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New build - advice - compatibility issues?

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
After a very long time of being out of the game, and being unable to even really upgrade, I'm finally in a position to build a decent rig. My biggest problem is that I haven't kept up with the latest hardware.

I don't plan on overclocking, just yet (I will be soon, but not until I school myself all over again), and I'm sticking with air cooling for now.

I've heard of some compatibility issues with SLi and certain games, and with Maxtor drives and NF4 Northbridge, and I'm wondering if there's a huge problem in that area, and also if I'm missing other things that would be obvious to those of you who (I envy) have lived and breathed this stuff more recently...

Here's where I'm at so far, and I order this wednesday...


Motherboard:
ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce SPP 100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail$224.99

Processor:
AMD Opteron 175 Denmark 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model OSA175CDBOX - Retail$504.00

Memory:
OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Platinum System Memory Model OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K - Retail$219.99

Video Card:
eVGA 256-P2-N529-AX Geforce 7800GTX 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail$489.00
eVGA 256-P2-N529-AX Geforce 7800GTX 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail$489.00

Sound Card:
Creative SOUND BLASTER X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail$283.00

Speakers:
Creative GigaWorks S750 700 Watts 7.1 Speaker - Retail$429.99

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM$154.00
Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR 400GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 RAID-specific Hard Drive - OEM$209.00
Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD4000YR 400GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 RAID-specific Hard Drive - OEM$209.00

External Enclosure:
Athena Power EB-2215C 2.5" USB + IEEE 1394 External Enclosure - Retail$32.99

Case:
Thermaltake Tai-Chi VB5001SNA Black/ Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case with liquid cooling system - Retail$429.99

Power Supply Unit:
OCZ PowerStream OCZ520ADJSLI 520W Power Supply - Retail$139.99

UPS:
OPTI-UPS Enhanced Series ES1000C 1000VA 700W UPS - Retail$116.49

Mouse:
Logitech G7 931375-0403 2-Tone 6 Buttons 1x Wheel USB RF Laser Mouse - Retail$64.98

Monitor:
SAMSUNG 244t-Black 24" 6ms (G to G) LCD Monitor - Retail$1,354.99
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Opteron 180 @ 2.4Ghz DFI LP NF4 SLi-DR Expert Windows XP Pro SP2 Westinghouse 37" 
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Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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post #2 of 88
Welcome to Overclock.net, we're pleased to have & help you.
First things first, new members should use the "User CP" in the toolbar and fill out your current computer rig profile and signature so all of us here can help you when we see what you have got !

Secondly, it'll be helpful if we know what you'll use the rig for.
Personally, I can't see investing in a X2 4800 when you can use an X2 3800 and do a slight overclock to it to perform faster and better for a fraction of the money.
Welcome again!
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post #3 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenzo
Welcome to Overclock.net, we're pleased to have & help you.
First things first, new members should use the "User CP" in the toolbar and fill out your current computer rig profile and signature so all of us here can help you when we see what you have got !

Secondly, it'll be helpful if we know what you'll use the rig for.
Personally, I can't see investing in a X2 4800 when you can use an X2 3800 and do a slight overclock to it to perform faster and better for a fraction of the money.
Welcome again!

Thanks for the welcome.

Right now, I kind of thought it would be a little bit pointless to put my current rig in profile, since it's 5 years old, and I am giving it to my mother after I build a completely new one later this week.

Quick question on your overclock comment, even though I don't have plans to overclock just yet. If I can overclock the X2 3800 now to out-perform the 4800, couldn't I overclock the 4800 as well, for an even better improvement?
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CPUMotherboardOSMonitor
Opteron 180 @ 2.4Ghz DFI LP NF4 SLi-DR Expert Windows XP Pro SP2 Westinghouse 37" 
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Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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post #4 of 88
tHE X2 4800 will overclock as well, but won't go as far ( % wise). All AMD single and dual cores overclock. What happens is, when AMD makes cpu's, sometimes the demand increases for the slower speeds and they use wafers from the upper end speed processers and sell them as lower speed processors (after they lower the multiplier). These lower end cpu's tend to sell as 3800's but are capable of much higher speeds. They don't like to admit this though.
Anyway, you can save a bunch by getting a less inexpensive cpu and overclocking it.
Currently, the "AMD Opterons" are the rage. An "Opteron 165" (dual core) might be your best option at the moment.
Top of the line motherboards are DFI Lanparty's and Asus A8N's.
I love the older Abit's but they haven't applied themselves too hard lately.
Read reviews at NEWEGG.COM for any item your interested in.
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SEA 1TB, 7200 64 Lite-On / Samsung 22x 7 64 Samsung P2770, 27" 
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post #5 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SideTraKd
Thanks for the welcome.

Right now, I kind of thought it would be a little bit pointless to put my current rig in profile, since it's 5 years old, and I am giving it to my mother after I build a completely new one later this week.

