Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Building new system - any advice welcome!

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Building new system - any advice welcome!

    i'm building a new system for a friend. It'll mainly be used for gaming, so i'm looking to make it as fast as poss, but it will be used for other more general stuff too.

    i'm not up on the latest fandangly boards and chips, but there are some parameters i'd like to keep to:

    CPU: Got to be AMD, and no slower than the Athlon64 3400+
    MOBO: i'm more familiar with Abit gear, but i would consider another good/reliable brand (and probably one with the SLI feature - see GFX below)
    RAM: 1Gb at least, will probably go for the high-end Corsair low latency models (but open to suggestions)
    PSU: Probably go for an Enermax, 450W+ (only it has to be quiet)
    HD: Looking at Maxtor (i've always used them without trouble) for 2 SATA drives and 2 IDEs

    GFX: Here it gets slightly complicated. He already has an unused 128Mb 9800Pro. Although it's a good card and can cope with most things, i'm wondering if i should look into getting an SLI mobo, and buying another 128Mb 9800Pro. (Would an SLI setup be quicker running 2 9800Pros than 1 more up to date single card..?)

    On the cooling side, i've decided to go for water cooling, but i've never built one with w/c before so any useful tips on that would be great.

    So, that's the basics. If you have any comments/suggestions (apart form 'go with Intel!') on what might be good or better, they would be most welcome!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

    Originally posted by 9 v
    GFX: Here it gets slightly complicated. He already has an unused 128Mb 9800Pro. Although it's a good card and can cope with most things, i'm wondering if i should look into getting an SLI mobo, and buying another 128Mb 9800Pro. (Would an SLI setup be quicker running 2 9800Pros than 1 more up to date single card..?)
    A 9800pro is not a SLI('Crossfire' in ATI terms) capable card. What you should do is scrap the 9800pro(its agp) and get a nice new high end pci-e card. The only time you should go SLI/Crossfire is if you want to go faster than the highest single card or are adding a second card far down the line.
    |TG-12th|mantis

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

      I generally agree that a single up-to-date card is better than crossfiring or SLI'ing two weaker cards.

      As to water cooling, if you haven't done anything like it before, then you're probably best off getting a pre-made setup, such as the Zalman RESERATOR1PLUS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835118120

      Realistically it's going to be more expensive than it's worth, as WC is mostly an e-penis upgrade. ("Omg11!!11 you have watercooling!!111") Unless you're into hardcore overclocking, and the way they're locking processors recently makes it less likely that you're going to get a significant boost over decent Air cooling. But to each their own. If you decide to get off water cooling, zalman makes some good quiet (20dB>) VGA and CPU HSF's.

      HDD's go with whatever brand you have personal success with, everybody has one they love and one they hate ;).

      Enermax is a decent enough power supply brand, and 450W is plenty. Also suggest FSP Forton Source and Antec. One word about silent power supplies though, if they don't push enough air while trying to be silent, your power supply rails will not be as stable.

      Motherboards are another go with what you're used to type brand. I personally use Asus, but any brand you like that's non-generic is good.

      Processor speed depends soley on your budget, get as fast as you can afford ;) I prefer the FX line over the X-2 line for gaming, but others disagree. Personal preference for if you want dual-core or no.

      Mmm, that is all I can think of for now.
      a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
      Celibacy is not Hereditary.
      Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
      Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
      Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

        For a mobo, the ASUS A8N-SLI (normal or Deluxe) is a perfect choice. You don't need more than a gig of RAM unless you're doing image editing or 3d animation. Water cooling probably isn't worth the trouble unless silence AND overclocking are absolutely needed. You can get a quiet PC or an overclocked PC just fine with a $25 heat sink/fan. For the CPU, like Spyder said, just get the best you can afford. For the 3d card, if you decide to upgrade the 9600, I would look into a 6800GS or a 7800anything. Both of these will serve you well; the 7800 line is much better but it's rather, uh, pricy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

          lots of good advice already. I aggree that WC is a waste of your cash, spend the money on quality main components instead. As for video I fully agree that you should get the best you can afford and stick with PCI-E. I use pricewatch.com to track prices it will help with budget management (just be carefull to stick with companys with good ratings.) Also remember power, power, power...plan ahead just get the biggest power supply you can afford so you can upgrade later if you want (550-650.)
          I like A-bit and Asus MBs, brand name memory, power supply and AMD-cpu. cut costs on the small stuff but not the main components

          Quality counts

          Sarcoma
          Sarcoma.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

            Check out the new RD580 ATI mobo's just being released - some very positive things being said about them around the net. But, they will be pricey.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

