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What system should I buy to run Civ IV?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by I_batman, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. I_batman

    I_batman Emperor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    markham, ontario
    OK, after finally managing to get Civ IV installed, it promptly locked up my entire machine as soon as I try to play the first turn in the tutorial.
    This was to be expected, as the graphics card is a Radeon 9000 Mobility, 64 MB, and this is my laptop.

    So I am going out this afternoon computer shoppping.
    I have a few things in mind, such as:
    2GB high end memory.
    Minimum 256Mb on Video card.
    But what are other things I should be looking for?

    Any suggestions on a reliable video card?
    How about processor and chip set, motherboard, etc...

    I have not purchased a computer for many, many years, since my laptop is work-provided.
    Hence I am way out of date on what I should be looking at.

    I do want somthing that I will be able to use with other games, but more importantly, I want to get into the guts of the code when they release the SDK, so I want a powerful machine.

    One comp guy is suggesting twin processors, running at 2 GHZ apiece.
    Apparently this is faster than a P4 running at 3.2 GHZ

    Comments?
     
  2. doronron

    doronron King

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    I think you're going in the right direction. Check out Newegg or Pricewatch, though. They're likely to get you good prices for a machine-wide upgrade.
     
  3. WillemIV

    WillemIV Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
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    computer: http://global.shuttle.com/Product/Barebone/SN25P.asp

    You must build them for a small part but you can use your own choosen hardware inside. (very easy to build yourself). Motherboard, wiring, powersuplly are already inside so you only have to put the other parts inside and it's got a good instruction book so no worries, it's easy. And there is a cpu cooler included with the system. You can also buy them with the parts inside but you pay more but thrust me it's easy to do it yourself.

    processor: amd X2 3800+ (other X2 are to expensive )
    memory: ( just get cheap brand 2 gig, speed improvment with high end memory is like 2-4% difference in your fps so no need to spend more money on it).

    Videocard: 7800GTX (GTX are silent also which is importand with this computer since it's standing on your desk mostly). The GT version is more noisy... otherwise i would take the GT version since 480-500$ is allot of money ofcourse for a videocard.

    Harddisk: Samsung SpinPoint P120 250 GB, 7200 Rpm, 8 MB, Serial ATA II/300.
    Or get 2 :) Or the 500 GB from Seagate if you need space.
     
  4. arcan

    arcan Warlord

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    for the twin processor, it has its advantage. But don't take an intel one. I saw tests and intel did very, very poorly...
     
  5. Candia_Fireman

    Candia_Fireman Chieftain

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    Location:
    Candia, NH
    I went out about a week ago to best buy (I don't know if they are in your area) and purchased a Gateway computer for $800 (GT5012 desktop).

    I got a Intel Dual-Core processer @ 2.8 GHz each
    1GB Ram
    -I did buy a video card for it right off the bat. I bought a VisionTek XSTASY/ATI Radeon X300SE, 256 MB PCI-Express for $99.

    With this system config civ 4 runs excellent! Plus, if you sign up for Best Buy's Reward Zone, you'll get about $30-$40 back in gift certificates.
     
  6. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox Fleet Admiral

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    Location:
    Las Vegas USA
    Civ4 will chug on any PC you play it on if your into the largest maps with a good number of races to play against. They need to patch this game ASAP it has some real bad quirks. Overall it is a great sequel, though it is almost exactly like Call to Power 2.
     
  7. I_batman

    I_batman Emperor

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    Thanks for the input. One thing I know is I need a powerful processor to handle some of the huge maps I love to play in Civ III and hopefully Civ IV.
    I am talking about maps 362 x 340.
     
  8. xguild

    xguild Chieftain

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    Personally I have always been an Alienware super fanboy. Quite frankly, they make the best PC's unless you know how to do it yourself, which is actually the cheapest and often the best way to buy a new PC (more control). Avoid DELLS at all costs (they are not gaming PC's, not matter what they say) and they are very "un-upgradable". Gateway's are way over priced, and I would avoid "electronic stores" like Best Buy or Fry's Electronics. Purchasing a PC online is a risky business, obviously because if you have any problems you'll be shipping crap back and forth and it will take months for you to get issues resolved if you have any.

    Alienwares are reasonably priced (although slightly over market for similiar software) but you get one thing you don't get with any other PC company. Support. Not just in terms of "my pc is not working", but you can actually call them and tell them, hey I installed Civ 4 on my PC and I'm getting this error and you won't get a "contact the software vendor" reply. They are a gaming company and they will help you get your games working. More importantly the PC's carry warranties on overclocked chips and they don't bust your balls about upgrading, meaning your warranty won't expire just because you popped in some more memory a year from now.

