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Building a new system - any suggestions??

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June 1, 2005 5:23:28 AM

Hello, I'm building a new computer before i go off to college. I will be doing a decent amount of gaming on this computer, but not a ton. I will also be using it for chatting, browsing the internet, etc.... nothign in particular. Here are the components i am thinking about putting in, any suggestions or changes are appreciated.

CPU : AMD Athlon 3800+ or 4000+ -- Not sure on this part yet, not sure if the 4000+ is worth the extra money. ($360-$375 for 3800+, $470-$490 for 4000+) Also, could you guys recommend a specific core for each cpu.

MOBO: Foxconn NF4K8MC-ERS Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ($89)

RAM: CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)VS1GBKIT400 - Retail ($74)

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST3160021A 160GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 ($80)

DVD: NEC ND-3520A ($50)

Video Card: Either a Geforce 6600 GT ($180) or Radeon X800xl ($280)

Also, i was wondering how big of a power supply am i gonna need to be safe with all this hardware?? Thank You.
June 1, 2005 1:34:31 PM

Okay, here are my thoughts:

1) If you're primarily using the system for gaming, and if none of your other tasks are CPU intensive, then you're probably better off getting a top-end graphics card and a middle-end CPU than the other way around.

2) I'm not sure if I'd trust Foxconn. A more reputable mobo manufacturer might save some future frustrations.

3) Your PSU requirements would probably best be served by looking at the suggestion for your graphics card made by the GPU manufacturer. (Note that I didn't necessarily say the graphics card manufacturer.) And if you go with a top-end CPU, you may want to bump up a little higher for that.

4) If you're going to go with value RAM (IE. be on the low-end of the performance scale) then you might as well look at the memory compatability list for your mobo and try to choose something that matches. It should still be about as cheap.

<pre><font color=orange><i>Jesters do oft prove prophets.</i> -Regan in
King Lear (Act V, Scene iii) by William Shakespear</font color=orange></pre><p>@ 189K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
June 1, 2005 1:45:17 PM

CPU - they say right now to go for the VENICE or SAN DIEGO
Newegg showing Venices like:
3000 $154
3200 $203
3800 $372

Newegg showing San Diego like:
3700 $338
4000 $489

I picked the San Diego 3700 -- but if I'm looking at budget, I'd probably pick the Venice 3200... HTH.

MOBO - I'd probably look at a different mobo - dfi, soltek, asus, msi

HDD - Go with a SATA drive instead of PATA/IDE...

VIDEO - My preference on the video would be the Radeon 800XL -- however, $100 bucks is a lot -- and I don't know what the cost vs performance comparisons are for those two... I know they say the 800XL is good cost for performance card.

PSU ... get you a good brand 430/450/480w - Antec, Thermaltake ... probably others. I look for quiet.
Related resources
June 1, 2005 2:38:28 PM

For the mobo go with DFI, EPOX or ASUS.

I'll get a bigger HD, look for the biggest HD that has a good dollar to gigabyte ratio, and then make a small partition for the system, and a bigger one for data.

CPU at least venice, but san diego would be nice (the main difference is that san diego has twice the L2 cache that venice has)

PSU the Fortron 500W bluestorm goes for about $90 at newegg. I have it and it gives me very accurate voltages.

Nothing is as easy as it looks
June 1, 2005 2:59:23 PM

Im thinking that your correct about the Graphics card. I am starting to think that the Graphics card is where the larger amount of cash should go for most users.

Intel P4 550(3.4)@<font color=green>5Ghz</font color=green>
Asus P5AD2-E-Premium
Crucial Ballistix DDR2 667@<font color=red>DDR2 800<font color=red> DDR2 855 using 3.73EE<font color=red>
TT 680W PSU
June 1, 2005 6:25:16 PM

Quote:
I am starting to think that the Graphics card is where the larger amount of cash should go for most users.

Since most users (whether they admit it or not) want to play games on their PC, this is probably pretty true. Around THGC however we get a lot of enthusiasts doing weird things with their PC, so it may not be as true here. :\ It'd be interesting to do a poll or something to see what the most CPU-intensive primary-concern task folks here do.

(IE if you care more about 3D rendering than games then it's 3D rendering. But if care more about MS Word than games, but still game on occasion, then it's games because MS Word doesn't use enough CPU resources to matter.)

<pre><font color=orange><i>Jesters do oft prove prophets.</i> -Regan in
King Lear (Act V, Scene iii) by William Shakespear</font color=orange></pre><p>@ 189K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
June 1, 2005 9:22:52 PM

Oh man!
I thought those holes were for improved airflow.

Nothing is as easy as it looks
June 2, 2005 12:13:19 AM

Hey guys, thanks for all your feedback. As for the CPU, i've decided to go with the less expensive 3800+ and in turn get the more expensive video card (the x800xl).

As for the HDD, i've replaced the IDE one with HITACHI Deskstar 7K250 14R9463 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB ATA150 ($87)

reguarding the MOBO, i've decided to now get the Foxconn NF4UK8AA-8EKRS Socket 939 nForce4 ($104) - i've looked at reviews and benchmarks and it seems that it performs well.

I forgot to mention... most likelely will not be doing any overclocking of the cpu and the video card.
How does this new configuration sound?
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jrm5084 on 06/01/05 09:05 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 2, 2005 12:19:42 AM

save a 200 bucks and get the 3500+, with that 200 bucks, get a better vid card, x850xt or x850xt pe. the extra 200 mhz that comes with the 3800+ does not outweight the benifits from the x850xt graphics wise


(plus, you can always OC!)

<font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
June 2, 2005 12:52:58 AM

Abit's A8N is a great board at a good price. The x800xl is , price /performance wise, the best. I would stay away from any hdd named deathstar. The value ram is cas3, get some samsung TCCC ram, it's cheeper, and cas2.5
June 2, 2005 4:24:37 AM

haha, deathstar ;D

<font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
June 2, 2005 3:01:42 PM

Why are you going with foxconn?
With the same or less money you can a better brand, as I said before you could get something from DFI, Epox or ASUS, with DFI and Epox being the two better choices. The people here is making suggestions based on reviews and what they've used (I have the Epox nforce4 ultra, and I had an ASUS) The DFI Lanparty nf4 ultra is as good, if not better than my board.
For the HD I personally only buy Seagate, Maxtor or Western Digital, I had always good experiences with them. I don't care if a HD is noisy my case has 6 fans + 2 PSU fans, so I buy a hard disk for it's reliability and those 3 have been good for me.

Nothing is as easy as it looks
!