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Thread: Would like advice on an AM2 system

  1. #1
    Resident Hexus Folder Golden Dragoon's Avatar
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    Would like advice on an AM2 system

    Well I am needing to put together a new computer for my brother, he wants it to be an AM2 system due to the future upgradeability it offers over S939, now he dosn't have much money, but he also wants it to be a reasonable games machine, so I think something like this would be ok:

    Athlon 64 3200+ (or prehaps a fast Sempron)
    nForce 5 mobo (only ever going to need 1 PCI_E 16x slot so no need to spend more for SLI)
    Galaxy GeForce 7600 GS 256mb GDDR3 (After the fantastic reviews it got, and the great price, this or similar would seem to be the best bet)
    2X 1GB DDR2 (as he is likely to want to overclock prehaps having slightly faster memory might be a good idea? I don't know how well DDR2 overclocks)
    Windows XP (well he needs something to work on, his curent one is an OEM one and can't be transfered)


    Things he can re-use are his case, hard drives and dvd writer, and obviously all the stuff like his monitor ect.. and his power supply is allready a Tagan 480W one (I made him get it after his no name blew) so should be more than good enough.
    Budget wise excluding the graphics card, he will likely have about £180-230, which is pretty much the top end of what he can afford. I saw a A64 3200+ at scan for just under £60, but want to know if getting a sempron would be A: cheaper and B: offer as good performance.
    Thanks.

    Edit: thinking about it, I am sure he can wait until AMD drop their prices (http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2800) as he will be able to get more for his money, but I still need advice as to what motherboard to get, as I know next to nothing about AM2 mobos.
    Last edited by Golden Dragoon; 19-06-2006 at 02:38 PM.

  2. #2
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    • DanceswithUnix's system
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    Firstly, get the A64. The Sempron chips need a serious re-alignment in price. The Athlon-64 prices have dropped a lot recently and are now cheaper, for a given clock speed, than a Sempron.

    eg (Scan prices)
    A64 3200, 2.0GHz & 512K cache = £68.53
    Sempron 3600, 2.0GHz & 256K cache = £82.03

    So, unless your budget is so tight that you have to get the Sempron 2800, avoid the whole range. I wouldn't want to play games on the S2800.

    As for motherboards, your budget is _very_ tight so you may have to wait for someone like Asrock to start shipping boards to get the price down. You might also want to consider getting an Nforce 4 430 board and using the integrated graphics until he is forced to upgrade. Looking at your budget, you have something like

    A64 3000 - £62
    Windows XP - £56
    2GB Corsair Value RAM -£116

    Total so far: 234 quid, and no motherboard yet!

  3. #3
    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
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    • chrestomanci's system
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    If your brother is a gamer he is much more likely to be upgrading the graphics than the CPU. Over the years I have upgraded the Graphics on my PCs much more often than the CPU, and often I have had to buy a new mobo and memory when upgrading the CPU as the socket has changed.

    Apart from media encoding and some games modern CPUs can easily cope with anything, but new games that max out graphics cards are always coming out, Also it looks like PCI_E 16x will be with us for a long time, (like PCI and AGP was) but I doubt AM2 sockets will be arround for more than about 2 years.

    I would try to build in some GPU upgradability either by specing an SLI mobo, or perhaps by specing a graphics card brand with good resale value so that your brother gets the most trade in when he upgrades.

  4. #4
    Resident Hexus Folder Golden Dragoon's Avatar
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    • Golden Dragoon's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
      • CPU:
      • 1045T X6@ 4.0ghz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Corsair Vengeance
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      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460
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      • XFX 650W
      • Case:
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    You can blame me for that 2GB, what I meant to put was 2x 512mb not 2x 1gb, and the graphics card is going to be payed for by the selling of his old components so that dosn't come into the budget of £230 he has.

    As for SLI, I can't see him keeping a graphics card long enough that a decent upgrade for it would be to buy another one of the same card, if he upgrades it will likely be for a single more powerfull card, rather than another less powerfull card.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kasavien's Avatar
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    In my opinion stay away from SLI, its not necessary unless you're looking to either buy a very high end system or you are going to need to use high resolutions, so if you can find a good single slot PCI-e mobo.

    I've done a quick spec for what you require below, i know its over budget, but i was being optimistic on what your brother could raise from selling parts, plus the budget you stated above. Anyway here's what i came up with.

    LN14244 AMD AM2 Athlon 64 3200 Orleans Core, 2.0GHz, 512KB Cache, Retail £68.53
    LN14339 ASUS M2N-E NF570, Socket AM2, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 800, SATA II, SATA RAID, £67.93
    LN10405 1GB (2X512MB) Corsair Value Select, DDR2 PC5400 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15 £57.52
    LN8089 Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 OEM Single £56.58
    LN13747 256Mb Leadtek 7600GS Mem Clock 800 MHz, GPU 400 MHz, 12 Pipes, Dual DVI-I HDTV £79.07

    total = 329.63 but there would be delivery on top of that.

    Its a £100 over your budget but you may be able to find cheaper prices from somewhere other than scan, or maybe your brother can raise the difference selling off the parts you mentioned earlier.

    Anyway hope this helps

    Andy

  6. #6
    Resident Hexus Folder Golden Dragoon's Avatar
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    • Golden Dragoon's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
      • CPU:
      • 1045T X6@ 4.0ghz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Corsair Vengeance
      • Storage:
      • 64GB Crucial M4 + 500GB & 2TB Deskstars
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460
      • PSU:
      • XFX 650W
      • Case:
      • Akasa Infiniti
      • Operating System:
      • 7 + OS X
    How would that leadtek compare to the Galaxy he wants to get? http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=5588
    And thinking about it, has anyone found a UK supplier of those galaxy cards yet? I found a german one a while back, but can't find it again.

  7. #7
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    AMD AM2 Athlon 64 3000 Orleans Core, 1.8GHz, 512KB Cache, Retail £62.63
    MSI AM2 K9N NEO-F NF550, Socket AM2, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £50.03
    1GB Corsair Value Select, DDR2 PC5300 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15 £54.23
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 OEM Single £56.58
    total = £223.47 as you said that the budget is excluding the graphics card.
    board was cheapest nf5 i could see. couldnt find any reviews with a quick look but from other boards msi tend to get good reviews.

    as you said budget excluding graphics card hear are a couple of 7600gs/gt i found to compare price
    256Mb Leadtek 7600GS Mem Clock 800 MHz, GPU 400 MHz, 12 Pipes, Dual DVI-I HDTV £79.07 Inc VAT
    256Mb Leadtek 7600GT Mem Clock 1400 MHz, GPU 560 MHz, 12 Pipes, Dual DVI-I HDTV £117.49 Inc VAT

    although the gt is more expensive it has much better performance.

  8. #8
    Resident Hexus Folder Golden Dragoon's Avatar
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    • Golden Dragoon's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
      • CPU:
      • 1045T X6@ 4.0ghz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Corsair Vengeance
      • Storage:
      • 64GB Crucial M4 + 500GB & 2TB Deskstars
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460
      • PSU:
      • XFX 650W
      • Case:
      • Akasa Infiniti
      • Operating System:
      • 7 + OS X
    yes the budget is ex. the graphics card as he will have upto about £100 to spend on that once he sells his curent components.

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