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Old 09-25-2008, 01:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about compatibility + recommendations

Hey ya'll. I'm new to these forums and have a question I'm sure most of ya'll have had to answer for yourself or others at some point. Here goes...

My current gaming rig is about 2 years old, give or take. I had it built at a local computer store after picking out my parts. I'll try to sum up the main components as to the best of my ability:

Motherboard: Asus A8V (all I could figure out/all box said =P)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT 128mb AGP (or whichever isn't the PCI-E)
Memory: 2x512mb sticks at whichever speed is req. for 64bit processor
Storage: 80gb WD; 250gb WD (both not SATA)
Monitor: Dell 2405FPW (the 24in widescreen that I run at 1920x1200)

Now the first things that ran through my head is that I'll need a new motherboard to support a new video card that is running PCI-E x16 or PC-E 2.0 x16 for obvious reasons. So what I'll do is hop on newegg.com and just kinda scratch my head trying to figure out what the **** is the difference.

What I can do is tell you what I'm looking to do in terms upgrades (short-term and long-term). For now I only plan on running 1 video card with 512mb of video memory with the option to add another. This seems like the best option as I'm not setting out to play the best games on the highest graphic settings.

Addition head-scratching comes when I wonder if I should upgrade to a duel-core processor from my AMD Athlon 64 3500+. Will the motherboard I get still be able to support the athlon 64 socket and also future AMD CPU upgrades?

The way I see it, my RAM upgrade should be quite straightforward - get 2x1gb sticks instead of the 2x512mb sticks and I should be good. Any other suggestions on this note will be taken.

The final compatibility question I have is whether or not I can still get a new motherboard that still works with my current non-SATA harddrives. Is there a way around that, such as an adapter? Or are most motherboards gonna force me to upgrade my harddrives? Or am I just stupid and they are backwards compatible or something =P.

I also wanted to mention that I plan on playing Warhammer Online, as with my current setup, I can barley run it on it's lowest settings, which is no fun at all. I used to be able to play World of Warcraftover a year and a half ago. And please do not base the maturity of your responses based on my choice of games =P

Thank you for taking the time to look over my issues and thanks in advance for responses!

Kurt
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

hi kurt, welcome to tech forums.
if you are going to stick with AMD:
x2 5400 black edition dual core
790fx mobo
hd4850 video card
2-4gb decent ddr2 800
and probably a new PSU (the 5400 has a combo deal)
and an aftermarket heatsink/fan if you plan on overclocking (you should, the 5400 is a good overclocker).
most current mobos will have IDE interface for your HDDs, for example, this MSI does:
Newegg.com - MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards
and will support up to 4 graphics cards.

and yes it is the newer mobo that "should" support AM3.

if you want to go intel:
e5200 or 7200 dual core
same graphics card
same ram
same PSU
a p45 or x48 mobo, the p45 typically being a little cheaper and a better overclocker. both will support at least 2 graphics cards.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

Thanks for the reply nagasama!

It's been awhile since I've been looking around for med-high range hardward for my computer and I'm just baffled at how much cheaper good stuff has gotten, like 4gb of memory for $100 or less, or a 512mb vid card for less than $200! I've already compiled my list from your suggestions.

motherboard
Newegg.com - MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

video card
Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

CPU
Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Processors - Desktops

memory
Newegg.com - CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

At the current prices, that comes out to about $472, which is pretty awesome =P.

I do currently have a 420w PSU. Would that be straight up insufficient for the new additions? If not, what kind of PSU should I look into, other than the combo deal as that puts me in more of a rush to buy mode, which I'd rather avoid.

Thanks again for all the input =P

*Edit*
I just googled 'pc power calculator' and pretty accuratly put in my stats with the upgrades and it's recommending around 300w is all I need. So I guess I'm asking again if it is a must to upgrade my power supply. I don't plan on overclocking or adding another video card for awhile.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

id go ahead and upgrade the PSU as well, yes. a corsair 450vx will suffice, a corsair 550vx would give you some headroom.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

one last question before I newegg order my stuff that I listed above pretty much as is...

Will it work with XP? =P
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

swap the mobo for a 790gx like this one, its better
Newegg.com - BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

you can spend about 15 more and get crossfire support of you want it.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by baron5 View Post
swap the mobo for a 790gx like this one, its better
Newegg.com - BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

you can spend about 15 more and get crossfire support of you want it.
So are you saying, get this mobo instead and add a 2nd 4850 for only $15 more? lol I didnt do the math yet =P
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

yes that is a good mobo, i dont know anything about the MSI, i was just giving you an example of a mobo with and IDE connector.
yes it will work with XP. but a better question is, why use XP on a new build?
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagasama View Post
yes that is a good mobo, i dont know anything about the MSI, i was just giving you an example of a mobo with and IDE connector.
yes it will work with XP. but a better question is, why use XP on a new build?
Well i guess i never really consitered upgrading to vista since i've heard mixed reviews. The way I see it, the sooner I get it, the sooner i get used to it =P. Plus with the new hardward, Vista should run with ease, right?

So on that note, since I'll probaly need to reformat my 80gb harddrive with the installation of the new mobo, should I just get the full version of Vista? Or on that matter, should I get Ultimate and the 64bit version?
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about compatibility + recommendations

if you're gonna reformat anyway, i'd suggest getting a new sata drive as they can be found for like 70 bucks on the egg. and get 64bit, but all you need is home premium as ultimate really offers not a whole lot more.
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