Rate this setup please

We had a break-in and some loser is now enjoying my newly-built system.

On the brighter-side, the insurance company is now paying me to build another one. :) So, here is what I'm thinking. (Btw, most common application is Everquest.)

Athlon XP 1800+
Soyo Dragon +
512MB (2x256) Crucial pc2100 DDR
Evercase E4252
Enermax 350W
Maxtor 7200rpm 40GB HDD
SB Audigy XGamer
Gainward GeForce 3 Ti200 128MB
TDK 32x Velocd CDRW
Sony Floppy Drive
Generic Keyboard
MS Optical Intellimouse
Midiland 4060M Speakers

What do you think? Are there any obvious mistakes I'm making? Is there an upgrade that wouldn't cost too much over this setup that will noticeably improve my performance?

15 answers Last reply
More about rate setup please
  1. Case Fans, Case Fans, and more Case Fans.
    ohh yes and a good heatsink. :smile:

    <font color=blue><b> cyprus </b></font color=blue>

    "Never mistake motion for action. "
    - Ernest Hemingway
  2. Looks fine except for the sound card. I'd recommend a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz over the Audigy.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  3. Or even the on-board sound. I'm using it for everything and I'm very satisfied. Give it a try, if you dont like it, you can always upgrade to another one.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  4. Ah yes, the 6-channel C-media chip. Forgot about that.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  5. Good ideas. Ok, so I've scratched the Audigy for now, and switched the cpu to oem and chose a Volcano 6+ heatsink/fan. I also added an additional Enermax 8cm fan. I may add more fans later, but I'm going to see what temps I get with this setup first.

    Looks like this is all going to be just a bit over $1000. Not bad.

    Any other ideas?
  6. Why'd you switch to an OEM chip? If you're not overclocking, the retail heatsink will be fine, and not nearly as loud.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  7. My Dragon+ and XP1700+ retail run with the stock heat sink and fan between 38-42 degree centigrade. Just be sure to have good case ventilation and you should be fine.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  8. go to www.plycon.com and grab yourself a good heatsink, such as the Zalmon CNPS 5000+

    Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
  9. Overall a good setup..One thing I read on the CDRW is they are about to go beyond 40X but the faster it gets the less response you have. Example my 24/10/40 TDK averages a burn around 22X and the 32X TDK averages 27X .....I know the 24X I have rocks so I thought I'd share that with you first. Just weigh price difference because the 24X is truly PERFECT, fast and I didn't even have a buffer underun with *cough* MS games coupled with the right setup.

    1800+ greatest value for the buck right now..156.00 is cheap.
    Soyo Dragon + I must differ only because of experience, don't get me wrong, I was first in line after the writeup by Tom's HW...I replaced a MSI K7T266 Pro 2 board because I thought based on testing it would be better. I found it needed with XP Pro a bios flash before installing the os...pain in the ass....oh, the first board was no post. It was funny with graphics and off all things monitor, graphics, motherboard ....I rma'd a graphics card GF3 TI500 thinking it was that, changed to ATI 8500, then lastly to the monitors. Then after going through all the upper end apature grille monitors I resigned myself to thinking it was XP and good drivers for plug n play monitors. Stayed with the Sony TN Multiscan G400 but still I'd have some flicker at all refresh rates...
    Being that I do all custom higher end pc's I HAD to figure out what it was. On the bench it tested out that the voltage wasn't regulated to the PCI and AGP slots....chipset problem. Downloaded latest greatest 4 in 1's AND even optional AGP enhancing driver. I was in the distribution dealer picking up another mobo just out and I'd heard (of late) unusual RMA rates on the Asus boards but the guy wanted one so I plunked down the $165.00 and vs. the Soyo at $123.00 at the time it seemed I thought to be a better deal with the SOYO....Then I read another article of a no boot, incorrect graphics settings, and a few other things I had in common with the Soyo people. I called Soyo in New Jersey and got the run around with XP.....needed updated bios.

    Anyway, in short I built the A7M266e, was elated to find XP drivers on the cd.....even had forgotten the cool bios updater utility which makes a flash simple as long as you realize the utility won't go backward, only newer bios....so I did save the old ones. Bumped to Germany bios....booted to optimum memory settings, etc. Stable, no problems....delivered never to hear a peep out of him, totally satisfied. Did 5 more since Xmas and guess what, 2 were for me..and my son. My son is a gamer, every game you could choak most computers do not only fine but work perfectly on his TI-200 and a 1600+ chip AND GET THIS HIS MAXTOR ATA133 has a UDMA of 6 as mine does. The Soyo is sitting here, don't wanna sell it...it has been just delivered after another RMA. I'll put it in a computer and it is unopened and brand new...unfortunately I can only get MSI or Soyo from TCWO so I just keep going with the ASUStek.

