New PC - All ordered but video card!

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NAiLs
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New PC - All ordered but video card!

Post by NAiLs » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:46 pm

**NEW, UPDATED POST*
Click here to go down to the new post.
http://forums.legitreviews.com/viewtopi ... 4562#34562






**Old information**

I've got a friend who would like a system built in the next week or two, and I'm not so up-to-date on some of the latest hardware.

He has a budget of $2200, or somewhere around that.

He does do 3DSM work from time to time and loves playing games. I saw that article on the 7900GT and how it will perform just as well as the 7800GTX, so I'm thinking of picking one of those up for him when available.

I was also thinking that he loves to play games and the 3DSM work, that an X2 would be sexy in that machine. What one, I'm undecided.

I would obviously need to get a decent motherboard with it. Something possibly with SATA2 support.

HDD wise, a nice fast drive (10,000RPM) for the OS and games, and another general storage drive on an IDE channel.

RAM wise, 2GB minimum. I'm not sure what all works with the X2 for best performance?

I have no clue what case is good out there. Right now we're gonna do air cooling, but he was thinking of investing into watercooling either right away or down the road. The case can have a door, doesn't need a window. If it has a door, I don't want one of those crappy plastic doors w/ a plastic hinge.


Any tips are appreciated!

-Brian
Last edited by NAiLs on Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:02 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: New PC - Need Advice

Post by wuzy » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:54 am

NAiLs wrote:I've got a friend who would like a system built in the next week or two, and I'm not so up-to-date on some of the latest hardware.

He has a budget of $2200, or somewhere around that.

He does do 3DSM work from time to time and loves playing games. I saw that article on the 7900GT and how it will perform just as well as the 7800GTX, so I'm thinking of picking one of those up for him when available.

I was also thinking that he loves to play games and the 3DSM work, that an X2 would be sexy in that machine. What one, I'm undecided.

I would obviously need to get a decent motherboard with it. Something possibly with SATA2 support.

HDD wise, a nice fast drive (10,000RPM) for the OS and games, and another general storage drive on an IDE channel.

RAM wise, 2GB minimum. I'm not sure what all works with the X2 for best performance?

I have no clue what case is good out there. Right now we're gonna do air cooling, but he was thinking of investing into watercooling either right away or down the road. The case can have a door, doesn't need a window. If it has a door, I don't want one of those crappy plastic doors w/ a plastic hinge.


Any tips are appreciated!

-Brian
Unless SLi is intended then X1800XL would currently be the best performance/dollar for high-end cards. Any card that's over $500 would be considered overpriced e.g. 7800GTX 512MB/X1900XT
Also X1900XL are comming our soon so that should raise the performance bar for hi-end performance/dollar.

Does 3DSM make use of multi threads? But I suppose if 3DSM is rendering something then multithreading would come into play when playing game at the same time.

EPoX 9NPA+ SLI/Ultra, Abit AN8 Ultra/SLI, ASUS A8N-SLI Premium or DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert. Take your pick on which one fits your budget.
They all have roughly the equivilent OC potential+reliability with the expcetion of DFi being even higher.

OS+Game+App shouldn't take up more than 40GB so a 74GB WD Raptor should be fine. As for storage, go for the best 7200RPM GB/$ which is currently 250GB Seagate 7200.8
Both HDDs comes with a 5yr warranty so reliability isn't a issue as long as the drives are well ventilated.

Any 2x1GB DDR400 that does 2-3-2-x 1T will do. They're ALL using the same Infineon chip afterall.

Are you looking for a mid-tower or full tower case? Aluminium?

