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AM2 Build - Mid System, room to upgrade -suggestions welcome

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Last response: in Systems
August 3, 2006 10:32:39 PM

Hey there guys. This is my second build, my first in roughly 4 years. I'm building a second computer - my other is a p4 3.0 with a gig of ram and an ATI 9800.

I'm hoping for a decent step up in peformance with the possiblity of upgrading soon. Please take into account that I am hoping to slowly upgrade pieces as time goes on, but I do want some good performance now.

I play a number of FPS's (though mostly DoD:S), MMO's (DDO and possibly WoW later), and strategy games (specifically the Civ Series). I'm quite into web development and am working on building my C# development skills. So, now that you know my uses:

MoBo:
Asus M2N32-SLI: I'm thinking it's a good midrange board. I'm hoping that, when AM3 comes out, this board will be fine. I understand it won't support DDR3 when the time comes, but my plan is: upgrade video card, upgrade CPU, upgrade MOBO, upgrade RAM as things come out. It's my understanding I'll be able to use AM3 - correct me if I'm wrong.

CPU:
AMD AM2 X2 4200: Could've gone with the 3800, or the 4600, but I chose the middle ground. The price is right, especially if I'm planning on upgrading when AM3 comes out. Planning on OC'ing.

Vid card:
XFX 7900 GT: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814150149
I feel this will be fine for now, especially since I plan on upgrading when DX10 comes out.

RAM:
Corsair XMS2 DDR800 (2x1gb):
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820145590
Good mid-to-high range, not so flashy RAM.

HD:
Western Digital Caviar 16/mb cache 250GB capacity:
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16822144701
I figure it should be alright for what I have in mind. Later I plan on upgrading to 10k rpm raid 1+0, but that's further down the road.

My other pieces include a Coolmaster Praetorian case, Tt Big Typhoon, Zalman VF700 for my card, Hiper 580W power supply, Viewsonic VX922, and a Logitech G15. Feel free to comment on those as well, though I'm pretty set on the G15 and VX922 (not completely, mind you).

I have a bit more money to play with, I suppose, if I eliminate the XBOX 360 hard drive and wireless adapter that I plan on getting. However, I'll only eliminate those if there's big upside to my box.



Let me know your thoughts. I'm willing to compromise and change some things.



-Kiel Cary

More about : am2 build mid system room upgrade suggestions

August 3, 2006 11:14:43 PM

No TT Big Typhoon, I recommend either the Scythe Ninja, Arctic Freezer 64 pro, or the soon to come Scythe Inifinity.

PSU... I like the GameXStream, and the new Corsair modular supply had some nice reviews. But the Hiper is alright also.

Haven't read much reviews on the Logitech, but I would recommend a razor mouse, the copperhead got some really nice reviews, but to each his own.

I like the NZXT Lexa case and the TT SHark a lot, haven't read up much on the Praetorian, but if you're looking for alternates, look at those two. Scythe is also coming out with a new case if you're interested, I posted something about it in the case section, 2 25cm fans... yes, 25 cm...
August 3, 2006 11:21:05 PM

Your build sounds great for what you need it to do.

Get the logitech g15 gaming keyboard....you wont regret it, I love mine. Download ECHOVOICE gamers statistics it's perfect for cs: s cause its shows kill/death ratios and dmg done/recieved with each weapon in the game.
Then you can dl the vent/ts mod that shows you who is talking in the background..it wonderfull for MMO'S like World of Warcraft and scrim matches on CS: S.

Also , pair the g15 with the Logitech g7 laser gaming mouse. It's worth it for sniping, belive me.

I too use the tt typhoon, love it.

If you get the GPU cooler, get some vga ram sinks as well. (the vga cooler isnt all that necessary btw, stocks coolers on gpu's are far better than stock coolers for cpu's)

That Hiper 580w psu only has 2 12v rails 20amp and 18amp. I would recommend the OCZ GameXStream OCZ600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
it has 4 12v rails each at 18amps.

I have the vx924 monitor....the vx922 is 1ms faster response time.....you will crap when you see how crystal clear that monitor is.

Your case is nice but if your interested I would suggest you get they TT Shark
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
or for a tad more i HIGHLY RECOMMEND the TT Kandalf and i absolutely love mine, but Newegg has the highest price all over the net for that case (newegg is $229 xoxide is $179, thats where i got mine)
http://www.xoxide.com/thermaltake-zandolf-case-silver-a...

Other than that, enjoy your new system.
Related resources
August 3, 2006 11:27:29 PM

Lol, we both recommended the OCZ GameXstream and the TT Shark.

