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building a new system - what do think ?

By kryten · 17 replies
May 21, 2003
  1. Hi all....
    I'm going to build a new base unit and am pondering about which processor to choose. Here's what I've decided so far.......

    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
    2 x 256 MB DDR PC3200
    80Gb HDD (probably SATA)
    Chieftec case (I like the pretty colours)

    Now the processor I 'was' going to go with is an XP3000 with Abit NF-s motherboard.
    But for a bit extra I'm looking into a P4 3ghz(800fsb) along with a Abit Canterwood board.

    What do you think (by the way my budget is £1000 or there abouts)

    Also thinking of audigy 2, but heard some bad stories with regards to these cards.

    Please no 'I hate ATI/Nvidia/Intel/AMD', since I've used all and have had no complaints. This is simply the biggest bang for your buck (well pound :) )
  2. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    personally i would recommend the AMD option
    u would get so much more 'bang for your buck' with a A7N8X Deluxe, a XP3200+ and 2 sticks of Corsair DDR3200(400Mhz) RAM and if u had the money i would get a TwinX LL set from corsair (that is 2 matched DIMMs with low latency SPDs - very very fast)

  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Your Choice is fine, and is roughly what I am running.
    Make sure you get the NF7-S v2.0 board, not the older versions. IBM 180GXP hard drives are excellent value, very fast and one of the most reliable on the market (the 180GB version can be had from www.savastore.com for a mere £135). Serial ATA is currently overpriced, so I wouldn't bother with it at this time.

    Also go for TwinMOS PC3200 Winbond memory, which you can get at www.komplett.co.uk, for around half the price of Corsair - and its the same memory chips that are used, so its just as fast, bargain.
  4. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Steg and Nic said most of what I was going to say. Other then that...

    Get a 3000+ or a 3200. Could you buy one of the new 400Mhz FSB chips?
  5. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592


    that's about 3 bills..........the 2500+barton @ 125 overclocked to a 2800+..........the 2800+ is the same die as the 3000+ @ a 100 less...........the memory can be 2700 since you won't be eclipsing the 333fsb mark.......that's a few bucks less..........get the best video card.....right now that's speculative............this way you won't be left wanting, when the new 64 architecture hits in 6 mos.......but, fast enough to use anything out there...incl. doom 3/half life 2 etc. w/playable framerates
  6. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    400 fsb?

    yeah, but too new and pricey right now for his bang for the buck criteria...AND, why burn that much cash before the hammer?
  7. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    AMD is cheaper and faster. A higher-end processor. You need not ask this question. It is a no brainer :D
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I think I'd go with the AMD option, maybe a 2700 or 2800 333FSB and use all that extra money to get a couple of Raptor drives, run them in RAID0 and get some digital 5.1 speakers with SPDIF input. With the NF7-S or A7n8x dx you'll get soundstorm and with some digital speakers the 5.1 DD encoding is hard to beat.
  9. kryten

    kryten TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that guys........

    I'll think I might wait a little while to see if the 3200 price drops a bit.
    The reviews for this chip I've seen say although it out performs the 800fsb intel in most tests the 3200 is still relatively expensive for its performance (intel going for £350 while the AMD is £380), bearing this in mind one of AMD strong points was its pricing.......

    Well I've got my car insurance renewal next month plus TAX, MOT and a short break to Paris, after that I think I'll be only to afford a case badge :(
    Still I have some savings and you can't take it with you :D
  10. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Hope this is not too late....If i were you i would look at another soundcards besides creative like Turtle Beach, Philips, Hercules.....btw like what tarkus said why not get a set of high end speakers, i bet ya goin to have left overs since 1000 pound budget is not that bad and still can get you some more good stuff. A top pc system is still not top with a top pc sound system!

    Some recommendations:
    Z 680 5.1
    Z 560 4.1
    Altec Lansing 641 4.1 Digital
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    If you go with AMD and nForce2, use the Soundstorm onboard sound ;)
  12. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    I agree with Arris, nForce2 is a great chipset and their onboard sound is almost unbeatable by current competitors. Also, whilst with NVIDIA, why not get a GeForce FX5900 Ultra? After all, it IS the highest performing video card on the market at the moment, when we finally see it on the store shelves that is ;) .

    BTW, I came to recommending the FX card as I see you are getting, or planning to, a 9800 PRO, and the 5900 is not that much more expensive, especially if we are talking about the 128MB version. But it's all up to you in the end, so I hope you make the right decisions, Good Luck :grinthumb !
  13. kryten

    kryten TS Rookie Topic Starter

    With regards to sound my plan was to use the onboard audio then if I find it can't cope then to add in a card instead.
    Although I'd would love a set of surround speakers it's not one of my priorities at the moment.....getting rid of my TB1.4 is !!

    And Tim if the 5900ultra is the same price or cheaper then I would probably go with that (I'm not biased towards any manufacturer, but judging from your sig. you a bit of a nvidia fan :D ) My last two cards were GF's while I had an ATI before that, 8MB Expert@work !

    My usual sources for hardware are....

    and nic gave this one to try www.komplett.co.uk

    Anyother UK based ones you'd recommend ????

  14. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I just built the system in my sig on tuesday, and I'm LOVING it. I got the parts (aside from the video and audio cards, keyboard & mouse, speakers, and monitor--I already owned them) from newegg for $717 including shipping. Not sure how that translates in cost for you in the UK, but I'm sure you can figure it out ;).
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Forget SATA. I've had to work on too many of these in the shop.

    IDE / PATA is every bit as fast... If you value your data, you should switch to SATA when it matures - Which is going to be a while from what I have seen. ;)
  16. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Rick: What sort of problems is it you've seen with SATA? Are the problems only associated with SATA RAID, or are you aware of other issues? I ask because I'm thinking of adding a couple of SATA drives to my PC in the near future.
  17. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350


    Haven't used them but www.microdirect.co.uk have good prices on somethings...

    Bought my 512mb OCZ EL-DDR PC3500 memory from www.pc-memory-upgrade.co.uk
    Was about the cheapest price I could find for that particular stick of memory.
  18. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I do not recommend www.overclockers.co.uk anymore since my last purchase. They are useless when it comes to customer service and won't honour your consumer rights.

    They are almost impossible to reach by phone and take around a week to respond to email. When you do get a response, it is to tell you to email a different address (i.e. their support email address - not posted on the website), and you then have to wait days for a response yet again. Why they can't simply forward email between departments is beyond me - seems like a time wasting tactic designed to make you give up and go away.

    I am currently making a claim against my credit card provider due to overclockers.co.uk not willing to resolve my problems themselves.

    They are fine if your goods arrive in good condition, but if they don't, then prepare for a nightmare of poor service and having them ignore your rights as a consumer.

    *** I do not shop at Overclockers.co.uk anymore, and advise everyone else to avoid them, or use them at their own risk. ***
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