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Building a new system

i have a 1500ish budget this time around.

I was thinking amd64 but i'm not sure what a good motherboard for amd64s are or a good heatsink (motherboard needs firewire and usb)

as far as soundcards go, can anyone suggest a non creative brand card? i hate creative i think all their cards suck. i never had a good one.

video card, either x800 or the pro edition, i'm not much for over clocking, i read the benchmarks, and there is a difference between them, but would an x800 last atleast 2 years when it comes to games?

ram, I love corsair, I never had a problem with them, so whatever motherboard suggested i'll just get matching ram. should i get 2gigs or just 1gig?

harddrive i'll just get wherever, same for dvdrw/cdrw combo drive

moniter... i would like a large moniter, 21 inch, i don't care if its flat screen or a crt whatever stays in my budget.

keyboard,mouse,soundsystem i already have

Basicaly I want this cpu to run HL2, Doom3, BF2, any game to come out in the next 2 years or so at max settings.

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Leaderz0rz said:
as far as soundcards go, can anyone suggest a non creative brand card? i hate creative i think all their cards suck. i never had a good one.
If you don't want Creative, you might want to take a look at the nForce 3 250 chipset, and use it's integrated sound.

Otherwise, I'd have to run some numbers again, though unfortunately it's after 2 am here.

A bunch of us were discussing this with saz in another group (several people either had, are, or are planning on a similar upgrade) and he seemed to suggest the socket 939 board and CPU for the dual channel memory.

Based on some of saz's suggestions, I was well

- estimating cost for a socket 939 nForce 3 board
- looking at 1 GB of Corsair XMS 2-2-2-5 memory
- A64 3500+ (with socket 939)
- new PSU

and came up about $1,030 You're looking for drives, a gfx card, and monitor. If you can go to a 3000+, and get lower rated memory, you might have room for these other upgrades.

A crt might be cheaper then a LCD...if you don't care I guess go with the cheaper of the 2, and save the money for elsewhere...


Mentally Absent
I dont think you want a flat screen, i may be misinformed, but to my knowledge in looking for a decent one, i would think during gaming, that most suffer from some wicked ghosting do to poor refresh rates.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
either an intel or amd64 setup will suit you fine...

for games you are better off going with the a64 right now...

recommended is the socket 939 solutions (due to more memory bandwidth)... you can check out the hardware section for small guides on how to do go about looking @ what to get and what not...


a 20-22 inch CRT will cost you (if its a GOOD one) around $200-400 AT LEAST...


thats a $299 (plus shipping) monitor from Fry's, 22" Viewsonic...

2048x1536 Maximum Resolution

Displays a maximum resolution of 2048x1536; 1600x1200 optimal resolution at 87Hz flicker-free refresh rate for easy-on-the-eyes viewing.


the motherboard I recommend buying is MSI's nf3-250 socket 939 solution... it will probably run you between $150-200 at least... but it is one of the fastest and most features rich solutions out there (dual GbE and others), on-board audio is 8-channel so you don't have to worry about CLabs products if you can help it that way. if you wish to purchase a discrete product later thats your call...


probably a 3500+as songoku has listed... these babies start at around $450 from the cheapest I have seen online...

instead if you go for a socket 754 solution (single channel) also based off an nf3-250 setup you will likely get a bigger savings...

at this point we are already close to your $1500 budget...

graphics card

I would recommend going with a geforce 6800GT card coz it is not only fast but also feature rich... the x800pro is only a 12 pipe card and generally even overclocked can't achieve its big brothers performance... the GT is a 16 pipe card that easily clocks to Ultra levels (a savings of around $100 if you think of it :) )

they should theoretically start at around $399.99 (good luck getting it for that though @ the moment :) )


if you already have some ram i recommend hanging on to it and using it till you can afford to upgrade... else if you are going to go for a basic 1 gig solution from corsair it is going to cost you...

you are looking @ a minimum of around $200 for Corsair for 2 x 512mb clips...

1 gig is better than 512 for big games...

if you cost everything you are likely going to go upto around $1750 at least IF you go with a socket 939 solution...

if you can bring it down to a socket 754 solution (still blazingly fast and only a little slower than socket 939 products if that...) you can save around $200-ish and drop into your budget range...

naturally if you can eliminate the need for RAM and reuse what you have it will help a little as well..

consider that no matter what you get its unlilkely to play anything maxet out for another 2 years... you'll be getting max performance today for most of the games coming up now with the system above... and probably through to next year sometime... but beyond that there are no guarantees...


The Analog Kid
Son Goku said:
If you don't want Creative, you might want to take a look at the nForce 3 250 chipset, and use it's integrated sound.
It sucks that Nvidia isn't continuing Soundstorm on the Nforce 3. The onboard sound is no different than the onboard on most other mobo's. Onboard isn't good for gaming because it's running everything in software, thus eating cpu cycles.


