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Built this system last night for gaming.

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June 23, 2006 6:39:49 PM

First off, I don't know a thing about the actul playing of games or gaming. I don't play games. My son and his friends do. I built this system for a 14 year old friend of my son's last night. His system specs were the followig when He brought his computer over to the house. He was in his own words, "playing World of Warcraft one frame at a time" with this system someone built for him last year.

HP desktop Motherboard, MSI SIS chipset 4x agp
CPU Celeron socket 478 2.4
Vid Card MX4000 4x agp
RAM 1 stick 512 PC2100
2 partition Hitachi Deskstar 80 gig IDE HD
500 watt PSU
CD ROM and CD RW


I fired her up and it ran like it was gonna die. It was so slow. So. I went out to the garage and pullled out a MB, RAM and HD. I had a new video card the kid had bought. Here's what I put together.

ABIT 865 socket 478 MB
Corsair XMX 256 x 2 matched pair 2-3-3-6 in dual channel
Sapphire Radeon 9600 XT 500 mhz core, 256 meg. DDR2 memory
Celeron 2.4 CPU
WD 80 gig 8 mb transfer 7200 rpm


The rest of his stuff I left. The 500 generic CPU, CD and CD-RW, etc. Put it together and loaded XP for him in about an hour. Bought a copy of World of Warcraft for myself (LOL!) and loaded it on there. Didn't have time to see if He could play it OK.

My question is this. Will that Celeron D 2.4 socket 478 alllow this build to play World of Warcraft satisfactorily? If not, I may resort to O'cing it or haveing the kid buy a Pentium 4 2.8 processor. They are surely cheap enough by now.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. That ABIT board will do a Pentium 4 3.2 out of the box.

Thanks.
June 23, 2006 7:10:50 PM

The Celeron should be good enough for WoW. Just ask him if he's satisfied with the performance. If he's not, a cheap P4 would help, as well as a video card/RAM upgrade.
June 23, 2006 7:15:40 PM

I mean, you are above the spec on the CPU, 1GHz to be exact, using the reccommended config. I would get more memory, though. I don't know whether upgrading the GPU, which would be more costly, or getting more memory, which would be cheaper, would be more beneficial. Right now, you can play at resonable settings, nothing mind-blowing, but much much better than "one frame at a time". Turn some eye candy on, but don't bump the res. above 1280X1024.... OC'ing the proccessor would help some as well, I would try getting at least 200Mhz out of it... Here is what I would do: Get an after-market heatsink/fan. OC as needed. If the game play isn't what is needed, go with another 512 of memory. That should be good. If needed or wanted, a faster GPU might be in store, maybe the X1600...

~Ibrahim~
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June 23, 2006 7:19:13 PM

I'm going to ask him toight if he's happy with it when He playing WoW. Out budget was limited.
June 23, 2006 7:21:44 PM

Yeah, exactly. If it is running fine now, no need for anything. If it isn't running as expected, bump some settings lower, resolution if needed. Make sure about background tasks and have them shutdown minus any spyware/antivirus...

~Ibrahim~
June 23, 2006 7:23:05 PM

Get a Pentium.
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 7:25:37 PM

Quote:
I mean, you are above the spec on the CPU, 1GHz to be exact, using the reccommended config. I would get more memory, though. I don't know whether upgrading the GPU, which would be more costly, or getting more memory, which would be cheaper, would be more beneficial. Right now, you can play at resonable settings, nothing mind-blowing, but much much better than "one frame at a time". Turn some eye candy on, but don't bump the res. above 1280X1024.... OC'ing the proccessor would help some as well, I would try getting at least 200Mhz out of it... Here is what I would do: Get an after-market heatsink/fan. OC as needed. If the game play isn't what is needed, go with another 512 of memory. That should be good. If needed or wanted, a faster GPU might be in store, maybe the X1600...

~Ibrahim~


Thanks for the information. We bough the 9600 XT for $54.99. I thought that wa a great upgrade from mthe MX4000 and at a price He could afford. yeah, upgrading hias RAM from 512 to 1 gig. is a possibility. I puy in my 256 x 2 pair of XMS. I have a 512 x 2 of the exact RAM in this computer. I believe that Celeron D 2.4 has a 400 FSB. I would have no question if I had a Pentium 4 with 800 fsb in there. That Celeron has I think 256 L2 cache. If He is not happy and says it lags, etc., I'm going to go to 2.5 without changing a lot. And I'll suggest He put in my Corsair 512 x 2 XMX insted of what I have in there now the 256 x 2. Thanks. I really wanted to hear that celeron would play that game. I have never used or built a Celeron. I just knew it was clocked at 2.4 and should work to some degree.
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 7:28:50 PM

Quote:
Get a Pentium.