    Read the latest news.....I'm a distributor of chips for AMD and read the latest award for most stable mobo on a AMD XP chip is the Asus A7V266e! So you can gather my vote here goes definitely to Asus

    DDR, good using two 256's....
    Evercase :o)
    Enermax 350W great
    Maxtor 7200 rpm 40 HDD Quote me on this......DON'T BUY OVER THE COUNTER, buy OEM as you get Quantum Fireball 40 and with the OEM I get Maxtor. Yes, the outside box will have Maxtor but inside is a Quantum along with a note. Go to www.tcwo.com and read the OEM model number....Mine is a 60 ATA133 and 7200rpm, thought I was getting ATA100 but was very pleased to find TCWO was going the price lower than BEST BUY, ETC...on OEM 3yr warranty Maxtor newest line Diamondmax. Check Maxtor web site and cross reference the drive as there are SO many variences.

    FLOPPY, Sony? If more than say $14 bucks great but floppy drives serve little purpose in fact I don't even have mine engage at boot up and rarely use it so I just get the ole' reliable brand that is available. There is no performance or optimizing floppy drives...
    Generic keyboard.....I use them...but if you can by all means TRY before you buy. Try them in the store, avoid online unless a better keyboard. The key stroke/noise/feel of a generic is so widely different.

    SB Audigy Gamer, great but if you go Soyo it comes with a NEAT hardware based onboard sound. Personally I have the Audigy and love it..lately there have been some complaints to creative regarding card problems, some people even go to the extreme of putting a NIC card or Soundblaster Live in with the Audigy however I've had no problems at all. I only used drivers though, maybe that has something to do with it.
    MS Intellimouse....love mine

    No experience with the speakers...I have had these Klipsch 2.1's so long I don't even read up on speakers.

    Biased, sure I am, I live to build a solid computer that doesn't lock or give a dump with no hope for saving the data. I noticed no DVD? Toshiba makes a great compliment to what you are going with....makes burn on the fly fine from my use never the typical underrun problems.

    Whatever you do, you are on track for the most part to have a good time building your pc. That is the best part....a little pause though the first few seconds of the very first cycle after post....then ENJOY!

    Dealers I like and do business who will do with or without tax ID. Checkout:
    TC computers "good" a little too diverse
    www.tcwo.com quite inexpensive and are great, great people, fast, prompt and carry most of what you want. CHEAP shipping too
    Egghead.com incidentals and sometimes a break on

    That should be enough...there are many, many great ones and some terrible ones who on RMA's are snot, these 3 are pretty easy and RMA is not terrible.

    Typhoon CPCC....Custom PC Corp. See, no URL spam :o)
  10. that Thermaltake 6CU+ with 7,000rpm is great and not noisey..I don't like the little fans....sometimes just as loud. Believe me the Retail Box fan is adequate but my belief is COOL, COOL COOL, all components last longer. Bring in fresh air.....exhause out the hot air..by the way, consider a $7.00 slot fan under the graphics card, removes quite a bit.

  11. Looks cool but 1 comment...the Visiontek Xstasy 6964 model agp outperformed the Gainward 128M model according to an article on this website
  12. that 128mb video card doesn't do any better than the 64mb version so it's just waste of ram/money and they did it to sell more to people who got no clue and into high numbers. for real, don't waste money on that one

    <font color=red>Handsome A7V133 looking for long term relationship with a XP CPU. Prefer non smoker.</font color=red>
  13. dude, your post was way to short !

    Trying is the first step to failure
  14. Great stuff here, thanks Bob.

    A few things...

    I'll be running WinXP Home.

    The last two comps I built, I used Asus (A7v133 and A7v266-e). After reading Tom's article, I thought I would give the Dragon+ a try. There is not much of a price difference now, unless you consider that if I go with ASUS i'm going to need to buy a sound card. Am I taking a risk using SOYO instead of ASUS?

    After checking prices on the TDK CDRWs, there is very little price difference between the different speeds (24x, 32x, 40x). I'll probably just pick up whichever speed is available at around $150. I don't do a lot of burning.

    The HDD is oem so it should be a Maxtor.

    The sony floppy is just $9. I figured any one would do fine.

    The DVD I'm leaving out for now. I'm not sure I see the usefulness of it on a desktop. More importantly, my wife doesn't see the usefulness of it. <g>

    I used the retail heatsink/fan combo on my last comp, which had the 1600+ chip in it, and it was somewhat loud. Also, I was seeing temps of 60oC after a few hours of EverQuest. I'm sure a lot of that had to do with the case, but I'm thinking a better heatsink/fan would help.

    I'm planning on buying almost everything from newegg.com. I compared prices with tcwo.com and newegg seemed to be a bit lower. Plus, they have more of what I'm looking for and I've heard nothing but positives about their service.

    I guess the biggest question at this point is whether to go with the ASUS A7V266-e and an Audigy sound card or the SOYO Dragon+ and use the integrated sound.
  15. I'm going with the 128MB RAM on the Gainward Ti200 because Everquest will now bring almost any machine to its knees and for only $25 more I figure an extra 64MB of RAM can't hurt. I have read that it doesn't make much difference but I'm willing to spend a little extra here.
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