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another new gaming rig post (but with a twist!)

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June 12, 2006 11:43:20 PM

Alright so I'm building a new rig and have been reading and researching the past 2 weeks getting caught up to speed on the latest and greatest. So to start:

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum Motherboard
A64 3800+
2Gb Dual Channel DDR400 (2-3-2-5)
Western Digital 250Gb 16Mb Cache SATA II
SapphireX1800GTO PCI-E Video Card w/256Mb
Antec Sonata II Mid-Tower Case w/450w Power Supply

And now, a plethora of questions/comments:

1. 939 vs AM2... Been reading about this all over, the consesus seems that right now there isn't really a performance difference. The AM2 clearly provides the best (only) future upgrade path. That said, I don't think much if any 'upgrading' will be happening for 2 yearsish. But who knows.. I was looking at the MSI Diamond board if I do AM2 as I like the onboard SB Audigy. However, the cost is higher than the 939 boards so right now I think I'm the 939 side of the fence.. Comments?

2. DDR vs DDR2... This is where things get a bit confusing for me. Processors need to hit 2.4GHz to get use out of DDR2, and the DDR2 should be @ 800 to see good performance, yes? Please don't say no because I barely understand it like that haha. the 3800+ does do 2.4, but I dont know if it's worth the extra $100 to go from 2-3-2-5 DDR400 to 5-5-5-10 DDR2-800. Comments?

3. Ah processors... For now I think I've decided against dual core. Why? I have no idea. But I had to make a decision because I was stuck. Can you tell me why? Something I am curious about is the difference between the 3700, 3800, and 4000. Maybe not the 3700 if you guys make me do DDR2. The 3700 and the 4000 have 1Mb cache, the 3800 has 512kb. There's a $100 difference between the 3700 and 4000, so in your opinions is the extra cache better than the Ghz difference?

4. PCI-E... I wont be doing SLI. Since this rig's job is primarily to deliver a great gaming experience, I think this is probably one of the most important areas.. Is it better to save a $100 here and there from the above options and go for a X1900GT w/256Mb? What about up to the 512mb? The price is really steep though so I dunno about that.

5. Case & PSU... I've read the PSU in this case is solid, I just want to ask if 450W would be enough for this system w/ a x1900xt? Also I'm curious about heat. My current rig has a 9800pro so heat's never been an issue for me, but with these cards I'm guessing I'll at least need to add extra fans. Suggestions on heating solutions or if they're really needed?

Well I think that's all my questions for now.. Thanks to any survivors who read/understood all of it. Oh and the mysterious twist you've been wondering about is that the parts can only come from www.pcvillagecanada.com :D 

Thanks a bunch for your time and brains,

Jevon

More about : gaming rig post twist

June 13, 2006 1:47:44 AM

like prozac said, id go for a dual core on the am2 socket. cut the western digital hdd ( i just had my second WD drive die one me) go for a seagate, they all have 5 year warranties too.
that psu should be fine as long as you dont do SLi
June 13, 2006 2:22:27 AM

Great guys, thanks so much. I'll go seagate and will likely do AM2 w dual cores, probably will take the plunge and get the DDR2 as well.

My friend wants to upgrade to a similar system, however he already has 2GB of high quality DDR400 available so is it best for him to AM2 also or would he be missing out without having DDR2?



thanks again!
June 13, 2006 3:22:23 AM

well theres really not any improvement yet going from DDR to DDR2. the only advantage of the AM2 is that its newer so more future proof. if youve already got 2 gigs of DDR then your system probly isnt that bad so you could hold off to go to AM2 for another year once prices for dual cores get cut and they do 65nm.
!