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Thread: Please help me with building first computer!




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Post Please help me with building first computer!

    I really need a new computer to take to college with me, my 4 year old junker is not going to be able to handle the games I hope to play soon such as HL2 and EQ2.. I only have AT MOST $1300 to spend, preferably less if possible. I have picked out a bunch of stuff that I think works well together. Is this computer going to be upgradeable in the future? I have to build this computer soon so I can play EQ2 when it comes out in two weeks .

    In order to save money, I was thinking about going to an AMD 3200 64 bit 754 socket proc and a diff motherboard, this would save me around a hundred dollars. I was also thinking about going to like a 100 GB Sata 7200 RPM hard drive. Would taking this route greatly decrease the computer’s performance?

    Any input/comments would be greatly appreciated.

    It might be easier to just look here http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishHis...IEW&ID=1052884

    Case-
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=11-156-135&depa=0

    RAIDMAX Black 10-bay Case with 420W Power Supply – 45.00

    Mobo-
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-127-181&depa=0

    ABIT "AV8" K8T800 Pro Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU – 111.00

    Processor-
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-463&depa=0

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 512K, L2 Cache, Windows Compatible 64-bit Processor 939 Pin – 292.00

    Vid Card-
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=14-130-202&depa=0

    eVGA nVIDIA GeForce 6800 Video Card, 128MB GDDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP – 285.00

    Sound Card- Is the mobo enough for now?

    RAM -
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=20-145-480&depa=0

    Corsair Value Select Dual Channel Kit 184 Pin 1G(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 – 158.00

    -I don’t really understand Dual Channel, is it worth it?

    Floppy -
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=21-104-101&depa=0

    Mitsumi Black 1.44MB 3.5inch Floppy Disk Drive 11.00

    Hard Drive -
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-160&depa=0

    Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA Hard Drive – 182.00

    DVD-Rom -
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=27-152-032&depa=0

    NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive, Black – 71.00

    OS-
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=37-102-151&depa=0 My current comp still runs Windows ME…it sucks

    Fan - http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=11-998-121&depa=0

    Aspire 120mm 4-pin UV Blue LED Case Fan 12.00

    Random Stuff -
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=35-100-007&depa=0

    Arctic Silver Premium Silver Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound 12.00







    Last edited by Ravesky; 10-29-2004 at 11:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    The 3500+ would be nice... But I built the system that you mentioned at the beginning with the 754 3200+ for a total of $1500CDN(Case, Mem, HDD, CPU, Mobo, Video) So you could get a way better Video card than I have and mabey still have some money to burn if you went with the 754.
    My Current Rigs:
    Antec P180, OCZ Powerstream 520W, DFI nF4 SLI-DR Expert, AMD X2 4400 w/XP120(2.6GHz@1.45v), 2x1GB OCZ Platnium PC3200, BFG 7900GT@592/800(1.6), WD 250GB SATA, Maxtor 120GB IDE, LG DVD/CD Combo(black), Sony DRU-810 DL DVD Burner(black)
    3DMark01:25379, 3DMark03:19746
    3DMark05:9294, 3DMark06:5340

    Raidmax Cobra, Fortron PN-400W, ASUS A8N-E(nF4 Ultra), X2 3800 w/AMD heatpipe cooler, 2x 512MB Crucial Balistix, ATI X300, WD 250GB IDE, Samsung 16x DVD/RW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    For a socket 939 system with a GeForce 6800, I'd suggest a bigger power supply, especially if you intend to overclock. A 480W Thermaltake would be perfect. These systems can bring even 420W PSUs down, especially case ones. There are some cheap, but decent $26 Raidmax 10-bay cases at Newegg that would be good.

    I'd suggest you drop that expensive Raptor. Two 80GB SATA drives (Seagate is probably best due to the long warranty) can actually be faster in a lot of situations, will cost a lot less, and will provide a lot more space. If you need to cut down the total even more, just get one. You won't be unhappy.

    The MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (currently out of stock, but it'll be back quickly) is a much better motherboard then that Abit. I'd suggest you switch to that. Also, the onboard sound will easily be enough for you.

    Without explaining dual-channel, yes it's worth it. You'll want a GB anyway, and 1GB modules of RAM suck, so running dual channel would result in precisely no price increase.

    I'd also suggest you get better RAM than that. That Corsair has crappy latencies (it is value RAM). It's worth it to get something better. I'd suggest this as it's much better but doesn't go way over the budget.

    If you still need to save money, cut extra stuff like Arctic Silver 5 and the case fan. They won't do much for you if you don't overlock, and you'd probably want to get an OEM processor and a third-party heatsink/fan for the processor.

