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Thread: Advice pls on new A64 rig

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    • tfboy's system
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    Advice pls on new A64 rig

    Right.

    I'm building a PC for a mate of mine. He knows a little about PCs and is a keen "build it yourself" kind of chap, but his and ultimately my experience are a little out of date

    He initally wanted a P4 system, but I think he's happy to consider an A64 to get better VFM.

    In the spec he provided me (based on P4) there are a few things I'd question though and would greatly appreciate your advice and words of wisdom / experience

    What I have at the moment putting it together myself, taking everything from Scan:

    - SilverStone "TEMJIN" J04B-W (BLACK) Aluminum Front/SECC Body Tower Case (w/o PSU) with Window £69.99

    LN9130 Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe (Raid5, extra SATA, extra GBit Lan) Socket 939 nForce 4 *Due Est 13th Dec £106.00

    LN8207 Pioneer DVR-108 Black x16 Dual Layer DVD Writer, UK OEM £44.74

    LN7083 Asus Black 16x DVD-ROM + 48x CD-ROM IDE Retail £14.84

    LN5528 1 Gb (2 x 512 Mb) Corsair TwinX, DDR, PC3200C2PT, Cas 2, Lifetime Warranty £123.00

    LN8299 380W Tagan Whisper quiet 20db aPFC Also support SATA 3 Years Warranty ATX/BTX £38.98

    LN4338 17" Iiyama Vision Master 1403, CRT LS704UG, Beige, 0.27dp, 30-70KHz, 1280 x 1024 £69.95

    LN8665 128MB XFX PCI-E GForce 6600GT Tv DVI £120.00


    That totals up to about £890 inc vat and delivery.

    His budget was about 900
    However, having done a little reading up, he's salivating about the prospect of an FX-53 and could stretch to a maximum of £1,000 including monitor.

    Now he's asked for a 6600GT minimum gfx card. However, he wants to save money and only get a 17" CRT, so limited to 1024x768 resolution. If he goes for that res, is there any real fps benefit of spending over £150 on a gfx chip? Likewise for the FX53. I don't see the gains hence saving some dosh and going for a low-spec winchester. He said he'd mostly be playing games so I can't see the real benefit of an FX53 chip if he's only ever going to play at low-ish resolutions (by today's standards imho).

    He'd rather want PCI-X hence the selection of an nforce4 mobo (I know he'll have to wait a couple of weeks).

    He only asked for 160GB drive. For the extra, I stuck in a 200GB.

    IF there are bits I'm missing such as sata cables and the like, maybe I can go back to a 160GB drive saving a tenner to budget for the missing bits.

    Any thoughts please? I'm still stuck on my trusty XP 1700+ jiuhb dlt3c chip on abit nforce 2 mobo and am thinking of building this thing for him and using it as a benchmark to decide whether I upgrade myself

    Ta v much in advance
    Last edited by tfboy; 01-12-2004 at 01:59 PM.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfboy
    He initally wanted a P4 system, but I think he's happy to consider an A64 to get better VFM.
    Definately a good call.

    LN8207 Pioneer DVR-108 Black x16 Dual Layer DVD Writer, UK OEM £44.74
    I'd plump for the NEC 3500 (in fact I already have). Not much in it though, I suppose.

    LN4338 17" Iiyama Vision Master 1403, CRT LS704UG, Beige, 0.27dp, 30-70KHz, 1280 x 1024 £69.95
    <snip>
    However, having done a little reading up, he's salivating about the prospect of an FX-53 and could stretch to a maximum of £1,000 including monitor.
    That honestly seems mad to me. All that money on a computer and you're hooking it up to a non-flatscreen 17" monitor. The best piece of computer hardware I ever bought was my (cheap, secondhand) 21" monitor, it makes the world of difference to how nice the computer is to use. With the price of 19" TFTs coming down towards £200 now, I'd definately cut back in other areas in order to get a decent monitor.

