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Looking for advice on a first time homebuilt system.

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May 24, 2006 12:38:54 AM

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting on these forums, but from what I've dug through so far, you all seem like a very kind and knowledgeable bunch!

Next to my desk is a large Alienware ATX case that contains the innards of a PC that died several months ago. It is about 2 years old and contains a 1.8 P4 and all the high end parts you'd imagine it containing when a 1.8 was the best you could get. I've never investigated the cause of it and after waiting as long as I have the desire to upgrade anyway seems like enough of a reason to scrap most of it. The case is the only part I feel like keeping, but even this is something I could part with if it would be best.

So far the pieces of hardware that I feel strongly about are two UltraSharp 2007WFP 20.1-inch Widescreen Flat Panel LCD Monitor priced at about $380.00 as of 5/23.
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...

I've heard good things about them and they seem reasonably priced for what you get. As with anything, if anyone has a better suggestion for monitors, feel free. BTW, the reason that I need two of them is that this PC will be running Avid, which is a piece of video editing software (which is a pretty resource intensive piece of software) where two monitors is fairly essential to speedy workflow. This PC will also be a gaming PC as well, so please keep those two things in mind.

I am trying to keep the budget at or around $2,000.00 including the monitors I have listed above. I am slightly more of a Console gamer, so this PC does not need to leave others in the dust.

I have run through Newegg.com several times and put together what I thought were the parts I needed and was able to come up with something that I was reasonably happy with that fit my budget. I did this mostly by basing my part choices off of their overall rating, number of votes and cost of course.

So instead of listing my hacked together assortment of parts based solely off of ratings, I would love to hear some suggestions for what I should consider purchasing. Here is a list of the parts I imagine I'll need:

Parts:
-------
- CPU (I lean towards Intel due to some of the applications I run, but are these feelings justified?)
- MOTHERBOARD (Is SLI worth it?)
- RAM (I'm sure I'll need a good deal of it for some of the more intensive software I tend to run.)
- RAID (Is this sort of setup worth the costs I see? I'm favor of speed over a setup that would mirror my HD data. Are there Motherboards out there that have this on board?)
- VIDEO CARD(S) (I don't need to leave people in the dust, but decent cards do factor into Avid, especially the Quadro series, though aren't they really expensive and are they optimal for gaming? Also, considering I am planning on having two digital flat panel monitors, is there anything requirements here?)
- HARD DRIVE (I'm trying to shoot for something in the range of 250-500gigs)
- DVD BURNER
- DVD DRIVE (My intention is to use this for direct copying of my DVD Demo reels, is there a specific combination of DVD Burner and DVD drive that is best for this?)
- POWER SUPPLY (I was aiming at something around 500-600 watts. My old rig had a really weak one, which was annoying)

I’m sure I missed something. It has been a while since I did my Newegg hunting.

Lastly, I left out some obvious ones like LAN Card and Sound Card. I've seen many decent motherboards that have these on board. Not sure if that is the best route to go though. I am no audio freak, so I do not have a need for anything fancy in that area.

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to look at this. I’ve been a PC user / gamer for most of my life, but never found the time to build my own system. I am looking forward to this experience and hope that I can find a helping hand along the way.

- jmessina
May 24, 2006 1:25:10 AM

Quote:


Parts:
-------
- CPU (I lean towards Intel due to some of the applications I run, but are these feelings justified?)
- MOTHERBOARD (Is SLI worth it?)
- RAM (I'm sure I'll need a good deal of it for some of the more intensive software I tend to run.)
- RAID (Is this sort of setup worth the costs I see? I'm favor of speed over a setup that would mirror my HD data. Are there Motherboards out there that have this on board?)
- VIDEO CARD(S) (I don't need to leave people in the dust, but decent cards do factor into Avid, especially the Quadro series, though aren't they really expensive and are they optimal for gaming? Also, considering I am planning on having two digital flat panel monitors, is there anything requirements here?)
- HARD DRIVE (I'm trying to shoot for something in the range of 250-500gigs)
- DVD BURNER
- DVD DRIVE (My intention is to use this for direct copying of my DVD Demo reels, is there a specific combination of DVD Burner and DVD drive that is best for this?)
- POWER SUPPLY (I was aiming at something around 500-600 watts. My old rig had a really weak one, which was annoying)

I’m sure I missed something. It has been a while since I did my Newegg hunting.


