Building Gaming Rig, Need Advice!

Hey guys,

This is my first post and I need some advice. Im building a gaming rig primarily for half life 2.

so far im looking at an amd fx 55, but what motherboard should I be looking at for best performance/features with this CPU? Also, is it worth it to wait for PCI-e or stick with AGP? I read in PC Gamer that PCI-e will not have any affect on performance over AGP in half life 2 or any other games so im a little confused? Also, what kind of ram would you reccomend as far as speed goes? 3200?

I've got about 3K to spend so give me some good suggestions! I want this one to last a while :)

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More about building gaming advice
  1. Mobo: NForce3 250GB, optionally Ultra. MSI, Abit, Gigabyte, etc., all good mfgs, so pick your personal features (# of sata, IDE, gigabit lan, firewire, etc.), and buy that one. MSI K8N Neo2 is often recommended.

    PCIe/AGP: when you upgrade your system, will you be upgrading piecemeal (new CPU, then later new video, then later maybe new mobo for example), or do you do it all at once? Piecemeal, wait for PCIe. All at once, flip a coin. Today's video cards can't use all of AGP8x's bandwidth currently anyways, so the additional bandwidth of PCIeX16 is effectively wasted today. But AGP is going the way of ISA expansion slots... top end cards may never be made for them again.

    Are you an overclocker? If no, then PC3200, and get lower latency for best performance (but honestly, higher latency memory isn't going to break the experience - but if you have the $, buy the best). Crucial, OCZ, Geil, etc., all make good ram, cas2 is best, but 2.5 will do. If you overclock, then faster memory is better, but I'm not running faster than PC3200 so I don't have any recommendations, and I forget the brand everyone here likes for OCing. :) (it's one of the ones I mentioned above)

    What are you thinking of for Video? GF6800GT, X800XT? Or the 6800ultra/x800xtpe?

  2. If you can wait for about a month,

    Athlon64 3500+ Winchester
    Nforce4 SLI board
    4x512mb PC3200 ram
    2x6800GT SLI
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum
    Silverstone Temjin6 case
    Liteon 16X Dual layer DVDRW
    2x74G Raptor 10kRPM HDD Raid0
    200G Seagate 7200RPM drive

    If you can't wait then change the following
    motherboard to the Gigabyte Nforce3 250ultra board, i can't recall the exact name it has 939 near the end of its name.
    Replace the 6800GT SLI to a single 6800GT since the ultra is far too hard to find.
  3. Couldn't have said it better myself. What if he want to OC? Faster RAM? Better HS/F?
  4. OC then change chip to Winchester 3200+, Ram to the Crucial Ballistic 3200, 1G of it. But he still could get the generic ram, just use a ratio divider. Right now i like more quantity of ram over speed. Stockcooling is good enough to get your Winchester chips to 2.5-2.6ghz, I think that's more than enough.
  5. hey guys, I was planning on ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum, Ive heard and read so many good things over the Nvidia Cards out there, like in the newest PC Gamer Valves tech said the ATI cards will have a 20% increase in performance over any nvidia card :) As for SLI, its tempting but like I said before Im not an Nvidia fan. As for over clocking, I dont plan on doing any of that. So from what it sounds, I should go ahead and get an AGP motherboard with socket 939 so I can run the FX-55 with pc 3200, right?

    Thanks for all your help
  6. Sounds good to me. Dont pay more than $499. for the P.E.
    Get the gigabyte board, but learn the secret handshake to get into advanced bios.
  7. You building one of these for yourself?
  8. Planning the following

    Winchester 3200+
    4x512mb DDR400 Micron or Samsung ram(whichever is cheaper)
    Gigabyte board(Alt+F1 to get advanced chipset options BTW)
    Albatron 6800GT
    2x200G SATA drives
    I've got a Temjin6 case with watercooling alrdy, so i think that's all i need, to push the 2.6Ghz, and see if i could tune 2.8Ghz out of it.
  9. LOL That all 2.8. You can get 3.0 out of it. :smile:
  10. I have my doubts though, But i'll definently aim for 3.0Ghz, on a 90nm chip i doubt if any vcore above 1.55-1.6 will be useful. Ahh well it's all wishful thinking at the moment, since these f*cking canadian distributors don't have the Winchester chips yet. Estimated date is november 3rd(hopefully the day when we find out who is the U.S. president for the next 4 years).
  11. Stick with AGP may be a good choice nowadays,'cause PCI-E is far from us now!

    ¡¾CPU¡¿Barton 2500+ OC 3200+ (1.60V)
    ¡¾Ram¡¿Kingston DDR400 512MB
    ¡¾MB¡¿Abit Nf7
    ¡¾Display Adapter¡¿Unika 5900xt£¨128MB/256Bit£©
    ¡¾HDD¡¿Seagate 7200.7 160 GB£¨2M Cache)
  12. I think I will stick to AGP, so whats the best motherboard combo to use with the amd fx-55 and AGP? and do you guys suggest the amd fx-55? I know its the best, but $800 on a cpu hurts!
  13. I highly recommend the Winchester 3500+, since it's on the new core, runs cooler, performs better, and insane overclockability.
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