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Parents got me a crap pc...looking to equip with a graphics card

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December 25, 2007 11:07:11 PM

Hey y'all! Seeing as how today was christmas, *santa* got me a new computer, despite my request to build it myself instead.

The computer ain't that good; it doesnt even have a graphics card! Since I had bought this computer with the hopes of playing games, could I get some help selecting a card that could at least manage to play substandard games? something like hitman or half life 2?

Oh, I almost forgot. The computer is an acer aspire m3100. It runs on the ATI chipset.

Would it be possible to insert any 'ol dx9 ATI card, install the drivers, and be done with it?


/thanks in advance
December 25, 2007 11:32:38 PM

Yes, you can buy whatever PCI express card you want. You will have to make sure the power supply will be able to handle it.

The more important thing is, be happy you got your own computer. Having a high end gaming machine isn't cheap. And on the other hand, when parents go shopping they listen to people who work at stores that don't know anything.

Its still Christmas where I am and I'm saying be more thankful. From what I can see, that computer probably costs more than a 360 or PS3 and will help you through middle school, high school and most college programs.

That said, post what it says on the power supply sticker, and people will help you out
December 25, 2007 11:40:04 PM

Stupid fat santa! :p 

Well, I agree with the last poster(I had to buy my first pc with my own money). But with what they paid I could have definitely built something better.

Anyways just post your powersupply specs and we can help ya out.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
December 26, 2007 12:53:30 AM

I'm sure your parents would have been happy to buy you a great gaming PC, but maybe they couldn't afford it. Be nice, they still sound like great parents to me :) 

Also, since the PC has such a crappy video card, I assume it's somewhere between $500 and $1000. For that sort of budget it may actually be a better deal than you could build yourself. Let's say you have $500 and you have to spend $150 on Windows alone...

You probably need a better PSU and a video card. I don't know about Acer but if it's anything like HP then the PSU needs to be kind of small (I mean, height/width/depth). The OCZ StealthXStream 600W is tier 3 (i.e. decent quality), small enough to fit in HP boxes, and under $100. For the video card, HD 3850 512 MB kicks the behind of any other video card under $200 and is the least you should consider. If you can afford better, HD 3870 or 8800GT or even 8800GTS G92 512MB.

Edit: I guessed right, that PC is about $600. It's not a bad PC at all, fast CPU, 3 GB of RAM. If you had to buy Vista and the hardware yourself it would have cost more, I think.
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-M3100-UD5200A-Desktop-Processor-Premium/dp/B000Y9Q3IK

a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2007 1:41:41 AM

Not a bad system for $600 though.
December 26, 2007 1:52:52 AM

I looked up your system specs,you have a good pc,your parents did well.
December 26, 2007 2:03:59 AM

runswindows95 said:
Not a bad system for $600 though.


Not a bad system for FREE. (What the OP paid :>>)
a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2007 2:37:19 AM

Very true, zen. If the OP doesn't want it, I'll pay to have it shipped to me.
December 26, 2007 2:41:33 AM

Why do you think it's a bad PC? Our PC's are on 690G boards with X1250 integrated video that's fine for Morrowind but not quite enough for Oblivion. Both of them are getting X3850's when income tax comes around.

In fact, that's what I recommend you get; an X3850 with 512 megs of RAM. Newegg has them. The X3870 is a bit better but costlier. Be happy that you have a nice midrange PC.

All these Acers, Gateways and Dells will be much nicer in the years to come when hybrid Crossfire and hybrid SLI are standard. Right now, if you upgrade the graphics, the only thing you can use the integrated video for is a second monitor.

Later in 2008, integrated graphics should work alongside the low to midrange cards by the same manufacturer to provide 60% performance boost at the low end to 10% at the midrange. Even the first generation hybrid Crossfire 780G boards with integrated DX10 video mated to an upcoming 3450 board gives 30fps in Crysis, according to previews.

