Casual Gaming Rig

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Firehawk Posted: Sun, Aug 17 2008 3:36 AM

I want too be able to play the newish games on low-mid settings without spending a lot of money, I came up with this for $660 (I live in Australia that's why its an Australian site) Here is the link: Techbuy AMD Casual Gamer Computer System - *Customisable* (79018 | TBOS79018) | Techbuy Australia Here is what I Customized it to be:
------------------------------------------------------------------
Case: Centurion 5 Midi-Tower Case - 460W PSU

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-M68SM-S2L Motherboard
AM2, GeForce 7025 + nForce 630a, HT 2000, 2x DDR2-800, PCI-Ex16, 4x SATA-II, RAID, GigLAN, 6Chl, DVI+VGA, mATX

CPU: Athlon64 X2 6000+ (3.0Ghz), AM2, 2x1MB, 2000HT, Dual Core - Retail 89W Version

HDD: 320GB 7200rpm Serial ATA-II 300 HDD

CD/DVD Drive: 22x DVD+-RW Dual Layer DVD Burner

Video Card: XpertVision GeForce 9500GT - 512GB GDDR2, 128-bit, PCI-Ex16 v2.0
(500MHz, 1.4GHz) - Super Edition

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OK, my main uncertainty is the CPU because I have never used AMD before. Also if anyone thinks I might have troubles with the video card i can always upgrade to:
Innovision GeForce 9600GT - 512MB DDR3
256-bit, 2x DVI, HDTV, HDCP - PCI-Ex16 v2.0 - (650MHz, 1.8GHz) - Armour Edition
For $55

Replies would be very appreciated!

Thanks
0Firehawk0

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Step up to the 9600 and you'll have yourself a rig that can manage mid-high settings instead of low-mid like you  mentioned.

That cpu is good, especially since it's 3ghz outta the box. Even without OC'ing, it should allow you to run games well at resolutions up to 1680 x 1050.

It's a decent rig for the money, but I'll browse the site you linked  and see what else they have to be on the safe side so you get the best bang for your bux!

BTW: Welcome to HH... stick around and enjoy!!!

~EDIT~

OK... so I checked out their Intel based casual gamer and feel it's the better way to go. The AMD system with the 6000 & the 9600 is about $750, while the Intel system with an E7200 & 9600 is about $770. I personally would choose the Intel system without thinking twice.

BTW2: Don't let the ghz fool you, the Intel cpu @ 2.5ghz is faster than the AMD cpu @ 3ghz.

BTW3: I just noticed the system comes standard with only a gig of ram, it's only 9 bux more for another gig so make sure & get that.

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Firehawk replied on Sun, Aug 17 2008 5:58 AM

Thanks, yea im going to definetly get the extra gig of ram, also i have done alot of research into AMD vs Intel for gaming and the results I came up with was that AMD was the winner, but anyway I might be wrong. I think i will spend that extra $50 on the better gfx card and hopfully the rig wont go out of date TOO fast. 

BTW thanks for the quick reply.

-Firehawk

 

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Firehawk:
i have done alot of research into AMD vs Intel for gaming and the results I came up with was that AMD was the winner
 

Not sure where you read that, but AFAIK that is absolutely untrue. No offense, but I'm almost completely certain that anyone here including the admins will back me 100% on this point!

Bottom line = Despite Intel cpus being superior clock for clock, neither 1 of those chips will bottleneck the 9600GT even if you OC the heck out of it. So basically you can't go wrong either way.

Keep us up to date and report back when you get your gamer home!!!

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Firehawk replied on Sun, Aug 17 2008 6:35 AM

I just noticed that it doesn't mention a sound card, so does that mean it wont have an sound? sorry if this is an overly noobish question

-Firehawk

*Edit* I just relised the stuff with AMD vs Intel was the pentium D dual core vs AMD 4500+

I found a website about Intel duel core  vs AMD duel core and yes, you were right, intel is better but the difference isn't that big not really enough to make my want to spend the extra money (i don't really need the extra processing power anyway).

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A sound card isn't required because all motherboards have a chip onboard, but an actual sound card will provide better quality. I use onboard sound and feel that the quality and performance are just fine. 

