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HELP NEEDED with building a new system please!

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January 20, 2006 6:57:53 PM

Hi All,

Long time reader of the site but new to the forums ... was hoping I could get some input from you guys.

I'm looking to build a PC that I use at home ... I will be using it more for "work" than for gaming, but I would like to do some gaming as well. My big thing is that I need a PC that is STABLE. My current PC is horrible ... it's deteriorated to the point where it reboots every 30 minutes or so of its own accord, and also randomly powers off, even when I'm not using it for anything (e.g. it just rebooted while playing music) ... I have no idea what's wrong with it, but I guess that's a story for another post.

Anyway, I'm hoping to budget it around 1000-1500 for the tower only. Here's what I've come up with for my own needs:

-MOBO: I'm looking for a quality mobo that won't be giving me any problems (I have a feeling that my old mobo could be the root of my current probs). Speed and stability are key for me. While I would love to overclock the new PC, I won't trick myself into thinking that I know how to. So overclocking isn't really a necessity here. Also, since I'm not hardcore gamer, I won't be needing dual GPU support either. But I'm definitely leaning towards Nvidia. What is SLI?

-CPU: Definitely looking to get an AMD Dual Core Processor. Again, speed and stability are key, but my final decision as to which X2 to get may rest on how much money I need to spend on other components.

-Heatsink: Will a non-stock heatsink be necessary?

-RAM: I am a big believer of RAM, so I think that 2GB is probably a minimum nowadays. Don't know which brand to get though. Nor do I know what things like "DDR vs. DDR2" or "CL timings" are, so I definitely need help here.

-Graphics Card: Although I don't know what card I want, I do know that I've always used Nvidia and that I'd like to buy a BFGTech card. I've heard lots of good things abt BFGTech, and I'd like to try them out, unless someone gives me very good reasons not to. PCIe seems to be the norm nowadays, right?

-HDD: I've always been a user of Seagate, but I'm willing to listen to other recommendations, esp. if there is better out there. I would like to have a smaller HDD just for windows and other software, but high on performance and stability. Then I'm looking for another larger HDD that will be mainly used for storage, where stability is key.

-DVDR: I read some really good things about the BenQ DW1640 a while back, and I don't know if this is still a good option. I do burn a LOT of DVDs, so I will definitely need a high quality one.

-Tower: I'm thinking of the Antec P180, but I've heard that putting together the PC can be a bit tricky.

-Power Supply: ???. I'm currently using a 500W Ultra X-Connect, which isn't great, I know, but I like the modular design, and would like to stay with the modular design.

-Display: while I would love to upgrade my display, I don't have that kind of money, and will have to stick with my Samsung 191T.

I guess that seems to cover it. Any and all recommendations would be HIGHLY APPRECIATED. Additionally, if I've left anything out that you think is necessary, please put it in!

THANKS!!! [/b]

More about : needed building system

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January 20, 2006 7:33:17 PM

MB: any NF4 socket 939 mainboard by Asus, Abit, Gigabyte, MSI, DFI

CPU: X2 3800+ or X2 4200+, depending on your budget

(Stock heatsink is fine)

RAM: socket 939 NF4 boards use normal 184 pin DDR; get PC3200 or above, and you'll be fine. (Corsair, OCZ are among some preferred brands. I concur with 2GB recommendation)

Graphics card: all socket 939 NF4 boards are indeed PCI-e....depends on your gaming priority, the 6800GS is a great mid-range card for about $209, and the next nice jump is to the 7800GT for about $280-ish on sale..(I use a BFG 7800GT OC, and it does just great) Beyond that, prices go up even more quickly, culminating in the obscenely priced BFG7800GTX 512MB monster at a mere $750 or so!

Hard Drive: Seagate's 7200 rpm Barracuda SATA drives (16 meg cache) in the 200-400GB capacities are well respected for speed, reliability, sustained throughput...


As for your own systems' reboots....try another PS!

:-)
January 20, 2006 8:59:52 PM

here is my go at it. thanks for the descriptive needs made it a ton easier.

Quote:


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You can drop the price by a lesser Case (steel) at about 70, less dvd drive at about 40, Dropping the wd 10k raptor 103. That would bring it down to your 1500.

What i built is a solid, system. of top quality parts, that will work very well together for years.
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January 21, 2006 9:18:21 PM

Thanks so much guys ... I'll do some more research into specific thought and post again for further feedback! Much appreciated!
January 22, 2006 7:35:45 AM

First off, thanks for everyone's input so far - it's been very helpful and very much appreciated!

Here is what I have come up with so far - as you will see, there are many places where I have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 options. I'd really appreciate all input on the various options, and also any known COMPATIBILITY ISSUES with any possible combinations and permutations.

MOBO
1.) DFI nForce4 Ultra (939) LanParty UT Ultra-D
- I think that if I choose to go the Opteron route, I will get this mobo, since it seems to have the most OC options
- I think that I am leaning towards this board regardless though
2.) ASUS nForce4 Ultra (939) A8N-E

CPU
1.) AMD Athlon 64 X2 (939) 3800+ 2x512KB Toledo OR AMD Athlon 64 X2 (939) 4200+ 2x512KB Manchester
- What is the difference btw the Manchester and Toledo cores?
2.) AMD Opteron 165
- If the performance upgrade is as big as you guys have been telling me, then I am more than willing to go the Opteron route and spend the necessary time learning how to OC. OC isn't too hard, I hope!
- Why is the price difference btw the 165 and 170 so big? Is there a huge performance difference?

