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Mid-range PC build, need advice

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June 1, 2008 10:14:04 PM

Hello everybody, I'm new guy here. I have a mediocre AMD XP 1700 with GF4 and want to change it. Listing what I was thinking of.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+, Socket AM2, 2X512K, bus 2000, 0.065u, 1.4V, 65W, 64bit, (2700 MHz)
Mainboard: Asus M2N, nForce 430, S-AM2, ATX 24p., PCI-E x16, 3xPCI, 2xPCI-x, Dual DDR2-800, U-DMA 133 S-ATAII Raid 5, SB 6ch.&GBLan on board
Ram: Corsair DIMM 2Gb DDR2, PC-6400, 800MHz, Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4, CL4, (4-4-4-12) ( Kit 2 x 1Gb ) Enhanced Performance Profile
HDD: WDigital, 250 GB, 7200rpm, 16Mb, Serial-ATA II 300, WD2500YS, Enterprise Caviar RE Edition
VGA: Leadtek VC WinFast PX8600GTS EXTREME, GF 8600 GTS, 256Mb, DDR3, PCI Express, (128bit), TV-OUT, DVI, Dual Display, SLI, 710/2000

A few things I want to say, I'm not from UK, I was kinda pc expert many years ago, in the p2-celeron-p3 age, but totally stopped looking after them for years, and I don't know how the AMD vs Intel business is happening nowadays, neither if Corsair is still the best ram out there or not.
Tell me if there's anything wrong with any of these components, or if you know that there's something better in the same price range. Like I don't know how are leadtek cards nowadays, I have a gf4 a170 still in my pc and i can say it was worth buying back in those years. If i can ask, help me if you speak from experience or from secure source of information. Last thing, advice of a power supply would be good.
I saw this place has very nice guys, hope someone will be bored enough to read this:) 
Btw, mostly I'm using the PC for movies, WoW (world of warcraft), no movie making/3d studiomax/programming, so mostly for games (but i'm not image quality addict, either 200fps+++ )
Thanks again for reading.

More about : mid range build advice

June 1, 2008 10:33:43 PM

Do you have a target budget?

Intel has taken the cpu lead back from AMD. AMD is being competitive by keeping prices low but generally most recommend going with Intel - I just purchased the E8400 dual core cpu for $200 - one of the newer ones. I would only consider AMD if trying to build a system for under $600.

Corsair still has a good rep with memory and should be fine. What you picked looks good and has reasonably good timings. Did you check to confirm it is on the motherboard approved list? Generally good brand name memory will work in most systems (with the right specs of course) - it is not as difficult a problem to match RAM to mobo as it used to be. You shouild be able to find something on major sale right now - if the Corsair is not.
You should be able to get 2 x 1 GB for about $30

The 8600 GTS is fine for an occassional gamer. If you can push the budget for this too $150 you can find some great video cards on sale for that amount - great meaning very fine for the occassional gamer - although bottom of the rung for the enthusiast.
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June 1, 2008 10:57:24 PM

with the price the 8600GTS has here in Europe(~100EUR) I would recommend you get a 9600GT(~130EUR) in case you go with the Intel CPU and motherboard.
June 1, 2008 11:35:10 PM

if you want to keep a low budget, keep the AMD cpu. but if you don't mind spending more money, then go intel. i currently have an amd system, but only because it was the cheapest option available to me. a core 2 duo E8200 or higher and a P35 motherboard with a geforce 9600GT would be great for you.
June 1, 2008 11:52:33 PM

rockyjohn - i have about 700-800$ for the system (without monitor)..first of all I am shocked. I'm 21 only and I was dealing with setuping PCs like 10years ago.. now I see that intel is beating amd like nuts and it shocks the crap out of me, though the amd is still cheaper. Question. Is the E7200 better then the amd x2 5200 ? dont know if i can afford the E8400 tbh..:( 

gators - im looking at them and i wonder what difference is between them in perfomance.

andrius - 9600gt is too expensive in my country yet, dont know though if its worth over the gts.

Actually im not a casual or ocassional gamer, im gaming too much, but im used to my old mediocre, xp 1700 gf4 mx440, 512ddr, wow is going on it, **** but im used to it, just must have addons so.. i dont want such as AA x8 or absolute full detail on 2048 resolution. im not a graphic gay, im more about the fps. (ok i dont want the worse graphix if i buy a new pc obviously, but u get the point).

any other advice on those cpus and graphics?

btw one more question, when your hdd just stops, blocks, then like starting again, and blocks again, stops etc etc, while booting, or being in windows means that its physically f*ckedup or its something with power maybe? my old 160wd is doing this, atm im on the pc for 5hours and didnt stopped. but before it kept crashing and stopping..

