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Old 2004-04-19, 02:33 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
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New computer system specs... how will they effect PS?


I am looking to upgrade my current PC to one that can stand for Several years and be powerfull enough to this years and next years most demanding games (mostly FPS e.g. half-life and Doom3).

Currently my most demanding game is obviously Planetside (until Half-life 2 that is). I want a system that can easily take on MAX detail and MAX settings for PS. I am leaning towards an Alienware system with all those lovely goodies and huge system specs. Here are my current specs (everyhting on PS is turned down low/off except for the tickable options on the graphics page).

Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ @ 1.67 Ghz
RAM: 512Mb DDR 333Mhz
Graphics: Geforce 4 MMX 440 64Mb
Hard Disk: 16Gb 5000rpm
DVD: 6x speed DVD-ROM drive
CD-RW: 2x speed CD-RW drive
Soundcard: SB Live! 6.1
Moniter: 17" CRT moniter capable of 110 Hz
Mouse: Logitech Wheelded Mouse (Bail and Chain style)

Now here is what i plan on upgrading to (i've spent a while saving up and have an EXTREMLY big budget):

Alienware
Processor:P4 3.4 Ghz Processor
RAM:2Gb DDR SD PC-3200
Graphics: ATI Radeon 9800 XT 256Mb
Hard Disk: 120Gb 7200rpm
CD-ROM: 16x DVD / 52x32x52x CD-RW Combo
Soundcard: Creative SB Audigy 2 6.1
Moniter:19" CRT moniter capable of 150 Hz
Mouse: IntelliMouse Explorer USB 3.0

Is this system good what i indeed to use it for? Has anyone else had any experience with a sytem of similar specs? Would i be better to spend an extra couple of hundred pounds and get and Athlon 64 instead? Should i wait and the get the next gen graphics cards before buying?

What are your opinions?
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Old 2004-04-19, 04:33 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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It will run PS like none other. However i sugest you go the build your own system route.

Wait about a month and get yourself something with these specs:

Athlon 3400+ (or FX-53), (Socket 939 that is VERY important)
mobo to go with it(Nforce 250 chipset, asus board if you can)
2gb of DDR3200 cas2(or 1 gig relay the 2gigs is a bit overkill)
Get a Geforece 6800 ultra, that new one were talking about
Get a realy powerfull PSU, 550watt or 600watt because that vidcard realy needs it
and basicaly the rest of the specs you have there.

You will be able to get basicaly the smae thing from AW but it iwll cost you an arm and a leg more
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Old 2004-04-19, 05:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Old 2004-04-19, 05:56 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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That system puts my baby to shame. Yes it will destroy PlanetSide and anything you may want to play within the next couple of years. However, I agree with Rob, save yourself some money and build the same system for half the price Alienware will charge you. (Basically what I did, was considering buying an Aurora for $3200 about half a year back, but decided I didn't want to be poor for the rest of my life so I built the same system for $1600.)
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Old 2004-04-19, 06:07 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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I'd love to build my own system... unfortunatly last time i tried it i ended up with a fired motherboard, a dead processor and a non-repairable graphics card (the one i have now.. lots of lines though the screen but i get by).

I've had a look and the same thing would cost me about 1300 (which is a lot cheaper than the 2100 Alienware wish to charge me). My main problem is i have no commy building experience and neither do most of my friends and family. last time i had to take it to my local PC specialist and fork out another 100 to get it fixed.

I would like to try it again but considering how much money would be involved (nealr one and half grand) that is a LOT of money to waste. But if there was a problem with the alienware i could get it fixed with no charge.

You guys got any general tips for 'growing your own'?
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Old 2004-04-19, 06:32 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Welll read all the documantation get get first, and double chek all your plugs, i spend a whoel day tring to figure out what this one wouldn't stard to discover i had not pluges the 12volt ATX connector in all the way. Also Never touch a component withough touching some bit of metal in your case to ground yourself. Oh yeah make sure you have teh CAse/mobo standoffs on right and teh mobo's back isn't touching any metal that my short it.

When you first turn it on be sure to have every CD you need.

