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New Computer

I just purchased a computer off of E-bay for 1,016 dollars. I wanted to get some input on the specs. The seller claims since it is a  Pentium D 3.2 Ghz it would out beat a pentium 3.8 Ghz processor, Is this accurate? Do you guys think this was a good investment? The computer also came with a 19" Flat Panel.

Brand:       
Dell
Memory (RAM):       
1 GB
      
Processor Type:       
Pentium D 940--Dual Cores: TWO 3.2GHz Processors. Beats P4 3.8GHz
Hard Drive Capacity:       
250 GB
      
      Processor Model:       
--
                  Operating System:       
Windows XP Media Center
      
Processor Speed:
      
3.2 GHz

Primary Drive:       

DVD+/-RW
      
Bundled Items:
      
Keyboard, Modem, Monitor, Mouse, Network Card

Condition:
      
New, Sealed in Box

Thanks,

Joe
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Joe
Asked:
Joe
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5 Solutions
 
CallandorCommented:
The answer is, it depends.  If you are running a single 3D game, the 3.8 would win, becuase most games are not aware of multiple cores and won't take advantage of them.  The raw speed in this case is all that matters.  If you are running a database and there are multiple heavy requests coming in which tax the cpu, the dual core 3.2 would win.

As far as value, it seems in line for a dual core system, but you could have built an Athlon64 X2 3800+ system for less and gotten a higher performance system: cpu $300, motherboard $100, RAM $85, and you have enough left for case, video card, hard drive and OS.  You didn't mention what video card you got, which can be a significant fraction of a system cost these days, depending on which card you get.
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Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Try this link. it's a good one.
http://www.behardware.com/art/imprimer/532/
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worpxCommented:
The Dual Core 3.2 runs faster as it handles multiple threads at once (therefore, for gaming, it would matter). Most games now are multithreaded applications and would it would be advantageous if they were 64 bit, running in a 64 bit environment.

For the price, you can get cheaper as callandor mentioned (i personally prefer the x2's performance from personal experience).

And yes, the video card matters for gaming or heavy cad apps..etc. It will also significantly increase the machine's benchmark.
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Oh sorry forgot to mention the sound and graphics.

Integrated Audio with Dolby Digital 7.1 capability

Video

256MB PCI-e x16 ATI Radeon X600 SE HyperMemory (with DVI/VGA-TV-out)
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worpxCommented:
The "SE" in graphics card usually means that it doesn't perform very well in the x600 line. Its a typical consumer graphics card that does alright but doesn't hang with the big boys, so to speak -- say an X800XT.

Integrated audio on a mb isn't the best of quality for surround sound as an audigy card would be -- but its alright if you're not using it for media/game applications.

Overall, if I were in your shoes, I'd get something better.
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dapsychousCommented:
Well, the video card isn't spectacular; but it's not bad either.  Generally, dual-core helps alot when running multiple appications, or as worpx said, multiple threads.  If you are planning to only get online and check your email, then you WAY overspent.  If, however, you want a high end-gaming machine, you at least fell close to the mark.  

Video card aside (I think that's about a $70 card, but I could be mistaken.  I'm not familiar with 'Hypermemory' term.  I hope that its not a pretty term for shared memory.  That would suck),  it seems like a decent price for what you received.  

Whether or not it's worth the money depends on how you use it.

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JoeAuthor Commented:
This machine was bundled with a brand new 19" flat panel, I dont know if I could have built a machine with a cheaper price tag with all of this stuff. So do you guys think all this was worth the price?
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JoeAuthor Commented:
It will be a gaming / Work machine.

Battlefield 2
Ages of the Empires
Counterstrike
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dapsychousCommented:
Looks good for the gaming side, though you might want to put a little more oomph (is that actually a word) into the video card.  Other than that, my company probalby would have charged 1300 -1500 for that setup, as long as its in a pretty case.

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dapsychousCommented:
Second thought, looking at the list of games,  looks like that card will work just fine for them.  If you get into the BRAND new stuff (FEAR, WoW, etc), at that point, you may want to look into a better video card if you find that your framerate is suffering.

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JoeAuthor Commented:
I thought PCI express was alot faster than AGP, in my other machine I have the Gforce 5500 256 MB card in a 1.7 GHZ machine should I swap the cards?
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CallandorCommented:
The X600SE is below the X600Pro for comparison: http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/12/02/vga_charts_viii/page11.html

A PCI-e x16 card is faster than an AGP card only if the gpu can pump out the data faster than AGP.  That card is not straining the bus at all.  The 7800GS is AGP and can beat many PCI-e cards: http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/02/nvidia_7800gs_confirms_agp_aint_dead_yet/

The 5-series nVidia cards are not real contenders in the 3D gaming world.
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JoeAuthor Commented:
So in other words my X600 SE card blows away my Gforce card in my other machine?
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CallandorCommented:
The 5500 is far below the 5900, and the 5900 barely makes a showing on the chart.  The X600 Pro is near the bottom, but it is there, so the X600 SE is not too far away, and is better than the 5500.
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Those charts show the X600 as being a horrid graphics card. I wonder if they are tweaking the in game graphics up to the max, which I do not intend on doing. I am not an Extreme gamer but just want to experience smooth game play without anything being choppy.
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CallandorCommented:
I have both an X700 LE and an X850XT - the X700 LE can handle BF2 medium settings and still keep up, while the X850XT lets me use everything at high settings except AA/AF.  The cpu is an Athlon64 X2 3800+.
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jer2eydevil88Commented:
If you keep your game resolution at 800x600 or 1024x768 (depending on the game) you should have a perfectly enjoyable gaming experience with that system.  Your gameplay should be totally smooth as long as you don't try to turn the effects on or play at a high resolution.  If you decide the games aren't looking as pretty as you would like it is very easy to upgrade your graphics card down the road.  
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for all the info it was great.

Joe
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