Looking for tips/advice on new build...

bigtymer

Junior Member
Jan 22, 2006
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Hey all, longtime lurker first time poster...

I built my first PC in '03, it's been giving me a lot of problems lately and I would like to upgrade... If there's one thing I learned when I built my last PC is just because everything "should" work doesn't mean it will. Right now my "old" system has a 9700 Pro, XP 2500+ proc and ASUS a7n8x deluxe mobo, as well as the other stuff listed below.

So I'm looking for advice/thoughts/comments on this build... I've got around 850-875 as a budget for new parts.

The PC will be used for everything, including gaming and video editting. Games I'd be playing would probably be MMORPG with the occasional FPS. I do want to be able to handle RPG's that are coming out later this year as well.

List of the parts I'm using from my last PC:

HDD: Two HDDs, 80gb and 120gb
PSU: Using my existing PSU, ePower Puma 450w (not my PC's original PSU, was put in within the last year to replace a faulty one)
Media Drives: DVD Burner and DVD Rom/CDRW drive, floppy drive
O/S: Windows XP home w/SP2
Winfast TV2000XP TV card

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New parts (includes prices w/ shipping from newegg)

CASE: ATRIX CSCI-A9001-C4 Black Computer Case -- $88
MOBO: EPoX EP-9NPA+ SLi Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard -- $141
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 1GHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor -- $162
VIDEO CARD: eVGA Geforce 7800GT 256-P2-N515-AX Desktop PC -- $280
RAM: A-DATA Vitesta 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) System Memory -- $171

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Please let me know your thoughts on this build, if you'd change anything, or if you see any potential hardware conflicts.

A few questions:

1-Do you think it would be a noteworthy performance hit if I didn't buy the 2 gigs of RAM and instead used the RAM from my last PC (two 512mb sticks of Kingston HyperX PC2700). Since it's not PC3200 do you think it would be a notable bottleneck?

2-Would I need 64 bit Windows since the proc is 64 bit, or will I be good to go with 32 bit windows? I've done a little reading and it seems like 64 bit Windows isn't that great for gaming, due to lack of support among other reasons.

3-Do you think the 450w PSU will be enough for this, or should I consider upgrading? The PSU has gotten pretty good reviews, but if 450w just isn't enough for all this hardware then I understand.

Thanks for your help and suggestions!
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
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If it were me, I would do away with a SLI mobo, you dont say what monitor you use. SLI only neccessary if you are gaming 16x10 with AA on. I would instead get a dual core proc with 2Gb RAM.

My 2 cents
 
Mar 13, 2005
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I am by no means an expert, but I am in the same boat you are looking for the same parts on a similar budget ( I don't need the ram). But 450watts should be enough if it is a quality power supply. ( I have never read reviews of that brand but again I am not an expert.) As for the 3200+ if you are going to do any Ocing it is generally recommended to get the Opteron 146, if you are willing to order one and wait for it.
 

bigtymer

Junior Member
Jan 22, 2006
6
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Right now I have a Sony Trinitron CRT (got it years ago with my Dell)... In the not-so future I plan on upgrading to an LCD... If I should do away with the motherboard/videocard, do you have any suggestions for what I might change that too, to give me room to upgrade to a dual core proc?

Thanks.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
1. No, but for the money, get the 2GB.
2. No. Plain old XP is fine.
3. Possibly...is it a 24-pin? If not, then no.

IMO:
Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811127060
PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi...it=ENE&Manufactory=1400&SubCategory=58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103457
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817151023
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817163105

Mobo: any decent NF4 mobo. SLI will not be needed. You should eb able to find one under $80 shipped. BTW, I used the exact RAM you list with the Chaintech VNF4.
CPU: you're good.
Video: you're good.

Right now I have a Sony Trinitron CRT (got it years ago with my Dell)... In the not-so future I plan on upgrading to an LCD... If I should do away with the motherboard/videocard, do you have any suggestions for what I might change that too, to give me room to upgrade to a dual core proc?
Is the 9700 Pro enough performance for you? If so, drop down to a 6800GS (which will still beat it several times over) and you will have freed near $100. Actually...

Evercase E4292B + 400w PSU
Chaintech VNF4
2GB (as 2x1GB) 2.5-4-4-7 gigaRAM
eVGA GeForce 6800GS
Athlon64 X2 3800+
...comes to $837 shipped for me.
 

bigtymer

Junior Member
Jan 22, 2006
6
0
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Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated.

