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Newbie first time build, AMD Athlon X2 3800+ AM2, opinions?

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September 25, 2006 6:15:46 PM

Hi All

I have decided that I will build my next computer (my first DIY). I do have experience in replacing or adding all the components in a computer (i.e. replaced the PS and Motherboard on different computers). I have also been experimenting with loading different OSs on my PCs and thus and not concern with installing an OS. Since this will be my first build I am extremely nervous about purchasing components that may not be compatible with each other. Or to be more exact about the Motherboard not liking the RAM I have chosen. I would appreciate if the more learned individuals in this fine Forum would be so kind as to give their opinion of the selected components. I do understand that this type of question appears and fairly often and as such thank all those who take the time to read/answer this posting.

The purpose of this computer is to for photo and video editing, as this is to support the purchase of a new Digital Camera and Video Recorder. I may (read as definitely) will do some gaming on it, but my game tastes lay with the strategic type like Civilizations. So I believe that the video card I have selected will do for now. I am thinking of purchasing a TV tuner card after I get the computer up and running to act as my VCR. I do plan on initially installing a linux OS (once I decide which one), then after Vista been out for a while to purchase the 64bit variant of it and installing that. At which point I may upgrade the RAM to get 4-6GB total (cost dependent). I have also been toying with the idea of overclocking this computer, since that would be my first time I have fairly low requirements for a ‘successful’ overclock.

The main goal of this build is to get a new decent computer on the cheap that will last me at least 3 years with some minor upgrading before it becomes to painful to use and thus transferred to one of my children. After 3 years I hope to have more funds available to do this again but may use the case and PS from this build (if it makes sense).

CPU:

AMD Athlon X2 3800+

http://www.amdcompare.com/us-en/desktop/details.aspx?op...

MotherBoard:

MSI K9N Platinum
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr...

MSI K9N SLI Platinum (likely to get)
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr...

RAM:
OCZ 2G (2 x 1G) PC2-6400 Platinum Dual Channel (OCZ2P8002GK)
http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr2_p...

Video Card:

XFX GeForce 7600GT 256MB DDR3 XXX Edition Core 590 MHz Memory 1.6 GHz
(PV-T73G-UDD3)
http://www.xfxforce.com/web/product/listConfigurations....

Case:

ANTEC SLK3000B Black Super Mid Tower (no PSU) (SLK3000B)
http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=93000

Power Supply:

Antec TrueControl II 550 - ATX12V 2.01 - 550 Watt (TRUE CONTROL II 550)
http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=22552

Hard Drive:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 rpm 16 MB (ST3320620AS)
http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/marketing...

DVD Burner:

LITEON 16X16 LIGHTSCRIBE BLACK RETAIL (SHM-165H6S-04)
http://www.liteon.com/prod/getProduct.do?xml_id=4_2&men...

TV Tuner (to be purchased after system setup):

Hauppauge! CANADA ONLY WINTV-PVR-150 HARDWARE MPEG2 PCI TV TUNER W/TV (1047)
http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_pvr150.htm...

As previously mentioned my main concern is that the motherboard will not like the RAM if anyone has tried this combination I would greatly appreciate if you would share your settings (assuming that it worked). Another question I have for those that may know, will I be able to overclock the processor to 2.2GHz with the stock cooling?(I know that results of overclocking are highly dependent on luck). I choose NVIDIA chipset because I saw somewhere that one might be able to use Crossfire, I do not believe that this is possible, but if someone knows how, could you please point me into the right direction.

And once again to those that read/answer my posting THANK-YOU.

