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 Post subject: Advice on new system
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:06 am
Posts: 3
I haven't built a pc for a looong time (10 years or so), so I'm completly out of touch and need some advice. Main use will be Photoshop and programming. I'm no hardcore gamer (haven't played at all for the last years since my current laptop is too slow), but it would be nice if I'm able to try the new games (but top-notch performance is not an issue). I'm also planning to run both xp pro and linux.

I prefer not do any modding (cutting grills etc), so it should be out of the box and easy to install, and I hope to order everything from newegg. And finally, I live in manhattan, so my demands to a silent pc probably isn't quite as extreme as some of the more hardcore enthusiasts on this forum.

Case:
Antec 3700 BQE seems to be a safe choice? I would prefer a firewire on the front, but can live without it. The other cases with higher score on the recommended list didn't seem to be available from newegg? Will I need an additional fan in addition to the stock one?

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 2800+ (Socket 754). Nice price and probably enough power? How much will I gain by moving to 3000+/939? I don't expect to upgrade my cpu again anytime soon...

Mobo:
MSI "K8T Neo-FIS2R". Has firewire and supports (AFAIK) Cool'n'Quiet (both are important). Seems to get good reviews?

Cpu cooler:
Arctic Cooling CPU Cooler, "Silencer 64 TC". This was part of Frontier PC's budget pc. It is nice and cheap, but is it good enough or should I consider XP-90 (if so, I would need an extra fan too, right)? Will Arctic Silver 5 make any difference?

Memory:
Kingston 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200 (I just picked one). Might buy an additonal 512 later on if I find that I need it. Do I need to consider anything else here?

HD:
SAMSUNG 160GB 7200RPM SATA, seems to quiet? Any other (quieter) 160GB+ around?

DVD:
NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive, Black, Model ND-3500A BK. Found some good reviews. Other burners I should consider?

Video card:
This is the hard one. I'm tempted by something like ASUS ATI RADEON 9200SE Video Card, 128M DDR which at $48 is cheap, and without a fan should be quiet. But I have a feeling this will give me problems with newer games? What would guys otherwise recommend (say up to $140)?

Have I missed anything that I also need? E.g. is it easy to control the fans through the mobo, or do I need a separate controller? Will linux have problems with this system? Any other problems?

Thanks alot!

Finally a suggestion: It would be nice if you had 2-3 (or more) recommended silent systems with complete shopping lists. E.g. one budget/low-end, one mid-range and one high-end/gaming (maybe two of each with AMD or Intel). That would have made it a lot easier to put something together...


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 Post subject: Video card update
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:06 am
Posts: 3
I'm now looking at a SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9600XT Video Card, 128MB DDR, cooled with the Zalman (ZM80D-HP). Anyone forsee any problems with this solution (does it fit the mobo)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:05 am
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Quote:
Will I need an additional fan in addition to the stock one?

Probably not with a single Samsung hdd. Front fans usually only cool the hdd and not help much with the rest of the case

Quote:
How much will I gain by moving to 3000+/939?

Much, if it's the new winchester core CPU. The power draw on those CPUs seem A LOT less than anything else. It'll both help you run your CPU cooler slower/quiter and also draw less power from your PSU, releasing less heat.

Quote:
Will Arctic Silver 5 make any difference?

IMO, Yes. Arctic Silver is kind of apply-it-forget-it thermal paste. Most others I've seen dry out over time.

Quote:
SAMSUNG 160GB 7200RPM SATA

Try to get one with a NIDEC motor. The other one is JVC. You want the NIDEC one. The brand is printed on the round metal on the underside of the harddisk.

For video, that 9600XT is a good cheap choice. It's not very powerful but the 9200SE just isn't for games, the performance is extremely lousy. There may however be an issue with that passive heatsink and your MSI motherboard. Other people in the know will probably drop in on this.

Cooling a high-end Intel CPU is becoming almost impossible. I'd stay away from them, especially considering that you want a gaming system which is AMDs forte.

