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Upgrading computer for gaming, recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott L, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Hey guys, I'm kinda tired of running Medal of Honor in 800x600, with low to medium detail on everything. I think it's time to upgrade (again [​IMG]) especially with the Spearhead exp pack being released real soon. Here's my current setup:
    PIII 800eb
    Asus cusl2 mobo
    384mb pc133 ram
    (2) 20gb ata/100 7200rpm HDs
    Radeon 7500 64mb
    I guess I'll just need to replace the cpu, mobo, ram, and vid card for the real deal. Here's what I'm thinking about getting:
    AMD Athlon XP 1900+
    Maybe Asus or Abit mobo with DDR ram
    GF4 or Radeon 9700 Pro
    Anything wrong with this setup? Normally I'd go with an Intel based PC but the prices are just way too high for the same performance as AMD (UT Performance). I need a graphics card with TV-out. Can anyone recommend a good motherboard (specific chipset), and should I go for PC2700 DDR over 2100? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    The nForce2 chipset motherboards are expected to ship in a couple of weeks (like the Asus A7N8X motherboard). The higher-end models will have realtime DD5.1 encoding, USB 2.0, Firewire, 1 or 2 LAN connections, and builtin GeForce 4 MX video. The early reviews I've read praise the features and stabilities of these boards. In fact, I believe AMD strongly endorses them. They will be a bit pricey if you get the fully featured motherboards however.
    PC2700 RAM is a good bet over PC2100. However, what is more important is that you are careful to not get generic RAM. The most reliable/well-regarded are Crucial/Micron brand RAM, followed by true Samsung RAM.
    I am very paranoid of VIA chipsets (as a Windows driver developer, let me tell you what a nightmare it is getting a peripheral to work on these boards -- I still have nightmares)...even now there are quite a few problems with those boards. However, if you are an expert at building PCs, you can get away with it, if you are diligent with driver updates and very careful BIOS tweaking to minimize the problems.
    Soundblaster cards have always been problematic with VIA boards, although they still have trouble with all chipsets because of poor hardware/driver design on Creative's part. I've heard very good things about Hercule's Fortissimo and Turtle Beach's Santa Cruz line of sound cards though.
    If you were considering Pentium 4, the new Intel 845E and 845PE chipsets have been garnering massive praise over the last few weeks...excellent performance, rock-solid stability (no VIA-like issues!).
    Don't take my word for it though...be sure to research the different boards at these sites:
    www.anandtech.com
    www.hardocp.com
    www.amdmb.com
    www.tomshardware.com (not as good as they used to be, but still useful on occasion)
    www.tech-report.com
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Awesome, thanks man. Asus has an nForce board on newegg.com for $105 with free s/h (Asus link. It's the 415-D chipset, should I shoot for the 420-D if I see it for a little more, or not even worth it? And what does Twin Bank DDR Memory Architecture mean? I see 3 memory slots but can only 2 of them be used? Gracias amigo.
     
  4. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Ahh, I just did some more research. The Asus A7N8X Deluxe is based on the nF2 chipset and has an S/PDIF output. Perfect for what I need since my comp is connected to my HT. It seems if you can find one a good price wll be around $150 USD.
    Also looks I'll be going with pc2700 Crucial, looking at 2 256mb sticks and most likely a cheaper GF4 with TV out. I'll probably wait closer till Xmas for graphics card prices to go down.
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Some of the nForce2 motherboards have the GeForce 4 MX onboard. However, I don't think the Asus A7N8X deluxe has it. Darnit! It would make a great all-in-one solution for light gaming and HTPC use. Of course, who cares if you're gonna slap in a high-end graphics card for heavy gaming anyways. [​IMG]
    The 415D is the same as the 420D, but with the onboard video removed. The 415D boards will be cheaper as a result. However, like John said, I'd wait for the nForce2. [​IMG]
    I'm drooling after the Shuttle SN41 small-form factor nForce2 computer myself, however! Getting tired of the loud oversized PC midtower thing these days...
    TwinBank architecture is meaningless for the nForce chipsets without the onboard video, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    Here's a link to a bunch of links on the new nForce2 mobos:
    http://www.amdforums.com/showthread....10#post1283910
     

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