New Comp Specs

By XtremeEX ยท 42 replies
Apr 27, 2003
  1. Ok, I'm going to buy a new computer and am going to customly make it. Screw Dell and CompUSA and Gateway, etc. This is my 2th computer I will make because I'm a freak :).

    1) My Case (water cooled): Koolance PC2-601BW

    2) Motherboard and Processor: Something good for overclocking and P4 2.6- 3.0Ghz, board must be 13" x 12" or less (case).

    3) Power Supply: A good power suppy able to handle a new powerful video card (I read about power failures with new video cards).

    4) Video Card! I need tons of help on getting a good video card. There's so much to chose from! I'm a hardcore extreme to the max gamer person. I play all the latest games.

    5) Sound Card: I've got a SB Audigy 2 Plat.

    6) RAM: 1024DDR fine?

    7) Windows Operating System: 98SE/Win2k/XP? I gotta be able to play CS!
  2. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    Nice specs! Processor should be fine, have you considered an Athlon processor? The Opteron's should be available shortly!!

    Antec and Enermax make good PSUs if you are looking.

    I would wait with the video card; there are some good ones on the way, mainly NV35, which I would consider worth waiting for at the moment. Although if you can't wait, the ATi Radeon 9800 PRO is currently the fastest GPU on the market.

    What speed RAM are you getting? This is very important! Try to get 1024 DDR PC2700 or more. Any less than this is not worthy of the rest of your components.

    And finally, I would recommend Windows XP Pro. Having used all of your listed operating systems, I can say that XP is the most compatible and stable, closely followed by Win2K. A second choice to XP would be Windows 2000 Professional.

    I hope you make the right choices for the rest of your hardware! Good Luck!

    BTW, I would double check all of the components you buy are compatible with each other. Example - motherboard and video card: make sure that if you are getting an AGPx8 video card that your motherboard supports AGPx8 and so on.
  3. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    As TimMoore said, its really important to double check all your stuff is compatible - ie: [mobo=ATX-Case=ATX], [Mobo FSB=333-CPU FSB=333], and so on.

    Be sure to get some cooling for your badass processor too :D
  4. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    Lol, I still need a processor cooler? Lol, I'm pretty much getting an 'air conditioned case' for my comp. Heatsink'll do it?

    Ive got a few more questions, I meant to mention them but ran outa time cuz I went to the movies to see Identity.

    Do you guys know where I can find good MotherBoards and power supply, a power supply that CAN hold up on an extreme graphics card?

    Oh and yes, thanks for warning me about the differences in my hardware that I should note. I was going to state that earlier but ran outa time. I am fully aware with FSB and type of RAM and everything being able to be compatible.

    Do you guys think I should shoot for the highest FSB out there for all my hardware? Or go down to 400 or something>?

    Oh, I have considered getting AMD a long time ago but alot of comps at my house have it and comps at my dad's shop have it, just plain old bad experiences. All the PC's I've owned my entire life have been Pentium, I am always satisfied. Though I have used AMD before, I much prefer Pentium. Sorry AMD fans!

    I think I will wait for the NV35, I hope it comes out when I make my PC. I gotta save up some $$ Meanwhile, I only got $500 set for right now. I'm planning my computer to be a summer project, since for the first time there's no more summer classes that I can take (hell yeah!).

    Thanks alot, alot!
  5. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    I would expect a heatsink and cooling fan to come with the processor, if it is not OEM of course.

    Places like will have good offers for motherboards and other components. Although you should be able to buy them from your local computer store. As for PSUs, you should be able to get these from the actual manufacturers (Enermax and Antec as I recommended before)

    For FSB speed, I would get the highest I could. There are no actual 400MHz FSBs, they are really 100MHz but quad pumped. But I would go with the new 3.06GHz P4 with HT and 800MHz (200MHz quad pumped) FSB at the moment.

    I would be careful about waiting for the NV35, it might be a disappointment like the NV30 - 34 were. Although I seriously doubt this, since there have been reliable sources saying that it will definitely be faster than the ATi Radeon 9800 PRO; which is good enough for me.

    And once again, make sure all your hardware is compatible, I cannot stress this enough!

    I also think that you will need a little bit more than $500 for a 3.06GHz P4 alone! (Well, maybe a little less than $500) My advice to you is to start saving :grinthumb !
  6. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    "I gotta save up some $$ Meanwhile, I only got $500 set for right now." Word man.
  7. novicegamer

    novicegamer TS Rookie Posts: 89

    The P4 is 500$ on sale right now,I just put a new system together this weekend and now I cant get it to boot.
    wd 10k rpm sata hd
    enermax 465 ps
    granitebay mobo
    2048megs pc2100
    sb audigy2
    kingwin case
    cdrom & cdrw,and of course the ever present floppy
    Had it running fine till I decided to close the case then I started getting the BOSD mad onion score was 15689,so be sure to read up on all aspects before starting and good luck
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Read the reviews on various sites like Techspot, Hard OCP, Guru3D, Mikhailtech, and others. Hang out in forums, read back a few months. You'll learn a lot.

    Good power supply maker would be Antec or Enermax. get something ~400W.

