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Building my first computer, help needed

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August 17, 2004 4:39:34 PM

So I have been using my P2 400mhz computer for the past 4 years and it works fine for surfing the internet but with all the new games coming out this year it is definitly time to upgrade. My budget right now is around 1500-1700 US w/o monitor.

This new computer is going to be used mainly for gaming, right now Im looking at a AMD 64 3200+ for my cpu. Now after this I could use some help picking out the other components.

For mobo I was looking at going with a ASUS K8N-E Deluxe or the MSI K8N Neo Plat.

For video card I was leaning towards the ATI X800 Pro but would like some opinions on this card vs the new Nvidias cards.

I want a dvd writer and was leaning towards a lite-on from the posts I have read on them.

Im not sure what brand memory to go with, but I plan on getting a gig.

I was wondering if it was worth it to go for a raptor instead of a 7200 with a larger capacity, will I notice the difference for gamming?

As for a sound card I was reading that the onboard sound is good enough so should I just save the money and not buy a sound card.

Also I need some decent speakers, a wireless keyboard/mouse, and a pair of headphones (perferably wireless).

Im not the most knowledgable person about computer so please give me simple reasons why one thing is better than another.
Also if you can give me any links to sites with information that would be great.

Beside that I am going to get a monitor as a gift so I was wondering what a good 17" LCD is and what should I look for when picking one out.

Thanks for the help!!!
August 17, 2004 4:49:13 PM

Mobo : MSI Neo Platium
CPU : AMD64 3200+ (I perfer the clawhammer but some would say the newcastle core)
RAM: a gig of DDR400, Look at the msi website for best compatible.
Graphics Card: Right now the best bang for your buck is the Nvidia 6800gt
Harddrive : I perfer having a raptor as a bootdrive and a seperate, larger drive to store music/movies. YOu could raid 0 2 raptors if you like. But if you don't want to have to learn how to setup a sata drive than you can just get an ATA-100 drive, i perfer western digital,80-120gb 7200rpm 8mb buffer, will run you about the same as one 36gb raptor and you'd probably only see a small difference.
Mouse/Keyboard: Don't go wireless if your a gamer. Although some people like it, I still feel a kind of lag too it, even if most people don't.
Monitor: I perfer a nice big CRT for 50% less than an LCD screen.



Watch out for the <b><font color=red>bloody</font color=red></b> Fanboys!

AMD64 2800+ :: MSI Neo-Fis2r :: 512mb Kingmax ddr400 :: Sapphire 9800pro 128mb :: 10K WD Raptor

Addicted, finally.
August 17, 2004 4:50:46 PM

BTW, your going to feel a HUGE difference in proformance. SO good luck! HAVe fun!

Watch out for the <b><font color=red>bloody</font color=red></b> Fanboys!

AMD64 2800+ :: MSI Neo-Fis2r :: 512mb Kingmax ddr400 :: Sapphire 9800pro 128mb :: 10K WD Raptor

Addicted, finally.
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August 17, 2004 7:10:35 PM

For video card I was leaning towards the ATI X800 Pro but would like some opinions on this card vs the new Nvidias cards.
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Nvidia 6800GT would be my choice with that chipset.


Abit IS7 - 2.8C @ 3.4ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
August 17, 2004 9:15:06 PM

Also which items should I buy retal and which should I get OEM? Also if I get the 6800 should I get a larger power supply?
August 17, 2004 9:49:43 PM

Buy the cpu retail if u arn't going to OC it. Also see how much cheaper a 3000+ cpu is, us the extra 200mhz really worth the money? The MSI K8 NEO is a noce mobo (I have one). Also go with the 6800GT I cannot stress this enough it is much better then the x800pro (Read toms guide for choosing a vid card in the graphic card forum to see why the 6800GT is a better buy). I would get at least a 400W PSU (I forgot how much your current one was but 400W should be good enough).

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by gpol2162 on 08/17/04 05:50 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 17, 2004 10:12:09 PM

For the motherboard definately get the MSI Neo Platinum, I have it and as I have said many times, I love it. Its a really easy motherboard to work with too and that's important since this is your first build. Just make sure to update the Bios when your up and running because the temperature readout you will be getting with that thing prior to updated bios will freak you out.

Definately, without a doubt get a 6800. Though ATI's last generation cards (like mine) outperformed Nvidia, the 6800 is by far the best video card you can purchase right now. Lite-On is a good brand for drives, I find them to be very, very noisy, but they work.

I have kingston memory in my computer and it works flawlessly, no issues. I have also heard that Corsair memory works well with the mobo (Corsair is arguably the best memory you can buy). Definately get the Raptor, it is well worth the money, I love mine. To install it make sure you have a floppy drive and stick the disk that comes with the MSI motherboard in prior to installing Windows. Once the Windows installation comes up hit the F6 key (it will prompt you at the bottom of the screen) and then wait for you to be asked which drivers to load (there will be 2 options, both work).

