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- Cheap X2 Build
February 25, 2007, 9:51 pm
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good). This is the rig:
$0 Case: Already owned (never used Lian-Li or Eagle Tech or something
with a garbage 500w PSU from 5 years ago).
$16 Input: Microsoft Mouse & Keyboard
$92 Mobo: Abit NF-M2 nView
$109 CPU: Athlon XP 3800+ EE (65w) Windsor 90nm
$130 RAM: Kingston ValueRam DDR2 667 2x1GB
$145 Video: Sapphire X1950GT
$85 PSU: Seasonic 430 watt
$280 LCD: Chimei 22" Widescreen 16.2m color 5ms GTG
$28 DVD: LiteOn CD/DVD burner
$44 HD: Hitachi Deskstar 80GB
$90 HD: Seagate Barracuda 320GB
$30 HP: Senheisser Supra-Aural headphones with microphone
$15 SPK: Cyber Acoustics 2.1 speaker set CA3000WW 14 watt
Total price: $995ish
Primary missions: HTPC, PVR, Gaming console, audio & video editing,
filesharing, folding, pwnage on a budget.
Thoughts: The SeaSonic 430 watt PSU is just about the most efficient,
silent PSU on the market....but the Hipro Top 500
very, very tempting at its price (and Hipro has a good rep).
*ALSO*, the SeaSonic is the best PSU in my price range, and sports a
single PCI-E 6-pin connector (an ommission corrected in the current
versions -- 430w lacked the PCI-E 6-pin cable in 2005, but got sleaved
cables plus 6-pin in 2006).....this single 6-pin is another factor
favoring my choice of mobo (with 1 PCI-Ex16):
The Abit NF-M2 nView really melts my butter with its rock-solid
stability, high overclocking potential and fanless design. My only
problem with it is its dearth of PCI-E slots -- one x16 and one x1.
The Abit KN9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813127236
costs about $30 more, but doubles the number of PCI-E slots (2x16 and
PPUs? Physics cards? Will I be "out in the cold" without an
available PCI-Ex16 slot to take advantage of a PPU card, or will the
PCI-Ex1 PPU cards (if produced) cut the mustard? Or, when I move to
quad-core (Barcelona) on this platform (AMD "promises" AM2-compatible
quad-core chips soon), will the extra two cores be more than enough to
handle physics in any games that actually *USE* physics processing?
(As far as I know, buying a PPU now is like buying a G8800 to play
I wanted to jump on the Core 2 Duo wagon, but I'd be spending an extra
+$70 for the cheapest proc (E4300).... If I was to go that way, I'd
get an Abit IL9 (even tho you can't OC those) for the same price as
the NF-M2....and if I wanted to overclock, I'd be spending ANOTHER
$70+ to overclock.
I'd rather spend that extra $150-$200 on more RAM or a nicer monitor
(and video card).
BTW, about core two....well, that can hold for another thread, but
anyone know what you can do with an E4300 sitting on an Abit IL9 with
2 gigs of DDR2 667? Straight OC with a higher multiplyer on a board
you can't do too much BIOS twidling or RAM adjustment with sounds
Thenk you for reading my disjointed thoughts; please contribute some
of your own!
Re: Cheap X2 Build
You don't mention what you have presently, but given the
goals of gaming and HTPC, a better mouse & keyboard,
particularly the mouse might be desirable. However, some
mice targeted to HTPC use (like Logitech Mediaplay) aren't
very good for gaming.
Not bad for a mATX board, but is that what the case
requires? If not, I'd go full ATX.
I think you will be very disappointed by these speakers.
You get what you pay for. IMO, about $60 worth of PSU is a
good match for your system... making the Seasonic a little
more capacity than you absolutely need, but the Hipro isn't
likely built as well.
If you keep looking for PSU, for long enough, you will find
several at about the same price that would suffice. You
could likely do fine with an $85 Antec case with the
included PSU, giving you a free case too. Your call, but
IMO the Hipro isn't a good value for a gaming system...
might be more appropriate if you were using the integrated
video instead of an X1950.
What did you plan on using that needs the PCI-E slot?
If you went with a full ATX board as mentioned above, that's
taken care of. If your present case is only mATX, getting a
case with a reasonable PSU would also facilitate this.
Forget the physics card, if you wanted to add more $$$
towards a better gaming PC, next step is a faster video
card, or putting the money aside to upgrade the video again,
It's always a tradeoff at any price-point. Personally if
spending ~$1000, I'd find a way to fit a Core2Duo into the
budget, particularly if this is your main-use PC, not a
secondary system only devoted to aforementioned activities.
You've arbitrarily jacked up the price though, it's $70 not
$200, 7% of a $1000 budget. I like Abit boards, but there
are other options... too many, and remember that if you
decided to o'c, enough to put more money into it, it is
expected you'd have a significantly faster system. I don't
know what the *average* o'c is for a 3800 Winsor but I'd
imagine around 3.1GHz, which is quite sufficient for gaming
but just not what I'd put in a ~ $1000 system.
I don't know what the ceiling is, but you'd be wanting to
pick a board with some bus margin and raising that, not
Re: Cheap X2 Build
I built a similar machine for the g.f. a bit over a year ago. She uses it
exclusively for Photoshop
and it works great! The price on the X2-3800 has dropped a bit in that
time...and I'm tempted
to build one for myself to do video editing.
I'm sure by the time I get around to it...the X2's will be obsolete !
Re: Cheap X2 Build
Yeah, I know, but AM2 *is_supposed_to* provide an upgrade path to
Barcelona quad-core goodness.
Mainly, I want a nice, affordable, *stable*, overclockable
motherboard. Did you get her the cheaper NF-M2S (which doesn't
overclock) or the slightly pricier but full-featured NF-M2 nView
(which does)? What were your experiences with it like?
Re: Cheap X2 Build
I got the AMD Athlon 64 X2-3800+
and did not run any experiments with it or attempt to overclock.
at the time I bought it I think it was something like $385 including cooler.
The machine has run *flawlessly* since I built it...and set it up dual
booting XP_32 and XP_64
Once I had XP_32 all setup and running I little by little got the 64bit side
and now it's used strictly with XP_64
Although I've always been a big AMD fan...I understand that Intel may have
an edge over AMD right now
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