1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Custom built PC dilemma

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by LiquidTV, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    Hi Guys,

    Having spent many hours seeking reviews & advice, I eventually parted with some hard earned cash & bought an LCD monitor which is just awesome.

    I now looking at changing the PC in time for online gaming on broadband next year. As before, I plan to have it custom built either by Mesh or Carrerrssc. I bought my current PC from Mesh & it has been excellent. However, the graphics card is beginning to struggle with games like Far Cry when on maximum settings.

    I plan to include the Nvidia 6800 ultra, Audigy 2 Zs platinum within the spec, but am in a dilemma as to what motherboard/processor to choose.

    I am aware the new PCI express motherboard has arrived on the scene but there a couple of things;

    Fiirstly, is there a PCI express motherboard for Athlon 64 processors or is this only compatible with Intel only.

    Secondly, what is regarded is the better chip the top of the range Intel or the top of the range Athlon 64??

    :lease:
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I believe PCI-e boards for the A64 are due soon, I *think* the nForce4 chipset includes PCI-e.

    As for the 'better' chip, I get the impression that the A64's forte is gaming and that's about it, however, as with most things there are lies, damned lies and benchmarks. :D I think they're much of a muchness in real-world use, these days, for gaming at least, the GPU is far more critical I think.

    Me, I'd probably go AMD, mainly because they're not Intel :).
     
  3. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    KraGorn,
    My exact thoughts...I suppose I could just order the PC then buy a PCIe A64 motherboard when they reach the market.
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Well, it's a long time since I bought a ready-made PC :), but as long as the one you go for isn't anything 'exotic' then replacing the board later should be easy enough.
     
  5. HMHB

    HMHB
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    25,444
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +3,745
    Yes, the nForce4 chipset will include PCI Express. Some versions of it will have 2 of the 16x PCI-e slots so that you can stick in 2 nVidia graphics cards and link them together to get the combined power (SLI - like the old Voodoo cards used to do). I'm not sure if any of the current cards support this at the moment, but if you look at the nVidia web site you will see that they are going this way again.
     
  6. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    The 6600GT and 6800GT I have seen have the SLI connector, AFAIK it's only the base non-GT/non-Ultra cards that don't.

    Strange sense of deja vu :D, wonder if SLI will fly for nVidia, it barely registered for 3DFX IIRC.
     
  7. HMHB

    HMHB
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    25,444
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +3,745
    Same thoughts here - it also makes me wonder what kind of power supply you will need with 2 power hungry graphics cards :eek:
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I've seen mention of 500W and even 600W PSUs needed for PCI-e-based systems.
     
  9. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    Any good benchmark sites re Pentium Vs Athlon. I'm torn between the two. The Athlon 64 is a good chip but is not supported by XP & is unlikely to be for the forseeable future. The intel chip is currently available for use with a PCIe motherboard which is the new up to date architechture & is supposed to be super fast.
     
  10. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Huh? :confused: What aspect of the chip doesn't XP support?

    AMD64 PCI-e boards will be out very soon, the nForce4 chipset looks pretty tasty for an HTPC IMHO.

    Many benchmarks sites around, these are a few I look at:

    http://www.extremetech.com/
    http://www6.tomshardware.com/
    http://www.anandtech.com/
     
  11. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    Sorry didn't make it clear, I was referring to the 64 bit architecture
     
  12. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Ah right, well there'll not be a 64-bit O/S on Intel or AMD for some time, not to mention 64-bit apps etc. The thing about AMD64s is that they run 32-bit natively, whereas Intel's original plan for the Itanium was a software emulation layer. AMD64s can thus out-perform XP+s even if one isn't using the 64-bit part at all .. AMD are simply minimising R&D by only having to develop one core technology rather than two, I'm ignoring Semperon as that's simply a Celeron killer and a product line to dump failed XP+ wafers into. :)
     
  13. Bondy007

    Bondy007
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    91
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    9
    Location:
    Sheep Shagging Country
    Ratings:
    +0
    ?????

    There already is Windows XP 64bit edition, free to download and use for 360 days. This is a beta version but I know of quite a few ppl using it no problems so the proper release cant be that far off

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/64bit/evaluation/upgrade.mspx
     
  14. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Yes indeed, it's a beta .. when we'll actually see it released of course is anyone's guess. :)
     
  15. HMHB

    HMHB
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    25,444
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +3,745
    There have been rumours that Microsoft will not realease it as an uprage option and that it will be only available with a new computer. They claim that the upgrade process from 32 to 64 bit windows could cause a lot of problems.
     
  16. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    I'm again contemplating building my own system having received a disappointing service from MESH. There were a number of issues such as not replying to my e-mails & the also tried to sneakily change the graphics card from the GeForce 6800 Ultra to the ATI X800 XT without telling me. For me this is the most vital component so I'm not having that!!

    I have priced up some components from Dabs which includes an ASUS A8V Deluxe Athlon 64 Mainboard. I want 2Gb of RAM but have a few questions as the re so many different varieties.

    Firstly, I'm after 400mhz DDR memory but are there single 1GB modules I can buy as most I have seen state 1024mb (2X512mb).

    Secondly, what is regarded as the best memory. I would appreciate any recommendations.
     
  17. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Yup, 1Gb modules exist .. such as this Corsair module, this is PC3200 but there are others.

    'Best brand' .. I think the consensus is that Corsair is probably the best, certainly that's the brand recommended for use by overclockers, it also often has the best CAS Latency performance which helps even in non-clocked systems.
     
