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Rate this config please

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August 16, 2006 11:51:53 AM

Experts,

Looking for a gaming machine with decent performance. This will be my first DIY PC, so overclocking will not be a priority. Decent performance with a good upgrade path over the next few years is what I am looking for.

Any suggestions / comments to improve the price / performance ratio?

Asrock AM2XLI-eSATA2
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+ 512KBx2 Socket AM2
Corsair Twin2X2048-6400 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 16MB SATA II (2x320GB)
Sapphire RADEON™ X800GTO2 256MB DDR3 PCIex 1.6ns Limited Edition
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD 2ms
Microsoft® Wireless Laser™ Desktop 6000
Logitech™ Freedom 2.4™ Cordless Joystick
BenQ DW1670 Double Layer DVD Writer Black Internal
Cooler Master Centurion 534
Thermaltake Silent PurePower 560W ATX/EPS with PFC/SATA
Lian Li CR-31B Aluminum 12 in 1 Memory Card Reader USB 2.0 Black

More about : rate config

August 16, 2006 12:07:33 PM

Looks good. The cheap motherboard could be improved as I've heard bad things from ASrock but still, it should run fine. What's your budget?
August 16, 2006 12:23:41 PM

I will change the MOBO, everything else seem fine 8)
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August 16, 2006 12:35:53 PM

I concur with the others,
switch the mobo to something a little nicer. Asus and Gigabyte are my trusted brands when it comes to mainboards.
Your graphics card is exactly as you want it, so it seems, decent. Your path for upgrading looks good at this point. but there is no telling what the Vista/DX10 combo will bring to the tables.

-Miz
August 16, 2006 12:46:27 PM

AsRock is made by asus. i would go with gigabyte or DFI .

i personaly have hated every asus motherboard i have bought. there web site and books lie as to what some of there products can do and they dont seem to care. ( bought a motherboard cause it said i could adjust something and you couldnt. find out on the web that this was big complaint from alot of people)
August 16, 2006 1:14:57 PM

Any suggestions on the Main Board?

Budget is around 1500 USD, but willing to stretch it a bit to get a better price / performance ratio and future scalability.
August 16, 2006 1:26:43 PM

The specs for my choice of memory reads 5-5-5-12-T1. Is that good enough?

There is another model, Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C3 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz with specs of 3-4-3-9.

Which one would be suitable? Or any choices other than Corsair?
August 16, 2006 1:30:18 PM

I wouldn't go with that configuration.. I'd go for a Core 2 Duo, I just came from an Athlon64 X2 4800+ and can attest that the Core 2 Duo is a more powerful processor for the price. It also runs cooler and would last you longer.

Here's the config I would consider:

Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Socket 775 Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz or E6400 2.13GHz (both faster then X2 3800+)

Corsair Twin2X2048-6400 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 16MB SATA II (2x320GB)
Sapphire RADEON™ X800GTO2 256MB DDR3 PCIex 1.6ns Limited Edition
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD 2ms
Microsoft® Wireless Laser™ Desktop 6000
Logitech™ Freedom 2.4™ Cordless Joystick
BenQ DW1670 Double Layer DVD Writer Black Internal
Cooler Master Centurion 534
Thermaltake Silent PurePower 560W ATX/EPS with PFC/SATA
Lian Li CR-31B Aluminum 12 in 1 Memory Card Reader USB 2.0 Black

The E6300 is sometimes faster by a bit compared to the X2 3800+ or sometimes by alot.. it's never slower. Notice it's also clocked slower (1.86 vs 2Ghz). The Core 2 Duo does more with less. It's more efficient. It's also based on a 65nm process (as opposed to AMD's 90nm). This helps keep consumption down and temperatures down as well. In other words you can use EXTREMELY silent coolers.
August 16, 2006 2:34:17 PM

Quote:
Instead of getting the X2 3800+ i,d get the X2 4200+ the price/peformance is alot better.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html

Core 2 Duo E6300 trades blows with the Athlon64 X2 4200+ while the E6400 is definatly faster in all respects.

Again Core 2 Duo is the better solution.
August 16, 2006 3:12:50 PM

Actually, the difference between the 3800+ and the 4200+ is minimal. Not worth it. Almost every motherboard that can overclock can sustain a 20Mhz increase, no?

The the differnce between C2D and the X2's are pretty big, a worthy alternative. I personally am sticking with AM2 in anticipation for AMD's 65nm CPUs. You won't require a new motherboard when AM3 comes out, they are compatible, but only one way. Meaning an AM3 CPU will work in an AM2 motherboard, but an AM2 CPU will NOT work in an AM3 motherboard. Intel changes FSB more times than I can count. 400, then 533, then 800, now 1066, rumors of 1333 (which is used for servers already, I believe) for the consumer are slated towards '07....

~Ibrahim~
August 16, 2006 3:26:45 PM

I wouldn't recommend an X2 3800+ anymore. It was a good buy when I got one, but for single-core applications (mostly games) its a bit on the slow side. Plus, for not too much more money you can get faster processors which in turn can also be overclocked for additional performance. If you want to stick with an AMD system then I'd recommend at least the 4200+ (more if you don't like to overclock) and the 6300 is not bad price/performance if you can find an affordable motherboard.

