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Newb needs System Build Advice

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July 15, 2004 8:17:55 AM

I'm buiding my 1st comp. Have had others build em for me in the past but they are no longer available. I feel pretty confident in building my system, and after some exhaustive research on THG I've settled on the following components. Prices listed below are the range of prices I have been able to find using THG Price Search.

CPU- AMD Athlon XP Barton 3200+ $179-239
MOBO- ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe nForce2 $91-109
RAM- Corsair TWINX 512MB (1 Stick) PC3200 400MHZ 2-3-3 $129-149
GPU- ATI 256MB DDR AGP 9800 PRO $299
CASE- ANTEC P160 $105-124
Power- ANTEC True Power 480W $109
HD- Barracuda ST3160023A 160MB 8MB Cache $99
DVD- Plextor PX-708UF $179.99
CD- LG (Can't remember the model) $45

TOTAL $1273 or so...

I'm thinking in order to save some money I could get the ENERMAX CS-1251 case with a 350Watt power supply for around $69
GPU instead of the 9800 Pro I can drop down to 9600XT 256mb DDR for $159

Those 2 moves would save $296 for a total price of
$977

QUESTIONS
Is the extra money worth it? Or am I better off saving the money.
What components are better for the money out there?

Also thinking of getting 2 Barracuda 80MB drives 8MB cache for $49 each. Total would be used instead of the single 160MB drive.

System is to be used for gaming, music/mp3s, net surfing, MS Office. Not much higher level apps.

Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
July 15, 2004 9:38:24 AM

Since you aren't extremely budget limited, builing an A64 2800+ or 3000+ system with a nForce3 250 mobo is a better idea.

256 MB VRAM is completely useless for R9800 (and lower) class cards. Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB is the best card for you.

I recommend LiteOn SOHW-832S or SOHW-812S (if you don't need dual-layer DVD burning capability) for DVD burner. No need waste money for Plextor drive.

As a second optical drive, DVD-ROM is a better choice than CD-ROM or CD-RW. I recommend LiteOn JLMS XJ-HD166S DVD-ROM.

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July 15, 2004 11:42:12 AM

arite i think u should go for investment. the setup ur looking at is going to be really limited in the near future. I personally go for the triple As. AMD, Abit, and ATi.

Mobo: ABIT "KV8-MAX3" K8T800 $139
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ $223
GPU: ATi x800 pro these should go down to 400
RAM: Crucial 2x256mb pc3200, in actual fps performance, low latency is almost unnoticeable, dual channel will benefit u more $94
Case: Antec Sonata $99 (comes with an antec 380W)
HD: doesnt matter much unless ur looking to setup raid and stuff
dvd: NEC ND-2500A $69
you also might want to consider a new monitor if ur current one doesnt have good refresh rates, no point in blistering fps if ur monitor only displays 75 new images a second.
ur total is 1123 if u go with the 160gb hd. now this winds up being less money and a lot faster.
July 15, 2004 2:32:04 PM

Quote:
RAM- Corsair TWINX 512MB (1 Stick) PC3200 400MHZ

Am I the only one confused by <b>ONE</b> stick of <b>TWIN</b>X?

I'm assuming that's a typo and that you mean one matched <i>pair</i> of TwinX.

<pre><b><font color=red>"Build a man a fire and he's warm for the rest of the evening.
Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life." - Steve Taylor</font color=red></b></pre><p>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 15, 2004 2:43:26 PM

ya TwinX automaticly means a pair.
its either 1 stick of XMS or 1 matched pair called TwinX

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, Leadtek FX5900 w/ FX5950U bios@500/1000, 2X30gig Raid0
July 15, 2004 3:25:39 PM

Since gaming is listed as one of your first priorites, do not downgrade to the 9600 pro/xt line. I just moved up from the 9600 pro to the 9800 pro. It's a noticible improvement and will be needed for new games.

The 9800 pro's nowadays often come with the same core (GPU) used in the 9800 XT. And with a free proggie (Rage3d Tweak) and 10 minutes of time, can be (over)clocked at speeds equal to, or faster than the XT. So, in effect you have a 9800XT with 128MB of ram for $200 or less. The extra ram is not worth an additional $100.

Forget the Desktop Barton @ 3200 @ approx $200. For 1/2 the price or less, the mobiles (I use a 2600+-see my sig) will reach the same speed with a simple adjustment in BIOS. The mobile will not come with a HS+F, but a Vantec Aeroflo a heatsink + fan unit @ $25 is definatly sufficient for cooling at 3200 speeds (that's what I'm using on mine now to good effect).

The issue for you maybe whether to go for the AMD 64 line.

