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Need advice/suggestions on my first system

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June 21, 2004 4:21:32 AM

Well, I'm wanting to get a new computer, because my old one just isn't cutting it anymore, and I'm thinking about trying my hand at building one. This will be my first system I have built, so I just wanted to list out the parts I'm wanting to use and see what you all think of it. I've also been looking at online stores, and am probably going to buy most, if not all, of the parts from newegg.com (all the parts I list are off of newegg). I mostly play games on my computer, and am wanting to build a new gaming rig, one thats not too expensive, but one that will last a while, and the parts I have listed come to a total of just about $1100 on newegg (and I would really like to not spend too much more than that).
Anyways, here are the parts I'm wanting to get, any advice/suggestions/comments are welcome :) 

POWMAX DEMON Black/Red with Black/Red Interior Mid Tower ATX Case, Model "CPDEM-1" -RETAIL

AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 1MB L2 Cache, The Only 64-bit Windows Compatible Processor - Retail

SONY Black 52x32x52 IDE Internal CD-RW Drive, Model CRX230E-B2, OEM

SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5inch Floppy Disk Drive, Model MPF920, OEM

Western Digital 120GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD1200JD, OEM Drive Only

Kingston ValueRAM Dual Channel Kit 184 Pin 1G(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail

ASUS "K8V SE Deluxe" K8T800 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 754 CPU -RETAIL

POWMAX Demon 580W Power Supply, Model "PSDE580" -RETAIL

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy ES PCI Sound Card, Model "SB0162" -OEM

ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL

As I've said, this will be my first time at building a computer, and I don't know a whole lot about parts yet, so some of the parts may not match up very good, and if anyone has any suggestions, they would be much appreciated. Thanks! :) 

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June 21, 2004 4:38:23 AM

looks like you've done your homework. however i have a few suggestions

instead of getting 1 gig of value mem, consider getting 512 of performance mem. AMD's usually like faster ram as opposed to more ram.(but im still using socket A so im not sure about socket 754, someone will surely correct me on this if im wrong)

and what are you doing for case cooling, you're going to need some fans in that guy.



"I see" said the blind man to his deaf dog
June 21, 2004 4:45:32 AM

Hey, thanks for the fast reply :)  I'll keep an ear out about the RAM and switch it out for a 512 if what you say is true. And about the cooling, the case comes built with 3 fans (one is on the bottom, lol, though I've read that people have taken it off and put it on the back) so I'll see how good of quality they are, and if they can't keep the case cool enough, I'll buy some better quality ones and switch them out later.
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June 21, 2004 4:53:49 AM

Have you looked at the nforce3 250 boards. Many people who build computers are less than thrilled with via, though most of this comes from early socket A days.
A64 boards have low latency built in, so LL memory is not needed, and in some cases may be problematic. What you have picked is fine. Matched pairs are not needed, but are often cheaper.
It would be nice if you can find an A64-3200+ with 1 meg cache, but dont count on it. If you dont OC, the A64-3200+ that has 512k but runs at 2.2 gigs, is a great performer.
That is the type of system I am glad to build. Good choice.
The bottom fan is intake. Most people screw up by having too little air intake, which means the outflow fans are fighting each other. Leave the bottom fan in place, and make sure it's sucking air into the case.
The A64s are a cool chip, the case you have will be fine for cooling.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by endyen on 06/21/04 00:58 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 21, 2004 4:54:22 AM

see, told you someone would correct me if i was wrong lol

ok, if you switch out, go with vantec stealth fans, they are very quiet and still move enough air.

a genreal assembly tip as well, dont put a pci card in the slot directly under the agp port because these two ports share an IRQ. always leave a one slot space between the graphics card and the first pci card(this alos improves airflow to the graphics card fan)

"I see" said the blind man to his deaf dog<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Tavelkyosoba on 06/21/04 00:55 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 21, 2004 5:04:09 AM

Awsome, thanks so much for the tips guys :) 
June 21, 2004 5:24:00 AM

I was just wondering about the SATA drive, I've read about some problems installing Windows XP on a clean SATA drive, I thought it would be worth pointing out if anyone can add some advice on that subject because I don't really know much about it.

