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beebs

Building a computer

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  • Original Poster
  • I'm going to have a friend build me a new computer, and I was wondering what sort of system I could get for around $1000 Canadian. No need to do any deep research for me, but if someone could give me approximately what it would be like, that would be great.29.gif

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    Some Hint on parts here:

    Processor: AMD 64(or Operton) on a socket 939/940 (Because AMD is just so superior to intel atm)

    Motherboard: EPoX/Asus/DFI with PCI-Express(because it will save money if you wish to upgrade in the future)

    Memory: Corsair or Kingston, nuff said, atleast 1gb

    Grapics Card: ATI X1*00pro/xt Series, Alternatively X850XT, Powercolor, HiS are good brands.

    Harddrives: Just preferably S-ATA, Western Digital and Seagate are good brands

    The rest i guess is mostley preference, Harddrives, case, dvd-roms and so on... and dont bother with a floppy disk, its not used anyway.

    Oh, and im recomending from personal use ^_- not some fancy pancy guide somewhere.
    Might be worth checking up when AMD is releasing their M2 socket, since it would be more worth waiting for that to come(and the 939/940 will sink in price).

    Hope this was to any help

    Cheers
    //Sim

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  • Original Poster
  • Hmm, ok, got some good brand choices then. Thanks! 1.gif

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    Exactly what xizxiz said, except I would recommend a Nvidia 6800 Ultra - 7800 GT for a graphics card. Nvidia is currently the best gpu for gaming, and while ATI's newest top of the line card is better than Nvidias, you would have to pay a fortune for it.

    For example, with Nvidia cards buildings will render while you are dragging across your city, with ATI they will not. Most other games are built with Nvidia in mind as well.

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  • Original Poster
  • Hmm, ok. How do the two of them compare for other games though? More specifically, Civ4 and Neverwinter Nights?

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    Date: 2/17/2006 9:30:08 PM
    Author: MayorTim
    Exactly what xizxiz said, except I would recommend a Nvidia 6800 Ultra - 7800 GT for a graphics card. Nvidia is currently the best gpu for gaming, and while ATI's newest top of the line card is better than Nvidias, you would have to pay a fortune for it.

    For example, with Nvidia cards buildings will render while you are dragging across your city, with ATI they will not. Most other games are built with Nvidia in mind as well.
    quote>

    Though you will have to pay more for a Nvida card of the same preformance as the ATI ones.
    There is a small fix here at ST somewhere where someone changed the files to be better optimised for ATI.

    But in general, Nvida is better at OpenGL-based games, while ATI leaves them way behind in the dust at Drect3D.
    Sc4 is an openGL game, so an Nvidia card is better if yer only gonna play that. But NVN is a D3D game i belive, and will run a lot smother on an ATI card. Some games you can chose witch mode to use aswell.

    But neather Sc4 nor Civ4 need a good grapicscard, the grapics are basic enough to run fluently on a ATI 9200(will set you back about 20-40$). NVN might want a little better card, but its justaswell to get ready for the future and get a decent card anyway.

    Also, might be fun to know that all grapical gliches ive ever experienced were on Nvida cards, which is why i dont buy em anymore. and in sc4, ive never heard of anyone having grapical problems on an ATI card. just make sure you use the latest drivers and try to find the ATI fix here at ST.

    Cheers
    //Sim

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    Date: 2/18/2006 1:28:29 AM Author: beebs Hmm, ok. How do the two of them compare for other games though? More specifically, Civ4 and Neverwinter Nights?
    quote>

    Ha! I got a new computer after Christmas and I bought it all because of Civ 4 too. Yeah, it seems like people have to get new computers all because of this game. At first, Civ 4 will be a pain, but after a few patches for the game here and there, it should work for you finely (I mean your friend). If you need any help for Civ 4, then just PM and I'll see what I can do. Don't worry at all about PMing me. Thanks.

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  • Original Poster
  • Hmm, ok. I didn't tell him any of this, and here's what he came up with, just as a few ideas.

    Intel P4 3.0 GHz
    1GB RAM
    nvidia video card, I *think*. He showed me the box briefly, and I'm pretty sure it was a Nvidia. He said he wants me to have it a 256 MB for sure though.
    160 GB hard drive
    DVD-RW
    speakers and all that junk
    XP

    Coming to $900 canadian after all taxes and stuff. Any thoughts?

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    and maybe, if you have some cash left, it would be a good idea to buy 1 gb of ram more (so youi would have 2 gb of ram!)
    22.gif

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    But neather Sc4 nor Civ4 need a good grapicscard, the grapics are basic enough to run fluently on a ATI 9200(will set you back about 20-40$). NVN might want a little better card, but its justaswell to get ready for the future and get a decent card anyway.
    quote>

    NeverWinter Nights will still run well on a GeForce. I use a GeForce 4 card, play it on the highest settings, never experienced any performance issues. There's very little lag [it tends to slow down when flames or such effects like that are shown on screen, though]

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    Date: 2/19/2006 12:21:28 AM
    Author: beebs
    Hmm, ok. I didn't tell him any of this, and here's what he came up with, just as a few ideas.