Really thanks for the ultra fast reply, you guys rock, was reading this site since i posted, i need a bit brain OC for this forum :D 
June 2, 2008 12:10:48 AM

from what i can tell the e7200 is a bit faster at stock speeds, and it overclocks like a dream plenty of people saying they can get to 4ghz stable with the right air cooler
June 2, 2008 12:13:38 AM

I dont think I will need to overlock the cpu, wow should not need a cpu with very high mhz imo (remember im playing it on 1700+ xp, **** but it goes:D  )
June 2, 2008 12:23:10 AM

Quote:
I dont think I will need to overlock the cpu, wow should not need a cpu with very high mhz imo (remember im playing it on 1700+ xp, **** but it goes:D  )

thats true, ghz though not mhz, now
June 2, 2008 12:28:18 AM

still trying to find some place to see an amd x2 5200 vs any same price range intel, with a 8600 or ~ card..
yet still no idea what vga card is better, asus/leadtek/msi/gigabyte, any of you have personal experience with 8600gt/gts cards? mostly i want a stable pc, not for overcloaking to death or such... btw, any idea with my old hdd ?
June 2, 2008 12:38:45 AM

all the brands are pretty much the same from what i can tell, for me it comes down to which is cheapest, ive got an 8800gts
as for the hd, i have nearly zero experience with them, ive had one start making horrible noises then die before but thats about it
June 2, 2008 4:51:25 AM

Haha, well i'll take a rough guess at the fact that you love your WoW, and that machine is going to run it fine, however coming up to Wrath of the Lich King i'm sure you're aware that their will be a graphics update, and your going to want the most out of it, and this machine should do it fine for you.

I'd still recommend what gators1223 said and go with the e7200 and mildly air clock it.
June 2, 2008 10:17:07 AM

I was thinking about this intel cpu, as amd just turned out to be sh*t, and, what about E8200 ? The difference between them is fair enough as I saw some benchmarks. So an E8200 ? Tell me a good mainboard for it.
yes poisonapple, I dont want the WotLK to run sh*ty, and indeed I want a "good" pc, not a highend like some ppl here spends 3-4k $, thats just a dream for me, and maybe its useless even. all suggestions of tried out Mainboards,vga cards, even rams are welcome.
Thanks again for the replies
June 3, 2008 3:20:16 AM

k here is a mainboard that is fairly cheap and very solid
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128337

as for 8200 i dont think that the performance difference makes it worth your money in this case for the added price

as for graphics you probably want 512mb memory these are all good enough for wow i suppose, unless they pull a Crysis on us
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102715
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121231
June 3, 2008 5:23:00 AM

Here you go - the $800 Gaming PC designed by the experts at Extreme Tech:
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2270998,00.a...

I suggest you read their article about component selections. Below is the components list.

Brand / Model Price

CPU Core 2 Duo E6550 $170
Motherboard ASUS P5K Pro $132
Memory Corsair TWIN2X 2048 6400 $75
Graphics EVGA GeForce 9600 GT SSC $180
Sound Card Integrated NA
Hard drive Seagate 7200.10 160GB $53
Optical Drive Lite-On LH-20A4P $30
Case Cooler Master Centurion RC-534 $80
Power Supply Cooler Master 430W (incl. with case) NA
Operating system Windows XP Home $74

Total $794

Note: The system was designed and priced in March. You can now get the superclocked video card for about $30 less and the memory - or comparable - for at least $30 less AR. Take one $30 amount and you can upgrade the cpu to an E8400 and have one powerful system. I would take the other $30 and see if you could find the outstanding Antec Solo III case with the excellent Earthwatts 500w PSU on sale for $110. It often is on sale for that amount A Shopzilla shows it on sale at Buy.com for $110 with free shipping but the site reports it as temporarily out of stock. If you needed to trim $40 off the price, you could easily substitute the popular GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L mobo for the ASUS board - lowering total cost to about $755. This is under your budget, but if still to high - you can start downgrading the CPU from the E8400. The E8400 is a price performance sweet spot and should meet your needs for years. But you could cut the cost of the CPU by as much as $100 and still have a system that will run circles around your current machine and let you use some of the higher settings.

This will give you one powerful system on a budget that should keep you in happy game playing for years - with added candy just for the thrill of it.
June 3, 2008 10:27:11 AM

dont know what the prices are where you are however if you cant stretch to the 9600GT you would be better of with a ati 3850 than the 8600gts and the 3850 can be picked up for £10-20 less than the 9600GT
June 4, 2008 4:07:19 AM

Since you are using your PC primarily for watching movies and gaming, you should cut back on the cpu before the graphics card. The E8400 is a great cpu and I would have to see you miss out on it, but I would scrimp there before giving up the 9600GT video card. You are going to be amazed at how much faster and nicer it will make the games.

Budgets can be such a bummer.
!