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Please Review my Build?

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January 20, 2006 4:07:31 PM

Looking for a general-purpose build. Very little gaming. Photo editing, some video, financial, and general office stuff. I haven't overclocked before, but I plan on dipping my toe in the water this time. Hopefully Vista ready :?:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz FSB 1MB L2 Socket 939 - Retail ($223)
Mobo: EPoX EP-9NPA+Ultra Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD ($105)
Video: eVGA 256-P2-N516 Geforce 7800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 ($295)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 8MB SATA 3.0Gb/s - OEM ($101)
Memory: CORSAIR 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR 400 SDRAM (PC 3200) Dual Chnl - Retail ($81)
Heatsink: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro Cooling Fan with Heatsink - Retail ($34)
Media: VANTEC UGT-CR900 11-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader - Retail ($15)
Case/PSU: From Ebay - 500W PSU Temperature Display Computer Case w/air tube FAN ($57)


Total with shipping: $935.
Have I picked the right memory?
Do I need this video card? Would a 6600GT/128mb suit me better?
Will these parts work OK together?
Any suggestions for improvement?

What a resource this forum is....

More about : review build

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January 20, 2006 4:30:13 PM

That is indeed a pretty good card for "little gaming"....however, it's a good overall system...and you will be set for any game title out there..
January 20, 2006 8:56:21 PM

great build..
however, if it was me..
I would get a 6600series video card
and get a dual core amd processor....such as amd x2 3800
Related resources
January 21, 2006 12:26:10 AM

Why do you guys recommend the dual core processors? I think the sweet spot for the AMD's is in the 3500-3800+ single processors. Will I actually see any benefit from the dual core?
January 21, 2006 12:28:10 AM

Quote:
great build..
however, if it was me..
get a dual core amd processor....such as amd x2 3800


Please tell me why I should spend the extra $100 on a dual core? Will I see it in any of my apps?

I've also seen that the mobo seems to have problems with dual cores. At the very least it will require a bios update.

However I just saw the prices of the AMD CPU's are coming down on Jan 23rd.
January 21, 2006 1:02:19 AM

I would say in my own opinion, that with a single core processor you'll be just fine in the short term. In the long term, more apps will take advantage of the dual processor core. If you have a video editing application that can use a dual processor effectively, definitely spring for a dual proc, a little less video card. Don't need quite that much video horsepower for casual gaming.

I consider myself a mid-grade gamer and have done quite well with an XFX GeForce 6600GT 128Mb (usually around $130 in PCI-e) in Half Life 2. I'm happy with it.
January 21, 2006 1:49:49 AM

Quote:

However I just saw the prices of the AMD CPU's are coming down on Jan 23rd.

Isn't that great? You're now able to predict price changes. Now AMD announces when the prices are going to drop, so you don't get screwed!
January 21, 2006 11:08:22 PM

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1...

In todays games, the 3700+ will be much better than a X2 3800+. And games that are optimized for X2 procs will come out in the next year or so, but since most of the gaming population is still using single cores, these games will run fine on a 3700+.
January 22, 2006 1:26:29 PM

Quote:
How much are you willing to spend on RAM? (We're talking about $120 range here)


Most people on this thread recommend going to 2GB. With that in mind I was looking at 2 possible memory buys. I'd love your opinion (I don't understand the diffeence between all the variations of memory offered):

Will I see any benefit from dual channel memory?

1. ($194) CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB)
- 184-Pn DDR SDRAM Unbuf DDR 400 (PC3200) Dual Chnl - Retail
2. ($165) CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB)
- 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuf DDR 400 (PC3200) - Retail
January 22, 2006 1:37:09 PM

Um psu that comes with the case is shocking, it will be cheap and nasty and only has 14a on the 12v rail which aint good epecialy as your looking to run a 7800gt
January 22, 2006 3:17:18 PM

Quote:
Um psu that comes with the case is shocking, it will be cheap and nasty and only has 14a on the 12v rail which aint good epecialy as your looking to run a 7800gt


How many amps will I need to run this card? How may amps on the 12V will I need to run my system in general?
January 22, 2006 4:24:47 PM

nVidia reccomends 15 amps on the 12v just for the 7800. Maybe you should get in contact with the seller to find out more info on that power supply. Check the mfr specs on it. For a case that cheap, I'm thinking the psu is a POS.

Fritz
January 22, 2006 4:52:52 PM

Yeah, definitely don't cheap out on the PSU. Antec has great units.
January 22, 2006 5:00:35 PM

One thing I don't see in you list is an optical drive - I have had good luck with the NEC DVD burners
January 22, 2006 5:42:40 PM

Yep for the price the PSU will be bad.

A good PSU is often overlooked, a quality PSU will not take the rest of the computer out if it dies a cheap one will, it would be ashame to loose all those new parts :oops: 

I bought a cheap case bined the psu that came with it and got an antec neo.

I would aim for upwards of 25a on the 12v but remember most new PSUs are dual 12v so will have to amps readings for the 12v.

