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Critique my build

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August 21, 2006 5:03:31 PM

I am in the process of buying some parts to build a machine geared towards gaming.

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor S939 San Diego 2.4GHZ 1MB L2 Cache 90NM Retail Box
ATI Radeon X1900XT 625MHZ 512MB 256BIT 1.45GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I VIVO HDTV Video Card
Antec P180 Black ATX Mid Tower Aluminum Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS W/ USB & Audio Ports
OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
Mushkin Redline XP PC4000 2GB 2X1GB DDR500 CL3-3-2-8 184PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit W/ Ramsink
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty

I still have not chosen a motherboard and I am looking for ideas for a mobo.

I am open to all suggestions,

Thanks

More about : critique build

August 21, 2006 5:24:57 PM

Quote:
I am in the process of buying some parts to build a machine geared towards gaming.

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor S939 San Diego 2.4GHZ 1MB L2 Cache 90NM Retail Box
ATI Radeon X1900XT 625MHZ 512MB 256BIT 1.45GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I VIVO HDTV Video Card
Antec P180 Black ATX Mid Tower Aluminum Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS W/ USB & Audio Ports
OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
Mushkin Redline XP PC4000 2GB 2X1GB DDR500 CL3-3-2-8 184PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit W/ Ramsink
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty

I still have not chosen a motherboard and I am looking for ideas for a mobo.

I am open to all suggestions,

Thanks


First of all why would youspend so much money on an outdated platform? Socket 939 has reach E.O.L status and has been replaced with the AM2 platform. Thus my suggestion to you would be an AMD Athlon64 X2 AM2 platform and start from there.

The memory brand (not type), video card and other components chosen are perfect... but the CPU platform being a single core socket 939 screams obsolete.

You need to remember that all the newer titles coming out are all optimised for a Multi threaded an evironment. As such you'd be better off getting an AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ AM2 instead.
August 21, 2006 5:33:47 PM

Well, I've got some parts coming for a completely new build, and I've gone with Intels new Core 2 Duo. If you're wanting to overclock and get the best performance for your money then you're probably best doing too. If you don't want to OC, then an Athlon X2 will provide a reasonbly competitive performance for your money. I think your choice of case is good, as I was considering getting that one, as it's meant to have great airflow, and looks fairly smart. I ordered a Lian Li PC 60 plus instead though, as it weighs about half as much, and I'll have to carry it to uni and back every term, and its not got a bad cooling solution either. I can't really help you with the motherboard, except that I have an Abit AX8, which overclocks my s939 Athlon 3000 well, reaching an fsb of around 300, from the default of 200. The board is reliable and you can find it pretty cheaply now, considering its been out a good year and a bit at least. Though I would probably get a socket AM2 cpu and board if I was buying an Athlon.
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August 21, 2006 5:54:57 PM

Thanks for the info ElmoIsEvil
What did you mean by (type) when you mentioned the memory selection?
What kind of Mushkin memory should I look into?
Also for the proc/mobo should I get a Core 2 Duo instead of AM2 proc?
(I plan on OC'in)
And I still dont know what mobo I should get with a ATI card + Intel proc
or ATI + AMD proc :( . Any input is welcomed

Thanks again
August 21, 2006 6:12:20 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the info ElmoIsEvil
What did you mean by (type) when you mentioned the memory selection?
What kind of Mushkin memory should I look into?
Also for the proc/mobo should I get a Core 2 Duo instead of AM2 proc?
(I plan on OC'in)
And I still dont know what mobo I should get with a ATI card + Intel proc
or ATI + AMD proc Sad. Any input is welcomed

Thanks again


If you plan on OC'ing then definately go with the Core 2 Duo. You can get the E6600 which is very overcloackable and a lot cheaper than the AM2 processors.

But, If you plan on getting the Core 2 Duo make sure you're wise about your memory selection. PC4200 (533) actually performs better in a Core 2 Duo system than PC5300 (667).

As for a videocard, you should consider going with nVidia. If you dont plan to build this machine for another couple months or so you could wait for nVidia to come out with their Directx 10 cards. Plus, I think right now nVidia is dominating in the videocard market.

If you do go with Nvidia then any motherboard with the new nForce 590 chipset would be ideal. They have Sli support and a bunch of other goodies on them. As of right now they haven't been released yet for the Core 2 Duo but they're set to be released any day now.
August 21, 2006 6:27:19 PM

Processor: Ditto on staying away from socket 939.