  18. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    Thanks buddy, I really p****d off with MESH. I placed an order with them for £1800 & their service has been crap. You don't expect bad service before you buy goods!! :thumbsdow

    I need to acquire a Geforce 6800 Ultra but they're sold out everywhere as are the X800 XT PE's. Why has there been such a demand??

    This Overclock site is quite impressive, however I'm trying to take advantage of 0% finance but there are only 3 decent sites (Dabs, Simply & Savastore) that I know of.

    Okay, I've sorted out the memory issue. The next thing is I'm would like to purchase the Coolermaster Stacker. Does this mean machine have a power pack included?? Also, is it sufficient to power the 6800 which I believe is a power hungry beast & requires two power leads to be connected.

    Thanks again to all for your help.
     
  19. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    The 6800U and X800 XTs are top-of-the-line .. and Half-Life 2 recently came out. ;)

    I've just looked at 2 sites offering that case and neither mentioned a PSU .. I suspect it may not.
     
  20. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    I contacted MESH this morning & advised they were unable to get hold of any 6800 Ultra's so told them to shove it. I wasn't happy with their service & trying to change the graphics card without telling me. :mad:

    Anyway, I've seen a BFG 6800 Ultra for sale on PC World Component site which I've ordered. I even rang them to check & they assured me if it is shown for sale then it is in stock. Watch this space!! The bottom line is if I get the card tomorrow, I will obvioulsy build the PC myself.

    This is what I plan to build;

    Case: Coolermaster Stacker
    Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
    Motherboard Features: ASUS A8V Deluxe Athlon 64 Mainboard - 2000MHz SB, Dual LAN, IEEE 1394, SATA
    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX 55 (939PIN)
    Memory: Corsair 1024Mb PC3200 DDR Memory 400MHz
    Floppy: 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    Hard Drives: Maxtor 300Gb Ultra Fast Hard Drive
    Video Card: 256MB nVIDIA GeForce BFG 6800 Ultra
    Optical Drives: NEC ND-3500A Dual Layer DVD-Re-Writable +R/-R/RW & SONY 16x DVD-ROM Drive
    Sound: Creative Soundblaster AUDIGY 2 ZS Platinum Internal



    I have a fair understanding & have managed to put my neighbours PC together which has been running fine. However, If anyone knows of any issues that I should be aware of, I would be grateful to hear them.

    KraGorn, you're right it doesn't come with a PSU so yet another consideration. I note that the 6800 states it needs at least 480W of power to run it.

    Can anyone help with any considerations I need to make in choosing a PSU. After all, if I blow up the PC there will be come come back on anybody.

    I was looking at the Aerocool Aeropower II+ Acrylic-Titanium Plated 550W which is for sale at Overclock.co.uk for £74.

    The other PSU I was looking at is the Antec True Power 550 which is for sale at Dabs.com for £95.

    Will either of these suffice or can anyone recommend any other PSU's.
     
  21. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I've not had a serious look at PSUs offering so much power .. it's strange the Ultra needs 480W, my GT is running quite happily on a system with only a 350W supply. :confused:

    Anyhow, both those supplies are obviously from first-class suppliers. How many disk drives are you planning to install? I'd have thought that a 550W must be able to power at least 2 along with the opticals you're using. The only advice I could offer here is that I've use a lower-power Antec in the past and it was very quiet compared to others of its' power output, I've no experience of Aerocool.
     
  22. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    KraGorn, strange as you say...I thought I would double check & it definately says minimum 480W. I plan eventually to have 2X300Gb (one as a slave drive) but my budget wouldn't allow for it!!

    On the face of it, I agree the Antec appears the better choice. My main concern is do I worry about what Voltage the PSU produces connected to the motherboard & enabling any settings in the bios. As I said, I don't want to fry all the components!!

    With that aside I'm much happier knowing that I've hand picked all the components. Hopefully this will keep me going for another 3 years like my current PC which I'm about to flog to my mate for £150.
     
  23. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Well, I guess that's what you have to pay for bleeding-edge performance.

    Can't say I understand your concern over PSU .. but that may be my ignorance preventing me from worrying about things I should be concerned about. :D
     
  24. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,000
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Reading, Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +54
    Don't know anything about the Aerocool, but the Antec is a quality PSU, money well spent mate, i would put 75% of PC unreliability problems that i have seen down to RAM, CPU cooling, and PSU. Plus the PSU is going to be the only item in your PC worth saving in 3 years :devil:
     
  25. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Always assuming they don't invent yet another PSU->mobo connector by then. ;)
     
  26. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    Thanks, Seaney...I think I'm ready to order now!!! The only thing that I wasn't too sure about when a built my neighbours system are some of the numerous BIOS setings. Sure some are easy, such as setting the time, selecting the processor, but there is such an array of other settings. Why do they not write the manuals in plain English so amateurs like me have an understanding??

    Does anyone now of any forums where I can obtain the meaning of some of the BIOS settings. At the end of the day I just want the beast to run at max performance!!!
     
  27. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    If you're new to building PCs then you really don't want to know what the settings are that you don't understand :) .. my advice would be once the system is up and running using the defaults then you can being to experiment.
     
  28. LiquidTV

    LiquidTV
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Ratings:
    +1
    Thanks KraGorn...I can't believe it but the graphics card has arrived & it's the BFG 6800 Ultra!!! I just have to buy the other bits now...
     
  29. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Nice one .. I think I read the BFGs can be unlocked so you can try to clock it if you want :D .. don't ask me how, I've no idea nor interest in clocking anything that can't be done in a BIOS with one setting. :)
     
  30. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,468
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,010
    Liquid,
    How much are you expecting the whole lot to cost (not inc software other than XP, or monitor)?
     

Share This Page

Loading...