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Amd x2 6400+ M2N-SLI but what card(s) ?

Last response: in Systems
January 30, 2008 8:08:42 PM

Greetings, Before joining i searched alittle and couldn't really seem to come up with a for sure answer ... maybe i just didn't search long enough ... but here's my builds spec's and question(s) as i'm sure more replys i get the more questions i might have ... lets begin...

TT armor case with a 850psu "nothing in writing .. still looking around" .. the case is of size i'll be getting ..

Motherboard - Asus M2N-SLI deluxe .. nvidia 570 ...

Cpu - AMD x2 6400+ Black edition /w arctic silver 5

Cpu Fan - Tuniq 120 "Should fit eh? .. i've heard a couple issues with attaching to a amd cpu ..."

Memory - 4g, 1gig sticks of Corsair XMS2 ...

HD's - simple enough 2 320g seagates 7200 16mb cache SATA ...

Sound card - SB audigy 2 ZS "only hardware being used from current setup"

Thats the basic setup i'm currently looking into ... Do i OC? .. Not since i was in my teen years and doubt i will now.
I do play games and i enjoy them in the highest definition i can get them to run smoothly in .. thats the goal.

Now onto video ... Assuming i'm on a pretty basic budget of $1500 ... the above comes out to an estimated $987 .. leave me with $513 ... This can be lower or as high as say $600 just to keep it within this budget .. other options will be considered by performance gains ...

TO sli or not too SLI ... this is the question .. do i get a mid-priced pair and run SLI, or go with a higher end card and wait for a price drop to then run SLI ? ... Not sure what to do here ... That 8800 ultra is just calling my name if i can find a way to fight it in ...

And with dx10 on the mind, VISTA 64bit anyone ? ... i plan on picking up a copy for this machine .. using xp32 now.

Sound card drivers are avail of SB's site ... not worried bout that ... I'll end this for now an wait for some feedback .. i'm sure i'm missing something ... i've got about 2 weeks before ordering ... wanna get this figured out asap ...

More about : amd 6400 m2n sli card

January 30, 2008 8:44:55 PM

I have the Tuniq 120 LED and the Athlon 6400 , it latches on with a lever type deal, it fits!

Tuniq is big though I have the antec 900 case which i think is beefy for a midtower and it has maybe less than a half inch clearance to the side panel? You can't fit a side case fan but (no reason too for me) ...

Check case clearance .. TT armor looks big though... :) 

the ultra is 700 dollars and the 3870x2 is 450 dollars? might want to factor that in for your video card debate!

you can get (2 sticks of 2 gig DDR2 800 gskill ram for 94 bucks on newegg) if you think you want to upgrade to 8 gigs in the future...

I use alot of virtual servers so 64 bit Vista works good for me (but gaming i dont think it helps very much if any at all)

January 30, 2008 8:53:50 PM

Well, I'm not going to lecture you like all the other Intel fanboys about how Intel's Core 2 Duos are way better and such. If you want AMD, then go AMD. I personally would have gone with an AMD build, but instead I decided to go with the processor with the best clock for clock ratio.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure the Thermaltake Armor will be splendid; I have a Thermaltake Shark case myself. However, the Coolermaster Stacker 830s look pretty nifty. It's your call.

As far as the motherboard goes, I can't tell you much because I've never owned an Asus, not yet at least. But that motherboard looks pretty fine to me. Only downside is that the board runs it's PCI-E slots in x8 mode when in SLI.

As for the CPU cooler, the Tuniq Tower will do fine, but if you can, try getting a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme. I think they perform slightly better.

Memory: the Corsair XMS2 sticks are pretty expensive, I would go with Geil memory, I have 2x1gb sticks of the Geil Ultra, and it runs perfectly. Plus, Geil's 4x2gb sticks have lower timings than the Corsair XMS2 series, according to Newegg at least. Here's the Geil 4x1gb memory.

Hard drives are fine.

And for graphics cards... I agree with jnava121 about the HD3870s. Besides, unless you plan on playing Crysis at max settings for the rest of your life, you'll never be using all of the Ultra's power. I have G80 8800GTS 640mb, and it runs fine. I would suggest you either a)Get two HD3870s, and get a Crossfire mobo, b)Get a single G92 8800GTS 512mb, and get a non-SLI mobo to lessen the costs if you want, or c)Get two 8800GT 512mb's.

Hope I helped some. ;) 
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January 30, 2008 9:07:44 PM

If you get 4GB of RAM, you'll probably have to run it at DDR2-667 speeds. The M2N-SLI has issues with 4GB above that speed.

