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Vanzagar
07-14-04, 11:41 AM
Got a $700 budget to work with to upgrade my machine for the new games coming out (Doom3 ..etc). I have a 480W power supply, a nice 19" monitor and 4 hard drives, so now I am wanting to upgrade my mobo and cpu and graphic card. Please let me know what you think is the best bang for you buck for:

1. Motherboard
2. Memory
3. CPU
4. Graphics Card.

Main point of the system is to squeak out the highest possible settings and highest possible fps for the next generation of games like Doom 3, HL2, Stalker.

I usually buy stuff from NewEgg.com and Crucial.com, so please let me know if you can get a better deal on something elsewhere...

Thanks for any suggestions on any of the 4 components, eagerly awaiting your responses...

Vanz

saturnotaku
07-14-04, 11:45 AM
Main point of the system is to squeak out the highest possible settings and highest possible fps for the next generation of games like Doom 3, HL2, Stalker.

For your proposed budget, that's not going to be possible. For games like this, you would need at least an Athlon 64 3000+ ($200), Motherboard ($100), 1 GB of RAM ($300) and a GeForce 6800 GT ($400).

If you already have a decent (~1.8-2 GHz CPU, 512 mb RAM, GeForce4 Ti or better) machine, wait and save a little longer so you will be able to afford something that will better suit your needs.

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 12:28 PM
If you already have a decent (~1.8-2 GHz CPU, 512 mb RAM, GeForce4 Ti or better) machine, wait and save a little longer so you will be able to afford something that will better suit your needs.

That's almost my exact machine...

---system---
Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 1, with latest updates from windowsupdate.com
AMD 1800+, 512MB RAM
MSI Geforce 4 Ti4400, Latest detonator drivers
Creative Soundblaster Live
Shuttle MN31N, Latest Drivers
Maxtor 80GB, 7200rpm, ATA66 Hard Drive
Sony DRU500A DVD Burner

For your proposed budget, that's not going to be possible.
How can that not be possible I'm asking for a system that can squeak out the highest possible settings and highest possible fps... maybe that means only 30fps:(

Maybe I can do it piece by piece upgrade the mobo, memory and cpu first, then later the graphic card or maybe visa versa. Maybe spend $400 not on Geforce 6800 GT with my currrent config. I don't, with a $700 budget and my current system where would you spend the dough...

rhuala

Banko
07-14-04, 12:38 PM
hmm for 700? 1 gig of PC3200 is not 300 around 200. nforce2 ultra 400 mobo 80 athlon xp 2500+ mobile 80 overclock it. And a 6800GT and all should be good.

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the recommendation Banko, where do you suggest buying from... somewhere hopefully reliable.... Newegg good?

ynnek
07-14-04, 01:08 PM
I'm thinking, if your oging to by a computer now, you might as well get the best you can, since the upgrade path is limited..

AGP is on its way out, like it or not, PCI-E is what everything will be moving to.. Intel is moving off to a new socket and chipset(although we might have to wait for another interation to see the true gains)

Not sure whats going on the AMD side though..

cam9786
07-14-04, 01:09 PM
In my experience, Neweg is a great place to shop for stuff that isn't brand new. Brand new stuff, Like A64's and GeForce 6800's , aint that great at newegg, they price gouge on some of the new stuff. But for what your proposing, like the Mobile 45 Watt Athlon 2500+,( which is a GREAT Oc'r I might add, to like 2400MHz And above, thats 3400+ Speeds, from 1.8GHz default) and the nForce 2 Ultra Mobo, and the gig of RAM, Newegg will suit your needs perfectly. Thats where I got all of my system, with the exception of the 6800 GT. And as for your GT, I'd recommend buying from www.evga.com for an eVGA 6800 board, or from outpost.com for the BFG Tech GeForce 6800 GT OC for $399. Hope I was of some help.

Gn00b
07-14-04, 01:10 PM
OK....let the flame game begin...

The following IMHO will offer a lot of bang for the buck:
CPU: AMD XP 3200+ RETAIL (Incl HS&F): $187.00
MOBO: ASUS A7N8X $84.00
RAM: 512MB (2X 256MB) OCZ PLATINUM: $126
VPU: eVGA 6800: $289.00 (includes Far Cry). A 9800 or 5950 would also be worth considering, and may actually save you a few bucks at current prices.

All prices are Newegg, today.

cam9786
07-14-04, 01:14 PM
He Doesn't need the 3200+. He can just get the 2500+ Regular or the 2500+ Mobile and OC it to or past 3200+ Speeds (2.22GHz). And a Gig of ram is becoming more and more of a necessity with new games that take up so much resources. Like Farcry. I'd leave out the previous generation of graphics cards (9800, 5900) because a 6800 Regular is so much better than a 5950 or 9800, and there only 290! Just tryin to help :-)

Squidly
07-14-04, 01:15 PM
athalon A64 3000+
chaintech vnf3 mobo
PNY geforce 6800 GT (buy.com $330)
Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3500 Level One - OEM
Total cost $780

I'll find you some memory...

pay the extra $100 for this setup it will be worth it

ynnek
07-14-04, 01:17 PM
Also, are you planning to upgrade this computer again? and when?