You will get a cleaner supply with a quality PSU as well, plus I like the modular aspectof the antecs cables.
January 22, 2006 6:43:22 PM

Frankly, right now, it's pretty obtuse to buy a dual core processor. Apps do not take advantage of the technology at this time, and let me remind you that it now takes developers around four years to develop programs. Where is your dual core going to be then? Yes, replaced by something with way more speed for a lot less money, maybe with even more cores. Take the first 64 bit processors that were released, what, 3 years ago or so. Can you play any of today's games on them fast enough to make it worth the $1000 plus you spent on the processor...and where are all the thousands of programs that were supposed to be 64 bit? I can name about three.

Single core processors are still the quickest for games and most applications, so buy one and be happy that you are spending less and going faster.
January 23, 2006 5:19:40 PM

I think I'll stick with the 3700+. Haven't heard enough to lead me to go dual-core yet. (even thought the prices for the X2's are dropping today)

As far as the mobo is concerned, I'm sticking with EPoX 9NPA, but I'm not sure of which "flavor" to go with between these three.

9NPA+Ultra ($105)
9NPAJ SLI ($125)
9NPA SLI ($137)

The only differences appear to be firewire[yes/no], 1 or 2 PCIx16 slots and COM/serial ports. Here is the comparison chart

Does anyone have an opinion on either of these?
January 23, 2006 5:22:26 PM

Gelan,

Why did you pick the 9NPA+Ultra instead of the 9NPA+SLI?
January 23, 2006 5:26:23 PM

Don't use my rig for gaming much. I'm more into cpu-intensive tasks like video and audio editing. In fact, I haven't played a game since probably last summer ;) 

So, I didn't think I needed the SLI version. Plus, the ultra gave me all the things I wanted, Optical audio, SATA2, cheap ;) 
January 23, 2006 5:30:52 PM

I thought he didn't want SLI...
January 23, 2006 5:35:23 PM

I have the EPOX board and so far it seems fine for the money I spent and it has cool blue lights on the board... 8O

I liked the onboard LED for the POST codes. Thing I can't find is a card that has a old style 15 pin game port for my old faithful sidewinder 3d pro.

I'd like to know how to get that to word with a USB adapter.
January 23, 2006 6:39:02 PM

I have a similar setup than what you are looking at. You can see my detailed specs in my sig.

I would also recommend saving money on the SLI mobo, and getting an Ultra version, unless you wish to add another 7800GT later. I for one cannot afford to buy two 7800GTX cards, so simply went for the best available 7800GTX at the time (some 50 pounds more then the standard GTX ones available at the time). It handles all games fine on Max with 4xAA and 16xAF with the 3700+. In two years or so when it will be time to upgrade, adding another 7800GTX will not be a good option, rather one good current card at the time which will most definetely support DirectX10+. Also in two years time a dual-core will be much more relevent I think.

P.s' I have replaced the Fortron PSU with my repaired 550 Aerocool Turbine PSU, but amazingly the 300W Fortron worked without a hitch for over a month. But I also recommend a decent PSU, one with dual 12V rails.
January 29, 2006 10:42:21 AM

WOW. Thanks for all the help with this build. Here is what I finally settled on:

1. AMD Athlon 64 3700+ Processor (San Diego) Socket 939 Retail
2. EPOX EP-9NPAJ+SLI nForce4 Sli Athlon 64(FX) Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, Gigabit LAN, Serial ATA II Retail
3. XFX PVT42GUAD GeForce 6800 GS PCI Express 256MB DDR Video Card w/TV-Out & DVI Retail
4. Vantec UGT-CR900 All In One USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader Retail
5. Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2PT 1GB DDR400 XMS3200 Dual-Channel Memory w/Platinum Heat Spreader Retail
6. Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L300S0 300GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer
7. Sony DW-Q30A-2 Internal Double Layer DVD±RW Drive w/Burning Software (Black)

Cost $810 including shippping

I still need to find a 20-24 pin cable converter and some thumbscrews for my case.
January 29, 2006 10:53:02 AM

After considering all the input from this forum, here is what I settled on:

1. AMD Athlon 64 3700+ Processor (San Diego) Socket 939 Retail
2. EPOX EP-9NPAJ+SLI nForce4 Sli Athlon 64(FX) Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, Gigabit LAN, Serial ATA II Retail
3. XFX PVT42GUAD GeForce 6800 GS PCI Express 256MB DDR Video Card w/TV-Out & DVI Retail
4. Vantec UGT-CR900 All In One USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader Retail
5. Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2PT 1GB DDR400 XMS3200 Dual-Channel Memory w/Platinum Heat Spreader Retail
6. Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L300S0 300GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer
7. Sony DW-Q30A-2 Internal Double Layer DVD±RW Drive w/Burning Software (Black)

Cost $810. I still need to get a 20-24 pin power converter and some thumbscrews for my case.

Thanks a lot to everyone who contributed!!!
January 29, 2006 4:24:42 PM

any local "ma and pa" computer store will have those things for a couple bucks. Shouldn't be a problem for you.
January 29, 2006 4:38:40 PM

ı think it is good especially the board is very good overclocker but if you OC you had better buy better rams with low latencies.sure it is worth it..
!