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Some help with new hardware, please

By Apexsc · 13 replies
Dec 10, 2008
  1. Hi,

    I want to buy some new hardware for all the new games that are coming out lately (GTA 4 is one of them, and Crysis) but I just don't know what to buy.

    I want a new motherboard, memory, videocards (SLI) and maybe a new processor.

    I currently have a Socket 939 CPU and MB, is it still viable to get a S939 motherboard or should I get an AM2+? Which means I need to upgrade my CPU aswell.

    Is DDR3 out yet? If so, is it stable when compared to DDR2?

    If I want a AM2+ MB that supports at least 4GB of DDR3 memory and SLI, what MB should I be looking at? I'm so confused. Can someone please advice me one? Asus preferred. :)

    What processor would match that board the best? I currently have X2. Is the price/quality of a AMD Phenom X4 worth it? (X4 means the board has to have an AM2+ socket.)

    And which graphics card is currently the strongest to support all the newer games? Nvidia (SLI) preferred.

    Thanks in advance!

    PS: I'm asking this advice because Google didn't help me out to much. :(

    PSS: I definitely want to run Vista! :) (Halo 2 = DX10 which means Vista is a must.)
  2. DaMak420

    DaMak420 TS Rookie Posts: 189

    well... DDR3 isn't really "new" any more. But, Yes, it is available.

    I would personally suggest an intel based system as Intel > AMD (atleast for the time being)

    As I am sure some people will tell you, right now dual core is more than enough, and quad core is a waste of money if not using specific programs for photo/video editing. Personally i went with Quad core just so I could /flex....

    As far as video cards, if you are dead set on Nvidia, 2X gtx280's SLI would be the way to go.... but if you don't mind switching to the darkside... ATI HD4870X2, and if you really want to go nuts, get a 2nd one and run them in crossfire.

    I don't feel like linking anything until you know at least what type of system it will be (amd or intel)
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Right off the bat, I'll tell you that GTA IV with all the detail settings maxed out runs like crap on my rig, so don't expect too much out of it. It is impossible to max out all the detail settings and maintain a playable frame rate.

    And yes, an Intel CPU will be far faster than any AMD equivalent, unless you're looking to spend around $500 or less.

    Specify a budget, whether or not you'll be re-using peripherals from your old system like the HDD, monitor, keyboard etc, and please fill out your profile with your location and system specs so we can help you better.
  4. Apexsc

    Apexsc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My budget is about 800 to 900 Euro's, that's 1040 to 1170 Dollars and 700 to 791 Pounds.

    Things I want to upgrade is my motherboard, memory, graphic cards and if Intel is really faster then AMD (All I do is play games and watch movies tbh) then I'll need a new processor too.

    Preferrably DDR3 and SLI. (Or do Ati cards work better with Intel?)

    Thanks for all the help so far. :)
  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    Buy a mid priced intel dual or quad core and Overclock it . Do your homework first as to what motherboard, memory, GPU etc. By doing that you can achieve the performance of a high-end system with less money. As to what components to buy there are many opinions on that. Budget will determine that I guess.
    Asus motherboards are great for OC'ing as are Intel Core 2 CPU's (I would look at the Q6600) which is rated stock at 2.4ghz and you can easily OC it to 3.2 AND it's reasonably priced ($189 US at newegg). Again I wont get too much into specifics as there many opinions on this.
  6. Apexsc

    Apexsc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't overclock, I've seen it go bad with others. The warranty and life-time of the hardware goes down, and you have a change to fry it right away when you do it wrong. So thanks but no thanks. :)
  7. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    Suit yourself. Intel CPU's OC very well. I did it myself and had never done it before. All I did was increase the FSB speed a notch and get a 3rd party cooler, good quality RAM and that's it. I have to stress though, I am not a gamer. I do a lot of video editing/rendering type work and my computer is on 24/7 for over a year now with no probs
  8. DaMak420

    DaMak420 TS Rookie Posts: 189

    Let us know what you are re-using from your old system please.
  9. Apexsc

    Apexsc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So basicly everything but those parts. So that would be CD/DVD drives, harddisks, CPU, the case, my screen, keyboard, mouse and maybe one or two other things I forgot.

    Edit: I currently have a 650W PSU. Will that do for SLI, DDR3 memory and Dual Core? With my current setup, it works fine.
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    You do not need SLI, a single card setup will be fast enough for anything. As for the PSU, it depends on what brand it is. Please post it if you can, along with the model number.

    Assuming your PSU is not good enough, try the below setup for starters:
    Grand Total = € 849.1 without counting shipping.
  11. Apexsc

    Apexsc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's a Silverstone ST65ZF.

    That's an awesome setup, but are you sure SLI isn't much faster? With two GeForce 9800GTX's. Those are half the price of a GTX 280.

    Thanks for all the help so far. Very much appreciated. :D
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Yes, SLI scaling varies from game to game and so an SLI setup delivers a 25-40% performance boost compared to a single-card one in the best circumstances, not the 2x performance you'd expect. Also, the best performance benefit from SLI comes at resolutions such as 1600x1200 and higher. Thus a single-card setup is always the best thing to go for.

    And based on your PSU's specs, I'd say you should go for the new one. Your old one delivers 42A on the +12V rails combined and that number will be around 3-4A lesser depending on how many years you've had it for and for how long you keep your PC on every day. I'd recommend at least 40A on the +12V rail for a system with a GTX 280 to guarantee stability.
  13. Apexsc

    Apexsc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright, thanks for the help. I think I know what I want now.

    But one final question: Why didn't you recommend a DDR3 motherboard with some DDR3 memory? In the near future, isn't that what you're gonna 'need' to run the latest games?

    If you say DDR2 is currently better then DDR3 and it's not needed to get DDR3 yet, I'm gonna buy the setup you recommended. :)
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    DDR3 RAM provides no performance benefit over DDR2, and is not exactly cheap. A decent 4GB DDR3 kit costs almost three times as much as a good-quality DDR2 kit. As for future gaming performance, it is most likely to be dependent more on the graphics card than anything else. That's how it's always been, and how it always will be.
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