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Posted: 4/6/2006 6:43:32 AM EST
Inspired by the Oblivion thread....

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=447669

It's time for me to build my next computer. I need a decent gaming computer, but not bleeding edge. I need some component ideas. What motherboard? What processor (probably AMD)? What video card? Etc... The only requirement for the motherboard is build-in ethernet....

Suggestions please.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:45:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 6:50:38 AM EST by tctlrld]
This question is near impossible to answer without knowing your budget constraints.

Also, are you building everything from scratch, or are you re-using old HDDs, DVD burners, soundcards etc?

Give me a max you wanna spend and I'll spec out a good system. I'm knee deep in Oblivion myself right now.

For mobo mfgs: Asus or Abit (DFI is popular but no personal experience)
CPU: No need to go nuts. The AMD 64 3700+ is a pretty good price/performance option right now.
Video: 7900GT if you can swing the $300. You really need something like that to get the full beauty of Oblivion.

99.9% of all motherboards out there today come with at least one ethernet port.
My Asus has two Gigabit ethernet ports.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:48:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 6:54:54 AM EST by bfieldburt]
I need everything except the monitor and DSL modem (which I already have..)

Under $1K would be nice.

I'll be building it myself.
-----------
ADD: last computer I built...the one I'm typing this on:

Abit NF7-S

AMD Athlon XP 2800

GeForce FX 5200

It's a good computer, but outdated now.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:56:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By tctlrld:
99.9% of all motherboards out there today come with at least one ethernet port.
My Asus has two Gigabit ethernet ports.



Which Asus motherboard do you have? Do you recommend it? Or would you go with something else?
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:02:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 8:56:35 AM EST by jthuang]
Well, here is what I did in December 2005. I had to buy a monitor (Dell 2005FPW) so my budget was a bit more than yours but I think you will like it.

---
Motherboard: Asus A8N SLI AMD Socket 939. My mobo works fine but from what I have read these boards may have overheating problems with the chipset. So do not get this board. Asus makes a good board so opt for the Deluxe or Premium version instead. The Premium is $168 from Newegg.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3700+. As mentioned above, the 3700+ is a great bang for the buck option right now. $212 from Newegg.

Case and power supply: Antec 640B Performance Case with 400W Antec power supply. Additional cooling provided by Antec 80mm blue LED fan. The blue LED fan is $7 extra, sold separately. You will need to upgrade to a 500W power supply if you want to go SLI in the future. Otherwise, any 400W+ power supply from Antec, PC Power & Cooling or another reputable maker will do. $99 for case and power supply.

[NOTE: the Antec case does not come with hookups for the "hard drive activity light" if you are using a SATA drive. If you are using an EIDE/IDE/Ultra drive, then you're fine with this case. If you go with a SATA hard drive, as I did, you will just have to do without the hard drive activity light.]

Video card: XFX GeForce 7800 GT. This was just under $300 w/rebate but for a gaming machine you should not skimp on your vid card. I also see that Newegg no longer has the XFX 7800GT in stock. If the 7800GT is too much, check out the 7600GT which can be had for around $170 after rebate. Check out the link to a Fatwallet.com thread below.

Memory: Corsair 1GB (2x512MB) 184 pin RAM. Now down to $68. Not the fastest memory in the world but to me it doesn't make that much of a difference b/c I'm not overclocking. If you want to upgrade anything on this system, I'd do it here (maybe more or faster memory).

Hard Drive: Western Digital 320GB 7200rpm SATAII. Again, a rebate deal. This one is $140 but I'm sure you can find a 250 GB SATA drive for cheap.

Optical Drives: NEC dual-layer DVD R/W and Lite-on DVD-ROM drive. I can't recommend the Lite-On drive any more because it is noisy as hell. The NEC burner is a great deal at $43. The Lite-On was $20-25.
--

Total budget with the above is around $1100. If you ramp down to the eVGA GeForce 7600GT (click on the link to see how it is $165 after rebate) and a 250 GB Western Digital SATA hard drive for $90 you can get your total cost below $870.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:04:38 AM EST
dude, I built a pretty sweet system for less than 1K.

Find a case and power supply you like for at or less than $100
1GB DDR RAM costs as low as $50
I did get a nice video card & motherboard deal from newegg for $350 (GeForce 7800GT and an Nforce 4 motherboard)
The AMD 3700+ proc was about $230, and runs great. I've had it overclocked to 2.7GHz, and it ran OK. (though for some reason, it runs hot on this motherboard... I had another MB before I got the video card and MB combo... I'll be trying liquid CPU cooling later on!)

I got all my stuff from Newegg.com
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:05:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 7:07:19 AM EST by bfieldburt]
Thanks. And even with links to Newegg.

You ARE the man.
---------
ADD: And thanks Matthew_Q. Good suggestions also.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:06:04 AM EST
Panasonic AE900 for second monitor. Front projector that throws a picture up to 300".

See the Avsforum HTPC board for details on video cards. I just read that ATI is releasing a supplemental HDTV video card.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:10:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By bfieldburt:
I need everything except the monitor and DSL modem (which I already have..)

Under $1K would be nice.

I'll be building it myself.



I've always liked the Sharkyextreme Value Gaming guides that come out bi-monthly. Here's the one for March. The budget is $1000 and includes a Case, MB, CPU&FAN, HD, RAM, Optical drive, Video Card, Monitor, Sound card, speakers, network card, mouse, keyboard, and OS prices.

