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Thread: £350-£380 Gaming PC

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    £350-£380 Gaming PC

    Hi

    I'm looking to purchase a sub 350 gaming machine capable of running BF2 at 1280x1024 (17" LCD) at a reasonable rate.

    I'm used to dealing with higher end machines for gaming and workstations, not at this end of the market.

    The main components i'm looking at are the following:
    6600GT PCIe card
    80GB SATA HD
    No-name case and PSU
    DVD-RW

    My options then become:
    AMD3200+ Retail
    Biostar NF4 mATX PCIe Mobo
    1GB DDR
    Cost: £372 delivered.

    or

    Intel Pentium D 805
    Asus P5PL2 Mobo
    1 GB DDR2
    £380 delivered

    Which would you go with, why, and is there anything you would change?
    (I would love a 7600GS instead, but it adds another £45 to the bill)

    All prices include VAT
    Cheers!

    Wolfsbane2k

  2. #2
    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    I *think* the amd soultion will give you better results for games. I seem to recall the p4's weren't so great in that department.

    Oh, and you should be fine running BF2. My clunky old machine (see spec<--) runs it quite respectibly at 1280x960 at medium graphics settings (i.e. selected medium then upped the resolution to 1280@100Hz) Typically over 30fps in all but the most intense battles, which imho is quite alright

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    sneaks quietly away. schmunk's Avatar
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    The Pentium D 805, whilst wonderfully cheap for a dual core processor, ain't very fast AFAIK. I'd go for the AMD.

    When you've made a few more constructive posts (50, I think), you can have a look on the FS/FT forum and see if you can grab a bargain on a second-hand graphics card (there are usually a few available).

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    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    If you could get a decent motherboard, the Pentium 805 wouldnt be too bad.. These chips should clock well into the 3.2ish Ghz.. then you'll have a 840 to brag about..

    Then again, if u have no use of the second core.. the 3200+ deal is a better option.
    Me want Ultrabook


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    Quote Originally Posted by jamena
    I *think* the amd soultion will give you better results for games. I seem to recall the p4's weren't so great in that department.

    Oh, and you should be fine running BF2. My clunky old machine (see spec<--) runs it quite respectibly at 1280x960 at medium graphics settings (i.e. selected medium then upped the resolution to 1280@100Hz) Typically over 30fps in all but the most intense battles, which imho is quite alright
    can't see your system from here ( no javascript .. ) but i know it runs pretty well on a 6600GT by most peoples accounts - thanks for the confimation.

    As always, BF2 is the current game of choice, but expansion is always the rule!

    I am tempted to talk the guy into spending another £40 for the 7600GS, but me'h.

    Cheers!

    Wolfsbane2k

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    Quote Originally Posted by sawyen
    If you could get a decent motherboard, the Pentium 805 wouldnt be too bad.. These chips should clock well into the 3.2ish Ghz.. then you'll have a 840 to brag about..

    Then again, if u have no use of the second core.. the 3200+ deal is a better option.
    At the moment he only uses the machine for Championship Manager, so a duallie really isn't needed, but I'd be hoping to get the dual core up to a serious O/C, and a second core for £9 isn't to be sniffed at.

    What's a good cheap mobo for a Dualie then?

    Cheers,

    Wolfsbane2k

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    Senior Member MantisCSS's Avatar
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    id go forthe AMD
    PowerColor HD 4850 512MB
    Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L iP35 Socket 775 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 2.53GHz
    Coolermaster Centurion 5 All Black
    Corsair 450W VX 450W PSU
    Samsung SpinPoint F1 500GB

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfsbane2k
    can't see your system from here ( no javascript .. ) but i know it runs pretty well on a 6600GT by most peoples accounts - thanks for the confimation.
    <snip>
    I am tempted to talk the guy into spending another £40 for the 7600GS, but me'h.
    I would try talking him into the 7600gt Or you might find a 6800 or a 6800gt second hand for a good price inbetween that and your 6600gt option. I don't understand the ATI numbering after the 9xxx era hence the lack of ati suggestions in there...

    my system is xp2400+, 2x512 DDR@266, 9800pro AIW, nf2 400 motherboard. It copes but can't really do full-on graphics in most recent games at TFT res. Toughest game thus far was COD2 which was practically a slideshow at any resolution so probably cpu bound on my part. FEAR pushes it very very hard but works with a lot of the extras turned down/off.

    anyway ... gl

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    awm
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    Depends on if you plan to O/C. I personally don't and would go with the AMD, but the 805 sounds like it would be great fun to overclock if that's your thing. To be honest though I doubt you'll notice any huge difference either way (unless you get a better graphics card).

