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I want to build a gaming pc (computer nerds help)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Ok, since my parents said I can't spend any graduation money on gear, I've decided to build my own pc. I've got a good idea of what I want, but I've got a few Q's....

    1. I've decided to go AMD, since it's cheaper than Intel...but athlon xp or 64? The 64 seems like it has potentional, but at the same time for the same price as an AMD 64 2800+ you can get an Athlon XP 3200+. I'm almost positive I'll get the 64, but any extra info is appreciated.

    2. Video cards. I've decided to go ATI, but here's the question, should I get a Radeon 9800 Pro now, or work this summer and eventually get the brand new Radeon X800? Some reviews I've read about the XP make the 9800 Pro look obsolete in every way. But then again, the X800 is going to be way out of my budget, and I'd have to cut corners on everything else. Will the 9800 Pro be able to run, say, Half Life 2 or Doom 3?

    3. What keyboard/mouse should I get? I've heard wireless is bad for gaming. I also need a keyboard and mouse that is ergonomically friendly. I AM still recovering from my carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, after all. But it also needs to be gaming friendly as well. Doing WASD on some of those whacked out keyboards look like it would be awkward.

    4. Does such thing as a good and cheap monitor exist?

    Also what games should I be getting? Counter-Strike is a certain (I already play it on this pc). I've thought about City Of Heroes, but paying $15 a month is awfully expensive for a MMORPG. Battlefield Vietnam would probably be a good purchase as well.

    I should mention I'll have roughly $1000 to work with, if I'm lucky (I'll find out by tomorrow...grad party). So far I've already got about $500.

    Any help appreciated.
  2. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan

    Save a ton of money there if you hadnt known of the site before.

    1.Personally I'd say go with the Athlon XP. I've got a 2500+ and it works great.

    2. Can't say. Don't know much about the ATI cards. I'm sure if it's a top of the line card it'll be fine. I have a simple GeForce FX 5200 and it runs games like UT2003 with no problem.

    3. Doesn't matter a whole lot. I prefer the ergonomic (split key) keyboards. especially if you had carpal surgery, it'd be good. I just got the basic ergo keyboard and a 20 dollar Microsoft optical mouse. both work fine.

    4. Yes and no. Depending on how much you're willing to spend and how much you consider too much. ViewSonic makes some pretty good quality monitors for a decent price. If anything just do a search on newegg and see what you can come up with. Just make sure to get a flatscreen one. It's much much better, especially for gaming.
  3. This is the way my computer technician teacher told me this...most processors are 32bits and the AMP 64 is a 64 bit. So say there are 32 lanes on a highway and traffic seems a bit slow, add on 32 more and it speeds up. So in other words - 64 = faster.

    The Readeon 9800Pro should be fine. If you want something a bit better, look at the nVidia GeForce FX cards.

    Logitech keyboard and mouse should be fine. Yes wireless isn't as good for gaming as a straight plug in because it takes the data longer to transfer since it's going from more of a distance.

    Look around on www.newegg.com for one. As a matter of fact, look around on newegg for all the stuff.

    One main thing is make sure that you get the correct socket MoBo for the processor and make sure you get the correct type of RAM for it also.
  4. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    Go with the XP- more bang for your buck. By the time most software is being written to take advantage of the 64-bit proc you will be able to afford an upgrade.
    This changes nearly every month. Read some reviews, but really, either ATI or nVidia will be fine. Both support most or all of DX9 and beyond...
    Wireless is kind of pointless for most desks unless you are really averse to clutter. Get a good optical Logitech or MS mouse. Logitech seems preferred for gaming.
    Yeah, a good CRT can be found for around $200. Again, depends on the features, size, etc. you are looking for...
    Choose a genre you like and read reviews at places like IGN and Gamespot. Both allow you to sort by score, so you can choose from the 'best of the best'.
  5. Yes, and pretty fast. That's a nice card with a good reputation. You may find some at very reasonable prices now that the next generation of cards (X800, 6800) have come out... wait for a bit and watch the prices.

    Nope - 64 bit processors are only considerably faster if they are running code that has been written and optimised for a 64-bit chip. Win XP and most of the games you will play are 32-bit, although HL2 and D3 *may* come out with 64-bit versions. I'd go for the higher clocked XP if you want performance with today's games. Tomorrow's may see more benefit from the 64.