One by one:

CPU: AMD kicks Intel hard in the pants in all areas, Get an AMD dual core CPU like a X2 4200+. If overclocking is something you would go, opt for an Opteron 165.

Motherboard- For your use no, SLI is a waste (most cases it is anyway). Get the DFI Lanparty Ultra D motherboard for $122 USD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813136152

RAM- Corsair 2GB XMS around $189 at Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145575

RAID: For your use YES it will make a difference. Huge drive writes (pulling in video) is the huge advantage to RAID 0. Get 2 drives as big as you can afford to hold video. (250-300GB or so). Also get a Raptor 74GB for your OS and Apps. This will really help out. OR you could go RAID 5, which will take 3 drives of whatever size you want. RAID 5 will give you some data protection (1 outta 3 can fail without data loss). If you go RAID 5, go with the Asus A8N-SLI Prem board for onboard RAID 5.

Video Card: 7600GT will be fine if you are not looking to get into heavy gaming, otherwise 7900GT. Quadros suck for gaming, as they are workstation cards.

Hard Drive: See RAID above, make sure the drives for the RAID have 16MB cache.

DVD Burner: NEC drive around $38

DVD: NEC/Sony/whatever $20 or so

Power Suppy: Antec Truepower II 550W $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103933
May 24, 2006 2:47:05 AM

What about the monitors I pointed out? Does that seem like a good option, or are there other, better quality / cost options?

Also, if I did want to go the route of intel, can you recommend a good setup? A good deal of my work will be workstation related work, is AMD best for this?
Related resources
May 24, 2006 3:29:41 AM

I've heard good things about those panels, but if you plan on running at the native resolution you may want a beefier video card, like a 7800/7900GT minimum, or an X1800XT is a good option too.

As for the intels, it depends whether you plan on overclocking or not, if you don't, stick with an AMD X2, but if you do the pentium D's are pretty good to do that.
May 24, 2006 4:00:12 AM

Quote:
you all seem like a very kind and knowledgeable bunch!


Don't try to butter me up.

Quote:
I've never investigated the cause of it and after waiting as long as I have the desire to upgrade anyway seems like enough of a reason to scrap most of it. The case is the only part I feel like keeping, but even this is something I could part with if it would be best.


It may have a decent, functional optical drive and maybe even a hard drive or two of use. Every dollar saved can be spent on improvements on the stuff you do buy.

Quote:
So far the pieces of hardware that I feel strongly about are two UltraSharp 2007WFP 20.1-inch Widescreen Flat Panel LCD Monitor priced at about $380.00 as of 5/23.


That's not a bad price but do shop around. There have been some excellent monitor deals lately on Newegg and other sites.

Quote:
I am trying to keep the budget at or around $2,000.00 including the monitors I have listed above. I am slightly more of a Console gamer, so this PC does not need to leave others in the dust.


If I were you and just wanted a functional game capability on a vid box, I'd pay attention to the Hd setup. If you can salvage a drive or two from the Alienware, they might serve for OS, apps and game space, allowing you to do something like RAID5 or 0+1 for your video space.

Quote:
POWER SUPPLY (I was aiming at something around 500-600 watts. My old rig had a really weak one, which was annoying)


I'm all over that. Hard to go cheap on the PS if you end up with multiple HDs, multiple opticals and good graphics. Newegg still has great deals on the 520 and 620 OCZ Modstreams. If you end up with more than four HDs plus opticals, I'd go for the 620 or its equivalent. If you get a current hungry GPU, it could flatten a lesser PS.

Quote:
Lastly, I left out some obvious ones like LAN Card and Sound Card. I've seen many decent motherboards that have these on board. Not sure if that is the best route to go though. I am no audio freak, so I do not have a need for anything fancy in that area.


I'd agree with the DFI LP nF4 recommendation and know that the LAN and audio onboard are more than adequate given your needs.

