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New comp project

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June 13, 2005 7:05:26 PM

I couldn't find a board for general questions, so I hope no one minds that I ask here for thoughts on a new system I'm planning on building. I've been doing a fair amount of research, but I'm definitely not going to make the purchases until those of you in the know give me a thumbs up about it.

To start, I'm looking to build a system mostly for gaming with a fair amount of upgradeability. I'm aiming to hit the "sweet spot" where components still perform extremely well but have dropped out of the "new" price-range. Overclocking isn't a big issue, as I don't have much experience with it at the moment. Mostly I want to spend under $1000 (aiming for more like 7-800) for a system that will hold me for a few years, but that I can also upgrade as I go (barring earth-shattering changes in technology). I was hoping someone could check over my picks and let me know if they're sound, or offer some suggestions.

What I'm thinking about currently is:

Mobo: DFI Lanparty Nforce4 Ultra. I want a 939 Pci-express mobo for said upgradeability reasons, and I've read that this one is one of the best out there.

Cpu: Amd Athlon 64 3200+ or 3500+. Is the 3500+ worth the extra $100? I'm leaning toward the 3200+, but if the 3500's a sufficient upgrade I'd opt for it instead.

Graphics card: Geforce 6600 GT, PCI express.

RAM: 1 gig of something PC 3200 - whatever I can get for under $100, be it Corsair or Crucial, I'm not too picky here.

I was also wondering if someone could provide a suggestion for what size power supply I should look for? Would 400 watts be enough? This is my first time putting a comp together from the ground up, so is it much of an issue that the Lanparty uses 24-pin power connectors (I think I read that somewhere)?

I'm planning on moving my two HDs (a 30 and 60 gig I believe) from my old comp into this new one, as well as my DVDRW and CDRW drives. Is this likely to be a problem, what with the new hardware and all? I'm currently running Windows XP on both drives, though I only boot from the older one (the 30 gig) and am thinking about switching over to the 60 gig as my main booting HD as it has a clean (i.e uncluttered) version of windows on it.

I have a fairly decent grasp of computers, but as I said, this is new territory for me, so I'd really appreciate some input from the experts. If I think of any more questions I'll post em. Thanks much everyone.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ajvessey on 06/13/05 03:19 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : comp project

June 13, 2005 7:09:25 PM

An Athlon XP won't fit in your board (wrong socket).
Try an Athlon 64 3200+ (Venice or San Diego core).
The rest is fair enough for gaming.

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<font color=blue>Why am I under the impression that I am not under any?</font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 7:12:15 PM

Woops, yeah, my CPU section was in reference to Athlon 64's not XP's.. I had a bit of a brainfart there - work'll do that to you.
Related resources
June 13, 2005 7:16:33 PM

I hear ya! :wink:

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<font color=blue>Why am I under the impression that I am not under any?</font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 7:23:49 PM

Read the FAQs in the power supply forum and some of the threads so you can decide on the power supply. Buy a good one and you'll have no problems a Fortron bluestorm 500W will do the trick. That PSU costs around $90 at newegg.com

<font color=blue>If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong first will be the one that will do the most possible damage</font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 7:27:05 PM

Maybe I'm weird, but I'd get a new HD were I you. Were it me, the performance of the old drives would bug me, often without me even realizing that's what the occasional slow performance was coming from. So I'd just get a spiffy new HD and if I kept the old ones at all, they'd just be there for extra storage, not as a primary drive. I mean it'd be a shame to mar a nice new system with a slow hard drive.

<pre><font color=purple>The silence is golden, even if the PC is olden. Fanless P4C2.6 rocks.</font color=purple></pre><p>@ 190K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
June 13, 2005 7:35:32 PM

True true.. the only thing holding me back is convenience of having an old HD.. all your settings and files are there without the hassel of transfering things (and inevitably forgetting something you wanted). The lure of performance is too tempting though - I'll just try to hook them up as slaves to transfer data or use DVDS. Thanks.
June 13, 2005 8:48:30 PM

Also an old drive may be getting close to the end of its life and its warranty, so I wouldn't trust it with important data.
If I were you I'd use the old drive to rip DVD's, or I'd buy an enclosure and use it as an external drive to transfer big files without having to burn CDs or DVDs.

<font color=blue>If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong first will be the one that will do the most possible damage</font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 8:51:46 PM

If that 60Gb drive of yours is fairly recent (7200 rpm, at least 2Mb buffer), there's no use buying another one if you're no power user. Only benefit of a recent HDD is faster load time. If you can live with a 10 seconds longer boot time or a 2 seconds longer game loading time, don't bother with a new HDD. I suggest a fresh Windows install, though.

