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Looking to Leverage

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March 23, 2006 6:56:13 AM

Now that I have started to gather some reliable data on the latest computer technolgy I am trying to see what I can possibly leverage in my existing system.

I need to put together a system that will play oblivion and play it well. I think this game warrants a computer upgrade. So let me tell you what I got and lets see what sort of clever solutions you can come up with.

My rig:

CPU: AMD 2500
MOBO: Asus A7n8x Deluxe
Ram: 2x256 Geil PC3200
PS: XG Vigor PSVG-500 ATX 500W
Graphics: Radeon 9500 Pro
Sound: Turtle Beach RIVIERA Sound Card + Logitech Z-5500
Case: mid sized aluminum case I got from somewhere I dont remember but I like it
HD: one 40GB IDE and one 80 GB IDE, OS is xp pro on the 40GB drive
Media drives: generic 52x cdROM, HP 4x cd burner (yeah thats 4x!)
Monitor: 17" proview CRT

Things to keep in mind: I need a DVD drive to play oblivion, but I dont necesarily need or want a burner. If there is a nice HD solution that I can get some good fast and cheap storage out of with my existing mobo Id like to hear it. And finally I will probably be going to a larger monitor within the life of this upgrade (as high as 24"). Finally I don't have a lot of time to be messing around with OCing but could do a modest amount if I had some timing suggestions. Thanks and good luck :wink:

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March 23, 2006 10:49:01 AM

Your largest bottlenecks (within the confines of your current mainboard and it's gaming capabilities) are a lack of a modern video card, and not enough memory...

I'd look for an X850XT or 7600GT (I think the latter are agp?) on sale, and replace your current mem with two ea. 1 gb sticks of PC3200...(Such a rig, although nice, is not going to be able to render very high framerates on a 24" monitor within their typical native 1900x1200 resolutions, though)

As for storage, if you are determined to load gaming levels 2-3 seconds faster, you can occasionally find 200-250GB/7200 rpm/16m cache drives on sale at CompUSA for as low as $59 after rebates...

If you had a buyer for your current rig as is, and opted instead for an entirely new system build, you could look at a socket 939 3500+ or 3800+ for a single core, or perhaps an X2/4200+ dual core if budgetarily feasible (or socket 939 Opty 165/170 if interested in OCing it to FX60 speeds!), and add a single 7900GT ($299), the best bang for the buck today in PCI-e video cards, bar none! Add 2 ea. 1 gb sticks of PC3200 or above, and a single SATA 150/300 hard drive around 200gb, and you'd be good to go for two years I'd bet...

Regarding DVD burners....; when on sale, they are barely more than a DVD ROM, so no reason not to fork out $5 for a burner....
March 23, 2006 2:11:08 PM

DVD Burner- NEC $38 from Newegg.. no reason not to get one at that price.
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March 23, 2006 4:19:55 PM

Thanks for your advice.
I will go with a DVD burner in light of the small price difference. I will also look to upgrade the memory and video card in line with your suggestions.
My next question would be what type of hard drive? I think the A7n8x can handle sata right? But not Sata2? Thanks.
March 23, 2006 5:33:54 PM

You could go with an Opteron Dual-Core solution, and since you mentioned you were willing to do a little overclocking and not a lot, I'd suggest you go for an Asus or Abit Mobo. Those are good for beginners and minor OC's, but if you want to go for the big momma of all OC's (1.8GHz Opteron to 2.8GHz Athlon X2 Levels), then go for a DFI, but let me warn you those are a little harder to use. For a video card, I'd go with a 7600GT, that's good enough to play Oblivion at pretty high settings. As for a DVD Drive, just go to Newegg.com and go to DVD/CD Drives and sort by Best Rating. Trust me, it works. Your HD looks OK, but I think you could stand for an upgrade to 120GB as those are pretty cheap even at 7200RPM.
!