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Atreides

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After looking through some internets I came up with a rough draft for my next rig. It's a combo of a light-medium and medium gaming rig. I picked the mobo, power supply and graphics card of medium rig and the rest from the light-medium rig.

 

Main use will be internets and watching animu, with occasional medium-light gaming like NWN2 sort of stuff. It'd be nice if I could play Aliens if it comes out on PC.

 

My budget's around the numbers listed there, but I think I can squeeze out some (but not a lot of!) cash for little increases that'd make better sense.

 

Here's the draft (sorry for the foreign currency):

 

Processor	  AMD Athlon X2 4000+ (2.1Ghz, 2x 512K cache)
Motherboard	ATI690G based
RAM				2x 1GB DDR2 667
Hard Disk	  2x non-Sata 180Gig (I already have this)
Graphics	  ATI HD3870
Monitor			   15" lcd (already have this)
Casing			   Basic casing
Power Supply   450w
Audio Device
Speakers	 Philips SHP8900 headphones
Key/mouse	
Optical drive	 DVD-RW

Total			   RM2300  ~  USD689.63

 

Is getting the better mobo and graphics card awesome or do I need to worry about compatibility issues? The processor's 2x 512K Cache while the mobo can fit a 2x 1M Cache. Also is getting a 450w power supply worth it?

 

I'm also wary of my non-sata hard disks, but I may be able to solve those with some IDE cable magic. Heard it's possible but I'm not sure on the details... Noise is a slight concern for me. I'd be willing to spend a bit more on things that can quieten down the system (heat sinks?) without too much of an overhaul or too much extra cash.

 

Comments are definitely welcome and appreciated. Sorry for my thoughts being all over the place too :lol:

 

The selections are made because of my budget range but I'm all ears! Hopefully picking a better mobo will give me more upgrade options in a few years time. Basically I'm willing to wait things out - I'm not a huge gamer.

Edited by Atreides

Spreading beauty with my katana.

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I think you can get a 3850 for 150 bucks, actually. That seems to me like the best graphics card deal right now.

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Does the original rig work out?
Well, work it would, but at the low end of performance. The processor is a weak point. If you insist on AMD, you could a) wait some months until they're competitive again, or b) buy a better AMD dualcore, like the 5000+ black edition, or a 6000+ (89 W TDP), they're cheap as hell and quite a bit faster / better to overclock than a 4000+. Plus, why only ddr2 667? Is ddr2 800 so much more expenisive? If not: Get that instead.

 

To those recommending a 8800GT 512: It is faster than the chosen 3870, but also proportionally more expensive. Both are hard to get. The 3850 512 MB is easier to find (here at least), slower, but overproportionally cheaper.

 

Intels Core2 processors currently have the lead in performance per clock cycle (aka IPC, instructions per cycle) and performance per watt though.

Edited by samm

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given the performance difference between AMD and intel right now, i'd steer clear of the former even if it saves you $100. the E6300 conroe is only $175 at newegg, and the upgrade path for the intel solution is solid. both of my desktops (work and home) use the core2 (E6600 at home, E6400 at work) and they really do blaze. i have a turion dual core on my laptop and it lack the ooomph, though that's a laptop so i can't really complain (a 12.1" laptop to boot, bought for its size, not processing power).

 

i have the ASUS P5B-E (LGA775) mobo and i hate it. it's slightly smaller than standard ATX and as a result, it doesn't fit into my chassis quite right (not all the mounts line up properly). installing the processor onto the mobo was a hassle, and i'm still not convinced i didn't break something during install. in fact, my new seagate HDD just took a nose dive and winders wouldn't recognize it, which resulted in significant data loss (fortunately the main stuff was backed up). since i've been able to reinstall, i'm thinking something is wrong with the HDD controller, not the HDD itself. it uses the Jmicron, too.

