building a new system - need your expert advice

After numerous posts and searches, I am almost set on my system (see below). I pretty much decided that I will go with PCI-E. I need to ask a few more questions:
1. Which CPU do I go with? I am goin with a mobo that's too much for the system?
2. Are there any other components that you would change to optimize my setup?
3. Will all of the selected components be compatible with each other?
4. Which components can you get away with getting oem (to save $)?

Note: Main purpose for computer is internet (& VOD), DVD, photoshop, office, and occassional gaming. I'm not planning to OC (reason: don't know how to) for now but who knows in the future.

My proposed setup:

CPU: AMD Athlon64 90nm <socket 939> 3000+ OR 3200+

MB: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe <socket 939> PCI-E

Case: Antec Sonata w/ 380W TruePower

Video: Leadtek Winfast PX6600GT TDH PCI-E

Audio: Creative Labs Audigy2 PCI

TV: Leadtek Winfast TV 2000XP Expert

HDD: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 200GB SATA

DVD: NEC 3520A

FDD: Mitsumi 7 in 1 Floppy & Card Reader

Memory: Corsair Value Select Dual Channel
13 answers Last reply
More about building system expert advice
  1. Dont take your PSU for granted. Antec makes good PSU's, but I would get above 400W. 420W to 450W would be a comfortable range and you may need it in the future anyhow. PSU's IMO are up close to the top of the list when it comes to priority.

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  2. Instead of a SLI board you might want to go with a non-SLI board (much cheaper) and a Ati All In Wonder (but I don't know if they are PCI Express already). That way you'd have a lot of money left for RAM, HD or CPU.
  3. ATI makes the AIW x600 pro. But the remote control is no more in the box.I have the AIW9600XT. After spending some time to troubleshoot the remote wonderII problems and the DVD player. I uninstall all the ATI multimedia center, and end up running my windvd4 I got with my DVD burner with the microsoft remote control. I might reinstall the TV and FM feature, but I dont need them now, as MyDVD (which was with my DVD burner too)has a capture feature to capture my movies.

    ATI multimedia center really need a complete rewrite from scratch. It was maybe good some time ago, but really outdated and need more feature to be considered as a modern multimedia center. But for basic feature, it can do the job.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  4. If you're going to be doing occasional gaming, then I don't think there's a need for the SLI capability. What's you're reason for going SLI?

    Non-SLI, I would recommend the NF4 Ultra chipset. Newegg has two NF4 Ultra boards right now: MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum ($159) and the Chaintech VNF4/Ultra ($129). Either would be a good option - just look at the specs and choose based on reliability/board features that you need/want.

    The A8N-SLI Deluxe costs $265 at Newegg. You could take the $100-140 savings and put it towards a better PSU/HDD/Memory.

    To answer your questions:
    1. Don't need the bleeding edge SLI for a partial gaming system - see above recommendation.
    2. Concur with better PSU recommendation. Maybe a Fortron FSP400-60THN-R that is $77.50 at Newegg.
    3. Yes
    4. HDD, CPU, Video, DVD, TV, FDD, Memory

    What HSF will you be using? Recommend getting a separate case and PSU unless you can find a case with a really good PSU. Anyone have some good recommendations for case with PSU that has good price/performance?

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  5. Re. to SLI or not - I just didn't know I had a choice until yesterday. Which is the best non-SLI board? The A8N-SLI Deluxe is approx. U$190 at

    Re. memory - is it recommended to go to a better one? Why? Any recommendation?

    Re. HDD - what's wrong with the one I have listed? What do you recommend?

    Re. PSU - If I get a separate PSU I will probably change cases which is going to bring up the cost significantly. Is it worth it? Will the stock Sonata PSU not be sufficient for my purposes?
    Which of these PSUs are good:
    OCZ Modstream 450
    Fortron FSP400-60THN-R
    Any good PSUs from Coolmax?
    If you can recommend a PSU from that would be great.

    What's the difference in an oem vs retail in HDD, CPU, Video, DVD, TV, FDD, Memory? Don't they come with stuff (screws, manuals, software, etc.) you need for the install?

    HSF=heat sink fan? I was going to use the one that came with the CPU. Bad idea?
  6. Atic, is good, sometimes <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> is better.
    For average OCs, the stock fan is fine. For major OCing maybe not. Try the stock first. Some chips just dont OC above 2.5, no matter how good the fan is.
    For memory, I use cheap samsung generic, it gives me 2.5,3,3,8 at 220.
    High quality ram may take you a little higher. Is it worth it to you?
    Enermax psus are good. Too bad fortron source is not available in Canada. Just make sure the psu is the one with the 120mm bottom fan.
  7. I am new to building computers, and even newer to OCing. I doubt I will be attempting it. So, you say the stock fan should be fine, huh?

    Value RAM is also sufficient?

    Is Fortron the best (out of the ones I listed) PSU? I could order it form the US if it's THAT good.
  8. Retail Mobo and case will almost always come with all the cables/screw that you need to setup your system. The OEM CPU won't have a HSF, so get the retail box. OEM FDD/HDD won't come with a cable or software, but the retail mobo will have cables. DVD/Video won't have any extras like special software, cables or free games - again mobo should have sufficient cables.

    Fortron is a really good PSU, but don't go overboard on price to get it. One of the reasons I like it is because it is as good as the more expensive PSUs, but cost less. Agree with the Kingston Value RAM recommendation.

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  9. Im not really impressed with the ATI remote control. Is the one from Microsoft better?

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  10. Fortron is solid. They are high quality and the prices are hard to beat.

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  11. Its just slow, I like it though.

    To save us both time, assume I know EVERYTHING :tongue:
  12. Well, better, I cannot say, but does work everytime. it has less buttons, and it is IR instead of RFbas th ATI. Sometime, at startup, the remote just dissappear. I have to kill the process it the task manager, unplug the remote, replug it to have it detected again, and start the ramote apps manually.

    The microsoft one is simpler, and does just work, no assle. I know that ATI will have new drivers for their remote that should be released soon. Until then, I use the microsoft one to control WinDVD from my couch. I will try to install a mediacenter PC and I will have the remote for, as ATI one is not supported by Media Center.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  13. Power supplies under the FSP part number, whether sold under the Fortron Source, Sparkle Power, or Aopen brand names, are solid. Identicle part numbers from these companies give you identicle units. They are a bit better than Antec's True Power and vastly better than Antec's cheaper lines.

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