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October 5th, 2003

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06:59 pm
So, like many gamer geeks around the world, i'm about to embark on building a new computer for the upcoming DirectX9 games. Namely, HalfLife2 and Doom3.
But I need some help on a major decision.
Sound card, hard drive, vid card, and monitor are already procured or decided on.
the question is the processor/motherboard, and more specifically:
64bit processing

The new Athlon64 and the AthlonFX that were released are sick, sick processors, and I fully expect them to rule in about... 6-8 months when the rest of the hardware and software catch up. Motherboard chipsets always suck for the first few iterations when something majorly new comes along.

But I'm going to need a new puter before those 6-8 months go by.

My question is this:
Buy an expensive 64bit processor(and assorted kit) now and upgrade the motherboard in a year?
Buy a nice 32bit processor at the current sweet pricepoint (Intel 2.8 with HT) and use the saved cash in a year to get a faster 64bit processor and 2nd/3rd gen motherboard?

Let me know what you think, and why. :o)

(currently running Athlon 1ghz, 1GB PC133 RAM. sloooow.)
mood: awakeawake
music: House of Pain - Boomshalaklakboom

(15 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)


[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 04:25 pm (UTC)
Haven't done research on CPUs in a while, but it seems like for most apps the Athlon 64 was rather underwhelming (I only looked at one set of benchmarks, though).

Were Doom3 and HL2 going to be 64 bit optimized? That could be a deciding factor.

Which video card you get? I'm still running my ::cough:: Geforce1. Up until the newest iteration of the Unreal engine it did fine, but now I must to be upgradink. Am thinkink that Radeon 9800 Pro 128 is beink for me, da?

Also, why did I start talking like Pitr partway through? The world may never know.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 04:40 pm (UTC)
don't know if they are, but I'd be surprised if they don't. it's just a recompile if nothing else.
as for vid card, probably going with a radeon 9800 of some sort, depending on how rich i feel at the time. unless they bust out something new in the next 2-3 months.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 04:52 pm (UTC)
There is that new 9800 XT... but I really don't think it's worth $500. 'specially not when I'm about to drop $670 on a Dan Wesson.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 04:54 pm (UTC)
yeah, $500 for a video card is just a little bit silly.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 05:23 pm (UTC)
'specially since my PS2 was way less than that.

And I gained the ability to play copied games without voiding my warranty. Not that I'd, you know, DO that or anything. I just like having the knowledge that I could.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 05:32 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 05:44 pm (UTC)
And it's for... running Linux! Yeah!

That's something that makes PERFECT sense to do on a PS2.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 06:24 pm (UTC)
Seriously? I'd say re-evaluate your "need" for a new gaming rig. I've been on a pre-Thunderbird, Slot-A Athlon 750 since 1999. Granted, I don't game too much at all, but my machine played Return to Castle Wolfenstein just fine.

I doubt it'd get superb framerates with Battlefield 1942, Unreal Tournament 2003, or anything later than that, but I might well be surprised.

My parents' machine, a KT333 AthlonXP 1800+ with 512MB and a GeForce2 400MX, which I built for them, plays a very respectable Medal of Honor. I'm sure if it had a DirectX 9 video card in it, it'd play Half-Life2 wonderfully well.

My advice? If what you have now is even reasonably current, wait 2-3 years and then build a 64-bit box. If you've got parts ready to go now, just incorporate them in your current system if that's feasible.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 06:40 pm (UTC)
all the parts i've got are in my current system, but my box isn't going to play HL2 without a mobo/cpu/ram upgrade, and if I'm going to upgrade I'm going to upgrade. no use going halfassed when upgrading IMHO.
So with that said, and from stuff said in the geeks community (new 64bit socket in 6-12 months), I'm probably going to go with a 32bit processor and basic modern mobo, but splurge on the quality DDR4000 RAM and sick vid card that I can use on the 64bit when I upgrade.

Other question is do I go SATA or PATA for a harddrive? I just got a 120GB PATA recently, but I can find server work for that with some upcoming projects and go to SATA with the new personal machine if I want to. haven't found a compelling reason to yet though other than the cables being smaller and easier to deal with. heh.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 06:44 pm (UTC)
What's your budget like? If you have extra $$$ go SATA, if not stick with PATA. PATA drives are really pretty cheap, and you could do a RAID0 if you really want to make a fast system. You could do SATA RAID too, of course, but that'd be a bit more than I'd want to throw at a box purely in the interest of high gaming framerates.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 07:01 pm (UTC)
i've never cared to go messing with RAID for personal use honestly.
too much hassle for not enough reward.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 09:14 pm (UTC)
I never liked RAID0 anyway.

If you want that much speed, you're probably doing something important with large amounts of data.

If you have that much data you want to work with, it's probably important.

If you use RAID0, you spread it across two drives and have nothing complete, thusly you are twice as likely to lose everything.

Personally I wouldn't bother with anything less than RAID5, but maybe that's just me. Also, it would have to be hot swappable. Guess I got spoiled watching my dad work on the big iron. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2003 09:16 pm (UTC)
...I mean, if you're gonna have a redundant array of something, it might as well be just a little REDUNDANT, eh?
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2003 10:27 am (UTC)
My advice, as I have nasty insider information from Intel (yay Phoenix!) is to get the nice 32 bit chip.

The 64 bit chip out my Athlon is actually a _fake_ 64 bits. Basically they soldered two 32 bit chips together in a creative way (I'm not even jokin here, though I am oversimplifying) and the end result is fast, but not really all that special, which is why it'll work in the same old case, with same old hardware and softawre you've always used.

Intel is working on a new REAL 64 bit chip, that when it comes out will not be backwards compatible with previous software or hardware(because it itself will be speaking a whole new language) but will blow Athlon's chip out of the water. Microsoft is already working on (in final testing I should say) the operating system for this beast of a processor, and most of the hardware and major software companies are following in suit. But basically when that chip comes out, if it does half as well as projections say, your Athlon chip won't be worth the silicon its made out of.

So save your pennies, dude. :)
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2003 11:37 am (UTC)
if youy don't geta radeon 9800 gameing will suck nvidas benchmarks for HL2 are low ATi's are high. nuff said ! =P
So, like many gamer geeks around the world, i'm about to embark on… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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