    You could also switch to socket 754, as was mentioned. You can actually get better performance for the same price, but you will find yourself replacing the motherboard at the very first upgrade.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    So guess the big question is, should I go 754 and save money now..maybe even upgrading to a 6800 GT or go all out with the 939?

    In both possible system builds, I am going to take 1 80 GB Sata seagate, upgrade the memory, and make that DVD/CD-R-Rom thing to just a DVD-Rom.

    How big a difference would the performance differ from the 3200 and the 3500 builds with the same vid card?

    I gotta sleep on this..money is a slight issue as I really don't want to spend a lot, even 1200 is getting high.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    With the 3200, you could get a good HSF and overclock it enough to make up for a lot of performance loss. At stock speeds, it would depend on the game. It will be a very noticable hit in a game such as UT2004, but it likely mean less than 5 FPS in Doom 3. I'd say it would have a noticable effect in Half-Life 2, but would still perform great.

    While you can get much better performance with socket 754, I'd still suggest getting socket 939. It'll still be extremely powerful, and that motherboard will last you for years of upgrading.

    If you really want to have upgradability, you can wait for socket 939 PCI-E boards, which should start hitting shelves fairly soon. If the trend in what company makes the best motherboard continues, you'll want an MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI. With that, you could get a PCI-E card (the 6800 or 6800GT would be best) and eventually get another of the same card later and run them in SLI. You would also, of course, have the upgradability of socket 939. Personally, that's what I would do in your situation because it allows you to go for years without replacing the motherboard or even video card and still having great performance and the features of modern technology. That said, I have no idea when PCI-E 6800s will become easier to find (ie at Newegg) or when the nForce 4 motherboards will come out, so you could just get a regular AGP socket 939 board if you don't want to wait.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2004
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    In my opinion a socket 754 would do fine, if you "need" to upgrade from an aready fast prosesor, there is the currrent option of the 3700 who knows what may come in the future. But no doubt Amd will pretty much scrap the 754 and stick with the 939 in the coming few years. Also you did say you had to keep costs down and needed it fairly quickly, so pci-e is most likley out of the question as they will be and are more expencive than agp boards. Agp will also be around for a while and will not die out for some time so no need to go and buy an expencive pci-e board.

    I have nothing against 939 boards except they are a little more expencive, which is why I didnt get one, now that I have come across some money I am also building a 939 system most likley the FX-53, with an x800xt.
    Last edited by Amd_Lover2004; 10-30-2004 at 05:35 PM.
    My Current Rigs:
    Antec P180, OCZ Powerstream 520W, DFI nF4 SLI-DR Expert, AMD X2 4400 w/XP120(2.6GHz@1.45v), 2x1GB OCZ Platnium PC3200, BFG 7900GT@592/800(1.6), WD 250GB SATA, Maxtor 120GB IDE, LG DVD/CD Combo(black), Sony DRU-810 DL DVD Burner(black)
    3DMark01:25379, 3DMark03:19746
    3DMark05:9294, 3DMark06:5340

    Raidmax Cobra, Fortron PN-400W, ASUS A8N-E(nF4 Ultra), X2 3800 w/AMD heatpipe cooler, 2x 512MB Crucial Balistix, ATI X300, WD 250GB IDE, Samsung 16x DVD/RW

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NY
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    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    I would suggest getting the following (i ahve not read the whol thread so sorry if Yawg already mentioned this)

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 90nm CPU
    Thermalright XP-90
    Sunon KD1209PTB2
    Abit AV8
    Corsair XMS PC-3200
    ASUS 6800GT Model V9999GT

    Since you will get the best overall performance in a RAID 0 array the hard drives I picked out may be a good buy. So in that case I might get 2 of the Hitachi 80GB SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive's and run in RAID 0. The harddrive you hose is not a bad choice though as Seagate drives are very good.

    Someone else can comment on the DVD-ROM.

    For case this may be a good choice:
    Antec Case and TruPower 430w PSU

    I do not know if you need a keyboard and mouse but these may be good:
    Logitech Cordless MX Duo If you do not want cordless (I would also rather have wires) then getting a MX510 and a Logitech keyboard seperately may be better.

    I am not sure if you need spoeakers but Logitech also makes great speakers.

    Note that that systrm would be great for overclocking. I would get the system I said above and overclock it, but if you do not plan to overclock a 3500+ may be better

    With that you could overclock it really well. You also may want to consider waiting for nforce 4. Get a 3000+ with MSI nforce 4 mobo mixed with soem good RAM, and a 6800GT. Then buy a 2nd 6800GT using SLI, overclock the hell out of it and imagine the possibilties.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    Well, you guys have sure reassured me about the 754 procs :)

    I dont have much time to write up a near final plan, but I'm thinking 3200, good ram, 6800 GT, and two 80 gb sata in Raid 0. Is Raid hard to do? I've heard a little about it but I don't know how it works.

