Don't know what I'm doing... (sys build)

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Don't know what I'm doing... (sys build)

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:05 am

I do 101 things with my computer from design, to programming to animation, standard office tasks and occasionally gaming. I need a new system. t The old one has become too much of a burden to work on. I am NOT a hardware guy and with the massive number of component options out there I just can't keep straight what are the best boards to be using. Then there are things like motherboards that I honestly just don't have a freakin' clue about.

I won't be building this system and as of right now plan on going with cyberpower unless someone gives me a better option.

As I stated I do a little of everything so I'd like a well rounded system. I don't fiddle with the hardware much after I get a system and make modest upgrades during the systems life. (add drives, new card now and again) I want to keep the price at or below $1500 or so. With that said, this is what I have come up with so far on a system build.

# CAS: Hot New! X-Cruiser Mid-Tower 420W Case W/ WINDOW, MultiMeter Display & Control (Silver Color)
# CASUPGRADE: NONE
# CPU: (939-pin) AMD ATHLON64 X2 3800 CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology [+220]
# CD: 16X DVD ROM (SILVER COLOR [+9])
# CD2: (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (SILVER COLOR [+9])
# CABLE: None
# FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 6in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
# FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS [+9]
# FLOPPY: 1.44 MB FLOPPY DRIVE (SILVER COLOR [+7])
# HALFLIFE2: NONE
# HDD: 200GB Hard Drive [+17] (SATA150 - Maxtor 200GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache Hard Drive)
# HDD2: NONE
# IEEE_CARD: NONE
# KEYBOARD: PS2 MULTIMEDIA INTERNET CONTROL KEYBOARD (BLACK COLOR [+3])
# MOUSE: PS2 INTERNET MOUSE W/ WHEEL (BLACK COLOR)
# MONITOR: NONE [-195]
# MP3PLAYER: NONE
# MODEM: NONE
# MOTHERBOARD: (Sckt939)MSI K8N NEO4-F nForce4 Chipset SATA Raid PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
# MEMORY: 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY [+135] (Corsair Value Select)
# NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD
# OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional X64 Edition (Requires AMD Athlon 64 CPU) [+46]
# PRO_WIRING: None
# PRINTER: None
# PRINTER_CABLE: None
# POWERSUPPLY: Super Alien 500 Watt See Through Power Supply w/ Fan Speed Control [+59] (BLUE COLOR)
# RAID: NONE
# RUSH: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS
# SOFT: Microsoft® Works 7.0
# SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY PLUS ONE-YEAR ONSITE SERVICE
# SOUND: NEW!!! Creative Labs SB AUDIGY 2 VALUE 7.1 [+69]
# SPEAKERS: NONE [-51]
# SCANNER: NONE
# STRAP: NONE
# TEMP: NONE (AS SHOWN)
# UPS: None
# USB: Build-in USB 2.0 Ports
# USBHD: NONE
# VIDEOCAMERA: NONE
# VIDEO: NVIDIA Geforce 6800 GT 256MB 16X PCI EXPRESS VIDEO CARD [+207]
# VIDEO2: NONE
# WIRELESSCARD: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card [+19]
# WIRELESSPOINT: NONE
# ZIP: NONE
# _PRICE: (+1538)


I'm not looking for a flashy case (though this comes with one) just a good one. Like most folks at this price point I'm looking for biggest bang for the buck that will handle all the various tasks I use the system for.

Any help you folks could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

J
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:23 am

What online place is that order from, or what kind of warranty does it come with.
That looks like a good system, similar to the $1600 sample configuration
I'd definitely go with the X2 that you selected, good choice.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:58 am

The system is from cyberpower. It's an alteration of thier Gamer Ultra 7500 SE base system. The video card issue has been giving me trouble (bang for buck since they varry so much in price) and again the motherboard which I just don't know enough about to choose intelligently.

Looks like gotten at least a start on a good configuration. Thanks for the input.

J
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:23 pm

A few comments on the config:

MSI is a reasonable "middle of the road" mobo maker. They were hit really hard by the "exploding capacitors" issue a few years back, but these days don't seem to be particularly better or worse than anyone else.

You might want to hold off on the 64-bit Windows. Driver support is still somewhat spotty, and you won't see any big performance gains from it unless you are using applications which have been specifically optimized (recompiled) for 64-bit.

It might be prudent to reconsider on the Maxtor HD. Word on the street seems to be that their recent DiamondMax Plus 9 series were rather more failure-prone than other drives; I've also lost a couple of 'em myself. Now, any hard drive vendor can have a run of bad drives (e.g. IBM's "Deathstar" debacle from a few years back), but given recent history I just wouldn't feel comfortable buying or recommending Maxtor right now.

I'm also a little bit leery of any power supply that calls itself "Super Alien". I've never heard of the brand, and there seems to be an inverse correlation between PSU quality and the outrageousness of the brand name. Presence of flashy lights and/or windows also tends to be an indication that the PSU manufacturer is more interested in "style" than substance.

