Hi, I have been using "Tom's" for advice & guidance for a couple of years now, but this is the first time that I have used the forums & posted a question. I have posted this in the Mobo's Forum also. I intend building a new setup based on a AMD Athlone 64 (2800+ or 3200+ any higher & the price jumps dramaticaly), depending which I can afford, I am considering the Gigabyte K8N, K8NS, K8NSNXP Mobo's & using a Gigabyte FX 5600 or FX 5700 graphics card as the main components. I have been using Gigabyte Mobo's for some while & have been very pleased with them. I would welcome any thoughts on the advantages & suitability of pairing a Gigabyte Mobo with a Gigabyte Graphics Card & recomendations for the best combination; I would also like any recomendations for other combinations & manufacturers. I am budgeting for up to about £80/£100 for each board/card. Like most people I want the best value & performance without spending a fortune. I am a keen game player but do not need cutting edge performance, just the ability to play the latest games reasonably, with stability & a couple of years future proofing. My setup now is a Athlone XP 2000, a GA 7VRXP Mobo & a PNY Verto NVidia GF3 Ti500, which is stable & works well, now I want to go up another level. I suppose that I would really like recomendations for a good combination of Mobo & Graphics Card totalling about £200GB, $360US, thanks in advance, regards.
You should consider getting a Socket939 A64, this Socket will last longer than Socket754.
For the MB, I usually recommend the MSI K8N neo or neo2 platinum for people who needs all the goodies (SATA, firewire, etc...). If you are on a budget the Chaintech VNF3-250 is a very good nForce3 250 based motherboard and it is quite cheap!
You graphic card choice is not good, unless you plan to only play Doom3. Any Radeon 9600 PRO 128Megs will kick the butt of any FX5600/5700. And if you want to spend a bit more, a Radeon 9800 PRO based Video card with 128Megs is a very good buying in the mid-range segment.
But, if you absolutly want an nVidia GPU, the FX5700 is better than FX5600 (in fact, avoid any FX5600 card, this GPU suck!) and the FX5900XT is a good "FX" buy too!