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What performance to expect from this build?

Last response: in Systems
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December 31, 2006 2:56:20 PM

Considering replacing my old dying computer. Not sure what kind of performance I can expect in myprice range, or where to cut corners. I want this computer to be quiet, so I went with a huge heatsink that should let me run a low speed fan on the CPU and a fanless video card. I'm not a heavy gamer, but do play some games and would like to be able to play the new ones. I'm not willing to pay what it costs to run them on max settings though. I probably won't overclock this system right away, but might play with it a bit eventually. Anyway, what kind of performance can I expect from this, and how could I improve it/cut my costs a bit while keeping it quiet? Would I see major improvements by going with a pricier processor? I'm assuming that the processor and video card are the bottlenecks as its currently specced. What about RAM?

Case: Antec Solo $90
Power supply: Antec Smart Power-2 Sp500 $70 (is this the right amount of power for this build?)
Motherboard: Abit AN-8 $108
Processor: Athelon64 3400+ $60 (would moving to dual core be worth the price, or does too little software support it?)
Heatsink: Zalman CNPS7700 $35
RAM: 1GB Crucial DDR400 $109 (might add more later)
Video Card: asus en7600gs silent $135 (how much would adding a second of these later improve performance?)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar 160GB $65 (might add a second later)

optical drives, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers from my old system.

About $700 from new egg, after shippping. Suggested changes, corners to cut, upgrades? This is about right for my price range, but I could go a little higher if it would mean a big performance boost.

Thanks.
December 31, 2006 3:01:30 PM

Well, I recommend read the "Rules of Thumb" Thread for greater details, but I would not want to be with a single core now, even for a very low budget, because it really is a difference. This is partly just because security software is becoming more and more demanding on the cpu. Also, it's only a matter of time before the new game releases will really make use of multicore, and then a single core will be a handicap for games also. But (as from Rules of Thumb), the cheapest dual cores are a good choice, especially for a cheap build. Other factors matter also, like the cheapest 7200.10 hard drive is around $60, but is a lot better than some other cheap hard drives.
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