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#1 SmashySmashy

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:05 PM

Hey everyone, I have taken the liberty of writing up this FAQ for anyone interested in building or purchasing a desktop or laptop PC.

Let's start off with the basic components:

Motherboards - The motherboard is the main housing unit of all your PC components, and it is required that all your parts match your mobo's plugs. There are many different types of motherboards that can handle different types of CPU's. Depending on which CPU brand and model you choose, your mobo's socket type must match your CPU socket type.

Leading manufacturer(s): Asus


CPU (Central Processing Unit) - Your CPU is the heart of your PC's power, but not always does your CPU clock speed (measured in Gigahertz per second) depend on how fast your computer will run. Your CPU also requires other components like your RAM. CPU speed can also be dependent on bus speed, cache and bit rate. The recommended bus speed for a CPU is 1600mhz and the usual cache size is 1MB, although 2 is recommended. There are different processor types, 32 bit, 64 bit and dual core processing. For optimal gaming performance right now, 64 bit single core processing is really recommended, although in the coming months dual core processing will start to become utilized in gaming and general software fields.

Main developers : AMD and Intel


RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM is a very important component in your PC, as the more RAM you have, the more programs you can run at one time as well as higher end software and games. Laptops and desktops both use different types of RAM, as well as certain motherboards can utilize dual channel memory. Laptops use SODIMM memory, while desktops use various types of DDR memory as well as SDRAM (although SDRAM has a very slow clock speed). Video gaming consoles use a different type of RAM as well, all 3 console developers use their own unique types of memory. Recommended memory size is at least 512MB, although 1GB is best if you want Windows to run almost flawlessly, 2GB and 4GB are also available for supported motherboards.

Leading developers: Corsair, Kingston, PNY, Ultra and US Modular


GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) - Many motherboards come with integrated Graphics processing units, however most are very low end setups, such as ATI's Radeon 9200 graphics chip which is a very mainstream unit. Laptops come with shared GPU, half of the memory from the GPU is shared with the CPU for optimal efficiency, which is generally a problem for mainstream laptop computers and those who want to play games on them. However buying a independent GPU is the way to go if you want optimal performance, and depending on how much you like pretty graphics, your GPU setup will be different. For the optimal graphics technology, a SLI (Nvidia GPU based) or Crossfire (ATI GPU based), which allows for up to two GPU's to run at one time, also allowing for users to use 2 monitors at the same time and maintain high quailty graphics depending on the card. Nvidia has recently unvield its GeForce 7950GTX which is two video cards in one single card along with a motherboard which can run two of those GPU's at one time in Quad SLI mode. GPU's require different slots depending on the age of the card. AGP was the standard for a long time, which originally took over the PCI card, however now PCI Express is the mainstream slot for graphics card.


Leading developers: ATI and Nvidia. Other noteable: Intel (laptops and some Mac PC's)


PSU (Power Supply Unit) - The power supply is a very important component in your PC, the more watts you have the better gaming experience you can have, running SLI and Crossfire motherboards and GPU setups require a 500 watt PSU, although generic PC's use 300 watts. It is recommended that anyone planning on using Quad SLI mode should purchase a PSU of at least 600 watts. ATX is the connection from your PSU to your motherboard. A PC case usually comes with a PSU.

More will come later.

Edited by AcousticSmash, 10 June 2006 - 06:13 PM.


#2 junior01

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:07 AM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 10 2006, 10:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey everyone, I have taken the liberty of writing up this FAQ for anyone interested in building or purchasing a desktop or laptop PC.

If they are reading this i'm guessing that they already owns or build themselves a PC blink.gif
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#3 SmashySmashy

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE (junior01 @ Jun 11 2006, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 10 2006, 10:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey everyone, I have taken the liberty of writing up this FAQ for anyone interested in building or purchasing a desktop or laptop PC.

If they are reading this i'm guessing that they already owns or build themselves a PC blink.gif

Its for those who dont understand PC components and assembly, as I expand this FAQ, more indepth information will be explained. I figure its a good way to share my computer knowledge with those who want to build computers and dont know what to do. You dont have to not own a computer to want to learn about components you know. I have had exposure to computers for well over 10 years now and it wasnt until I started researching how to build your own custom computer, that I really wanted to know more about it.

Edited by AcousticSmash, 11 June 2006 - 05:40 PM.


