building with AMD

I am considering building my own Athlon based system because of my lack of success finding a vendor who will build me a system without an OS pre-installed (anyone know of any, BTW?) However, I am more than a bit hesitant as it will be my first system build, and I have read the difficulties folks have had with the Athlon, such as installing the heatsink and fan, overall cooling issues, hardware compatibility issues, etc etc. Am I over-reacting, or are these legitimate worries for a first time builder using an Athlon 1 GHZ+ CPU?


"It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear."
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  1. I think people seriously over react with the heat issue. Sure, if there isn't a heatsink on there it will fry in 2 seconds. But, if you have a heatsink on there and your not overclocking it should work. However, the better the Heatsink is mounted the better.

    I mean, the only way to completely destroy your computer because of a heat problem is if you don't have a heatsink at all, or you're REALLY badly hand-eye coordinated (I mean a spread-the-butter-all-over-your-watch-when-your-trying-to-butter-your-toast bad.) So that's not a problem.

    Also compatibility issues have been virtually vaporized with the newest Motherboards and CPUs.

    Also for a company that makes computers without OS's installed.. Mine does! Unfortunately our website isn't up yet =*(
  2. I am an experienced PC builder, and I am also on the market for a new Thunderbird system. To eliminate heatsink woes, I have decided to pay a few extra bucks (actually under 30, price of a good HS/Fan combo) and buy a RETAIL boxed Thunderbird. It includes a 3 year AMD warranty (OEM parts usually come with 30 days to 1 year and hold no warranty with AMD) You could get a better cooler for the money, however, there is no thermal protection built into AMD Tbird CPU's and an improper installation could burn up the chip and leave you at the mercy of your vendor's warranty (which may not apply in this case).

    Some other considerations buying an AMD system:

    -Make SURE your power supply and memory are AMD approved (check their website to be sure) and of good quality. I have seen some vendors sell cases that are AMD approved with a power supply that is not. Be careful. Antec makes exellent cases w/ AMD approved power supplies that will cost between 75-120 dollars w/ shipping. Mushkin, Corsair, and Micron/Crucial are all good memory brands that work with AMD - go PC133 for future headroom, PC100 if you are on a budget is fine also.

    -Motherboard choice is critital, do not skimp. A lot of people like the Asus A7V or Abit KT7. I am going with the MSI-Microstar KT7 Pro2A. <based on stability, performance, and price per newsgroup reading/web reviews versus the other two>

    -Hardware compatibility problems exist with equal frequency in Intel/AMD based systems and are usually due to cheap peripherals or poor driver support, NOT the CPU. A big reason motherboard choice is critical in any system. Stick to brand names and do a bit of research if you are not sure about a particular product.

    I suggest you assemble a list of the components you want to use and post it on here somewhere, see what suggestions people have. I also suggest you run the name of the supplier(s) you intend to use in the newsgroups and see if people know of them. I REALLY like for most components and have ordered from them often. They are not always the cheapest, but manage to stay close and charge reasonably for shipping.

    Good news, btw, I just noted that there was a price cut on AMD chips, saw OEM 1-ghz Tbirds for UNDER 200 bucks for OEM models (226 was lowest on Retail)

    Good luck!
  3. Try . in thier custom configurator OS is just an option. You can even have it shipped as parts.
  4. It's so easy now-a-days to build a computer... no more jumpers or dip switches (for the most part). No more configuring the BIOS for hours, etc. Just make sure you ground yourself (so you don't blow out the memory, CPU, etc.) and follow instructions.

    -MP Jesse
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