Building a System Specifically for a Plasma

Hey everyone!! I'm building a system specifically for gaming and media PC for my plasma TV. I dont plan to overclock and will be running WinXP Pro I've narrowed it down to a couple options but wanted to get some more opinions before I bought the stuff. I'm pretty sure it'll be a microATX system. Here is a few questions

1. Is uATX and mATX the same thing? Never really heard of uATX but the mobo I'm looking says thats its form. The case I'm looking at is mATX
2. I'm debating on the 8600GTS or X1950 video cards. The X1950 seems to have better performance but is only DirectX 9 and the 8600GTS is DirectX 10.. Which should I go with? If this helps, opitmal resolution for my plasma is 1024x768 but it'll do 1360x768
3. Will most video cards fit into MicroATX cases?
4. More than likely it'll be Intel but any reason (other than slightly I cheaper) I should go with AMD?
5. Should I buy everything locally and spend more money but have the ability to return stuff easily if it doesnt work right? Or should I find the cheapest prices from various distributors and buy online?

I've done research from various distributors online and found the cheapest prices with shipping. Here is what I've built:

AMD
----
Graphics Card - MSI NX8600GTS (or maybe X1950 based on suggestions I get here)
Hard Drive - Western Digital 320GB 7200 16MB CACHE
Motherboard - Biostar K8M800MAM
Processor - AMD 64 X2 5600+
Memory - Hynix 2GB DDR2 667MHz PC5400
Case - Ultra Micro Fly mATX Case ULT33116
CD/DVD - Memorex 1650S
**Price Online thru Various Distributors (w/shipping): $556.91
**Price Locally After Rebates for comparable (w/tax): $648.16

Intel
----
Graphics Card - MSI NX8600GTS (or maybe X1950 based on suggestions I get here)
Hard Drive - Western Digital 320GB 7200 16MB CACHE
Motherboard - ASRock CONROE 1333mhz FSB
Processor - E6550 Core 2 Duo
Memory - PC6400 800MHz DDR2
Case - Ultra Micro Fly mATX Case ULT33116
CD/DVD - Memorex 1650S
**Price Online thru Various Distributors (w/shipping): $585.83
**Price Locally After Rebates for comparable (w/tax): $722.96

Having a big problem finding a mATX motherboard locally that'll support the 1333mhz FSB of the E6550 so the price locally is for a regular ATX mobo.

I really dont want to spend anymore money than whats listed but if you have suggestions where I might be able to save a buck or two, let me know.
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  1. The only thing I can suggest is a different OS. For the media purposes, you're better off with XP MCE or Vista Home Premium.
  2. runswindows95 said:
    The only thing I can suggest is a different OS. For the media purposes, you're better off with XP MCE or Vista Home Premium.


    I'm going to use MediaPortal (freeware mediacenter software)..

    Did you have any suggestions on the video card situation?
  3. Bueller?

    Ok, I've narrowed it down to this:

    Graphics Card MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC
    Hard Drive WD3200AAKS
    Motherboard ASRock CONROE1333
    Processor E6550
    Memory PC6400 800MHz DDR2
    Case Ultra ULT33114 MicroFly mATX w/ 400w PS
    CD/DVD Memorex 1650S
    $591.14

    Can someone give that the once-over to make sure its all cool before I order it?
  4. I've read good/bad about Ultra PSU's, so not sure if that will be good enough or not. Are you building this yourself, or is someone doing it for you? Pretty good price. If you get everything at Zipzoomfly.com except for this mobo:
    GIGABYTE GA-G33M-S2 LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813128060

    Your total would be ~$698 - $50 MIR's = $648. So your getting a $50 cheaper mobo on your build. I'm not sure the above mobo has your options, but it is much better. It has the latest chipset (aside from x38 of coarse) and also has 4 DDR2 slots, which will allow you up to 8gig's of DDR2. The Conroe mobo only allows 2 DDR2 chips and up to 4 gig's max. So you can decide if that works or not, but I would probably buy the Ultra case w/o PSU and spend my $ on this PSU. It's well known QUALITY PSU and has 30A's combined on the 2 12v rails! The Ultra only has 20 amps and would be pushing the limits of the PSU. So you can decide what you want, but that is what I'd suggest. BTW I like the general layout of the Ultra case, especially the 120mm fan at the back and the 80mm fan at the front.

