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Modding never ends!
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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to build a computer rather than just buying a Dell for the experience as well as the ability to upgrade easier in the future. I've ruled out Intel chips. Now you geeks out there (this is a compliment since I am a network admin which probably puts me in the same category by the nature of the job), help me pick out some decent parts to build on. I am looking for something that is a bit below top of the line so as not to spend too much.

I usually do a ton of research for things like this but I just don't have the time right now. I figure I can buy a computer with my tax return.

Mobo: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce 4 SLI Athlon 64(FX) Skt939
Asus A8N-SLI Premium nForce4 SLI Athlon 64(FX)/ Sempron/Athlon 64 X2 Skt939
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Processor Socket 939
Case and power: don't know what's good
Memory: 2GB 533mhz
video: 6800 or 7800
Sound: Audigy 2ZS

Decent parts?
 

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I'm white
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10,561 Posts
power supplies - most of them are pretty good.........i'm thinking with that you would need at least a 500 watt, and case wise.......i would look at thermaltake or antec

you might want to look into SATA harddrives

i would tell you to get the geforce 7800 but thats cause i'm biased towards nvidia

the sound blaster audiy actually takes alot of resources but that machine should be able to cope.......i don't think i'll ever actually buy another sound card seeing as i go directly into a home theater reciever digitally, but that should work for you (might be a lil overkill on small pc speakers)

i love asus products (have an older mobo a78nx or something like that)

glad you are getting a 939 socket (its highly upgradeable to the next level of 64 chips)
 

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PO.Com's E-Pimpologist
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^^ ya the 939 got at least another years worth of life in it before they chance to a 940 wasnt it?
 

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Mobo: look into the a8n32 if you plan to go SLI at a later point. True dual 16x vs the crippled 8x/8x or 16x/1x on the other two. But if not, then both are great mobos. The only diff i can tell are the heat pipes on the premium, which may be a factor if you're trying to build a quieter machine. DFI's also been a popular one... but i've been a long time asus fan...

Proc: the dual cores just work so well in mulltitasking. Jump for at least the +4200, as the price diff isn't too much, and the only issue with dual cores is the peak performance is hindered a bit... which sucks since most games don't take advantage of dual core...so you'll want as much as your budget can get.

Case: up to you... i like silverstone, antec, lian li... it's just personal taste.

Power supply: Enermax, OCZ, Seasonic. Just make sure to pay attn that the 12v rail has adequate amperage since you are planning on a power hungry vid card with the possibility of SLI. Some even have dual 12v rails. I went with an Enermax Liberty 500w, mainly bc my case is pretty cramped being an HTPC box, so the 120mm fan and modular cables played a crucial role in my air management...

Memory: 533Mhz is a little overkill unless ur planning to OC. Socket939 is still using only DDR400, so i'd rather spend this $ on the proc instead. OCZ's a good brand, corsair for another.

Video: 7800gt PCIE is roughly the same price when on sale as the 6800gt, so go for the 7800gt (i bought my xfx for $280 AR). Just pay attn when buying as some manufact have 2 versions out, the regular 4 pin molex power plugs and a pcie plug. If you're buying a nice powersupply that has a pcie plug, u'd want to use it. I found out too late :(

Sound: Meh, on board good enough these days... i scrapped my old audigy card and the on board has been fine.

Other suggestion is to consider going for a raid or even better a raid raptor setup. Dual core is great, but the bottleneck will be your drives. I didn't do it, and now i'm considering to...

And probably last is buy a good processor / vid card fan (i sitll have that extra arctic cooling fan if ur interested).
 

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petern101 said:
...i don't think i'll ever actually buy another sound card seeing as i go directly into a home theater reciever digitally, but that should work for you (might be a lil overkill on small pc speakers)
This isn't necessarily true, as sound cards still don't encode 5.1/7.1 in realtime. So if you go your route, all your gaming will be in stereo. That's why analog plugs still exist because it's mandatory to use them to get surround in your games.
 