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Re: New PC - Need Advice

Post by NAiLs » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:45 am

wuzy wrote: Unless SLi is intended then X1800XL would currently be the best performance/dollar for high-end cards. Any card that's over $500 would be considered overpriced e.g. 7800GTX 512MB/X1900XT
Also X1900XL are comming our soon so that should raise the performance bar for hi-end performance/dollar.
I don't really care for those 1800 series cards. They had horrible numbers out there and I don't really plan on buying one for myself or anyone. The 1900 is a possibility, but I want to see how it compares to the 7900 GT.
Does 3DSM make use of multi threads? But I suppose if 3DSM is rendering something then multithreading would come into play when playing game at the same time.
I don't think it takes advantage of multi-threading, but yeah, you hit it on the head as to why an X2 would be nice.
EPoX 9NPA+ SLI/Ultra, Abit AN8 Ultra/SLI, ASUS A8N-SLI Premium or DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert. Take your pick on which one fits your budget.
They all have roughly the equivilent OC potential+reliability with the expcetion of DFi being even higher.
I never really cared for that ASUS A8N board once I personally saw 5 of those boards fail... and only by 3 people. I'll take a look into those other boards though!
OS+Game+App shouldn't take up more than 40GB so a 74GB WD Raptor should be fine. As for storage, go for the best 7200RPM GB/$ which is currently 250GB Seagate 7200.8
Both HDDs comes with a 5yr warranty so reliability isn't a issue as long as the drives are well ventilated.
Kinda what I was thinking. He may even have a spare drive laying around that I bought him a year or two ago... no clue if he used that yet or not?
Any 2x1GB DDR400 that does 2-3-2-x 1T will do. They're ALL using the same Infineon chip afterall.
I don't really mind what manufacturer, so long as I am familiar with them, but don't really care for any "Value" series RAM. Any idea on manufacturers or if a faster speed RAM can be used? Like PC4000 instead of 3200 as recommended.
Are you looking for a mid-tower or full tower case? Aluminium?
I personally like full tower cases, but I'll double check with him. A full tower case will allow for eaiser watercooling installation anyway.


Thanks for the input so far!
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Post by Apoptosis » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:29 am

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+/4600+ processor
ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard
ATI X1900XT 512MB PCI Express Video Card
2GB of Low Latency DDR1 Memory (Kingston, Corsair, Crucial, OCZ whatever company you like)

The ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 should be the fastest chipset for the socket 939 platform. Since we are moving to the Socket AM2 platform this summer why not get the latest and greatest?

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Post by NAiLs » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:39 am

Apoptosis wrote:AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+/4600+ processor
ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard
ATI X1900XT 512MB PCI Express Video Card
2GB of Low Latency DDR1 Memory (Kingston, Corsair, Crucial, OCZ whatever company you like)

The ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 should be the fastest chipset for the socket 939 platform. Since we are moving to the Socket AM2 platform this summer why not get the latest and greatest?
I was thinking of the 4400+ to be honest. It just came to mind a lot.

Any idea on the number difference of the 7900 GT and the 1900XT? He would like some of the better hardware, just doesn't need to spend a million bucks on a video card.

Regarding memory, what speed is do-able?
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Post by Black Mesa Scientist » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:18 pm

Buy some Corsair XMS at let's say 2-3-2-6 for 250 bucks, I think you're fine then. It's the 3200LLPT kit.

And the X1900XTX is the fastest I think.
Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2300MHZ =3650+ Stock Voltage
eVGA GF6800GS 485/1200.
2x512 Corsair XMS 3200LLPT
AsRock 939-Dualsata2
Sweex 400WATT 18amps
Dual layer DVD-RW
2x80GB seagate Barracuda!!!!



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Post by Apoptosis » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:19 pm

The X1900XT is out and the 7900GT is not out... If you are building a system today I can tell you what to do, but tossing in unreleased hardware makes things rough.

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Post by Black Mesa Scientist » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:23 pm

I guess he has to take the X1900 Then Right?
Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2300MHZ =3650+ Stock Voltage
eVGA GF6800GS 485/1200.
2x512 Corsair XMS 3200LLPT
AsRock 939-Dualsata2
Sweex 400WATT 18amps
Dual layer DVD-RW
2x80GB seagate Barracuda!!!!



Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!

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Post by Kerii » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:38 pm

Why exactly did he want watercooling? Overclocking or noise issues?

If it's noise, the X1800 cards' dual slot fans are really loud compared to the single and dual slot coolers on the 7800 cards. If you don't want to void the warranty on anything with a 3rd party fan it would be better to go with a 7800 card. If he's really considering water cooling down the line though, an X1800 or X1900 offer a little bit more bang for buck at the moment.
Image

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Post by Trevor » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:39 pm

G.SKILL Extreme Series 2GB $192
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231021

DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D $122.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813136152

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ $295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103562

eVGA 256-P2-N516 Geforce 7800GT CO SE $285 before rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130256

Thats $894 and will perform great, I have all those parts except the ram which I'm trying to get but my mother is being annoying about the credit card.

Right now my x2 3800+ is running at 4600+ speeds (2400mhz 240x10) at default voltage. I can goto 2600mhz with some more voltage but I need a better cooler than what came with it.
I can get to 2[/url]

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Post by NAiLs » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:45 pm

Apoptosis wrote:The X1900XT is out and the 7900GT is not out... If you are building a system today I can tell you what to do, but tossing in unreleased hardware makes things rough.
Video card is being purchased last. So he will wait for the 7900 GT to come out assuming it will be better than the 1900XT. I'm not sure on the timeframe of these cards coming out, which might just force me to buy a 1900XT if it is a couple months down the road yet.

