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Thread: New comp build, suggestions needed.

  1. #1
    cpt_azad's Avatar Colonel
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    Urgent

    Ok, I'm building a new computer for my cousin (ya the one that did not want to get a new mobo and wanted a PCI video card ). well after a bunch of talking to him I convinced him, so here's what I need I guess.

    This is what he has so far:

    -HP Pavilion a819n
    -Intel Pentium 4 HTT 2.8Ghz (L2 Cahce 1024kb, system bus clock 800mhz, fsb clcok 200mhz, Socket 775 FC-LGA4 [prescott i believe], chipset=82915G, southbridge=82801FB (it says its both ICH6 and ICH6R)
    -Originally came with 256mb x 2 RAM, it now has:
    256 mb x 2, 512mb x 2 RAM = 1.5gb RAM (1536mb)

    Ok so heres my question:

    1) What is a good priced motherboard (that has at least one PCI-Express slot) that matches the processor type and obviously has 4 RAM slots (184pin DDR)? I've looked and the best I've found was on newegg, unfortanetly he's not keen on buying online, so if you guys can suggest a name to me, I can at least hunt for it at local store such as alinx or ncix.

    2) What is one of the best PCI-Express cards out there, I don't want the best of the best, just something really good, preferabbly 256mb (he does not care about price here, he wants a good top of the line). I was looking into 6800gt, but honestly, I don't think he needs that much power. ATI X800XL looks about right, but I want to hear your suggestions. Must be PCI-Express (or 8x AGP in which case motherboard should have that slot too), at least 128mb and Direct X 9.0 comaptible, AND is under 400 dollars canadian (the vid card)??? Any suggestions are appreciated.


    He wants a Vid Card that can basically run games like BF2, FarCry, Doom3, HL2, etc. on high settings with decent FPS (30+). I'm guessing that a 2.8ghz machine (i will oc it for him to 3.2, at least ill try ) with 1.5gb of ram and a damn good vid card should be able to do that (right?? lol).

    3) Ok, so once I get the motherboard and the vid card, I want to do a complete reinstall. Basically just swap the parts from this mobo to the new one and put the new vid card in, BUT reformat entire hard drive and start fresh off, new BIOS, new drivers, new copy of XP Pro SP2, basically everything over again. My question is, do I just reformat hdd and get on with it, or do I have to update BIOS first before installing windows on the count of it being a totally new mobo?

    Numbers 1 and 2 are of importance, number 3 I can figure out, its just I can't right now cuz I have to go to bed, its 1:47 here and I have to get up early tomorrow. Thanks again in advance guys
    Last edited by cpt_azad; 12-14-2005 at 09:58 AM.

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  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpt_azad
    1) What is a good priced motherboard (that has at least one PCI-Express slot) that matches the processor type and obviously has 4 RAM slots (184pin DDR)? I've looked and the best I've found was on newegg, unfortanetly he's not keen on buying online, so if you guys can suggest a name to me, I can at least hunt for it at local store such as alinx or ncix.
    This Asus seems to be highly regarded.
    2) What is one of the best PCI-Express cards out there, I don't want the best of the best, just something really good, preferabbly 256mb (he does not care about price here, he wants a good top of the line). I was looking into 6800gt, but honestly, I don't think he needs that much power. ATI X800XL looks about right, but I want to hear your suggestions. Must be PCI-Express (or 8x AGP in which case motherboard should have that slot too), at least 128mb and Direct X 9.0 comaptible, AND is under 400 dollars canadian (the vid card)??? Any suggestions are appreciated.
    I'd definitely try for a 7800GT if possible. A killer card.

    3) Ok, so once I get the motherboard and the vid card, I want to do a complete reinstall. Basically just swap the parts from this mobo to the new one and put the new vid card in, BUT reformat entire hard drive and start fresh off, new BIOS, new drivers, new copy of XP Pro SP2, basically everything over again. My question is, do I just reformat hdd and get on with it, or do I have to update BIOS first before installing windows on the count of it being a totally new mobo?
    Just do a normal wipe/reload (i.e. delete partition>create partition>format>install). Shouldn't need to mess with BIOS at all save maybe some basic settings...day, date, etc...the normal stuff.
    Numbers 1 and 2 are of importance, number 3 I can figure out, its just I can't right now cuz I have to go to bed, its 1:47 here and I have to get up early tomorrow. Thanks again in advance guys
    I know next to nothing about Intel based systems, I just pulled info from some other forums re:motherboard.
    You need to find an Intel fan to give better recommendations...good luck.
    Last edited by clocker; 12-14-2005 at 12:59 PM.
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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Assuming he only wants a single graphics card, here's a list of possibilities.
    I know they are on newegg and he doesn't want to buy online, but the manufacturers and model numbers are on there to help you.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ubmit=Property

    In your price range for the graphics card, you could consider:
    6800GT
    7800GT
    X850XT