    Also, if I want to OC the proc I am getting, do I need more airflow and cooling? Should I then include the thermal paste and extra fan?

  9. #9
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    NY
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    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    Socvket 939 is definetely the way to go especially since the recent price drops and additions to the s939 linueup such as the 3000+ and 3200+. Also processed using 90nm which will help overclocking as it will not produce as much heat.

    If you can afford a 3200+ then that would be fien but I would rather get a 3000+ and overclock that. and then spend the extra money to get a 256mb version of a 6800GT since it seems your PC will be meant fore gaming.

    And about the RAID 0 it is not hard to do and a quick google search showed up this http://www.overclockercafe.com/Articles/RAID/

    Read that and you should understand what RAID is.

    And the parts I mentioned will be very good for overclocking. The heatsink and fan I mentioned would be great for cooling. I have also heard good things about that cases airflow. And yes Arctic Silver thermal paste is good to get.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Please help me with building first computer!

    The Athlon 64 3700 is the last processor that is being made for socket 754. You are extremely restricted if you get a socket 754 system. The only reason to consider one is if you were on a tighter budget or if you really needed better bang-for-buck. The motherboards for socket 939 aren't much more expensive, for the most part. The Chaintech VNF3-250 is the exception to that rule, as it's a mere $74 while any decent socket 939 will be over $100.

    Think of it this way: You can get a 3200 and a Chaintech NF3-250 for a bit under $300. For around the same price, you can get an MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (and forget about the AV8) and an Athlon 64 3000. The 300 is 400MHz slower, although it has dual-channel capabilities and the core simply operates better than Newcastles, but it still is quite a bit worse. The difference you'll get in the motherboards, though, is much larger. The MSI K8N Neo2 has much better sound than the Chaintech; it dual gigabit ethernet while the chiantech has a single 10/100 onboard; the MSI has three onboard firewire ports; the MSI has twice as many SATA ports; the MSI has room for one more DIMM; the MSI can be upgraded to processors that haven't come out yet, but the Chaintech gets no better than the Athlon 64 3700. There are other motherbaords than the Chaintech that are good, but they bring the cost up so much that the you could only get an Athlon 64 3000 on the same budget.

    Basically, you choose between losing features and upgradability for better performance. Which is more important to you really is up to, but I think getting a socket 939 system is best in your situation.

    Also, waiting for PCI-E AMD motherboards is worth it. They might not cost much more, and the upgradability is really worth it. Like I said, you can start with one card and later run two in SLI, which provides amazing performance. See this article.


    However, if you really want to get this fast and keep cost down without hurting performance, here's what you might do:
    Get a Sempron 3100. Yes, just a mere Sempron with 256KB L2 cache that won't be able to take advatange of 64-bit software when it comes out.
    Get a DFI Lanparty UT.
    Get Arctic Silver 5 and a nice CPU cooler. I'd suggest the Zalman CNPS7000A-CU. Do this for whatever system you get if you want to overclock, actually. It will greatly increase overclockability.
    Get some extra case fans for that. Deciding what ones you want depends on how loud you're willing to let this sytem be.
    Overclock the crap out of it. You'll get somewhere over 2.5GHz with no problem. This system will be better than anything in socket 754 below a 3400 because the Athlon 64s simply don't have the overclockability of the Sempron. It's also easily the best bang-for-buck option there is.
    You could also consider getting ever better RAM if you were going to do this. Crucial Ballistix PC3200 is ideal for this system, but that's another $60 down the toilet over what you're looking at.

    RAID 0 is a waste of money. It results in very little performance increase at double the cost, not to mention the stability loss. Don't consider it for this system.

    Don't take Hitachi over Seagate, ever.

    Don't get the ASUS 6800GT, ever. The only thing it has going for it is cost, and it's so cheap because it sucks. You get what you pay for when it comes to computer components. Get the eVGA if you get either a 6800 or 6800GT.

    I also wouldn't want a cordless mouse other than the MX1000. In my experience, wireless mice are just terrible for gaming, but the MX1000 is actually quite a ibt different than other mice so it wouldn't be. It's also extremely expensive. I'd suggest you just get a Logitech USB mouse and PS2 keyboard.

    Don't consider that Antec Case. It's overpriced, and Antec PSUs won't even work if you get a socket 939 system. Get this for a socket 939 system that will be overclocked and this for a socket 754 system that will be overclocked. Since you're trying to keep the price down, this ought to be a great case for you. It's great for its price. You can also throw in a few more case fans for extra cooling, if you want.

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