    Linkage for 380w PSU:
    8800gtx on 380w PSU!
    http://www.overclockers.com/articles1452/

    PSU - $49 shipped! Can power 8800gtx and an OC’d e6600! See link above for proof!
    Antec Earthwatt 380W P/Satx 12V v.2.2 80MM P/S2 Fan 80-Plus Certified - EA380
    http://www.buy.com/prod/antec-earthwatt-380w-p-satx-12v-v-2-2-80mm-p-s2-fan-80-plus-certified/q/loc/101/203477214.html

    The above PSU sells for $78 on newegg.com! Much more that that link above!
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006
  5. lunyone said:
    I've read good/bad about Ultra PSU's, so not sure if that will be good enough or not. Are you building this yourself, or is someone doing it for you? Pretty good price. If you get everything at Zipzoomfly.com except for this mobo:
    GIGABYTE GA-G33M-S2 LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813128060


    Thanks for the info!! I'll be building it myself. The price I got was from about 3-4 different distributors online by checking out pricewatch.com...

    I've been doing research for the past couple weeks and have settled pretty much on those products that I've listed. I'm not too worried about the Ultra PSU. Its a 400w PSU and, as I calculated it, I'll only be drawing about 275w. So, I really wont be pushing it at all. Luckly, the PSU is about the cheapest component. So, if it takes a poop, I can replace it easily by buying one locally..

    The mobo I found was a processor/mobo combo on pricewatch specifically for the E6550. I don't plan on running more than 2GB anytime soon. Any if it gets to the point that games are needed 2+GB, it'll probably be time to upgrade the mobo and processor.

    I guess my question is, is there anything else I really need to order so once it gets here, it'll be plug and play?? Ive got the OS, keyboard, mouse. So, other than that, I can't really think of anything else I'd need.
  6. If I'm not too late already, unless you plan on doing some heavy gaming, I recommend that you go with the silent 8600GTS, or even silent 8600GT, not because of its DX10 capabilities, but it's video output is noticably better than the last generation cards from both ATI and NVidia. I just saw the video quality of a 8600GT blow away my 7900GS. Not only that, but they make silent versions, and for any HTPC build, silence is golden.
  7. chrispyski said:
    If I'm not too late already, unless you plan on doing some heavy gaming, I recommend that you go with the silent 8600GTS, or even silent 8600GT, not because of its DX10 capabilities, but it's video output is noticably better than the last generation cards from both ATI and NVidia. I just saw the video quality of a 8600GT blow away my 7900GS. Not only that, but they make silent versions, and for any HTPC build, silence is golden.


    Have a link to one??

    Right now, I have the MSI 8600 GTS as part of my build which I thought was one of the better ones.
  8. No doubt the that MSI is a good one, I just recommend going with a passively cooled card for any HTPC build. The problem with the passive ones, however, is they often take up alot of room, which can easily be problematic in a HT chassis, or any neighboring PCI cards. Gigabyte's silent pipe series has always been held in high regard, although I haven't personally used one yet.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125063

    MSI makes one, but the heatpipe can cause promblems with some low profile HTPC cases:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127287

    What it really comes down to is what will fit, and what fits your wallet.
  9. chrispyski said:
    No doubt the that MSI is a good one, I just recommend going with a passively cooled card for any HTPC build. The problem with the passive ones, however, is they often take up alot of room, which can easily be problematic in a HT chassis, or any neighboring PCI cards. Gigabyte's silent pipe series has always been held in high regard, although I haven't personally used one yet.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125063

    MSI makes one, but the heatpipe can cause promblems with some low profile HTPC cases:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127287

    What it really comes down to is what will fit, and what fits your wallet.


    Hmm.. That MSI is actually cheaper than the one I was looking at after rebate.