Perhaps ACER has a board upgrade option later in 2008? Until then, with just the 3850, you'll do well. It's faster than the 256 meg version of the 8800GT but slower than the 512 meg version of the 8800GT or the 3870, but not by all that much. See these scores from Tom's hardware charts for Oblivion:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

Ignore the overpriced Nvidia card the guy above linked to. You'd be CPU bound even if the power supply had enough amps on the 12 volt rail for it. No one in their right mind would pay that much for a graphics card just to play games anyways. Here's the list of 3850's and 3870's at Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
December 26, 2007 4:00:00 AM

Yea im on my first computer i bought my first first was a via cyrix 233mhz cpu no gpu 128meg ram a cd-rom12x what sin my sig is wahat i got adn i jsut got a 22in wide samgun syncmaster 220wm couretesy of my big bro(god i love ups and there awseom pay!) plus my big bro is always lookin out for me. so yea im thoughly satisfied my build without mointer was a lil over $650.00uds(desatiling stinks but hey 900 buckaroonies in 3 weeks at the age of 15 mhe ill live with it.) so yea and i agree with the guy up there parents belive waht the sales peeps tell them 99% -o- the time so id say get a budget gamer card and call it gooood!

P.S. santa's elves arent used to all of the new technology.
a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2007 4:07:51 AM

What an ungrateful welp. Wish my parents bought me $600 Christmas presents when I was younger. It's a great system - and all he has to do for gaming is install his old cards or upgrade the graphics card and have a great system. Sheesh, they even got one with 3GB of memory. There are a multitude of cheaper systems they could have purchased. Maybe they should have got him a $300 special with AMD 3800+ and 500MB of memory. Come to think of it, I don't think my parents bought me even any $300 presents for Christmas. But we had a lot of spirit and and many a fun Christmas.
December 26, 2007 4:58:22 AM

fetch a hd3850, should be able to run on any measly peice of sith psu and wont cost an arm and a leg also it has gret price: performance among other thigns
December 28, 2007 8:08:18 PM

dang, sorry about the late reply. this POS computer had trouble booting up for the last 3 days and would have on and off internet service too. After asking *santa* myself, it turns out he only payed 400 dollars...not bad.


Well, on my list of upgrades is a new modem...after some research this old one is 4 years old. LOL, that might be the source of my internet issue.

As for the card, I've searched around on newegg and decided on the MSI 1650GT. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will I have problems installing it?
a c 143 U Graphics card
December 29, 2007 1:59:16 AM

OK, if a brand new prebuilt PC has trouble booting then you have every right to call it crap. Maybe it's preloaded with junk and adware and trial versions of all sorts of garbage?.

Lousy Internet service is often because of the provider, not your modem's fault. Try changing ISPs when your current contract ends. I've ended up with AOL. At least they have several phone numbers and when the server dies I get switched to another one and still have access.

The X1650GT is a good card for $80 IMO. Is that all your budget?
a c 143 U Graphics card
December 29, 2007 2:52:22 AM

Good find!

#OP: study this chart (and change game and resolution too for more charts).
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=726&model2=724&chart=297

The 8600GT gets about 9 fps in Oblivion at 1600x1200. The x1650GT is not shown there but, guessing it's between x1650pro and x1650xt, it should be at 6 or 7 fps. If $80 is all you've got, go for the 8600gt.

The HD3850 would get 24fps, making even Oblivion playable. However, including the cost of a new PSU to support it, it's about $300.



December 29, 2007 1:40:56 PM

Well as some stated ... be darn greatful you got it ! Number 2 .... even if they had paid more the installed video card is usually not what anyone wants anyway . You'd really be bitchin if it had an overpriced factory video setup . Just shop and research the newest 2nd gen cards and I'm not specifying any brand . But don't buy an overpriced so-called high end card now ! The whole world of video cards is going to change very soon .

I agree mostly with YIPSL .... he's shootin straight and has good advice . If nothing else think of it as a FREE bare-bones and go from there . As far as the connection problem ... is'nt the sysytem as far as I've ever seen .... remember they all put in lousey modems no matter who you buy from .... could be a driver issue or your provider .
December 29, 2007 2:50:35 PM

get a 256 3850, it will suit your needs for the lifespan of the PC. If you plan on getting new games get a 512 instead
December 30, 2007 12:33:15 AM

Eh? Why are some of you suggesting nvidea cards? Since the computer uses ATI I dont see how that would work.

As for my budget...it wont go any past 100 dollars. and for the money, that cards a great budget. I dont want to end up overload the PSU either, so I can settle for this. As long as I caa play Counterstrike or half life2 or those other 20 dollar games, im good.

before i go ahead and order fom newegg.....Can you PLEASE ensure my parents installing a new video card is easy. Lolz, they think im a total noob or something. Just gotta put it in and install some drivers, Right?

and lastly....the modem...