              Originally posted by TychoCelchuuu
              For a mobo, the ASUS A8N-SLI (normal or Deluxe) is a perfect choice. You don't need more than a gig of RAM unless you're doing image editing or 3d animation. Water cooling probably isn't worth the trouble unless silence AND overclocking are absolutely needed. You can get a quiet PC or an overclocked PC just fine with a $25 heat sink/fan. For the CPU, like Spyder said, just get the best you can afford. For the 3d card, if you decide to upgrade the 9600, I would look into a 6800GS or a 7800anything. Both of these will serve you well; the 7800 line is much better but it's rather, uh, pricy.
              Tycho I am going to have to disagree with you about having more than a gig of RAM isn't neccessary unless you do image editing or 3d animation, recently I have upgraded my system with an additional gig of RAM and bumped my system up to 2 gigs. Lets say I noticed a large difference in how my system ran, it loaded programs faster and with BF2 it would load the maps faster and when I quit it would stop a lot faster and smooter than when it had to load all the programs from the pagefile back into the RAM after I quit with my 1 gig. Now with my 2 gigs of RAM I can load BF2 and all my normal system background programs without having to go into the pagefile so when i accidentally click out of BF2 on my second monitor my computer doesn't crash.

              With watercooling unless you want a silent system with as little fans as possible or for a cooler system it is almost better to get one of the large pure copper heatsinks (sometimes they even beat an entry water cooled system) and with the large heatsinks you get the large fans that stay pretty quiet. It is also safer to go with a large copper HSF because it won't spring a leak like a water cooled system can. When using a water cooled system remember to always used distilled water in the loop so that it is a pure water and not normal tapwater with impurities and not just H20, so that if you do spring a leak if you dry off the system and let it completely dry out it hopefully will work because distilled water will not conduct electricity (or short out the equipment) without an electrolyte (salt is a common electrolyte) if my memory of basic chemistry is correct.
              -BB|KillerTarget

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                Hey 9v,

                Having just recently built a rig myself I'd have to recommend you go with an Opteron processor. Dual core or single core, whatever you prefer Opteron is the way to go IMHO. I've overclocked my Opty 144 to 2.4Ghz without problem on air. Stock cooling. Stock is 1.8Ghz. Runs like a champ and stays very cool!!

                ASUS is a good choice for motherboard..also Epox from what I've read. I have an ASUS A8N5X, nForce 4 chipset, and I love it..It's very basic but it does the job very well. It does not support SLI though.

                As Spyder suggested, FSP are great power supplies..can't go wrong with one of those. As far as your video card...ATI or nVidia..does'nt matter as long as your happy with it. But make sure you get one that will last awhile. Maybe not the latest and greatest, but one generation behind and you will be set. I'm running a geforce 6800GS and I'm very happy with it. nVidia are supposed to be launching their newest cards next week I believe...7900's I think..

                As Sarcoma said, "Quality counts"
                Good luck!!!

                Chappie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                  Originally posted by KillerTarget
                  Tycho I am going to have to disagree with you about having more than a gig of RAM isn't neccessary unless you do image editing or 3d animation, recently I have upgraded my system with an additional gig of RAM and bumped my system up to 2 gigs. Lets say I noticed a large difference in how my system ran, it loaded programs faster and with BF2 it would load the maps faster and when I quit it would stop a lot faster and smooter than when it had to load all the programs from the pagefile back into the RAM after I quit with my 1 gig. Now with my 2 gigs of RAM I can load BF2 and all my normal system background programs without having to go into the pagefile so when i accidentally click out of BF2 on my second monitor my computer doesn't crash.

                  With watercooling unless you want a silent system with as little fans as possible or for a cooler system it is almost better to get one of the large pure copper heatsinks (sometimes they even beat an entry water cooled system) and with the large heatsinks you get the large fans that stay pretty quiet. It is also safer to go with a large copper HSF because it won't spring a leak like a water cooled system can. When using a water cooled system remember to always used distilled water in the loop so that it is a pure water and not normal tapwater with impurities and not just H20, so that if you do spring a leak if you dry off the system and let it completely dry out it hopefully will work because distilled water will not conduct electricity (or short out the equipment) without an electrolyte (salt is a common electrolyte) if my memory of basic chemistry is correct.
                  Okay, true, but usually with gaming systems spending $150+ in order to load faster isn't worth it. The extra gig will not net you any FPS increase. If a minute or two of your time is worth that much then go ahead, but I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                    Interesting little article and tests on case fans wrt air cooling (lots of pics, not a long read):

                    http://www.short-media.com/review.php?r=230

                    Kinda surprised me, more is not better.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                      I would definitely look into getting a more powerful PSU. I'm not familiar w/brand names for them, but if you're even considering SLI, I wouldn't go with anything less than 500-550w. As far as graphics cards go, I would consider a 6600/6800 model. I hear these cards are generally awesome and can run on SLI. When I upgraded my system I skipped this series for the 7800 when it first came out, but I believe they are still both very good choices. If your friend can afford it, go with an evga 7800gt. I have had no problems w/these gfx cards at all.