    Website - http://www.alienware.com/Product_Pages/desktop_all_default.aspx

    It's by far the best company and most reliable PC I've ever had and I strongly recommend it.
     
  9. TheDervish

    TheDervish Scion of the Achaemenids

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    I'll vouch for that. My Dell needs a new videocard and I can't get a new videocard in all likelihood without a new power source, and I've been told my power source can't be updated since the Dell is situated in such a way that I'd be very VERY hard pressed to find a replacement that will work.

    I am sick of Dell, but Alienware is a bit above my price range for what I need. I'd love to learn how to build my own PC.
     
  10. oopsy poopsy

    oopsy poopsy Warlord

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    Well, I don't believe that two 2GHZ run faster then one 3.2GHZ for 99% of the applications out there. Also, 256 vs. 128 on your videocard isn't as important as the gpu and the architecture on it. Again with the high end RAM, if you're going premium, make sure your board supports it. Personally, 400MHZ PC3200 (DDR2) seems like the best value vs. performance to me. I've seen ads for RAM specifically selected for dual channel (again if you get a board supporting dual channel), which if it actually helps might be worth it, but I don't know anything about that. IMO, you could buy the top of the line computer from a year ago for about $1500 or $5000 on a top of the line computer right now. The difference for me is in two years another $1500 will do the same thing and be a better machine then the $5000 one and the type of person that can and wants to pay for a $5000 dollar machine will probably do the same thing again in another 2 years instead of 3.
     
  11. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    Just get yourself some parts and go to it then, it's not that difficult. It's a bit intimidating at first, but once you get into it you realize that almost every wire and component slot will only work with what it's intended for. It's almost idiot proof if you don't try to take the square peg in a round hole approach. I've rebuilt my system a couple of times now, and all it takes is a few hours of my time. The worse part of building a system is going to be getting your software configured properly. That can sometimes take some fiddling, and a few choice words here and there.
     
  12. Fredric Drum

    Fredric Drum Civilizator

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    I think we need to know what kind of budget you're on and if you want to buy a complete PC or parts to put together yourself. :)
     
  13. Isildurs Heir

    Isildurs Heir Chieftain

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  14. Fredric Drum

    Fredric Drum Civilizator

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    Yes, building your own PC is definitely enjoyable and not too hard :) Just stick to the manuals!
     
  15. spymonkey

    spymonkey Chieftain

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    A 2GHz AMD64 will likely beat the pants off of a 3.2 P4, regardless of how many cores it has :)
     
  16. Exile_Ian

    Exile_Ian Warlord

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    Obviously the fastest CPU you can afford is a good start. 1GB Ram (MINIMUM). I also went for Alienware this time round (being a faithful Dell buyer in the past - I agree its a little harder to upgrade Dells, but I've always been happy with mine). Any new PC will probably offer PCI-Express for Video card - I went for the ATI X600 (couldn't afford an X800) - Civ 4 worked right out of the box for me and so far seems problem-free.
     
  17. NoBull6

    NoBull6 Chieftain

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    I doubt Civ has been designed to take advantage of dual cores, so you'll be better off running a single-core chip than a dual core. AMD, in this case, would be better than an Intel.

    Building your own isn't bad. I tried it for the first time about 9 months ago, and have since built two more for other members of the family. It's really easy to put it all together, and quite a learning experience. You become your own tech support, which is easier and more reliable than anyone else out there ;-)
     
  18. Knavery

    Knavery Chieftain

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    Do not buy Best Buy. That is one of the worst options you can do. Build your own machine and stay away from the proprietery stuff. It may work for those that don't build their own machines, but you can stay away from their pimple-faced salesman that try to explain things they have no knowledge of by simply buying your own parts. Not to mention those lame-ass, crooked warranties they try to sell you.
     
  19. Little Raven

    Little Raven On Walkabout

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    Very few games are being written to take advantage of duel processors. I would be wary of going that route. You've got the right idea on memory and graphics card

    Just make sure you get a SATA or SATA II hard drive. The difference is...impressive.
     
  20. WillemIV

    WillemIV Chieftain

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    The good thing about going duel is that you can do allot of things on the same time. Normally when your cpu is for 99% busy the whole system slows down and when you got 2 (dual) cpu's you don't notice it. So that is for me the biggest advantage.
     

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