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Plz Help me build a great gamming pc for $1500

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February 8, 2006 12:09:19 AM

Hi, im new here and looking to build for my first time. I have been reaserching for months and I think im ready to close the deal. Tell me what you think of....


ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD

Thermaltake XASER, Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum/Steel

SONY Black IDE DVD Burner Model DW-Q30A BK

GIGABYTE 3D Cooler GH-PCU22-SE Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST3200822A-RK 200GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra

CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model TWINX2048-3200 - TWINX2048-3200

ENERMAX Whisper II EG565P-VE FMA(24P) ATX12V 535W Power Supply

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA3800BVBOX

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value SB0400 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card

BFG Tech BFGR78256GTOC Geforce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

I really want a computer that will be able to handle everything I can throw at it. I also want it to be fairly future proof. I don't really plan to overclock anytime soon (I don't really know how yet :( ) but I might later. Anyways im open to all and any sugestions you may have.
February 8, 2006 2:46:50 AM

hey austin
yea, ur system looks great. the mobo ur gettin is definitly a good reliable one. i've had the same one for about six months now and no problems whatsoever. in fact everything looks good. the seagate hard drive ur picking up isnt the first one i'd look to. i'd probably prefer picking up a western digital hard drive which have really got some good low price HD. if u really wanted to get a better performance a raptor wuld b good, but those come at a really high price for the amount of space it offers. ur also saying ur getting a new sound card, the audigy, but is this really necessary considering ur a8n-sli deluxe comes with an ac'97 surround sound unless i'm wrong :?
looks likk its coming along well, but as for being future proof, there's not really any good way to do that. sure, ur system will last a while, and i mean a while, but as soon as the new boards and card r released by amd and such (nvidia, ati, etc), this this sort of stuff will b left behind like the all popular 6000's were a while ago. this wuld specifically apply to the mobo, im holding off building a new computers till these new amd boards with ddr2 n sli come out (i'm an nvidia fan :p  ), and the new cards also come out which i hear shuld b better than ati's x1900 which i must admit, is a good card.
my current system is an amd3500+, 6600gt, 1 gig ram, n an a8n-sli mobo. its getting old and likk i said b4, i'm thinking of replacing it
as for ur new comp being able to throw anything u throw at it, i'm sure it'll b more than enough. if my comp can run the latest games on highest settings, i'm sure urs will kill any competition currently out there. hope i helped
l8r
February 8, 2006 3:24:44 AM

I mostly agree :D  Except onboard sound on 99.999% of motherboards is complete garbage!

The Audigy2 is about 10000 times better, it uses less CPU, has hardware acceleration and sounds a LOT better.

Like the OP's config btw :D  I would go with a WD2500KS or Seagate 7200.9 not the 7200.7

Semper Fi Linux on :D 
Related resources
February 8, 2006 3:49:15 AM

I suggest you go ahead and get a SATA hard drive, it makes a world of difference esspecially for gaming. This is what i built for 1250 and it is great.

AMD A64 4000+
1 Gb OCZ PC 4000 ram
300 Gb Maxtor SATA hard drive (Diamond Max 10)
Connect 3D X850XT (wish i had the money at the time for a 7800GT)
ABIT AN8-SLi mobo
Ultra 500 Watt PSU
Emprex Double Layer DVD+RW CD+RW
ANTEC Super LANBOY Aluminum case
Too many fans too count...

Its pretty bad ass plus my mobo came with a pretty good separate 7.1 Ch sound card, and overclocking program :D  :D  :D  :D  :D 
February 8, 2006 9:32:56 AM

Considering onboard sound is sort of 'taking off' so to speak (heaps of gamers use it now), and Abit had a winning combination I am surprised more people don't pick up on it.

The advantages to their 'onboard' sound are there, but more hard-core gamers demand 'Creative Audigy 2 Value' cards, at least, if not higher end sound.

Systems looks fine, I am no Asus fan (at least not unless they go more like the old ways), but if you really want it I ain't going to argue otherwise it is a pretty good board.