Video Card: MSI X1900XT. Cheaper by 50 bucks than ATI retail at least on Newegg, though you'll have to deal with a mail-in-rebate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Going to write the most general question of them all: How much do you want to spend?

Do you plan on overclocking?
August 21, 2006 6:32:40 PM

range : 1500-3000$
OC = yes

Here is my revised build
Mushkin EM PC2-4200 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-533 CL3-2-2-8 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
Antec P180 Black ATX Mid Tower Aluminum Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS W/ USB & Audio Ports
OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual Core Processor LGA775 Conroe 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 4MB Retail *Limit 1 / Cust*

Video card + Mobo still pondering
August 21, 2006 6:48:03 PM

Quote:
Plus, I think right now nVidia is dominating in the videocard market.


If by "dominating" you mean "sharing effectively identical performance and market share with ATi" then you'd be right.

A word of advice, anytime somebody in thse forums prefaces a statement with "I think", they are usually wrong.
August 21, 2006 6:49:36 PM

Quote:


If you plan on OC'ing then definately go with the Core 2 Duo. You can get the E6600 which is very overcloackable and a lot cheaper than the AM2 processors.



are u on crack?

x2 3800 AM2 $149
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

e6600 $369
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Unfortunately comparing your x3800 with a e6600 is like comparing a Honda Civic to a Ferrari Enzo.

Sure one's cheaper, and you can tune them both. But one is a cheap little rice rocket and the other is a high performance beast.

PS. the x3800 is the civic.
August 21, 2006 6:54:50 PM

i wasnt comparing them preformance wise...if u noticed he said the e6600 was cheaper then the AM2 sockets and since the 3800 was suggested i showed that price
August 21, 2006 7:00:56 PM

Quote:
i wasnt comparing them preformance wise...if u noticed he said the e6600 was cheaper then the AM2 sockets and since the 3800 was suggested i showed that price


If I was going AM2, I would steer clear of the 3800+. Is is the bottom of the barrel cpu in that line. At least get a 4200+ so the kids at school don't make fun of you.
August 21, 2006 7:02:46 PM

you could do that...or you could overclock the 3800....then proceed to grab yer balls and say "I'm the f***ing pope now muahahaha!!!"
August 21, 2006 7:11:52 PM

I think you should just go with an E6600. It's a better gaming/ OC processor than the 64 X2 4000+ and it cost $30 less.
August 21, 2006 7:23:31 PM

Quote:
range : 1500-3000$
OC = yes

Here is my revised build
Mushkin EM PC2-4200 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-533 CL3-2-2-8 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
Antec P180 Black ATX Mid Tower Aluminum Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS W/ USB & Audio Ports
OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual Core Processor LGA775 Conroe 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 4MB Retail *Limit 1 / Cust*

Video card + Mobo still pondering


Ok back on topic.

If you're planning on overclocking you definitely want memory that runs faster then the stock FSB (Front Side Bus) which is faster then 266MHz which in effect means faster then 266x2 = 532MHz. Therefore you'd want PC2 5400 or PC2 6400 for an overclocking rig. This way you wouldn't have to sacrifice the memory bandwidth by having to lower your CPU to Memory clock ratio. You'd more then likely would be able to keep 'em at 1:1.

Do NOT ponder the video card. You chose the better model. When it comes to Single VPU/GPU ATi is dominating the market. nVIDIA's GeForce 7950GX2 is the fastest graphics card available, it features two GPU's in SLI on a dual PCB card.

But when you consider the price of the x1900XT as well as the benefits it holds over the 7950GX2 (Image quality, HDR+AA, features etc) it certainly get's the upper hand for your price range.

As for the Core 2 Duo you decided for (E6600) it's a GREAT CPU and if it fits your price range then definitely go for it.

Since you're going for an Intel processor, you'd be best to go with an Intel chipset. The combination of the two is the best combination in the industry for stability and compatibility reasons. I'd definitely recommend the Asus P5W-DH Deluxe motherboard as it gives you the ability to Crossfire your x1900XT in the future as well as being based on the current Top End best of the best chipset dubbed the Intel 975x. It's what I'm running and as you can tell it's a GREAT overclocking platform. If it's too pricey then no worries. There's always the Asus P5B board based on the i965P chipset. It's a single PCI Express board that offers tremendous performance and a clear upgrade path to Quad-Core Kentsfield which both these boards natively support. Click HERE for the P5W-DH or HERE for the P5B.

Next part I'd recommend you change is the memory. G.Skill has some very good memory at an equally good price. No need to break the bank on memory as you'll more then likely not need to overclock it passed it's specs assuming we're going for PC2 6400. Click HERE. It's only $200USD and great memory to boot.

