My first build - Pls Rate this Rig!!

This is my first home build, so let me know if you see anything overly complicated I might not be aware of.

My "bargain" gaming rig:

Considering 2 different cpu+mobo bundles (I think I am going to chicken out and let them assemble it for 9 bucks rather than risk screwing it up)
from Mwave
Duron 1200 $83 Or Athlon XP 1600+ $129
Epox 8KHAL (KT266A chipset) $79

from Newegg
512mb PC2100 DDR ram from Kingston $135
52X Sony CD or Lite-on 24/10/40 CDRW* $30 or $80
20 gig 7200 HD Maxtor DiamondMax Plus $69
Gainward GF3 Ti200 $151
Maxtop "Cool Case" 300W PSU and 2 additional case fans $45
10/100 network card $10
some floppy drive and 56k modem, as a backup to my cable ~$25 for both

My needs are 3D game performance, stability and price. I probably won't OC anytime soon, but don't want to rule it out in the future.

1. OEM or Retail on the above stuff? Do I need the manuals to help me with the finer points of installation?
2. Duron 1200 or XP1600+ ? Would I notice the difference in performance and be worth the extra $$$?
3. Do you think the slower 40X read speed of the CDRW is noticeable (vs the 52x)? I don't burn CDs so if its noticable I'll get the 52x.
4. Know any good guides on pc building?
3. And of course...

Comments/suggestions/flames overall for this rig are all welcome.


A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
-Anonymous Veteran
12 answers Last reply
More about build rate
  1. Well, your choice of vendors is good. I trust new eggs products.

    Sad your going with AMD, but since you are. go with the XP
    Get PC2400 or PC2700 DDR for best performance and stability
    Double on HD space, Maxtor ATA133 40GB is like 83 bucks.
    Any GF3 Ti200 is ok in the 150~160 price range

    buy an extra 80mm case fan or 2 and set them up so one pulls form front and pushes air out back or the reverse. chances are your PSU pushes air out already so you prob can set 2 pushing in.

    If you can afford the CDRW, go for it. you will not notice the diff in speed. and the ability to write CD's can come in handy at times.

    Keep all cables clear from blocking air. keep all cables clear from over motherboard, CPU, memory and PCI cards. route them to the side and tuck them away if possible.
  2. 1) You don't need a manual, since you are not going build it by yourself. Buy OEM to save a few bucks
    2) Get the 1600+ for game
    3) I don't think it will be noticeable. Coz the number are for the MAX speed. But are you sure you won't burn CD? I think you will use it when u have the writer. But if you are 100% sure u won't burn any Cd, get the 52X to save $50.
  3. 1. Buy OEM and a reputable HSF if you intend to overclock.
    2. I'd get AXP 1600+.
    3. No.
    I agreed with <b><i>Fugger</b></i>, you should get at least 40G HD.

    :smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
  4. Go with the XP and burner, you'll be glad you did.

    Don't both with PC2400 or PC2700, since you won't notice any difference unless you overclock.

    And agreed, get a bigger hard drive. ATA133 is pointless, so don't spend extra just to get that.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  5. 1- OEM is fine, in fact Mwave usually gives you retail motherboards anyway with manual, just the chip is OEM. You may think about getting a higher quality motherboard. I would not pay em 9$ to test the cpu but thats yer call!

    2- Unless you are poor, XP1600+ certainly!!!

    3- You wont notice any diff between 40 and 52x as long as you get a quality drive! I would NOT go with the Liteon, get something a little better, even the Sony 24x (reviews are not that great but I have one and it seems fine, got mine for 90$ from newegg no less, and they just came back in stock!)

    4- No, but its cake, the motherboard manual has a brief setup for the board part at least, and you can always ask here =)

    5- I would certainly go with a larger drive, but if you do or not STICK WITH 7200RPM!!! The Ti200 cards are weak compared to Ti500, but thats a budget question I guess. You didnt mention NIC brand, if you are using it for more then cable you may want to get a ncie one, I notice a diff on my network at home on machines with cheap NICS the traffic is slower, but since cabbe is only 10bt it wont matter if thats all yer doing.

    Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
    I am impressed that you only made one negative comment on the AMD chip and moved on and gave advice on what he wanted.
    Good job!

    Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
  7. Cool thanks all.

    So we like the XP and the cd burner. Board and mem seem ok by most people, although Kief any problems with that board that you know of? And yes the nic is just for cable.

    Question for all: Why the bigger HD? I agree 7200 all the way =) but my current 10 gig is maybe half full. Is there a performance advantage to having lots of free space? I frequently defrag if that's the issue.

    Thanks again all!

    A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
    -Anonymous Veteran
  8. The reason why I suggested better ram is to use more agressive ram timing vs overclocking.

    You get a decent/noticable boost with best ram timing.

    Even tho your mobo doesnt support ata133 the drive still performs very nicely, 2mb cache too. its a good choice for under $85

    Side note about Maxtor drives

    There is "liquid berring" drives available, they cost a little more and they are very quiet. I have found these incompatable with ATA RAID. but they work fine in single drive scenario. The way you can tell the Liquid berring is in the part number <A HREF="" target="_new">D740X is the 7200RPM ata133 model</A>, and ending part number L2 for liquid, J2 is for regular.

    I wish this info was posted on the net before I tried to diagnose a L2 drive that was paired with a J2 drive.
  9. I do not know of any problems with that specific board, although I have had problems with a couple other boards by Epox. If noone else can comment on that specific board then go for it. I myself stick with Tyan, Abit (raid models for my machines that dont have scsi raid controllers) and Asus. If the 20 gig is big enough for you then thats fine, although you can have moe room to grow (ESP if you start to download music and video on that fast cable connection). I usually stick with IBM drives, but the Maxtors seem alot better nowadays then they were a few years ago!

    Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
  10. I think its more efficient to get a larger HDD up to a point, it costs around $75 total for a 20GB 7200 RPM drive, and around $95 for a 40GB drive it would be cheaper to get one larger drive now because hard drives dont depreciate like CPU's. And trust me, you can never have too much hard drive space with windows virtual memory =)
  11. Yeah whats up with Windows memory management? I distinctly remember in school trying to play Warcraft on my friends Mac and it was running poorly but should have had enough memory to run it. I kept hearing the HD cranking so I decided to turn off virtual memory to force it to use the RAM (SIMMS back then I believe) and wow what an improvement!!

    I tried that on my pc (a while later - win 98) and most progs wouldnt even run, even if I had about triple the required mem.

    A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
    -Anonymous Veteran <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by endless_n00b on 01/31/02 09:18 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  12. I'm probably late in the game, but if I may voice my opinions on a couple of things. I've built 4 systems using the IWill XP333 mobo with the Ali chipset, a Duron 1.2 and PC2100 DDR with heat spreaders. Install Windows 2000 with service pack 2 and also as a CD reader, the Pioneer DVD 16X and the Plextor 16/10/40 CDRW. I got the parts, including a nice Enermax can 300w PS, Nvidia 32MB Geforce video, 60GB IBM Drive...sorry for the break in sentence structure....I got the parts for roughly $800. Doing burn-in processes, Quake benchmarks, and several other grulling tasks it was rock stable without so much as a "hickup". Just my opinion..have fun!
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