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JTF-2

Help Choosing Parts. which 939 mobo?

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I've done a bit of research on picking out some new parts for me PC (Thank you gr.net "search" and everyone of these boards). It's been more than 2 years since i've last upgraded, so i need a new motherboard, cpu, and vid card to run GRAW (my currents parts were mid-range even when new).

I'd like to get the best performance per $$ 'cause i'm a student and money is real tight. But, I do have a job, and I'm not eating dirt yet, so no more than about $700 CDN for everything (mobo, cpu, vid card).

My basic goal is to get the low end models of the latest tech. They should last longest this way. Also, I don't get home until May, so i've got until then to sort everything out.

My main problem is Motherboard. I've done some searching. I'd prefer AMD. Seems I want socket 939. But then what? there are so many. I'd also like to go ASUS. Here is one deal I found:

Mobo & CPU bundle from "tigerdirect.ca"

item # MBM-A8N5X-3500

Asus A8N5X NVIDIA 939 + AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.20 OEM (1600 bus)

-----$338-----incl. $30 rebate.

For video cards, I'd like ATI. They're Canadian and have been great in the past. Here is what i've found:

Vid Cards from "tigerdirect.ca

item # A177-3094

ATI Radeon X1600 Pro, 512 mb DDR2

-----$368-----

item # A177-3046

ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon X800 XL, 256mb DDR

-----$380-----

item # A177-3100

ATI Radeon X1300 AiW '06 Edition, 256mb GDDR3, PCI-Express

-----$228-----

suggestions? mistakes? weak parts?

I know you guys see these helpless posts all the time. Thank You very much for any/all help you have time to provide.

Edited by JTF-2

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That CPU and Mobo bundle sounds pretty good. Definately go socket 939. If your going lower end, then this package sounds very good to me. For a video card, I dont know much about ATi, (the last ATI I had was a ATI Rage xpert99 LMAO!) but I got the geforce 6800 GS for 260 canadian.

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Thanks for the tips element. I learned a lot by reading through your thread. I've found a few more vid cards. But I'm stuck one something:

ATI x1600 pro with 512 DDR2 - - or - - HIS x1800 XT with 256 GDDR3

--------($368)------------------------------------------($407)-----------

all $ are CDN.

Better card with less ram or more ran with lower-model card? :blink:

Also, i've seen a XFX 7900 GT, 256mb DDR3 for $380.

I'm totally at a loss here guys. Which one would be my best bet?

Edited by JTF-2

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The 940 pin is due out in a few months.

THis will mean big price drops on 939`s I would waite.

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ok. now i've got some direction. Thanks guys.

so 940 is comming soon. that's great news for me! Thanks Colin! I hope I have the patience to wait that long though. GRAW comes out before then!

about the vid cards: What you guys are saying is that even though the 512 card has double the ram, the 256 GDDR3 would be better? I also have to take into consideration that the DDR3 cards are higher-end.

I'm confused about motherboards. There are so many from ASUS alone. What are the features I need and what are some that would ne nice to have? Any suggestsion? :huh:

Thanks for helping out. :)

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about the vid cards: What you guys are saying is that even though the 512 card has double the ram, the 256 GDDR3 would be better? I also have to take into consideration that the DDR3 cards are higher-end.

With regards to video RAM, there's a few things to consider:

1. It doesn't matter if you have GDDR2 or GDDR3 RAM if the RAM is clocked SLOW. You are better off looking at how fast the RAM is clocked, than looking at what kind of RAM it is.

It's like saying for system RAM that you prefer DDR2 RAM running at 400MHz FSB instead of DDR1 RAM running at 533MHz FSB. Which one will give you better performance here? DDR1 RAM.

So JTF-2, please post the how fast the RAM is clocked, not just the type of RAM.

2. As far as I know, the benefit of 512 vs 256MB RAM is as follows:

a) More video RAM will let you run nice graphics options higher anti-aliasing and ansiotropic filtering. However, I have a X800XT 256MB and GF 6800GT, and running games at 1600x1200 without AA looks about as good as 1024x728 with 4xAA

b) More video RAM will let you run bigger textures in a game. Newer games do take advantage of larger caches of RAM (including GRAW, Doom 3 etc.), but most new games will scale down to 256 MB.

In the end, what is your price range?