Quick question on your overclock comment, even though I don't have plans to overclock just yet. If I can overclock the X2 3800 now to out-perform the 4800, couldn't I overclock the 4800 as well, for an even better improvement?
that sounds feasible on paper, but i haven't read up on people OCing their 4800 to 3GHz+. remember, YMMV from the dozens that you read or heard about online. while there are a lot of threads floating around about a 3800+ or 165 OCing like a dream, there are more out there that you don't hear about, because it's not so spectacular.

Mobo:
not a knock on any particular company, but just make sure you'll have enough room with what you plan on sticking inside your case. for example, VGA cards with a bigger then normal HSF in SLI. how much room will you have for your sound card or any other PCI card.

CPU:
4400+ it's a step down, same cache, but if you see yourself overclocking in the future, do you really want to spend over 120 USD for only 200MHz?

Video:
i know Asus is a very reputable company, heck i'm a fan of their motherboards, but their video cards are overpriced and don't perform as well as others. my advice is eVGA or XFX if you're sticking with an Nvida based card since you'll be going with an Nvidia based motherboard. i would also wait for a month for Nvidia to debut their new cards.

Sound:
i personally don't see much of a difference between an Audigy 2 ZS and that Fatality.

Speakers:
7.1 is nice, but do you have desktop real estate to place all those speakers? i personally game with a good set of headphones since i also use Teamspeak/Ventrilo

HD:
4 of the same 250GB HDs? can you elaborate what your use will be for this?
i have a Raptor for an OS/Application drive and a bigger SATA 3.0 drive for media. i plan on upgrading to a bigger WD.

as for the rest i don't have an opinion on at the moment. whichever way you go, i'm sure you'll enjoy your new machine. just make sure you do some research before you buy.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Opteron 175 Asus A8N32-SLI eVGA 7950 GX2 Corsair 3500LL Pro 2x1024 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
WD740GD + WD2500KS XP SP2 Dell 2005FPW Logitech G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Seasonic S12 600w Antec P-180 Logitech MX510 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Opteron 175 Asus A8N32-SLI eVGA 7950 GX2 Corsair 3500LL Pro 2x1024 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
WD740GD + WD2500KS XP SP2 Dell 2005FPW Logitech G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Seasonic S12 600w Antec P-180 Logitech MX510 
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post #6 of 88
Thread Starter 
I actually live close to newegg, and plan to order from them. All of these parts are directly from their website, and I have read the reviews on all of them. Good point about the cpus. I didn't realize that they still did that, but I should have known that such a widespread practice would probably never end... lol

As far as the board goes, Newegg only had four boards listed that had full 16x SLi capabilities, and ASUS's board was supposedly having raid issues. I have to admit that I would much prefer to get the ASUS A8N32 if there is a fix for it, though.
My System
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CPUMotherboardOSMonitor
Opteron 180 @ 2.4Ghz DFI LP NF4 SLi-DR Expert Windows XP Pro SP2 Westinghouse 37" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardOSMonitor
Opteron 180 @ 2.4Ghz DFI LP NF4 SLi-DR Expert Windows XP Pro SP2 Westinghouse 37" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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post #7 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SideTraKd
I actually live close to newegg, and plan to order from them. All of these parts are directly from their website, and I have read the reviews on all of them. Good point about the cpus. I didn't realize that they still did that, but I should have known that such a widespread practice would probably never end... lol

As far as the board goes, Newegg only had four boards listed that had full 16x SLi capabilities, and ASUS's board was supposedly having raid issues. I have to admit that I would much prefer to get the ASUS A8N32 if there is a fix for it, though.
The issues your reading about are mostly posted by people who have not configured them properly. Once in a while you get a bad apple. Read reviews. Gotta eat "dinner". Back real soon
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SEA 1TB, 7200 64 Lite-On / Samsung 22x 7 64 Samsung P2770, 27" 
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GameOn....
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SEA 1TB, 7200 64 Lite-On / Samsung 22x 7 64 Samsung P2770, 27" 
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post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenzo
Secondly, it'll be helpful if we know what you'll use the rig for.
Personally, I can't see investing in a X2 4800 when you can use an X2 3800 and do a slight overclock to it to perform faster and better for a fraction of the money.
The 3800 actually has half as much L2 cache, so if you're going to get an x2 you should either get the 4400 or the 4800 since they both have the toledo core, which has 2mb L2 cache. The 3800, 4200, and the 4600 all have the manchester core which has 1mb of L cache.

