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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a noob to posting on this forum, so I'm not sure if my comp specs show up or not...
Currently, I'm looking to build a new system that will be better than sufficient for now, mostly because I don't wanna upgrade for a while (a year or two)
I also want it to be easily upgradeable if/when I do decide to go through w/ it
I will be keeping a few of my old parts for now and waiting for the prices to go down on some of the newer products before I buy
Anyway, I've been researching this stuff for days, and this is the setup I came up w/ (for my budget of approx. 1k):

CPU: Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester core
Motherboard: Abit AV8 3rd Eye
Memory: 512mb x2 Micron (single channel... not much performance gain from dual)
Hard Drive: Seagate SATA II 160gb x 2 (probly no RAID)
Case: Antec Performance Plus 1080AMG

I currently run an AIW Radeon 8500 128mb and will get a new card when prices go down for current AGP cards...
(I don't wanna bother w/ PCI Express right now, because the technology is new and will probly be improved upon, i.e. AGP, DDR, ATA, etc.)
Sound, I have a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Gamer on Logitech Z-5300 and am definitely keeping these
My monitor... a Samsung SyncMaster 753DF, which I'm keeping for now...
I'll be keeping my old mouse and keyboard, along w/ my current CD burner (TDK VeloCD 52x)

I may or may not OC this system yet, depending on how satisfied I am w/ the stock results...
If I do, would these parts be able to sustain a moderate OC'ing?
If I do OC, I am considering either the Thermaltake Venus 12 or the Thermaltake Silent Boost K8
Are these good for the price?

Also, I really want the Plextor PX-716SA or the Plextor PX-716A DVD burner
One is SATA and the other is reg. IDE
One thing I noticed is that the PX-716SA is SATA and the Abit AV8 line has only 2 SATA connectors...
Is there any way I can run both SATA hard drives and an SATA DVD burner all at once?
If so, is there some sort of adapter? Is there a loss in performance?
Is the SATA version even worth the time and money, or should I just get the IDE version?

Anyway, would this be a good comp setup?
It may not be the "best bang for my buck" but I did choose these brands with performance, stability, and overall reliability playing major parts in my decision-making process.
Sorry for the long novel, but I just have a lot of questions...

Please, any comments/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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You're system looks pretty good.

But if it was me I would go with a socket 754 system. The only advantage the S939 has over 754 is the dual channel and your not even going to be using it.

A DFI Lanparty UT with a A64 DTR3400 will perform better than the system mentioned, you'll probably save money, and if you decide to overclock you'd have all the options you'd ever need.

For HSF the thermalright XP90/XP120 are really really good. Even if you're not overclocking, you can never have enough cooling, and if you should ever decide to overclock, you'd have plenty of headroom.
 

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When you say "Memory: 512MB x2 Micron", do you mean 2 512MB sticks? Because thats dual channel whether you want it or not.

And I would go skt939, but if you don't want to have to upgrade again for a few years and (potentially) have good ocing options, then wait for an Nforce4 motherboard. The 3500+ Winchester is 90nm, so it'll be cooler to start with.
 

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I've got the AV8 3rd eye and 3200 A64 Winchester cpu.

Great motherboard that has more individual settings than you really will ever need. The wee clock is a gismo but a good one.

Make sure it has the updated bios to run the Winchester chip though as early versions don't work, I know, I've had one.

Definately recommend 939 over 754 if only for future upgrades, but dual channel does make a fair bit of difference.
 

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Future processors for a starter.

AMD don't plan to go further than a 64bit 4000 with the 754 and they are already at 3800.

....and 939 is also their "flagship" range.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Captain Bawsack

Future processors for a starter.

AMD don't plan to go further than a 64bit 4000 with the 754 and they are already at 3800.

....and 939 is also their "flagship" range.

Well if he buys a processor and mobo now, chances are by the time he upgrades his processor, there will be way better motherboard with improved chipsets and new features...

Plus, most people upgrade both mobo, and chip when they finally decided to make major upgrades to their computers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks a lot for the suggestions, all you guys...

Evil XP2400,

I've kinda had my heart set on s939 instead of s754 from the very start, mainly becuase of the supposed decrease in power consumption and heat...
I want something more "efficient," if you will...
I want to have options in the future if/when I do decide to upgrade
For example, I want to be able to replace my CPU w/o a new mobo, memory, etc.
I can also upgrade to PCI-e simply by upgrading my mobo and vid card, rather than upgrading my CPU also...
Just a couple of examples... You get the picture...

