PDA

View Full Version : Good Gaming CPU, Motherboard, Memory


JS
September 2nd 04, 12:02 PM
I'm looking into upgrading my CPU, motherboard and memory sometime in
September. My target use is first person shooter games like Call of
Duty, Medal of Honor, Doom3, Half Life2 (if it ever ships), Far Cry,
Unreal Tournament 2004 and the like. I play on-line if the game supports
on-line play (3mbps up/256kbps down cable modem). I am an AMD noob so I
am hoping someone can provide some AMD expertise. My target costs are:

CPU: $200
Motherboard: $200
Memory (1 GigaByte): $350

CPU:

Preliminary CPU investigation indicates an Athlon64 3000+ socket 754
or maybe an Athlon 3200+ socket 754 (retail box versions) are
in my price range. $172 and $210 respectviely at zipzoomfly.com. Are
the Athlon 64 CPU's faster than the XP's. I thought I heard that the
64's were slower running 32bit applications but my recent reading
indicates that the 64's are faster at least for gaming. Please
clarify. Are these the AMD CPU's to look at in my price range? How
good are the stock heat sink and fan? Are they noisy? Do they fail
frequently? Should I replace them immediately if not sooner? Will the
stock heatsink and fan support overclocking at all? Are there any
versions, core voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon64 that are
preferred or better for overclocking? Are there any verions, core
voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon 64 that should be avoided?
Are there different processes (i.e. 130nm), cache sizes and front side
bus speeds available of the Athlon64's?

Motherboard:

I have no idea about motherboards that support AMD CPU's. I may want
to try to mildly overclock the cpu so I'm looking for a good
gaming/overclocking motherboard. I would prefer something with OEM
overclocking tools and using BIOS settings to overclock. I need an
AGP slot. I have an FX5700Ultra video card. I know it is low
performance given the CPU's I'm looking at but upgrading is not an
option. Parallet ATA is also necessary since upgrading the harddrive
is also not an option. Both serial ATA and parallel ATA with
RAID would be nice for distant future (6 mos or later) upgrades. On
board wired LAN, USB, and sound is preferred as I have need of
these. I prefer wired LAN since my cable modem uses wired LAN. I
don't have any Firewire devices so Firewire is totally optional. Any
suggestions?

Memory:

I have read that AMD CPU's with the internal memory controller
cannot drive double sided memory. I believe AMD spec's the CPU's
with internal memory controllers this way. Is this an issue I need
to watch out for when selecting memory? I was looking to
get some Crucial PC3200 Ballistix (DDR400) or some OCZ EL DDR
PC-3200 Platinum Revision 2. What memory speeds do the Athlon64's
support? Do I only need PC2700?

http://www.crucial.com/store/PartSpecs.asp?imodule=BL6464Z402&cat=RAM
http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/OCZ_EL_DDR_PC-3200_Platinum_
Revision_2

My priorities will be stability and performance. I want lots of FPS
without having to figure out why my system keeps crashing and rebooting.
Am I on the right track? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Much
JS

Carlo Razzeto
September 2nd 04, 12:49 PM
"JS" > wrote in message
. 1...
> I'm looking into upgrading my CPU, motherboard and memory sometime in
> September. My target use is first person shooter games like Call of
> Duty, Medal of Honor, Doom3, Half Life2 (if it ever ships), Far Cry,
> Unreal Tournament 2004 and the like. I play on-line if the game supports
> on-line play (3mbps up/256kbps down cable modem). I am an AMD noob so I
> am hoping someone can provide some AMD expertise. My target costs are:
>
> CPU: $200
> Motherboard: $200
> Memory (1 GigaByte): $350
>
<snip>

I'm using an Athlon64 3000+ on a Chaintech ZNF3-250 motherboard. So far I'm
fairly happy with my purchase, plays Doom3 very well.

