Hi there

Hello, first time poster here. Im posting on this forum because the biggest question I have is about the mobo/CPU pin type. Also please note that I am a first time builder. I really have no clue if I need to purchase cables, screws etc seperately. I *tried* to do my homework and not ask stupid questions .. But im sure there are some mistakes that are covered in a FAQ somewhere. Oh yeah, this machine will be be for gaming. Here is the set up im about to buy ... critique and suggest away ... im currently $70 over my original $1,000 budget (including shipping) .. so any substitutions/exchanges are welcome.

RAIDMAX Blue 10-bay Case with 350W Power Supply, Model "ATX268WUP" -RETAIL

NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive, Black, Model ND-3500A BK, OEM

Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD800JD, OEM Drive Only

Corsair Value Select (Dual Pack) 184 Pin 512MBx2 DDR PC-3200 - OEM

GIGABYTE "GA-K8NS" NVIDIA nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard For AMD Socket 754 CPU -RETAIL

AMD Athlon 64 3400+, 512k L2 Cache, The Only 64-bit Windows Compatible Processor - Retail

ABIT ATI Radeon X800 Pro Video Card, 256MB GDDR3, 256-Bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "RX800pro" -RETAIL

My comments:

Case: 350W .. apparently all I need b/c im going with the ATI card.

CD: No comment. It'll do the job. I wanted DVD.

HD: I would have like to have gone with the 10,000 RPM ... budget got in the way.

Memory: 2 outta 3 slots take by the first Gig. Final slot will have to be a Gig stick .. no bid deal.

Mobo & CPU: Went with the Newcastle architecture like Tom told me to. Is there a difference between the 754 socket and 939 ... i.e. is one better than the other?

Video Card: Over 40% of the cost .. it better be good.

Thanks in advance,


p.s. Unfortunately, the links to newegg are not working here .. thats where I plan to buy everything from.
11 answers Last reply
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  1. Welcome to THGC !

    Seems like a good gaming 'rig you got spec'd out, for starters, you should go for a Socket 939 platform instead, the Dual Channel on-die memory controller really allow the A64 to flex its muscles and it got a good upgrade path, Socket 754 is a dead end.

    If you need to shave off some money, go for a 3000+ A64 90nm Winchester, it is natively clocked at 1.8GHz but it can reach frequencies over 2.5GHz on stock cooling and voltage, free performance for 70$ less, why not go for it instead !

    Motherboards and cases usually come with all the cables and screws that are required for a basic installation but you may want to grab a tube of Artic Silver thermal compound, it is superior to the thermal interface that is provided with the stock heatsink.

    As an added benefit, most Socket 939 motherboards feature more memory slots, making it easier to upgrade the memory down the road.

    Watercooled Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2.6GHz (200MHz x 12.5)
    Abit NF7-S V2.0
    2x 512MB of Samsung TCC4
    Sapphire Radeon 9700 128MB @ 360/310
    2x Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM RAID-0
  2. AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 512KB L2 Cache, Socket 939 64-bit Processor - Retail $203 (Winchester as recommended)

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 512K, L2 Cache, Socket 939 Windows Compatible 64-bit Processor - Retail $267 (Newcastle - Not Winchester)

    Is the extra $64 dollars worth anything in performance? I really do not know anything about overclocking, besides the fact there are message boards here devoted to the subject. Furthermore, I do not really know what the difference is between Winchester and Newcastle (though I like beer more than ammo). There was a $50 increase with the changes to 939 and 3500+.

    Thanks for the quick response.

  3. If you go with the 90 nm socket 939, be sure the motherboard bios supports the cpu, or you'll get a "no post" situation. If the vender ships you an early board with the original bios, ask him to flash it for you to a later version. Some venders will, some won't without charging you.
  4. Right now i'm looking the following items:

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 512K, L2 Cache, Socket 939 Windows Compatible 64-bit Processor - Retail $267

    MSI "K8T NEO2-F" VIA K8T800 Pro Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL $105

    AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 512KB L2 Cache, Socket 939 64-bit Processor - Retail $203

    How do I tell if the motherboard is compatible?
  5. The Newcastle 130nm to Winchester 90nm transition was just a die shrink with very few architectural improvements, retail motherboards won't have any problem POSTing with the newer Winchester, compatibility is therefore a moot point.

    A64 manufactured on the 90nm process generate a lot less heat, can reach higher frequencies and require less voltage, they also have a marginal edge clock for clock over their 130nm counterparts.

    Either the 90nm 3000+ or 3200+ on Socket 939 will give you the most bang for bucks, overclocking those is really easy and I am sure that you will be able to learn all you need to know about it after spending one or two hours reading forums, how-to's and reviews.

    Watercooled Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2.6GHz (200MHz x 12.5)
    Abit NF7-S V2.0
    2x 512MB of Samsung TCC4
    Sapphire Radeon 9700 128MB @ 360/310
    2x Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM RAID-0
  6. I'd get a 6800gt instead of the x800pro.

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  7. That RaidMax 350W power supply is borderline at best. If you MUST get a RaidMax get a case with the 420W. Better yet, get a real good power supply elsewhere and stick it in that case.

    Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - 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
  8. go for 3000+ OR 3400+, no big deal between 3000 and 3200+, make sure its winchester 939 socket, the 939 supports dual channel ram, and upgradable to the FX53. the 754 is on its last days
    go for 6800GT instead of the X800 pro, but make sure you're getting a good power supply
    MOBO for the 939 is MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
  9. How much are you paying for the case? Dont add the PSU in the price you list.
  10. If you have a little extra cash, you can get the most powerfull graphics card available at <A HREF="http://www.ati.com/buy/pricespcusa.html" target="_new">http://www.ati.com/buy/pricespcusa.html</A> The X850 XT PE is one great card, and Ati shows them in stock.
  11. you'll fill an 80GB harddrive in no time, cost of going up to 120/160GB is normally relatively trivial, e.g. 10% increase in price for 50% ncrease in size.

    otherwise v. nice system

    if you can help me out with a Gmail invite, then I would be forever gratefull! martinrichards23@aol.com thanks!!
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