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Ordering my build Saturday - Plse Critique ASAP $2500 Budget

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March 15, 2006 7:28:38 PM

My tax return is finally here so I now have cash in hand to buy a new system. Please critique my build. I already have a monitor, keyboard & mouse and O/S. I am looking for feedback regarding compatibility issues, performance vs cost, if anything is overkill and unecessary & if the parts listed could be obtained at a lower rate than what I listed.
I will be using this to play Guild Wars, COD2, BF2, EQ2 and Oblivion as well as dvd burning. I would like to overclock (although I need to learn how to do this) and also future proof this as much as possible. My budget for this is $2500.00 US dollars (if you have a completely different build and stay within the $2500 budget I am open to anything).


$149.99 Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window - Retail (will this case be cool enough or should I add any fans? my current computer over heats all the time)
$174.99 ENERMAX Liberty ELT620AWT 620W Power Supply - Retail (is this overkill? If so what would be a suitable replacement)
$160.00 Western Digital Raptor 74GB 3.5" Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
$200.00 Western Digital Caviar SE16 400GB 3.5" Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
$73.99 SONY 16XDVD±R,5X DVD-RAM Write DVD Burner With Black front panel Beige E-IDE/ATAPI Model DRU820A - Retail (is this the best performance vs cost in a dual layer dvd burner?)
$139.99 Klipsch Promedia GMX A-2.1 2.1 Speaker - Retail
$121.99 Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic Sound Card - Retail (will having this help performance/sound quality over the on board audio to justify the cost?)
$59.99 ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm 2 Ball Blue LED Light Cooling Fan with Heatsink - Retail (will this be enough to keep my system running cool? As I noted earlier my current computer overheats and resets all the time)
$214.33 OCZ Gold GX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM System Memory - Retail (is this good for overclocking? Is it a good performance vs cost choice?)
$172.00 DFI LP UT nF4 SLI-DR nVIDIA nFORCE4 SLI CHIPSET SERIAL ATA150 ATX FORM FACTOR 2xPCI-E(X16)/1xPCI-E(X4)/1xPCI-E(X1)/2xPCI/4xDDR W/SATA,RAID,DUAL LAN(Gb),1394,USB 2.0 & AUDIO (CPU TYPE:AMD ATHLON 64 - SOCKET 939) (I want to overclock and heard this was a good brand. I dont plan on having duel video cards so could I go with a lesser DFI board or stick with this one?)

I am having a hard time choosing a processor:
$453.50 AMD ATHLON 64 X2 4400+ (ADA4400CDBOX) RETAIL BOXED W/1MB X 2 CACHE 90NM (TOLEDO) (is this better than the operton 175?)
$504.00 AMD Opteron 175 1GHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor - Retail (Should I get this because of its overclockability?)

I am also having a hard time choosing a video card. Please keep in mind the games I want to play (Guild Wars, COD2, BF2, EQ2 and Oblivion):
$599.00 ATI Radeon X1900XTX 100-435805 Video Card - Retail (If I go with this chipset what is the best card to get? Is the ATI version worth the extra money? Should I get a XTX or XT?)
$369.00 eVGA Geforce 7900GT 256-P2-N565-AX Video Card - Retail (Which card with this chipset should I get? I listed the eVGA but should I get a different one? Is the GTX worth the extra money or should I go with the GT?)
$599.00 eVGA Geforce 7900GTX 512-P2-N575-AX Video Card - Retail (Which card with this chipset should I get? I listed the eVGA but should I get a different one? Is this card worth the extra money or should I go with a GT?)


Thank you all in advance for your time and effort.
March 15, 2006 7:40:42 PM

That’s a lot to take in. As far as the sound card, I think that’s overkill unless you like THX (which if you do the speaker setup is not great) and if you are not going to be doing a lot of recording (midi) then yes, you can afford to go down to an Audgy 2 or 4 version. Both give excellent sound and easily surpass the quality of those speakers. I have the Audigy 4 on my PC and its hooked up to a Sony AV Receiver with 5.1 Polk surrounds and a Sony subwoofer and I still am not getting the full quality of sound possible from the Audigy – compare that with those Klipsh speakers and you’ll be loosing something like 50% or more of the quality ‘possible’. Just my opinion though. Anyway, you could use the extra 100 on beefing up some other part of the computer like the CPU.
March 15, 2006 8:15:44 PM

just a quick comment on your choice of CPU cooler, NICE!! I have one and it idles at 29C on my AMD 4800 X2

