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First, considering the top price / quality of your parts it would seem you could afford a Plextor optical drive. I always had good luck with the Lite-On series CD-RWs but I've heard too many bad things about their combo builds to put a bargain basement drive in your machine. After all you'll want top performance if your gaming depends on the drive.

Next I'd scrap the 2005 Media center edition OS and go for a robust XP Pro unless you're planning to switch to Vista real soon. The upgrade for Vista with that OS is to Premium, not Ultimate version. That's fine if that's what you're looking at with Vista but if you were going to go full blown Vista you'll have to buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok so the OS is changed to the XP pro and Grand Total turns to $1,286.00.
However at this point in time I cant shell out $100+ dollars for a disk drive :(
A large question I have is about the audio card. I currently am just running a Logitech set of speakers and subwoofer that I got for $50 about 3 months ago on my current PC. Would the Audio card make a big enough difference between the ASUS onbaord that makes it worth the money?
 

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Sorry, with the prices you listed (parts) I assumed money wasn't that tight. bad assumption. As I said I've used a lot of Lite-Ons in the CD-RW versions and never had a problem so maybe that'll work out just fine.
 

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You'll get some other hits here. I'm curious about the case and what others who use Thermaltake cases say about it. Other than that of course you can mix and match parts all day and have the continual argument, Intel or AMD, this chipset that chipset but I like your set up for your intended use.
 

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Good luck on the new toy...
BTW - the total is about $1115 on your original config... Where is the extra $150?

1 - I'd go for Windows MCE - unless you need the networking abilities of XP-PRO for LAN parties, there is no real difference. MCE is cheaper and has more visual toys (Screen saver and backgrounds) - just disable the Media center items if you don't want them (manages your photos, vids, tv)... Also MCE has additional desktop looks with the default being a dark-blue glass effect.

2 - Unless youre getting an SB X-Fi card, just use the onboard audio... what you have selected has 5.1 audio out.

3 - Dump the Liteon... get a Pioneer for $50 or Plextor.

4 - I prefer AMD over intel - You can get an intel setup for about the same price and overclock the hell out of it. Check this out:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/11/core-2-duo-overtakes-core-2-extreme/page7.html#3dgames A $200 CPU that can easily outperform any AMD CPU when overclocked a bit (if you want to do that).

But hey, my CPU is an AMD chip since its a simple CPU upgrade. :)

5 - Are you planning on SLI? Make sure the feature set of that $200 mobo is actually needed. ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte (top 3) make mobos for about $120 that are only short on a few things. Like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131022

Its $100 less - but if you need the wirless and Firewire and external SATA - then go for the $200 board... ;)

Simple end opinion: Dump AB Audigy card, use onboard (its very good) - use $$ from that to get a better DVD drive. Look at getting the upcoming 8800gs (320mb version of 8800gts) for $300 or better card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The extra money is tax + shipping. ok so I will dump the sound card and either get a better drive or save for a nice new vid card. The reason I chose ASUS is I hear nothing but nice things about them and they have served me and my friends well before. The problem with the cheaper boards are that they either arent SLI, like the one shown above, or they dont support a full 2 x16. most just 1x16 and 1x8
 

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They are just the Logitech $50 3.1 speaker setup... Its rather difficult to notice a difference between an Audigy and Nvidia's & ASUS's sound codecs. Those are typically very good speakers - but they are not $200speakers.

Heres a detailed review of the ASUS board - and does discuss audio. But only the XFi should be considered... I think they are down to $70 for the basic model.

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2787&p=1

To Mr.Monkey - ASUS is generally very good. Not always - they have their fair share of problems - but for the most part - they are #1... Top 3 are ASUS / MSI / GIGABYTE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was thinking about maybe getting a 150gb Raptor Hard Drive for about $100 more then the one that is listed. Would this make a large enough difference to justify the extra $100?
 

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No, the cache on the original, 16MBs, SATA3, and 250GB won't be outdone by the single Raptor. Which one by the way that costs $200 ?
 

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The 150gb 10K RPM Raptor is a bit faster... but a lot smaller too. I'd take the 250GB - you may need the space. Also, newer drives are coming out with RAM-drive tech and such (which may only work for vista - dunno) which would make it a lot faster.
 

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For the disc drive, I would recommend what I have currently purchased and am running, Plextor PX-760A. It runs about $110 but is TOTALLY worth it. Virtually completely silent while retaining a lot of hosepower on that baby. As for the rest of the stuff, it seems fine. I just wish I had that $ right now! that and the spare time from my college work [programming class chews up a lot of time, im a nub @ it].
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have 1 more question. I dont know too much about new processor or such or when they release. Would this be a good upgrade at this point in time or would it be best to wait. I currently have an
HP Amd Athlon 64 3500+
1gb ram
200 HD
BFG 7900 gt
I can play most game if not all, however I cant play them on the graphics as high as I would like. Would it be best to just stick it out with this one until better comes out or would my build be nice and last me a while. (other then the vid card, I plan on upgrading when DX10 cards come out and drop in place)
 

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You're not to low on the scale of things... The video card is NOT the fastest on the market - but the 8800GTX is faster than any AMD cpu can handle... even Core 2 as well.

I assume you have a 939socket CPU with a PCIe slot?