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Firehawk replied on Sun, Aug 17 2008 7:50 AM

Thankyou heaps for all your help, I agree with you, at the moment I use an onboard sound card and it works perfectly for my needs (I don't have surround sound speakers).

again thanks SOOOO much :)

-Firehawk

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Firehawk:
again thanks SOOOO much :)
 

NP!

 

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Get the 9600gt! I just got one for $85 off the egg.

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warlord replied on Mon, Aug 18 2008 1:23 AM

The 9600 is a strong performer for the price

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Firehawk replied on Mon, Aug 18 2008 7:16 AM

Ok, before I posted on this forum I also posted an identicle message on another forum (just to get different opinions) and the I got this reply:

"As for gaming it will defo play half life 2, DoD and CS source very well but i doubt you can play COD4 or Crysis or any of the new DX10 games" Here is a screenie:

 (if your having trouble viewing the screen sot because of the size or shape etc. just right click the image and click "view image")


I just want to know if this is true because if I can't play something like COD4 very well im not sure if I should still buy it. Again, feedback would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

-Firehawk

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warlord replied on Mon, Aug 18 2008 8:02 AM

Feel free to google 9600gt reviews. The one thing of note that you will notice right off is that the 8800gt and 9600gt has the same frame rate give or take a frame or 2. With that being said the 9600gtcan go 1920X1080 res in cod 4 now if your over that then yes you had better dig deeper with your budget. Hope that help ya.What res are you running? And realisticly what level of aa and af are you shootong for since this also affects quality of graphics performance. I would recommend a 3850 if ya can swing it but i believe you where told this card based on a budget of only 660

Fold On!!!!

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Firehawk replied on Mon, Aug 18 2008 8:10 PM

Well I use about low to no AA, mostly because it doesn't bother me and because im used to playing games (mostly older ones) on extremely low settings I own a lappy with a Intel GMA 950 so when I play a game it doesn't REALLY bother me when it's not on full graphics with no AA or very low AA. With the resolution, im only playing on a 17" LCD (not widescreen) so it won't matter much and again Im used to running a game like HL 2 on the extreme low resolution and graphics settings.

*EDIT* I was looking on the Nvidia website (the 9600 page specifically) and realised that they used a picture of COD4 to show the HD gaming capability of the 9600GT. Here's the link:  http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_9600gt.html

 

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I just wouldn't recommend the 9500 to anyone thats going to do any gaming. For $20 more you get at least twice the performance. If your playing HL2 on low settings your missing a big part of the game. The atmosphere.

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warlord replied on Mon, Aug 18 2008 11:29 PM

Exactly bob $20 bucks is worth a near 75% performance increase

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Firehawk replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 1:41 AM

yer, I am definatley getting the 9600GT I decided that a llittle while ago. :)

*EDIT* BTW I was reffering the the Inter Integrated Graphics card 950 GMA not the Geforce 9500 when I said I ran HL2 on low.

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Yeah I just got team fortress running on a friends laptop with a 950 gma and running smooth but its not the same game it looks sooooo bad.

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a 9500 will play COD4 on max trust me, My room mate was running a 850XTX with a 2500+ and it was on max with no lag...

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

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Der Meister:

a 9500 will play COD4 on max trust me, My room mate was running a 850XTX with a 2500+ and it was on max with no lag...

It will run most games fine but its just not worth it when you can get so much more for $20, and be a bit future proof.

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Firehawk replied on Wed, Aug 20 2008 6:53 AM

bob_on_the_cob:

Der Meister:

a 9500 will play COD4 on max trust me, My room mate was running a 850XTX with a 2500+ and it was on max with no lag...

It will run most games fine but its just not worth it when you can get so much more for $20, and be a bit future proof.

