help me build a gaming PC!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by zimv20, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #1
    "biz" problem: my quake 3 skills now seem to be limited by my hardware (dual 500 g4, radeon 8500), and i'd like to be able to run doom3 when it comes out.

    possible sol'n: get a new machine/kit specifically for gaming, a PC. i want this machine to be as INEXPENSIVE as possible.

    requirements:

    - no windows (i want linux) and i DON'T want to pay for a windows license

    - amd-based, min 1700 athlon (don't want intel getting my $$ either)

    - 8x agp capable (so i can put in radeon 9700)

    - min. 266 MHz fsb (but 533 would be great)

    - 512 DDR ram

    - 20 gig 7200 rpm drive

    - cd-rom

    - floppy

    - usb ports (min. 2)

    - firewire ports (min. 1)

    - ethernet port

    - no monitor, keyboard, mouse, modem

    - sustained 100+ fps in network quake 3 (i have DSL)

    - < $350

    can it be done?

    (note: $350 does NOT include the price of the 9700 video card, obviously)

    suggestions for fsb speeds, specific amd proc, type of RAM are welcome. be as specific as you want w/ motherboard manuf. and model #, etc.

    PCs are _not_ my area of specialty, but i'm not afraid to put together my own.

    disclaimer: yes, i know it's a mac forum. but lots of people here are PC-knowledgeable and where else can i go to find such a supportive community? :)

    thanks!
     
  2. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #2
    err.. forgetting all the technical issues, I think your main problem will be finding games for linux.
     
  3. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    linux

    quake III runs on it. i should check about its release dates for doom III, though.

    <clenching in pain>
    if necessary, i'll run xp pro
    </clenching in pain>
     
  4. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #4
    though I could be wrong - I admit I know very little about the games scene for linux (come to that, I have gone off games a lot since about 1996!!)

    re: the other hardware though... perhaps one of hte gigabyte motherboards (should sort out your USB/FW/ethernet worries), IMHO the 2100+ athlon is the best bang for buck at the moment.

    I've been out of the "scene" for a while though, and I won't be doing proper research till I go to update my hardware later this year!! and I'm in Australia so I can't help you with prices :) good luck anyway.
     
  5. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #5
    Me

    Im doing the same thing as you.

    I am using:

    Asis Mobo (nForce 2, 8x AGP, 333FSB)
    I am using an AMD 2800+, because it is 333MHz FSB, and is really fast. The 2400+ is great too, and is a way cheaper but efficient solution
    Radeon 9700
    Amex case (its like 100 dollars w/500 watt power supply)
    512MB Kingston RAM (DDR 400)
    80GB Maxtor HD
    Im pirating Win XP (best for games)
    The mobo im using comes with standerd 6 channel sound...
    I have a monitor at home, and keyboard, and speakers

    USE GoogleGear.com to find great prices. I use it for just about all this stuff, except the case, and the chip. I am getting the chip somewhere cheaper i hope...
     
  6. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #7
    Odd to say this, but wouldn't there actually be more games for your Mac?!

    If you are going to build a gaming PC, and actually be able to run the games that you can't run on your mac, you might as well succumb to windows on it.
     
  7. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    ack! i have such a hard time imagining my money going to MS.

    i'm not really interested in a breadth of games, just quake III and doom III. i read an article w/ id's carmack who said d3 is definitely coming to linux, so i think i can get away w/ that.
     
  8. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    here's what i've got so far

    Asus A7N8X Deluxe nforce2 mobo $160

    AMD Athlon XP 2400+ chip $152

    Kingston KVR400X64C3/512 512MB DDR400 PC3200 CL3 184 DIMM Memory $91

    Western Digital Caviar WD400BB 40GB ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive $70

    i've picked a faster chip than i'd said, and put it on a fast motherboard. i'm at $473 and still don't have a box and usb 1 ports. not bad, but i'm clearly overbudget. still, should be a fast gaming machine w/ that radeon 9700 in there.

    macaztec, thanks for the tips.
     
  9. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
  10. GrandShenlong macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    If you really want a PC that'll run Doom III tolerably with some of its highest settings...

    Athlon XP 2800+
    A mobo with Serial ATA, AGP 8X, built-in Ethernet, USB 2.0... there's a plethora of them out now (maybe try Soyo or Via)
    Audigy sound card (for 5.1 EAX effects)
    Geforce4 Ti4400 or Radeon 9700 (if you're getting the Radeon, wait until the 9800 becomes public)

    512MB PC3000 (or faster) DDR RAM (preferably CAS 2 Corsair, though these come at a premium)
    if you only want one optical drive, get a combo drive (DVD/CDRW)
    Western Digital 80GB 7200rpm Serial ATA HDD (check an online retailer for model numbers)

    now for cooling:
    aluminum case (a must for a relatively quiet case with good heat dissipation)
    Thermaltake Volcano 7+ or Volcano 9 CPU heatsink/fan
    active RAM cooling (heatsink plates with attached fans)
    load up on case fans (go for the quiet slower ones if you don't want to have your PC sound like mine: a Formula One rounding a bend)
    CABLE MANAGEMENT (costs no money, just time... try threading some cables under your mobo or behind your drive cages. The cleaner your cable arrangement, the better your airflow, and the more stable your PC)


    ... or just go Alienware :D... they have new custom cases now
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #12
    Doom 3 is going to require a lot, why not just hold off as long as you can,wait for apple to release the 970 and go for one of these baby's? Everyday iam seeing more and more games coming to the mac. Mac gaming has grown by leaps and bounds since osX has arrived. Also id is using macs and carmack is a mac freind so when doom3 comes out for mac iam sure it will utilize it to the max. Iam waiting for doom3 this year also and planning on a new mac purchase as soon as they get off the stagnating g4. a 2.0ghz 970 mac with a ati9700 will run doom3 just fine and anything else you throw at it.
     
