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Rebuilding my computer {PC Hardware Thread}

Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hatsSeattle, WARegistered User regular
So I'm living in 2003. My current setup is...

An overclocked Barton @ 2.2Ghz
nemu12-28-07.png

1.25GB DDR1
AGP Radeon X1650

The way it is right now, to replace anything I'd have to replace everything. My CPU is about as good as Socket A gets. All the new motherboards don't even have AGP or DDR1. My video card is the most recent thing I have, but I bought a cheap one on purpose because I knew I wouldn't be using it for very long. It's really a stopgap so I can at least play TF2 and portal.

I really want a Athlon X2 5000+ Black Edition. I should be able to ramp that thing up to a bit over 3Ghz with a nice heatsink. Not bad for $130 (cheaper with mobo bundles).

My question is, should I bother getting an AM2+ motherboard (like the Asus M3A for example) in preparation for the Phenoms eventually not sucking? I would like to, one day, get a quadcore phenom, because I do a lot of video encoding, and x264 would use all the cores.

However, Phenoms do (in theory) just drop into regular (i.e. cheaper) AM2 motherboards, but those only have HT2.0, not HT3.0. Does anyone know if that makes any difference for gaming? For video encoding?

Intel is better per clock now, and they have the high-end wrapped up, but in the <$150 market it seems like AMD might be a better call, and AMD motherboards are cheaper, too.

Also, by not being limited to AGP, I've suddenly got way more options for video cards than I did last time. I tend to lean ATI, but I'm open. I have an absolute ceiling of $200, i'd much prefer something ~$130. I'm poor.

"I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
Monkey Ball Warrior on

Posts

  • strahd618strahd618 Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Well for Videocards you could pick up a Radeon 3850 for about $170-200 based of prices on Newegg.
    Its a great card and your best option in that price range.

    The Nvidia 8800 GT 256 mb version,is faster but priced about $50 higher.

    As for your cpu/mobo combo its not a bad choice especially for running TF2 and you'll have the option to switch to quad-core down the road. I have no idea HT2.0 vs HT3.0 has a big effect on gaming or video encoding.

    strahd618 on
  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Do you mean Radeon HD 3850. Because I definitely don't need DX10. I don't ever plan to use Vista, so if I can get a comperable DX9 card for cheaper I would much rather do that.

    Monkey Ball Warrior on
    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    the DX10 cards are faster in DX9 environments unless you buy a non-enthusiast model. There are no comparable DX9 cards to the HD3850, 8800 series, etc.

    Dehumanized on
  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeh. It seems like the jump is straight from the X1950 Pro for ~$140 to the HD 3850 for ~$180. I may get the 3850, especially if the price comes down in the next few months.

    Also, enthusiast is a fancy word for expensive.

    Monkey Ball Warrior on
    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I think you are shorting yourself by buying another AMD chip. Phenoms just don't square up pound for pound against the Core2duo and soon the penryn (wolfdale--blah blah blah 45nm chips)

    If you are worried about inital cost an E2160 are great inexpensive C2D chips and then just finding a P35 chipset motherboard to have a secure upgrade path. Phenoms look like a complete mess right now from the motherboards to the chips.

    This is my opinion on the subject. As far as graphics cards? You could get a 8800gt. It would be CPU bound with your current motherboard. I can also recommend EVGA's recertified stuff.

    http://www.evga.com/marketplace/default.asp

    Hopefully that helps. I can say that an X1950 pro is a wise choice too. It depends on what you are willing to spend and what your needs are. Get what you want is what I believe in.

    Viscountalpha on
    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • ViolyntViolynt regular
    edited December 2007
    How could he get a 8800gt with his current motherboard? He has AGP.

    Violynt on
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  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Violynt wrote: »
    How could he get a 8800gt with his current motherboard? He has AGP.


    Ohh, well. I mistook his current motherboard for the one he is looking at upgrading to. 1950 pro is probably the way to go then. It depends on which games you are preferring though.

    Viscountalpha on
    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    ...intel...

