lets suspend reality...

Discussion in 'Community' started by g30ffr3y, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    buffalo ny
    hello everyone... i hope this is in the correct forum...

    lets say i wanted to build an ultimate gaming system
    for playing doom 3... sadly enough my beloved quicksilver
    and tibook arent quite up to the task so we have to drift
    into the sick abyss of crap that is windows xp...

    lets also say that i am not the type that likes to wait for
    things... so lets say i was going to go to compusa, circuit city,
    best buy etc... for the supplies...

    what would my shopping list look like...

    motherboard? which
    processor? i would like to go AMD
    video card? i hear nVidia is spanking on doom 3
    hard drive? i dont need big... just nice and quick

    what else???

    processor fan
    power supply
    cd/dvd drive

    if any of you wouldnt mind giving me the best bang for
    the buck options id really appreciate it...
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Mother Board: Any major manufacturer (MSI,Asus,GigaByte etc) NForce 3 250Gb (may be called NForce 3 Ultra) board. If you want the latest get a socket 939 one, although socket 754 is where the best price/performance is at right now.
    CPU: Athlon 64. Something around a 3400+ to 3600+.
    Graphics: GeForce 6800GT. A bit slower than the ultra, but a lot cheaper and can be clocked to ultra speed.
    Harddrive: If all you want is speed then a Western Digital Raptor is the way to go.

    Case: Lian Li Aluminium one.
    Fan: Comes with the CPU>
    PSU: Enermax make really nice ones.
    DVD Drive: ANY!
    RAM: 2 Sticks of branded DDR 400.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    check out http://arstechnica.com/guide/system/index.html they've got a good starting point for you.
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    buffalo ny
    thanks guys... the athalon 64 + socket 754 (?) seems like
    the most reasonable/realistic option... im also reading
    that nVidia is spanking ATI on doom 3...

    right now im trying to play it on my athalon XP 2400 [2.0gig]
    with 512ram and a 64MB MX420... needless to say its not
    running very smooth even on the lowest settings...
  5. Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    processor...athlon or pentium 4, stay away from celeron or transmeta for gaming

    ram...most types are good but stay away from ultra cheap ram that's unknown...kingston or crucial is just fine for most

    video card...ati or nvidia both have good products

    dvd...any, like mentioned by another poster

    case...if looks is that important, then be prepared to spend a little more

    motherboard...asus or major brand

    it's still cheaper to look at major brand pc companies and build a machine from there online and due to the fact that 1) you can get windows cheaper ($40 is all it adds to their cost and they give you the savings), and 2) that there is a lot of bundled software costing hundreds of dollars, and 3) that they can buy in bulk for parts and software and thus get a better deal...it makes more sense, these days, to buy a major brand computer if bang for the buck is important

    if you are going to build a machine, then customization is what you are after and you are lucky these days if you can build a comparable machine to an hp/compaq, let's say, and still do it for the same price and still get all the same or comparable software...when you buy a major brand computer, you also have that one year warranty and sometimes phone support for that period of time

    so if you still want a custom machine, then spend a little extra and build something that the major brand companies cannot and will not do...i say go $1500 or so and you will likely be proud of what you will make and also have something truly unique at the same time

    i hope this helps
  6. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    This will be one of the best home PCs able to play Doom 3. Be aware I would have gotten the ATI X800 Pro or the XFX NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT but unfortunatly, NewEgg was out of stock. Also, another note about video cards: Doom 3 requires a 512 MB video card to run all settings on 'Ultra', currently, there are no 512, just 256. So the X800 or the 6800 will have to do. Also let me tell you that this does not include the mouse, keyboard, speakers, or the monitor.

    I build PCs for my friends and family for a hobby, and I can help anybody that wants to build a PC from $300-3000 dollars.

    <EDIT>sorry for the low quality pic, I couldn't get FireFox to save a .jpg, so I had to save as a .pdf, then convert it to .jpg, then zip it.

    <EDIT again> For those of you who don't want to download the pics, I'll just tell you the specs:
    Generic silver 10 bay case
    Sony 16X DVD ROM
    Thermaltake Venus 12 CPU fan
    x10 80 mm case fans
    x2 WD Raptor 36.7 GB 10,000 RPM SATA (in a RAID 0)
    x3 512 184 pin 512 MB DDR PC-3200 RAM (total of 1536 MB of RAM)
    ABIT KV8 K8T800 Chipset
    Antec 550 watt power supply
    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with 1 MB of L2 Cache - OEM
    M-AUDIO 7.1 Channel PCI Sound Card
    ATI FireGL 9800 Video CArd 256 MB DDR2, 256-bit Dual DVI w/ 8X Pro AGP

    All for the amazing price of $1,757.89*

    You need big bucks to play with the big boys.

    *Excluding tax, shipping, and as mentioned above keyboard, mouse, speaker, and monitor.

    Attached Files:

  7. mvc
    macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
    Who's got the toy computer now?

    ..and they used to say back in 1984 that the Mac was just a toy computer, for kids, and "real work" was done on DOS/PC.

    Looks like the shoe's on the other foot now, the only reason you need to buy a PC is because you want to play games. :p
  8. macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    you might want to invest it more heat sinks or fans
  9. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I don't see whats wrong with the ThermalTAke Venus 12, its the best CPU fan for the 754 socket. ThermalTake is very well known for making good CPU fans, I've used the Volcano 7+, Volcano 9+, and the Volcano 12+ and I highly reccomend all of them, they are very reliable.

