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$800 for HL2 PC

MountainDewMountainDew Kentwood, MI
edited Dec 2004 in PC Building
Hey guys, my friend has 800 dollars to buy a gaming rig capable of playing Half-Life 2.

I was thinking something like 512 ram, AMD 2800+ 64bit, and maybe a 9800pro? what do you guys think?

Comments

  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    does (s)he have any of the other stuff? HD/Case/PSU? Does (s)he need a monitor?
  • gibbonslgibbonsl Grand Forks AFB
    edited Dec 2004
    BTW even a 9600 pro can play HL2 @1024x768 with every thing on high

    smooth too:)
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    I would suggest skimming a bit on something and getting more ram. Most stuff now need 1gb to run smoothly.
  • MountainDewMountainDew Kentwood, MI
    edited Dec 2004
    He doesn't have any parts as of now, but he said don't worry about a monitor.

    a gig of ram sounds like a good idea, after playing HL2 my ram peak is always around 750mb.

    Which 9600 are you talking about, the pro or xt?

    what about the processor and such?
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    as a baseline, my pc (9600xt, 1gig pc3200 dual channel ram, Athlon XP @ 2.2 GHz) runs HL2 at decent detail settings @ 1280x1024...pick a faster graphics card and it'll be a good machine for HL2.

    I also reccomend 1 gig of ram.

    standard reccomendations for a 32 bit system:

    abit nf7-s $83
    1 gig PC3200 ram. I like 2x 512 of these, ($134) but I don't try to get my fsb that high.
    amd athlon xp mobile 2400/2500+ . These are unlocked and people are hitting really nice speeds with them. $88

    I don't really know what the current bargain video card is, so I'll let someone else hop in on that. Someone will also likely have a more specific suggestion for the processor.
  • MountainDewMountainDew Kentwood, MI
    edited Dec 2004
    thanks for all the input so far you guys.

    i dont really wanna OC on this rig, i know ill get flac for it, but i wanna keep everything stock (at least for now). that said, i think 64bit is the way i wanna go, XPs are on their way out.
  • JimboraeJimborae Newbury, Berks, UK
    edited Dec 2004
    Black Hawk said:
    I would suggest skimming a bit on something and getting more ram. Most stuff now need 1gb to run smoothly.
    All games inc. HL2 & Doom3 run fine on my rig using only 512mb of ram. I've tried a 1g in it and noticed absolutely no difference, in benchmarks my scores don't change either. Does anybody have any actual proof that a 1g makes a difference in todays modern games.
  • GobblesGobbles Ventura California
    edited Dec 2004
    This should suit him just dandy...

    ANTEC Life Style Series Black Case With 380W Power Supply, Model "SONATA" $99.99

    NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive, Black, Model ND-3500A BK, OEM $64.00

    Mitsumi Black 1.44MB 3.5inch Floppy Disk Drive, Model D359M3D/D359M3B, OEM $6.50

    Seagate 80GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model ST380013AS, OEM $72.00

    Kingston 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200 - Retail $70.93

    DFI "LANPARTY UT nF3 250Gb" NVIDIA nForce3 250GB Chipset Motherboard For AMD 105.00

    AMD Athlon 64 2800+, 512KB L2 Cache, 64-bit Processor - Retail $130.00

    ATI RADEON 9800 PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -BULK $215.00

    Total (Before tax): $763.42
  • GobblesGobbles Ventura California
    edited Dec 2004
    I play HL2 on a radeon le 8500 and a barton 2500 with 1 gig ram..

    @1024x768 I stress test at 45fps. which is about what I get online playing css...
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    Jimborae:

    I don't think actual in-game performance is any different, but I have personally noticed a huge difference in load times between levels and between "sections" when I upgraded from 512 to 1gb.

    Having a gig has made my gaming experience much smoother, overall. The actual gameplay and framerates haven't changed one bit, but the overall experience is definitely better.
  • JimboraeJimborae Newbury, Berks, UK
    edited Dec 2004
    Oh, ok thanks B, I didn't actually pay any attention to load times but I may go back & revisit this issue with 1g installed. :)
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    Jimborae said:
    Oh, ok thanks B, I didn't actually pay any attention to load times but I may go back & revisit this issue with 1g installed. :)
    The other reason you likely did not notice a difference is that the default amount of memory that HL2 uses for storing stuff in memory is 40MB (iirc), regardless of how much system ram is installed. Installing more memory allows you to set this higher, which will mean quicker loads and smoother gameplay.
  • MountainDewMountainDew Kentwood, MI
    edited Dec 2004
    Wow Gobbles that setup is perfect! :thumbsup: thanks alot, I think im gonna get all those items, including just the 512mb ram. im sure he can upgrade to 1gb when he gets more cash.

    So you guys are saying you will see virtually no difference in gameplay with either 512 or 1024? I have jitters in my game every once in a while, and my only bottleneck is my 768mb ram, and my peak usage is always around 900mb.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    I would suggest 1GB.
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    Games that just use massavie resources like Battlefield 1942/Vietnam, C&C Command and Conquer Generals and games that just have alot of AI and stuff on screen needs alot of ram. When I had 512mb of ram, BF1942 ran like total crap. Loading time was almost a minute. If you played on a big map that has lots of building, it took alot of time for the game to get smooth.
  • TheBaronTheBaron Austin, TX
    edited Dec 2004
    for $700 and taking advantage of frys sales I got

    Athlon 64 2800+
    some ****ty mobo
    512mb of ram
    a GeForce 6800 :D
    an antec sonata case w/ 380w psu
    19" crt monitor
    keyboard, mouse
    8x dvd+-rw

    granted, theres some MIRs i need to take care of, but still
  • GobblesGobbles Ventura California
    edited Dec 2004
    its not a uber box but its a low to mid range gaming rig that is expandable. The mobo is a good board according to alll the reviews. The proc can be upgraded as money permits, as can the ram, hdd.

    The cons to the system..

    socket 754 limited life as 939 will replace it.

    AGP graphics. PCIEx is the hot item now. PCIEX cards are cheaper than agp versions of the same card.

    The ram is generic kingston, while solid and stable, its probably not the highest performing or over clockable.

    As I see it though, not a bad trade off for a sub 800 dollar gaming rig running a 64bit processor and such. It will most certainly play any game released to date and most like do well with what ever is coming this year.
  • Geeky1Geeky1 University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA, USA)
    edited Dec 2004
    switch the Sonata for an Antec SLK-3700BQE and get 2 120mm fans for it, and you'll be set. The 3700BQE has much better hdd cooling (which is important) and is just an overall better case.
  • PreacherPreacher Potomac, MD Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    Wouldn't a 6600GT perform better than an ATI 9800 Pro?
  • Omega65Omega65 Philadelphia, Pa
    edited Dec 2004
    Preacher said:
    Wouldn't a 6600GT perform better than an ATI 9800 Pro?
    According to benchmarks it does... Tech Report: 6600GT review
  • PreacherPreacher Potomac, MD Icrontian
    edited Dec 2004
    Thanks for posting that, Omega. I was just thinking a 6600GT can be had to close to the same price as the ATI 9800 Pro and should have better overall performance and a longer lifespan.
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