I realise connection problems stem a lot farther then the modem itself, but from every review I read on the D-link model Im getting, I see that its a great purchase nevertheless. Some people reported a 2x increase in download speed!
December 30, 2007 12:56:32 AM

vid cards work on whatever chipset. as long as you don't try to sli on a ati board or vice versa.

i wish i got a computer for christmas

i got a nikon d40x...i don't even like taking pictures....
December 30, 2007 1:12:31 AM

mikekosk said:
Eh? Why are some of you suggesting nvidea cards? Since the computer uses ATI I dont see how that would work.

As for my budget...it wont go any past 100 dollars. and for the money, that cards a great budget. I dont want to end up overload the PSU either, so I can settle for this. As long as I caa play Counterstrike or half life2 or those other 20 dollar games, im good.

before i go ahead and order fom newegg.....Can you PLEASE ensure my parents installing a new video card is easy. Lolz, they think im a total noob or something. Just gotta put it in and install some drivers, Right?

and lastly....the modem...

I realise connection problems stem a lot farther then the modem itself, but from every review I read on the D-link model Im getting, I see that its a great purchase nevertheless. Some people reported a 2x increase in download speed!

Well near as I can tell you are a total noob or something....

First of all that is a pretty darn nice computer that only needs a simple video card upgrade to be really nice. I don't know if you intended to but you come off sounding a bit spoiled.

The motherboard chipset does not care what brand of video card you put in the slot. A nVidia card will work no problem for sure, so long as the PSU can handle the required power.

The ATI 2600XT is a pretty darn nice card and works without any extra power connection so it would be a good choice. They are running under $100. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ATI HD3850 is really nice but might require a PSU upgrade. You could get a 3850 and a new PSU for under $225. Whoever said $300 is either a PSU snob or getting ripped off. Here is a 3850 for $165 AR/free shipping. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2007 1:29:00 AM

I wouldn't waste money on a new modem. First, tell us exactly what poblems you are having with you new comp. Some new drivers and cleaning up the comp may solve your problems.

As for the GPU, it doesn't have to match (I have a 2900XT in a SLI board) and it should be an easy addition if you do it carefully and doublecheck your steps. I've ripped apart my comps tons of times and only once partially fried it. If you are careful, you'll be fine. Just do some research to get some pictures/instructions since the manual won't help.
December 30, 2007 2:01:32 AM

lakedude I found a better 2600XT for 85 dollars. After 20 dollar rebate though.

This one is 512mb.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Aevm is hilarious.

"Good find!

#OP: study this chart (and change game and resolution too for more charts).
http://www23.tomshardware.com/grap [...] &chart=297

The 8600GT gets about 9 fps in Oblivion at 1600x1200. The x1650GT is not shown there but, guessing it's between x1650pro and x1650xt, it should be at 6 or 7 fps. If $80 is all you've got, go for the 8600gt.

The HD3850 would get 24fps, making even Oblivion playable. However, including the cost of a new PSU to support it, it's about $300. ""

LOL nice way to put the 8600GT down, I like it!!



December 30, 2007 2:06:37 AM

mikekosk said:
Eh? Why are some of you suggesting nvidea cards? Since the computer uses ATI I dont see how that would work.

As for my budget...it wont go any past 100 dollars. and for the money, that cards a great budget. I dont want to end up overload the PSU either, so I can settle for this. As long as I caa play Counterstrike or half life2 or those other 20 dollar games, im good.

before i go ahead and order fom newegg.....Can you PLEASE ensure my parents installing a new video card is easy. Lolz, they think im a total noob or something. Just gotta put it in and install some drivers, Right?

and lastly....the modem...

I realise connection problems stem a lot farther then the modem itself, but from every review I read on the D-link model Im getting, I see that its a great purchase nevertheless. Some people reported a 2x increase in download speed!


Just about anybody can install a video card. While installing a video card is a wee bit more difficult than sliding in a new battery into the TV Remote Control, the task is not that complex and the risk of really screwing it up is pretty low as the card will only fit into the proper slot and there are blocks and guides to keep the card from being improperly installed. Installing drivers is just like downloading any other file or installing software from a CD.