I am definitely a fan of Radeon cards (have owned own a 7200, 7500, 9200, 9500 Pro, 9800 Pro, X800XT) but for this latest generation of video cards, I would say that Nvidia's 7xxx series are a better buy than the X1K series for 2 reasons - GF 7's are better priced in general (because ATI was late to market with the X1K series), and run cooler/less noisy.

With regards to compatiblity with games, I have had no problems with either brand.

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You might think about going with a SLI motherboard so that you could upgrade to dual graphics cards later on.... just a thought. :)

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Theres always what firefly said, the real problem there is the ridiculous ammount of cash you may have to dish out on it, but like i said, if you have it go for it =)

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You might think about going with a SLI motherboard so that you could upgrade to dual graphics cards later on.... just a thought. :)

Just wondering, what is the point of 2 gfx cards? Is it just for using 2 monitors?

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No. Well, I'm not sure if you could use two monitors or not...

But the primary reason is that both graphics cards work together to create the graphics for whatever game you are running. It's kind of like having two processors. More speed and space for textures and so on. There's some more info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Link_Interface

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Oh, that is soo cool! So this means in a year or two instead of getting a new video card, I can get a second 6800 GS and have them work together to be twice as good?

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Yep. As long as the video card you get supports SLI. The performance increase isn't exactly by a factor of x2 though I don't think.

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about the vid cards: What you guys are saying is that even though the 512 card has double the ram, the 256 GDDR3 would be better? I also have to take into consideration that the DDR3 cards are higher-end.

With regards to video RAM, there's a few things to consider:

1. It doesn't matter if you have GDDR2 or GDDR3 RAM if the RAM is clocked SLOW. You are better off looking at how fast the RAM is clocked, than looking at what kind of RAM it is.

It's like saying for system RAM that you prefer DDR2 RAM running at 400MHz FSB instead of DDR1 RAM running at 533MHz FSB. Which one will give you better performance here? DDR1 RAM.

So JTF-2, please post the how fast the RAM is clocked, not just the type of RAM.

2. As far as I know, the benefit of 512 vs 256MB RAM is as follows:

a) More video RAM will let you run nice graphics options higher anti-aliasing and ansiotropic filtering. However, I have a X800XT 256MB and GF 6800GT, and running games at 1600x1200 without AA looks about as good as 1024x728 with 4xAA

b) More video RAM will let you run bigger textures in a game. Newer games do take advantage of larger caches of RAM (including GRAW, Doom 3 etc.), but most new games will scale down to 256 MB.

In the end, what is your price range?

Thank you :) very much, that clears a lot up. In respone:

1.

- ATI x1600 PRO 512 DDR2 @128-bit-------$369

- HIS ATI x1800 XT 256 DDR3 @256-bit ---$407

- ATI x1800 XL 256 DDR3 @256-bit---------$404 <----this one is 500mhz, other are "dual 400".??

-which nVidia cards should i look at? I saw a bunch of 7600s in the high $200 range.

2.

-my budget is 300-400. I'm looking for best value here.

@Firefly, yes. SLI is something i would like. But if I simply might not be able to afford it... I'll watch for it though.

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@JTF-2, I too tried the SLI route, but now that I'm unemployed my dreams of running two 7900 GTX are out the window. :(

I'd take the advice of waiting for the 940 to come out. Why? The 939's prices will drop.

I'd wait for the release of AEGI cards to come out too. Wait till ppl work out the kinks on this card, if any.

I'd wait till 3-more games that requires the higher end cards to come out. Not just GR:AW. As a matter of fact, I'd wait till 3-more mods for GR:AW to come out before I'd upped my graphics card.

Maybe then it would create a ripple effect to produce better cards like 7900 GTX that require less power=less heat, and have new cards come out due to these new technology, and wait till the 7900 drops the price at least 30-50% cheaper.

As far as mobos are concern, wait till new mobos come out late this summer/early fall before deciding on what mobo to get. By that time the mobo prices your looking at now, which I'm sure you have narrowed down already, have driving the price lower at 20-45% cheaper.

Then again, I'm not the resident PC guru here, just another member on the same "financially-challenged" boat as you are. :thumbsup:

Keep up your research.

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Thank you :)  very much, that clears a lot up. In respone:

1.

- ATI x1600 PRO 512 DDR2 @128-bit-------$369

- HIS ATI x1800 XT 256 DDR3 @256-bit ---$407

- ATI x1800 XL 256 DDR3 @256-bit---------$404  <----this one is 500mhz, other are "dual 400".??

