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Old game, need new rig

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August 9, 2012 7:22:13 PM

Hello Tom's
I'm looking for help in designining a new system. About 6 months ago I purchased a copy of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (Platinum) and have become somewhat obsessed. I enjoy the challenge and the design element immensely. My old emachine (T6410) will not allow me to play without tons of lag in the larger parks. I installed 2 gigs of RAM as well as an nvidea 8400 GS which made a huge difference but I still get lousy frame rates at some point. I have a Samsung 27" LED that lets me know there is more to be had. After being inside my computer I realise I am easily capable of building a new rig myself.
After spending months on game sites and tech sites I have come away more confused than I started so I have decided to ask for help.
I beleive I am lacking in proccessor speed, yes? (Athlon 3200+@2.2 Ghz)
The 8400 GS seems capable of much more than I'm getting in terms of FPS.
I have heard that XP can handle the larger parks better than win7? Is this a fallacy? (I would like to build very large parks and will need an OS for the new build) I have an old copy of XP that I could use.
I'm confused about how much CPU I need and whether or not to go quad-core or something like the i3 dual-core.
My intention is to play this game at maximum settings. I might also like to try designing custom scenery and create movies with some other programs. If you've seen any of the vid's on the "tube" you might know what I'm talking about.
My plan is to build an easily upgradable system and to use my GPU at present. I have what might be considered an unlimited budget but don't want to spend money on things that won't improve the game play on this specific game, right now. (this obsession may not last;)
I also have a large case from a donated rig that I'm considering using ("powered by Asus" on the front. That's all I know.) It should handle any size mobo with room to spare.
I've come away from all the research not knowing what I need to power this game at it's top levels. I don't understand what it needs to run efficiently. If all I need is a new GPU I could save a bunch of money.?
I am thinking along the lines of the 3570k but perhaps that is overkill for this title. or not? I am not adverse to an AMD system if it will work better than Intel as long as it's upgradable in the future. (my computer is an '04-'05 so that tells you something;) There are lots of build articles out there that seem to be selling specific parts or companies more than anything so I thought I might get an impartial opinion here.
I'm not quite sure how to word this question after all that. Can anyone recommend a setup that will play RCT3 with all settings max'd, do some 3D design work, as well as all the basic stuff.
Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers are not necessary. My case is old but usable I think.?
Money is not an issue but less than 1000$ is what I imagined, since I plan to use my GPU to start with. (unless a new one is all I need for my old machine to play well?)
Thank you for your comments in advance. If I have completely blown this by talking too much or too long, please forgive me. I've not asked everything I wanted to still. (HDD vs SSD, more questions about the OS, etc.)

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August 9, 2012 7:39:15 PM

do you need windows?
are you going to overclock
are you going to crossfire or SLI (use 2 video cards at once)

you can technically max out that game with intergrated graphics now i think

on your asus case, what size fan mounts does it use. most fans nowadays are 120mm. 140mm is better
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August 9, 2012 8:12:21 PM

TheBigTroll said:
do you need windows?
are you going to overclock
are you going to crossfire or SLI (use 2 video cards at once)

you can technically max out that game with intergrated graphics now i think

on your asus case, what size fan mounts does it use. most fans nowadays are 120mm. 140mm is better


I may overclock, but may not need to.
If I can do this with integrated graphics then the crossfire or SLI option would be in the future.
It appears this is an 80 mm fan on the front with room for something larger. There is an opening in the upper back for another but nothing top or bottom.

I have come across this system on craigs:
2500k
8 gigs RAM
GTX 560ti
WD 5000AAKX
Seasonic M12II
Gigabyte Ga-268KP-UD3P
Home-built in Dec. of last year -win7
some kid off to college needs cash, will sell for 600$ Any thoughts?

