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Buying a new computer? Look here first.

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February 18, 2006 10:20:31 PM

As with the Intel vs. AMD CPU Thread, I think this thread needs to be alive. Again, I ask nobody to start flame wars or fanboy posts because a particular Intel or AMD CPU was chosen, if you disagree with what is posted, PM me so I can attempt to accomodate you, try to keep posts here limited so we can retain the integrity of the reason for this thread. I also ask the Moderators to consider this for Sticky, because I believe it will help many many people building new computers.

This Thread is designed to help people looking for new computers as to what to purchase. I start with a basic $500 system, and work my way up to The Dream Machine in $250 increments. I will first name the components and prices, say a Total at the end, and state why I chose each of those parts near the bottom of each build. I will also give an estimate as to the quality of gaming, multi-tasking, and longevity of each system. All prices are quoted from Newegg.com as of 2-18-06.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Basic Setup Budget: $500

Processor: AMD Sempron 3100+ Socket 754 -- $80.00 Link

Motherboard: MSI RS482M-IL Socket 754 -- $62.99 Link

Memory: G.SKILL Value DDR400 512MB --$36.65 Link

Video Card: ATI Radeon x1300 PCI-E 128MB -- $67.50 Link

CD Drive: LITE-ON Beige 52X CD-RW Drive -- $21.99 Link

Hard Drive: WesternDigital CaviarSE 80GB SATA --$55.00 Link

Power Supply: Antec TruePowerII 430 Watt -- $64.99 Link

Case: RAIDMAX Mustang Red -- $53.99 Link

Speakers: Logitech S-100 BLK 5 Watt 2.0 -- $7.00 Link

Total Cost: $450.11 Before Shipping
Total Cost: $502.03 After Shipping (From Newegg.com UPS 3-Day)


Why did I choose this?

CPU: I chose the AMD Sempron 3100+ for a few reasons. Mainly because it is cheap, and is a very fast CPU for the money it costs. It also uses HyperTransport at 800MHz (1600MHz Full Duplex), is 90nm, and has 256KB Level 2 Cache, which is double most other Semprons. The only con is that this is 32-bit.

Motherboard: I chose this motherboard because it was very cheap, had all good reviews, and comes with lots of additions and features that range from IDE & SATA RAID, 2 SATA Ports, and has 3 PCI Slots for expandability. It also has 2 DDR400 RAM Slots that allows up to 2GB of Memory.

Memory: I chose this memory because G.Skill is a very reputable brand. Their memory, in my experience, has been very stable and cheaper compared to Corsair, OCZ and others. The timings of this memory, being "Value RAM", are better than most Value RAM's at the same price (2.5-3-3-6 vs. 3-3-3-8 ).

Video Card: I chose this because this is a very accepting Video Card for a Basic Setup Budget computer. I currently use this in a Dual Opteron server, the server is used for tasks of DHCP, DNS, AD, etc. so the Video Card does not get used, but the specs and ease of installation make this a great video card for the price.

CD Drive: I chose this CD-RW Burner almost purely on Price and Reviews. This burner has gotten solid reviews and for the price and performance of this drive, it is unrivaled by many. Very accepting drive for a budget system, or any system for that matter.

Hard Drive: I chose this Hard Drive due to Performance & Price, and the fact that the Caviar's are a very good series from Western Digital. The Price of this drive is extremely acceptable, and given the fact it is SATA w/ 8MB of Cache, this drive performs very well and should give you about 50-55MB/s or more sustained Read/Write. (That's good!)

Power Supply: I chose this due to Price & the quality of this drive. This Drive has served many-a Gamers and enthusiasts searching for Power w/ Low Price, this PSU provides rock solid performance and stability at a fraction of the price of competitors.

Case: I chose this drive due to the Airflow, Upgradability, and Price. There is lots of room to expand in CD/DVD Drives, Hard Drives, add extra cooling, and w/o breaking the bank either. This case is made of sturdy steel and even comes with a 420 Watt Power Supply!

Speakers: I chose these purely due to price. I have owned several 2.0 and 2.1 budget speaker setups, all performed surprisingly well for the price and were very sturdy. These speakers should not let down, they will be very good now, and later if you choose to upgrade.

Quality:

Gaming: This system will perform admirable in Gaming. It will not be playing games such as F.E.A.R., Call of Duty 2, Need For Speed Most Wanted, etc. But it was designed for people looking for an everyday computer with light gaming. This computer system will handle Battlefield 2, MotoGP 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, etc. on Low to Low-Medium settings and maybe Medium on some games.

Multi-Tasking: This system will allow for ease of Application multi-tasking. You will be able to open several Windows, Internet Explorers (Or Opera ;) ), IM Programs, etc. w/o noticing lag. It will not be able to have multiple Games, while having 25 Windows open and trying to extract files, copy files, w/o slow down, but the slowdown will not be extreme.

