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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Mac-Town, Dirty South

    It's been at least 5 years since I've researched buying a rig...

    So let me know what is wrong with this:

    Case: Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000SWA Silver Chassis: 1.0mm Aluminum

    Power Supply - ???

    Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD

    Graphics Card(s) - ???

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX57 San Diego 1GHz FSB 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939

    Ram: CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM ECC Registered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory

    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    And a few notes:
    I know that "serious" gamers get smaller HDs with faster RPM ratings to put games on and have a larger, slower one for storage, but I figure I can hit the middle of the road with the one I've got picked out. However, if anyone has a decent suggestion for a dual setup, feel free to reccomend something.

    No freaking clue on a video card. The motherboard that was reccomended to me by a friend supports SLi, I know, but single card or otherwise, I haven't kept up with the market for a very long time, so I would really have no idea what is superior. Also from just listening to my friends bitch about it - I hear SLi can be a super-huge pain in the ass to maintain. It's alot like a car with a turbo or blower: they gain a huge increase in power at the cost of super high maintenence. I'm looking for a powerful rig that will be rock solid. While I can read a damn instruction manual and I know "general" information, I don't have the intricate technical know how to tweak bios, overclock, or screw with timings / voltages and things like that. In other words, if it breaks and requires "real" maintenence, I will likely be unable to fix it.

    As for power supplies, I originally had a nice Thermaltake picked out until I checked the reviews recently on Newegg and people SWORE that the thing was worthless. If I go SLi, I know I'm going to need alot of spare power, so something 650w is probably good enough. Noise is also an issue for me. I know that most strong power supplies basically HAVE to be loud (you can't run a dragster with a muffler) but honestly I don't want a vaccum or lawnmower under my table 24 / 7.

    Again, my ultimate goal is a powerful rig that will be rock solid and last for at least four to five years with only minor upgrades and maintinence. I'm looking to get this put together before February for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Anyways, any reccomendations or reviews will be much appreciated.

  2. #2


    Note to self, don't write out a long reply when you're on the site through a proxy, damned thing timed out and lost it, might rewrite later.

  3. #3
    If you're really concern about noise, and are going to spend a whole lot of money, you could probably go with a liquid cooled CPU set up, they sell some silent ones, and they're more effective that a copper heatsink and fan. I don't know how reliable they are though, or if they can be dangerous (as far as leaking goes)

    For the harddrives, I used to run a really small but fast HD for my games and windows, and then I had a 160 GB drive for music, movies, and all my mass stoarge needs. I have a SATA array now, running a RAID0 array, so it's a little faster than regular drives, I like it a lot. If your MB supports that, I'd go that route.

  4. #4
    Aged Titokhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Dimensional Abyss (south of Boston)
    for the power supplies.. antec and cooler master are about as good as they come, but i dont think they make anyting above 500-550w (which should be enough even for an SLI solution, but dont quote me on that).

    depending on your budget, i'd probably go either 2 6600gt's in SLI mode or 1 7800gt (not the gtx, unless you have that kind of money to burn) for video. main resaon i say that is i still dont think theres a lot of games that have full SLI support.

    with the move to socket 939, you dont need to get ECC ram with the FX line of A64's like you did when they first came out and were socket 940, regular old pc3200 will do. that should get you faster overall performance (as even cl3 non-ECC is faster then ECC), and save ya a little coin in the process

    I think your hard drive and mobo picks are perfect..

    why not get the a64x2 4800?? ya it runs a tad slower then the fx57 in terms of raw speed (2.4 for the x2, to the fx57's 2.8 ). 2 things.. 1) its dual core (with each core running at 2.4ghz) and each core has 1mb L2 cache.. 2) its over $200 cheaper for newer tech

  5. #5
    Lian-LI is still very much the cadillac of home computer cases. Antec is catching up. Antec's service is very good, and they are much cheaper... but even being the satisfied owner of an Antec p180 and p160, I very much envy Lian-LI owners.

    -Power supply:
    Get an FSP(fortron) or Seasonic manufactured supply. Do not get fooled by high watt numbers from blingy vendors.

    Alot of power supplies are incapable of reliably supplying even 60% of their rated capacity.

    Most power supply companies do not even manfacture the power supplies they sell....

    DFI currently makes the best performing, most feature rich, and stable motherboards. They come at a premium, they give premium performance. They will run with no fuss, and if you like to fuss, they will run at ridiculous speeds. Without a chipset overclock, this board defeats all others.

    I was happily on my way to purchase yet another Asus board until I researched their "LANPARTY" series boards.

    Find the card that performs best at the kinds of games you'll play(quake/doom/unreal engine, directx/opengl). ATI and Nvidia have been trading blows for a while, and take turns being the leader. I believe Nvidia currently has the best bang per buck ratio, and currently has the only widely supported SLI solution. Buy one good card now. Buy the second one later.

    Buy a venice core AMD 64 3000. The price on the FX-57 is ridiculous, and the difference in price between that cpu and my reccomendation is enough to put away in a decent stock and buy a whole new computer in 5 years, or to put away for 1 year and get the dual core FX-57 when it comes out, or to pimp out other aspects of the computer(dual 21 inch displays anyone?). Buy the better processor after the price has dropped. You want an upgrade path? Don't buy the best single core cpu that socket 939 will probably ever have to offer. Get on the 939 platform cheap, and wait it out.

    If you still wanna waste the cash on pure performance, put it on the video card setup, you'll notice it more, I fucking guarantee it.

