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Old 12-22-2005, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A budget machine for gaming

Hello everyone

I am looking to build a new computer for general purpose useage as well as gaming...within a tight budget.

I shopped around a lot of places, including tiger direct, CWO, Factory Direct (Canadian, especially GTA retailers) and my choices are the following:

AMD Athlon 3500 64-bit OEM 939 socket ($195 CDN)
AMD Athlon 3000 64-bit 939 socket Venice Core ($152 CDN)

Asus A8N-E (PCI Express) ($112 CDN)
Asus A8V (AGP 8X) ($92 CDN)

Kingston 1GB (2 x 512) Dual Channel DDR2 ($120 CDN)
1GB (1 x 1024) PC-3200 DDR2 ($82 CDN)

Video Card
ATI Radeon X600PRO 256MB PCI Express (PCI Express) ($96 CDN)
ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB DDR TV DVI (AGP 8x) ($100 CDN)

Those are the things that I have some questions about. I originally want to go for the first options (AMD 64 3500, A8N-E, Kingston Dual Channel DDR2, Radeon X600 Pro), but I think some expert opinions would greately help me.[list=1][*]Which processor should I get? If they are both good, which one has a better value for the price?[*]Which motherboard should I get? I read some good reviews about both of them, and my only concern with the boards is the support for PCI Express or AGP 8X. If AGP 8X interface is better for graphics cards than PCI Express, I'll go with AGP...and vise virsa[*]Which RAM should I go for? Is the dual channel really worth the extra 40 dollars? I think the PC-3200 RAM is just some unknown brand. Also, is DDR2 compatible with AMD 64s? Or do I have to go for DDR?[*]Now...lol, which video card should I go for? They are both kind of old, but should let me play Call of Duty 2 with all the snow effects on.[/list=1]

If you think none of the 2 graphics card are good, here is a list with prices, and be kind enough to suggest me one under or around $150

Your support would be greately appreciated.

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Old 12-22-2005, 02:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For one thing, PCI-Express is the best of the interfaces. AGP is being killed off rapidly. Second, don't get either one of those cards. Neither one of those will play Call of Duty 2 with the effects on. According to Gamespot, you need a minimum of a Radeon X700 Pro to play the game with DX9 effects. The cards you listed are way beneath that X700 Pro minimum. Get the 6600 GT from Nvidia. It should get you by at 800x600 or maybe 1024x768.

One last thing, DDR2 is not compatable with AMD. Get yourself regular PC3200, just value stuff to save money.

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Old 12-22-2005, 05:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, like bandwidthehogg said, the video card needs to be changed and the RAM needs to be DDR. If you decide to go the route with the 3500+, since its OEM your going to need to buy a HSF. Do you already have case and power supply picked out? Hope this helps.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you shuold get the MSI K8N NEO4-F and a 6600GT get the 3000+ and save money.

youi cant use DDR2 with AMD, get some cheap DDR corsair valueselect
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have an radeon x300 integrated with my laptop (thinkpad, 1gb, 1.7 GHz Centrino) and it plays COD2 at over 60 FPS without DX9 effects on. When i turn them on, the frame rate drops to around 25 FPS. So I thought you know may be a better processor, more video memory might help out.

I can get MSI NX 6600GT (128 MB, PCI Express) instead of those cards. But my only concern is the video memory. Lol, I am still in the days where a better graphics card was the one with more video memory. But this one seems to have a lot of advanced features like SLI, 64-bit shading etc.

As for RAM, how about these Corsair Value Select Dual Channel 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory? All of you are suggesting regular DDR but I've heard a lot of good things about dual channel RAM as well...so I was wondering if the difference is exponential

thebleakness, what is HSF and whats the difference between regular and OEM processors? And yah, I have picked out the case already (just a standard, regular case) but I have yet to pick a PSU. That will be the last thing I will get. I got a 200 gig HDD, 17" LCD monitor too...and the whole computer is gonna cost under $800 CDN, which is like $680 US.

Thank you very much for your suggestions and replies...greately appreciated
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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An HSF is a heatsink fan; it's the assembly that cools the proc. If you buy OEM, you're just getting the processor. But if you buy the proc retail, you get the processor AND a stock heatsink fan.


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