Speakers, mouse, and headphones... well I can't really help you there, I don't hear a difference between speakers, and I have never used headphones before. I do own the Logitech Wireless MX Duo, if you do go wireless then get this set (or the bluetooth set) for sure because the mouse comes with a charger so you won't need to replace the batteries (no other manufacturer has this feature that I know of).

Aside from that, I have a Flat CRT monitor (viewsonic). LCDs are nice but I hear that when gaming most of them ghost(lag) unless you drop close to $500 on a real good 17 inch, so keep that in mind. Make sure you buy most of your parts from Newegg.com, they seem to be the most reliable/preferred place to shop; but if your looking for the best deal I suppose you could order parts from a million different places using PriceWatch. Do your homework and make sure everything is compatable.... and good luck. Enjoy the new computer.


AMD 64 3400+
MSI K8N Neo Platinum
1 GB Kingston HyperX PC3200
ATI AIW 9600XT
WD Raptor 74GB
August 18, 2004 12:32:34 AM

Well in you a gammer then graphics cards would be a critical decision, espcially with the controversy going on. Right now the gefore 6600 and 6800 series have been killing the Radeons in Doom3 till ATI puts out better drivers but Radeons will Reign with HL2.

That Doom3 engine will be around more than the engine in HL2, so quick though will tell you to get like the 6800 ultra but if ATI can make a better driver then we are back to square one. My opinion right now, get whatever since both will not produce lag with the doom 3 engine anyways.

For you sound card, really these days audigy is the minimum. Games these days are using surond sound so without surond sound speakers, gamming quality takes a tank. SBlive cards will struggle anything beyong 4.1 NEVER SETTLE FOR INTEGRATED SOUND!!!!

For you hard drive, that raptor aint worth the noise. May decrease boot/load times but in gamming sense it would be irrelevant. SATA 7200rpm drive would be cool, like Segate Barracuda 8.5ms seek.

For you Ram, really can go wrong these day just make sure weather or not you mobo needs registered and what bank supports it can do. PLEASE GET A GIGs WORTH OF RAM and screw pagging.

For your speakers, settling for analog really aint going to kill you, just read some review on you choices. Personally Id make sure it is THX complaint so you can piss off your neighbors.

LCD screens are fine and everything but for the gammers it can be a difficult trek. LCD monitors have issues with aftershadow effects and not as good as CRT that annoy the shizzel out of me. Getting a decent gamming LCD will cost a pretty penny. If you dont mind lugging a heavy CRT once every few year trhen just get a killer CRT for fraction of the cost. Viewsonic and Sony are normall good CRTs.

Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2420mhz 11x220 1.7v
Asus A7N8X Dlx 440 FSB
1gb Geil GD pc3500 Dual Channel (2-3-3-6)
Segata 80gb SATA 8.5ms seek
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro to XT(463/795)
August 18, 2004 1:09:45 AM

Quote:
For you hard drive, that raptor aint worth the noise.

Raptors are no louder than a standard drive. Hotter, but not louder.

Watch out for the <b><font color=red>bloody</font color=red></b> Fanboys!

AMD64 2800+ :: MSI Neo-Fis2r :: 512mb Kingmax ddr400 :: Sapphire 9800pro 128mb :: 10K WD Raptor

Addicted, finally.
August 18, 2004 1:14:14 AM

I agree, I can't ever hear mine. For a while I thought I could but it turned out it was a different component. Also, I'm pretty sure it makes a difference with game loading times... could be wrong though.

AMD 64 3400+
MSI K8N Neo Platinum
1 GB Kingston HyperX PC3200
ATI AIW 9600XT
WD Raptor 74GB
August 18, 2004 4:21:39 PM

I have both a barracuda drive and a raptor drive in my rig and can EASILY tell which one is running, even with all the fans on my case.

Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2420mhz 11x220 1.7v
Asus A7N8X Dlx 440 FSB
1gb Geil GD pc3500 Dual Channel (2-3-3-6)
Segata 80gb SATA 8.5ms seek
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro to XT(463/795)
August 18, 2004 4:30:53 PM

I've heard from people that their raptor makes a whinning noise, some say it's louder than there other drives. I honostly can say i can't here it over the fans in my case.

Watch out for the <b><font color=red>bloody</font color=red></b> Fanboys!

AMD64 2800+ :: MSI Neo-Fis2r :: 512mb Kingmax ddr400 :: Sapphire 9800pro 128mb :: 10K WD Raptor

Addicted, finally.
August 20, 2004 5:12:10 AM

So this is what Im looking at right now:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ $211 (retail)
Mobo: MSI K8N Neo Platinum $126 (retail)
Memory: Corsair VS1GBKIT400C3 1GB $153 (retail)
Video card: XFX nVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT $439 (retail)
Hard Drive: WD Raptor WD740GD 74GB $183 (OEM)
Sound Card: Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS Plat $99 (retail)
DVD-R: Lite-On SOHW-1213S BLK $77 (OEM)
DVD-ROM: Lite-On SOHD-167T BLK $28 (OEM)
Floppy: SONY MPF920 BLK $11 (OEM)
Case: ASPIRE ATXA1A/420 $71 (link:http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti...)

