Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building a AMD AM2 Computer - Need Help

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 2, 2006 7:27:49 AM

Heres my plan

Motherboard: AMD AM2 ATHLON 64 940 pin Gigabyte m55SLi-S4-SLI
CPU: AM2 Dual Core 3800+
RAM: 1G DDR2 Kingston
Hard-drive: Seagate SATA 250G (does the MoBO support sata 2??? - if it does i'll get it- 250G Sata 2 is about 3 USD more)
DVD DRIVE: Pioneer DL DVD-RW
Case: Thermaltake Mambo
Power Supply: Topower 600W
Graphics (VGA):Leadtek 7600GT -PCI -Express

Total Cost: Approx $1131 AUD (approx 868 USD)


*I play high-end games like: Counter-Strike Source, CS 1.6, Battlefield 2 so i want to be able to run them on high graphics and have a high fps rate.
*I don't plan to overclock - will i need water cooling anyway?
*I might SLI it in a year with another 7600GT

Will i need a 600W PSU to run the PC?

This is the place i'll be buying the parts: http://msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf


Is it reasonable? Any suggestions?

All help is appreciated
Thx
September 2, 2006 8:27:39 AM

The 7600GT and the 3800 X2 are practically the most power-miserly components in their respective classes...you most definitely do NOT need a 600W power supply to power your system. A 350W power supply could power your computer just fine, even if you were overclocking....and no, you definitely don't need water cooling. Water cooling is for high end and highly-clocked systems that produce a whole lot of heat. Not worth it in your case.

I also wouldn't bother trying to SLI another 7600GT...two 7600 GTs equal the performance of a single 7900, and that will drop in price massively by the time you get around to adding another card. For the most part, two lower end cards can be trumped by a single high-end card (especially when dealing with multi-GPU graphics cards, i.e. 7950GX2) A year is a eternity in the graphics industry. DX10 cards will be replacing DX9 cards by then, and the 7600 and 7900 will be old hat (hell, even the newest cards will pretty much be old hat). Of course, a lot of this depends on the size of your monitor/your desired gaming resolution.

That said, I'd still get the 600W powersupply. If you ever upgrade your system with components that require more power, it'll be nice to not have to worry whether your system is getting enough.
September 2, 2006 9:30:29 AM

1. DON'T EVEN CONSIDER SLi with 7600s, in a years time when you say you'll be buying the second one there will be cards out that will make your dual-7600s look like a Cirrus 5446.

2. Try to get 2gb RAM, it's well good.

3. You don't need 600w for that system any day of the week. Get 450w, it'll still be powerful enough for your system plus some tasty upgrades in the future.

4. You most certainly don't need watercooling, though a 3rd party cooling solution might cool (and quiet) the system down a lot.

5. Consider a Core 2 Duo system - you may have a preference to AMD, but with the performance standing as it does, it's definitely worth considering.
Related resources
September 2, 2006 10:29:35 AM

1. i think the 600W PSU will be useful when the DX10 cards out.
2. I have considered getting 2G of ram - but the PC already pushing the budget i wanted to spend on it - so i'll definately upgrade ram soon.
3. i was originally going to get an Intel Core 2 Duo - i don't really have any preference to AMD or Intel but i'm sure the AMD isn't going to let this Intel core get in the way and they'll release something better by the time i'm going to upgrade - would my current MoBo work with it?

i'm trying to make it as easy as possible to upgrade in the future.

If i did get the E6300 what MoBo should i get?

Gigabyte 945PL-S3 - does this support sata 2? ddr2 kingston ram?


*Should i get a cheaper graphics cards because DX10 cards are coming out soon???
September 2, 2006 1:07:15 PM

1 - Intel's new platform is already out and running, we haven't even seen ES of AMD's, therefore planning upgradeability to the new AMD generation is impossible - we don't even know if current AM2 boards will work with 65nm (or do we? Info, anyone?).

