Athlon64 build

Gorrillasnot

Senior member
Mar 1, 2004
693
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A friend of mine wants me to put a athlon64 system together for him using a 3200+, and a MSI K8N Neo Platinum motherboard. I have a few questions before I order his parts. Right now he has an nForce1, XP1800+, 512MB system. He don't game. Really the only power requiring thing he does is rip CDs, convert mp3s, and burn music. Basically he wants to have a PC that is allot faster then his current rig and also faster then his friends rigs who are still using AthlonXP based systems. One downside to his needs to be fast is he is on a fairly tight budget so he cant afford anything too exotic.

1.) Can I use a single SATA hard drive or does SATA only work in RAID?

2.) I usually use newegg for parts, but didn't see the 1MB cache version of the 3200+(except for notebooks). Would the 512k version be noticeably slower? if so where would be another good place to pick up a 3200+ w/ 1MB cache?

3.) RAM. He wont be gamming much, actually he mostly will be using the PC for ripping/burning music, as well as chat and email. I don't plan to OC, so would cas 2.5 PC3200 RAM be a good choice or would OCZ or CorsairXMS cas 2.0 be worth spending the extra money on? If cas 2.5 RAM would be the better choice what would be a good brand to get?

4.) I chose the MSI nForce3 250gb based board after reading the midrange system guide here at anandtech, but when sorting by the most votes in the socket 754 category on newegg a VIA based Asus K8V SE board has the most votes. Would it be a better board? If the nForece3 250gb would be the better chipset, the 3rd most popular socket 754 board according to votes is the Soltek SL-K8AN2E-GR which is almost $30 cheaper then the MSI board. Would it be a good board to use to save a few bucks?

Sorry for all the questions, but this will be my first time building a Athlon64 system and I wanna do a good job on it.

thanks
 

skadoo323

Member
Aug 15, 2004
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1) you can habe a single sata drive, usually there is a jumper setting on th mobo to set the raid controller to raid 1,0, or a 3rd option just to use it for stadalone drives (but can't be used with optical drives).

2) i think it wuld make somewhat a difference esp if using the sytem for power intense activities. try zipzoomfly maybe

3) i dont thing the type of ram matters in his case. but check the mobo out and see which ram manufacturers they support. just saying this b/c its good to stick by the ram models they suggest just in case you ever have to make a warranty call.

4) i've nevered used an msi board yet. my friend is using one of msi's new socket 939 boards so i will see how that goes. it rated well for gaming on anadtech i think. i am actually building a new socket 939 system using an asus board. i'm not too sure how to help you out with this, but it may be more of a personal choice, caomparing prices and the board's faetures.

sorry if my typing is kinda messed up, i am recovering from 4 wisdom teeth being extracted.
 

Dman877

Platinum Member
Jan 15, 2004
2,707
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If he is on a budget, socket 754 and A64 3000 is the way to go. Dif between 512k and 1 meg cache chips isn't very large. If he wants to oc, save even more and grab the 2800+. For mobo's only look at the NF3 250 and I think the epox board is currently the value favorite...
 

naruto1988

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2004
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1) i'm using a single SATA just fine
3) don't waste money on CAS2.0 because it only gives a 1-2% boost over CAS2.5. PC3200 is good stuff. maybe a 512 stick will do him good.
4) i am happy with my MSI K8T800 Neo. i would definitely buy another MSI mobo.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
765
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1) You can use a single hard drive in SATA. SATA is just a different interface like IDE.

2) Actually teh 3200+ version with 512kb is faster in office and gaming applications since it runs at 2.2ghz (Newcastle core) and 1mb cache vs. 512kb doesnt make much difference, certainly not as much as the extra 200mhz improvement.

But like others have said, i'd rather get A64 3000+ as it's only around $160. 3200+ vs. 3000+ wont improve his cd-burning capabilities, chat or e-mail load times. So it makes sense to spend the difference of $50 between the 2 processors on a better writer, like the new NEC 16x Dual layer DVD-Writer.

3) Just get Corsair Value series 2.5-3-3-8 for like $76 per 512mb on newegg. If your buddy wont game or use the comp for photoshop, etc. there is no need for 1gig of RAM. But A64 works best with the last value of 10 or 11 so set it to 2.5-3-3-10.

4) get the Chaintech VNF3-250 motherboard. It has all the features you need (except firewire, but USB works just as fast with digital cameras). It costs <$80 and overclocks like a champ (but u dont need that). Also ZNF3-250 board which cost more has Via envy 24 7.1 chipset sound which is REALLY GOOD.
 

Fuhglee

Junior Member
Aug 24, 2004
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Originally posted by: RussianSensation
1) You can use a single hard drive in SATA. SATA is just a different interface like IDE.

2) Actually teh 3200+ version with 512kb is faster in office and gaming applications since it runs at 2.2ghz (Newcastle core) and 1mb cache vs. 512kb doesnt make much difference, certainly not as much as the extra 200mhz improvement.

Actually, phatTweaker's friend is into media-type apps, not office or gaming apllications. Audio compression is one of the areas where cache size can have a significant impact on performance. Still, phatTweaker's friend is an idiot for wanting something faster than an XP1800+ to do nothing more than rip CDs with... Perhaps he should get a life instead of a faster CPU.
 

Sideswipe001

Golden Member
May 23, 2003
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Originally posted by: Fuhglee
Originally posted by: RussianSensation
1) You can use a single hard drive in SATA. SATA is just a different interface like IDE.

2) Actually teh 3200+ version with 512kb is faster in office and gaming applications since it runs at 2.2ghz (Newcastle core) and 1mb cache vs. 512kb doesnt make much difference, certainly not as much as the extra 200mhz improvement.

Actually, phatTweaker's friend is into media-type apps, not office or gaming apllications. Audio compression is one of the areas where cache size can have a significant impact on performance. Still, phatTweaker's friend is an idiot for wanting something faster than an XP1800+ to do nothing more than rip CDs with... Perhaps he should get a life instead of a faster CPU.


Always love to see people with under 10 posts already throwing around insults.:roll:

Welcome, hope you can make some friends.
 

Fuhglee

Junior Member
Aug 24, 2004
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Note that I was not insulting phatTweaker in any way, but his friend who needs a fast computer to keep up with *his* friends. I was simply trying to point out that peer pressure is a silly reason to blow a tight budget on computing power you don't actually need. Still, thank you for your concern.
 

Gorrillasnot

Senior member
Mar 1, 2004
693
1
81
Originally posted by: Fuhglee
Originally posted by: RussianSensation
1) You can use a single hard drive in SATA. SATA is just a different interface like IDE.

2) Actually teh 3200+ version with 512kb is faster in office and gaming applications since it runs at 2.2ghz (Newcastle core) and 1mb cache vs. 512kb doesnt make much difference, certainly not as much as the extra 200mhz improvement.

Actually, phatTweaker's friend is into media-type apps, not office or gaming apllications. Audio compression is one of the areas where cache size can have a significant impact on performance. Still, phatTweaker's friend is an idiot for wanting something faster than an XP1800+ to do nothing more than rip CDs with... Perhaps he should get a life instead of a faster CPU.
I agree that an XP1800+ is fast enough for what he does, however with the low prices of A64s why not upgrade and be ready for future 64bit apps and Windows XP 64? Some may reason that if he waits a lil longer then he could step into socket 939 w/ PCI X or whatever when the prices come down, but the bottom line is it's his money and he wants a new comp now. Also I'm bored and will enjoy the challenge. :D