Quote:
Thanks again everyone for taking the time to look at this. I’ve been a PC user / gamer for most of my life, but never found the time to build my own system. I am looking forward to this experience and hope that I can find a helping hand along the way.- jmessina


Jim?
May 24, 2006 6:58:52 AM

As for the raid setup, what is best for what I am shooting for? RAID5 or 0+1?
This is something that is supported by the motherboard, correct? For a while, I was under the impression I needed to purchase an internal card to support this. I obviously need to read up on RAID setups.
May 24, 2006 8:04:54 AM

Quadro's are for workstation graphics not gaming, but I agree that the AMD
64 X2 processors are the way to go right now, and yes that's a nice LCD.
For gaming try the X1800XT or the X1900XT which is cheaper but better performance. I would go with a all aluminum case with no palstic.
May 24, 2006 9:12:21 AM

I'm just glad now one suggested to buy an AM2. I like AMD don't get me wrong but it would be so overpriced right now as it was just released.

I would also recommend you stick to the AMD x2 as they are just as good if not better for the apps and certainly better for the games.

GPU, well, I have had both ATI and Nvidia cards and I was just unlucky with my Nvidia cards so i lean towards the ATI side eventhough I have a 5700ultra in my rig. Go for the X1900XT and you won't regret it.

I support the Antec part fully. My brother has one in his rig and he's never been happier.

Happy building.
May 24, 2006 1:16:21 PM

Quote:
As for the raid setup, what is best for what I am shooting for? RAID5 or 0+1?
This is something that is supported by the motherboard, correct? For a while, I was under the impression I needed to purchase an internal card to support this. I obviously need to read up on RAID setups.


You can find mobos with RAID support for sure. If you use Newegg, just include that as you drill down. My IT friends recommend RAID5 for your type ap app. It has some degree of redundancy, so for example if one drive dies, you can swap in another and the array will rebuild itself using parity data spread across the array. One of the IT guys at work told me yesterday about a setup where you run RAID5 and already have the spare drive installed and it only gets used if another drive dies. I have not heard of a mobo-based RAID controller that runs this kind of array so it is probably a hardware solution used in servers. Comparing 5 to 0+1, you get more storage space per GB of summed drive volume out of 5 than 0+1. 0+1 stripes (that's the 0) then does a mirror of the stripe. I hope I don't have that backwards but I'm extremely sleep deprived, so check it out on Google, etc.

When selecting HDs for RAID, I've used WD units that have RAID-specific features, like the YD drives. Check it out on WD's site and keep an eye out for TLER.
May 24, 2006 4:20:16 PM

Thanks everyone for all the info. Right now it looks like your suggestions are going to add up to be about $2500.00, including $700 dollars worth of monitors. Originally I wanted to keep the build under $2000 with shipping. Can anyone suggest any thing I could do to lower the cost a bit but still yield decent performance for my purposes? I might just go ahead and cough up the extra cash on this one, but I just want to make sure I am considering all my options. Thanks in advance for all the info.
May 24, 2006 4:45:34 PM

Quote:
Thanks everyone for all the info. Right now it looks like your suggestions are going to add up to be about $2500.00, including $700 dollars worth of monitors. Originally I wanted to keep the build under $2000 with shipping. Can anyone suggest any thing I could do to lower the cost a bit but still yield decent performance for my purposes? I might just go ahead and cough up the extra cash on this one, but I just want to make sure I am considering all my options. Thanks in advance for all the info.


Go ahead and list all the components you're thinking of at this point.
May 24, 2006 5:03:42 PM

Ok, here is the shopping list I have complied so far from the suggestions I've received. As you can see, I included the suggestion of buying a new all alluminum case, but that could be an area that I could save $170.00 on if it is not necessary.

