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Critique my AMD build - Budget 1300-1500

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July 25, 2006 6:12:34 PM

Basically i need a comp to play high end games ^^ like fear , oblivion and other common popluar games. Please feel free to comment

Processor: AMD Athlon64 x2 5000+ - $280-300?
I have no patience :p . Besides a bit lower price then E6600, and almost same proformance. No time because i'm going on vacation in half a month, need this comp built b4 :) .

MOBO: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $150
Now about this mobo, i've read sum reviews, seems good but still not sure if it is approiate, so i'll need sum advice , if there is any better mobos for around same price.

RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 (5-5-5-12) - $ 171
Or
OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 5-5-5-10 - $159


I am not sure about which ram will fit best with AMD/Mobo. ANd i am not really sure about the timing on ram and its meanings , so please help me out ^^

GPU: Sapphire X1800XT 256MB - $230

Harddrives: Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB 16mb cache 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $110

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7120GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $56


I dont' use a lot of memory :p . All games/ windows will go on 10000 RPM one and then other music etc will go on 120 GB one ;P
Is it better to upgrade to SATA 3.0 ? for the Seagate or keep it all at ATA150.

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi - $110
Need an awesum sound card to go with my Sennheiser HD555 :p 

CASE: Aspire X-discovery - $70
PSU: Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply - 90$


Oh i dont' know which optical drives to get please suggest sum to me ^^
Please also check if compatablity is good

Total :

1255 $ w.o tax and shipping
July 25, 2006 6:37:41 PM

Quote:

I dont' use a lot of memory :p . All games/ windows will go on 10000 RPM one



LOL, what like 3 games at most?

/exaggerate
July 25, 2006 6:46:15 PM

Quote:
Basically i need a comp to play high end games ^^ like fear , oblivion and other common popluar games. Please feel free to comment

Processor: AMD Athlon64 x2 5000+ - $280-300?
I have no patience :p . Besides a bit lower price then E6600, and almost same proformance. No time because i'm going on vacation in half a month, need this comp built b4 :) .

MOBO: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $150
Now about this mobo, i've read sum reviews, seems good but still not sure if it is approiate, so i'll need sum advice , if there is any better mobos for around same price.

RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 (5-5-5-12) - $ 171
Or
OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 5-5-5-10 - $159


I am not sure about which ram will fit best with AMD/Mobo. ANd i am not really sure about the timing on ram and its meanings , so please help me out ^^

GPU: Sapphire X1800XT 256MB - $230

Harddrives: Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB 16mb cache 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $110

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7120GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $56


I dont' use a lot of memory :p . All games/ windows will go on 10000 RPM one and then other music etc will go on 120 GB one ;P
Is it better to upgrade to SATA 3.0 ? for the Seagate or keep it all at ATA150.

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi - $110
Need an awesum sound card to go with my Sennheiser HD555 :p 

CASE: Aspire X-discovery - $70
PSU: Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply - 90$


Oh i dont' know which optical drives to get please suggest sum to me ^^
Please also check if compatablity is good

Total :

1255 $ w.o tax and shipping


Ok ,lets go through this step by step..

1) Do not ever buy a 5000+. Its nto a good deal, especially when it underclocks your memory. There is not reason to buy anything more than 3800 X2 right now. Wait for the 65nm CPUs with a performance increase in December.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103735

2) Motherboard.. you are buying an ATI video card? An SLI board which already makes little sense makes ZERO here. Get the M2N-E.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131022

3) RAM- Neither... and OCZ + Asus AM2 = no go.. Get CAS4 Corsair.. like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145034

4) GPU- Fine

5) Raptors are worthless- get rid of it. Get a 250GB SATA2 drive instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148144

6) Fine on the sound card

7) Case: ok.. PSU: good job
Related resources
July 25, 2006 7:43:09 PM

Quote:
Basically i need a comp to play high end games ^^ like fear , oblivion and other common popluar games. Please feel free to comment

Processor: AMD Athlon64 x2 5000+ - $280-300?
I have no patience :p . Besides a bit lower price then E6600, and almost same proformance. No time because i'm going on vacation in half a month, need this comp built b4 :) .

