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 Post subject: Advice needed on this PC spec
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:49 pm
Posts: 20
Hi, what do you think of these parts for the PC that I'm building?

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Case:
Antec Sonata Midi Tower in Piano Black Trupower 380W PSU - 9 Drive Bays
£75 inc VAT.

Case silencing:
AcoustiPack Pre-cut Kit For Antec Sonata.
£33 + vat.

Motherboard:
Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe SKTA NVNorce2ST ATX 8xAGP Giga LAN, SATA, Firewire, 6 channel Audio, USB2 Dual chan. DDR +WiFi slot (up to DDR400)
£60 inc VAT

Processor:
AMD Athlon XP2500 333FSB 512 L2 Cache Barton Retail Boxed Inc Heatsink
£45 + vat

Graphics card:
Gainward Fx Powerpack! Pro/660 AGPx 8 TV-DVI Fx5200 128MB Retail Box
£39 inc VAT

Hard disk (SATA):
Approx £70+vat for 200Gb Maxtor.

Floppy drive:
USB floppy.
£15 + vat.

Memory:
Crucial 512 DDR400 PC3200 DIMM.
£62 inc VAT.

Monitor:
CTX 19" monitor.
£100 inc VAT.
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This comes to approx £530 inc VAT, which is just over my budget of £450.

I read that buying 2 memory sticks works better than just one. Does this mean that if I want 512Mb RAM then my PC will run faster if I buy two 256Mb sticks?

Is there anything else I've left out? Any advice on these parts? Any advice on how to make this even quieter?

Thanks,

May :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:31 am
Posts: 520
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Changes I would make:

Don't get acoustiPack - you're on a budget, and this has a very low noise reduction/cost ratio. Getting better Heatsinks and Fans will have a much more dramatic reduction in noise.

Get a better HSF for your processor - I recommend the Zalman cnps7000a-alcu, very quiet at 5v with the included fan controler.

Get a different hard drive - Both Samsung and Seagate sell very quiet drives. Maxtor drives are not nearly as quiet.

Get a different Case. The Antec SLK3700-BQE is highly recommended, though there are plenty of other good choices. It comes with a 350w power supply which is more then enough for your needs and it's cheaper, has a more open front bezel meaning more airflow, and doesn't have the cheesy blue lights of the sonata.

Also, I don't know if the video card you have selected is passively cooled or not. I do know that video card fans will drive you mad as they're often tiny little fans that spin at 5000+ rpms. So if it is you might look at passively cooled 5200s or maybe even the radeon 9600.

And yes running 2 memory sticks will be faster than one if they're run in dual channel mode. Most new motherboards support this. The performance difference isn't very big though (Something like 10% faster memory benchmarks meaning a few percent faster performance running most programs). If I were you I would get the single stick of 512MB and upgrade to 1GB later.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 10:33 am
Posts: 330
Location: Keene, New Hampshire, USA
I think that you should go with the Athlon XP 2500+ mobile, not retail, and spend some extra money on a better heatsink/fan combo. However, I think you SHOULD stay with the AcoustiPack. It makes more of a difference than most believe, if I had to do it all over again, I'd still get it.

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Antec P180, 3200+ Venice, Gigabyte A8N Ultra-9, 1gb RAM (2x512) PQi Turbo, eVGA 6600GT w/ NVSilencer, Audigy2ZS, XP-120, S12 430W PSU, 1.2TiB HDD Space


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:49 pm
Posts: 20
Thanks for your replies.

@MonsterMac:
Is a XP2500+mobile for laptops? What sort of desktop PC motherboard accepts mobile Athlon chips?

I will order a Zalman heatsink, as suggested. Will it fit ok on the Asus A7N8X-E motherboard?

I really do need a quiet PC so I will order the AcoustiPack. I have heard, as you say, that it has a low silence/cost ratio.

About the 3700BQE case, is it really a lot better than the Sonata? I read in another thread that the Sonata is 2Db quieter. So why opt for a 3700BQE?

Thanks,

May :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:16 am 
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Patron of SPCR

Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 12:14 am
Posts: 475
Location: Leeds, UK
BQE - £20 cheaper, less restricted airflow (intake on Sonata is especially poor).

XP Mobile is still socket A. May need BIOS update for support. Also need to check your chosen motherboard supports the lower voltage the XP-M takes.

Apologies for lack of grammar.

_________________
X2 4200+, XP-90 + Nexus 92mm, VTX 5750, SLK3700-BQE + AcoustiPack, 2 Nexus 120mm, Asrock 939Dual-SATA2, Raptor 74GB, Pioneer DVR-109B, S12 430. [url="http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16171"]SPCR thread[/url].
[url="http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=48281"]HTPC build[/url] - NSK2480, Biostar TA690G, 4850e, Asus EAH5570 Silent, Minja, 4 GB RAM, WD GP .75TB + 1.5TB, iHES208 BD, Win7MC.


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