#4 nivag2k1

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 07:18 AM

There is not a great deal of point in getting a 64 bit processor unless you have windows XP 64, not many drivers and programmes if any support 64 bit processors. So i would recommend either a dual core, but 32 bit.
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#5 SmashySmashy

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE (nivag2k1 @ Jun 12 2006, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is not a great deal of point in getting a 64 bit processor unless you have windows XP 64, not many drivers and programmes if any support 64 bit processors. So i would recommend either a dual core, but 32 bit.

Yup, but most games are now optimizing 64-bit processing, and most software as well. However dual core technology is not necessary yet unless you are really planning on pushing your PC to the limit. For the general consumer, 64 bit is affordable and powerful, yet reliable. The problem with Intel is that they dont use 64 bit technology to the best of my knowledge, they have 32 bit and dual core and thats it.

#6 nivag2k1

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 02:19 AM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 12 2006, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (nivag2k1 @ Jun 12 2006, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There is not a great deal of point in getting a 64 bit processor unless you have windows XP 64, not many drivers and programmes if any support 64 bit processors. So i would recommend either a dual core, but 32 bit.

Yup, but most games are now optimizing 64-bit processing, and most software as well. However dual core technology is not necessary yet unless you are really planning on pushing your PC to the limit. For the general consumer, 64 bit is affordable and powerful, yet reliable. The problem with Intel is that they dont use 64 bit technology to the best of my knowledge, they have 32 bit and dual core and thats it.

Intel brought out a 64 bit Pentium 4 not so long ago.
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#7 Yahmez

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 05:23 AM

64-bit is the way of the future though. Many programs (well, ones that I use anyway) are optimised for 64-bit cpus, I'd much rather have the functionality than not, especially if it only means me buying an Athlon over a Pentium IV.
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#8 jeffw

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:18 AM

There are many other manufacturers of excellent motherboards that you have fialed to list.

http://www.newegg.co...asp?Category=20

Take a look through those--many of those are great brands. I strongly recommend Soltek for a home system, but would recommend something a bit higher class for something like a server; I never have tried ASUS yet, but it's a plan for someday in the future.

By the way, you failed to list Crucial in your RAM list!

As for 500 watts? Not worth it unless you are running a huge, fancy graphics card. Chances are, unless you are using a dual core processor and a very very very heavy graphics card (probably PCIex based), you will never utilize that much. I use a 400w myself, but get whatever you can afford.

Edit: By the way, how can a program be 'optimized for 64-bit' if your Windows version is a 32-bit based platform? ...

Edit (2): I highly recommend NewEgg (I've used it for building my own PC), and ZipZoomFly (I have not used it, but heard good things about it). Newegg has fairly decent return policies, but hopefully anything you buy shouldn't need replacement.

But heed my warning: Cases shipped from newegg from some companies have been known to be shipped with damage, so buy your case locally if it all possible; you don't need a big fancy case either, no matter how much you think you do, but if you can afford it, go on ahead smile.gif.

-J

Edited by jeffw, 13 June 2006 - 09:22 AM.

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#9 SmashySmashy

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 05:09 PM

QUOTE (jeffw @ Jun 13 2006, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are many other manufacturers of excellent motherboards that you have fialed to list.

http://www.newegg.co...asp?Category=20

Take a look through those--many of those are great brands. I strongly recommend Soltek for a home system, but would recommend something a bit higher class for something like a server; I never have tried ASUS yet, but it's a plan for someday in the future.

By the way, you failed to list Crucial in your RAM list!

As for 500 watts? Not worth it unless you are running a huge, fancy graphics card. Chances are, unless you are using a dual core processor and a very very very heavy graphics card (probably PCIex based), you will never utilize that much. I use a 400w myself, but get whatever you can afford.

Edit: By the way, how can a program be 'optimized for 64-bit' if your Windows version is a 32-bit based platform? ...

Edit (2): I highly recommend NewEgg (I've used it for building my own PC), and ZipZoomFly (I have not used it, but heard good things about it). Newegg has fairly decent return policies, but hopefully anything you buy shouldn't need replacement.

But heed my warning: Cases shipped from newegg from some companies have been known to be shipped with damage, so buy your case locally if it all possible; you don't need a big fancy case either, no matter how much you think you do, but if you can afford it, go on ahead smile.gif.