The Scythe Ninja is nice, but you need to pair it with a nice quiet fan.
I prefer the TT Big Typhoon still
August 4, 2006 12:09:35 AM

Hey there guys, thanks for the replies,

I currently have a MX518 mouse which has been working well. I guess I'll keep it currently, but thank you for the suggestions.

I've heard good things about the g15. I hope I like it as much as you do!

The shark looks good, I think I'll go for it. I think I like Tt, so I'm going to drop the VGA heatsink and use what I save for the Tt Shark.

I also will rethink the Powersupply. Thanks for the recommendations on that as well!

I can't wait to get this built :) 

What about AM3 compatibility? Will this work in the way I described my upgrade path?
August 4, 2006 12:27:30 AM

Glad you took to our input well, I think youll be very happy...
But if you could....just wait till AROUND late september and get a Directx 10 compatible video card.(perhaps get a cheap card to hold you over for the time being)

Keep one thing in mind:
Computers...no matter how good they are....are obsolete within a month. So trying to keep up with the best can be pointless. But having the option availble is always nice.

AM3 processors are compatible with AM2 motherboards...so your future proof.
BUT
AM3 supports ddr2 and ddr3 memory, so you would need a new mobo if you wanted to use that faster memory.

ALSO
Before pci express got released they said that they would release it at 16x...then upgrade to 32x within a few years....so by that time there may be graphics cards with 2 times the bandwidth of current pci 16x graphics cards.
That would still allow for a 16x graphics card (similar to how agp 8x allows for 4x and 2x) but you wont be on top anymore.

Enjoy your new build project
August 4, 2006 12:42:26 AM

Well, I'm a few minutes away from ordering.

What do you think of a 7600 until DX10 comes out? Will it be able to handle some decent settings on games? Most reviews I've read say it will, but I'd like to make sure :) 
August 4, 2006 12:51:03 AM

Quote:
Well, I'm a few minutes away from ordering.

What do you think of a 7600 until DX10 comes out? Will it be able to handle some decent settings on games? Most reviews I've read say it will, but I'd like to make sure :) 


7600GT is fine and will work nicely until DX10 cards come out.

Oh yeah! I forgot.. Change the motherboard to Asus M2N-E. No reason to buy an SLI board. Will save you $50 too. :) 
August 4, 2006 1:00:12 AM

I just built a very similar system, but with the M2N-E mobo (no need for SLI), ASUS X1900XT, and the 4600+ instead of the 4200+. I also went for the vx2025wm (yes widescreen!). I'm picking it up tomorrow, but from what I understand, our systems are nice and future-proof. AM3 will be good on the mobo too, as others have mentioned. Tx...
August 4, 2006 1:06:29 AM

Here's a quick finished order:

MS RAZER|COPPERHEAD TEMPEST BLUE RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$58.99)
VGA EVGA 7800GT 256-P2-N516-RX RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$194.99)
@MNTR VWSNC|LCD 19" 2MS DVI VX922 - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$259.99)
DVD BURNER LITEON|SHW160P6S04 BK R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$34.99)
SPEAKER LOGITECH|X-230 BLK 2.1 % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$32.99)
MS WIN XP HOME w/SP2 SINGLE PACK % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$89.99)
MB ASUS M2N32-SLI DLX WIFI AM2 - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$199.99)
CPU AMD|A64 X2 4200+ AM2 2x512K R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$187.00)
HD 250G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD2500KS % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$79.99)
KB LOGITECH|G15 GAMING KEYBOARD - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$64.99)
WIRELESS ROUTER LINKSYS|WRT54GL - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$66.99)
CPU THERMPASTE|ARCTIC SILVER5 3.5G% - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$5.99)
CPU FAN|BIG TYPHOON CL-P0114 TT RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$49.99)
CASE TT | VA7000BWA BLK RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$144.00)
CABLE HD|IDEATA100 18"3H ROD CLR RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$6.49)
SATAII CABLE|SILVERSTONE SST-CP01 R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$6.99)
PSU OCZ|OCZ600GXSSLI 600W RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$129.99)
MEM 1Gx2|CORSAIR TWIN2X2048-6400 R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$219.00)

Sorry, not going to retype everything :p 

Ended up keeping the mobo for wireless and because maybe someday I'll go with SLI :p  I know lots of people don't like it, but if I ever upgrade to a nicer monitor maybe I'll like it.

I don't have a router, so you see that there. With some of the money I saved, I went ahead with the Copperhead. What else... let's see, I ended up with a recertified 7800 gt that looked nice. I took most upgrades into consideration.