Longevity: Since this is a budget system, it is hard to say exactly how long it will last. The motherboard and case will provide upgrade options in the future for more RAM, new Hard Drives, newer PCI-Express graphics card. As for a number to say how long this will last in it's current state, w/o needing too many upgrades, I would put a 6 - 12 Month lifetime for this current system confguration.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Beginning Gamer Budget: $750

Processor: Athlon 64 3000+ Socket 754 -- $120.00 Link

Motherboard: JetWay GTDual-STD-G s754 & s939 -- $86.00 Link

Memory: Crucial Ballistix 512MB DDR400 -- $56.50 Link

Video Card: nVidia 6800GS PCI-E 256MB -- $179.00 Link

CD Drive: ASUS Black E-IDE CD-RW -- $23.99 Link

Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.7 SATA 2 80GB -- $59.00 Link

Power Supply: Aspire Chameleon 550 Watt -- $74.99 Link

Case: Sunbream Transformer ATX Case -- $89.99 Link

Speakers: Altec 2.0 Speakers -- $10.00 Link

Total Cost: $699.47 Before Shipping
Total Cost: $754.82 After Shipping (From Newegg.com UPS 3-Day)

Why did I choose this?

CPU: I chose this processor because of the price to performance rato. This CPU is the newest socket 754 processor and it runs on the Venice core and 90nm. This has HyperTransport up to 800MHz (1600MHz Full Duplex) and has very good overclocking potential.

Motherboard: I chose this motherboard due to expandabiltiy and price. This motherboard allows for the current setup of socket 754 and in the future, upgrade to a socket 939 with Dual Channel memory. The price cannot be beat, the reviews all point to good stability and ease of install.

Memory: I chose this memory due to the reliability, performance, and price of this. I use this in a Desktop computer of mine, it overclocks extremely well, has very low latencies (Supports Cas Latency of 1.5) and works flawlessly. This memory can be than put with its matching pair later and used in the Socket 939 part of the motherboard for Dual Channel Extreme performace.

Video Card: I chose this video card for it's outstanding performance and price. I have his in a Deskop computer of mine, in SLI, in Single Card confguration, this thing knocks out all my 6800GT's & Ultras! This card offers excellent ability for overclocking and the performance cannot be beat in the price level.

CD Drive: I chose this CD-RW due to the price and ASUS. ASUS is a very good company, all my products made by ASUS are rock solid stable and perform acceptional. This CD-RW is very cheap, will perform excellent, and is good for any computer. If needbe, this can be upgraded to a DVD-ROM for darn-near the same price.

Hard Drive: I chose his hard drive due to speed, price, and Seagate. Seagate 7200.7 series has been stable, vs. he .8 series that has been buggy with my experience. The price of this drive cannot be beat at 80GB w/ 8MB Cache and SATA. For future, pair this drive with a 2nd for RAID 0 and get mad performance boost!

Power Supply: I chose this power supply for it's cheap price and specs. The 36A +12v is enough to power anything now, and a future system as well. Aspire is a well-known company that makes rock solid PSU's (In my experience) and this one is just the icng on the cake. And at 550 Watts, it can't be beat!

Case: I chose this case because it is very big, expandable, has excellent airflow, and is made by a reputable company. Sunbeam, in my experience, made stable, excellent products and this is no exception. It has a slick, cool design with fans galore. It has plenty of room for future expandability and you won't have to worry about overheating issues or adding in components. And the fact it is very cheap!

Speakers: I chose these speakers purely on price. For $10, the price cannot be beat. All 2.0 and 2.1 speakers as I stated before, have been very qualitative for their low price.

Quality:

Gaming: This system will peform extremely well in Gaming. It will be able to play F.E.A.R., Call of Duty 2, NFS Most Wanted, etc. On Medium to Medium-High settings and get amazing frame rates. This video card is an excellent card for single-card-configuration and will last for a long time.

Multi-Tasking: This system will be an excellent multitasker. You will be able to have open several windows, and a couple programs with minimal slowdown. You won't be able to tab between games or heavy programs, due to 512MB RAM. But for he price, this system will multi-task the best.