-mcg
August 16, 2006 6:09:53 PM

If you really are afraid of changing a few numbers in the BIOS and some testing, I guess you're only choice is to get a faster processor...

~Ibrahim~
August 17, 2006 5:24:25 AM

Ok, I am leaning towards Intel Core 2 now :) 

If I choose that path what should be my choice of motherboard if I am looking for Crossfire / SLI support? I may not invest in multi gpu right now, bit I feel it is worth the extra bucks to keep that option open.

If I go Intel's way, everything except the CPU and Motherboard will remain pretty much the same? BTW what about the prices? I checked the online prices in Singapore, a C2D E6600 is about twice as expensive as a X2 3800 :( 
August 17, 2006 1:05:45 PM

What about the MSI K9NU Neo?
August 17, 2006 1:10:45 PM

What about the MSI K9NU Neo?
August 17, 2006 2:10:41 PM

i like how everyone is quick to jump to "get the C2D!!!"

all hes lookin for is decent preformance with a path to upgrade......the AM2 sockets allows him to do that while saving money by not blowing it all on the processor
August 17, 2006 3:08:19 PM

Quote:
i like how everyone is quick to jump to "get the C2D!!!"

all hes lookin for is decent preformance with a path to upgrade......the AM2 sockets allows him to do that while saving money by not blowing it all on the processor


EXACTLY. Core2 is amazing, but if someone wants to AMD, thats their choice. I am personally sticking with AMD as well. I won't buy an Intel CPU, EVER. Thats my choice.
August 17, 2006 9:36:14 PM

Quote:
I am personally sticking with AMD as well. I won't buy an Intel CPU, EVER. Thats my choice.


I like the way you think! ;) 

~Ibrahim~
August 18, 2006 11:45:10 AM

Hmm, this is getting a bit confusing. Ok let me stick to what I started off with.

I am staying with AMD, so would appreciate if you guys could help me build a better system based on what I have already listed.

BTW, is it worth to invest in a dual GPU setup? Especially now with all the hype about DX10. Shall I just invest in a dual gpu capabl board and one GPU? This raises one more question :) 

SLI or Cross fire?
August 20, 2006 12:20:11 AM

For the dual-GPU question: Do you game 16x12+? If yes, a dual-GPU should help some. 16x12 and below should be fine with a fast single GPU. Any higher and the extra cash might be worth another card, but at 16x12 and below you will be perfectly fine with one card. DX10 is quite a while away: How about an X850XT or a 7600GT for now? Maybe even squeeze in a cheap 7900GT. X850XT should last you for a while, until you choose to upgrade to DX10.

~IBrahim~
August 20, 2006 7:15:35 AM

Quote:
For the dual-GPU question: Do you game 16x12+?

--snip--
How about an X850XT or a 7600GT for now? Maybe even squeeze in a cheap 7900GT. X850XT should last you for a while, until you choose to upgrade to DX10.

~IBrahim~


Do you game 16x12+? -- :? Can you gimme some plain English on this one please?

As for the X850XT / 7600 GT, I am indeed considering a X800GTO2. One of those which can be modified, or a 7600GT. What do you think of the other components? I think the Gigabyte GA-M59SLI-S5 would be a better choice of motherboard than the Asrock.
August 20, 2006 2:14:23 PM

Ah, sorry! I forgot about that. 16x12 is the resolution. 16x12=1600x1200. Get it? It is the first two numbers of the resolution.

Like 1280x1024 is 12x10 or 1024x768 is 10x7. Most people play at the last two resolutions I mentioned, 12x10 and 10x7. Few play higher. I want to know whether you are one of those few people and then, if you were, SLi and Cross-Fire should be considered.

So, if you play 16x10 or below, one GPU is fine. If you play at resolutions higher than 16x12, we should think about SLi/CF.

~Ibrahim~
August 20, 2006 3:08:50 PM

Anyways he cant play higher then 12x10 cuz of his monitor so i would go with only one gpu. Other than that good build. good luck
August 20, 2006 3:09:53 PM

Quote:
Instead of getting the X2 3800+ i,d get the X2 4200+ the price/peformance is alot better.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html

Core 2 Duo E6300 trades blows with the Athlon64 X2 4200+ while the E6400 is definatly faster in all respects.

Again Core 2 Duo is the better solution.

Dude you got the rig...man x6800+x1900xtx... can we touch it .... please please
Alright :
1) asrock is not a very good brand unless you really wanna build a very cheap sistem which i hope is not the case.....
2) i would go for a conroe (same 6300 or even the 6400) .....intel is more time proof (it will last you more)...not to mention that 6300 blows the 3800+ out of it`s socket :D 
August 20, 2006 3:11:50 PM

And BTW i think you should go with the M2N-E. you dont need sli and its pretty realiable. If you choose this mobo dont forget to flash the bios.
August 20, 2006 3:13:33 PM

I forgot he posted his monitor! Thanks! So, then effectively, yeah, one GPU. Another would be wasted performance and better spent on, well, anything else.

