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Upgrade plans

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Pulsar, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hi Guys,

    My PC has many uses including playing DVD's, HDTV, CD's, MP3's and gaming. It has been about 16 months since my last system upgrade, here is the spec.

    Athlon xp1700 clocked to 2.3 Ghz
    512 MB Corsair XMS Ram @ 200Mhz
    Radeon 9700 non pro
    Various hard drives, CD and DVD drives

    Due to the iminent release of Doom, HL2 and other cool looking games, and the fact that I can't play Far Cry at decent speed, I have decided that a system overhaul and upgrade is in order. Here is what I have planned.

    Athlon 64 3000 overclocked to 2.2-2.4 Ghz
    1 gig of OCZ/Corsair/Geil RAM CAS 2 PC3500
    Epox 8KDA3+ mobo
    Radeon X800 pro VIVO softmodded to X800 XT

    I have to stay with Radeon as I use a custom resolution for my projector, and I don't think NVidia cards can do them still, and I hope to get a nice overclock out of the Athlon, hence the PC3500 RAM. Can anyone see any major flaws with this setup, or suggest a P4 based one?

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  2. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I can't comment on overclocking as I know absolutely nothing about it, but If I were upgrading I would go for something like you are. I definately can't see any reason for going the Intel route at the moment as all the good reviews for gaming gear are going with the AMD 64 chips. The only thing that is stopping me from doing a major upgrade at the moment is that I'm waiting for more socket 939 boards to come out as they are supposed to be the dogs-danglies
     
  3. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    The only thing I might change in that spec is a 6800gt instead of the x800 pro. It has 16 pipes without having to mod it and everyone appears to be able to overclock to ultra speeds. It's not as noisey as we were initially led to beleive (my leadtek isn't anyhow) but does run hot and takes up one pci slot. The benchies also show that it compares favourably to xt800 XT's in doom3 based games. I've just replaced my 9700pro with a GT and I'm thoroughly happy going back to Nvidia. The next gen ati cards will probably outperform the 6800 series for HL2 based games though but we'll have to wait and see.

    Whichever card you go for will be great anyhow just I felt that the 6800 GT looks the best value for money at the mo.

    NB. I think ATI will be releasing an X800 GT version of their card soon which will have the full 16 pipes just not clocked as fast as the XT. Might save you the anxiety of modding a pro yourself:)
     
  4. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Personally I would not change the MB just yet since there is a lot of new stuff in the pipeline what is the fastest processor your MB will go up to?
     
  5. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hawklord,

    Thanks for the info, but i think i need to stay with Radeon for widescreen resolutions. can Nvidia do them yet?

    I am PM'ing you about something else now.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  6. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    What resolutions do you need?
     
  7. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hi,

    I need 1366*768.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  8. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    It does 1360*768 :D
     
  9. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    lol, not quite 1:1 with my HS10. I have also heard conflicting views on the 2d performance of the Nvidia cards, including DVD playback. Have you noticed and degredation in these areas?

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  10. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Only had the card 1 day but it plays dvd's fine on windvd (bundled with card as is Winfast PVR) and pq is comparable to what I got with my 9700pro. I've only tried it with my monitor via vga but it has a S-video tv out and a dvi digital connection too. The box says that it has an integrated tv encoder that provides best-of-class tv-out funtionality for resolutions up to 1024 x 768. It supports video processing for mpeg 1/2/4 encode/decode and wmv9 decode acceleration. It has the industries first on-chip video processor that delivers unmatched video performance and features.

    Hopefully it will do everything you need:)
     
  11. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Except the widescreen res. :confused: :thumbsdow

    I shall check over at AVS to see if anyone has cracked it, but I aren't too hopeful.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  12. gandley

    gandley
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    New Nvidia drivers allow for custom res`s as well as custom timings.

    but with a quick look i coudnt get 1366.

    But to be honest you will see not visual difference with 1360 and 1366. its such a marginal diff
    unless you have the eyes of superman.

    As for 2d and dvd playback, having used/seen both makes of cards i havent noticed any real dffference. In fact the 6800 cards now support hardware accelaration of DVD via a dedicated chip.
     
  13. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Gandley,

    Sorry to say, but there is a world of difference between native 1:1 and non native resolution (on my projector anyway). I still think that the 6800 GT looks like an amazing card, with stellar performance, but my X800 now at full XT spec should be similar in most applications.

    To anyone thinking of getting a X800 pro VIVO to flash to XT spec, I can wholeheartedly recommend the powercolor card. Mine flashed with no issues at all and is running at full XT mem and core speeds without any extra cooling. :thumbsup:

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  14. gandley

    gandley
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    Yoy must have a bad scaler then, coz on my SIM2 it can be hard to tell when the resoultion almost match.(lucky for me i guess the Nvidia does 1280X720p)

    I take it you now use AMD 64...is that socket 939 and which mother board did u go for?
     
