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Thread: Mid-spec system - comments please

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    Taz
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    Mid-spec system - comments please

    Firsty, hello to everyone from a new member. I have spent hours on this excellent forum researching components for a new system that I will be putting together. I have shortlisted the following components and would appreciate comments.

    Here are my requirements:

    - A very quiet system
    - Reasonable FPS on Flight Simulator 2004 at around 1280 resolution
    - I will also be doing the odd video capture from my DV camcorder
    - Editting pictures from my Canon digital camera
    - I am looking for some painless upgrading capability (CPU, graphics card)
    - I need Wi-Fi
    - I want to overclock the system but not to extreme levels!
    - My budget is around £1000.

    Here is my proposed system.

    - Antec Sonata Mini Tower
    - Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 NForce 4
    - AMD Athlon 64 3200 32/64Bit CPU S939 Winchester 90nm Retail
    - 128MB Gigabyte GV NX66T128VP - GF6600GT
    - 200Gb Maxtor Plus 10 (7200rpm,8MB) SATA NCQ
    - TwinMOS PC3200 DDR-DIMM 1024MB Dual Pack Kit
    - MX5020 2-piece wall-mountable speaker system
    - Gigabyte 108mbps SuperG Wireless PCI Card (GN-WPEAG)
    - 19" LG1915S Silver, 15pin D-sub, 12msec, 500:1, 250 nits, 1280 x 1024
    - Thermalright XP-120 (no fan supplied)
    - Akasa Ultra Quiet 120mm (for heatsink)

    The reason for the 2.0 speaker system is space - the ones I have chosen are wall-mountable and sound very good. This system comes in at around £1000 (mostly purchased from Scan, memory + heatsink from Komplett, case from Simply). I'll be re-using the MS optical mouse, MS keyboard, LG GSA-4120B dual-layer DVD writer and Saitek Cyborg Evo Force joystick that is currently connected to my laptop.

    Cheers,

    Taz

  2. #2
    Senior Member skuzgib's Avatar
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    To do video capture I think you will need a card with VIVO capabilities (video in video out)
    Perhaps someone else can confirm?

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    How the hell is that a "mid-spec" system?

  4. #4
    Taz
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    Quote Originally Posted by skuzgib
    To do video capture I think you will need a card with VIVO capabilities (video in video out)
    Perhaps someone else can confirm?
    Using firewire ports (these are on the motherboard). I won't be doing this through the video card.

    Taz

  5. #5
    we'll see about that... alterion's Avatar
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    FS is very CPU dependant... soyou mkight want to drop some stuf and get a 3500+ also i would reccomend a decent 17"tft as opposed to a 19" VGA one

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    Do not buy the Gigabyte one as it is nforce 4 not ultra there are no overclocking options and the bus is locked at 800mhz rather than 1000mhz.
    U might be inetrested with in this motehrboard very cheap and good ocing capablity however it will take time to come in stock.
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=305577&cks=PRL
    The review(for teh chipset) is here
    http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews...lld19JRD05MTQ=

  7. #7
    RDL
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander
    How the hell is that a "mid-spec" system?
    What do you mean by that? It doesn't have an FX processor, it doesn't have a 6800gt/U, it doesn't have 2gigs RAM etc. etc.

  8. #8
    Raging Bull DeludedGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander
    How the hell is that a "mid-spec" system?
    I was wondering the same thing....

    Sounds all good to me, apart from the Monitor, if your going to buy a big 19" TFT get one with DVI.

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    • Mblaster's system
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    Are you going to be overclocking? If not then you won't want to be messing around with a huge heatsink like the Thermalright XP-120...
    I don't mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am so that's the way it comes out.

  10. #10
    Taz
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    Alterion: I did want to go for the 3500+ Winchester but there are none in stock anywhere. That's why I shortlisted the 3200+ Winchester instead. I will want to overcolck this to some extent. However, I do welcome your comment about the 17" TFT instead of 19". I really wanted the Visionmaster VX912 19" TFT (this has DVI). The LG1915S has no DVI but is £100 cheaper. Would it really be better to go for a 17" TFT with DVI instead? I am easily convinced!

