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Old 12-10-2006, 12:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Major upgrade, need some advice

I have a SB X-Fi, a couple of SATA hard drives and a case that I like. Everything else needs to be replaced. Thanks a lot in advance for the help.

I'm going to use this thing to play games. Ideally, it would last me 1.5 or 2 years and still be able to pull the latest games, just not at high settings. I don't really want to spend more than $1000, but I'm willing to go higher for a significant boost in performance/longevity.

Here's what I found so far:

BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX - $80

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - $180

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M sharing L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - $180

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX - $140

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel - $240

Video Card:
eVGA Geforce 7900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - $216

I have 3 main concerns:

I've seen posts that say that the Intel Core 2 Duo is outperforming the comparable AMD dual-core processors. What do you guys think? Also, the Core 2 Duo is 64-bit, right? I'm looking forward to using Vista and some specific 64-bit software in the future, so I just want to be sure.

I've been out of the market for video cards for about 2 years and I don't know crap. I hear NVIDIA's kicking ATI's *** these days and I also hear the 7900GT is a pretty good card and doesn't cost too much. Would you guys suggest something else that doesn't cost TOO much more?

Will my 450W Antec Purepower handle the above plus a couple of HDs, 2 DVD burners and a SB X-Fi, or should I get something with a little more juice?

Oh, and does anyone know why the AMD-compatible mobos cost less than really similar boards for Intel processors? I'm just curious.

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Old 12-10-2006, 12:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yes the core 2 duo is 64 bit and it can outperform the amd X2's. but it also depends which core 2 duo u get. there might be an X2 that can outperform the e6300. you should get at least 500w for the c2d system. although it might work with your 450w purepower. but it will be close. the new c2d's uses less power than other proccessors. the core 2 duo uses about 65w as other proccessors use about 80w. correct me if i am wrong. intel CORE 2 DUO motherboards cost more because the chipset costs more. there are not too many chipsets that support core 2 duos.


MacBook 2.2GHz Santa Rosa | 120GB HDD | 4GB ram
Intel C2D E6300 @ 3.2GHz | 4GB ram | 880GB total HDD space | Gigabyte P965-DS3 | eVGA 8800GTS 640mb | Corsair HX 520 | Audigy 2 ZS platnium | Antec 900
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, so I just looked up some benchmark tests for the Athlon 64 X2 and the Core 2 Duo and it looks like the C2D blows the Athlon out of the water. So it looks like I'm going to leave my old friend AMD.

Can anyone else offer any advice on anything from my original post?

Is the video card that I found the best for the $250ish range?

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Old 12-11-2006, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm having some second thoughts about the video card. Which of the following 3 would you say makes the most sense in tems of bang for the buck?

eVGA Geforce 7900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3
eVGA Geforce 7950GT KO 512MB GDDR3
eVGA GeForce 7950GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 KO Superclocked

I heard that eVGA is better than XFX, so thats why I'm sticking with it. Feel free to tell me that I'm wrong if you think that I am.
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