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Thread: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Smile Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    Hi :-)

    I'm thinking about buying some new hardware.
    Nothing too fancy, nothing too hardcore-pricy, just
    some decent stuff, because my roommate needs a new
    pc badly and is thinking about buying my old one.

    Sooo... I have roughly ~350Euros to spend on
    a) Mainbord
    b) RAM
    c) CPU
    d) GPU
    and e) case.

    I looked up some stuff and got a price for it from
    a friend who works at a hardware store:

    a) MoBo: MSI K8N Neo4-F (65€)
    b) OCZ 2GB 2-3-2-4 DDR400 (199€)
    c) AMD Venice 3500+ (98€)
    with Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro (14€)
    d) XFX 7600 GS XT (115€)
    e) Arctic Cooling Silentium T3 (74€)

    The questions is: is this configuration any good?
    What about the case; has anyone had any experience
    with it? Because my old case has practically zero
    cooling (0 air flow due to 0 extra fans :P) and
    it's damn loud - I'm hoping for something better this

    I can't spend too much money, thus no AM2 boards for
    me - dual core is too expensive too

    As long as it'll be able to run WoW, Fear and such
    it's ok. I don't need the best of the bunch, I'm
    not pushing for the fps-limits here.

    So, if anyone could tell me, if this is ok
    or if I should for example get Geil or Corsair RAM
    instead of OCZ, then please do so :-)

    If there is anything which could be replaced by
    something cheaper and (in ideal circumstances) better
    - don't hesitate to shout

    If you can see any bottleneck here, it would be
    nice to give me a hint.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    anchorage alaska

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    for your case, go to look for the sk-523bkw, it is a fantastic case for only 55 dolla (euro i dont know).
    go for a better processor with all thet ram, maybe a 4000. Go for 2 invidia GeForce 7600 GT if you have the cash. You might get some ram on sale at your local comp chomp shop or your big time one, here they are always having sales on RAM. I got 2 pcs of kingston 512 mb for 70 dallahs
    thanks for your time
    Post Scriptus: The case is really fantastic, ssupper ddupperr.
    "Death solves all problems; no man, no problem."
    -Joseph Stalin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Fincastle, IN, USA

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    The system looks good. I'm a personal advocate of the Chenming server-style cases. Sturdy. Look good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    AM2 is price-competitive with socket 939. I haven't looked at European prices, but there is almost no premium for going with AM2 right now in the United States. What you can't afford is an Intel 975X Core Duo-based system. Those are about the best systems to get in terms of overall performance and upgradability.

    The MSI K9N Platinum or the MSI K9N SLI Platium would probably be the most approriate board for you, depending on whether you want SLI. They both are affordable (though a little most costly then what you're looking at now) and offer good performance, stability, and feature sets. They can even overclock well, should you choose to do that.

    That's a probably a good price on the 7600GT, but see if you can't find a used 7800GT. Right now they're going for pretty cheap online, with nVidia and ATI both replacing their initial high-end lines with slightly-higher-end products. I just picked one up for a friend for $180, and you can probably get one for around €150 if you look.

    Find the cheapest 2GB set (2x1GB sticks) of DDR2 533MHz or DDR2 677MHz you can. As with AM2, there is no price premium with DDR2 instead of DDR. If anything, DDR2 could be cheaper.

    If you're willing to overclock, both the Sempron 64 3000 and the Athlon 64 3000 will reach incredible overclocks (usually 2.7-2.9Ghz) on stock cooling, and can go even higher with good cooling. If you don't want to, a 3500 or a 3800 would be more appropriate. A dual-core processor is probably out of your budget.

    I would highly recommend you spend under €45 on your case. I would never spend more than $50 USD on a case (except for small form factor or server cases). If you really like the look, that's fine. Just know that you're not getting anything tangible (e.g. a case that's actually better as far as cooling, size, or weight goes). Some expensive cases will have some nice features, but they're rarely worth the premium.

