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aelio

First time solo build: please advise

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O.k. So am working on my first solo build ever, and I am taking about $1000 to build. I already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse but need everything else. I am a little anxious about this build, so I wanted to run these components by all of you. Do you think they are adequate? Are there any incompatibility issues that you can see? What changes do you suggest? I know that this is asking a lot but I trust this forums opinions more than I trust my own at this point.

 

 

Motherboard:

DFI Lanparty UT 4

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...9464&CatId=1772

 

Processor:

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz FSB 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939

 

video card:

SAPPHIRE 100106SR-RD Radeon X850XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16814102505

.....or....

AOpen 91.05210.45H Geforce 6800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16814135171

 

RAM

Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel Kit System Memory

 

PSU

FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX500-A ATX12V 500W Power Supply 115/230 V

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16817104934

 

Heatsink

THERMALRIGHT XP-90 Multiple Heatpipes Cpu Heatsink

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16835109119

 

...and...

fan

Evercool SFF-9 92mm Ever Lubricate bearing type (Long life bearing) Case Cooling Fan

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16835119034

 

I don't have a case or HD picked out yet, so I am open to any suggestions on that front. With my budget and the prices of the above components, I am left with about $200 to spend on case and HD. Any suggestions?

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Chronic,

Thanks for the advice. The case thread is proving to be useful. Also, I've checked Opteron on both newegg and tigerdirect, and they are actually more expensive than the Athlon64.

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You might want to look at the Antec P180 case - I have it, I've built a bunch of computers and IMHO, it's by far the nicest case I've ever had. The only down side I can think of for the P180, aside from it isn't exactly a cheap case, is if you want to carry it around, it's not exactly small either. It's also possible that the PS wires can have a hard time reaching but I had no problem at all with mine and the OCZ PS.

 

Do check the power supply guide around here someplace and make sure that PS is in the guide as being a good one to use. Power supply is very important, want to use a known quality PS.

 

On the ATI or NVidia, a friend of mine just got an XT850 and he's wishing he'd gotten a 6800 instead. Not exactly sure why this is - he says *maybe* the 6800 looks a little better and the NVidia drivers are better (he upgraded from a 6600) but then he's not sure because he doesn't have a 6800... May be a grass is greener thing...

 

Edit: Just looked at Newegg prices on the 3700 vs a 3800 X2 - looks like $100 more for an X2. If there is any way to scrape up that extra $100, a 2nd core (basically a 2nd CPU) is a great thing. I can't say enough about how great dual core is. I worked at Microsoft for a long long long time, working with the OS so I'm not just talking out my butt here - I do actually know how some of this stuff works. :) More and more apps and games will support multiple processors (ie. dual core), the OS uses them now. Xbox 360 has multiple cores, PS3 will have multiple cores (which means game devs will be writing code that is more prone to take advantage of multiple cores eventually.) Multiple cores is the .. ;)

 

Quake4 info on dual core: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/quake_...re_performance/

 

quote from that review:

"...frame rates on a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 3800+ are 63 percent faster at 800x600 with threading enabled..."

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RAM

Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel Kit System Memory

I doubt you'll be satisfied with its performance in this system. Even with more expensive Kingston RAM it looks like many have problems with them working properly in a DFI mobo.

 

Take a look at this thread (you don't have to choose something very expensive, but the suggestions here have proven to work): http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24719

 

ValueRAM isn't a very good choise.

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Well, these replies seem worthy enough for a solid build, but AVOID value RAM. These DFI boards aren't meant for value stuff. Dont know how much of a budget you're on but try to get quality RAM. I initially used Corsair value RAM for my SLi-DR and although it will work, it feels cheap when playing games like FEAR...minor, but annoying bottleneck issues. If you're only looking for dual cahnnel 1 GB kits, I'd suggest these OCZs:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16820146890

 

In all honesty though you should get the 2 GB kit:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16820227210

 

Based on experience, there is a major performance boost with either of these and there are nice rebates on them right now, but it will end soon.

BTW, I agree with Lance on getting a dual core, these things are awesome and you can overclock the hell out of a X2 3800+. If you live near a fry's, they had the 3800 w/ a throwaway ECS mobo for less than $330 during the Xmas sales, dunno about now....but you could wait for new years sale and see if it surfaces again. The chip by itself retails for $322 at newegg, so it was a hell of a deal. Buy the set and sell the crap mobo on ebay for compensation.

Your PSU seems reasonable enough, but take a look at this Antec, its cheaper, but its great and has more wattage and more amps on the 12V rails:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16817103931

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I really don't think that I can spring the extra $100 for a dual core processor, especially since I need to get better ram, and I forgot to budget in an optical drive (this are relatively inexpensive though). I may have to save dual core for the first time I upgrade the new system. Unless, anyone sees some way that I can cut back somewhere else on this system.

 

In any case, I appreciate all of the advice, you guys have given me a lot to think about. What do other posters think? Do you see any compatibility problems with this system? Where have I gone right or wrong?

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The X850XT is a better choice than the 6800GT. I would upgrade the RAM to a nice 2 GB kit and would even consider a 3400+ Processor to stay within the budget, and then overclock it to the performance levels I was after.

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X850XT would destroy the 6800GT any day. Definitely get the ATI.

 

I also highly recommend an Opteron over an Athlon 64. You can overclock the hell out of Opterons, whereas you can only overclock a 3700+ a bit (in comparison).

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I'm considering overclocking in the future (one of the reasons I went with a DFI board), but I've never done anything like it, so I am a little leary of doing so anytime soon. I do think that I am going to upgrade to this 2gb ram kit:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16820227210

as suggested earlier. It will save me having to buy more RAM right away, but necessarily means that I won't be able to go dual core with my processor. I'm still processing some of the advice and making adjustments, but I wanted to drop in to comment to let you all know I am still working on this and still taking suggestions. Thanks for all of the help fo far fellas.

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