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Old 06-25-2005, 07:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a Gaming Computer for the first time

Going to build it myself, I'll post the specs and stuff and you guys tell me if theres any big mistakes im making.

Few questions though:

1) Is there a huge difference between "value ram" and the more expensive ram? I'm going to get 2x1gb sticks and then 2x512mb sticks to fill up the other two slots until i want to upgrade.

2) Do cases generally work with all motherboards or do I have to check the measurements on all of them?

3) For gaming, is AMD or Intel better?

4) Radeon or NVIDIA?

5) Is this:
"AMD Athlon 64 3500+ ClawHammer/Hammer Integrated into Chip FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - Retail "
( )

"AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor - Retail"
( )

better? Same exact price, $267.00. Also, explain to me waht the difference between the two is, if you guys would, thanks!

I'll add on other stuff as I think of it...

BTW, I tried to do my own research but all I got was "fanboy" responses.

"mhz numbers arent everything the amd 64 will kick the p4's *** tbh."
"AMD are a con. Go for Intel if you want a machine that won't fall apart in two weeks."
"Well, it seems that obviously, people have NO IDEA WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Get a Pentium 4. You will thank me"

They arent very helpful...

Current parts that I have chosen (subject to change upon input from you all!)

-eVGA 256-P2-N376-AX Geforce 6800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
-Turtle Beach CATALINA 8 (7.1) Channels PCI Interface Sound Card(Really only got this to take stress off of the processor during gaming)
-AMD Athlon 64 3500+ ClawHammer/Hammer Integrated into Chip FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3500ASBOX
-GeIL Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Blue Aluminum Heat Spreader.
-pqi TURBO 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory (Got this to stick in the two emtpy slots until i want to upgrade to 4gb of memory)
-AOpen 2-Tone IDE DVD Burner Model 91.4ID37.074
-ATRIX 4in1 Combo CSCI-L8003-C43 Black/Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Prescott Version Power Supply
-ECS NFORCE4-A939 (1.0) Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Those are the technical names, for all of you that dont feel like reading that (I know I wouldnt) here is a short version:

Motherboard: NVIDIA NFORCE4 Socket 939 AMD motherboard
Video Card: Geforce 6800GT 256MB GDDR3
Case: Decent $49 case that comes with speakers + mouse + keyboard + 480W power supply.
Optical Drive: Generic DVD Burner (DL)
RAM: 3GB (2x1GB sticks and 2x512mb sticks)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Soundcard: Turtle Beach CATALINA 8 (Only bought to take stress off of processor)

I have a few 160gig harddrives at my house already so I'll just pop those in rather than buying a new one.

Am i missing anything big? I get so focused on some parts I forget about others. (I dont need a monitor, I'm going to use an old one)

Price for all this comes to a bit over $1100 (not including shipping).

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Old 06-25-2005, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The (90mm) venice core is generally considered the better core because it runs cooler than the clawhammer(which I think is 130mm). Generally, AMD processors are better than Intel processors for gaming, but if you go at higher resolutions with AA and AF enabled, then the processors are taken out of the picture. Although they still matter, the graphics cards are then the bottlenecks to performance.

Speaking of Graphics cards, people in this forum generally reccomend Nivida ones over ATI ones. Although people bash ATI graphics cards, they don't do that much worse than Nivida's offerings. People base their assumptions on how poorly ATI does with the Doom 3 engine. Yes, the ATI x800 XL totally bows down to the Nivida 6800GT in Doom 3, but, in other popular games, the x800 xl competes with the Nivida 6800Gt pretty well (for 80 bucks less too). If you can't afford the 6800Gt, and don't want to go as low as a 6600Gt, then a x800XL is perfectly find IF you don't plan on playing doom 3 or any games based on its engine. However, if you do plan on playing Doom 3 heavily, then go with the Nivida cards.

To answer your question about motherboard case compatibility, ATX cases will fit ATX motherboards, and some ATX cases will fit MATX motherboards, will only ATX motherboards will fit ATX cases. Hope that wasn't too confusing.

One more thing about your ram however. It looks like your not going to overclock, so the ram should be fine. But, I must warn you that your ram will run slower with all four slots occupied, because they will go to 2T instead of 1T. The AMD integrated memory controller can not handle 4 sticks of ram at dual channel. Your better off going with 2 sticks of Ram.