Carlo

JK
September 2nd 04, 03:13 PM
JS wrote:

> I'm looking into upgrading my CPU, motherboard and memory sometime in
> September. My target use is first person shooter games like Call of
> Duty, Medal of Honor, Doom3, Half Life2 (if it ever ships), Far Cry,
> Unreal Tournament 2004 and the like. I play on-line if the game supports
> on-line play (3mbps up/256kbps down cable modem). I am an AMD noob so I
> am hoping someone can provide some AMD expertise. My target costs are:
>
> CPU: $200
> Motherboard: $200
> Memory (1 GigaByte): $350

You can get ram for much less. You will need a great video card for high
frame rates in Doom 3. A 6800 GT or 6800 Ultra card is recommended.



>
>
> CPU:
>
> Preliminary CPU investigation indicates an Athlon64 3000+ socket 754
> or maybe an Athlon 3200+ socket 754 (retail box versions) are
> in my price range. $172 and $210 respectviely at zipzoomfly.com. Are
> the Athlon 64 CPU's faster than the XP's.

Yes, especially for games.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2149&p=7

> I thought I heard that the
> 64's were slower running 32bit applications

Not true. All the benchmarks here are for 32 bit software with a
32 bit OS.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2065&p=1

> but my recent reading
> indicates that the 64's are faster at least for gaming. Please
> clarify. Are these the AMD CPU's to look at in my price range?

Yes.

> How
> good are the stock heat sink and fan? Are they noisy? Do they fail
> frequently? Should I replace them immediately if not sooner?

They should be fine if you don't plan to overclock.

> Will the
> stock heatsink and fan support overclocking at all?

I suggest that you don't overclock.

> Are there any
> versions, core voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon64 that are
> preferred or better for overclocking? Are there any verions, core
> voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon 64 that should be avoided?
> Are there different processes (i.e. 130nm), cache sizes and front side
> bus speeds available of the Athlon64's?
>
> Motherboard:
>
> I have no idea about motherboards that support AMD CPU's. I may want
> to try to mildly overclock the cpu so I'm looking for a good
> gaming/overclocking motherboard. I would prefer something with OEM
> overclocking tools and using BIOS settings to overclock. I need an
> AGP slot. I have an FX5700Ultra video card. I know it is low
> performance given the CPU's I'm looking at but upgrading is not an
> option. Parallet ATA is also necessary since upgrading the harddrive
> is also not an option. Both serial ATA and parallel ATA with
> RAID would be nice for distant future (6 mos or later) upgrades. On
> board wired LAN, USB, and sound is preferred as I have need of
> these. I prefer wired LAN since my cable modem uses wired LAN. I
> don't have any Firewire devices so Firewire is totally optional. Any
> suggestions?
>
> Memory:
>
> I have read that AMD CPU's with the internal memory controller
> cannot drive double sided memory.

You need to see the specs on the motherboards to be sure what ram can
be used for each.

> I believe AMD spec's the CPU's
> with internal memory controllers this way. Is this an issue I need
> to watch out for when selecting memory?

To be sure not to make a mistake, go the website of the motherboard
maker, look up the model in question, and see the specs.

> I was looking to
> get some Crucial PC3200 Ballistix (DDR400) or some OCZ EL DDR
> PC-3200 Platinum Revision 2. What memory speeds do the Athlon64's
> support? Do I only need PC2700?

Use PC 3200 ddr ram.

>
>
> http://www.crucial.com/store/PartSpecs.asp?imodule=BL6464Z402&cat=RAM
> http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/OCZ_EL_DDR_PC-3200_Platinum_
> Revision_2
>
> My priorities will be stability

Then don't even think about overclocking. Why do you think corporate users
never overclock.

> and performance. I want lots of FPS

Then get a fast cpu and a very high quality video card.

>
> without having to figure out why my system keeps crashing and rebooting.

A high quality power supply is also important. If you get a very high end
video card, you might want an Antec 450 watt or 480 watt power supply.

>
> Am I on the right track? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Thanks Much
> JS

JK
September 4th 04, 07:02 AM
JK wrote:

> JS wrote:
>
> > I'm looking into upgrading my CPU, motherboard and memory sometime in
> > September. My target use is first person shooter games like Call of
> > Duty, Medal of Honor, Doom3, Half Life2 (if it ever ships), Far Cry,
> > Unreal Tournament 2004 and the like. I play on-line if the game supports
> > on-line play (3mbps up/256kbps down cable modem). I am an AMD noob so I
> > am hoping someone can provide some AMD expertise. My target costs are:
> >
> > CPU: $200
> > Motherboard: $200

Why so much for a motherboard? About half of that would be more reasonable.

