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my shopping list....=)

By N8theGr8 ยท 5 replies
Jul 19, 2005
  1. hey guys, i dont know if you remember me from several months ago, but ive pieced together my system and wanted to run it by everyone and make sure im not making any mistakes, or if anyone has any tips/suggestions.

    AMD socket 939 Athlon64 3000+ (Venice) retail

    ASUS A8V Deluxe retail

    ASUS geforce 6600 (agp 4x/8x) retail

    Crucial 512MB PC3200 (DDR400) non-ecc

    Lite-on dual layer dvd burner SOHW-1693S retail

    Seagate barracuda SATA150 80gig OR IDE ultraATA100 80gig. OEM

    Antec Solution SLK2650-BQE or Antec Solution SLK3700-BQE (slightly bigger)
    w/ antec 350W power supply

    ViewSonic VX715 17" LCD flatpanel with DVI input

    I'm on a pretty tight budget and i've pretty much hit the ceiling with this setup. I picked the A8V deluxe because it has built-in firewire (i have an external firewire HD for storage) and is apparently a really tried-and-true board and should serve my purposes. The ASUS boards above this one (A8V-E, A8V-E deluxe) have reports of the chipset fan becoming a problem.

    The hard drives however, im not sure if i should go IDE or SATA. People on newegg.com said that SATA is tricky to setup with this board, that the drives require drivers to be loaded via floppy. This is my first build, and I really would like it to be a successful and painless one. Anyways, I figure I can buy a SATA later on.

    Lastly, do I need to buy a floppy drive? Is it necessary to flash the BIOS or whatever? (this is another thing ive never done before...flashing means updating, correct? and is it necessary for non-OC'ers?) Thanks for the help, can't wait to get started!
  2. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 380

    get a VNF4Ultra..
  3. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,554

    i'd reccomend the msi k8n neo2 series over said asus board. it's based on the nforce3 chipset, and thus supports an agp video card. they are high in performance/features/quality, and low on cost. i believe you could land yourself a 90nm a64 based on the winchester core for less (faster model?) too.
    you could make the move to a cheaper case. just make sure it's name brand and has good airflow.
    get a 6600gt or higher. the price difference doesn't justify the bigger difference in performance. i reccomend the msi nx6600gt-vtd128 (or the sp version). i own said card and it's a fine product. it cost me $210 (USD) this may and handles farcry (among others) beautifully at the best settings.
    350 watts is NOT enough to power your anticipated rig. get a name brand (antec, raidmax, thermaltake to name a few companies) supply with a rating of 420 watts or better.
    you'd probably do better with some (more) kingston value ram. 512MB DDR400 sticks are selling for $50 (USD) a peice these days. you should get two, and employ them in a dual-channel setup.
    make sure your case has a hard drive fan. i highly reccomend the maxtor 6y120mo sata diamondmax 9 drives. they have top-notch performance and reliability, and said model cost me $80 (USD). for a high quality 120GB drive, that's a great price and overall value.

    i assume you either have extra money set aside or already have the software you need. (operating system, probably games). just remember to protect your investment with some quality surge protection. hope this helps your decision.
  4. rrcn

    rrcn TS Rookie

    I'd have to disagree with Zephead regarding a couple things. :)

    Firstly, I'd go with a good case. How many times will you change said case? The parts are usually upgraded many times before one changes a case. And a good quality case that doesn't have sharp edges and isn't flimsy is a pleasure to work with. Saves you time, headaches and your fingers. :)

    And secondly, since he is on a tight budget, I think 512mb of ram is good enough for now. He can always throw in another stick of 512 later on down the line.

    That 350w Antec might be border lining it. It is better to go with one that has better amps on the +12v rail. Personally, I would upgrade that just to be safe.

    The price of the 6600GT and vanilla 6600 isn't very much, but the performance between the two is significant. I definitely recommend going with the GT version. Well worth the few extra bucks.
  5. N8theGr8

    N8theGr8 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hi guys, thanks for the help, but i decided to go with my original list. i really dont play games that much anymore (just an occasional sims2 or starcraft) so i stuck with the 6600. i did however get 2 512's from crucial, i figure this way ill be set for memory for a good long while.

    is 350W from antec really a problem? i typed in my setup in the jscustompcs wattage calculator, and came up with 260W minimum. thats about a 100W buffer. if i were to buy a second harddrive, sure i'd definitely upgrade the psu, but aren't i safe for now? if i were to upgrade, which unit would you recommend, at minimal cost?
  6. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,554

    i didn't say to get a low quality case. i reccomended getting a name brand/quality case, but a cheaper model. for example, my local shop stocks a particular raidmax case for $33. it is of high quality and has great airflow, plenty of drive bays, and comes with a raidmax 420watt supply. it doesn't have fp audio or 1394, and the paint scheme is rather drab, but is the perfect choice for businesses or guys on a budget.

    as for the power supply...
    you calculeted your load at 260 watts. you plan to purchase a 350 watt supply. what you're forgetting is that the 350w spec on the antec refers to the maximum theoretical load on the ac line in. the wattage supplied to the components is lowered by the psu's effiency rating. let's say your supply's effiency rating is 65%. so you multiply:

    .65% * 350w = 227.5 watts
    227.5w < 260w

    furthermore a power supply's efficiency changes depending on the load, so you're going to need plenty of headroom, expecially considering the power drawn by the system as it boots up. now, a 420watt supply (we're assuming the same effiency of 65%) would work out as follows:

    .65% * 420w = 273 watts

    and a 350w psu would need to have an effiency of 74% to drive a maximum load of 260w. and let me be the first to tell you that it is not capable of such high effiency.

    the bottom line: get a name brand supply of at least 420 watts or better. lower quality supplies have even lower effiency and often fail to maintain constant voltages.
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