Component List
------------------
2 UltraSharp 2007WFP 20.1-inch Widescreen Flat Panel LCD Monitors
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...
$358.00 Each
$716.00 Total

Thermaltake SHARK VA7000BWA Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
$169.00 Total

OCZ ModStream OCZ52012U ATX, BTX, SATA, P4 and EPS12V 620W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
$96.99 Total

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester 2000MHz HT 2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
$357.00 Total

DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
$122.99 Total

CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
$189.00 Total

eVGA 256-P2-N563-AX Geforce 7900GT CO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
$274.99 Total

Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10,000 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
$160.00 Total

2 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
$89.99 Each
$179.98 Total

NEC Black 2M Cache IDE/ATAPI 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
$33.99 Total

SONY Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
$19.99 Total

$2319.93 Grand Total less tax and shipping.

I don't think I forgot anything. I do like this configuration, but I also want to have a backup plan for less then $2,000 with tax/shipping if I choose to go that route.

Thank you all again for your help!
May 24, 2006 5:16:27 PM

NIce system! If you want to get the under 2k config, cut out the Raptor. It is really nice, but not completely required. Thats the biggest thing you can cut out.
May 24, 2006 5:19:49 PM

Thanks! All of the thanks really goes to your guys, but I kicked ass at putting it all in a list! Ohh yeah!

So I estimate I am looking at about $2,500.00-$2,600.00 with tax and shipping. Tempting it is...
May 24, 2006 5:23:16 PM

Quote:
Thanks! All of the thanks really goes to your guys, but I kicked ass at putting it all in a list! Ohh yeah!

So I estimate I am looking at about $2,500.00-$2,600.00 with tax and shipping. Tempting it is...


Are you in Cali, Tenn, or Jersey? otherwise Newegg wont charge you tax.
May 24, 2006 5:34:29 PM

Sadly I am a California resident, so $180.00 goes to Arnold.
May 24, 2006 6:22:21 PM

OK now messina just erase the above suggestions of ram,cpu and motherboard and you are ok.My suggestions are low latency ddr2 ram,a conroe chip and a 975x chipset motherboard.Believe me the x2 4200+ is no match for the conroe.The only downside of the above suggestions is that you will have to wait a bit for the conroe's release but not much though
May 24, 2006 6:39:52 PM

From what I have read there is comparatively little to be gained from having the operating system on any sort of RAID array. There are benefits to be had from having the operating system on a different drive (and data channel) from the data being manipulated by the application.

Photoshop and similar programs (you mentioned Avid) also benefit from having the scratch/swap files on yet a different drive/data channel. This can wind up being rather complicated, but is the direction to take for max performance. A somewhat simplified version might be to have the OS and apps on a single drive and then the data on a 3 drive RAID 5 array which you would presumable wipe clean after each job. The RAID 5 array would give peace of mind against the possibility of drive failure in the middle of running a project. The size of the project will dictate the size of the drive(s), but video gets into rather large files in a hurry.

This assumes that you are editing existing video rather than doing live capture of HD Video, for instance, which has enormous hardware requirements.
May 24, 2006 7:17:00 PM

Quote:
OK now messina just erase the above suggestions of ram,cpu and motherboard and you are ok.My suggestions are low latency ddr2 ram,a conroe chip and a 975x chipset motherboard.Believe me the x2 4200+ is no match for the conroe.The only downside of the above suggestions is that you will have to wait a bit for the conroe's release but not much though


Conroe wont be available until August or September. Acutally, you have NO idea how Conroe will perform, so its rather silly to make suggestions based on it. Preproduction or prototypes are not valid for benchmarking, and the results should be taken for what they are. For all you know, Conroe could suck.

If you are looking to buy now, go with a tested and proven solution. If you want to wait until August-September and adopt Rev A technology with bugs and all go right ahead.
May 24, 2006 7:28:39 PM

Quote:
Ok, here is the shopping list I have complied so far from the suggestions I've received. As you can see, I included the suggestion of buying a new all alluminum case, but that could be an area that I could save $170.00 on if it is not necessary.


Your list looks very good. As long as you like the Alienware case and assuming it will fit all the parts, I'd recommend sticking with it. If you're tired of its looks or if you like the features of the new case, the $170 probably isn't a back-breaker.

