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AM2 Rig (suggestions please!)

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November 27, 2007 10:23:28 PM

I am starting to put together my AM2 rig. Its sort of a budget system, but I need it to be good. I really want and plan to overclock this rig. I am a fan of AMD, so I would prefer to stay with them (I am fair though). I am looking for suggestions for the most part, the more the better.

I am ordering parts of this system each week, and I will have $450 to take care of the big stuff: Mobo, CPU, GPU, Case.

I already have an After-market Fan (although not sure if its all that great, and the RAM.
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AM Fan: Rosewill Z1 ball bearing CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is what I plan to get for it:
GPU- MSI nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 256mb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo- Gigabyte AM2 nVidia nForce 570 SLI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD- Western Digital 160GB S-ATA (I have another 160GB I am pairing it with) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU- AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : am2 rig suggestions

a c 102 à CPUs
November 28, 2007 1:51:38 AM

Xpyrofuryx said:
I am starting to put together my AM2 rig. Its sort of a budget system, but I need it to be good. I really want and plan to overclock this rig. I am a fan of AMD, so I would prefer to stay with them (I am fair though). I am looking for suggestions for the most part, the more the better.

I am ordering parts of this system each week, and I will have $450 to take care of the big stuff: Mobo, CPU, GPU, Case.

I already have an After-market Fan (although not sure if its all that great, and the RAM.
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AM Fan: Rosewill Z1 ball bearing CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is what I plan to get for it:
GPU- MSI nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 256mb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo- Gigabyte AM2 nVidia nForce 570 SLI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD- Western Digital 160GB S-ATA (I have another 160GB I am pairing it with) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU- AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Sounds decent, except for the heatsink. I've not heard much about the Rosewill unit in question and it doesn't look much different than a stock K8 heatsink. It is only eight bucks, but if you plan to OC beyond about 3.0 GHz, you might want a better heatsink. The Tuniq Tower, Thermalright Ultra-120 or the venerable Zalman CNPS9700 would be much better for your use. They are a bit more expensive, but if you want to play the overclocking game, there is a little bit of cost involved.

I'd also recommend looking at a different GPU. A 256+-bit, higher-end card will perform better for not terribly much more money than the $120 your open-box 8600 GTS costs. You can get a Radeon x1950 Pro or a 2900GT for $150 and that will be quite a bit faster than the 8600 GTS. There is also a sale at Newegg on a 512 MB 7950GT for $160 that will be a little faster than the x1950 Pro or 2900GT. Or if you want more performance yet, the Radeon HD 3850 is $180. That's about the point where GPUs take a huge price jump: $270 for the HD 3870 and $300 for the 8800 GTS and 8800 GT. I suggest staying just south of that big jump in price to get the best value for your money in your budget range.
November 28, 2007 2:31:12 AM

gigabyte m57sli-s4 rev 2.0 ..... great board... i got one, they overclock like mad, and i got my ht link at 1238mhz great product!!! gigabyte
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November 28, 2007 10:50:22 AM

I have the Black Box 5000 + and I OC to 3.2Ghz no problem. I ran Prime 95 for a couple of hours and my temps never went over 40 C. My Idle temps are always @ 30 C. Keeping your CPU cool is very important, the Ultra 120 is a great cooler. I don't own one, but everyone who has one loves it. I have the Zalman 9700 (lapped). Just make sure what ever you decide for cooling that it will fit in your case.
November 28, 2007 1:39:12 PM

thank you for the suggestions. I was looking though and to get a x2 5000+ black ed. And a good heatsink it would cost the same to get a x2 6400+ black ed. And use my rosewill heatsink. So should i go down that lane?

And also i was looking at the hd 2900gt and i might get that instead
November 28, 2007 3:33:44 PM

The only problem being that the 6400+ doesn't come with a heatsink either. But, at 3.2ghz stock you won't have to worry about overclocking it much.

If I was in your shoes, I would buy the BE 5000+, stick with the heatsink you've already got, and spend an extra $30 to get a 3850. The 5000+ should handle any game without problems and without overclocking. IMO the 3800 series seems like much better cards than the 2900 series with benefits that go beyond performance based comparisons. The 3850 is a very attractive card in it's price range, it's the one I would be buying if I were building a computer on my budget.
November 28, 2007 4:42:16 PM

the 3850 is a little too expensive... I'll have to check how much money I have.
but CPU wise, how does the 5000+ overclock with a budget cooler like the rosewill z1
November 29, 2007 12:54:07 AM

from What I remember you can use the standard AMD hs fan cooler to good effect even when OCIng the BE 5000+. The other advantage to the 3850 is that it is twice as fast as the 8600 GTS in almost all benchies, for near the same price. You might get a bit better performance out of a amd580x board, or a 690g if you don't plan on SLI/Crossfire.
November 29, 2007 1:22:40 AM

drop the rosewill and get the arctic cooling 64 freezer pro.

cheaper and cools better.

