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PC purchase: will this last me long enough?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Rippy, 27 Dec 2006.

  1. Rippy

    Rippy What's a Dremel?

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    Ok, I'm thinking about buying a new PC. First off, this is what I currently have:

    Windows 2000
    Asus 2.0ghz CPU
    Radeon 9250 256mb
    1gb RAM (forgot what speed)
    120gb HDD + 80gb HDD

    What I'm envisioning is to keep my hard drives, and replace the rest. I use my PC for gaming mostly, (HL2 and Far Cry come to mind) but alas, my rig is too old for the new stuff. Here's what I had in mind:

    Windows XP Home (I hate to give M$ money, but few new games support win2k)
    3.3ghz CPU
    1536mb PC3200 RAM
    Sapphire X1600 Pro (Either 512mb AGP or 256mb PCI-E, not sure yet)
    [Other components that don't affect performance]

    The big question is: will the PC I just described last long enough? Judging by the reviews, it would run current games at maximum settings. Ideally, I'd like to still be playing the latest games 2 or 3 years from now, at minimum settings. Would my envisioned PC accomplish that?

    My budget is limited, so I can't really go any higher. If that's only gonna last me a year, I'm probably gonna end up getting a Wii or something.

    Anyway, any help is appreciated,

    -Rippy
     
  2. Glue

    Glue What's a Dremel?

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    -What CPU? Ghz doesn't really tell you anything anymore.
    -You should get 2 1GB sticks of ram to enable Dual channel.
    -Depending on the size of your monitor, and the res you want to run things at will change the preformance of that video card. It should run all games perfectly at 1280x1024 I would think, but going higher you would see massive frame rate loss. Also, DX10 is out, and 2-3 years in the future probably 75% of all games will be directX10, so to future proof yourself you'll either need to wait for ATI's DX10 card or get an nVidia 8800 GTS/GTX.

    -And if you're budget is limited, why not save for a couple more months untill you can afford hardware with some lasting power. PC > Wii
     
  3. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    No.
    Don't bother with Xp Home, Vista is out already so go for that.
    3.3GHz? I hope you're not planning to go for a Pentium, Core 2 Duo is where it's at.
    Nothing really wrong with the X1600 apart from that it's old already.
    Why 1536MB? Just go for 2GB.

    My advice is hold out for a bit and raise some cash.
     
  4. Rippy

    Rippy What's a Dremel?

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    Glue:
    - Intel Celeron 3.3 ghz CPU
    - Ok, I'm basing this off of a pre-built box at my local store. It has 512 in it by default. However, since you're allowed to substitute things, I suppose I could just remove that and get 2x1024 instead.
    - My monitor's a CRT at 1024x768, which I guess would allow for a slightly less powerful video card. Also Dx10 cards are kind of, well, expensive. If I have to pay more than, say, 200-250 Canadian on a video card, PC gaming isn't for me.
    - It's not just "how much money do I have?", it's more like "How much money do I really want to spend on video games?"

    Ramble:
    lmfao. There's no way in hell I'm getting Vista. Just no. When they drop support for XP, I'll just find some good Linux games and abandon PC gaming altogether. Really, I don't get how people can be so blind about it. It requires a beast of a PC and loads of RAM (1 gig to run OK), which means that much more of your PC's power is being diverted to running Vista instead of running your games. It's ridiculously expensive. They're also doing things like requiring that every driver you install be Microsoft certified, a certificate that costs developers $500 to get: while that does nothing to the big companies, it will absolutely KILL open source on Vista.

    Use what OS you will, but don't try and get me to use Vista. I'm not stupid.

    [/rant]

    Anyway, I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of things here. I mean, if I got a Wii, a couple games, and a Retro controller plus some Wii points, it'd come to $430. So, technically, with my old PC being worth $200, the equivalent value in a new PC would be of $630.

    ...Eh, I'm gonna need to think that over.

    Also, you mentioned Core 2 duo. The package above the one I was basing mine on has one (however the dang intel logo obscures the E6** specification). The thing is, is dual core any good for gaming? I thought games had to be specifically designed to utilize dual core.

    And one last thing (wow, getting to be a long post): there are two different packages in two categories: The one I'd looked at, the Celeron 3.3ghz, and the Sempron 3000AM2 in the single core category. Is there much difference between the two? In the dual core category, there's the AMD X2-4200 AM2, and the core 2 duo E6-whatever-it-is. I know you don't know precisely what the core 2 duo is, but are the two lines comparable? Because the AMD rig is $100 cheaper.

    Ok, sorry for all these haphazard questions e_e It's just the kind of thing that's slightly too complex to find on google. Thanks for the help so far though.
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2006
  5. Valo

    Valo Minimodder

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    core2duo rig is faster than amdx2 rig,

    get yourself a wii, or x360, it's sooo much better for gaming
     
  6. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    With such a low budget and needs, even I (who definitely is NOT a console-fan) would consider getting a console. Yes, you can get a computer with 630 bucks, but it definitely won't be anything near to one that would run games after three years.

    And about the Vista... Hardware gets "cheaper" all the time. I don't see the memory usage bad in terms of cost, though it is a good indicator of sucky OS.
     
  7. Rippy

    Rippy What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, but the thing is, my favourite games are FPS and RTS. FPS games don't work quite as nicely without a mouse (The Wiimote is an interesting alternative, however CoD3 looks like the only decent FPS to be out for the Wii for a while), and RTS games don't work because of the lack of buttons. That's why I'd prefer PC gaming quite a bit more.

    Also, the 360 does look nice, but it's a bit too pricey for me (since with a console I wouldn't have the $200 from selling my old PC). Plus I don't have an HDTV to fully take advantage of the graphics.
     
