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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2nd October, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Help me build a gaming system

RIght now I am still using the 1800xp AMD gave me in the extreem performance contest a few years back.
XP1800
Gigabyte 7DX
512 Crucial (Micron) PC-2100 DDR
80g WD HDD 8meg cache
Geforce 4200 Ti 128m

I'd like to make this machine a bot box and retire the 2.4 celery, which is pure crap. (Mostly the mobo, imo.)

I don't want to spend more than $1500 or so for the box. PCI express would be nice, but probably out of this price range. I don't think the HDD is a major issue for the mmo I play, but I am probably wrong.

Case, PSU, KB, Mouse, Nic, and reusable comonents need not be inside the budget.

Any help appreciated.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 07:00 PM
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For gaming go for an A64 CPU. The 3000+ is the best buy on a budget. If you want to spend a bit more, get the 3500+.

You would be best off getting a nForce 4 board with PCI-Express. There's not much difference in price and you will be able to upgrade the video card in the future without having to buy a new mobo.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 07:33 PM
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I looked around for the A64 3000. What I found on pricewatch was a gigabyte GA-K8U with an A64 3000 for $170 shipped. To avoid a lot of buyer's remorse here, what socket should I be shopping for? For another $14 I can go with the 939 version of the same board with a 3200 chip.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Well, in order to avoid typing thousands of words..get the 939.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Gigabyte seems to be a lot more proud of this board (the 939) than the 754. Looks like a winner so far.

So what about video? I can reuse my HDD for now. The memory will have to stay with the old board. This is looking like it's going to be a lot cheaper than I had planned.

The game I use the machine to play is Dark Age of Camelot. It's eye candy overkill on the graphics, and an MMO. Commonly you will have better than 150 players in an area within the clip plane. My 4200Ti 128m does rather well with only a slight lag warning that you are about to get killed usually. In massive battles though, the frame rate will drop to less than 20 for 2 to 3 seconds. 3 seconds is a long time in pvp.

I've looked at the PCI express cards and boards, and the price difference is quite painful. I'd be more interested in a high end APG card. The game uses DirectX. I'm not sure here wether I'd be better off with Nvidia or Ati. Ati has it's strengths, but every time I have tried to find support for even very recently discontinued cards I have found their support to be extreemly lacking.

What I am leaning toward at the moment is the Chaintech GeForce 6200A 512meg 8xAGP @ $109.50 shipped. This is the low end of the 6000 series, however. Does anyone use one of these? How do you like the performance of it?
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 08:12 PM
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There are boards that will do both PCI E and AGP. Sorry, I don't have any experiance with them. I would highly recommend that you go PCI E. I went AGP when I got my 64 box and now I'm kinda regreting it.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 08:14 PM
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I'll look into the PCI express more.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 09:17 PM
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Going for PCI express adds a lot of cash to the build, but I am still a mile under budget.

GA-K8NF-9
PCI express
Onboard gigabit lan
Nforce4 4x
8-Channel Audio
$88 Shipped

A64 3200+ 939
$149.98 Shipped

Inno3D GeForce 6600
PCI express 256meg
(midrange 6000 series)
$94 Shipped

Crucial PC3200 DDR400
CL=3 2.6v Unbuffered
512meg (x2) 1GB kit.
$143.99 Shipped

WD 36GB SATA-150 HDD
10,000 rpm 5.2ms
8meg cache
(Boot drive)
$105 Shipped

WD 160GB SATA-150 HDD
7,200 RPM 8.9ms
8meg cache
(Media drive)
$65 Shipped

Sony 40x CD /16x DVD
$32 Shipped

Sony 8x 4x 32x CD-RW
$15 Shipped

$692.97 And I got a little greedy.

I could easily give up the secondary drive, and go with a plain CD, but considdering those additions add up to only $113 less the cost of a standard CD drive, I think they are a good idea.

Any suggestions/comments?

Still need to decide on a good cooler and case.
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Last edited by Azriel; 2nd October, 2005 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 09:22 PM
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Those 10,000 RPM drives can be NOISY!

