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#1
addy_010

addy_010

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Im hoping that i can buy a new computer from www.pcspecialist.co.uk tomorrow (being saturday the 11th) for around £1400. I just need people to lastly look at the specs i have an give any advice about anything that should be changed, i think mainly the PSU, before i commit to buying it. Also do anyone know if this website is a good quality reilable website? ill be getting it on the 9month thingy when you buy now and pay 9 months later, of which i should compltetly pay it all off by then anyways.

these are my specs copied straight from the website:
CPU
AMD® ATHLON® 64BIT X2 4400 1MB L2 Cache

Memory
2048 MB DDR400 PC3200 WITH LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x1GB)

Motherboard
ASUS® A8N-SLI SE: DUAL DDR, S-ATA, 2 x x16 VGA, 3 PCI

USB Options
SIX USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT)

Hard Drive
SATA 250 GB HARD DISK @ 7200rpm 8mb cache

Second Hard Drive
NONE

RAID
NONE

DVD ROM/Combi Drive
52 X 32 X 52 CD WRITER + 16X DVD ROM (COMBI DRIVE)

CD/DVD Writer
4x +R DUAL LYR DVD WRITER (16x +/-R) (& RW) + 40x CD-RW (£25)

Graphics Card 1
512MB RADEON X1900XTX PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT

Graphics Card 2
NONE

Sound Card
SoundBlaster Audigy 4 7.1 24-bit Player: £39

Modem
NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

Network Facilities
2 x 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORTS ONBOARD

Floppy Drive/Card Reader
INTERNAL 7 IN 1 CARD READER WITH 1.44MB FLOPPY DISK DRIVE

Case
Stylish Silver X-Plode Case + 2 Front USB

Power Supply & Cooling
500W (Peak) Silent Dual Rail PSU + 120mm fan & quiet CPU Cooler (£45)

Operating System required
NONE

Firewire & Video Editing
1 x FIREWIRE PORT ONBOARD (A8N-SLI DELUXE ONLY)

Monitor
NONE

Keyboard
NONE

Mouse
NONE

Speakers
NONE

Printer
NONE

Anti-Virus
NONE

Office Software
NONE

TV Card
NONE

Warranty
1 Year Return-to-Base Warranty + 1 Month Free Collect & Return

Now, any changes advisable? anything id also need? ill be using my current CRT old monitor as i will have no more money after getting this, would it be fine, dont know exact name of the monitor, its an IBM like 7 years old, 800x600 in size. should this work fine with it for now?

thanks a huge amount for help (if i get any) i really do appreciate it as you could help me in making a huge mistake and help me to stop biting my nails till i get the computer running. thanks again
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#2
comanighttrain

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sweeet, yeah get a new monitor and psu
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#3
addy_010

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sweeet, yeah get a new monitor and psu


you think a new PSU is needed? that is the highest one the website offer, and only other is same thig just without quiet thingy, and there is no option of having none and buying one seperate, so should i select cheapest one and then just buy another seperate and try selling that one? what do you then suggest?

Do i have to get a new monitor or is that just advice so that i get most out of the computer?

Do i want sata 1 or sata 2 HD? which is newst and best for speed etc?

Edited by addy_010, 10 February 2006 - 07:23 PM.

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#4
DeSade

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I'm probably too late here but you have a SLI board which is nVidia technology.

You should get nVidia graphics card/s for it not ATI.
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#5
addy_010

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I'm probably too late here but you have a SLI board which is nVidia technology.

You should get nVidia graphics card/s for it not ATI.


no not at all late, just on time. now that was the kind of information i needed to hear. No the problem i have is that the website only have ASUS motherboards so what should i do. they have the SE; Deluxe, 32 Deluxe. are any of these ATI? Which MD's are that do the same job?

ok i just checked and the website offer crossfire? is this the ATI alternative to Nvidia, like same thing just different company so different name. Is this an alright MD: ASUS® A8R-MVP: DUAL DDR, S-ATA, 2 x x16 VGA, 3 PCI

Edited by addy_010, 11 February 2006 - 04:26 AM.

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#6
DeSade

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Yes

If you want to stay with ATI then crossfire is the sli equilivant.
I think SLI is the more stable and advanced of the two, however that is not the issue.

ALTHOUGH ATI'S CROSSFIRE multi-GPU rendering technology has become a reasonable alternative to SLI, the Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire Edition chipset is still saddled with a comparatively poor south bridge chip. ATI's SB450 is missing a number of handy features, such as support for Native Command Queuing and RAID 0+1 and 5 arrays. More importantly, though, it's plagued by I/O issues that hinder USB and PCI performance. That latter is particularly damning, as it can affect the performance of onboard Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet, and Serial ATA peripherals.