No offense, but I have my doubts about DFI
I know someone who has in-depth knowledge of the motherboard industry because he has worked in that field for years actually repairing them...
Years ago when I bought my Epox mobo, I got it for all the "features" despite his warnings about the brand...
Needless to say, I hate this mobo... incompatibility issues... cold boot issues... just a pain in the arse
Anyway, he warned me about this brand also, recommending only Abit, Asus, Super Micro, and a handful of other brands to consider...
So, although I realize I may not be getting as many features that may prove useful, I am pretty confident I'll be more than satisfied with an Abit.

Also, I checked out the XP120/XP90, and those are friggin' monstrous

Not to mention, those are a bit on the expensive side...
Is there a more economical solution in terms of Air cooling?
Mainly, I'm looking for something that will do a decent job, with minimal noise
After all, if I decide to OC at all, I'd just want a moderate overclocking... nothing too extreme

muffin,

I meant 2 sticks of single-channel Micron memory, 512mb each
It seems to me nForce4 is gonna be a while away, and I don't wanna wait that long

Captain Bawsack,

I could definitely use a second opinion from someone who has a similar setup...
Have you had any issues w/ your setup other than the Abit/Winchester problem?
Have you used both single-channel and dual-channel on that setup?
If so, how much of a performance gain would you estimate you have?
I can get 1 stick of 1gb Dual-Channel Samsung RAM for about $40 more than what I would be paying for the Micron...
Would you recommend jumping on that now or waiting for the price of Dual-Channel to go down like I had originally intended?
Are you overclocking?
If so, what kinda setup and speeds are you running?

Lastly, does anybody have anything to say about the Plextor PX-716SA and the PX-716A I'm looking at?
I have searched and have found no information about my concern...
Probly cuz those drives aren't even out yet?

Once again, thanks for your input, and any more comments/suggestions will be greatly appreciated...
I'm all ears...
 

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I too recommend getting a Socket 754 ClawHammer chip like a DTR. Dual Channel memory is useless unless you need a lot of memory bandwidth, and if you're doing mostly gaming with this you don't need that much. But the 1MB of L2 you get on a ClawHammer core will prove to be very beneficial in any and all applications you run. Socket 939 is an advertising ploy to get people to spend money on things they don't need, yes a 2.2GHz 3500 939 is faster than a 2.2GHz 3200 754 but only slightly and they costs quite a bit more still, and from what I've seen at least, 754 still over clocks much better due to the more simplistic memory controler. Winchesters up to the 3500 use 1.4vcore instead of the 1.5 of NewCastles/ClawHammers and that's the only reason they run cooler, but if you buy a 3500 it'll run just as hot. The only reason I'd consider Socket 939 is nFroce 4 and PCIe SLI, but since you don't want to wait the whole 4 weeks for that to come out there's no point in Socket 939.

About the DFI boards, true they had their problems in the past with bad BIOS flashes, cold boots, and I've even heard that there were issues of PCI/AGP slots not lining up correctly, but the new DFI LANParty UT nf3-250Gb is the single and best motherboard you can buy. It was actually designed by Oskar Wu, who used to design boards for Abit, and he built the board from the bottom up to be an overclocker.
 

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I originally used a MSI K8N Neo 2 Platinum board with my A64 3200 "Winchester" chip but found the motherboard not very overclocking friendly. Hence, I bought an ABIT AV8 3rd Eye due to the excellent overclocking reviews it is getting.

The first Abit board I got didn't work. After reading up on this I found that the bios has to be updated to run the Winchester chips. Unfortunately this was an expensive problem because Royal Mail LOST the motherboard I was returning to get re-flashed. To top that, they would only insure it up to £28 so I'm £60 out of pocket because of some dirty low-life that works for them. This has been my only problem.

Anyway, I ordered a new one with a flashed bios. Out of the box there is no noticable difference in performance. I haven't had much of a chance to play with settings yet but already know that you can lock the AGP and PCi slots on this board which I couldn't on the MSi. The layout of the board for my case was also better (but that is a matter of opinion).

I will be setting it up proper this week and benchmarking it so will let you know how I get on.
 

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Also

I have had my problems with DFI motherboards in the past, but I have no problems in recommending their boards. Once they are set up right, especially if you are overclocking, they are cracking boards.

I do agree to a certain extent that socket 939 is a marketing ploy. Unlike the Athlon and Duron processors which shared the same socket A platform, what AMD are now doing is to completely split their budget/flagship processors by putting them on different platforms with the Semperon (socket 754) and Athlon (Socket 939).

I don't agree though that 754 is any cheaper than 939. At the end of the day they are about the same, just that with Dual Channel memory you will need two sticks to use it. I have now built 2 of each platform and the difference is minimal.

