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Need help building a new system!

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July 23, 2006 1:07:39 PM

I am thinking about building a computer (for the first time) with the following specs.

Antec Sonata II with 450W SmartPower2.0 PSU
http://www.antec.com/ec/productDetails.php?ProdID=08140

Athlon 64 3500+ (939)

GA-K8N Pro-SLI (939)
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

Inno3d 7300gt ddr3 256mb
http://www.inno3d.com/products/graphic_card/gf7_pcie/73...
(I may buy a second in the future and run them in SLI)

512Mb PC3200 184pin DDR 400
(Is there a large difference between different brands and is it worth getting 1gb instead)

250GB Sata HDD

Could you please give me any advice about which RAM and HDD to go for?
I am also unsure if I should go for the newer AM2 socket and if it is really worth spending more money for an Antec case and power supply. I am also interested in linux so it would be a bonus if this hardware was supported, but is not essential.

Sorry there are so many questions, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

More about : building system

July 23, 2006 1:35:03 PM

P180 Antec Case is great for airflow. Be expecting to curse a bit while putting everything together, but once you are done - bejebus.
July 23, 2006 2:52:31 PM

Quote:
I am thinking about building a computer (for the first time) with the following specs.

Antec Sonata II with 450W SmartPower2.0 PSU
http://www.antec.com/ec/productDetails.php?ProdID=08140

Athlon 64 3500+ (939)

GA-K8N Pro-SLI (939)
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

Inno3d 7300gt ddr3 256mb
http://www.inno3d.com/products/graphic_card/gf7_pcie/73...
(I may buy a second in the future and run them in SLI)

512Mb PC3200 184pin DDR 400
(Is there a large difference between different brands and is it worth getting 1gb instead)

250GB Sata HDD

Could you please give me any advice about which RAM and HDD to go for?
I am also unsure if I should go for the newer AM2 socket and if it is really worth spending more money for an Antec case and power supply. I am also interested in linux so it would be a bonus if this hardware was supported, but is not essential.

Sorry there are so many questions, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.


1) Go AM2

2) Get 2GB of RAM DDR2-800

3) Antec P180 case and Truepower II 550W PSU

4) 7300 is not a very good video card to start with, SLI is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE idea with that card. ONLY SLI the 7900GT.
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July 23, 2006 3:51:24 PM

Agreed. As for the harddrive, newegg is selling i believe westerndigital 250GB hdds for 80 bucks. Good deal. Their SATA too, so snag one. The 7300GT is a downright pitiful card, really not worth the money, or to even do a SLi config with it. I suggest either a 7900GT, or a x1800xt.
July 23, 2006 4:08:11 PM

I have a fairly limited budget of about £400 ($750) and so spending nearly half my budget on RAM seems unrealistic, however in the future I may add more RAM. Similarly I cannot really afford an Antec P180 or a Nvidia 7900gt, however I might be able to afford a 7600 of some description.

I was thinking of having two 7300gt cards in SLI after reading this review http://www.pcmoddingmy.com/e107_plugins/content/content....
However if SLI is definitely the way to go with lower end cards could you recommend a good motherboard with one PCI-e slot, an AM2 socket and a nforce chipset. Is the MSI K9N Neo-F nForce 550 http://msicomputer.co.uk/Products.aspx?product_id=70367... worth considering?
July 23, 2006 4:52:38 PM

If you are going AM2, I have a resonably good build for $750.

First thing, do you overclock? Do you plan to?

Here is a quick build I made with NewEgg:

Iknowmole's WishList

Now I know you are thinking, "WTF has this guy done? I said a budget of $750, not $870!" Well, the rebates smack that down to around $800, but I really think that the extra $50 is worth it.

First we have a Centurion case, similar to the Antec in style, yet no power supply, so cheaper. I know Antec puts Antec PSU's inside their cases, but I choose another PSU instead. It is a very good case, I think.

This is a highly regarded motherboard with SLi, Dual Gigabit LAN, IEEE 1394, everything. It is nearly identical to it's 590 SLi brother, except no auto-overclocking (which is WORTHLESS) and no PCI-e x16 SLi,just SLI x8, which is no biggie at all.

