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First Complete system build

Last response: in Systems
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April 15, 2006 7:14:59 PM

Well this will be the first time I've put a complete system together. I have a limited budget, so I'm near what I intend to spend. What I will be using my system for:

Serving files via IRC, Some Video work- ripping dvd's and the like, some photoshop, lots of raring/unraring

I won't be playing games much, and I won't overclock. Here's what I'm intending to buy:


ASPIRE X-Navigator ATXA9N/500 Beige Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX 500W dual fan power supply w/ automatic fan speed control Power Supply - Retail
Model #: ATXA9N/500
Item #: N82E16811144165
$84.99

Thermaltake 18" Black IDE(ATA66/100/133) Round Cable Model A2049 - Retail
Model #: A2049
Item #: N82E16812183033
$4.39

ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 Socket 939 ULi M1697 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #: 939SLI32-eSATA2
Item #: N82E16813157087
$82.99

ASUS EAX550GE/TD/256M Radeon X550 256MB DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Model #: EAX550GE/TD/256M
Item #: N82E16814121544
$65.99

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz HT Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3700CFBOX - Retail
Model #: ADA3700CFBOX
Item #: N82E16819103622
$235.00

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS - Retail
Model #: F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS
Item #: N82E16820231047
$165.99 -$25.00 Instant $140.99

SONY Beige 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP - OEM
Model #: MPF920 Beige
Item #: N82E16821103109
$7.99

Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YD 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: WD2500YD
Item #: N82E16822136010
$95.00

Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200JS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: WD3200JS
Item #: N82E16822136017
$124.00

Subtotal: $841.34

I intend to put the operating system on 250 gig drive, it has a five year warranty, and is made for 24/7 server operation, which is what I do on IRC. I'll be using my DVD burner (nec3550), a 300gig IDE (ata133) and monitor from my current system as well.

As my IRC channel uses an inforced sharing scheme, the more I have online for others to get, the more I can get for myself. This is why I selected the case and motherboard that I did. The case has plenty of room for adding more drives, and the power supply that will support them. I could see myself adding more sata2 drives and even a couple more IDE's in the future.

On the motherboard, I don't intend to be a gamer or use the sli function of the board, but I really like many of the other features of the board, sata2, gigabit lan, the possibilty of external sata drive at full sata speed.

The reviews on the on board audio have been mixed, I have a soundblaster live card, I could use or I might just get a new card at a later point in time if I'm not happy with it.

The G-skill Ram I'm choosing troubled me, but I decided to spend a little more and get a full 2 gig, then if I upgrade to Windows Vista in the future I'd have the option of getting 2 more sticks to match what already have. They have a CAS of 2.5, and because I don't intend to overclock, I figure they'll be ok.

I have 2 questions I have yet to resolve. The first is the use of Artic Silver heatsink compound. I very much like the sounds of this stuff, but I have also read that it's use can void your CPU warranty. Does anyone know per fact the truth of this? (this rumor I got from a review of the stuff on newegg)

The second question is, as I'm installing Win XP SP2 on my 250 sata drive, there is some mention of having to interrupt the process by hitting F6, and installing sata drivers from floppy? so that this motherboard/xp will see the drive. I've never installed an operating system to a computer that did not have an os on another disk, so I'm in uncharted "terrortory" here.

For my first post to this forum I've gone on quite a bit here, and if my 2 questions would be better posted elsewhere let me know.

Thanks for any advice you may provide.

More about : complete system build

April 16, 2006 12:54:41 AM

The sound on that motherboard will most likely be BETTER than the SB Live you have. Unless you get one of the newer Audigy series or X-FI, you probably won't notice the sound being overly horrible ;) 


I've never heard anything about AS5 voiding your warranty. BUT that doesn't mean it doesn't...

As for the "F6" issue, I've never had to do that unless I've had a Raid array set up. Just a regular Sata Drive on there, it should be fine.
April 17, 2006 9:51:34 AM

Well I guess I can't be too far off, with the number of views that my post has had, and no-one has suggested any major changes or forgotten parts. I thank purelithium for his reply, sounds like I should be able to get the OS on the sata drive without problems.

As for the artic silver question, I took the time to dig through AMD's website, and could find no direct mention of it use being ok or not by AMD itself. (I don't know about anyone else, but I find AMD's site to be a maze of outdated info, mixed with hard to find useful info, that is very difficult to navigate.) It seemed to me the best and fastest way of finding what you're looking for was to go into the forums and do a search, then follow a link to where someone else found the answer.

I did find this little tidbit on the warranty page:

This Limited Warranty shall be null and void if the AMD microprocessor which is the subject of this Limited Warranty is used with any heatsink/fan other than the one provided herewith.

AMD Warranty Page

Interesting! So far I'm leaning toward NOT using the artic silver, mostly because of what I intend to use the system for, the hassel of having to clean the stock stuff off just doesn't seem neccessary to me.

Your replies are most welcome, thank you for your feedback.
April 17, 2006 6:44:05 PM

If you are going to run the system 24/7 consider an Opteron CPU. The reason why is these CPUs are made for servers and thus QCed to run 24/7/365. A64s are meant for home systems are not put through the same testing.

Consider the Opteron 148 for $259.00 It runs the same speed as the 3700+ with 1MB of L2 cache. A dual core (like the 165) won't really make much difference in your system, and will add $100 to the cost.

Just my 2 cents.
!