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Please critique new system setup

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January 1, 2004 7:57:44 AM

I am building a new computer for some friends of mine, but have been out of the loop for a while. I have done some research and come up with the following parts list. Please offer any suggestions you have or things that I should be aware of. Also, I might downgrade some of the components in this list if it proves to be over budget.

All components will be obtained from newegg except for the case. For some reason newegg does not stock lian-li cases anymore.

here is the wishlist: http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishR.asp?ID=539604

The case I am considering is the Lian-li pc6089a which i will obtain from mwave.

All parts not listed are going to be reused from a previous computer.

Thanks for your input.

More about : critique system setup

January 1, 2004 1:46:13 PM

<A HREF="http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishR.asp?ID=539604" target="_new">Here's a click</A>
Seems like a svelte set up, those 64 athlons seem popular. But then again anything i have is popular.

Maybe you can save a few bucks and get a fortron power supply. I heard some good things about them (but i still bought an antec supply anyways.) Are you going to overclock your cpu? That memory really jacks up the price. Don't forget 2 ram sticks aren't going to help performance. The 754 cpus dont have dual channel ddr, only the 940's.

-----------------------
Add witty comment here and beat this bad boy...
A64 3200+ w/ 1 GB DDR 400
2 36 gig raptors in Raid 0 complemented by an AIW 9800 Pro
January 1, 2004 2:29:53 PM

Nice system you've got there. But since you asked for our opinions, here what I think. You can save a lot of money by getting the A64 3000+, without taking a big hit regarding performance. If you have the money though, go for the A64 3200+. Also, since this is a new sytem you might want to get a SATA HDD instead of an IDE one and lastly, I personally prefer ATI over Nvidia. For about $40 more you can get the Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro from Newegg which will be deffinetely faster than your current choice.
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January 1, 2004 4:46:51 PM

Thanks for the replies. I was actually considering downgrading the cpu to 3000+ because i'm not sure the $200 price increase warrants an extra 512mb of cache. I just want to be sure that this is the only differenece between the 3000+ and 3200+

As for the video card, after reading some reviews it appears to me that the geforce 5900 cards perform better than the radion 9800pro cards, at least that is what it looks like from the benchmarks in this review: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/leadtek_winfast_a35...

The memory I chose just from what I've heard about the performance of the corsair XMS series. Although the system will not benefit from two sticks, I will certainly be able to acheive more agressive timings with two 512 mb sticks instead of 1 1gb stick. The price would also be considerably greater for a 1gb stick. As for the mushkin memory, it appears as though they have better timings. I'd be willing to spring for these if I can be sure that they would outperform the XMS series, and more importantly, be just as reliable. This system will not be overclocked and stability is the most important factor.

The WD hd i chose because it has fluid dynamic bearings so the sound level should not be so bad. The SATA offerings from WD do not have fluid dynamic bearings. Also, the performance difference between the two is very slim, and supposedly a simple adaptor is used to make the ATA drives SATA and that is the only difference, or so I have read. I would like to stick with WD because of the reliability I have experienced with them.....no more deathstar's for me.

No one said anything about the motherboard so I'm guessing that the asus board is ok. I will be using the onboard networking and sound options on the board as well.
January 1, 2004 5:27:29 PM

Quote:
The memory I chose just from what I've heard about the performance of the corsair XMS series. Although the system will not benefit from two sticks, I will certainly be able to acheive more agressive timings with two 512 mb sticks instead of 1 1gb stick. The price would also be considerably greater for a 1gb stick. As for the mushkin memory, it appears as though they have better timings. I'd be willing to spring for these if I can be sure that they would outperform the XMS series, and more importantly, be just as reliable. This system will not be overclocked and stability is the most important factor.

The Mushkin Memory I recommend above contains Winbond Rev B chips. Memory Modules that contain Winbond Rev B are the best at obtaining excellent timings at DDR400 speed. The current Corsair XMS PC3200 LL contains the less-desired Winbond Rev C chips but will still give good timings at DDR400. They cost about the same, so may as well get the Mushkin.
January 1, 2004 7:05:03 PM

What clock frequency does the 3400+ have? It says nowhere on Zipzoomfly/

Got a nice overclocked overvolted system to keep you warm at night? That's great. Guess I'll have to settle for a woman...
January 1, 2004 8:13:11 PM

2.2GHz clock speed
January 1, 2004 8:49:40 PM

ok, here is the final list i have come up with:

AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail
Specification

Model: AMD Athlon 64 3000+
Core: ClawHammer
Operating Frequency: 2GHz
FSB: Integrated into Chip
Cache: L1/64K+64K; L2/512KB
Voltage: 1.5V
Process: 0.13Micron
Socket: Socket 754
Multimedia Instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2, 3DNOW!, 3DNOW!+
Packaging: Retail Box (Heatsink and Fan included) (limit 5 per customer)