    Are the video cards (other than the silents) really louder than the 80mm and 120mm fans on a case? Id just hate to get a silent on and find out it doesnt fit..
  10. Yes, they are louder. I recently replaced my stock evga 7800gt hsf with a zalman.. and what a difference that made. Also stay away from ultra psu's.. espically for a media center, its easily the loudest componet in my system, I can stop all the other fans via fan controller and i cant hear any difference in the sound, which i can hear from across the room.. kind of like a ceiling fan on medium speed. My advice would pick a quality PSU, so your not bashing your head into a wall later because of the annoying fan noise.
  11. skittle said:
    Yes, they are louder. I recently replaced my stock evga 7800gt hsf with a zalman.. and what a difference that made. Also stay away from ultra psu's.. espically for a media center, its easily the loudest componet in my system, I can stop all the other fans via fan controller and i cant hear any difference in the sound, which i can hear from across the room.. kind of like a ceiling fan on medium speed. My advice would pick a quality PSU, so your not bashing your head into a wall later because of the annoying fan noise.


    Yeah, I know what you mean.. Just trying to stay as cheap as possible..The case I'm looking at is basically $14 cheaper with out the PS.. So, I thought, heck, for the $14 I'll try out the PS.. If its ridiculously loud, I'll order something else and just be out $14.. But, if I do decide to go ahead and order separate, is this a good PS for what I'm using it for:

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=360911

    Also, since the price difference isn't huge with the video card, I may go ahead and get a silent 8600GTS.. Problem is size in the mATX case. Is this pretty much trial and error or is there a way to tell if it'll fit before I choose a card?

    I'd like it as quite as possible but its not ESSENTIAL. My plasma TV i have is pretty loud as it is. Little did I know that Samsung Plasmas have a buzz to them. I thought something was wrong with it, but nope, thats just how it is.
  12. I know your tempted to cheap out on certain things ( I was the same way.. thats why i have this crappy psu), but the PSU is the last thing you want to skimp on.

    If your really trying hard to save money, look at AMD, currently they offer some of the best preformance/price parts.

    This is one I would consider
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003
  13. skittle said:
    I know your tempted to cheap out on certain things ( I was the same way.. thats why i have this crappy psu), but the PSU is the last thing you want to skimp on.

    If your really trying hard to save money, look at AMD, currently they offer some of the best preformance/price parts.


    Well, $600 (with shipping and taxes) and absolutely as high as I wanted to go..

    What brands are good and which should I stay away from for PSUs for my application? BTW, I'm not planning on overclocking if that changes things at all.
  14. bobbykokinos said:
    Yeah, I know what you mean.. Just trying to stay as cheap as possible..The case I'm looking at is basically $14 cheaper with out the PS.. So, I thought, heck, for the $14 I'll try out the PS.. If its ridiculously loud, I'll order something else and just be out $14.. But, if I do decide to go ahead and order separate, is this a good PS for what I'm using it for:

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=360911

    Also, since the price difference isn't huge with the video card, I may go ahead and get a silent 8600GTS.. Problem is size in the mATX case. Is this pretty much trial and error or is there a way to tell if it'll fit before I choose a card?

    I'd like it as quite as possible but its not ESSENTIAL. My plasma TV i have is pretty loud as it is. Little did I know that Samsung Plasmas have a buzz to them. I thought something was wrong with it, but nope, thats just how it is.

    I wouldn't recommend that PSU. If you get the one I linked above for $49 you'll never regret the $35 more that you would have to spend on it. If you looked at that link I also listed above, you would notice that the Antec 380w Earthwatts PSU is very efficient >80% and thus would keep it cooler than the one you are looking at. The biggest problem, is most people use a cheap PSU and end up replacing more than just the PSU when the PSU fails. There are numerous posts that have had a PSU die and take out CPU/mobo/GPU/memory all at one time. If you use a QUALITY PSU, it will shut itself off before any damage can be done, due to the advanced circuitry that they use. I'll try an find a link for quality PSU's, but just don't have the time right now, since I'm at work.
  15. lunyone said:
    I wouldn't recommend that PSU. If you get the one I linked above for $49 you'll never regret the $35 more that you would have to spend on it. If you looked at that link I also listed above, you would notice that the Antec 380w Earthwatts PSU is very efficient >80% and thus would keep it cooler than the one you are looking at. The biggest problem, is most people use a cheap PSU and end up replacing more than just the PSU when the PSU fails. There are numerous posts that have had a PSU die and take out CPU/mobo/GPU/memory all at one time. If you use a QUALITY PSU, it will shut itself off before any damage can be done, due to the advanced circuitry that they use. I'll try an find a link for quality PSU's, but just don't have the time right now, since I'm at work.