    RDL: I agree, it is a mid-spec system for the reasons you mention. I thought long and hard about a 6800GT but looked at reviews on Toms Hardware Guide and, for the resolutions I will be running FS2004, the 6600GT was not far behind a 6800GT. The 6800GT really thrashes the 6600GT at high resolutions (over 1280). But for my purposes there is not much difference. THG specifically ran FS2004 benchmarks and that was good enough for me!

    MBlaster: I will be overclocking as the CPU is only an AMD 64 3200+ (due to lack of 3500+ Winchesters at the moment). However, my main reason for the enormous heatsink is really the fan! At low speeds the Akasa appears to be near silent, hence meeting one of my requirements of a very quiet system. It's also a bit of an investment as I will upgrade the CPU to a much faster CPU at some point and i'll be able to re-use the enormous heatsink.

    speedy_s: I read the review of the ATi chipset motheboard and it was okay - but it's not out and it's version 1.0! The nVidia nForce 4 chipset has been out for a few months. I don't need the extra capabilities of nForce 4 Ultra (h/w firewall and a couple of other things that don't really matter to me). I don't need SLi but I do want PCI-Express. Hence, the Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9. The only other contender for me would be a mobo with the new VIA chipset that supports PCI-E.

    Thanks for all the replies! It's causing me grief as i'm going to end up changing the spec but hopefully for the better!

    Taz

  11. #11
    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Get the 250Gb Plus 10. That has 16Mb cache as well as the additional real estate.

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    I have the Antec Sonata it's OK but

    The front USB ports are not solid so when I connect a USB device to the front ports which I would normally use the most it feels like the ports could vanish into the case because the circuit board they are mounted on moves about.

    There is no speed control on the rear exhaust fan and at full speed it was sufficiently noisey that I decided to replaced it and added a controller.

    Blue LED lights and silver port cover are christmas cracker stylee in both looks and quality which detract from an otherwise nice case.

    The PSU is adequate and reliable but there are more efficient PSUs on the market which require less cooling and are therefore quieter in operation. There are also slightly more powerfull PSUs allowing you a little more headroom for future upgrades.

    Consider the Jeantec case below which is similar in concept and is not expensive so you could afford to buy a decent PSU of your choice. It's a more basic old school design than the Sonata.

    http://www.pcwcomponentcentre.co.uk/invt/jnh60
    http://www.caseclosed.co.uk/jeantech_phong_gall.htm

  13. #13
    Taz
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    Would a Casetek 1019SA case (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...roductID=58928) with a Tagan 480W or 420W PSU be *much* better than the Sonata?

    I originally specced the separate case and PSU but read some favourable reviews for the Sonata. The Casetek/Tagan combination is £140, twice that of the Sonata. But I guess it provides better possibilities for upgrading. Most importantly, will it be quieter than the Sonata?

  14. #14
    Laird Of The Glen jimborae's Avatar
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    Get the Antec SLK 3700BQE, its virtually the same as the Sonata but £20 cheaper (from Ebuyer). With the money saved you can then buy a nice fan bus and have the fans exactly as you want them.

    The Jeantech Phong has good cooling ability but looks & feels as cheap as chips. The Casetek is an 80mm fan case & therefore will be louder to acheive the same thermal performance.

    Dont buy a gigabyte atx motherboard unless you want problems, how about an Asus NF4 motherboard instead?

  15. #15
    Taz
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      • Memory:
      • Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3200C16R Vengeance LPX 16 GB
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960 EVO M.2-2280 500GB (PCIe) + 1TB Sandisk Ultra II SSD (SATA)
      • Graphics card(s):
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      • Corsair CS550M 550W Hybrid
      • Case:
      • NZXT Source 340
      • Operating System:
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      • 34" Asus Designo Curve MX34VQ UWQHD Monitor
      • Internet:
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimborae
    Dont buy a gigabyte atx motherboard unless you want problems, how about an Asus NF4 motherboard instead?
    Am looking at the Antec SLK on E-Buyer.

    Any recommendations on an Asus NF4 mobo? Must support AMD 939 Winchester and PCI-Express graphics card. Not really bothered about SLi.

  16. #16
    Laird Of The Glen jimborae's Avatar
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      • 2 xDell 24"
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    Yeah, Asus A8N Sli, may as well get Sli so you can upgrade in the future. Komplett should be getting stock soon hopefully.

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