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Will this system be able to run games with heavy graphics?

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February 27, 2006 10:54:55 AM

Hey, I'm building a new gaming rig and would like to know if the configuration I chose is a good one:
*Mobo: Abit UL8 ULi ULI 1689 FSB 2000 SATA 6 CH AGPX8
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+
*VGA: ATi Radeon 9600 128MB
Memory: 2x Super Talent 512MB DDR 400MHz

And now to explain this mess:
You're probably wondering what that Motherboard and old Video Card are doing there.
Well, the thing is that I already have the Radeon 9600 and I don't want to spend to much money in one shot so I thought why not buy a good CPU and memory and an old mobo which can house them and my dated VGA card to get a cheap pc, and in half a year or so if I see that the VGA is really dragging my system down I will only have to buy a new mobo and a good PCIExpress VGA card to get the perfect system.

Am I doing the wrong thing here? Please at least tell me that all the parts I chose are compatible.
Will the systems' performance be severely degraded by either the motherboard or VGA card or both?
Please hurry with the replies cuz I don't have a lot of time to order all this stuff before I go back to school.


Thanks a lot,
Mr. Longshot
February 27, 2006 11:27:06 AM

I believe that system will have SEVERE problems running modern games such as BF2 or F.E.A.R with the video card being the primary bottleneck.
February 27, 2006 11:45:57 AM

The Radeon 9600 is currently installed in this sytem:
Mobo: ASUS A7N8X-X
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2600+
Memory: 512MB

This system can run BF2 at Low to Medium settings and F.E.A.R at Medium smoothly and only has problems at high settings.
It can also run Silent Hunter 3 with no problem.
Will it's performance increase with a better CPU and more RAM or will it stay the same?
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February 27, 2006 11:53:11 AM

I have no clue how you run BF2 with 512 MB RAM. That's gotta be like watching a slide show... more RAM will DEFINITELY help that game out and I don't see how a faster processor could hurt the situation. BF2 seems happiest with 2 GB on my system, but I play with all settings maxed out.
February 27, 2006 11:54:48 AM

Since it looks like your video card will be the next item to upgrade, perhaps you should consider a motherboard with AGP and PCIe slots... I believe there are a couple out there. That would open up your video upgrade options to cards like the 7800GT and the soon-to-be-released 7900GT.
February 27, 2006 2:52:36 PM

With this system I don't have to buy a VGA card and the mobo will only cost me about 60$.
It will also be easy to upgrade in the future because I will only have to buy the VGA card and a PCIe mobo.
Are the parts at least compatible?
I just don't want to spend too much money and this will only cost me about 580$.
Then in the future I can really spend a lot of money on the Video card.
The real question is, should I spend that money now or is the plan I have good enough?
I just couldn't find another mobo which will be cheap and will also allow me to upgrade in the future.
February 27, 2006 3:16:59 PM

The board you are using will work with the RAM you're getting and the board you listed is a socket 939 so it will work fine with the Athlon 64 you're getting. Odds are you won't even need a BIOS flash to support that CPU.

Strongly consider the ULi M1695 PCIe/AGP Socket 939 for Athlon 64 motherboard if you can find it at a comparable price. That would have the AGP and the PCIe slots to work with virtually all video cards past and present.
March 1, 2006 1:54:39 PM

10x for the replies guys.
The ULi M1695 is a lot better for me but unfortunately no mobos with that chipset have been imported to Israel (where I live), so I have to stick with the Abit UL8.

BTW, is a ZALMAN ZM-7700 AlCu an overkill for the Athlon 3500+?
I just need a fan that will keep it cool and be as silent as possible, any recommendations?
March 1, 2006 3:03:18 PM

Search for heatsinks that support 120 mm fans... Thermaltake XP-120 is what I run and it's relatively silent because the 120 mm fan spins at a lower RPM. When dealing with something that size it is CRITICAL to verify compatibility with your motherboard before purchasing. Because of its size some motherboard capacitors may block its installation. Here's a link I found on Google... I forget where I ordered mine from. I still have a noisy system thanks to my video card and other case fans, but this one is not the problem.

http://www.case-mod.com/store/thermalright-xp120-120-al...
March 1, 2006 3:41:39 PM

Nvidia just released a chipset with onboard graphics MC51, this is the way I went about a similar problem moving away from AGP without breaking the bank. If you could live with some crap graphics for a while I will suggest getting this board. I am a firm believer in getting a MOBO with a decent chipset I think in the long run you will have a better system.

Gigabyte GA-K8N51GMF-9 is what I am running and I cant complain.
March 1, 2006 4:26:56 PM

Well I would suggest you try to find this Asrock board. It's 939 now and is supposed to have the capability to support the new upcoming AMD processor via an onboard slot. This will work with all of your existing hardware and still give you a lot of room to upgrade to a PCI-Express Video card down the road.

I would really try to find this board in your area. I would start by e-mailing Asrock directly to find a dealer in Isreal. I believe Asrock is ASUS's budget brand so I would think if there's an ASUS dealer in Isreal, they could get their hands on some Asrock product as well. It would definately be worth checking out.
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