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Solved: Should I buy a gaming computer?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DKTaber, Jan 22, 2013.

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  1. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Am looking to buy a new desktop with OS Win 7 64-bit (do NOT want Win 8). I do not play high-res/high-action games; the computer is used primarily for business (Word, Excel and design of fairly complex applications in Access) and for e-mail and Web surfing. I have not been happy with the (onboard Intel) graphics on my current desktop. Web pages are slow to load regardless of whether I use Firefox or IE. [They're not much better on my Win 7, Core i7 laptop].

    Of course, the fault could lie with my ISP (Comcast), but Speakeasy.net measures my download speed from Washington, DC (closest server) at 25Mbps and from the most distant servers (San Fran and LA) at 10Mbps, both of which are reasonably good.

    I was thinking about a gaming computer from CyberPower, whose prices seem the best for what appear to be very fast desktops. My logic in doing so is that, although I don't play games, gaming computers seem to be focused on fast graphics.

    Am I all wet? I.e., if I get a gaming computer, will it be only marginally faster on e-mail and Web surfing than a (less expensive) "office computer"?
     
  2. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    It may not be any faster at all for email and browsing, if the problems is with your ISP or your Internet connection.
     
  3. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Their prices are good and their base models are hardly gaming computers. They do have a decently fast processor and good amounts of RAM, the video card can help on video or graphics rendering in some cases. To be honest any modern integrated graphics is more than sufficient for office work and web content.

    Your Toshiba laptop shouldn't even break a sweat doing what you are requesting.
     
  4. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    But how do you know if it's your ISP? I live in Wilmington, DE (home of Du Pont, Astra Zeneca, etc.). As I said in Post #1, Speedtest.net and Speakeasy.net rate my download speed at 25Mbps using servers in Red Bank, NJ, Baltimore and Washington. The worst speeds are from San Francisco and Seattle at ~10Mbps, but that's because the signal has to go thru many servers vs. essentially direct to those close to me. Is it possible for Comcast to use some trickery to make the speed appear higher than it really is?
     
  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Run the tests at both of these sites:

    http://www.pingtest.net/

    http://www.speedtest.net/

    Post the results of both.

    Or there could be incorrect settings on the PC or the router causing browsing slow downs, pure download speeds are not everything.
     
  6. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Pingtest.net: Ping = 16ms; Jitter=1ms; B* rating. Unable to measure packet loss; says Java not installed on my computer (it is) or firewall blocking. Turned Windows firewall off and disabled Avast shields, and ran test again. Same result.

    As mentioned in previous posts, I use Speedtest.net frequently. With Red Bank, Baltimore or Wash. DC, it reports ~25 Mbps download every time. Today it was 25.03. Upload has never been great; always ~4 Mbps. Today it was 4.19. Speakeasy.net shows same.

    Router is D-Link DIR-601 (which is 150N) and connection indicates speed of 150Mbps on desktop, 65Mbps on laptop in the same room (why are they so different?). Desktop connects via a Belkin wireless adapter (not an Ethernet cable), but speed tests are the same whether use cable or wireless adapter. Desktop DNS are specified based on Gibson Research DNS Bench tests; laptop obtains DNS automatically. Doesn't seem to matter whether I specify the DNS or let computer pick automatically on either computer.
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Does it work any faster if you plug directly into the modem and bypass the router?
     
  8. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    No. I say 'no' without trying it because the Ethernet cable between the router and the computer is just a pass-thru of the cable connection from the modem to the router; i.e., the router is not in the circuit. As I said, makes no difference whether I connect via cable or wirelessly, speed is the same (very fast in both cases according to speed test sites).
     
  9. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Actually you couldn't be more wrong. A router is not a pass-thru device, you can Google the exact functionality of a router and all the functions it performs on every packet of data that passes through it. A faulty or mis-configured router can cause numerous problems from slow performance to complete loss of connection and everything in between, this is why ISP's blame routers for various issues and in many cases ask that a computer be directly connected to the modem for testing or have the first step of troubleshooting be to reboot the router.
     
  10. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Actually, I think I'm right. It makes no sense that an Ethernet cable connection between a router and a computer is anything but a pass-thru of the signal from the modem. But just to make sure, I connected my laptop directly to the modem and ran the Ping test. Was actually a tad worse: 18ms Ping, 1ms Jitter. Speakeasy.net on Wash. DC server rates download at 25.45Mbps, upload at 4.17Mbps. SameO, sameO.

    FYI, the ping test site continues to say the packet loss test can't be run because of not having Java (which I DO!) or the firewall (which is only Windows XP's weak firewall). So this site is flawed.

    Me thinks my disappointment with the Internet graphics speed on both computers is due either to my impatience or to other factors (like add-ons or start menu items, although I keep the latter to a bare minimum), or a combination of both. So I'm going to mark this thread as 'solved'.
     
  11. prunejuice

    prunejuice

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    A router is NOT a simple pass-thru device.

    At it's most basic, it can be an unmanaged switch. Address reservations still have to be "assigned". That's not the definition of pass-thu.
     
  12. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Feel free to do some research at your convenience on what a router is, what you think it is is actually something called a Ethernet Hub which is a different device, even 'simple' switches examine packets to a degree. Wikipedia or any number of online sources provide basic explanations of what happens inside a router. Here's a quick and basic one: http://compnetworking.about.com/od/homenetworkhardware/f/routervsswitch.htm

    You can even go to the router's web address which for your unit is by default 192.168.0.1, log into it, and see the numerous WAN connection options, DNS/DHCP settings, MTU settings, wireless settings, firewall settings, port forwarding settings, parental controls, web filtering, and other settings it allows you to customize, all of which can impact performance.

    I'm glad that yours is working OK and not causing you issues, but its a valid test and commonly done by ISP's as a testing measure.
     
  13. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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