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Not really a gamer but would possibly like the option.

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April 23, 2006 3:25:47 AM

I'm upgrading my system. I'm not really a gamer but would like the option to play some of the newer games if I wanted(I hear Oblivion is great). The app that taxes my system the most right now is Microsoft's Visual Studio and that's because I've only got 512MB of RAM. The only things I keeping from my old system are the 2 hard drives. They're not that old(the system drive is only 4 months old) and plenty big for my purposes. After reading some of the discussions in the forum. I've come up with:

CPU:AMD Athlon 64 3200+ $154.00

Video:eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 $179.00

Memory:CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) $77.00

Case:Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 $99.99

The problem I'm having is with deciding on a motherboard. I need something compatible with my CPU and memory. I don't know what SLI is, but from what I've read, if I don't have a high-end vid-card it's point-less. I also don't need fancy RAID support. If anyone can make a cost-conscience suggestion for something that would get the most performance out of my CPU and vid-card w/o the extras I don't need, that would be really appreciated.

More about : gamer possibly option

April 23, 2006 4:45:01 AM

BioStar K8T890-A9 is the most inexpensive motherboard I would go with. Since you are not going for a SLI setup this mobo should be fine. Since it uses the VIA chipset, it doesn't get as hot a nVidia's chipsets so it doesn't need a fan. Very basic, but very good.

EPoX EP-9HEAI I never had experience with EPoX but a lot of people seem to like this inexpensive motherboard ($10 instant rebate right now). It too is based on a VIA chipset so a fan is not necessary to cool it.

Asus A8N5X At $80 this is the most expensive of the three, but it is also a good board from a premium namebrand. It has a fan because it uses a nVidia chipset. It also has a few more features than the other two mobos that are more budget oriented.
April 23, 2006 6:28:17 AM

For an nVidia GeForce seriers video card like that, and the AMD Athlon 64 you are looking at, I would pair it with a board sporting a nVidia nForce 4 series chipset.

Consider a board similar to:

Epox nForce 4 boards:
http://www.epox.nl/products/?product_cat_id=1&product_t...

MSI nForce 430 boards: (these are more cost effective)
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr...
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr...

Make sure to get a board based on the nForce 4 or nForce 430 chipset, and not the older (AGP) nForce 3 chipset.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2006 11:46:03 AM

"I would pair it with a board sporting a nVidia nForce 4 series chipset.
"

I formally 2nd that!
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2006 11:50:20 AM

I'd give serious consideration to getting 2gb of RAM in a 2x 1gb config....even due to cost you only get a single 1gb stick for now, then you can simply add the other later....

(socket 939/NF4 rigs are able to run better mem timings with two sticks than with 4 sticks, with the latter config sometimes requiring knockng the mem clock down to PC2700/(DDR 333) speeds...
April 23, 2006 12:39:58 PM

DFI nF4-DAGF, 3700+ Sandy, 1GB DDR400, X600, 250GB SATA, Audigy 2, Cooler Master Cavalier
April 23, 2006 12:42:23 PM

Radeon X600 ?, You gotta be kidding.

The ATI Radeon X800 XL is the minimum I'd recommend to anyone 'considering' getting into gaming a little bit.

The XFX 7900 GT, if cost justified, is a far better choice. (Now that I've said that, They'll sell out)
April 23, 2006 9:21:16 PM

Thank you for your suggestions. I think I found a MB that fits the bill. It has an NVIDIA nForce4 chipset. So the current setup is.

MB: ASUS A8N5X Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX $79.99

CPU:AMD Athlon 64 3200+ $154.00

Video:eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 $179.00

Memory:CORSAIR XMS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel Kit $103.00

Case:Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 $99.99

I changed my memory from what I had in the original setup to something w/ Cas Latency of 2 rather than 2.5, but what is the difference between the one I chose and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682.... The only difference I see is the model number TWINX1024-3200C2PT vs. TWINX1024-3200C2.

I'm debating the extra memory(2GB vs 1GB). With all the other stuff I'm up to $700.00 when I count shipping, which is more than I was planning to spend, but I'd only get the extra memory if I get the impression that my current investment would be wasted w/o it. Meaning, given the components that I already have, would I be seriously curtailing the performance that I could be getting from them, if I didn't get the extra memory. I know it's probably somewhat of a subjective thing. But these are the judgment calls that I currently don't have the gaming experience to make.
April 24, 2006 12:39:01 AM

Quote:
Thank you for your suggestions. I think I found a MB that fits the bill. It has an NVIDIA nForce4 chipset. So the current setup is.

MB: ASUS A8N5X Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX $79.99



Spend $13 more and get the Asus A8N-E. You gain the Ultra NF4 chipset which performs better than just the plain NF4 and you gain SATA II (3gb/s) which that board lacks.
April 24, 2006 9:25:43 PM

The ultra version of the nForce4 is of little advantage unless you are going to use the active armour firewall to protect a large LAN. In the ultra configuration the firewall has its own engine, but this engine is not needed on a single home computer or a modest home LAN.

The plain nForce4 firewall splits protection between the native XP firewall and itself, and does a good job.

As far as SATA II (3 gb/s) is concerned it is merely a gimmick for now at least. No HDD manufacturer in the world even approaches that transfer rate. My SATA 1.5 gb/s provide a sustained read of 60 mb/s, using the nForce4 test feature.

So my opinion is save the $13 and spend it on something actually usefull.

-Bob
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