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$400 build...let me have ur advice

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August 17, 2006 7:30:31 PM

I am starting as an undergraduate freshman and am on a strict budget.... MAX i can pay is $400. Here is what i had in mind:

What I have:
Case
Monitor
Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse

What I need:
CPU+Motherboard
RAM
HardDrive
Optical Drive
Power supply

What I plan to get from my local Fry's or Best Buy:
Athlon 64 X2 3800+ w/ ECS C51GM-M motherboard (Fry's)...........$169.98
1GB DDR2 533MHz or 667MHz RAM........~$70 (will probably be PQI)
430W Thermaltake PS (Fry's) ($39.99-$15 MIR)..........$24.99
LG 16x DVD-RW Super Multi Drive w/ LightScribe (Best Buy)..........$39.99

What I plan to get from Newegg.com:
160GB Seagate HD SATA2 8MB Buffer...................$64.63(including s&h)
I already ordered this one... got the last one i think, lol. Can't find the link now.

Total Price: $369.59

I plan to use the onboard GeForce 6100 video for sometime... I dont game that much... some CS (not Source) and MOHAA. I'll upgrade eventually.

I have a question regarding my ability to run Age of Empires 3... my old PC (AthlonXP 2000+, 512MB RAM, Radeon 9250 128MB) runs this game pretty well on medium-low detail. Will my onboard GeForce run it if I give it 128MB RAM? The RAM is shared, but I have 1GB so i can spare some, and it is DDR2 (as opposed to DDR1 on the Radeon)... so I'm expecting it to do better. What do you guys think about this, and the build in general?

More about : 400 build advice

August 17, 2006 7:32:47 PM

I'm thinking you shouln't expect to run any games that take place in more than two dimensions on that rig.
August 17, 2006 7:43:21 PM

Quote:
I'm thinking you shouln't expect to run any games that take place in more than two dimensions on that rig.


:roll:

While it's not the end-all-be-all system, and no, he isn't going to be jamming out to some Battlefield 2 anytime soon probably, that system isn't quite THAT bad. It's comperable to my laptop, which runs many semi-recent games to some extent, and most games older a couple years just fine.
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August 17, 2006 7:59:39 PM

yeah, you will be able to play games on that, if you ever want to play new games you will need a new graphics card, but there are a lot of excellent old games out there.

the memory will probably be slower though, since it is not on the same board as the processor
August 17, 2006 8:02:59 PM

Thats a good deal on the motherboard / cpu combo. That system will be ok and you won't do any better in your budget. The board has a PCIe slot so when you get some money saved up you can throw in a better video card if you like.
August 17, 2006 8:29:20 PM

Quote:
Are you sure the cpu and mobo only $169? Dont see how they could do that.
Only suggestions is a Western digital 160 RE series 16mb cache, 5 year warranty, $67 at newegg.

You really want DDR2-800 cas4 or less, but if you have to get that, at least get the 667. :?


Fry's Electronics seems to have a tendency to sell CPU/mobo bundles where they are giving away either the CPU or the mobo, the cheaper the combo...the cheaper the mobo (usually), sometimes it may be linked to something they overstocked on.

You can check their prices on outpost.com
August 17, 2006 8:32:32 PM

the cpu/motherboard combo is $169... Fry's ROCKS... im expecting it to drop another 10 bucks by saturday (it was $199 about 10 days ago).

what i want to know is: will this rig outperform my old rig in terms of gaming. im not familiar with the graphics capabilities of a GeForce 6100, but i think it should be better than a radeon 9250.

I plan on getting a video card in abt 6 months... so im spending a bit more on the dual core than i normally would.
August 17, 2006 9:43:17 PM

Quote:
I'm thinking you shouln't expect to run any games that take place in more than two dimensions on that rig.


:roll:

While it's not the end-all-be-all system, and no, he isn't going to be jamming out to some Battlefield 2 anytime soon probably, that system isn't quite THAT bad. It's comperable to my laptop, which runs many semi-recent games to some extent, and most games older a couple years just fine.

I kid because I love. You get the idea, though.
August 17, 2006 9:50:45 PM

Quote:
I wish I could tell ya you'll be able to play CS and MOHAA with that onboard video, but I really dont see it, especially since it uses system ram. Other than that you should see a huge performance upgrade.


Well... my friend uses and onboard 6100 with an Athlon64 3000, and his system RAM is 512MB DDR1, with 128MB given to the videocard, and he can run MOHAA on full detail. He even played Cod2 on it... it ran at about 10fps on low detail... which is why I expect to run recentish games decently with my dual core and 1GB DDR2 system RAM.
August 17, 2006 10:35:20 PM

My emachines AMD64 3400+ with 1 gig 3200 system ram and a 6100 integrated graphics chip would not run Diablo 2 in 3d. It ran fine when I added a Geoforce 6600. Just my own experience - good luck!
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