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 Post subject: Advice on a A64 Build
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 17
Location: UK
I've been lurking for a week or so browsing the forums and articles so I thought I'd better sign up. :)

Looking to get a new system to last for a while, it's mainly going to be used for 'multimedia' but some gaming will probably occur as I haven't been able to play newer titles on my current setup. I'd appreciate any input and advice.
Here are my current thoughts:

CPU
A64 Winchester 3200 or 3500
£50 price difference here, is it worth it? Maybe I could run the 3200 @ 3500 speeds? I'm not sure which cooler to choose. The XP-90 or 120 + Fan sound good but will be expensive. Is the Arctic Cooling Freezer any good and are there others to consider?

Motherboard
DFI LanParty UT NF4 Ultra-D
Seems perfect. I'll replace the chipset fan with a Papst fan or Zalman HS if it's easy to mod.

Memory
GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200 Value
A steal at only £65 but would this would be okay if I get a 3200 and increase the FSB?

Graphics Card
6800GT OR X800 XL
I'm not sure here. The 6800GT performs a little better and is definitely better for video - but it costs £70 more. It'll be driving a 24" WS TFT @ 1920x1200... Can either be cooled passively or quietly?

Hard Drive(s)
I already have an IDE 7K250 (might phase this out or is it okay at idle?) and SpinPoint but I need another drive or two. Should I get a pair of SpinPoint's or a larger drive from a different manufactuer? The Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10's sound good and there'd be less heat with just the one drive.

Case
Antec SLK3000B
I'd love a Sonata II but I don't think I can wait that long and this seems like a top case anyway. And this has 2x 120mm fans right? So I'll get 2 Nexus ones. At a later date I could add an AcoustiPack kit. Are there any other bits and bobs I should consider?

PSU
I really have no idea what to go for here. Quiet and reasonably priced. :)

Thanks for any help. I've been deliberating far too much and need to get some things clear.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:34 pm
Posts: 158
CPU In word, no. To be honest the 3000+ is a better buy, your talking about increase of 30% in cost, for like 8% performance and yes you should be able to overclock easily to 3500 speeds and probably quite a bit higher.
That extra money saved can then go on an XP120 and nexus fan and you would have a well cooled, silent cpu.

Motherboard
It is probably the best S939 board available, and as long a you don't mind doing some modding to get a passive heatsink on there a good choice.

Memory Geil is good memory and for that price you can't complain. Moving up to the faster stuff with lower timings is uneconomical, like the cpu, you pay more than the performance increase you get. Good DDR400 will overclock anyway, and there are always memory dividers if you need the system bus to go higher than memory.

Gaphics Card Both can be cooled with Arctic Cooling coolers very quietly. I have an agp 6800 with nv5 and it doesn't make a peep. It's a tough choice though, both are very similar inperformance, but the X800XL is a fair bit cheaper and would be my choice if I had PCI-E

Hard Drive There are supposed to be newer spinpoints coming out but for the time being a Maxtor 10 is my rcomendation. Not as quiet as a spinpoint but the larger capacity negates the need for several drive so this makes it better overall

Case The antec case is a good case, but you could put some of the money you save on the cpu towards the silverstone Temjin TJ06

PSU Your in the uk right? Seasonics aren't to easy to source and are a bit pricey. Your best bet is an Enermax Noisetaker 485W, to get it truly silent you would need to modify it but it's a good unit

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Posts: 2674
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe
I think putting an XP-120 on a A64 Winchester is a waste of money. Look at some of my results with a AC Freezer 64 on an A64 3000+. I'd get an A64 3000+ or 3200+ depending on the price difference.

Your planning to buy Nexus fans, so your supplier probably has Nexus PSU's too. The NX-4090 is their best model.

You picked a good case.

I have no opinion on the other points


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 17
Location: UK
Thanks very guys. This is my current shopping list:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Winchester To be on the safe side
GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200
GeForce 6800 GT Not really worth it but my main purpose is video
DFI LanParty UT NF4 Ultra-D
Arctic Cooling Rev.2 nVidia 5
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 The XP-120 does sound like overkill and this is so cheap
Antec SLK3000B
SilenX 40mm Fan For NB, so I don't need to cut up the VGA cooler
2x Nexus 120mm Fan
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 200/250/300Gb

So I'm left needing a PSU basically. Sea Sonic seem to be the best but which one to go for, SS-351HT or SS-350HS? How do the Nexus PSU's compare to these? The pricing is similar. And will 350W suffice, it seems like it should.
One other question. I think the only fan I need to slow down is the one on the Freezer 64 so shall I just get a single Fanmate 2?
Oh and are there any little bits and peices like fan screws and mounts that I might need or want to consider?

Whew, nearly ready to order. I think the NF4 has all the cables so all I need is some AS5. I've never used this before so I may make some mistakes, will one tube be enough for CPU, GPU and perhaps NB?

Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:30 pm 
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Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe
If you can get an SS-351HT by all means take it. It is the bulk version of Seasonics new PSU (S12). It's older brother is better than the Nexus PSU. There is no review of the S12 yet, but there are also no signals that it will be worse.

The Fanmate 2 for the Freezer is a good idea. Depending on how quiet and hot you want to go you might want to think about fanmates for the VGA Silencer and the case fans too. Or a [url=http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=1&code=017]
ZM-MFC1[/url], which is basically four fanmates and two switches in a handy panel.

Screwing fans is generally not a good idea, as this way fan vibrations can be transfered to the case. In you're handy, then look at: New Fan Mount Design....DIY. If you have two left hands, then buy something like this.

Even the smallest packages of Arctic Silver are enough to mount several heatsinks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:34 pm
Posts: 158
You should note that there is a problem to do with the 6800 ranges video procesor unit, I don't know if this affects the pci-e range or not though you'll have to read around, but basically pure video doesn't work, so no hardware accelerated HD video though standard dvd's HW acceleration does work.
For instance with my agp 6800 playing a dvd uses about 2% cpu, but HD wmv files are unplayable and divx/xvid files use about 40% cpu compared with 20% with my old 9800

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 17
Location: UK
Ah, I see now. I was looking at model numbers on the SS site. I can't get either. I can only get the SS-350-FB. I think I will get the Nexus, £10 less and I want to order other items from the same retailer.
Edit: Hmm maybe I will go Seasonic as the Nexus fans are in stock at the same place and out where I wanted to order from.

I'll have a look at the ZM-MFC1 and other controllers. The system should be cool enough to turn down a few and the SLK3000B has 6 external drive bays and I only have 1 DVD-RW to fill them with!

Well, now all I have to order is order. Thank you very much for all your help.

Graham, you're right, the WMVHD decoding doesn't work on the Ultra or GT. Only on the 6600 Series and the PCI-E 6800. I'll decide on a GPU tomorrow. I may get the X800 XL still, I really should as it's so much less and I don't think I'll notice the difference. And with the 6800GT I'll have to pay another $20 for the decoder.


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