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Experianced builder Advice needed

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Last response: in Systems
January 5, 2009 2:56:00 AM

Okay i've built a few systems in my time infact i build low end systems for anyone who asks. Well my old P4 (prescott) Geforce FX based rig is about to turn 5 this year, and she needs a little sister to come and take up her duties.

I know what I want with this build, and have 7 of the 8 needed hardware parts picked out, now i need to figure out one last part and one software question.

So first up parts i already have on hand and waiting:
1 x Antec P183 Mid-tower case
1 x Antec Earthwatts 500w PSU
1 x EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTX 260

Now for parts that i'm planning to get:
1 x Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB)
1 x WD 150gb V-Raptor (i love my old style raptor in my current tower)
1 x Light On DVD/CD Burner (SATA)

Now for parts semi up in the air
1 x AMD Phenom II (3ghz AM2+ ver) when it comes out

Now for the problem, i don't know what motherboard to get to support this rig
I see alot of AM2+ boards but i don't know what one to get.

My current intel machines all use Gigabyte boards, most of my recent builds are using Asus, and a friend told me to consider EVGA.
My price range on the board is 75-150ish. Thanks for any help in this area.

Now on to my other problem.
The OS
Right now i'm considering X set ups
Win XP pro (solo boot) (Yes i know about the ram limits of 32bit)
Win XP 64 (Solo boot)
Linux 64/Win XP pro (Dual boot)
Linux 64 and running Win XP inside a Virtual machine as needed (maybe up the ram to a full 8 gigs for this one)

As noted by this list i'm quite willing to work out any problems that come up with chosen OS

Thanks for Any Advise.

More about : experianced builder advice needed

January 5, 2009 3:02:32 AM

Eh, I'm no expert, but I'd say you should consider getting a beefier PSU.. considering your graphics card and cpu, I'd say around 610-650W is sufficient

Can't really help with the motherboard cause im more of an intel kind of guy :ange: 

And the OS shouldn't matter, its all preference and what kind of apps you use. Go for full on Linux if you don't have much windows programs or if you have programs that run well in a virtual machine.

Also, I say to go the full 8 GB of ram, since ddr2 isnt that expensive and especially if youre going with an x64 OS
January 5, 2009 3:14:51 AM

Change your RAM, get something like Corsair, OCZ, G.Skill.

Since you already got you're PSU then you can't really change that unless you sell it or exchange it for a different one.

Are you sure 150 GB of HD is enough for you? In this dam age you need at least 500 GB. Porn *cough* *cough*

As far you going AMD, not really gonna say too much about it cause if that's the build you really want then yeah. I personally recommend going Intel.

For the Motherboard since you're going with AMD would probably be the ASUS M3A78 Pro.
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January 5, 2009 5:53:35 AM

A couple of things to consider:
* Your Antec EW 500w PSU is just fine. It has 34A on the 12v rails and comes with the 2 x 6 PCI-e power connectors. If it's 3 or more years old than I might consider getting a new PSU, just to be on the safe side, otherwise the PSU is just fine for your parts.
* I'd look for DDR2 at 800 mHz that runs at 4-4-4-12 timings and at stock voltage of 1.8v's. The ones you selected are at 5-5-5-15 timings and at the limit of 2.2v!! This will leave you no OC'ing room (if you decide to do this) and also will run warmer and consume more power than stock voltage sticks.
* The Velociraptor HD to me is just a waste. You can get HD's that are almost basically the same speed and are quite a bit bigger for less $. I'd consider the WD 640 gb AAKS HD for your main OS HD and get a 1 TB or bigger for your storage drive. This combo will be about $175 or so, but will give you LOADS of space for whatever you like! You can also just get a couple of 640 gb HD's and put them in RAID 0 if you want a tad bit more speed and it'll cost about the same as the Velociraptor, but be >4x the space!!
* As far as the Phenom II CPU/mobo, I'd probably wait and see how it performs and what mobo's are available when it's released, before you make a decision. Right now you'd be just guessing on which mobo's will support it and how well they will work. It's better to wait a few weeks after release to see what will work for you.
January 5, 2009 8:22:10 AM

firemage said:
So first up parts i already have on hand and waiting:
1 x Antec P183 Mid-tower case


Where did you get P183 already?