$59.99 ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm 2 Ball Blue LED Light Cooling Fan with Heatsink - Retail (will this be enough to keep my system running cool? As I noted earlier my current computer overheats and resets all the time)

nice price too, I paid 69.00 for mine at Fry's
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March 15, 2006 8:34:20 PM

DUDE! with that budget u can build 2 great gamin rigs. Like was said, id say get the audigy 2, is like $75.00. U dont need that much pwr, but if ur gonna splurdge, get the opty. That DFI, ive been told, is a great board, but a lil technical. I just ordered a bunch of components for a gaming rig, last night. Went with the ASUA A8N-E, has the NF4ultra chip. Im mostly gonna be gaming, so got a good deal on the x1800xt got for 299. I would say that x1900xt would suit u just fine. can get for around 450.00 dont need the xtx version. That good ram, though i perfer corsar. I went with a Lian Li case. looks real nice and has removabel hd and slide on mobo w/ thumbnail screws. I got the 3700+sandy though that opty is sweet. U will get a lot of dif opinions on dual vs single core. For gaming i say single all the way. I think will be a lil while before multi threads will take advantage of the dual, unless u a heavy multi tasker. Didnt look at ur p/s but alot of high wattage ones are not really that great. u need to look at all they have @a on the rails. Need 2 rails for sure, to dedicate one to the vid card. some of what i choose, following links

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

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

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

You should be able to build a kick ass system for 1,500.00 I spent 1,200 on mine, originally had budgeted 1,000. But went for the 2 gigs dimm and better vid crd. The games that will be comming out soon, will be just as demanding if not more than BF2 and FEAR. good vid crd and mem will be necessary. All in all what u chose was great, just pricy, but u might have deeper pockets than me. Man i should have got an opty :roll:
March 15, 2006 8:50:29 PM

go to the platinum memory for ocz, with that board you donot want the gold seriesit requires a 3.2 volts on that board to run stable. tried that on the board you are l;ooking at getting. the platinum or titanium series is much bteer due to not having voltage issues.
March 15, 2006 8:52:08 PM

Quote:
If you have the money, defenetly go for either 7900GTX or X1900XT. Also, I think a soundcard is usually an overkill, but if you want it, go ahead.

The rest of your system looks sweet. :wink:


Agreed.

Only other thing is, I like to match my chips, i.e. if i buy nvidia 7900, i'd get a nvidia chipset MB, and vise versa.

Also what class/lvl you play in EQ2? :D 
March 15, 2006 8:52:10 PM

make sure to update the bios on that board. to support dual core. go to dfi.com for the bio flash
March 15, 2006 9:32:13 PM

I have a question what is your monitor? If it has a max resolution of 1280 X 1024 a x1600xt can produce close to fps of even the top cards for less than half the price.
On the hard drives the raptor 150 GB with a 200 GB storeage drive may work better at close the same price.
March 15, 2006 9:45:18 PM

I recently purchased new speakers, and from my research the logitech 2.1 system is much better, the z-2300 you can usually find them on sale for around the same price point.

My friend is an audiophile and also thinks that around that price the logitech are much better.

Unlike the other people I believe that the 7900GTX is overkill. I prefer to save the extra 200 and use it to upgrade in a year or two. Just another thing for you to think about.

I also think the opty is a better bet, especially if your going to overclock. The opterons are so good at overclocking. People talk about them constantly on the forums.
March 15, 2006 10:15:40 PM

The PSU is way overkill, a 420W one would be more than sufficiant.

I would reccomend the Radeon X1900XT, not the XTX. A 25 MHz core increase is NOT worth another $100. I seriously doubt you would ever come across a situation where you could tell the difference between the two cards (the difference between the two is usually about 1%). And if you really care, just overclock it by 25 MHz. A 7900GTX would be good too, but I would personally prefer the X1900 because it can do HDR and AA at the same time.

If you are in to overclocking, an opteron 170 would be a much better choice than the 175. People actually get BETTER results with that chip because of its 10x multiplier (you could lower the 175's to 10, but then you would be wasting money).
March 20, 2006 3:39:51 PM

Thank you to all who contributed their thoughts. After reviewing the feedback from this and a few other boards I posted on I have chosed to go with the following. The prices listed include shipping and the total ends up being $2479.10 which is just under my $2500 budget. Please review my final list for any error or incompatibilities (I am concerned my power supply might not be enough). Once I get the feedback I am going to order tonight or tomorrow. Thank you.

