My First Build (AM2 or S939)

After months of waiting for AM2, I am finally going to build my first gaming box. I am on a budget of around $1000 USD. I need a balance of upgradeability and gaming performance. This PC will be used for schoolwork (Until school is over and again next school year) and gaming, mostly gaming in the summer.

I want to know if all my components are compatible. I would like to hear any suggestions any of you have.

Here are the components I've picked out.

CPU - AMD Athalon 64 3500+ AM2 - $199.99 USD
MOBO - ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe ATX AM2 AMD Motherboard - $239.99 USD
GPU - eVGA GeForce 7900GT KO - $274.99 USD w/ $15.00 USD Mail-In Rebate
RAM - OCZ Gold Series 2GB (2 X 1GB) DDR2 667 PC2 5400 - $189.99 USD w/ #35.00 USD Mail-In Rebate
CASE/PSU - ASPIRE X-Navigator ATXA9NW - BL w/ 500W Dual 12V PSU - $99.99 USD
HDD - Western Digital Caviar SE 250GB SATA 3.0 - $84.99 USD
MONITOR - Already Have
SOUND - Already Own a Audigy 2 ZS and Logitech 5.1 Speakers
MOUSE/KEYBOARD - Already Own Microsoft Mouse/Keyboard
CD DRIVES - Already Own A NEC DVD Drive and NEC DVD Burner
COOLERS - ZALMAN CNPS9500 AM2 Cooler - $75.90 USD Including AS5

SUBTOTAL - $1164.85 USD

I know I got a 7900GT and an SLI board. I want the best I can get in terms of gaming, and I want the upgradeability option of SLI. I also got the ZALMAN because I want to overclock.

I have a couple of questions

1. Will the included PSU be good enough? I have heard that the included PSU's can be very bad quality

2. Will I be able to overclock nicely with the ASUS board?

3. Do I need to buy a ZALMAN coller for the GPU as well to overlock?

4. Will the fans supplied with the case (3 X 80MM and 1 X 120MM) be good enough to provide sufficient airflow? If not, are there any other fans I should get?

5. Also, I have heard the ZALMAN coller is attached to the MOBO by a clip, will that be strong enough?

I would like to be able to buy this PC tomorrow (Monday) in order to catch any Memorial Day sales Newegg has.

***UPDATE***

I also set up a S939 system so you guys can give me suggestions on which one is better. The S939 system is on MSG9, scroll down to see it.
14 answers Last reply
More about build s939
  1. What would be a good PSU that's also priced well?

    Would an Antec Truepower 2 550W PSU be good?
  2. Sweet. Also, I found on Newegg a ZALMAN Fatality CPU HSF (HERE) for around the same price. Would the fatality cooler be better than the other cooler I found?

    The Fatality cooler is AM2 compatible and has a bigger fan (120MM).
  3. It would be better, but probably not by much. You're thinking price/performance here, and the extra cost for the Fatal1ty wouldn't justify the minimal gain in performance.
  4. Ok, I've been looking aroud newegg, and found a 550W PSU that's cheaper than the Antec and has Modular Cables.

    Rosewill 550W PSU

    Is rosewill a good company with good PSUs? I've never heard of them.
  5. Well while AM2 is nice and will provide somewhat of an upgrade path, you are not going to be breaking any speed records with a 3500+ and DDR2-667 RAM due ot the high latency of DDR2 RAM. Consider using DDR2-800 or going S939.
  6. I read your post, and set up a S939 rig for if I want to get a s939 one and upgrade to AM2 when 65nm CPUs are out and DDR2 latencies become lower.

    Everything is the same with the exception of these:

    CPU - AMD Opteron 165
    MOBO - DFI Lanparty-UT Expert
    RAM - OCZ GOLD 2GB (2 X 1GB) DDR400 PC3200
    PSU - ROSEWILL 550W PSU w/ Modular Cables

    It's a bit more expensive (Because I'm going to see if I can get an Opty 165) but I think it looks like an overall faster comp. I just want to know if I should get the Rosewill PSU (Modular Cabling is a big advantage to me) or keep the Antec.
  7. If you go for the DFI you need to make sure the power supply has an 8-pin on it not a 4-pin, the DFI motherboards are very picky about PSU's. Ive got one, had the Antec Truepower at first but it was only a 4-pin so took it back and swapped for a Fortron 550w power supply which is reccomended on the DFI street website! It seems excellent!
  8. Quote:
    Ok, I've been looking aroud newegg, and found a 550W PSU that's cheaper than the Antec and has Modular Cables.

