You'll hate me for it, but I need help getting a new comp

Discussion in 'Desktop Computers' started by postman_pat, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. postman_pat

    postman_pat New Member

    First off let me apologise in advance at the briefness of this email. I have spent many hours reading what you lot have been saying about various components and had alot of questions to ask. Having spent 40 mins typing a detailed list of questions, the server on my university campus shut down and I lost it. So heres the brief version:

    Im in the UK and have USD $1800, but can't go over. What is a good company to buy from in the UK or is a US delivery charge from newegg (an american company) fairly small? I will only use the comp for university stuff, i.e. assignments and projects etc.. and gaming, i.e. playing half life 2 and doom 3 as well as possible given my budget. I will happily get a CRT monitor as they are cheaper and I will want to do my graphics card justice. Would also happily buy a second hand CRT monitor to save money - anyone recommend a place?

    So all I really care about is gaming. I'll build it myself to save money and will OC it to for the same reason. Have never done either before so the level of OC'ing that I can acheive prob wont be very good.

    I definately want a geforce gt 256 graphics card but have no idea which one is best, i.e. XFX etc.....

    AMD 64 look good for OC'ing plus they offer better value for money so i was looking at those.

    nForce 2 -ST/400 mobo or an A8V deluxe?

    corsair twin XMS ram or kingston ram? (i definately want 1gb, 2x512)

    i can only run 2 speakers (and possibly a sub). how does this affect the quality of sound card needed, i.e. do i need an audigy 2 zs or would a sound blaster audigy ES do just fine.

    would never find a use for 200/250 GB hard drive but someone said that i need one that large as it improves speed of gaming. personaly i wouldnt need bigger than a 160gb. so would it be best to get a 160gb 10,000rpm rather than a larger 7,200rpm drive? is there much of a benefit to getting a 16mb cache over 8mb cache?

    450/480/500 watt cpu for OC'ing? quiet is definately better but some noise is fine.

    Lian Li cases look very nice, and an aluminium one would be my preferance.

    That's about it. Sorry for any spelling mistakes and feel free to suggest completely different stuff from what ive selected. i have no bias towards brand names or manufacturers, just what makes my comp go fastest for games!

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. Praetor

    Praetor Administrator Staff Member

    Unless im missing something, you wont save money by buying an additional component ... :) (although I wish it was possible heehee)

    With the single (significant and extremely explicit) exception of the ASUS V9999GT (for which im really sorry and dissapointed with), all the brand names are roughly the same. There wont be more than 1% difference between most brands.

    If you're getting a AGP card, the GeForce6800GT would be the best value (and within 6800GTs, the BFG is the current favorite). If you're getting a PCI-Express card, the two best are the XFX 6600/6800GTs (for use if you get a SLI setup or ASUS X800XTs (if you just want one card).

    AMD64 is silly good for OCing if [a] you have good memory you have a nForce3/nForce4 mobo (although my K8T800Pro does a good showing of breaching the 3.2GHz mark it's silly unstable), [c] you have good cooling and most importantly, [d] you spend the money for a FX series processor (you should be considering the FX53 or the FX55). If you cant shell out the money for an FX series processor (and still want silly overclocks), Prescott would be the route to take (of course then you'd have to shell out for a 925X board, PCI-Express and DDR2 so its prolly cheaper to go AMD64). Again I iterate that this is for silly overclocks :p (silly as in insanely high). If you are more than happy with say 600MHz OCs, any Athlon64 will suffice (the Socket754s are more than capable of punching in 800MHz without blinking but you sacrifice dual channel and 200MHz on the HTT .. overall, not a big sacrifice, especially since the price will be cheaper)

    Two totally different platforms and utterly incompatible. The former is for the AMD32 platform catering to SocketA/462 processors (the AthlonXPs and Semprons with the exception of the Sempron3100 which is a Socket754 part). The latter is a Socket 939 part for Athlon64s only. As for my reccomendations:
    - AMD32: ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe ... its an aging platform so you might as well get the best you can get (second vote goes for the ABit NF7-S 2.0)
    - AMD64 Socket 754: MSI K8N Neo Platinum ... your one stop mobo for OC madness
    - AMD64 Socket 939 (current): MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum ... the Socket939 version of the previous chip
    - AMD64 Socket 939 (bleeding edge): ABIT A8N SLI Deluxe ... it doesnt get much better than this ... you'll have to shell out for PCIx video card(s) tho

    My preference is for Corsair but the question is a slighly unfair one: Corsair TwinXMS is the best Corsair has to offer ... "Kingston RAM" could mean anything from their budget RAM (which I tend to avoid like a mini-plague) to their HyperX line (which is superb for OCing). Memory choice also depends slighly on your take for OCing: whether you want to go for the tightest timings (and be limited to roughly PC3200) or you want to go for the insane bandwidth (which nails all the way to PC4400+). I cant/wont give a reccemendation without knowing your intentions for OCIng.

    The quality of the sound will be mostly determiend by the quality of your speakers. Most mobos (inlcuding all the ones mentioned in my post) have some form of onboard sound ranging from support for 5.1 to 7.1 sound (which can all downsample to 2.0/2.1) If you want the get the Audigy2ZS you might as well shell out for a 5.1 setup (the Logitech Z640s are ubercheap for their quality and value)

    1. Never say you'll "never use..." :D
    2. The 36GB Raptors are your bet for speed but IMO not worth the price (mostly because I value space then performance).
    My reccomendation: get a Rapto 36GB and run your OS off that to improve overall performance, geta slower, say 160GB 8MB drive to run everything else on.

