Building a gaming system

By Happyslap · 25 replies
Nov 2, 2003
  1. Hi I’m building me a computer for gaming. I was just wondering what would be the best motherboard/ram/cpu/videocard/ Hardrive.

    So far I’ve got A Skyhawk 2003 350w mid case, and Sony 52X24X52 CDRW.
  2. djrafh

    djrafh TS Rookie


    Well for one, never get a gigabyte motherboard. jus so ya know.....

    Heres my system, it scored a 6202 on 3dmark03 v330. not to shabby if i say so myself.

    Intel P4 2.8 Canterwood 800fsb w/ HT tech. Running at 3.02ghz

    Aopoen Ax4c-MAX II Intel 875p Dual SATA RAID w/ Gigabit LAN

    Mushkin 512 mb PC3500 Dual Chann 400mhz DDR Kit

    Sapphire Atlantis Ati 9800 pro 128

    Silver/Red Super Alien Case w/ 500w ps

    120 gig SATA maxtor 7200rpm HD

    Asus Cdr Read/Record 52x24x52

    Its a good system!
  3. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    it all depends on money and/or how long you can wait

    If you MUST have the FASTEST and MUST HAVE IT NOW (and unlimited cash) then u need something like

    Athlon FX 51 940 (2.2Ghz)
    nForce 3 mobo
    1gig DDR 3200 ECC RAM
    2 x (36 or 72 depending on how much space u need) SATA Weston Digital Raptors in RAID 0
    nVidia 5950 Ultra (if u happen to be a nVidia fan)

    if you can wait then u need (and have even MORE money)

    Athlon FX 53 939 (2.4Ghz?)
    nForce3 939 mobo
    1gig DDR3200 (maybe 3500) non ECC RAM (Corsair, OCZ etc)
    nVidia NV40

    and of course - if u need it now and have limited cash then u need

    Athlon XP 3200+ (or just a 2500+ overclocked if ur really stripped for cash)
    Asus A7N8X Deleux
    1gig (or mayb just 512) DDR3200 (maybe 3500) non ECC RAM (Corsair, OCZ etc)
    nVidia 5700 Ultra

    all those machines would perform VERY well and play todays and 2moros games perfectly (just some faster than others :D)

    hope that helps

  4. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 271

    a pentium 4 3.2c and abit is7 mobo is probably the best buy, or the 2,4c which can oc to 3.4 ghz on stock cooling,, or so they say.
    2x 512mb modules to take advantage of dual channel. geforce fx 5700 or 5950 depending on budget. wd raptor 10k rpm sata drive or seagate 7.2k rpm sata drive depending on budget
  5. TS | Crazyace

    TS | Crazyace TS Rookie Posts: 275

    Fastest now would NOT be an ATHLON chip, it would be the Intel Pentium 4 3.2

    Anyhow, djrafth has a real nice system, although I think I would opt for an ABIT or EPOX motherboard, which I have had better luck with.
    I would go with 1024MB RAM if you are going to be doing processor intensive things like video editing.

    One last thing, the latest and greatest from NVIDIA would do a bit better than ATI's offering..

  6. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Regardless of what anyone says, no one can really answer this question for you. The easiest way to answer it is to learn all that you can about what you are doing. Only then can you make the best decision about what PC is best for you.

    I normally suggest something like the following to begin with, but it all depends on what you want to do with your system. The following would be a fast system for just about everything you could possibly want to do at this point in time, is highly stable and doesn't put a dent in your credit card...

    1. Asus A7N8X-X ($70-$85)
    This is the budget version of the regular A7N8X boards. Don't let that fool you though. All it means is that it is missing a few features, none of which most people would ever use (including myself). By far some of the best on-board sound you can get on a motherboard which eliminates having to buy expensive sound cards and the on-board sound doesnt put pressure on your processor which leaves you lots of room for gaming. Also very stable (so long as you have installed the latest Nvidia chipset drivers).

    2. Hard Drives (recommend spending $80-$100)
    Hard Drive's are priced very oddly. You can purchase a 20GB hard drive for about $60, yet you can get a 80GB for about $80, or a 120GB for around $90. So, I would suggest purchasing either a 80GB or 120GB Hard Drive. As far as brand goes I suggest either Western Digital, or Maxtor.

