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Discussion Starter #1
Executive Summary:<br />
I am looking for the most "Bang for the Buck"; <br />
the most economical investment into system performance!<br />
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If you are also interested, find more details about my search:<br />
The strive for the performance barrier has shown that many users can tune und upgrade their systems to achieve ever higher records. Many leagues exist: silent pc, water and fan cooled and even actively chilled components.<br />
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I propose to create a new league: The most economical over clocking mod! <br />
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What do I mean by this?<br />
Even basic pcs can be made to provide higher benchmarks by tuning an existing system. Limitations of the BIOS often can be overcome by modifying the BIOS of using software tools. Especially the newest breed of processors can tuned to the extend, where a tuned low grade processor can outperform an untuned system with a higher grade processor: e.g. one can tune an Intel core 2 duo E6300 to perform like a Core 2 Duo E6600 or even an E6700. The savings (in Sept 06 values) are 130-330 Euros. If the user however plans to utilize a stable system he is well advised to update his existing system with above average cooling for the processor and the casing in order to prevent overheating. Investment into effective fan coolers will then cost upwards of 20 Euros for the CPU cooler and 2*10 Euros for the case fans.<br />
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Higher yields can even be achieved if water cooling is employed which is more effective in handling over clocked CPUs which tend to heat exponentially with higher cycles. This however will cost the user upwards 100 Euros and more.<br />
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If the cycle rates are increased even more then other components may become bottlenecks and need to be exchanged: e.g. RAM 533 needs to be replaced by RAM 633,800 or even 1066 in order to increase the overall system performance. Compared with be potential savings of 130-330 Euros, 30-100 Euros might be a relatively small investment, but high performance RAM could set the user off another additional 100-300 Euros more than offsetting the gains. In this case one might then decide to go for the more powerful CPUs in the first place instead of tuning the existing system.<br />
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I reckon that for many systems there are definite "sweet spot" where tuning and over clocking is economical and the Return On Investment is positive, while in other instances a record will produce negative ROI.<br />
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What I am looking for are these instances of positive ROI and the sweet spots.<br />
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As a starting point I designed the following data for a Multimedia (non gaming) pc. Similar stats can be produced for silent machines and gaming machines:<br />
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Component...........Basic.....Upgrade.....Model<br />
CPU.....................200......330............Co re 2 Duo E6300/ 6600<br />
RAM DDR2 2GB.......170......450............noname / cosair 1066<br />
CPU Fan cooler........10....... 20............boxed cooler / Artic Freezer 7<br />
Case fans................0.........20...........none/ 2* 12" Yaleloon<br />
Mainboard...............80.......150...........bas ic/ ASUS P5B Deluxe<br />
Case......................30........90............ no name / chieftec<br />
GPU PCIe................40.......180...........basic / Asus EN7600GT<br />
HD.........................70.......260..........S amsung Spinpont / WD 10.000 CPM<br />
Watercooling..........100.......300..........basic / deluxe<br />
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Total....................7-800....15-1800...........................<br />
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Your comments, suggestions and recommendation are welcome. But please keep in mind that this should not be a discussion about the best cooler model or the best way to cool a system but about the most economical investment into system performance.
 

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That's exactly the type of analysis I did when I bought my PC. However you didn't make it clear as to what ends you'll be using this PC (you did mention multimedia, but that's too broad; is it multimedia creation, playback, half and half...)<br><br>
I'll be happy to look at this with you when you give us an idea as to your use for such a PC.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I personally will be using the pc for photoshop and processing panoramas and HDR photos. In terms of my standart profiles as below I would be a multimedia artist.<br />
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But I would hope that the essence of our research would be broader as to give people with different user profiles an idea on how to do an economical decision.<br />
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I could imagine the following profiles:<br />
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- office worker: excel, powerpoint, word and outlook<br />
- coder: developper with dot.net or java<br />
- multimedia artist: photoshop, web development, 2-arts<br />
- video processor: coding/decoding video, cutting film<br />
- game enthusiast: gaming<br />
- silence freak: zero- very low noise<br />
- performance freak: beat the benchmarks
 
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