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April 5, 2005 12:30:18 AM

I am currently putting together a gaming system and wanted to know everyone’s thoughts on the system below. I am on a budget of about 1,500 Canadian. Are there any parts you would swap for something different? Am I making any mistakes here? Does this look ok? Are there any parts that can be swapped for something cheaper allowing for more money to be applied elsewhere?

All parts must come from here: http://www.memoryexpress.com

Processor :AMD Athlon 64 3500+ w/ 512K Cache
CPU Heatsink / Fan :AMD Retail Heatsink and Fan
Motherboards :Asus A8V Deluxe w/ DualDDR400, Audio, Gigabit Lan, SATA RAID
Memory :Kingston 512MB PC3200 DDR CAS 3 x 2 = Total 1024 Ram
Case :Elite V60 (Black) w/ 350W P/S
Power Supplies :350W P/S Included with Case
Hard Drives 1 :Western Digital 200GB Caviar 7200rpm Serial ATA 8MB Cache
Hard Drives 2 :None
Optical Drive 1 :Samsung TS-H552U 16x16 DVD+/-RW Dual Layer, Black
Optical Drive 2 :None
Video Cards :eVGA e-Geforce 6800 128MB w/ DVI, TV-Out
Sound Cards :o nboard 8-Channel 7.1 Audio
Ethernet Cards :o nboard 10/100/1000 Gigabit Lan

More about : computer

April 5, 2005 4:29:10 AM

I think the 350Watt power supply might be a little light-especially if it is a no-name brand one.

As for video card, I personally have had issues with three seperate evga vid cards.
They all had the same problem. The fan starts to hit the heatsink shroud and slows down and or stops.
In my case I had to send one back-paying for shipping both ways. They sent me a brand new unit that had the same issue after a few weeks.
I ended up unplugging that fan and placing a cpu fan on top of the unit-it worked just fine.
Well, for Christmas I got a 6600GT and it started to do the same thing-so I just unplugged their fan and placed my own on top.
In a store, I talked to a guy who had a 6600GT that melted on him-seems fan stopped working-are we seeing a pattern here?
The whole fan setup could be replaced with an after-market unit for about $40, but personally, I would look for a different brand of vid card.
April 5, 2005 4:59:45 AM

If you plan on doing any overclocking I would go with the nforce3, or nforce4 chipset. Try to avoid VIA. For the PSU I would get the Antec Truepower 550W or the OCZ 450W that they offer instead of the generic 350W. For the video card stay away from eVGA especially because that store offers the BFG 6800 OC for the same price and it comes overclocked out of the box with lifetime warranty.
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April 5, 2005 5:35:21 AM

Are you planning on OCing this system? Are you using your current monitor/keyboard/mouse?

If you're going to go with a 350W PSU, then the Antec Solution Series SLK-1650B w/350W PSU is better than the EV60. $10 more, but will have a better PSU. If you can swing a little more, the Antec Sonata is a better case, quieter and has a 380W PSU - you need the extra power. I strongly recommend you DO NOT get a generic PSU. Even with the good 350W ANTEC PSU, you will be running at 66% of rated capacity. With the 380W you will be at 61%, but 61% is more acceptable, expecially with an ANTEC PSU.

Save $100CDN - get the 3200+ retail CPU. Not much of a performance increase for the money you would spend on the 3500+.

If you're not going to OC much and the GA-K8NF-9 has the features that you need for your system, then I would get that board over the Asus with the VIA chipset. nForce chipsets are the best on the street right now. This board is PCIe, so it will set you up for the next generation of cards. It also saves you $15CDN.

Take the money you saved on the other parts and get the MSI RX800XL ($489.95). I don't recommend MSI mobos (I've had bad experiences with them), but this is the only x800xl option on the website you listed.

Recap:
1. Antec Sonata = 129.95
2. GA-K8NF-9 = $149.95
3. Kingston pc3200 = $130
4. AMD 3200+ = $249.95
5. X800XL = $489.95
6. WD Caviar = $139.95
7. DVD/RW = $79.95
Total = $1369.70 <b><--Still under the budget!</b>

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April 5, 2005 7:37:28 AM

Hold off till venice cores hit the stores. (any time now)
April 5, 2005 4:02:03 PM

Quote:
5. X800XL = $489.95

$489.95 is a bit much for an X800XL. You should be able to pick up either a 6800GT or Ultra for $100+ less.

EDIT ~ I'm a tard, that's in Canadian currency... although even after currency conversion (assuming a USD to CAN of 1.2), $400 is still a bit much for an X800 XL (Newegg has them for less than $300 USD), but I suppose would still be the better choice over a 6800GT or Ultra for that price point.