Personally, I've had bad experiences with the two M2N-SLI boards I've used for builds. One had a bad BIOS chip, and the one I'm using now doesn't read the CPU temps correctly. I know others who have had Ethernet ports go bad after a few months, too. The M2N32-SLI seems to be much, much better.

Also, I'd go with a 5000+ Black Edition instead of the 6400+. It saves you about $60, and it will actually overclock, unlike the 6400+. I've heard of quite a few cases of people hitting 3.1-3.3GHz without increasing voltages. It uses less power, too. I'm planning on getting one to replace my 4200+ at some point.

Just my $.02.

EDIT: Nevermind on the 5000+ if you're not going to overclock it. Guess I should have read that. :D 
January 30, 2008 9:25:36 PM


thanks for the replies, all good stuff to consider for sure ! ..

I'm gonna look into other ram options like jnava said about the 2g sticks ... and if that board can't handle it ... on top of hearing some grim stuff in the last hour or so about it ... i'll look into something else

however ... i suppose i should figure out my best option video wise and go from there, obviously the board will depend purely on the card ... crossfire vs SLI ..

nvidia's x2 cards are due out mid feb ? ... suppose i should wait and see how that turns out ... Since posting this i was looking at GeForce 8800GTS (G92) from evga for $365 ... I'd run 2 of these by picking up the second card the following month or so ...

... and this 64bit vs 32bit OS crap has me confused ... 32bit windows will do me just fine being as this is pretty much for gaming ?

Thanks again, jason.

If i go the SLI route "just because i have a thing for nvidia, personal experiances" ... there's this for $30 more, with abit more features ... ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
January 30, 2008 9:49:55 PM

well, im not trying to be a fan boy here, but, Why you want to go with a slow amd, while you can get Intel Wolfdale E8200 for $160? E8200 outperforms any Amd, including Phenoms. With AMD 6400, games will start lagging at high resolutions, and will lag for future games. I dont think Amd 6400 can handle crysis at 1600x at medium settings. If AMD evers regains crown, then ill make the switch. Im not an Intel or AMD fanboy, I just go with the best at the moment, at the moment is Intel and Nvidia.
January 30, 2008 9:50:32 PM

If you get a 32-bit version of Windows, you won't be able to utilize 4GB of RAM. You could with a 64-bit version, though. And as far as 64-bit Vista goes, it works fine for me.
January 30, 2008 10:01:22 PM

Chedrz, Ok cool ... will games take full advantage of 4-8g under 64bit?

Rick, I understand ... and after posting that sitting in the other room really really thinking about it ... i need to drop my ignorance of intel and perhaps give um a shot ...

For more detail, I play most games in 1280x1024 .. its the max my monitor can handle ... I'm a huge WOW player, obcessive more or less .. I'm into FPS shooters as well as large MMORPG games ... so resolution and speed at those lvls concern me ... as well as doing it in a high definition type setting "max setting's" ...

I'm still reading up and thats largely why i decided to seek some advice on these forums insteed of spending $1500 on something i thought would be killer, to only be like wtf did i do ...

Trust me, even if i don't wanna hear it ... being told makes me think otherwise and could save me headaches ... i appreciate the replies ..

January 30, 2008 10:02:42 PM

yeah if you go 4 gig ram get the 64 bit Vista OS ...

January 30, 2008 10:43:00 PM

Well, at this point, most people aren't going to find a way to utilize over 2-3GB of RAM. But, in a year or two, 4GB will probably be the norm. And, in order for that to happen, you're gonna start seeing quite a bit of 64-bit operating system use.

So, for the long-term, I'd get 64-bit Vista.
January 31, 2008 12:08:23 AM

I'm prolly looking to order the main chunk from newegg ... All i see from there is the E8400 3.0g wolfdale for $225 ... nice chip ...

For a board, i was looking over nvidia's site and the 680i LT looked promising ... but newegg carry's one board and it doesn't seem too good ... Right now i'm staring over the MSI P6N SLI Platinum, 650i ..

Graphics wise, i think i'm gonna go with a single GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 640mb ... That'll leave me with room for that CPU's price and allow me to upgrade to a SLI setup the following month ...

Anyone got any ideas for a motherboard that i might be overlooking ? ... i've looked at so many i could be missing something.

Like i said, i got about 2 weeks exact from the time i gotta place the order. Many Thanks ...

Forgot to add, i also changed the memory to 2gx2(4gig) G.skill ddr2800 ...

