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Planning on upgrading comp, need advise

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October 14, 2004 5:46:21 AM

Hi, i was thinking of upgrading my computer by getting a different motherboard (hopefully with dual channel), another 512 kingston ram (for dual channel), and graphics card. So i would like some advise on what mobo and graphics card i should get?

I'm mainly going to use the comp for gaming such as Counter Strike and i'm pretty much a newbie with comp hardware. Any help would be appreciated, thanks. If possible i would like 2 things of info, the best mobo, and graphics card combo, and the best for a decent price.
a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2004 5:54:05 AM

More specifics.

If you;re keeping your CPU, what kind is it? What is your current stick of mem?

What other type of hardware, including PSU. Also do you care about future products (assuming something like you not currently having SATA, but maybe moving in that direction at a later date, etc.)

Also what version of CS new or old?


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 14, 2004 1:20:31 PM

If your playing non source cs, and you dont plan on playing any of the "hot new games". Id get a radeon 9800 pro. That card can easily handle counter strike and then some and its cheap.

If you want more bang for the buck and a card that can tackle todays games and tomorrows but dont wanna spend alot of money go with a Geforce 6800 GT.

If you dont care about bang for the buck and wanna tackle todays games and tomorrows opt for the Geforce 6800 Ultra.

If you want bragging rights for the present at cost be dammed pricing, get the Radeon X800XT PE.

Asus p4c800 Deluxe,1 Gig Mushkin PC3200 Dual Channel 400 Mhz(222),Pentium 4 3.0 512k 800fsb HT, Thermaltake Xaser III, Thermaltake Spark 7+, Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro, eVGA GeForce 6800 GT
Related resources
October 14, 2004 3:43:02 PM

CPU: p4 2.8
Mem: Kingston 512MB 333MHz DDR PC2700 DIMM CL2.5 (Change if needed)
CD-ROM/DVD: HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4520B
Graphics Card: Radeon 9200 SE (Change if needed)
MOBO: Asrock p4i45g (Change if needed)
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by pentak on 10/14/04 11:48 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 14, 2004 8:47:02 PM

Radeon 9200SE? That's the worst card ever.

Get a 9600 PRO at the very least. 9800 PROs are the best all-round cards, and will play new games pretty well to boot.

________________
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<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>5,354</b>
October 14, 2004 9:26:31 PM

Quote:
If your playing non source cs, and you dont plan on playing any of the "hot new games". Id get a radeon 9800 pro. That card can easily handle counter strike and then some and its cheap.

<i>Cheap</i>? What is your definition of cheap? You can't get a standard 256-bit MA retail 9800 Pro for under $195, and that's a lot of money where I come from.

6 months ago, in case you don't remember, the 9800XT was the best graphics card on the market, so make sure you consider the facts before you start typing. The 9800 Pro is still a very powerful card, and it's overkill for CS- that game is stone-age and it will run fast on a GeForce4 MX which is truly a "cheap" card.
Quote:
If you want more bang for the buck and a card that can tackle todays games and tomorrows but dont wanna spend alot of money go with a Geforce 6800 GT.

WTF are you talking about?!?! That's a $400 graphics card!!! What <i>is</i> a lot of money?!?! Get real, man, Jesus Christ.


<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030512/gefor..." target="_new">GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!</A>
October 15, 2004 12:27:29 AM

Im not 13, I think you need to understand some of us are older and work full time and money is no longer the handcicap it use to be, to me anything under 300 dollars is cheap, 400 is a bargin when compared to 550 dollars. Just cause your a broke dont make a big fuss, plenty of people can afford these cards and consider the 6800 gt or a x800 a deal over the ultra / x800xt.

Computers are one of the few enjoyments I have, amongst cars and music, If you think 400 dollars is alot of money then I suggest you dont become a musician or a car nut. 1,800 Dollars for a bass is expensive, 800 dollars for a exhaust is expensive, 1,200 for a turbo II engine is pricey, dont lecture me about a 400 dollar card being "ridiculously expensive". I guess it just comes down to how serious you take it, some people its a part time hobby to other people its life. If you have kids and a family I can see where money isnt readily avaliable, I can see being young and not having a job and money isnt readily avaliable either.

Im sure no hot games are "to powerful" If you can rock your favorite new games on high quality at good resolutions then power to ya.


Asus p4c800 Deluxe,1 Gig Mushkin PC3200 Dual Channel 400 Mhz(222),Pentium 4 3.0 512k 800fsb HT, Thermaltake Xaser III, Thermaltake Spark 7+, Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro, eVGA GeForce 6800 GT<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Rx7000 on 10/14/04 08:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 15, 2004 2:15:32 AM

Hm...$400 seems a lot for a vid card :(  i'm in college and i'm broke lol. Anyways can someone give me a good list for a vid card, motherboard (with dual channel), and 2 good rams (if you think the ones i have are bad) and preferably a new case for maybe $700-$1000 budget? I'd have to work some more but oh well lol. Thanks for all the input guys, no wars please because everyone giving advise is indeed a wonderful person!
a b U Graphics card
October 15, 2004 2:39:40 AM

9700 Pros normally go for around $130 when you can find them, making them a good value for the performance you get.

Abit IS7 (that's, IS7, as stated) goes for around $90 and is loaded with features, making it a good value in a dual channel motherboard.

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a b U Graphics card
October 15, 2004 5:09:32 AM

Well you're getting some good advice with the R9700/9800PRO cards, they will handle just about anything you can throw at them, and are the best bang for the buck in the mid-market segment.

Just be sure your PSU isn't some no name 300W POS PSU.