Asus K8T800 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 754 CPU, Model "K8V Deluxe" -RETAIL
Specifications:
Supported CPU: Socket 754 AMD Athlon64 Processors
Chipset: VIA K8T800 + VT8237
FSB: Hyper Transport
RAM: 3x DIMM for DDR400/333/266(ECC) Max 3GB
IDE: 3x UltraDMA 133 up to 6 Devices
Slots: 1x AGP 8X, 5x PCI
Ports: 2xPS2,1xCOM,1xLPT,1xLAN,8xUSB2.0(Rear 4),2xIEEE1394(Rear 1),SPDIF Out,Audio Ports
Onboard Audio: AD1980 6-Channel
Onboard LAN: 3COM 3C940 10/100/1000Mbps
Onboard SATA/RAID: 4x Serial ATA Ports; RAID 0,1(2 SATA)/RAID 0,1,0+1(1x ATA133 & other 2 SATA)
Onboard 1394: VIA VT6307, 2 ports

SAPPHIRE RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL
Specifications:
Chipset/Core Speed: RADEON 9800PRO/380MHz
Memory/Effective Speed: 128MB DDR/680MHz
BUS: AGP 1X/2X/4X/8X
Ports: VGA Out(15 Pin D-Sub)+TV-Out(S-Video Out)+DVI Connector
Support 3D API: DirectX®9, OpenGL®2.0
Cable/Accessories: 2 Cables, VGA via DVI Adapter, Composite via S-Video Adpater, 3 CD, Manual
Max Resolution@32bit Color: 2048X1536@85Hz
Retail Box (See pics for details)

Western Digital Quiet Drive 250GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model WD2500PB, OEM Drive Only
Specifications:
Capacity: 250GB
Average Seek Time: 8.9 ms
Buffer: 8MB
Rotational Speed: 7200 RPM
Interface: IDE ULTRA ATA100
Features: Quiet Drive Technology
Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years
Remark: OEM Drive Only

Antec 480W Power Supply with Blue LED Fan, Model "TRUE480BLUE" -RETAIL
Specifications:
Type: ATX
Maximum Power: 480W
PFC: No
Power Good Signal: 100-500ms
Hold-up Time: >17ms at Full Load
Efficiency: >68%
Over Voltage Protection: +5V trip point<+6.5V;+3.3V trip point<+4.1V;+12V trip point<+14.4V
Overload Protection: Latching Protection+5V @<47A;+3.3V @ <48A;+12V @ <18A
Input Voltage: 115 VAC / 230VAC
Input Frequency Range: 47-63 Hz
Input Current: 5.0A for 230VAC
Output: +3.3V@30A;+5V@38A;-5V@0.5A;+12V@22A;-12V@1.0A;+5VSB@2A
MTBF: 80,000 hrs. @ 25ºC
Approvals: UL, TUV, CB, VDE, FCC CLASS B, DEMKO, NEMKO, SEMKO

Mushkin 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3500 Level II Dual Pack - Retail
Specification
Manufacturer: Mushkin
Speed: DDR433(PC3500)
Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
Error Checking: Non-ECC
Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
Cas Latency: 2-2-2
Support Voltage: 2.5V-2.75V
Bandwidth: 3.5GB/s
Organization: two 64M x 64 -Bit
Warranty: Lifetime

TOSHIBA 16X DVD-ROM, Model SD-M1802, OEM Drive Only
Specifications:
Read Speed: 48 X CD-ROM
Interface: E-IDE/ATAPI
Buffer: 256KB
Access Time: 95ms (DVD-ROM), 170ms (DVD-RAM), 85ms (CD 48X)
Data Transfer Rate: 8,910 - 21,600 KByte/s (DVD), 5,540 - 13,500 KByte/s (DVD, Dual Layer), 2,704 - 6,536 KByte/s (DVD-R, DVD-RW), 3,105 - 7,200 KByte/s (CD - mode 1)
Remark: OEM Drive Only

lian-li pc6089a case

look better?

About the ram, i've been reading that the athlon 64 fsb has been replaced by a dedicated memory bus, is the bus speed of the motherboard now independent of the processor? Will I be able to simply set the bus to 400 mhz without worrying about the processor?

For the athlon64 heatsink can i use arctic silver compound with the retail heatsink as I have with the xp processors?
January 1, 2004 10:35:37 PM

I would advise that you go with a Serial ATA hard drive as opposed to the "quiet drive" (my SATA is almost dead quiet), because the Asus board supports SATA and the prices are almost the same. You also might want to consider the Radeon 9700 Pro instead of the 9800P, because it's about $75 cheaper and it performs almost as well (unless you're building the machine for some hardcore gamers).
January 2, 2004 12:01:04 AM

The WD SATA drive is actually louder than the ATA drive (ball bearing).

http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200309/20030904WD...

The PB drive(fluid dynamic bearing) has not been reviewed yet, but it is obviously quieter than both these drives.

As for the performance, the ATA drive seems to best the SATA drive in almost all of the benchmarks in that article to my surprise. I just don't see the benefit to SATA at the moment. However, keep your eyes open for the WD PD drive as that will be a SATA drive with fluid dynamic bearings with hopefully an increase in performance from its paralell brother.

I'll stick with the 9800pro only because it's within budget. Thanks for your input though.
January 2, 2004 12:19:35 AM

That power supply is a champ. I got one and it rocks.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
!