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Old 12-28-2005, 02:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrades for $1000

OK, guys, I just purchased this rig from my friend for $1000. My original budget was $2000, and I want this computer to be an Ultimate Gaming Computer (or as close to it as I can get anyway), so tell me what to do with the remaining one grand. Right now, my plan is to up the RAM to 4GB (3 more 1 gig sticks) and switch out the current GPU for the Radeon X1800XT 512MB or the BFG 7800GTX 512MB. I don't want to do SLI/Crossfire because I don't have the money and I don't want to spend that much with Directx10 less than a year away....

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Current Specs:
Processor: AMD Opteron 144, stock 1.8 GHz, running at 2.7 GHz

Motherboard: MSI Neo4-F Socket 939, PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, nForce 4 chipset

RAM: 1 GB G.SKILL DDR500 (Timings: 3-4-4-8-1T @ DDR490)

Video Card: connect3D X800 GTO, modified to X800XL (PCI Express x16)

Hard Drives: [2x] 80 GB Hitachi SATA, RAID 0 (Striped)

Optical Drive: NEC DVD Burner, Black

Floppy Drive: NEC Black

Power Supply: OCZ Modstream 450W modular

Case: Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid Tower

OS: Windows XP Professional

Benchmarks:
---Super Pi 1.4 with validation: 34.9 seconds (1 million digits)
FD7CD6ED (http://superpi.radeonx.com)
---Aquamark 3: 77,000
---3DMark05: 6200
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Seems like my limiting factor is the CPU...anyway, tell me what you think...Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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should have just built from scratch but anyway. you wont need 4 gb's of ram. It wont hurt but it wont help. And get the 7800gtx 512 mb not the x1800xt, also is AMD Opteron 144 a gaming cpu and is it a dual core one? Maybe a new psu sence the one you have only has 26a going to the 12v.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Definately go with the 7800gtx 512 if you feel the need to get the best available right now. Still you might want to consider a plain ol 7800gt to save a bunch of cash and still get a great card that you could OC a bit. Then get a 550 watt PSU. Do you have a good monitor? this is all worthless if you don't have a good monitor to display it.

I agree with JFlo 4 gigs is overkill, just get 1 more gig to make it 2. That is excellent for all games out right now and can be OCed better.

With the saved money from less ram, possibly the other vid card you could get yourself a new CPU. I am afraid I don't know much about that MOBO.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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is this your board?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...N82E1681313049
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...sku=M452-28101

looks like it'll support all the 64s and stuff. you could get a new CPU . I'd get one of the 64 x2 CPUs. there's the 3800+ at $322 or the 4200+ at $400. (prices from newegg)
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If that is his bored it does not support x2's. athlon 4s and athlon 64 x2s are 2 different things and require certain mobos. Although i think i read once that some mobos that dont support x2s can be tweaked to support them.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Shannon: Yes, that is my motherboard, though I'm not sure that it will support the x2 processors.

JFlo: Its a single core Opteron. Its really a server CPU, but many people use it because it overclocks like crazy (as you can see). And I need to get a new mobo to support an Athlon64x2 CPU?

Flying-Squirrel: OK, I'll just get another gig stick of ram. and thats it. I know it should be DDR500, PC4000, but is there a performance benefit in getting a certain brand/level of RAM (some names, please)

Thanks for all your replies. I agree that I should have built from the ground up- I guess if I add the RAM, and change out the GPU, MoBo, CPU, and PSU, then I paid a lot of money for...a case? I just hope that I can sell some of the stuff that I'm taking out.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If it is the mobo posted above yes, you will need another mobo cause it does not support x2's. The gpu , cpu , mobo can be sold as a set and make like 400 dollars!? not sure though. not familiar w/ the cpu u got so dont no what its worth the gpu is like 130-150 (like 170-200 new) mobo is 90 new so about 75. im guessing the cpu can fetch 150 not sure maybe more maybe less. psu is 90 new so can be sold for 60ish.

*EDIT*
For the ram question i doubt there is much of a difference but it is worth the couple extra dollars to get a name brand ram like geil corsair or kingston.
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OCZ has some nice OCable ram, G.Skill, Corsair, Patriot are other good ram brands.

Oh here is the link to PZERO's computer building guide. It lacks a lot of stuff but it does have a BUNCH of pics which helps a lot.

http://www.techist.com/showthread.ph...m&pagenumber=1
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So I guess the big question is whether a CPU upgrade is necessary or not. Even with the overclocking, will it hurt my ability to play present and future games at high settings? I really thought that this CPU was pretty good @ 2.7Ghz, and I think the SuperPI score is above average as well. So, is it possible to have a well above average gaming computer with the current processor? If not, mobo, CPU, GPU, and PSU will have to go, possibly as a set.

All suggestions on RAM and video cards taken. One more gig of Corsair and 7800GTX 512 it is. Thanks guys.
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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actually u dont need a new motherboard. all you need to do for the motherboard is flash the BIOS, which is fairly simple. just get the newest BIOS flash it and it will have support for the X2 cpu's. i heard that msi has an auto update bios feature for their motherboards so if you dont know how, you could always use that
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