By the way, installing your own video card will not void the warranty on prebuilt computers.
December 30, 2007 2:09:40 AM

I agree with the others about the modem, I highly doubt it's the source of whatever Internet issues you're having. The only way I could see it slowing you down is if it was an ancient one that isn't V.90 or V.92 or whatever it is... but that's been the standard for years and years. You can probably check this out in Device Manager.

We really would need more info about your issues with your Intnernet connection; is it just too slow, constantly disconnecting, ect. And are you on a network at home? Do you know what speeds you're connecting at? 14400 (14.4k), 32000 (32k), 56000 (56k)? If you're consistently connecting in the 40k's or more the only thing that's going to increase your download speed is an unpgrade to High Speed :/  which likely isn't an option I take it?

Now about the video card, for the love of cake post what the sticker says on your PSU so we can be sure you aren't going to over load your system and starting cooking things. I wouldn't trust a PSU in a pre-built system with any additional components until I checked it out.
December 30, 2007 2:14:22 AM

mikekosk said:
Hey y'all! Seeing as how today was christmas, *santa* got me a new computer, despite my request to build it myself instead.

The computer ain't that good; it doesnt even have a graphics card! Since I had bought this computer with the hopes of playing games, could I get some help selecting a card that could at least manage to play substandard games? something like hitman or half life 2?

Oh, I almost forgot. The computer is an acer aspire m3100. It runs on the ATI chipset.

Would it be possible to insert any 'ol dx9 ATI card, install the drivers, and be done with it?


/thanks in advance


awww... poor little snot nosed bastard... mommy and daddy dint get you a quad with tri sli and 20,000wat psu in a cm stacker with liteon bluray hddvd drive and 30 inch monitor? if you were my kid you would be sayin bye bye to your compy. you would never own another till you moved out on your own. if you brought one in i would sell it and give the money to the first hobo i saw. you dont deserve a computer nor anyone's help chunt funter! :non: 
December 30, 2007 2:24:51 AM

The main reason I recommend ATI with ATI boards and Nvidia with Nvidia boards is that, though a single card usually works on the other company's board, there can be issues. I have an MSI K9N6SGM-V that I got with a Newegg barebones for $83 about a year ago.

The manufacturer's page actually lists issues the chipset has with ATI cards, saying: "(Due to the specification of the chipset, ATI X8xx, X7xx, X5xx, and X3xx series graphic card will not be supported.)"

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K9N...

The manual added the X1000 series to the list, so I got a 7600GS for it. It will become my 7 year old's PC in February as I prefer ATI and he'll get an 8600GT.

I've not read about any compatibility problems with Nvidia cards on the 690G, it's a great board, and unless Acer did anything proprietary that mixes things up, I can't see why you're having problems booting.

If it was only $400, was it a reconditioned model from Fry's or Best Buy? Sorry you have modem issues, but why use a 4 year old modem when it already has one? That could cause driver issues. Here's Newegg's page for that model:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know if Acer does what Dell used to do, but if you add a card into the system, you might need to get the drivers from Acer's page instead of using the one's direct from ATI (or Nvidia). Nowadays, Acers probably just uses the catalyst drivers from ATI, check first before installing the card.

I'd go ATI just for image quality and to avoid conflicts removing ATI drivers that you might run into with an Nvidia card, otherwise, the X1650's okay for games of Oblivion's generation. Anything DX10 in that price range will be forced into DX9 mode in games due to framerate issues. I wouldn't play in DX10 under Vista with anything less than a 3850 or an 8800GT 256.
December 30, 2007 2:27:44 AM

aznstriker92 said:
lakedude I found a better 2600XT for 85 dollars. After 20 dollar rebate though.

This one is 512mb.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Nice find, gets my vote if he can't afford a 3850.

The reason I linked to the Diamond card is cause I'm 100% sure it doesn't need aux power cause I got one. Looks like that HIS gets all the power from the slot too. Anyhow nice find.....
December 30, 2007 2:38:10 AM

Ok that Acer has a 250 watt PSU which isn't much by today's standards. According to this:

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=7&t=9354

The 2600xt will increase the load by 49 watts. So basically if the computer is currently using less than 200 it should be OK.