I'm looking at the VN4 on newegg, but I don't see where it supports X2 (dual proc)... Maybe it's just an omission, or do I need a different revision of the board? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813152053

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It's really nice to know that this RAM works with that mobo. Also, thanks for the heads up on the PSU needing 24 pins. Before I saw your post I put together this:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA3800BVBOX - Retail -- 323

BIOSTAR TForce4U Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail -- 97

SAPPHIRE 100106SR-RD Radeon X850XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail - 205

Anyone have an opinion? How does this card compare to the 6800GS? How about the mobo to the VN4?

Thanks for all your help once again!
 

cheesehead

Lifer
Aug 11, 2000
10,079
0
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I'd be willing to bet that the VNF4 would'nt work for some odd reason or another.
You can save 25$ getting that processor at Monarch.
That graphics card is pretty sweet. I can't comment on performance, but it should be pretty similar. However, Nvidia cards will let you use SLI, and ATI cards require ATI Crossfire motherboards, which are rather rare and not compatible with quite a few cards.
I'd go with 2GB of RAM. Corsair Value Select is good if you don't want to OC; just make sure you get the CAS2.5 latency RAM, not the CAS3.
 

foodfightr

Golden Member
Sep 19, 2004
1,563
0
76
For budget, you couldn't have picked a better motherboard. Also, nice choice on the video card.

For the ram, I wouldn't trust the one you have picked out for one minute. G.Skill Extreme 2x1GB $197 on Newegg.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
All NF4 boards with the s939 socket can handle DC chips, some just need a BIOS flash. That board will do fine (the most recent BIOS flash was for DC support last I checked). The only thing to watch for is that it will not come without a fan, as shown (I was dissappointed when I made a PC with it). It's a nice little board, except for that (if it bothers you like it does me, add a Zalman NB47J to the order :)).

I have no clue about that specific RAM, but with prices fluctuating as they do, it never pays to price out with the cheapest, because a day can bump that up $30+ sometimes. I've used cheap Rosewill and A-Data recently w/o any issues. With Patriot, PQI, and Corsair really competitive at the low-end, too, there's really no point in not going cheap, if you're not OCing :). Some of the cheapest RAM you can get from good retailers is top quality stuff.

According to a recent digest at digit-life, the 850XT and 6800GT and 6800GS are neck-and-neck with the X850 PE and X850 XT
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/index0510.html
 

alimoalem

Diamond Member
Sep 22, 2005
4,025
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the only real issue i see is the ram. don't get an unbranded one. get either the g.skill recommended or corsair value ram
 

Remedy

Diamond Member
Dec 1, 1999
3,981
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To answer your questions;

1)No. The performance hit you'll take isn't a major impact as it would seem. The difference is minor around 10% at best. IMO.

2) Stick with XP Pro or Windows 2000. You can always upgrade to Windows Vista sometime next year. You want an Operating system that is mature for this time around doing your work.

3) Yes, that Puma should handle it with no problem. I used 3 HD's on my previous Athlon system with just a 360watt FSP. So, that ePower should handle it @ 450watts. As long as you stay away from SLI. :)

Change the motherboard from an SLI base, to something less complex price wise. If you're not going to game hardcore, then disregard it. An ASRock m1695. Giving you the opertunity to bring transition your 9700 AGP card to it and still leave room for the upgrade to 7800GT later on down the line. The $60 saved from going with a cheaper motherboard can be applied to the Athlon64 budget itself. To be honest, I'd rather go for a 3800+ X2 for video editiing. I'm not sure what encoder you'll be using to render your content with, but I'm pretty sure most encoding applets support Multi-processors. WMV, DivX, etc.

Athlon64 3800+ X2, $299 from Monarch

ASRock m1695 $66

Keep your 2GB PC3200 purchase as your intended, $171

Keep your case idea @ $88

If you add the 7800GT, it would surpass the $875 budget by $30. It's upto you on whether or not the card has value to you.

JMO.





 

bigtymer

Junior Member
Jan 22, 2006
6
0
0
Thanks for all your help all, I'm definitely headed in the right direction now. One last question, someone mentioned I would need a PSU but someone else said it should work fine? If anyone knows whether or not I will need to buy a new PSU because of the number of pins or something, please let me know.

Can't wait to build my new PC.

Thanks.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,484
33
86
Originally posted by: bigtymer
Thanks for all your help all, I'm definitely headed in the right direction now. One last question, someone mentioned I would need a PSU but someone else said it should work fine? If anyone knows whether or not I will need to buy a new PSU because of the number of pins or something, please let me know.

Can't wait to build my new PC.

Thanks.
There's a sticky about this, here.