    Now he's asked for a 6600GT minimum gfx card. However, he wants to save money and only get a 17" CRT, so limited to 1024x768 resolution. If he goes for that res, is there any real fps benefit of spending over £150 on a gfx chip?
    Well that's it. No there isn't. At 1024x768 a 6600GT will be pretty much CPU bound on most games, even if you factor in some AA and AF.

    Likewise for the FX53. I don't see the gains hence saving some dosh and going for a low-spec winchester. He said he'd mostly be playing games so I can't see the real benefit of an FX53 chip if he's only ever going to play at low-ish resolutions (by today's standards imho).
    Forgive my laziness, I really CBA to do the sums, but in my opinion if for £1000 you could get a 19" TFT or 21" CRT, a 3200+ Winchester, and a 6800GT or similar, that would provide a vastly better gaming experience than a 17" CRT/FX53/6600GT combo, especially if you OC the processor up to 2.5GHz which most Winnies seem to be managing without too much difficulty.

    IF there are bits I'm missing such as sata cables and the like, maybe I can go back to a 160GB drive saving a tenner to budget for the missing bits.
    The motherboard will come with those, don't worry. My final piece of advice: be patient and buy in January. The price of most of that stuff will come down then- the price of memory in particular always seems to take a dive in January. This year, the same could well be true of TFTs.

    Rich :¬)

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    • tfboy's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X470 Gaming Plus
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX)
      • Storage:
      • 512GB Crucial SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 560 Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM 650W
      • Case:
      • CM Silencio 550
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      • HP LP2475w + Dell 2001FP
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    Thanks Rich.

    My thoughts on a saving money on a cheap 17" CRT are the same as yours - a bit crazy.

    I'll try and talk some sense into him and recalc other component prices to budget for it.

    Cheers

    Keep those thoughts comming

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    • tfboy's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X470 Gaming Plus
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX)
      • Storage:
      • 512GB Crucial SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 560 Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM 650W
      • Case:
      • CM Silencio 550
      • Operating System:
      • W10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • HP LP2475w + Dell 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • VM 350Mb
    OK. Now changed to replace 17" CRT with decent 19" CRT providing 1600x1200 @ 90Hz, PSU upgraded, RAM changed to corsair value, case changed, DVD writer changed to NEC3500 (saves a few quid)

    54146 Antec P160 ATX Tower Case With USB/1394/Audio No psu £70.01 (from ebuyer)
    LN8299 480W Tagan Whisper quiet 21db Also support 12v EPS/SATA/XEON 3 Years Warranty ATX/BTX £38.98
    LN9130 Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe (Raid5, extra SATA, extra GBit Lan) Socket 939 nForce 4 *Due Est 13th Dec £124.55
    LN8974 AMD *Retail* BIBOX Athlon 64 3000 64Bit (32 Bit compatible) CPU Socket 939 Winchester 90nm £102.58
    LN5680 1 Gb (2 x 512 Mb) Corsair Value Select Kit, DDR, PC3200, non ECC, Lifetime Warranty £106.93
    LN8262 NEC 3500A Black x16 DUAL LAYER DVD-Writer, OEM UK £46.44
    LN7083 Asus Black 16x DVD-ROM + 48x CD-ROM IDE Retail £17.44
    LN6558 160Gb Western Digital Caviar SE 1600JD-FDB (7200rpm,8MB) - SATA £65.76
    LN8665 128MB XFX PCI-E GForce 6600GT Tv DVI £141.00
    LN3679 19" Iiyama CRT Vision Master Pro 454 (HM903DTB) Hightbrightness Unipitch *NEW* £228.88

    With VAT and delivery, total now £986.24 (excl deliv charges from ebuyer for case)

    Is it worth getting XMS memory? Is generic sufficient? I don't know how much the cpu will be overclocked, if at all, and generally what kind of bus speeds are achieved with standard "generic" ram. I'll deffo stick to a known manufacturer though, be it Corsair, Geil, Kingston...

