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  1. #1
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    TECH; I need a computer for halflife2

    Yeah, i'm using a 6 year old computer right now, only thing new in it is a 700mhz p4 and a geforce4 ti4200

    I'm looking to update my box. I have a cd player that i use at speakers so i don't need those, and i have a good keyboard, mouse and monitor also.

    I'm looking at something that is capible of handling halflife2 and high end games.

    This is going to be my 21th birthday present + xmas + $500 i've saved up. I'm looking for this to last awhile, i usually don't update very often so... could anyone help me out?

    I'm looking to probably buy a full box... i'm not computer techy so I don't know if i want to buy everything seperately.


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  3. #2
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    Graphics:
    Buy an ATI Radeon 9700. Its cheap and one of the best video cards (although I'm worshipping my NVidia GeForce4 Ti4600)

    RAM:
    512MB, buy two 256MB Samsung PC.1066 232 PIN 32Bit (you'll need a mainboard which supports 32bit RAMBUS, they're not common but fast)
    or two 256MB RIMM PC800
    (some mainboards have a parallel access to the RAM and two 256'er are mostly cheaper than one 512'er)

    Mainboard:
    I recommend Epox, they're very fast.
    Watch for mainboards that support your RAM and your CPU.

    CPU:
    a P4 2.53 GHz FSB533 - its 50% cheaper than the 3.0 GHz one (2.53 GHz approx. 200$, 3.0 GHz approx. 400$) and their speed is nearly equal.

    Watch for enough current supply, about 350W will do.

    Get poor and have fun

    cu

  4. #3
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    just buy the best alienware computer you can find..thats always a REALLY good way to blow all your money

  5. #4
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    i just need to update my vid card for half life, but here is what i'd suggest to you

    go with AMD processor, they're cheaper and offer great performance. maybe go with AthlonXP 2800+.

    motherboard - get one ofthe Nvidia Nforce boards. for the price they're awesome. i have the Abit NF7-S and its excellent and has great onboard sound!!!

    Ram- definately at least 512 of at least DDR PC2700. if you're gonna go with just 512 on an Nforce board get 2 chips of 256 so you can run dual channel memory. if you're goin with 1 gig of ram, get 2 512 chips.

    Vid Card - Spend a little extra and get the Radeon 9800, thats what they were running HL2 demos on.

    Hard drive - Western Digital special edition 80 gig drive with 8mb cache. i've got one of these, and they're amazingly fast!!

    i think that should take care of most of the main stuff....if you want to know anything else give me a shout! good luck

  6. #5
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    I just looked up some mainboard-tests in magazines, the Asus P4PE is the best
    You can have it for approx. 200$.

    cu

  7. #6
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    The most important thing is that everything is fast. I mean...the video card - go for the best one you can afford. It's usually better to have a damn fast video card and a slower CPU (get a 2.4GHz CPU and the best video card instead of a 3GHz CPU and a slower video card)...
    A gig of ram is always nice to have, but I don't think it will do much difference when you're playing games. 512 MB is a must, though.
    CPU: AMD may be a bit cheaper, and they claim that they are faster. I have an Athlon 750MHz and it's great, BUT it gets warm and needs a big fan, which means that it sounds more. The P4s on the other hand...all I can say is wow! When I started a computer with a P4 inside I wondered why nothing happened - it was so silent! So...if you want a silent computer, get a P4. Really. If I would get a new computer it would definietely be have a P4 inside.
    If I were you I would read a bit about the best CPUs right now...To make sure that you're getting the best stuff. Try www.anandtech.com
    Check anandtech to see which motherboard you should get.
    As for hard drive and stuff like that...just get as much as you feel that you will need. 120 GB is pretty nice. It all depends on how much crap you're going to store on it
    Oh yeah, sound card. I have an integrated sound card on my motherboard, but I've never used it...I've got my Sound Blaster Live! card and it's wonderful The onboard sound is probably good enough, though, at least if you're going to go with stereo sound.