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<font color=blue>Why am I under the impression that I am not under any?</font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 9:03:08 PM

Also...depending...you may not be able to keep your version of Windows with this new board. I mean, it may boot to a blue screen. If it fails you can attempt to run the repair on it, but i've yet to run more then 1 repair that worked. Starting from scratch (ie reinstalling the OS...not overinstalling or using the previous install...)is typically the best option when installing a new mobo and cpu. Having the wrong drivers in is often the cause of all kinds of performance issues (ie, leftover drivers from a different chipset; graphics card; etc).

It's certainly posible to get a new board to work with an install of an os that was built originally on a different set of hardware; just thought i would warn you that it might not work, so you aren't blind-sided.

F@H:
AMD: [64 3000+][2500+][2000+ down][1.3x2][366]
Intel: [X 3.0x3][P4 3.0x2][P4 2.4x5 down][P4 1.4]

"...and i'm not gay" RX8 -Greatest Quote of ALL Time
June 13, 2005 9:14:53 PM

So just getting a new HD for the comp, then installing freshly installing windows on it and working from there by installing new drivers and whatnot would be a safer way? Is that what most people usually do? I'm somewhat confused here, as you can't have the drivers and stuff installed on the comp unless you've booted it, so what happens the first time you boot up a new system?

Also, how does:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
EPoX EP-9NPAJ ATX AMD Motherboard, compare to the DFI lanparty? I wouldn't mind saving the $50 since it has all the features I want, and I've heard nothing but praise for EPoX products.
June 13, 2005 9:30:53 PM

Epox is good.

<font color=blue>If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong first will be the one that will do the most possible damage</font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 10:03:21 PM

You can use an old hd or a new one...When you install the OS, an option you have when you begin the install is to format the drive. After formatting the drive, then you're clear to go. Formatting of course wipes everything on the drive, so you'd want to back-up everything (email, personal files, favorites, etc).

Quote:
I'm somewhat confused here, as you can't have the drivers and stuff installed on the comp unless you've booted it, so what happens the first time you boot up a new system?

Answer: What wusy said! It installs a set of drivers for everything it recognizes (which is almost everything typically). There are a few things it won't recognize, but in all likelyhood it'll recognize whatever you have to an extent. You'll want to do all your Windows Updates (takes 3-4x going back to windows update and rebooting to get them all). Don't get the drivers from Windows Update, just ignore those. If you get the nvidia 6600 gt for instance, you'll go to <A HREF="http://www.nvidia.com" target="_new">nvidia.com</A> and download the driver updates. You'll also want to get your chipset drivers, which are also available from <A HREF="http://www.nvidia.com" target="_new">nvidia.com</A>. Then you're pretty much set. I would also recommend (if you've already done this before...) flashing the bios to the latest, non-beta, version.

Yea epox is a solid board company too. DFI is the best OC'n board for AMD right now, which is why it gets the premium price.

F@H:
AMD: [64 3000+][2500+][2000+ down][1.3x2][366]
Intel: [X 3.0x3][P4 3.0x2][P4 2.4x5 down][P4 1.4]

"...and i'm not gay" RX8 -Greatest Quote of ALL Time
June 13, 2005 10:18:20 PM

Quote:
I'm planning on moving my two HDs (a 30 and 60 gig I believe) from my old comp into this new one, as well as my...

I know this has already been touched on, just wanted to throw my 2 cents in.
I moved a working HD over to another system and tried booting. While it worked (somewhat) it gave me one problem after another. Eventually I had to re-format anyways.

I find installing that clean OS every now and then avoids a TON of headaches. Back up all your important data often, then whether you're getting new MB and such or you just have some life ending problem with your current install, you won't have any problems. I love that new computer smell. ;) 
A fresh OS install can often make your computer life so much more relaxed.


<font color=blue> Failure is not an option -- it comes bundled with Windows. </font color=blue>
June 13, 2005 11:08:09 PM

Aye, both HD's are 7200 rpm I believe (first one came with comp, so about 3 years old, other one is maybe a year and a half?).. I think I'm going to do exactly what you guys suggested re: backing up worthwhile stuff and reformatting, then using the 60 gig as a primary HD for the new system. Sounds like it's the easiest way to avoid some serious headaches. Thanks a ton guys, I really appreciate all the info you've given!
June 14, 2005 12:45:48 AM

I'm not sure about your ethernet adapter picking up with the windows install. Use the CD for your chipset to get access to the net.

Also this is a very important note if you have little experence with a fresh OS install. As soon as you get windows running, it would be a great idea to install A-squared for anti-mal/spyware. It stays running all the time and catches 99% of junk that I dont know is there untill I do a scan with Ad-aware or another anti-spy/malware program. It has a 30 day free trial and it gives you a code in your email to start it up. Its worth the buy IMO. (*caugh unless you know some one with a code you can use *caugh)

<A HREF="http://www.hijackfree.com/en/" target="_new"> Linky for A-squared </A>




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