MOBO: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $150
Now about this mobo, i've read sum reviews, seems good but still not sure if it is approiate, so i'll need sum advice , if there is any better mobos for around same price.

RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 (5-5-5-12) - $ 171
Or
OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 5-5-5-10 - $159


I am not sure about which ram will fit best with AMD/Mobo. ANd i am not really sure about the timing on ram and its meanings , so please help me out ^^

GPU: Sapphire X1800XT 256MB - $230

Harddrives: Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB 16mb cache 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $110

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7120GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $56


I dont' use a lot of memory :p . All games/ windows will go on 10000 RPM one and then other music etc will go on 120 GB one ;P
Is it better to upgrade to SATA 3.0 ? for the Seagate or keep it all at ATA150.

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi - $110
Need an awesum sound card to go with my Sennheiser HD555 :p 

CASE: Aspire X-discovery - $70
PSU: Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply - 90$


Oh i dont' know which optical drives to get please suggest sum to me ^^
Please also check if compatablity is good

Total :

1255 $ w.o tax and shipping


Ok ,lets go through this step by step..

1) Do not ever buy a 5000+. Its nto a good deal, especially when it underclocks your memory. There is not reason to buy anything more than 3800 X2 right now. Wait for the 65nm CPUs with a performance increase in December.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103735

2) Motherboard.. you are buying an ATI video card? An SLI board which already makes little sense makes ZERO here. Get the M2N-E.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131022

3) RAM- Neither... and OCZ + Asus AM2 = no go.. Get CAS4 Corsair.. like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145034

4) GPU- Fine

5) Raptors are worthless- get rid of it. Get a 250GB SATA2 drive instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148144

6) Fine on the sound card

7) Case: ok.. PSU: good job


Hm Cpu, i dont' feel like overclocking and buying cooling for it, when it'll degenerate cpu's life ^^, and how does it underclock memory ^^

Mobo ya opps lol thx
Ram thx :) 
July 25, 2006 7:44:23 PM

i hate to break it to you but you cant fit windows xp, and all those games on a 40 gb hard drive. plus you do not need a 10,000 rpm drive the only thing 10,000 rpms will improve is load times which is not worth it. just find a decent 150-200gb sata 3gb/s drive and you are good to go. But dont waste your money on that thing because its not worth it. You might want to think about getting a 7600gt or something newer than the 1800xt as it is older and has older technology. Also, you cant do sli with ati. you can do crossfire.
July 25, 2006 8:03:55 PM

i'm running wc3 windows cs other games and only used up 15 gbs on a 40 gb harddrive

7600gt is not new
July 25, 2006 8:25:20 PM

You should spend less on your CPU, and more on your video card if you're going to play current games. The most recent games are more GPU limited than CPU limited.
July 25, 2006 8:27:33 PM

I have the M2N-SLI, and it's great. Very stable board. Like duck said, avoid OCZ if you want Asus, but since you want a Radeon, get the M2N-E and save a few bucks. And since the games you mentioned use DirectX, not OpenGL, you'd do better with a Radeon, so good choice.

Because of the way the AM2 clock multipliers work, a CPU that isn't either 2.0GHz or 2.4 GHz will underclock your RAM. And the only way to get the speed back is to overclock it, which will void your warranty. There is no way to couteract the effects of an odd CPU mutliplier.

You really don't need the Raptor. And that's not a lot of space. If you want 10K RPM, get the 74GB or 150GB version. It's not worth it otherwise. I have two Western Digital Caviar 250GBs, SATAII, 16MB cache. One for my data, the other for Linux and its data. The Raptor holds my Windows OS and games. I like it, but it isn't worth it if you need to sacrifice other parts.

I'm not a fan of Aspire's cases. Get the Coolermaster Centurion 5 instead. Much better quality. My friend has it, and I saw the thing in person - you'll like it much better than the Aspire. The Antec is good, but I prefer my Hiper Type-R 580W. It's modular. Has SLI support if you need it, but if you want to go with a non-SLI motherboard, you don't need a PSU with SLI certification.