-which nVidia cards should i look at? I saw a bunch of 7600s in the high $200 range.

Glad to be of service :thumbsup:

Your post actually just made me remember one more thing - you do want to get a 256-bit bus for your RAM vs. 128-bt. It's like having a 8-lane highway for your graphics data vs. a 4-lane highway.

So what you listed gives us some info about the bandwidth (256-bit is better of course) but you still don't have the clock speed for the RAM listed (should be in MHz or GHz).

Please link to where you are getting your price quotes? We can help you look it up.

e.g. HIS X1800XT has 256 bit GDDR3 running at 1.5GHz (which is actually RAM clocked at 750MHz x2 if I'm not mistaken ...)

http://www.hisdigital.com/html/product_ov.php?id=200

With regards to GeForce cards, for your price range I wouldn't go anything less than a 7800 GT

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Yep.  As long as the video card you get supports SLI.  The performance increase isn't exactly by a factor of x2 though I don't think.

not shooting you down there firefly. I just remembered reading something about SLI with higher end cards from here at PC STATS

The results speak for themselves, but the 7900 GT scales quite well with 50 per cent and above improvement in performance. Interestingly, in the higher resolutions a single 7900 GTX actually offered more performance increase over two cards - so bear this in mind.

so maybe actually its better to go with single. :D

in HL2, it was great on my single 6600GT but not so great when Lost Coast came out. It only got better when I turned on my SLI.

Remember this is HL2.

Am I helping or more confusing. I'll just shut up now. I'll just post links :D

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@JTF-2, I too tried the SLI route, but now that I'm unemployed my dreams of running two 7900 GTX are out the window. :(

I'd take the advice of waiting for the 940 to come out.  Why? The 939's prices will drop.

I'd wait for the release of AEGI cards to come out too.  Wait till ppl work out the kinks on this card, if any. 

I'd wait till 3-more games that requires the higher end cards to come out.  Not just GR:AW.  As a matter of fact, I'd wait till 3-more mods for GR:AW to come out before I'd upped my graphics card.

Maybe then it would create a ripple effect to produce better cards like 7900 GTX that require less power=less heat, and have new cards come out due to these new technology, and wait till the 7900 drops the price at least 30-50% cheaper.

As far as mobos are concern, wait till new mobos come out late this summer/early fall before deciding on what mobo to get.  By that time the mobo prices your looking at now, which I'm sure you have narrowed down already, have driving the price lower at 20-45% cheaper.

Then again, I'm not the resident PC guru here, just another member on the same "financially-challenged" boat as you are. :thumbsup:

Keep up your research.

heh, thanks for the support mate. :thumbsup: I think I will most def. wait for the 940 to come out. That's good logic, no need to be a guru when it comes to price. You make a good point about waiting untill these cards are required for most new games. It will bring the price down a lot. but it they don't come out during the summer, it's too bad. I'm gonna pull the trigger. I know I should wait 'till christmas but... I dunno. I'll see how sane/logical i'm feeling when the time comes 'round. It's good to know I'm not in this fight alone. :D Are you gonna upgrade?

Thank you :)  very much, that clears a lot up. In respone:

1.

- ATI x1600 PRO 512 DDR2 @128-bit-------$369

- HIS ATI x1800 XT 256 DDR3 @256-bit ---$407

- ATI x1800 XL 256 DDR3 @256-bit---------$404  <----this one is 500mhz, other are "dual 400".??

-which nVidia cards should i look at? I saw a bunch of 7600s in the high $200 range.

Glad to be of service :thumbsup:

Your post actually just made me remember one more thing - you do want to get a 256-bit bus for your RAM vs. 128-bt. It's like having a 8-lane highway for your graphics data vs. a 4-lane highway.

So what you listed gives us some info about the bandwidth (256-bit is better of course) but you still don't have the clock speed for the RAM listed (should be in MHz or GHz).

