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Old 02-05-2006, 11:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building NEW SFF - help me decide!!!

Building NEW SFF - help me decide!!!
Hello, I am new here but this seems like the place to ask for good advice!

I am building a new pc for my husband. He is into gaming and will eventually do SOME programming on it (C++ and .net school stuff). He doesn't multitask much at all but still runs into lagginess on his current system (p4 2.0)... And he does NOT plan on overclocking. We have decided already that we want:

> A black SFF system (shuttle, biostar, etc) - NOT micro ATX like the QPack, we want it super tiny like shuttle, with as few heat problems as possible... I like the price on
BIOSTAR iDEQ 330P AMD Socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 x2 (dual core), Athlon 64 and Sempron nVIDIA nForce4 2x 184Pin none Barebone - Retail - $299

> CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model Twinx2048-3200c2pt - Retail - $191

> Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YD 250GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $122

> eVGA 7800GT video card eVGA seems the way to go...

> Standard on-board audio and LAN (no need for wireless unless it's cheap)

> DVD Burner, Floppy, etc. Already have XP.

The major questions I have are:

1. We decided to go AMD, so which current processor is the way to go?
> X2 4400 Toledo..........runs at 2.2 MHz but is that per core? Does he need dual core if he doesn't multitask much?
> Opteron 170...........Runs at around 2.2 MHz, how can it be that great? Mine from 3 years ago is a 2.8 pentium...I've heard great things about Opteron from overclockers but we don't mess with overclocking.
> Splurge and go for FX-55............ if it is REALLY worth the money...? What about it makes it the next big thing for gaming??

2. The HDD - we don't mind having small space but we want high performance. Which is better:
> 7200 RPM with 16 MB Cache SATA/SATAII
> 10,000 RPM with 8 MB Cache SATA

3. Should I get a board that is SLI capable, even if I only get one really good video card for now and add another one in a year or so? Or should I get 2 lesser video cards and use the SLI? Or just forget SLI altogether?

4. I am worried about getting all the compatability issues right... I had problems on another machine getting a mobo that didnt fully support the HD, and then the other way around lol... I will probably run my final pick by you guys for your approval!

Thanks so much! I will greatly appreciate any and all advice you can give me! It's been a while since I've built a pc and am out of the loop of current technology! >_<
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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FX = ultimate gaming CPU. X2 aren't utilized by games. Opterons are just gay. and Intel is a mere skidmark on the underpants of the computer society....
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BennyV04988
Opterons are just gay.
Wow. Make yourself look like an idiot more.

1) If he's sure that he's not going to overclock, I'd get the X2 4400+. In the coming future, more games will come out that support dual core and even now, dual cores are still great for games considering the multitask capabilities. Oh yeah, and yes, the 2.2 is per core and it has a 1mb x2 L2 cache, which makes it worth getting over the 3800 and the 4200.

2) The 10,000 RPM if you value performance over storage. I suggest getting a 150GB Raptor with the 16mb cache, however.

3) Don't worry about SLI, it's not worth it.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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1) X2 4400. The FX series are just too **** expensive. The 4400 is well above the requirements of any game out there.

2) The 10K RPM drives will give you the best performance.

3) Probably forget SLI for now. If you want to you can get an SLI board and one card (7800gt) and get another one later when the prices drop and your performance starts to suck. One 7800gt can handle ANY game out there on max settings fine.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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btw what does SFF mean? I heard someone say it in my other thread but i dont know what it means.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Small form factor. For small cases and motherboards.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BennyV04988
Intel is a mere skidmark on the underpants of the computer society....
You really must have needed a nap after thinking that one up. Careful not to fry your brain on such deep thinking...
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Keep up the info! Thanks so much, I need this....

I am leaning towards the X2 anyhow, to be honest.

BUT
When it comes to TRUE sff, shuttle or biostar tiny size, how do you go about getting a power source strong enough to handle this kind of system? They all seem to be built in and the best one I have seen out there is the super-expensive shuttle sn26p with SLI and that only has 350W....
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Also, can XP handle the 2 GB of ram?
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, but thats about the max before you will see a performance drop
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