The type of ram will not effect performance that much, but as a general rule, AMD systems like ram with better timings. Ram running at 2-2-2-5 1T will always give better system performance than ram runing at 3-3-3-7 2T. The performance isn't extremely noticible, but it will add up. If you don't mind waiting a few more seconds while opening up a cpu intensive program, or getting a few less frames on your game, then go with your ram. But, if you want a quick and snappy feeling everytime you use your computer, no matter what the program, get ram with lower timings.

One thing I find that your missing is the power supply.(no the power supply that comes with your case doesn't count) You need a kick *** power supply from a kick *** company. All these companies are kick ***. OCZ, ANTEC, ENERMAX,TTGI,Epower,Seasonic, and XCILO. A 400-500 Watt power supply from one of those companies should be enough.

Finally, get a NEC burner because they really do perform better than other burners .

Thats it. I hope this fits.

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Old 06-25-2005, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! Thats EXACTLY the type of reply I was hoping for.

Few quick questions though:
You say my computer would run better with the 2gb of RAM rather than filling up all four slots to make 3gb, If i later upgraded to 4gb of RAM would that in effect HURT my computer overall rather than help it?

If not, would it make sense to get 3 1GB sticks and leave the last slot open in the future? Or should i just stick with 2GB for now and leave the other two open.

Also, could you elaborate on the RAM thing in general for me?
I dont understand this part: "2-2-2-5 1T will always give better system performance than ram runing at 3-3-3-7 2T"
Or if explaining is to difficult, just pick out some RAM for me ($200 or less for 2-3GB!)

Also, I am going to get a new power supply, I was just wondering WHY the one in the case wont work well? I'd like to understand why I'm gonna buy a whole new one, ya know? lol

Also, I dont burn DVDs/CDs much at all. I kind of just got the burner "just incase." Is it still worth it to get the NEC burner?
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Old 06-25-2005, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1t,2t is the command rate. This is basically the time it takes for the processor to activate the ram. Less is better because it takes less time for the processor to activate the ram.

The x-x-x-x basically state how the ram behaves internally. They are Cas,trp,trcd,and tras. They represent delays, so the lower the delay, the better. Generally, you want to get the middle two numbers lower for AMD systems.(I don't know exactly why the TRP and TRCD affects performance more than CAS in AMD systems though.) Ram timings however, have very little affect on the CPU performance. Ram with better timings will at most give a 5% performance increase over Ram with horrible timings.

I'll try to pick some ram out for you later, but I don't have much time right now. Also, generally, if you computer needs the extra ram, then the timings won't matter, as more ram always beats better timings. But, the problem is when your computer doesn't need 2-3 GB of ram. When your computer only uses 1-2 GB and not the full 3GB, then the 2T command rate shows, and your system will be slower. If you use a program that needs all 3GB of ram, then 2T Command rate with 3GB ram WILL be better than 1T command rate with 2GB ram. But, very few applications need more than 1GB of ram, so thats why I suggested that you stick with 2 sticks.

To adress the power supply issue, most power supplies that come with the case are crap. They aren't manufactuerd properly, or their stated wattages take place in extreme situations. For example, a company can say that their power supply supplies 500 watts, but in reality, it will only supply 500Watts at -20 Degrees celcius temperatures. There is currently no regulation for power supplies, so these power supply companies can put whatever Wattage they feel like, and trick the customers. The companies I listed do not do this.

Finally, your cd/dvd burner should do just fine if you aren't going to use it that much.
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Old 06-26-2005, 01:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Does anyone know any promotional codes for newegg so i can get some discounts? lol. if im not supposed to ask this just delete my hpost! sorry!
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Old 06-26-2005, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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is there anything you plan on doing with your computer where you are ACTUALLY going to need 3 gigs of ram???
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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you will only need 1 gig or ram
get a nice antec or thermaltake or ocz power supply
get a 3500+ venice core they are the best ones
get the nec burner its like 5 bucks more
get the sli'd mobo
get the eVGA or Leadtek 6800gt
get a nice case or else your gonna regret it it sucks having to look at a pos case whenever you get on your comp
and i dont think i forgot nething so just let me tell you that will be a very nice rig

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