    All right.. I'll check it out...

    Just for information, I found a review of the Ultra V-Series 400w PS (which comes with that case). Here is the summary:

    Pros:
    - Great price
    - Acceptable voltage regulation when not pushed
    - Quiet operation
    - Lifetime warranty

    Cons:
    - Unacceptable efficiency
    - Doesn%u2019t like being loaded above 50%
    - Ripple suppression%u2026.what ripple suppression?

    Edit: I absolutely will not buy from Buy.com.. They screwed me over before. Hopefully I can find something good on zipzoomfly.com
  16. bobbykokinos said:

    Pros:
    - Great price
    - Acceptable voltage regulation when not pushed
    - Quiet operation
    - Lifetime warranty

    Cons:
    - Unacceptable efficiency (this will create more heat when it's not efficient)
    - Doesn't like being loaded above 50% (another reason not to get it. Most QUALITY PSU's don't have this issue)
    - Ripple suppression,what ripple suppression? (suppresses the peaks and valleys on the DC voltage that comes to your parts. DC voltage should look like this --------------- No wavering at all. If you have cheap or faulty parts, this is what you'll see/get /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\. So everytime you spike up/down you can damage other parts of your system. This may not be today or tomorrow, but can happen over time.)

    Edit: I absolutely will not buy from Buy.com.. They screwed me over before. Hopefully I can find something good on zipzoomfly.com

    Understand the Buy.com deal. I've never had a problem with them, but I don't buy alot from them anyway. The main facts that I was stating are listed above. Here is probably the lowest I would go with a PSU right now. It has plenty of power for what you need and is a QUALITY PSU. It's greater than 75% efficiency, so much better than the Ultra, but not quite as good as the Antec earthwatts 380w.
    PSU - $48 shipped Best budget PSU w/good amps on 12V rails and 1 PCI-e connector
    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN ATX12V 400W Power Supply 120/220 - 240v NEMKO, TUV, CSA, IEC, UL, CE – Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817104953
  17. lunyone said:
    Understand the Buy.com deal. I've never had a problem with them, but I don't buy alot from them anyway. The main facts that I was stating are listed above. Here is probably the lowest I would go with a PSU right now. It has plenty of power for what you need and is a QUALITY PSU. It's greater than 75% efficiency, so much better than the Ultra, but not quite as good as the Antec earthwatts 380w.
    PSU - $48 shipped Best budget PSU w/good amps on 12V rails and 1 PCI-e connector
    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN ATX12V 400W Power Supply 120/220 - 240v NEMKO, TUV, CSA, IEC, UL, CE – Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817104953


    Thanks for the info. I was just checking out that FSP. I think thats what I'll probably end up going with.
    I also decided on the MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ video card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127287 If you check out the inside of the case, it looks like there is plenty enough space where the PCI slots are to accommodate the heat pipe (correct me if I'm wrong in thinking that.



    Brings the total to $615.40
  18. Arrrggg freakin figures! Thats Microfly case is 9in tall. My component table under my TV, you guessed it, is only 8.5in tall!!
  19. bobbykokinos said:
    Thanks for the info. I was just checking out that FSP. I think thats what I'll probably end up going with.
    I also decided on the MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ video card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127287 If you check out the inside of the case, it looks like there is plenty enough space where the PCI slots are to accommodate the heat pipe (correct me if I'm wrong in thinking that.

    http://www.bobbykokinos.com/microfly.jpg

    Brings the total to $615.40

    Looks like a nice case, I think I said that before, but thought I'd say it again. For the $ it looks to be good. So your still going with 6550 and Conroe board? What place are you getting that deal from?
  20. lunyone said:
    Looks like a nice case, I think I said that before, but thought I'd say it again. For the $ it looks to be good. So your still going with 6550 and Conroe board? What place are you getting that deal from?