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS $149.99 http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A131130...
DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert $189.00 http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A480860...
PC Power & Cooling 510 SLI-PFC ATX12V 510W Power Supply $226.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
eVGA Geforce 7900GTX 512-P2-N575-AX Video Card $602.25 http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?cart_i...
AMD Opteron 165 Denmark 1GHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model OSA165CDBOX $328.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
OCZ Platinum Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 500 (PC 4000) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model OCZ5002048EBPE-K $284.65 http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?cart_i...
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $95.00 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
2 x HITACHI Deskstar 7K80 HDS728080PLA380 -0A30356 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (raid 0) $109.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Microsoft Natural 4000 Black Wired Keyboard $54.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Logitech G5 Laser $49.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE/ATAPI Model ND-3550A $38.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card $127.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
THERMALRIGHT XP-90 Multiple Heatpipes Cpu Heatsink with Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $44.27 http://order.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/wg-order?unique=e5...
ZALMAN FB123 92mm Sleeve Cooling Fan $11.95 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Logitech THX Z-5300e 280 Watts RMS 5.1 Speaker $121.22 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Razer Mantis Control Mouse Pad $30.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
NEC Black Internal Floppy Drive Model FD1231H-302 $11.88 $http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
March 20, 2006 6:06:09 PM

*salute* It has my seal of approval :lol:  :lol: 
a b B Homebuilt system
March 20, 2006 7:47:44 PM

"$174.99 ENERMAX Liberty ELT620AWT 620W Power Supply - Retail (is this overkill? If so what would be a suitable replacement) "

LOL!

That is WAY too much for a power supply....; I'd expect you could buy a case, PS, and a DVD burner for that much!
a b B Homebuilt system
March 20, 2006 7:50:30 PM

"(I want to overclock and heard this was a good brand. I dont plan on having duel video cards so could I go with a lesser DFI board or stick with this one?)
"

There are a variety of single PCI-e slot mainboards in both NF4 and RD480 chipsets available for about $80-$90...
March 20, 2006 8:14:38 PM

You first mentioned ATI as a GPU...The X1900XTX is a very good card too, and cheaper than $610... Here is ATI's X1900XTX for $539
The Opty 170 has the best OC results, I have the 175.
And the Asus A8R32-MVP mobo is a good choice...
lastly, Fortron's Epsilon 600watt PSU costs $130 and is very good quality...
March 20, 2006 8:38:20 PM

Quote:
Thank you to all who contributed their thoughts. After reviewing the feedback from this and a few other boards I posted on I have chosed to go with the following. The prices listed include shipping and the total ends up being $2479.10 which is just under my $2500 budget. Please review my final list for any error or incompatibilities (I am concerned my power supply might not be enough). Once I get the feedback I am going to order tonight or tomorrow. Thank you.

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS $149.99 http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A131130...
DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert $189.00 http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A480860...
PC Power & Cooling 510 SLI-PFC ATX12V 510W Power Supply $226.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
eVGA Geforce 7900GTX 512-P2-N575-AX Video Card $602.25 http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?cart_i...
AMD Opteron 165 Denmark 1GHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model OSA165CDBOX $328.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
OCZ Platinum Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 500 (PC 4000) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model OCZ5002048EBPE-K $284.65 http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?cart_i...
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $95.00 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
2 x HITACHI Deskstar 7K80 HDS728080PLA380 -0A30356 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (raid 0) $109.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Microsoft Natural 4000 Black Wired Keyboard $54.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Logitech G5 Laser $49.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE/ATAPI Model ND-3550A $38.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card $127.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
THERMALRIGHT XP-90 Multiple Heatpipes Cpu Heatsink with Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $44.27 http://order.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/wg-order?unique=e5...
ZALMAN FB123 92mm Sleeve Cooling Fan $11.95 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Logitech THX Z-5300e 280 Watts RMS 5.1 Speaker $121.22 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Razer Mantis Control Mouse Pad $30.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
NEC Black Internal Floppy Drive Model FD1231H-302 $11.88 $http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...



for 1 gpu all you need is a dfl landparty ultra d and then get a x1900xtx. then get the ocz 2-3-2-5 2 gig set you dont need to oc your memory on a64/opteron setups, follow it up with a opty 170 for the 10x and your allgood. oh yeah, the optys ship with a great 4 heatpipe cooler so u can take that out because the stock cooler is great (I know I have a opty 165 running @2.8ghz 1.45volts, temps stay under 52c with full load on both cores)
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