    For question 3, the bios comes with the motherboard, so when you replace the mobo you replace the bios automatically.
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  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    cpt_azad's Avatar Colonel
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Assuming he only wants a single graphics card, here's a list of possibilities.
    I know they are on newegg and he doesn't want to buy online, but the manufacturers and model numbers are on there to help you.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ubmit=Property

    In your price range for the graphics card, you could consider:
    6800GT
    7800GT
    X850XT

    For question 3, the bios comes with the motherboard, so when you replace the mobo you replace the bios automatically.
    So What do you suggest, I'm not an expert but 7800GT (awesome price tho ) would make the computer a bottleneck...right? So ya, I mean I'm just asking you guys but thanks for the links lynx (lol) very good prices, and if the answer to that bottleneck question is a no Im pretty sure he'll buy the 7800GT.

    It's just that right now, w/ the 2.8ghz, 1.5gb ram, and fx5200 vid card, games run like crap. I mean I know that the 5200 (128mb ram) sucks, but it shouldnt be that bad on a 2.8 HTT and 1.5 gb of ram should it? BF2 is a lagfest both offline an on, FEAR refuses to even play at the lowest res w/o struggling, doom3 also very very laggy. flighstim2004 (resource hog) runs at about 20fps which isnt that bad. But ya, just wanna know, for a this kind of machine w/ a 5200....isn't the performance subpar?

    He also told me that when he was installing winxp pro, the cd was f'ed and a lot of erros occured but it installed properly, maybe the bad performance in games is from xp not installling properly (missing files? but then again it wouldn work), anywho he said he'll wait till I get the parts b4 doing a reinstall. Sorry guys I'm all over the place here, just wanted to put those facts out there so you can help me Thanks again, I'm gonna be going to some comp. stores and checking out there prices for those vid cards, but in the end I think i'll have to convince him to buy it online from newegg.

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  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    cpt_azad's Avatar Colonel
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  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Don't make the mistake of assuming that the reason games run slowly is because of the graphics card. Audio processing also takes a lot of cpu power if it isn't handled by a proper sound chip.

    Although the FX5200 won't do for the latest games, it will certainly handle things like Farcry, HL2 at medium settings. I know because I've got one, but I couldn't run those games until I got my audio sorted out.

    I can't be certain but I suspect the system currently has a simple codec chip, which means it would struggle even if you could fit a 7800GT. Of the motherboards I showed above, none mentions a particularly good audio chip. My advice would be to go for a separate sound card, at least something like this. You can usually get the OEM version for less, but not with that mail-in rebate.

    Edit: forgot to say that the 2.8 processor should be plenty fast enough with a decent audio card.

    Also, don't forget that high-end graphics cards are going to need to be supplied with a lot of power, probably far more than the current PSU can handle.
    Last edited by lynx; 12-15-2005 at 02:01 AM.
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  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    cpt_azad's Avatar Colonel
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Don't make the mistake of assuming that the reason games run slowly is because of the graphics card. Audio processing also takes a lot of cpu power if it isn't handled by a proper sound chip.

    Although the FX5200 won't do for the latest games, it will certainly handle things like Farcry, HL2 at medium settings. I know because I've got one, but I couldn't run those games until I got my audio sorted out.

    I can't be certain but I suspect the system currently has a simple codec chip, which means it would struggle even if you could fit a 7800GT. Of the motherboards I showed above, none mentions a particularly good audio chip. My advice would be to go for a separate sound card, at least something like this. You can usually get the OEM version for less, but not with that mail-in rebate.
    Ok I have an old creative sound card lying around (it's not worth much now but it WILL take the load off the cpu for processing sound for games) so ill give him that/install it for him. I never realized that either (sound card) thanks for pointing that out. Still can't seem to find a good motherboard that will go good w/ this chip. But I think i can negotiate with him to buy a mobo+cpu (combo or seperate, dont matter). Looking right now but most of them are high prices, if I could get my hands on a nice mobo (nvidia?) with an AMD in it (3200+ or up) he'd be set for life lol (or at least till the next update), what do u guys think?

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  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Try that sound card in his current system, you might be surprised at the difference it makes. You've got nothing to lose.

    BTW, see my edit too.
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  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    cpt_azad's Avatar Colonel
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    ya I realize that the current PSU sucks and won't be able to meet the demands, thanks for pointing it out though, ill definitely look into it. So I put the sound card in, updated the drivers, and now theres about a 10fps boost in all games, except in flight sim 2004 it got boosted a whopping 16fps avg!

    I'm looking on new egg and i can't seem to find the section of the site where its only motherboards+cpus. Do they not sell them like that (combos)?

    Jeff Loomis: He's so good, he doesn't need to be dead to have a tribute.

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    lynx's Avatar .
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    I think newegg only sell combos occasionally, and even then it is usually end of life mobos with low end processors.
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