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brand name computer components -- > is there a difference

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valkarie
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:21 pm    Post subject: brand name computer components -- > is there a difference Reply with quote

Hi all,
At the moment I am shopping for components for (my first build) my comp. After looking at different sites, computer fares, shops, I am wondering what seriously is the difference in brand name??? This is in rference to the following graphic cards, both have the exact spec but there is a 30 pound diffrerence, see the following:http://www.pcwcomponentcentre.co.uk/invt/210160120
and compared to
http://www.pcwcomponentcentre.co.uk/invt/r98pd3
your thoughts would be greatly appreciated, thanks Very Happy
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Pciber
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, they are pretty much the same card... The cheaper one actually looks better, as it looks like it has ram heatsinks.. hard to tell with that picture, though. You will notice that the cheaper one is out of stock...
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AdamV
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not helpful that the extended specs on one (the expensive one) don;t have as much detail as the other. It looks like it doesn't support certain things, when in fact it is probably just laziness on the part of PCW not writing it up properly.

<edit. I realised that five lines flaming PCW staff was not helpful so I deleted it>

RAM heatsinks - hard to tell, could just be coloured differently, but maybe you are right - certainly worth noting this and looking at the board in real life. This would be a good thing to have on a board like this.

Often the difference in price is down to reliability of the company, terms of warranty (and if they really follow through on them), quality of website for support / drivers etc., are they going to be around to produce drivers for the next OS? will they care? (ATi may not provide drivers for their chipset on a finished product, that would usually be up to the board designer / manufacturer)
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dualism
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sapphire and Powercolor are both very good brands. However, a few things to note:

- You will not need the 256MB of VRAM on those cards, it's overkill for the architecture. Depending on your budget i'd reccomend an nVidia 6600GT or 6800GT, or an ATI X800Pro, or perhaps something a little lower like the X700 series.

If you're definitely bent on the 9800 Pro, don't blow the extra cash on a 256MB version unless it's some sort of deal where you're not paying more than the 128MB version, it's utterly useless except in one single game: Doom 3 and even then it won't really help you much anyway because for Very High or Ultra modes (or whatever those top 2 were) your card isn't going to do very well anyway.


Overall, brand only means a lot when you're talking major components (things like hard drives, video cards, RAM, motherboards, etc) and not for stuff like network cards, USB cables, things of that nature.


It's all relative to the generation of the product though, just because Company X makes one good video card, doesn't mean their next card will be as good of quality as the previous.
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MattA
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read the reviews on http:www.tomshardware.com

Last edited by MattA on Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dualism
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not necessarily trust reviews on places like tomshardware or anandtech, they are good places of information, but they are not an end all be all.

Google is your friend, read lots of reviews, stew over the tech data of whatever item it is, understand what you're buying, what is just simply marketing hype, and what is truth.
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valkarie
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, yeah I have been pouring over reviews from tech sites as well as getting opinions from people who have bought products and learning from their pitfalls. Overall I'm looking at spending around 700 pounds ( I was able to get a flatscreen monitor for free WOOT WOOT WOOT Very Happy ) so now I can beef everything up a bit, NICE

This is what I'm looking towards at the moment:
Again, please feel free to give opinions, are these components ok?, are there better available for the same price?

MOTHERBOARD:
Asus P4c800 E - Delux
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=54256

PROCESSOR:
Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz Prescott Skt478 FSB800 1MB Cache Retail Boxed CPU With 3 Year Warranty
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=58516

MEMORY:
Corsair 1024Mb ( 2x512) DDR 400 PC 3200
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=52057

HARD DRIVE:
Seagate ST3160023A 160GB 7200rpm 8mb Cache Barracuda
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=52158

DRIVES:
Sony 52x32x52x16 IDE Drive (combo)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=59692

GRAPHICS CARD:
Asus ATI Radeon AX800PRO TVD 256MB DDR3, VIVO, TV-Out, DVI
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=66638
or
Sapphire RADEON 9800 Atlantis Pro AGP 8x - 128 MB DDR - TV out
http://www.pcwcomponentcentre.co.uk/invt/210160020
I'll see how the wallet feels at the time, lol.....

SOUND CARD:
TRUST 511 5.1S.E DIGITAL SURROUND SOUNDCARD
http://www.pcwcomponentcentre.co.uk/invt/12949
The other bits, ie case, power, keyboard/mouse ect..... I'll pick up from a local computer fair. All in all it will ba around the 700 pound mark, a bit more if I opt for the x800 card
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MattA
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have'nt checked compatibility or manufacturer's recommended components.
You might swap the Sony 52x32x52x16 IDE Drive (combo) for a
Lite-On SOHW-1633S 16x Dual DVD-R/RW (Dual Layer) 48.63 total from ebuyer (dual layer 16x dvd burner)
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Pciber
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattA wrote:
I have'nt checked compatibility or manufacturer's recommended components.
You might swap the Sony 52x32x52x16 IDE Drive (combo) for a
Lite-On SOHW-1633S 16x Dual DVD-R/RW (Dual Layer) 48.63 total from ebuyer (dual layer 16x dvd burner)


i was going to say, swap with a lite-on, cheaper and just as good.

The sound card i've never heard of... Thats not necesarily a bad thing, cos i don't really keep up with sound cards.

the rest of the components seem superb. good choice.
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AdamV
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coincidentally a 2 day old review of the Sapphire Hybrid 700 which looks like a good card for comparison:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/26/review_sapphire_hybrid_x700_pro/
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Greyhawk
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have not checked already, look at the prices from www.newegg.com as they tend to be cheaper than almost anyone else around, and offer free or reduced shipping on lots of things.

In my experience, it has always been worth it to spend the extra money on the name brand hardware, if only for the support and drivers. As an example, Sapphire will tweak its cards away from the stock nvidia reference board, and will include extra functionality as well. They also tend to use better components (heat sinks, memory, etc).

The few times that I have let cost rule my decision, I have come to regret it, due to a less-than-stable component, or horrible support, or even lower performance.
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siarad
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes with CD\DVD drives manufacturers won't allow BIOS update on OEM drives as a different part number is stored.
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