|08-10-2004, 03:53 PM||#1|
Member (3 bit)
Join Date: Aug 2002
Hello all I am looking for advice on my first build. Money is not really an object but I don't want to waste it either. I have been reading a lot of posts here and am a little confused about which mobo and processor, and video combo to get. The ram is another gray area for me. What I want is a PC that I can do some gaming, light video editing, and won't have to upgrade every year. I want an AMD system, that is not top of the line, but will handle todays current games and be able to handle the new games for the next couple of years. Which motherboard, processor, video card should I get? I have decided on this so far: case and a PSU , the sound card , speakers , but I am confused about the rest. With all the talk of dual ram, OC'ing and all that I am just lost now. Can someone direct me in the right direction.
|08-10-2004, 04:21 PM||#2|
Member (10 bit)
Too tired to post links right now, but since price wasnt really important :-)
It's very hard to make a computer that will run the newest games for a couple of years, since its a very rapidly evolving market. Right now the top of the line it the ATI Radeon x800 XT card, with the Geforce 6800 Ultra as a close second. With either of these you'll be settled for at least quite a while. Both cost around 500 dollars too though, but I consider it as a long term investment If you dont want to spend that much, the Radeon 9800pro is your best bet I think. The XT version is just too expensive for what it offers in my eyes.
As far as CPU is concerned, the best thing would probably be to go for a socket 939 Athlon64, (socket 939 will be the standard in the future). However, these are still VERY expensive, and I don't really know which motherboards are good for it Choose this if you're willing to invest (a lot) in upgradability.
Since you said you didnt want something top of the line it may be better to go with a socket 754 Athlon 64. It's basically the same thing as the socket 939, but AMD will stop supporting this socket in the future and will use 939. This means that if you ever intend to upgrade your PC in the future, you'll have to buy a new motherboard as well as a new CPU. I like this motherboard a lot
As far as RAM is concerned : PC3200 DDR400 RAM is what you want. They come under different latencies. Generally when you're looking for RAM you see a couple of numbers like 2-2-2-6. From what I understood, the lower these numbers are, the better. Kingston, Muschkin, Geil, Corsair .. it's all good 1 GB of RAM is probably what you're aiming for. For socket 754 it doesn't really matter if you take 2 sticks of 512 or 1 stick of 1 gb, as Dual Channel is not supported. 2 separate sticks give a small performance boost, and since they cost the same anyway, why wouldn't you get 2?
Last edited by Moose on the Loose; 08-10-2004 at 04:27 PM.
|08-10-2004, 04:22 PM||#3|
PCMech: Saving Lives
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: England, the United Kingdom
So you don't want to overclock, I assume, so I will leave anything like that out of this.
First of all you have 3 options for an AMD build:
AthlonXP (or the new Sempron's) - they range from 1500 (I believe) to 3200+. These will do nicely for home use and top models for gaming. They use socket A motherboards and are the cheapest.
Athlon64 754 - These are 64bit processors although they is not a 64 bit version of windows (or most software) yet. They are very good for gaming, and not for a email and internet person. They are in the middle of the AMD price spectrum (home chips at least), and use Socket 754, they range from 2800+ to 3700+. Note - Socket 754 has been discontinued and there will be no new chips for it.
Athlon64/FX-5* socket 939/940 - These are the most expensive chips ($652+) and the newest. They are not in mainstream use, will provide the best performance in games and socket 940 is no longer and has followed 754. There is not real point of spending so much money, accept for upgrading in the future. There are only the 3800+, FX-51 and FX-53 out.
If you want to upgrade in the future then you will have a spend an awful lot of money now (not worth it). You can go the Athlon XP or the 64 route, depending on money. I believe a 64 bit version of windows is coming this winter, as well, and Sempron chips (continued version of Athlon XP), although none at the moment.
Speeds: You need to match the ram speed to the processor fsb (front side bus), i.e. for an FSB of 400mhz you need PC3200/DDR400. If you get higher it will save new ram in the future, maybe (depending on the future of DDR ram.)
Latency: The lower the CAS latency the better, 3 is the highest and nnot very good for gaming, you want to look for 2.5 or better 2 (I think it exists, don't quote me on it though.)
Amount: Windows will run the smoothest at 512mb, 1gb (1024mb) is a good amount for gaming, although more will mean less of an upgrade in the future, but IMO there is no point getting more, prices will have come down by the time you need it.
Brands: Cruical, Kingston, Corsair, Geil, OCZ etc are all good quality and they value ram is fine for normal (non-overclocking) use.
Dual channel: Running ram in dual channel increases (doubles) the amount of data that can be read at once, although you need a mobo that supports it (A Althon XP / 64.) It requires two identical sticks, and yields better gaming.
Just match the motherboard to your Processor, Asus and Abit make rock solid boards, stay well away of PCChips, ECS, Soltek, Biostar, Shuttle etc (as they are all owned by ECS, which is bad.)
You don't really need onboard RAID or anything like that, although for best performance SATA (Serial-ATA) would be a good idea. One that supports processors higher than yours means it will be upgradable in the future.
ATi: There cards generally perform better in DirectX games.
9600XT: Basic card, with DX9 support that will not perform that well in new games on high settings.
9800Pro/XT: Good card, excellent DX9 support, will perform well in new games, although not on the highest settings in every game (Doom III).
X800: ATi's latest range of card, excellent DX9 support, performs very well, some models allowing highest settings on all games (well at least future released X800's).
nVidia: Performs better in OpenGL games, although Farcry with the latest patch is better than the Radeons.
FX****:Stay away from the FX series, they don't perform well, get a Radeon instead.
Geforce 6800: Supports DX9.0C fully, performs very well in games, most on high settings.
Geforce 6800GT: Supports DX9.0C fully, higher framerates than the 6800 and so better performance.
Geforce 6800 Ultra: Supports DX9.0C fully, higher framerates than the 6800GT and so better performance.
The parts you choose look good.
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