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  • I need a new High End rig

    Long story short, I have a looming English research project, with the chosen subject of the position of video games in our culture and whether or not games can be considered an artform. To do this with any degree of goodness, I need to capture footage while playing games, and then edit it in Windows Movie Maker. Unfortunately, both those tasks can put quite the load on my computer, with the former resulting in low res and low framerates, and the latter making my computer crash and act sluggish.

    Money is not that massive an issue, though it would be extremely preferable to keep the cost less than $2,000. It would be most awesome if I could get it and get it assembled by the weekend, so I'm debating whether to go with the cheaper online ordering, or more expensively, going to Fry's.

    If I decide to go online, what is a cheap, reliable, and fast service?

    I currently have a ABIT uGURU AN7 motherboard, 1 gig of RAM, a Radeon 9700 pro, a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card, an AMD Athlon 2600+, and a 200 gig Maxtor harddrive. I'm pretty sure I can salvage the RAM and harddrive for the new motherboard, though from what I understand I will need new cards and a new processor.

    Can anyone tell me some decent hardware to get?

  • #2
    Re: I need a new High End rig

    For online ordering in the US, www.newegg.com hands down. Various UPS or Fedex shipping available.

    Hardware wise, assuming you have the OS and the Monitor already, you can easily build a uber gaming rig for under $1500.

    A socket 939 motherboard. Pick a brand you like, I personally use Asus.
    The highest AMD 64 processor you can afford. X-2 if you want dual core, FX if not.

    As for video cards, if you're into the big money, I personally prefer the current high-end Nvidia cards currently over the ATI, but that's really a personal preference thing.

    Would link you a bunch of stuff, but newegg is not responding for me atm. Another thing to look at, is that you'll probably want a decent 450W PSU as well. Getting a case/PSU combo like the Sonata II is a popular choice, as it comes with a killer antec PSU.
    a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
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    • #3
      Re: I need a new High End rig

      I think the Opteron 165 would make for a fine alternative to the X2's :)

      You'll want another gig of ram, methinks.
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      • #4
        Re: I need a new High End rig

        http://www.tacticalgamer.com/hardwar...hlight=%241500

        :D

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        • #5
          Re: I need a new High End rig

          Hey,

          While Newegg is very good..make sure you check @ ZipZoomFly and Monarch Computers too. When I built my new rig a month or so ago I used Newegg and ZZF...Both are very good and both are reputable. Oh yea, I second Spyder's mention of a good PowerSupply!!! Make sure to get a good one!!!

          Good Luck!!!

          Chappie

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          • #6
            Re: I need a new High End rig

            Originally posted by perry
            I think the Opteron 165 would make for a fine alternative to the X2's :)

            You'll want another gig of ram, methinks.
            really?...i thougth the opterons where the server chip...and if so they are cheaper then the X2's

            im going to point you over to this thread

            thread
            that sounds like a good idea trooper.
            -Vulcan

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            • #7
              Re: I need a new High End rig

              The 165 is a dual core, socket 939 processor running at 1.8GHz. Thing is, you can overclock the hell out of em. 2.4GHz on air with a decent heatsink (some folks on newegg's reviews say they used the stock heatsink!) is very commonplace.. That takes you in to 4800X2 territory for only $326! You're looking at over $600 for a 4800! Or, the dual core FX60 at 2.6GHz for $1000... For a higher end machine on a budget, the 165 is a good deal.

              For a single core solution, the Operton 148 is also a nice choice. Single core 939 running at 2.2GHz.

              The Opterons have unlocked multipliers which makes overclocking pretty simple.
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              • #8
                Re: I need a new High End rig

                I'm not comfortable with overclocking. I prefer my hardware to last long, especially as my new computer may become my old one in the future, kind of like my current rig will get 98 on it so I can play older games like System Shock 1 that require DOS.

                Anyway, does higher price definitely mean higher quality? Or will I actually need to know something about hardware to choose the right configuration?

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                • #9
                  Re: I need a new High End rig

                  Hey guys,

                  I realize you said you don't want to OC...but I'm running an Opteron 144 at 2.4 GHZ on the stock cooler with nooooo problemos at all. Runs like a champ and barely breaks 40c when gaming. Very good processor for sure. Stock for the 144 is 1.8 and it's single core.

                  good luck!

