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Thread: upgrading computer, need recommendations!




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    Default upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    Wants:

    AMD Athlon 64 socket 939
    Nforce 4 chipset
    PCI-e nVidia video card
    512 MB ram
    USB 2.0 and Firewire
    Some PCI slots for legacy modem and sound card
    Power supply unit will most likely be required because current one is only 300w
    Possibly a new case

    For the mobo, I'm trying to decide between MSI, GigaByte, Asus, and DFI. Overclocking abilities are not important and I'm not too sure about SLI. By the time I upgrade again, there will probably be a whole different bus anyway. PCI-e x1 will probably also become the standard to overtake and get rid of PCI so some PCI-e x1 slots are also required. For the video card, either GeForce 6600 or 6600GT. Price is a concern for me.

    Usage includes internet, games (mostly RTS and SimCity-like strategy games, although Call of Duty and Medal of Honor look awesome) and home office apps.

    Target price - $600-700

    It's been 3 years since the last time I upgraded and so will probably be that long again (it depends on the games). Speaking of which, what do most games like these days for system requirements? My newest game is Red Alert 2 but Warcarft 3, C&C: Generals and Locomotion look great.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    870

    Default Re: upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlasich
    Wants:

    AMD Athlon 64 socket 939
    Nforce 4 chipset
    PCI-e nVidia video card
    512 MB ram
    USB 2.0 and Firewire
    Some PCI slots for legacy modem and sound card
    Power supply unit will most likely be required because current one is only 300w
    Possibly a new case

    It's been 3 years since the last time I upgraded and so will probably be that long again (it depends on the games). Speaking of which, what do most games like these days for system requirements? My newest game is Red Alert 2 but Warcarft 3, C&C: Generals and Locomotion look great.

    Thanks in advance.
    The system you quoted will litterly "PLOW" through those games you mentioned above. The most CPU and GPU demanding games at the moment are without a doubt, Doom3 and Half Life 2, both of wich that system will handle easly.

    I take it you live in the states... if not correct me and whoever else posts here and I will get you new links, try to tell where your from next time though ;)

    CPU: Amd Athlon 64 3000(90nm) $165
    The next 3200 is a bit more expencive and wont fit in your budget if you get the DFI motherboard(someone esle may make a new suggestion and you may be able to get th 3200).

    Motherboard: FOXCONN NF4UK8AA-8EKRS $122
    There are beter options but this is the cheapest one that is nForce4 Ultra and has Firewire. The next one with firewire is the DFI here.

    GPU: Chaintech 6600 GT $190
    This one is about rid road price wise but pretty much all of them are the same so...

    RAM: 2x 256 = $73.... 1x512 = $67
    Since you are not overclocking these should be just fine for your needs, This if you want dual channel..... This if you only want one stick.

    PSU: Antec True Power 550W $110
    This is a little overkill but it will keep you under stable power no matter how many things you run off of it.

    SO here is the prices:
    CPU: 165
    Motherboard: 122 or 169
    GPU: 190
    RAM: 67 or 73
    PSU: 110

    If you get all the cheapest stuff I posted, it will come to $654
    If you get all the expencive stuff there it comes to 707
    If you get the above with all the cheapest, except get a 3200 instead(not listed) then it comes to $714

    Keep in mind that some of the hardware can be "downgraded" a bit if things I posted are to expencive.
    My Current Rigs:
    Antec P180, OCZ Powerstream 520W, DFI nF4 SLI-DR Expert, AMD X2 4400 w/XP120(2.6GHz@1.45v), 2x1GB OCZ Platnium PC3200, BFG 7900GT@592/800(1.6), WD 250GB SATA, Maxtor 120GB IDE, LG DVD/CD Combo(black), Sony DRU-810 DL DVD Burner(black)
    3DMark01:25379, 3DMark03:19746
    3DMark05:9294, 3DMark06:5340

    Raidmax Cobra, Fortron PN-400W, ASUS A8N-E(nF4 Ultra), X2 3800 w/AMD heatpipe cooler, 2x 512MB Crucial Balistix, ATI X300, WD 250GB IDE, Samsung 16x DVD/RW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default Re: upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    May as well go with 1x512 and get another identical stick later...
    Last edited by sr4470; 02-09-2005 at 03:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Minnesota, United States
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    Default Re: upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    Personally, I would'nt go for the Foxconn board, but you'll probably be happy with it. I'd certainly agree that the 6600GT and 3000 are the GPU and CPU of choice. Empire Earth 2 will likely interest you, judging by your gaming tastes, and it will really stress hardware, but this should handle it. You might consider a 3200 or 3500 and 6800 (non-GT) if you want to be sure to have great performance in future games.

    For RAM, start with at least one 512MB stick and upgrade to a second one ASAP.

    Honestly I can't see going for a 550W Antec PSU. It's overkill even if you fill the PCI and PCI-E slots. I'd say stick for a 480W Antec or Thermaltake. Thermaltake would probably be good enough for you and better on your wallet.

    As for a case, you can rip everything out of your current one if it's a standard ATX case, though I'd say just dish out $40 (shipping...) for a new one. That way, you'll have both a better case (most likely, thoug hI don't know what you have) and you want have to trash the system in the case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    USA
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    Default Re: upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlasich
    My newest game is Red Alert 2 but Warcarft 3, C&C: Generals and Locomotion look great.
    My 2 cents.......
    Warcraft3, not bad.. C&C Generals, very good.. Locomotion, waste of time after about 2 hours of play and bad graphics to boot.
    Yes Call of Duty is good and you might like Half-life 2 or MOH Pacific Assualt, Battlefield Vietnam is pretty nice also.
    Back to RTS, I'm really into Homeworld 2 right now, its challenging but top notch, its been on my harddrive for a long time but just recently figured out how excellent this game really is. You might also like LOTR Battle for Middle Earth or Sid Meiers Pirates.

    Yawgm0th, Empire Earth 2 is released? I'm jealous if you already have it. Also can't wait for AOE3.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2003
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    Default Re: upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob
    Yawgm0th, Empire Earth 2 is released?
    No, but I've been reading previews about it. It looks to be quite good, in all aspects of the word, but likely stressing on hardware.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    Default Re: upgrading computer, need recommendations!

    Thank you everyone for your sugggestions and links. Here is what I decided on:

    GigaByte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard
    MSI NX6600GT-TD128E video card
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ CPU
    Ultra Dragon case, black with window and fans and a 500-watt power supply
    1 stick of 512MB DDR400 memory

    The case and memory have rebates of $30 each, so my total came out to just under $700 including shipping. I just received the CPU, GPU, and mobo yesterday and my case, memory, and PSU are supposed to be here tommorow, I hope. It's a bit more system than what I was originally looking for, but I figured this way, I shouldn't have to upgrade again for a long while. I will get another 512MB stick of memory as soon as I can though, and then I need a DVD burner, a new, larger hard drive, new speakers, and a gamepad. Any suggestions on these items?

    I also ordered SimCity 4: Deluxe, Command & Conquer: Generals Deluxe, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Locomotion. I loved GTA on the PS2 and I love Transport Tycoon which I haven't been able to play on XP, hence buying Locomotion (they should've just named it Transport Tycoon 1.5)

    No sleep tomorrow night!
    Last edited by jlasich; 02-18-2005 at 08:53 AM.

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