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Finally building a BIG-BOY!

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January 17, 2006 6:21:37 PM

Hey guys I am finally building a new computer for myself. Just playing games, burning DVDs and basic application things. I have been building systems for about 8 years now and want to know what ya'll think about my choices for my budget. I dont want to spend anything over $1,500. So here we go!

Case - Black Antec case from previous built system

PS - ANTEC TPII550EPS12V TRUEPOWER 2.0 550W - $95

MoBo - DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-D - $159

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 3700+ Socket 939 San Diego - $223

Memory - OCZ 1gb 184-Pin DDR 400 System Memory - $93

Sound - On Board

Hard Drive - Western Digital Raptor 74gb SATA - $153

Video Card - XFX Geforce 6800GS - $195 or BFG Tech GeForce 6800 256mb OC - $254

DVD Burner - Pioner Black DVR-110 D - $40

Monitor - ViewSonic E90FB 19" CRT Monitor - $205

Floppy - NOT NEEDED

I/O - Keyboard / Mouse / WiFi Card already have

OS - Windows XP Pro already have


Let me know what ya'll think. I dont know which Video Card to get so Input on that would be great also. Thanks!

- Dave

More about : finally building big boy

January 17, 2006 6:33:33 PM

I just put together a system for similar usage with a similar budget (though mine is a bit smaller, although I already have a monitor, which pretty much balances our budgets). I did a lot of research about each part and I'm pretty confident now that the build is gonna last a long time and not dissapoint.

Check it out here:
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/spend-1100-hehe...
January 17, 2006 7:05:28 PM

haha thats funny i read that before I posted to this forum. Yeah looks good, why did you choose that MOBO? where is a review of it? No SLI
Related resources
January 17, 2006 7:21:16 PM

Quote:
haha thats funny i read that before I posted to this forum. Yeah looks good, why did you choose that MOBO? where is a review of it? No SLI
_________________
*Toshiba P25-S477*

- P4 2.4ghz w/ HT
- 1gb Memory
- 60gb 54,000 HD (that is one fast spinning hard drive)
- GeForce FX 5200GO
- 17" Active Matrix WideScreen
January 17, 2006 8:41:32 PM

I would change the crt to a tft, honestly your eyes will thank you for it. You will need a storage hard drive. And i would strongly recomend a creative x-fi sound card.
January 17, 2006 8:59:58 PM

Quote:
I would change the crt to a tft, honestly your eyes will thank you for it. You will need a storage hard drive. And i would strongly recomend a creative x-fi sound card.


yeah I was thinking about that. Maybe I will get a Samsung 19" LCD. I do graphic work all day and my 22" CRT is taking a tole on me. I have never used up the space on my 60gb hard-drive. Usually I will just format my computer for "fun" i know, i know.. nerd alert. I want a fast HD and if I need the extra storge later on.. I will just get a 2nd SATA hd. 100+gbs.

I dont really care about sound. I usually ware head-phones all the time anyways. I can hear the music and games better. I have horrible speakers any ways. but i hear *no pun intended* that the ON BOARD SOUND is pretty good.

Thanks for the input.

So I should get the 6800GS? how does that compare to the 7800GT?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2006 9:28:21 PM

I too used to think sound cards dont matter but then i got a soundblaster audigy and there is a huge diffrence and iv heard theres a conciderable diffrence between the first and second audigy and im sure the x-fi is even (or alot) better - dont skimp out on the sound.
January 17, 2006 9:35:36 PM

how is that a big boy?
LOLOL
January 17, 2006 9:44:44 PM

Quote:
how is that a big boy?
LOLOL


because you see the system specs I am running on now. or are your eyes to slanted?
January 18, 2006 1:05:18 AM

my interpretation of big boy is
7800 GTX
Athlon 4000 or 4800+
January 18, 2006 1:22:31 AM

Quote:
I too used to think sound cards dont matter but then i got a soundblaster audigy and there is a huge diffrence and iv heard theres a conciderable diffrence between the first and second audigy and im sure the x-fi is even (or alot) better - dont skimp out on the sound.