    So: video card! The fastest one you can get! (read reviews...check benchmarks and stuff...)

  8. #7
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    yo davi, a good place to find the stuff you'd want is here: Directron
    you'd save a whole lotta money if you look for OEM items, they include all the same stuff, but they dont come in pretty store boxes (they come in blank white boxes, which makes them surprisingly cheaper)
    Don't Try Dat in my Bayou...

  9. #8
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    You have FRY's stores near you, right? Well, if not, then any computer warehouse would be fine. Look for ads n'stuff that hvae combo mobo/cpu deals. I got a 2 GHZ P4 with an ASUS mobo for 100. Grab a cheap, one step down video card, like, one step down from a 9700, and some cheap, certified RAM. Lots of RAM. RAM will compensate for lack of CPU.

  10. #9
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    thanks everyone
    i'm going to print this out and talk it over with my father. He's the tech guy in my family :q

    cfb, no FRY's near me :{

  11. #10
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    next gen radeon is definatly the way to go, since it seems like valve is working closely with ATI as their primary supported card. I recently purchased an OC systems hardware overclocked 9500 pro, works real smooth so far, cant wait to try out HL^2

  12. #11
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    Originally posted by .cfb
    RAM will compensate for lack of CPU.
    :confused:
    What do you mean? I don't get it. Since when did it work like this? If you've got a Pentium 100MHz and want to watch a movie in DivX or XviD format, it won't help you to plug in another 256 MB RAM chip. Modern computers use hard drives to store information. RAM is used to temporarily store information. If you start a program, it will be copied to the RAM memory and the CPU will then execute the instructions from there (the reason why we've even got RAM memory and not only hard drives is because RAM is A LOT faster). If you run out of RAM memory (the computer may have too many things to do at the same time - lots of programs loaded into the memory) the computer will have to start working against the hard drive, which will slow things down considerably. That's why you will want a lot of RAM, but it won't make the CPU faster.
    512 MB RAM will do right now. It's more important that the memory is fast, though I'm not sure if it will make any big difference if the memory is said to be 1ns faster than something else...
    So, don't believe that a "slow" CPU and one gig of RAM will be as fast as a faster CPU and 512 MB RAM...

  13. #12
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    Lot of fast ram help the overall speed factor of the computer, in the way that an HD is so slow - a large swap file is hell(I think we all know this since we use Painter and Photoshop :p)
    It's only in this way that the more you get the faster it will be - for game and cpu hog application a faster cpu will be better of course :p (cpu hog application : 3D rendering, video rendering, divx... the first two are too memory hog, crap).

    Davi... if you want a computer that will run Half Life without a itch... wait for it to be out :p We don't know what will HL2 ask in term of perf to be played at high res and so on
    For now a fast will be a PIV(nearly the same price as the AMD - quieter, less problem to use and the last are the faster cpu for now)
    For graphic card, it seem that Ati as the lead for now, dunno what nvidia are doing with their last installment
    Ram... if you're going to paint big things, 1go is better, but 512 is fine for the rest

    Don't be shy to take component of quality - I know, they're not cheaper but you will not have any problem... or if you have, you change the piece and it's fine With cheaper component, the possibility of little itch come around I don't know how many I must exchange the ram to have a set that work And DDR ram is damn picky!

    Don't forget that your computer will do you 2 or 3 year normally - and that you can change only some piece or adding some other like ram, hd, dvdrom...

    Hope it will help

  14. #13
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    DAvi - I dont think youll need a new Video card if you want to transplant taht Ti4200 into your new computer.. Im running an Albatron Ti4200 Turbo and I havent everencountered any problems.. Im not sure how much more advanced the HL2 engine is, but I bet your card could handle it.. That is if you want to save some money (maybe worry about getting a better computer, and then a while down the road get a video card that is 1 step up, or a Radeon 9800 for about half the price it is now..)

