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What would you guys do in my shoes??!!

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May 26, 2006 2:20:19 AM

Hi everyone. Long time reader of Tom's forum, 1st time poster. I know everyone asks this (or similar) regularly, but it's the same kind of dilemma I find myself in. Currently, I have two computer systems, both used mostly for games (MOH Series, COD Series, BIA, Farcry) and some internet and music downloading. We'll call them sytem 1 and system 2. I built both myself, system 1 completely from scratch, and system 2 from scratch with the exception of the monitor, keyboard and mouse, which comes from the old Dell that was rebuilt. Anyway, here's the specs...

System 1 - 939 Pin system

Proc. - AMD Athlon 64 3500 (Newcastle core)
Mobo - MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
RAM - 1 Gig (2 x 512MB) Crucial DDR400 PC3200
GPU - EVGA 6800GS AGP 256-A8-N387-TX
HDD - Maxtor Diamond max 10 300 gig Ultra ATA133
HDD - Maxtor Diamond Max 10 120 gig Ultra ATA133
Monitor - Viewsonic 19" G90fb CRT
Lite On DVD-R/RW drive (can't remember exact model)
Lite On CD-RW drive (can'r remember exact model # either!)
Keyboard/mouse - Logitech LX-500 Cordless
Logitech X-530 70 Watts 5.1 Speaker system.

System 2 - 754 Pin system

Proc. - AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Newcastle core)
Mobo - MSI K8N Neo ( can't exactly remember the model #, basically the 754 pin version of the one listed above.)
RAM - 1 Gig (2 x 512MB) Crucial DDR400 PC3200
GPU - EVGA 6600GT 128mb AGP.
HDD - Western Digital 160 gig Ultra ATA133 (recently added a few months ago.)
HDD - Maxtor Diamond max 120 gig Ultra ATA133
Lite On DVD-R/RW drive (can't remember exact model #)
Monitor - 17" Dell E770 CRT
Keyboard/Mouse/speakers - also from the Dell system.

OK so the dilemma is like this...
I've had these systems since 2004. I'd like to totally rebuild both systems and swith to PCI Express and get rid of the AGP. I may possibly also go with dual core processors. I know I would go with 2 gigs of RAM and a 7900GT in any rebuild. By the way, if I redo both systems, I'll be doing them both the exact same way! That way, my son and I both can enjoy the games on higher settings! I'd also like to replace both monitors with a 19" LCD monitors. Should I? I know AM2 just came out, but I think 939 will still be a viable option for a couple more years. Also, I don't overclock! I have no interest in overclocking at all. What's your opinions about upgrading these two systems!!??
Thanks!!!

More about : guys shoes

May 26, 2006 2:35:22 AM

Both systems are quite decent.

I would suggest upgrade system one (buy an new MB , add ram and new GPU if you want).

Sell system2 and invest a bit more to get a $500-$1000 system.

If you both want to play high settings then a good GPU is more important, so depending on your budget, you can get a 3200+ for just over $130 or a 3500+ for about $200 (prices are dropping).

If you want high settings on games and OK frame rates go for X1800 or 7900 which are around $250-$300 , X1800 XT and 7900 GT are around this price. next up are the $500 range cards.

You may also consider changing the HD to SATA II (16MB with NCQ) which will give faster performance compare with your IDE ATAs.

Thats my two cents
May 26, 2006 6:46:00 AM

Since your a hard core gamer, dual core will benefit you in the very near future and even now as some current and all future games will be written in dual core. I have one and it's nice being able to multi task. I usually play online games, watch a movie and surf the internet all on the same machine using dual 19 inch LCD monitors.

Going with LCD 19 inch monitors IMO, is a big upgrade and you would see quite a difference. Mine are both Samsung units and they're great.

I had a machine very similar to yours before I built this dual core machine. It's an AMD Opteron system with a DFI board. Get the 7900GT and SATA drives and your all set. I say go for it.
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May 26, 2006 7:42:57 AM

What's your budget?

Do you plan to replace the hard drives with a larger single SATA drive in each system?

