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Old 09-10-2005, 05:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Suggestions for new gaming comp?

Hi--

I am a first time builder and was wondering if you could take a look at my proposed system before I spend the cash


ThermalTake Tsunami Series Aluminum ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Top USB, Firewire and Audio Ports - Black

Ultra / X-Connect / 500-Watt / ATX / Dual 80mm Fan / Titanium-Color / UV Clear Sides / Modular Power Supply

AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 / 1MB Cache / 2000MHz FSB / Socket 939 / San Diego Core / Processor with Fan

Gigabyte K8NXP SLI nVidia Socket 939 ATX Motherboard / Audio / PCI Express / Dual Gigabit LAN / USB 2.0 & Firewire / Serial ATA

Mushkin HP Dual Channel 2048MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory (2 x 1024MB)

BFG GeForce 7800 GTX OC / 256MB DDR3 / PCI Express / SLI / Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Gamer PCI Sound Card

Western Digital Raptor 74GB Serial ATA 10K / 8MB / S-ATA-150 / OEM / Hard Drives ( 2- Pack )

Vision 16x DVD-ROM / Black / Cyberlink Software / DVD Drive

Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition OEM


Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks,
Matt
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Old 09-10-2005, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good dude. Great gaming system you have there I love that motherboard, and well everyone is going to disagree with me and say for you to get the DFI but I think it's overpriced and well, since you're a first time builder, I;m guessing your not an overclocker. But then your mushkin RAM tells me otherwise. If you are an overlcocker, you're not going to like the Gigabyte motherboard because they spent more tim on features than overclockablility. The DFI is more overclockable, and many others will advise you to get it.

If you have enough money to get an FX-57 CPU, I'd advise you to get an X2 4800 dual core from AMD. Just my personal prefernce as the FX series is overpriced and it will outdate itself quickly.

Apart from that, it looks good. How much is it going to cost you?

EDIT: Go for Windows XP Professional, there are quite a few bugs on the 64 bit version.
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<center>Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 512KB l Gigabyte GA-K8N-XP Sli Motherboard l XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 256Mb (450/1250) l OCZ 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) Dual Channel Platinum Series DDR400 l Maxtor Diamondmax 250Gb SATA 7200rpm 16Mb Cache l Enermax 600W Noisetaker l NEC ND-3540A Black Dual Layer DVD+/-RW l Sony 3.5\" FDD l Black Coolermaster Aerogate 2 Fan Controller l Extreme Gaming Spider Case l Viewsonic VX924 19\" TFT 4ms Response Time l Logitek MX518 l Saitek Eclipse l Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2</center>
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Old 09-10-2005, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Why does everyone say to go with XP Professional? What does it have that XP Home doesn't?
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Old 09-10-2005, 05:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, there's not much difference in price, and XP Professional is more feature full, and is more secure. That's about it. But I mean he can get Home if he wants, I didn't specifically mean for him to get Pro, I was just advising him not to get 64 bit
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<center>Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 512KB l Gigabyte GA-K8N-XP Sli Motherboard l XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 256Mb (450/1250) l OCZ 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) Dual Channel Platinum Series DDR400 l Maxtor Diamondmax 250Gb SATA 7200rpm 16Mb Cache l Enermax 600W Noisetaker l NEC ND-3540A Black Dual Layer DVD+/-RW l Sony 3.5\" FDD l Black Coolermaster Aerogate 2 Fan Controller l Extreme Gaming Spider Case l Viewsonic VX924 19\" TFT 4ms Response Time l Logitek MX518 l Saitek Eclipse l Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2</center>
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Old 09-11-2005, 01:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If I was to overclock, which motherboard would you recommend? Is Gigabyte not any good for overclocking? I was under the impression that they were a reputable comany. Also, I have been trying to figure out the best hard drive(s) and manufacturer to go with. SCSI@15K rpm, SATA I@10K rpm, or SATA II@7500 rpm (these are the fastest rpms I could find for each HD type)? Since there seems to be a debate about what direction game makers are going to go (ie multi or single thread), I don't know if I want to invest in a $1000 chip at this time. I also may decide to take another $530 off by not getting a second video card--from the reviews I have read, there is not a huge increase in fps with SLI enabled. Anyone have an alternate solution that is very upgradable and is still going to be an awesome performer with today's games? I just want a system that is going to COOK. Speaking of cooking...I know nothing of fans, heatsinks, etc. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks again.

