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New Computer Parts List - Advice Please

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April 21, 2006 3:00:49 PM

I'm helping a friend build a new system and we worked out the following list of parts last night. I was hoping to get some advice on the parts list so far. If there are any parts that just generally suck or of there are similarly priced parts out there that outperform these, I'd like to hear about them. He mainly does gaming, web development, some minor audio stuff, and possibly some minor video type stuff:

Antec P180 Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Antec TruePower 480W SLI Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Abit AN8 32X ATX Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Patriot 2GB DDR 400 (PC 3200) RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

eVGA GeForce 7900GT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Western Digital 74GB Raptor (system drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Maxtor DiamondMax 10 300GB (storage drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
April 21, 2006 3:59:56 PM

@Maxtor drive--AHHHHHH NO, bad harddrive. The amount of complaints about Diamondmax 10/11 not working with Nforce 4 sli chipsets is too many to count. I realise that I am one of the lucky few who haven't had any real issues with it, but please dont' get a Maxtor drive.

I would suggest getting another Western Digital drive. Look for the WD4000KD, it kicks so much ass. Its big, its fast, its a Western Digital.

@Antec PSU--I would be careful about them. THG did a stress test awhile back and if i remember correctly the Antec Trupower 2 failed the test. The best PSU's currently are FSP Group, Seasonic, and Enermax. I prefer the FSP Group Epsilon class PSU. Its amazingly solid and quiet. Other PSU's may give other benefits like modular cables, but I don't care about them lol.

@Patriot Ram--Your system seems to be prime for overclocking, so if you intend on doing that I would seriously suggest some diffrent ram. The Mushkin Redline 2x1GB DDR500 is some good stuff. OCZ, and Crucial make DDR500 2x1GB packages, as I am sure Patriot does too. My point is DDR400 ram when overclocking is kind of a waste.

@WD System Drive-- Go with the Raptor 150GB if you can afford it. Its bigger, its faster, its the new raptor heh.

@X-Fi platinum--I wouldn't really go with that one unless you need all those connectivity options. You can save yourself $40-50 with the X-FI music edtion, just a thought though.
April 21, 2006 5:44:54 PM

dont spend that much on a motherboard. Get a lanparty ultra d then change that 3800 to a opty 165 and get PC 4000 RAM. That is about the difference. Will equal out to about the same cost. That opty with PC 4000 RAM will OC easy to 2.4 and can be pushed higher by ajusting some stuff.
Related resources
April 21, 2006 6:21:05 PM

I can't say anything that superfly did not already say...
April 21, 2006 6:27:55 PM

Thanks for the help so far... I'll keep checking this thread before he orders this weekend. I appreciate all the advice and we'll definitely be making some revisions to the first parts list :)  ...

Any more advice is always welcome. The more we have to work off of the better...
April 21, 2006 6:54:43 PM

Looks like a good setup to me. If anything, try to get the RAM in two 1Gb sticks if available, and as one poster said, if you want to overclock later on, get the DDR500 spec'd RAM in two 1Gb sticks.

Also, even though the PSU is sufficient, maybe pushing it over the 500 watt mark wouldn't hurt since:

a. you are running a dual-core
b. you are running a significant amount of memory
c. a 10k Raptor, plus another HDD, is going to use a lot more power than a single 7200rpm drive.

Good luck.
April 22, 2006 6:39:34 AM

Ok, after some revisions suggested on the forums I posted this on, I came up with this list. Once again, any comments or suggestions are appreciated. Especially looking for comments on a heatsink/fan combo or a watercooling solution for the CPU, or both for the sake of comparison :)  ... Mainly looking to keep this thing cool, but also as quiet as possible. I'm using an XP-120 with a quiet 120mm fan on my computer, but not sure what I should recommend to him. Here is the second draft list (I left my notes to him in there just for the hell of it)...


Case
Antec P180 Case $133.33 (cheaper at zipzoomfly after adding shipping at newegg)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

The other option is sticking with your current case (Antec P160) and moving your old system into a media center type case for BeyondTV service...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Power Supply
We might need to get a 4-pin extension cable if you want to route the cable in the P180 case, at least that is what I'm reading:
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/...

Seasonic S12-500 - $119 after rebate (more expensive but more reliable, very quiet, and all the cables are wrapped)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Antec Smartpower 500w - $66.59
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Antec TruepowerII 550w - $79.99
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Processor
AMD Athlon X2 3800 - $297
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

AMD Athlon X2 4200 ($337 when purchased with the OCZ memory below)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Memory
OCZ Gold GX 2GB - DDR 500 - $162.99 after rebate
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hard Drive
Seagate 400GB SATAII - $199 (saves you $80 by getting one drive instead of 2)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Motherboard
http://www.nforcershq.com/article5877.html (DFI better for overclocking but the A8N 32X supports x16 SLI)

Abit AN8 32X - $154.99 after rebate - expires 4/30
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Video Card
EVGA 7900GT - $319
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sound Card
Soundblaster X-Fi Platinum - $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DVD Drive
NEC ND-4570A - $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Misc

10" Rounded IDE Cable - $2.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

4Pin Extension Cable - $3.50 (just in case cable routing in the P180 is an issue)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $5.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...