EDIT part II ~ Wow - they want $709 CAN for a GeForce 6800 Ultra; definitely go X800 XL. That's huge mark-up... of course I guess they are building it for you though. If I were you, I'd buy parts separately, build yourself, and save a ton of cash.

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In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by sh1ft3d on 04/05/05 12:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 5, 2005 5:26:20 PM

I agree with all of the advice so far, but I'd add a few more things to consider:

The Antec <i>Smart</i>Power supplies are cheap and should be avoided. Go for the Antec <i>True</i>Power supplies. (Or Neo, or Phantom, Or True2s...)

Also, if your processor is a retail (which you don't specifically state) then you're good with the retail heatsink. (Since using a non-retail HSF with the retail AMD proc voids your warranty.) However, if you're buying the retail HSF to put onto an OEM CPU, you're probably better off finding a better 3rd party HSF since you won't have any real warranty anyway.

And, if you go with an Antec Sonata you might want to look at also picking up a <A HREF="http://www.quietpc.ca/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Product_I..." target="_new">pre-cut sound dampening material kit</A>. Quiet computers are fun. :) 

Another thought, CAS 3 DDR in an AMD box? It will cost more, but CAS 2 will matter a lot more to an AMD machine than to an Intel one. Of course you can always try to up the voltage a few points and drop the timings, but there's no guarantee.

Not only should eVGA be avoided, but so should MSI when it comes to video cards. (That is, unless you want to take the gamble that the lower price is worth it.) There are probably other companies to avoid as well. Even if parts are under warranty so that replacements are theoretically free, paying to ship them back and being stuck with downtime usually isn't worth it when you can pay a little more up front and not have problems at all. Actually, that's true for pretty much everything. :) 

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
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April 5, 2005 6:01:39 PM

Please realize that I worked that list under the premise of single store purchase. Given the options, that was the best I could put together under the money constraints... :eek: 

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<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 5, 2005 6:24:07 PM

Hey, nothing wrong with your list. No worries there. You even came out under budget, which, in turn, provides possible improvements here or there. I'm just giving doomfire some additional things to think about.

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
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April 5, 2005 10:03:47 PM

:cool: I hate limiting to single store unless, that store is really good...possibly Newegg. You're right on all of your points. The Sonata is the best price/performance for him on that sight - even though I would be more comfortable with a 420W or better...

What are you going to bust if you don't get 200K?


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April 6, 2005 6:30:59 AM

I'd go for a better board than the A8V, something with an nForce 3 or 4 chipset.

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April 6, 2005 1:04:26 PM

Quote:
What are you going to bust if you don't get 200K?

In five years I've taken my '98 Mercury Sable sedan from 35K miles to 185K miles and all of the major components are still doing fine. I mean how cool is that? At the rate I'm going I should hit 200K before the year is out, and I think the car will make it. How many people can say that they've got 200,000 miles on their car? Plus it's paid off now. So at this point if I don't make 200K both my ego and my bank account will bust. **ROFL** And possibly a few blood vessels as I have a fit. I <i>really</i> can't afford a new car right now. :( 

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
April 6, 2005 1:12:20 PM

Quote:
If it breaks then you just take it back. Can't do that with my 9800SE tho! lol

First, if it's an online purchase then you have to pay to ship it back. Second, if it's an online purchase then you're looking at days of downtime until you get the replacement card.

I took that risk once with my MSI GF4 4200. Lots of owners of those cards were having problems with the HSF falling to pieces. But the price was good and the software package was icing on the cake. So I was perfectly willing to epoxy the HSF back together or dremmel and thermal epoxy a CPU HSF in place if the original HSF was unfixable. (Not that I wanted to have to, but I was willing to take that risk.)

Of course what I hadn't expected from the MSI card was that some games (like the included copy of Ghost Recon) wouldn't play on the card, regardless of the drivers used. MSI must have done something really funny to cause that.

So MSI has earned their way to darn near the bottom on my dependability list. :\

<pre> :eek:  <font color=purple>I express to you a hex value 84 with my ten binary 'digits'. :eek:  </font color=purple></pre><p>@ 185K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
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April 6, 2005 1:36:20 PM

LOL - I doubt there's too many people that can say they've taken a Sable over 150K miles - much less 200K. Good luck in your mileage quest.

I don't recommend MSI mobos - refuse to! I thought that their lack of reliability would bleed over to their vid cards, but wasn't sure - especially with just getting into the ATI world. [/shrugs] Maybe he should go with the nF3 Ultra and an AGP card because of the lack of vid card choices. :/ 

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