    http://www.portatech.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?ID=25355&O=26469

    E6550 and motherboard for $216.53

    Edit: Now looking at a side view of the 8600GTS, I don't think it'll fit cause the PS sits right on top of where it would be.. Strike two.. Maybe it is time to do a regular ATX size..
  21. I'm pretty sure most GPU's are going to be the same height, so I'm sure the case manufacturers know this, but don't quote me.
  22. I only skimmed through all the posts here and noticed that nobody mentioned something pretty obvious. If you are planning on using Windows XP pro, you cannot use a DX10 gfx card. DX10 is Vista only!! Good luck with the build. I wish I could afford to build a new system.

    Bob
  23. ailgatrat said:
    I only skimmed through all the posts here and noticed that nobody mentioned something pretty obvious. If you are planning on using Windows XP pro, you cannot use a DX10 gfx card. DX10 is Vista only!! Good luck with the build. I wish I could afford to build a new system.

    Bob



    Than how do you explain the fact I'm using XP with a 8800GTS right now, or the countless benchmarks that use XP and DX10 cards?
  24. lunyone said:
    I'm pretty sure most GPU's are going to be the same height, so I'm sure the case manufacturers know this, but don't quote me.

    You can get low-profile cards that are a decent bit shorter (height not length) but they tend to only be the lowest end cards and it takes a while for new generation cards to become available... I guess this isn't terribly relevant but I just thought I'd throw it in.

    -mcg
  25. DX10 cards only work with DX9 in XP. And yes you do need vista for DX10 applications.
  26. lunyone said:
    I'm pretty sure most GPU's are going to be the same height, so I'm sure the case manufacturers know this, but don't quote me.


    Most are but the one I was looking at specifically has heat pipes routed over the top of it
  27. bobbykokinos said:
    Most are but the one I was looking at specifically has heat pipes routed over the top of it

    ahh, wasn't aware of that. You might need to get one with a fan on it then. I know that your trying to keep the noise down, so you get limited by the case dimensions. Is there a local shop you can go into and check and see what kind of space that there is on cases of this general size? I would go into BB or CC (if they have cases on hand) and see if you can see what kind of room they have. I be willing to bet that you'll have juste enough space, but that is just a guess.
  28. Just looked at the picture again and forgot that the mobo tray slides out the back. So you have about an inch or so clearance. Also a friend of mine just bought a similar case and installed a 7600gt card w/out any clearance issues, so I'm sure you should be fine. If you want to err on the side of caution, I would get a GPU with a fan on it.
  29. lunyone said:
    ahh, wasn't aware of that. You might need to get one with a fan on it then. I know that your trying to keep the noise down, so you get limited by the case dimensions. Is there a local shop you can go into and check and see what kind of space that there is on cases of this general size? I would go into BB or CC (if they have cases on hand) and see if you can see what kind of room they have. I be willing to bet that you'll have juste enough space, but that is just a guess.


    I believe Fry's carries the case but I really dont know how much space the heat pipes will take up. By the looks of it from the photo of the case I posted, you have the PCI slots, a brace/bracket, and the PSU sits right on top of it.. Here is a picture of the GPU:



    From the looks of it, it looks like the tallest heat pipe stands up AT LEAST an inch over the card.. So, it makes it highly doubtful it'll fit..
  30. Yeah I see what your saying. You might want to consider a different case (mini tower) or maybe a different GPU w/a fan :(
  31. lunyone said:
    Yeah I see what your saying. You might want to consider a different case (mini tower) or maybe a different GPU w/a fan :(


    Yup :(

    This pretty much answers the question. Thats with a fan cooled obviously:

  32. Yeah I see what your saying there. Looks like they have SLI/Crossfired the cards there. So I guess your down to 2 options left :( Same GPU, just with fan, or different case.
  33. lunyone said:
    Yeah I see what your saying there. Looks like they have SLI/Crossfired the cards there. So I guess your down to 2 options left :( Same GPU, just with fan, or different case.