In addition to Crash's choice for Mobo (don't cnfuse with more expensive IC7), I'd add the Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 and the MSI 6728 xxx NEO2-PFS. I personally like Gigabyte, but Abit and MSI both have great tweakable BIOSes.

I would also sell your current ram and replace it with faster sticks so you can get the most out of your system. Dual channel will bring more performance than just faster speed, but why not have both? :cool: Even if they are value ram PC3200 sticks they will likely do much better than your current stuff, and try to stay with CL2.5 if you can find it for the right price. The advantage of CLL2 vs 2.5 isn't as big as the jump from 27000 to 3200, but if you have money left over, sure.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 15, 2004 5:21:48 AM

Lol thanks for the advise but the mombo jumbo about AZFs and the RUTs is just greek to me lol. remember that i'm very new to the hardware thing so if someone could just ease me into by telling me some stuff about what he just said would help a lot. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.
a b U Graphics card
October 15, 2004 5:41:30 AM

OK,

PSU = Power Supply Unit.
POS = Piece of $xxx
CL , you typed in above is related to the latency of the memory, just lookk for CL2.0 or 2.5, avoid 3.0, since overclocking will come later and the higher latency faster ram is really for heavy overclocking.
PC2700 is the DDR333 ram you have now that runs at 333mhz, PC3200 is DDR400 ram that runs at 400mhz.

The Motherboard/MOBO model numbers should be self-explanatory, and the R9700/9800 is the4 ATI Radeon 9700 and 9800 cards.

That should about cover it.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 15, 2004 2:45:59 PM

Quote:
to me anything under 300 dollars is cheap

Actually, many of us adults on this forum <i>don't</i> have the money for the 6800GT, and yes, most of us work full-time. A lot of the most respected members of the forums have Ti4200s and 9600 Pros. Many of the people that own the 6800GT are adults, but many are rich teenagers as well.

You have to understand that the latest generation of cards are pushing +$500 launch prices, so it's getting more difficult to justify buying them during the first 8 months that they are on the market. Pentak said he's playing CounterStrike, so you don't need a "reasonable" $400 graphics card. Even if he wanted it for CS:Source-HL2, the 9800 Pro totally <i>owns</i> that game unless you want high-resolutions.

<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030512/gefor..." target="_new">GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!</A>
October 15, 2004 6:12:11 PM

Pentak,
If your budget is $700-$1000... suggestion is to the buy the fastest you can afford. Video cards probably drop the most in price, with very fast changing technology, so going for a Radeon 9800 Pro is a good idea. It's last years $400 technology at this years $200 price. In a year, you can get a Geforce 6800GT for $200... and now you've gotten two of the best video cards for the price of one, and played all your games at high quality along the way. Then, for strict gamers, the Athlon 64 is your best bet, but if you're like most people, you might use it for other things, too. If you leave a ton of programs open, consider the Pentium 4 2.4C ($165) (or higher... just look for the 800Mhz FSB and HT - Hyperthreading, preferably the C core, Northwood). For better bang for your buck, but no HT smoothness, get an Athlon 64, such as the 3000+ for $165. This is the better option for games anyway. Either get the Socket 754 version, or the 90nm Socket 939 version. Then find a motherboard to match. For the Pentium, a Gigabyte like http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti... will give you plenty of features and performance for today and tomorrow while this http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti... will work with your Socket 754 Athlon 64 purchase. For the Pentium, I recommend either 2x256MB or 2x512MB of PC3200 (400Mhz) CL2.5 memory, for Dual Channel (memory bandwidth). For the Athlon 64, get one or two 512MB sticks of PC3200. Assuming you get two sticks ($80-100), and giving a generous $100 to the motherboard, we're up to $565. You still have $135-$435 to spend on case and powersupply if you need new stuff, monitor, keyboard, mouse, DVD burner... Let me know if this is helpful.
October 15, 2004 10:27:59 PM

Thanks, suprisingly all the input given has been extremely helpful, thanks everyone for your help. I'll try to get those specs as soon as possible.
October 16, 2004 4:34:39 AM

One question, i have a p4 2.8gHz, what's the difference between that and the p4 2.4C? i don't get it.
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2004 10:48:09 PM

Yours is likely 533mhz front side bus architecture, and the 2.4C will be 800mhz.

However I wouldn't worry about swapping CPUs yet. Is your 2.8 Hyperthreaded? (HT logo on the INTEL/P4 logo?) HT helps with multi-tasking and helps in games that can take advanatage of hyperthreading/multi-threading.

In any case a mobo that supports the 2.4C/ 8000mhx FSB will support yours with 533mhz fsb, but not vice versa.

So if you want to save money, skip the CPU upgrade for a while and just get a Motherboard that supports both (look for 800mhz FSB in the description).


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 17, 2004 12:06:40 AM

Best Mobo for the money. Abit IS7.
October 21, 2004 4:28:36 AM

Hm...so should i stay with my current hardware and just replace the vid card from 9200se to 9800 pro? I'm pretty much planning on playing counter strike. Also, what's a good LCD monitor that can be used just as well as a CRT? i find that my lcd is really dark and i need to turn up my contrast all the way, and then it's still kinda dark in dark corners of cs.
October 21, 2004 2:58:38 PM

Buying 9800Pro. Buy the HIS9800ProICEQ. Best card for the money.
October 21, 2004 4:52:53 PM

I'm not familiar with HIS9800ProICEQ, anyways would my current hardware be able to support a radeon 9800pro or higher? I'm not too sure if it's compatible or not.

Also: Which of these three is better and WHY??!!? lol i don't understand the true difference, very similar in price though. Ugh, how newbies get ripped off lol.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

Also would my current setup be able to support the 6800gt?
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by pentak on 10/21/04 01:02 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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