Help building a new system (89th this week)

Hey, I’ve put together a rough idea of what I want from a new system, and was hoping for some ideas. I want to play Crysis and the next wave of sexayness.

I’m only going to buy a new mobo, cpu, and vid card (and maybe RAM), and I want the price to stay under $600. I’m hoping you guys can offer some ideas and/or point out anything I’ve missed.

Anyway, here’s my initial pass, which I did in 20 minutes last night at 1am:
[B]GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard

[/B]EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready

[AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor](

I’m very interested in the new 512mb 8800GT of course, but haven’t seen it out there yet. EDIT: Holy shit: 8800GT at Fry’s

This would be in addition to my current RAM, which is 2gb of DDR400, my current PSU, which is a 550w Antec TruePower (with a +12v rail of 30 amps!). Both my current hard drives are IDE only, though, so I may have to get a SATA drive.

I’d love to hear any thoughts. My price point is firm because I’m not interested in a “holy shit my eyballs are bleeding” system: I just want to play the latest games with good looks.

Thanks for any assistance!

As you mentioned, you may want to toss in a SATA drive. That board has only one PATA connector, thus supports 2 devices, and you don’t really want to daisy chain your optical drive w/ your hard drive.

Considering your budget is firm, that would be a pretty nice build-out, and early reports on this forum suggest the new 8800GT is the best bang for your buck.

Keep in mind that you’re pretty much at the end of the road w/ the CPU/Mobo/RAM once you upgrade, but a 6000+ and that GT should keep you in a good position for another year or two.

What do you mean, end of the road? Is the AM2 chipset at the end of its life cycle? Would it be better for future upgrade potential to go with a different chipset?

You can’t reuse your memory: AMD and Intel have both switched to DDR2. Fortunately, PC6400 DDR2 RAM is hella cheap these days: you ought to be able to find 2 gigs for $50 - $60.

Personally, I’d rather go with a Core 2 Duo CPU: an E6550 is $170. Its performance is about the same as the 6000+, but I suspect the LGA 775 will have slightly longer legs than AM2; I’m also more interested in Intel’s upcoming Penryn quad-cores than I am in AMD’s Phenom. EDIT: both AMD & Intel have said they’ll use their existing socket types for their upcoming CPUs; but that’s not a guarantee they’ll work with all existing MBs; so YMMV based on which MB you buy.

If you want to keep your old HDDs, you can buy an IDE-to-SATA converter.

If you’re gonna keep things at stock speeds, AMD is okay. If you want to delve into overclocking, Intel is the way to go.

E6750 mentioned can clock up to e6850 speeds and save you $100.

Though… you’ll have to go with aftermarket cooling, it’s still a pretty good savings/performance ratio.

Thanks for the thoughts, you guys. I should have mentioned I’m not an OC’er, so stock speeds are what I’m staying with.

Good to know about the RAM. It is indeed very very cheap these days, but will my DDR 400 not work at ALL with my new system, or will it be too dang slow to get any good performance? Will it pull the rest of the system down or just not work?

Finally, I’d like to stay with AMD, having had great luck with them so far, but if the AM2 may be on its way out, what’s the next chipset I’ll want to look at?

I just got a C2D 6650, Gigabyte GA-P35-DSR3, 2gigs of PC-6400 DDR2 and a BFG 7950gt (which I will be returning for an 8800GT, i think) for $625…after rebates it’ll go under $600. Got everything at Fry’s…and it’s pretty damn fast. And with that MB, I hope to have some room for upgrades in the future.

Hmmm. The Fry’s in Fremont? Or is there one up there out in the East East Bay?

Also, what’s the next chipset AMD is using? The successor to the AM2?

There’s a Fry’s in Concord and has been one there for at least four years now. :)

There’s one in Concord, which is a very bad thing for me. At least when it was in Fremont I was rarely tempted to go drop a few hundred bucks every two weeks.

Also, what’s the next chipset AMD is using? The successor to the AM2?

790FX and early reports look good.

DDR & DDR2 are completely incompatible with each other. You’ll have to buy new RAM.

Finally, I’d like to stay with AMD, having had great luck with them so far, but if the AM2 may be on its way out, what’s the next chipset I’ll want to look at?

AM2 isn’t the MB chipset, it’s the CPU socket type. Like I said earlier, AMD has said they’ll stick with AM2 for the forthcoming Phenom CPU. As for MB chipsets, I don’t really know what’s coming down the pike, so I’ll let someone else tackle that one.

Okay then, I guess I’ll stick with AM2 unless anyone thinks that’s a terrible idea.

Thanks for the depressing news about my RAM, but my brother will be happy for the hand-me-down of 2gb. Oh hell yes.

And with a Fry’s in Concord, I may be able to get an entirely new system in about an hour? Oh shit. Oh shit… :)

Just noticed this.

Is chaining hard drives and optical drives really considered a bad idea with modern parts? I know you weren’t supposed have them on the ssame IDE channel back in the circa-Win95 days, but I’ve been doing it for years and haven’t noticed any ill effects.

i/o freezes if you copy data from 1 partition to another on the same drive. same goes for if you transfer data between 2 devices on the same cable.

I live a whopping five minutes from the Concord Fry’s. Fortunately I have NO MONEY so I’m not tempted to spend it. Fuck, I’m saving my change in an Incredibles popcorn bucket so I can buy Mass Effect. It’ll be 2009 before I get a whole new system. I know, I know, LIKE YOU CARE. Have fun, Munky!

Good God, how many of us are there in Concord? I knew Union Carbide was here, but not charmtrap.

I grew up in Walnut Creek. :) I only recently left the bay area.

Uh, I bought your processor from you, dude. Jeesh, I must be quite a bit more forgettable than I thought…

Sorry, man, that was before my wife had a baby. Sleep deprivation x 3 months = some seriously atrophied brain cells. No disrespect intended.

Ah, that’s also why you have no money. :)

I’m doubtful I’ll be getting a new system after all; GHIII just cost as much as a new mobo, so I may be laying off for a while. Plus I really like having a savings account, and am not quite up to seeing it get seriously damaged.

If you do decide to go back to the build scratch the 8800GTS and move to the 8800 GT, better card all around especially the price per performance ;).