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Old 07-29-2004, 08:22 PM   #1
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Smile Getting a new computer - Hardware Advice Needed

Hey guys,

I'm a bit of a lurker here and this is actually my first post but I am getting a new computer for going to university and wanted some expert opinion on hardware combinations.

My desired specs as they stand are (this looks like it is going to count as my birthday and christmas presents... well forever):

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (i would love to be able to go up to the FX-53 but the price jump is a bit much, 200 to 500)

Motherboard: Asus A8V Deluxe (not certain about this, basically i need whatever will run the AMD 64 well along with the RAM and 8x AGP)

RAM: 1GB Corsair XMS (again a bit of a grey area for me, if anyone can explain the advantages of dual channel RAM and recommed the minimum required to make sure everything runs smoothly that would be great)

Graphics: ATI X800 Pro 256Mb

Soundcard: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital 10000rpm (about 80Gb should be fine for me at least at first but i do want a quick hard drive)

From here on in it is additionals really. I have no idea what kind of power supply i would be looking at or what cooling would be required. All in all i'm about over my head being more of a software person

As far as use goes I do play quite a few games on my current PC and am looking forward to titles like HL2, plus i do quite alot of work with photoshop and CAD programs so graphics are important to me.

Anyway i hope this isnt too basic for this forum, please excuse my lack of hardware knowledge. Any advice as to what i need to improve on (any area that would hold the system backO) or could cut back on would be great, plus any tips or views on brands or models of hardware also appreciated.

Many Thanks

Naz
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:34 PM   #2
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That setup looks pretty damn good. It's very similar to the setup I'm building. First of all you definitely want one gig of ram. The 3500 is a very powerful proccessor and you would still be safe going with that over the FX-53. If I were you, I wouldn't go with the FX-53. I would use the saved money on a better video card. You wanna go with an Ati X800 XT or an nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra. That's just my opinion, that way you could run next-gen games at higher settings. I wouldn't go with the WD Raptor HD. I know you said you wanted a fast Hardrive, but you want see a worthy difference. Take the 180$ it costs for one 74gb WD Raptor HD an get either 2x80gn Hd's in RAID or 2x120gb HD's in RAID for about the same price, it will be faster for cheaper. Save your money for better Ram or a better video card. That motherboard will be good with your setup. Make sure you get a case with good cooling and or cooling options. I would reccomend either the Antec PlusView 1000 AMG or the Lian-Li PC-60. I hope I helped! Let me know if you have any more questions!
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:37 PM   #3
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Well if you are going to be using cad and photoshop Nvidia would be a better brand to go with. ATI is known for making crappy drivers and depending on programs. Some 3d programs dont do well with ATI's stuff. Plus ATI is currently slower. I would get wither a 6800 gt or just a plain 6800. That would be better.

Having twin sticks of ram will give you better perfomance so make sure you go that route.

Other than that its a pretty good sytem you go there.
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:48 PM   #4
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Don't get the x800, I personally am a ATI fan, but the 6800 series are very very very good.

Everything else seems very nice. Good setup.

Just wondering though, do you wish to overclock or no??
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:57 PM   #5
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I agree go with any of the 6800's. I was gonna say that, but I didn't want to start an argument, haha.
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:22 AM   #6
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Thanks alot for all of the advice guys, it really is appreciated.

i will be taking alot of the things you have said into consideration, but please let the dicussions continue . I don't think i will be overclocking my system, always brings up images of me sitting infront of a heap of melted plastic for some reason i dont really trust myself.

One last thing, if anyone can recommend a cool looking case, preferably quiet and roomy then that would be great. I love the look of the alienware ones so i have been trying to find something similar. (Edit: sorry just saw the cases you recommended, thanks i'll look into them)

Oh and does dual channel RAM basically mean using two sticks instead of one?

Cheers again,

Naz
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:54 AM   #7
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6800 GT i would go for its the same price as X800 . The new alienware cases you cant buy are you in the uk ? . Dual ram and someone correct me if i am wrong means that the data rate is higher , so its faster to have dual ram then single.
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Old 07-30-2004, 10:01 AM   #8
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Thanks alot,

yeah i am in the U.K. I didnt expect to be able to buy the actual alienware cases but something along similar lines would be cool (shiny black or silver rather than the boring old cream colours ).

I will look into the 6800 cards, i had until now been recommended to go with the ATI as they were looked on more favourably by the HL2 team and seemed to require less power? Anyway i am always open to suggestions so i will do some more research.

I am also looking for a good CRT screen, definately 1600x1200 and about 21" in size (i plan to use this computer as a T.V as well with a TV card, pluss would be nice to have a big screen for artwork and DVDs) so further recommendations once again welcome.

Sorry for all the questions,

Naz
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Old 07-30-2004, 11:31 AM   #9
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www.xcase.co.uk , look here for your case its a brilliant shop . every fancy case in the world it looks like. 6800s have been favorded to play all the new titles like Hf2 and Doom 3 better . but either one and it will be brilliant.
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Old 07-30-2004, 04:49 PM   #10
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Well true Valve is favoring the ATI cards but they announced that position at a time when Nvidia was down. Besides Valve learned there lessson for that little mistake. They got hacked because of it. Expect nest time around for them to think a little more wisely.

You can get the same case alienware uses if you would like. http://www4.tomshardware.com/howto/2...itower-67.html

You can also read up on that article for more great cases. Also the 6800 gt doesnt suffer from the same power issues as its big brother does.
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