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    Forget about the 805. Most current games cannot really take advantage of dual cores. AFAIK, BF1942 is the same i.e. its not multi-threaded. If you look at the reviews, the low-end A64s beat the 805 hands down in most games. The 805 is only a safe choice if you're primarily after better performance in multi-threading enable software - such as Cubase or Premiere Pro - or are after smoother multitasking. Otherwise, the high power consumption (i.e. you'll need better cooling, a more powerful PSU and deeper pocket for the leccy bill) and weaker gaming performance make the 805 a poor choice. But boys will be boys; dual core at &#163;85 is bound to suck in punters 'cus it looks good on paper

    I wouldn't even bother getting a 3200 unless you can pick one up really cheap. If you get a 3000 and put the surplus toward a better GFX card, you'll get more FPS for your buck. Some pretty comprehensive testing by [H]ardforum uses has revealed the CPU speed doesn't make that much difference in modern games - they are ever more GPU reliant. Saying that, the current picture will obviously change when more games designers begin to explore the possibilities of multi-threading. But by that time, dual core S939 chips will also be alot cheaper...
    Last edited by Nat101; 25-04-2006 at 11:38 PM.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Anandtech did an 805 review recently:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...spx?i=2736&p=9

    so Quake 4 rocks on the 805, most stuff doesn't.

    The next page shows power consumption. 210W under load: hmm toasty...

    For that price range, Scan currently have a socket 754 A3400+ for 90 quid. That is a 2.2GHz part with 1MB cache, which should make up for the lack of dual channel memory. Note that it doesn't come with a fan. A socket754 motherboard would probably save you some money as well, you might lose a quid on swapping a pair of memory sticks for a single one of twice the size though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix
    The next page shows power consumption. 210W under load: hmm toasty...
    Thats 210w for the entire system, remember. The 805 itself will pull about 110w under maximum load.
    Last edited by Nat101; 26-04-2006 at 10:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat101
    Forget about the 805. Most current games cannot really take advantage of dual cores. AFAIK, BF1942 is the same i.e. its not multi-threaded. If you look at the reviews, the low-end A64s beat the 805 hands down in most games. The 805 is only a safe choice if you're primarily after better performance in multi-threading enable software - such as Cubase or Premiere Pro - or are after smoother multitasking. Otherwise, the high power consumption (i.e. you'll need better cooling, a more powerful PSU and deeper pocket for the leccy bill) and weaker gaming performance make the 805 a poor choice. But boys will be boys; dual core at £85 is bound to suck in punters 'cus it looks good on paper

    I wouldn't even bother getting a 3200 unless you can pick one up really cheap. If you get a 3000 and put the surplus toward a better GFX card, you'll get more FPS for your buck. Some pretty comprehensive testing by [H]ardforum uses has revealed the CPU speed doesn't make that much difference in modern games - they are ever more GPU reliant. Saying that, the current picture will obviously change when more games designers begin to explore the possibilities of multi-threading. But by that time, dual core S939 chips will also be alot cheaper...
    In all honesty, right from the word go i've been swinging towards the AMD system, but i wanted other peoples opinions.

    Having read the Hardocp's stuff in the past, i'm in agreement with the PC stuff, but i managed to locate a new retail 3200+ venice for 79.99 inc vat last week, so picked it up for the hell of it, so that's floating around currently free either for a house file server or a htpc machine.


    Quote Originally Posted by DancesWithUnix
    For that price range, Scan currently have a socket 754 A3400+ for 90 quid. That is a 2.2GHz part with 1MB cache, which should make up for the lack of dual channel memory. Note that it doesn't come with a fan. A socket754 motherboard would probably save you some money as well, you might lose a quid on swapping a pair of memory sticks for a single one of twice the size though.
    Yeap, been looking at 754 parts which seem really cheap - but there isn't going to be as much upgrade path on them - i'd like this guy to be able to buy a better proc and gfx card in 2 years and keep the rest of the system.

    Has anybody tested any of the 754 NF6100 boards at all, specifically for OCing? One option i have is to get one of those which has a PCIe upgrade option, but only buy the GFX card when he actually gets a 3d game to play!

    Cheers,

    Wolfsbane2k

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    I may be wrong on this but isn't the A64 3200+ a lot better than the 3000+ for overclocking? I've got it in my head from somewhere that that is the case, not sure where ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfsbane2k
    Yeap, been looking at 754 parts which seem really cheap - but there isn't going to be as much upgrade path on them - i'd like this guy to be able to buy a better proc and gfx card in 2 years and keep the rest of the system.
    Are you aware that socket 939 is being phased out as well in favor of socket AM2? Most AMD chips a year from now will be for that platform - upgrading to them will require a new motherboard and RAM (ddr2).

    It's rarely worth it to try and plan for a cpu upgrade in over a years time - things change too fast. Try and build the best system for the money now, don't worry too much about next year.
    Last edited by drbob; 27-04-2006 at 01:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellboy
    I may be wrong on this but isn't the A64 3200+ a lot better than the 3000+ for overclocking? I've got it in my head from somewhere that that is the case, not sure where ...
    Theres not much in it atm - the days of the 50+% overclock A64 3000s are gone, so the 10x multi on the 3200 makes it an attractive prospect.

    Has anybody tested any of the 754 NF6100 boards at all, specifically for OCing? One option i have is to get one of those which has a PCIe upgrade option, but only buy the GFX card when he actually gets a 3d game to play!
    I've had a play with Asrock's K8NF4G-SATA2. Nice board for the price. Didn't do anything extreme with it, but managed to get a Newcastle 2800 running sweeting at 2250 on 1.3v, IIRC. From my experience with the Foxconn 6150 board for S939, I'd assume their S754 6100 bords are good too.

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