Looking for system building advice on a budget...

Well, I've read all the reviews and all and this is the system I have come up with. I'd love to head some experienced opinions.

Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego
BIOSTAR TForce4SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
BFG 7900 GT OC (and another one down the road)
CoolerMaster Centurion 5 Case
ANTEC Truepower 2.0 TPII550
Patriot Signature 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA NCQ S120GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
DVD/CD Undecided

I already have a good Audigy 2 soundcard. Bearing in mind I don't want to spend any more then what I have here (about $900). Are the any good alternate components you can recommend?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. Quote:
    Well, I've read all the reviews and all and this is the system I have come up with. I'd love to head some experienced opinions.

    Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego
    BIOSTAR TForce4SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
    BFG 7900 GT OC (and another one down the road)
    CoolerMaster Centurion 5 Case
    ANTEC Truepower 2.0 TPII550
    Patriot Signature 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA NCQ S120GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    DVD/CD Undecided

    I already have a good Audigy 2 soundcard. Bearing in mind I don't want to spend any more then what I have here (about $900). Are the any good alternate components you can recommend?

    Thanks in advance.



    Ok, to start as many others here will tell you SLI is a waste. Just get one video card.

    Personally, I avoid BIOSTAR motherboards like the plague. I once did a classroom install (government so the equipment was not of my choosing) using BIOSTAR boards. Out of the room with 25 machines, 20 of the machines has defective onboard sound, and 2 others blue screened on boot. Now obviously, I had a bad batch of boards which could happen to any manufactor. BIOSTAR refused to replace the boards, saying Windows was the problem.

    All of that instead, I would trade your BIOSTAR SLI board, for this Asus board instead:
    Asus A8N-E

    DFI is another strong contender, but I personally really like Asus. As for the RAM, I have never even heard of that brand. I like OCZ RAM personally, as if overclocks well, and is high quality stuff.

    As for DVD/CD.. NEC makes good DVD burners which are like $39 on Newegg.. If you want 2 drives, you can pick up a DVD-ROM drive for like $20 on Newegg. The hard drive looks fine.. the sound card as you said is nice..

    As for the CPU, especially if you want to game or do graphics a dual core CPU would not be a bad idea. A 3800+ is only about $70 more than a 3800+. Or, if you wish to get a really good CPU and can spend a bit more, go for an Opteron 170. Dual Core.. 2GHz, 1MB of L2 cache per core.
  2. So if I were to go for the 3800+ Duel Core that would be the better option, bearing in mind I don't multitask very often?

    What is wrong with the SLI setup, surely it leaves a lot of room for expansion in the future? Like if I was to buy a 7900 GTX, I'm sure it would be cheaper to buy another say a year from now and get the same performance as a newly release top of the line card.

    I'm torn with mobo's, I'm basing a lot of my decisions on the newegg reviews and that Biostar one was the highest rated SLI board under $150.
  3. Here's a tip for saving money, stick with one card because a 7900GTX is powerful enough as it is, and stick with Corsair or OCZ memory. As Mobo's are concerned, BIOSTAR are not good, and Asus or DFI would be the better option. Newegg reviews aren't accurate, and personally, if you want accurate reviews, go to actual hardware review sites which properly test and benchmark mobos and give unbiased results. A 3800+ dual core processor is fine, as long as you OC it a little to bring it into decent performance. Personally, a 3700+ is powerful enough as it is, OCed or not, and if you are going for budget then stick with your original options. Only go dual-core if you plan to make a system that lasts more than a year or so.
  4. So if I were to go for the 3800+ Duel Core that would be the better option, bearing in mind I don't multitask very often?

    What is wrong with the SLI setup, surely it leaves a lot of room for expansion in the future? Like if I was to buy a 7900 GTX, I'm sure it would be cheaper to buy another say a year from now and get the same performance as a newly release top of the line card.


    Time and time again, 2 video cards via SLI have failed to outperform ONE high end card (Tom has done this test for every new release on video cards, and it never fails.) One high-end card is better than 2 mid-range cards in SLI.

    As, Bluefinger said, newegg reviews are not very accruate, and hardware sites (including Toms) do not give BIOSTAR very favourable ratings for anything. A dual core chip will increase the usefulness of your system, especially in gaming (which can take advantage of both cores). However, if you are sticking to the budget a 3700+ is by no means a bad CPU.
  5. Well, I cetainly agree with the GTX being more powerful then the duel GT's but judging by the benchmarks of the 7900 series, there's not enough in it to really make a difference to me. My issue in that regard is that I can't for out for a GTX right now so I figure if I get the GT with my initial build, and 6 months down the line throw in another (when it'll probably be a little cheaper too) I can get nearly the same performance while still sticking to my budget for the initial purchase.

    I think I'm going to stick with the CPU I have chosen, it seems very highly regarded and good to OC.

    The aspect at the moment I am now really unsure about is the Mobo. My requirements are as follows...

    - SLI
    - Ability to switch out for a duel core in a year or so
    - Reliable and good for a new builder

    I have heard MSI do a good cheap SLI board. But the lower end SLI Asus boards don't seem very highly regarded.
  6. CPU is fine. You really don't need SLI setup. However if you really are planning to do so why not spend a few dollars more and get A8N-SLI Deluxe or A8N-SLI Premium, since you'll be spending another $200 a year later on a video card anyways.
  7. Okay, here's my revision...

    Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego
    Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe Mobo
    BFG 7900 GT OC (and another one down the road)
    CoolerMaster Centurion 5 Case
    ANTEC Truepower 2.0 TPII550
    OCZ Performance 2x1GB Duel Channel RAM
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA NCQ S120GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    DVD/CD Undecided

    You think that'll build a good rig?

    Also, do I need a 3 1/2 inch drive for bios?

    One more, does anyone know somewhere that describes the process of building a system for dummies? :lol:
  8. I dunno, I've heard some bad things about those A8N-SLI Deluxe boards. Might be worth the extra bucks to get the Premium version. Or just do like I did and get an EPoX 9NPA+ board! :) (There's a comparable DFI board available as well.)

    I have that RAM and that PSU, and am pleased with both. I've heard good things about that case too. As for the DVD drive, I have an NEC 3540A, and like damn near everyone else who has one I'm quite happy with it. I understand they're more reliable than the current 3550A model; last I saw, you can still get 3540's on TigerDirect, and I recommend that you do.

    Floppy drive....On the one hand, you'll probably never use it. On the other hand, it's sort of like a one-time $10 insurance payment in case everything else goes bad and you have to go old-school. You're already spending a good deal of money on the build--an extra $10 for a decent floppy drive won't hurt.

    There was a thread posted in this forum a few days ago that had links to good, fairly up-to-date build guides. Check out some recent threads and you'll find a good one. Or just Google--things have changed a bit over the years, but the essentials are still true, and your motherboard's instructions should help you most of the way anyway.
  9. Skip the Asus and DFI boards and get Foxconn, great boards for less. After all, you said on a budget. DFI and Asus aren't exactly budget. Personally, I've found Biostar boards to be not nearly as bad as others in this forum believe them to be, and Asus boards to be not nearly as good or reliable as others believe them to be. DFI boards are nice, but not cheap. And why is their warranty only one year?
  10. Get the ASUS A8N-SLI Premium my friend has this and it is so nice.The amount of features and the reliability and the performance is very good for the price.As for video card get the GT and get a different card later on.Don't do SLI it is just not worth it.The performance gain is very little.Everything else looks fine to me.
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