Please link to where you are getting your price quotes? We can help you look it up.

e.g. HIS X1800XT has 256 bit GDDR3 running at 1.5GHz (which is actually RAM clocked at 750MHz x2 if I'm not mistaken ...)

http://www.hisdigital.com/html/product_ov.php?id=200

With regards to GeForce cards, for your price range I wouldn't go anything less than a 7800 GT

Ok. I'll keep that in mind when comparing with GeForce cards. (This is the kinda information that you can't get except from a person. The internet can only take us so far ladies and gentlemen.)

oops. :whistle: I was really just guessing. I really appreciate the help man. There are so many numbers!! (I knew I went for a BA for a reason...). Here's where I'm getting the info:

-ATI x1600 PRO - 512 DDR2

-HIS ATI Radeon x1800 XT - 256 DDR3

-BFG 7800GS OC(?) - 256mb

-EVGA 7800GS - 256

the last two I found just now. Maybe you can make sense out of all these numbers. These brilliant people need to come up with bettwe naming systems. It's like they threw a bowl of alphabet soup against a wall and wichever leters stuck, that's what they called their card. %$# :wacko:

Thanks again, humbly,

Matt.

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Yep.  As long as the video card you get supports SLI.  The performance increase isn't exactly by a factor of x2 though I don't think.

not shooting you down there firefly. I just remembered reading something about SLI with higher end cards from here at PC STATS

The results speak for themselves, but the 7900 GT scales quite well with 50 per cent and above improvement in performance. Interestingly, in the higher resolutions a single 7900 GTX actually offered more performance increase over two cards - so bear this in mind.

so maybe actually its better to go with single. :D

in HL2, it was great on my single 6600GT but not so great when Lost Coast came out. It only got better when I turned on my SLI.

Remember this is HL2.

Am I helping or more confusing. I'll just shut up now. I'll just post links :D

Yeah, I think my primary motive to go with SLI would be for upgrades for the future. So by 50 percent they mean by adding the second card you get 50 percent the performance increase of the single card? A single card is great but if the system is easier to upgrade in the future I would think that would take priority. At least in my book anyway. It's all personal preference. ;)

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@JTF, I will upgrade once I get my other "needs" are satisfied once I get a new job. My "wants" can wait. :D My "wants" right now are and

as you can see the prices of "wants" are pretty high.

I got bills the "needs" to be paid by this "unemployed" gamer :rofl:

Hope this helps in your research. :thumbsup:

@firefly2442, I couldn't agree more with the personal preferrence. The SLI offered so much promise of upgradability. Since it was my 2nd build only, without basic PC knowledge, I thought I go big. <ahttp://www.ghostrecon.net/forums/uploads/emoticons/default_biggrin.png' alt=':D'> Now that I'm broke and wiser---thanks Specter---I might take the route of getting just one card for now. Then wait till the same card/model gets to half the price and add another. Leap frogging as I would always say.

anyhoo, thats my 2 cents. Since I got lot of free time in between, I try to research more JTF and see what I can help you with. :thumbsup:

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thanks guys. I'll continue all this research on the weekend. :thumbsup:

Right now, i'm cramming for my two hardest finals (which are tommorow). All my research today is on either obscure Middle East leaders/groups/movements or $%^ Italian verbs. <_<

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Well, it's summer now. Exams are done, and I can once again think about getting a comp that will run GRAW.

Here's an update, I wouldn't have been able to get this far without you guys. I'm going to the store tommorow to see if they'll build me something along these lines:

-----x1900xt 512mb

-----3500+ Venice Core

-----Asus A8R MVP

the only reason I can go to an x1900xt is because I found one for super cheap, ~490 cdn.

The motherboard doesn't handle Crossfire, but that's fine. If I ever have the money, i'll just have to updrage the board and get another card. By then they'll be cheap. In theory.

I haven't made any huge mistakes have I? They won't laugh at me in the store or something will they?

Thanks again guys :thumbsup:

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Here's an update, I wouldn't have been able to get this far without you guys. I'm going to the store tommorow to see if they'll build me something along these lines:

-----x1900xt 512mb

-----3500+ Venice Core

-----Asus A8R MVP

Looks good, but you do know that you can save alot of money if you build it yourself? I built a top of the line pc for 1500 cdn. :)

Building a PC is very simple. I was very afraid of it at first, but I decided to do it anyways, and i am very glad i did. Check out the wanna build a pc thread thats pinned.

Also check out this article. With this article, theres no way you can do anything wrong.

http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/

Also, with that CPU, It has 512MB cache, I would go with the 3700+ (if you have the money of course) because its abiout 50 dollars more expensive, and you get 1MB cache.

Edited by element11

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