I would drop it and get another 160GB. You could always pair them up in RAID that way.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 09:24 PM
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If noise is the only drawback, I'll stick with it. I like noise. Wierd that way. The access time is sick compared to the larger 7200 rpm drive. Dropping 3.7ms from 8.9ms to 5.2ms. In this case I think my old mantra "noise = power" holds true.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 09:27 PM
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The other draw back is that they're not as fast as you might think.

Two drives with RAID striping will be faster.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 09:59 PM
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I wouldn't recommend the 6200, it is a VERY cost effective card if you are on a tight budget, get a 6800le/nu and then you have a good card with the possibilty of unocking it further(if using agp), if you are using pci-e then go for at least a 6600(gt preferably).
I have a 6800 and unlocked and overclocked it kicks ass.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 10:04 PM
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Cut down in other areas and go for an X800GT. Cheaper than a 6600GT, yet better framerates and oc'ing.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 10:05 PM
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You could get two of these. I don't understand where you're coming from saying PCI-E is noticably more expensive than AGP. The boards are the same price, some cheaper, and the cards are the same price. Buying AGP at a time like this means you're just going to have to upgrade to PCI-E on your next graphics card upgrade. I still think buying an nVidia will be a better buy than an ATI seeing as how almost every game is nVidia encouraged, plus I think they have better drivers and don't have the VPU recover issue. Go with a PCI-E 6200/6600/or 6600GT.
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 10:23 PM
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6600gt- good to run most new games on medium settings with 2xaa
6600 - good to run most new games on medium
6200 - good to run most new games on low but with good framerates


6800le/nu stock speeds - games on high settings 2xaa
6800gt/ultra stock speeds- games on high with 4xaa

thats for agp
when you go pci-e you have the option of the 7800gtx/gtx which will thrash the living **** out of any game.
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Old 3rd October, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Why is nobody listening to me?
The X800GT is Cheaper than a 6600GT, yet has much better framerates.
It's a simple matter of fact. It's proven. Read CPC, they reviewed several new X800GTs this month. They cost just £100. A 6600GT costs £130.
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Old 4th October, 2005, 01:52 AM
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if your a m ile under budget go for a better cpu and gfx card and maybe soundblaster audigy 2 zs??

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103562

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121201


hehe dual core and 7800gtx for 800$
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Old 4th October, 2005, 03:25 AM
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Wow almost everyone here is an nVidia fanboy. Go for the x800gt, I just used in a computer I built for my cousin specifically for gaming and it is very nice.

Good call aghastpumpkin.

You might want to get a good cooler for that CPU and some thermal paste, it's not a necessity, but if you are overclocking at all I would highly recommend it.

Danrok, a 10,000 RPM drive is way faster than RAID ever thought about being. Maybe not theoretically, but in practice.

Are you aware that you can get a DVD reader/ CD burner combo for less than 30 bucks? Or get a DVD burner/CD burner combo for a little more.

Make sure the ram you are getting has good timings. You should be able to get 3200 512x2 with a CAS of 2 for 130 bucks. Which is probably more than good enough, but make sure the CAS is 3 or less.

If this computer is for gaming though you might want a Geforce 7800gt or something really good if you are under your budget significantly. But make sure you have a monitor good enough to make it worth it.

And don't waste your money on a soundcard, the motherboard does just fine for a SMALL performance decrease. And for the money a sound card costs, you can get the next level of CPU which will more than make up for that slight performance hit.
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Old 4th October, 2005, 05:45 AM
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what about Epox skt 754 SLI. 8NPA? I think. mobile 64/3700 Clawhammer. there
must be pci-e vid cards that don't need a sli bridge that will work in sli with the
Epox board. 1/2 to 2/3 the price of 939 and same performance.

EP-8NPA SLI in Epox section


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Old 4th October, 2005, 08:26 AM
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That small Raptor is not good enough..get a Maxtor with 16 MB buffer and you'll have a bigger and..many times faster hdd. (reason: the small Raptor is the first version of 10000 rpm hdd, it's slower than his bigger brother, the 74 GB Raptor.) If you really wanna play, get 2 small WD, Seagate, Maxtor..hdds (60-80 GB each) and set them in Raid 0. And test...
You said you want a gaming rig...but that 6600 is not that powerfull, go for a 6800 or x800gt or x800gto.
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