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Thread: Reputable?

  1. #1
    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Reputable?

    Well, I'm looking at building my first system and the specs look a little like this:

    MB: MSI K7N2 Delta-L

    Next Generation nForce2 Chipset + nForce2 MCP
    200/266/333/400 MHz FSB, Socket A, AMD Athlon / Athlon XP 3000+ or up
    Ultra DMA 100/133, 3 PC266/333/400 DDR up to 3GB, Support Dual Channel DDR
    ATX Form Factor, 5 PCI, 1 ACR, AGP 4x/8x, 6 USB 2.0
    Ethernet 10/100 LAN, 6 Channel Audio
    Live Update2,i-Speeder, D-Bracket2

    CPU: Athlon 2500+

    Cooling: Thermaltake Volcano 9 Heatsink Fan

    RAM: Corsair PC3200/400MHz 1x 512MB or 2x256MB, DDR SDRAM.

    GFX: Sapphire Radeon 9600 256MB DDR 8X AGP
    or, ATI Radeon 9600 128MB DDR 8X AGP.

    Case: Antec SX630II

    HD: 80 GB Western Digital SE 7200 Rpm 8MB Buffer


    I've managed to find these at very good prices so that I can put a whole system together including all the usual necessaries (speakers, monitor, peripherals etc), for about $790 (500+ sterling).

    I still have a few questions in my mind though, if any of you can throw some answers my way, I'd appreciate it!

    First of all, and probably the most stupid of my questions - is there any difference between my choosing 1 stick of 512 RAM rather than 2 sticks of 256?

    Secondly, can anyone tell me if there's a significant difference between the graphics cards I listed? By choosing the standard ATI 128 card I can save a bit.

    Thirdly, I found most of these items at their cheapest on Price Watch. I have no idea whether some of these are reputable though. Anyone ever come across BZBoys, AccuPC, Newegg? Or perhaps more importantly, are there any places I should avoid like the plague??

    Finally, a number of these items come cheaper at OEM. One possible vendor of the Mobo provides the bareboard only, no cables etc. Is that going to be a problem or should I just fork out the extra for a retail version? Anyone experienced any problems with OEM/retail?

    Thanks,
    G.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    first i assume ur in america, dunno how much things cost there so this is based on UK prices.

    there are better mobos like asus a7n8x and abit nf7-s, although they are all based on nforce2 so they are v similar.

    cpu is good chioce as they are very overclockable (u should hit 3000/3200+ speeds)

    RAM: Corsair PC3200/400MHz 1x 512MB or 2x256MB, DDR SDRAM.
    corsair is VERY overpriced, and uses the same chips as other decent but much cheaper ram. twinmos make good ram try to find some with winbond bh-5 chips, or samsung chips are alm,ost as good. btw, heatspreaders are only there to look nice, they do fa for performance.
    i would also get 1x512mb, due to better for upgrading in future. the only problem with this is that you wont have dual channel but that doesnt really make ANY difference in an amd system anyway.

    GFX: Sapphire Radeon 9600 256MB DDR 8X AGP
    or, ATI Radeon 9600 128MB DDR 8X AGP.
    having 256mb on a gfx card is pointless, gfx cards dont need that much mem yet (unless running in 1600x1200 w. 6x aa and 16x af - and then u can use the agp aperature mem to make up the extra with no perf loss). 256mb of mem would usually cost more, but instead they use up slower mem which is also a lot cheaper, so it doesnt cost much more to make. DEFINATLY get the 9600pro instead of just 9600, you could even get 9600XT but they might be expensiver.

    i wouldnt get a WD hdd because they dnt use fluid dynamic bearings, which makes them niosy at 7200rpm. these drives are only slightly faster than maxtors but maxtors are a lot quieter. seagates are no longer much quieter and are quite bit slower, although you probally wouldnt notice without benchmarks.

    ive heard of newegg, but as im in UK ive obviosly never used it, same with others except never heard of em.

    mobos are worth getting retail i think, i needed teh sata converter and cables anyway for mine

  3. #3
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
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    Quick mention - you may get stablility issues with that RAM on that motherboard ... all the MSI NForce2 boards are VERY picky about RAM!

    G4 PowerMac - Tiger 10.4 - 512MB RAM
    MacBook - 2Ghz - 1GB RAM - 120GB HDD

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    B&W DM640i | Velodyne 1512

  4. #4
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    I would say MSI aren't the great mobo maker they used to be, neither the prices nor support let alone the quality and solid implimentations. I would also rec the Abit NF7-S or Asus A7N8X Deluxe which are both top notch SktA mobos offering Dual Channel, 400FSB and MCP-T Soundstorm. MCP is just bog std onboard audio so not truly nForce2, still decent but not great.

    As said the XP2500+ is really the CPU to go for as you're practically guaranteed XP3200+ o/c's with it. I'd prefer the Volcano11+, 9 is good but 11 is very good. Corsair is probably better priced in the US, over here it's VERY pricey so Adata, TwinMOS and Crucial are easily better choices. I'd go with 2x256MB, a quick search will reveal why.

    9600 is pretty dire even with 256MB (which is pretty pointless BTW). Seriously look to a Rad9600PRO, it's good at stock but great when o/c'ed. Second hand 9500PRO or 9700 are a better idea if you can find them. 9800 cost a lot more.

    PS. Buy www.newegg.com as every US resident swear by them for good prices and top notch service. OEM are more than fine.

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