Gaming and such

By Darken_Rahl · 40 replies
Oct 12, 2003
  1. Need Advice:
    I am buying a new computer, and I plan to play Computer games such as Warcraft III frozen Throne. One thing that I am looking for is graphics. My old computer has a terrible graphics card and was a lap top, so on my new computer, i want a much better gaming experience. If anyone has any ideas please tell me. I need information on the following:
    Computer (Brand, mods etc.)
    Video Card (Geforce, Radeon, What?)
    A place to buy them (preferably a website)
    A semi-affordable price (I want the goods, but somewhere in the $1000 to $1999 dollar range (or less if it is available) )
    Please don't use terms that are incredibly advanced, i am a novice :p
  2. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    Well hi, and welcome to TechSpot. :D :wave:

    If you don't know how to make your own custum computer that's OK.

    Places such as ABS and Alienware are good places to buy your PC at. ABS has lower prices than Alienware so I suggest looking at them first.

    Personally, I used to run Warcraft 3 and Frozen throne on a 1.8GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of RAM (memory), and a GeForce 4 MX 64 MB card. It was really smooth and nice.

    But with prices today, you can get a really good one. I would highly recomend a Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB video card.

    As for processors:

    AMD is bang for the buck, and is pretty much as fast as Intel's... go for an Athlon XP or if you want to harness the new technology of the 64 bit, go for the Athlon 64. It's really your choice, you could chose Intel Pentium 4 if you wanted to.

    I'm pretty sure, that if you wait 'til christmas, alot of the 32 bit processors (Athlon XP, Pentium 4), will shoot down in prices. Now it's the dawn of the 64 bit processors, you may want to harness that technology for the future.

    As for RAM (memory):

    You'd wanna go for 1024MB of RAM (1GB of RAM). Games actually show minor performance increases now, and if you wanna hold onto your PC for a long time, newer games will need 1GB of RAM to run nice and smooth.

    But it's your choice, got any more questions feel free to ask the community.
  3. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

    I know how to get a custom computer but i dont what what to get. I am 15, i don't know as much as you wizzes yet, but i hope to become as good as you all. If it is not too much trouble, do you think you could send me a link to a place where i can buy one of the computers you just described?

    I also checked the alienware and ABS... woah, that it a little too expensive for what i am looking for
  4. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

  5. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I beg to differ as far as RAM goes. 512MBs is really ample, I really dont think 1GB is nessary.

    Also I wouldnt get a 64Bit such as the Athlon64. They've just came out.. not too far down the road, you'll be able to get them at much faster speeds. I just think you'd regret it spending how much they cost right now, when you'll be able to get one thats a ton faster for the same price in 8 months. I recon stay 32Bit for now, then go 64 when you get your next PC. Its going to take a long time to leap from 32 to 64. I've had great experiences with this website, ZipZoomFly. If you wont be making your own PC I'd get one of theirs.. Here is what I reccomnend:

    If you gonna make your own I'd get the following:

    AthlonXP 2600+ (Barton)
    Asus A7N8x Deluxe
    512MB Corsair RAM
    7200RPM 80GB Hard Drive
    Ati Radeon 9700 PRO

    then all you need is CD-Rom or CDRW (<--burner), a case, a floppy if you want one, and a power supply :)
  6. Heliosiz

    Heliosiz TS Rookie

    Bah! 15 years old? And you think its hard? Gawd. Im 14 now and Ive already cranked out a budget for my new computer and read up on how to assemble it. Someone old and gray like you shouldnt have any trouble. HEE HEE:D I win again
  7. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    I don't think agissi is 15 yet either and he knows how. I'm 16 and I know how... don't be frightened... you can learn. :)

    You'd want to consider the set up agissi gave to you, especially if you plan on buying a new computer next year, that setup will last you.
  8. Heliosiz

    Heliosiz TS Rookie

    Us Younguns
  9. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I just turned 15 on Oct.6 this month :D no one made my a happy b-day thread either *crys* I've been waiting all year for one and I dont get one.. guess im not loved :(

    anyways where you (Heliosiz) saying I think its hard? Or were you were saying Darken_Rahl thinks its hard? Just wondering.