I wouldn't suggest the Antec psu @ $109. If the case/psu combo satisfy's your objectives and saves money, good. Otherwise, the Fortron 530 watt at $75 is a very highly thought of psu (my next purchase) for less money, more power, and perhaps higher quality.

TWINX is a matched pair sold together, may not be able to buy just one. Some purchase one stick of 512MB with the intention of adding another later for 1 gig dual channel. You can also purchase 2 X 256 MB and run in DC now, then add a third stick of 512 to the other slot. The first pair operate in DC as one, and work with the other 512 MB fine.

Good Luck w/your build

Mobile XP 2600+ (11X200)
Abit NF7-S v 2.0
Maxtor 60GB ATA 133 7200RPM
512MB Corsair Twinx 3200LL
BBA 9800 Pro
Enermax Noisetaker 420 watts
Win98SE
July 15, 2004 5:16:04 PM

Your setup looks decent, and most of the recommendations have been good, but let me make my own and gather all the existing ones.

CPU - It's not that hard to OC the 2500 Barton to a 400mhz FSB. Many people on the forum have done that. The 2500 will run you about $90 retail, so there's a hundred bucks saved.

MOBO - Not a dig on ASUS, but the ABIT NF7-S has that same chipset, plus the sweet onboard soundstorm.

RAM - fine.

GPU - As you've already been told, a 256 9800 pro has useless, slower ram. Find a good deal on the 128 version, save another 100 bucks.

CASE,HD - all sound fine, that's a snazzy case.

PSU - you could probably save another 30-40 bucks by buying a Fortron Source 450W PSU that's just as good. Hell, even the Thermaltake 480W PSU is only about $70.

CD/DVD - For less than the plextor alone, you can buy a lite-on dual layer burner and an extra dvd drive. Plextor is a great brand, but so is lite-on.



"It's too late now anyway. That song is stuck in my head and the only way to get rid of it is to blow it out. With a bullet!! - Carl
July 15, 2004 8:36:13 PM

as i said, the 64 bit platform is a much better investment and the x800 pro will get u fps that the 9800xt cant touch. the xp platform is pretty obsolete now, im running an oc'ed 2500+ at 2.2ghz on the abit nf7-s and im not happy with it. look at far cry because it is where the future of gaming is headed, even the x800 pro cant get 100fps, what do u think a 9800 pros going to do
a b à CPUs
July 15, 2004 11:24:45 PM

I'd pass completely on any K8T800 chipset boards. You can get the MSI K8N Neo Platinum, with nForce3 250GB, for a similar price to the board you mentioned.

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July 16, 2004 12:27:22 AM

or comprimise and get the chaintech VNF-250 board. it may not have the features of the msi k8n neo, but its based on the nvidia nforce 250 (non GB) and its very reasonably priced
July 16, 2004 7:07:53 AM

Ok...Here is my new setup based off all the advice...

CASE- ANTEC P160 Silver $100
PSU- Fortron Source 400W Power Supply With 12CM Blue LED, Model "FSP400-60PNU-R" $68
CPU- AMD Athlon 64 2800+, 512KB L2 Cache, 64-bit Processor $185
MOBO- MSI nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Athlon 64 Socket 754 CPU, Model "K8N Neo Platinum" (MS-7030) $128
GPU- ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP $226
RAM- CORSAIR XMS Xtreme Memory Speed Series, 184-Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200, Model CMX512-3200XL CAS 2-2-2-5 $168
HD- Seagate 160GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model ST3160023A $106
DVD- (Two) Lite-On 8X Double Layer DVD+/-RW Drive, Model SOHW-832S BLK $89.00 Total $178

This setup puts me into the Athlon 64 system and a 9800 Pro card. I could probably save a little by down grading one of the Liteon DVD drives to a DVD-Rom or CD-R drive.

Opinions on this setup?
Any recommendations on other componentes to add? HD Fan controller? Additional Fans? Etc?

Total Cost $1159
July 19, 2004 8:14:15 AM

Final Setup as purchased... (NOT COUNTING TAX, Shipping was free)

Lian-Li PC-61B Case $95.00
ANTEC Truepower True430 $80
MSI K8N Neo Plat $125
AMD Athlon 64 2800+ $184
Crucial Ballistix 512MB (2-2-2-6-1) Ram $138
Lite-ON SOHC-5232BK $44
ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB $149 (YES a 9800 PRO NOT 9600XT etc)
Lian-Li 9-1 Card Reader 3.5" USB 2.0 $26
Seagate SATA 160GB 8MB Cache Barracuda ST31600023AS $113

Im going to hold off on getting a DVD Burner until the Dual Layer +/- Drives are on the market. If I do grab a DVD right now it will be a single layer SHOW-1213S Lite-ON 12X DVD Burner.

TOTAL PRICE $954....INC TAX....$1028

Postman
!