  12. MorganX macrumors 6502a

    MorganX

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    Midwest
    #13
    Have you considered an XBox? Doom 3 will be released for it. Just a thought.

    I'm phasing out my PC and moving to the Mac. I don't miss games because I'm not into RTS' and I think action titles look as good or better than on the PC. And it's much more fun from the couch with friends.
     
  13. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #14
    If you're going to run games on Linux, you're probably going to want to have a look at WineX from www.transgaming.com.

    It's nowhere near perfect but if you don't run to run Windows on it.....
     
  14. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    the motherboard i specified has all that, but i spec'ed a slower (and cheaper :) chip.

    it's a nice machine you've spec'ed out. i'm coming to the conclusion that a properly outfitted PC is going to cost.... about as much as a comparable Mac!

    i know some very happy people w/ those machines. they're pretty pricey, though. again, i'd rather sink that kind of $$ into a mac.

    like many others, i'm holding out for that 970.
     
  15. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #16
    yep, that's the conclusion i'm coming to. my immediate problem is my quake III skills are now limited by my (older) mac.

    i may be willing to spend $350 to improve them, but not the $800+ it'll require to get the proper PC.
     
  16. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #17
    i hadn't, but i wouldn't for two reasons: 1) that's money to MS, 2) i would fold@home when not gaming.
     
  17. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #18
    cool. thanks for the link.
     
  18. hariya macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #19
    I do not know if you are into LAN gaming but if you are I will consider a small form factor PC.

    I am saving up for a new FreeBSD desktop and I am going to put it in the Shuttle X PC SN41G2. (I might be off on that last number as I am quoting from memory). That comes as a case with 2 firewire, 2 USB 2, 6 channel sound, 333 MHz DDR memory and 8X AGP. The burn is the price without CPU and CD-ROM is around 350-400 USD.

    But, I think it is worth the extra price for the portability and coolness. Cant own a cube and this is as close as can get.

    [Edit to add link]www.shuttle.com/new/product/barebone/specs_b.asp?B_id=11
     
  19. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #20
    i'm not into LAN gaming, but i do like the form factor. that or a rackmount would be ideal.

    that doesn't seem too bad, considering it includes the mobo. just a little extra for the form factor.


    ah, but here's the rub. it's got a 200w power supply. ATI recommends a minimum of 300 for the 9700.

    everything else about it is pretty sweet.
     
  20. WannabeSQ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    #21
    many people run 9700s on the shuttle mini pcs, because the motherboard is so tiny and energy efficient, it uses less wattage than a regular one, freeing up power for the video card :) That's what I would do if I had the dough for a Mac and a PC. I prefer the P4 one myself.

    Newegg is the perfect place to get that. They have 9700s for $300 and 9500s for $250, which are almost as good, and still way better than a nVidia Ti4600. I hear they ship fast as well (though my friend who bought something from them was like half an hour from the warehouse it shipped from)

    or, since you mostly want to play quake 3, which runs on a Mac, use that $800 on a dual 800mhz upgrade card. Then sell it when the 970 comes out, and not one red cent goes to M$ :) .
     
  21. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #22
    Graphics cardwise go for an Nvidia one as they have really good (as good as the windows ones) drivers for linux - they're not opensource though so you'd have to install them yourself from the Nvidia site. ATIs drivers for Linux are total crap.

    I've got a PC (for gaming) as well as a mac and to be honest I can't see the point of having one when I can pretty much buy a console for the price of new graphics card.

    Great isn't it? Three months ago buy a mac and now I can't see why the hell I still have a PC :rolleyes:
     
  22. mgargan1 macrumors 65816

    mgargan1

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    #23
    for you to not buy a great piece of hardware just because of the company that makes it is kinda silly to me. I mean, sure I can understand the AMD/Intel thing, just because AMD's slower processors are cheaper than Intel's. But Intel is an excellent company, which has vast amounts of cash which will allow them to suffer through these tough times. I'm not saying anything bad about AMD so don't go getting upset, all I'm saying is for you not to buy an X-Box, cause you don't want Microsoft to get your money is just absurd. Who do you think will get your money if you buy a PC, or even a Mac for that matter. Microsoft makes money on pretty much everything on a computer, except linux. When you buy a Mac, you give Microsoft your money because they own a lot of stock in apple, as well as when you buy their Office v.10. Oh, and hey, if it wasn't for microsoft, there wouldn't be an apple, and the computer as we know it would be completely different. Maybe for the better, maybe for the worse... don't say that you don't wanna buy a great product like the X-box just cause Microsoft makes it.
     
  23. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #24

    i don't like microsoft, period. when i can avoid giving them my money, i do. when i can avoid using their products, i do. simply my rights as a consumer.

    it's fine if you think it's silly.

    my macs are MS free, btw.
     
  24. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #25
    good point.

    i've scrapped the whole idea. it's more than i want to spend. i'd rather have an ipod.
     

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