Since you're going dual-core I would recommend the dual core opertons, because opterons have always proven themselves to run cooler, run more stable, and overclock better. Instead of getting the 4800 save yourself $100 and get the Opteron 175, even though it has a .2Ghz slower clock speed at stock compared to the 4800 you should be able to overclock it more, and it should run cooler.
College Build
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Intel i7 920 D0 | 3.5GHz @ 1.075v 24/7 EVGA x58 SLI LE EVGA GTX 275 3 x 2 GB OCZ DDR3 1600 XMP 
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2 x 640 GB WD Caviar Black Microsoft Vista Ultimate Hanns-G HG-281DPB 28-Inch Logitech G15 
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2 x 640 GB WD Caviar Black Microsoft Vista Ultimate Hanns-G HG-281DPB 28-Inch Logitech G15 
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post #9 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by one43637
that sounds feasible on paper, but i haven't read up on people OCing their 4800 to 3GHz+. remember, YMMV from the dozens that you read or heard about online. while there are a lot of threads floating around about a 3800+ or 165 OCing like a dream, there are more out there that you don't hear about, because it's not so spectacular.

Mobo:
not a knock on any particular company, but just make sure you'll have enough room with what you plan on sticking inside your case. for example, VGA cards with a bigger then normal HSF in SLI. how much room will you have for your sound card or any other PCI card.
Probably next to zero. The two 7800GXTs are going to take up almost all (if not all) of my slots. I plan to put one card in (the SB) IF I can manage even that...

The rest of everything that I intend to add is going to need to be USB or firewire connected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by one43637
CPU:
4400+ it's a step down, same cache, but if you see yourself overclocking in the future, do you really want to spend over 120 USD for only 200MHz?
I don't know. I'm actually a little bit afraid of my inexperience in overclocking to try at this point, with a rig that is going to be extremely valuable to me for at least a while. After the newness of it wears off, I may be tempted. Right now, I'm like a fish out of water that's about to be tossed back into the lake. Being able to build a new pc after five years is a pretty big thing for me, financially, and I won't likely have the chance to do it again for a good while. I'm dying to get my hands on some new gear...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by one43637
Video:
i know Asus is a very reputable company, heck i'm a fan of their motherboards, but their video cards are overpriced and don't perform as well as others. my advice is eVGA or XFX if you're sticking with an Nvida based card since you'll be going with an Nvidia based motherboard. i would also wait for a month for Nvidia to debut their new cards.
Now THIS is EXACTLY the kind of great advice I was looking for...!!! Mind you, there's not a chance in H**L that I could wait a month, because I'm going to be frothing at the mouth as soon as I get my hands on the money I need to order all of this...

But I had no idea that ASUS cards were being outperformed by eVGA and XFX.

That's valuable information to know..!

Quote:
Originally Posted by one43637
Sound:
i personally don't see much of a difference between an Audigy 2 ZS and that Fatality.

Speakers:
7.1 is nice, but do you have desktop real estate to place all those speakers? i personally game with a good set of headphones since i also use Teamspeak/Ventrilo

HD:
4 of the same 250GB HDs? can you elaborate what your use will be for this?
i have a Raptor for an OS/Application drive and a bigger SATA 3.0 drive for media. i plan on upgrading to a bigger WD.

as for the rest i don't have an opinion on at the moment. whichever way you go, i'm sure you'll enjoy your new machine. just make sure you do some research before you buy.
The reason for the card, speakers and drives is that I intend to do a lot of sound manipulation (digital recording), and the speakers are largely going to double as the main sound system in my apartment. These have the best audio range of any that I could find, and the sattelites won't be on my desktop, but positioned throught the main room of my place.

The hard drives are my weakest area, so far as I can tell...

I need the space. I already use close to a TB on my current system. I might even upgrade them to bigger drives. But I keep hearing that the Maxtor drives are having issues with NF4 raid. Is that common in your experience?

By the way guys, thanks for helping. I'm getting in a little over my head here in some areas !
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CPUMotherboardOSMonitor
Opteron 180 @ 2.4Ghz DFI LP NF4 SLi-DR Expert Windows XP Pro SP2 Westinghouse 37" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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My System
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CPUMotherboardOSMonitor
Opteron 180 @ 2.4Ghz DFI LP NF4 SLi-DR Expert Windows XP Pro SP2 Westinghouse 37" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Standard PC P&C 850w Lian Li PC-75 Logitech G7 
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post #10 of 88
wow suck a nice rig!!
a lot over kill tho.. like 4x250g hd?? if i were you i would get 2x74 10000rpm for the system and if you want you can add a 500g for storage!
and with all these stuff get a case the can fit you in!! otherwise it will be too small!!
My System
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q6700 evga 780i broke>< evga 9800 gx2 broke>< 2x2g ocz pc2 1000 
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150g wd 15000 win xp pro & win7 ult 24" samsung logitech g15 
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My System
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q6700 evga 780i broke>< evga 9800 gx2 broke>< 2x2g ocz pc2 1000 
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150g wd 15000 win xp pro & win7 ult 24" samsung logitech g15 
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corsair 850 CM 932 logitech g9 36"x18" 
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