Many thanks

thesansman
September 25, 2006 7:06:56 PM

Quote:
I choose NVIDIA chipset because I saw somewhere that one might be able to use Crossfire, I do not believe that this is possible, but if someone knows how, could you please point me into the right direction.


there is a way yes you have to hack the drivers, i dont know how though, i think prozac or wusy told me about using 2 pciex16 slots in crossfire or sli so maybe PM either of the two they should know or jumpingjack might know, try to hunt them down! they might have the answer! :D 

i myself if youre building now would get core 2 duo as they are better as of now also it would be cheaper because ram prices are on the up at the moment, so your ram you posted will probably be more expensive than it was a few weeks back. If you are building now i suggest getting:

core 2 duo e6300/6400

good heatsink fan for cpu if overclocking to keep noise levels lower than the stock fan

gigabyte 965p ds3/ds4 both allow for a high fsb overclock

ddr2 533 4-4-4-x (any good name brand of 533mhz ddr2 will do, this is why i said core 2 duo will be cheaper)

if you are building in a couple of weeks i suggest you keep your setup as ram prices may fall back down again (your ram choice will work with the motherboard and the cpu you selected.)

allseems okay, maybe change the graphics card to a 7900gs or ati radeon x1900gt if they are around he same price range (they are over here i the UK)

Quote:
Another question I have for those that may know, will I be able to overclock the processor to 2.2GHz with the stock cooling?(I know that results of overclocking are highly dependent on luck).


you will be able to achive this i expect with stock amd cooling. :wink: GL
September 25, 2006 8:31:13 PM

you can get 2.2 easily with stock cooling....look at my sig.....and im using stock cooling on that
Related resources
September 25, 2006 9:01:46 PM

the Athlon 64 3800+ is 2.4Ghz (6 being the multiplier). This works PERFECTLY with DDR2 800 as the multipliers work out. Dunno about dualcores but 2.6Ghz 3800+ x2 won't support DDR2 800 and you would have to run the ram slower (i think).

2600mhz/400 = 6.5 ---> Don't think the memory controler will do half multipliers....

AMD and AM2 have quirky characteristics when clocks and memory are concerned. Don't get DDR2 800 if you can't run it at 400mhz effective (DDR2 800 = 2x400Mhz) due to a weird clock frequency.

Can someone please verify/support this as I'm somewhat new to getting down with the nitty-gritty of multipliers and the AM2 architecture. The AMD products have the memory controler on-board so your memory multiplier options are limited.

Hope this helps.

Regards
September 26, 2006 3:03:56 AM

To gOdMan:

I did some looking around at prices for the Core 2 Duo (E6300) is still >$60CAD :cry:  then the AMD Athlon X2 3800+ and the DDRII PC2-4200 RAM is priced approximately the same as the DDRII PC2-6400 RAM I am thinking of getting for 2x1GB sticks. I do not know about the motherboard but am assuming that it would be at least as much as what I am look at getting. If I would get a Core 2 Duo I would want the (E6600) anyways. So remembering that I am trying to get the best bang for my money :roll: and according to the Tom's recent article regarding "Green Machine: AMD Dual-Core Platform at 54W" (http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/09/25/green_machine/), the regular X2 3800+ use a lot less power. :o 

I also looking into the video cards you mentioned, I guess England has better/worse pricing, because in Canada they are >$80CAD :cry:  more then the 7600gt I am thinking about. I was trying to get a cheapish card that will do until Vista and DirectX 10 are main stream.

I appreciate your comments about crossfire and will definitely look into it further if I can find a suitable ATI card for roughly the same amount of money as the one I specified. And it appears that I should be able to overclock the X2 3800+ to 2.4-2.6GHz with the stock cooling.

To echoplex:

The Athlon X2 3800+ is 2.0GHz with a multiplier of 10 for the CPU thus the DDRII 800 is a multiple of 2.0GHz (400MHz X 5). I remember reading some in this Forum to use DDRII 800 only with CPU frequencies that are multiples of 400MHz. If I am wrong could someone please correct me (I can not seem to find the proof right now).