    BTW, the case is not set in stone (no pun intended!). I guess it'll be down to his personal choice, as long as it's not too shabby and I'm not going to lacerate my fingers putting the parts in. I've just put that temjin one in as a "money holder".

    edit: I'm in no hurry I'm pretty sure prices will have come down after xmas, particularly the mobo once it's past its first few weeks on the market and post xmas-pressie shopping for nerds

    Whether he can wait or not is another matter
    Last edited by tfboy; 01-12-2004 at 06:19 PM. Reason: list updated, prices changed to include VAT

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfboy
    OK. Now changed to replace 17" CRT with decent 19" CRT providing 1600x1200 @ 90Hz.
    Good move. 1600x1200 on a 19" will be a bit squinty mind, I only run my 21" at 1280x960, but in any case that'll still be a lot better than the 17". Secondhand 21" monitors come up for sale on the forums from time to time, or you could have a look on ebay.

    Is it worth getting XMS memory? Is generic sufficient? I don't know how much the cpu will be overclocked, if at all, and generally what kind of bus speeds are achieved with standard "generic" ram. I'll deffo stick to a known manufacturer though, be it Corsair, Geil, Kingston...
    Well, at stock speeds the lower latency of the XMS will give you no more than a 2-3% performance improvement, probably less than that most of the time. Even with a good overclock, I'd be surprised if you ever got more than a 5% performance boost. Since they cost 50% more than standard sticks of PC3200 I can't really see the point. When factored into the complete price of the computer though, that extra 50% becomes more like an extra 5%, so I guess it's not so bad. I'd still be inclined to scrimp on some components so that you can spend more on the graphics card though.

    BTW, the case is not set in stone (no pun intended!). I guess it'll be down to his personal choice, as long as it's not too shabby and I'm not going to lacerate my fingers putting the parts in. I've just put that temjin one in as a "money holder".
    As an inveterate cheapskate, I'm deeply biased towards cheap cases, and I'm more than prepared to risk a few minor cuts to save £10- cuts usually heal for free, after all. The Super Flower cases from Ebuyer are a cut above the really nasty, dangerous cheap cases you get though.

    edit: I'm in no hurry I'm pretty sure prices will have come down after xmas, particularly the mobo once it's past its first few weeks on the market and post xmas-pressie shopping for nerds

    Whether he can wait or not is another matter
    Padlock his wallet, it's definately worth hanging on. The last two years running I've made the mistake of splashing out on new kit just before Christmas and regretted it both times. In January:

    a) the price of stuff will come down,
    b) the A8N SLI might have a new revision with bug fixes, this has been the case for a lot of recent Asus motherboard releases
    c) the ATI X800XL should be out, which is looking like it'll be excellent value at around £200 or a smidge over. NVidia might have some new cards out soon too.

    Rich :¬)

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    • tfboy's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X470 Gaming Plus
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX)
      • Storage:
      • 512GB Crucial SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 560 Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM 650W
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    Good move. 1600x1200 on a 19" will be a bit squinty mind, I only run my 21" at 1280x960, but in any case that'll still be a lot better than the 17". Secondhand 21" monitors come up for sale on the forums from time to time, or you could have a look on ebay.
    I wasn't thinking of running it at 1600x1200 on the desktop 'cos as you say, it's a little squinty I just like to know the monitor capable of doing that res/refresh rate so at a lower res/refresh rate, you won't be stressing the tube in the slightest.

    Well, at stock speeds the lower latency of the XMS will give you no more than a 2-3% performance improvement, probably less than that most of the time. Even with a good overclock, I'd be surprised if you ever got more than a 5% performance boost. Since they cost 50% more than standard sticks of PC3200 I can't really see the point. When factored into the complete price of the computer though, that extra 50% becomes more like an extra 5%, so I guess it's not so bad. I'd still be inclined to scrimp on some components so that you can spend more on the graphics card though.
    Thanks for that. I gather the dual-memory isn't so important either? I mean the performance gain of running dual-channel is no where near as high as a traditional socket 7 athlon XP. I'm still trying to get my head arount this HTT stuff talked about in another thread. Technology has gone beyond me recently. Only just caught up on the differences between S759, 939 and 940
    FYI, I've 3200LL corsair XMS memory in my current rig, but only 512MB. I went for it just to know it's certified at those speeds so I can't blame it if/when PC crashes