Longevity: This is an easier one to put a longevity number on. Given the motherboard, RAM, and case chosen, I would put the longevity between 9 - 15 months. A very excellent time for such a great, cheap system. Being 64-bit, it will handle Windows XP x64 edition if wanting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Newbie Budget: $1,000

Processor: Athlon 64 3500+ -- $201.00 Link

Motherboard: BIOSTAR nForce4 SLI -- $113.00 Link

Memory: Corsar XMS 1GB (512MBx2) DDR400 -- $100.00 Link

Video Card: nVidia 7800GT PCI-E 256MB -- $285.00 Link

DVD Drive: NEC Beige DVD-RW -- $37.99 Link

Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATA2 3.0Gb/s -- $58.00 Link

Power Supply: Thermaltake 500 Watt -- $79.99 Link

Case: Aspire X-Finity ATX Black -- $56.99 Link

Speakers: Codegen 2.1 Speakers -- $32.88 Link

Total Cost: $964.85 Before Shipping
Toatl Cost: $1,017.97 After Shipping (From Newegg.com UPS 3-Day)

Why did I choose this?

CPU: I chose this CPU because of it's excellent performance at a low cost and cheaper then a 3700+. This processor performs excepionally well in multitasking, converting, gaming, etc. The price for this CPU is unrivaled by any Intel counterpart, and will last a very long time.

Motherboard: I chose this motherboard due to price and features. It is a cheap board, has SLI for future adoption and expanability, and it has plenty of PCI, SATA, and IDE to add in additional Hard Drives and expansion cards for upgrading and all at a low cost!

Memory: I chose this memory due to price, performance, and stability. All Corsar XMS in my experiene has been extremely rock solid, No DOA's and overclocks nicely. The price for this is very low and it provides excellent timings and rock solid DDR400 performance.

Video Card: I chose this video card because it is cheap, performs fantastic, and overclock well. This video card will play all new games on good settings with awesome image quality. You can overlock it safely and stabley for extra performane and later add in a 2nd one for extreme performance from SLI.

DVD Drive: I chose this drive because it is cheap, highly rated, and has excellent specs. A reliable, performing drive that will do what it is made to do, burn DVD's and CD's at high speed! And the fact that it is dirt cheap!

Hard Drive: I chose this drive due to speed and price. The SATA 2 provides excellent performance and when accompanied with RAID 0 of a 2nd drive, provides max performance for multitasking and gaming experiences! This drive is very cheap, very fast, and is made by a very reputable company.

Power Supply: I chose this because of the company, price, and specs. All Thermaltake products to me have been very reliable and excellent performers. Rock solid stability and excellent specs for now and future upgradability, accompanied with the low price, make this a steal for any computer level.

Case: I chose this case due to price and excellent airflow. All the 80mm fan ports on the side, front, and top mean you can setup awesome airflow and get maximum cooling. The price is so low, it may make you buy 2! I recommend this case for any computer build, and it fits perfectly in this build.

Speakers: I chose these speakers purely due to price and company. Codegen makes excellent products at a very low price, and 2.1 speakers don't come much cheaper than this. A nice bass, decent sound, cheap price, these are a steal!

Quality:

Gaming: This system is an excellent gaming machine. It will play all current games on excellent settings with little to no drop in performance. It will last a very long time, and given the oppurtunity to add in a 2nd video card later on for SLI means that this is an excellent choice for the future.

Multi-Tasking: This system will multi-task like a dream. You will be able to tab between a game, IM, copying files, and browsing the interent w/o slowdown of any severe kind.

Longevity: The longevity of this system is pretty high. With the option for SLI to add in a 2nd video card and the fact that you can throw in a Dual-Core CPU later on to take full effect of Multi-Tasking and Multi-Core Gaming, means this system should be rock solid for 12 - 18 months or more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Spender Budget: $1,250

Processor: Athlon 64 3800+ X2 -- $296.00 Link

Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium -- $166.99 Link

Memory: Corsair XMS DDR400 1GB (512x2) -- $127.00

Video Card: nVidia 7800GT 256MB PCI-E --$294.00 Link

DVD Drive: NEC Beige IDE DVD Burner -- $37.99 Link

Hard Drive: Maxtor Diamondback 80GB -- $56.00 Link

Power Supply: XG Vortec 600 Watt ATX -- $100.99 Link

Case: Broadway Com Corp -- $54.99 Link

Speakers: Logitech X-530 5.1 -- $58.99 Link

Total Cost: $1,192.95 Before Shipping
Total Cost: $1,248.03 After Shipping (From Newegg.com UPS 3-Day)

Why did I choose this?

CPU: I chose this CPU due to it's excellent performance for a cheap price, and the fact that it is Dual-Core! This CPU is like having 2 A64 3200+'s! The overclocking potential, and stability of this CPU make it a match for any desktop build.

Motherboard: I chose this motherboard because of the name and the features. ASUS has always been a good brand for me, and the A8N-SLI series keeps up that tradition. All the A8N-SLI series I've used have been rock solid stable and performed very admirably, and given the fact it has SLI, supports Dual-Core, has loads of features, and it's cheap!

