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clayman
21st May 2004, 22:48
is in the virtual shopping cart and waiting for me to click. Opinions are welcome, that way I can share the blame if what I buy isn't da bomb. :)

AMD Athlon XP 400 FSB processor DDR-400 system
ASUS A7V600 mobo
Athlon XP 3200+ processor
1 gb RAM
ATI Radeon 9600XT 128 mb video card
160 gb hard drive
other assorted trimmings

The possible option of buying a cheaper video card that will still run TDS, and waiting on the new ATI x800 card to price drop a few months out is a consideration.

Is a non-techy doing ok with shopping, or do I need help ? :)

Peter_Smith
22nd May 2004, 04:47
Hi clayman,

Well, if it were me, and it will be soon, I would go with an Athlon 64 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-424&depa=0) and an 128 MB ATI 9800 Pro (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-102-268&depa=0). The A64 has been getting rave reviews for gaming, it beats the XP's for the same speed rating. The 9800 pro is a good step above the 9600 pro and it will stand the test of time better. I wouldn't get the XT variant because I think the performance / price is better for the pro.

I am attempting to hold out for the next generation video card, probably an Nvidia 6800 (better open GL support for Doom 3). Extravagant, yes, but what the heck.

Stile451
22nd May 2004, 05:04
If you decide to stay with the 3200, I suggest you get a different motherboard. Put a few more dollars into it and you get a better board, specifically, I suggest A7N8X Deluxe (http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socketa/a7n8x-d/overview.htm) because it has an nForce 2 chipset and Soundstorm sound.

nForce 2 boards have the best performance for Athlon XPs, and the sound is on par with some of the best sound cards available.

Lake
22nd May 2004, 15:09
I agree with Peter; get the 9800 Pro.

Sneak
22nd May 2004, 15:25
Clayman,
I can't help with ATI or AMD stuff. I built with Nvidia and Intel. If I had built maybe three to 4 months or so earlier or later I might be a proud ATI AMD owner. :)

Just FYI if it is helpful, don't know where you are buying but I found New Egg, AccuPC, and ZipZoomFly which was formerly Google Gear to be pretty good. They all three got the orders out the back door the same day. Buy Extreme Gear was a bit slow on shipping out the door but had some good prices. New Egg was my fav and I bought the most there but they did not have everything in stock when I needed it nor, suprisingly, always the best price.

I think you are in for some fun. For me the easy part was assembling the Hardware. The hard part came after that, installing, configuring, updating, and tweaking to satisfaction.

Look forward to seeing what you ultimately build. :)



Peter,
I am with you on Open GL and Nvidia. On about everything else, ATI and Nvidia are really close with ATI a tad ahead with somewhat less power consumption. But when it comes to Open GL, which can be used on a bunch of games, Nvidia runs away with it. :)

clayman
22nd May 2004, 22:00
Thanks everyone, the site I was recommended from a friend at work was AccessMicro. This isn't just a parts place, they assemble and test, etc., which maybe the others that Sneak suggested do too, I will check those out and check prices. I was amazed that a comparable Intel system at Dell was about $800 more than the Athlon XP system I configured at AccessMicro, and $700 more than the Athlon 64 I just configured now.

Thanks again, keep those cards and letters coming, I now have about 9 different systems built to choose from. :)

Mr. Perfect
24th May 2004, 00:54
If the diffrence between the XP and the 64 is $100, then splurge a little. ;)

Munin the Raven
25th May 2004, 20:06
If it were my new rig, I would definitely go with a 64-bit processor. The general rule for buying processors is to buy the newest generation (provided it's been out for at least a couple of months so that any major problems have time to show themselves), but to buy a couple of steps below the fastest speeds to avoid the high price tags that accompany the latest and greatest models.

Eventually everything is going to be 64-bit. If you want your system to play the latest games for more than two years from now, I would get a 64-bit setup.