For example, it might be worth it to just bite the bullet and get a $400 6800GT and use that for 3 years, instead of of buying, say a $200 9800pro, for 1.5 years, and perhaps getting a the 6800GT for $200 in another 1.5 years... (just a a hypothetical guess on the future price)

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 01:22 PM
Squidly, and keep my current 512MB PC2100 RAM?

AGP is on its way out, like it or not, PCI-E is what everything will be moving to..

ynnek, will motherboard support AGP and PCI-E or is AGp dead? So we'll have regular PIC and PCI-E slots for the vid card, or how would this work Alos, when are cards using PCI-E available...

Thanks,

rhuala

saturnotaku
07-14-04, 01:22 PM
Also, are you planning to upgrade this computer again? and when?

For example, it might be worth it to just bite the bullet and get a $400 6800GT and use that for 3 years, instead of of buying, say a $200 9800pro, for 1.5 years, and perhaps getting a the 6800GT for $200 in another 1.5 years... (just a a hypothetical guess on the future price)

This is something that the original poster did not make clear. If this new machine is something he is going to keep for a while, it makes no sense (to me anyway) to invest in an Athlon XP right now. And from his current specs, it doesn't look like he overclocks at all so there would be very little benefit from going that route, unless he is willing to take the risk with his hardware.

athalon A64 3000+
chaintech vnf3 mobo
BFG geforce 6800 GT

Total cost $702

You forgot to include memory in that price.

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 01:24 PM
Also, are you planning to upgrade this computer again? and when?

I would like to spend $700 now and keep it that way for at least 2 years... maybe sprinkle in a few $$ along the way... like $90 for some ram or maybe pop in a new cpu, somthing like that but not a whole new mobo or vid card...

Squidly
07-14-04, 01:26 PM
You forgot to include memory in that price.

Sorry... edited my post

$780

A64 3000+
vnf3-250 chaintech
pny 6800 GT (buy.com)
Mushkin level 1 512 mb stick

< 800

$100 more than your price point, but you will be getting a much more solid machine then some have suggested for $100 cheaper - maybe enough extra machine to use it for a year. And you will be able to play doom 3, stalker and hl2... which is a little iffy right now on any 9800 based card

saturnotaku
07-14-04, 01:27 PM
Squidly, and keep my current 512MB PC2100 RAM?

ynnek, will motherboard support AGP and PCI-E or is AGp dead? So we'll have regular PIC and PCI-E slots for the vid card, or how would this work Alos, when are cards using PCI-E available...

Thanks,

rhuala

AGP won't be going away for at least another 12-18 months, and probably longer than that.

I've read about some boards that will support both AGP and PCI-E so that might be a potential route for you to go, provided you can wait a few months to upgrade - which is something I still recommend because it will allow you to 1) save more money to buy better stuff and 2) see what changes/improvements there will be in technology during that time. We seem to be in the middle of a transitionary phase right now, what with the introduction of AMD's Socket 939 Athlon 64 systems, Intel's Socket 775 and PCI-Express.

For all the parts you want to buy, I don't think it makes sense for you to upgrade right now. Give it a few more months, perhaps September when Half-Life 2 is ready to ship. That way the industry will become more certain, and you can get a system that will allow you to get more out of your games than what I think you can buy now.

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 01:28 PM
So from all I'm hearing here it sounds like maybe keep my mobo and mem, and maybe add another 512MB strip, then get the 6800 GT and up the processor to a 3000+.

But if I do this and vid cards all go to PIC-E standard isn't that going to make my vid card soon obsolete? Would it be best to wait for this new vid card standard to hit or is it still to "pie in the sky" and far off to worry about...

Squidly
07-14-04, 01:29 PM
they are sold out of the 6800GT temporarily at bvuy.com...

did find the 6800 for $250.. you will be right at your $700 price point with it too

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10376098&loc=101&sp=1

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 01:30 PM
For all the parts you want to buy, I don't think it makes sense for you to upgrade right now. Give it a few more months, perhaps September when Half-Life 2 is ready to ship. That way the industry will become more certain, and you can get a system that will allow you to get more out of your games than what I think you can buy now.

Thanks, saturnotaku that sounds like pretty good advice. I'll just have to let this $$ burn a hole in my pocket until then... wait and see, wait and see....

Squidly
07-14-04, 01:31 PM
So from all I'm hearing here it sounds like maybe keep my mobo and mem, and maybe add another 512MB strip, then get the 6800 GT and up the processor to a 3000+.

