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Thread: Please advise on upgrade spec.

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    Please advise on upgrade spec.

    Good evening folks.
    I've been looking into upgrading my current system and have compiled a list of components. I would really appreciate it if you could pick holes in the component list, as there is every chance I've made an oversight.
    You'll notice that I aimed to upgrade to the socket 939 and PCI-E technologies, as well as give myself the option of future upgrading. This system would be primarily used for gaming and I may also look into overclocking it as time passes.

    ASUS SOCKET-939 A8N-SLI S/L SLI HYPERTHREADING

    £95.05 inc VAT -----------techfever.co.uk
    http://www.techfever.co.uk/products.asp?recnumber=1647


    ASUS 128MB RADEON X600PRO PCI-Ex16 DVI

    £70.21 inc VAT -----------techfever.co.uk
    http://www.techfever.co.uk/products.asp?recnumber=1208


    AMD ATHLON 64 3000+ 512KB SOCKET 939

    £97.22 Inc VAT ------------techfever.co.uk
    http://www.techfever.co.uk/products.asp?recnumber=1509


    512 Mb (2 x 256 Mb) Corsair TwinX, DDR, PC3200C2PT, Cas 2, Lifetime Warranty

    £72.85 Inc VAT ------------scan.co.uk
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...roductID=71475

    Please bear in mind that the above components would be installed into a Thermaltake Xasercase V1000+ with a 480W Butterfly PSU, with a spare 550W generic PSU that I could use as a secondary PSU. Any comments on my choices would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
    - Ghetto rigging is an unrecognised form of art -

  2. #2
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    You haven't said what you are planning to do with your new rig, ie play games....

    If you are a gamer try your best to get a gig of ram, I can't begin to tell you how much difference you'll notice over just 512 meg.

    I don't know what your budget is either, if you can stretch a little further maybe a beefier graphics card but again it really depends on what you are using your system for.

    Make sure your Chip is a Winchester core as they tend to oc better and run cooler.

    Also are you planning to buy 2 graphics cards? If not might be worth trying to save a bit and go for a non sli mobo.
    Asus P5BDeluxe, C2D E6600 at 3.9 GHZ MSI 880GTX " Gig Geil Ultra

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bujinkan-ka
    This system would be primarily used for gaming and I may also look into overclocking it as time passes.
    I am quite into my games, and I figured it would be best if I spent a little extra for the future option of an SLI setup. The maximum I have to spend on the upgrade is £380.
    In any case, thanks for the feedback.
    - Ghetto rigging is an unrecognised form of art -

  4. #4
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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
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      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
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    yea, your better paying an extra £20 for 1Gb of Giel 'value' ram, don't let the value part to fool you into thinking its sh*te, its decent ram and the memory timings ain't too bad either.

    and step it up a notch if you can streach the wallet that far with the grapics card.

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    • noveltylamp's system
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    Although personally i prefer ATI over Nvidia, for your money there you're much better off getting an Nvidia 6600 based card for about £10-£20 more. Also, if you look on the hardforums and on anandtechforums you'll see people have had no end of problems with the A8N-SLi and Asus are releasing a new revision in a few months time, so get an MSI Neo4 or an DFI NF4 board instead.

    As for RAM - I agree with aidan above, 1GB of RAM with moderate timings will be MUCH MUCH more noticeable than 512mb with tight timings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bujinkan-ka
    I am quite into my games, and I figured it would be best if I spent a little extra for the future option of an SLI setup. The maximum I have to spend on the upgrade is £380.
    In any case, thanks for the feedback.
    Sorry I really shouldn't reply late in the evening after drinking!!! lol

    To be honest my Asus board ain't that great, it's the first Asus one I've owned and I probably won't get another, I know it is very much down to luck as to what your board can do but as said above it seems there are a few issues with the SLI one. I haven't seen much bad publicity about the MSI board so might be worth having a look at that one.
    Asus P5BDeluxe, C2D E6600 at 3.9 GHZ MSI 880GTX " Gig Geil Ultra

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    Thanks to you all for your recommendations. I've made some changes to the list and this is how it looks now :

    MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum, ATX, DDDR400, PCI-E, 2x Gbit Lan, USB 2.0, 1394, 7.1Ch Audio, 4 x SATA, Raid

    £114.90 Inc VAT -----------scan.co.uk
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=154397


    128M MSI PCI-E NX6600GT Tv/DVI

    £127.03 Inc VAT -----------scan.co.uk
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=159924


    AMD Athlon 64 3000 32/64Bit CPU S939 Winchester 90nm Retail inc Heat Sink Fan & 3 Years Warranty

    £100.23 Inc VAT ------------scan.co.uk
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=153565


    512 Mb (2 x 256Mb) Corsair Value Select Kit, DDR, PC3200, non ECC, Lifetime Warranty

    £52.29 Inc VAT ------------scan.co.uk
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=103467

    Taking on board what some have said about the benefits of going with 1GB or RAM, I am wondering if I could use the Adata and Twinmos modules I am currently using. Both modules are DDR400 and 256MB in size. I've already conducted a memory test using S&M v1.5.0 and there was no errors.
    Therefore, I was thinking of combining the RAM modules I already have with the ones in the list above. Thank you all again for your help.
    - Ghetto rigging is an unrecognised form of art -

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    • BenW's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASRock Dual SATA2
      • CPU:
      • AMD64 3500+
      • Memory:
      • 1GB Crucial DDR
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    Go for 1024MB ran (2x512) in corsair/geil/crucial value ranges

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...roductID=75522

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    • BenW's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASRock Dual SATA2
      • CPU:
      • AMD64 3500+
      • Memory:
      • 1GB Crucial DDR
      • Storage:
      • 160GB Samsung 8MB Cache
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire Radeon HD 3850
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic S12 600W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ-04
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 17" Ultrasharp
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 8Mb
    or 2x512MB at crucial would be £93.98

  10. #10
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    Well, looks interesting, but ...

