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Old 01-14-2007, 12:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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at this point on such a tight budget for that kinda build i would say even get less ram and put the money into the vid card and then save up for the other stick of ram. your not going to be happy with that video card.

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Old 01-14-2007, 09:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I am sorry, but I have to say it... with your budget, you should really look into something OTHER than a C2D....

Other areas that need attention:

Thermal paste... the one you are looking to get is crap.
HERE is what you should be getting, ESPECIALLY when you consider that the CPU is nearly $200 alone. I speak from experience... DON'T COP OUT TO SAVE A BUCK OR TWO. Get the Arctic Silver. Also, don't cop out on a cheapo PSU... Every component in the PC relies on the PSU to provide stable power. if it doesn't, there goes the rig.

Case: Antec SLK3800B w/ Smart Power 400 PSU - $84.99
CPU: AMD 64 X2 3800+(65W) - $133.00 (until 01/31/07)
Motherboard: DFI C51PV-M2/G Infinity - $93.99 (onboard VGA & DVI)
RAM: Mushkin 512MB DDR2 533 - $73.99 (Timing 3-3-3-9)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 80 GB SATA 3.0G/s - $44.99
Burner: Sony DVD+/-RW - $29.99
Thermal Paste: AS5 - $5.99

Total: $466.94 BEFORE shipping.

This puts you just under budget after shipping, and give you a few extra bucks to save up for a better video card. Don't bother with that 7100.... you would be just as good using onboard video.

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Old 01-14-2007, 08:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Here's some more:

Is it really worth it to spend 60% more for the 7300GT? Is it worth it to sacrafice 128MB onboard to get the non turbocached (the 7300LE)?
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes it is, even if you don't game that much. Turbocaching is going to steal ram away from your system and that affects performance in other areas besides games. And because the ram is shared rather than dedicated gaming performance does suffer. The 7100 is hardly better than integrated graphics and there's not a huge jump in performance until you get a fully dedicated card. It's worth it.

Check out these cards, best for the money if you're going to stick to the C2D (I still receommend something lower to get a better system over all)...

Probably the x700 is the best bet here
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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A 7300GT is enough to run most modern games, but don't expect high settings (forget about soft shadows and 4X anti-aliasing). Still, you'll be able to play the games. A friend played FEAR with his Radeon 9550. He had most things on low quality, but unless you're an eye-candy freak, you'll still enjoy the game (there's no time to look at the pretty soft, dynamic shadows when you're in the middle of a firefight ).

I wouldn't go below 7300GS/X1600 , though. You risk not being able to play things. Also, I recommend 1GB of RAM. With 512MB you'll be short on many occasions. Of course, you can buy 512MB now and buy the other 512MB later on when you save more money. Ethereal_Dragon's build is a good starting place.

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Old 01-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well, we're not going to be playing anything like FEAR. The most intensive game we will use this for will probably be around the lines of Age of Empires 3. Also, we might be doing some things like using photoshop or minor video editing, but we'd still like a 7 or x1K gen card.

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