 

the software that came with the mobo was all but useless. none of their "utilities" work properly. as always, ASUS documentation is, well, translated from chinese (or some non-english language) and less than helpful. i have the documentation problem will just about every manufacturer, however (EPOX, Abit, etc...), so that shouldn't enter into the deciding process. ASUS often uses the AMI bios, too, which has its pros and cons. i can't say i've ever found a bios i really like, though AMI seems to be about as good as they get.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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given the performance difference between AMD and intel right now, i'd steer clear of the former even if it saves you $100. the E6300 conroe is only $175 at newegg, and the upgrade path for the intel solution is solid.

Nah, if you're not overclocking, the $175 is wasted on the E6300. A 6000+ costs $145 at newegg and easily beats the intel one. Yes, c2d have the better architecture and are overclockable, but it doesn't make sense to invest more in a slower processor, however advanced it may be technologically :) It's a common mistake in the c2d-hype: concluding from an efficient architecture that any processor with "core2duo" on it is better than any processor with AMD branding. There are many C2Ds that are faster than many other A64X2, but the named one is just a waste of money imo, especially since you're on a budget (@OP) and are looking for the best price/performance ratio, which is quite poor for the e6300.

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Nah, if you're not overclocking, the $175 is wasted on the E6300. A 6000+ costs $145 at newegg and easily beats the intel one.

that's why i mentioned the upgrade path. you get the mobo that can handle a core2 - many of which can handle the extremes and Q parts, dual or quad - and you've got a lot of headroom on future builds.

 

Yes, c2d have the better architecture and are overclockable, but it doesn't make sense to invest more in a slower processor, however advanced it may be technologically :) It's a common mistake in the c2d-hype: concluding from an efficient architecture that any processor with "core2duo" on it is better than any processor with AMD branding. There are many C2Ds that are faster than many other A64X2, but the named one is just a waste of money imo, especially since you're on a budget (@OP) and are looking for the best price/performance ratio, which is quite poor for the e6300.

uh, i think it's a more common myth that higher processor speed = better performance. the E6300 w/out overclocking (i.e. 1.86 GHz) is equivalent to, or better than, an X2 5000+ at 2.6 GHz. overclock the E6300 to a mere 2.59 GHz (anand's test) and it performs the same (almost) as the 6000+, though i don't know what the power difference would be (stock it is almost 60 W less, so an OC of 40% probably cuts that to 30 W less or so).

 

AMD has more stuff coming out, but i just don't see any good competition yet. the biggest problem i have with the "budget approach" is how often you're going to need to upgrade in the future, and what it takes to upgrade. it's not hard to end up spending more because you have to buy a new mobo and memory to get back up to the low-end in the future. given that we've been on the transition stage for just about everything (PCI going away, AGP gone, memory bus changes, etc.), it's definitely easy to get sucked into something that's a dead-end.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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i think the key takeaway in any case is to avoid the X2 4000+ unless the extra $100 or so is just too much short term. if you aren't tempted by overclocking, the X2 6000+ probably is a good bet, though you may find yourself upgrading again in the near future. i haven't played in AMD land since i got this E6600, so i'm not sure how well mobos that support the X2 parts will handle AMDs future parts.

 

oh, btw, compUSA got bought out by a liquidator and they're dropping prices every wednesday till they sell all their stock. from what i've seen, they're still pretty high on many items that i'd be interested in, but they're worth a look. particularly for budget-type items. apparently the ME Administrator's guide is 20% off (like anyone owns ME???). :)

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz $180

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA775/ P965/ DDR2-800 $112 at EWIZ

RAM Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $55

Hard Disk 2x non-Sata 180Gig (I already have this)

ATI 3850 Graphic card for $170

Monitor 15" lcd (already have this)

Casing Basic casing

Power Supply Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W $140

Audio Device

Speakers Philips SHP8900 headphones

Key/mouse

Optical drive LiteOn Dvdrw/cdrw combo SATA drive for $40

 

This is a pretty sweet setup. :)

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Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

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now if we could just get winders 32-bit versions to recognize more than 3 GB of mammaries we'd all be set. i've got one wasted GB as it stands (4 GB total, 3008 MB recognized by dxdiag, grrr...)

