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Getting/Building new desktop

by jc2545 / April 14, 2009 4:15 AM PDT

Hello and thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions.

My old (60G IDE) hard drive pooped out over the weekend and its time to get a new pc. This computer functioned as the main home pc for e-mails, internet, documents, etc, and I also like to play FPS games like CoD4 and CoD5. I'm not into the really high end graphic games like Far Cry or some others I've heard about. My system was about 7 years old, with one of the first AMD64 3000+ processors, a once upgraded nVidea GeForce 7600 vid card, and about 2G of ram. Not much, but the system suited my needs. My OS was Windows XP Home SP2. So, that's what the new computer will need to be able to accomplish.

I realize that almost all computers available now will far surpass what I had. My wish is to be able to do all my old tasks and games, but also have the ability to upgrade at a later date as games and programs progress and require more memory, speed, etc., while at the same time not breaking the bank. I have a wife and a 16 y/o at home that get most of my budget. Happy The top end of my budget for this PC is about $1000.

I would prefer to stay with XP because that's what I'm comfortable with, but I realize that may not be a realistic option. I've heard some talk but haven't had time to really read about Windows 7, so if anyone has any opinions on it I'd be happy to listen.

So, what I'm looking for is pros/cons of Intel vs AMD, Radeon vs nVidea, how big of a hard drive, power supply options, how much cooling is needed, etc.

Again, thanks in advance for any constructive ideas or suggestions.

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here's a recent guide
by ramarc / April 14, 2009 6:54 AM PDT
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Some stuff
by Viperdude1234 / April 15, 2009 11:03 AM PDT

Well.. ill throw in my two cents, it may be helpful in some way.

Lately, Intel has taken over by storm. Their processors have the best benchmarks, and dollar for dollar, out perform AMD so far as i have seen. If you are into gaming, id suggest grabbing a quadcore, or possibly an I7. The quads are getting cheaper, and they can really perform. Vista 7 should be optomized to run on as many cores as you caon provide, so might as well do it.

As for graphics, besides the 4780, it seems like Nvidia has ATI beat, so id suggest going for a 9800gt or something similar.. You can pick those up for ~$150ish and they will play most new games ok, even Crysis on medium settings.

As for Hard drive: 250 is pretty standard now in desktops, you can pick up a terabyte for $99 now days, so id recommend around a 500g. Things are getting bigger, and extra space is always nice to have.

As for ram, its dependant on your system, between ddr2/ddr3, its pricing and performance really. As for amount of ram, if you insist on XP, stick with 2gigs, all you really need.

Powersupply: Stick with name brands here.. If you were to grab a system like i mentioned above, a 650w+ would be decent. PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, Thermaltake, all have really nice PSUs.

You can stick with XP if you like, you can snag an OEM of home edition for 99.99. Personally, id say hold out if you can, maybe linux it for a bit. Windows 7 is coming, and its pretty promising, id try to hold out for it. You could download the beta, and try that for a while.


A system like i described above averages around $800-$1200. Depending on what you want..

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