To All:

I am currently using a P-III 800MHz with an 8 MB video card which sucks for viewing any video. The computer came with Windows ME :twisted: (Future shop special) at the time I had no ideas just how bad it would be. So hence I started to experiment with different OS's to gain some stability, and achieved it with Linux. So to play some games and to have something my wife can use I have a multi boot system :tongue: . This works greats but I can no longer buy any of the games I wish to play because of it's age. I am a poor man (wife will kill me once she figures out the extra debt :cry:  ), but I need this new system to keep my sanity :D , especially considering I have been planning this rig for almost 2 years now. Otherwise I would wait to the end of January at least and purchase one of the new CPUs coming out before Christmas. So anyways I really appreciate all those who take the time to read/answer my rig's specs just to make sure I can keep the system without the TV tuner <$1200CAD.

Thank-you

thesansman
September 26, 2006 6:21:17 AM

england is expensive :lol:  taxes... :( 

yeah thats alright then get the 7600gt, what one are youloooking for, have a look at the silent pipe 2 gigabyte 7600gt (it gets hot but its got a ig heatsink so there is no fan). :wink: Might get in the way other cards tho :?
September 26, 2006 1:07:05 PM

Quote:
To echoplex:

The Athlon X2 3800+ is 2.0GHz with a multiplier of 10 for the CPU thus the DDRII 800 is a multiple of 2.0GHz (400MHz X 5). I remember reading some in this Forum to use DDRII 800 only with CPU frequencies that are multiples of 400MHz. If I am wrong could someone please correct me (I can not seem to find the proof right now).

thesansman


My appologies regarding the frequency for the 3800+x2 cpu (twas a long day lol). You're absolutely right though, 2.0 Ghz will work perfectly with DDR2 800. I would still like someone else to chime in with more details about the CPUs and doing half multipliers regarding RAM...

You obviously have enough understanding of this issue to avoid getting a certain type of RAM spec, and having incompatibility issues... :) 

Thanks.
September 26, 2006 2:46:41 PM

my bios allows me to do half multipliers.
i dunno what the range is but i know i was dinkin around with 10 10.5 and 11
September 26, 2006 6:02:36 PM

Damnit...I wish I new where I was reading about this...
September 27, 2006 12:07:56 AM

The absolute best overclocking AM2 motherboard is the DFI NF590 SLI-M2R/G Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI. There is no turning back in that. Even if you dont overclock this board is rock stable and with all the features you can wish for.

In that motherboards site youll find recommend memory for overcloking. Obviously that if you go with these you wont have any compatibiliy problems. The OCZ rev2 with 4-4-4-15 timings has proven to be best at overclocking (usually having a nice value too) at 550Mhz CL5.

If the TV Tuner is very expesive you can also go with the X1900 All-in-wonder. Is it a much better graphics card too, nevertheless the 7600GT has the best $/performance in its price range.
September 27, 2006 9:30:55 PM

Quote:
If the TV Tuner is very expesive you can also go with the X1900 All-in-wonder. Is it a much better graphics card too, nevertheless the 7600GT has the best $/performance in its price range.


Thanks for the suggestion I am currently looking into that option :)  . In general I am leery of anything that is a combination of devices, but according to the VGA charts on the Tom's Hardware site the card blows the doors of the Nvidia one 8O . Add to the fact the place I going to buy my computer components from can not get the Nvidia card at the moment. The only reservation I have now is that reviews I have found with the ATI card state a common problem with the TV tuner portion of it :(  .

Another thing if anyone can answer would be the fact that the store has the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ in stock not the 3800+ :o  , will there be an issue with RAM I have chosen? I am hoping that overclocking the CPU to 2.4GHz :wink: would mean that I would not have to overclock the RAM (or maybe I still do). I am so confused with RAM details in regards to overclocking, if someone can help me on the matter it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank-you to all who read/answer

thesansman
September 27, 2006 10:17:12 PM

I would go for the 4200+ X2 because its only like a $15 increase in price wich makes it worth it.
The RAM youve chosen is fine as long as its compatible with your motherboard, any RAM with 4-4-4-12 timings would be better but that one will cut it for mild overclocking.
September 28, 2006 4:33:13 PM

Quote:
I would go for the 4200+ X2 because its only like a $15 increase in price wich makes it worth it.
The RAM youve chosen is fine as long as its compatible with your motherboard, any RAM with 4-4-4-12 timings would be better but that one will cut it for mild overclocking.


