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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 12 Apr 2012 (Thursday) 13:30
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How much is the value of this used i7 desktop PC system?

 
professorman
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Apr 12, 2012 13:30 |  #1

I havent bought a computer since my core2duo laptop, so I am a bit out of the loop. I want a desktop for photo editing to run Adobe products.

I am looking on a used system. How much is this system valued? He is asking $550. Is this a deal or should I offer something lower?

Build by CyberPowerPC
- Processor: INTEL i7-950 3.06GHZ 8M LGA 1366
- Motherboard: ASUS P6T SE X58 CROSSFIRE TRIPLE CHANNEL DDR3
- RAM: (6) 2GB DDR3 PC1333 RAM -12GB total
- Graphics card: EVGA NVIDIA GTX 285 2GB
- Hard drive: 1TB SATA II 3.0 GB 7200RPM HD
- Processor cooler: ASETEK 240MM WATERCOOLER
- Power Supply: AZZA 1000WATT POWER SUPPLY
- Fan: NZXT DIGITAL FAN CONTROL and CASE FAN 120 MMM
- Sound card: CREATIVE X-FI XtremeGamer
- DVD Drive: BLACK PIONEER BDC-202BKS BLU-RAY PLAYER
- Case: BLACK COOLERMASTER STORM SNIPER

It also says : NO SLI/CROSSFIRE . I am not sure what that means.
What does triple channel DDR3 memory mean? Do I buy RAM in triple instead of double?

How much is this system worth today? What is the value? How much should I pay?


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Nightstalker
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Apr 12, 2012 14:19 |  #2

It is hard to put a value on that system but it is very similar to what I am running at the moment with the exception of the graphics card - I'm running a GTX 470.

I can say that it will still perform very well and with 5 minutes of tweaking the BIOS you can easily overclock the system to 4.2GHz which will drastically improve performance even further. Assuming of course that the BIOS is not locked or a modified proprietart version of CyberPower PC.

SLI / Crossfire refers to the process of linking multiple graphics cards together to improve performance - this is mainly something that gamers do to get better resolution / refresh rates in the latest and greatest games. It is not something to be worried about if the system is to be used for photo processing.

Triple channel memory is as you guessed - it comes in banks of 3 rather than 2. You could put 24GB in that system by replacing the 6 x 2GB sticks with 4GB memory. If you were to change the memory I'd go with 1600MHz memory as by pushing to 4.2GHz you can max this memory out.


  
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professorman
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Apr 12, 2012 14:24 |  #3

I have never overclocked a PC, but this one seem to be build robust enough for overclocking. The fan controller can control up to 4 additional fans, and the CPU is watercooled. I do not think think the bios is locked. Whats the process of overclocking?


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tim
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Apr 12, 2012 15:04 |  #4

I wouldn't bother with overclocking, personally, the i7 chips are rarely bottlenecks, it's usually disk or even memory.

You can get a branch new system that will be a bit faster, without unnecessary things like water cooling and sound card, for $750 from Dell. Personally I pay at most 50% of the new value for used equipment, so for me $550 would be pushing it. However, $550 wouldn't bad value, and the $200 saved could be put toward an SSD.

The next generations of the i7 machines have RAM in pairs, not three channels. If you upgrade that machine it basically means throwing most of it away and replacing it. So it's not as future proof as a newer machine, with the newer socket.


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professorman
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Apr 12, 2012 15:17 |  #5

Thanks. This system has 12GB of RAM. Max is 24GB, would I see any benefit going to 16GB or even to 24GB of RAM?


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tim
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Apr 12, 2012 16:13 |  #6

You won't see any significant benefit from from 12GB to more RAM.


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David ­ C
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Apr 12, 2012 21:43 |  #7

No idea of local competitive price, but it doesn't sound too bad - I've seen a lot worse deals. I do not remember who brought up the subject of overclocking, but the cpu is certainly capable. However I do not recommend overclocking on computers used for mainly photo processing.

Weakest link I spotted was the video card. That computer can certainly outpace that video card, and I think I would upgrade the card immediately if I was buying the unit. To it's credit, it has 2GB video ram listed above.

If I was a betting man, I would think that this computer was originally built and run with more innards and has been stripped down slightly for sale. Probably had more hard drives mounted, overclocked, and used a more powerful video card (or dual cards).




  
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tim
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Apr 12, 2012 21:46 |  #8

That video card is more than enough for Photoshop. Photoshop and image programs in general use basically no GPU power. The only reason to have a discrete video card is then it doesn't steal memory bandwidth from system ram, but has its own ram to use.