    Yup... Its gotten be pretty frustrated.. This is becoming more of a chore and kind of going over what I had planned on spending.. I told myself if I couldnt do it for $600 with shipping/tax, I wouldnt do it. I could do a fanned GPU, then I have the noise problem. I could do an ATX case, but ATX motherboards with 1333mhz FSB are about double what the mATX ones case..

    Unless I look at stepping down the processor or going with a comparable AMD system.
  34. You can do that with an AMD system for sure. I can help you either way you want to go. I liked the case you bought and sorta feel bummed for ya. I know if I had the $ to buy a system right now, I would do it. Just have too many other things right now, so I can't, but I can definately help you out with a comparable build for $600. Here we go!

    CPU/mobo combo - $186 shipped
    Cpu - $120 x2 5200+
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103767

    Mobo - $65 shipped Asus 690G chipset w/DVI output, supports HD DVD/Blue Ray Playback!
    ASUS M2A-VM AM2 AMD 690G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131172

    GPU - $171 shipped - $10 MIR = $161 plus has Quake Wars game included!
    EVGA 256-P2-N761-AR GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814130084

    Case/PSU combo - $79 shipped!! Nice PSU with it also. 120mm quiet fan at the rear! Better PSU than the one you were looking at.
    ANTEC New Solution Series NSK4480 Mid Tower Case Retail ***Free Shipping***
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10006030

    Memory - $66 shipped, no MIR's!! Good solid RAM, Have used these before.
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16820231098

    HD - $60 shipped You can get bigger if you like.
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3160815AS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822148230

    DVD Burner - $36 shipped!
    LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16827106073

    Total shipped $591!!! Under $600 budget!! You can adjust the CPU down a bit and give more room for a bigger HD or something, but that should be a good setup.

    THERE'S HOPE!! Look at this link! Might fit!!
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=14-125-063-03.jpg&Image=14-125-063-08.jpg%2c14-125-063-02.jpg%2c14-125-063-03.jpg%2c14-125-063-04.jpg%2c14-125-063-05.jpg%2c14-125-063-06.jpg%2c14-125-063-07.jpg&S7ImageFlag=0&Depa=1&Description=GIGABYTE+GeForce+8600GTS+GV-NX86S256H+Video+Card
    If that link doesn't work, look here:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125063
  35. lunyone said:
    You can do that with an AMD system for sure. I can help you either way you want to go. I liked the case you bought and sorta feel bummed for ya. I know if I had the $ to buy a system right now, I would do it. Just have too many other things right now, so I can't, but I can definately help you out with a comparable build for $600. Here we go!


    Wow man!! Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it.. I need to head to bed but I'm going to check out all the specs on this tomorrow morning at work :)

    Thanks for renewing hope. Right before I checked your post out, I was pricing PS3s... So, thanks again..
  36. NOOOOOOO! don't do the PS3!!!! I think they are nice, but there isn't much out there right now for games (at least really good ones). Your computer will be more flexable than the PS3, but that is just my opinion.
  37. lunyone said:
    NOOOOOOO! don't do the PS3!!!! I think they are nice, but there isn't much out there right now for games (at least really good ones). Your computer will be more flexable than the PS3, but that is just my opinion.


    Just out of curiosity how much better is the E6550 than the 5200+ (or is it)? I've read all of the numbers on the CPU reviews and they are fairly close but, numbers are numbers. In the real world, how much difference would I see between the E6550 and the 5200+ side by side?
  38. real world? the charts are pretty accurate... the biggest thing that you would get out of the E6550 is less heat, which is a good thing for you.
  39. Here's a link on tom's. It doesn't necessarially spell it out, but you can get the idea. The AMD would be close to the e6550 and like skittle the Intel would be a little cooler. The nice part with an AMD build is that the overall build, it would be cheaper. The Intel would OC easier and farther, but if your not doing that, the AMD would be better for your budget.

    http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=923&model2=874&chart=419
  40. lunyone said:
    Here's a link on tom's. It doesn't necessarially spell it out, but you can get the idea. The AMD would be close to the e6550 and like skittle the Intel would be a little cooler. The nice part with an AMD build is that the overall build, it would be cheaper. The Intel would OC easier and farther, but if your not doing that, the AMD would be better for your budget.