I have a socket 478 Pentium 4 3.0 on an 875 chip doing paperwork at one of my offices. That's why I had the ABIT 865 MB in my garage. backup. I would put a 2.8 pentium 4 in there for him if He can afford it. That is one option I will give him should he not be satisfied. I think he'll be happy with what He's got. I hope.
June 23, 2006 7:33:57 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by playing "satisfactorily" and I don't know what your budget is, but from your explanation, I'm going to assume you are not planning to spend a ton of money for this upgrade. Here are some suggestions to improve the gaming experience:

1. I've never tried a Celeron for gaming personally, but I hear they're terrible at it. So, upgrading to CPU to P4 or Athlon (+new mobo) is recommended.

2. WOW is RAM hungry. Having 1 gig+ of total RAM will making your gaming much smoother.

3. You don't need a high-end card for WOW, but 9600XT is still underpowered. Assuming you stay AGP, you can upgrade for about $150 to something like X800GTO.

Have fun and don't fight with your son for items. :wink:
June 23, 2006 7:34:05 PM

Meh, WoW isn't that graphically intense. RAM is the most important thing for that game. A 6600 GT AGP, an Athlon XP 1700, and a GB of RAM will play it at 1600 x 1200 with no hitches. I have friends who play it with 512 MB, some with a GB, and mine will have 2 GB when I build it next week. The more RAM, the better. Having a faster CPU helps, but not as much as more RAM.

Big cities = lag.
June 23, 2006 7:35:28 PM

Oh yeah, the Celeron will run it... Usually, GPU's are more, eh what the word, "important". That isn't completely true, but the load of game is on the GPU more than the CPU. Yes, the CPU plays a large part, but not nearly as much as the CPU.

Oh, you do have 1GB around? I would first try messing with the game settings, if still laggy try your RAM inside. If it helps, try getting more.

If more RAM yet still doesn't help, try an OC. I'd reccommend the Arctic Cooling Freezer 4. Yes, it is slightly pricey, more pricey than it's AMD counterpart, the Freezer 64 Pro, but it is good. I wish it was cheaper, like it's AMD counterpart....It is personal preference, but, hey, it might not be needed if the memory and tweaking the settings are correct. With that, you might hit 3.0Ghz, depends on luck, though. I think the game settings and memory should do it, if it isn't good now, but I think the OC is kind of a last option as it might not work, or something, or you could burn the chip (rather unlikely if you know what you are doing, and I think you do), but better to try the options that are fail-proof.

~Ibrahim~

P.S. Hey, I know guys running this thing off a Dell. Yeah, a Dell. I even think one of them is using onboard video...They seem to be playing fine; all of them have level-60's...Supposed to be a good thing, I think. I personally don't like RPGs..
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June 23, 2006 7:40:59 PM

Quote:
Meh, WoW isn't that graphically intense. RAM is the most important thing for that game. A 6600 GT AGP, an Athlon XP 1700, and a GB of RAM will play it at 1600 x 1200 with no hitches. I have friends who play it with 512 MB, some with a GB, and mine will have 2 GB when I build it next week. The more RAM, the better. Having a faster CPU helps, but not as much as more RAM.

Big cities = lag.


I have a 6600 GT AGP card. It hs a 500 mhz core and 128 megs of DDR3 RAM at 1100 Mhz I think The ATI 9600 XT has a 500 mhz core and 256 megs of DDR2 at close to 700 mhz out of the box. I think the ATI 9600 XT will work out and I paid $54.99. I paid $249.00 for my XFX 660GT when they first came out. I think the 1 gig og Corsair XMS wuld work great if He would upgrade to a Pentium 4 2.8. His budget is limited.
June 23, 2006 7:45:41 PM

I dont really see much of an upgrade there but for the video card. Even the 9600xt isnt going to be great. Its not really worth buying more ram, a faster cpu, or spending another $150 on a video card you wont be able to use later. Its time for him to start saving for a new system, and not a HP. :D 
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 7:48:29 PM

Quote:
Oh yeah, the Celeron will run it... Usually, GPU's are more, eh what the word, "important". That isn't completely true, but the load of game is on the GPU more than the CPU. Yes, the CPU plays a large part, but not nearly as much as the CPU.

