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Help me throw away my Dell! My 1st Self Build

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April 28, 2006 11:19:41 PM

Only ever owned Dell so I thought I might see what I could do with a self build. Basically I need someone to check that everything I have is compatible/suitable and would like suggestions on lower priced alternatives as I have a budget of £500 for the base unit. Only thing I'm definite on is the Pentium D 940.

I'm not a hard core gamer but would like to be able to run them if I wanted too so won't be using dual video cards.

My New Egg Wish List

More about : throw dell 1st build

April 29, 2006 12:35:33 PM

ok what about using this case instead of separates...

Antec Lifestyle Sonata II

And should I consider a different motherboard as I'm not likely to use SLI?
April 29, 2006 1:34:49 PM

Quote:
Only ever owned Dell so I thought I might see what I could do with a self build. Basically I need someone to check that everything I have is compatible/suitable and would like suggestions on lower priced alternatives as I have a budget of £500 for the base unit. Only thing I'm definite on is the Pentium D 940.

I'm not a hard core gamer but would like to be able to run them if I wanted too so won't be using dual video cards.

My New Egg Wish List


What a teaser subject line! I thought we were gonna get a link to a video of you killing your Dell, like tossing it out the window of a fast-moving car or off a tall building. Kill the Dell!!! You'll feel much better afterwards.
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April 29, 2006 2:03:34 PM

well....I live in a tall building so it's a possibility but I'd have to build this fist...sorry!
April 29, 2006 2:05:42 PM

Quote:
Only ever owned Dell so I thought I might see what I could do with a self build. Basically I need someone to check that everything I have is compatible/suitable and would like suggestions on lower priced alternatives as I have a budget of £500 for the base unit. Only thing I'm definite on is the Pentium D 940.

I'm not a hard core gamer but would like to be able to run them if I wanted too so won't be using dual video cards.

My New Egg Wish List


Might want to look for a mobo with out SLI if you're not going to ever run 2 graphic cards. While the price of this mobo is good, might be able to find a mobo without SLI but with 1394 connection for the same price or without 1394 that would be a bit less expensive.. I have a Sonata and really like it, very quiet and the Sonata II is supposed to be even better. Everything looks compatable.
April 29, 2006 2:11:35 PM

Quote:
well....I live in a tall building so it's a possibility but I'd have to build this fist...sorry!


Don't punch it. You might cut your hand.
April 29, 2006 6:30:46 PM

Ok, I've pretty much decided on this setup (as long as I can get them at similar prices over here in the UK) :roll:

Updated List

Any problems? will the power supply in the case run everything/connectors ok? anything I've missed?
April 29, 2006 6:41:05 PM

OK Dollar prices when bought over in UK....

Pentium 940....$338
Case...$146
RAM...$127
Motherboard...$127
HDD...$109
Graphics...$182

Grand total of $1029

Which puts me at £563...a little over budget.

UK prices suck.
April 29, 2006 7:30:36 PM

Ok I'll list my suggestions:

Case: Get a Antec Sonata II, much you save money on the PSU and case, because they are both included in the $100 price, high quality products.

Don't get a SLi board, and get a Asus A8NE which is cheaper and better.

I would get either a 7600 GT or GS if you really don't have the money.

PSU, I would always go Antec, though if you get the Sonata II you won't need one.

Personally I would get a AMD, which would go with the board I picked. I would go with a single core Opty 148, which is really OCable. And easy. It might not be dual core, but you really don't need it. If you want dual core, I would say spend a bit more and get an Opty 165.

I like your ram though I would go for this, for less, because of the rebate on it, and its more RAM and better RAM. Click here.

Good HDD, exactly the same one I'm getting.


But the final thing I have to say, isn't about your components. Its about where you buy them. I have three places I shop. I use NewEgg and TG Stores to find the components I want to use, and then I use TG Stores and Froogle to find the best prices. NewEgg hardly ever has the lowest price if you include shipping. And ZipZoomFly almost always does, but thats just my personal experience.


DDay
April 29, 2006 7:32:38 PM

Better, but I'd still go with my suggestion.

DDay
April 29, 2006 8:59:43 PM

I agree.

AMD is better, particularly for gaming, 3D and databases.

With the AM2 launch in about 3 weeks prices should also come down a bit.
April 29, 2006 9:06:30 PM

Quote:
Only thing I'm definite on is the Pentium D 940.


And I meant it!
April 29, 2006 9:08:37 PM

Well, I guess if it's your choice to jump off a cliff, it should be your choice to buy an intel.

DDay
April 29, 2006 9:35:26 PM

Quote:
Only thing I'm definite on is the Pentium D 940.