    http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=923&model2=874&chart=419


    Well, somehow I got the Intel build down to $583.23.. I decided to use the case that you had posted with your AMD build which supports both ATX and mATX board. The case also looks big enough to handle the 8600GTS I was looking at... So, here it goes:

    Graphics Card - MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ
    Hard Drive - WD3200AAKS Western Digital 320GB 16MB
    Motherboard - ASRock CONROE1333
    Processor - E6550
    Memory - OCZ Value Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2-667
    Case - ANTEC New Solution Series NSK4480
    CD/DVD - Memorex 1650S

    I decided on DDR2-667 since first, that board I'm looking at only supports up to 667 and I'm not planning on overclocking.

    Any final thoughts??
  41. Yes that will work too. The Intel's don't need 800mHz DDR2, but when/if you decide to OC a little, things will work nicer. I'm not much of a fan of crossover boards, but hopefully that'll work out for you :)
  42. lunyone said:
    Yes that will work too. The Intel's don't need 800mHz DDR2, but when/if you decide to OC a little, things will work nicer. I'm not much of a fan of crossover boards, but hopefully that'll work out for you :)


    Well, now I need to know what a crossoverboard is before I order :) Explain?

    I'm planning on ordering everything in the morning once and for all...
  43. Ooops, sorry wrong thread. Your board isn't a crossover board. A crossover board has AGP and PCI-e slots along with DDR and DDR2 memory slots. Sorry I got busy on several posts and got mixed up. For you light gaming and HTPC needs you should be fine, especially meeting your budget. Let me know how the build works out. I like to know how things go, so I can recommend/not recommend things to other people :).
  44. Ok, I sware this is the VERY last revision.. I've got it down to about $10 difference between two different steps so its apple vs oranges right now. Biggest difference is the AMD Setup is ATX and the Intel in mATX. Here it goes:

    Mobo: BIOSTAR NF520-A2 AM2 NVIDIA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138077
    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103773
    Memory: A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211165

    vs.

    Mobo: ASRock CONROE1333 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157113&Tpk=ASRock%2bCONROE1333
    Processor: E6550 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115030
    Memory: OCZ Value Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 667 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227060&Tpk=OCZ%2bValue%2bSeries%2b2GB%2b(2%2bx%2b1GB)%2b240-Pin


    Its DEFINITELY either of those two..I'm also ordering a couple SATA w/power cables and a PCIe to ExpressCard adapter so I can run the TV tuner card that came with my HP Laptop on it so I can turn it into a DVR. I'm about $30 over budget but, oh well.. It was bound to happen.

    So what do you think between those two or is it just so close its personal preference now??
  45. Okay here is just a few suggestions.
    1) The mobo for the AMD only has 2 sata ports and only 1 PATA, so you'd only be allowed 4 drives (2 HD's and 2 DVD/CD's or something like that). This isn't a good situation.
    2) I'd probably drop down the CPU to afford a better mobo. Your performance isn't going to be much of a difference if you drop down to the x2 5000+ Black Edition (this CPU has unlocked multiplier and will allow you to OC it easier than if you didn't buy this CPU. I know you don't want to OC, but later in it's life you may want to have this option and you'll thank me later :). This $30 savings you could put into a better mobo, like this one below.
    BIOSTAR TForce TF7025-M2 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 7025 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138074
    This isn't necissarialy the right board for you needs, but thought I'd throw out an option. You might consider a regular ATX mobo, especially if your adding in 2 or 3 more cards for your DVR functions.