But if I do this and vid cards all go to PIC-E standard isn't that going to make my vid card soon obsolete? Would it be best to wait for this new vid card standard to hit or is it still to "pie in the sky" and far off to worry about...

I think for at least the next year, PCI-E will offer no noticable benefit. You will however, pay higher prices for a while.

Best bang for the buck after looking a little is:

3000+ a64 retail - $220
vnf3-250 chaintech - $80
mushkin level one pc 3500 - $158
pny 6800 - $250 (at buy.com) http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10376098&loc=101&sp=1

Total price - $708

Vanzagar
07-14-04, 01:32 PM
PNY geforce 6800 GT (buy.com $330)

oooh PNY...ack.... I've had bad luck with them in the past. Them and Powercolor seem to produce really unstable crap, or have things gotten better...

|JuiceZ|
07-14-04, 01:52 PM
oooh PNY...ack.... I've had bad luck with them in the past. Them and Powercolor seem to produce really unstable crap, or have things gotten better...

Haven't had much time to test mine but so far the card has been running fairly good. First time owning one of their products so can't speak for their past generation cards but this one is all good so far.

ynnek
07-14-04, 02:16 PM
Yea, but what I read, Nvidia doesn't plan on making any new AGP cards after the 6800 series.. I don't think ATI is going to make any new AGP cards after the x800 series.


So far, I've read about a couple of upcoming MB's that can support AGP and PCI-E on the same time.. However, if I understand correctly, they took the "easy" way, that is to basically hack the AGP slot on top of a PCI bus... It works, but it won't be as fast as a native AGP solution.


I remember reading VIA supposidly has their own solution, which involves like creating another bridge for AGP, so you keep the full speed and benifts of AGP and supporting PCI-E at the same time.

Go search on Anandtech, there should be a few articles about it.

I believe Intel has no intentions in officially supporting AGP and PCI-E in their reference designs and chipsets..


Personally, I'm aiming to keep my current computer for about the next 3 years.. by then I'll probably build a whole new system, and most likely leaving my AGP 6800GT behind..

EDIT: Last time I checked, the $330 perorder deal from buy.com doesn't exist anymore



AGP won't be going away for at least another 12-18 months, and probably longer than that.

I've read about some boards that will support both AGP and PCI-E so that might be a potential route for you to go, provided you can wait a few months to upgrade - which is something I still recommend because it will allow you to 1) save more money to buy better stuff and 2) see what changes/improvements there will be in technology during that time. We seem to be in the middle of a transitionary phase right now, what with the introduction of AMD's Socket 939 Athlon 64 systems, Intel's Socket 775 and PCI-Express.

For all the parts you want to buy, I don't think it makes sense for you to upgrade right now. Give it a few more months, perhaps September when Half-Life 2 is ready to ship. That way the industry will become more certain, and you can get a system that will allow you to get more out of your games than what I think you can buy now.

{Sniping}Waste
07-14-04, 03:16 PM
He is looking for help and not beckering.

Here is the best for the price, a Athlon 64 2800+ system.
Here is a referb from Newegg for a retail 2800+ for $164. The retail HSF for the Athlon 64 are very good.
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-452R&type=Refurbish

Here is a referb Asus K8V for $69 and able to use all 4 hard drives. The only bad thing about newegg referb mobos is you only get the mobo in most cases and not the driver CD, and cables.
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=13-131-491R&DEPA=99

I have bought many newegg referbs and had no problems.

Musken ram is the best for the price for now in the pc3200 range. $77 for 512 cas 2.5
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=20-146-219&DEPA=1

That comes up to $390 and leaves $300 left for Video card.

Gator
07-14-04, 04:11 PM
He is looking for help and not beckering.

Here is the best for the price, a Athlon 64 2800+ system.
Here is a referb from Newegg for a retail 2800+ for $164. The retail HSF for the Athlon 64 are very good.
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-452R&type=Refurbish

Here is a referb Asus K8V for $69 and able to use all 4 hard drives. The only bad thing about newegg referb mobos is you only get the mobo in most cases and not the driver CD, and cables.
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=13-131-491R&DEPA=99

I have bought many newegg referbs and had no problems.

Musken ram is the best for the price for now in the pc3200 range. $77 for 512 cas 2.5
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=20-146-219&DEPA=1

That comes up to $390 and leaves $300 left for Video card.

Bravo! That's a very cheap A64 setup :)

My only suggestion would be a Cheiftec Nforce3 250 motherboard for $88. It's only a few dollars more, but would allow for the A64 2800 to be overclocked with working AGP/PCI lock.

And if you can squeeze just a little more money and get 1gig of ram instead of only 512, it's worth it for new games.

And the PNY 6800NU for $250 looks like an EXCELLENT deal. Definetly jump on that!