Being a newer die process the 3850 only draws 6 watts more at 55watts but the 3850 cards I've seen all need that extra 6pin power connector....
December 30, 2007 2:53:53 AM

2600xt is fine as long as he doesn't use AA.
December 30, 2007 3:17:08 AM

I think you have a pretty good pc mate.
Some basic points to remember about installing cards.
Switch the pc off at the BACK. (and maybe even the wall). Switching it off only at the front often doesn't switch the motherboard or psu off.
Touch the sides of the metal chassis to discharge any static electricity you might have in your hands/body from a carpet, clothes etc. Or wear an anti-static wrist strap which does the same. This is to stop you zapping any electronic components. Not so common maybe but they always warn you.
Be gentle but a little firm. Push and pull straight up or down - don't bend.
Be grateful - nice system. A great system to start your computer experience with.
Good Luck.
December 30, 2007 3:43:59 AM

To everyone calling him a spoiled brat... Ok he is complaining about somthing nice his parents got him, is he telling his parents its a POS, gee I hope not. The problem is that it is not what what he wanted, the original post said he wanted to build his own computer. Now extra money has to be spent on a powersupply and videocard. I kinda understand being a parent myself...My daughter wanted an IPOD. Well there are several flavors of them. She did specify EXACTLY which one but we didn't write it down. So we put a note in a empty box saying tomorrow we will get your IPOD and wrapped it up. {note to adults REMBER HOW IT WAS WHEN YOU WERE THERE AGE} She also got a Wii with a bunch of games also and a digital camera. She is a 7th grader with straight A's and in accelerated math and she's been good and dosen't really get the "gimmies" too much. Now if she was bringing home a crappy report card and had a bad attitude she wouldn't have gotten all that. The Wii was a luckout because a friend of mine got one for his brother but his dad already bought him one so i bought it form him.
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2007 4:31:45 AM

lakedude said:
Nice find, gets my vote if he can't afford a 3850.

The reason I linked to the Diamond card is cause I'm 100% sure it doesn't need aux power cause I got one. Looks like that HIS gets all the power from the slot too. Anyhow nice find.....

I'm with ya, if the HD3850 is too expensive. I like this 512MB Power color for just $5 over that HIS with what seems to be a better cooler.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And yeah, as someone mentioned, forget the HD2600XT if you like to use FSAA.

December 30, 2007 6:49:29 AM

scorch said:
To everyone calling him a spoiled brat... Ok he is complaining about somthing nice his parents got him, is he telling his parents its a POS, gee I hope not. The problem is that it is not what what he wanted, the original post said he wanted to build his own computer. Now extra money has to be spent on a powersupply and videocard. I kinda understand being a parent myself...My daughter wanted an IPOD. Well there are several flavors of them. She did specify EXACTLY which one but we didn't write it down. So we put a note in a empty box saying tomorrow we will get your IPOD and wrapped it up. {note to adults REMBER HOW IT WAS WHEN YOU WERE THERE AGE} She also got a Wii with a bunch of games also and a digital camera. She is a 7th grader with straight A's and in accelerated math and she's been good and dosen't really get the "gimmies" too much. Now if she was bringing home a crappy report card and had a bad attitude she wouldn't have gotten all that. The Wii was a luckout because a friend of mine got one for his brother but his dad already bought him one so i bought it form him.



did you read the topic when you clicked on it? parents got me a CRAP computer. how would you feel if you were checking up on what your kid was doing online and came across a topic started by your child with that title.
he said he asked "santa" how much it was. feel sorry for the punk if ya want to.
December 30, 2007 9:06:38 PM

hehe, now that I look at myself, I do seem noobie for thinking its a bad pc. lol, its just that browsing these forums, y'all make it seem that anything less than a Core 2 duo with an 8800gtx is mediocre!

Yeah, but now that I get to know the system, you're right, it is pretty powerful. Divx encoding has never been this fast!

As for the video card....im glad you suggested the 2600 series...its basically an upgraded 1650, and for almost the same price too!

As for the modem, I called yahoo today, discussing the matter. Apparently...this modem is one of the first of the *high-speed* revolution. (when was that anyway? lol) Thus, i can rightfully say it may be time to upgrade.

and the last issue......I live well below our family's means and have never asked for anything. I dont have an iPod, shop at abercrombie, own a game system, and whatever all the other teens do nowadays......I just thought this would be the one thing that I could have done my way.
December 30, 2007 9:32:11 PM

Well if you are looking at the 2600s don't get the one I linked to. The HIS or Power Color are better deals.
December 30, 2007 10:12:11 PM

Well I think you sound like a spoilt brat. I didn't have a PC or game system until I earn't enough to buy them myself. I used to unload, bag up and reload sacks of potatoes Saturdays when I was 15 and got myself a Sega Genesis with the proceeds. Tsk, the youth of today.