The last part I'd recommend you change is the hard drive. Seagate currently make a better drive being the 7200.10 series of perpendicular drives. They perform admirably. Click HERE. It's only $99USD and better then the Western Digital Drive you were looking at.
August 21, 2006 7:32:53 PM

Mobo: Here's 3 I suggest depending on how many features you want.

Non-Sli: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Sli standard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Sli feature pack: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Video Card: I'd still get the MSI X1900XT as it's not that much slower than the X1900XTX.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2679

Also, the X1900XTX is sometimes faster than the 7950GX2.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/06/05/geforce_7950_gx2...

Anandtech shows the X1900XTX having only 20.3 fps with Black & White 2 at 1940x1400 no AA while Tom's has the card at 32.13 fps at 2048x1536 no AA. I'm assuming the drivers have matured as there's 4 months between the 2 benchmarks. I read on theinquirer that ATI came out with a new driver that boosts OpenGL performance but haven't seen any benchmarks yet.

I'd save the money and use it toward getting a DX10 card next year.

If you do get the ATI card, I'd just get the non-sli mobo.

Memory: I agree above. Since you plan on OC'ing get some faster RAM.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
August 21, 2006 8:30:40 PM

Quote:
Mobo: Here's 3 I suggest depending on how many features you want.

Non-Sli: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Sli standard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Sli feature pack: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Video Card: I'd still get the MSI X1900XT as it's not that much slower than the X1900XTX.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2679

Also, the X1900XTX is sometimes faster than the 7950GX2.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/06/05/geforce_7950_gx2...

Anandtech shows the X1900XTX having only 20.3 fps with Black & White 2 at 1940x1400 no AA while Tom's has the card at 32.13 fps at 2048x1536 no AA. I'm assuming the drivers have matured as there's 4 months between the 2 benchmarks. I read on theinquirer that ATI came out with a new driver that boosts OpenGL performance but haven't seen any benchmarks yet.

I'd save the money and use it toward getting a DX10 card next year.

If you do get the ATI card, I'd just get the non-sli mobo.

Memory: I agree above. Since you plan on OC'ing get some faster RAM.

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


The Asus P5B-Deluxe does not have official support for SLI or Crossfire. Do not let the two x16 PCI Express sized slots miss lead you.(blue one works at x16 and the black one does x2 or x4.

It's the Asus P5W-DH Deluxe that has Crossfire Support.
August 21, 2006 8:43:21 PM

Quote:

The last part I'd recommend you change is the hard drive. Seagate currently make a better drive being the 7200.10 series of perpendicular drives. They perform admirably. Click HERE. It's only $99USD and better then the Western Digital Drive you were looking at.


I agree that you would be better off getting the Seagate 7200.10. I own 2 of those Western Digital 250GB drives and while they are good and I haven't had any problems with them, I picked up one of the Seagate 7200.10s and it does seem to run a little faster. Plus, I think the price / GB ratio is better.
August 21, 2006 10:19:57 PM

Here is what I think im gonna go with, thanks for your opinions, please critique this.
I am planning on buying everything from ncix.com. (free shipping for orders over 1200$)

ASUS P5W DH Deluxe ATX LGA775 975X DDR2 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 GBLAN Sound Motherboard
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=19240&vpn=P5...

Antec P180 Black ATX Mid Tower Aluminum Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS W/ USB & Audio Ports
20Technologyhttp://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18512&vpn=P1...

OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18185&vpn=OC...

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual Core Processor LGA775 Conroe 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 4MB Retail *Limit 1 / Cust*
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=19144&vpn=BX...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18409&vpn=ST...
ATI Radeon X1900XT 625MHZ 512MB 256BIT 1.45GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I VIVO HDTV Video Card
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17527&vpn=10...

OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-12 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18495&vpn=OC...

My price range was 1500-3000, it is about 2000$ after taxes
Any input is appreciated
Thanks to all
August 22, 2006 12:38:22 AM

Just a question, if you are ordering from NCIX, do you live in Canada? If not, I would order the video card from a store in the US, for some reason video cards are vastly cheaper in the US than in Canada.

If you live in Canada (like me) I would check out www.atic.ca and even tigerdirect.com. They are both Canadian (tigerdirect has Canadian location anyways) and often offer better prices than NCIX. Other than that though, I have purchased many parts from NCIX and they have always had great service, not sure about shipping though (I live in the Vancouver area).
!