custom pc question

hey guys!! i’m planning to build a customized computer but i don’t have much clue. This computer will mostly be used for school and games. i have an idea on what motherboard to use and cpu:

motherboard: MSI K9N SLI Platinum Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor

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.

Good Luck!

ok here’s what i’ve managed to see on

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

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)?

Its not too difficult.

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 :frowning:

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 :wink:

ok here are the final items i’ll be buying:

MSI K9N SLI Platinum Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

COOLER MASTER Praetorian PAC-T01-EK Black All Aluminium Alloy ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Scythe SCMN-1000 100mm Sleeve CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor

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!!

a few years is a long time for computers… 2 years, for sure…

Well for the past 3years Ive been running from pentium2’s…skipping pentium3 and then to pentium 4 1.8ghz… Ive always been behind…by more than 2 years… but ive always been happy with my kit :slight_smile:

me is still using Athlon xp2400, KT400 Mobo, Ide HDDs, and FX5500 :shrug:

It does what I need it to do :slight_smile:

I’d like a much higher spec computer … I’d also like a top of the range SAAB instead of my Mondeo … but that’s life :wink:

I’m sure that comp you’re building will last the distance :nod:

Well… he did say “for gaming”. I’m sure it will last for more than two years but games in 2 years may wan’t more.

Build to upgrade!

yeah, my FX 5500 (edited previous post … I put 5200 :stuck_out_tongue: ) plays most of the latest games remarkably well, although not at highest settings.

No doubt the Geforce 7600GT will do the same for future generation games … unless a completely new innovation in game graphics arrives on the scene :rolleyes:

But a gfx upgrade would sort that anyway :cool:

Well… if you fold, there is always the GPU client coming out… the more spare gfx cards you have laying around the better.

Well I installed that Fraps thingy and lag-o-matic on my machine and ended up finding out that my prefered game is running on a rig overspecced for it.

and ended up finding out… that turning on all the eye candy did not slow it down one bit as the FPS is limited when internet gaming as its limited by the net connection anyway.

So UT2K4 runs happly at 85 Frames per second no matter how much eye candy
there is on screen while I play with those internet aim BOts sorry I mean people :wink:

hay ho :wink:

Play it as single game non netted and it was hitting 3 figure numbers no probs.

So really in essance it really depends on what type of game and how much eye candy you want or if your happy without the eye candy and game play is more important.

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…

just my 2 cents…

Also, you cant go wrong with a new harddrive…Western Digital 3.0Gb/s with a 16mb cache…comparable to a 74gb Raptor with 8mb cache for less than $90 (for the 250GB)

thanks guys for your advice!! i might buy another hard drive just for space. i was wondering if i use my old hard drive do i still need to buy windows xp?

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.