Kerii, he is thinking about investing into water cooling. He hasn't said a definite yes or no to me though. Right now I'm figuring yes, water cooled.

Trevor, thanks! I can modify from there, but that gives me a great idea on some parts that are possible! :)

BMS, sweet! That might be the culprit!
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Post by wuzy » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:43 pm

The ASUS A8N SLI board you mentioned was Deluxe, the utter failure board. Premium fixed all that up nicely with a premium price.

The point of getting anything higher than PC3200(DDR400) is for the sole purpose of overclocking. So if he wants to overclock then he may consider getting a pair of Crucial Ballisitx 2x1GB PC4000.
They are expensive, but that's because they aren't using handpicked Infineons and has the potnetial to go even higher.

By the sound of processor options, your friend isn't considering overclocking is he? Otherwise you would've said Opty 165/170 :)

Have a look at Lian-Li V1x00s, they're midtower cases but almost matching space needed for fulltower. Or if he's got $500 odd buck to burn, he can't go wrong with Lian-Li V2000s or PC-7x. One of the few aluminium full tower case out there.

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Post by NAiLs » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:16 pm

Alright, here are some of the questions answered by him.

A. Yes, full tower.
B. Yes, Opteron because he's thinking of overclocking with my assistance. My question is, how does a 170 perform compared to a 4200+ X2?
C. Yes, probably watercool since he wants to overclock.
D. No, doesn't need the most expensive video card, but would like something nice, so the 1800's are out! :P He may bite the bullet and just go with the 1900XT(s) though.
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Post by wuzy » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:19 pm

NAiLs wrote:Alright, here are some of the questions answered by him.

A. Yes, full tower.
B. Yes, Opteron because he's thinking of overclocking with my assistance. My question is, how does a 170 perform compared to a 4200+ X2?
C. Yes, probably watercool since he wants to overclock.
D. No, doesn't need the most expensive video card, but would like something nice, so the 1800's are out! :P He may bite the bullet and just go with the 1900XT(s) though.
Well, that clears up quite a few things then.

-DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert[/n]
-Opteron(UP) 170 (overclocks slighly better than any other Opty in general)
-Corsair 2x1GB 3200LL or Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB PC4000 (depends on leftover budget)
-BBA X1900XT (if you can find it for $499 or under) otherwise 7800GTX 256MB will do.
-Just use the intergrated SoundStorm for nowand see how it goes
-Eaither one or two 74GB Raptor depending on budget then a ~250GB 7200RPM.
-Antec Trueblu 550W
-Lian-Li V2000 (should fit in budget hopefully)
-Either NEC 3540A or BenQ DW1640

That's about all really.

Oh, the realwold game loading time difference between two Raptors in RAID-0 vs. just one isn't that great. You only save around 5s at most in HDD intensive games like WoW.

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Post by krizby » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:13 pm

I agree with wuzy about CPU, Motherboard, PSU and Case but for other things:

_OCZ PC4000 and Mushkin 2GB Redline XP4000 are probably the two best 2x1024MB ram you can get.

_He could get an 7800GT from Evga and then use the step up program to 7900GT and it comes out (from specs it should perform better than an 7800GTX and highly overclockable), of course he's going to have to wait a week for shipping and stuff. And why not getting another 7900GT while waiting and and put them in SLI, performance should be way better than a single 1900XTX.

_Get an Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card, intergrated sound card
may cause games to be laggy (at least with single core CPU, not sure about dual core) but heck, X-fi gives way better sound quality.

_1x150GB 10K Raptor and maybe 1x 400GB Caviar SE if he needs lots of space.

_Antec PSU seems to be compatibility problem with SLI, if he indeed plans to use SLI then choose other brand like the Hiper Type-R 580W Modular Power Supply.

_Nec 3550A, i don't know the different with that and 3540A but the bigger the number the better :D.

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Post by kenc51 » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:08 pm

wuzy wrote:The ASUS A8N SLI board you mentioned was Deluxe, the utter failure board. Premium fixed all that up nicely with a premium price.