For opticals, I have 2 DVD Burners: a Samsung and a Lite-On, both with Lightscribe, although I haven't actually tried that particular feature yet. Both burn CDs and DVDs really well. But, you don't need two. I bought two because I thought my first one was DOA and I didn't feel like waiting for a replacement. Call me lazy :lol: . Turns out it wasn't, I just needed a new IDE cable.

Nice choice on the X-Fi, have it and love it. BF2 sounds amazing, even with reasonably crappy speakers (using my iPod's iHome, because I don't have the space for anything else. And I'm lazy, remember?).
July 25, 2006 9:14:24 PM

Quote:


5) Raptors are worthless- get rid of it. Get a 250GB SATA2 drive instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148144



raptors are fast, but you won't go far with 36GB... don't forget that any recent game will take something like 5 GB on your disc. And if one day you decide to change your WinXP for Vista, the OS itself will take at least 8 GB (that's what I saw from the beta2).

A good solution would be to buy two 7200 rpm, and mount them in a RAID 0 array (your mobo should allow it). This way, you could have enough space, and it will be as fast as a raptor (and maybe even faster, depending on your raid controller).

For the rest of your machine, I'll say the same as the others... X2 5000 is expensive and not so powerful : maybe you should take something smaller, and change it when "Energy Efficient", or 65nm Athlon arrive.
July 25, 2006 9:38:02 PM

Do u think it is possible to obtain an conroe by August 10th

if u preorder within this week in Canada?


or is there any ram that works well , not underclocked with amd 5000
July 25, 2006 9:58:59 PM

Quote:
or is there any ram that works well , not underclocked with amd 5000


The problem of underclocking doesn't come from the RAM, but from the way the Athlon's memory controller works : they seem to have a problem with DDR2 memory.

You can read more about this here :
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/23/amd_reinvents_itself/
July 25, 2006 10:16:33 PM

hmmmmm, so i see this benchmark for AMD5000, it uses PC6400C3. benchmarked against INtel E6600. Does that mean its ram is underclocked still? if so wouldnt' proformance be altered
July 25, 2006 10:55:33 PM

Are you talking about this benchmark ? http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/07/14/core2_duo_knocks_out_athlon_64/page16.html

In this one, X2 5000 seems to outperform E6600 on some memory tests...
But I think the memory was underclocked, because the X2 5000 can't run DDR2-800 at full speed, but only at 742 MHz, so there must be a bandwidth loss. But maybe for these precise tests, it didn't really matter (just a supposition...)
The real point is that athlon's memory controller, that used to make wonders with DDR, doesn't make so well with DDR2, due to AMD's technological choices. The result is that you don't get as much performance as you should.

So, your best bet would be to get a Core2... but if you can't wait, maybe you shouldn't spend too much money in your X2... and wait for an upgrade. hopefully AMD will correct this memory issue in their future AM2 processors. (I really hope so, because I'll soon need a new CPU... my old XP 2600 is having a hard time with 3dsmax :? )
July 25, 2006 11:11:38 PM

hm what if i got DDR 667 Ram? would it still underclock
July 26, 2006 12:27:25 AM

Quote:
hm what if i got DDR 667 Ram? would it still underclock


Not sure but 667 +AM2 = craptacular performace. So just don't get a 5000+ and avoid the problem altogether.
July 26, 2006 12:44:31 AM

Quote:
Get the Coolermaster Centurion 5 instead


the centurion 5 is a great choice... i just bought one. It runs cool and quiet, and looks cool too. its also very roomy.
July 26, 2006 12:20:42 PM

Quote:


5) Raptors are worthless- get rid of it. Get a 250GB SATA2 drive instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148144


And if one day you decide to change your WinXP for Vista, the OS itself will take at least 8 GB (that's what I saw from the beta2).