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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You guys are so awesome.

 

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz $180

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA775/ P965/ DDR2-800 $112 at EWIZ

RAM Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $55

Hard Disk 2x non-Sata 180Gig (I already have this)

ATI 3850 Graphic card for $170

Monitor 15" lcd (already have this)

Casing Basic casing

Power Supply Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W $140

Audio Device

Speakers Philips SHP8900 headphones

Key/mouse

Optical drive LiteOn Dvdrw/cdrw combo SATA drive for $40

 

This is a pretty sweet setup. :o

Thanks for that! Would the ATI 3850 graphics card be compatible with the intel-based processor and mobo?

Spreading beauty with my katana.

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15" monitor...that's like a cell phone :thumbsup:

 

- Check on reliability of that Antec PSU line. Personally I'd go for a 500W or 550W Fortrann ($80-$100).

- Check that there's no weirdness in that RAM in that motherboard. Check the timings and power the RAM wants and what the defaults and possible settings are for the motherboard. And RAM has never been cheaper... (Also buy matched sets of RAM when possible--same lot).

Just what I needed, another forum to keep up with.

Neversummer PW

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GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA775/ P965/ DDR2-800 Forget the PCIE 2.0 if your not into heavy gaming. Just get a mobo like this. its $112 bucks and great!

I've been looking through some local price lists and I can't find a GA-965P-DS3.

 

Instead I'm seeing things like Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 with FSB 1333 and Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L. Is this a newer/older version?

Spreading beauty with my katana.

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newegg has two GA-965P-DS3 boards listed, both open box, but at $59.99 and $89.99 respectively. my guess would be a chipset revision with the ones you're seeing (P35 vs. 965P maybe?).

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA775/ P965/ DDR2-800 Forget the PCIE 2.0 if your not into heavy gaming. Just get a mobo like this. its $112 bucks and great!

I've been looking through some local price lists and I can't find a GA-965P-DS3.

 

Instead I'm seeing things like Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 with FSB 1333 and Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L. Is this a newer/older version?

That motherboard is a newer chipset, theres not much different about it except it natively supports 1333 FSB, although the later 965P DS3's from Gigabyte were being made to support 1333FSB too. Gigabyte is always jumping on the new tech bandwagon as soon as they can, and updates there BIOS to support what is physically possible. I stand by Gigabyte as a great brand name.

 

GA-P35-DS3L gigabyte motherboard selling at Ewiz for $100 bucks.

It will also support all your hardware. There isn't much difference from the Intel 975 chipset to the X38 Chipset, except the addition of PCIE 2.0. ram type compatibilities, and some motherboards will not support the 45nm processors.

 

My Asus Commando said nothing aout supporting Penryn 45 nm processors until they posted it up on there webasite a couple months ago. Other motherboard owners aren't so lucky.

Edited by WITHTEETH

Always outnumbered, never out gunned!

Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

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My rig

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i don't think atreides has specified any location for purchase... newegg just happens to be my vendor of choice given their outstanding customer service and liberal return policy (which i have exercised in the past, and i think the "problem" was actually my fault). their prices also tend to be very competitive on average. usually i can find each of the items i'm buying cheaper somewhere else, but i tend to buy a bunch at once and i can never find a better deal on everything at once after taking into account each of the individual shipping charges. long story short, newegg is simply my injection into the discussion.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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15" monitor...that's like a cell phone :thumbsup:

 

I know you're only kidding, but keep in mind the fact that you have to carry the bastard around with you. I know i wouldn't carry any laptop bigger than 15" for work.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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  • 3 weeks later...
15" monitor...that's like a cell phone :sorcerer:

 

I know you're only kidding, but keep in mind the fact that you have to carry the bastard around with you. I know i wouldn't carry any laptop bigger than 15" for work.

 

 

With a laptop backpack, you can easily carry even a 19" gaming laptop. In fact, everyone should use backpack-cases no matter what laptop they use, if they want to keep their spine in working condition :)

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