I've not had a problem gettign any of my computers to work except for just dumb forgetfull things, like not pluging it in
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Old 2004-04-20, 11:31 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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alwaly take the build your own route, you save lots. My current coputer would cost $2,500 is i obutghit it from dell, i built it myself for $1,250

(Hint: check the internet for good prices, don't buy from stores, buy from them on the internet)
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Old 2004-04-20, 11:33 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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so you don't fry something, just read what fire wire and usb are supposed to go to. always read manual, i trashed 1 board cause i connected firewire to usb by accident
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Old 2004-04-21, 11:06 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Well, building a computer is really a lot simpler than a lot of people think.

Basically u just attach your Mobo to the inside of the computer, hook up your IDE cables (usually its good to connect separate hard drives to separate IDE ports) carefully place your CPU into the CPU slot and lock it down, make sure it has some thermal paste or thermal tape on it (usually included with a stock CPU) and stick the heatsink on top. Connect the CPU fan to the motherboard fan controller, then plug in all of your front panel buttons/LEDs/USB etc (should show you how to do all this in your mobo manual). Run the sound cable from your CD-ROM down to your sound card/onboard audio. Plug in your RAM (careful about static discharge with the RAM.) Plug in your AGP and PCI cards. Now connect your power cables to the motherboard (make sure u get them all in, nice and tight. I too have had a system not start and it was a loose power connector on the mobo.). Connect your 4-pin power supply jacks to your case fans and everything that needs juice (CD-ROM, HD, Vid card, floppy). Hook up your computer to a power strip, and plug in your monitor, keyboard, all that junk. Then switch it on, check your BIOS settings to make sure everything is A-OK, and pop in an OS installation disk. Install and bingo you are done.

Now I'm guessin I prolly forgot something (I usually do when building a machine, you would think I'd learn, but I have TERRIBLE memory) and I put a few things not in the best order (like its easier to install your RAM first, as sometimes it takes a bit of pushing) but you get the general idea. If you follow the instructions in your motherboard manual you SHOULD be pretty much set. Also be sure to check your HD and CD-ROM drive documentation to make sure you have your jumper pins set up right on them (one of the most common problems encountered is stuff like trying to put 2 masters onto one IDE and the like).

Hope that helps any, if you need someone to walk you through building a computer, there are plenty of people on these forums (including me) that would be more than happy to help.
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Old 2004-04-21, 01:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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I think you should save until the geforce fx-6800 is open to the general public and build a computer yourself. And like Electrofreak said building a computer is really a lot simpler than a lot of people think its just basicly pluging in things. Two simple things Electrofreak forgot to metion: cooling and powersupply. I had to install a switch to turn on/off the power when it was plugged in so I could test my comp parts to see if it worked. But I dont recommend putting in water cooling yourself or even at. Just one lose pipe and you just lost a lot of $$$ its ez to just put in 5 fans with cool lights to make your comp look good.
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Old 2004-04-21, 01:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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You should also check www.newegg.com and buy as many parts with a warranty as possible just in case something goes worng. If or some unknown reason you cannot build one and really want to get an alienware be sure to get the date that you should get your comp in the mail in writing or you'll be screwed over.
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Old 2004-04-21, 02:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
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well my post was assuming you purchased a case with fans and power supply pre-installed
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Old 2004-04-22, 11:09 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Cant you just put a big fan next to your computer with the case open? the lazy way of doing it, lol.
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Old 2004-04-23, 10:33 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
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::shakes head:: believe it or not, keeping your case closed is better cooling than having it open. It all has to do with airflow. An open case with a fan blowing into it will merely just swirl and eddy the air around your case, not really moving much. A closed case continually pulls in fresh (cool) air, and blows out the warmed up air.

I suppose if you got a box fan, duct-taped it to the side of your computer, and took off the other side of your case or hacked a nice big hole in it (you would need to provide the air blown into the case an outflow route) you would get decent cooling, but you would have a pretty ghetto looking rig, it would be loud as hell, and access to your components wouldn't be easy. Having a closed system for airflow always works best, I've actually noticed my CPU temp rise when I have the side of my case open.
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Old 2004-04-23, 10:52 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
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You can indeed cool it the lazy way. I once opened a mac, overclocked its ram, then had it running outside its case and the only thing cooling it was a big fan sitting there.
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