2 - If you went Core 2 (which I think you should, but it's your call) then go for a 965 chipset, rather than the budget 945.

3 - 7600 is a fine card to get 'in anticipation'. It's not too expensive, but it performs great for the money and will be a good stopgap.
September 2, 2006 1:53:51 PM

the K8L is supposed to work with socket am2 boards but thats out next year or so and you motherboard is likely to be outdated by then i wouldnt plan on buying something now you wouldnt be as happy with and waiting for the next thing because therll be a better thing out a few months after that and so on... just get something that you want and fit it into your budget .

Quote:


*I play high-end games like: Counter-Strike Source, CS 1.6, Battlefield 2 so i want to be able to run them on high graphics and have a high fps rate.


id suggest core 2 duo myself, 2gb mushkin ddr2 533 cas 3, gigabyte 965p - ds3/ds4450-500w psu and a 1900gt/ 1800gt/ gto.

although this would cost a few $$$ more (like $200-300 i guess) it would let you play at a high fps and with good quality visuals. core 2 dou e6300 is around the same performance as the x2 4200 and around the same price and allows (if you change your mind in the future) overclock... if you do choose to then itll be well fast. you should be able to beat the fx 62 at stock if you overclock to around 2.5 ghz on it. the m'board cerainly allows for it.
all you might need to do is get a good cooler for the cpu in the future if you plan to overclock the e6300.

HOWEVER REMEMBER THAT GAMES ARE STILL MORE GPU LIMITED THAN CPU LIMITED, GET A BETTER GPU THAN CPU!!!!!! THAT IS IF YOU WANT TO PLAY YOUR GAMES T A GOOD FPS AND AT A GOOD QUALITY.

EDIT :
alothough core 2 duo does allow you to get around 10-20 fps more than the equivilent amd cpu at the same price (depending on the video card)



sorry for the long post.... hope it helps tho :D 
September 3, 2006 12:49:44 AM

Quote:
the K8L is supposed to work with socket am2 boards but thats out next year or so and you motherboard is likely to be outdated by then i wouldnt plan on buying something now you wouldnt be as happy with and waiting for the next thing because therll be a better thing out a few months after that and so on... just get something that you want and fit it into your budget .



*I play high-end games like: Counter-Strike Source, CS 1.6, Battlefield 2 so i want to be able to run them on high graphics and have a high fps rate.



although this would cost a few $$$ more (like $200-300 i guess) EDIT :
alothough core 2 duo does allow you to get around 10-20 fps more than the equivilent amd cpu at the same price (depending on the video card)

sorry for the long post.... hope it helps tho :D 


i'm already pushing the budget i was planning on spending - which was about 600-700 just on the main components. I'm also aware that i'll never be happy with the computer, because by next month something new and much better will be released. That's why im trying to make it as easy as possible to upgrade.

i might change to the Intel Core 2 Duo - does anyone know of a good MoBo - supporting ddr2 ram - sata 2 etc. My price range for a MoBo would be $75 - $115 USD.


thx for all the posts so far
September 3, 2006 1:06:18 AM

That can sometimes be a deal breaker. There are not many good, cheap C2D motherboards that I know of. Don't know much about C2D mobos, though. Th

If you are still at AM2, the DFI Infinity AM2 is a great OCer. It is one gen behind in chipsets, but that hardly makes a difference. Pretty cheap, too.

Forget about SATA 3.0/1.5 thing. It should work fine. A SATA 3G HDD will work in a SATA 1.5G motherboard and vice-versa. Maybe a jumper switch, but it'll work.

ToPower is *not* a good brand. The FSP 400W should suit you just fine.

~Ibrahim~
September 3, 2006 3:03:10 AM

Quote:
ToPower is *not* a good brand. The FSP 400W should suit you just fine.

~Ibrahim~


The inbuilt PSU on the mambo is 350W - also if ToPower is a bad brand what do you suggest?