Other than those points, it looks pretty good to me.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:50 pm

Thanks brew, you gave some good info there.

I have made some adjustments to the build from further reading and from your suggestions. I wondered if you or others could comment.

First for a power supply I chose this one in stead...

ULTRA X-Connect 500W ATX PS w/2 80mm Fans - Black SKU: ULT31554


For a video card I'm contemplating this one in exchange for the 6800gt

7800 gt 256 ... not sure what increase that would give me...

Now on the motherboard I just don't know enough to choose between the options. Here are what are possible.

(Sckt939)MSI K8N NEO4-F nForce4 Chipset SATA Raid PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+0]
(939-pin Socket) Foxconn/WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS nForce4 Chipset Ultra PCI-E w/LAN,USB,IEEE,&Audio()[+17]
(939-pin Socket) Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 nForce4 Chipset MB w/ LAN, USB2.0, IEEE, & AUDIO()[+16]
(Sckt939)Asus A8N-E nForce4 Chipset SATA133 RAID PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+34]

(Sckt939)EVGA nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCI-E Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+14]
(Sckt939)ASUS A8N-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+61]
(Sckt939)ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+90]
(Sckt939)ASUS A8N-SLI Premium nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+107]
(Sckt939)GigaByte GA-K8N-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset DDR400 SATA Dual PCI-E Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+19]
(Sckt939)Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-SLI nForce4 Ultra SLI Chipset Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+65]
(Sckt939)GigaByte GA-K8NXP-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+84]
(Sckt939)MSI MSI-K8N NEO4/SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+43]

... a list I get lost in.

and as for XP 64 ... am I not fully taking advantage of the processor if I'm not running a 64 bit OS? Of course if the apps aren't ready for it I suppose it's a moot point.

Thanks again for the info.

J
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:17 pm

You might want to reconsider that Ultra X-Connect power supply. I haven't been too impressed with some of the reviews I've seen of it. I think Maximum PC in particular gave it a bad score. If possible, I'd go with a more reliable brand like PC Power & Cooling, Antec, Enermax, or Thermaltake. If you're looking for a modular PSU, then your options are a lot more limited. I have a modular Thermaltake TWV500 and am very happy with it, but that may not be an option with the company you're buying from.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:41 pm

Thanks....

Out of what you suggested they have the Enermax EG565P 535 for the same price as the Ultra (though the Ultra did have a $30 dollar rebate)

J
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:53 pm

Thatch wrote:Thanks brew, you gave some good info there.

I have made some adjustments to the build from further reading and from your suggestions. I wondered if you or others could comment.

First for a power supply I chose this one in stead...

ULTRA X-Connect 500W ATX PS w/2 80mm Fans - Black SKU: ULT31554


For a video card I'm contemplating this one in exchange for the 6800gt

7800 gt 256 ... not sure what increase that would give me...

Now on the motherboard I just don't know enough to choose between the options. Here are what are possible.

(Sckt939)MSI K8N NEO4-F nForce4 Chipset SATA Raid PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+0]
(939-pin Socket) Foxconn/WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS nForce4 Chipset Ultra PCI-E w/LAN,USB,IEEE,&Audio()[+17]
(939-pin Socket) Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 nForce4 Chipset MB w/ LAN, USB2.0, IEEE, & AUDIO()[+16]
(Sckt939)Asus A8N-E nForce4 Chipset SATA133 RAID PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+34]

(Sckt939)EVGA nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCI-E Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+14]
(Sckt939)ASUS A8N-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+61]
(Sckt939)ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+90]
(Sckt939)ASUS A8N-SLI Premium nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+107]
(Sckt939)GigaByte GA-K8N-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset DDR400 SATA Dual PCI-E Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio()[+19]
(Sckt939)Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-SLI nForce4 Ultra SLI Chipset Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+65]
(Sckt939)GigaByte GA-K8NXP-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+84]
(Sckt939)MSI MSI-K8N NEO4/SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio()[+43]

... a list I get lost in.

and as for XP 64 ... am I not fully taking advantage of the processor if I'm not running a 64 bit OS? Of course if the apps aren't ready for it I suppose it's a moot point.

Thanks again for the info.

J


How often do you upgrade?I'd go with the 7800 GT,it's that much more future proof than the 6800.As for 64 bit Win,I run an eval copy of it now,does it make a difference?Maybe,it "feels" smoother to me,but I'm sure thats more a question of how much "crap" I have installed on the 32 bit partition.As far as a mobo,Ive got an ASUS,although some people don;t like them,I always have and haven't had any problems with them.
DFI Lanparty is supposed to be a good one.
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EVGA 8800GTS,Corsair 520HX,Antec 900,WD320 GB,Samsung 204B
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:10 pm

Lots of people on the forum listed Monarch if they want the computer pre-built. You may want to check them out.

