Cougar Extreme New PC but which one

  FatboySlim71 17:31 28 Jan 2008
Locked

I had been looking at getting a PC from either Mesh or Dell, but on reading the VERY positive things that have been said on this forum, I am almost certain that I would be getting the new PC from Cougar Extreme as I was astonished at the level of customisation and the quality of the components they used and also the price. My main problem is now I cannot decide between the two specs I have made up on their web site.

First spec is:

Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6850 3.0 Ghz 8Mb Cach, 4Gb Corsair Memory DDR2 800 - 4 x 1GB, 500GB SATA Hard Drive, , CA-5001 Black/Silver , Atrix 800Watt Silent Dual Fan PSU, 256Mb Nvidia 8600GT graphics card DX10, QC - GAP35-DQ6 1333fsb-DDR1066x4 crosfire motherboard, 2 x Pioneer DVD +/- Re-writer 112D, Floppy Drive - BLACK, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 PCI 7.1, Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (OEM), 13 Month Warranty, Free Carriage

£1340.53


The Second Spec is the same as above but with a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz 8Mb Cache and this is priced at £861.31.

I was wondering if someone could tell me if they would be a great deal of overall difference in speed on the above system from the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz 8Mb Cache to the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6850 3.0 Ghz 8Mb Cache. I do a lot of video encoding, Winrar large files/folders and extracting them as well, photo editing, basically a bit of everything really apart from games. I know at £1340 this is not a bad price compared to some PC's I have seen with the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6850 in. I just wanted a bit of advice please. I may want to overclock slightly (I know QX6850 is 3GHZ as standard) but I would like to basically try and get as much out of it as I could, so with this in mind would the system I have chosen take a little bit of overclocking without any problems.

Also I was a bit undecided as to what PSU to go for, would the Corsair Silent VX450 Watt PSU be a better choice than the one I have listed above?

  citadel 18:58 28 Jan 2008

find out if the q6600 is the go steppig version as this overclocks up to 3.6 so saving several hunred pounds

  FatboySlim71 22:08 28 Jan 2008

Thanks Citadel

  FatboySlim71 13:28 29 Jan 2008

On looking around and reading various things on the net, I don't think the extra cost would justify me getting the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6850, I should expect that the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 would be more than adequate for me.

  FatboySlim71 13:43 29 Jan 2008

I am more or less certain that the below spec would be the PC that I would be ordering, I would expect that it would be considerable faster than my present computer. But I would like to know if and by how much approximately would it be faster than my present PC.

My main uses are, I do a lot of video encoding, Winrar large files/folders and extracting them as well, photo editing, basically a bit of everything really. I have also read that with Windows Vista it is advisable to get a good graphics card and the one I have chosen on my Cougar spec PC seems to be a good one or so I have read from the reviews.

My present PC's specs are:

Intel Pentium D Processor 950 Dual Core (3.4ghz 2x2mb cache, 800mhz)
2GB DDR2 RAM 533mhz
400GB SATA 7200rpm hard drive 16mb buffer
256mb DDR ATI Radeon X850 Pro PCI-Express graphic card
7.1 channel on board sound




The PC I am thinking of purchasing from Cougar Extreme is below:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz 8Mb Cache, 4Gb Corsair Memory DDR2 800 2 x 2gb single modules, 500GB SATA Hard Drive, 500GB Secondary SATA HDD, CA-5001 Black/Silver case, Atrix 800Watt Silent Dual Fan PSU, 512Mb 8800GT PCI express graphics card, QC - GA-P35-DQ6 1333fsb-DDR1066x4 crosfire motherboard, 2 x Pioneer DVD +/- Re-writer 112D, Floppy Drive - BLACK, Keyboard & Mouse Set Black and Silver, Integrated Sound Card, Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (OEM), WORKS 2006 - Word 2002 - Encarta - Money - Outlook, 13 Month Warranty, Free Carriage

  Jim_F 14:20 29 Jan 2008

If only someone would buy me the kit I'd gladly benchmark it for you but otherwise this seems ro give you the information you want: click here

As you can see its not all good news as apps that can't run multi cores can actually go slower so you may want to check this out with the software you use.

If you have a fixed location you may want to consider specifying SATA on the rear panel so you can hook external drives up at will - also can be quieter than putting them all in one case !