    If you want good cooling but no noise, get something in the €20-€35 range and buy yourself some Panaflo L1As or an appropriate fan for whatever size the case will take. Yate Loon, Silverstone, and Panaflo are three of the better brands for high-performance, low-noise fans. My Athlon 64 system is almost silent, and it uses one 92mm Panaflo M1A, two 80mm Panaflo L1As, and a 120mm Yate Loon fan. The M1A makes it just barely audible, and a 92mm L1A or the rarer L1B would have made it completely silent with almost the same level of cooling. The CPU has load temps around 35C with a 700MHz overclock. The case cost exactly $50 shipped and came with a number of mods. Speaking of which, you may also consider getting a case with a CPU duct or modding it to have one. It is by far the best method of air cooling. You could take either AM2 3000 to 3GHz with a lucky chip and not have any sort of heat problems.

    If you plan on getting an aftermarket CPU heatsink, I would recommend on waiting until July. Currently the Thermalright XP-90 and XP-120 do not work on AM2 boards. Thermalright will have a new retension bracket out in July, and IMO it's worth waiting for, if you want an aftermarket cooler. Honestly though, you probably don't need one. AM2 (and socket 939, for that matter) processors tend to get great temps as well as overclocks on the stock cooler. You could consider replacing the fan with a Panaflo.

    You're also going to need a PSU that doesn't come with the case. No case PSU can be trusted to handle that system. You're going to want something in the area of 500W, and it has to be from a good brand. Such brands include Antec, FSP Group (Fortron), Sparkle, Enermax, OCZ, and Seasonic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    Wow - thank you for the fast and great replies!

    I'm currently in a hurry (work work ) but I did
    some checking-up on ebay and damn - why did I not think of
    this before? Some parts of the hardware config could definately
    come from this source.

    Just one for your consideration:

    SPE 2048MB Corsair ValueSelectKit DDR2 VS1GBKIT533D2
    with CL4,PC2-533. Somewhere I read that latencies don't matter
    as much as before on the new boards? Sooo.. would that make
    this a good one for mere EUR 139,00?
    Only problem is: they have no cooling pads
    I told myself that I wanted to get cooled ones next time
    (if I wanted to overclock, that is...and it's always better to be on the safe side.)

    I gonna look for AM2 boards and stuff later - gotta run now.

    Ah and before I forget: I did NOT want to buy 7600 GT but a GS! Mind the difference ;) Do you see a bottleneck there?

    And yep - I'm ve been running a heavily overclocked system (2.4ghz on 2.8ghz, GPU overclocked, RAM also), so overclockability should be there
    Last edited by Fae; 06-20-2006 at 06:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    cpu: AMD ATHLON 64 3200+ AM2 = 343.62Lt // ~123$ // ~101 eur
    mobo: MSI K9N ULTRA-2F = 349.75Lt // ~125$ // ~103 eur
    ram: KINGSTON 2GB 533MHZ DDR2 CL4 (KIT OF 2) = 599.06Lt // ~214$ // ~177 eur
    vga: MSI 7600GS = 392.70Lt // ~140$ // ~116 eur
    case: Delux ATX-MF422-USB = 75.94Lt // ~27$ // ~22 eur

    this is what i've ordered recently. should get this this week. looks ok to me :)
    similar to your setup.. this in all was 1772 Lt // ~633$ // 522 eur

    (currencies roughly converted from LTL, the prices are higher here too)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    oook... after checking I found out that the AM2 stuff is
    actually a bit cheaper than the old socket 939...

    So here's what I had in mind, maybe someone can tell
    me if it's better than the 939 stuff I chose.

    G.E.I.L. DIMM 1 GB DDR2-667 (GX21GB5300LX)
    DDR2 - 667 (PC2 - 5300), Timings 5-5-5-12

    <= goes for 74Euros a piece, but I guess I can get it
    for 65Euros :) 130Euro for 2 GB sounds ok to me - better
    than the 199Euros for the OCZ RAM

    AMD Athlon64 3500+ (Boxed, OPGA, "Orleans")
    € 112,-*

    <== Bet I can get that for around 100 Euros, but
    haven't got a clue which cooler to get. Any idea?