Well honestly, I own both a creative x-fi Xtreme music soundcard, and an Audigy 2 ZS. I notice no difference in sound quality between the two. Although the X-Fi has a lot more recording and audio creation options.
January 18, 2006 8:45:28 AM

You could ditch the motherboard and get a free one with the purchase of an eVGA 7800GT from www.tigerdirect.com or www.zipzoomfly.com

The free eVGA board is pretty nice, I use one for most of my benchmarking.

The card cost $100 more, but you save more than that by getting the free board, and you end up with a more powerful gaming system in the process.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2006 9:15:06 AM

With both speakers and earphones i notice a huge diffrence between onboard vs audigy.

A good example i found was the Intro for Unreal Tournament 2004 - the nvidia logo - onboard and generic sound chips/cards will distort the bass (or atleast with my speakers) where as even an old SoundBlaster 128 pci sound card held the bass and rumbled deeper and louder and sounded by far better.

I once had an old Soltek SL85DR2 motherboard with onboard realtek ALC650 and for some reason all games would slow down (battlefield 1942 would run on minimum and skip where as with a new sound card it ran at max with better frame rates, even a P3 550 ran it better) - onboard sound slows down games by ~10% but for my system it was more like 70% and thats when i bought an audigy (after first experimenting with a CMedia CMI8738 and seeing the performance gain and even that card had better quality then the Realtek ALC650).
January 18, 2006 11:01:33 AM

There should be a GeForce 7800 'GS' on the market soon, esp since the new 80 nm GPU manufacturing process is being used by nVidia and ATI as an intermediate between the 110 - 90 nm ---> ( 80 nm ) ---> 65 nm transition.

It'll perform above the 6800 GT/GS and finally lay the GeForce 6000 series to rest from a cost effective perspective.

Sure a single 74 GB Raptor is enough though ?

Also you'd want 2 x 512 MB PC3200, vs 1 x 1024 MB. That way you get the benefit of Dual Channel memory, which will raise performance esp when paired with the Athlon 64 (S939) you've selected. - You're prob already planning this, but no-one else mentioned it above so thought I'd point it out as a gentle reminder.

PS: That Antec 550 W PSU is total overkill for a system with only 1 CPU (be it dual core or not) and only 1 video card. EPS12V PSUs are mostly for servers. You could get a Antec SmartPower or TruePower 400 W ATX12V. (Not the EPS12V varient though, unless you feel the need for a later upgrade or something ?... It is backwards compatible with ATX12V but stood out when paired with your other selections.)
January 18, 2006 11:57:48 AM

If I were building a system on a tight budget and planned to spend a bit more in a few months, I'd go with one 1GB module now and add another in a few months. The performance loss to single channel isn't THAT bad.
January 18, 2006 2:11:37 PM

Quote:


PS: That Antec 550 W PSU is total overkill for a system with only 1 CPU (be it dual core or not) and only 1 video card. EPS12V PSUs are mostly for servers. You could get a Antec SmartPower or TruePower 400 W ATX12V. (Not the EPS12V varient though, unless you feel the need for a later upgrade or something ?... It is backwards compatible with ATX12V but stood out when paired with your other selections.)


I would want to put SLI later on down the road, so what power supply Wattage should I get? 500 would be safe? I will add another 1gb memory module later down the road.

What ya'll think?
January 18, 2006 6:11:42 PM

does a PS with the ability for SLI have to have an extra 6pin power cable? I need a reliable PS with 450w and the ability for SLI... grrr
January 19, 2006 5:20:07 AM

You can add a PCI-Express supplemental graphics power SPLITTER cable. Yes, they make those. Antec even included them with certain power supplies. And you can buy them cheaply.
January 19, 2006 5:57:18 AM

This LCD is less than the CRT you had selected. 90.00 rebate, but hey - it's money no matter how slow! I've been going crazy over this thing.

Fujiplus FP-988D Silver-Black 19" 12ms LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 600:1 0.264mm Pixel Pitch - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Oh, and don't forget the shipping. I'm going to add up the shipping costs on your parts for you if you haven't already.
January 19, 2006 6:11:20 AM

Couldn't find any shipping for the power supply so I'll just tab on 5$.

Total shipping comes to 59.13.