    No big deal if u dunno how really Darken_Rahl, its really quite easy, just have someone with you whos done it before so you dont have a bad time ;)
  10. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

    I think i conveyed the wrong message when i said i was a newbie. I program computers in VB and am learning Java in school. But anyway, that is irrelovent to the thread.
    "---agissi---" , are you sure about the 512 being just as good, if not better? I dont mean to be pesemistic, but i found prices at places such as Dell, HP, ABS, and Alienware and those prices are almost double what the one you recommended costs. If you have ever played warcraft, you will know the requirements. The computer that i play it on now, is well, garbage in terms of the video card, it is a laptop one. It makes it nearly impossible to play. Please get back to me, because if the one you gave me a link to is not going to be adequate, my second choice is:
    Dell, Dimension 8300
    with the required modifications, it comes out to $2,157.00 and that is a hell of a lot more.
  11. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

    Also, ATI All-In-Wonder = Radeon 9700?
    and if not, is it as good or better?
  12. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    All-in-Wonder variants are Rage / Radeon models with TV-tuner and video in & out capabilities. In other words, better than normal cards.

    However, I think they lack the second DVI output, so if you want dual monitor options, you might need another gfx card.
  13. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

  14. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I play warcraft3 daily, i know the system requirments, and on my computer, I have 512MBs of RAM, I'll leave Photoshop running in the background, and be playing WC3 and still have 100MBs of RAM left. If you ask me, ABS, Alienware, and Dells gaming comps. are ripoffs. The computers are great but too overpriced. You could make yourself what you buy from them for alot cheaper. Dell have some pretty decent deals, but not on gaming machines ofcourse.

    Yea that computer is defently good. Its CPU is great, the 2800. The ATi 9700 PRO is the second best videocard, aside from the 9800 PRO. Plus its an All In Wonder 9700 PRO, so you can hook cable up 2 your PC and watch TV :D Your PC is now a TiVo. One of the most popular, and best mobos, the Asus A7N8X Deluxe. RAM looks great, DDR400 too. Best soundcard and a nice big 80GB harddrive.

    If I were to make me a new computer right about now, that would be my ideal one ;) If you made your own, with the same hardware as that one, Im sure you'll come up cheaper. If the "TV PC" doesnt appeal to you, you can save $100 right there (the non-AIW 9700 PRO is a chunk cheaper). If you wont be overclocking, DDR333 is all thats nessary, since the 2800+ operates at a 333MHz FSB. The A7N8x has great onboard sound.. the Audigy2 6.1 is a bit overboard if you ask me (its like $200 isnt it?). You can get the Audigy1 for $100, and unless you have a 6.1 speaker set, its not nessary. You wont notice much of a diff between that and onboard, for the price-to-ear ratio.

  15. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

    OK, ill be ordering soon, I dont know where to change certain things, but nothing is not good enough, u said it is all great, but expensive. That Computer is the perfect price range for someone like me. :Dthanks a lot. By the way, what realm are you on for warcraft, maybe we can play sometime.
  16. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Im on US East ;)
  17. Heliosiz

    Heliosiz TS Rookie


    Here I am again, to destroy the world...!

    So, I am thinking of building a compy, a really good one, but the thng is, it is a few hundred bucks over my budget. Anyone have any ideas on how to diffuse costs? I thinking of tutoring, but i dunno... As a side note, I have this freind who just turned 15 in october, and hes a sophmore! hes like the youngest guy in 10th grade. Well, that was irrelevent. Any one have any money making activities, please share the love!! Peace out! and stuff...:grinthumb
  18. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Well to diffuse money... ill think of a few things..

    *Sound cards are really illrevialant, onboard sound is just as good unless u need it for a 6.1 speaker set or whatever

    *Stick away from 256MB videocards, they dont perform any better then a 128MB card

    *When choosing a CPU, look around. You may be able to get a 2600+ for $100, then a 2700 for $140, and a 2800 for $180 (random figures off the top of my head). Well the 2800 really isnt that much better then the 2600.. not worth those $80 extra dollars. i.e. - look for the right CPU, look at the prices. See where they jump up all of a sudden.

