Help building a new Computer

It's time for me to upgrade my computer. I currently have a 700Mhz computer :-(

My budget is about $2000.00 CAD ($1600 USD). I mainly use my computer to play Strategy games (C&C series, Rome, etc) and RPG (Diablo II, Everquest II, etc), and internet, word proccessing, and programming. I won't use it to do any video editing whatsoever. As you can tell, I rarely upgrade my computer. When it gets too old, I just buy a new one. This is what I have so far:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 512K 2.4 GHz (939) 90nm Retail.
Should I get a faster one?

Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum or ASUS A8V DELUXE
Which one is better?

Good for slight OC?

Video Card: GeForce 6800 GT 256MB or ATI X800 PRO 256MB.
Which one is better in term of image QUALITY?

Hard Drive: SEAGATE 7200.7 200GB SATA or WD CAVIAR SE 200GB

Optical Drive: NEC DVD+/-RW Drive Model 3500A

Case & PS: ANTEC SONATA with 380W PS

Sound Card: On board
Speakers: Use old 2.1 speaker, maybe upgrade later
KB & Mouse: Use old
Monitor: Use old Sony 19 CRT

I know the parts listed above cost below $2000, but I am not sure which part I should spend more (and need your advice!). I want a system that is kind of "future proof" (I probably won't buy a new one until the CPU gets to like 12000+ or 12GHz!). Regarding the Video Card, I am willing to trade off FPS for better image quality.

Thank you in advance!

P.S. I really like to play FPS like Doom 3. But after playing for few minutes, I always get a headache (don't know why!!!)
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  1. Everything seems to be in balance except for the memory.
    MOtherboards with socket 939 seem operate better with lower cas memory. Go to Corsair website and ask the selector for the proper type of memory tu buy. Follow the main recomendation on the upper right corner of the page.

    Either one of the motherboards you mentioned will do. The ASUS is not a great overcloacker (DFI is great for that and has excellent reviews) but the ASUS works superbly in default mode..(I have that motherboard and made minimal adjustments to the BIOS and left it to run on default mode).

    I have a system similar to the one U want to build and only spent 1200 US dollars with a few extra nice touches.
  2. If you're not going to be upgrading this system, then you might consider going s754 instead of s939. It has a better price/performance ratio right now and the 754 is faster than a 939 rated at the same speed (i.e. a 3500+ s754 is faster than a 3500+ s939). One of the reasons that the 939 is future proof is that AMD will continue to build s939 CPUs and the s754 is limited to 3700+. So, if you're not going to upgrade the system later by getting a new CPU, then there's no real benefit for going 939. The s754 mobo I would recommend is the DFI Lanparty UT nF3 250GB ($109USD). Whichever way you go, I recommend going with an nvidia chipset.

    Going s754 will mean AGP vice PCIe video cards. The AGP cards of today are as fast as the PCIe based cards. In the US, the AGP 6800GT is about $120 less than the PCIe version. You can get a 6800 Ultra for the difference in price (Canada may not be the same). Again, if you aren't going to be upgrading your video card, then there is no reason to have PCIe instead of AGP. The price difference between AGP/PCIe for the X800 Pro is only about $16.

    Hard drives: Recommend spending a little more money here to get a 74GB WD Raptor 10K RPM and a 80GB SATA drive for storage.

    Although Antec makes a good power supply, I think you should go with something that has more wattage - around 450W. Newer systems eat up a lot of power - especialy the top end video cards - and you don't want to strain your PSU.

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  3. I to would suggest you get s754. There is no point in you spending more, to get 939. A s754 3400 will be better for you than a s939 3500.
    My personal preference is the Asus K8N boards. If the basic model is up to your needs, it's very nice. If you want more than 2 sata drives, and or more than 1 raid array, you can get the K8NE-Deluxe.
    Check with the guys in the graphics forum. They now best about graphics cards.
    I prefer seagate drives. Having 2 WD drives fail in 2 months sort of put me off.
  4. Nothing wrong with getting a headache from FPS, some people just do. It has to do with the difference in motion between what your eyes see and what your vestibular system tells your brain. Don't know if it's genetical though...

    I think those pills against nausea might help. Or take aspirin about 15 minutes before you start...
  5. I agree with Rugger on socket 754. I'm not sure, but the 3500+ is not 2.4 GHz, but rather 2.2 with1 megs cache. Unless it is a new one with those specs, but the 2.4 is the 3800+.

    I would choose a good socket 754 nforce3 motherboard, with the 2.4 Ghz 3400+ 754 cpu which qill give you good punch for the AI with strategy games. Either the nvidia 6800 or Ati x800 will be good enough. I'M a bit toward ATI, as they seem to look better at higher res, but that maybe just me.

    I checked some price on and I found;
    AMD 64 3400+ 288$
    Soltek k8an2e-gr 110$ (or another nforce3 board as they all perform about the same, but I have good experience with the soltek)
    2 x 512 megs Samsung RAM at 95$ piece.
    video card sapphire x800 pro OEM 534$

    This bring the cost at 1122$ add 162$ for the HDD, 95$ for the DVD burner and you are now at 1379$ this leave you room for the case and a bigger PSU. The 60$ thermaltake 420w is what I have and do well. You can save by getting the benq 1620 as it work great in my set-up and cost less than the NEC.

