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Thinking of building an AM2 Rig... Need some advice

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Aidoscuz, 29 May 2006.

  1. Aidoscuz

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Jan 2005

    Posts: 516

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Hey,

    I'm looking at buying a new AM2 Rig in a few days and I wanted to check some things first. I was a bit apprehensive about going AM2 at first until I read that Guru3D article (link). It seems that if you match all the components properly, setting up all the EPP and Linkboost stuff properly, you can get really damn good performance. So I was thinking of buying something like this:

    CP-167-AM AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000+ 2.00GHz (Socket AM2) - Retail (CP-167-AM) 1
    £199.95 £199.95
    MB-142-AS Asus M2N32-SLi-DLX nForce 590 SLi (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard (MB-142-AS) 1
    £119.95 £119.95
    GX-038-OK OcUK GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-038-OK) 1
    £259.95 £259.95
    HS-021-ZA Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Aero Flower (Socket AM2/939/754) CPU Cooler (HS-021-ZA) 1
    £29.95 £29.95
    MY-110-CS Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C3 TwinX (2x1GB) (MY-110-CS) 1
    £299.95 £299.95
    Subtotal £909.75
    VAT £159.21
    Total £1,068.96

    I'm going to keep my Hiper Type-R 580W PSU, my optical and hard drives and my case so that's all I need.

    The main thing I'm not sure about is the Ram since I don't really know much about DDR2. Is PC-6400 the equivalent to PC-3200 DDR, i.e. will it always run at its rated speed? And is PC-8500 the same as PC4000, initially running at the same speed as PC- 6400 but giving you more headroom for overclocking? I'm planning on overclocking the X2 4000+ a good bit so I'm not sure if I should go for the faster RAM or the slower stuff with tighter timings.

    Anyone got any thoughts on the system or AM2 in general? I'm still not sure if I should just go for a Socket 939 setup, but the Guru3D article did a lot to convince me to go AM2. I don't really want to wait for Conroe since I'm going to America on the 28th of July until the end of August and then my summer holidays will be over and I'll be back to school. After that I have a really hectic year where I do my leaving cert, etc, etc... So I'd ideally like to have a really powerful system to play around with over the summer.

    So basically can anyone offer any advice on whether I should go for this rig or not? It looks very nice to me, apart from the rather scary fact that I'm paying more for RAM than a top-end video card :eek:

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Rain Man

    Hitman

    Joined: 8 Jan 2005

    Posts: 976

    Location: Macclesfield

    seems like a good rig, you'll have a future proof mobo and pci-e graphics

    i would say replace the 7900gtx with a x1900xt. Ive just got one and theyre the BUSINESS! i love it

    oh yeh dont let conroe fanboys try and talk you out of it lol

    Rain man
     
  3. Mul

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,842

    I would say X1900XT, but the linkboost is only compatible with the 7900GTX IIRC, and it appears the results are benefitial.

    Looks like a nice system to me. :)

    Mul
     
  4. Dave

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2004

    Posts: 4,937

    Location: Sacramento CA

    Stick with the 7900GTX, don't let the X1900XT fanboys talk you out of it :p

    Looks like a great set up :)
     
  5. bbreezeuk

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 21 Nov 2005

    Posts: 1,145

    Location: Bath, UK

     
  6. Aidoscuz

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Jan 2005

    Posts: 516

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Thanks for the replies guys. I was originally leaning towards an X1900XTX but since I heard about LinkBoost I decided to go for the 7900GTX. I doubt I can go too far wrong either way anyway :)
     
  7. Mr Jones

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 May 2006

    Posts: 11,334

    Location: Dubai

    Not being a "Fanboy" here but I must say, x1900xt will have a better IQ and more shaders compared to 7900GTX.

    Check out HiS Ice 1900xt - it's on offer, good pricing and it, (AFAIK) is much quieter compared to the standards.
     
  8. Rain Man

    Hitman

    Joined: 8 Jan 2005

    Posts: 976

    Location: Macclesfield

    me neither, i had a 7800gtx then i went to an x1800xt and even at 1280x1024 i could tell the difference in iq.

    The x1900xt is an amazing card for the price
     
  9. Aidoscuz

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Jan 2005

    Posts: 516

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Yeah, it's a really tough choice to make between the two. I might wait until some benchmarks come out comparing both cards on an NForce 5 590 board to order. Anyway, anyone know whether I should go for the PC-6400 or PC-8500 RAM?
     
  10. crashuk

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 7 Dec 2005

    Posts: 2,691

    well 8500 means you dont need to upgrade yoru ram next time you upgrade your chip, but you need to see what board supoort that speed.
     
  11. Jabb3r

    Associate

    Joined: 16 May 2006

    Posts: 52

    NiceLooking setup m8. I think ATI in a setup like that, for me would be defeating the object.

    Anyhoo, would like to thank you for the link to the article. I read it from start to finish and feel quite enlightened by it all, top stuff.

    Cheers!
     
  12. Aidoscuz

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Jan 2005

    Posts: 516

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    No problem!

    I'm pretty much set on that spec apart from the RAM, I still have to decide between the PC-6400 and the PC-8500. Also, I looked at a review of the motherboard and it seems that it only has one IDE port which supports two drives. I've got two optical drives and an IDE hard drive in my current system, so I guess the hard drive will have to go :( Unless there's such thing as a IDE to SATA adapter ... I doubt it but it'd be nice if there was!
     
  13. Klo

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Nov 2005

    Posts: 4,007

    Location: South East

    Well I've seen a SATA to IDE adapter on a certain website, so I presume they do IDE to SATA adapters. Unfortuantely but am not allowed to say where I found it.
     
  14. Stelly

    Don

    Joined: 5 Oct 2005

    Posts: 11,015

    Location: Liverpool

    yaaay... post some benchmarks when you get our rig up and running :)

    Stelly
     
  15. Messiah Khan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Sep 2005

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: Scottish Highlands

  16. Aidoscuz

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Jan 2005

    Posts: 516

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Thanks Messiah Khan, that's exactly what I was looking for. £15 seems a bit steep for a little adapter but I suppose it's way cheaper than buying a new drive. I think I'm pretty much settled on this setup, so unless anyone can see any glaring faults I'll probably order tomorrow.
     
  17. kdd

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 Oct 2005

    Posts: 3,650

    Location: Kent

    Get the Gskill ram that'll save you a bit.
     
  18. Indy500

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 17,509

    Or, get some Geil Value DDR2, because it can overclock pretty well (533 to 800mhz on XS, for example).
     
  19. Aidoscuz

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Jan 2005

    Posts: 516

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    I want the Corsair RAM since it supports EPP (Enhanced Performance Profile) which automatically adjusts voltages and latencies to their best settings. It sounded like a bit of a gimmick to me at first, but after reading a few articles it seems like it actually works really well.
     
  20. Indy500

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 17,509

    Over £300 is still a huge price to pay for 2GB.