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Newbie creating a new budget system

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July 4, 2004 9:11:19 PM

Hello, all.

I am a newbie here and this is my first post. Please let me know if there's a better sub-board here I need to post this request to?

I have grown tired of my old Athlon 1 GHz machine and am thinking about putting together a new system using a few parts from my current machine -- probably just the two 160Mb hard drives, my cable modem, mouse, keyboard, monitor, SCSI scanner, and my two new optical drives (one a CDR, one a DVD-R). My current mobo, RAM, video card, and case all need to be switched out. There over 3 years old now and XP is sluggish despite a new install. In my next machine, I'd like to play with Linux some with a third drive.

Most of the work I do is mainly web surfing/email stuff with some Office and light graphics work. I do a lot of CD burning and lossless music gathering but that's about it other than some database work.

I would like to keep my system under $1,000 and build it all myself, which I am sure I can do.

I was looking at getting an Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe mobo; an AMD Duron Athlon XP 3000+ (400MHz); and an Abit Radeon 9600XT-VIO 256MB DDR 8XAGP graphics card. I was going to place all this with some new Corsair CL2 DDR DIMMs in a new Antec P160 aluminum case. With a new 480W power supply and a Coolermaster Jet 7, this new system was going to cost me about $701 (doesn't include shipping).

Based on what I've decribed above, is there a better configuration you might suggest? I'm sure the system above would be tons faster than the one I have now, but I want to make sure there is some room to grow. I'll keep the new machine at least 2 years (probably 3), and I don't want to be left out when Longhorn, etc. come out and I haven't properly prepared now.

Thanks for any help.

-- Shampoo
a c 435 V Motherboard
July 4, 2004 10:32:45 PM

If you want to keep your system awhile, I'd go with the athlon 64 2800 or 3000 with nforce3 board. Both can be had for about $300. Also be sure to use a name brand power supply such as antec, enermax, or sparkle. Quality is just as important as the wattage rating.
July 5, 2004 1:15:32 PM

Could you recommend a specific motherboard for an Athlon 64 processor? I'd be willing to pay extra for stability. I am not going to overclock.
Related resources
July 5, 2004 2:17:04 PM

A64 mobo suggestions

nForce3 250 based MB :
- Chaintech VNF3-250 (basic board)
- MSI K8N Neo Platinum (load of features)

VIA K8T800 based MB :
- MSI K8T-NEO FSR

Some AnandTech recommendations :
<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2063&p=16" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2063&p=16&lt;/A>

--
It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
July 5, 2004 3:40:12 PM

Thanks, Rod.

Here's is what I am leaning towards right now:

(1) MSI K8T NEO-FIS2R VIA K8T800 CHIPSET ULTRA ATA133 ATX FORM FACTOR 1xAGP(8X)/5xPCI/3xDDR W/SATA RAID,LAN(Gb),USB 2.0 & AUDIO (CPU TYPE:AMD ATHLON 64 - SOCKET 754) Details (AMD ATHLON 64 3000+; COOLERMASTER KK8 7I52A; NO MEMORY)

(2) ANTEC P160 ALUMINUM MID TOWER NO POWER SUPPLY W/ FRONT USB CONNECTOR Details (NO EXTRA FAN; NO POWER SUPPLY)

(3)ABIT RADEON 9600XT-VIO 256MB DDR 8XAGP W/VIVO(VIDEO IN & OUT)

I am now confused about memory. I think I need 512MB. I like the Corsair stuff I have read about.

Also, is the "COOLERMASTER KK8 7I52A" a decent fan for this processor?

Thanks!
July 5, 2004 4:03:02 PM

Personally, I'd rather have an Nforce3 motherboard, but since you don't want to overclock, It should be fine.

Case: probably fine, but don't forget to also get a power supply, plus at least 1 80mm case Fan, preferably 1 intake and 1 exhaust fan.

Graphics: current Gfx cards don't really get any benifit from 256Mb of RAM, but I don't know if they do a VIVO version with 128Mb (assuming you want that functionality of course). Plus you seem to not have any interest in 3d gaming - if this is the case, there's no point in buying that card, you could probably get something that's good for you for a third of the price.

Memory: 512Mb as a minimum for a new system nowadays. 1Gb would be better. If you're not overclocking, and not going Dual channel, then expensive stuff like Corsair is a waste of cash really - something cheaper will do the job happily.