    Depends what you're after. For FPS type things, check out Far Cry, Painkiller, Call Of Duty and pick up Enemy Territory off the net (it's free!). And HL2/D3 of course, when they turn up.
  6. I have worked (got laid off last month) in the computer hardware business for the last few years, in RMA. Which means I have seen just about every piece of hardware out there and which ones work and which ones break. So here is my Opinion.
    First off get a SATA hard drive. You can’t beat the speed for the price now.
    Get at least one Meg of RAM and get DDR 3200. Also make sure the board is expandable to at least 2 GIG. You should always get the largest single module you can get in pairs. Two 512s will allow you to expand to another pair of 512s in the future as opposed to four 256s which will limit you if you want/need to upgrade in the future.
    The board should support both SATA and IDE drives in various combinations including onboard RAID if you want to stick a bunch of drives in the future. It should also have Dual Channel memory to maximize the RAM you have.(Not going to get this with an AMD board)
    I am fonder of Intel CPUs then AMD but I do agree that overall they are better for graphics and music. AMDs tend to run pretty hot compared to Intel chips and in my experience are much easier to damage because of this. You do know that a 2500 AMD is not really 2500mhz right? AMD uses Intel as Its benchmark for the chip designations, while it might say it is a 2500 it is actually operating at 2.01mhz or something like that.
    Video cards are pretty even now between ATI and Nvidia, choose one with the features you need and try and get a wholesale pack which will save you money by not being burdened with the cost of all the silly games and such that come with it. For gaming you will want a 256mg card. Also check out the Gaming sites some games run better on particular type of cards, for instance the first Spiderman Game would not play on the older ATI cards well at all. So make sure the majority of games you want to play are compatible, although this isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be.
    DVDRWs are the way to go if you’re going to put a new DVD in. They are very cheap now compared to even a year ago. Just make sure you get a good brand that will handle all types of media. My personal favorite is the SONY one.
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Now lets see:
    Zou listed CPU and motherboard, video card, mouse, kezboard, monitor - but no sound card?!? :eyebrow: HOW ARE ZOU GOING TO RECORD BASS ON PC WTIHOUT IT? :eek: :eyebrow:

    hez, wait a minute - *** is this? All mz zs are ys? mz kezboard crapped out, need to check pc, be right back!
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Whats wrong here? My keyboard did this z-y change, after that I go check in Word - it works right there... now I come back, and it works, here, too... what? :confused: :eyebrow:

    Anyway, the point of the previous post was to get a decent sound card so you can use it for recording bass on pc ;) :D :cool:

  9. A "good" card for "real" recording would be 1/3 his budget or more. Most high end boards have plenty good sound on board nowadays
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I said a decent card, not a professional grade sound card...

    There are decent ones that, unlike MME, have beter recording capabilities (ASIO types), yet are somewhat cheap - like around or less then $200 - check the recordings forum for some ideas, comparisons, advice, tests, etc...

  11. Still 200$ would buy him a nice monitor and you can always add a sound card in the future. I think his budget right now would be better spent elswhere.
    SATA drive say 160Gig= 125$
    RAM 1 gig of PC 3200= 230$
    AMD 2800 = 180$ (the price on these moves around a lot)
    Case at least three circulation fans and a 500 watt power supply(you can sometimes use your old case and just put a new power supply in it to save a couple of bucks = 50-100$
    Nice 19" monitor = 225$ or so nowadays. I picked up a 21" Sony Trinitron that had a cracked case but works perfectly for 150$ just cause I asked if it was for sale at the right time.

    This would make a good core system and you could add sound cards and DVDRWs latter if you want.
  12. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    Look, all you need to do is wait. In a year or two the nanotech processors are coming out. Thats 6-10ghz. Imagine that. but the motherboard needs to have a bus speed of 2ghz, and a HDD that spins faster than the speed of light. get out of the games idea, and buy some top notch editing software, its much more fun.

    you don't have to, but i did. Now instead of saying i just completed DOOM III in 3:68 i can say, i just created this image and have something to show for it
  13. Don't skip on the monitor. Chances are you'll be looking at it a lot, and if a cheap one hurts your eyes you won't be happy.

