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Old 07-15-2006, 07:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying Computer - Some Questions

Hi everyone, I'm buying a new computer and I've come to several tough choices so I'd like to hear your opinion. Bear in mind that I live in Mexico and that some parts are hard to get.

So far the system goes as follows:

Athlon 64bits 3200+ socket 939
-OR-
Athlon X2 64bits 3800+ socket 939
(to dual-core or not to dual-core =P)

Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI socket 939
(I can only get Gigabyte, ECS and PCChips motheboards... but fortunately they have a large assortment, so you can suggest things like a GA-K8NXP-SLI if you think it's better)

Radeon X800GTO 256MB PCIe
-OR-
GeForce 6600GT 128MB PCIe
(pretty much the best they sell)

1GB DDR Kingston PC3200 (400MHZ)

250GB Seagate SATA

The main two choices are with the processor and the video card. Although I'm a gamer, recently I don't play as much as I used to, so I'm not aiming for an excessive system, just enough to give me decent performance in games like FEAR and FarCry.

For the microprocessor, the question is whether the Athlon X2 3800+ provides a serious performance boost over the Athlon 64 3200+ in general computer usage. If it does, then I might pay the extra US$200 for the dual-core version. So is it worth it?

For the video card, I've done a lot of research and I just can't decide whether to go for the GeForce 6600GT or the Radeon X800GTO. I'm starting to think the X800GTO is superior, but I'm not sure. A third option would be a X1600Pro with 512MB (sounds like a lot), but that's about it (no 6800s sadly, not to mention GF7000s or X1700s).

Any other suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2006, 07:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Athlon X2 64bits 3800+ socket 939
(to dual-core or not to dual-core =P)

wait a couple of week though to see what AMD is gonna do with their price drops... it might save you some money.

X1600Pro with 512MB

GA-K8NXP-SLI

Then your ram, hard drive, and don't forget a good PSU to go with that... another part you don't want to skimp on... it's worth the extra money to get a good solid performing PSU.
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply.

Waiting to see if the prices of X2 processors drop is a good idea. They are in the sky right now. Dual core sure sounds nice for my usual activity, which involves running several apps at the same time (MATLAB + Scientific Workplace being a good example).

As for the video card, are you sure? 512MB seems a lot but it's DDR2 as opposed to GDDR3 for the other two vcards, so it means it's 128bit as opposed to 256bit, I believe. It all comes down to what's better: double the ram at half the bandwidth, or the other way around? What made you go for the X1600?

Concerning the motherboard, I think the only real difference between K8N and K8NXP is the presence of heatsink/fan on the chipset, respectively. It's US$50 I could save by chosing the heatsink.

Finally, as for the PSU my choices are limited (it's hard to get brand PSUs). Right now I'm thinking a generic 400W PSU. Will that do?
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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obviously you get what's within your budget... but in doing some more research... the 1600 albeit a better card... is only half of the other one in reality... go for the 6600...

I like the mobo personally, but if it saves you money and it's really not needed for you then go for the other one.

When you pick a PSU... if you can do it first hand... the heavier the PSU (generically) the better it is... I know it sounds stupid, but it's true. If not then a 400-450 should be good... then later on if needed you can upgrade if you find a better one.
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for your comments.

I think everything's settled except the video card. Let's see if more people give their opinion later on. My options are, with full specs:

-PowerColor Radeon X1600Pro 512MB DDR2 128bit (500Mhz core, 400Mhz(x2) memory, 12 pipelines)

-PowerColor Radeon X800GTO 256 MB GDDR3 256 bit (400Mhz core, 490Mhz(x2) memory, 12 pipelines)

-Gigabyte GeForce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 128 bit (500Mhz core, 500Mhz(x2) memory, 8 pipelines)

The prices are comparable so it's not an issue. Which card is better for this system and why?
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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are you going for a crossfire setup? also, what kind of budget are you on.. ill look up the prices of the cards soon just give me a sec :P
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nah, Crossfire or SLI is probably too much for me. My budget is around US$1,000 but I can go a bit over that. However, I just need advice on which to choose from those three cards.
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ah well go for that more expensive ATI one and then you might be able to cut the price of your HDD. if you need it of course. or, maybe you could find a geforce like that gigabyte you were showing but then up it to 256 if you can. should cost like 10 bucks maybe. good choice on amd socket 939 btw
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Which ATI card do you mean, the X800GTO or the X1600Pro? Price is not an issue, by the way, I just want to know which card performs better.
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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on second thought, you should go for the second one. I didnt do my reasearch, sorry. I really hope you didnt buy it yet, cause i'd feel like a dumbassx5000 D:

googled ftw.. thats where I got the choice from.

most people that were having the same issues as you said to go with
gto.. but then someone brought up the point about pixel shaders

1600 has 3.0 pixelshaders and gto has 2.0... im looking up what this means exactly right now

"notebookreview.com forums":

some peoples insight: "If the flash to 16 pipelines works, definitly go with the X800GTO it will be quite a bit faster than the X1600. Both are great cards and you can't go wrong with either."

then I also saw that the X800GTO was AGP.. not sure if the other card was PCI-e x16
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