Building a New Gaming Rig

By segovax
Aug 11, 2005
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  1. I'm an avid gamer and am in the process of setting up a list of components for a dedicated gaming rig. I've always been a intel cpu man with MSI boards but from all i've heard over the years about AMD i'm ready to take the plunge and try something new for gaming experience. I've done a lot of research online the last few days about some of the new tech out by amd, intel, and nvidia (sli graphics) and have come up with the following items to put in a new system. I've got to start from scratch for this rig. Give me your opinions if you don't mind, stear me straight where I may be headed for disaster. I will post a description and a link for further info about the gear I'm considering.

    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800 Dual Core CPU 2.0 GHz
    http://www.xpcgear.com/ada3800bvbox.html

    MB: Asus A8N-SLI Premium nvidia nForce4
    http://www.xpcgear.com/asusa8nslip.html

    CASE: Aspire X-Navigator w 500w PS
    http://www.xpcgear.com/xpprnaalwiat1.html
    This case is the one item i'm not sure on at it relies with the Power Supply being a 20 pin and having to use an adapter to fit on the 24 pin board. I chose this case because of its pre-modded accessories with the 5 fans for cooling being the biggest reason. Would I have problems with a case like this having to use an adapter?

    HD: Seagate SATA barracuda 160GB (will add a few more later, but one to start the new rig off with)
    http://www.xpcgear.com/seagatesata160.html

    MEM: 1GB Dual channel Corsair 3200XL (2x512) CL 2-2-2-5

    VID: Asus Extreme GeForce 6600 GT 128MB DDR3 SLI (only getting one at first trying to save a bit of cash will add a second identical card later.
    http://www.xpcgear.com/asusen6600gt.html

    will also add an assortment of cd drives and floppies. I figure this is expandable well into the future. I'd really love to jump in the FX line of AMD CPUs but the bottom end is still a bit high priced, but with this board I can always upgrade to an FX later as they use the same 939 board.

    I chose this cpu over the intel dual core because the entry level of intel's doesn't support HyperThreading...have to get the 840EE for that and thats just way to pricey. the entry dual core AMD supports its native Hyper Transport.

    Thoughts, opinions, and recommendations are welcome.
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    See what some others say, but I question your choice of CPUs if you are wanting a gaming machine. Games don't use the dual core yet. If you get a single thread CPU with a higher frequency, it will outperform that CPU.

    I have the Athlon64 3700 CPU (which is cheaper than yours) and it is a 2.2MHz. Mine would outperform that X23800 CPU for gaming.
  3. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,846

    Seems nice, but i have a few suggestions.


    AMD is a fine choice for gaming, no doubt, but i think dual core are not. I would stick with a higher clocked single core CPU. I understand that you want to be ready for the future, but for gaming, dual cores are not going to give you the best performance. (because no games are multi-threaded)

    Aspire-Case looks nice, but i would use the PSU for a doorstopper only. I have heard some horror stores with them. Buy a decent 24 PSU and not only wont you have to deal wiht the adapter, but it will be much more reliable.


    Good luck

    Sean
  4. C_Conqueror

    C_Conqueror Newcomer, in training Posts: 217

  5. segovax

    segovax Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies guys. The 9800 series video card is an AGP card and wouldn't work on a pci express board...thats why the 6600 as the 6600, 6800 and the 7800 are the only SLI capable pci-e cards out at the moment. Appreciate the recommendation though...if i was stickin with an AGP board thats probably the one i'd get.

    As far as the PSU goes, yeah I think yer prolly right there spade, prolly should just get a 24 pin PSU out the door.

    Not sure where the 3700 fits in the line of AMDs but here are some numbers from a few sites relating to a variety of AMD and P4 chips, it faired well beating the big p4 840 EE in most games, but I think I may take yer advice Don and go with a single core AMD until the dual core makes it way into games. Here are some numbers from a few test sites for those interested.

    http://www.hothardware.com/viewarticle.cfm?page=9&articleid=531&cid=1

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2484&p=5

    http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/cpu/article.php/3261_3524426__7

    http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/200508011/athlon_64_x2_3800-07.html
  6. Austin44

    Austin44 Newcomer, in training Posts: 78

    6600 gt rocks man good choice but i have one suggestion. make sure u get a good shipping deal because i order a new custom comp and when it got here it was banged the mother board was f'ed up and i had to send it back trust me i tried every possible thing to try to fix it.
  7. flashmonkey

    flashmonkey Newcomer, in training Posts: 136

    Sounds like you gotsa sweet build going on there. I agree with the suggestion to get a different PSU, try to find your case without the built in power supply and go for something like THIS .