The 4200+ is actually $43CAD more then the 3800+ (I am Canadian) :wink: . As for the RAM you are suggesting it is another $60CAD I would agree it would be better for I am already have hard time agree that what I have specified is worth it.

As well now the store I am planning on buying the components from doesn't have the Power Supply or the Case. I am currently thinking of getting the Coolermaster Elite 330 - RC-330 case and the Thermaltake Tough Power 600. Do anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thank-you

thesansman
September 28, 2006 6:34:35 PM

it looks a good psu (on thermaltake's site) have a look at xbit labs as i think they had a thermaltake psu roundup a little while ago.

Also you could have a look at the ocz gamextream series psus (up to 700w odd), enermax liberty series (to 600w modular) or ocz modstream series (up to 500w modular).

ocz gamextream + modstream psus
September 28, 2006 9:49:40 PM

A few recommendations for a budget setup:

The Epox EP-MF570 SLI currently is the most reliable and overclockable board in a budget. Dont worry about it not using the 590 because it doesnt proove any real-world performance boost.

DDR2 PC2-5400 with 4-4-4-xx timings. They should overclock to 400Mhz CL5.

X2 3800+ of course. Keep looking, usually they have free shipping so no added costs.

The X1900 All-in-wonder is still recommend as long as you dont have to spend much more from getting the 7600GT and the TV tuner separetly.

Even that not as fast, the Seagate drives are very reliable too. 16mb is preferable but 8mb shouldnt hurt performance much.

450W of power supply would be enough, 500W and yould be really safe. Just check that it has dual 12v (or more) rails and high efficency (<70%).

Look prices up in froogle.com and pricegrabber.com
Let me know on what youre thinking
October 1, 2006 2:48:16 AM

Ok, Monday I will put in the order for the following components.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Motherboard: MSI K9NSLI Platium
Video Card: X1900 All in Wonder
RAM: OCZ2P800R22GK
Power Supply: Thermaltake TOUGHPOWER 600W ATX 12V 2.2/14CM
Chassis: CoolerMaster Elite RC-330 ATX Black Case
Harddrive: ST3320620AS Seagate 320G 7200.10 Drive
DVD burner: SHM-165H6S-04

The store I am buying the components from said that they would assemble system for me at no additional cost, which is great. I admit that I was looking forward trying to put it together, but not to troubleshooting a bad component.

I am going for a slightly more expensive and powerful Power Supply then originally specified. My reasoning is based on the fact the current trend with video cards are making them the most power hungry component in the computer. Add the fact, as this system gets older I will be overclocking more. The last reason is I hope to be able to use it for the next system (~3 years from now). As for the video card I will go with the one suggested buy rwaritsdario. This saved me enough money to afford to get the Rev 2 RAM from OCZ :D .

I know that for another $100-200 I could get a Core 2 Duo system but I was really trying to get a new dual core system for under $1000(Cdn). I know I would be able to do this in January :cry:  , maybe sooner, but I need a new system now. Also it seems silly to pay the Intel premium on something that will obsolete in December when they release Core 2 Quad. I know AMD is going be releasing new chips starting November/December but I doubt that the current ones will drop much in price until they release their Quad chips (mid 2007 I think).

The last thing I would to inform everyone on is that as per wife's instruction I will be getting a new monitor for this computer, the Samsung 205BW 20" 1680x1050. I can hardly wait to finally get a monitor that is the same size as the one I use at work. Though I doubt I will fully appreciate it until I get the new computer.

I would like to thank those who responded, their advice IMHO was extremely helpful and actually saved me some $$$$. I will post again after I get the system up and running at home to let all those interested on my final thoughts on my new computer.

Thank-you all

thesansman
October 1, 2006 7:43:07 AM

OCZ GameXstream 700W, simply check it out.

Double check compatibility for that RAM because I recommended for the DFI board because the company itself recommends it for overclocking.
!