: Ask a Guru  ( 7250 )

Darkmantle

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Ask a Guru
« : August 15, 2013, 04:09:52 PM »
First of all, thanks to Rodney and Frerk for making this forum happen.

Welcome to the new Tech Support forum - a place for you to request help or advice from the other users of the forum and especially the "Technology Guru's". Below you'll find a list of the current gurus and a short summary of their specific skills and expertise. That way if you have something private you can PM the right person and hopefully they'll be able to help you!

To get help just post a new topic and ask there!


Darkmantle
My expertise is programming over many different languages and platforms. My best skills are in PHP, JavaScript, MySQL and HTML. I also have above-average knowledge in Java, C++, Visual Basic and Python. I'm also pretty good with Linux including servers (using command line), specifically setting up and configuring any Linux distribution and the general software such as web-server (apache, PHP, MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, cPanel), remote minecraft servers (any type including admin panels), Java and basically any other general linux enqueries. I'm also handy with hardware and networking on a basic home-user level, as well as most of the basic theory.

BaskB
3rd Line IT Support Tech from age 16-26,  5 Years as a CCNA engineer working on a RL MOD contract, nowadays working in the Oil & Gas industry as a Field Service Tech (Computers, Mechanical & Electrical). Experience with Linux servers (various distros), Windows servers, PC hardware, Networking (Home & Business), PC software and even basic web design. Been building my own PC's since age 14 and a P75 with 4mb of Simm Ram I built with the old man and always keeping upto date with the latest PC gear. Minecraft goes without saying and running various other Servers at home (HTPC, NAS storage, Webserver) aswell as remotely. Used to also fix and repair Mobile phones pre Smartphones.
« : August 16, 2013, 01:45:33 PM BaskB »

LongShotzZ

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #1 : August 20, 2013, 03:30:44 PM »
Could you guys scour around for a decent desktop for me. I've been looking myself but don't understand some of the graphics, motherboard and CPU stuff. I'm looking at about £250-300 budget and want it to be able to play EU4, CK2 etc. I've seen a few that I like but I'm not sure if they are up to the job of playing those games at mid-range settings.

Thanks in advance,
-LS-

ADD: I don't like to buy American stuff either btw as finding a transformer to convert the power is a pain in my arse.
Zaphod: "LongShotzZ is slightly better than mediocre."
Sir Rex: "You know you're in deep shit when you have to ask LongShotzZ to bail you out!"
Mwcerberus: "If I had to pick between fighting 50 duck-sized LongShotzZ's or 1 horse-sized LongShotzZ I think I'd have to get my gun and kill all 51."

Darkmantle

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #2 : August 21, 2013, 11:47:23 AM »
I will assume you want one pre-built, which narrows the field considerably, unless you want to pay another £50-£100 to get someone to build it for you. Considering the games are not that high for specs, we can guess an average build by looking at them games. So you will be looking for something with:

OS: Windows
CPU: Intel recommended, 2.4 GHz minimum
RAM: 2gb minimum (Most come with 4gb minimum now)
GFX: ATI Radeon, 512mb minimum (1gb ideal)

Here are a few examples, but using the basic information above you can probably find your own by looking on Google etc. To get a decent one within your budget will be an issue though, the best one I can find that matches yours without going into old stocks or non-branded is this:

http://www.dell.com/uk/p/inspiron-660/pd?oc=cd6648&model_id=inspiron-660

Unfortunately the graphics are crap and would be about £50-£100 more to get a decent graphics card, however it might play them games since there is 4gb and the graphics shares the main RAM, but it could be slow in places.

It's going to take quite a bit of scouring to find something decent within your budget, stretch it to £400 and it's a bit easier though.


Edit: Bask might have better luck, my hardware knowledge is very basic, I'm more a troubleshooter when it comes to hardware.
« : August 21, 2013, 11:49:01 AM Darkmantle »

LongShotzZ

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #3 : August 21, 2013, 12:02:31 PM »
I will assume you want one pre-built, which narrows the field considerably, unless you want to pay another £50-£100 to get someone to build it for you. Considering the games are not that high for specs, we can guess an average build by looking at them games. So you will be looking for something with:

OS: Windows
CPU: Intel recommended, 2.4 GHz minimum
RAM: 2gb minimum (Most come with 4gb minimum now)
GFX: ATI Radeon, 512mb minimum (1gb ideal)

Here are a few examples, but using the basic information above you can probably find your own by looking on Google etc. To get a decent one within your budget will be an issue though, the best one I can find that matches yours without going into old stocks or non-branded is this:

http://www.dell.com/uk/p/inspiron-660/pd?oc=cd6648&model_id=inspiron-660

Unfortunately the graphics are crap and would be about £50-£100 more to get a decent graphics card, however it might play them games since there is 4gb and the graphics shares the main RAM, but it could be slow in places.

