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Computer DIY project - non M/C content

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dylanfan53

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Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« on: November 09, 2005, 06:54:25 pm »
My 15 yr old wants to build his own computer for gaming.  Since some of you are familiar with hardware I thought I'd throw out the ingredients he's listed so far.  We'd appreciate any advice from knowledgable people about whether he's picked the right stuff or gone overboard (or underboard) on certain things.  I'd rather not spend a grand on a dead box 'o parts or to polish a turd...I've done that enough with bikes over the years!  

Here goes:
1. Cooler Master Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

2. Antec Neopower 480 ATX 480W Power supply

3. Corsair XMS 1GB (2x512MB) 184-pin DDR SDRAM DDR400 (PC3200) Unbuffered Dual CHannel Kit System Memory

4. AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor

5. Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 ST3250823AS 250GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive -OEM

6. eVGA 256-P2-N518 Geforce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card w/ free eVGA nVidia nforce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard

7. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 8 (7.1) Channels PCI Interface Sound card

8. LITE-ON Black IDE DVD ROM

9. NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3540A

10. Microdoft Windows XP

Okay...so any opinions about whether this thing will work when mixed with electricity?  ???  This stuff is all from Newegg.com

Thanks in advance.  :)
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Don Cook
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Team-G

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2005, 07:11:46 pm »
Don't forget the flux capacitor  ;D
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tzracer

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2005, 07:52:03 pm »
Quote
Don't forget the flux capacitor  ;D


Is that electric or magnetic flux?
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GSXR RACER MIKE

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2005, 09:09:02 pm »
I will tell you my system I just built (1st build ever) for reference.

*Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium / Socket 939, PCI-Express
*Processor: AMD 3700+ Athlon 64 San Diego
*Memory/RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) OCZ Dual Channel Platinum, low latency 2-3-2-5 timing
*Hard drive: Western Digital 10,000 RPM/74GB 'Raptor' drive
*Video card: XFX GeForce 7800 GTX factory Overclocked to 490MHz/1300MHz

    I will admit that I built this system for gaming as well and it's AWESOME! I had absolutely no problems from the 1st power up. I did alot of research on what would give me the most 'bang for the buck' and this is the sytem I configured. I will explain why I went with what I did.

    PCI-Express (P/E) is definately the way to go in video since it's what will soon be a requirement to process many games. That being said you need a good Motherboard (M/B) that is not only P/E, but SLI as well. The next wave is not only P/E, but already dual P/E video cards for the TechnoNerds to process the massive amount of video info in these new games, dual card capability is the SLI designation (Scalable Link Interface). These new P/E video cards can produce alot of heat therefore they need onboard cooling and room to breathe, that is a major reason for my choice in the ASUS A8N-SLI Premium M/B. This M/B has (4) P/E slots: (1) 1X, (1) 4X, (2) 16X slots with the 1X and 4X slots cleverly placed between the (2) 16X slots to allow room between the video cards to allow them to breathe if going for an SLI set-up. The 'Premium' version of this M/B also utilizes a 'coolpipe' for heat evacuation from the NVidia Northbridge video processor interface (normally a small fan is used for cooling this, but many have had problems and noise issues).

    The M/B also has (4) RAM slots capable of Dual Channel RAM up to 4GB, I have 2GB currently (2GB is now almost a requirement to run games like Battlefield 2 without stalling). I went with OCZ Platinum RAM after reading alot of reviews from people who had 2GB of Corsair RAM previously and were having problems with the new games stalling, once they went to the OCZ Platinum RAM the problems were gone. Low-Latency timing of the RAM is what makes a gaming system rock, 2-2-2-5 timing is best with RAM sticks of 512Mb or less. Once you jump to 1GB RAM sticks the timing slows slightly, but OCZ is kicking butt at 2-3-2-5 timing on 1GB sticks. The $220 price after rebate on 2 GB of this RAM right now is the lowest I have seen it sold for ever, has me thinking about 4Gb! ;D

    AMD64 is the only way to go in a gaming rig, they are the absolute dominant force in this department. I had considered the 3500+ processor myself until reading about the 3700+ San Diego processor. They both are rated at 2.2 GHz but the 3700+ San Diego is a new smaller chip design that runs cooler and is over clockable to run stable at 2.7 to 2.8 GHz. Another issue is what they call the L2 Cache, the 3500+ has a 512 Kb L2 Cache, the 3700+ has a 1Mb L2 Cache (which is highly desired in gaming applications). Right now NewEgg is selling the 3700+ for about $30 more than the 3500+ (thats also the lowest price I have ever seen on the 3700+). I can't emphasize enough to go with the 3700+ processor if this is the speed/price range your looking at!