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Modding never ends!
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Discussion Starter #8
Lots of information there lol. I think I have to think more then I originally planned on. So is there an Asus board that will support above the 400mhz? I'd rather go for the 533mhz or even the 667mhz. I know computer parts become faster but I want to delay upgrading as much as possible. So up the processor? And someone just tell me a good case and power for me buy (I like overkill). I don't think they cost that much to be a factor.
 

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I'm white
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OvaDaLimiT said:
This isn't necessarily true, as sound cards still don't encode 5.1/7.1 in realtime. So if you go your route, all your gaming will be in stereo. That's why analog plugs still exist because it's mandatory to use them to get surround in your games.
yeah......forgot to mention i have a dolby digital decoder/encoder sound car using optical cable to my reciever
 

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unless you plan on overclocking, there's no point for faster mem as that is limited by the 939/nforce setup.

Yes, i would up the proc, esp if you like to game.

And for your "i don't think they cost that much to be a factor"... when cases run upwards of $200 and powersupplies in the $150's... they definitely cost enough to be a factor....

I suppose you could always just dangle your parts in the air above your desk a la damione :laugh:
 

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Modding never ends!
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Discussion Starter #12
I guess I have no choice but to research some parts. Maybe I'll hit up some of my IT friends and maybe they will have some list that will help me more. Something like if you want to spend this much $$ get this. If you want to spend this much $$ then get this. I guess only place I'll find something like this would be on a gaming forum?
 

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petern101 said:
yeah......forgot to mention i have a dolby digital decoder/encoder sound car using optical cable to my reciever
My sound card knowledge kinda stopped at the audigy LOL :laugh:
Does the audigy 2 or 4 do real time encoding? I checked the creative site, but it says nothing of. Of course i hope it's a hardware solution, as my computer needs to be faster as is!

What card do you run?
 

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Modding never ends!
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks odl and pter. Might one of you just suggest a case and power supply for my needs based on the mobo and processor listed? I do like a bit of overkill. I guess considering two 7800gt or 6800gt in the future (just one for now), just recommend me a case and power so I can just buy it. Thanks a bunch guys, this will keep me from having to read up on what's good out there.
 

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I'm white
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actually i did run the audigy.......but like i said.......wasted too many resources (used 2gigs of hd space too) and was way overkill for just needing an optical out

i switched back to my asus a78nx (forgot exact mobo) but it has nforce which has actual dolby certification

with actual dolby material it will encode correctly (as seen with my avia dvd)

i just needed to buy the right optical cable with the right connection to fit the normal optical input on my reciever

so basically.........mobo sound cards work great if you have an external reciever.....heck they might even work well with some small pc speakers. i've never tried cause i've always had my speaker setup



you can hardly see my reciever (its on the wooden box on the left) and in addition i have the matching rears and a 10" powered sub
 

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SuperMod
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How big do you want it?
Tower
Mid-Tower
Mini-tower
HTPC dekstop style

How quiet do you want it?
Just stockers
Add two 80mm fans
Add one 80/96 and a 120mm.
Add two 120mm fans
More than two 120mm fans

And how much do you want to spend?
Under $100
$100-$200
$200+

For your power supply, if you are really planning on 2 video cards, I'd hedge my bets with a 500-650W psu. That's if you have the standard (to me) DVD-drive, DVD-burner, 2 HDDs, and 2 fans in push-pull configuration. That'll give you some headroom to add one or two more HDDs as well.
Of course with all that, you'd want a mid-tower or tower.
Desktop/HTPC probably won't work anyway with 2 cards.

Do a search on Antec's website and Coolermaster :D
Lian Li is nice, understated.
Silverstone is for rich folk :laugh:
 

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Premium Member
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32 Posts
If your looking for a sleek looking case then i would recommend the Antec P180. This is the case that im currently looking into getting when i build my new computer. Heres a link to it....

http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=81800

Its designed to be as silent as possible and also improve cooling inside your case. Although the drawbacks for this case are its price and also since the PSU is located on the bottom, you have to make sure your psu wires are long enough to reach your hardware components.
 
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