Edit: Buying the computer in a couple of days - need to figure out what PSU to buy

Options are:

Stick with 350W PSU that comes with the case

(Remember these are AUD prices)

Shaw 550W Max P4 + AMD PSU -------- 25
SHaw 600W Max "Dual Fan" Low noise ------- 40
" 650W " "Tri Fan" Low noise -------- 55
Shaw 600W True Power Heavy Duty Low Noise --------75
ATRIX 500t true power 500W dual fan low noise -------- 99
ThermalTake 430W/460W/600W/ 750W -------- 39/95/165/215
Thermaltake 520W/ 680 Active FPC Silent ---------------175/195
Coolermaster Extreme 430W/ 500W/ 600W -----------55/123/157
Coolermaster Real Power 450W/550W SILENT ----------88/155
Super Flower 400W/ 500W real power -------55/89
Super Flower 500W/ 600W Cable less SILENT --------- 114/142
Topower 420W/ 520W "Fan-less" EPS Real --------140/165
***Topower 400W/500W/***600W EPS Real Power ------68/99/132***
Antec 400W/ 500W Smart Power 2 ----------85/111
Antec" True Power 2" 430W/ 480W/550W(*maybe) --------105/127/155
Antec "Neohe" 380W/430w/500W/550W -----107/119/152/180

Edit 2: No-wonder nobodies replying - it's 3am in New York atm
September 3, 2006 7:18:44 AM

A little tip, if you plan on sticking with the AM2 route, get a CPU clocked at at least 2.4GHz, as the higher latencies of DDR2 ram will cripple the ram's bandwidth - but the higher clock rate basically cancels out the latencies sinse latencies are measured in clock cycles - DDR2 800MHz Dual Channel will get less bandwidth than DDR1 400MHz Dual Channel because of the latencies (theres a page on this site actually that explains it better and has some benchmarks - see here: linky)

Also, another thing about AM2 - because I've built 3 systems on this platform and have had this issue with every one of them. Always check the BIOS's ram timings and RAM VOLTAGE as it often isnt read correctly from the ram by the bios, and the ram ends-up underpowered (all 3 of the systems i built tried to run the ram at 1.8volts by default when they required 1.9, 2.1, and 2.2 volts respectively) so manually set voltage or you will probably face some bsods (in my case, it wouldn't even post in dual channel, had to boot with one stick, manually set dram voltage, and then i was able to get into dual channel). Sorry for the long story, just wanted to save you some trouble as this seems to be a common error (probably something that can be fixed in a bios update, but has yet to be on most mobos)
September 3, 2006 7:38:17 AM

UPDATED PC:

I have made a few changes working through the components of the computer with a friend.

Suggestions? Problems?

Motherboard: AMD AM2 ATHLON 64 940 pin Gigabyte m55SLi-S4-SLI
CPU: AM2 Dual Core 3800+
RAM: 1G DDR2 Kingston
Hard-drive: Seagate SATA 250G
DVD DRIVE: Pioneer DL DVD-RW
Case: Thermaltake Soprano
Power Supply:Antec NeoHe 500W
Graphics (VGA):Leadtek 7600GT
September 3, 2006 9:29:24 AM

That system looks pretty okay to me, although if you could save some $$ on a non-SLi board and pump that money (plus some extra funds) into a second gigabyte of RAM, that'd be just dandy.
September 3, 2006 9:39:37 AM

I actually have that motherboard and it support SATAII (you don't have to flame me because I know it's just a marketing gimmic). I am running dual barracudas in RAID 0. I love this board and it ran great for me until last night when I broke it trying to pull out one of my video cards which has a huge cooler on it. Even after the damage it still runs....even though it's running at 16v now instead of 12v. I'm just going to keep it turned off until my new M59SLI-S5 comes in from Newegg next week. I guess I was looking for a reason to get that new board anyway.