Fortunately, the CrossFire Edition chipset has an ace up its sleeve. Its north bridge is capable of interfacing with alternative south bridge chips, including those built by ULi. Asus has taken advantage of that capability with the A8R-MVP, a CrossFire-capable motherboard built with ULi's M1575 south bridge. The M1575 fills in many of the features missing from the SB450, and it shouldn't suffer from the I/O performance problems that afflict the SB450

The secret behind the Radeon Xpress 200's south bridge flexibility is its use of PCI Express for the chipset interconnect. Two PCI Express lanes are normally used to link the two chips, providing 500MB/s of bandwidth in each direction. If that's not enough, the link can actually be boosted to four PCI Express lanes using a simple BIOS switch. Doing so monopolizes all the PCI-E lanes available on the M1575, but still leaves 18 lanes free on the north bridge.

PCI Express lanes not used for the chipset interconnect are shared by a pair of physical x16 slots and a single x1. Since there aren't enough available PCI-E lanes to run both of the x16 slots at full bandwidth, the motherboard routes eight lanes to each. This lane distribution is identical to that of NVIDIA's first SLI core logic, although more recent SLI chipsets have enough PCI Express lanes to provide a full 16 lanes of bandwidth to each x16 slot. Such a configuration doesn't actually do much to improve performance in current apps, so CrossFire should be just fine with eight lanes of PCI-E per card.

While most CrossFire boards share the A8R-MVP's PCI-E lane distribution, only the A8R-MVP taps ULi's latest M1575 south bridge chip. The chip has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a cutting-edge south bridge, including a Serial ATA controller that supports Native Command Queuing, 300MB/s transfer rates, and RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and 5 arrays. Eight-channel High Definition Audio is supported, as well, although the A8R-MVP's Analog Devices codec chip only provides six output channels. (I suppose that's the price you pay for escaping assimilation by Realtek's crab collective.)

Despite strong storage and audio components, the M1575 falls a little flat in the networking department. The south bridge is only equipped with a 10/100 Fast Ethernet controller, which Asus forgoes in favor of a Marvell 88E8001 Gigabit Ethernet chip. That chip is stuck on the PCI bus, so throughput will be lower than PCI-E GigE implementations



Link to the full review and testing
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#7
addy_010

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^^^ ok thanks alot. erm... one last question. does anyone know if the website in first post is a good website. im planning on getting the computer hopefully today from them but my mum is telling me that i should make sure if i am to get it on the bu now, pay 9months later finance that paying off the system before the 9months is safe; firslty that i wont be charged anything more until the 9months is over, and secondly that actualy paying off the money is easily done, she said that her b/f did this an the wqebsite was constantly trying to drag it out so it goes over the 9 months, e.g. by saying they have to pay to this person, then it needs time to be forwarded to this person, then to use etc etc...
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#8
warriorscot

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Well seems ok, but YOU DO NOT NEED AN ATI CARD TO USE AN SLI MOTHERBOARD IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. you can have sli and have an ati video card no bother it makes no difference whatsoever.

It looks ok, your monitor is a bit of a waste such a good system limited to 800x600 on an old crt(it should go higher by the way) but such a good system would be a waste using that monitor.

Website cant say ive heard about them, have you tired scan or Carrera they are good, evesham computers is also worth a mention and mesh get good reviews.
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#9
DeSade

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Well seems ok, but YOU DO NOT NEED AN ATI CARD TO USE AN SLI MOTHERBOARD IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. you can have sli and have an ati video card no bother it makes no difference whatsoever.
.



I agree that you don't need to match it, however all the info I have read on it when I was researching it for myself lead me to the conclusion that matching nVidia to nVidia is always more stable than using ATI in a SLI setup.

But thats my own opinion based on the reviews and benchmarks I saw.
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#10
addy_010

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Well seems ok, but YOU DO NOT NEED AN ATI CARD TO USE AN SLI MOTHERBOARD IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. you can have sli and have an ati video card no bother it makes no difference whatsoever.

It looks ok, your monitor is a bit of a waste such a good system limited to 800x600 on an old crt(it should go higher by the way) but such a good system would be a waste using that monitor.

Website cant say ive heard about them, have you tired scan or Carrera they are good, evesham computers is also worth a mention and mesh get good reviews.


yeah i know about the monitor problem, i will get a new one eventually but not till like 3/4months i think as i seriously can't afford it after this rig.

i have tried them websites, i think it was you who suggested them to me, but only just quickly as i found that the didnt have something i wanted, e.g. x1900 xtx graphics card, where as the website im suggesting does, but i will try again.

so your saying that i can still use the ATI graphics card on the sli motherboard and there'd be no differnce, i can still do everything them same as using the crossfire one? even eventually upgrade my comp to 2 ATI graphics cards? if so whats the point in having to differnent MD's if they both exactly the same?
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#11
warriorscot

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No you obviously cant use crossfire you need the crossfire for that, but you can still use one, i also wouldnt reccomend adding one later for SLI or crossfire its not as good as buying a new single card and price of cards doesnt drop down all that much, also youll want DX10 and you probably wont be able to mix and match DX9 and DX10 cards. x1900xtx is very new it usually takes a couple of weeks to get them into the build options.