  8. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    Get an Xbox360 and this, so you can play with a keyboard and mouse. Done. :)
     
  9. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    CoD3 looks simply terrible on Wii. I haven't seen it IRL, but screenshots... hurr.

    That xbox-PS2/USB-thingy looks pretty handy! :eek:
     
  10. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    I did have a big post outlining how everything you think about Vista is wrong, but I accidently closed the window then Bit-Tech's forum ate the reply.
    In short, Vista is not the hog most think it is, it's about the same speed or jsut slightly faster than XP. It runs games fine (I was playing CS:S yesterday fine) but the crappy drivers provided so far are degrading performance somewhat.
    You do not need MS certified drivers. You need signed ones on x64 however (You can turn that off).

    I suggest you actually use something before you point out it's weak points.

    Oh, Nikko, post reported. Please don't pimp pirated software here.
     
  11. M4RTIN

    M4RTIN What's a Dremel?

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    yeh everyone seems to think vista is some huge resource hog that will kill any computer out there. its an os at the end of the day not a game. i ran it fine on a sempron 3100 with 512mb ram and onboard graphics. everything worked and worked as fast as xp..

    oh and to the op dont base much off pre-built pc's they are overpriced in pretty much any shop
     
  12. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Depends what you run on Vista. If you use the widgets bar then that's 60meg of ram gone straight away, and explorer has more stuff in it which means it also takes more memory. If you have at least a GB of memory you should be fine.

    Dude, get a Dell or something if you're looking for pre-built.
     
  13. keir

    keir S p i t F i r e

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    Will it last, no directX 10 soon. so no.
     
  14. MustangX

    MustangX What's a Dremel?

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    Vista is truly not a system hog as described. I have it, and run it perfectly fine with 2 Gigs of RAM, you could get by with 1 Gig. As Ramble said the only downside is the lack of quality drivers. For example, I cannot turn Advanced AI on in my ATi Catalyst due to it causes artifacts. Other than the drivers, it's a perfectly fine Operating System. Also, I run Counter-Strike: Source better than I did on XP.
     
  15. Rippy

    Rippy What's a Dremel?

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    Well, in the end, the one thing you can't deny about Vista is the price. And Microsoft, in my books, has almost as bad a track record as Sony, so I'm giving them as little money as possible. Perhaps I was misinformed on some of its cons, but I'm still not getting Vista. XP is a big enough blow for me, since it and 2k are very similar yet now no games offer "support" for 2k. (I mean, Ensemble Studios said they didn't want to support Win2k for AoE3, but they actually put pretty impressive measures in place to STOP 2k users from running the game. Games like BF2 don't technically support 2000, but they allow it to run and it ends up working fine)

    Anyway, moving away from Vista, I still have a couple questions:
    - Is dual core advantageous for gaming? I thought games had to be built to utilize it, and that not many were. (could obviously be wrong on that one though)
    - Does 2gb of RAM really improve gaming much? I know it'd allow for faster alt-tabbing and would decrease load times, but is it a bit overkill compared to the rest of the components I'd mentioned?

    And no, I'm not looking for pre-built. I'm just, for convenience, basing it off of one of their pre-builts and adding/substituting what I see fit. But by the look of it I'm going to be substituting a lot, so in that case I probably could just build one up from scratch.
     
  16. trig

    trig god's little mistake

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    try this...
    component - model #
    rosewill atx mid-tower case - R5604-BK
    thermaltake 430 watt ps - W0070RUC
    lg 18x dvd burner - GSAH22N-BK
    BFG 7600gt - BFGR76256GTOCE
    gigabyte 945 gz micro mobo - GA-8I945GZME-RH
    g-skill extreme series pc 4200 1 gig - F2-4200PHU1-1GBLA
    core 2 duo e6300 - BX80557E6300
    total in usd is $618 before shipping. there is $75 in rebates right now in the US, so that knocks it down to 543 out of pocket (after six weeks or so lol)
    these are all highly rated though maybe not the best. some are oem and some are retail. but it will get you around just fine for 2 years and then u can do some upgrades later (ie more ram, better/bigger ps, or better card). i have used every one of these components at some point and never had probs. maybe drop another 90 on xp and get free upgrade to vista.
     
  17. Rippy

    Rippy What's a Dremel?

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    Hmm... That's sounding like a pretty good compromise, trig. The video card's similar to the x1600 but a small step up, and there's room for some more RAM later on. Plus, I read up on dual-core gaming, and it's looking like that's the way to go.

    Ok, after some brutal calculator work, I've figured out the pricing of my possibilities, and it's pretty comparable:
    Wii: $495C (Wii, 2 games, extra controller + nunchuk)
    PC: $555C (more-or-less what trig suggested + 1 game, the $200 worth of my old PC is taken into account)
    Xbox 360: $570C (Premium bundle, extra controller, 2 games)

    Now, I think I've ruled out the Wii due to painful graphics and questionable/non-existent online play. That leaves the PC and the 360. Which would give me more value for the money? I would guess that the 360 will have support for a good 3 years, and there's the advantage of not having your performance slowly dwindle as is the case running the latest PC games. On the other hand, the TV I've got to use it on is an old 21" (there's a 27" too, but it's almost always being used), so no HD goodness, plus Xbox Live is another $50 a year. And, while I could warrant getting a little HDTV in the next half-year or so, that's still driving up the cost.

    Sorry, I'm sure this isn't the best place to be asking for that kind of advice (ack, consoles in a hardwar forum? o_O), but I need some insight other than my own. Noone else I know is tech-literate enough to help me out on this :p

    Thanks for all the help so far!

    -Rippy
     
  18. trig

    trig god's little mistake

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    id get the pc...but u just gotta figure out what you like most, and do it...if u play more console, get the console...if u play more pc...get the pc...
     

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