    I'd go for something that can do 1024*786 at a good refresh rate, 80 or so.
  14. I have to interject here. nVidia's current set of cards are woefully inadequete for DX9. They trump their fps up by cutting certain functions in "optomized" games to give a better statistic, giving you lesser video quality.

    The only card out right now that will really be able to run DX9 well is the ATI 9800XT. But I would take a Radeon 9800 over a GF any day.
  15. Id go with the Athlon 64 because in less then a year Microsoft's Windows 64 bit platform will be comming out.
  16. Don't go AMD. They run a lot hotter than Intel. Plus, AMD does not give/show you its true speed (i.e. 2800+ don't run at 2800+ MHz). I have built many systems (my latest being an Intel 2.8GHz, dual WD raptor in raid-0, 2GB dual channel config'd corsair ddr, all that...), and my experiences with Intel seriously outweigh that of AMD.

    Bottom line is that both Intel and AMD make good processors, but for me it's about Intel. Do what you please.
  17. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I think not. GeForce's top cards are not match for ATI's top cards in every benchmark test I've ever seen.


    On your budget you cannot afford the new ATI x800 cards. They will be retailing for $500 and that would blow half of your money. Go with the 9800 pro if that's in your budget once everything else is added in.

    The AMD 64 chips are blazing fast EVEN WITH 32 BIT applications. That is unlike the Intel 64 bit Itanium, which runs slower than normal with 32 bit apps. I'd say the AMD 64 is quite a bit of bang for the buck.

    Again see my above comments. That only applies to the Intel 64 Itanium. The AMD 64 is a completely different animal that outperforms the Intel Pentium 4 3 ghz type chips in gaming applications. The only thing Intel has that competes is the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition which actually uses their Xeon chip modified to fit a pentium motherboard. I'm not sure what those are selling for but my guess is considerably more than the cheapest AMD 64 chips.

    I may be wrong on this but I believe I read somewhere that the current AMD 64 boards can support up to 8 gigs of RAM.

    I don't believe it's a problem in desktop computers where you usually have multiple fans and there is a lot of space for air to circulate.

    Clock speeds mean nothing when it comes to AMD chips. An AMD 64 running at a 2000mhz clock speed will smoke a Pentium running at 3000mhz clock speed performing 32 bit apps. Clock speeds are overrated and given too much importance. This also applies within Intel products. An Intel Pentium M running at 1.5ghz is often faster than an Intel Pentium 4 running at 3ghz.

    This might change in the future but there is not a game out there that won't run well on a good system with a 128meg Radeon 9800 Pro.


    I'd go with one of the lower-priced AMD 64 processors hands down. I was reading some comments that Bill Gates recently made and he said that by 2005 all of AMD's chips will be 64 bit and Intel should follow within the next two years. If anyone has an ear to the mouths of these two companies it's probably Gates. As far as monitors go, flat-screen CRT is the monitor of choice for gamers and is faster and sharper than an LCD monitor. Although an LCD is out of your price range anyway.

    Go check out NewEgg.com for a great soundcard from Chaintech. It doesn't get better than that card as far as bang for buck goes and it's eligible for free shipping I think. I got my brother one for Christmas and he uses it on his pc-powered home entertainment center with surround sound he and loves it.

    Hope some of this is helpful.

    brad cook
  18. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Again, clock speeds are meaningless when comparing AMD and Intel.

    brad cook
  19. Without looking back at them I believe I only came across ones that hold up to 3 gigs, but I could be wrong (I'll have to go check).

    [edit] I just checked newegg and max ones I saw for MoBos supporting the AMD 64 was 3 gigs of RAM, but it could be that newegg doesn't have ones that can support up to 8 gigs or they aren't out yet.

    Pretty much all my friends at school use AMD chips and they have anywhere from 2 fans (counting CPU fan/heatsink) to 5 fans (counting cpu fan/heatsink) and they never run hot. So yes, you are correct here.
  20. No, it doesn't only apply to Intel. AMD's 64-bit chips run 32-bit code fine, but that's not the point. The point is that for 32-bit applications, a 64-bit chip is not the most cost-effective choice. The chip will not be working to it's potential running windows XP and (most of) the current set of games.