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View Full Version : Grade my newegg wish list! comments/criticism welcome


alnorth
11-11-2005, 10:03 PM
Well, now that I'm out of college and can afford a new build, its time to replace my old Intel P4. I want to be able to achieve a stable overclock, and I often play games that require a lot of graphics power. In addition to that, I constantly multitask, I often have 2 browser windows, a program, and a game all running at once. I want a computer that can handle a lot of multitasking abuse without erroring out and dying on me.

I havent been following computer trends and information lately, but with what I've researched, its apparently time to switch to a multicore AMD. this is what I've come up with. Dont be shy or softspoken, if you see a better choice or a horrific mistake potentially being made here, let me know about it. I havent followed graphics cards closely, and I also have no clue what kind of memory performs well with this system, let me know if my choice is poor.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+

Cooling: Zalman CNPS7700-CU 120mm 2 ball cooling fan with copper heatsink

Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium

Power Supply: Antec Truepower II 550W

Graphics: (2X) eVGA Geforce 7800GT 256MB PCI Express x16

Memory: OCZ Enhanced Latency 1GB (2x512MB) DDR 600 Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit

Hard Drives (Want to use a RAID configuration): (2X) Samsung Spinpoint P Series 200GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Random Lite-on IDE combo drive

NEC DVD Burner ND-3540A

AeroSquid
11-12-2005, 07:38 AM
i would go with an Opteron 165. Faster with more cache than the X2 and a way better overclocker. Dump that heavy ass Zalman for a Thermalright SI-120 or XP-90/120. Mate that with a Panaflo fan FTW. Not sure why you want to spend that much moeny on video cards. SLI is great but i'm not sure it worth it unless you're a big time gamer. You better have a monitor that can do 1600X1200@ 85hz+ or those video cards will be wasted. FYI NVidia just came out with a 512mb GTX... one of those would do ya quite nicely ;) If you're set on SLI then you will want a better power supply. Check out the PC Power & Cooling 510 Turbo SLI. It's the best SLI psu on the market today. The onboard sound sucks on the Asus Premium (trust me i've had one) You can get an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum from ZipZoomFly right not for about $69 after rebate, worth every penny imo. Memory looks good but a lot of people are going with 2X1gb kits these days. Personally I think that's overkill. AMD is changing sockets next year and DDR2 is coming... no reason to blow a ton of cash on DDR now lol. Get 2 DVD burners... they are cheap. Check out the Coolermaster Stacker case. It's relatively cheap and huge... plenty of room for air to circulate and keep things cool. Good Luck :)

alnorth
11-12-2005, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

I also just got some good feedback from a huge message board filled with fanatical overclocking nerds. They concur with your comment on the graphics cards, SLI is apparently a huge waste of money that sounds cool but doesnt deliver much in the way of FPS. I do run at 1600x1200, but I think I will go with 1 card that is close to the best on the market (maybe a 7800 GTX) rather than dual 7800 GT's. Like you, they also hated my CPU fan choice, I'll look into your recommendations. As for the CPU, they also suggest going with a dual core Opteron. I'll look into that as well, maybe a 175 Denmark since I've likely saved money from dumping the extra video card.

Since I'm not using SLI anymore, the ASUS board has to go. Any thoughts on a new Opteron motherboard that can overclock reasonable well? I prefer stable overclock > better overclock that is not stable.

I've heard that my hard drive choice isnt good, and RAID 0 is overrated anyway, so I am replacing the hard drives with a WD 73GB Raptor for the OS and most-used programs, along with some slower huge storage drive. Also replacing Power supply with an OCZ powerstream. Last time I built a computer, Antec was the best PSU, but apparently they arent anymore. I am leaning towards replacing the memory with 2GB (2x 1GB) Crucial Ballistix. Last time I built a computer, 2 GB from any manufacturer wasnt much of an improvement and didnt overclock very well at all, but apparently things have changed there too.

KC Jones
11-12-2005, 05:34 PM
you've got bad breath and you're a mooch.







:shrug: what you wanted criticism on the PC parts?

AeroSquid
11-13-2005, 07:35 AM
The new Opterons are socket 939 and do not require registered memory. The best socket 939 motherboards are all SLI though so there is no way to get away from that unless you want to go with an infeiror board. The Asus Premium is still a good choice although i'm waiting for the new A8N32 SLI to come back in stock. It has far more advanced features than the Premium including 8 phase power. There are lots of reviews (http://www.amdzone.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=192&page=1) of it floating around out there. It's certianly worth a look. The only problem is actually finding one in stock lol. They should be back by the end of the month if you can wait.

For pure overclocking goodness you can't beat DFI. All the current world records for AMD overclocks are on DFI boards. This one is the current king of overclocking. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813136151)

I'm not so sure about the hard drives. I have 2 Raptors in RAID 0 and I can tell a difference over just running a single. Some things load faster, especially game levels and windows. Yes RAID 0 is overrated and probably overused... but it's still the faster than a single drive; even if marginally. When you're on the bleeding edge every little bit counts eh?

Sounds like you have a really nice build in the works, have fun with it and let us know how it turns out :)

alnorth
11-13-2005, 10:12 AM
In the overclocker geek community, there's a debate on which 939 AMD motherboard is really better. The DFI Lanparty boards hold all the speed records right now, but their main criticism is that although they produce the best overclocks, they are often not stable and the board is extremely difficult to learn how to work with. 2nd place is apparently the Epox 9NPA Ultra board, which is very stable and overclocks better than anything except the DFI board.

Anyway, this is what I now have in my wish list:

CPU: AMD Opteron 175 Denmark

CPU Heatsink: Thermalright XP-120 + a 120mm fan

Motherboard: Epox EP-9NPA Ultra

Power Supply: OCZ PowerStream 520W

Video: eVGA 7800GTX 256MB

Memory: Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x 1GB) DDR 500

Hard Drive: 74GB WD Raptor

Storage: 250GB WD Caviar SE

Optical: (2x) NEC DVD burner ND-3540A

I'll be buying this PC in chunks, maybe $1,000 now, and 500 per paycheck, so of these items I've got tentatively picked so far, what is the MOST likely to have price decreases and/or made obsolete with a new and improved version within the next 4 weeks? This will happen next year anyway, but I'd kinda like to not be obsolete a week or two after purchase. ;) Conversely, which items are going to have little if any price decreases or be upgraded for the near future? (ie stuff I should buy first = this wont be going on sale, then stuff that might possibly be cheaper or upgraded should be bought last.)