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isoMorphic
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Apr 13, 2012 09:45 |  #9

Is the hardware worth it? yes
Is it worth buying? possibly

The negative for me is that NVIDIA GTX 285 is a power hog and i'm not very fond on water cooling systems that need to be maintained unlike passive cooling. Overall it's well worth the price if everything is in working order considering the retail price was at least double.

As for GPU and Photoshop it does use GPU for draw and the faster your card the less stutter and quicker draw. I have seen a huge difference when i was taking a photography course that touched on a bit of Photoshop. It made me want to throw the computer across the room waiting on the draw because they used i5 chips with integrated video. Also the cursor would bug out from time to time and become unusable (hard to explain) when changing brush size with keyboard shortcuts. You don't need a supercharged card but a better card helps in many aspects of computing including Windows Aero which is a video ram hog.




  
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professorman
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Apr 13, 2012 11:18 |  #10

isoMorphic wrote in post #14259043 (external link)
The negative for me is that NVIDIA GTX 285 is a power hog and i'm not very fond on water cooling systems that need to be maintained unlike passive cooling.

What do you mean that its a power hog? That it takes too much electricity to run it and newer cards are more efficient with electricity?

What is the maintenance of water cooling system? This one appears to be a sealed radiator system.

kinda like this one:

IMAGE: http://www.pcper.com/files/imagecache/article_max_width/review/2011-12-19/41SYvKSHSVL.jpg

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Nightstalker
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Apr 13, 2012 15:22 |  #11

tim wrote in post #14255036 (external link)
I wouldn't bother with overclocking, personally, the i7 chips are rarely bottlenecks, it's usually disk or even memory.

Believe me, when I OC's my machine it made a massive difference.

I have a i7 950 and went from stock (3.08) to 4.2GHZ and all I can say is WOW.

Using CineBench as an benchmark my Open CL score went from 38 FPS to 52 FPS and the CPU score for multi-threasded rendering jumped from 5.4 to 7.2.

When rendering or batching multiple images I find that it makes a massive difference.


  
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Nightstalker
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Apr 13, 2012 15:55 |  #12

David C wrote in post #14256874 (external link)
If I was a betting man, I would think that this computer was originally built and run with more innards and has been stripped down slightly for sale. Probably had more hard drives mounted, overclocked, and used a more powerful video card (or dual cards).

I think that you are right - to me watercooling is a sure fire sign that it has been overclocked at some time of its life.


  
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isoMorphic
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Apr 13, 2012 18:18 |  #13

professorman wrote in post #14259501 (external link)
What do you mean that its a power hog? That it takes too much electricity to run it and newer cards are more efficient with electricity?

What is the maintenance of water cooling system? This one appears to be a sealed radiator system.

Newer graphics have smaller chips which generate less heat end the end result is less energy being wasted. I was actually wrong it was the GTX 280 i which was the energy hog 183W vs 236W. The 285 was when they shrunk the dye and added more efficiency.

Here is a guide to water cooling and it don't matter sealed or not. Just think the radiator in your car is closed and yet still needs a fill, flush and possibly even descaling treatment from time to time.

http://www.maximumpc.c​om …n_your_watercoo​ling_setup (external link)




  
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Apr 13, 2012 18:48 |  #14

To Answer your question about value, YES. Its a cracker of the spec for $550. If you add component price its in the range of $1K.
If I were you, I would have added a 128G SSD drive for OS+programs and leave 1TB for data and put Windows-7 on it.
If $550 appears too high for you, wait until you see PGE bill.
What are you going to do with it ?


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Numenorean
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Apr 13, 2012 19:00 |  #15

Nightstalker wrote in post #14260682 (external link)
Believe me, when I OC's my machine it made a massive difference.

I have a i7 950 and went from stock (3.08) to 4.2GHZ and all I can say is WOW.

Using CineBench as an benchmark my Open CL score went from 38 FPS to 52 FPS and the CPU score for multi-threasded rendering jumped from 5.4 to 7.2.

When rendering or batching multiple images I find that it makes a massive difference.

Synthetic benchmarks rarely are a good indicator for desktop performance, especially a photo editing machine.

If you really wanted to find out if it actually helps you would time a batch of photos, then restart OC'd and time the same batch of photos. Probably should do it about 3 times and average the results.


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How much is the value of this used i7 desktop PC system?
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