Gah, i noticed that board also drops to x8 when in SLI, ... i'm willing to pay for a GOOD board ... something like the EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX ... Says it supports the wolfdale and is true x16 SLI ... am i getting warmer guys ?
February 3, 2008 9:24:20 PM

I Just built my rig, AMD Athlon X2 6400 Black Ed. Asus M2N32 Sli Wireless Deluxe, 4GB of OCZ Gold Ram, (2x2gb, 6400, 800mhz) 500GB seagate harddrive. NZXT case. RX-750watt power supply.

Started out with a XFX 8600GT and RMA it back to Newegg, and got the BFG 8800GTS 512Mb G92 it will be here tomorrow and I haven't got this hooked up yet but from what I have read and seen, forget the Ultra, GTX or the 3850s go with the BFG 8800GTS 512MB G92. Newegg had them on sale up untill 01/31/08 for $299.00 with a $30 mail in rebate, so I got mine just in time. This card run's better the 8800GTX in many of the benchmarks! I will let ya know how it bench marks in my system, and I do not believe that my AMD 6400 black Ed. is holding my computer back at all. Its stock at 3.2 and can be OC up to 3.7 I believe stable. So if you like AMD and want to stay on budget then go with them.
February 3, 2008 9:53:07 PM

I would have gone with an AM2+ mobo for future compatibility with Phenoms, but that's your call.
(K9A2 doesn't support 6000+ or 6400+ tho.)
February 3, 2008 10:06:42 PM

Oh yeah almost forgot that i have Vista 64 home prem. and it is great. Also the ASUS M2N32-sli wireless also is AM2+ comp. with a bois update so it will support the phenoms. I almost went with your board but at the last second changed to mine, only a $70 difference and well worth it, much better mother board.

And if you change your mind about OC, chedrz is right, the 5000+BE is a better deal, cuz you can over clock it well up to 3.2 stable, and it is $70 dollars cheaper then my 6400+. I believe I can OC mine, just haven't tried yet, I hope chedrz isn't right about the 6400+ not being able to OC. Also if you plan to SLI your cards down the road then the M2n32- SLI wireless gives you 2 PCI-e slots at a full x16, not one at x16 and 1 at x8 like the motherboard your looking at.
February 3, 2008 11:15:40 PM

Well I would go for the 2x2ghz ram then later add 2 more sticks
I personaly have 6400+ sitting on an MSI K9a2 Platinum which will take 8gb of mem but this board will also do 2x16 or 4x8 pipes for graphics
I was going to build it with 4x ati 3870 because of the price pactor but now they are bringing out the 3870 x2 which is faster in most tests then the 8800 altra
If I had the dollars I too would go intel and invidia with 3x16pipes but I dont so I am haveing fun overclocking my AMD/ATI
happy faces people :-)
February 24, 2008 1:32:39 PM

You can go for all you mentioned, BUT, I have news for you, I have owned 3 New Asus Mobo's in the last year and 2 of them were M2N Sli Deluxe, the biggest piece of junk i ever owned, ASUS used to be a good Mobo, but it sure sucks now, the AMD I have is the 6000 dual core and works great. Presently have a Nvidia 8600 GTS that works fine on all games on High except Crysis, which is on Medium settings and runs great. My gaming friends have 8800 GT's and they get over 100 FPS in crysis with the settings on High. I use 3 Gig of Geil memory and 3 Gig of OCZ both in the mid range quality. all work fine. I think you have the right idea just dont buy a ASUS Mobo, they sure look pretty but thats about it, I would Get an MSI board if I were you. No need for SLI if ya get Nvidia 8800 or better. Yes almost forgot, I would Dual boot it with XP pro 32 and Vista 64, Plenty of drivers for Vista 64 now, but still a lot of bugs. XP is the better choice til service pack 1 comes out for Vista, I have them all XP 32, Vista Ultimate 32 and 64, and dual boot and triple booted all on seperate drives. you will have a great learning expierence that is for sure. Good luck.
February 24, 2008 3:36:49 PM

try the 5000+ BE... that's a brilliant overclocker...
March 1, 2008 10:35:25 PM

Sorry Jake37, but I have to dissagree with you on ASUS motherboards. I have the ASUS M2N32 SLI Deluxe and it is a great mother board. I have had no problems with it. Some of there boards may have bugs but this one is soild! My girlfriend also has a custom build that is a very basic system her dad bought for her from a local guy that has a shop here, and it has a Intel processor with a ASRock board in it. Its been running strong for over two years now with no problems. Maybe you've just had bad luck guy.
March 1, 2008 10:39:01 PM

come to think of it i have heard alot of people saying that the m2n sli has bugs with it, but it is a cheaper board, $129.00 at the egg. I gave $179. for my m2n32. and I almost got the M2n sli but changed my order at the last second. Good call hey?