Then we have a 7600GT, pre-OC'ed by eVGA. 256MB of RAM, high core clock, but somewhat crippled with a 128-bit interface, yet still a very good card.

(If you want to spend a bit more cash, there is always the X1800GTO, but I think it is too much out of the budget.)


Then we have a HIPRO 600W PSU. Yes, it is slightly overkill, but a very reliable brand. The reviews of it are STUNNING for a not-so-well-known company. Someone had posted it is made by the same people who make the OCZ PSU's..

Then we have our 3500+, OC-friendly, but fast at stock.

This is a major reason I went overboard on the budget: 2GB of Corsair XMS. This is some of the best bang-for-buck you can buy on DDR2. 2GB of DDR2-800, very fast, yet very cheap.

This drive is a good bit faster than the rest of the 7200RPM drives, mainly because it is Perpendicular Recording, a new hard drive technology that writes data up and down rather than side by side, which increases storage a performance.

Lastly we have a Dual-Layer DVD burner that'll burn everything under the sun, including LightScribe. I have this thing: Freaking fast burning.

Pretty damn fast, I think, for $800. OC'ed and it'll run with the big boys.

I advise you to wait for two major reasons: BIG Price-cuts on dual-cores coming extremely soon. I think you should take advantage.

~Ibrahim~
July 23, 2006 5:11:40 PM

Thanks a lot for the information I really appreciate it.

I do not really intend to overclock any components as I want to be able to return parts if they are faulty.

I am still not sure if it would better to go with the older 939 socket or the newer AM2 socket, how long will the older 939 socket be supported?

How long will it be until the price of dual core CPU will be cut.
July 23, 2006 5:17:55 PM

Your welcome. Yeah, some people don't like overclocking..

I would choose AM2 over 939 right now because there will not be ANY more 939 CPU's made. The FX-60 is the last one. Also, AM2 utilizes DDR2 and the new Quad-Cores and all upcoming CPU's will be on AM2.

Like extremely soon, I thought they were to happen today, so any day now.

~Ibrahim~
July 23, 2006 7:53:11 PM

Suggested Changes:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ <--- Price cuts are going to be introduced tomorrow... this CPU should drop to about $200

Mobo: Asus M2N-E

RAM: Corsair XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) DDR2-800 <--- if you can afford it, DEFINITLY move up to 2GB of that Corsair XMS2

Video: NEVER SLI low end PCI-E cards..... it's a big waste of money. SLI itself is a big waste of money anyway, unless you're going to be gaming at resolutions over 1600 x 1200. Go for an eVGA Geforce 7600GT instead. If you can afford to, move up to an eVGA Geforce 7900GT KO Superclocked

Hard Drive: Not sure if you already have the drive you picked out, but here is my suggestion n a specific brand:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2
July 23, 2006 8:17:44 PM

Tommorow, excellent. I can't wait! X2 4000+ is in limited supply, one of the few X2's with 1MB of cache. Grab it while you can!

The M2N-E is good but it doesn't have somethings that I like the addition of FireWire and another GB lan, though I'll never use either, lol. Same with SLi. The M2N-E is probably one of the better 570 Ultra boards out there, I just wish ASUS would've put it in the FireWire and dual GB LAN..

I think it is better to get more RAM now then having it buy it later on as it might not be compatible (unlikely if you buy the correct speed, but possible).

I had no idea there was a third perpendicular drive out. But I would not pick that one as the 320GB is the exact same price, same brand, even same hard drive technology, and comes with 70GB more of data room.

The 7900GT KO SC is an extremely fast card, but I have heard rumoured quality issues, but I think they should be over soon. If your budget can spare it, I would go for it in a heartbeat.

~Ibrahim~
July 23, 2006 9:45:13 PM

eVGA has acknowledged the issues with their 7900GT cards and are now producing cards that don't have the major defects many have been complaining about... i believe it was a voltage problem, although I might be wrong.
July 23, 2006 9:48:47 PM

I think it was a voltage problem, yes. Thankfully it has been fixed, a very good card.

~Ibrahim~
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