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To Build or To Buy?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Rick1486, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Rick1486

    Rick1486
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    Hi and Merry Xmas everyone!

    I want to upgrade my current p.c. not only for fs9.1 but also for half life 2 and the other new games out and coming out.

    Currently I have a radeon 9700pro with 1gb ram, 250gb hdd and asus a7n8x deluxe mobo. This seems to work fine for the home cinema aspect/t.v. recorder and it ties in well with the sony hs10. The trouble is I'm hooked on using this p.c. for playing games with the supersize piccie I get from the pj, and with the latest crop of games it does tend to cough and splutter a bit - mainly because I'm a detail junkie and like to max out all the options (not open to compromise I'm afraid).

    The two routes as I see them are to either upgrade certain parts such as mobo, graphics card, ram and processor or alternatively bite the bullet and purchase a ready made system from one of the major suppliers like Mesh, Evesham, Dell, Carrerra etc etc (I'd obviously look for a configured system to guarantee component quality and leave out things I don't need like modems and keyboards, monitors etc.) Any suggestions as to good quality power gaming systems is appreciated, along with feedback on their respective customer service quality etc.

    If I do go along the upgrade (self build) route I don't know whether to stay agp or go over to pci-express and would appreciate any suggestions relative to the UK market. I like the look of the x800xt radeon card but don't know too much about it such as is it only pci-e or is it agp as well? Alternatively what about the new generation of SLi mobo's with 2x graphics cards - I've read good reports saying that you can get excellent performance from two nvidia 6800gt cards for quite a reasonable outlay compared to one top end ati or nvidia card.

    Any suggestions for super quick gaming machine are much appreciated.
    Thanks for your help gang and happy new year in advance.

    Cheers
    Rick
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I'd say if you can and want to build then that's the way to go. :)

    AGP vs. PCI-e .. for a gamer I think PCI-e is definitely the way forward, right now I think the card of choice is arguably the 6800 Ultra, though Tom's recent 'round up' article showed the NVidia beating the ATI for some games and vice versa for others, so it's largely down to the games you're playing now.

    IMHO SLI is just like it was when 3DFX invented it 10 years ago, a novelty which at present can't be used effectively with current games to any marked effect. This is made more so in your case since there'd be no reason at all to want 1600x1200+ when running through a projector.

    However, I'm not a 'power gamer' and don't play FPS games so I can only go on what I read. ;)
     
  3. Rick1486

    Rick1486
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    Cheers mate for that - I suppose I should have said that the pj runs via dvi from the pc with powerstrip timings/resolution of 1368 x 768. However, when I do use a monitor (hooked up via analog) then I run at 1280x1024, but the real point is that I don't want to experience slowdowns/stutters, having to compromise on graphics quality settings - hence why the upgrade and my seeking the best combination.

    I do take your point about SLi and actually remember the 3Dfx gimmick you were talking about, but the only difference I can see this time (unless my memory really is shot to bits) is that we actually have mobo manufacturers punting out products to support this.

    With regards to pci-e, from the reviews I've read so far the cards don't actually seem to be much faster - if indeed sometimes they're actually slower than some of the agp cards - so is this one to hang fire on and hope that in the future the technology will sort itself out. If that is the case am I better off sticking with agp and looking perhaps at a radeon x800xt in agp form, or are there cheaper cards out there which are quite near to it in terms of performance?

    Hope to hear from you all on this as I could really do with the advice of those who have taken the jump and can give me the benefit of their experience.

    Cheers
    Rick

    P.S. The other alternative of course is to buy a ready made system from one of the majors like Dell, Evesham, Mesh etc. which I'd look to configure without kb,mouse,monitor etc but with perhaps better graphics, more ram etc. - what are your thoughts? :lease:
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    In the past I've bought from Evesham and at work we get our PCs and general servers from there, I like them. :)

    My comment about PCI-e was from a 'future proof' point of view, whatever worth there is in that, though I recognise right now there's no real difference but I'm not sure whether that's a limitation of the cards or the motherboards.
     
  5. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    I'd definitely go for the build route personally. I know it depends on what you are after and going to do with it, but as no-one builds the spec I'd ever want, it's a case of DIY.

    I considered doing the new P4 and PCI-Express route - but ended up with a nice mobo that's very overclockable and the old style 478 with AGP due to certain limitations on the motherboards available at the time.

    As far as PCIe vs AGP goes, it would appear that WHEN new tech graphics come out, they will be done with PCIe in mind as it is by far a faster bus - however current incarnations don't appear to be any different, because they simply aren't hitting the full potential of the PCIe interface. With that in mind, and as all current games play fine on mine (and I'm not the biggest PC gamer in the world either), I stuck with AGP and will wait for the NEXT big thing in processors before I change it all again!!!

    Bear in mind that next year we will most likely see the Intel 64 bit generation and that means, without a doubt, new sockets, new chipset and new problems too! It will probably also mean a new RAM standard as well.

    I have argued on a different topic about going for what's now vs waiting. The only thing here is that this market is much more volatile than the other one I was commenting on.

    Personally, in your instance, I'd probably either go for just a graphics card update for now. I don't know the processor you're running though so I'm guessing it's "up to par" so to speak.

    My next upgrade won't be for a year UNLESS things are shaken up wildly :)
     

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