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New Build. 650 Dollars. Emphasis on MOBO in Build?

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Last response: in Systems
June 12, 2006 10:11:09 PM

Hello all.
First post.
I'm looking to build a (Decent) gaming computer on my summer job budget. I live in SoCal, and want to spend around 600 dollars for a new computer. I currently have a computer and will be taking these parts from it:

300GB HD
DVD Burner and CD Burner Drives
768 of PC 2700 RAM (Questionable, hence the RAM listed Below)
350W Power Supply (Questionable)

So this is what I'm gonna get and what I'm leaning toward:

Case- Antec Performance I P180 Silver 0.8mm cold rolled steel for durability through the majority of chassis, 1.0mm cold rolled steel around the 4x HDD area ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $124.99

MOBO- ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $159.99

OR

MOBO- ABIT AN8 SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $87.99

Video Card- eVGA 256-P2-N547 Geforce 7600GS 256MB GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail $129.00

CPU- AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3200BPBOX - Retail $105.99

RAM- Crucial Technology Ballistix 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model BL2KIT6464Z402 - Retail $95.99


Ok so heres the deal. Of course I'd rather have thes best parts, but the 600 dollar budget is real and next year I start grad school so I won't have time or money to upgrade down the road. I want this machine to be able to play games for the next 3-4 years while only upgrading the Video Card. (My current machine has a Nvidia 4200, which I can play FEAR on just fine.)

Questions:
Should I spring for the new AMD2, is this CPU obselete already? Intel?
How important is the MOBO, out of the two that I listed, should I get the better one? Is it a major factor?
Any suggestions for a cheaper (but still quality) case?

I built this with the advice that the CPU isn't that important for gaming, and that I should focus on the GPU. I am hoping to play FEAR, SPORE, the new Medieval TW game, and want it to look GOOD. (as good as I can for 600 bucks.)
Any help or advice is welcomed. Any other revisions or suggestions will help too.


Thanks
-Joey

More about : build 650 dollars emphasis mobo build

June 12, 2006 10:43:32 PM

Quote:
Hello all.
I'm looking to build a (Decent) gaming computer on my summer job budget.


Why don't you try the following:

1) Re-use your case. If it's getting whooped looking, buy a can of paint. Just buying a decent PSU on sale should save you upwards of $50.
2) Get something that overclocks on air, and do a mild overclock (no voltage increase), and prime95 it for a while (2 days) to be sure it's stable. Use the giant zalman cooler.
3) Learn to like games at least 2-3 years old.

Alternately, I'd wait until the Conroe processors actually come out. I expect aggressive price wars. In which case, your recent price shopping is relatively moot.

Just my two cents.
June 12, 2006 10:55:59 PM

Quote:
1) Re-use your case. If it's getting whooped looking, buy a can of paint. Just buying a decent PSU on sale should save you upwards of $50.
2) Get something that overclocks on air, and do a mild overclock (no voltage increase), and prime95 it for a while (2 days) to be sure it's stable. Use the giant zalman cooler.
3) Learn to like games at least 2-3 years old.

Alternately, I'd wait until the Conroe processors actually come out.


: (
I wanna play new games at decent resolution and FPS. Is that not possible with a 7600? I think it is?

Anywoo, the current case right now is a MiniATX, and I want to move to a regular size case.
The componets I listed.... can I mildly OC those on air?
Zalman cooler= Good idea.

When is Conroe coming out?

Thanks.
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June 12, 2006 11:08:09 PM

Conroe is (supposedly) out end of July, expect a few weeks lag time for serious price wars since there will likely be a lot of demand right away.

Sometimes you can O/C your GPU, but I'd be careful, since a lot of the stock GPU coolers are only exactly enough to cool it within spec.

If your resolution isn't too high, you should be okay on the games.

I'd also consider making sure you get a dual core CPU since AMD, and Intel are trying to get the game developers to write multi-threaded games. Also, your computer will feel fast (or at least not feel super slow) for a longer time. I had a cheezy dual 500 celeron once, and it took a lot to bog it down where it would crawl.

Also, if you think you could pawn off your old case, video card, psu, or memory, and get 2GB total RAM you'd be styling.

Another aspect you may consider is your case. You may want to be sure to keep it all together, and have good air flow with an intake and outtake fan. As odd as it sounds, your computer will actually cool better closed up, but with the air flowing faster because of your directed air flow from the fan cooling. I only mention this because a lot of people leave the case sides off, which can hurt air flow, and cause hot spots.
June 13, 2006 12:45:52 AM

Just a thought, the A8N can use ddr2700. do you have 3 x 256, or 1 x 512 and 1 x 256? Upping to ddr3200 would increase your performance, but not night and day. If you have a 512 i would say ditch the 256, get another 512 to match and put some extra cash into your gpu. Match the ram to take advantage of dual channel ram either way and shoot for atleast a gig (2x512, 4x256). getting a 7600gt would make a difference. taking 30 bucks and getting pci sound would help your frame rates a small bit too since onboard sound would be off. Eventually you'll see the RAM demons come for you if you don't have 2 gigs (as soon as a year from now) but today you're okay. 939 will die out but you're not looking to upgrade. am2 sounds nice but it's new and you'd need to spend more cash on ram. Price cuts on am2 are coming very soon, from what the rumor mill says. ddr2 is still slightly more expensive than ddr, which is to say much more if you dont' have to buy any at all and can do with your ddr2700. I say don't sweat it. 939 is still viable and will always do what you build it to do. conroe will cost you more than 600 to build cheaply. you've already said gaming was your concern. I'd focus on shaving more cash for the gpu and if you can, leave a little room for extra ram.
June 13, 2006 3:21:19 AM

ASUS A8N-SLI Premium isn't worth almost twice as much as that Abit board. For what your budget is, I wouldn't spend that much on a mobo.