I've been holding off upgrading my comp (PII, 450mhz) for years, but whenever I got the urge to invest in a new machine, these boards were my favorite place to look for opinions. Now I'm definately upgrading, and doing a homebuild. This will be primarily for gaming, but also multitasking, CAD/Mastercam and web design. I am trying to future-proof it as much as possible, and want to upgrade to dual GPUs in the future. I was attempting to keep my budget near the $2000 range, and hope to order before the end of the month.
After much research I picked these components and found them at various places for the prices listed, including shipping and tax. I would appreciate opinions on what I've selected, and advice on anything else I might need when it comes time to put it together.
CPU: Athlon64 X2 4200+ Manchester - $400
GPU: Gigabyte 7800 GT with Zalman heatsink/fan - $308
I know you good people of the THG forums respond to so many of these, but for us first time builders, the personal advice helps make spending our cash not seems so random. Thoughts and comments are appreciated!
Thanks everyone. I looked at the Abit AN8 SLI and AN8 Fatal1ty again, and I like the functionality of that additional u-guru control panel feature, but I still feel I'd rather not overclock. My main concern is that the MOBO be stable, I don't like to troubleshoot my computers too much. If there are no other suggestions, I will probably be ordering early next week.
What is the actual difference between the KN8 and the AN8? I am totally open to changing my planned MOBO if I knew why one was superior to the other. I simply couldn't see a difference besides the price, the ability to use the u-guru control panel, the placement of the audio ports, and a different cooling configuration. None of this seemed inherently "better" to me, since I don't intend to OC. If the cooling was better on the AN8 that would probably be enough to influence me. - I know the cooling on the Fatal1ty must be superior, but not worth +$100 to me. Better cooling for +$30 though, might be worth it. Is there something else I'm missing?
From the reviews I've read, the eVGA 7800 GT is factory overclocked but isn't all that stable? Getting a few extra fps at the expense of stability doesn't seem worth it to me, although most of my feelings of this might be based on newegg reviews. Toms Hardware recommended the Zalman cooled Gigabyte in a review posted on 12/9, although admittedly, the eVGA model was not in the test and review. I'm sure alot of people use the eVGA and are totally happy - I've been seduced by the sexiness of the Zalman fan though, and its supposed quieter, cooler operation. Again though, I am happy to be convinced otherwise, since I am a newbie at all this.