  15. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Gandley,

    I forgot to mention. the HTPC IS the scalar, hence outputing at native resolution in essential. I use the HTPC to play DVD's, scale digital TV with a sweetspot RGB input card, and scale 720p and 1080i hidef movies. When you move from native resolution, you can clearly see difference, trust me.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  16. gandley

    gandley
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    OK i`ll take your word for it ;).
     
  17. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Good choice sir.

    Rob
     
  18. gandley

    gandley
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    Pulsar did you see my question about your system spec.

    If u used AMD64 just curious which mobo u went 4
    and weather it was a SKT 939 etc.
     
  19. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Gandley,

    Must have missed the question, sorry mate. here is the spec I went for in the end.

    MSI K8N neo plat 754 skt
    AMD 64 3000+
    1 gig Crucial ballistix RAM
    Radeon X800 pro modded to XT

    I will have this lot watercooled tomorrow, and plan to overclock the CPU to 3400+ speeds if possible. Doom 3 runs nice, and far Cry runs better than it did so I am happy.

    Are you thinking of going 64 bit?

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  20. gandley

    gandley
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    Hehe , im just looking at watercooler units now as the fan on my northbrige chip is dying.

    Im looking at either the asetek antartica kit or the swifttek kit. What have you gone for?

    Yes i am loking at going AMD64 but it will be FX
     
  21. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    It is a custom kit. i am using a Danger Den TDX CPU block, Danger Den Maze 4 GPU block, Eheim 1250 pump, 1/2" hoses and a custom radiator. Total cost is about £140 and it will give much better cooling than most pre-made kits. Do not bother with watercooling the northbridge, it will just restrict flow and add to the cost. I would just go for an uprated heatsink, maybe with a fan as that will be more than adequate.

    If you decide to go the DIY route, then let me know if I can help, and I will do my best. i will post up some pics of the setup in the next day or so once it is all installed and working.

    I purchased most of my stuff from www.tekheads.co.uk I am in 2 minds whether to recommend them or not, as they have taken longer than I would have liked to get my order out to me (providing it arrives tomorrow) but I found their prices acceptable. Apparently my delivery was delayed due to a stock error which is now corrected with the eheim pumps.

    I would have loved a FX, but couldn't justify the cost. They are quick chips though. :cool:

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  22. gandley

    gandley
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    evidently there is a stock shortage for all dangerden stuff, so i just found out so that could explain the delay.

    i have an i875 mobo at mo and its chipset is active cooled, but i cant find a replacement fan that would fit(as the intel fittings are a bit wierd on the i875) any idears.

    Like the look of the danger den stuff though :D
     
  23. jelly

    jelly
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    sorry to hijack the thread but im also thinking of going down the 64 bit road so need some help will these bits flow well together
    amd a64 3200+ retail kit £150
    kingston 512 ddr pc400 fsb pc 3200 cas x 2 £140
    mobo msi k8 t neo fis2r (skt754) a64 £ 80
    also i will need a decent case any ideas???? also will be using a radeon sapphire 128 pro (till she lets me get a x800) ta lads will be getting the bits from www.web-systems.co.uk so feel free to check out the site and tell me your views
     
  24. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    jelly,

    That seems expensive for 512 MB of RAM. Also, what about going for a Nvidia nforce 3 based motherboard? Try www.anandtech.com for reviews, they are very good.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  25. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    It's £140 for 2 x 512MB sticks which seems ok to me
     
  26. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Whoops, I missed the x2. Yes that does seem fine.

    Rob
     
  27. jelly

    jelly
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    thanks for the replys do you think they will run well together???
     
  28. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hi guys,

    Reviving my old thread here. You may have read in the Doom 3 thread that my PC bit the dust 1 week after it was assembled. After troubleshooting for a number of hours, I put the problem down to my CPU or mobo, both of which were purchased from overclockers.co.uk. I returned the items as per the RMA procedure, and my new gear is already in the post to arrive tomorrow. (I only sent it back on Monday :-o)

    During the PC down-time I have purchased a new PSU. It is a Tagan 480 watt, near silent PSU which is highly regarded from what I have read. This, along with my watercooling, and fan speed controlled case fans should give me a pleasantly quiet PC for my cinema room.

    There was no real point to this post, other than to say how impressed I have been with the OcUK RMA process, and how excited I am about having my PC back together. Lets hope it lasts longer this time.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  29. gandley

    gandley
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    Glad your getting it all sorted.

    Tried to order my AMD64fx-53 but nobody seems to have any.... :mad: :mad:

    Also got a fantastic Danger Den waterblock for my 6800Ultra. it cools both sides of the card.

    Looking forward to setting up my watercooling solution, should be fun, gonna have to Dremmel the case a bit though :eek:
     
  30. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    gandley,

    That cooler for your card sounds awesome.

    I shall post a stack of pics and stuff once the PC is up and running.

    Rob
     

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