Oh, you do have 1GB around? I would first try messing with the game settings, if still laggy try your RAM inside. If it helps, try getting more.

If more RAM yet still doesn't help, try an OC. I'd reccommend the Arctic Cooling Freezer 4. Yes, it is slightly pricey, more pricey than it's AMD counterpart, the Freezer 64 Pro, but it is good. I wish it was cheaper, like it's AMD counterpart....It is personal preference, but, hey, it might not be needed if the memory and tweaking the settings are correct. With that, you might hit 3.0Ghz, depends on luck, though. I think the game settings and memory should do it, if it isn't good now, but I think the OC is kind of a last option as it might not work, or something, or you could burn the chip (rather unlikely if you know what you are doing, and I think you do), but better to try the options that are fail-proof.

~Ibrahim~

P.S. Hey, I know guys running this thing off a Dell. Yeah, a Dell. I even think one of them is using onboard video...They seem to be playing fine; all of them have level-60's...Supposed to be a good thing, I think. I personally don't like RPGs..


Thanks for that info. The ABIT board maxs out at 2 gigs I think. I'll suggest using my 1 gig of XMS PC3200 if he has a problem. Thyat would be better in there anyway and I knew that. I got the 256 x 2 set from an RMA from Corsiar. It was basically free to me. I changed out some bad RAM in another kids computer (Corsiar XMS PC3200 256 x 2 set 2-3-6) and put in a gig of Kingston PC3200 for him. Woked out perfect for both of us. The gig of Kingston plays his games easily and I got a new 256 x 2 set from Corsair warranty.

I just bought a Freezer 64 pro for my AMD 4800 X2. Sitting on my desk haven't installed it yet. Want to swap out my MSI sli board for the ASUS A8N 32 when I install the Freezer pro on ther there.

I would try a slight O'c on tat 2.4 Celeron before I have him buy a Pentium 4 2.8.
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 7:50:17 PM

Quote:
I dont really see much of an upgrade there but for the video card. Even the 9600xt isnt going to be great. Its not really worth buying more ram, a faster cpu, or spending another $150 on a video card you wont be able to use later. Its time for him to start saving for a new system, and not a HP. :D 


I agree. But the kid sat there wtching WoW at 1 frame at a time. I mean, the kid sits there for hours wishing He could PLAY the game. I did what I could with what I had.
June 23, 2006 9:15:22 PM

Agreed. This is a pretty big damn step up, nearly 30 to 50 times faster..

~Ibrahim~
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 9:30:38 PM

Quote:
Agreed. This is a pretty big damn step up, nearly 30 to 50 times faster..

~Ibrahim~


You bet. I can't wait to ask the kid how He likes it tonight. That ABIT 865 MB running dual channel Corsiar PC3200 LL RAM and an AGP 8x Video connection beats hell out of a HP MSI SIS, MX4000 4x with a 512 generic PC 2100 stick of RAM! The RAM alone goes from 2.1 gbts. per second with the PC2100 to 3.2 gbts. per second with the PC3200 and in dual channel at that. I'm hoping that 9600 XT Radeon with a 500 mhz. core and 256 megs. of DDR 2 RAM for $54.99 new out of the box will put a smile on his face.
June 23, 2006 10:20:56 PM

Of note: the 6600GT has 8 pixel pipes and the 9600 series only has 4. I don't know the number of shader or geometry pipes off the top of my head, but a 9600XT is definately slower than a 6600GT even with similar (or higher) clocks. That in mind, a 9600XT isn't a bad card. A NICE upgrade from an MX4000 :D  I'd recommend having a gig of RAM for modern games. As others have said, you might try overclocking the processor a tad, but don't expect too much. If quality settings aren't a big deal that should play very well.

-mcg
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 10:29:49 PM

Quote:
Of note: the 6600GT has 8 pixel pipes and the 9600 series only has 4. I don't know the number of shader or geometry pipes off the top of my head, but a 9600XT is definately slower than a 6600GT even with similar (or higher) clocks. That in mind, a 9600XT isn't a bad card. A NICE upgrade from an MX4000 :D  I'd recommend having a gig of RAM for modern games. As others have said, you might try overclocking the processor a tad, but don't expect too much. If quality settings aren't a big deal that should play very well.