Thanks, BigTroll, for your response. I've read several of your posts and you sound knowlegable to me.
What's your opinion on the OS question. If I build I will need one (have XP on a disk)
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August 9, 2012 8:14:10 PM

correction- GA-268XP UD3P, not K
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August 9, 2012 8:16:13 PM

I think $600 isn't too far out of the question for that build. It is used, but it would cost more to build that, it will also run any game out there.
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August 9, 2012 8:24:05 PM

Thanks, zooted
Should I have any concerns about the prior usage and do I need to look for anything specific if I check it out? Never bought a used computer before.
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August 9, 2012 9:34:05 PM

it has some decent components. the ud3p is a great board and so is the gtx560ti (it performs well)

ask about what 560ti is in the system
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August 9, 2012 10:55:24 PM

TheBigTroll said:
it has some decent components. the ud3p is a great board and so is the gtx560ti (it performs well)

ask about what 560ti is in the system


Here is the # from the egg-EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR 560Ti FPB
This kid has not touched this as far as OC'ing. It needs a CDROM (he booted from his friend and plays online games) I'm assuming my question about the OS is moot? (will this game run better with XP?)
What do you think about the price? I was hoping for 500-550$ but don't want to cheat him.

This seems to be something that is upgradable in the future ie: another 560 and/or i7 ivy bridge if I get the urge. I appreciate your input, BigTroll. Thanks for hanging in.
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August 9, 2012 11:12:09 PM

you can throw another 560ti in the future. a i7 wont get you much performance

doesnt really matter as long as the game supports the OS. windows 7 is optimal given it will have future support whereas xp is nearing its end fast
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August 9, 2012 11:26:44 PM

The $600 build is solid for a long while yet. I wouldn't upgrade your PC, it simply isn't worth it anymore. Hopefully you can see that craiglist's system running. You don't want to buy a dud.
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Best solution

August 9, 2012 11:26:57 PM

My wife loves Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. It's the only game she will play. That used system you posted will handle the game just fine. My system (see below) runs the game like butter. The game definitely likes a powerful system. When I first installed it my system was an Athlon x2 5000 BE with 2GB and a HD3850. I upgraded later to the Phenom II 920, 4 GB ram, and a HD4850 and the game ran much better. Since installing the HD6850 it runs even better. Also the game runs perfectly fine in Windows 7.

I would make one small suggestion. Large parks can take a while to load, so at some point invest in a SSD drive or Crucial cache drive. I installed a SSD cache drive and the parks load over twicw as fast as they used to.
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August 9, 2012 11:45:11 PM

maui67 said:
My wife loves Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. It's the only game she will play. That used system you posted will handle the game just fine. My system (see below) runs the game like butter. The game definitely likes a powerful system. When I first installed it my system was an Athlon x2 5000 BE with 2GB and a HD3850. I upgraded later to the Phenom II 920, 4 GB ram, and a HD4850 and the game ran much better. Since installing the HD6850 it runs even better. Also the game runs perfectly fine in Windows 7.

I would make one small suggestion. Large parks can take a while to load, so at some point invest in a SSD drive or Crucial cache drive. I installed a SSD cache drive and the parks load over twicw as fast as they used to.


Thank you! It's not easy to find people on the hardware forums who have experience with the game. The "tycoon" forums want to talk more about custom scenery and game play than tech stuff. It's always "should be, could be, might be, etc."
I've been thinking SSD, also, although I don't quite understand it. I'll research it some. My loading times are not bad with my Athlon (1min.+/-) but obviously the fps and lag are what frustrates me
Again, Thanks for your input.
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August 9, 2012 11:47:39 PM

Smeg45 said:
The $600 build is solid for a long while yet. I wouldn't upgrade your PC, it simply isn't worth it anymore. Hopefully you can see that craiglist's system running. You don't want to buy a dud.


Aside from the obvious, anything I should look specifically for? A look inside, don't you think?
Thanks
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August 10, 2012 12:35:44 AM

stairbob said:
Aside from the obvious, anything I should look specifically for? A look inside, don't you think?
Thanks
B


Ideally a game like GTA 4 or Metro 2033 that really hammers the system for an hour and running something like Prime 95 for an hour or two to rule out instability. If the PC survives that its solid.
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August 10, 2012 6:11:32 AM

Thanks guys, for all your help. It sounds as if you think I should pull the trigger on this. I'll see if he'll allow a return after I test it at home, huh?

Don't know who to pick for best answer. You've all been very helpful. Hopefully we'll talk more about other questions later. I'm thinking OC'ing and SSD's. Looking forward to it.
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August 17, 2012 4:55:47 AM

Best answer selected by stairbob.
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