Heatsink
- Still unnecessary if I get the Opteron and OC?

RAM
1.) Corsair ValueSelect 2x1024

Graphics Card
1.) BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC 256MB PCIe
2.) BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC 256MB PCIe OR BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra OC 256/512MB PCIe
- What's the difference btw the Ultra and the GT?

HDD
1.) Western Digital Raptor 74
- This is meant to be my OS drive
- Although the Raptor 150 would be nice, at $300 it really isn't affordable for an OS drive
2.) Western Digital Caviar 3Gbps 250 7200 SE16
- Is the 3Gbps transfer rate that spectacular?
3.) Seagate Barracuda 7200 SATA 250/300 8MB
- Any preferences over Seagate/WD?

DVD Writer
1.) BenQ DW1655
2.) NEC ND-3550A
- Haven't been able to find any reviews on this per se unfortunately ... what has everyone heard about this drive?

Case
1.) Antec P180

Power Supply
1.) ePower Tagan TG-530-U15
2.) OCZ Modstream 520
3.) Antec NeoHE 500/550
- Any reason why I should choose one over the other? The Jan. guide recommends the ePower ...
- Any other good modular power supplies that are recommended?

Hmm, I think that's about it for now ... again, all comments/recommendation/advice is very much appreciated!!!

THANKS!!!
January 22, 2006 1:29:49 PM

Quote:
First off, thanks for everyone's input so far - it's been very helpful and very much appreciated!

Here is what I have come up with so far - as you will see, there are many places where I have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 options. I'd really appreciate all input on the various options, and also any known COMPATIBILITY ISSUES with any possible combinations and permutations.

MOBO
1.) DFI nForce4 Ultra (939) LanParty UT Ultra-D
- I think that if I choose to go the Opteron route, I will get this mobo, since it seems to have the most OC options
- I think that I am leaning towards this board regardless though

****it should be a fine board****
2.) ASUS nForce4 Ultra (939) A8N-E

CPU
1.) AMD Athlon 64 X2 (939) 3800+ 2x512KB Toledo OR AMD Athlon 64 X2 (939) 4200+ 2x512KB Manchester
- What is the difference btw the Manchester and Toledo cores?
2.) AMD Opteron 165
- If the performance upgrade is as big as you guys have been telling me, then I am more than willing to go the Opteron route and spend the necessary time learning how to OC. OC isn't too hard, I hope!

***I dislike OC'ing unless you are willing to be very mindfull of the computer as a whole. IE multiple raids,stripped down processes, proper antivirus,firewalls, ungodly ventilation schemes. Daily spyware sweeps. and unless your gaming/multitasking for hours on end that Chit is a pain to maintain.****

- Why is the price difference btw the 165 and 170 so big? Is there a huge performance difference?

*****When OC'd it suposed to be a superior performer based on it's cunstruction and quality control practices. It is more suited to the rigors of OCing****

Heatsink
- Still unnecessary if I get the Opteron and OC?

*****if you OC yes a good 2nd party loud as hell 6000 rpm jet tornado creating fan is one hell of a good idea.*****

RAM
1.) Corsair ValueSelect 2x1024

****IF you OC but bottle neck it with cheap slow ram? What point was there to potentially destroying your cpu early. This is part of the reason why i dislike to OC. Unless you buy top quality items across the board it's not that usefull as your other parts bottleneck it.****

Graphics Card
1.) BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC 256MB PCIe

***Evga 7800gt co is another good card and faster than the bfg for cheaper. I love bfg's support but if you want to save 40-90 usd buy the evga for the same or better quality and support****

2.) BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC 256MB PCIe OR BFG GeForce 6800
Ultra OC 256/512MB PCIe

- What's the difference btw the Ultra and the GT?

***more pipelines for the memory to flow. In theory the more pipes the faster the card is. This all depends on weather or not you have any bottlenecks.*****

HDD
1.) Western Digital Raptor 74
- This is meant to be my OS drive
- Although the Raptor 150 would be nice, at $300 it really isn't affordable for an OS drive
*****Buy the 36.6 gig raptors, they are significantly cheaper and work perfect in a raid set up as a OS HDD. How do I know. I've used mine in a raid set up for my OS for years. I've also built cpu's with single 10k36gig raptors as the OS and seen the value of them.*****

2.) Western Digital Caviar 3Gbps 250 7200 SE16
- Is the 3Gbps transfer rate that spectacular?
3.) Seagate Barracuda 7200 SATA 250/300 8MB
- Any preferences over Seagate/WD?
****Both or good drives, you only need answer do you like blondes or redheads more***

DVD Writer
1.) BenQ DW1655
2.) NEC ND-3550A
- Haven't been able to find any reviews on this per se unfortunately ... what has everyone heard about this drive?
****I've allways liked plextor....i don't know these drives.****

Case
1.) Antec P180
****it's antec so it should be fine.***

Power Supply
1.) ePower Tagan TG-530-U15
2.) OCZ Modstream 520
3.) Antec NeoHE 500/550
- Any reason why I should choose one over the other? The Jan. guide recommends the ePower ...
- Any other good modular power supplies that are recommended?

**** Look at the 12v rails of the Antec truepower TPII550, that alone sets it appart from most other 500-600 watt psu's for the same money and a good share for twice the money. It's solid, reliable, and stable.****

Hmm, I think that's about it for now ... again, all comments/recommendation/advice is very much appreciated!!!

THANKS!!!
!