    The 74GB 10,000 RPM 'Raptor' hard drive (H/D) I bought is absolutely nuts, these things are just so fast! When I start my computer it takes about 10 seconds to get to the log-on screen in Windows XP and another 5 seconds to be ready to go after log-on, just crazy how fast it is! H/D speed is also a factor in game play as well, along with the cache size of the H/D. The previous model of this H/D was 37GB and was a bit slower and people complained of it being somewhat loud, but the 74GB version is quite by my standards and is comparable in speed to Server SCCI drives which cost substantially more.

    If your son is up on what's hot he's gonna freak over that xfx 7800GTX Factory Overclocked video card. All I can say about that thing is WOW! This thing can process 10.32 BILLION Pixels per second which is insane. This card is so fast that even though I only have 1 (right now  ;)) it blows away the previous front runner video card (6800) in dual card SLI mode! The 7800GTX is a $500 video card and was the 1 thing in the system I was willing to splurge money on. The one thing to be careful about is these 7800 series video cards are longer than regular cards and may interfere physically with the CD and DVD drives in some average size computer cases.

    Check and see how many pins your main power cable has from the Power Supply, you may need a 20to24 pin converter plug from NewEgg as well for certain M/B's. Also beware that many of these new video cards actually have to be plugged in directly to the power supply with a 6 pin plug and the M/B may require 1 or 2 square plugs (4 pin). I hope by describing why I bought what I did it will help you to make your decisions as well. :)
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dylanfan53

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2005, 05:43:58 am »
Mike,
That's exactly the kind of info we were looking for.  
I've copied it all out and I'll review it with "Mr. Halo 2" as we finalize "the list".
Thanks a milion!
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Don Cook
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r1owner

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2005, 07:42:50 am »
Is the sound card necessary?  I thought most of the newer ASUS MB's had DD 5.1 built in.
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spyderchick

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2005, 09:11:22 am »
I just got the soundblaster audigy card, and it's a huge improvment over onboard sound, and you have greater control over sound quality.

I also have the AMD 3500+ venice processor and the 10Kspin W-D Raptor drive.

SLI is great for gaming, but make sure all of your components are compatible

Get MS windows XP 64

I bought an Aspire case w/o the power supply. I like it cuz it looks cool and has lots of lights, but the one thing I don't like is having to open the door up to turn on the 'puter. It came with ample fans installed and it has a temp display which I really like.

Get an LCD monitor if you don't already have one, and if you want to really impress, go with dual displays. Check around to find some good speakers to utilize that sound card to it's fullest potential. I'm using my old  speaker system for now, but the card improved the quality of the sound even on a 4 yr old set of speakers.

Have fun!  
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Alexa Krueger
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OmniGLH

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2005, 11:45:41 am »
I'd think twice about picking up XP-64 right now.

There are at least a handful of games that do not support it.  The game I play the most, GTR, does not support 64 - and the developers have come out and stated they do not intend to patch it to make it work.  We have to wait for GTR-2.
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Jim "Porcelain" Ptak

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dylanfan53

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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2005, 03:27:26 pm »
Wow.  We just added the cost of a set of tires to the project.  Looks like we need to go through the basement to find more stuff to sell on Ebay!

Thanks to everyone for the comments.
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Don Cook
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Re: Computer DIY project - non M/C content
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2005, 07:56:05 pm »
     Here's a review of the ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Motherboard like I have. It got their Editor's Choice award which they have only awarded to 1 other Motherboard. http://www.hothardware.com/viewarticle.cfm?articleid=704

    As far as the built-in onboard Audio goes on my M/B it has 8 channels.

    I forgot to say before that I purchased everything for my new system from NewEgg and used their Fed-Ex 'Super Saver' shipping, I recieved both my orders in 2 days each from California to Illinois for no added cost! Those 2 orders were the 1st purchases I have ever done online and I have to admit that NewEgg rocks! A word of advice about Fed-Ex shipping though. I didn't know ahead of time that they would not leave any packages without specific instructions to do so. I ended up having to pick the packages up that evening at the Fed-Ex facility, but that turned out to be safer anyways. They told me they were changing that policy a couple months ago, so they will probably leave the stuff now without a signature. I also really like their online package tracking feature.

    If you purchase anything with a mail-in rebate make sure and download a copy of the rebate form yourself, I didn't realize that they don't send you the forms with your order. :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2005, 07:57:06 pm by 2xtrm4u »
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