    Of course this is assuming that you made you post in responce to mine. ;)
  10. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I think he was being sarcastic. I'm not quite sure why you went with a FireGL card as they are not really gaming optimised?
  11. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    As I mentioned above, the ATI X800 Pro or the XFX NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT were out of stock. :(

    I just needed a video card to put there, instead of puttig no video card.
  12. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    What I meant was why get the 9800 FireGL instead of a standard 9800 which would be just as good for gaming?
  13. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    It might not be worth the price the the 9800 FireGL has DDR2 and 8X AGP Pro.

    And the X800 and the 6800 are still out of stock..... :( :mad: :mad:
  14. macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2004
    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    Proc and mobo (expensive and cheaper options)
    Expensive but awesome
    AMD athlon64 3800+ socket 939 (652 on newegg)
    GIGABYTE "GA-K8NSNXP-939" nForce3 Ultra Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU (220 on newegg)

    Cheaper but still mind bendingly awesome
    AMD athlon64 3500+ socket 939 (352 on newegg)
    ABIT "AV8" K8T800 Pro Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU (120 on newegg)

    make sure you get ram with low latiencies, I would recommend mushkin. Get 1 gig
    Mushkin 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 Level One Dual Pack (250 on newegg)
    The actual speed of this ram is only 3200, but the timings are 2 3 2 so it will OC REALLY well

    Get whatever you like, but watch out for spending too much money on a "ricer" Thermaltake cases look and perform awesome, but they are WAY expensive. I would recommend an Antec case, they come with lots of fans and they are solic

    Get a good 500 watt or more, don't get cheap here. I did that once, and it burned up.

    Video Card
    even though I'm an ATI fanboy, I would recommend an nVidia card for doom3. They perform very, very well.
    If you want to spend in the 400 dollar range, get a 6800 GT. This card is an amazing value, its THE MOST bang for your buck
    If you want to go all out, get the 6800 Ultra no question
    If you want to go ATI, get the X800XT PE. ATI just released some beta catalyst drivers that improve its doom3 framrates by about 10fps (go check out the rage3d forums to see for yourself)

    Hope that helps!
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    buffalo ny
    oh well... i cant justify 400-500 for a video card for my
    windows computer... it would be different if it were for my
    mac to run a 30" monitor... but its not... so i slammed
    a radeon 9800 pro 128 in my current machine... [HP w/athalon xp 2400+]
    i just wanted to play my game a little better and didnt want to
    wait to order a card... it was 250.00 but even on newegg its 223.00
    so the instant gratification was worth it... plus now im going to give
    my dad my MX420 so he can play the game... his "brand new compaq"
    cheaped out with a no name card and doom wont run AT ALL...

    oh yeah... when i had my system scan the hardware to recommend
    settings... i jumped from...

    low quality 640x480 all the way to.....

    medium quality 640x480...

    whoopty freaking do!!!!!!!!!

    but this game looks amazing on low quality... and now
    even super amazing on medium... i cant imagine ultra quality...
    but still... ive elimated most of the choppiness and outside
    of a few audio skips/stutters/repeats and the occasional
    weird vertical line thing on my screen the game runs nice...

    so now im going to build the rest of the computer
    slowly... buying from newegg probably as i can afford
    the pieces...

    ive been reading up and AMD is wiping the floor with
    intel regarding doom perfomance... i wouldnt have gotten
    an intel anyhow...

    the athalon 64 3400+ is only like 305.00 its the old socket 754
    but the price performance is definately right at the sweet spot...
    my current chip scored like a 48 on the doom benchmarks while
    the 3400+ scored like a 98... going to the 64 FX would be a huge
    price jump and not enough performce to justify... i still have to
    save money for a new mac once they hit dual 3gigs... or the new
    imac if its just so sweet... the article seems to imply that
    a better CPU will let you jack up the resolution a bit... i dont know...
    but between that and i plan on putting a gig of ram in the thing
    right off the bat should give me a nice system... not just for
    doom... but for collecting dust...
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    buffalo ny

    EXACTLY!!!!!!!!! thats the windows world... playing games and
    upgrading video cards when every new sick game comes out...

    to amend my previous post...

    ive also found a sony dvd +- rw /cdrw for 83.00...
    i have no interest in a "ricer" case... just black with nice
    clean lines... like the new high end vaio destops... that is a hot
    case... dont get me wrong... i love the g5 case... but i love black!!!
    the raptor hard drive is nuts for the cost... ill settle for a modest
    SATA drive and save half the cost...
    i dont plan on giving windows any money either... so thatll save
    what... 169.99 ???

    dont processors come with fans...???
    i have no interest in overclocking anything...
    i dont trust it... i dont trust windows...
    im not interested in getting a ridiculous cooling system...
  17. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Retail processors come with heat sinks and fans, OEM processors come with just the processor. You'll need to buy a 3rd party fan and/or heat sink if you want to overclock it or get an OEM processor. (and there is no difference between the Retail and OEM version of a processor)

    Overclocking is easy and safe if you know how to do it. (and it's not that hard to do) It'll take you a few hours at most.

    For example, there are many people that buy an AMD Barton 2500+ and overclock it to 3200+ speeds. If they didn't overclock it, then they would have to buy the 3200+ processor. The OEM version of the 2500+ is $80 and the OEM version of a 3200+ is $181. Thats a savings of $100. (also don't forget the fan and sink, they will cost you anywhere from 15-25$) Thats basically $75 more dollars that you could spend on an extra 512 MB of RAM or a decent sound card, or a DVD burner.
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    buffalo ny

    so if i bought an athalon 64 3000+ could i overclock it to run like the
    3400+ ??? how do you do that... would you need more fans???

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