help w/ new computer setup. Looking to buy very very soon!

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
Hi All,

Recently my computer just broke down ( I think it's my motherboard) after I tried putting in a new hard drive into my computer! I haven't opened my computer in months and noticed that my mobo fan and my video card fan weren't working for quite some time. I've decided to just do an upgrade. I can spend a little bit of money on quality parts but would like the best bang for the buck deals.

Parts I'm hoping I can reuse:

- 430 True Power Antec
- 4 hard drives
- 1 CDRW, 1 DVD-ROM
- 2x256 Corsair XMS memory at 2.5 3 3 6 timing

I've been out of the computer scene for a while and just started doing research yesterday. It seems the video card to get will determine what kind of mobo I will be getting. (PCI-E or AGP). So my question is:

1. Which video card is currently the best value? (Price vs Performance?) People have recommended the 6600GT but I've heard ATI coming out w/ their own version of an economical video card that performs better. X800Pro 128mb? ( I suppose my upper limit in spending would be 200-250)

2. Based on whether I get AGP or PCI-E I'm looking at the MSI Neo2 w/ the NForce3 Ultra chipset or the MSI Neo4 w/ the NForce 4 chipset.

3. I've been following the A64 3000+ XP thread and am very interested in overclocking. I just need to search on references on how to do it properly (raising bus speed vs lowering bus speed for ram etc). Hopefully there's a good reference I can find on this.

4. Would I need to get new ram? I keep hearing 1 gb as the number to go w/ and since I have 2x256 chips I want to stay at having 2 dimms rather than get another 2x256 or 1x512 w/ my other ram. Any suggestions on which ones to get? I've seen the KingMax for sale at new egg 2x512 for 77 after rebate.

5. Would my 430W Antec TruePower be able to handle all those new load considering the above?

I would appreciate some help w/ this.

Thanks!
 
Apr 17, 2003
37,622
0
76
1. depends on whether you want AGP or PCI-E. with AGP, i would try to strecth a little bit and get a regular 6800 (non GT/ultra) or maybe even x800 pro. if you want to go PCI-E, i think the x800xl provides the best value as you can find them for less than $300

2. i strongly recommend looking in the DFI offering

3. again, look into the DFI board

4. with ram so cheap, there is no reason not to get a gig. look into the twinmos. with the DFI allowing up to 4V, you can get some insane OCs on that ram

5. the 430W antec will be more than sufficent
 

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
which DFI board shady?

I guess it doesn't matter to me AGP or PCIe as if I went AGP I'd be getting a 200+ dollar card and I figure it can last me for a few years from which I can then do an upgrade for mobo/cpu/vid card again.
 
Apr 17, 2003
37,622
0
76
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-136-152&depa=0

from the anandtech review:

DFI set out to create the absolute best nForce4 boards that an enthusiast could find on the market. After spending several weeks with engineering samples and now the final retail boards, we believe that DFI has succeeded in their goal. There are other very good nForce4 boards that compete well at stock speeds, overclock well, or perform well in SLI mode, but no other board that we are aware of does so many things so well as the DFI LANParty nForce4 boards. Looking at the boards as they ship, it would be hard not to be impressed with the feature sets, performance, record-setting overclocking, and stability of the new DFI nForce4 motherboards.

hook that thing up with a 3000+/3200+ winchester and an X800XL, and you'll be good to go
 

ShadowBlade

Diamond Member
Feb 11, 2005
4,263
0
0
DFI Lanparty, 3000/3200+ (939 obviously), 6800GT or X800XL (whichever suits your budget, mostly)
 

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
well looks like two people going for that dfi, x800xl combo. thanks for your input ShadowBlade.

I guess that just leaves which RAM to get.
 

Ike0069

Diamond Member
Apr 28, 2003
4,276
0
76
I really like DFI, but I personally wouldn't buy their NF4 board. Seems to have way too many issues with instability. Now I don't have this board, so this is only from reading posts here on AT.
If you are experienced with OC'ing and dealing with MB's in general, then maybe OK, but if not I would get the MSI Neo4 or even the Chaintech if you don't need alot of OC'ing options. Again, this is JMO :)

Oh, and another vote for the X800XL.
 

Ike0069

Diamond Member
Apr 28, 2003
4,276
0
76
LOL. MB's can be very finicky, so do some research on the particular board before you buy. I'm not saying the DFI is not a good choice, but it has caused some people here on AT alot of headaches.
But let me just say that so has the Neo2 which I actaully own. I've had my own headaches with it (including a RMA), but I wanted an excellent OC'ing board. I was willing to take the time to play around with it to get it running right.
For some people, this would not be acceptable.
 

