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Old 12-11-2004, 07:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building P4 gaming system -- myriad of questions

I'm giving my current computer to my mother and have about $750 (before tax and shipping) to play with for a new build for myself (everything but OS and monitor). I am very much a newbie and could use some help. Here's what I have:

865 based Motherboard -- $96
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

P4 Northwood 2.4c CPU -- $142
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

2 x 256MB of DDR400 RAM -- $76
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

Radeon 9800 AIW pro (includes HL2) -- $254
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

hard disk -- $59
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

burner -- $56.99
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

case and power supply -- $59.50
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

keyboard -- $19.50
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

floppy -- $7.00
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...factory=BROWSE

So using these parts my system will cost $769, but I hope will be one screaming machine with fast perfornance right out of the box and even more with potential for overclocking.

So how does this system look? Is everything compatible? Suitable for a first-time builder? Should I be buying more expensive (or cheaper) RAM? Should I be using 1 stick of 512mb or am I better with 2x256mb? Is SATA HD a smart choice? Will the Mobo fit in my case nicely? Have I missed anything? My selection process at newegg seemed sorta arbitrary (so many choices!!) so maybe my configuration could be improved? Any suggestions for shaving a dollar or two or getting more bang for the buck? Thanks!!!
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

OK, I think I at least figured out that 2 sticks of 256MB is the way to go because my motherboard supports dual channel. Is that right? Hopefully I got everything else right as well because I think I'm going to order this stuff on Monday.
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Definately go AMD for gaming... For your budget this CPU- http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...103-439&depa=0

And this motherboard- http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...127-166&depa=0

Now you may be thinking this is a downgrade, but the overlcocking capabilities of this combo it phenominal. Some people have gotten up to speeds of 2.7ghz! That is alot faster than your setup you chose above. The reason it can accomplish this is because it is a mobile processor, so it uses much less power which in turn means much less heat which allows for some major overclockage. Remember that this AMD cpu is, at stock, equal to the cpu above, so when overclocked it is equal to a 3.2ghz intel or faster...

You will need a heatsink because it doesn't come with one... This one will work great- http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...106-037&depa=0
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry, I should have added that I want to stay with an Intel-based system. AMD is intriguing and I know it provides more value for the dollar for gaming, but I just can't do it.
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Also consider getting this video card instead of the one above- http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...150-080&depa=0

It is built using much newer technology and will give you better performance. It doesn't come with HL2 but that's okay...
That hdd looks good... The vid card and stuff I posted above will make a kickass system.. Everything else looks good as well, that memory will work good too.
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by crud_tud
Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry, I should have added that I want to stay with an Intel-based system. AMD is intriguing and I know it provides more value for the dollar for gaming, but I just can't do it.
May I ask why?
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Old 12-11-2004, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sure. In addition to games, I also need to use the computer for loads of office applications (heavy excel use, lots of multitasking with many windows open, etc..). My impression based on research was that the intel platform is more stable for that type of use.
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Old 12-11-2004, 12:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Forgot to add that I will definitely take a close look at the 6600GT. I've read good things about it before, but it seems like the radeon 9800 pro has so many fans here. I actually owned one for a week last month (returned it when I decided to buy a whole new computer setup), and it was great.
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Old 12-11-2004, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The system I suggested is still so much faster than the one you chose that it will perform those tasks better as well. In most of those case where they say Intel is better for Multitasking and AMD is better for Gaming, they are using comparible systems. Like the AMD64 and The Prescott's with HT. With the system I suggested, you will do anything you want with ease.
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Old 12-11-2004, 12:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if you look at the benchmarks, you'll see that the 6600gt easily beats the 9800 in pretty much every test, for pretty much the same price
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