Heatsink & Fan (Need Recommendations)
April 22, 2006 7:14:40 AM

Zalman flat out has the best heatsinks made. They are on par with entry level water cooling systems at .2C/w i believe. If you have the room go with the 7700-CU i think its called. Its a 120mm pure copper heatsink. It will ice your proc as best as air cooling can.

Once you hit water it gets complicated depending on cooling needs, how many blocks your using, case room, pump pressure and flow. I can advise you on it but I would not recommend it unless you are going for crazy overclocks or really just can't stand the heat your computer is putting out. Also as a side note, i fractured my resevoir due to excessive transportation because I am in college and I go home every now and then, so thats nother variable in the equation.

As for the PSU I would go with the seasonic of the ones you picked out. I am not a fan of antec due to prior dealings where the vcore flucated too much for my taste.

For the Proc go 3800+ if you plan to OC and save the cash, if you dont plan on OC'ing then get the 4200+. In either case you can't go wrong, the only diffrence between the two is the high side multiplier you get.

As for the hard drive, THG has posted a few things about Seagate, specificly that they are slower than the normal 7200RPM drive, so thats something to consider. Hitatchi's run hot from what I know, and WD's are just flat out king.

Motherboard-- 32x SLI won't make a diffrence at all. The SLI can barely graze the potential of 16x SLI much less require 32x SLI so dont' waste the money unless you really feel the need to.

7900GT is an excellent choice.

Keep us informed. :) 
April 22, 2006 2:29:23 PM

Quote:
How about this HDD instead:

WD SE16 400GB
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

If he wasn't going with the 32x SLI, which motherboard (brand/model) would you recommend? I've heard the DFI motherboards are good for overclocking but I've never owned a DFI myself.


Now thats a nice hard drive :) 

The only problem with DFI boards is they are complicated as sh!t. There are so many options in the BIOS and so many ways to crash your system. There are backup CMOS and alot of great features, but they were never meant for noobs (sorry just dont know a better word 8O ).

Well after looking at your options, that 32x SLI board is alot cheaper than I thought. I was going on the notion that 32x SLI boards were still over $220, not the $185 that one is, adn thats before the meail in rebate. So all in all you will almost definately have a good experiance with that Abit. My friend uses an abit, one of the first ever nforce 4 boards and its solid.
April 22, 2006 8:32:45 PM

Well, noob is somewhat appropriate if you are talking about OCing. I haven't really dabbled in overclocking since the days of the BH6 and Celeron 300a->450 :)  but I've been building PCs since the days of the 486/33 processors :)  ... I haven't built an AMD system in awhile because I was still on a list to get heavily discounted stuff from Intel, none of which was really great for overclocking. The guy buying all of this stuff is more of a programmer really but he's put together a machine or two, and the other guy helping out put together a watercooled AMD system fairly recently using the P180 case. We're just all friends trying to get this thing ordered as quickly as possible while trying to limit any obvious weak areas in the parts list.
April 22, 2006 8:35:02 PM

Sounds like a more experianced grp than when I first started overclocking/building/water cooling. I had myself.... and a thought lol. This was before I discovered forums. Ahh those were the ugly days. 8O

Edit: My only problem with the P180 case is there isn't enough room for 2 entirely seperate cooling loops. It looks nice, and I've heard alot of ppl going with it, but I am going way over the top with my Water Cooling rebuild. Lian li PC-V2100B :twisted:
April 22, 2006 10:28:54 PM

Yeah I think the case we are looking for is a quiet/affordable/well built case. Since one of the guys helping out has a P180 and is used to working with it, I think we'll be all right. Most of the complaints I've heard deal with cable routing and cable length issues and some cramped working conditions. I've always liked the Lian Li cases, I just haven't been willing to shell that much out for them. I have a P160 beacase at the time, it was the only case I could find that was considered quiet, didn't have a door on the front (I don't really care for case doors), had an intake filter, and wasn't over $130...
April 23, 2006 12:03:27 AM

Agreed. Antec makes a great value case. Lian Li are possibly the best cases but damned expensive. I figure If i am going to drop $500-600 on cooling I might as well go all the way and pony up the cash for a big case to fit it all in comfratably.

You know this overclocking addiction is expensive 8O
!