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View Full Version : Need some feedback on a new box...


JonathanZ
10-31-03, 11:21 AM
Ok, I'm putting together a new computer for my little brother, it'll be his birthday in November. All he does is play games, all kinds. I've kinda been out of hardware for a while and just started getting back into it so I thought it wouldn't hurt to get some feedback on this setup. And before all of you go off saying "AGH! just get an AMD 64FX with blahdy blah blah....." I'm on a serious budget, I can't spend any more than $500 on this.

Here's what I'm looking at doing:

Abit NF7-S (v2.0) - $113
Athlon XP 2500+ - $91 (retail)
512MB PC3200 DDR [2x 256MB Modules of Corsair Value Select] - $99
PALIT GeForce FX 5600 128MB - $110
Fortron ATX350GU 350W ATX12V Power Supply - $26
Western Digital 40GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache Hard Drive - $63

About some of my decisions:

MOTHERBOARD: I heard the NF7-S is pretty rock solid, and very overclockable. I know I could get an ASUS A7N8X but I'm just not a huge fan of ASUS (sorry), I'd take Abit over them. I'm planning on using the onboard SoundStorm (heard it was pretty impressive) and the onboard ethernet as well.

PROCESSOR: I went retail with the processor because it was the cheapest way I knew of to get a heatsink and fan. It's also my understanding that the XP2500+ is a pretty stellar overclocker (in terms of other XP's). I do realize that before any serious overclocking he'd need a better cooler, I just want that option open to him later.

RAM: I like corsair, I know it isn't their XMS line, but I just couldn't afford anything more expensive.

VIDEO CARD: I'd love to go with a 5600 Ultra, but I'm not sure I can afford it. I was looking at ATI's 9600 Pro, but I'm not so sure. I could use some input on this.

POWER SUPPLY: It's a cheap, quality PS; and what I need. If you know otherwise please tell.

HARD DRIVE: I know I could go SATA, and it really isn't that much more money, but I really just can't afford to go any more expensive. And besides this wouldn't have that much of an impact on games (as would if I skimped with Proc, RAM, or Video).

It's all from NewEgg. I like them and they don't screw me over. I realize I could get it a little cheaper if a went with a few other places.

OK.... so that's what I'm thinking. Any feedback? (sorry for the long post, I think I got a little carried away)

digitalwanderer
10-31-03, 11:30 AM
9600 Pro in a heartbeat over the 5600! :eek: Heck, get him a 9600XT and it'll come with HL2. :)

saturnotaku
10-31-03, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
9600 Pro in a heartbeat over the 5600! :eek: Heck, get him a 9600XT and it'll come with HL2. :)

Resoundingly seconded. The 9600 line is a more capable card for present and future games. You won't be sorry if you get a 9600 Pro or XT. They're both affordable and perform admirably.

And that power supply...I've never heard of the company/brand. If I was you, I would seriously consider swapping it out for an Antec or Enermax unit. A 300W Antec will do you much better than a cheap 350 or 400W one. :)

JonathanZ
10-31-03, 12:02 PM
Fortron is basically the same as Sparkle. At least that's my understanding. I only heard of them through FiringSquad, they seemed to like and trust them. I only opted out of Enermax or Antec because of price, a comparable unit would've been almost twice the price.

Would you guys say the 9600 Pro would be better equipped for future games then the 5600 Ultra? It doesn't look like the 9600XT is in my price range. Like I said, I've been out of hardware for a while and just started getting back in so I'm a little behind.

Thanks for the input guys... keep it up.

digitalwanderer
10-31-03, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by JonathanZ
Would you guys say the 9600 Pro would be better equipped for future games then the 5600 Ultra?
YES!!!

I'm actually working on a review of an AIW 9600 Pro right now and the card games damn near as well as my OCed 9700 Pro!

It's a great little card and one of the best "bang-for-buck" values on the market, it totally wipes the floor with the 5600. :)

saturnotaku
10-31-03, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by JonathanZ
Would you guys say the 9600 Pro would be better equipped for future games then the 5600 Ultra? It doesn't look like the 9600XT is in my price range. Like I said, I've been out of hardware for a while and just started getting back in so I'm a little behind

Absolutely. Trust me, I was one of the most die-hard nVidiots on this board. But I've been won over by ATI's performance and vast improvements in driver quality. My 9500's image quality is outstanding and performance (with the soft-mod) is unbelievable. The 9600 Pro isn't that much more expensive than the 5600, and it's superior in pretty much every way.

JonathanZ
10-31-03, 12:15 PM
ALRIGHT!
geez... you got your point across, heh ;)

JonathanZ
10-31-03, 01:00 PM
ok.... so about 9600 Pro's, I know not to go with the "EZ" versions, or one's with EtronTech memory, so what brands are good/bad? I'm looking at a Sapphire, Connect3D, Transcend, Apollo and PowerColor. Does it even matter???

He's gonna be stuck with this card for a year and possibly longer, so I want to make sure it's a good one. Again, thanks for the help guys.

digitalwanderer
10-31-03, 01:01 PM
Out of those I'd get the Saphire for sure, they're very good. :)

JonathanZ
10-31-03, 01:13 PM
good news for me... it was one of the cheaper ones :D