So I'm beginning to look into getting a new PC, however am a little lost when it comes to the current specs in use.
I've never been particuarily clear when it comes to the individual specs but it'd be nice to gain a little knowledge and make smart purchases this time around.
By specs I mean the different formats for things such as memory, hard drives and processors.
It seems DDR2 seems to be the standard for reasonable memory cards. Is it and what else needs to be looked at (it seems that a second sort is done on PC2 number which seems linked to clock speed?)?.
Hard Disk Drive
Traditionally I've gotten IDE drives however it seems SATA is recommended. Is this correct? Also should I back away from high capacity drives (so say above 250GB) - in terms of stuff like defragging I guess.
I'm really lost when it comes to graphics cards. What sort of things should I be looking for. Presumably the most on board memory? Are things like dual DVI inputs important (thinking in terms of future compatibility if everything is moving towards DVI input)? What are recommended manufacturers (for example are ATI better than NVidia in most cases or...?)? What would be a reasonable price (in pounds if possible) to be looking for a solid graphics card capable of playing the latest games (and hopefully future games for a little while at least).
I guess this depends on the processor but it'd be usefull to know what I should be looking for with regards to a new motherboard (what specs are important).
The collection of alternative types is also a little confusing. A look at one site has the following options for an AMD motherboard AMD AM2, AMD AM2 SLiReady, AMD AM2 Micro-ATX, AMD AM2 CrossFire Ready, AMD 939, AMD 939 SLiReady, AMD 939 Micro-ATX, AMD 939 CrossFire Ready.
Again I'm a little lost on the numerous options. In the past I have leaned towards AMD chips over Intel. Is this still advised or are Intel just as recommended nowadays?
What are the differences between processors such as AMD's X2 and 64 or Intel's Dual Core or Core 2 Duo?
What kind of processor would be recommended (should it be 64 bit or is that standard now?).
I've never been sure about sound cards. Does it really make a difference having an expensive sound card over a cheaper one when your outputting sound through average speakers?
If the speaker baseline is set at a 80-100 pounds would it make a difference if you bought a 80 pound sound card instead of a 30 pound sound card?
What's the difference between 7.1 and 5.1 when it comes to speakers?
Also are wireless speakers worth the investment (my MS wireless keyboard and mouse tended to suffer if not aligned correctly along with them not being rechargable and eating through batteries really quickly).