    Intel P4 3.0 GHz
    1GB RAM
    nvidia video card, I *think*. He showed me the box briefly, and I'm pretty sure it was a Nvidia. He said he wants me to have it a 256 MB for sure though.
    160 GB hard drive
    DVD-RW
    speakers and all that junk
    XP

    Coming to $900 canadian after all taxes and stuff. Any thoughts?
    quote>
    Yeah, get AMD instead. AMD has more bang-for-buck than Intel. I've heard the Athlon 64 3200+ (Socket 939) is a great processor for a low price ($170USD at newegg.com). Socket 754 motherboards have the cheaper Semprons (typically around $100USD) and lower end Athlon 64s (up to 3400+, I believe), but the Socket 939 will leave you a lot of room to upgrade.

    for the video card, I would stay away from Radeon or the nVidia FX or 6200 series. The 6600GT (normally around $120USD) is probably the best bang-for-buck card. If you want a bit more power, the 6800GS is also great. They run for around $170USD.

    Other than that, everything else looks great! Are you getting a new monitor, or are you using an old one?

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  • Original Poster
  • He did ask me if I wanted AMD or Intel, but honestly don't know which is better and whatnot, so he told me I should go for the Intel one. What is it that makes AMD better than Intel, exactly?
    I'm not sure about the monitor, the one I have is a beastly CRT one, and I was thinking of getting a nice flatscreen LCD one depending on how much money I have left.

    Shadow Assasin- You play NWN online at all?

    Sloppet- 2GB? Any reason why? Just so I'm ahead? 2.gif

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    2 gb of ram.. let's see... for example I've read somewhere that the new vista will need atleast 1gb of ram (so 2 is better..) + the games are always running better on more ram (i know what you will say - they run better (faster) on a better processor etc. etc., but we're takin' about ram...)

    and for sc4 it's also better to have more ram... Atleast I would take the 2 gigs of ram, if I were u 44.gif

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  • Original Poster
  • Mm, I guess you have a point. I don't think I'll be getting Vista for a while though, so no need to worry about that (yet). I do have an extra $500 that I could spend though I was thinking of using that for a new monitor.

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    Don't worry about getting Vista.  Despite MS's efforts, it will probably be riddled with security holes when it launches.  I wouldn't worry about the extra gig of RAM as it cost's more than $100 US dollars for that extra gig.  I'd probably use it for a flat screen as the rest of your prospective computer sounds pretty good.

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  • Original Poster
  • Yeah, any operating system that makes you upgrade the average system doesn't sound like it's worth getting. At least until the requirements are average. 2.gif

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    AMDs tend to be quicker than Intel CPUs in their price range. They also rely on efficient, newer CPU architecture for speed, while Intel relies on clock power to increase performance between processors. AMD also has the Cool 'n Quiet technology. What that basically does is underclock your processor when you don't need it at full speed. For example, as I type this, my CPU, an Athlon 64 3700+, is running at 974MHz. When I start up a CPU intensive program, like SimCity 4 or CounterStrike: Source, it will bring itself up to the full speed (in my case 2.2GHz). AMD also has a cooler logo and case sticker than Intel. 3.gif

    I wouldn't bother with 2GBs of RAM yet. Battlefield 2 is the only game I can think of that would benefit from more than 1GB of RAM, but the advantage is gone if you have 256MB of dedicated video card memory.

    I would also wait on Vista. XP seems just fine to me. No reason to feed the great monster that is Microsoft so soon.

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  • Original Poster
  • Lol, the logo makes everything better.5.gif
    So the generaly consensus seems to be switch to AMD then?40.gif

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    YES!! I have a AMD Athlon 2000 (it's 1,7 GHz) - it's a over two year processor and I don't have any problems with it... ?And it's better than Celeron, for sure... but pentium... Well, if you compare the new AMD and Pentium (by intel) processors, you would easily see that AMD is better in many ways...
    Choose AMD 44.gif

    22.gif

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  • Original Poster
  • Ok I'll ask him about AMD next time I go in to order it, see what he thinks. 2.gif

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    DEFINATELY go with AMD. Heres an easy trick to compair the preformance of an AMD to an Intel: AMD's always have a number after them 3200, 3000, 3800 ect. An AMD 64 3200 is the equivilant of a 3.2ghz P4. An AMD 64 3800 is the equivalent of a 3.8ghz Intel, and an AMD 4000 is the equivalent to a 4.0ghz Intel.

    So, you would be getting slightly more speed with an AMD 3200, and AMD is usually cheaper than Intel.