    As far as the rest of the parts go, here are some things to consider:

    Most new Mainboards have built in LAN and Sound.. Ive heard that the sound built into newer mainboards is comparable to an Audigy, so you shouldnt have to buy a soundcard if you check them out and find a MB that has a good review..

    Get lots of FAST RAM.. alot of people skimp out and get the minimum, but it really can slow you down..

    Honestly if your dad can help you build one, building is ALOT cheaper than buying a prebuilt.. Newer Compaqs, HPs, etc are ok for gaming, but they usually arent decked out like you want, and are a PITA to upgrade..

    Alienware systems and other systems like them are basically the same thing you can buy, but they are very expensive for what you get..

    Also, get name brand RAM, in the same sizes.. I bought some cheap RAM (didnt want to spend too much, because im planning on a big upgrade soon) and it can cause problems... For example, my RAM causes games to freeze up for just a split second every minute or so.. IT gets really annoying when im in the middle of a game of counterstrike, I sneak up on someone, and next thing you know im dead because it decided to freeze up in a crucial moment.. Im never going to buy cheap RAM ever again!

    If you have any questions or concerns about anything feel free to PM me.. I can help you with jsut baout anyhting you need to know..

  15. #14
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    Originally posted by DragonGX
    DAvi - I dont think youll need a new Video card if you want to transplant taht Ti4200 into your new computer.. Im running an Albatron Ti4200 Turbo and I havent everencountered any problems.. Im not sure how much more advanced the HL2 engine is, but I bet your card could handle it.. That is if you want to save some money (maybe worry about getting a better computer, and then a while down the road get a video card that is 1 step up, or a Radeon 9800 for about half the price it is now..)
    Yeah, that's true. At least don't buy a new video card before HL2 is released...I believe it would be pretty stupid to pay a lot of money for something that isn't A LOT better than your current card.

  16. #15
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    i'll second what Dragon said....definately get good RAM!! i used to get the generic stuff cause it was cheaper but it caused so many problems. after all, you pay for brand names in every other aspect, why should it be any different with RAM, its is just as crucial to a good system as anything else.

  17. #16
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    but that 500 dolla dell
    Perfect Kay

  18. #17
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    Originally posted by ZippZopp
    i'll second what Dragon said....definately get good RAM!! i used to get the generic stuff cause it was cheaper but it caused so many problems. after all, you pay for brand names in every other aspect, why should it be any different with RAM, its is just as crucial to a good system as anything else.
    Well...if you buy cheaper RAM, there MAY be problems. If I've understood things correctly, "all" RAM chips are made in the same factory. The big companies then pick up the best, certified memory...and the cheaper companies buy what's left...some/most of those memories may be just as good as the ones the big companies are selling...and some may be crap.
    It's the same thing with lots of other things...CD-R/W media for example...

  19. #18
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    Mhhh I think there are differences between "brand-RAM" and no-name RAM.
    Often no-name RAM doesn't reach the performance given in the data-sheet or it breaks down or even does not work properly w/ your mobo.
    I recommend RAM by Infineon or Apacer.

    Relating the CPUs: Pentium is always 20% more expensive and 1% faster.
    It's not worth it. (and you can say "W00ah! I'm using AMD! Rebel!!!111" )

    cu

  20. #19
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    Originally posted by cucaracha
    Relating the CPUs: Pentium is always 20% more expensive and 1% faster.
    It's not worth it. (and you can say "W00ah! I'm using AMD! Rebel!!!111" )
    Sure, AMD CPUs may still be a little bit faster than Intel. But I don't believe the difference is as big as it used to be (though I don't know for sure). While AMD may be a bit faster and cheaper, it is also important to remember that the AMD CPUs become A LOT warmer than a Pentium...and that requires a faster fan, which means that the computer will make more noise. I'm personally pretty tired of my noisy computer. I want one which is silent. So, if you don't care about the noise, get an AMD. If you do want something that can run all night while standing next to your bed, get a Pentium.

