New Box, need some advice

Ok im been searching this forum for info on different hardware and im finally giving up and just posting.

I am currently looking to build a new desktop but I havent been paying attention to hardware in about a year. I will be using the computer mainly for games and 3d work.

I am currently stuck on where to go between Intel or AMD. In the past I would have gone straight to Intel due to reliability. I really dont want to go out and drop a load of cash and not have the thing work.

Connected to that is which main board to look at. If I go intel i will be getting an intel board. Iv never had a problem with them before. But with the AMD I was looking at Nforce4 boards. Here the question is whats the deal with PCI express, and does the Nforce chip give some advantages to graphics processing. Or are there better main boards for AMD chips

Last of coarse is graphics, but really, I feel that once i figure out where to go on the first 2 choices graphics will be easier.

Money is not a big concern to a point, but I really want a system that I can use for awhile.

24 answers Last reply
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  1. "Money is not a big concern to a point"
    What's the point that it is a concern?

    Are you building from the ground up (case, HSF, hdd, etc) or will you be using some components from current system?

    There is a lot of debate right now on the best route for upgrade, but there is a cosensus that AMD has the best CPUs for gaming.

    IMHO, for long term upgradeability I think you'll be better with a 939 socket MB with the non-SLI NF4 chipset. Non-SLI will save you money on the MB which you can spend on getting a better video card. PCI Express (PCIe) appears to be the future standard for video cards. There are still plenty of great options for AGP cards right now, but for future upgrades the AGP cards may not keep up with performance advances of the PCIe cards.

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  2. Well spending to a point means that I can spend around 3k and would not like to go to 5k. I really want a nice machine. Iv been with a laptop for the past few years and miss the power you can get out of a desktop.

    Im building from the ground up. All new hardware. So it could be really fun, kinda like christmas.

    I wasnt really looking into SLI, yes its a really nice idea, but i dont think its guna give what it should for a year or two.

  3. You can build a helluva rig for $3K! This system will be a LOT of fun to build and run! Here are soem ideas on parts (All from and are in USD):
    Case: Lian Li model# PC-V1200B, $206
    PSU: Forton Blue Storm model# AX500-A, $89
    CPU: AMD A64 3500+, Winchester core, $297
    Mobo: Chaintech VNF4/Ultra $129
    Video Card: PNY 6800 Ultra model# VCG6800UAWB $499
    Memory: 2X512MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000 Model# BL6464Z505, $254.52
    DVD/RW: LG Electronics Model# GSA-4163BI $76.50
    HDD: 2X74GB WD Raptor, $359.78
    LCD monitor: Don't have a recommendation here - anyone else?
    HSF: Anyone else have good recommendation?

    Without the monitor, HSF, keyboard, mouse this only takes you to $1910.80. You could probably go SLI with dual 6800 Ultras and not bust the $3K by too far.

    Have fun with this project!

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  4. Oh i so am, I so am. Im nearly tingling =)

  5. Now why would I go for an AMD chip thats older then the new ones. Just wondering since there are FX 55 out there.

  6. That's a huge jump in price. You'd get more bang from your gaming buck by going SLI w/dual 6800 Ultras...

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  7. depending of the game, he might see some improvement from SLI or not at all, as profil for each game have to be programmed in drivers in order to run in SLI mode. As of yet, according to HardOCP website, only 8 games benefit from SLI. The others don't.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  8. there is not really older chip..but theur rather become more performing and mor expensive... less performing chip (older) often cost less and offer better performance/price ratio

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  9. Im going to let everyone else make suggestions on the other parts, but the one that you should take more seriously than any other is the Power Supply! It took me a long time to catch on to this, but this is one of if not the most critical peice of equipment that your system requires. It will not run stable if you dont have enough juice and a PSU that runs stable itself. Since your building a new rig, and may expand in the future, consider one that is at least 450W. I would look for one that is 500W or better. The most improtant factor to consider when buying a PSU is the brand. There are a ton of generics that are nothing but trash. Just becasue one says that it is a 450W PSU doesnt mean that it will actuallyput out that kind fo juice. Here are some of the better brands. Thermaltake, Antec, Enenermax, Sparkle, Fortron Source. There are others, but make sure you ask around and get plenty of suggestions. If you want a quality PSU, you will probably have to pay $60.00 - $120.00. These numbers should give you a general idea.
  10. Totally agree with Moz - that's why I suggested this PSU:
    PSU: Forton Blue Storm model# AX500-A, $89

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  11. Well what if I went with an SLI board and just got 1 6800, then waited for the prices to drop. That way I would have a nice way to upgrade in the future.

