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New build advice appreciated

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  • New Build
  • Systems
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February 25, 2008 2:17:21 AM

I have decided I would like a new computer that will be used primarily for gaming and a little word processing. I would like to play cod4, any age of empires, battlefield, and starcraft 2. Running at max settings is not necessary, just decent and stable. I may consider overclocking and would like to keep it an option probably. I have a open budget but would like to keep it lower (It will take less time to get). This system will probably have to last me about 3 years as I am starting school and probably won't have much money for extra stuff.

Here is what I have so far:
-Case = Antec 900
-Power Supply = Thermaltake purepower 600w
-Samsung 20x dvd-rw
-Xerotherm cpu cooler (the butterfly looking one)
-g5 mouse, monitor, keyboard

What I am thinking of:

Cpu - Athalon 64 x2 5000+ or 5400+ both at newegg for $95
Mobo - Asus m2n-sli deluxe at newegg for $135
Memory - 2x2gb whatever is cheap name brand, probably $90ish
HD - Seagate 7200.11 500gb with 32mb cache $120
Vid Card - EVGA Geforce 8600gt 256mb $70 or so
OS - Windows XP pro student copy - $90
-------------------------------------------
Total about $600

Questions:

1. Is it worth the extra money for a 512mb vid card or going to a gts?
2. Is lower cas memory worth the added cost? From 5 to 4?
3. Should I be thinking about a am2/am2+ board instead? For future upgrade ability?
4. Any other advice or thoughts are appreciated.

thanks

More about : build advice appreciated

February 25, 2008 6:48:23 AM

Phatbass said:
I have decided I would like a new computer that will be used primarily for gaming and a little word processing. I would like to play cod4, any age of empires, battlefield, and starcraft 2. Running at max settings is not necessary, just decent and stable. I may consider overclocking and would like to keep it an option probably. I have a open budget but would like to keep it lower (It will take less time to get). This system will probably have to last me about 3 years as I am starting school and probably won't have much money for extra stuff.

Here is what I have so far:
-Case = Antec 900
-Power Supply = Thermaltake purepower 600w
-Samsung 20x dvd-rw
-Xerotherm cpu cooler (the butterfly looking one)
-g5 mouse, monitor, keyboard

What I am thinking of:

Cpu - Athalon 64 x2 5000+ or 5400+ both at newegg for $95
Mobo - Asus m2n-sli deluxe at newegg for $135
Memory - 2x2gb whatever is cheap name brand, probably $90ish
HD - Seagate 7200.11 500gb with 32mb cache $120
Vid Card - EVGA Geforce 8600gt 256mb $70 or so
OS - Windows XP pro student copy - $90
-------------------------------------------
Total about $600

Questions:

1. Is it worth the extra money for a 512mb vid card or going to a gts?
2. Is lower cas memory worth the added cost? From 5 to 4?
3. Should I be thinking about a am2/am2+ board instead? For future upgrade ability?
4. Any other advice or thoughts are appreciated.

thanks


For your first question, it really depends what games you will be playing. If it is just Orange Box + CS:S then I wouldn't worry too much about getting a better card. The 8600gt should be more than sufficient. If you plan to play games like Call of Duty 4 (at max settings/res) or Farcry or anything higher demanding, I would consider getting the 9600gt or soon later 9800 cards. The price/performance ratio for the 9 series is unbelievable. Definitely worth the $$$.

Second, it really depends how much money we are talking about. IMO you wont really notice the difference in CAS.

Third, if you want your computer to be future-proof I would get the Am2+ board.
February 25, 2008 7:55:09 AM

In the meantime, I was helping one friend of mine trying to get a new PC with about the same range as you do.

Here are some of my thoughts:
1. This question will be depend much on your monitor resolutions / or how many inch? If you had like 21" or bigger monitor then yeah, you must get 512MB at least. Up until 17/19" with 1024 reso, the 256MB will be sufficient. 8600GT I believe can handle CoD4, but SC2, I don't know as we're still don't have any clue of the requirements might be. Actually I'm building a new PC for anticipating the SC2 as well ;) 

2. About the CAS memory, I don't think it's really necessary. But if you're considering to OC then it might better to get the CAS4 memory. You could look into the memory section on tomshardware review, they had one already on DDR2. (sorry I couldn't give the URL nor remembering the title). I read that the performance difference were not that much, under 2% (?)

3. Hell yeah :)  Consider to get AM2+ like GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 AM2+ (140$ in newegg). This is for future proofing.

4. other things seems good enough for me. Good luck.
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February 25, 2008 2:11:39 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

So I think I may be looking into the 9 series of cards then. Since I will be building this in a few weeks maybe the 9800s will be out.

And as far as the am2+ board goes, I have two that I like:

The one mentioned above GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 AM2+

and GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX All Solid Capacitor AMD Motherboard

The only difference I see between the two is the 2 pci-e x16 slots vs one. and the solid caps on the second. Is there anything else I should know about either of these?
February 25, 2008 10:24:54 PM

Unless you're planning on running 2 video cards the 770 Gigabyte would be fine. A DATA makes good inexpensive RAM. Since your getting a CPU cooler anyway and if you don't mind overclocking, get the 5000+ Black Edition, not clear if that's what your thinking of
February 26, 2008 12:57:56 AM

Yes, agree with g-paw. Actually if you're 100% sure will only use one GPU, then you can use the 770 one. Choose the solid capacitor one, it's better and have longer durability :)  But I think all gigabyte nowadays using solid capacitor already, check again.

It seems to me that the only different between both mobo is the crossfire support. So it will be depend on your need, if you're thinking to use crossfire (dual GPU) then you might need 790X. But again if you're using NVIDIA then forget about dual GPU in the future, since the 790 doesn't have support for SLI.

Curently Gigabyte doesn't have any AM2+ mobo with SLI support in their line up. I don't know whether NVIDIA itself has chipset for AM2+.

For GPU, then you might consider the 9600GT for arround 180$. The 9800 will blow up the budget, so be careful :) 
!