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#1
Junkman

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First of all I want to say thanks to everyone here who has helped me out over the last month, getting me to the point where I'm almost ready to build my first PC :whistling:
I've made the most important decisions (I think) but I still have a bunch more about some of the less important components, plus I'd like people to check over my build and make sure everything's hunky-dorey (that means good for those who don't speak Geek). This is going to be a gaming and general use system, but it doesn't have to be able to handle any other graphical programs or be great for watching movies. Also, I am in Denmark, so I have limited buying options. Products listed are ones I can find, and price comparrisons are as they stand for me.
Here's what I have so far:

AMD X2 3800+
I could go for the 4200+ if people think it'll make a significant difference, but it's also a chunk more cash.

MSI K9N SLI Platinum OR
MSI K9N Platinum OR
MSI K9N Ultra-2F
These Motherboards are in descending order of price. The difference isn't so great, so if there's good reason to go for the most expensive that's fine, I just don't want to pay extra for something that's not going to make any difference.

Kingston HyperX - Memory- 2 GB ( 2 x 1 GB ) - DDR II - 800 MHz / PC2-6400 - CL4 - 2 V
OR
OCZ Enhanced Latency Dual Channel Platinum XTC Edition - Memory - 2 GB ( 2 x 1 GB ) - DDR II - 800 MHz / PC2-6400 - CL4
Again, the OCZ is a little cheaper, but if people think the Kingston significantly better I'll go for it.

Graphic cards are an important choice, and I've struggled to understand and compare things a little. When looking for products and prices I have to admit I've sometimes come across two different products with a drastic difference in price, yet I can't really see what the difference is between them. Two ATI X1900s with the same amount of built-in RAM yet one costs twice as much as the other, for example. I think maybe it comes down to some being overclocked? Anyway, after much looking around I think this is the best card I could come up with. I've included all the info I can (translating from Danish) so as to make sure I haven't screwed up.

ASUS EAX1950Pro HDTV
Base Clock Speed: 581MHz
RAMDAC Clock Speed: 400MHz
Memory Clock Speed: 1.5Ghz
256 MB GDDR3 SDRAM 256 bit

If anyone thinks there is a good reason why I should not get this card, or there is a better one for around the same price, please let me know. But as I have said before prices and availability are different for me, given that I am in Denmark.

Western Digital Caviar 160GB SE WD1600AAJS
ASUS CB-5216A - Diskdrev - kombineret CD-RW / DVD-ROM - 52x32x52x/16x - IDE - intern - 5.25" - sort
I didn't bother to do any real research on disk drives as I don't really care much about it. I just want something that will let me read everything with as little fuss as possible. I thought you could get drives that read and write both DVDs and CDs for the price of dirt now, but when I had a quick search I found very few DVD burners available. Are they generally rare and expensive? If so I don't really mind settling for a CD burner/DVD reader. This is a cheap one I found, but there are plenty of others at around the same price.

Finally (or at least until I think of something else) there's the case and power supply. This is another area where I just want something to get the job done as cheaply as possible, but without causing problems. I found an online Wattage calculater and it gave me something like 380W, but it was complex and I don't trust myself to have used it right. Can anyone give me a good estimate for the minimun Wattage I should be aiming for, with some room for future upgrading? I'd rather get a case and PSU combo, but if it's significantly cheaper to buy them separate I will.

This is turning into a mammoth post so I'll stop there. Thanks alot for anyone with the patience to read all this and help out.

Edited by Junkman, 01 March 2007 - 04:39 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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Processor wise, the 4200 is better than the 3800, but as you say the price is steeper. You will probably notice the difference if you used them side by side, but you have to decide yourself whether its worth the extra money. If the system is going to be exclusively used for games, it may be worth it, but if the majority of the time is going to be spent surfing the internet, then its money wasted.

Motherboards are all the same to some degree, some higher end ones offer the option of SLI (two graphics cards in one system basically) but if you have no interest at this time, its a possible upgrade router later on.

Memory wise, no real noticeable difference, but Kingston stuff you usually get limited lifetime warranty.

Graphics Cards are minefields. So many different models, so many different manufacturers, so much technical jargon and so many prices. The differences in price come about because of the obvious differences (amount and speed of memory for example) but also the underlying technology. You can quite often find that a card with 256Mb on it goes more expensive than a card with 512Mb on it, the difference is the technology on it - usually the pipes. Cards with 8 pipes outperform cards with 4 pipes regardless of the amount of memory on it as it can carry twice as much data down the pipes, in a nutshell.

DVD Writers are easily available and as classed as such, very rarely are they referred to as DVD Burners these days. Hard Drives come in various sizes and forms. Reliability issues so far as brand names are concerned went out the window years ago and they're all as bad/good as each other.

A case is a case, if its tall enough, wide enough and long enough, it'll do. Power supplies - most cases come with power supplies that do the job but they're often miniature jet engines in the amount of noise they make. A good minimum wattage is 400w, the more the better. You'll never actually use anywhere near 400w but you need the leeway otherwise the power supply will just burn itself out.
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#3
Junkman

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Cool, thanks alot Neil. That leads me to a couple more questions. Is SLI a good idea, as a possible means of delaying future upgrades? I thought perhaps it might be wise to get the X1950Pro now, then in a year or so when they're all becoming redundant due to the DX10 cards maybe I could pick up another one dirt-cheap. I don't mind being a year or two behind as far as the latest games are concerned, so there'll be no hurry to go DX10 for me. But on the other hand, some people here have implied that SLI simply doesn't give much extra power, and it's better to skip it and just go for a single higher-powered card. What do people think?
As for the graphics card, I'm afraid pipes is a term I don't know :whistling: There is more info available from the site I was looking at, but I can't just cut and paste as it's all in Danish. And I'm assuming just telling you it's an ASUS EAX1950Pro/HTDP isn't enough, as there is even variation under that name, yes? Can you tell me what else I need to tell you in order to decide if it's a good buy? It would cost me the equivilent of about $190 US, but prices here are generally significantly higher than what you can get in the US.
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#4
Neil Jones

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Having more than one card in a machine for anything other than gaming is a waste of money in my opinion. Therefore if you plan to use the machine for limited gaming and mostly other stuff, its pointless anyway.

The Asus 1950Pro isn't a bad card. Apparently one of its selling points is that its a quiet card compared to the Nvidia alternative.
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#5
james_8970

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I'd just like to mention one thing, you could probably save some money buying ram clocked at 533MHz or 667MHz. 800MHz and more is slightly more expensive and is only really required for overclocking. The performance difference won't be noticeable.

SLI and Crossfire are marketing gimics, just don't do it.
James

P.S. Core 2 Duo from Intel will be decreasing in value by as much as 40% depending on the model on April 22, so if you can wait do so.

Edited by james_8970, 04 March 2007 - 02:53 PM.

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