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Review of My Next System Hardware

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Guest dutton

I am going to start picking up the parts over the next two months for my new computer. I have built them before but they have always been cheapo systems for friends or family. This one is for me, so I am trying to treat myself a bit.Since I have built before, I would imagine I would have no problems with the system below in putting it together?I will most likely order from TigerDirect.ca - since I am in London, Ontario Canada.Here is what I am considering... Your advice would be much appreciated.Thanks.A455-2112 Asus A8N SLI Deluxe nVidia Socket 939 Motherboard / PCI Express / Audio / Dual Gigabit LAN / Serial ATA / Dual RAID / USB 2.0 & Firewire CP1-A64-4000 E AMD Athlon 64 4000+ / 1MB Cache / 2000MHz FSB / Socket 939 / San Diego Core / Processor with Fan ULT31664 Ultra 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory C44-5103 Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI Sound Card B52-7800 BFG GeForce 7800 GTX OC / 256MB DDR3 / PCI Express / SLI / Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card TC3J-ULT31742 Ultra UV Wizard Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with UV Reactive Clear Side, Front USB & Firewire Ports and Ultra X-Connect 500-Watt Power Supply THD-300M16 Maxtor / DiamondMax 10 / 300GB / 7200 / 16MB / ATA-133 / EIDE / OEM / Hard Drive M17-7500 Microsoft

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Guest Edwin

Hi dutton,Your system looks very good in general. Here's a few nitpicky points:On motherboard, see my post here about the 'iffy' heatsink/fan combo on the chipset with A8N-SLI Deluxe and non-Deluxe boards: http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...11468&mode=fullOn PSU, I've never heard of Ultra X-Connect. I suppose it's a decent PSU? Hopefully! If you have the option, I'd go for a brand name like Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Zalman, OCZ, Enermax etc.On RAM, similar to PSU, ideally you should get a brand name like Corsair, OCZ, Patriot etc.On hard drive, I read Maxtor's MaxLine III series (7B300S0) is better than the DiamondMax 10 series. The MaxLine III series is aimed more at workstations and corporate users while the DiamondMax 10 is aimed more at home users. But I'm being extra picky here.Good luck with your purchase and enjoy your new rig!Edwin

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Guest dutton

Thanks, Edwin, I have updated my specs a bit for the new system. I think I am going to go with a higher end processor. Could you let me know on the RAM I selected below? I am a bit lost on the whole pricing and the speeds. I think I will stick with my original selection for the Hard Drive and Motherboard (but I did change the case and Powser Supply). I read on the issues you brought up so I am hoping with the Motherboard, those issues are in the past. With the Hard Drive, tigerdirect does not carry the one you referenced and for the price and the good reviews there, it seems like a good choice. I hope to start ordering parts in groups sometime next week. C44-5103 :: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI Sound Card B52-7800 :: BFG GeForce 7800 GTX OC / 256MB DDR3 / PCI Express / SLI / Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card M17-7500 :: Microsoft

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Guest Edwin

Hi dutton,CPU: I don't follow the individual CPU numbers too closely but if I remember correctly, the Athlon64 FX-53 is exactly the same as the Athlon64 4000+ (both run at 2.4GHz and both have 1MB L2 cache)! The only difference should be that the Athlon64 FX series is completely multiplier-unlocked whereas the Athlon64 series is only multiplier-unlocked downwards. I won't go into the technical details of what that means but suffice it to say that unless you do overclocking, there should be no difference whatsoever in the speeds of these two CPUs. Besides, if you go on the AMD Web site, you'll see that the Athlon64 FX-53 is no longer listed as a 'current' CPU whereas the Athlon64 4000+ is.RAM: AMD hasn't moved to DDR2 yet so what you have selected just won't work at all (the RAM literally wouldn't fit into that motherboard). You need DDR RAM. Also, seeing that you can afford such a high-priced CPU, I would suggest you move away from Corsair's Value Select series. You might consider OCZ's PC3200 Platinum Edition Rev. 2 or Corsair's TWINX1024-3200XL? And seeing that you're building a new system, you might want to consider 2GB as opposed to 1GB. If going for 2GB, you may want to consider OCZ's PC4000 EB Platinum Edition? It received a fantastic review here: http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2560&p=14Motherboard: ASUS has just released a new motherboard (A8N32-SLI Deluxe) that you might be interested in. Take a look here: http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2589Hard drive: Your motherboard supports SATA so might as well take advantage of it. Your current HDD choice is PATA (ATA-133).Ethernet controller: Unless you have a specific need for a separate Ethernet controller, your motherboard already has Ethernet built-in.Your case and power supply choices are now great.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Guest dutton