>
> > Memory (1 GigaByte): $350
>
> You can get ram for much less. You will need a great video card for high
> frame rates in Doom 3. A 6800 GT or 6800 Ultra card is recommended.
>
> >
> >
> > CPU:
> >
> > Preliminary CPU investigation indicates an Athlon64 3000+ socket 754
> > or maybe an Athlon 3200+ socket 754 (retail box versions) are
> > in my price range. $172 and $210 respectviely at zipzoomfly.com. Are
> > the Athlon 64 CPU's faster than the XP's.
>
> Yes, especially for games.
>
> http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2149&p=7
>
> > I thought I heard that the
> > 64's were slower running 32bit applications
>
> Not true. All the benchmarks here are for 32 bit software with a
> 32 bit OS.
>
> http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2065&p=1
>
> > but my recent reading
> > indicates that the 64's are faster at least for gaming. Please
> > clarify. Are these the AMD CPU's to look at in my price range?
>
> Yes.
>
> > How
> > good are the stock heat sink and fan? Are they noisy? Do they fail
> > frequently? Should I replace them immediately if not sooner?
>
> They should be fine if you don't plan to overclock.
>
> > Will the
> > stock heatsink and fan support overclocking at all?
>
> I suggest that you don't overclock.
>
> > Are there any
> > versions, core voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon64 that are
> > preferred or better for overclocking? Are there any verions, core
> > voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon 64 that should be avoided?
> > Are there different processes (i.e. 130nm), cache sizes and front side
> > bus speeds available of the Athlon64's?
> >
> > Motherboard:
> >
> > I have no idea about motherboards that support AMD CPU's. I may want
> > to try to mildly overclock the cpu so I'm looking for a good
> > gaming/overclocking motherboard. I would prefer something with OEM
> > overclocking tools and using BIOS settings to overclock. I need an
> > AGP slot. I have an FX5700Ultra video card. I know it is low
> > performance given the CPU's I'm looking at but upgrading is not an
> > option. Parallet ATA is also necessary since upgrading the harddrive
> > is also not an option. Both serial ATA and parallel ATA with
> > RAID would be nice for distant future (6 mos or later) upgrades. On
> > board wired LAN, USB, and sound is preferred as I have need of
> > these. I prefer wired LAN since my cable modem uses wired LAN. I
> > don't have any Firewire devices so Firewire is totally optional. Any
> > suggestions?
> >
> > Memory:
> >
> > I have read that AMD CPU's with the internal memory controller
> > cannot drive double sided memory.
>
> You need to see the specs on the motherboards to be sure what ram can
> be used for each.
>
> > I believe AMD spec's the CPU's
> > with internal memory controllers this way. Is this an issue I need
> > to watch out for when selecting memory?
>
> To be sure not to make a mistake, go the website of the motherboard
> maker, look up the model in question, and see the specs.
>
> > I was looking to
> > get some Crucial PC3200 Ballistix (DDR400) or some OCZ EL DDR
> > PC-3200 Platinum Revision 2. What memory speeds do the Athlon64's
> > support? Do I only need PC2700?
>
> Use PC 3200 ddr ram.
>
> >
> >
> > http://www.crucial.com/store/PartSpecs.asp?imodule=BL6464Z402&cat=RAM
> > http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/OCZ_EL_DDR_PC-3200_Platinum_
> > Revision_2
> >
> > My priorities will be stability
>
> Then don't even think about overclocking. Why do you think corporate users
> never overclock.
>
> > and performance. I want lots of FPS
>
> Then get a fast cpu and a very high quality video card.
>
> >
> > without having to figure out why my system keeps crashing and rebooting.
>
> A high quality power supply is also important. If you get a very high end
> video card, you might want an Antec 450 watt or 480 watt power supply.
>
> >
> > Am I on the right track? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> >
> > Thanks Much
> > JS