Memory: I chose this RAM due to price and name. Corsair....too many builds have been utilizing Corsair RAM and too many times have I had 100% reliability, and the XMS Series is the icing on the cake. This RAM is excellent performance at a very cheap price, this RAM will perform very well in any computer build.

Video Card: I chose this Video Card due to price and performance. The 7800GT has performed flawlessly in benchmarks and real-world performance. With the option to add a 2nd 7800GT with this build, the possibilities for all the eye-candy and great frames reaches the roof! And you can't beat the price, come on!

DVD Drive: I chose this DVD-RW due to price and performance. This drive performs very admirably, NEC drives have always been stable to me and never let me down. And the fact that it is very cheap, make this the perfect fit for a perfect system!

Hard Drive: I chose this drive due to price and name. Maxtor drives have been some of the most reliable and best performers for me, beating out Hitachi Deskstars and Seagate Barricudas. The price of this makes it so attractive to add a 2nd one for RAID 0 and get ungodly performance for a very low price.

Power Supply: I chose this PSU due to reliability and price. I put this in a desktop computer, fired it up, and all the RAIL's are incredibly stable and high-performing, even with overclocking! The fact that it is 600 Watts means that this PSU should be great for any build!

Case: I chose this case due to price and sturdyness. I used this case for a desktop computer build, stuck many fans and extra drives in here, and the airflow and performance is very good. Many ports for fans, huge size for great airflow and room for expandability in the future!

Speakers: I chose these speakers due to price and performance. I picked these speakers up a few times for a couple desktop builds, and each time they have performed like those $200+ speakers! 5.1 speakers, attractive price, and great performance, these can't be passed up!

Quality:

Gaming: This computer system will perform above and beyond in gaming performance. In it's current state, it should handle all current generation and future generation games at excellent quality. As soon as you add a 2nd one, the performance will be extravigant.

Multi-Tasking: This system will multi-task like there is no tomorrow. Given the fact of Dual-Core and great clock speeds, means you can have almost unlimited windows and programs running as possible w/o worrying about slowdown.

Longevity: This system, given it's current state and the possibility of future upgrades, I would put this system between 12 - 24 month lifetime.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Enthusiast Budget: $1,500 - $1,750

Processor: Opteron 165 -- $332.00 Link

Motherboard: DFI LanParty nF4 Expert -- $189.99 Link

Memory: G.Skill Extreme 2GB Kit DDR500 -- [b$192.00[/b] Link

Video Card: nVidia 7800GTX PCI-E 256MB -- $469.00 Link

DVD Drive: Lite-On DVD-RW -- $52.99 Link

Hard Drive: Western D 250GB 16MB Caviar -- $105.00 Link

Power Supply: XG Vortec 600 Watt ATX -- $100.99 Link

Case: Aspire X-Navigator ATX -- $99.99 Link

Speakers: Creative Inspire 5.1 -- $65.00 Link

Total Cost: $1,606.96 Before Shipping
Total Cost: $1,671.96 After Shipping (From Newegg.com UPS 3-Day)

Why did I choose this?

Processor: I chose this CPU due to it's price and performance. This CPU is an insane little fella, the fact that it can be overclocked like mad is another reason I chose this. At it's stock speeds, it is a very impressive chip, but once you start to overclock, it really pays off to buy this CPU.

Motherboard: I chose this Motherboard due to performance and name. DFI is known for it's enthusiast boards that overclock like mad. What a perfect fit for the CPU I chose, this is very stable, has tons of features, and has SLI for future-proofing gaming performance.

Memory: I chose this memory due to price and name. G.SKill makes very good RAM, and this is no different. Coupled with the CPU/Mobo, this DDR500 makes he overclocking experience much easier and you won't have to worry about having 1:1 with your CPU anymore.

Video Card: I chose this video card due to performance. The 7800GTX is a performance killer, just 1 is enough to power through all current gen games at great settings, throw a 2nd in for SLI and you got yourself 1 hell of a rig!

DVD Drive: I chose this DVD-RW due to price and name. Lite-On is a very reputable company making very well made drives, and this drive will be just perfect for this build.

Hard Drive: I chose this drive due to size and price. 250GB w/ 16MB of Cache means this drive will perform like crazy. I can't begin to tell of the performance I get with 250GB 16MB drives in RAID 0, and once you add a 2nd, you'll be lovin' it too!

Power Supply: I chose this PSU due to performance and price. This is the 2nd build I chose this PSU for, and the reason is simply because it is great. This PSU is one of the best on the market, it powers my desktops like no other and at a very attractive price too.

Case: I chose this case due to size and price. A friend of mine loves this case, it's huge, has lots of room for expansion, and has great airflow. The price of this case is unrivaled and will be perfect for this build.

Speakers: I chose these speakers due to price and name. Creative makes excellent speakers at an excellent price. These speakers are the final touches to this awesome build.


