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600$(changed, sorry) budget - Need CPU/Mobo/GFX Card only

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December 8, 2005 10:21:22 PM

NOTE: Had to change budget for reason some posts below. Also to answer common questions, I am looking mostly for a gaming rig with good overclocking capabilities. I don't want to quote the rest of my system since I cannot change it for a while anyway, let's just say it's decent :) 

Another one of those "help some noob to not buy utter crap" topics :D  I hope you are in a helpful mood.

Just a few things I would love to have, if possible:

1) Futureproofing - Dunno if it is possible, but I would love it if I could just add to this setup later and not have to just get rid of anything.

2) AMD cpu and mobo - Seems a no brainer even to a noobie like me, but maybe you know better?

3) Gaming Performance - For example I have no idea if I should skimp on CPU for a better graphics card or vice versa, but you probably do.

4) Finally, I will be buying the new stuff in January at the earliest, in case you think I should wait for something. I am a patient guy :p 

Please if it is at all possible, could you provide a reason for why you are picking something. I would like to educate myself a little too :)  My budget is 900 dollars, give it a 100 dollar cushion though in case something really deserves it.

Lastly, if you reply to this thread, let me thank you right now I really appreciate it :) 
December 9, 2005 1:21:22 AM

hohoho, time to go to work. $900, eh? Not bad to work with...

Most important question: what do you have that can be recycled? Like monitors, cd-rom, HD, case, etc....

So i assume you have a monitor for right now and the 900 goes to the box only. All prices are referencing to http://www.newegg.com

CPU: AMD A64 3200+ @2.0ghz---cheap, quality cpu for gamers $166

Mobo: Chaintech VNF4--- quality + price $69

GPU: eVGA 7800GT----high end GPU, no need to upgrade for like 2 years, and you can game on "MAX" settings. $300

RAM: hmmm, the cheapest one is the Corsair VS 1gb(2x512) for $80. Solid performance with price in mind. You don't need 2gb unless you up the CPU. A better 1gb is the Crucial ballistix(2x512) for $121. It has tight timing(2-2-2-6, i believe).

Case: that is a personal preference. You can get window/no window, different number of fans, thermameter, etc... anything in the 50-100 range will do. As long as it's not flimsy...

HDD- what do you do besides gaming? a western digital 80gb sata should do right now for $55.

PSU- anything from quality brand like FSP, Antec, Enermax, Thermaltake...
My personal favorite is the 430W one by Thermaltake for $40(then take 10 off for rebate). It is quite with plenty of cables for upgrade. it has a high rating so not likely to fry your PC. CAUTION:NEVER USE THE ONE WITH THE CASE UNLESS IT IS A GOOD BRAND LISTED ABOVE.

Fans: you only look like you need two fans(in and out). To keep the noise down choose a 120mm fan compatible case so you can use 120mm fans. $40 should do.

CD-ROM/DVD- cheap, $20-50 is fine

OS: hmmm, any of the XP or media center edition is fine. (home-$90, pro-$130, media-???)

Yes, this set up is future proof as the socket 939 cpu's will be expolited further by AMD.

count up the money:
166+69+300+80+75(average for the case)+55+40+40+90(home edition)+30(guessing for cd-rom)=

$945+50 for shipping(70 if tax comes in)= about 1 grand, that is your cushion

you probably have windows already so drop the 90 and it is $930. I understand that is a bit over, but here's some key points:

7800 gt is the best price/performance/future card
alternative: downgrade cpu to A64 3000+ and switch over to 6800GS-$209
($140) 6600GT(128mb)-$139

you can skimp on cpu as long as it doesn't starve the gpu. for gaming the gpu matter more.
7800- don go below 3200
6800-don go below 3000(the A64 3000+ disappeared in many places)
6600-don go below 2800

I only listed nvidia cards cuz only their mid and low-end cards have HDR support, which you will need in new games like FEAR and Serious SAM 2, or even HL2:Lost Coast

To save more $$$ on GPU, the lowest you should go with ATI is Connect3D X800GTO for $185. It can be soft-modded to 16 pipes and OC'ed to X800XT status. Other than that the Sapphire X800GTO2 is good for $219, unlock to 16 pipes and can be OC'ed further than just GTO. Other better ATI cards are too expensive. *Note: the X800's don't have HDR support, keep that in mind.

