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Old 08-10-2005, 03:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How is this computer setup?

Basically I am upgrading to a better PC from the one I am using now, and I was wondering if anyone could help me on the subject of them all be compatible with each other, and if any of you would change a certain aspect of my machine?

Here's the list of parts:

CPU: Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ Socket 939 512KB
Motherboard: Asus A8V Deluxe Motherboard
Graphics Card: Radeon X800 Pro 256Mb
Hard Disk Drive: 2 x Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 10 NCQ 300GB 6L300SO SATA 16MB Cache
Memory: Corsair 2Gb DDR 400MHz PC3200
Soundcard: CREATIVE Sound Blaster Audigy 2 SB0400 8
DVD+/-RW: NEC ND-3520A Black Dual Layer DVD+/-RW
Floppy Disk Drive: Sony 3.5" FDD
Case: Extreme Gaming Spider Case
Mouse: Logitek MX510
Keyboard: Saitek Eclipse
Screen: Unsure about at the moment, considering a 19" TFT LCD

That's about it. Just a few pointers on what I might consider changing:
[list=1][*]The graphics isn't that good, and I was considering upgrading to a PCI Express card (like the GeForce 6800GT). Would that benefit me more?[*]Not to sure either about the soundcard. I'm not after anything special, but I would just like a reasonable soundcard that's not too expensive.[/list=1]

All of this should cost me around £1200 ($2200). But the main point I'm trying to achieve is that all the parts are compatible. Also, suggestions on anything you would do differently would be very appreicated.

Thanks very much!!
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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 08-10-2005, 04:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It seems like your budget is fairly generous, could you extend it to get better performing memory than the corsair? Perhaps something based on the Samsung TCCD chips? Especially if you're considering overclocking. If you don't plan on overclocking, you'll not gain much of an advantage by paying over-the-odds for the Corsair as opposed to any other value ram imo.

Are you planning on running the Hard drives in Raid 0? Given the size of the disks I expect so. If you're not, it might be something worth considering.

As far as the graphics card is concerned (X800pro v 6800GT) I imagine quite a few people will be offering their own opinions on this Personally, I'd opt for the 6800GT (dx 9c, extra pipelines etc etc).

As for the sound card, you mention that you're not after anything particularly special, you can't go much wrong with the Audigy 2. Been around for a while, cheap, tried and tested.

I wouldn't scrimp on the TFT, read reviews and find one you like. (pay attention to response times in particular). If you can't afford a good one, I wouldn't get one. Given the gfx cards you're thinking about, I guess you're into gaming. Would be a shame to fork out a lot of money for poor picture quality given that you're putting so much time into what gfx card to get.

Good luck
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I love PC games but at the moment I am restricted as to what games I can play due to my current PC. As regards to the RAM situation, I was price checking on quite a few companies for RAM and it came down to Corsair or Kingston. Overall, Corsair cost less (around £125 including P&P for 2 sticks of 1Gb) and the Kingston slightly more than that. But I'll deffinitely look into the Samsung chips, thanks for the advice!

Yeah, I was deffinitely considering RAID 0 purely because I can't afford to loose University projects when i go in September.

I'm being drawn more towards the 6800 GT (mainly because of the PCI Express option) and although Radeon do a PCI Express version of the X800 Pro, all the benchmark tests I've seen put the 6800 GT & Ultra way ahead of even the X800 XT.

Well it was really a pure guess at the soundcard as this is the first PC I've ever built from scratch!

As for the TFT screen, I was considering the Hyundai ImageQuest L90D with a response time of 8ms, and it's also a DVI monitor. Would you agree that's good money to spend on a TFT? Here's a link to some of the details about the screen. Also, I have looked at CRT's but one major contributing factor to my screen is the size of my University room! :bald:

Thanks very much for your help! If you could reply to this, it would be extremely appreciated!
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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 08-10-2005, 05:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you going to game? Are you going to overclock?

On board sound is really good now, so the sound card is pointless.

The X800pro is terrible (see beedubaya)

If you have the space go with a CRT as they have a better image quality, and don't get dead pixels.


You don't have a PSU included in that price.

This is what I would get if it was my money (brought from OCUK, which are a bit more expensive on some items.):

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 90nm (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA3700BNBOX) (CP-121-AM)
£164.95 £164.95
DFI LanParty UT NF4 SLI-D (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-013-DF)
£102.50 £102.50
OCZ 1GB (2 x 512MB) PC3200 Dual Channel Platinum Series EL-DDR REVISION 2 CAS2 (MY-048-OC)
£139.95 £139.95
Leadtek WinFast GeForce 6800 GT 256MB DDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-049-LT)
£179.95 £179.95
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus 200GB ST3200822AS SATA 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-016-SE)
£63.25 £126.50
NEC ND3540 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Silver) - OEM (CD-020-NE)
£29.30 £29.30
Antec TruePower 2.0 550W PSU (CA-028-AN)
£79.95 £79.95
Subtotal £823.10
VAT £144.05
Total £967.15

If you are not overclocking get generic ram, so you can get the 2gb's for the same price.

The case is your opinion, so get something you like, remember to be careful in cheap cases, as the metal is thinner, and you could cut your self.