Thanks for all your help 3lfk1ng, Maxis, Shadowduck, and doughboy. This looks to be fun :) 

-Kiel
August 4, 2006 1:07:53 AM

Quote:
Here's a quick finished order:

MS RAZER|COPPERHEAD TEMPEST BLUE RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$58.99)
VGA EVGA 7800GT 256-P2-N516-RX RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$194.99)
@MNTR VWSNC|LCD 19" 2MS DVI VX922 - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$259.99)
DVD BURNER LITEON|SHW160P6S04 BK R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$34.99)
SPEAKER LOGITECH|X-230 BLK 2.1 % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$32.99)
MS WIN XP HOME w/SP2 SINGLE PACK % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$89.99)
MB ASUS M2N32-SLI DLX WIFI AM2 - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$199.99)
CPU AMD|A64 X2 4200+ AM2 2x512K R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$187.00)
HD 250G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD2500KS % - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$79.99)
KB LOGITECH|G15 GAMING KEYBOARD - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$64.99)
WIRELESS ROUTER LINKSYS|WRT54GL - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$66.99)
CPU THERMPASTE|ARCTIC SILVER5 3.5G% - OEM (Qty=1, Price=$5.99)
CPU FAN|BIG TYPHOON CL-P0114 TT RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$49.99)
CASE TT | VA7000BWA BLK RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$144.00)
CABLE HD|IDEATA100 18"3H ROD CLR RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$6.49)
SATAII CABLE|SILVERSTONE SST-CP01 R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$6.99)
PSU OCZ|OCZ600GXSSLI 600W RT - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$129.99)
MEM 1Gx2|CORSAIR TWIN2X2048-6400 R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$219.00)

Sorry, not going to retype everything :p 

Ended up keeping the mobo for wireless and because maybe someday I'll go with SLI :p  I know lots of people don't like it, but if I ever upgrade to a nicer monitor maybe I'll like it.

I don't have a router, so you see that there. With some of the money I saved, I went ahead with the Copperhead. What else... let's see, I ended up with a recertified 7800 gt that looked nice. I took most upgrades into consideration.


Thanks for all your help 3lfk1ng, Maxis, Shadowduck, and doughboy. This looks to be fun :) 

-Kiel


PLEASE DONT TELL ME YOU BOUGHT A 7800GT!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THATS A HORRIBLE MOVE!! CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL. Sorry for the caps, but the 7900GT is but $50 more and destorys the 7800 in every possible way.
August 4, 2006 1:20:53 AM

Lol, NP with the caps.

However, if the 7900 is only 50 dollars more, that's a 25% increase in cost.

The 7600 was 30 dollars less, which was about a 15% increase. I think the recertified deal I got on the 7800 was ok.

So, isn't it ok to take the increase from 180 to 200 for the 7800 and not go from 200 to 250 for a 7900?
August 4, 2006 3:13:31 AM

Quote:
Lol, NP with the caps.

However, if the 7900 is only 50 dollars more, that's a 25% increase in cost.

The 7600 was 30 dollars less, which was about a 15% increase. I think the recertified deal I got on the 7800 was ok.

So, isn't it ok to take the increase from 180 to 200 for the 7800 and not go from 200 to 250 for a 7900?


The 7800 is better than the 7600 yes, but the 7900GT and beat a 7800GTX in most tests. It is a VAST improvment. You can max out games for longer and play at higher resolutions with a 7900GT, that was the point.
August 4, 2006 3:02:41 PM

Shadowduck - You changed my mind :) 

I'm not sure when I'll have the funds for DX10, but I'm happy with where a 7900 will take me. I ended up changing my 7800 to an XTX 7900 GT extreme edition. 80 dollars more, but way better benchmarks and I think it'll last me longer.

Thanks for your help!

-Kiel
August 4, 2006 8:31:06 PM

LOL shadowduck your funny.

Kiel,

Like i said earlier....just get a card to hold you over for like....4 months.
The 7600 will hold him over just fine...then he can splurge the extra cash and get the top end dx10 card.

Also i noticed that you added the Razer Copperhead mouse. It may look nice and perform well but Tomshardware says its not the most comfortable mouse. Also it missing the "side to side" scroll feature, if thats important to you at all. But that mouse is only comparible to the logitech g5 (they scored the same). The Logitech G7 destorys it(my opinion)....no comparison. But it costs considerably alot more($100 is the price tag)...the only reason i would ever go with the copperhead was if I used my left hand for mousing. Thats about the only plus to the copperhead. Everyone that I know (I go to a lot of lan parties) prefers the button placement and shape of the g7 over the copperhead.

So my suggestion is....
Get the 7600....and with the money you save from not getting the 7800 or 7900....get the Logitech g7....you'll love it, I can guarentee it.