Quality:

Gaming: This system, at it's default settings, will perform extremely well. The fact that the CPU is dual-core means future gaming will be no match for this system, and adding a 2nd vid card, you're lookin' very good.

Multi-Tasking: Due to the Dual-Core CPU and RAM, this system will be a very very good multi-tasker. You'll be able to multi-task to your hearts content and not lose any performance.

Longevity: Given the CPU, SLI ability, featured mobo and case, I would have to put this system with a lifetime of 15 - 24 months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, now you may notice a few things. 1, I didn't use Intel, reason is because you can't really find a respectable low-end Intel (Celeron is not a processor in my book) and for high-end gaming, AMD is the way to go. 2) I did not mention new CPU's, due to I don't believe Socket AM2 or Conroe's will be anywhere near "budget priced" or even $1,000 for a worthy next-gen system. I compiled this list to help people that don't know much about computers but want to build their own.

You can pretty much edit anything here and add and delete and keep the same price, and obviously if shipping isn't a concern, you can add more eye-candies to the specs to compensate for my shipping inclusion. If you notice anything wrong or think something should be changed, as I said before, PM me and I will change it. I hope this is helpful, took me awhile to make it. The shipping is how much it costs to ship to my residence, I am almost 3,000 miles from Newegg's HQ in California (where most of the items ship from) so this should be a good estimate of the most it would cost for the entire USA.

I chose to exclude Mice, Keyboard, and Monitor due to pricings and ability to pickup keyboard+mice combos for damn near $10.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time

More about : buying computer

February 19, 2006 12:26:02 AM

Great post! Sticky it!
February 19, 2006 2:10:59 AM

Great post

My only 'complaint' if you will is the first $500 pc, I think that maybe an Antec case with included PSU can be had cheaper than the seperate PSU and case. It'll save you some cash and allow you to get more RAM and a better HSF so you can overclock the Proc.

In fact in most of these I'd use it as an alternative. You don't need more than a 430W antec for any rig EXCEPT high end SLI setups. If your running 2 6800U or 7800GTX's or something sure, you need a 550 but otherwise, they 430 or better will suffice and safe some cash. Also, the reputation of Antec's stuff is steller overall. There are also newer versions of the Sempron that are 64bit enabled, that takes away your negative in the first build. I think the costs are the same so it wont change you much.

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February 19, 2006 9:13:32 PM

You shouldn't need to buy an aftermarket HSF, AMD is pretty good with theirs. Usually there's a 100-200mhz leeway in the cooling ability, sometimes more.
February 20, 2006 3:18:17 PM

Nice post, agreed, should be sticky'd 8)
February 20, 2006 5:20:15 PM

Hey damn right "sticky it". Lot of work and time gone into it. AND it makes a fair bit of sense. Good post Mike
February 20, 2006 5:29:11 PM

nice post, has lots of info, Thx!
February 20, 2006 5:58:31 PM

Good picks MadModMike. I have to say though, I'd like to redo the whole thing based on overclocking alone. Also, I think you have odd tastes in memory and PSU's :o 
You should have done an ultra high end system made to crush any 3dmark06 record too ;p
If you ask, I'd be happy to do that...
February 21, 2006 1:34:38 AM

Yes, for the budget "pack", get rid of the case and PSU alltogether and stay with a Antec case with a PSU built in. Save's money and is worth while so you can then get a DVD+/-RW for everyone (?) that's my opnion BTW.
February 21, 2006 1:41:16 AM

if you haven't burned dvd's you haven't lived.
February 21, 2006 1:52:30 AM

hey mike ask the mod to make this a sticky my newbie freind loves this and your other thread about cpus
February 21, 2006 2:04:51 AM

I asked a Mod before but they just shun me off, must be because they're jealous they didn't think of it first and won't sticky something like this unless they can either do it, or steal it. So let's just post 1 message every few hours, it will stay at top.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
February 21, 2006 11:33:12 AM

BAAA Bump 8)
February 21, 2006 12:20:39 PM

i agree with the comment about the case/PS. The ps included with RAIDMAX cases are crap and you are wasting money buying two power supplies in the basic setup. There are plenty of good cases with decent power supplies for the same price as the RAID max which would save $60 by eliminating that second power supply from the build.
February 21, 2006 12:29:05 PM

I also notice you have no sound cards in any build. While motherboards normally come with at least 5.1 or 7.1 onboard sound, I think you would agree an enthusiast would want to have EAX support for gaming. A fast processor and gfx card make for fast gaming with nice eye candy, but great sound makes the experience complete.
February 21, 2006 1:25:24 PM

Bump again cus I want more post...
oh and its a good thread too, sticky for teh win
February 21, 2006 1:26:28 PM

Just sticky and make triple M come back every 2-3 weeks and update it :) 
February 21, 2006 1:34:17 PM

agreed, sound is very important. But even for a mid-range system. I have yet to build a system for any price w/o some version of a sound blaster.

