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Resource Consumer
18-10-2004, 10:21:12
Hey guys!

I am buying my mum a new PC for Christmas. She is a little unusual for a pensioner as she likes shooting things on the computer.

Now, she is not going to worry about buying the latest games over the next couple of years but would like to play some fairly current ones (as well as a few oldies).

So, I am looking at a gaming-type machine but I don't need to go completely over the top:

So I am thinking of a 2 Gb processor, 512 Mb of RAM and some sort of middling graphics card.

Does that sound sort of OK and any cost effective graphics ideas?

zmama
18-10-2004, 14:13:47
Maybe...be more specific as to the current games she wants to play

Resource Consumer
18-10-2004, 15:50:42
Serious Sam I and II and maybe Doom III (also whatever else I pick up in the shop). As far as I can tell this sort of thing would run Doom III OK (depends on card I guess). And I don't think Serious Sam is a massive problem but I do want to make sure that it runs them smoothly (not just the "Min specs" sort of choppiness)

zmama
18-10-2004, 16:00:43
You want as much card as you can throw at Doom III...but yeah the rest of the specs should be okay

Funkodrom
18-10-2004, 16:02:18
Serious Sam runs absolutely fine on my 1.2Ghz, 256Meg RAM 32Meg graphics card machine.

zmama
18-10-2004, 16:18:12
I wouldn't want to run Doom III with much less than an ATI 9800 pro with 256MB

cost, about...$280

No longer Trippin
18-10-2004, 18:48:12
A 9800 Pro 128 is fine for Doom 3 at high details... you can't run ultra with 256 megs on that card (it pulls over 400 in textures in ultra IIRC) which is why only 256 X800's and 6800's are able to brute force Ultra details with sheer clock power and insane mem speeds. Still the 256 would be a decent investment. Though with the X800 Pro being 40 to 50 more, I'd splurge a bit on that which would also allow you to get by with 512 megs a bit longer, and a memory upgrade isn't expensive nor as much of a headache than a card swap as nothing is needed to be installed software wise and it's so much cheaper. So 512 for now and mention that in a bit she may want to spend another 80 US or so for another 512. PC3200 ram will be needed for a barton 3200 or if you go Intel, the C and E cores.

I'd look for a barton 3200 or if you can afford a bit extra an A64 2800-3000 (will run about equal to, if not better than a 3200 barton), the graphics have been discussed, and if onboard soundstorm should be enough for her, though it has it's problems. So you may want to get an Audigy soundcard. For the motherboard, a cheap biostar will work just fine, though an Abit NF7-S is a bit more expensive, it is a much more solid board. Get a solid 350 watt PSU, 400 if she has a couple optical drives along with HDDs and a high end video card.

I have to agree completely with zmama in the aspect that in gaming the video card will make or break the machine no matter what else is in it.

Resource Consumer
19-10-2004, 10:53:03
OK - so I will cheapskate on the other stuff (or not) and put resources into the video card. Thanks very much to all for your advice.

Resource Consumer
19-10-2004, 11:01:05
And one small follow-up - can anyone tell me in simple terms what the difference is between an Ati Radeon 9800 and a Radeon 9800 Pro?

Resource Consumer
19-10-2004, 11:11:55
OK - found something :)

http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9800/radeon9800pro/compare.html

No longer Trippin
19-10-2004, 16:37:37
Just get her a radeon 9800 Pro 256 (if it says LE, SE, or Atlantis don't get it). Really doesn't matter which manufacturer though BBA (built by ATi) and Saphire (makes most of their boards) are generally regarded as the best though you'll pay more for the BBA. Others may be cheaper and still will be of good quality. With BBA you get a very good warranty and support, though you are paying for it.