Is this everything I need, or am I missing something? Also will everything fit together right, and is there anything OEM/retail that I should buy the other way?? Is that a good brand for the video card?? Do the prices I listed seem reasonable, I will be buying all my parts from newegg or zoomzipfly?

Thanks again for the help.
August 20, 2004 6:41:04 AM

I do not know the full details of that particular case, so take this with a grain of salt, but in general I avoid case and power supply bundles unless I know exactly what kind of power supply I am getting, as in manufacturer and model number. If it is not a known, reputable power supply, I do not touch it.

420W is plenty for your system and most any system, for sure. However, just because the box says you are getting 420W does not mean it is delivering. Too often they are over-rated by a significant amount which leads to problems down the road, especially if you start upgrading and adding drives. If those 420W are actually 320W, for example, you may get into trouble.

It is typically worth buying a quality case and quality power supply separate so you know exactly what you are getting and that it will output what it claims. Sure, you will spend more, but I feel it is worth it. After all, there is no point skimping on the power supply since a good combo can last you for many years. Video cards come and go, but a power supply will last numerous upgrade cycles, giving it awesome value.

Of course, everything will probably work out, but I am nitpicky. :) 

Oh, and all of your other choices are solid, though a single Raptor setup might not be the best route. I mean, if you only ever need 74 GB or have another old drive you can throw in to just store data, then yeah, it rocks. But if you are like me and have tons of digital video and games and all sorts of crap, then 74 GB goes too fast. I would rather lose the speed and take a 200 GB or 250 GB 7200 RPM hard drive for similar price, lose some performance, but gain a ton of space. And to be honest, the loss of performance on your hard drive is not as big a deal as some would make it out to be, and Raptors are horrible in the performance/cost ratio.
August 20, 2004 6:43:17 AM

Too bad, you should have stayed with the Asus K8N-E Deluxe board. It's the little things, like the 3 year warranty, and attention to detail, like the plastic protectors near the socket.
August 20, 2004 3:32:01 PM

COPIED FROM THE EXACT SAME TOPIC ON ANOTHER THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get this...
A64 3200+ $215.00
MSI Nforce3-250 K8N Neo Platinum, $128.00
1Gig of Corsair value 2.5Cas RAM. $154.00 (for both 512 dimms)
200GB WD $125.00
6800Ultra ~$570
NEC 8X Dual Layer, optical drive $69.00

TOTAL: 1261.

Now all you have to do is choose a nice looking case, a brand name power supply (check the power supppy forum FAQ for recommendations). I wont use your whole budget. If you are a gamer using an A64 3200+ with a 6800Ultra with 1Gig RAM....you will fly. You could get a better PCU but unless you are using a CAD program it wouldn't be worth it. With this setup you can run ALL games for about 2-3years easily at great res. For 500 more the setup wont last any longer...so why spend what you dont have to?

It's true i am saying a socket 754....but in 3-4 yrs when its time to upgrade you will need a whole new computer anyway. There will be so many changes you will want, that you will want a new Mobo, New RAM, new PCU, New Vid card, New HD, new everything....so why spend more when you will want to upgrade it all at the same time anyway?

with the extra $400-$500 you will have....buy games, new speakers, beer, pizza, or if you dont know what to do with the extra....write a check and send it to me.


Also unique to this one, if you want wireless keyboard and mouse and headphones....thats quite a bit of money for things that arn't that great. Keyboards and mice lag...and the headphones have a hard time holding a charge after a while.

If you need a LCD for size thats cool, but a large CRT is better for picture quality. and also its WAY cheaper.

With all the wirelss talk, LCD talk, and such....do you use your computer in a 4ft by 4ft prison cell?

--------------------------------------------------------
<font color=blue> I am on an express train to hell. I hope I'm in the front row, the ride is ALWAYS better in the front. </font color=blue>
August 21, 2004 2:54:41 AM

If Retail is available on the items, get it, except maybe the floppy drive. If you've never put a system together, then the documentation that comes with retail will be a big help. oem doesn't come with any, unless its specified. Windows XP oem if you need the OS, as I'm sure you know how to run Windows.

Newegg is the way to go. I just got close to the exact same rig as you have here, and they all came within 3 days. Newegg just rocks.

Get some Arctic Silver 5 as well for a really good thermal paste. will help with a couple degrees off of your cpu.

And definitely get a case without a power supply. Many cases just don't tell you what they are bundling as a psu, so don't assume. Enermax, Fortron and Thermaltake are quality power supplies. 430 watt atleast.

Corsair is the best choice for that mobo. It has the least issues with it.

And for keyboard mouse etc, don't go with the bluetooth. The technology is still a little too new, and there are actually security risks with it from a couple of articles I have read on it.

Have fun!


Prepare for Ramming Speed!!!
!