Also, and I do admit that I don't fully understand the gubbins of cache, AMD chips don't depend on L2 cache as much as Intel chips. There is also a bigger difference between 128/512 cache than 512/1meg cache. The difference between an AMD chip with 512 and one with 1meg is minimal. Just what I have read.

Hope this is of some help.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by YiffyGriffy

I too recommend getting a Socket 754 ClawHammer chip like a DTR. Dual Channel memory is useless unless you need a lot of memory bandwidth, and if you're doing mostly gaming with this you don't need that much. But the 1MB of L2 you get on a ClawHammer core will prove to be very beneficial in any and all applications you run. Socket 939 is an advertising ploy to get people to spend money on things they don't need, yes a 2.2GHz 3500 939 is faster than a 2.2GHz 3200 754 but only slightly and they costs quite a bit more still, and from what I've seen at least, 754 still over clocks much better due to the more simplistic memory controler. Winchesters up to the 3500 use 1.4vcore instead of the 1.5 of NewCastles/ClawHammers and that's the only reason they run cooler, but if you buy a 3500 it'll run just as hot. The only reason I'd consider Socket 939 is nFroce 4 and PCIe SLI, but since you don't want to wait the whole 4 weeks for that to come out there's no point in Socket 939.

About the DFI boards, true they had their problems in the past with bad BIOS flashes, cold boots, and I've even heard that there were issues of PCI/AGP slots not lining up correctly, but the new DFI LANParty UT nf3-250Gb is the single and best motherboard you can buy. It was actually designed by Oskar Wu, who used to design boards for Abit, and he built the board from the bottom up to be an overclocker.

Nforce4 is out in 1 week.

skt939 is not all that expensive.

SLI!!!!

...and I hope you people are aware that Mobile64 chips are locked above the default multi (11), ie, you can go from 3-11, but not higher...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just wanna say thanks a lot for the input, guys...
I'll take all your comments into consideration and let you know how it goes...

Just one thing I noticed that I hadn't before...
The AMD market is now divided between hardcore s754 advocates and hardcore s939 advocates, as a result of AMD's push for a product line that has not yet settled into all of our hearts.
Performance-wise, it does not offer enough juice to satisfy everyone, mainly overclockers who can do better w/ current s754 setups for a lesser price.

Dunno... just a thought I had...
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by muffin

Nforce4 is out in 1 week.

skt939 is not all that expensive.

SLI!!!!

...and I hope you people are aware that Mobile64 chips are locked above the default multi (11), ie, you can go from 3-11, but not higher...

Well the 3200 tops @ 10, the 3400 @ 11, and the 3700 @ 12.

Multiplier isnt the reason to get this though, it's 1M l2 cache and also the fact that the mobile CPU's dont have a heat spreader on them which makes the run cooler than the desktop counterpart.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Evil XP2400

Well the 3200 tops @ 10, the 3400 @ 11, and the 3700 @ 12.

Multiplier isnt the reason to get this though, it's 1M l2 cache and also the fact that the mobile CPU's dont have a heat spreader on them which makes the run cooler than the desktop counterpart.

Nope, 3200 tops at 11, and I don't know about the rest.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by zokus

Nope, 3200 tops at 11, and I don't know about the rest.

3400 definatly tops at 11, its what i've got
 

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You guys realise that the s754 and s939 chips have different multipliers for different raitings right? As do the DTR chips. For example the 3200+ Winchester on s754 has an 11 multiplier. On 939 it has a 10 multiplier. It has to do with the chips being more efficent and running better. The Clawhammer based chips are 200 mhz less clockspeed wise than their newcastle counterparts due to the increased performance because of the extra cache.
 

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You will get an excellent system whether you go 754 or 939.

NForce4 sounds great but I just about ***** myself when I seen how much the boards were going for. As usual they will probably be down a good bit in price in the January sales


SLi looks like a great thing for die-hard gamers but at the moment is MILES out of the reach of your average person ---Like Me----. Cost of 2 Graphics cards for a starter. Nvidia should start selling twin packs at a reduced price, like "buy 1 get 1 free"
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Captain Bawsack

SLi looks like a great thing for die-hard gamers but at the moment is MILES out of the reach of your average person ---Like Me----. Cost of 2 Graphics cards for a starter. Nvidia should start selling twin packs at a reduced price, like "buy 1 get 1 free"


lol!
now that would be deal of the century

I'm looking at dual 6600GTs (see sig)
 

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a white van with Nvidia written on side has just pulled up outside.......

the men in white suits are trying to put a nice jacket on me, not sure if I like the idea of the straps being on the back though..........

I don't want to go on the long holiday they are offering me, please help........
 
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