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Building a new comp for Age of Conan - opinions please?

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May 20, 2008 12:31:26 AM

I bought a new video card, but all my other parts are a few years old and aren't up handling this game at higher than 15-30fps in most areas. My current video card, which I will be keeping, is:

EVGA 8800 GTS 640MB SSC .. I've had it since January, and most games have worked well, except FPS lag during LOTRO PvMP and most of AoC. CoD4 and TF2 run perfect at max settings. I'm not sure if any of this 'data' helps, but I figured I'd add it anyway.

The parts I am looking at are: (ID numbers from newegg.com)

1. Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148288 $100

2. (2x) G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231122 $170

3. GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128059 $110

4. Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115037 $195

5. Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116204 $95

These 5 items total at $670. I'd like to stay near that price range, although I'd pay a little more if there are enough benefits.

I'm using a 22" LCD Viewsonic monitor if that makes any difference.

Opinions? :) 
May 20, 2008 1:00:16 AM

I should also add that I have a large Zalman fan, I forget the model. Hopefully it will fit on this motherboard? It works well for cooling, I just have to keep it dusted since my case is open with another massive fan blowing into it.

My power supply is a little over 500W if I remember correctly.

I'm trying to add details based on what I read on other threads, sorry if my information is really random.
May 20, 2008 1:08:27 AM

Nice choices on parts. Are you planning to overclock?

Related resources
May 20, 2008 1:13:20 AM

I overclock my current processor, so I will probably overclock this new one since I have a little experience with it. I have no idea how to overclock memory and gpu and don't think I even want to mess with that.. :) 
May 20, 2008 1:18:14 AM

Yeah it is. I am having the same problem.

The E8400 will overclock well. Don't even really need to overclock the memory to get a good CPU increase. If you go to FSB1600, that gets you 3.6GHz only changing one setting.
May 20, 2008 1:21:42 AM

When you say 'go to FSB1600', is that a setting I'd have on my current setup? Or are you suggesting getting a 1600/1333 motherboard instead of 1333/1000?

I'm really unfamiliar with these terms, I guess. Sorry hehe. Makes you wonder how I even managed to find these parts and put them together..
May 20, 2008 1:21:50 AM

When is Age of Conan going to be released?
I hope they have begun preparing for the private servers. Hihihihiih
I cant wait to play.
May 20, 2008 1:27:33 AM

funkinpye said:
When you say 'go to FSB1600', is that a setting I'd have on my current setup? Or are you suggesting getting a 1600/1333 motherboard instead of 1333/1000?

I'm really unfamiliar with these terms, I guess. Sorry hehe. Makes you wonder how I even managed to find these parts and put them together..


He means you OC the front side bus to 400 MHz (1600 MHz effective).

You should read the sticky about OC'ing CPUs and the article about OC'ing GPUs, they'll clarify a lot of things and concepts and aren't very hard to understand.

Also, what PSU do you have?


Edit: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-graphics-...

Here's the article about OCing the GPU.
May 20, 2008 1:29:30 AM

Age of Conan releases tomorrow. And it is not very friendly towards older machines, at least not in during my time in the Early Access preview. Even with my 8800GTS 640mb, I feel fortunate when I reach 30fps. The rest of my comp is old (2+ years), dusty (yes, inside.. :\ thanks to my massive fan blowing air/dust into the open case), and somewhat burned out (used to run 100ºC+ 24/7 before I got my Zalman fan), though.
May 20, 2008 1:33:07 AM

Ya, I have no idea how to OC the FSB. I don't think I will mess with that unless my performance isn't as great as I hope.

I forget the brand of my power supply, sorry. It is just over 500W and the brand has the word 'Green' in the name.. I got it at Best Buy during an emergency when my other PSU crapped out, it has served me well since January.
May 20, 2008 1:46:09 AM

So to clarify..

My parts all look compatible? And will my Zalman fan fit on this motherboard? It's a somewhat large fan, at least compared to the default fan that comes with the processor.
May 20, 2008 1:53:08 AM

What form factor is the zalman sitting on right now? If you go to newegg do you see it? Do you play other games besides aoc? IF you do you may want to consider 32 bit instead of 64, it still has many compatability issues with many games today. Everything you have shown will work, as long as your psu isnt connected to a p4, without the 20+ adapter for it.
May 20, 2008 1:57:54 AM

I don't know what 'form factor' means, sorry. This is the fan I have, or at least it looks the same:

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

I play other games besides AoC, but this computer will focus on that game mostly.

