TechSpot

Making my first AM2 computer.

By Needle
Feb 11, 2007
  1. Alright, so I'm on a budget, and I'm trying to make an affordable computer for 500 dollars. Here is what I plan to buy.

    Internal


    RAM


    CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145539

    I bought this because corsair is a trusted brand, and has good timings. I could of gotten the other one for 3 dollars cheaper, but this one has heat spreaders, which drew me in because it would help. I figure 1 GB is enough for now, and I'll buy new ones when needed.
    Cost - $79.00 + Free Shipping = Subtotal - $79.00

    Graphics Card

    PNY VCG7300GXPB GeForce 7300GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814133172

    Since this does happen to be a budget computer, I picked out an entry level graphics card. This graphics card can handle the games that I plan to play, since I don't plan to do any heavy duty gaming. It can handle Guild Wars, WoW, Vista, CS:S, and hopefully Spore. That means I'm all set. SLI Compatible, so I can boost it's performance.
    Cost - $76.99 + $5.64 = $82.63 + $79.00 = $161.63

    Power Supply

    Rosewill RP550V2-S-SL 550W SLI Ready-ATX 12V V2.01 Power Supply 115/230 V CSA,UL,TUV
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817182031

    This is a good 550watt power supply with a nice LED fan. Reviews say it's a nice quality, and Rosewill is a trusted brand.
    Cost - $59.99 + $8.02 = $68.01 + $161.63 = $229.64

    Case

    APEVIA X-Plorer ATXB8KLW-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811144102

    I chose this case for many reasons. It has a fan control, which will be very helpful if I ever want to overclock. It also has a temperature display, also very helpful. LED lights are a nice touch, and it looks good.
    Cost - $59.99 + $12.99 = $72.98 + $229.64 = 302.62

    Processor

    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2.0GHz 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103637

    Very good processor, would of went for the 3500+ but that would mean downgrading my graphics card for a processor. Don't need anything too large.
    Cost - $76.00 + $302.62 = $378.62

    Motherboard

    GIGABYTE GA-M55SLI-S4 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813128321

    A nice healthy choice for a motherboard. SLI capabilities, will boost up my graphics card which I need. Two PCI-Express x16 slots, helpful if I want a new graphics card but do not want to get rid of my old one. Dual channel DDR2, which means that I can go up to 16 GB of ram [Not like I would need to]. AM2 Compatible, best motherboard I could get for a budget.
    Cost - $89.99 + $6.13 = $92.16 + $378.62 = $470.78

    Hard Drive

    I'll just keep my old hard drive, I'll upgrade it when I need to. 40 GB is alright for now.

    Accessories

    x4 MASSCOOL FD08025S1M4 80mm Case Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835150007

    I'm going to buy four of these. Why am I buying four of these you ask? Well, they're cheap and the reviews say that are very good. Also, the case I have has places for two 80mm fans in the front, and they say to replace the side air duct for a 80mm fan. Well, I say I'll probably need this if I want a very cool case.

    Thermaltake Thunderblade A1928 120mm Green LED Case Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16811999139

    An LED fan for the back of the case. The case only comes with an 80mm fan for the back, even though you can slot in a 120mm one. So I decided to just get a 120mm fan to help exhaust.

    Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16899261005

    Where would I be without a wrist strap? Destroying everything I bought because of some static electricity of course! Essential for building a computer.


    Grand Total = $498.92

    However, they are having a sale on a dual core amd processor and a motherboard combination.


    * AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADO3600IAA5DL - OEM
    * BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    $159.99
    Free Shipping.

    If I buy that and get rid of the 3200+ AM2 processor and the other motherboard, I could have a dual core for 6 dollars less than the am2 processor. However! The motherboard in the combo deal is what is holding me back. For one thing, it does not have SLI capability, which will essentially slow down my graphics card. It also has one PCI Express card, slowing down my graphics even more. Other than that, it's fine. So i'll ask you guys. Should I get the combo deal with the dual processor, or should I just go with the single processor and the better motherboard?
     
  2. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    No SLI wont slow down your GFX card, you dont know what your talking about :) also a 7300GT is slow to start so good luck with that.
     
  3. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    You misread my post, I posted that the combo deal does NOT have SLI capabilities, so it will slow down my graphics card because the other motherboard does. Also, how slow to start is it? If it's like 5 seconds then that is fine, 10 seconds is fine to. Heck, I can wait 30 seconds.
     
  4. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    Wtf are you talking about. No it WILL NOT slow it down because it dosnt have SLI capibility.
     
  5. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    .. once again you misread my post. The FIRST motherboard that I listed has SLI capabilities. This will make it faster. The SECOND one doesn't, so it will be SLOWER than the FIRST one.
     
