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Need verification of specs for a new gaming machine

#1 User is offline   137th Gebirg Icon

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  Posted 27 October 2006 - 11:25 AM

Hey, all. In anticipation of the CPU-crushing Star Trek: Legacy and other new games, I've decided to upgrade the old abacus. Knowing the devil is in the details, and knowing that CPU's aren't always compatible with certain motherboards, I've decided to ask the opinions of those who may be more adept at understanding the ins-and-outs of CPU frequency harmonics and all that happy stuff. Here's what I plan on getting:
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Venice 2.2GHz Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3400DAA4BY
  • CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) System Memory Model VS1GB400C3
  • ASUS EAX1600PRO/TD/256M Radeon X1600PRO 256MB GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card
I've looked at benchmark charts for these things and they all seem to be upper-mid-range when it comes to the latest and greatest. I'm not looking for an AlienWare, but I am looking at improving over my 5-year-old Intel Celeron 1.3 GHz machine. I already have a case, power supply, sound card and drives. I'm only replacing the main computing components. I know these specs meet or exceed what is required for Legacy and other games nowadays, but my primary concern is: will the CPU and memory DIMMs work with this motherboard? It is an "AMD Compatible" motherboard, but is it compatible with this particular CPU? Any CONSTRUCTIVE input appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
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#2 User is offline   RogueEntity Icon

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 05:39 PM

Well, for the latest "CPU Crushing" games, there are only two CPU's I would suggest in order of preference. The Intel Core 2 Duo (2.4-2.6GHz or higher). The AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ or the Athlon FX60. Next is the RAM, it doesnt matter what RAM you get as long as it matches what your motherboard can accept, what matters is how much. Try and get between 1 and 2GB.
Last then, and very important, is the motherboard. All motherboards you will get now will be SATA boards, SATA is a new type of interface for connecting Hard Drives and the like. These will have the older PATA connectors for your older Hard Drive, but if you have some cash left over, you could always get a decently sized SATA drive and keep the older one to run windows on and install all your games and the like to the larger SATA drive.

I couldnt say what motherboard to get, but if you go to Komplett.ie, click Mainboards (under componants) and click AMD 939 for the Athlon chip or Intel 775 for the C2D. This site, while listing everything in €'s will give you a good selection of boards with the full details for each one, and what processors and RAM it can take. Pick one you like and google it, google will show other sites that sell it and you may be able to find a site that sells them in your area.

Oh, and then there is the graphics cards, the one you chose is a good card, I have the very one in my Macbook Pro smile.gif

There is one problem though. I assume your PC has Windows, and I assume it came with your PC, legally (this is a grey area) you cannot use the same copy of windows on your new PC so you will have to buy a new copy. If you have XP, then you will have no choice because it wont activate on your new machine once you have replaced the MB. You will probably have to buy a new copy, however, if you bought a retail version of Windows, you can install away on the new machine with no problems. The other problem is that unless you built this PC yourself (say if you got a Dell) you may not be able to install the new componants into the case, I know for a fact that Dell cases are specific to Dell motherboards and no other board will fit into them. The same is true for Compaq, HP and a few others. All said and done, you may end up having to buy a new case, but your old drives and the like will fit into that without hassle.

If you can tell me more about your old system, I can advise you better.
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#3 User is offline   ticktrek Icon

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 12:22 AM

If you do need to buy a new version of Windows XP, you can get it cheaper by purchasing on OEM version. I got one from Tigerdirect for half of what the boxed version costs in the store.

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#4 User is offline   RogueEntity Icon

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (ticktrek @ Oct 28 2006, 06:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you do need to buy a new version of Windows XP, you can get it cheaper by purchasing on OEM version. I got one from Tigerdirect for half of what the boxed version costs in the store.

The OEM version is what he would be using already, and it will be locked to this new machine configuration. So, if he sells the old motherboard/processor/ram combination, he can sell the XP licence with it as well. You can get OEM copies of windows.. but you are supposed to buy them with new hardware. And MS changed the licence recently so it may get harder if not impossible to buy OEM copies of Windows anymore wink.gif
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#5 User is offline   JohnBart_HUN Icon

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 06:56 PM

QUOTE (ticktrek @ Oct 28 2006, 07:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you do need to buy a new version of Windows XP, you can get it cheaper by purchasing on OEM version. I got one from Tigerdirect for half of what the boxed version costs in the store.


Or you can get it also from Prometheus... biggrin.gif


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#6 User is offline   JohnBart_HUN Icon

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:22 PM

QUOTE (137th Gebirg @ Oct 27 2006, 06:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[*]ASUS EAX1600PRO/TD/256M Radeon X1600PRO 256MB GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card


Well, I know that I'm a bit late, and I don't know whether you have bought your machine or not... Anyway, I have recently made a thorough research among video cards.
The Radeon X1600/X1650 series is really good. But their price/performance is ratio is not as good as in the case of the Geforce 7600GT as I've read. Most games right now run better on the 7600GT, and it is generally also somewhat cheaper than the Radeon series.

In a nutshell: I recommend a 7600GT instead of an ATi right now. The previous series of ATi cards was perfect, the one BEFORE them was even better (I still have a 9600XT), but in most tests (made with games such as F.E.A.R, Legacy, NFS: Most Wanted & Carbon) the 7600GS & GT usually (BUT not always) outrank the ATi cards of the same category.


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