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Old 02-22-2005, 12:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need Your Input on This System

Hi all,

This is my first post (really glad that I found this forum) and I would like to get some advice on a system that I am planning on building.

I currently own a Dell P4 1.3 Ghz machine that I have had enough of. I have had it for almost 4 years now but think it has served its purpose.

This is what I have in mind (please let me know what you think).

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ socket 939
MSI Neo 4 Platinum SLI Nforce 4 Chipset (or the equivalent ASUS)
Nvidia 6800 GT (1 of these)
Corsair RAM (1GB)
Thermaltake SHARK Black ATX Full Tower Case
2 WD Raptor 74 GB in Raid 0
Another couple of SATA drives for backup storage

I am not sure about the motherboard choice. Is there a big difference between MSI and ASUS?

I kind of like the SLI technology as in the future I can add another card right?

The choice of CPU seems to be in favor of AMD. I have never owned an AMD chip before so this would be the first one. I have heard really good things about them...

Finally this box is going to be used for gaming (me) and photo editing (my wife), maybe some video stuff later on.

I don't plan to do any over clocking (as of right now) but it is nice to know that I could if I wanted to.

Any advice???

Thanks in advance!!!


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Old 02-22-2005, 12:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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im not a fan of asus, msi or amd.

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Old 02-22-2005, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just about everybody here will tell you that the AMD Athlon 64 is the way to go instead of the Pentium 4. Also, stick with your MSI mobo or consider getting an Abit. Asus has went down hill, so stay clear of them.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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AMD is said to be better for video editing if your wife wishes to take the photo editing to a bigger stage.
That system is good enough to run all games out now (Inclusing Doom3) at a more than satisfatory setup.
Good luck with it.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Definitely stay away from the Asus board, the A8V has been a nightmare for me and though I was a big fan, I will never buy one from them again.
Thermaltake Shark
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AM2 X2 5600
Corsair XMS 2x1GB
Western Digital Raptor 150 GB
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Very good, your motherboard is an excellent choice, MSI is a much better manufacturer on so many levels than Asus, you will not be disappointed.

Could you be more specific with your memory, if at all possible.
Intel C2D E6320 / AMD Athlon X2 3800+
Gigabyte 965P DS3 / DFI nF4 Ultra-D
2GB OCZ Gold PC2-6400 / 2GB OCZ Gold PC4000
eVGA 8800GTS 320MB / eVGA 6800GS 256MB
150GB Raptor / 74GB Raptor
2x500GB / 320GB
OCZ GameXStreme 850w / OCZ StealthXStream 600w
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You can only add the exact card that you have right now. I'd suggest getting an eVGA 6800GT because they are highly overclockable and are able to fairly easily hit 6800Ultra speeds and sometimes beyond. So in the future you'd have to get a 2nd eVGA 6800GT for it to work.

Also like everyones said, I wouldn't go with ASUS. IMO like beedub said, their quality has simply gone downhill in the last few years.

ABit and DFI are among the two top most reputable overclocking boards with lots of options in the BIOS. You may not overclock now, but time and time again I've seen people say they didn't want to OC, buy cheap boards, and down the road decide they want to experiment with overclocking.

However, ABit doesn't have a SLI based board I'm aware of yet.

DFI has a couple

The lanparty nforce4 SLI
and lanparty UT Nforce4 SLI

That's the UT version.

Also, if you plan on overclocking RAM perhaps in the future, the best brands to get would be

OCZ Platinum Rev2
PQI Turbos
Patriot XBL
G.Skill LA series

Corsair will give you some room, but not as much as the others.

Read that article as it explains why some RAM overclocks better than others.

But yeah basically that machine you're building will lay complete waste to the dell. You should notice an amazing increase in speed and performance
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for all the excellent advice that you have offered.

To answer a few questions:

The RAM that I am considering is the following:
Corsair CMX512-3200C2 512MB DDR400 PC3200 XMS Memory w/Heat Spreader Retail (2 of these)

Am I going to need any cooling accesories? Is the heatsink that comes with the AMD chip sufficient for the heal load? Just curious...

I am not trying to build the ultimate gaming machine but I would like something that will hold its own for a good amount of time. As you can see, the last time I bought a computer was 4 years ago!!

Thanks again for all the great advice. Anyone else have any suggestions?

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Old 02-22-2005, 04:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Your ram will do nicely. If you arn't overclocking the Heatsink will suite you fine.

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