    Those are retail prices. They have weekly special and you could save more by picking thing in special. I bought a lot of stuff from them and they have good service.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  6. Yeah, every time I get really bombed the night before I cant play any games for the life of me. If I want to make myself sick I throw on Doom 3 as I too have the same cognitive defficiency as you, my friend.

    I know the guys are talking 754 socket but do you really not want to upgrade in the future? Sure, its cool for now but in 12 months or so it might be nice to have a little flexibility.
  7. "Sure, its cool for now but in 12 months or so it might be nice to have a little flexibility."

    But based on what he said:
    "As you can tell, I rarely upgrade my computer. When it gets too old, I just buy a new one."

    Then either socket will do fine but the socket 754 is a better performer for the money. The 3400+ is by no mean a weak CPU, and will perform as well or even better than the 3500+ while costing less. That video card will be more than he need for strategy game for many years to come.

    So what is flexibility??? if he dont plan to upgrade in the next 12 months? He will be better by getting this fast system right now and getting rid of it later, and built a new one with up to date component rather than always being patching and old one with newer component.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  8. Get socket 754 A64 3400+ (2.4 GHz) with MSI K8N Neo Platinum

    <font color=orange><b><A HREF="" target="_new">Rediscover the web</A></b></font color=orange>
  9. Im not pushing one over the other, but just so you will know, Circuit City has WD 80GB 7500RPM 8MB CASHE Hard drives for $39.99

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  10. Your just not going to let me be lazy are you :smile:

    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  11. Assuming you actually get the mail-in rebate...

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  12. Pat and Wusy, I humbly stand corrected. I see the wisdom of your argument.

    <b><font color=green> If You've Never Snorted Coke off a Bombay Hooker's Arse... </b> </font color=green>
  13. Quote:
    Monitor: Use old Sony 19 CRT
    P.S. I really like to play FPS like Doom 3. But after playing for few minutes, I always get a headache (don't know why!!!)

    One thing that can really affect some people with a more sensitive optical nervous system is the refresh rate of your CRT. Most of the time your system will default to the lowest setting (around 60Hz). If your nerves send signals better than average however your brain will begin to fatigue more than most as it keeps trying to fill in the gaps as your screen flashes while it refreshes, often causing headaches and/or nausea.

    Old graphics cards and monitors especially have nasty limits on what refresh rates they can achive at higher resolutions. But in video games you're often tempted to kick up the resolution to as high as you can so that the game looks better. The downside of this is your refresh rate then suffers. Combine that with how frequently the scene changes in a FPS compared to using Word and viola, your eyes and brain are noticing the gaps that most people miss and it is making you sick.

    The solution is to either go to an LCD (where you just get bleeding from the prior image that makes things blur instead of refresh gaps) or to get a good video card, a good monitor, and be very aware of how high you can push your refresh rate while retaining a passable resolution size. Usually if you can hit 80Hz or higher you'll be fine.

    Oh the joys of a non-interlaced image on a monitor. TV, being interlaced, doesn't hit your nervous system nearly as hard even though its refresh rate is actually quite low.

    <pre>I just want to say <font color=red>I wuv you</font color=red>.
    And I mean it fwom the <font color=red>bottom of my hawt</font color=red>.</pre><p>
  14. I have never failed to get the rebate from Bestbuy, Circuit City, or Office Depot. SOYO on the other hand, well they can go to H LL! Sorry about that last little outburst, but SOYO is nothing but a big LIE.

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  15. Man, that is super-interesting to know. I had no idea that this was the scientific explanation for why certain games do make me queasy.

    Any explanation on why when I am hungover the problem is amplified? The brain is obviously fatigued from the booze so I suppose that's the simple answer.

    Good to know anyways, Phoenix. Thanks.

    <b><font color=green> If You've Never Snorted Coke off a Bombay Hooker's Arse... </b> </font color=green>
  16. Besides the fact that alcohol actually is a neurotoxin it also promotes excretion of water from your body. Which means, you intoxicate your nerves (and your brain is all nerves) and you dehydrate your brain. This alone is good enough to get a major headache. While your brain is recovering (no, it didn't get much sleep while you were in bed being drunk, it was doing damage control, all systems go to get the alcohol out) from the intoxication it is more vulnerable to all inputs which results in loss of concentration, problems with your balans and movement. A good disruption of your normal fysiology.

    You could indeed call it fatigue of the brain..

    Oh, btw, my other explanation is also correct: If your eyes see movement but your vestibular system doesn't notice anything it might also disrupt your well-being.
  17. Thanks, Tweebs.

    Honestly, if they read to teenagers your description listed above, then I'm sure adolescents would think twice about getting bombed of their nuts: at the least they would understand the process of alcohol toxicity. Good stuff to know, thanks a bunch.

    <b><font color=green> If You've Never Snorted Coke off a Bombay Hooker's Arse... </b> </font color=green>
  18. Well, guess who know most of all this.. Keywords: students, medicine

    Guess who like to drink.. And whatever, sometimes it just feels right to intoxicate yourself. That is, till you wake up.
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