    @Yawgm0th: What does aftermarket mean? Sorry,
    never heard that before :)

    MoBo I would vow for the MSI K9N Neo-F, don't see much
    difference to the platinum series. Don't need SATA, don't
    need firewire, so why spend more money on that. Got an
    Audigy 4 - no need for good onbard audio ;)

    Sooo... XFX would still be my manufactorer of choice
    for the GPU... did not have good experience with MSI nvidia
    cards. *smiles*

    What about the PSU? Any suggestions?
    A friend recommended the Seasonic S12-430HB to me.
    69Euros, 430 Watts. Don't know if that'll be enough to
    power the hardware. What do you think? :)

    Thanks for all your kind help so far

  8. Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    Well, I'll give my two cents on this build.

    For ram: OCZ is meant to be overclocked and does very well in clocking standards. I do not know much about Geil though I have heard it is pretty good.

    Your mobo looks fine.

    I'll try to answer the aftermarket question. Aftermarket means that the part is not from the original manufacturer. It is from a different company. For example - a Thermalright heatsink is not an original part supplied by AMD. Watch for cheapo aftermarket parts which will potentially cause some damage.

    As for your psu, I reccommend Antec. I would use this - Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply . If Antec is too expensive, Fortron is great. Either way, your psu should have dual rails and SLI certification is always a plus.

    Personally, I like BFG for my graphics cards. Evga has a nice trade-up program so you can get the latest graphics cards for a lot less - you send back your old evga card and some money and they will send you a new one. The better models will cost more to upgrade. XFX is also pretty nice. Leadtech has some nice cooling systems on their cards.

    Hope this helps a little -

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    CAS 5 is acceptable for DDR2 667, but CAS 4 is preferable for DDR2 533. In the end, it won't matter much. Also, don't bother with getting a cooler for your RAM. Overclocking RAM, especially DDR2, is generally not cost-effective at this price range, if ever. DDR2 677 will go up to high enough speeds that you won't have any problems overclocking. You are indeed better off with the cheaper stuff.

    PorsheGuy is right on with the aftermarket definition. It just means it's not the cooler that came with the processor. A retail processor will come with a heatsink/fan unit, but an "aftermarket," or third-party heatsink and/or fan can be purchased for improved cooling and (as a result of better cooling) improved overclockability. Speaking of which, I'd recommend you get an Athlon 64 3000 or 3200 if you plan on overclocking. The 3500 will not really go any farther, but it will cost you more. The low-end parts AMD (3000-3500, e.g.) are generally the exact same chips binned at different speeds for no reason whatsoever. AMD has been using this practice for it's low-end K8 (Athlon 64, Sempron, and Opterons) parts on every socket (754, 939, 940, AM2).

    Regardless of whether you were looking at a 7600GS or a 7600GT, you should look at a 7800GT on eBay or whatever. You really won't be using the processor to its full power without a 7800 series or X1800 series card (the X1800 cards are also worth considering, BTW). I also agree with Porshe on the brand breakdown for video cards.

    The 430W power supply will not be enough. You need at least 500W ATX 12v 2.0 power supply. $70-$80 USD is the price range for them over here, and I'd expect something equivelent to cost around 70 Euros, though it may be even more. Power supplies in particular recieve a huge premium over there, even bigger than most other computer hardware.

    The K9N Neo Platinum doesn't have much of a price premium over Neo-F, and you're paying for much more than more SATA/RAID functions and Firewire. It's on a different, better chipset, and the Neo-F hasn't been doing so well at overclocking from what I've seen. It's more of an entry-level AM2 board not really designed or an enthusiast or overclocker. And you do need SATA, but that's a non-issue seeing as they don't make boards without SATA anymore, anyway.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Need help / clarification regarding hardware config

    If you run an X1800, be sure to get a strong power supply. My cards are super fast, but they suck amazing amounts of power. The 512MB version is the best, but alot of people swear by the X1800GTO and the price is nice too. My cards easily keep up to 7800GTX 512MB cards in case you need a reference. I wouldn't overly suggest crossfire unless you are like me and upgrade for no logical reasons. One card ran all my games perfectly and 2 is truely overkill.
    GIgabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
    AMD FX8120 @ 4GHz
    Patriot 1866MHz EL series 2X4GB DDR3
    Powercolour HD 6970 2GB w/XFX 8800GT 512MB Hybrid PhysX
    Creative X-FI titanium HD w/Technics class A 300W amp and tower speakers
    PC P&C 500W PSU
    2TB Seagate
    Coolermaster 690II w/Corsair H100 tucked under the hood

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