    I will fully admit that the Phenoms suck right now. That's why I'm not buying one right now (that and even $200 is over my price range). However, I have been following k10 since they started talking about it, I think it's still an arch with a lot of potential, and I think AMD will fix it, assuming they don't run out of money first. They dropped the ball with the launch, but even so, it's the cheapest quadcore machine you can build. The per clock, per core performance is markedly better than the Athlon 64/X2 series, too.

    But the performance is not there yet, they can't get the clockspeeds up, they've got the errata. It is a mess right now. I'm holding out hope for it, though.

    If I was a richer man I'd be all over Intel's 45nm stuff, though. It may be a long, long long time before AMD can hold the top performance spot again, if ever. That crown really requires Intel's kind of R&D budget. The only reason AMD even had it to begin with was because Intel botched the Pentium 4 so hard.

    I heard about the issues with the AMD 7-series chipsets. I also heard they were resolved and due to BIOS bugs, not something wrong with the chipsets themselves.

    I've decided to wait a few months anyway, so the situation may become clearer by then.

    Monkey Ball Warrior on
    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • ScroffusScroffus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Not wanting to make a new thread, I'll just post my questions here.

    So I have an AM2 socket Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and a GeForce 8800 GT lieing around that I want to start making use of cheaply. Was thinking of buying:

    Motherboard: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ASU-M2AVMH
    Memory: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CSR-X642G5
    HDD: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?WD-80AAJS

    Would there be anything wrong with that setup, or anything that you'd change (remembering money is tight). Will I need anything special in terms of power supply (its been a long time since I've built a computer) or extra cooling that I'll need?

    Scroffus on
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Scroffus wrote: »
    Not wanting to make a new thread, I'll just post my questions here.

    So I have an AM2 socket Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and a GeForce 8800 GT laying around that I want to start making use of cheaply. Was thinking of buying:

    Motherboard: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ASU-M2AVMH
    Memory: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CSR-X642G5
    HDD: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?WD-80AAJS

    Would there be anything wrong with that setup, or anything that you'd change (remembering money is tight). Will I need anything special in terms of power supply (its been a long time since I've built a computer) or extra cooling that I'll need?


    500-550 watt should be the minimum power supply you need. Don't use the PSU's that come with cases because usually they are sub-par and having a PSU die on you can destroy your motherboard, graphics card...ect.. ect.

    I can also recommend Antec's B stock cases if you need a better case. They might have a few dings and scratches but for the price, I couldn't complain.

    http://www.antec.com/us/pro_b_stock.php

    Viscountalpha on
    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • SquintyMcSquintSquintyMcSquint Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Since this is the PC hardware thread I'll ask this here - would anyone recommend having a dedicated sound card? I did have an Audigy 2 but it caused no end of ctd's in games until one day I pulled it and everything just started working again.

    But now I am just wondering if I should be looking at replacing that Audigy with something rather than using on-board sound?

    SquintyMcSquint on
  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Well, many games have hardware sound acceleration. Examples: In WoW in caves and castles and stuff sound echoes off the walls properly. In TF2 tunnels and stuff sound more realistic. If your onboard have wimpy/nonexistant hardware acceleration then buying a discrete card may be a good idea, but if that sort of thing doesn't matter to you, then there's not really any difference.

    Also I have heard that DX10 removes all support for audio hardware acceleration, but don't quote me on that.

    Concerning my situation, my housemate has offered a cheap interim solution. I bought this X1650 not too long ago, it's still AGP, but I seem (at least in TF2) to be bottlenecked by my processor, or maybe my bus. Determined this by comparing my normal playing settings (1024x768, mid settings) to 640x480 with lowest settings, and my framerate didn't improve much. It's still mostly playable at 1024x768, but the Bioshock demo isn't really playable at any settings.

    So his solution is to free up my card by buying a really cheap, semi-disposable AM2/AGP motherboard (basically restricting me to a Via K8M800 chipset) and the proc and ram I want. I could probably get that done for ~$150-$175 (only $40 motherboard), and say in 6-9 months or so I could buy a new motherboard and PCI-E graphics card if some game comes out that I want to play and the X1650 can't cut it. And it should be apparent by then if HT3.0 is worth bothering with AM2+ or not, and if Phenom is ever going to get out of the rut it is in, and I'll be able to buy a decent mobo accordingly.