January 5, 2009 8:52:24 AM

Are you absolutely stuck on AMD? Because no matter what, Intel will give you better performance and upgradability.

Lunyone got everything right. Specially the ram. I love how the memory companies market the 1066 or higher ddr2 ram that costs %300-%400 more than normal 800mhz ram with a %1-%2 increase in performance.
January 5, 2009 9:07:32 AM

Drop the Kingston, they used to be good but not anymore. Grab OCZ, Corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin, or even A-Data.
January 5, 2009 3:24:17 PM

What makes you think that kingston isnt good anymore? They're not the performance kings, but then again they never have been. Kingston is known for one of the few memory vendors who extensivly test and warranty their memory before shipping. And they're also known for very good warranty service.
January 5, 2009 4:12:17 PM

I've had kingston sticks go bad on me more than any type of ram. I've actually just stopped doing business with them because i was getting a fail rate of 25% running through memtest86 a few hours. I started switching to G. Skill as a cheap replacement for kingston.
January 5, 2009 4:32:21 PM

I think the most important factor in determining whether you buy a good mobo or not is your stance on overclocking. If you're going to do it, it's worth buying a nice motherboard as that's the most important component for OC'ers. If you're going to stick with stock speeds, a cheap mobo's just as good as a high end one for the most part.

I'm also going to have to say that the RAM choice isn't the best you can make. Nothing wrong with lower voltage, lower timing 800mhz sticks: they cost less and do the job just as well.

You should tell us if you're going to OC or not, otherwise you're not going to get great suggestions for your needs.
January 5, 2009 10:10:20 PM

Sorry I don't plan on OCing, should have mentioned that.
The Antec Case was a Christmas gift

Also a bit of background
My current set up is 3 fold, i plan on using this system to replace 2 of my 3 machines.
The Oldest P4 1.4 (northwood) Geforce 2 64mb 1gig SDRAM, Win98se Lite (Downloader sudoserver)
My current Tower P4 2.4 (prescott) Geforce FX 5500 256mb 2 gig DDR, Win2k (main machine)
And my laptop MSI Whitebook 17" Turion X2 TL-66, Geforce go 7600, 2 gigs DDR2, WinXPpro (gaming/school laptop)

My reason for AMD is 1 my P4s while loyal never seemed to do as well as my friend's same aged Athlon, and i have a softspot for the underdog. Also I want to build a system with near cutting edge tech and a I7 is a bit out of my price range, and based on past pricing AMD's chips will likely provide more bang per buck under stock.

edit - also that newer P4 tower boots off an older 1st gen 150gb raptor, which is why i consider the V-raptor an option.

-Gabe, who is just happy he got some many replies.
January 6, 2009 1:16:33 AM

There is nothing wrong in wanting an AMD CPU. I'd advise you to wait and see how it performs and what price it falls under. I like the underdog too, but wouldn't recommend a slower performing CPU for the same $. I'm not saying this is going to be the case, just that you should see the benchmarks and reviews before parting with your hard earned $.

Part of the reason the old p4's didn't do quite as well as the AMD Athlon's is that their weren't designed quite as well as the AMD's of their time. This all changed when the C2D's came out about 2 yrs. ago. Now Intel is in the drivers seat and hasn't looked back. Phenom II's might jump back into the game, but it's hard to say that they'll be on top (from some previews floating around the web). This doesn't mean that they will be competitive, but it's something to consider before parting with your $. All that I can offer is suggestions on parts at a given budget and allow you to make an informed decision on what you want to do!!
January 6, 2009 11:13:08 AM

+1 to lunyone

AMD is pretty far behind right now, but there is a lot of postive hype for the new amd processors coming out soon. I'm pretty set on that there is no way they will be able to even compete on the same level as the i7, but it might find its niche somewhere in the low to mid end systems.
January 8, 2009 1:53:56 PM

For anyone who might wonder, i decided to save the V-raptor and extra ram for my late year OS wipe, and will be using a gigabyte board since two served my intel chips well in the past.

Thanks for your comments.