-mcg


I'm glad to hear that Celeron 2.4 will play World of Warcraft. I think my XFX 6600GT is 500/1500 out of the box. My son used it for a good 6 months playing WoW. I bought him a Sapphire ATI Radeon X800 GTO. That has a 450 core with 256 Megs of DDR3 at around 800 mgz RAM speed. He likes that 800GTO the best. I even had a XFX Nvidia 6800 GT with 16 pipes I think on there. The ATI 800GTO is much better than that XFX 6800 GT. That burned up and I RMA's it 7 months later.

I think we have solved the problem the MX4000 created! I think the kid will likely get 24/7 365 free tech support with his upgrade last night. Me!

I am glad to hear the Celeron 2.4 will likely play World of Warcraft reasonably well.

edited for spelling.
June 23, 2006 10:47:07 PM

I used to game with an AthlonXP 1500+ and a 9800Pro. I sucessively upgraded to a 1700+ and then to a 2200+ (hand-me-downs) before getting my current rig. Even with the 1500 dragging its feet I could still play games pretty well. I'd imagine that a Celeron 2.4 is at least as fast as a 1500 or 1700 though its probably on par with or worse than the 2200 in gaming (esp since mine was OC'd).

Good Luck
-mcg
a b à CPUs
June 23, 2006 11:00:29 PM

I understand the Celeron D 2.4 socket 478 runs at 400 fsb. with 256 L2 Cache. I wish I had a pentium 4 2.8 with a 800 fsb and 2 mgbt. L2 cache. I would not be worried the kid would complain his system lags a lot then. He's a real good kid. I expect he'll be happy, but I will have to pry it out of him if it lags and he's not happy. I think an AMD socket A CPU would run better than a Celeron D. That's what He had a Celeron 2.4. I used it. Figured 2.4 ghz was fast enough to play WoW. Now I have myself a copy of Wow! ha! Didn't have the heart to wipe out his HD and do a fresh install. His game was on there! I left his HD with his old MB with WoW on there. gave him a 80 gig enhanced WD 7200 RPM and installed Windows XP on thee. I know He learned a lot Helped me alcohol the old heatsink and fan and stuff. He'll probably bring me some business! My wife is going to put me out for clean the damn dust out of his riig and leaving it on the floor!
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2006 5:06:05 PM

The kid was all smiles! He said his WoW worked great. That kid is so happy! Now He can play the game instead of sit in front of his screen for hours on end watching 'one frame at a time' wishing He could play. Amazing. He mentioned He would like to have the gig of Corsair XMS I have instead of the 512 I put in there. OK by me!
June 24, 2006 7:28:47 PM

Excellent! I'm glad it worked out all right! :D  The extra memory will help, but I'm happy that is just working good and fine!

~Ibrahim~

P.S. What, like 5 million people play this game, right? That rig is probably a little faster that alot of them!
June 24, 2006 8:24:12 PM

Nice.
It's cool to see people happy.

It'll run fine with just 512, too, imo. Ocassionally it will be slower, but still work fine enough.
Even if you didn't clear the original hdd, did you defrag it? That could also make the entire system much faster.
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2006 8:33:54 PM

Quote:
Nice.
It's cool to see people happy.

It'll run fine with just 512, too, imo. Ocassionally it will be slower, but still work fine enough.
Even if you didn't clear the original hdd, did you defrag it? That could also make the entire system much faster.


I'm glad to hear the computer I put together will play that game. All the kids play for hours on end. I think D's are acceptable as long as your in control where WoW is concerned! These boys have never heard of Girls!

I put in one of my WD 8 x 7200 rpm 80 gig IDE Hard drives. He had a Hitachi Deskstar IDE 80 gig that was apparently hotwired to the HP MSI SIS 4 x AGP MB . I didn't want to format that dive of his and erase his game and other stuff in case I ran into a problem. My ABIT 478 soc. MB I used to build his new system was new in the box from 3 summers ago. I had never hooked it up. I think that Hitachi HD He had was like a 2 meg transfer at possibly 5400 rpm. It wa old (and dusty). The only part of his system I used really was his Celeron D 2.4 processor. His parents want him off the computer at least for one hour a day! LOL! He spent 23 hours a day playing WoW at one frame at a time until now. Maybe that's why he's in summer school.
June 25, 2006 11:03:05 PM

I know exactly what you mean...Lunch is always a vivid lunch; half the boy's in our class play the game...They have stooped as low as to actually seriously consider buying "game" money for some hard cash; eBay must've had a field day...You know, some people say, "...at least he has his sanity..." Yeah, that doesn't work out too much here, lol. But it isn't some bad game, just an addicting one.

~Ibrahim~
!