View Full Version : Building a PC for CoH
3rd Aug 06, 10:37 PM
Hey all. I just discovered, to no great surprise, that although my current laptop meets all the othe requirements to play CoH, my crappy Mobility Radeon 9000 video card isn't going to cut it. Therefore, I have undertaken to build or buy a new computer capable of running CoH well for the lowest possible price. Considering that my friend's laptop, which just barely meets the minimum specs for the beta, appeared to run the game in its full glory with nary a hiccup, I think I'll be able to put somethign together for well under a thousand dollars US. This had beter be the case, because I have about 5 weeks to scrounge enough cash (time to go back to work) and do any necessary assembly work. I'm posting here to try and get some suggestions as to which motherboards are best, which video cards give the best bang for the buck, etc. If some Relic or THQ reps or in-house beta testers who have had a lot of experience with the game were to comment on any particular hardware to avoid or prefer I'd be particularly grateful.
I have one particular question I consider of immediate importance: How does a dual-core processor differ from a 'normal' processor of the same clock speed? What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of dual-core? Most of the other components are pretty straightforward to me, having worked with similar components before. I know what I need as far as RAM, and I know the minimums for video cards, (though I don't know the 'optimum' as far as bang for buck) but this processor thing is confusing me.
Also, what's the deal with AMD? Looking through the various gaming PC company's offerings you'd think AMD doesn't make anything running faster than 2.6 ish Ghz, and that at quite a price. Is there something I'm not seeing that makes them a worthy competitor to Pentiums?
Anyway, any and all suggestions will be greatly appreicated.
Well AMD 2.6 Ghx runs like 4600 pentium I think. So do not underestimate AMD at all. If ur planning to build a pc using 1000 bucks you might as well try AMD chip as their pricing went down. For a Video card try X800XL, there are cheap now and very good cards. However, dx 10 cards will be coming out next year and you might want one of them. tyr to have at least 2 gigs of ram. With dual cores well there are good for more applications like maya or photoshop. But again you might as well get a dual core chip as thats the way chip are build now.
This is my 2 cents.
4th Aug 06, 5:14 AM
Hey I'm running on an AMD 4000 2.4ghz and it runs great. With 2 gig of ram and an ati 1900xtx 512 mb. I can set it to max. out graphics on the beta with res. of 1920x1200. I know the game will still look better then the beta because it is supposed to run direct x 10.
4th Aug 06, 5:16 AM
Yup. You can get an X2 4200+ quite cheap nowadays, also, for an extra few quid you could get an X1800XT.
Thats what i have, albeit in pieces right now, my new mobo is due to arrive tomorrow.
4th Aug 06, 5:22 AM
Looking through the various gaming PC company's offerings you'd think AMD doesn't make anything running faster than 2.6 ish Ghz, and that at quite a price. Is there something I'm not seeing that makes them a worthy competitor to Pentiums?
Yes. You don't judge AMD by clock speed. The way they do it is they compare it to a Pentium. So, say you have a Pentium 3.0GHz, the AMD equivalent would be an Athlon 3000+. Or a 3.5GHz Pentium, the AMD equivalent would be an Athlon 3500+. AMD processors are the best for gaming right now. Their cheaper too. Go for AMD.
As for dual-core or single-core, get a dual-core. It's the future. More and more games will take advantage of dual-core technology so don't get anything other than one of those.
I know the game will still look better then the beta because it is supposed to run direct x 10.
Where you hear that?
4th Aug 06, 5:26 AM
all over the internet it is said to run on windows vista with direct x 10. Also i believe there are a few graphic options missing.
4th Aug 06, 5:28 AM
it will run fine with dx9 on XP
I think the reason for missing gfx options is due to being the beta and more gfx options makes the file bigger. CoH will work fine with dx9 but it will support dx 10 and vista when they come next year. However, you will then need a dx10 card. There is always catch.
4th Aug 06, 2:26 PM
Nice, this will look even better with DX10 effects. Time to save for a DX10 card.
4th Aug 06, 3:55 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. Now it's time for the second round of questions.
First, in light of how little money I make and the fact that I want this computer ASAP, I'm going to try and lower my working budget to 600, monitor and all.
I've been fooling around with different configs at cyberpowerpc.com to get an idea of what I can build and what it will cost, and so far I've come to the conclusion that you guys are absolutely right about AMD. This has of course, however, rasied more questions in its wake.
First, why is it that everyone is reccomending ATI cards? It seems to me that the least expensive ATI card capable of runnign CoH is quite a bit more expensive than the least expensive Nvidia card that meets the reqs. I've seen for myself that a computer with one step above the bare minimum video card can run the beta just fine, so I intend to go that route if I can get away with it. I looks to me like a Geforce 7300 deries would be a better deal than an ATI x800 series all thigns considered. Any opinions?
