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New computer...again

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Last response: in CPUs
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January 18, 2005 2:35:16 AM

I'm looking into building a new pc.
Going AMD, socket 939, nforce4, light to medium overclocking.

Heres the question: to SLI or not SLI?

The SLI boards are about $100(US) more expensive. I like games, but would not consider myself a "heavy" gamer. ie never been to a lan party, and cant see myself doing so in the near future.

I am, however, very serious about longevity. I want a pc that will not need replacing for quite some time.

Is SLI going to be the key? add GPU down the road, upgrade cpu after, add ram later. Those are all I can think of as far as upgrades before the entire system will need replacing.

Also, comments about the CPU, MOBO, RAM, GPU, etc.. are very much appreciated!

Thoughts and opinions please!

proposed system:
ASPIRE (Turbo Case)Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with 350W P.S.
$45.50

CHAINTECH NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra Chipset
$129.00

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8GHz, 512KB L2 Cache 939 64-bit - OEM
$155.00

Corsair Value Select (Dual Pack)512MBx2 DDR PC-3200 - OEM
$139.00

MSI nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT, 128MB DDR3, 128-Bit, PCI-E
$187.00

ZALMAN Copper CPU Cooler for Socket /939/ Model "CNPS7700-CU
$50.99

Arctic Silver 5
$7.59

Samsung 16X DVD±RW, Model TS-H552B/WBCH Black, OEM Bulk
$58.99

SAMSUNG 16X DVD Drive Black, Model TS-H352A/WBGH, OEM
$23.99

NEC 1.44MB Black Internal Floppy Drive, OEM
$7.00

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January 18, 2005 3:01:54 AM

Asumming it is $100 more for the SLI mobo. I'd much rather put that extra $100 into a X800XL as they are due out real soon. The X800XL will be basically as fast as 2 6600GT's in SLI and will only cost you a little more than 1 6600GT and a SLI mobo. Just a thought as to me SLI isn't worth much yet IMO. Now if the mobo cost the same, then a single GF6600GT and second later looks to be a great route to take while saving money. But $100 more for the mobo? You aren't saving money then.

I would want 1 GF6800GT and an SLI mobo, but th 6800GT PCI-e is scarce and way overpriced right now. Add an over-priced mobo, and it adds up to a bad buy right now. Get it down to $150 or less for the mobo, and $350 or less for a GF6800GT PCI-e, then it's alot more interesting.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3400555" target="_new"> My</A>
<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=8268935" target="_new">Gamer</A>
January 18, 2005 4:42:27 AM

I guess I dont understand. Wht buy such a high end hsf, and such low end ram?
If you are not going to OC, that zalman is totally unnecesary. Your chip puts out less heat than a 1.2 ghz athlon, and comes stock with an oversized hsf already.
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January 18, 2005 5:46:58 AM

i was thinking, since Athlon 64 cannot control ram that is faster than PC3200 with its internal memory controller anyway, why would one want to buy ram that is faster than PC3200 for an Athlon 64 system?
January 18, 2005 5:59:17 AM

Because they are slaves to the marketing of the companies. The 3200 is fine for stock. Even if you overclock you can set your memory speed to be slower, so it will always run in spec. You could probably get 2.4-2.6 GHz out of that setup.

s signature has been formatted to fit your scr
January 18, 2005 7:15:21 AM

So you think you can get to 289mhz on pc3200? That is what you would have to do to get to 2.6 with a 1:1 ratio. Even the 266 for 2.4 seems out of the question. With good ram, and a little luck, you may be able to do 221, and using the 6:5 divider, get 2.4, but that still leaves you at 240, before you get to 2.6ghz.
If you want the high numbers, you have to pay more for the ram.
January 18, 2005 2:13:29 PM

No you don't.

Just keep using higher dividers. It's very possible. I'm running PC3500 RAM at 255 fsb right now (and very aggressive timings I might add). The motherboard doesn't like to do any more, and I know that because I was able to keep this fsb and lower the ram speed down to 145 MHz. I think I might even have been able to go lower.

s signature has been formatted to fit your scr
January 18, 2005 6:05:25 PM

Using dividers on A64 is commonplace and doesn't affect performance nearly as much as on P4 or AXP. I have a Winnie @ 2.7 (9x300) with the ram that you cited. I have it set to 133:200 divider so that @ 300, my ram is running stock speed. People with the Ballistix and/or TCCD get about 5-8% better scores that me in some tests, but in many it's not even noticeable.

To your original question, you may want to go PCI-E but not SLI. Basically it boils down to how much you game and how intensely you game. If you want to play 10x7 w/o eye candy then you could get a 6800U and be set for life (ok the forseeable future). If you do go SLI, it may end up as a wise investment however for this reason. If you buy a 6800 series SLI card now and have all the other components in place, by the time you want to add another and pick up the performance by 30-40% the cards will be substantially cheaper. The biggest problem with SLI IMHO at the moment is that NV has to explicitly add support for each game in drivers. That needs to be corrected if you ask me.

Mobile P4 1.6 @ 2.4 - Gigabyte 8ipe-1000 Pro - 4x256 Corsair Value PC3200 - MSI 128 MB 9800Pro @ 435/730 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
January 19, 2005 10:32:18 PM

what ram would you recomend?
!