What does 'as long as your psu isnt connected to a p4, without the 20+ adapter for it' mean? I feel completely clueless on these forums haha..

I turned my comp off to get a better look at my PSU: Antec Earthwatts 500W. It looks like I will have a very similar setup to you, blacksci. :)  Do you play games on that rig? If so, what sort of performance do you get on maxed settings for newer games?
May 20, 2008 1:58:07 AM

Simple setting change in BIOS to overclock the FSB.

So easy a 5 year old can do it :) 
May 20, 2008 2:00:56 AM

Hmm, I will mess around with the BIOS on this comp with my old video card once I get the new setup. I can learn about OCing with a rig I am willing to sacrifice to a rookie mistake hehe.
May 20, 2008 2:07:39 AM

If that is the cpu cooler you use, yeah its compatable, one of the better ones out there. How long ago did you get your antec? If its newer your good to go. As to my performance i havent seen a game yet dip under 88 fps, but i havent played crysis, because i dont wish to torture myself. My res is always 1600x1200. The newest game i play is cod4 and i get great frame rates, never lags. I havent ran a fps proggy while playing it though, just because ive never felt the need, lol.
May 20, 2008 2:13:50 AM

The PSU is only 4 months old, I think I am good to go.

CoD4 runs great on my current computer, I think the coding in that game is supposed to be a lot better than AoC. I'm trying to make up for bad coding with improved hardware. I've never played Crysis either, I just see it benchmarked so much I figured that info might help. I usually get good FPS in most games I play actually, but when a lot of other characters start running around me in these MMORPG games I get FPS drops. In general, in AoC, I just get lower FPS than I am used to. 20FPS is playable, but I need my eye candy. Something about projecting glitchy graphics on a 22" widescreen monitor just doesn't sit well with me!
May 20, 2008 2:34:16 AM

lol, yeah i have a 21.1 inch lcd so i know where your coming from.
May 22, 2008 2:38:47 PM

Most parts look good there, my only comment would be to get faster ram. I recently went from 1066 to 800 (had to RMA some sticks) then back to 1066, the difference in speed was more dramatic than I expected.

That video card is adequate for this game I'm getting 25+ fps in most places.

Like AO, AoC really burns your CPU. I've played it several times on dual screens with 2nd screen used for monitoring processes and it never fails to take at least one core to 100% for a while.
May 22, 2008 5:50:45 PM

I don't know if I misread or not, but it looked like you said you were going to get 2x 4gb mem kit? 8GB total?
I'm running AoC on vista x64 with 4gb, with the option to use system memory for textures set all the way up to 512MB, and resource monitor says I'm only using 69% of mt physcial mem. I'm sure 8GB would be cool, but not strictly necessary.
My wife is on vista x32 with 2GB and her fps is not far behind mine. thats mainly because of a 500mhz diff in processors I think.
May 22, 2008 10:47:59 PM

i upgraded for AoC also..this is what I did/planned:

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 4-4-4-12
CPU: Q6600 G0 (OC to 3.2)
Heatsink: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1
Speakers: Logitech X-540
Graphic Card: 8800GTS 512 MB
HD: Western Digital Raptor (if you can afford it) + 500gb Seagate
PSU: Corsair 550VX (or whatever its called)
Monitor: SAMSUNG 2253BW/SAMSUNG 2253LW
May 23, 2008 7:57:21 AM

I have returned! (OP)

I made this purchase and built the system. It runs awesome! I run Age of Conan at absolutely MAXED settings except AA at 8x, AF 8 as well, and shader 2.0 (not 3.0, which kills my performance no matter what settings I use). At 1680x1050 resolution, I get 20-60fps in Tortage while the city is full of people. Running around, fighting, jumping, swinging my 2H recklessly, average 30-70fps, usually around 40-45fps.

The only difference with the specs I listed above and what I actually purchased is I opted for the PC2 8000 RAM vs PC2 6400. I read that the PC2 6400 will be better for OC'ing, but I don't even need to OC this machine to get these results, so I'm not going to bother.

So for all those out there looking to upgrade for AoC, I can confirm that this setup is effective. Hopefully this will help some people with upgrade choices.
May 23, 2008 8:30:22 AM

congratz on getting your rig upgraded and running. That game is a system hog.
!