In the price range you are looking, I'd personally go with an Opteron 170 CPU and either OCZ or mushkin 500MHz RAM. The differences in performance are probably not huge, but just a few months ago, I didn't expect to get into overclocking when I built a 4400+ rig - then I started piddling with it and now I see why people love the Opty. I'm admitteldy biased about GPUs now because I upgraded my 4400+ rig from an evga 6800GS to a 7900GTX and had nothing but problems. I'm not alone there, either, although some folks are having good luck. I've switched allegiences to ATI and am happy for now.

Quote:
I don't think I forgot anything.


I assume you can scavenge a floppy off of the Alienware? You need OS software too. Down the road, you might want to add a fan and/or a fan controller, memory card reader, etc., but there's not much cost there.

Quote:
I do like this configuration, but I also want to have a backup plan for less then $2,000 with tax/shipping if I choose to go that route.


To cut the cost if need be, I'd use your existing case and drop the Raptor for starts. That's about $300 off. At that point, the GPU and CPU are under the magnifying glass and the choices get a little more difficult. Newegg is offering combo deals with up to a $50 discount, so you might be able to snag onto that. Good luck and have fun!
May 24, 2006 7:37:20 PM

My personal opinion shadow is that anyone who builds a rig today will regret it when conroe is released.I am sure that even you do not believe that the conroe will be slower that a x2 4200.This is rather naive.And one more thing.Even the engineering samples of conroe were rock stable.Do u really think that the production chip will have any bugs?
May 24, 2006 8:07:25 PM

Ok! Thanks again everyone. I am really just unsure about the CPU now. It seems like everyone has some valid points. If it would be better to wait for the Conroe, I might be up for that, as I do not need the system right now. It seems like the three suggestions I have gotten are as follows:

- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+.
- Opteron 170 CPU. (Overclocking may very well become something I may be interested in after I have this rig up and running)
- Hold out for Conroe.

Not to prolong this debate any longer, but I just can't decide.
May 24, 2006 8:43:21 PM

Quote:
Ok! Thanks again everyone. I am really just unsure about the CPU now. It seems like everyone has some valid points. If it would be better to wait for the Conroe, I might be up for that, as I do not need the system right now. It seems like the three suggestions I have gotten are as follows:

- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+.
- Opteron 170 CPU. (Overclocking may very well become something I may be interested in after I have this rig up and running)
- Hold out for Conroe.

Not to prolong this debate any longer, but I just can't decide.


I think you answered your own question..."as I do not need the system right now."

That being the case, you can expect that there will be more and better choices by the time that the Conroe processor machines are available whether you choose to go with an AMD or Intel CPU.

I would suggest evaluating your video editing plans before buying though.

Cheers
May 24, 2006 8:43:45 PM

Quote:
Ok! Thanks again everyone. I am really just unsure about the CPU now. It seems like everyone has some valid points. If it would be better to wait for the Conroe, I might be up for that, as I do not need the system right now. It seems like the three suggestions I have gotten are as follows:

- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+.
- Opteron 170 CPU. (Overclocking may very well become something I may be interested in after I have this rig up and running)
- Hold out for Conroe.

Not to prolong this debate any longer, but I just can't decide.


Yea, those are tough decisions. Wait or buy, wait or buy... I always buy. I guess I'm not patient enough to wait too long. Either way, I'm sure you'll end up with a super rig.
May 24, 2006 9:00:04 PM

Quote:
That being the case, you can expect that there will be more and better choices by the time that the Conroe processor machines are available whether you choose to go with an AMD or Intel CPU.


Since AM2 is already out, how do you expect the AMD picture to change between now and the release of Conroe?
May 24, 2006 9:18:34 PM

Quote:
That being the case, you can expect that there will be more and better choices by the time that the Conroe processor machines are available whether you choose to go with an AMD or Intel CPU.


Since AM2 is already out, how do you expect the AMD picture to change between now and the release of Conroe?

There probably won't be any major changes with AMD specifically, probably a speed bump and price drop or two. There are indications that they are working on their process to increase the number of units that they are selling as energy saving.

There will almost certainly be a variety of changes in other components, most particularly including hard drives, by the time that the Conroe processors are out that it might be worthwhile to wait a bit as the machine is not actually needed right now.