    Corsair is a brand that i have carried a distrust for... If I recall correctly, they(or ocz) were the first on the market with dual channel ram kits. If a company has such loose manufacturing tolerances that to get two equivalent pieces of ram you must order a "special" kit, I ain't buying.

    But that's just old, bad blood, and most companies have followed suit, largely for marketing purposes.

    Corsair and OCZ currently sell the best performing memory on the market, backed with a lifetime warranty.

    I still, always, reccomend Crucial. I think they're one of the few companies that actually manufacture and test the dram chips used on their dimms.

    -Hard Drive:
    In practice, i swear by seagate.
    By observation, I should be swearing by Western Digital
    By desperation, I should be burning Hitachi/IBM's HD division(yes, even the new, non insta-gib drives)

    The best performing hard drive won't do you much good if it's dead. And I've seen enough dead drives to totally ignore 5% differences in performance.

    Along those lines, you should be considering some sort of data redundancy(RAID), and some form of Backup(tape/dvd). For RAID1, your motherboard's onboard shit should be good enough, RAID5, start looking at a 3ware controller. Either will save you headaches.

    RAID0 is for idiots.

    Get an APC UPS, the biggest you can comfortably afford.

    For reference, here are my current system specs:
    3000+ AMD 64 Venice core
    1GB crucial ballistix ram
    80GB sata Seagate (plus a 30GB pata Seagate and 120GB "sata" western digital from my last pc)
    1XGigabyte nvidia 6600GT

    That entire setup cost less than your proposed CPU.

    With the "auto overclock" checkbox marked on my official nvidia drivers, my system achieved a 3dmark2005 score of 3829. At the time I benched it it was the 2nd highest score in its class.


    -Operating System:
    Unless you want to be messing with a unix variant, the best 64-bit OS is Windows X64.

    Install windows xp 32-bit edition, unless you want headaches while support for 64-bit windows matures. You WILL have headaches, there is a chance that your favorite utility, application, game, or even hardware, will not be supported clear through 2007. Deamon tools, my Treo and an old tv-refresh rate directshow filter have failed on my computer. I knew full well I would experience problems, but I opted to not reinstall fucking windows once 64-bit got big. Your call.

    Once you have had dual displays, it is hard to come back.

    CRTs are still king in quality, price, and performance. Do not buy an LCD unless you're an interior decorator first, and a techie second.

    Cannon. They are less evil. Spring for a color laserjet if you can afford it.

    Do not buy that fucking thousand dollar processor.

    A good case will cool very well with amd's stock cooler. If you are feeling adventurous, go for liquid cooling on the cpu and gpus. If you're gonna get some blingy cpu cooler, check for a real world performance test first.
    Last edited by obby; 11-23-2005 at 05:13 PM.

  6. #6
    For what its worth if you want quiet fans, I've got 2 120mm, 92mm and 80mm NEXUS fans running in my computer and there really silent.

  7. #7
    Feyd, do you overclock? It will save you a shitload of money and I'll help you even... you... with it.

    I am working on a gaming computer guide, very incomplete but I'll be working on it thru the week. I'll be focusing on the things that people normally take shitty advice on like HDD, PSU, Flatscreens, Headphones, Sound cards, yatta.

    You don't need 650w for SLI, a high quality 520ish watt will do that. I'll get to that sometime today I think. Many 700w put their amperage across useless rails but sell on the notion that wattage is king.

    Gimme a budget to work with here.. 5 years is a longshot. Don't listen to Obby, that whore, 1GB of ram and a 3000+ is last years gaming standard.
    Last edited by getoveritman; 11-23-2005 at 10:12 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Mac-Town, Dirty South
    I promise my computer was *THIS* close to not starting up when I got back from Thanksgiving. That said, OFFER SUGGESTIONS PLZ. I've been looking at some shit recently, and a few items have caught my eye, namely:


    And probably a petroleum powered car radiator because I'm going to have to cool the motherfucker somehow. Sheesh. Again, suggestions are welcome.

  9. #9
    depends on if you can handle the overclocking..

    HD/Monitor/Soundcard/Soundsystem/Case/PSU = (*) = means it should last you until your next upgrade or might carry over from past computer.

    320$ AMD X2 3800+ OCed to 275x9 (2475MHz)
    300$ 2x1GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer @ 275MHz.. to be replaced with something that wont burn after 3 months.
    30$* Thermalright XP-90 CPU heatsink, Aluminium or Copper.
    33$* VF700-CU, if
    you have problems with Gfx Card heat.
    160$ DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Motherboard
    330$ Nvidia 7800GT
    150$* Seasonic S12 600W PSU
    000$ Basic Overclocking.
    1290$ total.
    Uses OC tweak: set the CPU's HTT multiplier to 9, HTT to 275, LDT to 3x, mobo to 1.6v, ram to 2.8v, cpu to 1.5v. Leave LDT voltage alone. Use RAM timings 3-3-3-8-1T.

    Will outperform many rigs around 3000$, ignoring SLI and RAID which dubbles gfx card and HD cost, respectively.

    or full rig
    +350$* 19" gaming flatscreen
    +130$* to 170$* for a high performance hard disk
    +50$* to 80$* for a case
    +110$* for the best audiophile sound card

    Ohh and disregard obby's post, there is alot of shitty advice in that. Obby, I'ld shat on your face but it seems it has come off somewhere in the last mile of my draging your worthless corpse through Silicon Valley.
    Last edited by getoveritman; 11-30-2005 at 01:00 PM.

  10. #10
    50,000th post?



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