It's going to take quite a bit of scouring to find something decent within your budget, stretch it to £400 and it's a bit easier though.


Edit: Bask might have better luck, my hardware knowledge is very basic, I'm more a troubleshooter when it comes to hardware.

Meh, I could probably stretch to £400 tbqh. I don't necessarily need a brand new one, I'd settle for a refurbished one so long as it's a good standard and not overpriced. I myself have been looking at them personally as some sites offer computers that have been used about 1/2 times for £100 less than retail price.

http://microdream.co.uk/

This site in particular does decent desktops, with a monitor, keyboard and mouse for about £250-£300... I've been looking at this one.

http://microdream.co.uk/desktop-pc/complete-set-of-gaming-ready-dell-optiplex-755-4gb-hdmi-windows-7-pc-computer.html#.UhSdce5wbIU

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33GHz CPU
4gb RAM
80gb Hard Drive
ATI Radeon HD 5450 2GB (3.80GB with HyperMemory) HDMI DVI VGA Video Card

But I'd be looking to upgrade the hard drive to 320gb and add in the Wi-Fi adapter, plus 12 months warranty ofc, all for £265, thoughts?
Zaphod: "LongShotzZ is slightly better than mediocre."
Sir Rex: "You know you're in deep shit when you have to ask LongShotzZ to bail you out!"
Mwcerberus: "If I had to pick between fighting 50 duck-sized LongShotzZ's or 1 horse-sized LongShotzZ I think I'd have to get my gun and kill all 51."

Darkmantle

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #4 : August 21, 2013, 12:09:24 PM »
If you don't mind refurbished then that opens a whole new bunch of doors :P

That one is ok, but the CPU could do with being a bit better just to make sure. Most lag is caused by CPU, not RAM as most people do assume, as the processor can't keep up with the rapid amount of instructions the games are sending over a short amount of time. (Just a bit of theory there for you).

You could go with this one:

http://microdream.co.uk/desktop-pc/dell-optiplex-760-sff-e8400-3-0ghz-2gb-160gb-windows-7-professional-desktop-pc-computer.html#.UhSfc3NDuKk

And buy this graphics card:

http://microdream.co.uk/pc-components/graphics-cards/vtx3d-ati-radeon-hd-5450-2gb-ddr3-pcie-hdmi-dvi-vga-graphics-card.html#.UhSfrXNDuKk

Together it's slightly cheaper, but you get a 2gb graphics card and a better CPU.

Iain Keers

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #5 : August 21, 2013, 12:15:31 PM »
A monitor alone costs about 70 quid, so you're looking at a hundred with a cheap keyboard and mouse. Going to be honest, anything under five hundred quid isn't going to be a gaming computer. For a decent graphics card you're going to pay money.

A better alternative to Dell is a company called Novatech I've used before. They sell barebones bundles which are basically motherboard, cpu and sometimes ram, with a case and power unit. You can choose what else you want and install it yourself, it cuts down costs.

Legal copies of windows also tend to add seventy plus onto the price. Basically gaming computers are expensive, I'd budget at least five hundred if you're getting a prebuilt computer. Plus the more you pay, the longer it'll last before games are coming out you can't play. Obviously you might be better off financially in three years Idk.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4

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LongShotzZ

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #6 : August 21, 2013, 12:21:27 PM »
A monitor alone costs about 70 quid, so you're looking at a hundred with a cheap keyboard and mouse. Going to be honest, anything under five hundred quid isn't going to be a gaming computer. For a decent graphics card you're going to pay money.

A better alternative to Dell is a company called Novatech I've used before. They sell barebones bundles which are basically motherboard, cpu and sometimes ram, with a case and power unit. You can choose what else you want and install it yourself, it cuts down costs.

Legal copies of windows also tend to add seventy plus onto the price. Basically gaming computers are expensive, I'd budget at least five hundred if you're getting a prebuilt computer. Plus the more you pay, the longer it'll last before games are coming out you can't play. Obviously you might be better off financially in three years Idk.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4



My TV doubles as a PC monitor, and the tower that Mantle is suggesting has windows 7 professional free with it.
Mouse and keyboard are about £20 from Argos so...
Zaphod: "LongShotzZ is slightly better than mediocre."
Sir Rex: "You know you're in deep shit when you have to ask LongShotzZ to bail you out!"
Mwcerberus: "If I had to pick between fighting 50 duck-sized LongShotzZ's or 1 horse-sized LongShotzZ I think I'd have to get my gun and kill all 51."