  21. #20
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    Originally posted by cucaracha
    Mhhh I think there are differences between "brand-RAM" and no-name RAM.
    Often no-name RAM doesn't reach the performance given in the data-sheet or it breaks down or even does not work properly w/ your mobo.
    I recommend RAM by Infineon or Apacer.

    Relating the CPUs: Pentium is always 20% more expensive and 1% faster.
    It's not worth it. (and you can say "W00ah! I'm using AMD! Rebel!!!111" )

    cu


    As far as RAM, I say go for the good stuff.. Im planning on Corsair RAM with RAMSinks for my next system. It may be a bit more expensive, but I know that itll work.. SAving yourself from small little problems with cheap RAM is well worth it.. lock ups every few minutes, reboots out of no where.. Alot of problems computers have are from the RAM and people dont realize that..

    As far as AMD vs Intel.. I used to be a big AMD supporter.. They WERE the underdog, and mad a great product and made it affordable compared to Intel.. But things have changed.. Last time I looked, the high-end AMD chips were MORE expensive than Intel chips.. IF youre going for budget with an older/slower chip AMD is probably the way to go, but if youre looking at the cutting edge stuff it is really competitive lately.. Ive been thinking about turning over and getting a P4 for my next system rather than an AMD, but right now Im not sure..

    Both AMD and Intel make great products.

  22. #21
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    here you go davi a rather SICK system.
    and components.....


    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz


    Motherboard: Intel D875PBZ


    Memory: Corsair TWINX1024-3200LL

    Video Card: Hercules 3D Prophet 9800 Pro


    Sound Card: Creative Audigy 2 Platinum


    120GB Seagate Barracuda Serial ATA V (2)

    cd/dvd/cdr (you pick what you like regarding those.)

    Case: Cooler Master Wave Master


    CPU Fan: Zalman CNPS7000-Cu

    Power Supply: Antec True480

    Mouse: Logitech MX 700

    Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Elite

    Speakers: Logitech Z-680

    Operating System: Windows XP Professional

    (whatever monitor you choose)



    *cough cough*


    Total Cost: $3,438 (add tax, shipping, etc


    happy birthday man.


    :chug:



    also, check out alienware.com

    they have had some rather tasty deals regarding their computers.

    www.alienware.com

    www.pricewatch.com

    www.egghead.com

    good luck with that new computer.

  23. #22
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    Originally posted by glody
    cd/dvd/cdr (you pick what you like regarding those.)
    Yep, pick what you want.
    But if you don't want a fancy DVD writer, get a CHEAP CD-RW drive. I bought a LiteOn drive (40/12/48) last summer and it's working fine. Then get a slot-in DVD drive. Slot-in is soooo sweet
    A DVD writer is sweeter, though

    Mouse: Logitech MX 700

    Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Elite
    This is just like the CD/DVD/CDR case - get what you want.
    If I can avoid it I don't want to touch that Microsoft keyboard. Not because it's Microsoft, but because of their stupid redesign of the Insert/Delete/Home/End/Page Up/Page Down keys. I hate relearning how to use the keyboard.
    I would instead recommend a cordless combo...Logitech Cordless MX Duo if you want the really nice stuff. Or get the (cheaper) combo I recently bought; Logitech Cordless Desktop Navigator. Or just stick with your current mouse and keyboard

    Speakers: Logitech Z-680
    That's almost insane!
    I'm not sure if it's worth it, though. If you're going to watch a lot of movies on your computer it may be.

  24. #23
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    this P4 3.0 GHz is pointless... so expensive and maybe 2% faster than others... you won't notice it, except on your bank account.

    Just a little recommendation, do what you want

    cu

  25. #24
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    Yeah, the 3 GHz is probably pointless right now. In a few years you will ask yourself why you didn't buy it, though...but then you will want that 10 GHz CPU instead, so it doesn't really matter. Save some money on a cheaper CPU (get the "standard" CPU when you buy the new computer) and buy a better video card instead...

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