked into it lately.
    The advice you received so far sounds good, just get something that is Vista compatible.
     
  10. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hey Devinco,

    Thanks... I will consider all options :)

    Gracie
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    For your needs, do as the others have recommended for hard disk drives, but for the graphics card, any GeForce 7600GT should serve you well. Other options you can consider are the Radeon X850 series and the Radeon X1800GTO.

    If it is within your budget, I would recommend a GeForce 7900GS or Radeon X1900GT. :)

    The minimum graphics card you need to run Aero smoothly on Vista are a GeForce FX 5700 or better. NVIDIA recommends a GeForce 6600GT or better for the best experience on Windows Vista.

    But considering your gaming needs, a GeForce 7600GT should be good enough. However, getting a 7800GS or 7900GS will get you an extra ounce of performance for the future.
     
  12. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Thank you very much for the suggestions! :) And yes, I will go with the NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS. I think it is the best priced video card for my needs...

    Gracie :)
     
  13. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    RAID 0 can be disabled in the BIOS. so it would just be like two separate drives.

    it might be best to check, if you do pick RAID 0, that it can be disabled in the BIOS if that's what you want. :)
    good luck finding out if you ring up tech support to ask.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  14. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    oh ok i see. thank you :)
     
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