The Dual gfx cards is a thing for people who need to have a gimmick and people with enough money to do it on the first build. You would be better with non sli as you get more PCI slots in it and you get the nf4 chipset. It is techniclaly possible to run crossfire on an SLI motherboard, but nvidia wont allow it.
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#12
addy_010

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so in your opinion what should i do? i really want to x1900xtx so the website has to have that, and i guess i should go with non sli Md, but what MD's are there. I checked the website i suggested again and come up with these new specs totalling £1346

CPU
AMD® ATHLON® 64BIT X2 4400 1MB L2 Cache

Memory
2048 MB DDR400 PC3200 WITH LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x1GB)

Motherboard
ASUS® A8N-E: DUAL DDR, S-ATA, x16 slot, 3 PCI etc

USB Options
SIX USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT)

Hard Drive
SATA 250 GB HARD DISK @ 7200rpm 8mb cache

Second Hard Drive
NONE

RAID
NONE

DVD ROM/Combi Drive
52 X 32 X 52 CD WRITER + 16X DVD ROM (COMBI DRIVE)

CD/DVD Writer
4x +R DUAL LYR DVD WRITER (16x +/-R) (& RW) + 40x CD-RW (£25)

Graphics Card 1
512MB RADEON X1900XTX PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT

Graphics Card 2
NONE

Sound Card
SoundBlaster Audigy 4 7.1 24-bit Player: £39

Modem
NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

Network Facilities
10/100/1000 NETWORK CARD FOR BROADBAND

Floppy Drive/Card Reader
INTERNAL 7 IN 1 CARD READER WITH 1.44MB FLOPPY DISK DRIVE

Case
Stylish Silver X-Plode Case + 2 Front USB

Power Supply & Cooling
Silent 600W PSU + 120mm Fan + 19.2 dBA CPU Cooler! Super Quiet! £39

Operating System required
NONE

Firewire & Video Editing
NONE

Monitor
NONE

Keyboard
NONE

Mouse
NONE

Speakers
NONE

Printer
NONE

Anti-Virus
NONE

Office Software
NONE

TV Card
NONE

Warranty
1 Year Return-to-Base Warranty + 1 Month Free Collect & Return

Is this any better?
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#13
warriorscot

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Having or not havnig SLI makes no difference to the MB other than the price really and those extra pci slots you get.

The fact that worries me is they dont list the makers, i would try phoning the company to get them to tell you the brand names of the parts they are going to put in the pc, that way you can check the parts as not all of them are made equal. I Would also try and get a 16Mb cache drive, but the lack of the selection is the disadvantage of custom builds over doing it yourself.

Also the mobo comes with lan ports so you dont need a network card.

Edited by warriorscot, 11 February 2006 - 08:07 AM.

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#14
addy_010

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from reading your above post i guess its best if i dont use this website and try and find another with what i want. the website just say that they never know which make of products they are going to use as they have different suppliers and that they offer life time garrentee so even if you got rubish they'd replace it, but i guess that just a load of poo just to get you to them qas they will give you rubbish components.

do you have any idea of how long it will take to get the ATI x1900 xtx graphics card on more websites and for sale. most websites i find dont even have any ATI cards, just nvidia, why is that?

the 16mb cache drive is for the hard drive right?
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#15
warriorscot

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Yeah 16Mb is for the harddrive the 16mb cache drives are all very fast. Nvidia tends to do deals with the manufacturers give them grants and such, you dont see the price difference as the Nvidia cards cost much much more than ATI in the UK. They just dont want to say, they will be getting OEM from the more debatable quality runs of the card no doubt.

They seem ok, building yourself is always the cheapest option but there are a few good builders alot of the time the small shops do as well, you buy the partts and then they put it together for a price, but for high end pcs like that you either need to go full hog and go for one of the really special builders like Voodoo or armari or put it together yourself, im surprised scan dont have them, they are also a shop so they do have them(might try ringin them up see what they can do, alot of the time they just havent got round to updating the site if you ask they may be able to do it for you specially.

You can actually buy the cards yourelf right now all the shops have them, it was available from day one of release its just the builder that take a while to catch up, and like i said they get money not to use ati alot of the time(intel does the same thing but anyone buying a highend gaming pc that knows what they were doing would never buy intel).
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