i was wondering what heatsink/cooling fan, case (type), and power supply i should use. my budget is about $600-700US. i know that’s not alot but i’m planning on buying more parts later when i have the money. i was thinking of salvaging the hard drive and other components from my old computer. i just want a computer that will won’t be obsolete in a year or two. thanks for your help guys!!
An important thing to consider when you are building a high-speed machine for gaming is where your bottlenecks are going to be. The motherboard and cpu you have chosen are good choices, and will serve you well. However, you have neglected your memory, and although its not a huge cost, its somthing to consider. You also said you are going to “salvage” a Hard drive from another computer. Depending on what sort of drive it is, it may be a bottleneck that will hold your systems performance back for gaming. Consider picking up a SATA drive which have much faster transfer rates than EIDE drives.
The motherboard you selected doesn’t have an AGP slot, so you will be spending a good chunk of money on the new PCI-E graphics cards (x2 if you are going to use the SLI features). If not, you will have have to use a PCI graphics adapter. They aren’t nearly as fast as AGP (or PCI-E) and again, another bottleneck.
With such a high end system, if you are going to drop that kind of money initially, you probably wan’t to go all the way, or you will be disapointed for gaming performance.
With cooling, you are going to want quality. With the amt of money you are spending, an extra 50-100$ on cooling is a wise investment. If you go with factory cooling, then make sure the case fans are all installed and being used. Also consider rounded cables for better cooling (not a problem with sata) and possibly heat spreaders on your memory. As for the case, its a matter of preference, make sure its has room for the cooling you wan’t to use and will provide good airflow.
CASE: COOLER MASTER Praetorian PAC-T01-EK Black All Aluminium Alloy ATX
Mid Tower $109.99
Motherboard: MSI K9N SLI PLATINUM N570SLI AM2 $135.99
CPU AMD|A64 X2 4200+ AM2 2x512K R $369.00
CPU FAN SCYTHE|SCMN-1000 RTL $40
this whole setup will cost me about $650 plus shipping and handling. i know i will still need to get a power unit but i’ll check out the local computer stores for those. do you think these will fit/work? also, is it hard to put the whole thing together? and last, where can i find instructions on the whole configuration (BIOS, etc)?
The motherboard will come with instructions on where to plug everything in, including the case LED connections for the case etc. Most connectors are keyed so you can’t install them backwards. As for the bios, it should autodetect everything, so there isn’t much to do there either. Make sure you seat the motherboard good in the case and try to keep your atx power connections neat.
You still haven’t mentioned a graphics adapter. Remember, you need a PCI Express adapter, as the motherboard doens’t support AGP. Thats another 200$ for a decent one.
I also didn’t see memory in the list, which you’ll definitely want to invest in decent memory. A lot of folks recommend Crucial memory, and I’d say you’d want 1GB minimum. I don’t play games on my system and 512 seems a bit slow for my usual stuff at times, so that’s just my guess. 1GB should run you roughly $120.
For the type of Comp you have in mind, I recommend you don’t skimp on the PSU. A cheap/weak PSU can cause many problems if it can’t supply the correct power requirements to the (often power hungry) components, and if it fails and sends a power surge to the Mobo/GFX/Memory/ etc, you could end up having to purchase these parts again
I think there are a few threads in these forums relating to PSUs, again it all depends on your finances as to which you may go for
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) System Memory
Thermaltake toughpower W0103RU ATX12V/ EPS12V 600W Power Supply 100 - 240V CE, CB, TUV, FCC, UL, CUL, and BSMI certified
eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT CO 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
the grand total would be about $1000 or so including warranty extension and shipping and handling. would this be good to last me for a few years? i just hope that once i purchase them that they all fit together or i’ll be mad. haha!!
just a thought, the last I read, DX10 (if its still to be included with Vista) will add a different shader capability, that current cards do not have. But Vista is 6 months away…it’ll be time to buy a new card anyways! lol
Also, Ive some friends who have not had good luck with the scythe, I would look for a Zalman 9500 model…those are great and quiet…plus since this is a gaming machine, I would look at upping the vid card. I have a super overclocked 7800GT and while its a great card, Im already looking to upgrade…but thats me…for another $100-150 you can get an eVGA 7900GT…the KO Superclocked is great…as its faster than a 7800GTX, and up to 7900GTX speeds…
The XP that is installed on your hard drive now won’t work. The XP keeps track of the mobo and cpu and such, if too much changes, it will need a re-install. Check for an OEM version from a local vendor, its usually cheaper… (XP Home for $100)
Ive used the same copy of XP (its an OEM version, not a “restore disk” that came with a pre-built system though) on about 10 different machines (only 1 at a time though)…I have to call MS to re-activate it, it takes about 1 minute. Newegg usually has XP Home SP2 for around $90, most of my local shops dont offer OEM copies, just “upgrade” and full retail versions. So if you have the actual XP hologram CD, then no, you dont need to buy a new copy, if you dont, then most likely you will.