Complete Build - I don't upgrade often

sam999

Junior Member
Jun 15, 2005
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Hi everyone. This is my first post and I appreciate any help you can offer.

I am building a new computer. this will consist of MB, Processor, Ram, HD, Video Card, Power Supply, and Case. I already have keyboard, mouse, monitor, DVD drive, and software (Win XP Pro).

My budget is $1100 exactly. I am currently using a P3 1Ghz with 256 MB of Ram. I have been wanting a real computer for the last couple years to play the top games. Now I have finally saved enough, and my question is: What combination of parts can I purchase in the next 2 or 3 weeks that would offer me the absolute LONGEST future proof gaming ability. Keep in mind that I will probably not be buying a new computer part for 2 or 3 years.

I know nothing will hold up well for 2 or 3 years, but I would like to build the most respectably future-proof rig I can.

I am posting this in the video form because I know Nvidia is set to release their new processor soon.

I would like to basically follow Anand's recent midrange guide. However, because of the upcoming Nvidia chip I feel very nervous. I would like to be gaming as soon as possible for the summer, but at the same time I would feel foolish if nvidia's midrange 7000 series card turns out to be a great deal.

I don't want to wait more than a couple two or three weeks, and I would like to save as much money as possible. I don't feel comfortable buying used so all new zipzoomfly/newegg/etc stuff only.

Thank you for any advice you have for me about what to do. I am thinking I'd like at least a 6800 GT, but since the PCI-e version is still 340$ or so, do you think I should wait for a 399$ 7800GT and get that in the next couple weeks? Will a 7800 series even be readilly available in that amount of time? Will the 6800GT drop to around 300 or less if I wait just a week? Every time I total the items in the zipzoomfly/newegg shopping cart, I chicken out at the last second over the dang 7000 series! Am I just pinching pennies, should I just buy? Or will I be better off in the long run by waiting?

I'm willing to wait a bit to save a few bucks or alternatively to get a superior product, but over a month is no good! :)

Finally, are there any changes you would make from Anand's midrange guide for other things, from the stock AMD system he gave?

Thanks a bunch for any help!

 

dug777

Lifer
Oct 13, 2004
24,778
4
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you could just knock up a rig now with an el cheapo 6200 TC or X300 HyperMemory card to tide you over until the 7800's come out i guess ;)
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
21,303
4
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Welcome to teh forums :)

You'll likely be waiting several months before you can even buy the new gen. video cards, nevermind reasonable prices, so i frankly wouldn't worry about them too much for now.

Here's a few basic ideas of what i would look for (i'll let you research the options):

Mobo: nForce 4 - DFI would be my recommendation if you are OCing; if not, MSI Neo4
CPU: A64 Venice 3200+; 3500+ if you don't want to OC
RAM: 2x512 MB Corsair or OCZ Value RAM
HDD: whatever size SATA you want; Seagate is the most recommended here
Video Card: X800XL; you can sell this & get one of the new ATIs or nVidias when they become reasonably priced
PSU: OCZ Modstream 520W (just my personal fave)
Case: entirely up to you
 

sam999

Junior Member
Jun 15, 2005
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As an alternative I am also considering the X800 XL, but of course the same dillemma is raised about "best bang for the buck." I realize questions like this have been asked a lot recently, but I am in a unique situation in that I think I'm probably the only person looking to play games for 2+ years with what I build.

I know no one has a crystal ball, but I figure most people reading these forums have better instincts about product price and availability of the next Geforce series. Also, it sounds like it will be at most a 24 pipe architecture? If so, would the 6800 still be a competitive product? I'm just not so I want to wait for benchmarks, retail tests, and product availability before I buy! Hopefully someone can relate to this quandary, I wish I had the money a couple months ago, I think the purchase would have been much easier to make without new technology only perhaps a week or two away!
 

dug777

Lifer
Oct 13, 2004
24,778
4
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Originally posted by: sam999
As an alternative I am also considering the X800 XL, but of course the same dillemma is raised about "best bang for the buck." I realize questions like this have been asked a lot recently, but I am in a unique situation in that I think I'm probably the only person looking to play games for 2+ years with what I build.

I know no one has a crystal ball, but I figure most people reading these forums have better instincts about product price and availability of the next Geforce series. Also, it sounds like it will be at most a 24 pipe architecture? If so, would the 6800 still be a competitive product? I'm just not so I want to wait for benchmarks, retail tests, and product availability before I buy! Hopefully someone can relate to this quandary, I wish I had the money a couple months ago, I think the purchase would have been much easier to make without new technology only perhaps a week or two away!

then do what i suggested ;)

or buy a x800xl/6800GT now, then sell it and buy a new one further down the track, you shouldn't make a huge loss...
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
21,303
4
81
You cannot expect this gen.'s video cards, even with SLI, to realistically compete with the next gen.

Hence my recommendation for the nice cheap, yet excellent X800XL, which should be good for a year or so, & by then the 7800 GT & X950XT will be cheaper.
 

sam999

Junior Member
Jun 15, 2005
8
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Sounds good N7 and dug777. Last question then, as far as x800 XL's go, many brands on pricewatch are about 280-290. However, I haven't heard much talk about Asus's x800 xl card. The heatsink on it is pretty beefy looking, and asus is a brand im familiar with. MSI looks to have a better software package, but the heatsink doesn't compare to the asus.

Furthermore, the gigabyte has a no fan solution which sounds nice (literally). Which model would you lean to since price doesn't seem to matter?
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
21,303
4
81
I'm a Leadtek fanboi myself, but i've heard the MSIs are okay, & Asus always makes decent stuff ('cept i dislike their mobos, lol)
 

dug777

Lifer
Oct 13, 2004
24,778
4
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Originally posted by: sam999
Sounds good N7 and dug777. Last question then, as far as x800 XL's go, many brands on pricewatch are about 280-290. However, I haven't heard much talk about Asus's x800 xl card. The heatsink on it is pretty beefy looking, and asus is a brand im familiar with. MSI looks to have a better software package, but the heatsink doesn't compare to the asus.

Furthermore, the gigabyte has a no fan solution which sounds nice (literally). Which model would you lean to since price doesn't seem to matter?

ASUS and Leadtek are awesome. I'd steer well clear of passively cooled GPU's, as you usually need very good case airflow to avoid overheating problems on high end cards like that...

And if you see a powercolor, run! i've had no end of problems with their 9800 pros (on my fourth under warranty atm, seems to be good this time tho).
 

sam999

Junior Member
Jun 15, 2005
8
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Ok I guess my last question wasn't really my last. One confusing thing is that some times the memory used is not listed as GDDR3, instead just DDR. In the case of X800 XLs I assume this is the same? Look at Asus' website for their model:
http://usa.asus.com/prog/spec.asp?m=Extreme%20AX800XL/2DTV&langs=09
It says DDR. Also on the retail pages, newegg etc, it says DDR (also some weird memory/GPU clock speed discrepencies).

Yet for virtually every other model/brand it says GDDR3.
 

MobiusPizza

Platinum Member
Apr 23, 2004
2,001
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They would all be GDDR3
It's impossible that they have use PC DDR memory
It might be just a short for GDDR3 or a typo