You could upgprade to a x2 4600/4800 CPU for under $300 then WAIT for the 8800gs to come out for $300 in a month or so... That would be the most worth spending.
(Sell your old CPU + GPU for about $250).

I hope to replace my AMD64-3000 for the x2 4800 in a week or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, it is a socket 939 and yes I do have 1 PCI-e slot. Upgrading the processor to a x2 4600 and getting 1 more gb of ram was also a thought. However I felt that it might just be better to get a whole new pc rather then keep upgrading an old one. Hoping that the newer comp would give me alot more years. Is this true? What do you guys think?
 

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My opinion your current computer is good for another year of gaming. By that time Vista will be main steam and directX10 games will be abundant. Just hold out a little longer with what you have and then jump to directX10. that's is the best option by far. Simply, directX9 games don't even come close to comparing towards directX10 games.
 

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Keep in mind there aren't any DX10 games out to compare with... And even by todays current top-end games, they do NOT max out the features of DX9. DX10 does promise improved performance for actual DX10 games - but that may negated by the overhard of other Vista functions.

As of today, running DX9/OpenGL games with current hardware (DX9) has far lower performance over WinXP. Depending on the game - the performance loss thant M$ stated woul be 5~10%. But at this point, they are seeing 25 - 30 - 50 and even 70% performance loss on Vista... so much for gaming.

But its expected to take about a year to work the KINKS out of Vista and another year for software to start taking advantage of the features... As its KIND OF HARD to make products for something that is still changing the way Vista is.

Halo2 is so far the ONLY Vista only game on the market - and that is a choice from M$, not a requirement because of Vista is "special". Crysis at this time will make the best use of DX10 (which requires VISTA) - but WILL RUN on WindowsXP, perhaps almost as good - dunno.

I hope gamers DO NOT jump on the vista band-wagon and show M$ that holding halo2 hostage to get vista sales is wrong. And I could care less about Halo2 for PC - its no UT07 / Crysis / gears of war or anything else modern.

Mr. Monkey: Make sure you are ACTUALLY running out of memory before buying another GB. And AM2 Athlons are not offering anything over the old 939s... but the quad core Athlons will of course require AM2+/AM2 mobo.

A slight upgrade (4800 = $250) and the 8800gts ($400) today or 8800gs ($300) should do well... and the 8800 would be transferable to whatever quadcore system you build late in 07... unless you decide on the 8900GTX ;)

Look at this chart:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1=494&model2=476&chart=166

The performance with the CPU upgrade for games like Quake4 is 45% (80 vs 135fps) - the GPU will make a bigger importance than the CPU. The chart was with a 1900XTX.
IE: the 8800gts or 1900XTX (was $500, now $300~400) will help ya.
 

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I kind of disagree, it is going to offer a big jump in detail more so the from 8X to 9X was (its really Vista dual core usage and DirectX10 combined that will produce great detail, DirectX10 takes advantage of this and allows a single core of a dual core or quad core to run 1 graphic detail such as waves across a lake, this breaks the 500 item limit that DirectX9 has. another words the previous waves where a single wave copied over and over, DirectX10 can create random waves and no limitation (cpu limitation and not a number limitation) to produce greater detail. )
[WEBQUOTE="http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32438"]THE HEAVY delay of Vista might actually have a good side as well.
Game developers have been working with the Software Development Kit for Direct X 10 for some time since it became publicly available. And, since Vista was planed for earlier than this Yule or Q1 2007, games developers have already started beavering away at their first DX10 titles and might finish them before anyone expects. [/WEBQUOTE]

Many games already have been developed and many games being developed. Games that would be impossible to run on a single core system or using directX9
Doubt that? this game is scheduled to release middle of this year.
(make sure you listen to the guy speak as well not just watch video)
This video is talking about 6X to 8X increase in performance
http://www.gamespot.com/pages/video_player/popup.php?sid=6146095&tag=prefs;button
(check the left4dead video on the right release date 03/07/07 directX10)

I have posted this link below several times showing games already developed and ready to go.
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77741

other links
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTA0NSwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

http://www.tweak3d.net/blog/gaming/directx-10-games

And more titles here with videos
http://youtube.com/results?search_t...earch_sort=video_view_count&search_category=0

I have tons of information on this, The fact is XP does not really know what it is doing with dual cores or quad, sure it works but not 100% like it can. Vista addresses this with better power management/kernel ext.. another words it knows how to use them better and along with DirectX10 performance bust by eliminating a few limitations that DirectX 9 has.

Ah heck I could go on for hours about this and post 1000 links bottom line is, "its going to be better and there are games already made that use DirectX10" Why would you release a Game when people can't even use them yet because DirectX10 only comes with Vista and there is only one series of cards out that can run it." March there are many games scheduled for release. And As I already said

"My opinion your current computer is good for another year of gaming. By that time Vista will be main steam and directX10 games will be abundant"
anything that offers 6X in gaming performance is going to produce a big difference in graphic detail and gaming performance.

If i had a system that was doing me fine as of right now and could play any game out I would not do a thing. Because in order to play DirectX 10 you will need Vista and a new video card. even by the middle of this year that's going to be $500 for both at the min. Then throw a decent CPU that can run that card you going to throw down another $250-300 min (unless you overclock your current dual core). That's $800 min. So wait, save, buy and enjoy.
 
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