Might I recommend that if you get this board.....get a different HS for the chipset if your video card gives you enough room. Even at stock that thing puts off enough heat to burn your finger in a second though it performed just fine, even when O/C'd to 1200Mhz.
September 3, 2006 5:04:43 PM

Quote:
UPDATED PC:

I have made a few changes working through the components of the computer with a friend.

Suggestions? Problems?

Motherboard: AMD AM2 ATHLON 64 940 pin Gigabyte m55SLi-S4-SLI
CPU: AM2 Dual Core 3800+
RAM: 1G DDR2 Kingston
Hard-drive: Seagate SATA 250G
DVD DRIVE: Pioneer DL DVD-RW
Case: Thermaltake Soprano
Power Supply:Antec NeoHe 500W
Graphics (VGA):Leadtek 7600GT


Looks good. What is the speed/latency of that memory?

The hard drive is still the Perpendicular recording? If so, good.

PSU: Awesome choice!

Case: One of my favorite cases...

I don't know if I mentioned, but upgrade to 2GB whenever possible. So buy this one stick, NOT two sticks. You want one stick of 1GB, not two sticks of 512MB. That way you can run dual-channel with 2GB, not that dual-channel adds much, but that way it also leaves the door open for 4GB in the future.

What I personally would do is the get DFI Infinity II AM2, OC to 2.4Ghz or more, use the extra cash for a cheap 7900GT. But your current choice is fine as well.

On the topic of OC'ing, you'll be using the stock CPU cooler, right? If you want a great cooler at a low price, the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro is a awesome for OC'ed CPUs. Quiet as a mouse, too. Zalman TIM is the best for CPUs and chipsets.

As said before, most chipsets run hot and their coolers cannot always cope with it. Rare that'll you burn a chipset without extreme OC'ing ,but it increases longevity a bit with an after-market one.

~Ibrahim~
September 4, 2006 8:09:48 AM

Quote:
I actually have that motherboard and it support SATAII (you don't have to flame me because I know it's just a marketing gimmic



Thats good, i can get a 250G Sata 2 Maxtor HDD for $3 more.

I've also noticed that the Antec NeoHe 500W PSU is $1 less than the Antec True Power 2 550W PSU - should i go for that instead?

Also do i need a network card - because this will be the second PC in the house (taking the space of the old windows 98 with 6G HDD!) we already had them routed to the good PC (soon to be the worse). Is it just a matter of plugging the network cable into the back of the PC or do i have to reconfigure the router so i can get a lan connection and internet to my new pc?

thx

edit: i don't know the speed/latency of the ram i'm getting - just says 1G DDR2 Kingston - $127 -(AUD)
September 4, 2006 1:33:16 PM

The NeoHE would be a better choice, more amps on the 12V+.

No, that motherboard comes with an onboard NIC, an ethernet port.

It should be just plug and play. So, you don't need a network card and you shouldn't need to mess with the settings of the router. Only if you had restrained the MAC addresses would we have a problem, but I don't think that it will be a problem here.

~Ibrahim~
September 5, 2006 5:48:35 AM

Quote:
Only if you had restrained the MAC addresses would we have a problem, but I don't think that it will be a problem here.
~Ibrahim~


i won't even pretend i unterstand that...

i'm buying the PC tomorrow - i've got it worked out.

Big thanks to everyone that helped out on this thread - especially ikjadoon.
September 6, 2006 2:00:52 AM

lol, it just means you only let a this computer and that computer to be allowed on your network. You only allow Computer A's MAC Address and Computer B's MAC Address. That means virtually any other computer in the entire world would not be allowed to access. A very powerful measure used by those who have wireless networks...Many don't bother, too much time finding the MAC addresses and then inputing them.

A quick example. Pretend we are having some conference call, which is your network. You are only going to let in people who have the phone numbers 859-474-9957 and 776-332-7532. Those phone numbers represent your MAC addresses.

Good luck with the system and post back with any problems. Don't worry, once you get the parts, it'll be as fun as hell and you'll laugh heartily at your Dell friends.

~Ibrahim~
!