I built my boy (13) a PC for christmas for a similar budget ($450) but the video card was a problem. The price/availability of 3850 cards is likely to improve drastically in the next few months so I got him a 'stop-gap' card.

HIS X1650 512 MB - $26 after rebate

This will likely go into my 'work' PC probably in the summer.

The new build is probably (definitely) not high end by the standards of this forum but it makes it's new owner deliriously happy to finally have his own. His previous one was an HP Celeron 1.2GHz/256Mb which gave up a few months ago.

AMD X2 5000 BE, 2x1GB Crucial Tracer 6400, cheap ASUS mobo, Vista64 Premium, X1650 512Mb, Arctic Cooling Freezer 64, cheapish window case, Thermaltake 500W PSU. We re-used the monitor/HDD/DVD and got up and running with enough change from $500 to buy him a new(ish) game.

Not sure how easy it will be to overclock but am looking forward to trying. I have been able to do so in the past with lower quality components.

Just be happy with what you have. Santa will probably remember any grumbling come next December.
December 30, 2007 10:35:48 PM

Trialsking said:
I found the perfect video card for your budget PC.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... :pt1cable: 

Should meet your gaming needs.


Oh god, talk about the biggest ripoff out there. lol
They have some balls charging 500 bucks for these cards to begin with much less over 300 more with a water block only worth 100 bucks or less.

What a joke!!!!!


December 30, 2007 10:40:59 PM

Iain1974 said:
Well I think you sound like a spoilt brat. I didn't have a PC or game system until I earn't enough to buy them myself. I used to unload, bag up and reload sacks of potatoes Saturdays when I was 15 and got myself a Sega Genesis with the proceeds. Tsk, the youth of today.

I built my boy (13) a PC for christmas for a similar budget ($450) but the video card was a problem. The price/availability of 3850 cards is likely to improve drastically in the next few months so I got him a 'stop-gap' card.

HIS X1650 512 MB - $26 after rebate

This will likely go into my 'work' PC probably in the summer.

The new build is probably (definitely) not high end by the standards of this forum but it makes it's new owner deliriously happy to finally have his own. His previous one was an HP Celeron 1.2GHz/256Mb which gave up a few months ago.

AMD X2 5000 BE, 2x1GB Crucial Tracer 6400, cheap ASUS mobo, Vista64 Premium, X1650 512Mb, Arctic Cooling Freezer 64, cheapish window case, Thermaltake 500W PSU. We re-used the monitor/HDD/DVD and got up and running with enough change from $500 to buy him a new(ish) game.

Not sure how easy it will be to overclock but am looking forward to trying. I have been able to do so in the past with lower quality components.

Just be happy with what you have. Santa will probably remember any grumbling come next December.


That's actually a nice system you built for your kid.
Nothing wrong with it at all. The radeon x1650 is a decent card. I have one sitting here right now for AGP.
I hope I can find someone to use it since I built a new machine a month after buying it. Shame.
December 30, 2007 11:20:09 PM

Bro, I'm going to have to say that you need to act more greatful. Even if it's just an act, eventually you'll fool yourself into believing it.

There will always be better systems out there, the real key and enjoyment in computing is when you love YOUR SYSTEM. For all its quirks and problems (hypothetically.)

I grew up as a gamer, and although my parents always had a family computer, it was never powerful (my father was a teacher) and certainly never had my own. I played oldschool games like Liberty or Death, Discovery, Warcraft II, Age of Empires, etc. When I bought Red Baron 3D I learned that my computer just couldn't cut it. So I asked my parents if they could buy me a $50 Diamond Monster 3D from CompUSA, which I did, and mailed a $30 rebate on it. It had a 2mb cache, and 2mb DRAM, and despite my 15-30 FPS I was thrilled.

Sure, I would have been very happy with a badass 3Dfx Vodoo2 or 3, but looking back I would have felt even more foolish spending the $200 on them at a time when I could make do.

