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Making a list, and checking it twice.

Discussion in 'Computers, Games, Electronics etc' started by Battle Pope, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    OK, so I've got this computer. The board and processor I've got in it are at least a couple years old.

    Abit NF7-S (quite possibly the best Athlon XP board known to man).

    Athlon XP 2500+ Barton core, with the FSB clocked up to 400mhz (it's 333 stock). The multiplier is decreased to run the core at close to stock operating frequency so I don't have to run a stupid big fan.

    ATI Radeon 9800XT. Bought shortly after they came out.

    Upgraded to a gig of Corsair valueselect PC3200 about 4 months ago. Running dual-channel.

    ___

    Here's the thing. I want to upgrade to 64 bit. The last few games I've bought have run a little on the mediocre side. Most games I can at least get up to a comfortable resolution, but I usually have to turn down the detail and turn off the shadows. I know this is most likely a graphics card limitation, but I'm running into a not so familiar technology gap here.

    To upgrade my graphics card considerably, I need to move on from AGP. Nobody's making mid or high end cards for AGP now. Meanwhile, nobody is making a Socket A board that has PCI-express. So, I have to upgrade to 64 bit (and socket 939) to get into a board that has PCI-E.

    I've pretty much decided that the board and processor are going on my christmas list. It would be nice to find a board that's decent that has both PCI-E and AGP so I can use my Radeon for awhile longer. Then, when tax time comes around, I'll use my tax refund to get a PCI-E video card.

    Does anyone know if such a beast exists? If I can't find one made by a reputable company I can always bite the bullet now instead of later, but then something better is bound to come out in the meantime.

    I'd really like to get away from ATI entirely. Their catalyst suite has steadily gone downhill for me the last year or so, and I'm just kinda fed up. I want an NForce chipset, an AMD processor, and an Nvidia video card.

    Moving on. Now that I've bored you all with my drivel, we can get to the meat and potatoes of this topic: Making a hardware selection. What do I want?

    I've heard good things about the 3X00+ Venice core chips, and they're pretty reasonable on NewEgg.

    I have no idea what to be looking for in a motherboard nowadays. When I made my last purchase it was all about Abit, but now I keep hearing about DFI? Should I be looking for the Nforce 3 or Nforce 4 chipset? I've been out of the game so long I simply don't know anymore.

    I've been hearing more about videocards than anything, and I still don't know enough to make a sound decision. Where's the price break at? What should I get that isn't a gratuitous waste of money?
    ____

    I know that several of you around here have either recently upgraded or follow the market, so if you know your shit, PLEASE chime in.

    In closing, I shop Newegg based on years of good experiences, so if you're going to quote prices, please do so from there. Thanks!
     
  2. driverunknown

    driverunknown Senior Member

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    well, if you are dead set on going 64 bit and what not just buy a nice board. Remember that you want pci-e 16x. for the best video card speed. I don't know if the cards work on regular pci-e. AnywayI say get all three. motherboard, processor, and card. A sound card, if you don't have one now, might help performance, as less load is left to the processor for sound. Spoil yourself, it's Christmas right???

    you can even go all out and get an sli board for two video cards!!!
    kinda like twin turbo [​IMG]

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16813157081

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16813153036

    I found these that have agp and pci-e, but I usually stick with asus.
     
  3. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    ASRock and ASUS are like Chevy and Pontiac. Same company...same manufacturing centers.
     
  4. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    I forgot to mention, I plan on upgrading all 3 components, just not sure when. If I can put off the videocard I will.

    And I bought a soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS awhile back just to take some of the load off the processor, so I'm good on that front.

    I'm just fishing for recommendations on chips, boards, and cards.

    Not interested in SLI, and not interested in any card that's going to cost more than 400 bucks.
     
  5. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    i tend to stay with intel because of a lot of the databases i use...i can still play half-life 2 at good settings with no lag and i have a p4 2.8 HT w/ a 9800 Pro...

    AMD doesnt have a lot of support when it comes to combining the PCI-E and AGP interfaces, but the PT880 chipsets from via are pretty good at it.
     
  6. driverunknown

    driverunknown Senior Member

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    :thumbsup: didn't know that thanks.
     
  7. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    i was about to say "Its the difference between a corvette and a GTO" then i thought....THATS WHY THERE IS NO MORE CAMARO or FIREBIRD...the GTO!!! It all makes sense now.
     
  8. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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  9. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    FTW :)

    Make those my christmas present
     
  10. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    Well...

    I just read a rather lackluster review of the Abit AN8-Ultra. Scratching that off the list. They say it's rock solid once you get it set up correctly, but getting there is a total PITA. That's not something I need. I want something that I can toss in and have it be 100% stable that I can tinker with when I feel the need.

    I did, however, read a good review of the BFG Tech board, which looks promising. Also, it's unlikely but there might be some sort of "synergy" between the BFG card and board. It sounds good, but is completely unlikely. The BFG board is the same price as the asus.
     
  11. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

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    first of all, msi acutally has an ati board that supports both agp and pci-e, but since you wanted to stay away from ati, i guess thats a no.

    if you're gonna upgrade to a socket 939 then you'll need a good psu. actually go for the 939 because 754 is dead and mostly ideal for budget systems. with 939 you get dual channel and dual core support. stick to name brands like enermax, antec, tagan, etc... because you need the 24-pin molex. and no you can't use a 4 pin adapter because people have experienced lots of crashes with that temp. band aid. a good psu is the forton blue storm and its around 60 bucks.

    as the for board, abit is overpriced. dfi is the way to go, but it'll be troublesome for you to try and stick in value select, especially corsairs'. its been a hit or miss and i was the lucky few who got it to work. the asus and msi boards are solid. some people even use the epox and chaintech ones and get good results. i would stick with msi neo 4 plat and asus a8n.

    the bfg card is solid too. 7800gt is around 300 if you look around for deals. the 6800gs is a very nice card too. its 200 and its on par with the 6800gt. 6800ultra is a waste of money and power.

    for the cpu, ditch the venice. the first batches were good and overclocked well, but the new ones are hit or miss. instead get the opteron's. people have been getting 2.7-3.0ghz on air! plus its 1mb of cache. its about 20 bucks more than their venice counter parts. also its floating around since its an server cpu, its higher quality. id only get a venice if i was worried about electricity bills because the opteron gobbles 110watts and the venice does 89watts.

    one last thing, newegg is going down hill. for me at least. they do ups now except fedex and in my area that sucks ass. also the prices are often higher than most places. ive used www.zipzoomfly.com and www.monarchcomputers.com and they are both excellent companies. try using pricegrabber.com and fatwallet.com to find the best deals for you dollars.

    good luck.
     
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