And I meant it!



http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/24/17...

http://www.anandtech.com/linux/showdoc.aspx?i=2163

http://www.intel.com/performance/desktop/extreme/em64t....

http://techreport.com/reviews/2006q1/fx60-vs-955xe/inde...

http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/10/15...

http://spare2.com/opty.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/22/pentium_extreme_...


AMD64 CPUs match or beat their Intel P4 counterparts in virtually all benchmarks and do particularly well in games, 3D, compression and decompression, databases and other benchmarks.

AM2 is due out in about 3 weeks and that should force prices lower which is great for all of us.

AMD CPUs do even better in 64bit mode.
April 29, 2006 9:46:09 PM

so it's another amd is better than intel thread?

so is the athlon 64 3700+ better than the pentium d 940? as that's what I can get for roughly the same price
April 29, 2006 9:54:18 PM

As linux_0 said, wait 3 weeks, and you will be able to get a much better and faster processor then a 3700 for the same price.

DDay
April 29, 2006 9:59:16 PM

Quote:
so it's another amd is better than intel thread?

so is the athlon 64 3700+ better than the pentium d 940? as that's what I can get for roughly the same price




http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1...


Actually believe it or not the 3700+ is very close to the D 940 in Doom III, WinRAR, Quake III and a few other benchmarks.

You also have to take the fact that parts for Intel configs generally cost quite a bit more into account.

If you have to spend $60-$100 for a nice AMD motherboard and $200 for a nice Intel motherboard (975X+) that makes up for the fact Intel is pricing their CPUs very aggressively. Also DDR2 tends to be more expensive.

Regardless, I would advise you to wait a few weeks for AM2 and see how things shake out.
April 29, 2006 10:03:44 PM

fair point, I was already looking at the comparisons and was surprised at how close it was, but am more interested in the multi-tasking side of things with the dual core as I don't really play games. however I don't think I posess the self control to wait a few weeks!
April 29, 2006 10:06:04 PM

I currently use RDRAM so anything seems cheap compared to that.
April 29, 2006 10:06:33 PM

Well, then, don't wait, spend a bit more, well, not really, spend the money that you save with my set up and get a Opty 165.

DDay
April 29, 2006 10:17:51 PM

Why 500 GB's of HDD's? I mean, mabye a 250 and 74 GB 10k, but not two 250's?

DDay
April 29, 2006 10:22:09 PM

Quote:
Why 500 GB's of HDD's? I mean, mabye a 250 and 74 GB 10k, but not two 250's?

DDay



I used the same parts the OP had and substituted a Socket 939 motherboard, S939 CPU ( opty 165 ) and DDR400.


I didn't even see your post until after I posted my config, we had the same Opty 165 idea :-D
April 29, 2006 10:23:06 PM

i changed that in the update list.
April 29, 2006 10:25:25 PM

Ahhh, nvm then. I just thought it was a little excessive.

DDay
April 29, 2006 10:28:17 PM

Quote:
i changed that in the update list.



The Opty 165 will perform quite well compared to the D 940 and should OC very well should you choose to OC it.

If you decide not to OC at all then the X2 3800+ or higher would be slightly better.
April 29, 2006 10:34:17 PM

I don't think I'm likely to overclock as I worry about overstressing things (I don't like forking out money, probably the reason why I'm still using a p4 1.4 with 384mb ram and a 32meg geforce2)

what about the graphics card? anything cheaper I can get that will perform as well as the xtx?
April 29, 2006 10:35:31 PM

gotta say thanks for the input...I didn't think anyone would bother replying!
April 29, 2006 10:40:03 PM

Of course we would, I mean, what do you think the forum is here for.

:D 

DDay
April 29, 2006 10:41:21 PM

Quote:
I don't think I'm likely to overclock as I worry about overstressing things (I don't like forking out money, probably the reason why I'm still using a p4 1.4 with 384mb ram and a 32meg geforce2)

what about the graphics card? anything cheaper I can get that will perform as well as the xtx?




The XFX looks pretty good, I can't find a better nVidia card at that price.
April 29, 2006 10:59:23 PM

as I won't be buying anything from the US this is the actual drive I'm getting...

WD 250GB
April 30, 2006 1:00:13 PM

I have 2 more questions....

Would I be better off buying a single stick of 1GB ram instead of a matched pair of 512 seeing as I'll probably eventually upgrade to 2gb anyway...can I do that as I know with my rdram you have to have pairs???

what's the benefit of a matched pair anyway?

and finally....I have a pci firewire card so would i be able to rig something up internally to connect this to the front firewire port that this case has? at least I think it has anyway!
April 30, 2006 2:28:31 PM

fantastic....just found out the motherboard I chose doesn't infact support the processor as it doesn't support 65nm...back to square one!
April 30, 2006 6:28:14 PM

Quote:
I have 2 more questions....