    Also what people have said about the dual core's are right on, they are worthless for gaming. I'd go with the 3700+ as suggested. Those chips can overclock like a mofo, I've read people who have overclocked them past FX-55 speeds, performing just under the new FX-57 chips while keeping the chip stable. That's one heck of a deal for $320.

    Good plan for the RAM, the new TCCD chips will last you nicely, but you might want to consider a different hard drive. There is a new standard of SATAII delivering twice the speed of SATAI drives. The mobo you chose supports SATAII and there isn't that big of a price premium for the new hard drives, this one is actually cheaper!

    EDIT: Don't listen to that guy about the 9800's, the 6600GT is a better card.
    UNEDIT: disregard that edit because it was based on a typo.
  8. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,846

    That is not true. While the interface may allow for a faster transfer, no drive has the capability to even use the 150 MB/s on SATA1. The only thing that would be nice to get is a drive with NCQ, but even that feature hasnt helped alot in the benches.
  9. C_Conqueror

    C_Conqueror Newcomer, in training Posts: 217

    I ment geforce 6800 should have caught that sooner.
  10. segovax

    segovax Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanx again for the replies. Think I will try to find a SATA II drive (just to stay current) to go in there. PSU wise I think I've decided to go with a Vantec Stealth 520 tri-fan.
    http://www.xpcgear.com/psvan520a.html

    You guys have definately sold me on the single core cpu, but I'm up in the air on the 3700+ at 2.2 GHz with 1mb L2 or the 3800+ at 2.4 GHz with 512kb L2. I'd like your thoughts on this choice.

    This thought has also occurred to me the last few days...how long before this dual video card SLI gets replaced by a simple dual core GPU on a vid card? doesn't seem like too much of a jump to take what they've done to a CPU with dual cores to apply that tech to a video card. With that in mind I was considering going with a AGP mobo and getting a high end AGP card to throw inside. with the 939 mob i could later swap mobo if the SLI does indeed last.
  11. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    3800+. The extra 512kb of cache does not make up for the loss of 200mhz.
     
  12. flashmonkey

    flashmonkey Newcomer, in training Posts: 136

    2 things:

    You might want to get a powersupply with power factor correction or PFC. You can read about it there or in simple terms, it gives you a constant, highly reliable stream of power.

    Just out of curiosity, isn't the 3700+ newer than the 3800+?
  13. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    The 3700+ is based off the San Diego core which has been introduced at the same time with the Venice core (San Diego -> 1024kb of L2 cache, Venice 512kb of L2 cache).
  14. C_Conqueror

    C_Conqueror Newcomer, in training Posts: 217


    So do you think that the the athlon 64 3200+ clawhammer 2.0 ghz 800 fsb 1 mb L2 cache is worse than the athlon 64 3000+ venice 1.8 1000 fsb 512 L2 cache didou?
  15. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    The Clawhammer 3200+ is better then the Venice 3000+ on clock speed alone (200mhz in favor of the 3200+).
  16. C_Conqueror

    C_Conqueror Newcomer, in training Posts: 217

    Good because that is what I chose when I was picking out a processor. I got it on ebay.
  17. ThrasherFan22

    ThrasherFan22 Newcomer, in training Posts: 86

    i see that all of this was posted in 2005. do games work well with core duos now?
  18. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    Yes, this info is now outdated. New games are taking advantage of dual core CPUs and anyone building a new system (that can afford it) should be building around a dual core CPU.
     
  19. Fred G

    Fred G Newcomer, in training Posts: 98

    I was considering getting a dual core machine for gaming, but after reading this thread i'm having second thoughts. Can someone please explain to me why dual core wont work for games.

    Edit: ok, i see whats going, this is an old post that i didnt finish reading, please disregard
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