    3. Power Supply (recommend 350W Enermax $50)
    This IS a very important factor in your PC. Especially now with Athlon XP and P4 systems which usually have several fans, CD burner, DVD, etc. The best brand you can buy right now is Enermax. I suggest at least a 350W power supply in any case. If you buy a cheap power supply go for at least 400W, if you go with a PSU such as Enermax, Antec then go for at least 350w. The reason for this is cheaper power supplys don't push the power that they claim to and you run the risk of these causing problems (either the PSU dying alone or taking other components with it). The least that will happen is a loss in stability. The worst is losing your PC.

    4. Video Card (recommend ATI Radeon 9600 Pro or higher ($150+)
    ATI is ahead in the graphics card race at the moment and Nvidia is lagging behind. The ATI 9600 Pro supports DirectX9 which you will soon need for gaming (although so does the 9500 Pro), but the 9600 Pro will play any game that you throw at it. It is "said" that the 9600 Pro will also play Half Life 2 with not much of a problem at lower resolutions (my guess is 800x600, and *maybe* 1024x768 but that may be pushing it -- we won't really know until HL2 is released). If you plan to play intensive games such as HL2 I suggest you wait until it is released and purchase a lower end card at the moment. Or you can go with the ATI 9800 Pro for about $305-$380 and you shouldnt have a problem (just don't expect to run at insane resolutions).

    5. AMD Athlon XP 2600+ ($95)
    This processor (along with a decent video card, and 512MB) will run any game that you throw at it right now. I have one myself and I am very satisfied with it. I do a lot of gaming, graphics, video editing, sound editing, etc with no problem whatsoever.

    6. RAM (recommend 512MB of PC2700 or higher)
    If you get an Asus board then you should go with Corsair RAM. If you plan on using dual-channel RAM for about a 0-5% increase in performance (depending on the motherboard that you use) then you should buy a motherboard that supports dual channel and 2 exact same DIMMs. In other words it is a good idea to get a Twin pack of Corsair (Twin-X). Some motherboards are designed now with capability of RAM performace the same as dual-channel while using and being designed for single-channel.

    *You dont need more than 512MB at this point in time unless you plan on doing video editing, graphics, etc. Gaming doesn't require anything over 512MB. It relys more on other things such as your processor, and video card.

    Hope that helps.
  7. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Well it all depends if you willing to shell out extra dollars. If not you might be better off with Athlon XP and use the extra money to get more ram or better graphics.
  8. JonP123

    JonP123 TS Rookie

    Re: ....

  9. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    acid said it all :grinthumb
  10. farmer

    farmer TS Rookie Posts: 48

    Check out the Asus boards for the P4 and a 2.4c while they are still around. Really is a great combination, and most of the time, a trouble free setup...

  11. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    If you have money:

    If you don't:

    Here's my system, approx $1300 (you can subtract $260 for the super-fast hard drive, its not a neccesity ;) )

    * Asus P4P800-Deluxe Motherboard
    * 2.4CGhz 800FSB Pentium 4 RETAIL
    * Lite-On 48/24(?)/16x CD-RW/DVD Combo
    * OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum (x2 256MB) 512MB DDR RAM
    * Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
    * Western Digital Raptor 10,000 RPM Hard Drive
    * Raidmax Scorpio Black Mini-Tower

    That will run any latest game :) I'm about to make sure of that once my memory arrives. You can overclock it to around 3.1Ghz with stock cooling too!

    Hope that helps! Also, is the place to buy.
  12. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    I think we have found a Gigabyte hater at the top of the reply list...I'd like to know why - any bad experiences are most welcome for my knowledge base...
  13. Rory7

    Rory7 TS Rookie Posts: 119

    Yeah i'd like to know why to. I have a mid range Gigabyte board and i have not problems at all. The AC 97 onboard sound is good quality to i think. I think their fine boards. About the gaming system. If you have the money go for a Pentium 4 3.2 - 3.4 HT EE. They out strip AMD for performance.
  14. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    athlon FX 51 outperforms p4 3.2 w/HT in just about everything.

    By far.