Anything old you have should be recycled to save money, ESPECIALLY the monitor. That thing cost too much($150+ for LCD). The OS too, get one from your friends if you can, or use the cd that came with the old computer. Win2k should be fine.

DEFINITELY buy stuff in january, which is what im gonna do. prices have soared from their extreme low on black friday. for example, 3200+ went from 152 to 166, a 9% increase. That is a lot for computer parts. And it will stay or go up thru Xmas because people will buy things regardless of price at that time...

If you plan on OC'ing then you can get cheaper stuff and let the OC experts weigh in.
December 9, 2005 1:29:13 AM

The X800GTO modding era has ended. I believe that most, if not all of them are now unmoddable (due to core switching, i believe).
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December 9, 2005 1:52:30 AM

Well I seem to have hit a snag, namely I live in England and it seems prices here are an unbelievable rip off. For example a DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR is 170$ on newegg and a ridiculous 260$ in the UK. I could not believe it at first but it seems this trend is real and there's no way around it like shipping from abroad as they just make you pay for it on delivery... :S

In this case I am going to edit the thread change my budget a bit. Please consider the new figures of a 600 dollar budget. Also I only need the CPU/Mobo and GFX card, I have everything else :D  Sorry about this :/ 
December 9, 2005 2:02:49 AM

1. getting a PCI 939 board you are as safe as you can be for the future.

2. it is a no brainer....the speed of the cpu and the specific board you want to get depends on what you are going to do. Games only? do you want to overclock?

3. get the gpu...and then with ther left over money buy a cpu and some ram...the GPU is the most important BY FAR!!

4. between now and then prices will change but no new products that i know of.



Can you reuse things? Optical drives, hard drives, case?
if so i need to know....

i will come up with a great computer....just let me know what you want/need/and can reuse.
December 9, 2005 2:20:41 AM

Quote:
1. getting a PCI 939 board you are as safe as you can be for the future.

2. it is a no brainer....the speed of the cpu and the specific board you want to get depends on what you are going to do. Games only? do you want to overclock?

3. get the gpu...and then with ther left over money buy a cpu and some ram...the GPU is the most important BY FAR!!

4. between now and then prices will change but no new products that i know of.



Can you reuse things? Optical drives, hard drives, case?
if so i need to know....

i will come up with a great computer....just let me know what you want/need/and can reuse.


Thanks for reply :)  I do have the rest of the parts from my current PC. It is a strange mix of stuff (eg. 8 year old 22 inch CRT), but I really cannot afford to change much of it for a while, reason why I did not post it in the first place. In case you are curious, I am using 2 times:

GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS 2.5 6-3-3 @ DDR400 PC3200

Apparently it overclocks well (not on my current Intel 2.2 though), but it is value, so I will be looking to buy better quality but not for a month or so (will probably be back here then). If you have any more questions I am happy to answer them :) 
December 9, 2005 2:41:09 AM

Chaintech VNF4 Ultra....$65
3200+ venice core....$160
RAM.....reuse what you have
HDD....reuse
GPU 7800GT....$320
optical....resuse
mouse/keyboard....reuse
Case....reuse.
PSU....http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954

thats everything.....all under $600, and it will be a CRAZY good upgrade. might be a little more....might be like $650 with shipping and everything i rounded the prices hopefully not too much...lol

Ask if you need to know why on parts.

btw you have 2GB of ram? 4dimms?
December 9, 2005 2:56:06 AM

Quote:
Ask if you need to know why on parts.

btw you have 2GB of ram? 4dimms?