Second, What features do you think are absolutely required on a motherboard? I'm looking for dual PCIE slots with SLI compatibility and a decent integrated sound processor. What else do you think I need? Is USB 2.0 going to be worth it? I barely use USB as is except for my mouse. What about RAID? Is it worth the expense of buyign two HDDs and learnign how to configure them? Hell, what exactly does RAID do anyway? I know it has something to do with using two HDDs cooperatively or something, but that's it.
Thirdly, what should I do about cooling and power supply? I'm really paranoid about thse issues because my current laptop is a textbook sxample of how not to design a coolign system and I have no idea how much power modern video cards and processers draw. Ive been going on the assumption so far that a 420W power supply will be enough, and that I want a CPU-mounted fan/heatsink assembly, but what else do I need?
Lastly, what's with all the fancy LCD temperature display sand fan speed control thingamjigs? They weren't around the last time I put a computer together from scratch, and I have no idea how much work on my part they entail nor how much benefit they actualy provide. Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks again for all the help.
5th Aug 06, 3:57 AM
From what I heard, SLI simply doesn't cut it price vise, especially if you're going the budget route. The idea to buy a low end video card now and upgrade with another low end in SLI mode later is goo on paper, but you fall far short of a linear progression in computing power. (Meaning that adding a second card of the type you already have won't give you a 100% increase in power, but something like a 40% or so increase from what I've heard so far)
USB 2.0 is standart, I don't think you can even buy a MB that doesn't support it today.
RAID is not really interesting for you as a gamer. The speed improvements of the speed setup are OK, but once more you're not going to need it and not going to want it if you're doing budget.
As for cooling and especially the power supply, those are areas where trying to save a little money can make you a very VERY sad gamer. The differences between a high end all copper CPU cooler and an aluminium one are about 30$ - the difference in performance is priceless.
Just as taking a good powersupply (I have an Enermax, but there are other great manufatureres as well) will cost you maybe 50-70$ more, but will grant you a system that is not prone to spontaneous shutdowns from power fluctuations. Believe me, those will repay their price in cardiac medication a hundredfold.
Go for a 400W+ powersupply, while you're at it (That's for european powersystems, I don't know what you should expect in other parts of the world and can't really give you more advice than "Think big").
Standart fans will do. I have one 12cm fan blowing onto my MB, RAM and the upper side of my graphics card and I'm really happy for it. Allows me to overclock my RAM while runnign at the sharpest timings my MB wil allow (Corsair at 2-2-3, 166FSB), allows me to overclock my MB from the 133Mhz FSB it is designed to run to the 166 I run it at and consequently allows me to run my 2100+ AMD as a 2800+. And all that at 32°C MB temp and 54°C CPU temp, accuring to ASUS Probe.
Cooling is good.
5th Aug 06, 9:10 AM
would you all mind commenting on this setup i am ordering from Newegg.com? I havent built a system in 4 or 5 years so all the new technology is brand new to me. Thanks for any suggestions. the colounms are a little messy cuz i just cut and paste straight from the site
CD/DVD Burners (RW Drives) (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=5)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE/ATAPI Model ND-3550A - OEM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16827152058)
ATX Computer Cases (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=7)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 XION Ultimate Engineering XON-002 Black/Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450 Watt (P4 & AMD Ready) Power Supply - (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16811208004) $67.99 $67.99
Internal Hard Drives (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=14)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3160812A 160GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822148103)
Monitors - LCD (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=20)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 Hanns·G JW-199DPB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16824254001)
$199.99 -$20.00 Instant
AMD-compatible Motherboards (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=22)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 ABIT AT8 32X Socket 939 ATI CrossFire Radeon XPRESS 3200 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813127234) $158.99 -$10.00 Instant
Video Cards (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=48)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 ATI 100-435801 Radeon X1900XT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814195002) $404.99 -$56.00 Instant
CD/DVD ROM Drives (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=55)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 ASUS Black ATAPI/E-IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E616A2 BK - OEM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16827135087)
Memory - System (http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?Subcategory=147)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model Twinx2048-3200c2pt - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16820145575)
Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4800CDBOX - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103544)
5th Aug 06, 9:25 AM
Good choices my friend!
As for the dvd burner, I'd look around for a cheap dual layer job, they're quite sweet.
Cant fault you on the cpu and gpu, the 4800+ will shoot through anything and coupled with the X1900, you've got yourself a really sound system.
I run an X2 4200+ with an X1800XT w/512MB and its a beast! She loves the max settings! ;)
5th Aug 06, 9:32 AM
The HDD - don't do Seagate. They use IBM technology and those still have a certain production flaw that gives you a good chance that your HDD will commit seppukku sooner rather than later.
Go with a Maxtor or a Samsung (I have a Samsung SATA with 250GB that cost me 80€ and is well worth it. You can install a Windows on a SATA drive, btw, you just need the drivers on a floppy so Windoof can install them right from the start (and then work with the SATA drive)
That tower comes with a build-in power supply, and those are usually from the lowest bidder. I'd advice you to buy a seperate one, but you could turn out lucky.
