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1st time builder - How does this setup sound?

By JohnK93
Oct 16, 2005
  1. Hey,
    First time builder, I'm wondering how this setup sounds:
    Athlon 64 +3700 San Diego 939
    ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    Geforce 6800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 (just 1 for now)
    CORSAIR XMS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400
    Antec LifeStyle SONATA II case
    450Watt SmartPower 2.0 (included w/ case)
    Sony DRU720A DVD Burner
    Future upgrades: more memory, another 6800GT, better cooling

    Any idea how this setup will handle CAD models (SolidWorks)? This is not one of the SolidWorks recommended graphics cards, but it seems good for gaming, so I'm assuming it'll handle CAD OK. I've read the reviews on each item, but how do you think they'll do together?

    Will this memory be OK...this is the cheapest of the corsair 2x512 packages...are the more expensive packages worth the $$?

    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    John-
    Welcome to the forum. Just a few suggestions and a couple comments:

    First, if the CAD program is multithreaded then you may want to consider a dual core CPU such as a 3800X2. If not then the 3700+ is a great chip but get the San Diego core with 1MB of L2 cache if you can.

    Second, go for 2 x 1024MB (2GB) of RAM right from the start. AMD CPU's don't handle 4 dual sided DIMMs well, they need to shift to 2T timing which sucks. And yes, this holds true for even the new cores from all the reviews I have read. So, adding 2 x 512 MB later is a poor option. Better to bite the bullet now and load up with 2GB right away if you plan on going there eventually.

    Third. I'm not a big fan of Case+PSU combo packages. Usually you get a really crappy, low end PSU that screws up your system. I always recommend that you purchase the case and PSU separate and never skimp on the PSU. It is arguably one of the most important pieces of your build and the source of a huge amount of problems when a cheap or underpowered unit is installed. This case, however, seems to have a pretty good PSU installed so it will work until you start adding power hungry items like a second video card (SLI) and extra hard drives. You'll need to upgrade at that point.

    You didn't mention Hard Disk Drive(s) (HDD). Get one or two SATA drives. I prefer Western Digital and the Asus boards seem to run them troublefree.

    Don't forget the OS. Other than that it looks like a really good build and should be reasonable for the performance you'll get price-wise. You'll be able to overclock that CPU easily (may want to look at an aftermarket heatsink fan (HSF) if you plan on O/Cing). Also, the 6800GT's hit ultra speeds easily and are one of the very best values on the market right now. A really solid, fast card for a great price.

    Hope this helps and have fun with your build.
     
  3. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Thanks for the tips. I don't think that the CAD, Solidworks 2006, supports multi-threading.

    I've been having a hard time finding a case that I like for the price that doesn't come with a psu...maybe I'm being too picky. I just want a simple, black case that will stay cool. Any suggestions on PSUs?

    Regarding the ram...what is the difference between the $100 2x512 and the $250 2x512 from corsair? Clock speed? What does this mean to me, and are the more expensive packages worth the $$?

    I plan on getting a new hard drive for the OS and transferring my current (IDE) hard drive as the secondary. The OS will be Win XP Pro, I think.

    Thanks again,
    John
     
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I am a little concerned about the Premium version of the A8N-SLI in combination with the SonataII case.

    I'd recommend you purchase a 12" case fan to add in there. The case only comes with one 12" blowing out the back, and no fan blowing air in the front. It is designed for silence. It has an emtpy 12" fan mount on the front ready for you to pop one in there.

    Take a look at my profile, and you will see I have pretty much the EXACT system you are looking at getting, except I have the A8N-SLI deluxe. The deluxe version of that motherboard has a fan on the chipset for cooling. The Premium version does not. It uses a heatpipe instead.

    My chipset temps run at about 36c with no case fan blowing in air, only one 12" blowing out the back. The sonataII case also has a special air duct, which I have installed an additional 8" fan for cooling my CPU. But you are probably going to need better airflow than I do with that premium board as it uses passive cooling.

    I agree with merc on avoiding PSU/case combinations, except for ANTEC cases. Antec is well known for making high quality PSUs. (I think merc is agreeing with this point, above).

    The PSU that comes with that case is THIS one. It has dual 12v rails for a total of 32A. Good quality juice.

    For the price, I think that the case you are looking at is the best on the market. Just over 100 bucks for a great case, and a high quality PSU. It's a steal. I have it sitting on my desk here as I type, and can barely hear it, not to mention it is a fine looking case.

    So to recap, you should probably order: one 8" case fan to blow on the CPU using the duct system of the case, and one 12" case fan for the front of the case immediately. Order the quietest ones you can find (12db-16db or so)
     
  5. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    DonNagual-
    You are exactly right on the PSU.

    JohnK93-
    How about this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811119094 at $65. You'd probably need to add an extram 80mm fan to the side vent hole. Get a panaflo or something quiet. As for a PSU, how much do you want to spend. If you are going SLI eventually then I would suggest you plan on spending well over $100 and get a really good, solid performing PSU that will last for a few years, never give you any trouble, and handle any additions/improvements to your system that you make. personally I got a PC Power & Cooling 510 SLI express that was way high cost but provides power that is so rock solid it is scary. I plan on amortizing the high cost over at leat 7-9 years so no big deal except for the initial cash outlay. There are other, cheaper choices that are excellent too The Nvidia site has several "certified" PSU's that hey have tested independently and recommend. That is a good place to start. What is your price range?
     
  6. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Don,
    Thanks for the advice...that is a pretty nice case. I know I've seen it before (I went through all of the newegg and tiger products), not sure why I didn't consider it. I'm was originally hoping to get the the case and PSU for under $100, which seemed likely until I chose the mobo and video card. Now it looks like more, but I'm still hoping to keep it around $125. I can settle on a case as long as it'll keep cool. I'll check out Nvidia's web site too.

    Thanks,
    John
     
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