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Need help with PC parts...

///M

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
1,064
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I'm planning on putting together a PC because I'm sick of trying to play games/watch shit on a laptop screen. The last two PCs I bought were Compaqs, so there's no way in hell I'm buying brand name shit again. Also, the last time I was interested in PC hardware was when the Voodoo 4/5 were about to come out and I had a Banshee in my rig. So yeah, I've been out of the 'game' for a while. Here's the help I need:

- Processor/motherboard: I'm thinking an Athlon 64? What type of slot should I get? I want the Mobo to have an AGP slot.

- Graphics card: I think I'm going to go for an ATI AIW Radeon (which is why I need a mobo with AGP), this one:

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=612489&CatId=0

I need a TV tuner card to watch TV and hook up my PS2 to it, nothing too fancy. Is the Radeon good enough or should I go for a seperate Graphics card and a seperate TV tuner card?

- RAM: DDR? PCwhatever? What type of RAM should I go for?

- Sound card: Creative is still the best, right? This good enough?

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=879437&CatId=107

Any help would be appreciated.
 
The AMD 64 is a good choice.
I would go for 1gb of Ram. Personally, I don't think you will be needing more the next two years...

An AGP slot? Maybe you should go for a PCI-Express slot...those are a lot faster (newer)...
I do think that those All In Wonders are not the best video cards...maybe you should go for a decent PCI-E 3D card, and another TV-Tuner card. I read reviews and the AIW-cards were not the best in receiving TV signals, capturing and in 3D gaming...

A sound card? Maybe you should first try the onboard sound on the motherboard. If you don't like that, you can always buy a sound card. But I'm quite happy about the on-board sound and network on my Asus motherboard.

Also, don't buy a cheap powersupply...most new 3D cards require an extra link to the powersupply and if you have a lot of drives, you will be needing the power. I have a good quality 300W for 2hard drives, 2disc drives and an 9800 Pro, but my old 300W (less quality) could not pull it off. Buy MORE than 350W

Succes !
 
Seems like you're trying to build a rig similar to mine. First thing you have to know is that the one I would recommend you is slightly outdated. On the other hand, what isn't oudater in the PC sector the moment you hold it in your hands. ;)

However, if you have crazy cash to spend my advice should be ignored.

Processor/motherboard: Athlon 64 is the way to go. I think the 3200+/Slot 754 should be the best compromise between speed and price.

Motherboard wise I would go for a nforce 3 250gb modell (Avoid any Via chipset mainboard). I bought the ASUS K8NE-Deluxe because it got the best reviews by that time.

- Graphics card: I think I'm going to go for an ATI AIW Radeon (which is why I need a mobo with AGP), this one:
I'm not sure about that one. I have the card myself but I think that the card won't be able to run the next generation with full details. If you you're a casual gamer like me (2-3 titles per year) it's the best choice.

I need a TV tuner card to watch TV and hook up my PS2 to it, nothing too fancy. Is the Radeon good enough or should I go for a seperate Graphics card and a seperate TV tuner card?
As far as I know Radeon cards don't have a TV in, just out. You might need to buy a seperate TV tuner for that purpose.

RAM: I would buy 1024 MB of DDR PC3200 Ram / 400Mhz. Don't go for the cheap stuff since some Athlon 64/Mainboard/Ram combos are known to have stability problems. Don't know if it's resolved by now, but my guess is that you don't wan't to end up with a unstable system like the one with my old cheapo Ram, just because you saved a few dollars. My system runs on Kingston HyperX 2-3-2-6 2x512 MB modules (Make sure to buy them in a package since then they're identical and won't cause you any trouble) for a month now and it really gained some speed and never fails on me now.

You can find the supported ram in the manufacturers manual or on their websites.

Sound card: I've never been a fan of Creative. Their products always caused IRQ errors and general instability in my systems. It might have gotten better. I don't care, I use my optical onboard sound now. Don't laugh.






:lol:
 
^ Hooray for onboard sound. :lol: Mine is connect to my superb Creative DTT3500 Digital system. Cost me 99? a few years ago.
I think I'm one of the few people who owns original CD's and therefore don't need to connect my PC to my stereo. ;)
 
Does onboard sound generally support 5.1? I forgot to include that :D.

Funny, I guessed that ATI would be the best TV tuner card. I guess I'll go for the seperate graphics card option. I don't have space for a TV and I saw a cheap TV tuner card in action and it was pretty good.

I also heard slot 939 was good, does it really matter which one I buy in terms of performance?
 
///M said:
Does onboard sound generally support 5.1? I forgot to include that :D.

Funny, I guessed that ATI would be the best TV tuner card. I guess I'll go for the seperate graphics card option. I don't have space for a TV and I saw a cheap TV tuner card in action and it was pretty good.

I also heard slot 939 was good, does it really matter which one I buy in terms of performance?

