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  1. #1
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    Ultimate Game PC

    Hi there

    I am a very selective, but passionate player. Once in a while, a few next-generation
    games come to market, which I simply have to play. But I do not want to
    play them with a resolution 800x600 without anti-aliasing etc., but I want
    to play them as best as possible.

    So, I usually buy a new PC and the old one becomes some linux box.
    Today, I am interested in two games:
    "Enemy Territory - Quake Wars" (which I can play 800x600 without anti-aliasing ) and
    "Unreal Tournament 3/2007" (which I haven't bought yet).

    I have an excellent flatscreen (resolution 1600x1200), which I want to use.
    Thus, I want to be able to play above games with the given resolution at
    full detail and maximal render-engine capacity.


    What do you guys recommend? What shall I buy? Please take care of
    protection of investment, in the following sense: which technology most
    likely will be reasonably upgradeable for the next years?


    Thanks & Cheers
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  2. #2
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Not to try to move traffic away from this site, but I recommend you post your question on a pc gaming site. While many of us here like to play a game or two, the forums on a site related to gaming will give you a far better opinion.

    You didn't mention budget... that is going to make a BIG difference.

    As you know, the $600 video card today is only going to be $400 in 6 months and $200 in one year. I got a 512MB PCIE ATI Radeon X1800 about a year ago... it's worth about half what I paid for it then.

    BTW: Be sure to add Crysis to your game list. If you liked Far Cry, then you won't be disappointed. I tried out Enemy Territory- Quake Wars and I was kind of disappointed. I loved the Wolf Enemy Territory and was terribly addicted to that game for about 2 years. The controls and play kinda feels the same, but I just don't get excited about it. Crysis on the other hand... AMAZING! Then again, we're talking two different animals. Online MP vs normal FPS with amazing AI and graphics effects and real time modding of body and weapons.
    Last edited by phishphreek; November 28th, 2007 at 01:47 PM.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Good point there phish~,

    I am not a gamer, so I build very few gaming machines. However I do graphics intensive design type boxes where some of the requirements are similar.

    Apart from the budget already mentioned, how long do you expect this machine to last? The gamers I know keep them for two or three years then recycle them and get a new one. They don't "upgrade" too well in my experience.

    You have to bear in mind that whilst hardware technology advances pretty rapidly, the software always lags behind because the vendors want to sell to as many platforms as possible.

    What I would suggest is look at the games you are interested in and take the recommended and minimum specs. The minimum will give you an idea of how far back they are catering for, the recommended is now and roughly projecting the two together will give you a projection into the future of around their software development cycle. That assumes that the recommended specs of today will be the minimum of the next release

    Other questions:

    1. Dual or quad core?
    2. Operating system............. it would be Vista if you are going quad core?
    3. DDR2 or DDR3?

    Just a few thoughts.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
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    Hi phish

    I agree that there might be better plattforms for this question,
    however I have seen similar requests like mine here on AO,
    which got responses, and I know AO and its people

    I haven't mentioned a budget, because there is none. It is more
    important to buy a technology that might be somewhat stable in
    the next, say, 2 years. For example:
    Currently I have an ATI Radeon 9800 XT, which was brand new
    at that time (AGP 4x, I think?). Nowadays (I think?), and actually since
    quite a while after PXI-X (?), PCI Express is the standard (and will remain?).

    Thanks & Cheers

    P.s. I will have a look at Crysis, thanks for the tip (though I am the online MP gamer type).
    Last edited by sec_ware; November 28th, 2007 at 03:20 PM.
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  5. #5
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    Hi Nihil

    With "upgradeable" I mean the following (exaggerated example):
    Assume I buy the latest graphic card for 600$ (PCI Express or whatever).
    In one year, I will sell this graphic card and buy a new one.
    I would prefer not to have to rebuy a motherboard because PCI Express is
    outdated as well. Maybe this is all too naive