5000 BE all the way for am2

Hd3850 for DX10.1 HD decoding and pci-e 2

and just get a single video card slot mobo.

no need for xfire or sli if your monitor is 22" or less.
a c 102 à CPUs
November 29, 2007 2:01:29 AM

KekaiGenkai said:
The only problem being that the 6400+ doesn't come with a heatsink either. But, at 3.2ghz stock you won't have to worry about overclocking it much.

If I was in your shoes, I would buy the BE 5000+, stick with the heatsink you've already got, and spend an extra $30 to get a 3850. The 5000+ should handle any game without problems and without overclocking. IMO the 3800 series seems like much better cards than the 2900 series with benefits that go beyond performance based comparisons. The 3850 is a very attractive card in it's price range, it's the one I would be buying if I were building a computer on my budget.


If the budget really is a concern, then here's what I'd do. I'd get the X2 6400+ and an okay heatsink. It doesn't have to be a $60 Zalman 9700 but spending more than eight bucks might be a good idea as it is a 125 watt chip. Buy the HD 3950. And then get an inexpensive but reasonable 690G-based motherboard and put the 3850 in it. Then don't overclock it. This shouldn't cost any more than the 5000+ and a very good heatsink + more expensive, OC-friendly motherboard + 8600GTS but will be quite a bit faster. The 6400+ has the advantage of having twice the L2 cache as the 5000+ BE as well as having a lower cache latency. Heat production should be about the same at similar performance levels (~3.3-3.4 GHz for the 5000+.)
November 29, 2007 12:34:28 PM

How does the 3850 match up say to the 8800gts 320mb? Is it worth the money?

Also i now have two cpu options:
Option 1: amd x2 6400+ BE with rosewill z1 cooler
or
Option 2: amd x2 5000+ BE with $50 Zalman cooler


Other than that i think i pretty much decided on:
GPU: Saphire Radeon 3850 256mb
RAM: 2gb ddr2 800 Crucial Ballistix
HD: 2x 160gb western digital caviar se16
Mobo: Gigabyte nForce 570 sli

November 29, 2007 12:37:41 PM

How does the 3850 match up say to the 8800gts 320mb? Is it worth the money?

Also i now have two cpu options:
Option 1: amd x2 6400+ BE with rosewill z1 cooler
or
Option 2: amd x2 5000+ BE with $50 Zalman cooler


Other than that i think i pretty much decided on:
GPU: Saphire Radeon 3850 256mb
RAM: 2gb ddr2 800 Crucial Ballistix
HD: 2x 160gb western digital caviar se16
Mobo: Gigabyte nForce 570 sli

November 29, 2007 1:47:23 PM

Surprisingly, the 8800gts is selling for about $300 right now. The 8800gt beats it pretty handily in all benchmarks and sells for fifty bucks less at some places if they have it in stock, and that's a pretty big IF. The 8800gts would probably be about 20-30% better than the 3850 depending on the application, but would cost 80% more. Also, ati cards usually experience slightly better performance as newer drivers are developed, so that may decrease the performance gap a bit.

Tom's did a comparison of the 8800gt and the new 3800 series cards a few weeks back, this might be a useful as comparison.

Between the 6400 and 5000, I would get the 6400. It does have a larger l2 cache and you won't have to worry as much about stressing components to get up to 3.4ghz. My 6000+ will overclock 200mhz on the stock heat sink without much effort, so you should be able to get to 3.4ghz with a 6400+ and your heat sink.
November 29, 2007 2:24:32 PM

yeah, I think I'll go with the 6400, because that also leaves room for in the future i can buy a heatsink and get the upgrade that way.

And also yeah i was checking out the 3850 performance and it definately seems worth the price.
November 29, 2007 2:44:30 PM

You've made some good choices so far, all looks very good.

6400+ is a very quick CPU, no matter what anyone tells you. 3850 is also a very good card, very quick for a cheap price.
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