Rate my system

April 22, 2008 at 14:43:09
Specs: XP, -
Hi guys, I just bought a custom built PC from the Cougar Systems website and wanted to know what you guys thought of it. Im hoping to be able to run games like battlefield 2, COD 4 etc........its a budget option, and i know it wont deliver the best performance on games like these, but at least if it can run them adequately ill be happy :)

here are the specs:

Processor - Sempron athlon 2.6GHz L2 1024k cache
RAM - 2GB Kingston DDR2 667
HD - 80GB SATA Hard Drive
Video Card - 1024Mb 8500GT Nvidia DDR DVI
Motherboard - AM2 - MSI K9VGM-V 2XDIMM / DDR2 800
O/S - Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Inc SP2


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April 22, 2008 at 15:25:39
Processor - 2.6GHz Sempron? It's either not a Sempron or it doesn't run at 2.6GHz. Better check again.

RAM - should be DDR2-800.

HDD - small.

Video card - weak, not a good gaming card. 1024MB? are you sure that's right? That much memory is useless on that card.

Motherboard - cheap budget board based on VIA chipset.

O/S - acceptable, I guess.

Not a very good gaming rig. I'm fairly sure you paid too much for it.


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April 22, 2008 at 16:05:28
cheers jam, i agree with a lot of that stuff, i only paid £400 for it, but could have done it cheaper if i wasnt too lazy to get off my ass and hustle for some better parts, but oh well..

also, what do you mean 'should be DDR2 800'? did i type it out wrong? is that memory not compatible with the motherboard? or is DDR2 800 just better?

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April 22, 2008 at 16:36:28

-Semprons/single core Athlons (which is it?) aren't the greatest gaming processors. Newer games and video card drivers take advantage of dual-core CPUs. Try for a cheap Athlon 64 X2 processor.

-The 8500GT is more of an HTPC card than it is a gaming card. You'll need an 8600GT for barely acceptable performance, but you'll want an HD3850 or 9600GT for buttery smoothness at higher resolutions. The 9600GT was recently selling for just $99 (I believe this was at Tiger Direct).

-You'll want a larger hard drive. I downloaded Unreal Tournament 3 a few nights ago, which gobbled up 9GB of space. Aim for at least 250GB. Hard drives are cheap! A 250 probably wouldn't cost much more than an 80.

-Everything else looks acceptable for a budget gaming system. While a chipset by DAAMIT or NVIDIA would be nice, it is not a must, unlike the other upgrades I've mentioned.

The creme de la creme of Socket 939:
Opty 185 @ 3.2GHz
SLI'ed GTS-640s, both flashed to 625/1458/1950
4GB PC3200
Blu-Ray/HD-DVD, X-Fi
A8N32-SLI Deluxe
3DMark06: 13896

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April 22, 2008 at 16:39:27
You need to correct what you wrote. As far as I know, there is no Sempron that runs at 2.6GHz & a Sempron definitely does NOT have 1024k L2 cache. DDR2-667 will bottleneck the system, you should have gotten DDR2-800. I didn't see an 8500GT w/1024MB listed on the site you mentioned, but even so, the 8500GT was a poor choice. I know pricing is different in the UK, but £400 is about $800 US & for that kinda money, you can build a kicka$$ gaming machine.

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April 22, 2008 at 17:18:49
nice one boys, thanks for takin the time...starting to regret my decision a little but oh well, ive been stuck with an acer laptop just about capable of running COD 1 up till now so i doubt ill be too disappointed.

In some respects i fell into the trap of just wanting everything there, sorted and ready to use, as opposed to going the more cost-effective route of building the PC myself, anything close to a proper gaming video card would have put the price i paid up by £80($160) and DDR2-800 RAM sticks would have bumped it up a further £80.

oh and by the way, I bought it from http://www.cougar-extreme.co.uk (more specifically http://www.cougar-extreme.co.uk/com... )... you'll find all the components i mentioned there..

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April 22, 2008 at 17:35:42
ok, ok, just checked the cougar site again, and i misread it, i can go for the DDR2-800 memory and a 512mb 8600GT for only a little over the price i originally was paying....ill call them in the morning :P

new question.. 512mb 8600GT or 256mb 8600GT supporting DX10??

oh yeh, and its an athlon processor, not a sempron..

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April 22, 2008 at 18:04:50
Athlon > Sempron.

i have the 8600GT 512MB and it's running with no problems whatsoever.

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April 22, 2008 at 18:38:53
Both 512mb 8600GT and 256mb 8600GT all support DX10. And as far as I know their prices are quite good now, a deal on the EVGA GeForce 8600GT 256MB is $50.

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April 22, 2008 at 18:49:09
Make sure the video card uses GDDR3 memory, not GDDR2.

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April 23, 2008 at 08:26:43
does that include the 17 inch Hanns Star Monitor in the price? if not ring up cougar and hustle them there are better rigs out there for that price tell them to match parts / spec at least ask for a cancelation if they wont & want a restocking fee pay it & go else where if they want to argue.
you did pay on credit card didnt you?
top processor version

and a bit more in price but probably worth it
9600gt version

'budget' and 'game pc' just dont do it, your already upgrading, i see them all the time at pc fairs ppl asking can i upgrade my last upgrade.

listen to jam & jack, post 3 n 4.

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April 23, 2008 at 09:20:53
yeh £400 is with the monitor and with xp installed, phoned them up this morning and changed to the 512mb 8600GT and the 2gb DDR2-800 RAM.

Im pretty happy with that, im not exactly a full on gamer, all i want is to be able to run the latest games with some degree of smoothness, nothing special.

I would consider a dual processor, but im now paying just over £400 when originally i wanted to spend no more than £300, so im spending too much as it is...meaning my car will have to wait another month or so for her new tyres.

Really appreciate the help by the way guys, at least my overspending has been done more wisely now..

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April 24, 2008 at 07:20:18
OK sorted, I called up cougar and managed to husstle a dual amd athlon 4600 out of them for the same price as i was paying for the setup with the 2.6 ghz single athlon.

so here are the new specs:
AMD Athlon 64X2 4600+
2GB Corsair DDR2-800
nVidia 8600GT 512mb

with all the initially mentioned HDD, motherboard etc., 17" monitor, keyboard&mouse and win XP home SP2 installed

all for £412(roughly $824)

Thanks to you kind folks and your advice, im one happy bunny

...but not a bunny, something manly..

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April 24, 2008 at 14:07:25
nice 1!

dont get done get Dom etc lol
was worth a phone call.


now your tyres m8 as the plod will ave u lol

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