Not only is creative the best sounding (x-fi anyone?) but how about stability? I have seen many issues connected with onboard sound drivers on other systems. Sound balster drivers (not the bloatware with it, just the drivers) hands down are rock solid. Always use one and you will understand what I mean.

Also, in enthusiast how about ATI x1900xtx? just a thought, but why not forget sli and get that level of performance in one card? expensive sure, but if you are an enthusiast?...

Great post though, good ideas.
February 21, 2006 1:42:47 PM

This is ideal- Sticky it..
February 21, 2006 1:46:57 PM

hey mike when i buy thg with my lotto winnings ill make you a mod ok :D 
February 21, 2006 2:42:05 PM

They should implement the "flagging" system that craigslist uses, it would be very useful here for things like this. Like need 50 people to flag it a sticky or something.
February 21, 2006 3:14:39 PM

Great topic should be stickied :)  Also the flagging system... would be a great idea :) 

And m3 Could you add like a killer system,,, High-end everything (case, hardware, cooling etc... ) Would be appreciated and handy to compare the systems listed against a higher-end system :) 
February 21, 2006 4:20:14 PM

Excellent post mike. I agree with the others on the case/ps suggestions, but overall it's an impressive post. I've got something interesting brewing to post later. Good job! I also say Sticky It! :-)

-- MaSoP
February 21, 2006 4:53:33 PM

bump before it drops in the neverending shadows of the forgotten topics of toms ;) 
February 21, 2006 4:58:44 PM

ima bump this till i get 400 :o 
February 21, 2006 5:57:19 PM

AHHH BUMP!!!!!
February 21, 2006 6:03:45 PM

bumpety bump bump
February 21, 2006 6:25:05 PM

Feels good to bump every once and awhile :) .

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
February 21, 2006 6:26:21 PM

BUMP BUMP BAM BUMP
February 21, 2006 6:55:50 PM

3M is known to be AMD biased.... and this clearly shows it. Not a single mention of an Intel. I've found that Intels overclock really well, and can beat a lot of AMD's for the price. For that reason it should have been included in the Enthusiast section.... but I guess that's too much to expect. :( 
February 21, 2006 7:20:28 PM

Wow, Windshear, you Intel-Loving newbie. Show me where this "3M is known to be AMD biased" comes from, because as I've stated, I have used and own all CPU's from 486 up to X2's, Opties, Xeon's, P4's, PD's, and will have Conroe's and AM2s, and I have come to the conclusion, from years of using these, that AMD CPU's are better performers, please, show me where in there lies this "Fanboy", because facts and fanboyism are different things mister.

And for the god damn final time, it does not matter if you overclock a P4 to 4.5GHz or above, it will not out perform an FX-57 slightly overclocked, so give it up with the whole "Intel overclocks better", because Ghz don't mean jack, jack.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
February 21, 2006 7:21:06 PM

Which Intels would you have included? I'm interested to know ^^
February 21, 2006 7:29:22 PM

ive bumped this so much today, i kicked it.
February 21, 2006 8:03:14 PM

bumped^^^
February 21, 2006 8:05:11 PM

since everyone is doing it a bump
February 21, 2006 8:39:59 PM

Quote:
3M is known to be AMD biased.... and this clearly shows it. Not a single mention of an Intel. I've found that Intels overclock really well, and can beat a lot of AMD's for the price. For that reason it should have been included in the Enthusiast section.... but I guess that's too much to expect. :( 


Well Intel?
what they do?

It is hard to be biased in case of AMD v. Intel where INTEL aged architecture is so for years screwed up. Intel performance is highly inflated for ages with Megahertz myth and aged and already dead Moores law.

In 2005, the company rushed out a dual-core design, which turned out to be another marketing hype and deception with decisively two processors slapped together in a single package.

Would you trust INTEL with such predatory decisive strategies just to maintain the share of the pie only by the force of deceptive marketing lies?
As long as Intel mafia will lie to generate sales, instead developing processor with an integrated memory controller, and engage in unfair trade - there is no point of supporting deceptive, dishonest and biased unfair marketing, there is no room for Intel any more in our PCs, at lest mine.