-J

I dont use NewEgg for my PC parts. Besides I have only just begun the FAQ, by the end I will be listing lots of different manufacturers.

QUOTE (nivag2k1 @ Jun 13 2006, 06:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 12 2006, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

QUOTE (nivag2k1 @ Jun 12 2006, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There is not a great deal of point in getting a 64 bit processor unless you have windows XP 64, not many drivers and programmes if any support 64 bit processors. So i would recommend either a dual core, but 32 bit.

Yup, but most games are now optimizing 64-bit processing, and most software as well. However dual core technology is not necessary yet unless you are really planning on pushing your PC to the limit. For the general consumer, 64 bit is affordable and powerful, yet reliable. The problem with Intel is that they dont use 64 bit technology to the best of my knowledge, they have 32 bit and dual core and thats it.

Intel brought out a 64 bit Pentium 4 not so long ago.

Didnt know that, the P4 that is in my desktop is 32 bit, and it doesnt have that Hyper Transport technology in it.

#10 jeffw

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 06:22 PM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 13 2006, 08:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jeffw @ Jun 13 2006, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are many other manufacturers of excellent motherboards that you have fialed to list.

http://www.newegg.co...asp?Category=20

Take a look through those--many of those are great brands. I strongly recommend Soltek for a home system, but would recommend something a bit higher class for something like a server; I never have tried ASUS yet, but it's a plan for someday in the future.

By the way, you failed to list Crucial in your RAM list!

As for 500 watts? Not worth it unless you are running a huge, fancy graphics card. Chances are, unless you are using a dual core processor and a very very very heavy graphics card (probably PCIex based), you will never utilize that much. I use a 400w myself, but get whatever you can afford.

Edit: By the way, how can a program be 'optimized for 64-bit' if your Windows version is a 32-bit based platform? ...

Edit (2): I highly recommend NewEgg (I've used it for building my own PC), and ZipZoomFly (I have not used it, but heard good things about it). Newegg has fairly decent return policies, but hopefully anything you buy shouldn't need replacement.

But heed my warning: Cases shipped from newegg from some companies have been known to be shipped with damage, so buy your case locally if it all possible; you don't need a big fancy case either, no matter how much you think you do, but if you can afford it, go on ahead smile.gif.

-J

I dont use NewEgg for my PC parts. Besides I have only just begun the FAQ, by the end I will be listing lots of different manufacturers.



What about the rest of my post? unsure.gif I think you still ought to add Crucial to your list of RAM Manufacturers.

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#11 Cuphands

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 11:45 PM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 14 2006, 03:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Didnt know that, the P4 that is in my desktop is 32 bit, and it doesnt have that Hyper Transport technology in it.


Hyper Threading.

Are you sure ? As far as I can tell all Pentium 4's came with Hyper Threading ?

Anyways I dabble in a dual core myself, it's still 32-bit, but so efficient it's not funny (my old 2 gHz AMD (64-bit) would use 60 % of all it's resources when performing an operation and the 3 gHz intel does the same with 16 %) , even under win XP's 32-bit environment.

#12 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:06 AM

that list could use a fair bit of improving, some of the most important factors are missing, when I get time i'll write up one
My setup

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Cort Solid top Accoustic, fishman pickup

Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)

#13 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:12 AM

QUOTE (igorski @ Jun 14 2006, 05:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 14 2006, 03:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Didnt know that, the P4 that is in my desktop is 32 bit, and it doesnt have that Hyper Transport technology in it.


Hyper Threading.

Are you sure ? As far as I can tell all Pentium 4's came with Hyper Threading ?

Anyways I dabble in a dual core myself, it's still 32-bit, but so efficient it's not funny (my old 2 gHz AMD (64-bit) would use 60 % of all it's resources when performing an operation and the 3 gHz intel does the same with 16 %) , even under win XP's 32-bit environment.


He's talking about Hyper transport technology not hyper threading technology.

Hyperthreading is on the P4's to emulate another cpu for better multitasking.

Hyper transporrt technology is AMD's version of FSB and it is meant to run at a speed of approximatley 1600mhz.
My setup

Fender Mexican strat Sunburst/maple

Cort Solid top Accoustic, fishman pickup

Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)

#14 nivag2k1

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:50 AM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 14 2006, 02:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jeffw @ Jun 13 2006, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are many other manufacturers of excellent motherboards that you have fialed to list.

http://www.newegg.co...asp?Category=20

Take a look through those--many of those are great brands. I strongly recommend Soltek for a home system, but would recommend something a bit higher class for something like a server; I never have tried ASUS yet, but it's a plan for someday in the future.