    As an inveterate cheapskate, I'm deeply biased towards cheap cases, and I'm more than prepared to risk a few minor cuts to save £10- cuts usually heal for free, after all. The Super Flower cases from Ebuyer are a cut above the really nasty, dangerous cheap cases you get though.
    Yep, I know what you mean. The flipside of course is getting an ubernice case for a hundred quid or so but keep it even when you upgrade the hardware. I've had my eyes on a CM black widow case in my local PC world going cheap now But if I get a cheapo case, I'll deffo bin the PSU and use a proper one. It'll depend on my mate's opinion I guess. All I'll insist is spending £40 or so on a seperate PSU.

    Padlock his wallet, it's definately worth hanging on. The last two years running I've made the mistake of splashing out on new kit just before Christmas and regretted it both times. In January:

    a) the price of stuff will come down,
    b) the A8N SLI might have a new revision with bug fixes, this has been the case for a lot of recent Asus motherboard releases
    c) the ATI X800XL should be out, which is looking like it'll be excellent value at around £200 or a smidge over. NVidia might have some new cards out soon too.

    Rich :¬)
    I'll tell him. See what his reaction is.

    Would be nice to have other people commenting too, not that I'm complaining about the quality of your replies Rich.

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    the other thing to double check is that the PSU supports the new power types, EPS12v?, from memory this is what all new nforce 4 motherboards are going to come with?.... 4 extra pins from memory.

    TiG
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    • tfboy's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X470 Gaming Plus
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX)
      • Storage:
      • 512GB Crucial SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 560 Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM 650W
      • Case:
      • CM Silencio 550
      • Operating System:
      • W10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • HP LP2475w + Dell 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • VM 350Mb
    Quote Originally Posted by TiG
    the other thing to double check is that the PSU supports the new power types, EPS12v?, from memory this is what all new nforce 4 motherboards are going to come with?.... 4 extra pins from memory.

    TiG
    Yep, you're right. I was reading the review of the Asus board in an SLI config on anandtech and they mentioned it. As well as an extra 4pin molex connector, it's a funny 6 pin cable you need to power the PCI-X gfx cards directly, but the motherboard comes with converters if the PSU only has the traditional 4-pin molex style connectors.

    edit: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2284&p=2
    Last edited by tfboy; 01-12-2004 at 05:59 PM.

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    Resident abit mourner BUFF's Avatar
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    SLI mobo with 380W PSU - if he wants to take advantage of SLI at some point he will probably have to change PSU. Much easier to spend an extra £10-15 upfront & get the right PSU to start with e.g. Tagan 480W

    & I regularly run games at 1600x1200 on a 19" (heck I did on a 17") although i don't have the desktop at that.

    MSI P55-GD80, i5 750
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    My HEXUS.trust abit forums

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    • tfboy's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X470 Gaming Plus
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX)
      • Storage:
      • 512GB Crucial SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 560 Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM 650W
      • Case:
      • CM Silencio 550
      • Operating System:
      • W10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • HP LP2475w + Dell 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • VM 350Mb
    Quote Originally Posted by BUFF
    SLI mobo with 380W PSU - if he wants to take advantage of SLI at some point he will probably have to change PSU. Much easier to spend an extra £10-15 upfront & get the right PSU to start with e.g. Tagan 480W
    Good comment

    & I regularly run games at 1600x1200 on a 19" (heck I did on a 17") although i don't have the desktop at that.
    I agree

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfboy
    Thanks for that. I gather the dual-memory isn't so important either? I mean the performance gain of running dual-channel is no where near as high as a traditional socket 7 athlon XP.
    Actually it makes pretty much sod-all difference on Socket A; the only big performance boost is if you're using the onboard graphics version of the NForce2. The EV6 bus used by the Athlon can only manage 3200MB/s at 200MHz, so the 6400MB/s provided by the dual channel memory bus is bottlenecked.