Total cost is 1163 with the 6800GS. With shipping that makes 1222.13

You said 1500, so you might consider a 7800GT or GTX (I forget their current price but it should fit close). Remember, one 7800GT whoops any SLI setup that doesn't include the number 7800. If the price has dropped and you can find one, the 7800GTX 512MB would be great. Then you can just wait 6 months and throw another on for cheap. One of those things can handle quite a bit.
January 19, 2006 12:16:38 PM

Yeah that monitor has a 12ms, I am looking for 8ms. Maybe I can stick with a 17" CRT till I can get a Dell 24" Widescreen.
January 19, 2006 1:43:46 PM

Ok, I have been doing tons of research myself in finding the right parts for a computer. I too have decided on the AMD Athlon 3700+, and just found on newegg.com a $10 saving bundle if you get a Lite-On Optical Drive here. I have read really good things about Lite-On besides them being very well priced.

I agree with some of the the other posters--don't get the raptor. Although the 10,000rpm is nice, it costs way too much, and generates a bit more heat which might or might not affect your computer. I am coming from an old crappy Dell and have lived with a 40gb HD, and am planning for the future by getting the Western Digital 250gb HD with a 16MB cache, which is somehting like $107, cheaper and much larger than the raptor, Save your money to upgrade your graphics card or something like that.

I have read good things about your motherboard, but you can get good SLIs for cheaper, like the EPoX 9NPA+ SLI mobo for $137, which I have read excellent things about. Just look around, spending more money on some of this hardware won't necessarily get you a noticably better rig.

My two cents. Good luck. Oh, also, go with somehting like a Dell LCD ultrasharp monitor--looks cool, less eye strain, saves desk space, and is just as good for everything else than your CRT, you would be happy once you got it.
January 19, 2006 2:57:42 PM

I put the EPoX into consideration, but I have not heard anything but good things about the DFI.

I dont trust Lite-On, I have had some problems with them before.

As for the Raptor... I really dont think I will ever use 200GBs of data. I really dont think i need that much space. I have read awesome things about the 74gb Raptor and its speed. If I come into problems with that size of the raptor I will most likely just buy another one and SATA it up.

I was looking at the new Raptor 150gb but too much money for that one.

I also was looking at the 20.1 inch Dell widscreen.. but man o man i think I need a lower refresh rate than 12ms or 25ms. 8ms is what I am looking for.
January 20, 2006 3:45:56 AM

Call me a noob, but what would a 12ms refresh rate do? The best buy guy told me high refresh rates can cause 'ghosting'?

Esplain
January 20, 2006 3:53:40 AM

Actually it's latency, the opposite of refresh rate in a way. High latency causes the pixels to change more slowly, which means the image doesn't move as fast as the eye perceives it. Say you move 8 pixels to the right, you'll see the new image appear while a ghost of that image in the orignal location fades
January 20, 2006 10:27:39 AM

Basically a LCD monitor with a HIGH REFRESH RATE of say... X > 8ms you will see "ghosting" in fast paced visual games such as Counter Strike, Call Of Duty.. games like that. It will basically show a delayed image from expiring from its origin.

8ms is the way to go. for lcds
January 20, 2006 1:57:13 PM

If you go to newegg, you can find some very well priced 8ms and lower monitors that are LCD and 19' such as the Samsung 940b which I have updated on my own personal list instead of getting that Dell monitor.

The monitor that seems perfect for you:
Samsung 940b

The basic overview at newgg:
LCD Monitor Selector at Newegg
January 20, 2006 2:43:09 PM

The audio card isn't just for good sound, it should off-load some sound processing freeing up some CPU cycles which is nice for CPU intensive gamming.

A large 2nd drive is always nice, you can ghost a clean image of your boot drive for easy restore in case of emergency.
January 26, 2006 12:39:08 PM

I will most likely get a 120gb SATA II drive and another 120gb SATA II and put it in a RAID 1. so that I wont get screwed
January 26, 2006 5:51:42 PM

Quote:
The audio card isn't just for good sound, it should off-load some sound processing freeing up some CPU cycles which is nice for CPU intensive gamming.


I second that. Onboard sound will slow your games down. Every onboard soundcard ive had has failed. Yet the SB Audigy I got 4 years ago still works great.
January 26, 2006 5:52:31 PM

I will just get a crappy sound card then... i use headphones anyways.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2006 8:34:46 PM

audigy minimum - earphones especially you can hear the diffrence, and performance will also improve (as previously stated)

dont skimp out on the card - get an audigy 1 or better
!