Do you absolutely need two DVD drives? Yes, they are cheap, I know.
What cooler do you plan on buying for your CPU? Don't rely on th eboxed coolers if you don't have to. Buy a tray CPU and a seperate cooler.
5th Aug 06, 1:39 PM
ok i have to go look for a diffrent Hard drive thanks for the heads up.
the last time i built a system i used a tower with a built in power supply and it worked fine. How do the offboard power supplys work? how so you get the power lines in the box?
As for the CPU fan i was planning on using the one provided with the CPU but i might be mistaken. Maybe there isnt one coming with it
Any other suggestions?
BTW thanks for the input guys this helps alot!
6th Aug 06, 4:25 AM
How do the offboard power supplys work? how so you get the power lines in the box?
You simply take the old one out and place the new one into it's place :)
The "boxed" CPUs come with a fan (that's the point in the boxed deal)while the "tray" ones come without one - you have to buy your own. The tray ones are a bit cheaper.
My point is that the fan that comes with the boxed CPUs should be enough to keep your CPU cool. Maybe it's simply a matter of personal preferrance, but I don't really like to entrust my CPU to a cooler that was designed just for the CPU specs. I like to have some unused cooling potential that will keep my CPU save during 30°C+ summers as well.
6th Aug 06, 6:31 AM
you want a Geforce card not ATI. ATI suck @$$
6th Aug 06, 6:40 AM
you want a Geforce card not ATI. ATI suck @$$
Unless you're going to back up your assertation with some sort of data or facts, it's nothing more than an opinion. I've run with ATI cards all my life and I've never experianced anything wrong with them and they always stack up well to the nVidea cards my friends have. All you've managed to do with your post is lessen other people's opinion of you and your claims. In other words, if you don't have some sort of evidence, talking like that will only make you look like an idiot.
The way I'm going to go about updating my computer for CoH is this: I will buy the cheapest card I can get away with, say, an ATI X850 and wait until the dx10 cards come out. It just seems to me that it would be an awful shame to spend so much money on a top of the line card that you know will be obsolete in less time than usual.
6th Aug 06, 7:00 AM
What No Surrender said.
6th Aug 06, 7:00 AM
Folks, this is not an ATI vs. Nvidia discussion. Take those kinds of discussions elsewhere please.
6th Aug 06, 7:08 AM
you want a Geforce card not ATI. ATI suck @$$
6th Aug 06, 11:01 AM
ive used ATI all my life and have never had a problem, so untill i have some type of problem i will use ATI for life
6th Aug 06, 11:04 AM
I noticed you're going for a UltraATA hard drive. You should really try for SATA2 hard drives because of the higher transfer rates (up to 3 gigs a second).
6th Aug 06, 11:41 AM
yah ive mae some changes based on some of the suggestions above.
i changed out the hard drive, i got a samsung that runs 3 Gigs a second.
i also changed to a Apevia power supply 520 Watts and a basic case to put the power supply in
6th Aug 06, 12:08 PM
I bought a new GF 7900GT 256MB yesterday.
Picking up a Intel Conroe CPU, a Gigabyte mobo (when its out), DDR2 Ram, HD and DVD-R and Im set.
7th Aug 06, 9:55 PM
Ok, my internet has been down for a couple days so I haven't been able to post. I'm kind of disappointed to see lots of people favoing ATI as their cards are more expensive in terms of the ones that can run CoH. I've found a computer I think will do the job for a decent price, and I'd like opinions on 1. whether or nor it's a decent system for the price. 2. whether or not is has sufficient upgrade potential to remain usable for some time with upgrades as needed.
I would add a monitor (duh) to the base config and upgrade the video card to GeForce 7300 series, other than that I'd prety much leave it at base config to save cash. Opinions?
7th Aug 06, 10:35 PM
I bought myself a laptop, and it handles CoH at 1900x1200 native fine. Game looks amazing.
Dell E1705, 1.8 Core Duo, 2 gig 667 ram from Newegg, 60gig 7200 HD, 17 inch WUXGA 1900x1200 native, Nvidia 7900 GS Go 256meg and Creative sound.
Thing is an absolute beast and I got it for 1290 shipped. Just letting you know that if you like portability, there are other very reasonably priced alternatives out there!
With a mild overclock on stock voltages, I can do 7800 in 3d05 -- bumping up to 1.24volts and a mildly higher OC I can break 8400. These things are really a nice bang for the buck. I run the stock volts simply to keep the heat down, even though it is stationary ( hence the desk top replacement nomenclature ) and on a laptop cooler 90% of the time.
7th Aug 06, 11:26 PM
1290? That's about what I paid for my current POS over a year ago, and it sounds like a huge improvement! Does it handle a CoH 3v3 or 4v4 well? Those are what my friends and I usually play, so I unfortunately need to be able to deal with large maps and lots of units no problem. Still, if what you say is true then I'll have to serioulsy reconsider Dell as an option. That laptop sounds like a better deal than their desktops!
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