Yes I totally agree with you for the 50$ extra the 9600 is definatly worth it, also I know what you mean with the 950GMA thats the reason I decided to buy a new system, I just COULDN'T stand playing games like that anymore!!! "a 9500 will play COD4 on max trust me, My room mate was running a 850XTX with a 2500+ and it was on max with no lag..." That is awesome, can't wait to play one of my favourite games on full GFX!!! just hope the cpu + ram won't bottleneck the GFX card (2gig ram and AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000 3.0Ghz)

thanks again for all the help,

Firehawk

BTW this is one of the most helpfull and supportive forums ive ever had the pleasure to use I will probably use it as the computer forum i use now, it really great :)

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Firehawk:
just hope the cpu + ram won't bottleneck the GFX card (2gig ram and AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000 3.0Ghz)
 

The 6000 will have no trouble at all feeding the 9600 all the data it can handle.

Firehawk:

BTW this is one of the most helpfull and supportive forums ive ever had the pleasure to use I will probably use it as the computer forum i use now, it really great :)

I feel as though I've grown as a geek as a direct result of being part of this community.  I've visited lotsa tech sites/forums, but IMHO HH is by far the best... truly in a league of it's own!!!

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Firehawk replied on Wed, Aug 20 2008 8:07 AM

I just wanted to know what is better (i decided on intel) the:Intel CORE 2 Q6600/2.4Ghz/2x4MB/1066FSB/LGA77 or Intel ATX E8400 CORE 2 DUO /3.0GHz/6MB/1333FSB/LGA775

 

-Firehawk

 

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For gaming the 8400 would be better because it's faster and only a few games can use more than 2 cores. The ones that can use 4 show only a tiny improvement(anywhere from 0-5%)in framerate vs. a dual core @ the same clock speed. This will change in the future and eventually all games will be mutli threaded, but for now the 8400 is a gaming beast that should at the very least get you through '09.

Some here may have a different POV, but if the choice were mine I'd get the 8400 without thinking twice. The only way I'd go quad instead is if I could afford at least a Q9450 which runs @ 2.66ghz and has 12mb of cache. The thing is, it's about 80-100bux more expensive than the 8400/6600.

If for whatever reason you choose the Q6600, it's not as though it's a bad choice... even @ stock speed the 6600 will easily feed the 9600 or an 8800/9800 for that matter.

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Firehawk:

just hope the cpu + ram won't bottleneck the GFX card (2gig ram and AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000 3.0Ghz)

thanks again for all the help,

Firehawk

BTW this is one of the most helpfull and supportive forums ive ever had the pleasure to use I will probably use it as the computer forum i use now, it really great :)

My girlfriend runs a 9600gt with 2gig ram and a Pentium D 3GHz. And its blazing so I think you will be fine on that.

And thanks! We hope you stick around. 5 years ago guys at this forum helped me do my first ram upgrade and overclock. Everyone is great here.

 

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Firehawk replied on Wed, Aug 20 2008 9:23 PM

*UPDATE*

I just thought id tell you guys that I decided to buy all the parts separately and build it myself (with some help form someone else I know who puts computers together for a living so I don't mess it up :) ). So the MOBO and the ram (still 2 gig just diff brand) and the case is slightly different but the GFX card is gonna be the 9600GT 512 and the CPU will be the core 2 duo 3Ghz.

-Firehawk

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Awesome... best way 2 go IMO!

 

 

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Firehawk:

*UPDATE*

I just thought id tell you guys that I decided to buy all the parts separately and build it myself (with some help form someone else I know who puts computers together for a living so I don't mess it up :) ).

-Firehawk

Remember we are here every step of the way. There is nothing more satisfiying than booting up your computer that you build for the first time. Good Luck!

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Super Dave replied on Wed, Aug 20 2008 11:56 PM

bob_on_the_cob:
There is nothing more satisfiying than booting up your computer that you build for the first time.
 

Or nothing more frustrating if it doesn't boot!

 SPAM-posters beware! ®

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Super Dave:

bob_on_the_cob:
There is nothing more satisfiying than booting up your computer that you build for the first time.
 

Or nothing more frustrating if it doesn't boot!

True but when it finally does it is even more satisfying!Stick out tongue

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bob_on_the_cob:

True but when it finally does it is even more satisfying!Stick out tongue

 

 Yes, a true orgasmic-explosion!Big Smile

 SPAM-posters beware! ®

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Firehawk replied on Thu, Aug 21 2008 8:08 AM

Thanks for the support guys!!! it is very apreciated!

