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Slowly but surely...


Judge Hades

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Okay, I got myself a fairly basic computer.

 

x700 pro 256 meg RAM

4 x 256 meg DDR 184 pin RAM

Sound Blaster X-FI soundcard

6.1 Logictech Speakers

Athlon 64 Sempron 3400

160 gig harddrive

80 gig hard drive

DVD Burner

 

 

The Sound Blaster X-Fi is a very nice sound card and my speakers get a good work out out of them. I am slowly getting myself a new system and with each paycheck I plan on getting a new upgrade for the bugger til the only things left to upgrade is the case, motherboard, and CPU.

 

Now I am wondering if the next up grade should be my RAM, which I want a solid 4 gig of RAM, or should I save up a paycheck or three to get a 500 gig internal hard drive. What do you guys think?

 

The end result I am aiming for is:

X1900 All in Wonder

4 x 1 gig DDR 184 pin RAM

Sound Blaster X-FI soundcard

7.1 speakers

Athlon 64 FX-60

2 x 500 gig harddrives in RAID

DVD burner

 

All in a full tower hooked into a widescreen HDTV.

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Skip the Soundblaster X-Fi and get this one HDA Xplosion

 

Then, I played the games. Doom 3 came alive. When I had reviewed the game, I had played it in all of my 2.1 glory. Now, with Logitech THX Z-5300e 5.1 surround, it was absolutely jaw-dropping.

 

It's the only stand-alone Soundcard that has a realtime Dolby Digital and DTS encoder.

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I wouldn't worry to much about waiting to get a case, I always tend to get that and the motherboard farily soon so i can start to get a vision. saving the graphic card then the CPU for last since they are the 2 most expensive, and fast changing.

 

4 gigs is excessive i believe. A game like fear uses just over 1 gig. a I'd stick to 2gigs for now, and when need be, upgrade to 4, i doubt even Unreal tournament will use 4, much less 3.

 

Also, instead of getting an All In Wonder video card you might look at getting the ATI pci video tuner card instead, that way you keep that card for your next upgrade, thus saving you money on your next purchase for a video card. It only cost 80 bucks i believe.

 

Agiea is coming out with its physic cards soon also. I wouldn't reccoment getting one just yet, Id wait to see if its worth it with benchmarks. But its something to watch.

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The AMD FX-60 processor also seems excessive. Atleast when it comes to price/performance. 2 gigs of ram is more than sufficient.

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http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/01/10/amd...ult/page23.html

 

I'm thinking that you should hold off until the Socket M2 processors hit the market and get either an X2 4400 or X2 4800. The performance bonus of the FX-60 isn't significant enough to offset the several hundred dollar price gap.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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No problem. I'm also thinking of getting a new pc. My current rig is 4 1/2 years old, and I'm hoping it'll last through the end of this year (for gaming). In the meantime, I'm doing my research.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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And dont put too much into the processor, I switched my 3200+ against a +4000 and it didnt make ANY differance at all to the framerate of any of my games.

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And dont put too much into the processor, I switched my 3200+ against a +4000 and it didnt make ANY differance at all to the framerate of any of my games.

That sucks! :p I was tempted to upgrade mine, but Im impatiently waiting till next winter. I want a machine that will be able to crush the upcoming Unreal engine.

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Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

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I'd say the 2x500GB is excessive... but when I got my comp I figured 2x80GB was excessive, I filled that in like a month. GD TV shows filling my hard drives....

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Looks like someone has come into some money. Wasn't it not too long ago Hades was out of a job?

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Athlons suck go with Pentiums. Everything else looks alright.

Current Pentium technology is only better for computational tasks that are highly repetitive, like video encoding, because of their ridiculously long predictive pipelines (twenty-odd stages, as opposed to the Athlon teens). Their cooler Pentium M range (laptops, predominantly, but their is no reason not to use one in a desktop if you self-build). This years Intel CPUs will be a "better Pentium M", with dual-core coming out in a few months, too.

 

The Athlon have definitely been the gamer's choice for the last few years.

 

Make sure the motherboard has support for the newer PCI-Express GPU, rather than the old AGP technology. Newer motherboards have a PCI-E 16 (which is far more than any card can use, but should provide some future-proofing). If you are thinking about cross-fire (twin X1900XT) or SLI (twin 7800GTX) then make sure you have two PCI-E slots: the lowest bus speed with throttle the two cards, if they are not equal.

 

Less (1GB) super-fast, high quality RAM is better than more (2GB) slow crap RAM. Even if you don't overclock it.

 

RAID is pointless for a gaming PC. It certainly doesn't imporve performance, can only hinder it, speed-wise. Better to use it as sequential storage, keeping your save games / perishables clutter off your kick-arse fast initial harddrive.

 

Also, Vista will allow for the use of flash RAM (that stuff in those little keychain storage devices): this stuff is much faster than harddrive I/O (slower than comventional RAM, of course) which makes it perfect for pre-caching things like game level data ... not sure how this will best be implemented, yet, as no-one has used this hardware like that yet and Apple have bought up about 99.8% of capacity of flash RAM for their iPod Nano production. :(

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Occupational hazards. :rolleyes:

 

caveat: Kaftan just pointed out to me that RAID 0 is in fact a good way to bring down average seek times for hard disk arrays (by the inverse of proportional capacity). Of course, RAID 0 isn't strictly RAID (the "R" in RAID stands for "Redundant", and RAID 0 is striping across all the available disks, so it provides no redundancy if a problem occurs).

 

So setting up multiple disks in a striped array (RAID 0, sic passim) will increase performance, but don't think you are also ensuring against catastrophy.

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My friend set up a RAID on a computer of mine and I never saw any performance boost. It seemed to go as fast as a regular hard drive set up, IDE is it? He said it was faster than a normal set up, but I did not see any difference.

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There are a number of RAID configurations: they are meant to provide robust data integrity, not speed of access.

 

(RAID 0 is only RAID in the pedantic sense similar to zero being a quanitity.)

 

Check out the linkie for a full explanation, if you dare ... :D

 

The only really useful RAID is RAID level 5. This is what businesses use for data that must not be compromised: it allows for a drive in the array to be lost, swapped out with a new, unformatted one, and the array survive and rebuild across the span including the new disk. (This is called "hot-swapping" and keeps the data secure whilst the maintenance is performed; I have actually done this.) :rolleyes:

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Yeah, I found a job. Overall it doesn't pay a whole lot. $8 an hour standing behind a counter doing minimal cleaning and restocking for 10 hours a night, four times a week, but I am focusing all my free money on my computer. I want a system that in 5 years time still very viable.

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