Would I be better off buying a single stick of 1GB ram instead of a matched pair of 512 seeing as I'll probably eventually upgrade to 2gb anyway...can I do that as I know with my rdram you have to have pairs???

what's the benefit of a matched pair anyway?

and finally....I have a pci firewire card so would i be able to rig something up internally to connect this to the front firewire port that this case has? at least I think it has anyway!



Using 2 matched sticks in a Dual Channel kit will theoretically double your memory bandwidth.

1 stick in single channel transfers 64bits per cycle

2 sticks in dual channel transfer 128bit per cycle

Dual channel will not actually double your performance but you will see a significant increase.

To run Dual channel you normally need to have 2 identical sticks.

If the sticks are not identical you can expect to have problems.


Quote:

Dual-channel architecture DDR SDRAM describes a motherboard technology that effectively doubles data throughput in the frontside bus from RAM to the memory controller. Dual Channel-enabled memory controllers utilize two 64-bit data channels, resulting in a total bandwidth of 128 bits, to move data from RAM to the CPU.

In order to achieve this, the DDR SDRAM memory modules must be installed into matching memory slots, which are usually color coded on the motherboard. Each memory module in each slot should be identical to the one in its matching slot. It's also possible to use similar memory sticks from different manufacturers or different production series as long they are of the same size, specification, the same number of memory chips and internal organization.




Several high-end motherboards have integrated firewire and some provide a connector on the motherboard for a front panel connector.


If your motherboard doesn't have a connector on the motherboard for front panel firewire you could get a bay mounted firewire / USB front panel bay like these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?DEPA=0&ty...


Running the firewire connector from a PCI card to the front panel connector on your case can be tricky because typically you need to use a special cable ( firewire breakout cable Firewire -> IDC pins ).
May 13, 2006 12:43:07 PM

Just finished putting it all together and it worked 1st time without anything blowing up!! is there anything you would recommend to me to test stuff out so i know it's all a-ok.
May 13, 2006 3:38:41 PM

Hey! Good job. Could you first of all post your finished specs. Also, download some benching programs like 3DMark 06 and definetly download Prime95 to do some burn in.

DDay
May 13, 2006 4:07:05 PM

ok...

Antec Sonata II 450w
Pentium D 940
1GB (2x512) 667mhz Ram
Abit AL8 Motherboard
250GB WD Sata2
256mb XFX 6800XT

having to run my old 120gb maxtor as a slave on an IDE channel with the dvd writer as the board only comes with 1 IDE channel (will replace the drive eventually)

I have 3DMark05 already but havn't used it yet.

CPU 11C
System 33C
PWM 33C

are they ok?
May 13, 2006 5:05:39 PM

You might want to run memtest86 and prime95 to test for stability and to burn it in.


http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/memtest86-ISO-b...


Or if you need to burn it under windows follow these instructions:

Download

http://memtest86.com/memtest86-3.2.iso.zip

+

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/download/ISORecorder...

Unzip memtest86 and record the ISO to a CDR with ISORecorder ( you must have XP SP2 ).

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/HowTo.htm

http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm


:-D
May 13, 2006 5:14:04 PM

3dmak05 score was 3462 3dmarks whatever that means!
May 13, 2006 7:21:16 PM

Quote:
...CPU 11C
System 33C
PWM 33C
are they ok?
Ummm...11C is not possible unless your CPU is in the freezer...
May 13, 2006 7:30:05 PM

i was just looking at typical temperatures and was getting a bit worried...it's never gone above 11...usually around 9

temps taken from abit uguru thingy and also reports the same in the bios....do i have a problem?!!
May 13, 2006 8:05:23 PM

Yeah, I think the thermometer on your mobo is screwed up for the cpu. Because 20 C is room temp and 11 C is 58 F. So, yeah, your thermometer is screwed.

DDay
May 13, 2006 8:10:35 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I think the thermometer on your mobo is screwed up for the cpu. Because 20 C is room temp and 11 C is 58 F. So, yeah, your thermometer is screwed.

DDay


any way to fix this?
May 13, 2006 8:11:48 PM

Ummm, no, not that I know of, you could send the mobo back though. Who did you buy from?

DDay
May 13, 2006 8:19:24 PM

ebuyer in uk. 16 degrees now.....could it be something I did when putting it together though? could there be something I've forgotten to plug in???
!