Yes, there will always be changes, but....

According to what I have seen, the major changes from AMD are not expected until '07 though.

Supposedly, Conroe will offer 15% to 25% improved performance over the present AMD CPUs. You have to believe that AMD has some "tweaks" that they will bring out.
May 24, 2006 9:23:24 PM

Ok, thanks again everyone. I have more then enough info to go off of even if I decide to wait or buy now. If I do decide to buy soon, I'll repost my component list one more time before purchasing. Thanks!
May 24, 2006 9:35:31 PM

Quote:
Supposedly, Conroe will offer 15% to 25% improved performance over the present AMD CPUs. You have to believe that AMD has some "tweaks" that they will bring out.


I really don't know. One would hope that AMD's 65nm process is progressing and will bear fruit. But until I see the data, I don't really believe anything about the unknown. I may be a dried up old skeptic, but having been burned enough over the years, I just sit back and wait. Admittedly, I am full of anticipation, but not just for AMD 65nm, but also to see what Conroe can do. The prospect of high performance for less buckage is right up my alley. Sure, we've only seen engineering units thus far, but I have a hard time believing that stock production will be real far below in performance. I mean, what if Conroe is "only" 10% faster than AMD's finest? At the prices I've seen, we're looking at something special. Ah, don't get me going - we have to sit back and wait for the real goods.
May 25, 2006 12:02:19 AM

Quote:
My personal opinion shadow is that anyone who builds a rig today will regret it when conroe is released.I am sure that even you do not believe that the conroe will be slower that a x2 4200.This is rather naive.And one more thing.Even the engineering samples of conroe were rock stable.Do u really think that the production chip will have any bugs?


Core Duo chip had 34- 4 of them critical which have been found since release. So yes I do. ALL chips have bugs, and ALL Rev A chips do have failures. Conroe is no different.

Your personal opinion is nice, but thats it your opinion. Don't pass that off as fact as you did in your last post. Anyone who builds a rig today will not regret it either. If I need to get work done TODAY and my current system cannot do this, Conroe makes no difference to me. It is either have the system I need NOW to go out of business. Some will, but the same people always feel let down when better stuff comes out.
May 25, 2006 12:39:23 AM

So if I decide against waiting for the Conroe, which do you guys feel more strongly about, the X2 4400+ or the Opteron 170. I could see myself getting into overclocking in the future, is the performance between these two CPUs similar? I wouldn't want to get a vastly underpowered CPU for a feature I may never use.
May 25, 2006 12:54:50 AM

Quote:
So if I decide against waiting for the Conroe, which do you guys feel more strongly about, the X2 4400+ or the Opteron 170. I could see myself getting into overclocking in the future, is the performance between these two CPUs similar? I wouldn't want to get a vastly underpowered CPU for a feature I may never use.


They are similar, but you can save money can overclock just as well with the Opteron 165. Its $327 USD and will easily get you to 4400+ and beyond. If you are weary of overclocking however get the X2 4400+.
May 25, 2006 7:01:31 PM

One more question, what do you think of all this Pentium D 805 overclocking? I know the power consumption is high, but would this be a worthy route to consider? I seems like it may provide a good deal of performance for the cost.
May 25, 2006 7:32:28 PM

Quote:
One more question, what do you think of all this Pentium D 805 overclocking? I know the power consumption is high, but would this be a worthy route to consider? I seems like it may provide a good deal of performance for the cost.


I'm not real comfy with that option except as a temporary route till Conroe arrives. For example, if you believe that the Conroe chips people are benching now are representative of the product that will ship soon, then you could go ahead and get a good quality mobo and an 805 and play with it a while, then watch for a decent deal on a Conroe and step up. You'd have to decide on the water cooling or air for the 805, etc., which would in part determine how far you could OC it. Seems like a decent option to me but I have a hard time believing that CPU is gonna live long pumping that much current. In fact, when I recently built, I was weighing that very option vs DFI/Opty. I ultimatley went with the Opteron because it's a known quantity and the reviews on the DFI 3200 board are super strong. So I thought I'd have it to piddle with for a couple of years and once I really know what to expect from Conroe and 65nm AMD, I can build a new box at that time. My younger son is going to eventually abscond with this 3200/Opty unit eventually anyway, so I'll have to find something else to play with. I feel very good about the 3200/Opty at this point. It's killer!
May 25, 2006 10:12:20 PM