    If I get some time tonight at work, not sure if I will, I'll do some more research on this so I can recommend a regular ATX mobo. I believe the AMD version will give you more options than the Intel one at this point. I just need about 30 min. to do this, but don't have time right now, need to head out to work soon. I'll check back no later than tomorrow morning PST (west coast).
  46. lunyone said:
    Okay here is just a few suggestions.
    1) The mobo for the AMD only has 2 sata ports and only 1 PATA, so you'd only be allowed 4 drives (2 HD's and 2 DVD/CD's or something like that). This isn't a good situation.
    2) I'd probably drop down the CPU to afford a better mobo. Your performance isn't going to be much of a difference if you drop down to the x2 5000+ Black Edition (this CPU has unlocked multiplier and will allow you to OC it easier than if you didn't buy this CPU. I know you don't want to OC, but later in it's life you may want to have this option and you'll thank me later :). This $30 savings you could put into a better mobo, like this one below.
    BIOSTAR TForce TF7025-M2 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 7025 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138074
    This isn't necissarialy the right board for you needs, but thought I'd throw out an option. You might consider a regular ATX mobo, especially if your adding in 2 or 3 more cards for your DVR functions.

    If I get some time tonight at work, not sure if I will, I'll do some more research on this so I can recommend a regular ATX mobo. I believe the AMD version will give you more options than the Intel one at this point. I just need about 30 min. to do this, but don't have time right now, need to head out to work soon. I'll check back no later than tomorrow morning PST (west coast).


    Thanks again for the info.. Here were my reasonings for going with that AMD setup

    1. All I'll ever run at the most is 2 HD's and 1 one optical drive. So, the drive interface situation really isn't a big issue. If I run into the point where I out grow two LARGE hard drives, it'll probably be time to upgrade the whole system.

    2. This was my thinking on the CPU. I'm shying away from OCing because I want something that is going to be stable and have decent power without OCing. Thats why I selected the 6000+. Also, admittedly, I dont know much about OCing. I always thought when you get into OCing, you getting into more heat which in turn means more cooling (fans, coolers, etc.) which means more space taken up in the case and more money. Not to mention the increased noise caused by fans and such for cooling. Stock, there seems to be a pretty big performance difference between the 5000+ BE and 6000+ according to the charts.

    3. The mobo on the AMD setup I was looking at is an ATX. All I'll be running is a PCI to PCMCIA card which is PCI 1x for the TV tuner card, the video card which is PCI 16x, a wireless card which is PCI, and maybe a good sound card down the road which is PCI.. The mATX board would support all of those.

    I had also considered the Intel has a FSB of 1333mhz which may mean better upgradibility in the future depending on what CPUs come out. I'm not too familiar how AMD compensates for the FSB issue and how it would be for upgradability. OR, I may just be thinking out of my butt on this and not know what I'm talking about :)

    Again, just throwing out there more info to help with the choices. It really comes down to the fact that I'm not familiar with OCing at all, dont know what it involves, how it changes the life of the components, and what other upgrades I would need to make OCing effective.

    Having said that, do that change anything or do you still think I'm better off with a slower CPU and a different mobo?
  47. Update:

    lunyone - Thanks for your help!!! I went ahead and ordered a system. I weighted out all of the options and what I wanted so this is what I got:

    Graphics Card -MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ
    Hard Drive -WD3200AAKS
    Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-P31-DS3L LGA 775
    Processor - E6550
    Memory - A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800
    Case - ANTEC New Solution Series NSK4480
    SATA Cables - (2) KINGWIN 15.74" SATA II Data & Power
    PCI/PCMCIA Card - SYBA ExpressCard to PCI-Express (for the TV tuner card that came with my laptop)
    CD/DVD - ASUS Black DVD-ROM DVD-E616A3T
    Total: $646.74 w/shipping and after rebates.

    That mobo was more than I wanted to spend but its going to save me money in the long run. First, its quad core compatible so I can upgrade later on without swapping the mobo. Second, has more space for ram. Third, its full size ATX.. Fourth, its has built in COAX and Optical S/PDIF Audio Outs which is great because I was planning on eventually buying a sound card with COAX out for 5.1 into my home theater receiver. Even though I went over budget, I bought the PCI to ExpressCard slot so I can plug in the TV tuner that came with my laptop to use the computer for DVR. I never use it for my laptop so there was no use buying a new one. Might as well just get a converter and use that one..

    Anyway, thanks for all of your help everyone! Now the wait begins and the emptying of my pocketbook on games.. :)
  48. NICE!!! That is a much better setup than the Conroe mobo you selected earlier. Let me know how it all turns out for you after you put it together.
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