    I don't know what to suggest for graphics because I've not been fond of ATI's drivers but then I haven't tried ATI since before the Radeon. Right now nVidia has little to compare speed wise but they write good drivers. Once you decide which chip maker you want then you have to compare models and card makers.
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    SLK-800(U) or SLK-900(U) (U is the bolt on version).
    These heat sinks from Thermalright are the kings of heatsinks at the moment. great performers.


    900U - Intel

    900U - AMD
  10. mrslippyfist

    mrslippyfist TS Rookie Posts: 50

    Surely if it is a watercooled, all this talk of hsf's is irrelevent.
    Also, since you don't have the money for it yet, I suggest that you set a budget, and buy the best components that you can at the time, rather than planning it too far in advance, since in a couple of months it is likely the bits that you have listed will no longer be top of the range.
  11. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Don't buy P4. You'll pay WAY more for a processor that is slower than an Athlon that runs FASTER. A gig of ram is a little bit of an overkill unless your going to be doing a lot of multitasking or hardcore graphics, etc. If you go with that much ram you have to pay special attention your processor bus speed, ram speed, etc.. so your not running a bottleneck.
  12. spun_1

    spun_1 TS Rookie Posts: 41

  13. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    You have a nice top-end soundcard....why not try getting quality speakers just to get the most of your soundcard?
  14. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    What speakers do you suggest. I have decent 5.1 speakers.
  15. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    If you plan on running win98/winme (e.g. dual boot. or as main OS), then 512MB RAM is max, as these OS won't work with more fitted.
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

  17. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Alright then, what is the model of your 5.1 speakers?
  18. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    I have USAP 3520 ChannelDVD Speaker system. Not exactly the greatest and the best of all time, but it's decent.

    What are awesome speaker sets that go well with SB Audigy 2 Platinum guys?

    By the way, like what I posted at the top, how much you think that'd cost right now (comp specs listed in first post), and how much that'd cost in about July, all together?
  19. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    Have you looked at any Creative Inspire speakers? Altec Lansing and Cambridge Soundworks also make VERY good speakers. I am currently using the Altec Lansing 5100's (5.1) and couldn't be happier. Prices will vary, but the companies above will have some reasonable deals on some of their best sets.
  20. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    Hey guys, I've configured a good AMD system w/parts I want to buy. I am planing on purchasing from I spent like 4 hours looking around for comp parts and spec and such and I've learned alot now that I've realized it.

    First, are they a rip off? They seem to have good prices.
    Ok, now I need all of your opinions here!

    Chieftec - Black Dragon Series Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side Panel

    Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra Black MB w/ XP 2400 CPU (Supports 266/333 MHz FSB)

    Speeze - Socket A Cooling Fan up to XP 2800+

    Crystal Clear Chassis Fan With Green LEDs In Center (2)

    XFX Geforce4 Ti4200 128MB DDR AGP8X TV Out & DVI Video Card

    2 80mm fans

    IDE Drive cables

    3x 512 MB DDR (1536MB)

    Maxtor 120GB HD

    Vantec 520 Watt Stealth Power Supply

    This is going to cost me up arround $1000.

    I'm pretty sure that everything is comatible with eachother. I've spent hours trying to figure it out because I was just learning about the compatibility.

    If you have any other suggestions of a comp configuration I should have and it is below $1000, please tell me what you had in mind!

    Tell me what you think! Thanks!
  21. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    TigerDirect has been around for years but I've always thought of them as high priced. Have you checked, one of the most reputable retailers out there? is a good price search and comparison site. is a good place to check on customer experiences with a retailer.

    When I build a system I try not to buy 1 item per location as shipping charges add up quickly. I also don't buy at just one site because while they may have good prices on part of the computer they'll gouge you for the rest. It's a balancing act and helps if you put it up on a spreadsheet. I usually wind up ordering from 2-4 different places.

    edit: oh, yeh, stay away from!
  22. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Dont buy from either. TERRIBLE customer service. Worst I have ever dealt with.
  23. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    Hey guys, I'm planning on getting this AMD based motherboard. Tell me what you think.

    This one only supports 200/266/333MHz FSB Processors. I'm looking for hopefully a higher FSB if possible on ABIT, if it's not ABIT thats fine but as long as it's good quality and not cheap sh*t. :)

    I prefer Abit because of the ease of overclocking without void of the waranty. :) Any other is completely fine, I just prefer the ease.

    I am looking for the best AMD Socket A motherboard for AMD Athlon XP 2700+ and higher with an exceptionally high FSB not passing the 400$ mark. Thanks alot guys, if you know any, please let me know!
  24. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Directron is a great company, I've done business with them on several occasions. Nice motherboard if you want to go VIA over nForce2. I've always bought Abit before this MB. The only reason I went with Asus was Abit, at the time, didn't have holes for mounting a waterblock.
  25. XtremeEX

    XtremeEX Topic Starter

    Actually, I'm going ATI ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 9700 PRO 128MB.

    Guys, I need to see if there are any other good quality motherboards for AMD! Need something that can support the latest AMD Athlon XP processor!

    This system will be the latest sytem around, that's my plan. I have 1,300 spending limit now.
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