                  Chappie

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                  • #10
                    Re: I need a new High End rig

                    Originally posted by Karkianman101
                    I'm not comfortable with overclocking. I prefer my hardware to last long, especially as my new computer may become my old one in the future, kind of like my current rig will get 98 on it so I can play older games like System Shock 1 that require DOS.

                    Anyway, does higher price definitely mean higher quality? Or will I actually need to know something about hardware to choose the right configuration?

                    your only real advantage to spending high dollar is you wont have to update again for a while. If you dint read that thread im going re-say it here, id wait until direct X10 GPUs are released. Then your PC upgrade will be Y2k7 compliant or windows vista which ever comes first
                    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                    -Vulcan

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                    • #11
                      Re: I need a new High End rig

                      MSI K8N Neo4 NF4 Ultra Platinum $109
                      AMD X2 4200+ $355
                      Sapphire X1900XT OEM $449
                      X-Fi XtremeMusic $112
                      OCZ Value Series 2x1GB $159
                      Seagate 7200.8 250GB $86
                      Antec Sonata II $95
                      Seasonic 600W PSU $149
                      DVD-ROM & DVD-Writer $70
                      Total: $1584

                      This setup will kick ass and is in your price range. If you like, replace the X2 4200+ with a similarly priced single core. If you intend to use this PC for a while without upgrading it, stick with the dual core.

                      Each component included in this build is, in my opinion, the optimal "min-money max-performance" choice. If you want to spend some more money, upgrade the processor to a 4400+ or 4800+, the RAM to a lower latency choice from a reputable company, and/or add a 10,000RPM Raptor 150GB HDD. If you want to take it down a notch, replace the X-Fi with a cheaper sound card, bump the X1900XT to a 7800GT, and/or take the CPU down a couple notches. But, like I said, the setup I've made here has the best performance to price ratio.
                      A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                      "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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                      • #12
                        Re: I need a new High End rig

                        I went to a Fry's today, and a salesperson helped me get an idea of what I should get. Tomorrow in the afternoon is when I make my decision.

                        Salvaging:
                        My 200 gig Maxtor Ultra ATA 7200 rpm
                        Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
                        1 gig of RAM (hopefully)

                        New:
                        A $160 Aluminum case with 6 fan slots and a 600 watt PSU (He said that the PSU will somewhat lower electric bills, and will last longer)
                        Asus A8N32-SLI DLX MB for $250
                        AMD Athlon 64 bit 3700+ with a 1mb memory cache for $250
                        PNY GeForce 7800GT 256mb for $425

                        They can build it in a day, which is probably best since I'm not as familiar with the new echelon of stuff, which my dad also thinks. According to the salesperson, this rig should last me fine for at least/around 3 years, and it would be easy to pop in another processor and video card.

                        The total with that, assembly, and a warranty thingy where they will replace any parts with an equivalent or superior piece if it breaks, with tax included comes to $1,412.01

                        Is this a good setup and/or deal?

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                        • #13
                          Re: I need a new High End rig

                          thats a great card, but when you are gonna have to get a new one in 6 months id just go with a lower end 6600GT for now then go all out with the direct X10 cards are announced and released. The rest looks awesome
                          that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                          -Vulcan

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                          • #14
                            Re: I need a new High End rig

                            If you built the current system, then the newer stuff is really no different. There's an extra 12V connector on the motherboard and a new one on the video card. Installing the heatsink is even easier now, IMO. Besides, I'd trust myself before I'd trust Fry's ;)

                            I wouldn't count on there being an upgrade path for the 939's as there is a new socket just around the corner. I still think the Opteron is the way to go, and raising the multiplier won't shorten the longevity of it.. Here is a good thread on the 165's, and another explaining why these "server" processors are so popular these days. You'd be running the stock HT bus speed and stock voltage. Build the system, Prime95 for a day or so to insure stablity, and you're set.

                            The 3700+ San Diego is a very nice chip but the price is slightly higher than online which I guess is expected.

                            The price on that 7800GT sounds high, and PNY isn't a favorite brand. Any other brands? The lesser card may be a good idea because I can see the resale price on these high end DX9 cards really going down when the DX10 cards are released.
                            Last edited by perry; 03-29-2006, 11:47 PM.
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                            • #15
                              Re: I need a new High End rig

                              If you pay $429 for a 7800GT I'm going to cry. Get an X1900XT for the same price online and overnight it, have Fry's build the rig and toss in the video card yourself!
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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