    *More then 512MBs of RAM really isnt nessary, nor beneficial, unless your gonna be doing 3D rendering (3D, not 2D)

    *If your going to have a CPU that runs on a 333MHz FSB, like a 2500 or 2800 or 3000+, theres no reason to get DDR400. Since the CPU is running at 333MHz, your DDR400 RAM, will run at DDR333. So dont get the more expensive DDR400RAM, when your going to be running a 333 bus.


    Doesnt seem to be much more to cut $$$, except for PSU and Case maybe.. but as for both of those - You get what you pay for!

    As far as money goes: For me I make websites for companys, and make $100 profit for building people computers (which I love to do )
  19. Heliosiz

    Heliosiz TS Rookie

    :p Thats a good idea, building peoples compys for them. My freind Isaac is also good at web design. I just dont know how to get started, even though I would love to do that stuff. Any tips?:confused:

    Any by the way the compy Im planning has a 2.8ghz P4 and a 875P mobo, so none of the athalon stuff for me plz:blackeye:
  20. Darken_Rahl

    Darken_Rahl Topic Starter

    Oh cool, what is ur username agissi, maybe we can at, or custom some time.
    And i can play on my :D :D New Computer!!¡¡¡¡!!!!
  21. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993


    Not that i m a Hardcore AMD fanboy, IMHO if you switch to AMD you might save a few hundred dollars. Pentiums are pretty expensive, even the Celerons are overpriced. For half the price of a Pentium 4, you can get the same speed AMD XP CPU.
  22. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    what ---agissi--- said about not buying DDR400 is rubbish
    esp if you are buying performance RAM (corsair, ocz, mushkin etc)
    esp if you are going to use a dual channel motherboard & dual channel ram
    and esp if you are going to overclock
    the price different for 256mg Corsair sticks of DDR333 and DDR400 is less than £5 - and the DDR400 will overclock better, run at more agressive CAS timings at DDR333, be more stable and be upgrade proof.
    If you are going the AMD route (and the overclocking route!) buy urself a 2500+ (barton), a a7n8x deluex, and 2 sticks (either 256 or 512 - im not going to argue against or for 1gig of ram) of DDR400 ram. Then stick a decent cooler on the CPU (i like the zalman 7000a - quite, effective and damn cool looking) and ramp the FSB up to 400 straight away with a core voltage of about 1.75 or 1.8 and away you go - a £300 CPU for £80 dada

  23. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Theres no point in getting a RAM faster then your deafult FSB speed unless your going to be overclocking.

    whats that have to do with anything? You can get Corsair, ocz, mushkin,etc DDR333 you know.

    1, I dont think his next upgrade will be at a 400Mhz Bus ;) it'll be quite faster, unless he upgrades every month. And about the CAS timings, that really depends on the ram. Most DDR400 sticks dont have faster CAS timings then the DDR333 sticks.

    This was about how to save money, remember?

    The zalman 7000a, is a very poor overclocker. It runs the CPU at high temps to begin with. Also..

    Dont ever make yourself a new computer, and upon startup enter the BIOS and bump the FSB to 400MHz strait away unless your CPU has a 400MHz FSB. Great way to have an accident

    Small incriments of anything... that would be foolish to nock it up to that high of an FSB on a CPU made for 333 right off the bat.


    Darken_Rahl, My user name is Buck-Bumble. :D Whats yours?

    Set yourself down with Microsoft Frontpage. Thats what I used and its how I learned from scratch. Got it when I was 11.. no one told me how to do a thing, where to go, what my next step was. Im sure you can do the same without any problems.
  24. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I don't actually encourage overclocking although it works. It just puts stress on the transistors..long term run it can be bad for the CPU.

    By the way the Zalman (CNPS7000A-Cu is above the recommended weight for HSF at approx 760g and can be obstructed by capacitors in certain motherboard, can't really recommend them to be used.
  25. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    Get a P4 2.4Ghz C and one of the new ASUS Motherboards that has AI Overclocking Options. Just helped build one yesterday and overclocked it to 3.12Ghz just be setting the Jumperless CPU Config to +30% and this is with the standard cooler.

    Some people have had P4 2.4Ghz's up to 3.6Ghz+, but we were happy with 3.12 for the time being.

    With a Radeon 9700Pro and Omega Catalyst 3.9s, we were able to get a 3DMark2003 score of 5700.
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