Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

My First Build - Need some feedback for AM2 build

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 19, 2006 5:46:55 AM

This is my first build. I'm about to start ordering most of the parts. I'm just waiting for AMD to cut their CPU prices.

Mobo: Asus M2N-SLI
CPU: AMD 3800+ X2 AM2
Cooler: Zalman 9500
Thermal Paste: Artic Silver 5
Ram: Corsair XMS2 Pro 2gb DDR2-800 (PC26400)
GPU: ATI x1900xt
HD: WD 320gb SE 16mb
DVD: Lite-on DVD Burner
DVD2: Lite-on DVD Burner
Keyboard: MS Natural 4000
Case: CM Stacker 830 (ordered)
Case Fans: 5x Yate Loon D12L (ordered)
PSU: OCZ GamerXStream 700 watt (ordered)
Fan Controller: Sunbeam 5-1/4" Rheobus Kit - Black (ordered)
Lighting: Sunbeam Chameleon (ordered)

Comes out be around $1800
Building this to run Fear, Oblivion, CS:S, Doom3, Quake 4, Farcry etc

I plan on ordering everything but the CPU by the end of the month. Let me know what you all think.
June 19, 2006 5:15:46 PM

Looks good have fun with your build!
June 19, 2006 5:24:45 PM

Looks ok except I think that you might need XMS2 memmory, as XMS is DDR and AM2 uses DDR2.

I am no expert but maybe using raid0 and 2 hdds will give you better performance.

BTW ... Nice keyboard
Related resources
June 19, 2006 6:13:57 PM

I'll assume you know to get DDR2 ram. I have the 4000 keyboard and I love it. Then again, I have wrist damage so the straight keyboards are difficult for me to use. I wouldn't use raid, but would set up the HDDs as a normal two drive system. I haven't found raid0 that useful, and if anything goes wrong with raid0, you loose everythingwhile by using a second drive for datat storage, you still have it if the C drive quits for any reason (corrupted OS, for instance).

Build and enjoy. You've laid out a good machine.
June 19, 2006 6:14:54 PM

Nice build, but if your waiting I would go conroe. A 2.4ghz conroe can match the performance of a FX-62, and can even surpass performance in games like FEAR, Oblivion. I myself used to be an AMD fanboy but ever since conroe came out it keeps like a better and better option. If you want to stick with amd I would get at least a 4000+ dualcore for double the cache. Make sure you get ddr2 ram. And raid would be nice as well. However it is not necessary in a gaming system. Enjoy your new system ^-^
June 19, 2006 7:25:19 PM

Ignore the advice to get anything but a 2.0 GHz or a 2.4 GHz AMD chip. Those are what you want.

It sounds odd, I know. But THG did a review of socket AM2 chips, and because the way the clock multiplier works with the HT bus, going with anything but a (dual core) 3800+ or a 4600+ will underclock your RAM to deal with the odd numbered multiplier. And there's no way to undo this effect, unless AMD has changed the way things work. You wouldn't want that expensive Corsair XMS RAM to be held back, would you?
June 19, 2006 8:21:54 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I did mean DDR2 memory, thanks for pointing that out. Also I ordered a fan controller and lighting kit when I ordered my fans off of Jab-tech. :D 

I was going to order the whole thing on June 30th, but decided to wait til the 24th for AMD to cut their prices. I don't have the patience to wait for Conroe, since that would add another month or 2 at least. The processor may be out by July 23rd (even that is optimistic), but I haven't seen any annoucements for high end boards from DFI or Asus being available anytime soon.
June 20, 2006 12:30:43 AM

Asus already has the M2N32-SLI out - it was one of the first AM2 boards out. DFI, we're waiting on, but unless it comes out before Thursday, I'm getting the M2N-SLI Deluxe.
June 20, 2006 3:14:52 AM

Have a good time with your machine when you get it together. It sounds like a good one.
June 20, 2006 3:50:58 AM

Looks Great, but How much Cheeper you think 3800+ AM2 will go? It is already for $150 at newegg.com.
Also, why are you using ATI Card with SLI Mobo?
You should use Nvidia Card with SLI, or ATI Card with ATI 3200 Cross fire.
June 20, 2006 4:14:32 AM

Actually, it really doesn't matter since he isn't doing SLi. He just has a SLi board.

DDay
June 20, 2006 5:23:47 AM

Quote:
Actually, it really doesn't matter since he isn't doing SLi. He just has a SLi board.