                      As far as mobos, I've tried MSI and ASUS. My ASUS that I currently have runs flawlessly so far, but my last MSI board bugged out a bit every once in a while. Could be just my build, but the ASUS runs well. The delux or regular should be fine IMHO.
                      |TG-33rd|Clawhammer
                      [squadl] [sniper][unit]


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                        Originally posted by TychoCelchuuu
                        Okay, true, but usually with gaming systems spending $150+ in order to load faster isn't worth it. The extra gig will not net you any FPS increase. If a minute or two of your time is worth that much then go ahead, but I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.
                        My system is not just dedicated for gaming and while some people may have a dedicated gaming computer and in that case 1 gig to 1.5 gigs is sufficient, but for the average power user of a PC who has their games and their applications on the same machine 2 gigs is the perfect amount because it allows them to load a large amount of programs in the background like instant messaging, media players, backround services for task bar programs and such. Due to my sound card (audigy 2 ZS Platinum) Creative has a lot of programs load into the background at load, yes I know I could disable these process from starting up and I stop a few of them but some are needed so I can use the remote and I use the remote a lot. On average I bet the normal power user will have 30 to 40 processes running in the background sometimes more sometimes less, and the more RAM you have for these processes the faster the CPU can access them and run them. When you load up a new program it is loaded from the hard drive which is slower than RAM, but when you run out of RAM it goes to the page file on the hard drive and when you run large programs like BF2, Photoshop, 3DS Max, or Premier you can use up all the RAM for that program just by itself and that is why the system seems to hang when quitting from the program because it has to load the system files back into RAM from the pagefile. So for a normal user with an average amount of processes running in the background 2 gigs of RAM is a good thing, yes you can run with 1 gig but 2 gigs will have the computer go faster.

                        As for not increasing framerate, if you have some of the high end graphics cards of today there is a bottleneck with the processor and not the graphics card, so you will not see a increase. If you use a low to mid level graphics card you can get better frame rate because when the card runs out of RAM to store graphics information it will send some of the information to the RAM meaning less space for the game and other programs, no this is not where it actually uses system RAM as video RAM but just a fast cache and this has to do with the AGP aperature size set in the BIOS the larger the size the more RAM and memory bandwith that can be used for the graphics card. Please correct me if I am wrong, but that is how I was told and read about the AGP aperature size in one of the A+ books I read before getting certified.

                        I would also up the PSU size, my system currently is running a thermaltake 420 and that is pushing it with all of the components in my system that are drawing power. Graphics card you will almost need to upgrade anyway because to get a good mobo for the AMD processor means going with a nForce 4 chipset and the nForce 4 chipset only supports PCI-Express and the ATI 9800Pro is AGP 8x. On a side note if you want SLI that is an nVidia product only, ATI has a competing product called Crossfire. Motherboards I personally would go with Giga-Byte, my experience with them has been great and the build quality of the motherboard is great. Other good mainstream motherboard companies are MSI, ASUS, DFI, and some others. Another not so mainstream motherboard company is Foxconn, they recently started to build motherboards but quite of few of your motherboards have products made by Foxconn like your CPU socket, some of the back connectors (PS/2 Ports, Serial ports, and Printer Ports to name 3), and probably some other connectors.
                        -BB|KillerTarget

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                          Originally posted by TychoCelchuuu
                          Okay, true, but usually with gaming systems spending $150+ in order to load faster isn't worth it. The extra gig will not net you any FPS increase. If a minute or two of your time is worth that much then go ahead, but I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.
                          Well, the difference between 1 gig and 2 gigs during a map load on BF2 is about a minute every single time, but it sure seems like forever!
                          Become a supporting member!
                          Buy a Tactical Duck!
                          Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                          TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                            Upgrading to two gigs of ram reduces some stuttering as well.

                            In BF2 that is.
                            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Building new system - any advice welcome!

                              Bf2 is the only game that requires more than 1gb of ram to run at max efficientcy. Likely this will change in the future, but as of now, it is pretty much solid that if you don't play bf2, you need 1GB of ram, but if you do play bf2, go with 2GB.

                              As for power, the maximum draw on a top of the line single card system is 300-odd watts. That is if all components drew as much current as they possibly could at the exact same time, which doesn't happen. If you aren't planning on SLI or lots of case mods (fans, lights, etc.) then there isn't a system on the planet you can't run stock on a good quality true 400W PSU.

                              Once you start overclocking and modding your case to cool overclocks this changes, and depending on the number of things in your case, it's conceivable that you would want/need more power. With SLI you need a little more power because you're going from using 80W with one video card to using 160W with two.

                              It's all dependant on your needs. As to buying power with an eye for future needs, realize that most PC components use the same amount of power, regardless of what gen they are. All of 6X00-7X00 line nvidia cards are within ~15W power use of eachother. The same goes with CPU's on a given socket. And consider that the life expectancy of a power supply is only about 5 years for a good one anyway, so chances are when you reach your next major upgrade you'll probably need to replace the PSU anyway.


                              just my 5c.
                              a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
                              Celibacy is not Hereditary.
                              Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
                              Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
                              Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X