I think you just need the drivers on a floppy or something.

-----------------------------------------------
Enter Sig "Here"
June 21, 2004 5:31:04 AM

no the problem only occurs on drives that are like 160 gb. the most windows installer can read off an sata drive is 137 gb...so hes fine

but then again there is no reason to get an sata hdd anyway.

"I see" said the blind man to his deaf dog
June 21, 2004 5:31:40 AM

It is a good idea to be sure you have the correct sata drivers on a floppy, before attempting to install xp on a sata drive.
June 21, 2004 6:45:50 AM

Get A64 3200+ (2.2 GHz, 512k cache) instead of 1 MB cache version. Higher clock is better than more L2 cache. Or you can save money if you go for A64 3000+

Replace ASUS K8V Deluxe with MSI K8N Neo Platinum.

Replace Sony CD-RW with LiteOn CD-RW

------------
<A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A>

<A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig</A> & <A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/benchmark.html" target="_new">3DMark score</A>
June 21, 2004 7:42:32 AM

If he wants the free far cry game I *think* the 1mb cache (clawhammer) version is the one that comes with the combo at new egg. They have both versions of athlon 64 3200+ listed on their site, but the 1mb version is the one listed with the package deal. I will let you know when my order gets here. I want (and of course ordered) the 1mb cache version of the 3200+ so if they send me the newcastle core I am going to send it back. I hear it is actually faster at stock but doesn't overclock as well I don't think. I am not sure if amd is/have discontinuing it.

Zipzoomfly said they only have the 512 cache higher core clock (newcastle) version. Otherwise I would have ordered from them to get the msi k8n neo plat board with it. New egg didn't offer that board as part of the free far cry game deal so I ordered the much cheaper ($92) chaintech vnf3-250 board. (value version of the znf3-250 I think). I sent em an email to see if I could switch for the msi board but somehow they have already issued me a ups tracking number (on Sunday?) so I guess it is too late to catch it before it ships. I was hoping someone would get the email Monday morning before they preped the package. Heck I am having buyers remorse after putting that much money into a computer. I was thinking of cancelling the order. I didn't think ups(or newegg) worked on Sunday. To late now, he he.
June 21, 2004 7:54:20 AM

My 2 cents:

1) leave out the soundblaster. If onboard sound doesn't do it for you, get something that isnt sold by Creative. Terratec comes to mind. I've gone though several soudblaster cards, including an Audigy, and their drivers and support are terrible. I swore never to buy creative again when they pulled a stunt that you couldn't download drivers from their website when you didnt have the original CD anymore.

2) I'd really consider a DVD writer. CD's are small and on their way to obsolence. DVD writers are barely more expensive, not much point in not getting one instead

3) A 580W PSU seems like overkill.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
June 21, 2004 9:07:48 AM

There was some mushkin on new egg for around $80 for a 512 stick I think. I don't know it it is good stuff or not.

Here is some other stuff you might be interested in checking out:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">video card</A>

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">dvd</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">floppy</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">arctic silver</A>
and a case I searched through alot of pictures, user reviews and descriptions to find what seemed the best decent looking case for the $. I wanted a case with a clear acryic side panel. My main requirement for the case was that it have a "decent" power source I could use to run the old comp when I built the new one.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">case</A>
I would recommend a good power supply. Generic power supplies can sometimes be unreliable and even harmful to your system.

re:video card
<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">graphics cards faq</A>


I found it challenging to find HIS or "hightech" or "Hightech Information Systems" <A HREF="http://www.hisdigital.com/html/index.html" target="_new">HIS Intro page</A> It is listed on new egg as "hightech" <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

<A HREF="http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product..." target="_new">http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...;/A>

<A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/firstlook/20031210/radeon_..." target="_new">http://www6.tomshardware.com/firstlook/20031210/radeon_...;/A>
the ice q platinum model performed a bit better than the reference model that is comparable in price. Seems like the best deal going to me.

