More Power To The Desktop

Published Date
01 - Aug - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2007
More Power To The Desktop
it'll need to run Windows Vista, Visual Studio 2005, and SQL server 2005, along with other software that are heavy on system resources. I will be using it for gaming as well. So what should I buy? Should I go quad-core, or will a Core 2 Duo suffice? Also, should I wait for DDR3?
Gaurav Kumar

Agent 001's Recommendation  Rs.
Processor E6600 11000 
Motherboard ASUS P5B 8000 
Memory 4x1 GB DDR2 667 Kingston 8500 
Graphics Card Geforce 8500GT 5000 
Monitor ViewSonic VA1912W 13000 
Hard Drive Western Digital 320 GB 4000 
Power Supply VIP 600 Watt 4800 

Your requirements are high, but you haven't mentioned a budget. You also haven't said whether your gaming is going to be casual or "hardcore." So, with some guesswork involved, I'd place the price for your new computer at around Rs 50,000. Listed alongside are the specs I'd recommend.

Make sure to pick a roomy cabinet to avoid overheating. If you want a better graphics solution for decent gaming at medium resolutions opt for the 8600GT (Rs 8,000). A quad-core will be good for multitasking, but not necessarily better for gaming. In the programming and application development departments, there will likely be a small performance increase. If you want to go quad-core, I suggest waiting till  Intel's price drop, expected some time during August-this should see the Core 2 Quad Q6600 become really affordable. However, current applications do not really benefit from more than two cores. Go quad core only if you want to future proof. The Core 2 Duo E6750 will also make its market debut at that time. And yes, drop the idea of DDR3-it'll be a long wait!
Thou Shalt Upgrade
Q. My current configuration is an AMD Athlon 64 3000 @ 2.0 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, a 256 MB GeForce FX5200, an 80 GB HDD, and an MSI K8 M800. I'd like to play some of the new games like Test Drive Unlimited on my system. Will it be possible if:
1. I get 512 MB more RAM?
2. A new display card with only the existing memory?
I can spend a maximum of Rs 5,000.

Aneesh, I know it's tough, but you will need a memory and graphics upgrade at the least to play Test Drive Unlimited. However, a better graphics card would also help a great deal, more so than a memory upgrade. Keep in mind that AGP cards are costlier than their PCI-Express counterparts.

Look for a graphics card based on NVIDIA's GeForce 7600GS chipset; this should cost you roughly Rs 5,000. The card should have 256 MB of video memory and would help you play Test Drive Unlimited.

Music, Not Noise
I want to buy an in-ear set of earbuds with good noise isolation. My budget is Rs 5,000. Any help you can offer?
Ashwin Mendonca

The Creative EP630 for Rs 1,200, without a doubt! There's nothing better available for even double this price. You may get these for even less; we've seen sets going as low as 900 bucks.

Money To Burn
Q. I want to buy a PC with the following specifications: a 250 GB SATA hard drive, 1 GB of RAM, a graphics card with 512 MB of memory, a dual-layer DVD-Writer, and Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate. My budget is Rs 1 lakh.
Vega Jeet

Agent 001's Recommendation Rs. 
Processor Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66 GHz) 16000 
Motherboard ASUS P5B Deluxe 11500
Memory 2x1 GB DDR2 667 MHz Kingston 4700 
Graphics Card Geforce 8800GTS (640MB) 26000 
Monitor ViewSonic VA2235WM 22000 
Hard Drive Western Digital 320 x 2 GB 8000 
Power Supply VIP 600 Watt 4800 
DVD Writer Sony DRU830A 1800 

You will get something much better than what you've mentioned for less than a lakh, I assure you! However, you haven't mentioned what you intend to do with such a rig. I surmise you're into gaming, or at least that you intend to subject the PC to heavy multimedia usage. Here are my recommendations.

The Core 2 Duo E6750 should be available by the first week of August for a little less than the current price of the the E6700.

Creative All The Way?
Q. I'm a little confused between Creative's Gigaworks Pro-gamer G550W and the Inspire P7800. Which gives better performance? I have a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 sound card.
Venkat Kumar S

The Gigaworks Pro-gamer would definitely perform better, and is worth a look at Rs 16,000. Also look at the Logitech Z5300, a great 5.1 system for gaming and movies with its booming bass for around Rs 11,000. For music, I don't recommend a 5.1 system; instead, opt for the Altec Lansing MX5021 at Rs 8,000; nothing even comes close for music.

Work 'n' Play
Q. I want to buy laptop for study purposes, and for some gaming. My budget is Rs 35,000.                                                                           

You might want to check out last month's issue for more options, but no laptop with a price tag of below Rs 35,000 comes with a decent graphics solution. I recommend upping your budget a bit if you want to game, and get an ACI Ethos Duo 1430D. This laptop also has a good processor (Core 2 Duo T5200). If you cannot spend more, then the Compaq Presario v3225AU makes a superb deal at Rs 32,990. It's a very good-looking laptop, with all the features. It will handle older games easily.

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