    PSUs arent that loud. You're best off getting a nice solid PSU if you want to do any kind of OCing. Reccomendations:
    - OCZ Power Stream 520W (superb for OCers)
    - Antec TruePower 480W (another solid PSU)
    - Vantec Stealth 420W (common, very stable and ugh.. quiet :p)

    All Lian Li's are aluminim (well mostly). Picking a case is soemthing we cant help you with -- its your personal taste really
  3. postman_pat

    postman_pat New Member

    Gee your swell

    well thanks for an extremely fast reply!

    When I said about getting a second hand CRT I meant instead of a TFT or brand new monitor - i.e. that I see no problem in getting a second hand crt as opposed to a brand new one to save money - though it would still have to be a good one to do 6800 gt justice in resolution etc..

    I read your post and it was very helpful so thanks! but your reply has raised several question:

    what is the difference/benefits of AGP over PCIx or vice-versa.

    you said that socket 754 can comfortably give a good 800mhz gain but that i would loose dual channel - what do you mean by loosing dual channel? what do you also mean by saying that i would also loose 200mhz of HTT? what would i loose if i took the socket 939 root instead?

    you suggested 4 mobos. the first one is obviously outdated (who the hell would want to run amd34!) so would the other three be a good partnership for amd 64's/fx?

    with respect to RAM, when i mentioned kingston, i meant kingstons equivalent (either by price of performance) to the corsair twin xms. And as far as what i want from my OC'ing i dont know what does what - i.e. i dont know what tight timings are, how they effect performance and ditto to high band width. when answering though remember that all i care about i playing games at the highest frame rates possible-i.e. making my comp run as fast as possible.

    You mentioned various routes i could take if i wanted to do some insane OC'ing, but i've never done it before and lack of knowledge on the subject dictates that i'm going to err on the safe side of frying any components, so i dont know if that will help you answer these questions too.

    Thanks again!

  4. postman_pat

    postman_pat New Member

    Another thing I haven't asked - what are the pros/cons of getting a newcastle, winchester or hammerclaw core?

    so far im looking at:
    lian li case
    samsung 12xdvd rw plus one other so that i can burn dvd etc.. (no reason for make or model, but just to give this list a rough price indication)
    amd 3500+ (praetor got one so it must be ok!)
    wd caviar 7200 200gb
    twin xms 4400 1gb
    k8n neo 2 platinum
    logitech 2.1
    bfg 6800 gt

    and all this for only about $1800! im shocked! youd never be able to get something with anywhere near the OC'ing potential going through a branded company like dell, mesh. that said i still dont have a descent crt monitor.... :(
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Administrator Staff Member

    On paper PCI-Express isa superior platform. In reality, there arent benifits for average users switching to PCI-Express anytime soon (as in a year or two). The only reason enthusiasts will enjoy PCI-express is because there is the possibility (with the most recent nVidia and VIA chipsets) to connect two video cards to one machine (and in the case of the nForce4SLI, run them as if it were one card).

    The advantage is a staggering increase in performance. The downside is that it is relatively prohibitively expensive and that the parts are uber-hard to get and that you'll prolly wanna wait for Rev2 to come by to iron out the kinks

    You lose nothing by going Socket939. Socket754 runs a 800(1600DDR) HTT and doesnt support Dual Channel memory. Socket 939 runs a 1000(2000DDR) HTT and supports Dual Channel. Of the two limitations, the drop in HTT speed is more significant.

    You mentioned the nForce2 :p

    The A64 mobos are what i'd reccomend yes

    I know I just wanted to clarify heehee

    A minor conundrum. To get those absolute highest fps you'll want to OC ... you can get more than exceptable performance without however. The simplest route would prolly be to get some brandname, highbandwdith memory as thats the easier route for OCIng

    Yeah getting something like Corsair XMS PC3200 1GB [512x2] would give you a decent platform regardless of whether you plan on OCing or not. That way you can rest assured of out-of-the-box-performance but still be able to OC if you should like to try :)

    Again ... aethestics and stuff. Thats your call. :)

    Depends mostly on your budget. Lemme know your budget and i'll spec a system for ya :)
    As for the DVD burner, your best bet performance/capability/endurance/price is prolly the Pioneer 108
  6. postman_pat

    postman_pat New Member

    once again thanks!

    I'm English, but my budget roughly translates to about $1800, although i may have to go slighty higher because i cant seem to find reasonably priced monitors that do justice to a 6800 gt (i.e. they cant support high enough resolutions)

  7. Praetor

    Praetor Administrator Staff Member

    You should be plenty fine getting that system within $1800 (including a decent 17" CRT and quite possibly a 19" ive not bothered looking into CRTs)
  8. postman_pat

    postman_pat New Member

    so the next step(s) would be to ask where is the best place to buy from (i.e. shop or website) and if you had around $1800 and wanted a purely gaming pc with a mind to do some OC'ing, what would you get?
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Administrator Staff Member

    To me OCing and gaming go hand in hand so that makes that part easier. As for places i cant help you much, i buy from small stores ... much cheaper for me (cuz i have business relations with them and such) :)
  10. postman_pat

    postman_pat New Member

    34 with an $1800 budget what would you get?
  11. Praetor

    Praetor Administrator Staff Member

    My system.

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