By the way, you failed to list Crucial in your RAM list!

As for 500 watts? Not worth it unless you are running a huge, fancy graphics card. Chances are, unless you are using a dual core processor and a very very very heavy graphics card (probably PCIex based), you will never utilize that much. I use a 400w myself, but get whatever you can afford.

Edit: By the way, how can a program be 'optimized for 64-bit' if your Windows version is a 32-bit based platform? ...

Edit (2): I highly recommend NewEgg (I've used it for building my own PC), and ZipZoomFly (I have not used it, but heard good things about it). Newegg has fairly decent return policies, but hopefully anything you buy shouldn't need replacement.

But heed my warning: Cases shipped from newegg from some companies have been known to be shipped with damage, so buy your case locally if it all possible; you don't need a big fancy case either, no matter how much you think you do, but if you can afford it, go on ahead smile.gif.

-J

I dont use NewEgg for my PC parts. Besides I have only just begun the FAQ, by the end I will be listing lots of different manufacturers.

QUOTE (nivag2k1 @ Jun 13 2006, 06:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jun 12 2006, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

QUOTE (nivag2k1 @ Jun 12 2006, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There is not a great deal of point in getting a 64 bit processor unless you have windows XP 64, not many drivers and programmes if any support 64 bit processors. So i would recommend either a dual core, but 32 bit.

Yup, but most games are now optimizing 64-bit processing, and most software as well. However dual core technology is not necessary yet unless you are really planning on pushing your PC to the limit. For the general consumer, 64 bit is affordable and powerful, yet reliable. The problem with Intel is that they dont use 64 bit technology to the best of my knowledge, they have 32 bit and dual core and thats it.

Intel brought out a 64 bit Pentium 4 not so long ago.

Didnt know that, the P4 that is in my desktop is 32 bit, and it doesnt have that Hyper Transport technology in it.



EDIT: Just read the bove post. sleep.gif

What is hyper transport technology? Never heard of it!

Edited by nivag2k1, 15 June 2006 - 03:44 AM.

The List!
Woggie - For coming up with lyrics that made me laugh.
Me - "Sod That For A Lark!"

The List of things i don't get:

The shit. I'm ready. - Gummy

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#15 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 04:41 AM

read my post.

Its basically AMD's version of Front side Bus
My setup

Fender Mexican strat Sunburst/maple

Cort Solid top Accoustic, fishman pickup

Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)

#16 nivag2k1

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:35 AM

So whats that got to do with 64 bit processors?
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#17 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:48 PM

u asked what hyper transport technology was...
My setup

Fender Mexican strat Sunburst/maple

Cort Solid top Accoustic, fishman pickup

Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)

#18 nivag2k1

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 04:13 AM

QUOTE (ILLaViTaR @ Jun 15 2006, 01:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
read my post.

Its basically AMD's version of Front side Bus


But a front side bus is just another name for the data bus in a processor. Why give it a really impressive sounding name?
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#19 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 09:11 AM

umm no its not. FSB is the speed/bandwidth at which everything communicates its not on the processor its speed which runs at what speed the chipset tells it to .

Its not on any part of the computer at all I'm to tired atm and finding it hard to explain but if you must say its ran on something then say the chipset. The cpu will run at what speed the chipset tells it too.

As for an impressive sounding name its easier type FSB than "the data bus in a processor" every time you want to refer to it
My setup

Fender Mexican strat Sunburst/maple

Cort Solid top Accoustic, fishman pickup

Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)

#20 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 10:10 AM

heres an patched up version of AcousticSmash's list


Hey everyone, I have taken the liberty of writing up this FAQ for anyone interested in building or purchasing a desktop or laptop PC.