DDay

But still, If he wants to go dual card in the future, he should be able to do it.
June 20, 2006 6:17:47 AM

The price of the 3800+ X2 is suppose to drop from $300 to $169, but the question will be how soon online retailers will reflect that price change. As to why I have an ATI card in an SLI mobo; I switched to ATI after I found out how much quieter a HIS x1900xt IceQ3 is compared to other ones. And then I found out how much better the x1900xt is in Oblivion compared to a 7900gt. And so I switched to ATI while keeping the SLI mobo since no good crossfire boards are out for AM2. :lol: 
June 20, 2006 7:35:39 AM

Quote:
The price of the 3800+ X2 is suppose to drop from $300 to $169, but the question will be how soon online retailers will reflect that price change. As to why I have an ATI card in an SLI mobo; I switched to ATI after I found out how much quieter a HIS x1900xt IceQ3 is compared to other ones. And then I found out how much better the x1900xt is in Oblivion compared to a 7900gt. And so I switched to ATI while keeping the SLI mobo since no good crossfire boards are out for AM2. :lol: 

OK, This makes a lot of sence now.
and You are talking about 3800 X2, I tought you were talking about the single core one, I my self am waiting for a that drop too so I can go X2, But I am going 939 as I want to keep my Mobo and DDR RAM.
June 20, 2006 9:08:31 AM

Anyone know when AMD prices will drop? Will it be in June ?
June 20, 2006 11:04:18 AM

It should take effect July 1st, when Core 2 comes out. Single-core prices will be slashed first, then dual-core. I can't afford to wait, so I'll pay more for my stuff, unfortunately.
June 20, 2006 12:22:41 PM

Looks good, make sure you get the lowest latency DDR2-800 you can afford, it will be needed later when you upgrade to the new processors.
Those tests THG did, were not run using high performance, low latency ram so the benchmarks are not very reliable. The problem is they werent able to get it to work and thats because they didnt manually set their mobo voltage to match the DDR2. I ran into this problem too but figured it out with the help of a friend.
Secondly, I'd get a cheap single core (3800+ @$150) and upgrade later when the prices drop or when the new 65nm X2 arrives. The 3800+ will kick butt and do whatever you need for now, trust me.
June 20, 2006 12:56:22 PM

The Zalman is a bad choice: not a bad heatsink just hugely overpriced. The Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro cools slightly better at a third of the cost (£13 here in the UK).
June 20, 2006 1:39:32 PM

Quote:

Secondly, I'd get a cheap single core (3800+ @$150) and upgrade later when the prices drop or when the new 65nm X2 arrives. The 3800+ will kick butt and do whatever you need for now, trust me.


I Agree the Single core 3800+ @ $150 will do much better for gaming.
Here is a link to prove it.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/23/amd_reinvents_it...
Unless you can afford the FX62 get the single core. I plan on it.

As for the CPU cooler stay with the Zalman here is an article on it. (939)
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/04/25/six_coolers_for_...

Very nice build
June 20, 2006 1:56:33 PM

That AC freezer wasn't included in that tom's article. Here's two more both of which put the freezer slightly ahead. Not a lot in it really in tems of performance but the price difference is huge.

madshrimps heatsink review
frosty tech
June 20, 2006 2:39:17 PM

Thanks for the feedback. The price cuts are suppose to take place on the 24th of July; the day after Intel officially announces/releases Conroe. The 3800+ X2 will go down to $169. I am thinking about just ordering the 3800+ single core but haven't decided yet.

The Corsair ram that I chose is CAS 4 ram and is the most I can afford to spend at $270 for 2gb. The step up would be Corsair's CAS 3 ram which go for over $400 which is too much for me.

I know the Zalman is overpriced, but the only other HSF I'd go for would be an XP-90 but they don't make it for socket AM2 yet. I just really like the way the Zalman looks so I'm willing to pay the price, plus it performs pretty well. I might take a look at the Scythe Mine before I buy, but only if it does a LOT better than the Zalman.

Here's a list for AMD's pricing change in July.
June 20, 2006 2:55:56 PM

Quote:
This is my first build. I'm about to start ordering most of the parts. I'm just waiting for AMD to cut their CPU prices.