    And, 9800 XT has also been shown to outperform the 5950 as well.
  15. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Hey djrafh, why did you tell Happyslap not to buy Gigabyte motherboard. Gigabyte is still good and easy to set the bios. If you dont like my, Lowman, and Rory7 reply, you can get out of this techspot. you do not tell how you hate it, this techspot is for offering advices, not discrimining a person that person shouldnt buy a board. I SAY GIGABYTES is good for gaming computer.

    Also, Rory7, I agree you that AC' 97 is good sound. I own ECS 848P-A (August 8, 2003) that have AC'97 audio on board. They sound great and do not bothering bio and windows loading. Myself i did install ASOUND EXPRESS II 2002 (best quality) but it slowed down the Windows loading, i say it done loading in 3 min. without aeII 2002, load it up less 1 min.

    I offering Happyslap good and reliable board is ECS, best and effective reliable is ASUS, other is good is Gigabytes and MSI.

    Have a nice day.

    P.S. I know this is harsh but it is worth to catch djrafh attention.

    If djrafh read this, do not tell me what to do or what is your opinion. End of questions.
  16. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    Go with AMD... they are cheaper than Intel and in my mind carry more potential.

    Hrmm... what else to say? Acid pretty much covered everything.
  17. Rory7

    Rory7 TS Rookie Posts: 119

    Arnt the top range AMD chips the same price as top end Pentium chips?
  18. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    depends on where you look, but most likely the AMD chips are cheaper, even the Athlon 64 3000+ is only a little more than $200.
  19. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I just did a search on Newegg's site and sorted by highest price. A P4 came in at over $900 and an Athlon64 FX-51 came in at $745.
  20. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    FX-51 also offers the superior performance, this time around. I myself wouldn't fork over that much for board/cpu, but if you have the cash and want best of the best for desktop, FX-51 is the way to go.
  21. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163

    The 9800Xt easily outperforms the 5950 in every way. It'll be intersting when the new ATI and NVidia cards come out. They're getting pretty close!!

    But between AMD and INtel. AMD even though they have 64 bit still dont outperform pentium 4's. Even though pentium 4's are only 32 bit (who CARES) they are a HELL of a lot faster. BUT a HELL of a lot more expensive. BUT if you make the most of them (overlocking for example). They are without a doubt worth their money.
  22. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    i dont want to turn this post into a flame war or anything of the sort, but that statement about the p4's outperforming the AMD 64's is false. in many benchmarks out there the AMD 64 out performs the P4 3.2 w/ HT as soul harvester has said before. do a search for the benchmarks, you'll see. and as for overclocking the two,i wouldnt say one is better than the other, they both have their highs and lows.
  23. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Noone can answer your question until you give us more details on what else you want to do with your computer (video editing maybe?) and how much money you want to spend.
  24. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163

    Well I've tried two systems with exactly the same specs but different cpu's. A pentium4 3.2ghz 800mhz northwood chip and an athlon64 3200+. Guess which one performed better? The pentium4. Oh yeh and this was tested using several top of the range games like Halo, bf1942, Morrowind, unreal tournament 2003, vietcong, vice city + generals. All of these games were on max details + resoltuion on 1600 x 1200. :D But Snowman you're right. You can't really define the best out of the two but the P4 outperformed the AMD in these games and probably most others would also apply. I would predict that AMD's are better at video editing. I dunno you give me facts :confused:

    PS: AMD's are great value for money! EXCEPT the best athlons. One is £350!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But my point is that Pentium 4's are too expensive. :mad:
  25. fidesangel

    fidesangel TS Rookie

    Best Gaming system

    here are the specs for a badass computer:
    Where the sky is the limit that is: stay away from AMD, most motherboard companies have terrible mobo versions.

    Mobo:go for one with this CHIPSET: Intel 925XE Express chipset
    Video Card: get yourself either the ATI 9800XT, or X850pro. If not then go for Nvdias 6800 ultra (this is my favorite of the badboys).
    Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor Extreme Edition HT
    Memory: stay off the kingstons go for Crucial (1 GB) PC4000 (ballastix)
    for case and power supply: Stay with thermaltake, and use their EXtreme Giant III for cooling the Video card.
    Sound cards: I stick to creative labs. (just get the best one there)
    HD: stick with seagate, or western digital, also get a 10,000 rpm HD, and get a spare one for pagefiling.

    Make sure you buy an aluminum case, and make sure its a full tower ATX.
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