Opinions on a new sytem I am getting

By acidosmosis ยท 12 replies
Jan 23, 2003
  1. I recently upgraded from an AMD Duron 900mhz, to a AMD Athlon 1.73ghz processor, and a new motherboard. I am buying a even newer motherboard in a few weeks (dont like the one I have and want to be able to use AGP8x instead of 4x). Take a look at these before and after specs and let me know what you think about some of this and give me any opinions you have on what I should do. Suggestions are greatly appreciated. I also have some concerns that I will indicate at the end of this post.

    Currently have this:
    ECS K7S5A Motherboard
    AMD Athlon 1.73ghz (underclocked to 1500+ for cooling reasons until I get a new cpu fan soon).
    320MB PC133 SDRAM
    Geforce2 MX 400 64megs
    400 watt PSU
    24x CDR
    2 Hard-drives


    Upgrading to this:
    Radeon9700 Pro
    (and purcashing a 80cfm bracket fan to cool the video card at the same time that I purchase this video card)

    Keeping the AMD Athlon 1.73ghz (but clocking it back to normal speed once I get the cpu fan which is a Swiftech MCX370-B)
    PC3200 DDR 512MB
    Asus A7V8X-A (AGP8x, 3 DDR PC3200 slots, )
    Xaser II A6000 Plus CASE with 6 Port Baybus + 5 case fans
    420 Watt Vantech Stealth Power Supply
    Possibly a 12" cold cathode (12v)

    *enough power from the PSU?
    *enough molex connectors on the PSU for the video card,
    bracket fan, hard drive, cd burner, etc.
    *general opinion of this new setup?
    *any opinions at all

    Thanks guys :p
  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I would get the A7N8X instead of the KT400 based A7V8X (depending on cost differences). The dual channel memory option does give, in benchmarks, up to 10% better peformance than the KT400. Get 2 x 256mb ram or the single 512mb and upgrade to 2 x 512mb at a later date. Also the Vantech Stealth PSU sounds good but I kinda have gone off it after reading a review of Enermax, Antec, ThermalTake and Vantec PSUs at Anandtech.

    The heatsink choice is great unless the MCX4000 for Athlon is out, then I would be tempted to get it instead.

    For the 9700Pro the ATI shim round the R300 core doesn't allow a perfect meeting of heatsink and core as found by a lot of people replacing the standard heatsink. If you are considering overclocking the card you could be best to investigate this. Other than that your choices are good.
  3. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350


    I did a little research and realized that the newer PSU's made by Vantech, Thermaltake, etc have around 8-9 molex connectors. That is enough for me, I shouldnt need more than 8 connectors.


    I look at it like this.. I need the following:
    1 for the Radeon 9700 Pro
    1 for the Hard Drive
    1 for an additional fan (probably getting a 120mm side-installed)
    1 for my cd burner

    that leaves an extra 4-5 connectors and should leave
    plenty of watts to spare...

    As for the motherboard you suggested, I will investiage that and see what I think. I also read all the websites you posted for me, so I am going to investigate the motherboard alternative you suggested and an alternative PSU and will make a decision this week.

    Thanks a lot.

    Any more suggestions? :)
  4. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Re: update

    Your fans each need one, but they have pass through connectors, so the 2 front fans will use one, and the two side fans will use one as well.

    A 420W from Vantec sounds great.

    I would reccomend the Thermalright SLK-800 over the Swiftech. The Thermalright is alot more expensive, uses a 3 cleated clip instead of screwing into the system board, and performs better anyway. If you hook your CPU fan up to the fan controller on the front of your case (I have a XaserII), than that will use a 4 pin as well. Then there's your side fan, which should be patched in with the front intakes.

    My Enermax has 9 connectors and I use every last one of them.

    And yes, get the A7N8x Deluxe, it's alot better; especially with dual channel DDR (get 2 sticks of it).
  5. ---agissi---

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

    I got a A7V8x and its great highly reccomned!!!
  6. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I'm using the A7V8X too, and has had (next to) no problems with it... (The problem was limited to the RAID controller, which with one harddrive you won't need)

    But as Arris pointed out the dual channel memory is quite effective...

    Besides that and the hardware sound (instead of software codec on the KT400), I don't see too many reasons for you to choose the A7N8X over the A7V8X...
  7. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    I checked out the Thermalright SLK-800 heatsink. Running at around $38-42 just for the heatsink, without the fan included that is a bit higher than I want to pay for just a heatsink.

    The current fan I got with my latest motherboard was a Dynatron Model # DC1206BM-L. This thing only pushes about 24cfm. I have the side panel of my case off with a large 18" fan, about 16" away from the case pointed straight into the case. With my 1.73ghz athlon xp downclocked to about 1.3ghz I get cpu temperatures of 116 F' while sitting idle just typing in Word. While playing Half Life at 1024x768 online I get temperatures of about 123 F'. This fan just flat out sucks and wasn't worth the $8. LOL. Didn't really expect much though but I knew I had to have a fan so $8 wasnt much for a fan that I'm only gonna use for about a month.

    As for now I am going to stick with purchasing the Swiftech MCX370-B unless someone has a better idea for under $30 :).
  8. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    You could get a Thermaltake 7 CU+, a decent coller with a decent price. Btw, video cards don't need molex connectors but casing fans do need them, corrrect me if i m wrong.
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    9700 uses a floppy power connector, y&w.
  10. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Oh I see.
  11. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    And if I'm not mistaken the Geforce FX is using the full 4 pin Molex connector.

    And you can get a very good Coolermaster heatsink for $10. I have had a good experience with cheap CM heatsinks. It kept my 2100+ below 45C idle.
  12. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    Yes, the Radeon 9700 Pro does use a connector, it uses a molex connector (the basic power hookup for all your case peripherals).

    As far as the Geforce FX, I believe it has an extra coolant system that runs on power from your psu via a molex connector. Nothing new really since fans run on molex connectors, but the new thing is this video card has its own large fan.. coming out in February I believe..
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Its the smaller connector like the one used to power your floppy drive. The cards come with a Y cable which gives you the correct connection from a standard molex.
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