~Ibrahim~
September 9, 2006 3:28:53 PM

Quote:
I will change the MOBO, everything else seem fine 8)


I am really confused about the motherboard now. Friend of mine suggests I stick with the ULI M1697 chipset as the price / performance is very good. Another suggests the NVIDIA 590 series as the best in terms of future proofing my setup.

The price difference is a cool US $ 100 between motherboards based on the ULI and NVIDIA chipsets. What else do I get except SLI support for that? As an average gamer, should SLI be a major deciding factor for me? And frankly, I don't see myself using 10 Sata ports or 8 USB ports.

Decent onboard audio based on the Realtek 88x series is offered by almost all the boards. External Sata could be a factor, but I can always buy a PCI based solution when I need it. Heat pipes are nice, but is it worth the extra bucks?

I think once this question is settled, my choice will be that much easier. I am looking for value for money rather than just the figures. So, don't mind spending a bit more if it makes sense in the long term.

Experts, your verdict please.
September 9, 2006 4:08:16 PM

Quote:
I will change the MOBO, everything else seem fine 8)


I am really confused about the motherboard now. Friend of mine suggests I stick with the ULI M1697 chipset as the price / performance is very good. Another suggests the NVIDIA 590 series as the best in terms of future proofing my setup.

The price difference is a cool US $ 100 between motherboards based on the ULI and NVIDIA chipsets. What else do I get except SLI support for that? As an average gamer, should SLI be a major deciding factor for me? And frankly, I don't see myself using 10 Sata ports or 8 USB ports.

Decent onboard audio based on the Realtek 88x series is offered by almost all the boards. External Sata could be a factor, but I can always buy a PCI based solution when I need it. Heat pipes are nice, but is it worth the extra bucks?

I think once this question is settled, my choice will be that much easier. I am looking for value for money rather than just the figures. So, don't mind spending a bit more if it makes sense in the long term.

Experts, your verdict please.

ULI is owned by nVidia.

Onboard sound is just fine, unless you want to use a 5.1/7.1 setup. SLI is a horrible upgrade path, and you most likely DO NOT meet it.
October 7, 2006 4:05:20 AM

Quote:
Experts,

Looking for a gaming machine with decent performance. This will be my first DIY PC, so overclocking will not be a priority. Decent performance with a good upgrade path over the next few years is what I am looking for.

Any suggestions / comments to improve the price / performance ratio?

Asrock AM2XLI-eSATA2
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+ 512KBx2 Socket AM2
Corsair Twin2X2048-6400 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 16MB SATA II (2x320GB)
Sapphire RADEON™ X800GTO2 256MB DDR3 PCIex 1.6ns Limited Edition
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD 2ms
Microsoft® Wireless Laser™ Desktop 6000
Logitech™ Freedom 2.4™ Cordless Joystick
BenQ DW1670 Double Layer DVD Writer Black Internal
Cooler Master Centurion 534
Thermaltake Silent PurePower 560W ATX/EPS with PFC/SATA
Lian Li CR-31B Aluminum 12 in 1 Memory Card Reader USB 2.0 Black


Ok Gents,

Went ahead and ordered some of the stuff. Memory prices shot up since I posted this - Damn!

MSI K9NU Neo-V Socket AM2 ULi M1697 ATX AMD Motherboard

SAPPHIRE 100168L Radeon X1900XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 CrossFire Video Card

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

North Bridge Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...

DVD writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

What do you guys think of this config?

Case will be a Cooler Master Cenution 534. Need inputs on a Socket AM2 CPU (X2 3800 or ?) 19" LCD, PSU, OS (XP home or MCE) and Internet Security Suite with parental control.

Is there anything else I am missing out or going overboard with?

Thanks for all the guidance :) 
October 7, 2006 7:34:55 AM

Quote:
Experts,

Looking for a gaming machine with decent performance. This will be my first DIY PC, so overclocking will not be a priority. Decent performance with a good upgrade path over the next few years is what I am looking for.

Any suggestions / comments to improve the price / performance ratio?

Asrock AM2XLI-eSATA2
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+ 512KBx2 Socket AM2
Corsair Twin2X2048-6400 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 16MB SATA II (2x320GB)
Sapphire RADEON™ X800GTO2 256MB DDR3 PCIex 1.6ns Limited Edition
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD 2ms
Microsoft® Wireless Laser™ Desktop 6000
Logitech™ Freedom 2.4™ Cordless Joystick
BenQ DW1670 Double Layer DVD Writer Black Internal
Cooler Master Centurion 534
Thermaltake Silent PurePower 560W ATX/EPS with PFC/SATA
Lian Li CR-31B Aluminum 12 in 1 Memory Card Reader USB 2.0 Black


I like your setups its nice budget setup, that x800 runs wow nicely my friend has the overclocked one from saphire its great.
!