Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
ZeroSum

Processor / Graphics card suggestions?

This topic is 3717 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm looking to buy a new setup to replace the Celeron 2.4Ghz/Raedon 9200 box I have at the moment. It's been a few years since I last built one so I'm not sure what brands/models are currently considered 'the ones to get'. I have a general idea but thought some advice wouldn't go amiss. My last main machine was an AMD64 and a ATI 9800 Pro (which died) but this time it seems that Intel Core 2 Duos and nVidia GPU's are the current best bang for buck products so I've decided on those. I'm not after a monster setup that eats up electricity, just a nice mid-range gaming/dev machine. I'm aiming for a dual core machine with 2gb ram and at least SM3. DirectX 10 support would be nice so I could play around with it but its not essential. So far I've decided on:
  • Motherboard: Asus P5N-E Socket 775 (Link) - £53.23
  • RAM: OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz (Link) - £35
  • Case/PSU: Centurion 5 Case + 550W PSU (Link) - £66.89
The motherboard above seems like a perfect mid-range board but I'm confused about what CPU to get. Whats the difference between a "Pentium 4 Dual Core" (£~50) and a "Core 2 Duo" (~£110-£200) apart from the obvious like the cache? Also the motherboard and RAM are 800MHz whereas all of the Core 2's have a 1000+ fsb, does this matter at all (I'm assuming the CPU will just run with a 800MHz fsb instead)? One other thing I noticed is that quad cores are about the same price as a core 2 duo. Is there any point of going that direction at the moment? I'm also unsure about what GPU to choose. I know the 8800 was the top card a few months ago but have no idea about the rest of the series. There are 8xxx cards anywhere from £40 to £400+, I'm looking for a mid-range card that fast enough but doesnt need a super PSU to use. I mainly play Source, Battlfield, Civ IV etc. but want to be able to (at last) start learning GLSL/HLSL too. I've got about £500 max to spend but don't want to spend it all just for the sake of it. My current total for mobo/drives/case/psu/ram is £190. Any suggestions, advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
Original post by ZeroSum
Intel Core 2 Duos ... current best bang for buck


I can't say I'd back this statement up, AMD64 chips are half the price of these newfangled Intels and the performance difference isn't worth the extra cash.

You'd be good going for an nVidia card, I've had nothing but pleasures working with them, especially in a Linux environment.

Of course, this is all opinion, Google for some benchmarks (Tom's Hardware comes recommended).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMHO, a quad-core CPU will offer the best bang-for-your-buck.

Dual-core is great at the moment, because a lot of games are currently optimised for 2 hardware threads (e.g. Source).
However, console games are already being written for 6-8 threads, so my prediction is that PC games are going to start using >2 threads soon. When this happens, the quad-cores are going to perform a *lot* better than the dual-cores do.


As for GPU, if you want to learn (H/G)LSL then just make sure that your GPU supports Shader Model 3 (almost all do these days).
I've got a 7900gt (medium-high detail) and a 8800gtx (very high detail), and I'm happy with both of them, but you'd have to look at some benchmarks to see which card offers the right price vs performance for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by ZeroSum
I'm looking to buy a new setup to replace the Celeron 2.4Ghz/Raedon 9200 box I have at the moment. It's been a few years since I last built one so I'm not sure what brands/models are currently considered 'the ones to get'. I have a general idea but thought some advice wouldn't go amiss.

My last main machine was an AMD64 and a ATI 9800 Pro (which died) but this time it seems that Intel Core 2 Duos and nVidia GPU's are the current best bang for buck products so I've decided on those.

I'm not after a monster setup that eats up electricity, just a nice mid-range gaming/dev machine. I'm aiming for a dual core machine with 2gb ram and at least SM3. DirectX 10 support would be nice so I could play around with it but its not essential.

So far I've decided on:

  • Motherboard: Asus P5N-E Socket 775 (Link) - £53.23

  • RAM: OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz (Link) - £35

  • Case/PSU: Centurion 5 Case + 550W PSU (Link) - £66.89



The motherboard above seems like a perfect mid-range board but I'm confused about what CPU to get. Whats the difference between a "Pentium 4 Dual Core" (£~50) and a "Core 2 Duo" (~£110-£200) apart from the obvious like the cache? Also the motherboard and RAM are 800MHz whereas all of the Core 2's have a 1000+ fsb, does this matter at all (I'm assuming the CPU will just run with a 800MHz fsb instead)?


The difference between "Pentium 4 Dual Core" and "Core 2 Duo" is that they are different architectures and the core architecture (Core 2 Duo/Quad) is far superior. Core 2 Duo based processors are well worth the money.


Quote:
Original post by ZeroSum
One other thing I noticed is that quad cores are about the same price as a core 2 duo. Is there any point of going that direction at the moment?

I'm also unsure about what GPU to choose. I know the 8800 was the top card a few months ago but have no idea about the rest of the series. There are 8xxx cards anywhere from £40 to £400+, I'm looking for a mid-range card that fast enough but doesnt need a super PSU to use. I mainly play Source, Battlfield, Civ IV etc. but want to be able to (at last) start learning GLSL/HLSL too.

I've got about £500 max to spend but don't want to spend it all just for the sake of it. My current total for mobo/drives/case/psu/ram is £190. Any suggestions, advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Quad cores are nice if what you are doing supports it. If you are doing development then they can cut down on compile times fairly dramatically. I hear good things about the new 9600GTs (about as fast as an 8800GT) but I would guess the current winner in price/performance is still the 8800GT. Nvidia and ATI are both supposed to release cards next week so who knows what effect that will have on their current lineups.

Also, I have a Centurion 5 case and I love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your replies. I ordered yesterday and it all came today. :)

In the end I decided on a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo. I figured I can always upgrade just the processor later. I also decided on a Inno3D 9600GT, which has been great so far. After reading the reviews it seemed to be a better choice (8600GT has 128bit memory bus) and it was only £87.

So far I've tried out HL2, TF2, Company of Heroes, FEAR all on 'High' and they run perfectly.

Going from a Ati 9200 to a 9600GT is great. Now to download 185743583 patches...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just to make sure you understand why I think you made a good choice I'll post this. The cheaper pentium D Dual-Core you saw as I understand is kind of like a dual core Pentium 4. The "Core" line of processors came from what used to be the Pentium "M" line that originally was for notebooks. The M line was much better in the energy effeciency and the "bang for the buck." So the "core" line of processors were born, which as you know are much better than the Pentium Dual-Core thingys(yuck). Also, I think that was a good choice of video card too. The 9600 line isn't much more expensive than the 8800 line from NVidia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!