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choosing your computer Optimum configurations
Posted:2008-03-26 By computer selection
Number of View:186020



By :computer selection


xtreview is your : Video card - cpu - memory - Hard drive - power supply unit source

choosing your computer Optimum configurations

If we focus attention on finished computers configuration  , in particular those proposed in average value , it is possible to reveal clearly non-optimal combinations .

Today we will study this question .


As graphic processors we take NVIDIA cards , in the price range up to $300. The list of cards includes the GeForce 8400 GS 256 MB (minimum price : $40), GeForce 8500 GT 512 MB ($70), GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB ($95), GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB ($320).

Processors were selected in analogous range,  in the list we have first the Pentium e2160 (1,8 GHz, 1 MB. L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB,  $75), Core 2 Duo e4500 (2,2 GHz, 2 MB L2  cache, 800 MHz FSB, $125), Core 2 Duo e6750 (2,66 GHz, 4 MB L2 cache, 1333 MHz FSB, $200), Core 2 Quad q6600 (2,4 GHz, 2 X 4 MB L2cache, 1066 MHz FSB, $280). Note that analogous ( in cost ) AMD processors demonstrate in tests approximately equal performance but we will concentrate in this review on Intel processor and Nvidia video card.

Were used identical components for all configurations :

  • Motherboard ASUS P5K- V ($130) chipset Intel g33 with integrated Video core .
  • Memory 2 x 1 GB DDR 2-800 SDRAM hynix CL5 ($45)
  • Hard disk: 250 GB seagate barracuda 7200.10 SATA, 7200 r/min ($70)
  • DVD-RW: Pioneer DVR-112D ($30)
  • Case with PSU (400 W)  ($60)
  • Cards -reader ($10)

Software used are :

  • Windows vista ultimate (32 bit), drivers NVIDIA force-ware 169.21, Intel
  • PCMark vantage (standard config )
  • 3DMark 06 (1280x1024, 4xAA, 8xAF)
  • Cinebench r10 (standard config )
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 1.003 (GSC game world/THQ) : directX 9.0, No AA, 16x AF
  • Company Of heroes (Relic entertainment/THQ)   : directX 9.0, shaders 2.0, 4x AA, 16x AF .
  • Call Of juarez (Techland/ubisoft)                          : directX 10, shaders 3.0 (HDR), No AA, No AF .
  • F.E.A.R. (Multiplayer) (Monolith/sierra)               : directX 9.0, 4x AA, 16x AF, Soft shadows Off .


Here is the observed result :

Optimum configurations



We selected this test for evaluation of average performance in different applications . PCMark vantage is not completely synthetic, it measures the real processor performance , memory and other components and it imitates the algorithms utilized in real applications. This test contains four categories  (Music, Communication, Productivity and Game), so there is here a certain dependence on graphic processor .

Results confirmed our hypotheses, the installation of processor with higher frequency (and larger cache) ensures increase by 16-20% , but here with 70% cost increase , whereas in ase of video card the maximum improvement was 11% with passage from integrated video core to the low-end video card, but in the remaining cases the performance boost do not exceed 7%, The replacement of 8400GS to 8800GT (increase in card cost by 500%) result in only 14% boost .

The replacement of dual core e6750 by four core q6600  ( difference $80 ) corresponds to approximately 200 points only .  So in this test to obtain computer with maximum performance per dollars , it is worthwhile to get an average dual cores processors and inexpensive video card.  


Actually this test show different gaming systems category. Since we tested with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtration @ resolution 1280x1024, the result 3500-4000 can be considered as enough for the majority of up-to-date games.

Here all directly depends on graphic processor performance  , respectively computer with more powerful card obtains higher general score. here we can note the performance growth with faster processor using 8600GT or more powerful card. note also the integrated graphic core from Intel got low score due to its low performance and also due to the absence of some tecnologie .

Cinebench r10

This is Perhaps the most synthetic test from the entire selection . Existing OpenGL- performance evaluation is sufficiently primitive for up-to-date graphic processors and  in the majority of cases it will be limited by central processor;

This test proves the replacement of dual core processor by four core, actually the test rendering (Multiple CPU) can serve as demonstration of  such processors advantage . The test shading (OpenGL standard), which is influenced by video card , The installation Of geForce 8400 triple the result in comparison with integrated graphic core, and the replacement of this card by GeForce 8500 GT adds  60%.  In OpenGL standard test there is also certain dependence on processor, but in contrast to Multiple CPU test , the best result is for dual core processor with maximum frequency.


We pass now to games, In all cases, the processor play a small role . With passage to faster video card the game performance improve , and as minimum system requirements in this game we can count the graphic card geForce 8600 GT. This game prove that E2160 with 8800GT (75+320$ = 395 ) is almost twice better than Q6600 with 8600 GT (280+95$ = 375)

Call of juarez

As we already said in previous game up-to-date games are demanding on graphic processor, but this game demonstrates an exclusive dependence on video card. In this case dependence on central processor is almost Null , even in case of 8800 GT. This game do not require faster CPU, but it is necessary to have a powerful video card, even more powerful than 8800 GT (in order to ensure acceptable and comfortable game play , it is necessary to sacrifice graphic quality with 8800 GT ).

Company of heroes

It is analogous to  S.T.A.L.K.E.R ; higher result always corresponds to more powerful video card, and dependence on processor is manifested only in case of 8800GT (in both resolutions).


And again analogous result : higher result always corresponds to more powerful graphic processor, and dependence on CPU is manifested only in case of 8800GT on  low resolution only.

Vista  mark

Built-in in Windows Vista test proved to be is completely responsive to video card change , whereas all processors obtained the result in range from 5,1 to 5,9. Maximum result was obtained using the video card 8800 GT   (in both tests Game and Aero)  . The most noticeable effect is observed after replacing the GeForce 8400 GS with GeForce 8500 GT and, in turn, from GeForce 8500 GT to GeForce 8600 GT. .

Optimum configurations

Since our purpose was to verify, what is the optimum configuration of video card and processor with cost approximately $300 (for obtaining configuration  $650:700) .This table will explain the rest .

Optimum configurations

Here no comment are required, according to the results in the majority of tests, more powerful graphic processor is more preferable.

Many users, especially home computers, consider computer precisely in games, since they are not occupied with 3d rendering and  other activity demanding powerful processor, They do no care about the pair of seconds to use filter in Photo-shop. Such users are often ready to spend more on video card.

Optimum configurations

Here we took the most powerful video card and supplement them with the weakest processor. From other side, grow in processor frequency result in some faster gaming . Therefore, if computer  is actually assembled for games, perhaps, it is worthwhile to care, also about corresponding level processor , at least $130 or just some overclocking :-). Accordingly, different kind of extreme versions (which processors producers assign with game ) are today a total waste of money  . It is completely possible that in the following games generation  situation will change , but currently processor do not play a noticeable role in games .


Almost in all cases, analyzing games results , it is recommended to get a powerful video card. In addition the majority of up-to-date games can not work in integrated graphic chipset Intel g33 , even the installation of graphic processor, at initial level is always justified.

Of course there are tests (and also real programs), which demonstrate dependence processor but their number are currently limited .

For obtaining the balanced general configuration for home use ($650-700), most successful version was with video card class geForce 8600 GT paired with dual core processor $100-130, for example, Core 2 Duo E4300-E4500 or Athlon 64 X2 5200+-5600+. For better gaming experience and more up to date game the 8800 GT is a must , the processor can be always overclocked to higher level in order to complete with the video card .

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choosing your computer Optimum configurations

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