TechSpot

Building a Future-proof Budget PC

By A_Gonzales_3
Dec 11, 2007
  1. ...Well, not exactly future-proof, but at least enough to last about 3-5 years.

    I'm a bit hesitant about choosing a new motherboard, processor and videocard, now that my PC finally exploded in a blaze of glory and died on me. Can anyone point me in the right direction with regards to choosing some good parts? Something that won't break the bank, though. A good budget to mid-range PC will do. I'm guessing I'll stick with nVidia 8xxx series for the graphics card, but are the Intel dual cores better than AMD ones, performance- or pricewise? Also, can anyone recommend a good motherboard?

    I'm trying for something that will run Crysis at a decent framerate. Not that it's really my kind of game, but I guess it's a good benchmark for future games. I took a look at the system requirements and I'm shocked at how high they were. At the rate that game technology is advancing we're going to have to upgrade every six months if it keeps up!

    Thanks! :D
     
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    First off you need to decide whether you want an AMD or Intel CPU. AMD is generally cheaper so if you want a fairly budget system then you may want to go with AMD.

    This means you will need to get a socket AM2 motherboard (look for one with good reviews or see if anyone else can suggest one for you). Good AMD processors would be the Athlon 64 X2 5000+, 5600+ or 6000+ depending on how much speed you wanted. Respectively, these are 2.6, 2.8 and 3GHz per core. If you wanted to OC, then you could get the 5000+ Black Edition.

    It is a good idea to get a GeForce 8 series card, you could either get the 8800GT or the 8800GTS rev. 2 when it comes out.

    To go with this you will want to get good RAM and a decent PSU good enough to power all the parts and then some.

    Without a budget it's hard to specify any parts other than what I've said already but i hope that helps.
     
  3. A_Gonzales_3

    A_Gonzales_3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I've always been an AMD man myself, so I'll probably stick to the AMD dual cores. I don't really overclock though. I'm guessing 1GB of RAM is the minimum, but how much wattage do I need to run a dual-core? Also, how much of an improvement in terms of percentage will I get from SLI? Would it be x2 or more?

    Thanks for replying. :D
     
  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    No problem, mate ;)

    I don't actually know what the gains from SLI are but what I do know is that it's not really noticeable unless you game at really high resolutions.

    You will definitely want at least 1GB of RAM, 2 if you want to run Vista.

    PSU power is more dictated by the graphics card. It will tell you a minimum wattage and most likely Amperage rating for the 12V rail, and yo will want to exceed or meet these requirements. It's ok to have the same Amps as the card recommends but you will want more Watts that what the card says it needs. For example, if the card wants 400W, you will want around a 500W PSU.

    You can go here and input your specs and see what it estimates your power need as but you will want to add some more to this - we generally say about 30%. There's no such thing as having too much power, as the PSU will only supply what is required, but not having enough, or constantly putting a high load on the PSU by getting one not quite powerful enough will end in you needing to replace it before you can say "my new PSU rocks" ;)
     
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