The point of getting anything higher than PC3200(DDR400) is for the sole purpose of overclocking. So if he wants to overclock then he may consider getting a pair of Crucial Ballisitx 2x1GB PC4000.
They are expensive, but that's because they aren't using handpicked Infineons and has the potnetial to go even higher.
The Crucial ram is using Micron IC's. Crucial is a division of Micron!
Not ALL 2GB sticks use Innfineon IC's! There are also alot of Sticks with Samsung UCCC sticks. Plus there are 3 grades of Innineon IC's => BE5 & CE5 & CE6. BE5 is lower grade, CE5 can go low latency but not too high in MHz and CE6 can OC upto ~280 with nice timings, but most find 3d stable is alot lower than 2d.


NAiLs --> You can also get 2GB G.Skill HZ series ram and save some money....It's a DDR500 and can hit DDR540 and some get higher...Link
Also OCZ has their Gold XTC series 2GB DDR500 which is basically the same as the G.Skill but with flashy heatspreaders Link
The OCZ doesn't clock as high as the g.skill....but your still good for ddr500 (250MHz)
OCZ have also just announced a new kit -> Link -> but I suspect they are made with low grade Micron chips which normally would have been used in Crucials Ballistix ram.

DDR500 is only for overclocking but isn't essential if you want to overclock.......

The two ram kits krizby mentioned in the last post are the BEST available kits, but are uber expensive and the benefits are not worth it IMO.

Out of the motherboards mentioned, I'd get the ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard as Apop suggested or the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe.
The DFI Expert is a very tricky board to use/abuse.....I've got one and it can be a real pain to get stable.
Since your friend is new to this, go with Asus....They are rock stable, just as fast as DFI and still give you all the options you need to OC. (all those extra options in the DFI Bios??? => Asus have the BEST bios engineers who have already chosen the best settings for you :) )

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Post by wuzy » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:17 pm

I think you misread my first post. I did however put an emphasis later on 1GB Ballistix modules being different which as you've said are based on Micron ICs that can go up to 300Mhz as opposed to 280Mhz reached by the best Infineon ICs.

Samsung UCCC? Sounds like the higher density version of TCCC is that right?
The two ram kits krizby mentioned in the last post are the BEST available kits, but are uber expensive and the benefits are not worth it IMO.
They're not. NOT A SINGLE Infineon IC based 1GB module can reach over 280Mhz while the Micron ICs used by Ballistix can reach just over 300Mhz proven by a few lucky TGF members.

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Post by kenc51 » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:27 pm

wuzy wrote:Samsung UCCC? Sounds like the higher density version of TCCC is that right?
Not sure.... :? I think so.....
UCCC can do 2.5-3-3-5 @ ddr400 and 3-4-4-* @ ~ddr540.
They are higher latencies but cost way less that micon/innfineon ram...
I don't think NAiLs's friend will notice the difference, if anyone can, except for benchmarks!
the money saved could be used elswhere.....like the case or GFX.

Trevor mentioned the G.Skill ram already
$192
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231021

I have them sticks and they max out @ 270MHz...

Also the current Crucial sticks are not getting the same OC's......Plus alot are dying with voltages @ ~2.8v -> the people who got 300 were using 3v!

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Post by NAiLs » Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:18 am

Alright... the system is going to get ordered tomorrow or Friday. I just have to figure out what PSU to go with. Apop recommended 600w+, but I'm unsure what ones are all good out there these days. I'm getting a ThermalTake case, so I'm thinking this particular PSU:

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/product/P ... /w0049.asp


But here is what I have so far:

- Asus A8R32-MVP Delux
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (Decided to not go with the Opty 170)
- 2x 1GB OCZ Gold PC4000
- ATI 512MB X1900XT - Built by ATI
- NEC Dual Layer DVD +/- RW
- Asus 16x DVD ROM
- 74GB Western Digital 10K RPM Raptor
- ** Already Has ** 200GB Western Digital 7200RPM HDD w/ 8MB Cache
- ThermalTake 680w PurePower PSU (If this is a good PSU for this setup?)
- ThermalTake Tai-Chi w/ Watercooling (very cool case IMO)

Price so far: ~$2210 AR
**There is a $35 rebate on the memory.

Things I need for sure yet:

- Windows XP Pro
- Anything I missed... unsure what else that would be.



One other question I have. What the heck is the difference between these two 4400+ CPU's?

http://www.amdcompare.com/us-en/desktop ... 4400DAA6CD
http://www.amdcompare.com/us-en/desktop ... 4400DAA6CD

One says ADA and the other says ADV in the model #. The only thing I saw was the ADV could withstand higher temperatures and consumed less power, so that is the one I am planning on going with.
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