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Best Setup Possible with Components I already have.

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May 1, 2006 2:45:11 AM

Hey there, my Socket A motherboard fried so I decided to just get a new computer. Problem is, I don't have alot of money so I'm planning on buying the required parts first, and slowly adding on the remaining stuff as I get the cash for it.

Components I already have:
ATI Radeon x800 XT PCI-E
Logitech z-5500
Samsung DDR333 512mb
WD 120GB 7200RPM 16mb cache
Enermax 350watt PSU

Components I need to decide on as soon as possible:
For CPU,
AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+ OR AMD Opteron 165 OR AMD Athlon 64 3700+
I cannot decide what to get. I have never overclocked before but I'm planning on doing some simple overclocking on whatever CPU I get. I'll be using this computer to play games, listen to music, burn dvds, download, watch movies, and photoshop. Dual Core intrigues me but I'm not so sure I will need it. (Currently plannign on getting the AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+)
For motherboard,
I've looked at Asus A8N-E and Asus A8N-SLI and DFI Lanparty UT nF4 Ultra-D and DFI NF4 SLI Infinity. Really not sure which one to get. Really just looking for the best value board here. I hear DFI boards are better for overclocking than Asus boards though, but they're more expensive.. :? Any other good boards? (Currently planning on getting the Asus A8N-E)
For case,
I think I'll be getting an Antec P180 or a Antec Sonata II which includes a 450 watt PSU.


Components I want to eventually get:
For soundcard,
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic to go with my logitech x-5500s. Or is Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS good enough for the cheaper price? Really looking for a card to do my z-5500s justice as I don't think Onboard would do too well.
For memory,
I'll be using my 512 until I can find a nice deal on 2 gigs that is good and cheap, and can be used when I overclock my CPU.
For storage,
I'll pretty much get whatever WD 7200RPM drive has the best deal when I have the money for it. And maybe a WD Raptor drive with 10000RPM for system files.
Do I need a better PSU or will 350watts hold out?
Also, I'm interested in getting another Radeon x800 XT and setting up SLI.
And I'll most likely need a better heatsink than stock when I start overclocking. :) 

Please help, all comments and recommendations welcome.

More about : setup components

May 1, 2006 8:37:59 PM

I cannot help on everything but I can help on 2 points...
1. SLI is an NVidia thing. ATI has Crossfire.
2. I have a 36gb Raptor and an 80gb 7200 rpm storage hdd, seems pretty quick to me. Faster than when I had the 80gb as the only hdd.
May 2, 2006 5:23:08 AM

I would go for the 3800+ or the opty 165. If your going to overclock I would go with the 165. Asus and DFI make good boards. My next board however will be the MSI Diamond Plus. Its a solid overclocker with tons of nice features like Creative Lab Audigy onboard sound. If your going to get an SLI board, I would go with Nvidia for the video cards. If you want ATI then check out a Crossfire based motherboard.
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May 2, 2006 5:49:44 AM

Here's an update, I've decided to get:

AMD Opteron 165
DFI Lanparty UT nF4 Ultra-D
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro
OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5
OCZ PowerStream 520W
Antec P180
ATI Radeon X800 XT

How does that look?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 2, 2006 11:20:32 AM

It will run nicely enough at everything you listed, but will be much better at high-res gaming once you can slap in an 1800XT or 7900GT! (Either of the cards is quite nice at the $300 price point!)
!