I'm guessing you picked the Chaintech because of price/value? I happen to have a 425W Enermax PSU, so with that extra shot of cash would it be worth upgrading to a DFI Lanparty or Epox instead?

Also, do you think it worth getting an SLi mobo and maybe buying another 7800GT in the future instead of upgrading, or will single cards be best?

To answer your question, I do have 2Gb of DDR-SDRAM in dual 4 * 184pin dimms, running at 160Mhz since my current setup cannot take overclocking them to 200.
December 9, 2005 3:06:45 AM

YES, exactly why i picked it

Epox....you can OC on it without 40million BIOS options...the DIF will go alittle higher but isn't for beginers because its complex setup. If you dont mind readin some directions and tinkering it could be the way to go.

They will run in 2T command rate in your setup. I would say try to sell to a friend or Ebay them and buy new ram...either 1GB kit of OCZ rev2, or 2GB of value ram (1gbx2)
December 9, 2005 1:03:18 PM

Thanks for replies so far :) 

A few questions, if possible:

1) Would it be better to go for an SLi enabled mobo (paying a little bit more) in the hopes of buying another same graphics card in the future (cheaper), or is it unnecessary since single cards will always be best? Or is it too early to tell?

2) I have read a few people mention that the Opteron 146 is being pulled out of public sales and you should buy quickly. Is that true? I ask this since the general consensus seems to be it is better than the Venice 3000+, 3200+ (is it?) and here in the UK the price is similar to the 3200 anyway.

3) How important is RAM in overclocking and general use? I currently have 2 of:

GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS 2.5 6-3-3 @ DDR400 PC3200

which I know is 'value' and not very fast. However I would like to hold on to it for a while longer. Will it hold my speed back? Will it affect overclocking?

4) Any idea where I could find a site reviewing/comparing cases? I would like to splash out on one later and build the PC from grounds up, but can't seem to find a good site.
December 9, 2005 1:49:56 PM

1. NO SLI....by the time you want to upgrade the next generation of cards will be out and for the cost of a new one to throw in you could get one thats equal to your SLI setup....and runs cooler, and is easier to OC and its not as high of a required PSU and all that.

2. YES get that opteron if you can....most people ar getting around 3Ghz on air with it. Thats faster then anything AMD has on thr market includeing he $1000 FX57

3. its important but not SUPER important...if your ram is holding you back you can use a ram divder....so you can ge your cpu way up.
using all 4dimms on an A64 board will make your ram slow down....but you can do it.

It wont hold you back....use a ram divider....and use ny two stick because 2GB of ram is useless unless you do certain things. and gaming isn't one of them. You can use all 4dimms and still OC the cpu like crazy......but 2GB isn't bringing lots of speed with it.



Cases? Well i would say go to newegg and find things you like, find things that are well reviewed and google for some true reviews.
personally i would throw it all i a pretty cheap case, i have an antec solution series...nice gloosy shine but not all ricer'd up. I dont like that.
December 10, 2005 2:01:26 AM

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice
ASUS A8N-VM Socket 939
CHAINTECH SE6600G Geforce 6600GT 128MB

Grand Total is $393.95 with fedex overnight shipping from newegg.com
Its a very budget system you cant expect it to do doom3 on ultra but it gets the job done.
December 10, 2005 4:02:19 AM

Quote:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice
ASUS A8N-VM Socket 939
CHAINTECH SE6600G Geforce 6600GT 128MB

Grand Total is $393.95 with fedex overnight shipping from newegg.com
Its a very budget system you cant expect it to do doom3 on ultra but it gets the job done.


riddle me this batman....if he has the money...why wouldn't he want to get a 7800GT?

your system is alright but a system of:
Chaintech VNF4Ultra board (or Epox board listed above if you want to OC.)
3200+ venice
7800GT

Would be about 4times faster for games....if he has the budget he can spend it.
!