  6. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    And I have yet to use a antistatic product and I spent way more on my computer, you will be fine unless you plan on wearing wool socks and scootin' along your carpet for a minute. If your that worried just touch a piece of metal or your CRT TV before building.

    No it wont be slower. btw
     
  7. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Please do NOT doublepost, and SLI technology makes every nvidia graphics card faster than if it was not connected to one. Also, there's always a chance I could build up some static with my clothes or something.
     
  8. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    Well you have 17 posts trying to boss me around and talk about things you have no clue about. It has absolutely IMPACT ON NVIDIA GRAPHICS CARD PERFORMANCE WHETHER OR NOT IT IS CONNECTED TO A SLI MOTHERBOARD

    Post edited by Moderator.
     
  9. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Finest, please do some research before you talk to me about these things. What you're basically saying is that two graphics card same brand connected to the same motherboard has no impact on performance. Please do some research and control your anger, just because I have 18 posts doesn't mean I can't be smarter than you about computers.
     
  10. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Ok, what`s going on on here then?

    Please keep it nice and calm guys. I don`t want to have to start deleting posts etc. ;)

    Regards Howard :)
     
  11. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

     
  12. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    Yeah well that is Dual cards lol are you honestly not literate, on top of that dumb first claim nvidia makes that SLI chipset and the nforce chipsets.

    I guess you didnt know they were using 2 cards vs one lol, that can be solved by reading the graph key, so you have yet to prove me wrong.
     
  13. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    SLI improves video performance when two identical cards are connected via SLI (which lets them basically operate as one powerful card). SLI does not make a single card any faster. if only using a single video card, there will be no performance difference between an SLI or non-SLI motherboard.

    indeed... you should always were a grounding strap or at least touch a grounded metal object before handling any electronic component in your PC.

    :wave:

    P.S. Thanks howard ;)
     
  14. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Thanks for your help, I guess I'll go with the combo deal and pick up a CPU cooler along the way.

    Post edited by moderator
     
  15. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 507

    Anways... OP, the system looks perfect. It looks like you've read up quite a lot on these components. The combo looks good, but I don't know much about that motherboard =(.
     
  16. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Thanks, been researching for like 5 days on this stuff.
     
  17. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Ok guys. I have edited several posts in this thread, in order to try and stop it from continuing in a negative manner. Can we just get back on topic now?

    Thanks.

    Regards Howard :)
     
  18. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    Needle,

    I've got to hand it to you, your original post has got to be the most in-depth and thorough I have ever seen for somebody asking for advice. bravo my friend :) I see that you finally decided to ditch the old socket-478 upgrade for a more modern system.

    I would definitely say that combo deal is the better choice. the future is multi-core, you can't go wrong with that deal. as already mentioned, the lack of SLI support on the biostar mobo will not have any effect on your single video card performance.

    I would however suggest that you buy 10 of those masscool fans. reason being the shipping is free when you buy 10 or more (as opposed to $3.47 each otherwise), you will get 10 fans for less than 4 would cost ;)

    also, I'm not sying that Rosewill is bad, but they are not generally considered to be a quality name in the PSU market. so just to be on the safe side, for that price range I would recommend a PSU from Antec or Enermax as they have a proven track record behind them for quality low-cost PSU's.

    :wave:
     
  19. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 507

    Also, you can't go wrong with a 40$ 400W Fortron Source (FSP Group) (or one of the higher models).
     
  20. Needle

    Needle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    I'm not sure. The reviews say that Rosewill and Newegg are very good about RMAing things, if I get a faulty power supply I could just RMA it, right? Also, if I got that 400 Watt, I would be losing 150 watts from my computer, which is not a good thing. Thanks for the advice, but I think I'll take a risk and try the Rosewill.
     
  21. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    Trust me the rosewill you picked is good and will last. It has overload protection so even if it is bad it wont take stuff with it.
     
  22. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    don't pay any attention to newegg reviews, 99% of them are completely useless. they often have nothing relevant to say about the item's quality or reliability. if the thing turns on they say it's awesome, it they make a mistake they blame it on a faulty component and say it's a bad item (when the item itself was fine).

    watts are not important. +12V amperage, tight voltage regulation, and reliable protection circuitry are the most important factors to look for. 400 watts is more than enough if the PSU has strong 12V rails.

    yes, newegg is good about RMA's, but do you really want that aggravation? IMHO, it would be wiser to buy a known reputable brand than risk losing your system to a PSU with unknown reliability.

    ...but it's your money... good luck :wave:
     
  23. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 267

    The only bad Rosewill's i've gotten have been DOA. There was one model I used a while back that was absolute hell... I wish I could remember which one it was :(

    I'm pretty certain that only the absolute cheapest PSU's, such as PowMax or those that come bundled with cheap cases, will take out components of your system if they die - if they even die.

    I agree with KingCody though, Newegg reviews are usually just fanboys or people with limited experience.
     
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