As for SLI vs non-SLI, think about what would be your next upgrade. SLI allows you to just buy another card for around 50-80% more performance down the road.

Other than that, the Asus, Gigabyte and Foxconn are good brands that I would choose.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:26 pm

Thatch wrote:and as for XP 64 ... am I not fully taking advantage of the processor if I'm not running a 64 bit OS? Of course if the apps aren't ready for it I suppose it's a moot point.

64-bit apps are more of a determining factor of whether you're truly taking advantage of the 64-bit capabilities. I suppose you might still get some benefit from the 64-bit video driver, if you run graphics intensive apps (e.g. games).

On the plus side, if you get 64-bit Windows now, at least you'll be ready for the 64-bit apps when they come out, without needing to upgrade your OS.

On the minus side, not all devices have 64-bit drivers at this time, and you can't use the old 32-bit drivers on 64-bit Windows. (Backward compatibility of 64-bit Windows with 32-bit stuff works only for applications programs, not for device drivers.)
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:46 pm

For the mobo go with an EPoX.hands down.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:14 pm

Another vote for Epox..great boards with all the bells and whistles.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:44 pm

EVGA combos there motherboard with a 7800GT, total is $450, but the mobo is sli rdy
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for better or worse....

Postposted on Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:12 pm

I went ahead and chose a system and spent more than I intended but thought after all was said and done this would be a good system to grow with for a while. I chose the ASUS A8N-SLI mobo which hopefully was a good choice. I'm affraid I missed the EPoX recommendations before I purchased but quite frankly I'm not still not sure what board your talking about. :)

Thanks for the help guys. I've not purchased an AMD system before and on top of everything else that I was unsure of that fact didn't help matters. You folks helped out a lot. Hopefully it shows in the build.

J


# CAS: CoolerMaster TAC-T01 Wave Master Aluminum 420W Case [+71] (SILVER COLOR)
# CASUPGRADE: NONE
# CPU: (939-pin) AMD ATHLON64 X2 3800 CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology [+220]
# CD: SONY 16X DVD-ROM [+3] (SILVER COLOR [+9])
# CD2: (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (SILVER COLOR [+9])
# CABLE: None
# FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 6in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (SILVER COLOR)
# FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS [+9]
# FLOPPY: 1.44 MB FLOPPY DRIVE (SILVER COLOR [+7])
# HALFLIFE2: Free "Half-Life 2 Bronze" Download Coupon
# HDD: 200GB Hard Drive [+17] (SATA150 - Maxtor 200GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache Hard Drive)
# HDD2: NONE
# IEEE_CARD: NONE
# KEYBOARD: PS2 MULTIMEDIA INTERNET CONTROL KEYBOARD (BLACK COLOR [+3])
# MOUSE: PS2 INTERNET MOUSE W/ WHEEL (BLACK COLOR)
# MONITOR: NONE [-195]
# MP3PLAYER: NONE
# MODEM: NONE
# MOTHERBOARD: (Sckt939)ASUS A8N-SLI nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio [+61]
# MEMORY: 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY [+135] (Corsair Value Select)
# NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD
# OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2 [+46]
# PRO_WIRING: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU [+19]
# PRINTER: None
# PRINTER_CABLE: None
# POWERSUPPLY: [$30 Mail-In-Rebate NOW !!!] ULTRA X-Connect 500W ATX PS w/2 80mm Fans - Black SKU: ULT31554 [+79]
# RAID: NONE
# RUSH: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS
# SOFT: Microsoft® Works 7.0
# SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY PLUS ONE-YEAR ONSITE SERVICE
# SOUND: NEW!!! Creative Labs SB AUDIGY 2 VALUE 7.1 [+69]
# SPEAKERS: NONE [-51]
# SCANNER: NONE
# STRAP: NONE
# TEMP: THERMAL TEMPERATURE LCD DISPLAY WITH 3X FAN CONTROLLER [+12] (SILVER COLOR)
# UPS: None
# USB: Build-in USB 2.0 Ports
# USBHD: NONE
# VIDEOCAMERA: NONE
# VIDEO: NVIDIA Geforce 7800 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card [+282]
# VIDEO2: NONE
# WIRELESSCARD: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card [+19]
# WIRELESSPOINT: NONE
# ZIP: NONE
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Postposted on Fri Sep 23, 2005 5:04 pm

As mentioned previously...that UltraX-Connect PSU leaves a bit to be desired. Hopefully you wont have any problems. But with a system worth all that money isnt one you want to throw a cheap/no name psu into. Its worth a few extra bucks...trust me on this one :wink:
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Postposted on Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:48 pm

Actually that was a mistake ... I'll sort that.


J
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Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:55 am

Thatch wrote:# CAS: CoolerMaster TAC-T01 Wave Master Aluminum 420W Case [+71] (SILVER COLOR)
# FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS [+9]
Does that mean the case already comes with a PSU? Not that it will be any good though.

Also, if the CPU is retail version then you don't need an extra HSF?
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