Intel has nothing to offer at this time except brainwashing by the foolish Intel store owners who do not sell AMD compatible products, and are forced to sell their stock to lie to their trusting customers.

for many of us INTEL = hype and deliberate confusion
February 21, 2006 8:57:52 PM

I still have my 486 system, too bad it won't post. :( 
February 21, 2006 9:04:53 PM

Have you tried overclocking that bad beast? I bet you could get some major Mhz outta that bad boy. Is it a DX2? If it's before that, then it doesn't have clock stepping, which means each MHz increase actually means something 8). What would be awesome is if somebody got their hands on a DX3.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
February 21, 2006 9:09:15 PM

I think you missed the It's not my money category :) 

Processor AMD Dual-Core Opteron 275 Socket 940 - Price $748 x 2 = $1,496

Motherboard TYAN S2891G2NR Dual Socket 940 NVIDIA nForce4 Professional Server MB Price $403.99

Memory CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM ECC Registered DDR 400 Price $323 x 4 = $1,292

Raid Card 3ware 9550SX-4LP 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X SATA II Raid Controller Price $325.99

Hard Drives Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Price $321 x 4 = $1,284

DVD Burners Plextor 16X DVD RW 8M Cache SATA Price $114.99 x 2 $229.98

Case Lian Li PC-7077A Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Price $189

PSU SeaSonic S12-600 ATX12V 600W Price $158.99

Sound Card reative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Price $121.99

Speakers Klipsch PROMEDIA ULTRA 5.1 470 watts 5.1 Speaker Price $299.99

Video Card POWERCOLOR 1900XTX512OEM Radeon X1900XTX 512MB Price $589

LCD Monitor SAMSUNG 244t-Black 24" 6ms (G to G) LCD Monitor Price $1354.99 x 2 = $2,709.98

Total $9,100.91
February 21, 2006 9:34:59 PM

uhh bumpity bump bump!
February 22, 2006 12:45:42 AM

Quote:
I think you missed the It's not my money category :) 

Processor AMD Dual-Core Opteron 275 Socket 940 - Price $748 x 2 = $1,496

Motherboard TYAN S2891G2NR Dual Socket 940 NVIDIA nForce4 Professional Server MB Price $403.99

Memory CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM ECC Registered DDR 400 Price $323 x 4 = $1,292

Raid Card 3ware 9550SX-4LP 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X SATA II Raid Controller Price $325.99

Hard Drives Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Price $321 x 4 = $1,284

DVD Burners Plextor 16X DVD RW 8M Cache SATA Price $114.99 x 2 $229.98

Case Lian Li PC-7077A Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Price $189

PSU SeaSonic S12-600 ATX12V 600W Price $158.99

Sound Card reative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Price $121.99

Speakers Klipsch PROMEDIA ULTRA 5.1 470 watts 5.1 Speaker Price $299.99

Video Card POWERCOLOR 1900XTX512OEM Radeon X1900XTX 512MB Price $589

LCD Monitor SAMSUNG 244t-Black 24" 6ms (G to G) LCD Monitor Price $1354.99 x 2 = $2,709.98

Total $9,100.91


Actually I think this is a great idea. Seeing what is the 'top of the line' products in each part will allow those with extra cash to choose an upgrade or two from the basic builds. So maybe I would build the 1,500 rig and because I care a lot about DVD's I want to spend extra on top of the line burner, or whatever other parts are personally more important to you. I vote for adding the 'Cutting Edge' (or whatever you want to call it) category. My only advice is to please make sure those top of the line products are 'top of the line' not just 'most expensive' which is not always the same. :D 
February 22, 2006 1:16:19 AM

Quote:
Motherboard: DFI LanParty nF4 Expert -- $189.99 Link

Motherboard: I chose this Motherboard due to performance and name. DFI is known for it's enthusiast boards that overclock like mad. What a perfect fit for the CPU I chose, this is very stable, has tons of features, and has SLI for future-proofing gaming performance.


Very Stable my ass, you forget to mention that it is great for those things IF you can get it running right in the first place. It's horribly picky with hardware and drivers! Now I'm not dumb when it comes to computer hardware and settings yet I won't claim to know everything (that's why I visit these forums) but I do know from my knowledge (sounds redunant I know) it shouldn't take me 2 weeks to get a computer to run right/stable! I get at least one to two BSOD a day due to hardware compatability issues (it really hates my wifi card). And as you can see from my sig it's not like I'm running a lot of expensive stuff and then one cheap part to bottleneck it!
February 22, 2006 1:18:14 AM

My experience with this board has been stable, regardless of what a few end-users has experienced, overall that board is stable. That board likes expensive, high-end parts, not value RAM or cheap PSU's. With other boards, such as the ASUS A8N-SLI, it took me over a week on some to get them to run perfectly stable, you have to train computer parts, in my experience, and that means giving it time to take a liking to your parts.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
February 22, 2006 1:43:37 AM

Ok, here is my 2 cents. This is the gaming rig I'd put together; which I call "The Beast". Keep in mind, this is not a "server" or "workstation" machine, it is designed exclusively around Hard Core Gaming and Multimedia Tasks such as Video Encoding. Oh, my choice for purchasing hardware is ZipZoomFly which is where I priced this setup from. I've bought from both companies in the past so they are both an excellent choice.


Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Dual Core) 4800+ Processor Socket 939 Retail - Price $630 Link

Motherboard: Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Athlon 64(FX)/Athlon 64 X2/Sempron Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, Dual Gigabit LAN, RAID/Serial ATA Retail - Price $204.99 Link

Memory: Corsair TWINX2048-3200C2PRO 2GB Kit DDR400 XMS3200 ProSeries Memory Retail - Price $241 Link

Hard Drives: Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB Serial ATA 10,000RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer - Price $279.50 x 2 = $559 Link

Floppy Drive: Mitsumi MTM43WBLK 1.44MB 3.5in Internal Floppy Disk Drive (Black) - Price $15.50 Link

DVD Burner: Plextor PX-740A 16X Internal Dual Layer DVD±R/RW CD-R/RW Drive (Black) Retail - Price $89.99 x 2 = $179.98 Link

Case: Thermaltake Shark Series VA7000BWA Full Tower Aluminum Case (Black) Retail w/o Power Supply - Price $149 Link

PSU: Antec NeoHE 550 High Efficiency 550W Power Supply Retail - Price $103.99 Link

Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Sound Card Retail - Price $175 Link

Speakers: Creative Labs GigaWorks S750 7.1 Speaker System Retail - Price $399.99 Link

Video Card: ASUS EN7800GTX GeForce 7800 GTX PCI Express 256MB DDR3 Video Card w/Dual DVI & VIVO Retail - Price $489.50 x 2 = $979 Link

LCD Monitor: Samsung 214T-Black SyncMaster 21in Digital LCD Monitor (Black) Retail - Price $679.99 Link

Grand Total: $4,317.44 + $71.38 S/H (Case, Panel, Speakers) = $4,388.76
Fed-Ex 5-7 Day (Case, Panel and Speakers)
Fed-Ex 2 Day FREE (All Other Parts)


Like mike's setup, this is the max it'll cost anyone as I am about 3,000 miles away from CA as well, lol. I don't see how most people would need a 2nd flat panel display, as a 20" or larger is more than sufficient for most gamers I know. I figure 2 super fast medium sized drives are better than 1 massive drive, plus that gives you a bit more peace of mind. One drive for the o/s and apps and the 2nd for games and other content. Can always buy a 3rd monster if needed. I don't feel RAID is neccessary for a gaming box though for a server, most certainly.

Any hot gaming rig just has to have a Dual GeForce 7800GTX SLI setup, at least until the next successor is released. A great alternative would be a Dual ATI X1900XT SLI setup. It is under the assumption that anyone buying a beast like this is going to have a broadband connection making a modem a moot issue. This is probably what I'd pick up if I put together a "beast" machine and had a $4,500 gaming budget. :-) This is just my 2 cents. Bump!

-- MaSoP
February 22, 2006 1:54:14 AM

THE RECORD BREAKER
FX60 $1,025.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
DFI CF-DR $154
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... w/ Crossfire
X1900XTX w/ Crossfire $589.00+$579.00=$1,168
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Crucial Ballistix 2x1gb $270
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM x4 RAID 0 $1,124.00
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... PC Power & Cooling 1000W PSU $489.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Vapochill XE II $839
http://www.jab-tech.com/Asetek-Vapochill-XE-II-Cooling-...
Grand Total: 4,034!
=D by the way, that crucial will hit 290 HTT and the CPU on Vapochill should hit 290x11=3.190 easy. of course you could always try for 290x12=3.480, but that might be pushing your luck. As for the graphics cards, build your own condensers and go for a full gigahertz on each ~.~
February 22, 2006 2:14:20 AM

Ok. I'm just overly curious how much this bad boy would cost: Cray X1E
I'm estimating somewhere in the 10-20 million range, lol. Could you imagine running an operating system on one of those monsters that supported high end games and included an octuple parallel based GPU? Damn... lol.

Quote:
THE RECORD BREAKER
FX60 $1,025.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
DFI CF-DR $154
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... w/ Crossfire
X1900XTX w/ Crossfire $589.00+$579.00=$1,168
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Crucial Ballistix 2x1gb $270
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM x4 RAID 0 $1,124.00
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... PC Power & Cooling 1000W PSU $489.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Vapochill XE II $839
http://www.jab-tech.com/Asetek-Vapochill-XE-II-Cooling-...
Grand Total: 4,034!
=D by the way, that crucial will hit 290 HTT and the CPU on Vapochill should hit 290x11=3.190 easy. of course you could always try for 290x12=3.480, but that might be pushing your luck. As for the graphics cards, build your own condensers and go for a full gigahertz on each ~.~
!