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    Date: 2/20/2006 6:04:48 PM Author: MayorTim DEFINATELY go with AMD. Heres an easy trick to compair the preformance of an AMD to an Intel: AMD's always have a number after them 3200, 3000, 3800 ect. An AMD 64 3200 is the equivilant of a 3.2ghz P4. An AMD 64 3800 is the equivalent of a 3.8ghz Intel, and an AMD 4000 is the equivalent to a 4.0ghz Intel. So, you would be getting slightly more speed with an AMD 3200, and AMD is usually cheaper than Intel.
    quote>

    Intel doesn't have anything over 3.8GHz.10.gif

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  • Original Poster
  • Ooh, so AMD really would be the way to go if I were to get a top of the line one. 2.gif

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    Date: 2/20/2006 8:25:45 PM
    Author: SamFlash

    Intel doesn't have anything over 3.8GHz.10.gif

    quote>

    True, and I'm sure AMD exaggurated their comparison a bit, But The example was that if you had a P4 running at 4ghz, it would be able to process data as fast as an AMD 4000. A P4 at 3.8ghz = AMD 3800 ect.

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    if you had a P4 running at 4ghz, it would be able to process data as fast as an AMD 4000. A P4 at 3.8ghz = AMD 3800 ect.
    quote>

    That's not necessarily true. Pentiums excel mostly at high-end activities, but will always be beaten by AMD, simply because they're excellent all-rounders.

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    <B>Athlon Vs Intel: </B>Intel was left behind in the dust as the New Atholn 64's were put on the market. An Athlon running at 2ghz is faster than a P4 at 3ghz. and thats on the old processors.

    Not only are Athlons Faster, there also cheaper and more reliable. They also have the memory controler onboard so that anything which uses the system memory(RAM) will run faster. Intel has their on the motherboard.
     
    IMO, the only reason to buy Intel is if you want to pay more for less(to be able to brag about how much mony you paid for your system or whatever). Id say go AMD, NMW! Even Semprons/Opertons are better than their intel equavilents.
     
    <B>Ati Vs Nvidia: </B>This is more of a preferance, as i said earlier, Ati is better at D3d games, Nvida at OpenGL.
    Highend(~1000USD) I belive Nvida has a 1% edge, However in the Mid/Low ranges Ati has the edge, and usualy by quite much, due to more pipelines and faster cores.
     
    Unless your buying an X850XT/6600GT or newer models of grapics cards its useless to have 256mb of memory on them. why? because there to slow to run that ammount of memory efficently anyway. (It is a trick to get people to pay more for a card that the numbers are better on but preformance is lower... freeking capitalism...)
     
    Id say get a decent RAM stick instead of a 256mb graphics card, since it will have a greater impact on preformance having an extra gb of memory in the system rather than 128 extra on the graphics card. Graphics cards can borrow system memory aswell if they need to.
     
     
    Sorry... gtg now, school calling...
     
    Cheers
    //Sim

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  • Original Poster
  • Hmm, ok. Of course, I do have the money to burn on a top notch graphics card. 2.gif
    Thanks for all the tips guys, I'm probably going in to order it tomorrow or the next day so I'll keep all this stuff in mind. 1.gif

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    Take a look at my system specs, add another 6600GT and another gig of RAM and you have a great system. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a faster processor, though.
     
    Make sure that when you buy hard drives you buy 7200RPM SATAII. They are much faster than IDE. If you get two SATAII hard drives you can do a RAID0 raid array and get double performance.

    My system values at around $1000 US.

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    Date: 2/22/2006 10:09:57 PM
    Author: General Gunfire
    Take a look at my system specs, add another 6600GT and another gig of RAM and you have a great system. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a faster processor, though.

    Make sure that when you buy hard drives you buy 7200RPM SATAII. They are much faster than IDE. If you get two SATAII hard drives you can do a RAID0 raid array and get double performance.

    My system values at around $1000 US.

    quote>

    Raid0... yeah, ive lost about 500gb of data and 2 harddrives using that, better off just having em seperated that way you only lose half of what you have stored if one breaks.

    If your gonna raid make it Raid5, best both preformance and saftey ways. though you need 4 identical drives for it to fuction.(400% preformance 75% storage, of the total of the drives)

    But Sata2 is a very good things indeed, and just plain sata. IDE drives should die like floppies ^^

    Though its quite overkill to have 2 graphics cards, sure, if your gonna play a lot of TES4:Oblivion or show off with the system it might be worth it, otherwise its better to wait and upgrade the card to a halfdecent one again in 2-3 years.

    Good luck with ordering now 1.gif hope your ordering it from a place with good rep ^^ know of quite a few poeple that have gotten home Monday-issues when it comes to pc-hardware. that is hardware that dosnt preform close to as well as an exactly the same product that isnt a monday-issue.

    Cheers
    //Sim

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