Ask Agent 001

Published Date
01 - Mar - 2008
| Last Updated
01 - Mar - 2008
Ask Agent 001

Dream Come True
Q. I have put together my dream gaming rig after quite a lot of research:
ASUS P5E3 Deluxe, Intel Q6700, Corsair TWIN3X2048-1333C9 G, ASUS GeForce EN8800GT 512MB, Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD321KJ, Lite-On DH-20A3S DVD writer, CoolerMaster eXtreme Power 600W PSU, Antec TX1088AMG cabinet, Logitech G5 Laser mouse, Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. But all this performance comes down to the screen I’m using. Please suggest the one with the best performance in the 20 to 22-inch size category. My budget is Rs 15,000 to 16,000. Also, comment on the above configuration and suggest any improvements.
Reuben “Re. J” James

Firstly, your system is very good, and a true gaming rig—congrats! Secondly, I suggest a 22-inch monitor for that budget. Look at Dell’s E228WFP or BenQ’s FP222W—two of the better panels I’ve come across. If you must go 20-inch then the Dell SP2008WFP is a very good buy.
Reviving An Ancient Rig
I want to buy a new motherboard which supports an old 478-pin Intel Pentium 4 processor, and 512 MB DDR RAM at 333 MHz. I also want a 256 MB graphics card and an SMPS (for gaming) in same budget even if the performance increment is mediocre. Help!
Sumit Lal

An upgrade would still leave you well behind the hardware curve, and enjoying most year-old games would be well beyond your setup. DDR memory is still available, but the price would be around double the price of DDR2 memory, simply because nobody is manufacturing DDR anymore. Assuming your motherboard even has an AGP slot you’re out of luck, unless you manage to find an older GeForce FX5200/5500 or a 6200 graphics card. What I suggest is a complete upgrade after some saving up. Invest in a DDR2-based rig and a Core 2 Duo processor and you’ll be well set for another two years or so. You’ll also have a plethora of powerful and affordable PCIe graphics cards to choose from.

Beyond Onboard
Hi, I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000 Processor with an MSI K9N6GM (NVIDIA GeForce 6100) motherboard, 2 GB of DDR2 800 Mhz RAM and Windows Vista Home Premium. I am not satisfied with the graphics performance. I can’t run games like NFS Pro Street or Call Of Duty 4. Can you please recommend a good NVIDIA GeForce graphics card? My budget is Rs 4,000 to 5,000.
Sumith Mohan

I suggest you save up a bit more and invest in an 8600GT-based card—its performance far surpasses the 8400GS and 8500GT chipsets which are priced around your budget. The 8600GT is a real mid-range offering, unlike the 8400GS and 8500GT which are meant more for powerful HTPCs rather than gaming setups. The ASUS EN8600GT costs around Rs 7,000, and is terrific for the price.

Sight And Sound
I need a PCI Express graphics card, and my budget is Rs 10,000. I am also planning to buy a good set of headphones for Rs 1,000. What can I get for that budget?

For Rs 12,000, you can swing a sweet deal—an 8800GT-based card which will satisfy all your gaming needs. A whole lot cheaper is the 8600GT (Rs 7,000) chipset but this is also around 250 per cent slower. Creative’s EP630 are in-ear  plugs available for Rs 900 and deliver outstanding sound for the price. Among the larger circum-aural sets, the Sennheiser HD201 is available for around Rs 1,400.

I have saved a little bit, and finally want to go for the long-pending dream—my own desktop PC. My budget is about Rs 40,000 (keeping away Rs 5,000 for Windows Vista). This includes everything, literally (what I mean is, the motherboard, processor, graphics card, DVD writer, cabinet, monitor, mouse, keyboard, SMPS, UPS, speakers). My main purpose would be movies and games. Although I know the budget does not suffice for the aforementioned, please suggest whatever you can. I want to play Far Cry, Prince of Persia—The Two Thrones, etc. But, if somehow Crysis runs on it, I’ll be thrilled!
After taking into consideration the Zero1 Awards I have zeroed on the following:
1) Hard Drive—Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320 GB
2) Graphics Card—ASUS EN8600GT
Please, don’t tell me to expand my budget much. The reason is simple, I can’t. Also, I can wait for another month or two if necessary. So, if there is a probable price slash looming ahead…
Koustav Bhattacharya

Rs 40,000 is a good budget, although keeping in mind you also want to buy Vista you’ll have just 35,000. Why not keep your hardware budget at Rs 40,000?

The ASUS EN8600GT is a very good card, and you can’t go wrong there. For the hard drive, I recommend the new Seagate 250 GB 7200.10 series, which is a single-platter drive and costs Rs 2,800 now. It’s a superb buy and is blazingly fast, too.

Agent 001’s Recommendation                                                                        Price

Core 2 Duo E6550
Rs 6,400
Galaxy 650i LT
Rs 4,800
2 x 1 GB Transcend DDR2 667
Rs 2,200
Graphics Card
Rs 7,000
Seagate 7200.10 250 GB—single platter diskRs 2,800
MonitorDell E198WFP 19” LCDRs 11,000
Keyboard mouseLogitechRs 500
CabinetZebronics / VIPRs 2,000
SMPSVIP 500W Rs 2,000

TotalRs 38,700

Agent 001Agent 001

I have a keyboard and I'm not afraid to use it, because I have a license to quill.