    I wouldn't bother going with SLI unless you've got a sackload of cash, seems like a bad upgrade path to me, as i expect you'll just want to get new tech in the future.

    To agree with the others, i'd definatley get a gig of ram and perhaps ditch the X600 Pro, not a particularly great card and you could probably get hold o a 6600GT for a little bit more, a considerably better card.

  11. #11
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    As far as I'm aware, most the SLI boards such as the Asus (which I own) are futureproof in that they have SATA-300 support and dual-core support when AMD launch the dual cored processors via a simple BIOS update.

    Also, there is no real point of getting an SLI board unless you get a compilant card - which at the present time means Nvidia 6600GT or above as these are all SLIable and as many people are stating, nvidia are creating a storm with the power of the 6600GT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildmonkeyUK
    As far as I'm aware, most the SLI boards such as the Asus (which I own) are futureproof in that they have SATA-300 support and dual-core support when AMD launch the dual cored processors via a simple BIOS update.

    Also, there is no real point of getting an SLI board unless you get a compilant card - which at the present time means Nvidia 6600GT or above as these are all SLIable and as many people are stating, nvidia are creating a storm with the power of the 6600GT.
    SLI is a money pit, are you really going to shell out on 2 decent vid cards. Also think of the noise, Nvidia cards aren't quiet. How much faster are 2 6600 GT's over a 6800 Ultra anyway???

    Also try as hard as you can to get a gig of ram you really will notice a difference I can promise you.

    SLI might crack a whip in benchmarks but I don't play Benchmarks do you? I'm not criticising but I try and look at things that make a real world difference
    Last edited by buzz_lips; 16-02-2005 at 03:05 PM.
    Asus P5BDeluxe, C2D E6600 at 3.9 GHZ MSI 880GTX " Gig Geil Ultra

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    SLI isn't really too much of a money pit as long as you are sensible, also there is an option to watercool your gfx cards. Personally I am going to watercool my 6600GT then in 3 months time when I get the cash I will purchase another 6600GT, it might not be water cooled but there will only be one fan whirling. SLI is a great path if you cannot stump up the cash for a 6800 ultra right away, and as buzz pointed out there is little difference between 2 6600Gt's and an 6800 Ultra, though you might still save on cash for the 2 cards.

    The ultra only pulls away from 2x 6600Gt's when anti-aliasing is involved at higher res.

    Get a gig of RAM!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skb3
    SLI isn't really too much of a money pit as long as you are sensible, also there is an option to watercool your gfx cards. Personally I am going to watercool my 6600GT then in 3 months time when I get the cash I will purchase another 6600GT, it might not be water cooled but there will only be one fan whirling. SLI is a great path if you cannot stump up the cash for a 6800 ultra right away, and as buzz pointed out there is little difference between 2 6600Gt's and an 6800 Ultra, though you might still save on cash for the 2 cards.

    The ultra only pulls away from 2x 6600Gt's when anti-aliasing is involved at higher res.

    Get a gig of RAM!!!
    I take your point about watercooling mate but thats just throwing even more expense at the system, especially if you want a decent set up. .
    Asus P5BDeluxe, C2D E6600 at 3.9 GHZ MSI 880GTX " Gig Geil Ultra

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    Noise is of no concern to me and my parents are deaf, so the prospect of two (noisy) 6600GTs in SLi could well be right up my street. In accordance with this, I'm looking at the MSI K8N SLI Platinum Mainboard.

    £116.99 Inc VAT -----------komplett.co.uk
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=170233

    As for the matter of RAM...............

    Quote Originally Posted by bujinkan-ka
    Taking on board what some have said about the benefits of going with 1GB or RAM, I am wondering if I could use the Adata and Twinmos modules I am currently using. Both modules are DDR400 and 256MB in size. I've already conducted a memory test using S&M v1.5.0 and there was no errors.
    Therefore, I was thinking of combining the RAM modules I already have with the ones in the list above. Thank you all again for your help.
    Thanks again.
    - Ghetto rigging is an unrecognised form of art -

  16. #16
    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    Everyone have a good look at the DFI ultra/SLI boards.

    Reada few reviews of them. They have several great features which the others dont seem to have.
    The bios thingy, dignostic leds (which are on all boards- theultra just hasnt got the header for external leds but still has the SMD leds), upto 4v for mem,fully adjustable mem timings, full voltage control of cpu, better layout, better design etc..

    Ive heard tha MSI boards have a habbit of dying (atleast the nf3 boards), and they dont seem to have anything to serpate themfromt reference design.

    IMO sli is a bit pointless for the following resons:
    Only supported on about 4 games currently. Its mostly aimed for benchmarks ATM so they can get the hype...
    Ultra boards canbe ran in *16x/2x mode - dependant on drivers.. which gives 90% of the sli performance according to anandtech.
    Ultra boards can **currently also be modded to full SLI boards by changing a jumper on the nb package.

    *Only supported in one driver set afaik, the later ones had it removed and these are now hard to find.
    ** nvidia say they are going to find a way to stop this on future boards, wont affect current ones.
    Last edited by SilentDeath; 17-02-2005 at 01:56 AM.

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