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Old 08-31-2004, 08:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a new system - need advice

Building a new system - need help on hardware.

I've sort of lagged behind with new hardware in the last couple of years, but now I'm ready to build my new 'uber' system. I will be playing high end games, like Doom 3 and HL2 - not interested in overclocking, done it a few times but encountered more problems than not.

I have £2000 - £2500 to spend but before I do I need you to confirm/dispel some stuff I've heard so far.


1. Chip - I defintely want to go for an AMD 64, am not too sure what the major differences are between the 754 and 939 though. Can someone explain these to me in simple terms pls?

2. Video Card - Definetly going for the Nvidia 6800 Ultra

3. Mobo - Need a motherboard with SATA for HDD, on-board sound/LAN. From what I understand the new nvidia card doesn't support AGP 2x/4x [need 8x]. Is this correct?

4. HDD - prob go for something like a 200GB 16MB cache SATA drive

5. Memory - depending on mobo, fastest speed possible, 1 - 2GB

6. PSU - Enermax 480W -

Lastly for each question could you suggest a product - I've made a basket with my choices in, would just want to see what other routes people would take.

Thanks for all your help.

PS: Alternatively, make a whole system within my price range that you think will max out. (NO MONITOR NEEDED)
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Old 08-31-2004, 09:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1. Chip - I defintely want to go for an AMD 64, am not too sure what the major differences are between the 754 and 939 though. Can someone explain these to me in simple terms pls?

- 754 and 939 are the number of pins on the chips themselves, which means you need a socket that'll fit. The 939-AMD 64's are the latest, but there are VERY few boards that support them. In my opinion, yer better off not wasting your money right now and just stick with a 754-pin chip if you really want the AMD-64.

2. Video Card - Definetly going for the Nvidia 6800 Ultra

- Fine...except I wouldn't buy an Ultra now. The prices are WAY too high!!! If you really want a performing 6800 g-card now, go with the 6800-GT. It's about a $100 bucks cheaper (about 55 pounds, I'm guessing) and plenty beefy.

3. Mobo - Need a motherboard with SATA for HDD, on-board sound/LAN. From what I understand the new nvidia card doesn't support AGP 2x/4x [need 8x]. Is this correct?

- Yep. Of course, when you're planning on spending that kind of money on a g-card, I would STRONGLY recommend you go to the manufacturer's website and read the specs and manuals. The 6800-Ultra is NOT backwards-compatible with previous versions of AGP (2x,4x) and uses a 1.5v AGP socket (which is pretty standard on 8x AGP).

4. HDD - prob go for something like a 200GB 16MB cache SATA drive

- You could. However, the only broadly-compatable 200gb SATA drive manufacturer I know of is Maxtor, and I don't trust them for reliability or soundness. I trust my data only to Seagate, as their drives are solid, dependable, quiet, and long lasting. Seagate sells a 200gb SATA model, but it was designed on the previous version of SATA (1.0) and gets flakey on the newer version (1.5). Personally, I'd recommend a pair of Seagate 120gb SATAs.

5. Memory - depending on mobo, fastest speed possible, 1 - 2GB

- Depends on what you're doing. If you're just gaming, then save your money (for now) and only buy a gig. If you're doing heavy computation work (like AutoCAD, 3D-modeling/meshing, or running heavy simulation software) more than a gig is okay. Still, a gig of GOOD ram will go far. HOWEVER, I will note that you NEED to read the specs on whatever processor you buy, because NOT ALL 64-bit AMDs support dual channel, and not all RAM for that matter. If you want dual-channel RAM, you need to do some matching-up first to make sure both your motherboard AND your processor can handle it.

6. PSU - Enermax 480W

- Good lord NO. If you got the bucks, the biggest PSU you can buy should be first on your list. For what you have above, I would say 500w MINIMUM!!! There are good 600w+ PSUs on the market that aren't much more expensive than the 500watts, and you'll be happier for the extra power. Remember, you can't hurt a system by putting in a bigger powersupply than it needs, but you CAN hurt a system by putting in something smaller. Always go for the biggest PSU you can afford.

Any questions? Good. Class dismissed. Someone get me a beer.

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Old 08-31-2004, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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lol, thanks for that.