Let's start off with the basic components:

Motherboards - The motherboard is the main housing unit of all your PC components, and it is required that all your parts match your mobo's plugs. There are many different types of motherboards that can handle different types of CPU's. Depending on which CPU brand and model you choose, your mobo's socket type must match your CPU socket type. Decent motherboards are needed for a good overclock like DFI boards which are top of the line atm or if you on a budget theres nothing wrong with a gigabyte board

Leading manufacturer(s): Asus


CPU (Central Processing Unit) - Your CPU is the heart of your PC's power, but not always does your CPU clock speed (measured in Gigahertz per second) depend on how fast your computer will run. Your CPU also requires other components like your RAM. CPU speed can also be dependent on bus speed, cache and bit rate. The average bus speed runs at 200mhz (for intel and amd's), intel quad pump their FSB to 800mhz while AMD have a technology called HTT which is meant to have instant speed but it really equates to around 1600mhz. The usual L2 cache size is 1MB which is all that is needed. There are different processor types, 32 bit, 64 bit and dual core processing. For optimal gaming performance right now, 32 bit single core processing is ample but 64 bit is really recommended, 64 bit doesnt make a difference yet but its as cheap and will make a difference in the future. It will be a while before Dual core processing is utilised so better to wait till prices drop. For cpu I recommend an AMD 3700+ San Diego.

Main developers : AMD and Intel


RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM is a very important component in your PC, as the more RAM you have, the more programs you can run at one time as well as higher end software and games. Laptops and desktops both use different types of RAM, as well as certain motherboards can utilize dual channel memory. Laptops use SODIMM memory, while desktops use various types of DDR memory as well as SDRAM (although SDRAM has a very slow clock speed). Video gaming consoles use a different type of RAM as well, all 3 console developers use their own unique types of memory. Recommended memory size is at least 1GB. 2GB is becomming standard now to handle games such as battlefield 2. Generic ram is frowned upon in the hardware world, it usually gets errors and has loose timings. OCZ performance and even kingston do fairly well but if you want the best ram known to man go with mushkin

Leading developers: Corsair, Kingston, OCZ, Mushkin, PNY, Ultra and US Modular


GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) - Many motherboards come with integrated Graphics processing units, however most are very low end setups, such as ATI's Radeon 9200 graphics chip which is a very mainstream unit. Laptops come with shared GPU, half of the memory from the GPU is shared with the CPU for optimal efficiency, which is generally a problem for mainstream laptop computers and those who want to play games on them. However buying a independent GPU is the way to go if you want optimal performance, and depending on how much you like pretty graphics, your GPU setup will be different. For the optimal graphics technology, a SLI (Nvidia GPU based) or Crossfire (ATI GPU based), which allows for up to two GPU's to run at one time, also allowing for users to use 2 monitors at the same time and maintain high quailty graphics depending on the card. Nvidia has recently unvield its GeForce 7950GTX which is two video cards in one single card along with a motherboard which can run four of those GPU's at one time in Quad SLI mode. GPU's require different slots depending on the age of the card. AGP was the standard for a long time, which originally took over the PCI card, however now PCI Express is taking over the AGP graphics cards. Many people get sucked in by the Ram on the card and get blinded and buy the card with more memory. In most cases the card gets so bottlenecked it will never fill the ram on low end 256mb cards etc.
A 512mb 6600 doesn't even come close performance wise to a 128mb 6600GT for example. For a budget GFX card I recommend a 128mb 6600GT and for an above standard card I recommend a 256mb 7600GT


Leading developers: ATI and Nvidia. Other noteable: Intel (laptops and some Mac PC's)


PSU (Power Supply Unit) - The power supply is a very important component in your PC infact the most Important, the more Amps on the +12 rail you have the better stability/gaming experience you can have, many people think its just about whats where infact Amps and brands are much more important. running SLI and Crossfire motherboards and GPU setups require a 500 watt PSU with at least 26A on the +12v rail (I'd really recommended 36A though). It is recommended that anyone planning on using Quad SLI mode should purchase a PSU of at least 650 watts. A PC case usually comes with a PSU but as soon as you get that stock PSU with your case throw the damn thing away its a cheap piece of rubbish that could surge your system and provide "dirty" power too the parts at irregular levels. For A standard PSU I'd recommend an Antec truepower 2 or for a high end one I'd recommend an OCZ powerstream.

And for laptops I personally wouldn't bother getting one with a decent GFX card if you intended on gaming, they're not designed for gaming you really cant match them to a desktop.

NOTE: Stay away from branded computers such as dell, hewlett packard etc. these computers have bad cooling, bad powersupplies and cheap motherboards. These things make them terribly unstable and generally give them a shorter lifespan

More will come later
My setup

Fender Mexican strat Sunburst/maple

Cort Solid top Accoustic, fishman pickup

Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)




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