I'd double check the CPU and HDDs though, make sure you are getting the 'highest minimum weighted frame rate' for your dollar. (Personally I'd go Athlon 64 3700+ if gaming, vs the Atlhon 64 X2 3800+, you can always upgrade in 18 months or so when games actually scale better / benefit from 2 processor cores).

If you looking to 'cut back costs' without dropping much performance though fire us an e-mail. (See contact section on my website, in signature below).
February 8, 2006 7:04:53 PM

i recommend the a8nsli PREMIUM, not deluxe

liteon dvdburner, why sony....
gigabyte...meh.... xp90/120 or a zalman

evga video card -> warranty applies even with ocing
February 8, 2006 8:00:33 PM

I'm actually doing the same Austin772. I have $1500 budget to use on a new computer and saw your thread while doing research. I think I'm gonna be going with something very similar to this once all the feedback is given.

My main question really has to do with the case. I know its silly, but I'm obsessing about it. I don't want to screw myself with a bad case, I want a great one.

Any advice on the case Austin suggested, is there better?
February 8, 2006 8:54:46 PM
February 8, 2006 11:57:01 PM

Hey, wow, thanks for all your replies guys. Anyways, im using the case I chose because since it is my first build I want to be able to have a lot of room to work around in, and this case defintely has a TON of room to work around in. It also has plenty of room to expand in it. My only prob with the case I am choosing is it is kinda pricey, considering most cases are around the $100 mark, but oh well. You do generally get what you pay for with cases so I suppose $50 more is a good thing. Plus with this case there are 5 places to put cd drives and 3 to put floppy drives, and fan controlers and such. Also replying to another persons post about how I should change my proccessor, I a pretty sure I want to go dual core. I can always overclock the X2 3800+ if I rlly need to down the line (cause I have a pretty awesome cpu heat-sink). Thanks for all your advice.

P.S. Should I rlly go with onboard sound instead of the Audigy sound card? Is the onboard that great on the Asus, I heard it kinda sux big time.
February 9, 2006 12:17:44 AM

The XASER is nice :-)

All onboard sound sucks even on ASUS motherboards.

Even an SB Live Value 5.1 is way better than onboard sound.

Go with the Audigy. It doesn't have to be the expensive version the cheaper audigy will work just fine.


PS MSI and I forget who else makes a board with an SB X-Fi onboard which is awesome, even then however you have to consider possible interference problems etc. So you are better off with a PCI sound card anyway.

CORRECTION: NO X-Fi - The MSI K8N Diamond Plus has a Sound Blaster Audigy SE On-Board
February 9, 2006 12:20:40 AM

Anyone have any ideas on how I can cut down the price a little with out sacrificing that much of the awesomeness (yes I know it is not a word)? And can someone plz tell me why WD is better than Seagate, I have always heard that Seagate were better.
February 9, 2006 12:23:51 AM

Dude, u should get the 3,700+ SanDiago core. I was stuck on the 4,400 double core till did my homework. Usin mine for mostly gamin. Unless u are a hardcore multi tasker, u will not see any advantage with the x2. games are not goin to be multi threaded anytime soon. The sandiago has the same core as the fx57 and thats a gamin screamer. also has a bigger l2 cache, though that does not really matter. Though benchmarks only show so much, the single cores dominate in the gamin arena.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/21/the_mother_of_al...
February 9, 2006 12:33:25 AM

Ok G-Man, I took your advice. Going with the 3700+ cut the cost down a bit. I still need to know why you guys think WD is better than Seagate, can someone tell me?
February 9, 2006 12:41:40 AM

Actually I am kind of rethinking the whole 3700+ deal. I do multi task a lot, and if I go dual core than I will be ready for the next year when games start to take advantage of dual core processors. I mean, I am trying to make a comp where I dont have to upgrade for a couple years. Also I don't have the kind of money where I can spend 300 bucks to upgrade to dual core in another year. So I think it would be better if I just stuck with the X2 3800+. Linux_0 I like that config you did on Newegg. The WD hard drive cuts the price down a little. Plus the Zalman cooler is supposed to be sweet (or so ive heard) so I will look into that. Again thanks for all your advice :D  . Anymore would be appriciated.


