Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Tainted-Beef » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:40 pm

Feyd Rautha wrote:I buy all my parts on-line. Not going to Frys is always the best option.


I used to be the same before this most recent computer, but recently Frys has had most of everything I want for nearly the same prices, and for that little extra I can walk up to the store and exchange defective parts on the spot rather than ship them and have to wait 2 weeks to get new parts back. With all that's happened I'm starting to feel thats worth the extra money. Frys has a great return poliacy, and neweggs is well meh. 15% restocking, thats crap, especially when you order a 500$ part, your losing almost 100$ on the return.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby BigDXLT » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:45 am

Hey here's a question:

Sound cards. Are they worth it? Is onboard sound good enough? Gonna probably be using my old headphones anyway. (Which reminds me... I need a new set. I'm back to my old, old pair so I have no mic anymore...)

I see the cheap ones look like $50 and the high end... well, I don't even think I should bother looking at the high end. Down the road investment perhaps?

I'm also thinking I may just go cheap on the video card for now. Save a couple hundred bucks, and go big later on.

OH THE DECISIONS TO BE MADE THEY HURT MY BRAIN.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby shipwreck » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:18 am

BigDXLT wrote: grumble grumble...


mmmmm...grumblecakes.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Tainted-Beef » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:50 pm

FINIALLY!!! I AM REBORN. My striker blew a fuse, finally went to a local store and paid way too much for the MSI 680i Diamond. It runs great! And Bioshock was worth the wait, such an awesome game.

On the question of sound cards, yes and no. Sound cards can make a difference, however for the price of a good one it's not worth it, a low priced on is not much better than your on board most of the time, so 90% of the time it isn't worth it. That said my motherboard came with a built in 100$ sound card, the lowest of the Xi-Fi series. It's amazing sounding, and I can tell the difference compared the 5.1 card I had in the striker mobo for the day it worked. So to summarize my wild and varied thoughts on the subject. Use the on board that comes with your motherboard, and if you want above average sound quality just buy a nicer motherboard, the sound improvement will cost the same amount or less upgrading the motherboard from a low-end to middle ranged motherboard, or mid-ranged to performance motherboard and not only will you get better sound, but you will get the bells and whistles. Just keep in mind your sound is only as good as your weakest link, you will get the worst of the codec, card junk, and speakers. So no matter how good your card is if you are listening to an mp3 or are using speakers from the 70s, chances are it's going to sound like crap.

As a note the Creative Xi-Fi cards have a cool feature where they do a bunch of crap and make your 2 channel sounds play out of more than 2 speakers and balance it and do other really cool stuff. I've liked that feature a lot, but again is it worth that much money? I don't know thats up to your ear! You can find these Xi-Fi cards on high end MSI motherboards, and I am sure other brands as well if you look for it.

As for speakers/headphones you can get a decent pair of 5.1 speakers for under 100$ which should have a good warranty and sound. Mine are logitech and they work great. If you are looking for headphones I have always used 30$ logitech ones, but usually they surround isn't great and I end up just using them as a mic, that and most really aren't comfortable.

Here's some stuff I found on a forum about 5.1 headphones*, Personally I wouldn't trying anything less, especially at the prices some of these run, also watch for Sennheiser to release some soon, although they may be expensive:
"Zalman ZM-RS6F 5.1:
-PROS: The Zalmans look cool and sound pretty good, other than the fact that they have no bass. They are ok on comfort, I would say tolerable. Low cost at USD $50.
-CONS: If you want bass avoid these. Microphone version available, but can't find them at brick and mortar store. No built-in surround sound speaker volume controls.

Kinyo KY-100 5.1:
-PROS: These sound good, and have plenty of bass. I found them very comfortable, even after 6 hours of use and longer! Low cost at USD $50.
-CONS: Slight static/hiss sound from the amp, but not annoying, after a while you don't mind it. NO built-in mic, or surround sound speaker volume controls.

Turtle Beach EarForce X-51:
-PROS: Small, and light. Comes with a built in mic, and surround sound speaker volume controls.
-CONS: Worst 5.1 headphones I have ever used! Nothing special here! Not that comfortable to wear, but more comfortable than the HPA's. Cost me USD $60, I wish I could get my money back.

Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA:
-PROS: Comes with a built in mic, and surround sound speaker volume controls. They sound good, but do not have near the bass that the Kinyo KY-100's have.
-CONS: Absolutely the least comfortable 5.1 headphones I have ever worn. They do not have enough cushion, and the headphones actually push on your ears, and this HURTS after about 20 minutes. Cost me $90, almost double the price of the Kinyo's or Zalman's. "

*: There are no 5.1 headphones, however "5.1 headphones" have 3+ speakers on each ear in stead of one or two, which allows software to better trick you into thinking sounds are coming from behind you. For gaming this is key, despite NS1's demise the ability to hear skulks behind you is so important, and that carries over to all games, although I can't think of any game where you need to be able to turn 180 as fast as you do in NS when a skulks on your butt.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby BigDXLT » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:14 am

Good to hear yer going again beefy!

Gah... I should just figure out how to mount a mic onto this pair (again) and go with them. They're comfy, the sound is great, but they just lack in-line volume control and a microphone. The reason I ditched this pair a couple years ago for my Plantronic's was one ear piece literally fell off. Duct tape and the extra piece of haywire (that I was using to mount a mic from! Sketchy!) wasn't enough to keep them from falling apart more.

Then this summer a wire came loose inside the plantronics for one speaker (if I bent and held the wire one way, I could get sound again) and having it cut out and in was giving me a headache. Plus, the microphone wasn't working for half the winter anyway (likely related?) Trying to fix those things looks like I need to break the plastic casing apart to get in, and well, they'll be busted worse then anyway. They can go sit in the pile with my speakers that conveniently quit working altogether last winter. :p

So, I went and dug out this old pair, peeled off all the haywire and duct tape and realized that if I had a screwdriver and a screw I could have fixed the damn things properly in the first place. All I need to do is mount a microphone on these puppies, get a new keyboard with volume controls built on it and I'll be good to go! The more I think about it, I think I'm just going to use onboard sound because 5.1 whatever will likely be a waste for now.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Feyd Rautha » Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:28 pm

BigDXLT wrote:Hey here's a question:
Sound cards. Are they worth it?


Yes.

BigDXLT wrote:Is onboard sound good enough?


No. A pci/pci-e card is going to be much more isolated from the mainboard, and mainboards are noisy assed places. I use the on-board sound at work on a DELL (ICH8 chipset) and I can hear all the fans and the noise generated by other computers on the same power segment as a constant 'buzz.' Unfortunately the dell does not have a spare PCI slot, only a spare PCI-e 4x, so my old sound card sitting here in a box won't work.

Also when I first built my new PC I was waiting on the soundcard and 'making due' with the on-board sound. It was worse than the Dell. There was some sort of ground loop involved with any microphone you would plug into it.

BigDXLT wrote:Which reminds me... I need a new set.


I highly recommend the Sennheiser HD280 pro.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby BigDXLT » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:54 pm

I think I'm going to slap in a cheap audio card, just because I remember that hissing noise. Deaf as I am, I quite despise that sound. $50 card should do me fine. The one I have in this machine plays sound pretty damn adequate (sb live somethin'r other.) I mean, could a cheap audio card of 2007 be worse than a cheap audio card of 2001? :p

And I'm also getting more and more convinced to go with 64bit vista, though I may scale back from ultimate to home premium despite all it's nubbish-ness. I just want it to look good, be decently future-proof and what not. I'm growing more and more content with using Ubuntu as my "day to day" OS, I think I could handle using windows just for gaming. Why 64 though? Why the hell not. I'm growing more and more convinced that the driver issue is becoming a non-issue. Hell, I think I might even give Ubuntu 64 bit a go.

Also, as I bumped the thread in owl's post, I still I can't decide on a nearly-high end dual core or the low end quad for another $100 bucks... Again, future proofing... Egads.