To be fair, the Vista beta contained every edition of the OS. It was the Ultimate edition plus every other edition you can buy when it's officially released. It will take up more space than XP, but I think 8GB is overstating it a little.
July 26, 2006 12:39:03 PM

Quote:
To be fair, the Vista beta contained every edition of the OS. It was the Ultimate edition plus every other edition you can buy when it's officially released. It will take up more space than XP, but I think 8GB is overstating it a little.


I thought the beta contained only the Ultimate edition, and I don't remember it gave any edition choice at the install, so the 8GB I saw might be close enough to the final Ultimate edition's space requirements.
Anyway, I hope you're right, and final Vista will be lighter than the Beta, but when you look at space required by the succesive versions of windows.... it almost doubles each time...
July 26, 2006 12:49:54 PM

I'm sure it will. And even if it won't take up less space, there's lots of room for optimization. I'm sure Microsoft will come up with ways to make Aero run a little faster on lower-end hardware.

Who knows? They might even put a little Linux-type spin on it and let advanced users customize their installation right from the get-go. Sure, XP lets you have some degree of customization with the packages once it's installed, but it would be nice to get some input on what's being installed right after the formatting of the drive.

While we're wishing for things, maybe Microsoft will release an open-source version of Windows and Office...that would be kind of cool, in a way. A free Windows OS where there's no pressure to pirate. Could be just the thing to put Microsoft in a different light. A little cooperation with the GNU can go a long way.
July 27, 2006 1:21:20 AM

is the AMD AM2 X2 4600 processor a better choice?
July 27, 2006 1:27:56 AM

Quote:
is the AMD AM2 X2 4600 processor a better choice?


Over what? The AMD Athlon 64 5000+ ? If so, then yeah the 4600+ would be a better choice. There's an issue with the AMD memory controller being on the die; CPU clock speeds not evenly divisible by 400MHz ( 2*400 = 800MHz which = DDR2-800 ) will default on a lower speed for your memory to run at. There's a Tom's Hardware review which explains it more clearly.

In terms of CPU performance, the 5000+ is a better performer, but with 65nm chips coming out this December, you might settle for something a little cheaper, yet still able to pack a punch.
July 27, 2006 2:09:10 AM

so what if i was able to overclock the 5000 to 2.8 from 2.6?

it wouldnt' underclock the ram any mroe right cuz its divisiable by 400.

is it easily done?
July 27, 2006 2:20:56 AM

Quote:
so what if i was able to overclock the 5000 to 2.8 from 2.6?

it wouldnt' underclock the ram any mroe right cuz its divisiable by 400.

is it easily done?


Don't buy a 5000+. Get a 3800+ and get a 65nm CPU from AMD in December. Much better use of your funds.
July 27, 2006 2:24:52 AM

Quote:
so what if i was able to overclock the 5000 to 2.8 from 2.6?

it wouldnt' underclock the ram any mroe right cuz its divisiable by 400.

is it easily done?


That might not work due to the locked multiplier.

I was noticing in Tom's Hardware reviews that they weren't suggesting OC'ing to 2.8 to fix the divider issue, instead they were suggesting OC'ing to 3.0GHz, but that's a considerable OC for that chip. I'm not sure really.

I suggest you poke through this review:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/23/amd_reinvents_it...
That's page 13, if you scroll down you'll notice the AMD 5000+ has a memory clock of DDR2-743 due to the speed not being evenly divisible by 400.
Somewhere in that article, it'll make sense of the things I've been touching on.
July 27, 2006 2:41:42 AM

He really wants his X2 5000+...
July 27, 2006 2:45:03 AM

lol na, just trying to get as much information as possible

i think its time to give up on 5000.
i'll either get 3800 or if i am lucky , i'll get a conroe 6400 ;P in time
July 27, 2006 5:58:43 AM

Good choice, skip the 5000+nad get a 3800+ X2 or conroe.

CPU is not important as most games are GPU bound more than CPU bound.

As for video encoding, zipping and compression the 5000+ is only 31% faster (if you calculate by 5000/3800, if you use clock speed it is even lower)so if an encode takes 3 hours on a 3800+, then on a 5000+ it will take 2h17m (still a long time). Not much benefit for the extra money your are paying for.

More RAM and better GPU is much more better.
!