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Getting Ready To Buy A New Gaming Rig


StreetMaster
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I will be buying a new gaming PC in two weeks and I need some opinions. I am having the rig built by a local computer shop. I know, it would be much cheaper to build it myself, but I don't have the knowledge OR the patience to do it. What I am planning on getting is a AthlonXP 3200+, and what I need to know is what would be the very best mobo for that processor, what would be the best RAM, and what would be the best hard drive(s) to use? I don't really want to use a raid array, and I want lots of storage space (at least 200gb). Keeping in mind that the main use would be high end gaming. Any and all opinions would be appreciated. :)

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Okay, here we go.

 

1. Get a barton 2500+ instead of the 3200+...they overclock up to 3200+ speeds very easily and cost a WHOLE bunch less.

 

2. For a motherboard, get anything based off the nforce2 chipset. There are several which are considered the best. I prefer the Asus A7N8X Deluxe, some others prefer the Abit NF7-S, and Still others prefer the DFI NFII Ultra Infinity. Although we'll bicker over which is best, you can't go wrong with any of them.

 

3. For the ram, one important question remains...How much are you willing to spend? If price is not an issue, I'd go for the Muskin level 2 pc3500. Once again, though, you can't go wrong with anything from Corsair, OCZ, or Mushkin.

 

4. Part of the reason I suggested the motherboards above is because they all have serial ata...since you're looking for maximum performance, serial ata is the way to go. Your requirement of 200Gb of space rules out the fastest drives, the Western Digital Raptors. Western Digital is usually considered the best hard drive manufacturer, so just get any serial ata drive made by them.

 

5. Remember that gaming performance is affected primarily by your video card. I would highly recommend the Radeon 9800 pro. (I don't think the xt is worth the extra $100+ since the pros can usually overclock to and beyond xt speeds anyway)

 

6. One thing you need to make sure you don't forget is the power supply...I recently had an encounter with a cheap psu, so I made sure to mention it. Remember that Quality is better than Quantity...I'll put my support behind the Antec Truepower series. I just got a truepower 430W to replace the aforementioned psu, and I love it.

 

7. From the way you were talking in your post, it doesn't sound like money is too much of an issue for you. If that is the case, you should seriously consider getting an Athlon 64 system. It would be fast as heck, and would be even faster once the 64-bit version of windows xp is released next year. Bigred would be able to recommend the best parts for an athlon 64 system, should you decide to do it.

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