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
if you want good sound look for a sound card based on the Via Envy 24pt sound...I have it built into my Mobo and the sound is the best I have heard...though the mobo is a pain the sound is great!...ha

With Intel you get overclocking and encoding performance(if the new chipsets from intel the mobo needs to be able to get passed the overclock protection)

with AMD you get less heat and great gaming performance

it's all up to you...all the benches you see out there are great but you really won't go wrong as long as you get what you want out of it...the only thing I think would be great is to just make sure you get at least 2 years out of it with only maybe a processor upgrade or more memory or the like

dreamliner...there are rumors that the Nforce 4 on the horizon will bring soundstorm back...will check for links if I can

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Yeah, I heard a little about soundstorm, didn't know it was disappearing in NF3... I myself need to check out some more reviews...had school and stuff so was busy :D

Still though, the nForce sound can work OK with games, and I would take this over C-media and the like... I've got an nForce now, had an Audigy 1 gamer, but it wouldn't play with my chipset so gave the card to a college roomate in need...

Actually, if Leaderz0rz could use both the integrated gfx for now (or his own card) and the NF3 sound, he wouldn't have probs budgeting too much. I had a PSU in my figures (which if he doesn't need would save him something) and the Corsair XMS 2-2-2-5 memory I was looking at was $313. But this way he'd be looking to upgrade the gfx latter.

Throwing in the $400 for a monitor which saz mentioned, this would put him close to the $1500, but he'd save about $200 over what I figured.

That would leave him about $250-$300 for drives and shipping. Holding onto his current memory as saz suggested, is also another way he could try to put things in budget, with room to upgrade latter.

If he really wants the gfx card now, along with Corsair XMS (the 3-3-3-6 I think it is which would cost around $200ish), he might need to go to a 3000+; else as saz calculated, he might be a couple hundred dollars over budget.
well i am thinking of ditching a new moniter and keep my current one, i want to use my current system as second computer, so I'm not going to be taking out parts. would the socket 754 be a better way to go? since the 939 is pretty expensive.


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
there is nothing wrong with the 754...I own one right now and I fly...there is a performance jump with the dual channel 939 but I don't think it is anything huge...better(just not huge).

I will be back in an hour and I mock build a comp at newegg.com for ya and see what I can do...


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
this is what I have so far...you can go up or down...I also don't know what type of case you want or if you have a keyboard you want or whatever...

AMd 3500+ 939 399.99
Abit Av8 K8T800Pro 121.00
Corsair XMS Extreme 3200 234.00
Seagate 120GB SATA 95.75
EvGA Nvidia 6800 GT 399 to 409 or BFG 6800GT OC 399.99 at bestbuy.com sold out though
this is $1250...now you can decide better if you want to go down to 754 or dif mem or wahtever...cause you might save more money and get a fancy case and a really good PSU or a big monitor like you like

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
I would highly recommend however that you go with the NF3 250 chipset, if you don't want Creative Labs for sound though... This would also save you the expence of purchasing a sound card (for now at least), and I'm gathering you need a CD-Rom or DVD drive too?

If you ditch the monitor, you can make this work. Note, with what I was planning, it would have been about $989 without the the PSU. If, you don't get the monitor, you can make this work within $1,500, and get the RAM and gfx card. A 21" or 22" monitor though would take a fair chunk out of your budget however.

I was planning on upgrading gfx, HD, and maybe my monitor latter...

Building on the figures added above, an X800 Pro will run you about $415-$450 looking at newegg.com
AMD Socket 939 Athlon 64 3500+, 2.2 GHz, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail

ABIT "AV8" K8T800 Pro Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL

Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail


X2 Maxtor 120GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, MODEL 6Y120M0, OEM Drive Only

Aspire 520W 12V Black Triple Fan Aluminum Power Supply, Model "ATX-AS520W BLACK" -RETAIL

Total: $ 1,488.18


ViewSonic P220f-s 22" (undecided)

Case: http://www.xclio.com/product_01.htm (is that a good case? the review said the airflow was moderate.. if anyone can suggest a better case with a cool look like that i would appreciate it)

Heatsink:need suggestions.

cd/dvdrw should i get the new duel layered one? i know i'm going over my budget, but all this looking is making me excited so its ok :D


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
i would highly recommend a 6800GT over an x800pro...

you will be overpaying for the x800pro by well over $100 if you buy it now...

plus I recommend getting an nf3 based 939 board if you can (a couple more should be on the market by next month)

other than that it looks decent...

wrt to the case I suggest you get one with a good air-flow setup... it helps with future upgrades/expansion and working round with what you have...


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
I agree with everything that sazar says...the x800pro isn't going to give you the performance of the same priced 6800GT...

for a dvd-rw drive I just bought a NEC 2500a from new egg and there are modded firmwares that are going through beta tests right now that will make it a dual layer burner...kind of dangerous but I'm going to try it...

as for cases if you are looking for something that is good I would look at the chenbros from newegg...some have cool designs and I found a review on anandtech a while back that gave then a good review

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