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Old 03-15-2006, 04:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ordering my build Saturday - Please Critique ASAP $2500 Budget

My tax return is finally here so I now have cash in hand to buy a new system. Please critique my build. I already have a monitor, keyboard & mouse and O/S. I am looking for feedback regarding compatibility issues, performance vs cost, if anything is overkill and unecessary & if the parts listed could be obtained at a lower rate than what I listed.
I will be using this to play Guild Wars, COD2, BF2, EQ2 and Oblivion as well as dvd burning. I would like to overclock (although I need to learn how to do this) and also future proof this as much as possible. My budget for this is $2500.00 US dollars (if you have a completely different build and stay within the $2500 budget I am open to anything).


$149.99 Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window - Retail (will this case be cool enough or should I add any fans? my current computer over heats all the time)
$174.99 ENERMAX Liberty ELT620AWT 620W Power Supply - Retail (is this overkill? If so what would be a suitable replacement)
$160.00 Western Digital Raptor 74GB 3.5" Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
$200.00 Western Digital Caviar SE16 400GB 3.5" Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
$73.99 SONY 16XDVD±R,5X DVD-RAM Write DVD Burner With Black front panel Beige E-IDE/ATAPI Model DRU820A - Retail (is this the best performance vs cost in a dual layer dvd burner?)
$139.99 Klipsch Promedia GMX A-2.1 2.1 Speaker - Retail
$121.99 Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic Sound Card - Retail (will having this help performance/sound quality over the on board audio to justify the cost?)
$59.99 ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm 2 Ball Blue LED Light Cooling Fan with Heatsink - Retail (will this be enough to keep my system running cool? As I noted earlier my current computer overheats and resets all the time)
$214.33 OCZ Gold GX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM System Memory - Retail (is this good for overclocking? Is it a good performance vs cost choice?)
$172.00 DFI LP UT nF4 SLI-DR nVIDIA nFORCE4 SLI CHIPSET SERIAL ATA150 ATX FORM FACTOR 2xPCI-E(X16)/1xPCI-E(X4)/1xPCI-E(X1)/2xPCI/4xDDR W/SATA,RAID,DUAL LAN(Gb),1394,USB 2.0 & AUDIO (CPU TYPE:AMD ATHLON 64 - SOCKET 939) (I want to overclock and heard this was a good brand. I dont plan on having duel video cards so could I go with a lesser DFI board or stick with this one?)

I am having a hard time choosing a processor:
$453.50 AMD ATHLON 64 X2 4400+ (ADA4400CDBOX) RETAIL BOXED W/1MB X 2 CACHE 90NM (TOLEDO) (is this better than the operton 175?)
$504.00 AMD Opteron 175 1GHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor - Retail (Should I get this because of its overclockability?)

I am also having a hard time choosing a video card. Please keep in mind the games I want to play (Guild Wars, COD2, BF2, EQ2 and Oblivion):
$599.00 ATI Radeon X1900XTX 100-435805 Video Card - Retail (If I go with this chipset what is the best card to get? Is the ATI version worth the extra money? Should I get a XTX or XT?)
$369.00 eVGA Geforce 7900GT 256-P2-N565-AX Video Card - Retail (Which card with this chipset should I get? I listed the eVGA but should I get a different one? Is the GTX worth the extra money or should I go with the GT?)
$599.00 eVGA Geforce 7900GTX 512-P2-N575-AX Video Card - Retail (Which card with this chipset should I get? I listed the eVGA but should I get a different one? Is this card worth the extra money or should I go with a GT?)


Thank you all in advance for your time and effort.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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7900GTX>X1900XT in most games, however they are pretty competitive cards.

The thing is, the 7900GTX's run $500 at the cheapeast, and the X1900XT's can OC to X1900XTX speeds very easily and beyound, and X1900XT's can be found for cheaper than $450.

So it's really up you.

The 7900GT is slower than the 7900GTX by a decent amount, but it's still an awesome performer. I'd stick with the 7900GT for now and then upgrade to an extremely powerful DX10 card (R600, G80) when they're released later this year. Stick with eVGA, or XFX.

Your motherboard is pointless, you don't need the expensive SLI and extra slots if you won't be SLIing, and those extra slots are usually overkill. The Lanparty Nforce 4 Ultra-D is sufficient.

Memory is fine.

For your CPU, go with the Opteron 165, and OC it to beyound Athlon 64 x2 4800+ speeds. I think your going to want to save your cash for a socket AM2 transition later this year or early next year and for those DX10 video cards.