  FatboySlim71 15:15 29 Jan 2008

Thanks Jim_F,
On the whole though the Q6600 did seem to perform a decent bit better than the Pentium D Processor 950 that I currently have. I am planning to overclock my Q6600 to 3GHZ (as I have read that this can be easily done and more, even with just standard cooling) but 3GHZ would be a safe level without been too greedy I think.

So the tests where the Q6600 was considerable faster than the Pentium D950, these would be even faster/greater if the tests had been done using the Q6600 overclocked to the 3 GHZ level.

I was wondering how I can check if my software would be able to make use of the multi cores?

Regarding "If you have a fixed location you may want to consider specifying SATA on the rear panel so you can hook external drives up at will - also can be quieter than putting them all in one case"

On looking at the specs for the case I had picked, it does say,

"Top access interface with the following connections, eSATA, USBx2 Audio I/O) External SATA port in front for fastest data transfer (up to 3GB/s). So with this it would seem that I could get the hard disc drive from them and a SATA cable and just plug it into this connection as and when required?

I have got to admit, I would prefer it this way then at least I can disconnect it when its not needed, because if it were in the case and connected up, the drive would be running all the time and with it not been needed all the time this would be a waste in my opinion. It would be definitely much better to be able to connect/disconnect only when required.

  FatboySlim71 20:12 29 Jan 2008

bump

  FatboySlim71 21:30 29 Jan 2008

I am more or less certain that the below spec would be the PC that I would be ordering, I would expect that it would be considerable faster than my present computer.

But I would like to know if and by how much approximately would it be faster than my present PC.

My main uses are, I do a lot of video encoding, Winrar large files/folders and extracting them as well, photo editing, basically a bit of everything really. I have also read that with Windows Vista it is advisable to get a good graphics card and the one I have chosen on my Cougar spec PC seems to be a good one or so I have read from the reviews.

My present PC's specs are:

Intel Pentium D Processor 950 Dual Core (3.4ghz 2x2mb cache, 800mhz)
2GB DDR2 RAM 533mhz
400GB SATA 7200rpm hard drive 16mb buffer
256mb DDR ATI Radeon X850 Pro PCI-Express graphic card
7.1 channel on board sound




The PC I am thinking of purchasing from Cougar Extreme is below:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz 8Mb Cache, 4Gb Corsair Memory DDR2 800 2 x 2gb single modules, 500GB SATA Hard Drive, 500GB Secondary SATA HDD, CA-5001 Black/Silver case, Atrix 800Watt Silent Dual Fan PSU, 512Mb 8800GT PCI express graphics card, QC - GA-P35-DQ6 1333fsb-DDR1066x4 crosfire motherboard, 2 x Pioneer DVD +/- Re-writer 112D, Floppy Drive - BLACK, Keyboard & Mouse Set Black and Silver, Integrated Sound Card, Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (OEM), WORKS 2006 - Word 2002 - Encarta - Money - Outlook, 13 Month Warranty, Free Carriage

  Jim_F 21:40 29 Jan 2008

I'm not sure about overclocking - you can get good results but there are no guarantees - after all if your supplier was prepared to warranty this they'd spec it and charge for it.

Regards using all the cores - only the software writers can tell you for sure but if your software loads two cores (as observed in task manager) it will probably use 4. (Check static use of cores and see if each software package increases both their loading when running).

SATA connections are a little more fragile and easy to dislodge than usb but if you're not moving the kit around then its fine. You can source disk enclosures with SATA or USB2 from a number of places but with SATA I have seen variations to the connectors so it pays to check.

Good system you have spec'd - and should serve you well. Some years ago I paid similar money for a 486 with 8 MB for my wife (the memory was an extravagance as the norm was 4 !).

  FatboySlim71 21:56 29 Jan 2008

Regarding SATA, I would be basically only using the SATA hard drive 3-4 times a week or so for backing up, so I would probably just leave the bare body of the drive on top of the PC whilst I had it connected to the SATA port while doing the back up, so I probably would not bother about buying a hard drive enclosure, I would expect that it should be ok like this?


I can remember around 15 years ago paying around £800 ish for a GVP 105MB hard drive which had 4MB ram, this was purchased for my Commodore Amiga 500. It is amazing how much computer equipment has come down over the years.

Thanks for the help Jim_F its much appreciated.

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