Damn swek, you have the same exact computer I just built (except maybe just a little slower processor 3000+).

The asus board that swek and I have has digital output. I don't have a digital receiver in my room to know if it does, but typically anything with optical audio out, and SPDIF out supports 5.1. (and actually now that I look at it, there are analog ports on the back for 5.1 surround sound).

As for the video card, you are probably best getting two separate cards, one for TV tuning and a graphics card. A friend of mine has an AIW 9600 and he likes it but doesn't use it's TV in capabilities (because he found an awesome deal on a WinTV HDTV card), so I don't know about the AIW's TV capabilities.

As for the slot numbering, 939 is the newer generation of A64 chips. 754 is being phased out in favor of 939. If you are like me and replace the motherboard when you replace the processor, a 754 chip and motherboard are a cost effective solution, since 939 chips and motherboards tend to cost more.
 
So I should be looking for a 754 with an nVidia chipset? Is VIA really bad or what? I found alot of Motherboard + CPU combos that are really cheap, but no nForce chipsets.

Regarding RAM, is Ultra a good brand? What about Viking?

And can anyone suggest a good TV tuner card :p? I'll be hooking up a cable connection and my PS2 to it.

Thanks for all the help, btw.
 
hokiethang said:
Damn swek, you have the same exact computer I just built (except maybe just a little slower processor 3000+).

Not quite. My CPU is a 2800+ (Bought it when they were new and expensive) Two weeks ago I short-circuited my MoBo after installing a brand new beqiet! PSU (Oh, The irony :lol: ) Since I couldn't find a K8NE-Deluxe anymore, I'm running a Epox 8KDA3+ now.
 
If youre going A64, go for the 939 solution, and an MSI motherboard, they just go better with the AMD cpu's.

And as for a power supply, nothing less than a 500W BRANDED one, get a good case with plenty of ventillation.

As far as RAM goes, best to check the AMD forums for compatability, else there might be issues, if youre after speed, premium models like HyperX, XMS , OCZ guaranteed for OC ram. Remember to get a Dual Channel pack, they come with 2 identical sticks, for now a 512x2 =1gb should be good enough.

What is the system going to be doing most of the time? You need to set it up accordingly and avoid bottlenecks.
 
The main thing I'm going to be doing on it is watching DVDs, TVs, PS2, downloaded TV shows, and the occasional PC game.

What's the difference between 754 and 939?
 
///M said:
The main thing I'm going to be doing on it is watching DVDs, TVs, PS2, downloaded TV shows, and the occasional PC game.

What's the difference between 754 and 939?

different pin arrangements. The 939 is the pin layout that AMD has settled on for future chip production. That means that the latest and greatest chips would come out in 939 format, but not 754.

Though for what you are doing, the the 754 would be plenty (if you can find them) since they are typically cheaper. If you were going to do things that are a bit more taxing on the system, id suggest getting a 939 and a faster processor, but the 3200+ that swek suggested earlier should be more than enough, since my 3000+ handles things just fine (and I do things like video encoding / programming)
 
I have a creavity Audicy 2...actually my motherboard's onboard sound is really good...5.1 surround and all that stuff...i just brought over my sound card from the old Mobo..

Yes go with PC 3200...most mobos are compatable with it and it should be fast Generic Ram actually will slow ur comp down (to a degree)

Video card? usually the thing i deck most the $$ into..but if u spend all on video and little on RAM and CPU..it won'd make a difference
 
939 offers dual channel. Thats the biggest difference. It makes memory reads and writes a bit faster.

The price differences lay within the different motherboards. To be honest I myself don't thing the difference is that huge to be so important.

If your really into games, then thats going to be the most demanding item. A beter gfx card will pay off more than a good cpu.


ps, post some online canadian shops. I have no idea what the prices are like.
 
Arg, i hate this nvidia vs ati bs. If your after price\speed theres a nice card for each price group.

Pre geforce, ATI were utter shit. And i mean utter shit, if ppl would still hold grudges they'd be missing out on some good deals.



Lets see what u can get for 150- 200 dollasr.

Well going a bit aboce ur budget i directly see ;

XFX GeForce 6600 GT for 229

Diamond Viper 9600XT for 221 ,
thats shit, cause the 6600gt is way faster.
Several 6600's for 200 and a bit, going for the gt based ones would be a better idea.

For that kinda money one could also buy a x700 pro. Didn't see one at that shop though. The 6600gt is a bit faster. I wouldn't go for the x700 unless its sub 200.


There was also a 9800pro with some nice vivo items. But at 250 it might be a bit too much. Getting an extra card for those features might do the job just as well.


If that eliminates the need for a agp board. You could et a desent mobo for 120 ish dollars based on the nforce 4 chipset.

One with a ati xpress 200 chipset is also a great option. But I thought the price was a bit too much for it at that shop.
 
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