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Old 03-16-2005, 05:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Solid Gaming PC

Well I'm a relative noob to the PC tech world, I haven't built a PC yet and don't plan to for a while. I recently got enough money to get what I think is a suitably good gaming PC that will perform quite well and last a good amount of time. I'm buying off directpc.com and I am very close to finalizing this build. Please comment on whether these parts are a good fit for games like World of Warcraft, Rome: Total War, Half Life 2, and the upcoming Battlefield 2.

The specs: DX-980-A: X-Machine

- Case: 17 Inch Codegen BrizA Mid Tower (Black/Silver)
- Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2 GHz) 512KB cache 939-pin
- Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe (chipset nVidia nForce4 SLI)
- DDR Memory: Single mode : 1 x 1024 MB DDR 400 MHz / PC3200 184-pin
- Hard Drive with Serial ATA interface: 80 GB Serial ATA 150 / 7200 rpm 8MB cache
- Video Card (PCI Express x16): GeForce 6600GT 128MB DDR3 [PCI-E x16] DVI / TV-out
- Sound Card: OnBoard High-Quality AC97 Audio System
- Optical Drive : 52x CD-ROM, IDE
- Optical Drive : 16x DVD-ROM w/ Software
- Removable Storage Device(s): 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive
- Network Card: Integrated LAN with Gigabit Controller
- Cathode Light & Additional Case Fan: Dual Cold Cathode Light 12" (Blue) & Case Fan w/ LED
- USB ports: At least 4 USB ports (2 Front and 2 Back)
- Power Supply: 400 Watt ATX 12V Power Supply (24-pin)
- CPU Cooling: Manufacturer's CPU Fan
- Operating Systems (OS): Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition w/ SP2
- Keyboard and Mouse: Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 3.0 w/Optical Mouse
-Speakers: 5.1 Logitech X-530 Speaker System


I originally thought that I would go with a big name comp from Alienware but reconsidered because it seemed I was paying a premium for the brand name.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Get 2 sticks of RAM totalling 1GB (2x512mb) rather than just one stick. This will enable you to run the memory in dual channel mode. Also, are you sure you dont want a cd burner?
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just shipped a a8n-sli system i've been building over the past couple days..

I'm not very fond of asus to begin with. But, i was doing benchmarks.. Cpu benchmark for an amd 64 3200 was 9000mips and change, not bad. Memory benchmark was 4700gbs, i manually set the memory timing to 2-2-2-5 and got it up to 4898. Compare that to my benchmark results (listed below).

the a8n has weird m/b layout (as far as where everything is located). I had a weird memory problem with the board, where it wouldn't want to work in dual channel (flashing bios fixed it).

i think asus just sucks.. I use their ncch-dl for dual xeon systems and i cant stand it either.. Every time we get an A8V in stock we have to order 2 just to make sure one will go out with the system (we've stopped ordering them, they're crap aswell).

I'd recommend the k8nxp-sli m/b to you. Aswell as dropping the processor to the 3200 winchester 939 (you won't notice a performance difference.) the 3500 benchmarks at 10182mips on a k8ns-ultra.

You're going to want 2x 512 for dual channel (it adds 2-3 gbit/s of memory throughput)

the only difference between xp pro and home.. is with pro you can use dual processors, and log onto a domain (if you're running active directory)
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, I definately getting the 2x 512mb RAM now, its cheaper then a stick of 1024mb.

As for the motherboard, as I'm buying the whole PC from a company I don't have many options. The only other motherboard available for this system is:

- Giga-Byte GA-K8NXP-SLI (chipset nVidia nForce4 SLI)

Is it much better than the asus?

For the processor, even if the 3500+ isn't that much of an improvement, won't it give increased longetivity and prevent me from having to upgrade as quickly in the future?

p.s. It is slightly more expensive but the extra savings from the change in RAM more than makes up for it.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dont buy it from a company. Buy the parts from newegg and assemble it yourself. Easier than it sounds and youll save at least a hundred bucks.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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People like their gigabytes more than Asus. Asus has recently had some quality control issues for K8's
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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abit is a trustworthy brand.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Okay I'm changing the ram and mobo, but I'm still unsure whether to downgrade the cpu. I can fit in my budget with the 3500+. although any savings are nice. Any other opinions?

Also I'm buying a monitor seperately as the company didn't have any CRT monitors. I'm looking in the 19"-21" range and would like to utilize all my hardware to the fullest, while trying to stay within in a good price range, any suggestions?
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the k8nxp-sli is what im using, its solid. you're limited to motherboards not because of who you bought from, but because of whats avalible. Currently the gbyte k8nxp-sli and asus a8v-sli are the only home user sli boards on the market (unless ive missed something). There is also the tyan sli motherboard, but it's made for dual opterons.

To answer your questions about the processors.... no.

The difference between the 3500 and the 3200 is so small you aren't going to notice the difference. You'll just be saving yourself 100$

If you're having someone else build your system, and you want good support checkout www.adkgaming.com . It's where i work at, good support, good computers, good people. I've been working there like 4-5 months, they've been around roughly 8 years building pro audio, pro video, and sweet gaming boxes. If you're intrested or have anymore questions you can call up tomorrow 11am-7pm est and ask for tom (me).

fyi, im an hourly employee (im not self-promoting, i wasnt sure what the rules are here.)
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AMD 64 x2 3800 Venice @ 2.0
Zalman 7700 @ 28c
Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI
2 x Samsung 1gb DDR400 CL2.5
2 x eVga 6800 256mb GT
430mhz Core / 1.1ghz Memory
M-Audio Firewire-410
Sandra Memory Bench:
Sandra Cpu Arithmetic:

Eat your heart out intel.
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That gigabyte board would be great, dual bios, SATA2, it has everything.
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<font size=\"1\">Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHZ HT-------------------AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Winchester
Intel Stock CPU Cooler------------------------Zalman 7700-Cu
Idle: 51C---------------------------------------Idle: 21C
Load: 72C--------------------------------------Load: 28C
ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe-----------------------GIGABYTE K8NF4-9 NForce4 4X
512MBX2 Corsair XMS 2-2-2-5 PC-3200-----512MBX2 Corsair XMS 2-2-2-5 PC-3200
ATI RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition-------ATI RADEON X800 XL
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS----------Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Western Digital Raptor 37GB 10K------------2X Western Digital SATA150 Caviar SE 80GB RAID 0
Antec True 480W------------------------------Thermaltake Silent PurePower 680W
Zalman 5.1 Headphones----------------------Zalman 5.1 Headphones
Zalman High Sensitivity Microphone----------Zalman High Sensitivity Microphone
Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard 1.0A----------Logitech Media Keyboard
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 4.0A---------Logitech MX510
3DMark05: 5,928------------------------------3DMark05: 5,000</font>
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