deceived: My cart at tigerdirect is currently around $3400.
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I totally know where you're coming from. Here's what I would suggest about what parts to get:

1. Interms of SLi, it is a good thing to have, and yes (as you said) you will not see a huge rise in fps IF you go ahead and buy two 7800GTXs (purely because just one 7800GTX can run ANY game out at the moment on full graphics). But for the people who can't afford that for the minute, getting two say 6600GTs would see a big difference in gaming. Also, at the moment, SLi is being slated at the minute because it takes two 16 x PCI-Express cards, and makes them run at 8x each (which in some people's eyes is not as good as one card running at 16x). Getting a SLi board is down to you really. I got one because I know in say two years time, the 7800GTXs will be the mid-card range, and then it would be a good time to spend less than half the money on one to up my performance.

As regards getting the Gigabyte board, they are by far one of the most reputable companies on the market for producing very stable, feature full products. When it comes down to overclockability, they are not that highly rated. I got a Gigabyte motherboard because I am no overclocker, and I just want a rock solid, very reliable system that can play games without the need for overclocking. t's also one of the cheaper SLi boards, but has the most features I think

2. Your hard drive choice is really down to how much money you can spend. The general concensus on hard drives is, the more you spend, the more you get out of it. Now you can go for an SCSI hard drive that run like there's no tomorrow, but I've seen their prices (around $1200 for a 147Gb hard drive on Newegg). But what I would go for is a rock solid, big capacity SATA hard drive, because the difference in performance between say a 74Gb Wester Digital raptor and a Maxtor 250Gb SATA 16Mb Cache (I think) isn't worth the money. Maybe in a few months, or a years time, they will come down in price, and then I might conside getting one.

3. In terms of fans and heatsinks, again the more you have, the better performing system you have. I am sticking with the stock heatsink for my processor because (as I said before) I am not an overclocker, and the stock should do it's job perfectly. I also have a dual fan power supply to help with the cooling, and four case fans with a fan controller to keep it at an optimum temperature. Always remember that the hotter a component run, the shorter it's life. So if you're not an overclocker, just stick with stock cooling and add some extra fans for help.

Summarising all this makes you ask yourself two things:

1. Am I an overcocker?

If you're not, then stock cooling with a few extra fans will be ample for you. If you are an overclocker, look towards a new heatsink for your processor, and possibly more extreme cooling methods (like water cooling). You can overclock on air cooling, but just be advised as to not to go too far and burn out your mothboard etc.

2. How much do I have to spend?

With $3400, you can get pretty much the highest spec system around (depending on what your view is on high end systems). I am guessing that when you say you can save yourself $530 on another graphics card, you were thinking on putting two 7800GTXs in SLi mode. Don't do this for now as that is way too much overkill! Use that $530 to get a better processor (like a 4800 dual core from AMD) and invest on more RAM (but make sure it is a good version, not Value RAM).

Hope all this helps, and if you want help pricing the system together, just give me a PM and I'll happily help you
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<center>Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 512KB l Gigabyte GA-K8N-XP Sli Motherboard l XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 256Mb (450/1250) l OCZ 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) Dual Channel Platinum Series DDR400 l Maxtor Diamondmax 250Gb SATA 7200rpm 16Mb Cache l Enermax 600W Noisetaker l NEC ND-3540A Black Dual Layer DVD+/-RW l Sony 3.5\" FDD l Black Coolermaster Aerogate 2 Fan Controller l Extreme Gaming Spider Case l Viewsonic VX924 19\" TFT 4ms Response Time l Logitek MX518 l Saitek Eclipse l Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2</center>
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would get a DFI nF4 SLI-DR