    The really question is, how stable are the SLI boards. Like I said before I want something that works. But if it does, then when I do end up getting a 2nd graphics card the drivers should be better as well as the programs to use it.

  12. Look at the numbers:
    SLI upgrade
    1. Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI = $249
    2. eVGA 6800 Ultra = $499
    Total = $748

    Non-SLI Upgrade:
    Sapphire X800XT = $455.50
    Chaintech VNF4 Ultra = $129
    Total = $584.50

    The non-SLI X800XT easily beats the 6800 and is not far behind the SLI with dual 6800 Ultras. Additionally, in order for a game to take advantage of the SLI capability there has to be special code in the program - that code isn't in most of today's games.

    Summary: You'll take a punch in the wallet and gaming performance today for going the SLI route vice the non-SLI. THG review of the 939 boards did say that the SLI boards performed well. When you look at the SLI compared to the non-SLI NF4 boards they are comparable in performance. I personally think the best route is going non-SLI. It gives you the best performance NOW. If you have the money to burn and want to stay on the bleeding edge longer, then you may want to go the 6800 Ultra route. In the end it's a personal decision based on what you think need/want. Just go into it realizing that you will pay thru the nose for what you get. JMHO.

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Rugger on 01/26/05 07:42 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  13. I don't post much, but I figured I'd add some info since I just ordered some stuff recently. I picked up the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe board for $191, an AMD 64 3000+ retail for $146, and a XFX 6600GT PCIe for $180. I haven't recieved em yet as I only ordered a couple of days ago, but that setup is a good starter on SLI and isn't expensive.

    If you do anything, make sure you get a good PSU like everyone else has said. On top of that, check on HOW the PSU is setup with those new 6xxx series geforces. My friend has one and he was crashing alot playing games, but has an Antec 430 PSU which is plenty. Turns out that he is stable only after he put a dedicated power cable to the vid card, nothing else attached on it as that card draws quite a bit of power.

    The other thing is - get a board that you can really grow into. If your going AMD, consider a SLI board. Yeah, you can do the hardware hack with the Ultra and from what I've read that works, but there is no telling what Nvidia might do in the future to render that useless.

    Lastly, dual-core is slated to come out by the end of the year and by all accounts, it'll be at least implented on the 939 package. And when any new chip design comes it, the other prices fall. I'd get something now that will work well, but that can also be upgraded by the end of the year when the bargains hit. The FX's may not drop much, but the higher 64's should.

    Obviously, you'll never stay ahead of the technology game when it comes to building PC's, but you can get away with some planning ahead. 3k now can get you a nice setup. 3k at the end of the year...

    Just my 2c

  14. Forgot to add this. It seems that it's possible to write your own profiles for SLI support in games that Nvidia hasn't gotten to yet. Keep in mind that a profile isn't the same as a driver. I highly doubt that Nvidia needs to release a new driver for every new game that comes out. Better support for a game maybe, but not new functionality as a whole.

  15. Before you go with SLI take a look in the Graphics card section. Not the first three post, but some of the general ones under the first three. Anytime you see the user THE GREATGRAPEAPE check out what he says. He knows his stuff when it comes to graphics and he is very unbiased in my opinion.
  16. Thanks for all the posts.

    As far as the dual core is concerned....Are you saying that there are motherboards out now that should support it, and to get one of those so that it will be usable when the new chips come.

    The 2nd thing im really wondering is do the Nforce boards do anything with your graphics. As in do the make your system run smoother.

    Thanks again.

  17. I've read that dual core AMD will require new socket and ddr2 memory, so none of the board today will support it. Unless they release a 939 dual core, you'll have to buy all new. 2 CPU on one chip will need a lot of memory bandwidth to perform well. Dual channel may already have the necessary bandwidth, but dual core will probably need a redesign of the memory controller to have both core to be able to share it efficiently. And, as it is on the cpu(for AMD64 cpu), my bet is that they will go right for DDR2, as it will be the next standard.

    If I was AMD, that's what I'll do.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  18. Whats with the math?
  19. I was using a higher governmental math - the ones they use to figure ut how much taxes you have to pay.... :wink:

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  20. Does it also work the other way around?
  21. It's not open source math and I haven't been able to reverse-engineer it to my benefit.

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  22. Quote:
    I was using a higher governmental math - the ones they use to figure ut how much taxes you have to pay....


    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  23. Quote:
    Whats with the math?

    LMAO! Good job tweebel! Give him hell about those numbers :smile:

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  24. Yeah, it's like he said, government tax maths..
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