They now make the fan controller bracket (hot air exhaust and fan high low control) separate to alleviate the problem of getting the switch to clear when installing in some case/mobo combinations. This now-solved problem was noted on the digit-life review <A HREF="http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/radeon/his-1.html" target="_new">here</A> . The ramsinks are also now different, better looking, and better. They are larger heatsinks which bridge two ram chips rather than single individual ones.
<A HREF="http://www.hisdigital.com/html/profile.htm" target="_new">HIS</A>
June 21, 2004 7:35:14 PM

Thanks again for all of the suggestions guys. I think I might go ahead and upgrade to a DVD drive. And also, I've got one question about the hard drive, whats the difference between SATA and IDE? Tavelkyosoba, you were saying that there is no reason to get a SATA, and I was reading that IDE may be the better way to go, so I'm just curious if I should switch to an IDE hard drive.
June 21, 2004 7:53:02 PM

If the board supports sata and the hard drives aren't any more expensive I would go with sata I think. I don't see that sata would offer any drawbacks unless there are drawbacks on the board support for your specific usage. For example if you wanted to have 4 drives on raid and the board only supported two sata drives on a raid array.

Unless the hard drive you are looking at is much more expensive in the sata version sata is the newer technology and I don't see any reason to step back. Although as the other writer posted perhaps it offers little performance increase at this time. If nothing else the cables are smaller though, I believe.

Perhaps it doesn't matter all that much? Actually, I know very little about it. That is all conjecture based on my limited knowledge.

<font color=purple>there is no such thing as a free lunch...</font color=purple>
June 22, 2004 12:02:56 AM

XP-Pro finds the SATA right away. Most of the recent issues I've seen have been people trying to boot-up a RAID array. For that, having the drivers on floppy would be a great help.

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. Now, let's eat!
June 22, 2004 12:07:02 AM

Spitfire is right. AMD has discontinued the 1mb cache on the 3200+. You might still find those chips around, but you will pay dearly for them. The 3000+ runs at 2 ghz and it only takes a 10% overclock to reach 2.2ghz. :smile:


"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. Now, let's eat!
June 22, 2004 12:48:28 AM

Awsome, thanks lunchtime and Cybercraig. One last thing, I posted this on the CD-ROM/DVD writers section of the forums, but this section of the boards seems to be more populated. I'm trying to decide which CD-ROM/DVD drive to buy. All of the ones that I have found (on newegg) that read and burn DVDs have a CD-ROM read speed of 40x, but the ones that are only for CD-ROMs have a read speed of 52x. I'm assuming that since most of the drives are 40x for CD-ROM, that that is pretty much the standard now, but I was wondering if the higher speed would give a noticable jump in speed when playing games, and if it does, if there is a good drive that combines the 52x read speed with DVD burning and reading. Since I will be mostly using this system for gaming and not doing a whole lot with DVDs (at least not anytime soon), and if the 52x speed does indeed give a speed boost, I may consider holding off on getting a DVD drive.
a b à CPUs
June 22, 2004 1:36:10 AM

Wow, it looks like you're blowing a chunk on a hunk of...

PowMax probably makes the worst products in the world.

Nice processor choice

Not a bad burner, but I'd consider an inexpensive DVD burner these days, available from NEC and Lite-On.

Not a bad hard drive either

I wouldn't waste money on the K8V or any other K8T800 when you can get a far superior nForce3 250 board for a few dollars more, since it's been thoroughly reviewed I recommend the MSI K8N Neo Platinum.

PowMax again, OMG. You don't know this, but your PowMax 580W is likely to die under a lower load than a good quality 400W power supply! Take a look at the pictures on <A HREF="http://www.sysopt.com/articles/PSU_Perspectives/index2...." target="_new">This Pagr;</A> the 400W power supply shown is a PowMax! You'd be better off with some Enlight Case/Power supply combination, even if it's only 350W! If you REALLY want a power supply that can put out 580W, the Fortron Source 530W unit can supply over 600W and cost real money, around $75.

I'm looking at some of the trash you picked out and figuring you're trying to save some money, skip the soundcard. You can't afford a soundcard if it forces you to go cheap on the power supply and motherboard!

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
June 22, 2004 3:08:46 AM

Wow that's the second person that wants that Psu.
!