9600XT is a good gaming card for today - average performance, good price, passive, etc. However, if you want any kind of longevity, it might be a better idea to go with a stronger card and install some version of Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer on it.

And...

WELCOME TO SPCR !!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:21 am
Posts: 363
Location: Houston, TX, USA
I agree with everything that burcakb just wrote.

One thing to keep in mind with Socket 939 CPUs is that the speed ratings assumes they are run with the memory in dual channel mode. They can run in single channel mode, but they will be somewhat slower. For example, a Socket 939 3000+ run in single channel mode will run like a Socket 754 2800+. Socket 754 uses a single channel memory configuration only. Just something to keep in mind when buying RAM. The only CPUs that use the Winchester core right now are all Socket 939. I agree with what burcakb says about the Winchesters running cooler.

The Radeon 9600XT should work just fine. In general, NVIDIA's Linux 3D drivers are much better than ATI's, but if you limit your gaming to Windows XP. that should not be too much of an issue. There is Linux support for Cool'n'Quiet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 4:37 am
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What kind of monitor are You going to use? Few years back the low-end GFX cards had really horrible RAMDACs, which caused poor image quality at higher resolutions.

Haven't really been following the current low-end market, maybe not all cheap cards have a DVI-I connector?

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject: Re: Video card update
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:49 am
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Location: London, UK
Bitt wrote:
I'm now looking at a SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9600XT Video Card, 128MB DDR, cooled with the Zalman (ZM80D-HP). Anyone forsee any problems with this solution (does it fit the mobo)?


I have exactly that situation - silent and no problems, not with your mobo (I have an MSI 939 mobo where there would be issues with the NB cooling fan, the Neo2 K8N).

Anyway, I was very happy with my passively cooled (silent) 9600XT - I have the 256MB, but if you can find one cheaper with 128MB it probably makes little difference. My other card is a 9700pro - this is about twice the frame rate on "tough" games but at a real cost, no longer will passive cooling cut it - this one needs and arctic cooler (and would also have cost more, except it was 2nd hand).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:02 am 
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I still consider the 9700Pro an all-time winner. Damn fast, best investment ever considering for how long the card has held its own (ok maybe the Ti4200 would challange that). I think you can find secondhands on ebay at roughly the cost of a 9600XT. Do add a ACVS though. If you go with the passive Zalman sink, it definitely needs the optional fan.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:06 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for the feedback!

I plan to use a Syncmaster 17" lcd, but I haven't decided on the exact model yet (difficult to find information on the difference between them).

I think I'll go with the 9600xt as silence is more important than performance (for now anyways). If I start gaming a lot and it becomes an issue, I'll upgrade later on.

Is it possible to check the motor (NIDEC/JVC) when purchasing from e.g. newegg?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:57 pm
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If you do wind up going socket 754, I highly recommend the ASUS k8n-e mb. I have mine with an A64 3000+ undervolted to 1.1V. I don't know how that compares to the winchester cpus, but this MB CPU combo is super easy to keep cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 2:08 pm
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Location: in the kitchen stirring the pot (Ohio, USA)
I'm running a ASUS A8V with a winchester AMD 3500+ (socket 939).
The AMD has a Zulman 7000b alcu fan.
The Kong Fai case has a nexus 120mm exhaust fan.
Right now, as I'm writing this; the AMD "Quiet Cool" feature is saying the processor is running at 1000Mhz @ 1.075v. SpeedFan says the Zulman is turning at 1844rpm and the temps are 28c.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:57 pm
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Sorry, I should have mentioned that its at 1.1V running at 2.0Ghz.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:05 am
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Location: Turkey
eidolon, you can turn that Zalman fan all the way down to 700 (you'll need an extra resistor/fanmate to go below 1300) and still stay at around low 30s.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:13 pm
Posts: 100
Boy I wish I'd found this earlier. Your spec sheet is, almost line for line, identical to one I proposed yesterday.

Very few opinions on the Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 TC, it seems.

DI


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