Are you looking for just the monitor, video card, processor, motherboard and RAM?

If you are open to waiting about a week or two as AM2 is just comming out and S939 chips and motherboards might see their prices fall to clear them out?

As of right now, without having more info, I suggest something like this:

This motherboard is very similar to the ones you are using so you should be frimilar with the BIOS and stuff:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Go with dual core, very soon there will be many games that take advantage of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Good latencys for the money on this RAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

A really great deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

For the monitor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

As you are doing two machines I am going with a modest budget here.
May 26, 2006 7:51:24 AM

I would get just one hard drive (120Gb) and one media (DVD/CD-RW) and spend that extra money for an X2 3800+ dual core.
May 26, 2006 9:51:37 AM

Quote:
Since your a hard core gamer, dual core will benefit you in the very near future and even now as some current and all future games will be written in dual core.


Just to make a little correction, "Dual core" is not a programming language it's just the fact of having 2 cores so you cannot write in "dual core" although you can optimize games for SMP (Symetric MultiProcessing).
May 26, 2006 12:21:04 PM

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Here's what I'm thinking, I'll go ahead and totally rebuild and make the switch to PCI-E. This is what I'm looking at:

Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813130484

Processor
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819103562

Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130015

PSU
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817163111

RAM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820145575

HDD *see notes at end of listing*
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16822144701

Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16824116375

Case
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16811166004

All of this comes out to about $1500 for each system, which is about what I was looking to spend. :lol: 
As far as budget, it's not unlimited by any means, but it's limited "by the spouse" as to WHEN I'll be allowed to redo both systems! 8O You guys who are married understand this completely I'm sure!! :D 

The selection of hard drives: I was thinking of putting two of those in both systems, or just one in each system and maybe adding one of these along with it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822136014

What's your opinions on that? Also, I'm not exactly set on the choice of cases. Here's another one I've been looking at:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811133132

This brings me to one last item. The processor. The dual core 3800 is a good choice I know, but I'm wondering your thoughts on this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103588

As I've said before, I do not overclock, so I would have no intentions on doing so. The only thing I'm not sure about is the clock - 1.8gig. What's your opinions on it?

Thanks again for all your suggestions!!!
May 26, 2006 4:04:44 PM

The Opteron would be a much better choice, given the increased cache size.... the motherboard on the other hand.... i'd go with something like the Asus A8N-E
May 26, 2006 4:20:45 PM

dont even dream or consider getin an opty 165 if u dont plan on overclocking it...however oc'ing is quite easy and even with a crappy stepping u can easily push it to 2.6. Though if you reconsider oc'ing go with a dfi lanparty ut ultra-d and some g.skill pc4000 2gb hz kit..but since ur not interested i guess u can forget about that
May 26, 2006 4:42:58 PM

Quote:
The selection of hard drives: I was thinking of putting two of those in both systems, or just one in each system and maybe adding one of these along with it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822136014


I haven't been watching HDs closely enough lately. It's great to see the prices on the big ones getting so low!
May 26, 2006 4:54:06 PM

i would turn system 1 into a new system 2, and buy a new system 1.
For the future system 2, you buy that asrock board with PCI-E and AGP, so you can use your current AGP card and upgrade to a PCI-E in the future.

If you want to be "future-proof", you can go AM2 on your new system, as future processors will be AM2. If you dont, 939 is still a good option and performs exactly the same as an AM2 equivalent.

then you would have:

System1
AM2 or 939, PCI-E, possibility to go dual core

System 2
939, PCI-E and AGP, possibility to go dual core

edit: you can get the best parts of both current computers and put in the system 2, and buy the brand new system 1.
the old parts you can sell or build a 3rd computer to be used as file server/backup or something like that.

that's what i would do
May 26, 2006 5:06:16 PM

I was going to suggest the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum and the 250GB SATA HDD but I didn't know exactly what your budget was so I didn't suggest those then, but wise choices. I think a 560W power supply is a bit overkill for a non-SLI system. 450W to 500W should be just fine for you. You can save almost $80 on the two power supplies by going with the 500W model.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
!