I've drawn up this - I appreciate you prob won't have time to individually go through each item but what do you think so far:

AMD Athlon FX53 (Socket 939) - Retail (CP-089-AM) - £587.44

MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (Socket 939) Motherboard (MB-027-MS) - £95.76

Samsung SpinPoint P SP1614C 160GB SATA 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-012-SA) - £71.09

Samsung SpinPoint P SP1614C 160GB SATA 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-012-SA) - £71.09

Asus V9999 Ultra Deluxe GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB DDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (AGP) - Retail (GX-040-AS) - £387.69

OCZ 2GB (4x512MB) PC3500 Dual Channel Platinum Edition EB-DDR CAS2.5 (MY-040-OC) - £434.32

OCZ PowerStream 520w Power Supply (CA-011-OC) - £103.64

LG GSA-4120B Dual Layer 12x DVD±RW ReWriter - Retail (CD-024-LG) - £66.97

Asus CRW-5232AS-Quiet 52X/32X/52X CD-ReWriter - Retail (CD-009-AS) - £20.56

Sunbeam case - £46.94


Yeah it will mainly be for games although I do use macromedia and 3DSM for modelling
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Samsung SpinPoint P SP1614C 160GB SATA 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-012-SA) - £71.09
Samsung (while a nice company) makes cell phones and coffee pots. I wouldn't trust a harddrive from them, IMOP. I'll tell you from experience that Seagate is awsome. Take it or leave it.

Quote:
Asus V9999 Ultra Deluxe GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB DDR3
I still think you're throwing money away by buying the Ultra right now. It's at market-edge prices, and that means you're paying too much. The Ultra is fad right now, so you're paying fad prices.

Quote:
AMD Athlon FX53 (Socket 939)
As for the FX53, you're paying almost 600 pounds for a processor that is barely supported by anything used today. Microsoft's Longhorn is barely in the public eye, there aren't any 64bit games and very few applications that run 64bit. You're paying a HUGE amount of money for a chip that you won't be able to see a real performance out of for at least six months (if not years). Personally, I think you're throwing money into the latest gear on a new technology, and that's almost always a recipe for disaster. But, again, it's your money so you do as you do.

600-pounds for a half-used processor! Christ...
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, im sorry i dont know the currency in pounds , but how bout saving some bucks and get the ATi x800xt platinum edition. I heard it is a really good card
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by overclocker1
Well, im sorry i dont know the currency in pounds , but how bout saving some bucks and get the ATi x800xt platinum edition. I heard it is a really good card
not for doom3, 6800 pwns x800

also, great britain pounds are worth almost 2x u.s. dollars, but you pay the same numerical amount, i.e., you pay probably GBP1600 for a $1700 bill, even though technically, you're paying $3000
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShoobieRat
As for the FX53, you're paying almost 600 pounds for a processor that is barely supported by anything used today. Microsoft's Longhorn is barely in the public eye, there aren't any 64bit games and very few applications that run 64bit. You're paying a HUGE amount of money for a chip that you won't be able to see a real performance out of for at least six months (if not years). Personally, I think you're throwing money into the latest gear on a new technology, and that's almost always a recipe for disaster. But, again, it's your money so you do as you do.
windows xp professional x64 is due in february . . . not only that, but A LOT of linux flavors are 64-bit . . .

also, lachesis . . . get ONE western digital raptor 73.4GB and one seagate barracuda or maxtor maxline (seagate is cheaper, since the maxline is 250,300,350GB)

dump your 6800ultra, get a 6800gt (xfx has one with DUAL DVI) and overclock it to ultra speeds or higher (you also save room in your case by doing this)

ram, i dont know ANYONE who needs more than a GB, but i guess more is always better . . . . . .

upgrade to the NEC/Pioneer 16x DVD+R with 4x Dual Layer

is there a need for the second optical drive?

also, power supply . . . look for something by antec (only neopower though), thermaltake, enermax

reason i said only neopower from antec is because in europe (or at least the EU), you NEED active power factor correction (active PFC)
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<SMALL><font color=\"blue\">Desktop
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Winchester @ 2000MHz
MSI K8N Neo4 nForce4 Ultra
ThermalTake Tsunami Dream Black w/ Side Window
Antec Neopower 480W
Maxtor 250GB SATA + Seagate 200GB SATA
Patriot 2GB (2x1024) PC3200
NEC ND-3520A DVD+/-RW
Dell 2005FPw 20.1\" Widescreen LCD
ATi Radeon x800XT
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