P.S. Just wondering but does anyone have a link to a good guide to overclocking?
February 9, 2006 12:54:29 AM

The XASER is nice but VERY pricey @ 149 even after the mail-in rebate it's still 129.

The antec isn't quite as nice but it has great price/performance @ only $79

I like the ASUS shell but the case underneath doesn't look that great.

As much as I love ASUS I'd go with Antec for price performance.

If price is not a problem I would grab a nice Lian Li, Silverstone or Cooler Master :D 

I like these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

I love slide-out trays too they make life so much easier!

$273 for a case is KRAAAAZY tho (yes KRAAAZY with a K)

This cooler master is quite nice too :D  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... and the mobo tray slides out too!
February 9, 2006 1:02:53 AM

Quote:
All onboard sound sucks even on ASUS motherboards. Even an SB Live Value 5.1 is way better than onboard sound.


What are you talking about? the Live Value is terrible 16 bit at best with only 1/8" jacks. Most onboard sound is 7.1 with dual digital outs... Plus they don't sound like ass when you hook them up to a powerful speakerset. the Live Value has a very high signal noise level that compromizes sound quality at higher levels(compared to modern sound processors). the Realtek ACL850 is pretty much the industry standard for high quality 16 bit sound. The only real step up I could see anyone taking would be to an X-Fi.

Quote:
PS MSI and I forget who else makes a board with an SB X-Fi onboard which is awesome, even then however you have to consider possible interference problems etc. So you are better off with a PCI sound card anyway.


It's actually just an Audigy, not X-Fi.

Seems to me that you need to check your facts before you go around spouting bullshit and recommending components that would just clutter up their case and interrupt airflow. Guaranteed most people wouldn't notice any difference between the onboard Realtek processor and an Audigy. It's a waste of money, if you ask me.
February 9, 2006 1:08:07 AM

I was thinking about getting that case for my next computer that i am going to put a socket m2 mobo in when they come out but i have now acctually decided on the COOLMaster Stacker 830, it is awsome, up to 9 freaking 120mm fans, i really dont care that it is expensive but i was kind of having a hard time between these two and i know that the one you chose whould be a good case, but not much ventilation. My friend has an ARMOUR and it is acctualy a nice case. If anyone wants to see the badass Stacker 830 click the link.

http://www.xoxide.com/cooler-master-cm-stacker-830.html
February 9, 2006 1:20:00 AM

I misspoke and I corrected it above. The MSI board has an Audigy SE proc onboard.

Will all due respect I have to disagree with you about onboard sound.

Yes the SB Live is noisy but onboard sound is MUCH worse.

The Emu proc has better performance, true hardware acceleration and thus uses a lot less CPU. Also I think the SB cards sound a lot better than the ALCxxx chipsets from RealTek.

I love the RealTek network chipsets (like the RTL-8169) but I do not like their sound chipset because I think they are pretty bad. Other onboard chipsets are even worse than the ALCxxx.

My PCI sound cards just sound a lot better so I will stand by that statement.

A lot depends on your speakers too. There are also a lot of sources of interference on the motherboard so onboard sound is automatically noisier.
February 9, 2006 2:35:19 AM

What about the SONY DVD driver. Someone mentioned that there are better ones to go with. Whats the best?

PS. You guys ROCK. The knowledge in this forum is amazing. Thank you all. :D 
February 9, 2006 2:50:28 AM

Plextor is probably the best :D 

Pioneer used to be pretty dang good too.
February 9, 2006 2:58:30 AM

Sony blows. You always pay for the name, not the product.
February 9, 2006 4:01:27 PM

What about the format? there is a lot of different options on the ones that came up when I did the search.
February 9, 2006 7:41:59 PM

Your links answered my question...thank you! :D 
!