Don't use generic PSU's either.
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Old 08-10-2005, 06:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've just bought a Viewsonic VX924. DVI and 4ms response time. Brilliant monitor although when response times get this fast other factors come into question, like how the human brain perceives the moving picture and how they actually measured it.
But, all in all, cracking monitor.
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Computer:
Athlon 64 3500+
ASUS A8V-E Deluxe Motherboard
2x512MB 400MHz DDR Dual Channel
Gigabyte X800XL - 256MB Mem
Maxtor Y160M0 - 160GB SATA
Maxtor 80GB PATA
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Old 08-10-2005, 08:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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if you're concerned about losing data, then a Raid 0 will not do anything. a Raid 0 is designed to try and increase the drive access speed. it provides no redundancy.
a raid 1 will mirror the drives, so the data on both hard drives are an exact copy of each other.
if one drive fails, a Raid 1 will mean you keep your data. a Raid 0 means that data on the other hard drive is worthless
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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1GB RAM gives a much better price/performance.
get 2x512MB sticks, of Samsung TCCD's
G.Skill makes the best RAM. it uses Samsung TCCD's, plus very well designed PCB's, that is guaranteed to get DDR600 with the right motherboard and CPU.
next to that is OCZ. OCZ will usually reach DDR500 at least, some people have gotten it over DDR550
and, RAM latencies are not as important as some people try and say. especially Corsair. that's one reason Corsair is not good value.
RAM latencies are measured in clock cycles, which are done in 1/400000000 seconds for DDR400. seriously, you're probabbly not going to notice a wait of even 200 clock cycles, let alone 2 which is what people try and go for.
you can usually get higher speeds if you increase the latencies. my advice is to focus on memory speed, and just increase the latencies as you can get higher clock speeds. you're not going to notice the waits, especially as the clock speeds get higher. it means clock cycles take even less time out of a second.
DDR600 means 1 clock cycle is 1/600000000 seconds, meaning it takes 2/3 the time to complete a clock cycle as DDR400 (which is standard)

I would go for a 6800 GT instead. they have better OpenGL performance, PS 3.0, more pipes, and better drivers.

for socket 939, don't go Asus. Asus make good boards for Intel, but there are much better boards than the Asus's for AMD
DFI and MSI probabbly make the best ones ATM. for AGP it's more limited, but I'd suggest PCI-E.
the DFI NF4 Ultra-D is the best for overclocking. it holds all the top records for Athlon 64 overclocking.
next to that is the MSI K8N Neo 4 Platinum. it's a really good overclocker, but not quite as good as the DFI. although it is not very expensive so if you are on a limited budget, it is a really good board to get.

the PSU is very important too. you need a good PSU, because if it goes out, all the rest of your system can go with it.
Antec, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Enermax and OCZ are good brands of PSU.
for a 6800 + an X2, you should get at least 480W, preferrably 500W or 550W

if you want an LCD, make sure you get one with at LEAST a 16ms response time. otherwise, the picture you get, especially in motion will be blurred.
if you can, get a 12 or even 8ms monitor.
or, what I'd suggest is go to a swap-meet (or whatever it's called in the US) and pick up a good 21" CRT. they're heavy, but usually very good.

I got my monitor (a 21" Trinitron) from a swap meet for $380 (AU) (they're normally over $1000 new) and this monitor is brilliant! it has a 2048x1536 resolution, and can get up to 180HZ refresh rate. plus the picture quality is really good.
although you need to watch out for bad products at a swap-meet. look for monitors that are actually running, so you know they're working, and you can also see the image quality of it.

sound card: the DFI and MSI boards come with 7.1 (8 channel) sound cards. unless you have superhuman hearing, you're not going to notice the difference between the onboard sound of these motherboards and the Audigy 2.
even if you do get 7.1 speakers, you won't need a separate sound card to support them
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by apokalipse
if you're concerned about losing data, then a Raid 0 will not do anything. a Raid 0 is designed to try and increase the drive access speed. it provides no redundancy.
a raid 1 will mirror the drives, so the data on both hard drives are an exact copy of each other.
if one drive fails, a Raid 1 will mean you keep your data. a Raid 0 means that data on the other hard drive is worthless
Indeedy, it's worth spending some time looking up the different type of Raid options you have available 'the deceived', though imho it seems somewhat of a waste to have a whole 300gb drive in a Raid 1 setup (especially given that you'll have a DVD writer sat there as an alternative backup solution).

At the end of the day, it all depends on your options/budget/how important the data really is and how much data you'll need to back up as to what solution is really best for you. You might find it's worthwhile looking into some of those other backup solutions (external hdd's, burning files to DVD) before plumping for a Raid 1 option with a big fat 300gb disk as nothing more than a fail-safe.

Sorry if I've complicated matters, just wanted to point out some alternatives available Have fun
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasedog
Indeedy, it's worth spending some time looking up the different type of Raid options you have available 'the deceived', though imho it seems somewhat of a waste to have a whole 300gb drive in a Raid 1 setup (especially given that you'll have a DVD writer sat there as an alternative backup solution).

At the end of the day, it all depends on your options/budget/how important the data really is and how much data you'll need to back up as to what solution is really best for you. You might find it's worthwhile looking into some of those other backup solutions (external hdd's, burning files to DVD) before plumping for a Raid 1 option with a big fat 300gb disk as nothing more than a fail-safe.

Sorry if I've complicated matters, just wanted to point out some alternatives available Have fun
Originally I didn't know what the difference was between RAID 0 and RAID 1, but now I do I'm thinking I might just stick one 300Gb HDD in there and like you said, just back up any important information on a DVD.

Thanks very much for your help!!
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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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