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Pending configuration for budget gaming

Discussion in 'AMD Thunderbird' started by Zigzag, May 17, 2004.

  1. Zigzag

    Zigzag Guest

    I am building a computer for my neighbor whose son plays Sim 4, Populus
    and 4 x 4 Screamer, soon to upgrade to newer games once he has the
    computer to play them. They currently have a 600mhz e-machine, so I
    will scavenge the floppy drive, CD drive, etc, but want to build an AMD
    system. I built myself one almost 2 years ago and love it. Their limit
    is $500. I would appreciate any comments.

    Pending config:

    Enermax 10 bay ATX Mid Tower Case CS-30881TA-B3A with 350w PS $63
    Abit NF7 nForce2 Chipset Mobo $65
    AMD Athlon XP 2400+ Thoroughbred CPU $72
    Thermaltake Volcano 7+ $18
    Crucial 184 Pin 256 DDR PC2700 RAM 2 chips at $48 each
    Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 SE Video Card $71
    Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM ATA 133 $51 (just for good measure)
    Asus CRW-5232AS QuieTrack CD-RW drive $33 (for his mom)
    Shipping $25

    Total $493

    I have an Enermax server case that I love and since I will be working on
    and maintaining their computer, I want it easy!
    I have an Abit KR7A with an 1800+ chip, Crucial RAM and a Maxtor 40GB HD
    and have not had one problem in 2 years. I researched intensely before
    building it. I want theirs to be as reliable since I am doing this in
    exchange for horseback rides for my 2 year old granddaughter.

    Take care,
    Zigzag, May 17, 2004
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  2. Zigzag

    Avenger© Guest

    That config seems fine to me, although if it's to be mainly a gaming
    machine I would go for a 9600XT card at least and perhaps a XP2800
    chip, if the dollars allow.
    Avenger©, May 17, 2004
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  3. Zigzag

    Asestar Guest

    Drop the 9600SE. Go for either a Fx5500, or plain 9600 (silent).
    Asestar, May 17, 2004
  4. "Zigzag" wrote

    not bad, not bad, but a few changes are in order, add:

    XP2500+ Mobile
    PC3200 Crucial
    Wayne Youngman, May 17, 2004
  5. Zigzag

    Asestar Guest

    As op said, budget is about 500usd. Since 9600XT is about twice the price of
    9600Se, might get over-budget.
    9600 and 5500/5600 are not very far from SE price, but offer better
    performance. As for XP2400+, it is fast enough for those cards, so that will
    not be a bottle neck.
    Asestar, May 17, 2004
  6. Zigzag

    Wes Newell Guest

    "Zigzag" wrote
    There are cheaper, quieter coolers that will do as good or better than
    Wes Newell, May 18, 2004

  7. Hi,
    yes I know, I know I read the original post, I clearly saw the word *Budget*
    :p but still. . .

    T-Bred XP2400+ is a nice enough chip, but XP2500+ (or XP2500+M) is just a
    few groats more and is a better chip. I used both Barton 2500+ and T-Bred
    XP2400+ and the Barton is a better chip for a *little* extra mulla.

    I have the Sapphire 9600 and the Sapphire Atlantis 9800. I was very
    surprised at how good the 9600 is, very clear 2D/Windows/DVD/DivX etc and
    very nice 3D. The only thing with the 9600 is no Fan/Power-Socket for Fan.
    Although having no fan may appeal to SFF types.

    At the end of the day, budgets are there to be *broken*, I should know I do
    it all the time :p. If a client/friend has £1000 to spend, the project
    total always seems to be £1500!.

    T-Bred XP2400+ and Sapphire 9600 = Nice
    Barton XP2500+ and Sapphire 9600XT = *Really Nice* but how much extra dough?
    Wayne Youngman, May 18, 2004
  8. my recommendations.
    keep the retail Heat sink and up the 9600 SE to a 9600 you wont regret it

    the next step is the 2400 to a barton 2500

    and a further step is the 9600XT

    but just the first recommendation should be enough for a quality gaming rig
    James Paraskeva, May 19, 2004
  9. Zigzag

    Ben Pope Guest

    Anything wrong with the old case?
    Bartons are better.
    Stock cooler should be fine, unless you want to overclock.
    ....PC3200 isn't much more.
    The SEs are crippled. Try to find a 9600 non pro.
    ....if they need it, but getting a 40GB disk is kinda like throwing money
    away, you can double the capacity for only a few $ more.
    Thats a very tight budget for gaming. But do not go for the 9600 SE - false

    If you could do without the case/hard drive/cooler and get PC3200 and a 9600
    non pro you'd be looking at a system thats significantly faster for similar

    Ben Pope, May 19, 2004
  10. Zigzag

    Stubby Guest

    Keep going over budget like that and you'll be able to be a contractor for
    the US Department of Defense.

    Seriously, if you were bulding a system for me, and you suddenly told me you
    went 50 percent over budget, it would be the last system you ever built for
    me. That is, of course, unless I told you to shove it, and not buy that
    system from you. Budget means just that: It's how much your client/friend is
    willing/able to pay, period, end of discussion.

    Stubby, May 23, 2004
  11. Zigzag

    Gareth Jones Guest

    I'd second all of the above. A 2500+ Barton should be able to run as a
    XP3200+ by upping the FSB to 400 over 333, hence the PC3200 RAM.
    Frankly, the stock cooler will probably copy fine as well.

    Personally, I'd also stick to a KT600 based board over the NF. My
    experience is that the latter are far fussier over driver issues and RAM
    types. The slight (and I mean slight) performance increase probably
    isn't going to noticed anywhere in real life, and if you get a stable
    successful overclock to 3200 (or more!) with the KT600 board ...... you
    get my point.
    I'd try something like a KV7 (although haven't used this one) or Asus
    Use just one stick of 512MB RAM then as well.

    And yes, the graphics card is going to make THE biggest difference for

    Personal email for Gareth Jones can be sent to:
    'usenet4gareth' followed by an at symbol
    followed by 'uk2' followed by a dot
    followed by 'net'
    Gareth Jones, May 24, 2004
  12. Zigzag

    Zigzag Guest

    Thanks for all the advice. I spent $517 and it all arrived today.
    I went with:

    Enermax case,
    Abit NF7,
    Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600,
    Barton 2500+
    Two 256MB Corsair sticks with platinum heatspreaders (I have a thing
    about always having two chips. That way if one goes by the wayside, I
    still have a computer during RMA)
    and a WD 40GB 7200RPM 8MB cache HD

    I hope it all goes well. I'll remember to clear the CMOS, I know the
    floppy cable will be good as I am migrating it from the old system and
    I'll make sure and seat the RAM completely. Have had those things go
    wrong, so it's bound to be something new this time. Just once I'd like
    a COMPLETELY smooth build.

    Thanks again and take care,
    Zigzag, May 27, 2004
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