    Rosewill 550W PSU

    Is rosewill a good company with good PSUs? I've never heard of them.


    You said you want the option to SLi, so this isn't a good choice. It has one PCI-Ex16 connector.
  9. 939 will drop withinthe next couple of weeks now that AM2 is out, so if you are on a budget, you could definitely get some better deals and parts for your money if you go 939.
  10. Quote:
    939 will drop withinthe next couple of weeks now that AM2 is out, so if you are on a budget, you could definitely get some better deals and parts for your money if you go 939.


    Don't count of that. AMD raised the prices of Athlon XPs after the 64s came out to encourage people to move to Athlon 64s.
  11. S939 and AM2 have basically the same stuff, but one big thing for me is a DFI mobo (Because of the Ocing potential) and lower prices. AM2 Mobos and CPUs look like they are priced a bit more than S939 CPUs, not to mention there aren't any Optys for AM2. It will depend on when I actually make my purcahse. If its before we see AM2 Optys or DFIs, then I'm getting S939. It doesn't really matter for me, since the only think I ever upgrade on a PC is the GPU, and I'm getting a new rig maybe in 2-3 years anyways.
  12. Well, the 939 Opty isn't the end-all, beat-all overclocking solution. Yet. I haven't seen any tests that show the current AM2 chips as bad overclockers, or any kind of overclocker for that matter. I don't think any overclocking tests have been published yet, except for on the FX-62, which could only reach 200 MHz above stock. Not impressive, but i haven't seen any other chips be overclocked.

    The expression about not counting your chickens before they hatch works the other way, too.
  13. Quote:
    S939 and AM2 have basically the same stuff, but one big thing for me is a DFI mobo (Because of the Ocing potential) and lower prices. AM2 Mobos and CPUs look like they are priced a bit more than S939 CPUs, not to mention there aren't any Optys for AM2. It will depend on when I actually make my purcahse. If its before we see AM2 Optys or DFIs, then I'm getting S939. It doesn't really matter for me, since the only think I ever upgrade on a PC is the GPU, and I'm getting a new rig maybe in 2-3 years anyways.


    AM2 Optys will not be available to the general public (i.e. through Newegg). AND decided to sell them to OEM partners (read: System Builders) only. The pricing sheets on their website reflect this, there are no prices listes for 1xx Opterons and a note to contact an OEM partner for Opteron 1xx based systems. Once the S939 supply of optertons runs out, they will no longer be available. 2xx and 8xx are moving to Socket F and their distrobution will not change.
  14. check this out: AMD 3500+ Mid-Range CPU - AM2 vs S939 Comparison

    MADSHRIMPS.BE




    Quote:
    CONCLUSION:

    AMD successfully launched their new AM2 platform, the day the reviews appeared on the web, the product could be bought in stores. Motherboards are also available and there’s even AM2 ready DDR2 memory being sold (SLI-ready) today. Price wise building a S939 system or AM2 will be almost the same, and it some cases the AM2 system will turn out cheaper.

    The most important question is: do you want AM2? Do you need it?

    At this time it’s hard to recommend AM2, not only because it doesn’t offer any performance advantage over Socket 939, but also because Intel is set to release their Core 2 Duo CPU in the coming weeks, and from early performance numbers it will give the fastest AM2 a run for its money.

    With the AM2 platform AMD is preparing themselves for future CPU upgrades, the switch to DDR2 should provide future CPU with more bandwidth than DDR1 can ever offer.

    There is an obvious upside to AM2, if you buy one now, you’ll be able to get the slowest (Sempron) and upgrade to the fastest (FX) without having to switch motherboards! AMD introduced S754/S939 after they had great success with socket A, but it was a confusing decision, as people who bought a budget S754 motherboard, were stuck in a limited upgrade path, as the higher end models required a S939 socket. With AM2 AMD goes back to the socket A days, which is a good thing.

    If you are an impatient hardware enthusiast and you do want to experience the AM2 experience you can be sure that it will offer you performance on par with current S939 systems, if you buy higher rated DDR2 modules. DDR2 PC6400 will equal budget PC3200 DDR1, while DDR2 PC8500 will bring performance levels on par with high end PC3200 (read CL2 2-2-7 1T timings).

    Our recommendation is to sit and wait, find out how the Blue Team will do in the next months and reconsider AM2 near the end of year when AMD is planning on releasing 65nm parts, although the first ones might not be high end parts.



    AMD FX-62 is @ $1,200+/-, while the FX-60 is only $1,000+/-... is that the same? o_O
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