Mobo: Asus M2N-SLI
CPU: AMD 3800+ X2 AM2
Cooler: Zalman 9500
Thermal Paste: Artic Silver 5
Ram: Corsair XMS2 Pro 2gb DDR2-800 (PC26400)
GPU: ATI x1900xt
HD: WD 320gb SE 16mb
DVD: Lite-on DVD Burner
DVD2: Lite-on DVD Burner
Keyboard: MS Natural 4000
Case: CM Stacker 830 (ordered)
Case Fans: 5x Yate Loon D12L (ordered)
PSU: OCZ GamerXStream 700 watt (ordered)
Fan Controller: Sunbeam 5-1/4" Rheobus Kit - Black (ordered)
Lighting: Sunbeam Chameleon (ordered)

Comes out be around $1800
Building this to run Fear, Oblivion, CS:S, Doom3, Quake 4, Farcry etc

I plan on ordering everything but the CPU by the end of the month. Let me know what you all think.



Consideing that my 7800GT flies tthrough those games @ 1280, i would go wiht a X1900 and go for a 4200+, unless you are OCing.
June 20, 2006 3:32:02 PM

I chose the x1900xt because Oblivion is playable at 1600x1200. I have a 24" LCD that I want to run the games on. 1920x1200 would be even better but I think I'd need crossfire for that. :lol: 

The 4200+ is too expensive for me. I'm looking at spending $300 tops and under $200 ideally especiall with the price cuts coming. 3800+ is only $148 right now.
June 20, 2006 3:46:34 PM

They're all good heatsinks. The Mine is a little bit cooler than the Zalman according to the madshrimps review but not by a vast amount. The big difference between the two is the noise level, if that's an issue. I just ordered a Mine today for that very reason otherwise I'd have gone for the freezer pro. The Zalman's do look nice though... ;) 
June 20, 2006 3:59:02 PM

Quote:
Looks Great, but How much Cheeper you think 3800+ AM2 will go? It is already for $150 at newegg.com.
Also, why are you using ATI Card with SLI Mobo?
You should use Nvidia Card with SLI, or ATI Card with ATI 3200 Cross fire.


When I first got the SLI board, I was thinking of going to SLI. Then the 1900 XTX came out I decided to use that instead. ATI does have a software solution so that I could go crossfire on a SLI board if I wanted, but I see no advantage of doing that at this time. If some company makes a physX card to fit the open PCI-E slot, then I have that option too.
June 20, 2006 11:15:48 PM

Thats a very nice looking build. Which lite-on dvd-rw is it? I've got the SHM-165P6 have had to RMA two, first one being very selective as to what/when it reads, and the other being DOA. From what i've read it seems to be quite a common problem
June 21, 2006 3:36:24 AM

Quote:
Thats a very nice looking build. Which lite-on dvd-rw is it? I've got the SHM-165P6 have had to RMA two, first one being very selective as to what/when it reads, and the other being DOA. From what i've read it seems to be quite a common problem


I think you got the wrong person. I don't have a lite-on dvd-rw. I do have a Sony DWR-28A dvd R/RW. Haven't had any trouble with it to date.
June 21, 2006 4:13:29 AM

Quote:
They're all good heatsinks. The Mine is a little bit cooler than the Zalman according to the madshrimps review but not by a vast amount. The big difference between the two is the noise level, if that's an issue. I just ordered a Mine today for that very reason otherwise I'd have gone for the freezer pro. The Zalman's do look nice though... ;) 


I picked up a Mine recently, just to check out its performance on the test bench. I'd be afraid to put that much leverage on my mobo. That sucker is both heavy and tall.
June 21, 2006 11:19:15 AM

Quote:
I think you got the wrong person. I don't have a lite-on dvd-rw. I do have a Sony DWR-28A dvd R/RW. Haven't had any trouble with it to date.


Oops, sorry, i meant maverick777 cos he's specced a couple of lite-ons, probably should've quoted it :) 
June 21, 2006 11:33:01 AM

Yeah they are big but I wouldn't want to put people off for fear of breaking their mobo. I've seen quite a few people speculating about that online but never heard from anyone it's actually happened to.
June 21, 2006 2:10:19 PM

This is the Liteon drive that I chose.

LITE-ON Black SHW160P6S05

Hope I don't have any trouble with these.
June 21, 2006 10:27:38 PM

Quote:
Yeah they are big but I wouldn't want to put people off for fear of breaking their mobo. I've seen quite a few people speculating about that online but never heard from anyone it's actually happened to.