-Firehawk

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Show your thx by stickin around! ;)

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warlord replied on Thu, Aug 21 2008 7:06 PM

Also don't forget we have a folding contest and there is some gear up for grabs. So stick around and have some fun

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Firehawk replied on Fri, Aug 22 2008 5:26 AM

Hi again,

I was wondering, is it worth the $100 extra (from where im buying it) to get a 8800GT 512mb instead of the 9600GT 512mb. Like, will I be able to get a few extra frames out of crysys (I couldn't find a good benchmark comparrison so thats why im asking) or should I consider the 9800GT 512mb? Again the help would be greatly appreciated.


-Firehawk

BTW I hope that in the near futute I will be able to help with the "folding" thing once I figure out what it is and how to do it.

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It depends. You're in Australia right? Are you gonna shop @ that website you linked in your 1st post? If so, tell me how much you wanna spend on just the card itself and I'll find the best deal on that site for you.

If either the 8800 or 9800 are actually 100 more than the 9600 I'd say it's not worth it because you can OC the 9600 and get plenty o miles outta it. If you're unfamiliar with OC'ing, the GPU is much easier to OC than the CPU which itself isn't very hard to begin with.

OC'ing a GPU is as easy as moving a couple sliders than pressing OK/Apply. When the time comes I'll walk you through how much to OC the memory and core at a time to see if the new clocks are stable.

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Firehawk replied on Fri, Aug 22 2008 7:36 AM

Yea I am in australia but im buying parts from a different store that i personally like better(u-mart AU) . Here is the link. But I guess if im gonna overclock it I might just go with this. BUt the price I'd like to spend on the GFX card is around $120 - $140, but if it would make quite a considerable difference id be willing to spend $170.

-Firehawk


*Edit* oops, almost forgot, if im planning on overclocking the card is there anything special I might need to buy like a really good cooling system or somthing? Because that will probably cost just as much as upgrading the graphics card. Also what Wattage  PSU should I go for? 430, 450?

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Based on the prices on the site you linked the 9600GT you linked is a solid choice, but the 8800GT they have for 170(currently out of stock)is also a worthy option... you really can't go wrong either way.

As for cooling, just use something like Riva Tuner(a free downloadable utility)to turn the card's fan speed up since the default speeds are usually low(like 40% or less). Riva Tuner has OC'ing features also, but some ppl(myself included)like to use Ati tool for that(worx with Nvidia cards too). Both utilities are user friendly and very easy to learn and get used to.

Make sure the case you buy has @ least 2 120mm fans(1 in front, 1 in back)for good airflow.

Get @ least a 500w PSU from a reputable brand name like Corsair, Seasonic or OCZ... if you think you might wanna buy another card later for sli, then get @ least a 700w. I wouldn't recommend spending less than 100 on a PSU, it's a very important component that you shouldn't skimp on.

Here are some linx 4 u:          Ati tool          Core Temp(for cpu temperatures)          Riva Tuner  

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Firehawk replied on Fri, Aug 22 2008 9:00 AM

So I could buy a case like one of these:

[1] [2] [3] ?

And then an extra 12cm fan for like $15

Like THIS one?

And It would all work fine with a 500w+ psu.

-Firehawk

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The 2nd or 3rd case would be just fine, the 1st case sux IMO.

The fan you linked is probably fine, but you may want to get a brand name because cheap fans are often noisy and may not last as long.

A 500w will be sufficient, but as I said get a good brand... I'll check the site & link 1 for you.

~UPDATE~

Get THIS PSU... it's what I have & I run a GTX 260 with it just fine. I know I said spend @ least a c-note, but this unit has proven itself to me!

BTW: Cases 2 and 3 are both good, but I really like the loox of the 3rd. I think it would look great with the PSU I linked! Just thought I'd throw my oppinion out there.

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warlord replied on Fri, Aug 22 2008 10:21 AM

The coolermaster will have superior air flow to the thermaltake out of those to cases. Also the build quility is slight;y better overall.

Fold On!!!!

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