Thank you all for writing me back and giving me help on this subject. Well, to begin with I have like a monitor and that stuff, what I really need is just the motherboard or whatever you call it, the thing that runs the computer. The kind of games he plays is like those war games or fighting like games. I always see him killing something. I would like to get the hard drive thing for around $500 or so but I will go a little higher. I am from Tallahassee, Florida if that helps anything. I went to a couple of shops and they just try to get me to buy the most expensive thing and don't really teach or help me on anything. A friend of mine told me it might be a good idea to try ebay, but I don't want to get ripped off. I appreciate all your guys help and would appreciate it more if you could continue to help. Thanks again.
$500 for the hard drive thing? Hmmmm.... I assume you mean $500 for the case with all the components included inside it (and excluding the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc.) Currently I'm trying to figure out a similar dilemna myself on my do-it-yourself PC 2 post. Yeah retail stores usually try to sell you crap so stay away from them. It pisses me off when I see all the computers they sell are so mismatched. They only go high quality on big name components (like a fast pentium processor) and skimp on other stuff (like the motherboard, video card, etc.) to fool you into thinking you are getting a better computer then you really are. For example here is something they may try to sell you: Pentium 4 1900Mhz (powerfull processor) Nvdia 32mb video card (crappy old TNT2 usually) or a Geoforce2 MX (big mismatch considering the processor you are getting) 256 mb s-dram (chokes the bandwith intensive pentium 4, it needs r-dram or very fast 300mhz ddr s-dram to run optimally) etc.... I could just go on and on. Anyways if you would like some ideas on components to use in your system I suggest you check out my post (no reason for me to restate it). Good luck getting some more help on building your computer!
Things to check for when buying a PC:
If it's a Pentium 4, make sure it has Rambus, aka "RDRAM", memory.
If it's an Athlon, make sure it has DDR memory.
Pentium 3's are still a good option, if you get one, make sure it's one with a 133MHz bus. To do that, I recommend you get either a 733, 866, 933, or 1GHz machine.
Make sure it has one of the following video cards:
GeForce 2: anything except the MX200
Radeon: Anything except the VE.
If you follow those guidline, he'll be able to play his games quite nicely. Memory size is not that important for windows 98, as most systems have at LEAST 128MB. Windows ME is garbage compared to Windows 98SE.
If it comes with Windows 2000, make sure it has at least 256MB. If it comes with Windows XP, make sure it comes with 512MB, even if it cost extra. A systme with 128MB and Windows 98SE will outperform a system with Windows XP and 512MB in gmaes.
Alright 500$US, that's quite good.
Now it's best you go for the local shop but have your shopping list READY, don't listen to anything. Tell them you were given this list by professionals, that you only follow that and give them your MAX SPEND cash. 500$ is the way to tell it.
First, here is MY choice:
-Look for an AthlonXP 1600 Retail processor. These things are 1.4ghz, and are capable of making a P4 2ghz look garbadg money spent.
-256DDR RAM (get the words right, DDR not SDRAM), it's so cheap these days, like 30$ only! They will provide much sufficient power for the games he plays, without any swapping that slows game down.
-MSI K7T266 PRO2. It has the VIA KT266A chipset, which is the best for Athlons currently. It is about 130$US, since I am in Canada, it costs 189$ CDN, so around 130 US$, plus the overcost here.
Both the motherboard and CPU are 130, so for now you are paying overall 290$.
You got 210$ left, very good.
The video card is our final destination. With such money, look around and find a Geforce 3 Ti200 if they have it. They are below 200$ I think, and is enough for the remaining money. If the Asus GF3 Ti200 is out, get the Deluxe one. It is not only boosted by a special driver, better than other cards, and it comes with a load of software like movie editing, capturing, Cooling monitoring to ensure system is well cooled, TV-OUT, Video-IN and finally VR 3d Glasses, and that would really amaze him IMO. But if they don't have it, any GF3 TI200 is gonna satisfy you, and you'll get the best bang of the buck for 500$.
Motherboard: MSI K7T266 PRO2
CPU: AthlonXP 1600+ or 1.4GHZ
RAM: 256 DDR RAM
Video Card: GF3 Ti200, model will vary but any is very good.
Overall cost: 500$ or below. Now I dunno about Taxes, and service warranty, so check with stores to see which will help you get the best savings. Again people this is MY opinion, so please don't flame what I suggest him. This is the combination I am going for, as upgrade soon. Good luck!
I just wanted to say thank you for all your help. I don't really know anything about computers and you have cleared many things up for me. I would like to say thank you again for your time and thoughts.
heh, Eden, that's precisely the system (bar the video card... not happy with GF3 Ti 200 prices yet) I just ordered and hopefully pick up after the weekend. (i'll probably upgrade it in the future if necessary)
"Just when you thought it was safe to log on..."
Well.. not sure if I agree on the 98 vs win2K/XP performance thing.
I know.. they compare 2K and XP to ME (which is a POS), but still I would be surprised if 98 (corrected) would outperform XP on a +256 Mb machine. Does anyone have a good link of a test 98 vs ME ve win2K vs XP ?
Regardless.. 9x is dead. Have a look at the new Radeon.. it wont even support 98. ME is not an option anyway, so that leaves you with 2K or XP. Im pretty sure MS will force XP down our throats (like bringing out the next version of DirectX only for 2K/XP maybe ME). And frankly, I already swallowed. XP is an improvement.. small but nice improvement over 2k, and a HUGE improvement over 98/ME. Even if (and that is still a IF) it where a few frames slower than 9x..
= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bbaeyens on 11/08/01 09:45 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
All Radeons support 98SE. I keep hearing people say that XP is a HUGE improvement, but they can't actually tell me how. I've used XP, it didn't support my hardware, it didn't support my software, it lowered my benchmarks by as much as 20%, and I had a hard time modifying the settup. The improvements I keep hearing about are asthetic! Oh, except for improved stability, which I don't need, thanks to my already stable hardware configuration.