    My question is, assuming 2GB of ram and a 3.2Ghz Athlon X2-BE, could I play bioshock at a semi-decent framerate, at say, 1024x768, or even 800x600, with middle settings on a Radeon X1650?

    I mean, this isn't exactly the fanciest card in the world. I think I spent $85 on it back in june. But in my financial situation, $85 is a fairly decent investment. I would have spent more if I had PCI-E, but I don't.

    Monkey Ball Warrior on
    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Don't upgrade to another Athlon. If you're upgrading your mobo and CPU, go with Intel.

    Azio on
  • ViolyntViolynt regular
    edited December 2007
    Since this is the PC hardware thread I'll ask this here - would anyone recommend having a dedicated sound card? I did have an Audigy 2 but it caused no end of ctd's in games until one day I pulled it and everything just started working again.

    But now I am just wondering if I should be looking at replacing that Audigy with something rather than using on-board sound?

    You will get about a 5fps increase (max) to games that utilize hardware accelerated sound and it really depends on the game if it will sound better.

    If you have a Realtek sound chip, then buy anything and it will sound better. C-Media is pretty kick ass for onboard and most other non Creative sound cards use C-Media sound chips.

    Also, on the DX10 removing hardware accelerated sound, this is partially true. The Asus Xonar series of sound cards have some how worked around DX10 and implemented HW accelerated sound.

    I suggest the HTOmega,Auzentech (Xplosion and Merdian) and the Asus Xonar series of sound cards. The only one out of these that is HW accelerated is the Xonar but that really doesn't matter, the drivers for all these cards though are much better than anything Creative has ever put out.

    Violynt on
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  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Don't upgrade to another Athlon. If you're upgrading your mobo and CPU, go with Intel.

    ... I have, earlier in this thread, explained why I'm not going with intel right now. When you're talking about a $100 chip and a $40 motherboard, Intel isn't fighting very hard for that segment. Intel motherboards are comparatively expensive (for one the chipset has to include the memory controler). And the only $100 Intel proc I could get would be some no-cache celeron or some super-low clockspeed single core "Pentium".

    I am fully aware that clock to clock, the Core 2's are much faster than the Athlon 64's, or even the Phenoms for that matter. I've taken that into account.

    But for absolute budget gaming AMD still has the price thing down.

    Plus I do think that in the next year or so Phenom is going to start sucking a lot less. It has a lot of architectural potential which is currently not obvious.

    Monkey Ball Warrior on
    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Very well.

    Azio on
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Don't upgrade to another Athlon. If you're upgrading your mobo and CPU, go with Intel.

    ... I have, earlier in this thread, explained why I'm not going with intel right now. When you're talking about a $100 chip and a $40 motherboard, Intel isn't fighting very hard for that segment. Intel motherboards are comparatively expensive (for one the chipset has to include the memory controler). And the only $100 Intel proc I could get would be some no-cache celeron or some super-low clockspeed single core "Pentium".

    I am fully aware that clock to clock, the Core 2's are much faster than the Athlon 64's, or even the Phenoms for that matter. I've taken that into account.

    But for absolute budget gaming AMD still has the price thing down.

    Plus I do think that in the next year or so Phenom is going to start sucking a lot less. It has a lot of architectural potential which is currently not obvious.

    I agree with everything you have said here, Ive been looking to upgrade, but its very hard right now.

    DiannaoChong on
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  • imperial6imperial6 Registered User
    edited January 2008
    This is what kills me about the tech subforum. The H/A forum has something called the Twice and Future Computer Thread which covers most of this. Anyway, you'd have to be crazy to get a 1950pro at $140 over a 3850 at $170. And yeah, I was looking at the black amd 5000+ as well, especially with the newegg bundles that you can save $30 with. Excellent for a budget gaming rig. As for power supplies, I always recommend corsair. The 450w will be plenty for a budget setup, runs around $70.

    imperial6 on
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