Thanks, Edwin. Ipressive review of that new board, looking it up right now. For the memory, should I be looking at dual channel?

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Guest Edwin

Yes, you want to use dual channel but that has less to do with the memory itself and more to do with the motherboard. As long as you get two sticks of the same memory (same brand, same size, same speed), your motherboard will run the memory in dual channel mode.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Guest

I agree with Edwin in suggesting the SATA 300 (SATA 3.0Gb/s) Hard-drive, this effectively doubles your transfer rate and utilizes your processor less. My suggestion is the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive. (Plan to buy and build a similar system as yours in late December) :-) Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16822144701Might also suggest the NEC ND-3550A DVD Burner...brand new, great specs and a reasonable price! (2 of these burners are going into my new system)A Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16827152058Btw...Edwin the Ultra X-Connect (or newer versions) are an excellent choice, this company has many well reviewed power-supplies... Yet, one more link...http://www.ultraproducts.com/

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Another thing I've noticed on your list that you might re-consider is going for a Creative X-Fi Soundcard instead of the Audigy 2ZS.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16829102188Again this is one of those "you might as well" things. The X-Fi is newer & overall improved over the Audigy series & depending on model, won't set you back much more money.I'm guessing the X-Fi XtremeMusic should do you fine.

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Guest dutton

Thanks guys! I am getting closer to ordering this baby! I hope to have all of the fina specs decided sometime next week.

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Guest dutton

Thanks again to everyone that assisted. I took into account your recommendations and included them where I could.I think this is the final detailed spec sheet now. Everything looks good and it is all within budget. The only thing I guess I still would have a question on is the CPU. Should I consider looking at a dual-core? It looks like that is the only thing better then what I have. Or is this system going to kick #### anyway and I would just be wasting money? (I am coming from an Intel CPU, so when you see 2.4Ghz it is hard for me to get it through my noggin that it is just as good as a 3.0.Anyways, here are the specs I think I am going to go with, I will hopefully hear from one or two of you to give me the all clear. Just want to make sure I do not have something stupid on the list.Thanks.Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Xtrememusic 24BIT Sound Card BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC PCI-E 256MB 256BIT GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV VIVO SLI Ready Video Card OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5 184PIN Pin Dual Channel Memory Kit /W Ramsink Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty Thermaltake VA8000 Armor Super Tower Case Black 10X5.25 2X3.5 6X3.5INT W/ Window THERMALTAKE W0057 500W ATX12V V2.0 24/20PIN ACTIVE PFC Black POWER SUPPLY /W DETACHABLE CABLE AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor S939 San Diego 2.4GHZ 1MB L2 Cache 90NM Retail Box ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe ATX S939 NFORCE4 SLI X16 DDR 2PCI-E16 SATA RAID Sound LAN 1394 Motherboard NEC ND-3550A DVD+RW 16X8X16X DVD-RW 16X6X16X DL 8X/6X IDE 2MB Burner Black OEM W/ SW Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition OEM