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
ribbon. Any reason why you recommend that particular ram and not the one shady was? Both are in stock and I've read a couple reviews on newegg's site where some people had a problem OC'.
 

ribbon13

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2005
9,343
0
0
It's rated a bit faster at stock, and the the otherstuff said it wasn't in stock when I clicked on it. weird.
 

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
As well any suggestions on any HSF/thermal grease I may need to buy when OC this CPU?

Ribbon: oh. Looks like an extra $20-30 on top. I may go w/ the TwinMOS just looking at the reviews at the product but thanks for the input. I also checked your rig...that's some crazy setup! Sounds like more of a work computer than your simple home computer? And cool to see they have a home audio setup as their audio for their output like me! :D

Attached to my (now burned and dead computer) is a HSU VTF-2 150W Subwoofer, Denon AVR 3400 Receiver, 2, Klipsh Reference RB-II bookshelf speakers.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
31,203
45
91
You should be able to overclock reasonably well with the stock HS/F

If you want to go 3rd party, Thermalright and Zalman are some nice coolers to look at with nice big fans (or the ability to add big fans in the case of Thermalright).

There are plenty of opinions in the CPU section here.

The HSU VFT-2 MK1 was only 150watts?
 

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
hrm...u know it's possible I may have that confused. it's been a while since i looked at my specs...I'm pretty sure about the 150W just not sure about whether it was a VTF-1 or 2. I could've sworn 2.

Anyways...by reasonably well how far would you say that could go up till? If I can save money by going stock then so be it.

Generally speaking when you buy a 3rd party heat sink do they come w/ thermal grease or some substance that is used when touching CPU/HSF?
 
Apr 17, 2003
37,622
0
76
it will come with thermal grease but invest another $5-8 in some arctic silver 5. its a small investment and you will able to use it for a long time

btw, the ram ribbon recommended is very good and it does have tighter timings at stock but since you are getting a DFI board with huge vDIMM ability, you will get more out of the twinmos when you start to pump more volts into it. i dont think you will acheive 250 mhz with tight timings on the patriot like you will with the twinmos. if you read the newegg reviews on the patriot, people are getting infineon chips, not nearly as good as winbond utt chips you get with the twinmos
 
Apr 17, 2003
37,622
0
76
but keep in mind, although it seems that most people are getting winbond utt chips from newegg in the gig sets, it is STILL NOT A GUARANTEE that you will get winbond utt chips. personally, i'm gonna place an order and take my chances ;)
 

akugami

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2005
5,654
1,848
136
1. I too recommend the X800XL as it provides the best bang for the buck. It's a tad under $300 although some places will charge you $300 or more. I've seen it for $280 or so before but most sell it for about $290.

2. Get an NF4 non SLI based motherboard and you should be fine. I have the Asus A8N SLI Deluxe and am happy with it although there were a few issues with it that were solved with bios updates. Most people will recommend either the MSI or DFI board. If you're running at stock speeds all three of these boards will work great. The DFI seems to be a great overclocker from what everyone says. The Asus has a problem with running RAM at speeds past roughly 240 to 250mhz at 1T. This is not a major problem for most because they don't use super expensive RAM and have their RAM running at lower speeds using a memory divider.

3. The Socket 939 based Athlon 64's are great overclockers. Keep in mind that overclocking is not a guaranteed deal. Some CPU's overclock better than others. I was able to get my CPU to 2.5ghz but others using the same CPU can't get past 2.2ghz. It's all a crapshoot. BTW, a lot of people are able to overclock to 2.4ghz and higher using the stock heatsink and fan combo that comes with the retail version of the Athlon 64's. I'd still buy a tube of Arctic Ceramique instead of using that thermal pad if you plan to overclock.

4. I'd get two sticks of 512MB memory for 1GB. Should be roughly $100 for a 2x512MB set of RAM. Windows XP runs best with 512MB of RAM or higher and future games will be hogging up more and more RAM.

5. Your PSU is fine.


One suggestion is to chuck your CD burner and get a DVD burner. A DVD burner should only run you about $60-70. The NEC 3520A is what I have and a common recommendation from a ot of people.

 

kusanagiz

Member
Oct 17, 2001
69
0
0
thanks for the reply akugumi! W/ regards to the burner...I wanted to get a DVD burner when the prices were hitting the 50 mark...but I htought about it...I almost never have an occasion where I want to burn a DVD. Just about the only thing i burn are on cd's such as music i d/l off of itune. =T

Shady I'll look into that artic silver as well. So i guess you just have ot rub or peel off the existing pad and put on the arctic silver 5. EDIT: maybe i didn't read it clearly...so would the stock HSF w/ thermal pad be fine but have the arctic silver for future purposes or did you mean to use the arctic silver in place of the stock pad/grease?

What's the tell-tale sign that you get a winbound version of the ram?

And yes it seems like a crapshoot and I am taking a chance w/ both the ram and the cpu. (hoping my luck is 2/2! :D )