Just buying myself a new system and wanted to run it by the peanut gallery to see if they have any suggestions or if everything looks alright. I'm on a budget for this (poor college student) and this is what I've got so far:
-Asus A7N8X Deluxe revision 2.0
-Corsair TWINX512-3200C2PT 512MB DDR400 XMS3200 2-3-3 latency settings
-Lanboy case with included power supply
-ATI Radeon 9600 (not XT or pro version)
-Maxtor DiamondMax HD with ATA/133 and 8mb buffer
-2600+ AthlonXP L2 cache of 512 (didn't say it was a Barton core, but with the large L2, I'm assuming it is, has a FSB of 333MHz
Let me know what you think of this setup. I wasn't real sure what AthlonXP CPU to go with, the 2600+ was around the right price, but I wasn't sure if the L2 cache was very beneficial. I don't really plan on overclocking this machine due to the small case and me not knowing much about the whole overclocking thing, but overclocking it a little would make me happy. Will be using this system for some gaming, nothing real demanding there, and of course just standard use, but don't want it to be slow.
few things that could be changed for the better... firstly if you dont intend to overclock use DDR333 ram. If your on a budget dont use corsair (use another brand or Corsair value select. Use a 2500 athlon to save money and use the money saved there to get a 9600pro. dont get a sapphire 9600pro like i got because they arent as fast as gecube, his exculiber and powercolour. the harddrive should be SATA as its faster. Case and mobo are good.
"Are you sure that the SATA's are actually faster than using something that has ATA/133 with an 8mb buffer? I thought that SATA was still not quite up to par."
They're about the same now;but ide HD are dying off,so use a sata-you might want to use it in a new build.There's a plastic strip that one can add to some but not all athlon xps which will overclock it for you;but I don't know whether it will work with yours or even with any;but it costs around $15 so might be worth a try.
Only thing I'd change in the system is to go with a Western Digital drive instead of Maxtor, they tend to outlast them,and run in more extreme enviroments, are more forgiving of minor bumps or drops in case. (Not that any college students I know of or roommates I know have tendencies to drop, or run into cases or anything of course) Of course if you intend to change the drive out in a year any way it doesn't much matter which hard drive you use.
What are you going to use the system for usually? If are playing bunch of new games, you should get Pro 9600. BUT, if you aren't going to be playing extreme games on it you don't need powerful vid card at all. If just play old games like starcraft and use the internet, a cheap $50 vid card would be more than enough. Heck my old TNT2 32 MB card is still running just fine on my machine
Depending on where you shop, you can get a 9600 Pro almost as cheaply as a 9600. The 9600 can't be overclocked to Pro levels: In fact, trying to overclock it at all can be a real mess. And the 9600 Pro is a lot faster to begin with.
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