    As per your questions
    1. Dual or quad core?
    I don't care, but it is a good example: If a dual core is sufficient
    today and for the next year, a dual core is fine. In one year, I may
    consider buying a quad core (or next generation) - I don't want
    to replace the motherboard or whatever for that.
    2. Operating system?
    I guess Vista (for better 4GB RAM support). Not sure about 64bit OSs,
    because the one I have privately still lacks drivers (XP 64bit).
    3. DDR2 or DDR3?
    That's why I am asking What is the advantage/disadvantage of each
    of them? Is DDR3 so much superior to DDR2 that it does make a difference?
    As per "upgradeable": I read that DDR2-800 is the limit (still, there is a
    DDR2-1066 available). Now take DDR3 with 200 Mhz (Double Data Rate,
    Up and Down-Writing -> 1600 Mhz) - is this already limiting, or just the
    beginning?

    Thanks & Cheers
    Last edited by sec_ware; November 28th, 2007 at 03:19 PM.
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Yes, I see what you mean. I agree that you don't really want to be replacing the motherboard, processor or even the RAM.

    I would expect dual core processors to be the norm for at least the next two years, particularly for games. I would predict that by the time games are being written to really start to take advantage of quad cores, you will be ready for a new machine anyway.

    The main difference between DDR2 and DDR3 is that DDR3 supports a greater bandwidth but loses advantage by having a higher clock latency. I would expect it to take off in laptops first as it runs cooler and uses about 25% less power.

    I would also see it having applications in servers as I believe that you can have up to 16Gb strips. Perhaps when they sort the CL problem it will find its way into gaming machines. This was the reason DDR2 was a bit slow in being adopted.

    I would also go for Vista as an OS as I think that games programmers will take advantage of Aero before quad core. I am not sure about 64bit as I have a gut feel that it will be put on the back burner along with quad core as far as gaming software development goes.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #7
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    from me :-

    Core 2 Duo [intel] CPU, it 'should' be around for a while

    Nvidea GPX x 2 for the SLI capability

    you have a BIG widescreen resolution, so SLI is a better way to go, for two cards giving some 'future proofing', as in, you can always add two new GPX cards in a couple of years

    at least 4GB DDR2 RAM, it will be sufficient for your needs till you need a new gaming rig

    in all the above get the highest spec you can afford

    be prepared to lose most of your investment within a year

    happy hunting
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  8. #8
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    Hi

    Thanks for your input guys. I also asked a few others (one of them with the
    same setup as foxyloxley ), none of them was able to play crysis
    at limit (well, at resolution 1920x1200 ) though...

    I was recommended as follows:

    - Core2Duo
    - 4GB DDR2 (DDR3 seems unreasonably expensive)

    - G92, 8800 GT
    - or GPX x 2 with SLI
    - or wait half a year for enthusiast...

    - x38 without sli (thus a really fat graphic card)
    - or nforce 680i with sli


    Interestingly, for playing purposes Vista 64bit was recommended
    (Crysis really seem to profit with a few MB more RAM... ).


    Cheers guys
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  9. #9
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    Vista Ultimate 64bit with the unnecessary services turned off for most gaming nowadays.

    DirectX 10 and 64bit processing is incredible, plus knowing that you have 1.5gb of video ram and 4gb system ram, you'll get the most of the system with the 64bit os.

    I'd also recommend trying out a readyboost capable flashdrive for your pagefile while gaming (free up drive access during paging) You won't notice a increase while doing "normal" operations in the OS (such as word, net applications, and such) but in a good frag session, it'll free system resources used for page access.

    8gb flash drive preferred for the setup, but a 4gb would atleast assist.

    Dual geforce 8800 GT cards (about 250$ USD) in SLi mode is a good budget alternative, they don't perform too much behind the top of the line card. You can see a review here - http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/29/geforce_8800_gt/

    Have you looked at prebuilt gaming machines for an idea? HP's Blackbird 002 is a incredible machine. And for mobile use, Dell has an incredible notebook.

  10. #10
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    one word = alienware =) lol

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