a X2 processor(toledo core)

and a different power supply
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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GO NEWEGG. There prices seem to be cheaper and have better service. Ive got newegg plenty and i had a great time. My friend went tigerdirect a bunch of times and got screwed everytime. Plus it should save you money.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for your suggestion about newegg. I have modified my system a little. DFI was not recommended by AMD's website, so I decided to stick with Gigabyte. There were nothing but positive reviews about the board at newegg. ASUS (my second choice) was supported, but there were several negative posts with systems that resemble mine. After a ton of research, here is my updated configuration:

Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

OCZ OCZ520ADJ ATX 520W Power Supply - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-K8NXP-SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4800CDBOX - Retail

OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Platinum System Memory Model OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K - Retail

Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM **X2**

LITE-ON Black IDE Combo Drive Model SOHC-5236V BK RTL - Retail

BFG Tech BFGR78256GTXOC Geforce 7800GTX 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro 70SB036000000 8 (7.1) Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

Saitek PZ18AU Black USB Wired Zero-Slope design Executive Keyboard - Retail

NEC LCD1970GX-BK Black 19" 8ms LCD Monitor - Retail

Razer Plasma Diamondback RZD-1600P Black 7 Buttons 1x Wheel USB Mouse - Retail

Microsoft Windows XP Professional With Service Pack 2 - OEM



Final thoughts, or do you think I am good to go? My only remaining concerns are regarding 1) the power supply (too much power/too little power), 2) the evolving BTX form factor (for upgrades), and 3) I am considering a Maxtor 73GB 15k SCSI HD in place of the two Raptors. Also, I don't want to spend big $ on memory and have it not be fully supported. Gigabyte recommended OCZ Platinum, but I really wanted Gold for the enhanced latency. Also, can I buy PC4000 memory for a motherboard that only goes up to PC3200, or does the motherboard already have to support the memory type? <---still very confused about memory.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm loving your system Great choice of processor, motherboard, RAM and graphics card

Answers to your questions:

1. That PSU should be fine for your system, but what I would try and do is get something more than 520W, and try to get 550W as two 7800GTXs in SLi mode can consume a lot of power, and I think as long as you get a reputable brand, then a 600W PSU ould do you fine. You can never have too much power (well it won't damage your PC at all, but it will damage your wallet more than needed to ). Try and get a 600W PSU that has at least 18A on both the 12V rails (you can easily look at the specs to find out, usually written like 12V1@xxA for the first rail, and 12V2@xxA for the second).

2. Not quite sure what you're asking here? BTX?

3. The new SCSI hard drives are extremely fast, but they will charge you an arm and a leg for one of them. It's personally down to you, and how much money you have, but if you get one SCSI hard drive now, in say a couple of months time you could possibly afford another one and them put them in a RAID configuration. But at the moment, the raptors look good.

4. Don't get the PC4000 OCZ Gold RAM as your motherboard does not support anything higher than PC3200, and I think it will just bottleneck your system, and your RAM will be underclocking. Either that, or your motherboard will not recognise the RAM and then your system will not work OCZ Platinum is great stock RAM, so you should be fine with that for like at least another 2-3 years

Hope all that helps
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<center>Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 512KB l Gigabyte GA-K8N-XP Sli Motherboard l XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 256Mb (450/1250) l OCZ 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) Dual Channel Platinum Series DDR400 l Maxtor Diamondmax 250Gb SATA 7200rpm 16Mb Cache l Enermax 600W Noisetaker l NEC ND-3540A Black Dual Layer DVD+/-RW l Sony 3.5\" FDD l Black Coolermaster Aerogate 2 Fan Controller l Extreme Gaming Spider Case l Viewsonic VX924 19\" TFT 4ms Response Time l Logitek MX518 l Saitek Eclipse l Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2</center>
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