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New Build Plans

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Quafe, Jan 26, 2007.

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  1. Quafe

    Quafe Thread Starter

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    Okay, my PC recently kicked the bucket and so now I'm trying to plan a new computer build. I'm looking for something fairly decent spec, good enough to play new PC games at decent graphics and framerate, but that won't totally suck up every last penny I have. I think I'm actually contemplating buying a prebuilt.

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.asp...SelectedId=11011&PageMode=1&InMe&v=2#infoarea

    The above seems to be quite reasonable, and seems to be a good price. A few details are a little sketchy on it though, such as do all AM2 socket boards support PC-6400 memory? If so then it shouldn't be a problem that it doesn't actually specify that.

    I realise the HDD may not be very good despite capacity, but my current one is about 4-5 years old and only 80GB, so I can only imagine it's an improvement really.

    On top of this, I'm planning to purchase one of these. I would go ATi but it has a lifetime warranty... not to be sniffed at. I'll probably upgrade the RAM at some point as well if it proves too slow.

    The PSU isn't specified, but I recently bought a Corsair HX520W. Would that be sufficient?

    Overall, the build is:

    Socket AM2 mobo
    Corsair HX520W PSU
    AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+
    1GB DDR2 SDRAM
    BFG GeForce 7950 GT OC 512MB GDDR3
    160GB SATA-150 HDD
    Windows Media Centre Edition 2005

    So, does all this look okay? Or can anyone see possible problems? Any advice would be appreciated. ^^
     
  2. TheSeventhArtist

    TheSeventhArtist

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    I think you have a great video card however, your processor is a bit slow for it. Buy the X2 5000+ (Brisbane) processor if you want to go for AMD.
    Intel Core 2 Duo is better and faster but it will cost more.
     
  3. Quafe

    Quafe Thread Starter

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    Ah, I see. So my processor may bottleneck my GPU? By how much? Might it be worth buying a slightly less expensive graphics card for my CPU (like this one)? I'm not likely to replace the stock CPU as I have very little experience of such things... that and I don't want to spend any more cash than I already am. ^^;
     
  4. MaverickUK

    MaverickUK

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    If you have the money, you could invest in a better CPU, but i don't see any major problems with the current set-up you have, i would kill for that Grahpics Card though :p By the way, it's really easy replacing a CPU, i hope i will prove my theory when i install mine on Monday ^_^
     
  5. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Here is what may help:

    1 - when it comes to pre-builts, they usually come with DDR2-533mhz. With no overclocking abiities - you might as well save a few bucks and NOT get a C2D. Alsi with such small cases - you may have trouble installing large cards (7900GT and above)

    2 - What is your budget?

    3 - What games are you expecting to PLAY? Todays games (Half Life2/Quake4/UT2004) or future games (Crysis / UT2007)?

    So if you're only into todays games - the above with a 7900gs (and your 520watt PSU) will do nicely. Even my AMD3000 I pay those games (HL2/Quake4/UT04) in 1280x1024 to 1600x1200 in max details.
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Rob
    If you're looking ahead to games like Crysis then you should be aware that DirectX 10 cards will be needed to run those games at their best quality.
     
  7. Quafe

    Quafe Thread Starter

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    Yes, I guessed the default DDR2 RAM would be fairly low end. I'll replace it if I find it's not fast enough. Sorry, what's a C2D? Also the case isn't THAT small, it's 45.5cm depth, 37cm height, 18.3cm width, which surely would be plenty? If we were talking about an 8800 here maybe not. :p Unfortunately they don't seem to supply the card measurements...

    I want to spend a maximum of £500 (about $1000). With the more expensive card it comes to just about that.

    Both. Of course I'm being realistic, I know most future games will eat this PC for breakfast, but it should at least be able to run them on minimum to mid graphics without totally choking. I simply can't afford the colossal pricetags for the top end hardware right now. The idea is this system will do well with current games as you say, and make future games at least playable, though not very shiney.

    Yep, I know. That's a bit tough for now, I can't fork out £400 for an 8800 card... yeesh. I'll worry about that once Vista and DX10 becomes a requirement, rather than an option.

    Any other advice? Thanks a lot for everything thus far. :)
     
  8. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    There will be many more DX10 cards coming out within the next few months that'll cost much less and will also drop the price of the 8800's down. It might be worth the wait or worth buying a cheaper card till then - although the 7950GT should still have good value when more Dx10 cards come out.
     
  9. griffinspc

    griffinspc

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    This is tough because I wouldn't buy an Acer desktop to start with so with that in mind I'll take a little different approach in that the processor you chose isn't bad. Yes, you can spend more and get something a little faster but I'd spend that extra money on going from 1 gig to 2 gig's of matched memory and keep the 3800.

    Now maybe I'm just confused, easy to do on a Friday :D, but are you planning to buy this Acer, toss the PSU in it and substitute your own, then add your vid card? If so you may violate the warranty because of the PSU substitution. I also notice in the specs that the drive maker isn't specified, it has no modem so unless you have high speed you'll have to install that, the optical drive maker isn't mentioned and more. Being a min-tower it has only 1 free bay too.

    To sum up I think you'd be better off looking for another machine. Don't mean to rain on your parade that's just one opinion. If you do stick with it then as I said go for some additional memory.
     
  10. Quafe

    Quafe Thread Starter

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    I agree on the memory, I'm going to try and endure with the stock memory until I can afford to upgrade it. This is still a standing question, do all AM2 boards support 800mhz PC-6400 speed RAM? I'm guessing yes, but I'd like to be sure. Because I think I need that speed to match normal DDR 400mhz sticks.

    Yes, I'm tossing the PSU, swapping in my HX520W, and adding the 7900GS. Can you violate manufacturer's warranty? And I can get 3 year's on-site support covering parts and labour... it probably wouldn't cover the new components I put in but wouldn't it cover the original parts? Particularly the motherboard. Are you sure it would violate the warranty? If so that's a bit of a pain.

    I have high speed wireless so modem is no problem. I just plug the ethernet cable into the mobo. I don't mind about the optical drive maker, I don't think that particularly matters, at least not for me. As for the drive maker, it will still be an upgrade from my current 4-5 year old IDE 80GB Maxtor methinks... so even if it's an obscure brand, 160GB SATA-150 will still be a step up, surely. And I wouldn't need any more than 1 free bay, I don't have need of more than 1 really.

    Thanks for your input. ^^
     
  11. griffinspc

    griffinspc

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    I can't answer that, sorry. Some warranties become void when changing out some parts like the PSU because they don't want to be on the hook if the supply is a cheap one or installed incorrectly leading to frying the board. Be sure to ask the vendor before buying.

    No but i should add that 98% do, you'll find some cheaper that top out at DDR2 533.
     
  12. Quafe

    Quafe Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the info. I've found out that the X2 3800+ only supports up to DDR2 667 most of the time. Okay so it's not DDR2 800 but it's not a *massive* step down from DDR2 800 I figure... you can still get dual channel RAM at PC-5300 spec that's pretty powerful. I think this RAM combined with this card in this computer would make for a pretty solid machine without totally busting the bank. Unless there are any further problems methinks that's what I'll go for. ^^
     
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