And best of all, not having a lot of money is what forced me to learn all about hardware to begin with. Had they been able too, my parents would have bought me a nice gaming computer and that would be that, but instead I had to scrap by and build them part by part when I could make enough money to afford them. Eventually I had put together a Duron 1g with 256mb of ram and a Geforce2 MX200, I didn't know computers could BE that powerful, and boy did I play a lot of awesome games on that old system! hehe. Even with my E6400 and 100+ FPS I will NEVER even approach the amount of awe and fun I had on that system. No amount of quads will bring back that feeling of amazement and excitement that that system inspired.

Today I'm sporting an overclocked E6400, 4gb of ram, a 7900GS and a Raptor. Not amazing, but quite sufficiant. And all that knowledge I learned landed me a nice tech job that's putting me through gradschool.

Count your blessings bro, it makes life alot more fun.

Heh... sorry for the "back in the day" story there, but it's alot of fun to remember the good old days of gaming.
December 30, 2007 11:24:27 PM

Thanks, I scoured the web looking for deals/rebates and ended up pretty pleased with our new-build.
Some of the led fans are probably overkill but teenagers like that sort of thing. I like the temp sensors on the case which are a nice touch.
December 31, 2007 12:57:43 AM

Like I stated earlier you got a great system kid,especially for $400,if you were to have built that same system yourself,including the price of Vista Premium,it would have cost alot more...you should be grateful to have parents that go"the extra mile for you"at Christmas
December 31, 2007 1:52:01 AM

Yeah I agree. Don't be too harsh on the old folks. They probably know very little about computers and secondly they did spend quite a few bucks on it. Be grateful for what it is and do what you can to improve it.
January 3, 2008 1:11:12 PM

bc4 said:
And on the other hand, when parents go shopping they listen to people who work at stores that don't know anything.


OMG so true.
Most of those idiots at best buy or circuit city dont know jack about jack. Even at microcenter i went in looking for the 3870 and the BYOPC dept guy said ati sucks go with nvidia assuming that I dont know ****. Then we started a debate and he was suprised and caught off guard but its better that way.

Yes I do agree, I am sure your parents like to save (who doesnt?) and they could have saved more by taking that money they were gonna spend at the store and let you buy it yourself.
January 3, 2008 1:38:34 PM

Ha Ha, my first computer that I ever had only had 16mb of ram. I forget the processor, but it also had a huge 3gb HD. I had so much fun with that machine. Somehow it would play my favorite 2 games back in the day, Age of Empires and Army Men. I would not take any $400 present lightly. $400 dollars is $400 dollars. The most expensive Christmas present I ever got was when my dad bought me my first deer hunting rifle. I have then built all of my computers and spent the money myself. Just be thankful, and enjoy your nice gift.

In your situation I would go for the 2600xt.
January 3, 2008 2:42:15 PM

I'm really satisfied with my first build, I'm still running my games well on it. All for less than $600 almost 2 years ago; thats good value. I still remember the day I took all of my games, previously running on a Radeon 9600 SE, and maxed them, out on my new PC with the Geforce 7900 GT. BTW my parent never bought me $600 x-mas presents. The most expensive gift they ever got me was a bicycle that I still use after all of these years. An expensive gaming computer is something I want, not something I need, therefor I pay for it myself.
January 3, 2008 2:55:44 PM

All I gotta say to the OP is don't whine about it, thats a fast processor than mine. Going by the other stats, thats a 690g/v based board, which isn't all that bad. If they ever bother with a bios update, also likely to be upgradeable to a phenom. Should be able to run any pci-e video card well, and not likely to be a bottleneck with that proc.

If you're limited to less than $100 get a 2600XT, they do most games well, I should know, using one myself.
January 3, 2008 3:18:33 PM

My question is how long do you plan on using the card before you replace it, and what do you plan on playing? If you want to keep it for awhile then I would suggest saving up money for a nice card and PSU. of course you could use the 2600XT as a placeholder until you wish to upgrade.
January 3, 2008 3:25:33 PM

Since we are on the topic. My first PC was a Commadore 64. I got a programming book for xmas and it had an example that allowed you to program your own game of PONG. So THAT was my first game, and my first PC. Every time I turned off the PC, I lost all the programming...because I didnt know how to save it on the external 5 1/2" floppy drive. So before I got to play the game, Id have to spend hours typing.

By the way, I was only 6, so I had no clue how to program, I just copied what the book said. :) 
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