Some of that stuff is built in (sound card, network interface) and if you can reuse previous components like monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc. you can put the money towards larger HDs or a faster processor.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:18:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Well, here is what I did in December 2005. I had to buy a monitor (Dell 2005FPW) so my budget was a bit more than yours but I think you will like it.


CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3700+. As mentioned above, the 3700+ is a great bang for the buck option right now. $212 from Newegg.


Video card: XFX GeForce 7800 GT. This was just under $300 w/rebate but for a gaming machine you should not skimp on your vid card. If the 7800GT is too much, check out the 7600GT which can be had for around $170 after rebate.





Nice system, but NOT going dual core at this point in time for S939 is just cutting your nose off despite your face. Get a 3800x2 or an Opteron 174(IIRC) for your proc and the nVidia 7900 GT is now LESS than the 7800GT and for the money the best card on the market.

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:21:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 7:22:26 AM EST by dumbyhotshot]
Here a handy guide from Tweaktown.

hotlink


lots of other great guides as well. Its all about having fun while voiding your warranty
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:27:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 7:29:40 AM EST by jthuang]

Originally Posted By BlackDog714:

Nice system, but NOT going dual core at this point in time for S939 is just cutting your nose off despite your face. Get a 3800x2 or an Opteron 174(IIRC) for your proc and the nVidia 7900 GT is now LESS than the 7800GT and for the money the best card on the market.




I agree, but only up to a certain point.

If your budget is limited and you are looking to build a gaming system, it is my opinion that you should spend the money on a faster single-core CPU rather than a slower dual-core CPU.

A gamer typically does not multi-task in that he or she is doing one thing at a time (i.e. playing a game full-screen). Dual-core CPUs are great for multi-tasking or if you want to be doing something at the same time as video processing, etc. But for a gamer, you're typically not multi-tasking. In that case, why spend the extra jing for a dual-core proc when you could have better performance from a single-core CPU that costs the same?

Compare:

AMD A64 3700+ single core
$212
Operating Frequency 2.2GHz
HT 1GHz
L1 Cache 64KB+64KB
L2 Cache 1MB

AMD A64 X2 3800+ dual core
$295
Operating Frequency 2.0GHz
HT 1GHz
L1 Cache 128KB+128KB
L2 Cache 2 x 512KB

AMD A64 3800+ single core
$282
Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
HT 1GHz
L1 Cache 64KB+64KB
L2 Cache 512KB

Based on the above, if you're not multi-tasking, you have a faster chip with the 3800+ single core (2.4 GHz vs 2.0 GHz) and you save $13 to boot. If you go with the 3700+ single core you are still faster than the 3800+ dual core (2.2 GHz vs 2.0 GHz) and you save almost $90.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:57:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 9:42:37 AM EST by tctlrld]
This will put you in the $1000 range. You could do less RAM and save some dough, smaller HDD doesn't save much. I would honestly recommend that you spend 1/3rd of your budget on the Graphics card as that will give you the biggest impact on gaming.


NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE/ATAPI Model ND-3550A - OEM
Model #: ND-3550A BK OEM
Item #: N82E16827152058
$37.99 $37.99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: CAC-T05-UW
Item #: N82E16811119068
$49.99 -$8.00 Instant
$41.99

Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6V300F0 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: 6V300F0
Item #: N82E16822144014
$118.00 $118.00

ABIT KN8 Ultra Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #: KN8 Ultra
Item #: N82E16813127222
** This item is warranted through the product manufacturer only. what's this?
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
$94.99 -$5.00 Instant
$89.99

COOLMAX CP-500T EPS12V 500W Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Model #: CP-500T
Item #: N82E16817159040
$54.99 $54.99

Patriot Signature 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model PSD2G400KH - Retail
Model #: PSD2G400KH
Item #: N82E16820220079
$137.99 $137.99

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz HT Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3700BNBOX - Retail
Model #: ADA3700BNBOX
Item #: N82E16819103539
$212.00 $212.00

Subtotal: $692.95
Shipping: $34.76

Total: $727.71



Add this: eVGA 256-P2-N563-AX Geforce 7900GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

Model#: 256-P2-N563-AX

Item#: N82E16814130281

Price: $319.00

When it becomes available (out of stock right now)
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:39:39 AM EST
tag
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 2:56:30 PM EST
So, I decided its time to build a new home PC. The damnedest thing is that I'm an IT guy.. I work with this shit every day but for the last however many years if anyone needed a PC all I did was point to Dell and click BUY without really paying a whole lot of attention to the secs beyond the general stuff.

Anyway, here is what I'm planning on using. Not bleeding edge.. not old.. and has a processor and video upgrade path as well as it uses the new DDR2 which is why I went with the Intel processor.

CPU Intel Pentium 4 630 w/ HT Technology - 3.0GHz Processor $168.49
MOBO Intel D975XBX Motherboard $207.95
RAM Corsair XMS2 1GB PC2-5400 DDR2 DIMM $89.90
CASE Antec TX1050B Performance TX Black Tower $113.90
HD Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 80GB Hard Drive $56.00
OPTICAL Plextor PX-740A-SW Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer $78.56
Total1 $714.80
HD Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB Hard Drive $91.50
SND Creative X-Fi Platinum $170.36
VID eVGA GeForce 7600 GT Video Card $177.70
Total2 $439.56

Total = $1,154.36

I'm fairly confident that I will be happy with that processor for a while. Intel is planning on sticking with the socket 775 for a while as far as I know so I should be able to bump up to Dual Core whenever I feel the need. I will be buying everything in the total1 first and then the total2 stuff will come in the next few paychecks.

Any input? Im curious as to whether or not I should go with a RAID0 setup right away.. or if I need it... hmmmmmmmm
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