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Building a computer - need critique

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February 6, 2004 11:54:22 PM

I'm about to start building my next computer from the ground up. I've got the parts more or less selected, but I'd like some feedback or, as the case may be, warnings about potential incompatabilities. I'm shooting for around $900 for the whole thing, so keep that in mind when suggesting alternative parts.

The current parts list:

<b>Case:</b> Chieftec Dragon (DX-01PLD)
<b>PSU:</b> Antec True430
<b>Motherboard:</b> AOpen AK86-L
<b>CPU:</b> Athlon 64 3000+
<b>RAM:</b> Corsair 512MB PC3200 CL2.5 (VS512MB400)
<b>HDD:</b> Western Digital 160GB 7200RPM 8MB cache (WD1600JB)
<b>GPU:</b> BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5900 128MB
<b>HSF:</b> Thermaltake Venus 12

The following parts will be salvaged from my last computer:

<b>CD-ROM:</b> Sony (I think) 52x
<b>CD-RW:</b> Pioneer 24x10x40
<b>DVD-ROM:</b> 16x (can't remember the brand)

First and foremost, will these parts play nice together, or will there be conflicts? I had initially been considering the Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro, but opted for the AOpen after reading the recent Anandtech article on it and for price reasons; any thoughts? Also, the case fans I'd initally wanted (purple quad-LED Logisys 80mm fans) are apparently unavailable at the moment; any suggestions for a decent, cheap case fan? Finally, my last computer didn't have any case fans, so I'm not sure about how to set 'em up. Do I connect them to the motherboard or to the power supply? Either way, will I need extra hardware to support 5 fans or are there enough connectors to go around?

Thanks in advance for your help!
February 7, 2004 12:05:55 AM

Nice system

Athlon 2700xp+ (oc: 3200xp+ with 200fsb) , Radeon 9800pro (oc: 410/370) , 512mb pc3200 (3-3-3-2), Asus A7N8X-X
February 7, 2004 12:15:15 AM

Looks pretty good, but I think I would make 2 improvements...first, id get faster memory. If I may suggest, try Mushkin PC3200 2-3-2, $203 for 1 GB from newegg, haven't checked the price for 512 MB. Also, I think the Sapphire Radeon9800PRO is better than the FX5900, $223 from Newegg(unbelievably good price).

As for the rest, case is mostly ur choice, PSU looks good but a lot of people would prolly suggest a Fortran PSU because they are VERY low priced for their quality. Mobo looks good in that review, I saw it too. CPU is good, HD is good, HSF looks good(even tho the stock HSF is good enough if you don't OC) too so I would say that system will be very fast.

Why do you need so many friggin fans? Do you just wanna have a hurricane in your case for fun? By getting PC3200 ram, your telling me you don't plan to overclock so 5 fans is overkill IMO. Anyway, thats my read on it, enjoy the system.

System on the way:
Antec Sonata Case w/380W PSU
Athlon 64 3200+
MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R
1 GB Mushkin PC3500
Sapphire Radeon 9800PRO
WD Raptor 74 GB
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February 7, 2004 12:41:09 AM

True, I probably don't need that many case fans. I think I'll need at least a fan or two, though; any suggestions.

As for the faster RAM, a recent Tom's Hardware article seems to indicate that the performance difference between CL2 and CL2.5 is rather minimal at this point; it's why I opted against the more expensive CL2 Corsair model. On the GPU issue, for what I do (very little in the way of graphics-intensive gaming, mostly old strategy games), I can't really justify paying another 60 dollars on the video card.

Thanks for your input though; I think I'll begin ordering parts tonight.
February 7, 2004 12:56:36 AM

Have you checked out the 9800np? It performs better than the 5900nu that you are considering, but etails for $25 less.
a b à CPUs
February 7, 2004 6:05:04 AM

First of all, I'd get a better power supply, like the Fortron Source 400W unit.

Then I'd get a better motherboard, like the Soyo K8USA.

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February 7, 2004 9:15:04 AM

Nice system! but if you only play old strategy games, and cant justify 60 dollars more, why spend $250 odd quid on a graphics card anyway? Why not get a 9600xt, or FX 5700 and save some cash?

XP2000, 256ddr 2100ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
February 7, 2004 10:11:31 AM

HDD: Western Digital 160GB 7200RPM 8MB cache (WD1600JB)
-----------------------------------------------------------

Nice but do you really need 160GB??

My system:
AMD Athlon Barton 3000xp+
ATI Radeon Hercules 9800pro 128mb
WD 120gb 7,200rpm 8mb cache.
512mb twinmos pc3200
ASUS a7v8x-x Mobo.
February 8, 2004 5:38:13 AM

If I'd spent $250 on the GPU, I'd agree. I got the FX 5900 for $160; Seemed like a pretty good bang/buck ratio to me.

As for the 160GB HDD, I basically just want some elbow room in case I decide to take up a storage-intensive hobby.
!