    In fact, going from single channel to dual channel on an Athlon 64 system will boost your Sandra (buffered) memory scores from 3000MB/s to close to 6000MB/s - it's just that it doesn't make a great deal of difference to most programs, since the A64 isn't starved for bandwidth most of the time anyway. If you've got a S939 system with two sticks of RAM, it makes no sense to run it in single channel, so the point is moot.

    I'm still trying to get my head arount this HTT stuff talked about in another thread. Technology has gone beyond me recently. Only just caught up on the differences between S759, 939 and 940
    FYI, I've 3200LL corsair XMS memory in my current rig, but only 512MB. I went for it just to know it's certified at those speeds so I can't blame it if/when PC crashes
    Well, there's certainly that to be said for it. In theory, my system should be capable of running a 200MHz FSB, but I can't get it over 189 without it failing Prime. I'm pretty sure the blame lies with my cheapo RAM.

    Rich :¬)

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    The choice of Iiyama 454 is a fine one. Don't be tempted to cut that to a 455 as the focus is no match for the 454, especially at 1600x1200. I run my work 454 at that res and it's superb.

    In terms of cases I have built into a wide mix of cheap and expensive cases. The best cheap case I ever bought was a Casetek midi-tower as it had plent of space to move around.
    The main reason to buy an expensive case is the quality of build. I've had all sorts of nightmares with cheap cases where the motherboard doesn't sit square (at 90deg) to the card slots in the rear of the case and even worse, the distance can be inconsistant! This means that while you fabulous new gfx card fits fine, the posh snd card won't screw in where it's mean to.

    The best cheap case I've ever bought was a Casetek (1006 I think) midi-tower which had sharp edges but just enough space to work in, drive rails and looked pretty good too.
    The best expensive ones have been my Coolermaster Black Widow and my dads Wavemaster. Their biggest advantage is during the build process where the high-quality slide out motherboard tray and decent space between the rear of the motherboard IDE connectors and the disc drives, make everything extremely straight forward. (granted all that internal space makes the cases pretty large)
    The fact they feel a grands worth is just an added bonus!

    My suggestion is to ask for a really posh case from relatives for Christmas

    N.B.
    There's nothing worse than buying a new PC, spending an arm and a leg on it, and then having old or poor peripherals. The monitor, mouse and keyboard are the bits that really make you think 'NEW'. Otherwise it'll be the same old same old, just a bit faster!
    Last edited by Vimeous; 01-12-2004 at 08:40 PM.
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vimeous
    N.B.
    There's nothing worse than buying a new PC, spending an arm and a leg on it, and then having old or poor peripherals. The monitor, mouse and keyboard are the bits that really make you think 'NEW'. Otherwise it'll be the same old same old, just a bit faster!
    Ooooh no, can't agree there, this keyboard and mouse have seen off numerous upgrades, and I'm hoping the monitor will too. Why change things if you're happy with them, a recipe for disappointment if you ask me.

    Rich :¬)

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Heh heh the rules of an upgrader
    TBH the monitor itself will be a huge upgrade. Whatever happens, with the specs being batted around here, it will be a tidy machine
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


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    • tfboy's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X470 Gaming Plus
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX)
      • Storage:
      • 512GB Crucial SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 560 Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM 650W
      • Case:
      • CM Silencio 550
      • Operating System:
      • W10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • HP LP2475w + Dell 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • VM 350Mb
    Ultimately, he'll have the final choice on screen and how much of his budget he'll want to put towards it.

    I went for the Iiyama 454 as it seemed very high spec at a still relatively decent price. I also noticed the 455 which is cheaper, but then the spec's lower

    Currently, I've put in a cheaper 19" which won't be so solid at 1600x1200, but it's for him to decide.

    Personally, I'd go for a good screen as it will more than outlast all the other components in terms of performance, apart from the case of course. 1600x1200 @ 90Hz for just the wrong side of 200 notes can't be bad, especially if you compare it to TFT screens. BTW, anyone know of a 17 or 18" TFT that does more than 1280x1024 ?

  16. #16
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    454 Pro is a cracking screen - it will do 2048x1536 if you really want to squint

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