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Thinking about building a gaming computer


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#16
KGH

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Probably different warranty (vendor as opposed to manufacturer) and a software bundle.
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#17
Metalive

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OEM means that it will come with just the sound card wrapped in bubblewrap. No retail box, or anything extra like that.
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#18
ahuffman

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With the money that I am going to save downgrading the sound card and buying a cheaper xp pro, I was looking at upgrading my cpu to fx55. Would this be worth the extra $196?
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#19
KGH

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I'm not sure if you'd call that an 'upgrade' or an alternative.

The FX-55 will ordinarily give you a couple of extra FPS' in games, and has a higher clock speed than the 4400X2. In single thread applications (such as current games), the 4400 will perform at the equivalent of a 3700+ but will obviously provide far superior results to the FX when multi tasking and in any application (although there are few as yet) that utilise dual cores.

So, if you're solely a gamer, I suppose the FX is THE cpu to have. But in a short time, dual core will provide superior performance.

I'd probably up the 6800GT to a 7800GTX with the extra cash. With that card and a 4400, you'll be singing.
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#20
ahuffman

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I was already planning on getting the bfg 7800 gtx oc. Would upgrading to the 4600+ be better or should I just stay with the 4400+?

Edited by ahuffman, 21 July 2005 - 06:41 PM.

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#21
KGH

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Ha, sorry, got confused with another thread.

I don't think you want to go to the 4600 - less cache (similar to the 3700+ and 3800+ comparisons). I'd stick with the 4400 unless you can afford to go up to 4800.

With a bit of luck, you'll be able to overclock (if you're interested) the 4400 to 4600 clockspeeds and have yourself a 4800!
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#22
ahuffman

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Yeah, I think that I will stick with the 4400, unless I get some more cash. Another question, Is thermal compound hard to apply? My friend said to get some, but it looks like it would be a mess for someone like me to apply.
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#23
KGH

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The heatsink provided with a retail 4400 has a pre-applied patch of Shin etsu Thermal Compound on it, which is apparently quite good.

If you want to apply Arctic Silver 5 instead, it is very easy. I would suggest purchasing an Arcti Clean pack. This contains two bottles of fluid. One is used to clean off the existing thermal material (squirt a couple of drops onto it, leave it for a minute, and then rub of with a lint free cloth) and the second to clean the first liquid and any additional foreign compound from the face of the heatsink.

After you've seated the cpu in the socket, you squeeze a rice grain sized module of AS5 onto the middle of the cpu heatspreader, and seat the HSF. The HSF will spread the compound naturally. AS5 has a run in time, so your system temps will take a couple of days to come down to their lowest.

Check the Arctic Silver website for detailed and pictured instructions.

Just be really careful to avoid getting any AS5 or other compound on the cpu pins. Although this is not necessarily fatal, it is a pain to remove it from the pins. I spent about two hours doing it a while ago when I clasped a cpu not realising I had AS5 on my thumb, which transposed to the pins. Nasty.
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#24
ahuffman

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Here is my new parts list:

Asus A8N SLI premium mobo
Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo cpu
BFG Geforce 7800GTX OC
OCZ 2 GB Dual channel platinum memory
Creative Audigy 2 ZS
Thermaltake armor black case
Entermax 535 watt SLI psu
Sony floppy drive
Seagate barracuda 250 gb sata hd
Liteon dvd-rom drive
Liteon dvd-rw dual layer drive
Windows XP pro


About the only thing left to research is whether the ram will work with this mobo for sure. The only real worry I have is someone on newegg mentioned that they had trouble with this mobo running hot because it was sitting upside down in their case. Does anyone know if that would be a possibility with this case?
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#25
KGH

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Can't understand why or how that person could have installed the mobo upside down - it seems to me to be impossible.

I wouldn't be too worried about system heat. The Armour (Aus spelling sorry) has ample space and plenty of good fans in situ. That 90mm blow hole on top will be quite efficient and the array of exhaust and intake fans should keep your system temps down.

It looks to be a great case. Does it have a removable motherboard tray?

As for the memory, check both Asus' and OCZ's page to see if there are any known issues.
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#26
ahuffman

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It does not look like I will have any problems with this ram, it meets all of the specs for the mobo. I will do some more research though. I don't think that it has a removable mobo tray, but I am not sure. It seems to have everything else, so I would not be suprised if it does.
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#27
ahuffman

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New question, with this setup I could not afford a new monitor. So, would I be better off getting a 4000 processor with a faster clock speed, and use the money that I save to get a lcd monitor or just stick with the 4200 and use the monitor that I have now?
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#28
KGH

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What monitor have you got at the moment - a 17" CRT?

LCD monitors are great and give you a lot more desk space.

I have the 4000+, which runs at 2.4ghz and has 1mb L2 cache. Great chip, very fast (and at least in Australia, about half the cost of an FX chip), but it's no dual core.

It really depends on what you're going to be doing. As I said before, if you are going to be using this machine predominantly for gaming, a single core FX (or, for that matter a 4000+, 3800+, 3700+, 3500+ or 3200+!!!) will serve you brilliantly (although given that you're going with the 7800GTX, you want to go as high as you can with the cpu, because that will be your primary bottleneck).

Are you happy with your current monitor or would you really like an LCD? Because I primarily use my home machine for gaming, I would go for a nice 8ms response 17 or 19" monitor (Warriorscott has a great monitor by the sounds of it), and drop down to a 4000+ San Diego, which will overclock (possibly to FX 55 specs).

Edited by KGH, 21 July 2005 - 11:26 PM.

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#29
ahuffman

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I think that this monitor has to go, I have been using my laptop for the past 2 years and have forgotten how old this monitor is. It is like 7 years old, I am definately getting a new monitor. Would a new crt also perform well for gaming? I might not be able to afford a nice lcd.
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#30
KGH

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A CRT, if you can still find one!, obviously won't provide the same performance, clarity and resolution span as an LCD. What's your budget for the monitor? You'll be able to find a good enough LCD for not much more than a CRT.

What have you decided with the cpu?
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