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Upgrading PC! Help Please

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SkewlTech, Aug 5, 2004.

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  1. SkewlTech

    SkewlTech Thread Starter

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    Hey Guys, I'm thinking of rebuilding my home PC so I can run some of the latest games that are due out soon (Doom3, Half Life2). I'm kind of clueless when it comes to the latest hardware though so please bear with my lack of knowledge :) I definately want to go with a AMD processor but I'm not sure which is the best type to get ex: AMD-Athlon64-754pin, AMD-Athlon64/FX-939pin, AMD-AthlonFX-940pin, AMD-Opteron? Once I know which processor to buy I know I can figure out which motherboard to get myself. And also which video card do you guys recommend? I dont need the biggest and best, just something that I wont have to upgrade for awhile. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. adambaz

    adambaz

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    well, i certainly do not recommed the 64 chip for 2 main reasons.
    1: Way to expensive !!!
    2: Totally unnecesary for the standard gamer

    If you want a good AMD go for a top spec 32bit athlon, or with P4 go for about 2.7Ghz+ for decent games. With the money you save buy some good named ram. Do not buy crap, go for crucial or kingston.

    As for video cards, its really personal preference. I myself would never touch anything other than nvidia, but thats just me, ATI are generally cheaper for the same spec as nVidia. Similar to processors, AMD = ATI and nVidia = Penium. Get about a 128mb chip if you want very good graphics, but a 32 or 64 mb chip will also serve you fine.

    Hope this helps

    adambaz
     
  3. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    I believe 64 bit is the future but as of now it is no better than a 32 bit. If you want to give your machine more life go 64 but I would expect by the time you need 64 the processor will be outdated. Just a guess. ATI has taken some guff lately but I expect them to be right with nvidia nose to nose for quite some time. Nvidia is easier to install and update drivers. I have had some really crappy cards from both companies but I like ATI at the moment. Give me 6 months and that can change. The 9800 pro is dirt cheap right now and will go a few more years without becoming obsolete.
    Get the second best from either company and you should be good to go. I personally hate the FX cards. They just aren't very good until you get into the top end of them, and even then..........
    It is all in what you prefer, but ATI's 2nd best is cheaper right now.
     
  4. brite750

    brite750

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    Someone was on TSG looking for hw advise and I recomended your mobo because he wanted one from newegg it was like $60 which I thought was pretty reasonable for Asus. I looks very similar to mine, what's the real difference?, hpoe it's work well for you, I hate recommending something I'm not familiar with but it was so close.
     
  5. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Your Mobo has dual ram capability and better onboard sound. Cpuz shows my ram as dual, but that is most likely a snafu. If the boards manufacturer doesn't brag dual ram, I doubt that it is really dual. :)
    And yes I love this board. Quite a clocker.
     
  6. brite750

    brite750

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    OK, yeah I guess that's a sorta significant difference, not sure dual ram does anything, but I suppose.
     
  7. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Yeah it helps bigtime, but you have to buy matched sets which I am always to poor to do so it would make no difference to me.:(
     
  8. brite750

    brite750

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    Yeah I paid extra for that, although I had no idea what that was, by matched pair I take it that, that is more than just buying 2 sticks of the same make and model or what?
     
  9. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Oh yeah, made in the same run, same batch, same chips, same PCB. Everything is matched.
     
  10. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    You have to have two sticks of ram. They do not have to be matched, although to ensure compatability with the sticks, matched sets are sold.

    I wouldn't recommend buying matched sets at all since the sets are so much more expensive.

    The key to ram is to watch the timings of the memory that you buy. If you buy a stick of PC3200 that has timings of 3-4-4-8, it's probably no better ram than PC2700 with 2-2-2-6 timings. It could even be identical physically.

    If you buy a stick of PC3500 with timings 2.5-2-2-7 it's almost a sure bet it'll run 2-2-2-6 at PC3200 speeds. So buy the highest speed ram (PC3500, PC3700, PC4200, PC4700) you can afford and your almost sure to get better timings at the lower speeds such as 400mhz.

    Again, they do not have to be matched sets, and I'd recommend if your on a budget to buy a stick of 256mb CH-5 or BH-5 winbond PC3200 or PC3500 for around $70 then add another CH-5 or BH-5 stick later when you can afford it.
    Otherwise, you'll be wasting money by having to replace cheap ram later on.
     
  11. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    GotRoot. Will I ever get this ram thing straight? I think I have it and wham, I don't. Thanks for straightening me out again.
     
  12. brite750

    brite750

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    Should have had gotroot on the phone whan I was talking to the sales guy. You do pay a price for matched pairs no doubt. Trouble with it is that it makes sense when you hear it.
     
  13. SkewlTech

    SkewlTech Thread Starter

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    thanks for the advice guys. I guess I just need to spend some time looking at brands and prices. I think I'm going to try ATI for the vid card for sure. I'm also partial to Asus or Abit brand main boards so I'll probably also go with one of those.
     
  14. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    ATI is a good card.

    But.

    ATI has never really supported the linux community and pretty much left it to the open-source developers to develop drivers. Also, for alternative OS's at least, ATI has the annoying habit of only supporting hardware for the shortest time possible.

    Nvidia, on the other hand, offers better support for drivers and has a reputation of supporting the open-source community.

    Currently I'm running both nvidia and ATI cards, so I don't favor either one over the other. I just thought you should be aware of this before you settle what card to get.
     
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