Wes Lewis

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #7 : August 21, 2013, 01:31:15 PM »
I have a minor question, anytime I attempt to shut down my computer it goes through all processes but ends up basically becoming a restart because it turns itself back on, what causes that?
I am aware I used to be a very large pain in the ass. All thief, lunatic, overly emotional jokes taken in stride.

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Darkmantle

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #8 : August 21, 2013, 01:57:34 PM »
A monitor alone costs about 70 quid, so you're looking at a hundred with a cheap keyboard and mouse. Going to be honest, anything under five hundred quid isn't going to be a gaming computer. For a decent graphics card you're going to pay money.

A better alternative to Dell is a company called Novatech I've used before. They sell barebones bundles which are basically motherboard, cpu and sometimes ram, with a case and power unit. You can choose what else you want and install it yourself, it cuts down costs.

Legal copies of windows also tend to add seventy plus onto the price. Basically gaming computers are expensive, I'd budget at least five hundred if you're getting a prebuilt computer. Plus the more you pay, the longer it'll last before games are coming out you can't play. Obviously you might be better off financially in three years Idk.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4



I've used Novatech before - the stuff I bought was good quality and lasted a while, but they are very fragile (made cheaply). I couldn't remember the damn site though, so thanks :P

I have a minor question, anytime I attempt to shut down my computer it goes through all processes but ends up basically becoming a restart because it turns itself back on, what causes that?

Could be that clicking shut down is restarting instead (what OS?), could be a dodgy button always turning the computer back on, there are many possibilities. Will need to know what OS to give better answers.

Pfeiffer

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #9 : August 21, 2013, 02:57:57 PM »
Y u no do things we talk about?
-Pfeiffer
former stuff
Tío de Los Hermanos



Smack

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #10 : August 21, 2013, 03:02:32 PM »
A monitor alone costs about 70 quid, so you're looking at a hundred with a cheap keyboard and mouse. Going to be honest, anything under five hundred quid isn't going to be a gaming computer. For a decent graphics card you're going to pay money.

A better alternative to Dell is a company called Novatech I've used before. They sell barebones bundles which are basically motherboard, cpu and sometimes ram, with a case and power unit. You can choose what else you want and install it yourself, it cuts down costs.

Legal copies of windows also tend to add seventy plus onto the price. Basically gaming computers are expensive, I'd budget at least five hundred if you're getting a prebuilt computer. Plus the more you pay, the longer it'll last before games are coming out you can't play. Obviously you might be better off financially in three years Idk.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4



I've used Novatech before - the stuff I bought was good quality and lasted a while, but they are very fragile (made cheaply). I couldn't remember the damn site though, so thanks :P

I was tempted to use these guys before, but everything they sell is their own brand. I'd rather pay a bit more for a reputable brand that I know I can trust.


[23] <@Artela> "Smack, aspiring to climb up to gutter level since 2009, and failing due to the lack of a ladder long enough"

Iain Keers

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #11 : August 21, 2013, 03:04:54 PM »
It's branded as theirs but they just put components together. Novatech monitors are Hanns-G, their computers use mostly Asus parts with Intel chips etc. The only part that is made for them is their standard cases and if you ask them they'll use another case.
"Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ~ Mt 11:28

LongShotzZ

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #12 : September 15, 2013, 10:36:32 AM »
I have settled on this:

http://microdream.co.uk/dell-optiplex-gx280-desktop-pc-pentium-4-ht-3-4ghz-1gb-ram-80gb-hard-drive-dvd-windows-7-home-premium.html#.UjV7enq9Kc0

-3.4ghz P4, HT enabled
-4gb RAM
-320gb hard drive (I haven't filled 160gb yet even of my 320gb on my laptop)
-Integrated intel GMA graphics (which I'm replacing with a 1gb card)
-Wifi adapter
-Windows 7 professional, pre-installed with installation disk provided
-Mouse, keyboard and power lead

All in all costs £201.94, that includes VAT with free delivery. Then all I need to buy is a cable to link the tower to my tv and a better graphics card, then I'm sorted.
Zaphod: "LongShotzZ is slightly better than mediocre."
Sir Rex: "You know you're in deep shit when you have to ask LongShotzZ to bail you out!"
Mwcerberus: "If I had to pick between fighting 50 duck-sized LongShotzZ's or 1 horse-sized LongShotzZ I think I'd have to get my gun and kill all 51."

Jegarmister

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Re: Ask a Guru
« #13 : September 15, 2013, 11:44:45 AM »
That looks like the standard computer we had at my high school, those had a Ghost on it that slowed the computer down 70%, and it was already underpowered to begin with. :D

That one you want to clean regularly, once a month I reckon or it will overheat.
I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

 

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