That HSF will be adequate, but isn't the quietest in the universe. You could find something with an 80mm Fan (bigger=quieter on the whole). I'm not familiar enough with S754 Heatsinks to recommend a specific one ATM though.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
July 5, 2004 8:23:02 PM

MB is a good choice since you don't plan to overclock.

Get a 128Megs Video Card, a 256Megs video card is worthless (near 0 performance improvments in most apps./games). And these cards come often with slower RAM to reduce the street price.

For the memory, ChipDeath have a good point. Get omething like Kingston DDR400 or any "cheap" RAM, but check the Memory recommendation for your motherboard on the MSI website before choosing your memory model/maker.

If you buy a BOXED Athlon 64 2800+. You get a very good performing fan that is not very noisy and very effective. Since you will not overclock. You don't need a 3rd party HSF. And you will get a 3 year warranty on your CPU. AMD BOXED CPU's come with this warranty, not the OEM version, only 1 year.

--
It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
July 6, 2004 1:01:27 AM

Well, I'm switching it up a bit. Here's the config. I'm going for now:

(1) MSI nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Athlon 64 Socket 754 CPU, Model "K8N Neo Platinum" (MS-7030) -RETAIL

(2) AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail

(3) OCZ Performance Series Dual Channel Kit 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3500 - Retail

(4) SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL

(5) KINGWIN SILVER All Aluminum 10-Bay Mid tower case, Model "KT-424-S"

(6) Enlight ATX 360W P4 Power Supply, Model "EN-8361934A1" -RETAIL

==

Can you see anything I'm leaving out? Any improvements?

Thanks!
July 6, 2004 1:24:02 AM

Now you're cookin' with gas, DooD! :smile:

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. Now, let's eat!
July 6, 2004 9:25:02 AM

A few points:
a much better video card choice, IMO. a 128Mb 9800Pro will be better than the 256Mb 9600XT. A thing to be careful of is Sapphire make a line of "9800 Pro" cards which actually have 128-bit memory (whereas it should be 256-bit, to match the GPU core), which reduces the performance significantly.

The memory - you <i>don't</i> need a 'Dual-Channel' kit, as that motherboard Can't run in dual channel mode anyway. also if you're not overclocking then anything faster than PC3200 is a waste. You could probably save a lot of money here by just buying 2x512Mb Kingston PC3200 or similar.

I would not be happy about pairing that power supply with those components. It would probably work ok for a while, but as it'll be operating at or near it's peak output constantly, it may well die fairly soon.

I would suggest getting a good brand 400W supply at least. Fortron Source make good supplies for fairly low prices.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
July 6, 2004 11:54:10 AM

It's a good setup. The only thing I will reiterate : If you don't plan to overclock your PC, get a cheaper memory, you don't need PC3500 ram, PC32000 is enough.

PC3500 = DDR433
PC3200 = DDR400

Athlon 64 only need DDR400 RAM at default speed.

--
It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
July 6, 2004 2:55:47 PM

OK. Thank you all for the help!

Here's what I am settling for:

(1) KINGWIN SILVER All Aluminum 10-Bay Mid tower case, Model "KT-424-S"
(2) Fortron Source 400W Power Supply With 12CM Fan, Model "FSP400-60PNU-R1" -RETAIL
(3) MSI nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Athlon 64 Socket 754 CPU, Model "K8N Neo Platinum" (MS-7030) -RETAIL
(4) AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail
(5) Corsair Value Select 184 Pin (2x) 512MB DDR PC-3200 - OEM
(6) SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL

All this overnighted to me for $913. I am pleased.
July 6, 2004 6:35:06 PM

Good! I envy you a bit! My next upgrade will only be in late August or September.

--
It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
July 6, 2004 7:15:13 PM

Looks good to me. Better than my system anyway :frown:
:wink:

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.45 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
July 6, 2004 8:43:21 PM

Would you like a gmail invite? ;->
July 7, 2004 8:38:18 AM

Best offer I've had in a while :smile:

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.45 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
July 7, 2004 12:57:49 PM

Hey, it's free. I won't even make you pay for it...

Email me at jkmoore AT juno DOT com and I'll set you up. I love my account!
July 8, 2004 12:33:31 AM

Rod, the gmail invite is good for you too if you want it.
!