And motherboards! Where to begin there. The evga 680i should suffice?

http://pc.ncix.com/ncixpc/ncixpc.cfm?uuid=91DF5A40-B66B-ABD1-65E69B3D5AD60B2F-1626670#PCTop

The price (with 13% tax) is about $2020... Which is sort of where I think I want my budget.

Gonna float this around til the end of the week and maybe drag myself to pull the trigger.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Florp Incarnate » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:55 am

Computers are way too frustrating. I have an awesome rig, but my MOBO is AGP and I need PCI-E to up grade my vid card.

Bastages.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby St0nkingByte » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:00 pm

Those whacky 5.1 surround sound headphones really work. I got the Turtle Beach ones (woo that's a blast from the past) and they work great. When I first had them I was freaking out because in NS I could hear Fade's blinking from halfway across the map and could totally tell which direction they were in and about how far away. It was like a ear-borne wallhack!
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Nikon » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:25 pm

St0nkingByte wrote:Those whacky 5.1 surround sound headphones really work. I got the Turtle Beach ones (woo that's a blast from the past) and they work great. When I first had them I was freaking out because in NS I could hear Fade's blinking from halfway across the map and could totally tell which direction they were in and about how far away. It was like a ear-borne wallhack!


I had those, until the headbandparthingy broke.... also

most.uncomfortable.headphones.evar.


but, they do indeed sound amazing.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby BigDXLT » Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:29 pm

Here's the machine I just pulled the trigger on. I scaled back my budget a bit, (hence the Sonata 3 case and slower ram) but fawk it. It'll blow away what I'm used to, and if I keep waiting and waiting I'll never be able to play any games. Plus, I can afford a couple more games this way. My only worry is the 500W PSU, but it's not like I'm plan to overclock or do the sli thing any time soon. And the 1280x1024 resolution monitor automatically limits the sort of behaviour that results in bad frame rates (oh come on, we've all gone ahead and tried to go that one setting too high!) I could rack my brain back and forth forever (so indecisive!) so what the hell. It's done and it's on it's way. Hopefully within 2 weeks I'll be playing TF2 and other games of the awesome variety!

1 x Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB Retail Box
1 x Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R ATX LGA775 Conroe P35 DDR2 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 SATA RAID Sound GBLAN Motherboard
1 x Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC2-5400 DDR2-667 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory
1 x EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800GTS Superclocked 576MHZ 320MB 1.7GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV H *IR-$20.00*
1 x Antec Sonata III Black ATX 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W 120MM Fan
1 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive 5YR MFR Warranty
1 x Samsung SH-S203B Black SATA DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 DL 18X/12X INT DVD Writer OEM W/ Vista SW
1 x Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
1 x Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Audio 24BIT Sound Card 7.1 PCI-E X1 OEM
1 x LG L1953T-SF 19IN LCD Silver 1280X1024 5MS 1280X1024 2000:1 300CD/M2 VGA DVI-D F-ENGINE Monitor
1 x Microsoft Flight Simulator X (10) Deluxe DVD OEM *with System Purchase Only*
1 x nGear Flash Card Reader 3.5IN Internal USB Black CF/SM/SD/MMC/MS/XD 18IN Cable Seperated Connectors

$1800-somethin' total.
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Niteowl » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:29 pm

It'll be totally worth it for teh TF2 byte! Welcome to NEW COMPUTER land! (soon to be tragically and pathetically obsolete land)
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby BigDXLT » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:32 pm

WOO! IT'S HERE! WOOOOOO! I EVEN TOOK AN HOUR EARLY OFF OF WORK TO PICK IT UP AND PUT IT TOGETHER!

And then I realized the monitor didn't come in yet.

WELL, that's okay, I'll just hook it all up and connect it to my... old... monitor...

(insert Darth Vader "noooooooooo" ytmnd here)

New vid card has no vga port, dvi only.

SO NOW IT sits there, taunting me, mocking me, all shiny and sexy. DAMN YOU CANADA POST! DAMN YOU ALL!
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Darwin » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:07 pm

Adapter in video card box?
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Re: Relatively Noisy, Relatively Budget Blowing PC

Postby Niteowl » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:22 pm

Darwin wrote:Adapter in video card box?

QFT!!???
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