I'd only get one HD for now, the Raptor 150Gb 10,000RPM. If you find yourself needing more space (can't imagine you would anytime soon), simply buy another or a cheaper 37.6Gb or 74Gb.

External hardware and sound cards I don't know much about, but they tend to all be about the same and are mostly based on your preference.

Your case is fine.

For PSU get an Antec, OCZ, FSP Group Norton or PC Power and Cooling of 600 watts or more. The OCZ 600watt powerstream looks awesome IMO.

Otherwise fine.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you to all who contributed their thoughts. After reviewing the feedback from this and a few other boards I posted on I have chosed to go with the following. The prices listed include shipping and the total ends up being $2479.10 which is just under my $2500 budget. Please review my final list for any error or incompatibilities (I am concerned my power supply might not be enough). Once I get the feedback I am going to order tonight or tomorrow. Thank you.

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS $149.99 http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...C-pr1c3grabb3r
DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert $189.00 http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...C-pr1c3grabb3r
PC Power & Cooling 510 SLI-PFC ATX12V 510W Power Supply $226.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...C-pr1c3grabb3r
eVGA Geforce 7900GTX 512-P2-N575-AX Video Card $602.25 http://www.atacom.com/program/print_...AC&USER_ID=www
AMD Opteron 165 Denmark 1GHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model OSA165CDBOX $328.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...C-pr1c3grabb3r
OCZ Platinum Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 500 (PC 4000) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model OCZ5002048EBPE-K $284.65 http://www.atacom.com/program/print_...V8&USER_ID=www
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $95.00 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...e=pricegrabber
2 x HITACHI Deskstar 7K80 HDS728080PLA380 -0A30356 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (raid 0) $109.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822145082
Microsoft Natural 4000 Black Wired Keyboard $54.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...e=pricegrabber
Logitech G5 Laser $49.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...e=pricegrabber
NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE/ATAPI Model ND-3550A $38.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827152058
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card $127.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...C-pr1c3grabb3r
THERMALRIGHT XP-90 Multiple Heatpipes Cpu Heatsink with Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $44.27 http://order.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin...LTLWOgSA6Sdzk-
ZALMAN FB123 92mm Sleeve Cooling Fan $11.95 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=371007
Logitech THX Z-5300e 280 Watts RMS 5.1 Speaker $121.22 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...e=pricegrabber
Razer Mantis Control Mouse Pad $30.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817114325
NEC Black Internal Floppy Drive Model FD1231H-302 $11.88 $http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16821152005
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I really think that the raptors are a waste of money. Every time I say this I get someone dis agreeing but I will give you the facts: http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...px?i=2577&p=11

You may dis agree but I don't think the cost justifies the few seconds saved and loss of space. If you do go for it, consider cooling for it.

I would say the sound card isn't worth it, but a cheaper one may be, spend the money saved on a decent 5.1 set-up, you will get better sound performance out of that. (edit: saw you changed this.)

I would be soo tempted by the ATI X1900XT, and come back to wanting one in the knowledge that the drivers don't do the cards justice, they should really do better than they do, especially being able to do 2x AA, 2x AF and HDR in one cycle compared to the 3 the Nvidia card has to do.

There was nothing wrong with the Enermax PSU. If you want silent, Seasonic PSU's are whisper silent (and good, they have won loads of awards.)

The case comes with 2 120mm fans and 2 92mm 'silent' fans, even though if you want silent I would leave out the top 92mm fan but this will increase the temps 2*C apparently, but I haven't got round to checking.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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be aware that that pc power and cooling psu is very loud 34 - 44dB(A) , anyway its an overkill this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103932 will get the job done very well and will save you alot of $

the case is very good but be aware only the front is aluminum. the chasis is all steel , i suggest youll spend a bit more for a full aluminum case like the gigabyte aurora
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811233002

good choice on the heatsink , but i suggest youll get a stronger adjustable fan

you might wanna get seagate hds instead (5yr warranty), and try to buy all the parts from one store if possible
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The case is his choice, but be aware that the case will weigh alot, I can only just about hover my Kandalf across the room.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trifid
The case is his choice
did i say it isnt? , notice i used the words "i suggest"
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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you guys got bad taste in cases, man im lookin at my lexa right now, i can just hug it all day(a little big but hey).
Its extremely light my psu weighs twice as much my comp with the parts in it.
i wouldnt go with something so big and dull, but thats just me i guess.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Do not buy an x1900 series card! I upgraded from my 7800gt to an x1900xt and I already regret it. The ATI card may be faster, but it seems to be choppy.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeremy
did i say it isnt? , notice i used the words "i suggest"
I was saying don't be persuaded into a case that he may not like.
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