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Old 10-27-2004, 00:04   #1
Ludacris
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I need suggestions for building a new computer.

I need to build a new computer so I can play Half Life 2 properly and give my current one to my parents. I'm extremely knowledgeable of software but I've neglected keeping up with the hardware side over the years. I've got $800 to spend on a tower, motherboard, processor, RAM and graphics card. I'm not willing to spend more than $300 on a video card. I already have a new Maxtor 250mb HD and a soundcard. I just need ya'll to help me with the rest of the parts ;f

Is it worth the extra dough for an AMD 64 bit setup? Should I go with AMD or Intel mobo and processor? This is going to be a Windows XP machine.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:03   #2
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AMD 64's are the creme-de-la-creme of gaming PC's but you need to double your budget first.

If you get a copy of my system you will be doing very well for yourself, though I have heard that since ATI and Valve have been in bed on this from the getgo, it'll run better on an ATI card.

Which isn't a bad thing! ;b Let's see what that would come to...

MOBO: Asus P4C800-E Deluxe - $175

CPU: Pentium 4, 2.8 or 3.0 Socket 478 - $180

RAM: Corsair TwinX 2X256MB - $125

Video: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256-bit, 128MB - $200

Any CD-ROM's, add $30 each; a good CD-RW/DVD should cost no more than $70 with Nero Express.

You have the HDD and the sound solution, so that totals only $680!

So with the change, buy a really nice Thermaltake Xaser or Daimer case, and maybe a DVD burner to flesh the PC out.

Just make sure the case DOES NOT come with a PSU...get a good Antec 480w TruePower unit for around $75. This is not an area where you want to skimp, trust me.

But since that comes to $750 or so already for just the base of your platform, if you want to go whole hog and figure in an additional $40(CD-RW), $70(DVD-+RW), plus $120 or so (Cool Case), that's going to go over your budget by about $200....w/o figuring in the OS. Do you have a copy of XP handy? If so, that'll save you over $100 right there.

This will, however, give you one heck of a gaming machine.

And I really can't recommend cutting corners anywhere. Quality costs; you might look for a $50 case, but remember that the PSU is the MOST important part of any PC; do not buy a cheap one.

If the budgetary concerns are serious factors, then try getting the rig as shown with just a CD-ROM, then add more RAM modules and buy the CD-RW or DVD burner later.

Good luck, and have fun!

FastVFR
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:46   #3
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Oops, I forgot to mention I've already got a DVR-+R, CD-R drive, power supply and I already own XP Pro. An attractive case isn't a concern for me.

I thought Nvidia and Valve were butt buddies for HL2? It seems like all of the HL2 ads I see feature the ubiquitous Nvidia logo. Is there any particular reason you recommend ATI over Nvidia? Most of what I play are mainstream first person shooters(HL2, Medal of Honor series, FarCry, Call of Duty), I thought most popular games were tuned to run best on Nvidia cards?

Last edited by Ludacris; 10-27-2004 at 02:53..
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Old 10-30-2004, 05:56   #4
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You may want to look into other Power supplies than Antec. Antec is certainly good, but you are also paying for the name. Check out Sparkle. They are outstanding for the price, being just as good if not better on average than Antec and Enermax. If you want the best power possible (for future reference) go with PC Power and Cooling. Best of the best.

For your CPU and Mobo, I would definately go with an AMD setup. Definately a better bang for the buck. Good motherboard brands are DFI, Epox, Asus, and Abit. Choose for yourself, just don't get the cheapest ones around.

For more advice, check out www.ocforums.com . There's a massive wealth of information there.
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Old 10-30-2004, 17:12   #5
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No, man, the game nVidia was directly involved with was Doom III...and Id was their little beeeyotch in that deal.

Proof: remember hearing how ATI has been handing out coupons for full versions of HL2 with all of their upper-end cards for about the last year?!

Well, now those folks who have the coupons can DL the game from Valve's Steam site...but the activation codes haven't been released yet so they still can't play it, from what I have heard!!;Q :(

Oh well. I will wait for HL2's intro price to drop before I get it anyway...I'm sure it won't be worth any more than Doom III which was a righteous ripoff at $54.99.

And I run a Geforce FX 5900 Ultra, so I am recommending the 9800 Pro to you simply because HL2 is optimized for it, its pixel shader engine is marginally better than nVidia's, and it is cheaper than anything of comparable speed from nVidia.

Good luck,

FastVFR
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Old 10-30-2004, 22:00   #6
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fastvfr

Hits the nail on the head.

Here are my specs

MB: Gigabyte GA-7VAXP 300MHZ FSB

CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2100 2.1Ghz

Ram: 1GB of PC3200 running at 200mhz

Video: 256Mb Nvidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra

Although my memory speed sucks arse the video card makes up for it in terms of render speed.

I don't have any problems running any games. And I run games in 1280 X 1024 in 16 bit and 32bit.

I also have an eBay special 20 inch Silicon Graphics CRT monitor. (Sony Tube)
I paid $143.00 shipped.

Hard Drive and other add ons are subjective.

I do however have an Antec 400Watt power supply.
The Nvidia card uses one of those Hard Drive power plugs.
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Old 11-02-2004, 06:44   #7
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Re: fastvfr

Quote:
Originally posted by NetNinja

The Nvidia card uses one of those Hard Drive power plugs.
ATX
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:15   #8
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I already have a new Maxtor 250mb HD and a soundcard
Is that a typo? XP requires at least a 2GB HD.
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Old 11-04-2004, 14:35   #9
Ludacris
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Quote:
Originally posted by BarkinDog
I already have a new Maxtor 250mb HD and a soundcard
Is that a typo? XP requires at least a 2GB HD.
Yes, but you already knew that
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