I personally bought an 805 and have been reasonably impressed so far considering how little it cost. I'm running mine at 3.8ghz with a zalman cooler and get far better fps than a friend with a 3800 X2.. With the stock cooling you can run it up to 3.2ghz. It's a good compromise for me until conroe is out in force.
May 25, 2006 10:17:53 PM

If I do go the route of the 805, can you guys recommend a good mobo that will stand the test of time even when Conroe hits (So I can upgrade just the CPU)? I like the DFI Lanboard and the options it provides, so something similar is desired. Being that I'll be saving a good 200-300 with this processor, the cost of the mobo is not an issue. Any suggestions?
May 25, 2006 10:26:00 PM

Quote:
If I do go the route of the 805, can you guys recommend a good mobo that will stand the test of time even when Conroe hits (So I can upgrade just the CPU)? I like the DFI Lanboard and the options it provides, so something similar is desired. Being that I'll be saving a good 200-300 with this processor, the cost of the mobo is not an issue. Any suggestions?


The new Asus has received good reviews. Noty sure what DFI has now for that socket...
May 25, 2006 11:06:29 PM

What do you guys think about going for the Pentium D 930 if I am planning to overclock? It seems like for the extra $50-100, I can achieve equal, if not better peformance then the 830 without the super high power consumption.
May 25, 2006 11:09:45 PM

One thing I should note, I am trying to sway towards Intel, only because one of the applications I plan on using this rig for is Avid. Avid is not certified to run on AMD CPUs and it is pure speculation whether or not it will run properly. Some people have had no problems running Avid on AMD CPUs while others experience nothing but problems.
May 25, 2006 11:11:41 PM

Quote:
What do you guys think about going for the Pentium D 930 if I am planning to overclock? It seems like for the extra $50-100, I can achieve equal, if not better peformance then the 830 without the super high power consumption.


The pentium d 930 has two major advantages over 830.

1)65 nm which allows it to run cooler

2)2mb cache/core vs 1mb/core for d830

The d930 is overall a superior chip than 830 but if i were you i'd go for the d805 with a good mobo and wait for the conroe like many guys mentioned earlier
May 25, 2006 11:15:40 PM

Though if I am willing to cough up the extra 50-100 bucks, couldn't I just purchase the 930 and upgrade just the CPU to Conroe when it is released? Or is there some other hardware change that I will need to do?
May 25, 2006 11:33:41 PM

I simply recommend the d 805 because it has a far greater overclocking potential than the 930 and because whatever you buy now will serve you only till the release of conroe which is really near.....
May 25, 2006 11:53:41 PM

So this motherboard should support Conroe when it hits the market?

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Do you think this is the best motherboard I could pickup being that I plan on switching to a Conroe CPU later on?

As for the CPU, I am still bouncing between a Pentium D 930 and a Peuntium D 805, but either of these should work on this motherboard, correct?

Also, is there a specific type / quality of ram I should shoot for so that I do not have to upgrade that as well in the coming months?
May 26, 2006 12:09:37 AM

Quote:
So this motherboard should support Conroe when it hits the market?

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Do you think this is the best motherboard I could pickup being that I plan on switching to a Conroe CPU later on?

As for the CPU, I am still bouncing between a Pentium D 930 and a Peuntium D 805, but either of these should work on this motherboard, correct?

Also, is there a specific type / quality of ram I should shoot for so that I do not have to upgrade that as well in the coming months?


There is no board that guranteed to work with Conroe thats on the market yet. So don't get your hopes up about that. The 930 is a much better CPU than the 805 if you go Intel. Don't fall for the mass hysteria over the 805. Sure, it might overclock great, but not all chips wil overclock, it produces an excessive amount of heat and power, and it still sucks for gaming.
May 26, 2006 6:30:40 PM

Does it still look like Conroe CPUs will hit the market in July?
!