I never said it would break the mobo. But there's no doubt it will stress it. Give the folks at Intel, DFI, Asus, Abit, etc., a call and ask them about strapping that brick onto their mobo. I have - the dude at DFI got a quiver in his voice. The Asus rep hissed at me. Think of it this way: you are adding deformation at the socket/mobo junction. I can think of over 900 reasons why that's a bad idea. And realize that I'm not just piling this juju on the Mine - any tall, heavy HSF is going to add more stress than a shorter, lighter one.
June 22, 2006 5:37:22 AM

Ok, I think I've decided on my final build and began ordering some more parts. My only question now is related to the ram. Is there a big difference between CAS 5 and CAS 4 in terms of performance? I want to get some XMS2 Pro ram, but they only make it with CAS 5 timings. The CAS 5 pro and the CAS 4 a pretty much the same price.

Near Final Build
Mobo: Asus M2N32-SLI (ordered)
CPU: AMD 3800+ X2 AM2
Cooler: Zalman 9500 (ordered)
Thermal Paste: Artic Silver 5 (ordered)
Ram: Corsair XMS2 Pro 2gb DDR2-800 (PC26400) CAS 5 or XMS2 CAS 4
GPU: HIS ATI x1900xt ICEQ3
HD: WD 320gb SE 16mb
DVD: Samsung DVD burner w/ Lightscribe (ordered)
DVD2: Samsung DVD burner w/ Lightscribe (ordered)
Keyboard: MS Natural 4000
Mouse: Logitech G7 Black
Case: CM Stacker 830 (ordered)
Case Fans: 5x Yate Loon D12L (ordered)
PSU: OCZ GamerXStream 700 watt (ordered)
Fan Controller: Sunbeam 5-1/4" Rheobus Kit - Black (ordered)
Lighting: Sunbeam Chameleon (ordered)

I changed the DVD's to Samsung because they were on sale and had really good reviews.
June 22, 2006 12:48:58 PM

Quote:
My only question now is related to the ram. Is there a big difference between CAS 5 and CAS 4 in terms of performance?


I expect you'd see reasonable differences. I've zero DDR2 experience in AM2 but have been watching a friend tweak his AM2 rig. He's now using this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

And is getting a better OC than on any of the Corsair, OCZ or Patriot RAM that he's tried. I think I'm becoming a mushkin convert.

Quote:
GPU: HIS ATI x1900xt ICEQ3
PSU: OCZ GamerXStream 700 watt (ordered)


Nice! Excellent GPU. I'm using that PS on my video rig and it's rock solid pushing a bunch of drives and other peripherals. I'd like it more if it had modular cables but my vid rig uses many of the power cables so it's not much of a mess. In a case like your Stacker, you should be fine. In a tight case without many devices, the 700 has too much cable bulk.
June 22, 2006 1:32:17 PM

Can you tell me what mobo your friend is using? I've heard that the Asus mobo's are very picky with the ram so I want to make sure that it's compatible with the m2n32-sli.

Thanks.
June 22, 2006 2:00:08 PM

Quote:
Can you tell me what mobo your friend is using? I've heard that the Asus mobo's are very picky with the ram so I want to make sure that it's compatible with the m2n32-sli.


He has the Foxconn C51XEM2AA- 8EKRS2H, the ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe and the ABIT KN9 SLI. If I remember correctly, his best OC thuus far has been on the Asus, followed by the Foxconn. I remember him saying he was running ~0.2GHz faster on the mushkin RAM than with any other. The problem is that each time I visit him, he's got so many new toys that I'm in excess technoverload to memorize the status of each project. Someone here was talking about obsession - they have no idea what true obsession involves. But make no mistake - his best AM2 rig is getting absolutely trounced by every Conroe setup in the house.
June 22, 2006 2:31:15 PM

Quote:
his best AM2 rig is getting absolutely trounced by every Conroe setup in the house.


Does he have a Conroe setup in his house? How much of a performance increase is he seeing on Conroe if that's the case?
June 22, 2006 2:51:27 PM

Quote:
his best AM2 rig is getting absolutely trounced by every Conroe setup in the house.


Does he have a Conroe setup in his house? How much of a performance increase is he seeing on Conroe if that's the case?

Seven or eight Conroes, I can't remember. Again, it's info overload trying to keep up with all his projects. He doesn't post on any forums so you won't see any of his stuff online. Anyway, all of his newer rigs are air cooled thus far so his best Conroe OCs are running in the 25 to 30% range if I remember right. But I don't worry about clock so much as seat of the pants use and a wide variety of benchmarks and it was setting down with the Conroe that convinced me.
!