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Brand New Gaming PC- Advice

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November 25, 2004 8:31:58 AM

I looking for some advice on building a PC. I have a decent knowledge of PCs compared the the layman but I am learning more about them all the time but I am not up to the level of most of you guys.

What I'm looking to door is upgrade my current PC.

Athlon XP 2200, 64 Meg Geforce 4 card, 312 Meg DDR 266 memory with a 20gig hard drive.

I've bought a new tower case so far and a 120 Gig hard drive. I'm now looking at getting some DDR 400 Ram (1 gig of it) a new Grx card and processor.

These are the two processors I'm looking at. I've gone with AMD since I got into them and have had no problems whatsoever.

http://www.dabs.com/uk/productview?quicklinx=36T2&refer...

http://www.dabs.com/uk/productview?quicklinx=3146&refer...

I'm unsure exactly whether to go for the Athlon 64. What about PCI Express and DDR2? Is this something I should be thinking about? I also need some advice on the mobo to get, though this will obviously depend on the processor.

Thanks all

More about : brand gaming advice

November 25, 2004 4:15:01 PM

The Athlon 64 will be better for gaming. PCI Express and DDR2 will be more expensive and don't really give you any performance advantage at the current time, so I'd stay away from those technologies.

You've picked a socket 754 A64 which only supports a single channel memory configuration. You may want to price out one of the socket 939 Athlon 64's which have dual channel memory. It'll cost a bit more, but if I was building a gaming rig today, I'd go in that direction.


Scout
700 Mflops in SETI!
November 25, 2004 11:03:23 PM

as Scout mentioned before, A64 is the best choice for gaming, PCI-E and the DDR2 are way expensive and i wouldn't recommend if you upgrade to DDR2 at meanwhile.
try to stay away from the socket 754 since it doesn't support dual memory channel, go for a socket 939 3000 or 3200+.
Mobo i`d recommend the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum, and don't forget to split the 1 gig ram into 2x512 for the dual memory
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November 25, 2004 11:57:42 PM

DDR2's speed is still having trouble overcoming its latencies, PCI Express is only useful if you get 2xpci16, then you could do SLI with 2 video cards.

I'd definently go with an Athlon64 socket939 Winchester CPU, with an Nforce3 250ultra board, now cut down versions are out, also NForce4's coming out, so it would drop the price on the Nforce3's, the 4's offer PCI Express and SLI. So that might be worth the wait if you plan to stick with your system for a while and maybe planning SLI.
November 26, 2004 10:42:37 AM

Yeah good choices... I just started working 2 jobs, so now i be able to finally put away a nice amount of cash for a PC..

I have my mind set on a Northwest Falcon Fragbox2.. i wanna blow some big bucks here... the system i configured was 3400$ this thing is a beast.

Amd FX-55
400Gbs on Raid 1
nVidia 6800 Ultra PCI-E
1GB
winXP pro
audigy 2 zs
Dual Layer Liteon DVD burner

This will deff be the gaming beast!

Asus A7N8X Deluxe
80gb Maxtor
200gb WD 8mb cache..
Lian-Li PC-60
LiteOn 52X/LiteOn 811s DVD-RW
AMD XP2800+
LeadTek GF4Ti4200 128mb
Hitachi CML174
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
November 27, 2004 10:05:34 PM

NorthWest Falcon has been around along time. Maybe the first highend gamimg computer maker. They make quality products and the one day air if their is problem thing is a PLUS. Their call in service is fantastic. BTW, years ago I bought a system from them, so I know.

It is beautiful! why not 2 gigs of ram?

I'm sure ppl will give you crap for not building your own.
Falcon is the best for pre-builts, but you pay for it! You can't go wrong with them for pre-builts.

That is a great gaming beast, and you can transport it!

the Prisoner


I'm not a number, I'm a free man! :mad: 
November 29, 2004 9:06:49 AM

Ok. You have convinced me to go for a socket 939. Going to wait a few weeks to see if the price goes down after Xmas. Can anyone suggest a decent mobo to go with it please?

TIA
November 29, 2004 1:15:25 PM

The MSI K8N Neo2 series is "the" reference in terms of Socket939 motherboards. You might consider the DFI LANParty UT nF3-250Gb which got a very good review at AnandTech.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2198" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2198&lt;/A>

I do really like the latest AnandTech MB reviews, check them :
<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/&lt;/A>

But, usually most people recommedn MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum, it got so much good reviews and it is well equipped.

-
A7N8X / <font color=green><b>Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> <- <i>Is this affecting my credibility?</i>
Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
<font color=red>Radeon 8500 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290 <- <i>It's enough for WoW!</i>
November 30, 2004 9:35:42 AM

As i'm upgrading bit by bit would you guys think the best approach would be to get a new grx card first as i think this is probably the weak link in my system?

Its a Geforce 4Ti 64 meg.

Thanks,
November 30, 2004 10:56:42 AM

Humm...

I would sya that you currently have 2 weakest link. Your CPU and GPU. Yes, your GPU is a bit outdated, but if you buy a better GPU, your CPU will become your bottleneck.

There is no simple answer to your question. If you only upgrade your GPU now, you will buy an AGP card. Let's say, you want to change your CPU in 6 months, you will have to get an AGP based MB, but PCI-EXPRESS will be available for all platforms in large quantity at this time. So you will have to buy a "low-end" AGP motherboard, or "scrap" your AGP GPU and get a new PCI-EXPRESS video card.

Check my signature, I have a system similar to yours and I wait for PCI-EXPRESS for AMD64 to upgrade. I don't yet if I will get nForce4 SLI or ATI Radeon Xpress based motherboard because both solution seems to perform really well. And from what I have read that SLI is not necessarly good for a "budget" gamer like me.

So, yes, you can get a Radeon 9?00, Radeon X?00 or GeForce 6?00, but keep in mind that if you buy an AGP based GPU now, you might have to trash it in a near future if you want to get a mid-range or high-end CPU in the future.

-
A7N8X / <font color=green><b>Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> <- <i>Is this affecting my credibility?</i>
Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
<font color=red>Radeon 8500 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290 <- <i>It's enough for WoW!</i>
December 1, 2004 5:22:47 AM

So does everyone think i should wait before upgrading and see what happens?
December 1, 2004 9:16:58 AM

It's the best thing to do for you to not upgrade, but if you really need a DirectX 9.0 GPU right now and can't afford full system upgrade. You should consider a Radeon 9600 PRO, which is quite cheap. This would net be too dramatic if you can't keep ip for your next upgrade, or you can buy any good GPU right now and try to sell it on eBay when you will upgrade everything.

Look at my current system spec (below). I know that it would be quite useless to get an X800 or 6800 with this CPU, I would not benefit of my GPU power. So, I wait to upgrade everything. I keep all the newest games (except WoW) for the future! These games sit on my desk and they wait to be installed on a decent system. I personally don't matter to play some games months after everyone else. I prefer to do so, and enjoy them at their highest image quality and smoothness!

-
A7N8X / <font color=green><b>Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> <- <i>Is this affecting my credibility?</i>
Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
<font color=red>Radeon 8500 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290 <- <i>It's enough for WoW!</i>
December 2, 2004 7:23:22 AM

Thats for all the help guys. I'm definitely going to hold off a fe months. I don't want to take the betamax route and end up screwed a few months down the line.
!