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Guest Edwin

Hi dutton,This looks like the machine to get! No problems that I can see!With regard to CPU, as I have said before on this forum, people need to get past the notion that clock frequency equals (or even approximates) how fast your computer is. The ideal case is SLOW clock frequency and very fast computing because slow clocks mean less voltage and therefore, less heat. The 2.4GHz CPU is a GOOD (in fact, EXCELLENT) thing. To bring this point home, the 4000+ will beat your Intel 3.0GHz hands-down. And if even that isn't enough, take a look here: http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20051121/t..._charts-28.htmlNote that the top 21 slots ALL go to AMD CPUs. And the 22nd and 23rd slots go to the ridiculously priced Extreme Edition chips. So the best "reasonably-priced" CPU from Intel takes the 26th spot. Way to go Intel! Now as for dual-core, it depends on what you are using your machine for. If purely for gaming, you have the best CPU there is (save the ridiculously priced AMD Athlon64 FX chips e.g. the Athlon64 FX-57 - a single-core CPU running at 2.8GHz, retailing for over US$1,000). If, besides gaming, you also do a lot of multi-tasking and in particular, video and audio encoding, then you may want to consider dual-core. However, the dual-core chip that achieves the same level of gaming performance as your 4000+ would be the Athlon64 X2 4800+, which retails for ~US$800, roughly double the price. So the choice is really up to you. Just remember that in gaming situations, dual-core will generally make no difference to performance - the improvement will only be seen when running multiple applications at once and/or audio/video encoding.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Guest dutton

Thanks, Edwin. I am hoping to order this thing either next week or the week after. Really looking forward to it and I appreciate all of your assistance along with the other's.Watch for me posting in the near future to make sure I know how all goes together ;-) I have built other systems but they have just been el cheapo's so the care level would obviously be different for this one.Thanks, again.

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Guest Doolie

Just thought I'd stick my nose in here... Before you go ordering your hardware check out a place that I use for my computer hardware, canadacomputers.com. I comparing the online prices between Tigerdirect and canadacomputers, you'd be saving approx $70 just on the CPU alone. I'm not sure about the rest of your hardware as I only checked the CPU.Good luck in your purchase.

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Guest dutton

I will do that but I will probably be skipping tigerdirect anyways, found another site NCIX.com - they are cheaper on everything - I think my total price was around $600 cheaper then Tigerdirect.

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Guest dutton

Ok, now here's a silly question, maybe? ;-)Looks like I am going to be signing two new client's right before I am to make my order, so I am thinking it is time to add to this order!! Woohoo! Christmas only comes once a year and it has been 3 years anyways since I last bought a new system.So... I am going to go ahead and order a Dell 2405 LCD. I did just buy a NEC 1970GX which is absolutely beautiful but I miss the extra 2 inches I lost from my old 21" CRT. I was going to get another 1970GX and run dual monitors but I think the Dell 2405 will do just fine. Uless of course someone suggests otherwise.Over and above that, I am going to treat myself. If you were me - what would you add / upgrade to the system below for $1000? AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor S939 San Diego 2.4GHZ 1MB L2 Cache 90NM Retail Box ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe ATX S939 NFORCE4 SLI X16 DDR 2PCI-E16 SATA RAID Sound LAN 1394 Motherboard Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Xtrememusic 24BIT Sound Card BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC PCI-E 256MB 256BIT GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV VIVO SLI Ready Video Card OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5 184PIN Pin Dual Channel Memory Kit /W Ramsink Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty Thermaltake VA8000 Armor Super Tower Case Black 10X5.25 2X3.5 6X3.5INT W/ Window THERMALTAKE W0057 500W ATX12V V2.0 24/20PIN ACTIVE PFC Black POWER SUPPLY /W DETACHABLE CABLE NEC ND-3550A DVD+RW 16X8X16X DVD-RW 16X6X16X DL 8X/6X IDE 2MB Burner Black OEM W/ SW Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition OEM ----------One other quick question, considering performance only - should I consider Windows Pro instead of Home?

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