Tech Talk Discuss PC Hardware, Software, Internet and Other Technology

Building another AMD computer - component help?

Old 06-06-04, 09:29 AM
  #1  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2
Building another AMD computer - component help?

Well, I am about to build another AMD based computer - this time for my sister. I don't do this for money - I have only built five for myself over the past few years.

Seems as though everytime I build one, I end up getting some component that does not play nice with others. I always read the reviews and get components that are rated well - however, it is not always easy to tell what will work with what.

So - the question:

Can anyone give me a few component lists that actually work? Here is what she is basically looking for...

PC - under $1,400 with flat panel preferred.

2ghz + AMD processor and Motherboard
512MB ram minimum
120 GB + HD
DVD R RW drive
CD- ROM
Middle range Video card
Middle range Audio card


This will be acomplete system needing keyboard, mouse, cables, etc. - meaning this will all be a part of the total coast that needs to be below 1400.

Seems the most troublesome parts are always the motherboard, video card, and audio card getting along - sometimes the memory. I do not want to skimp on the motherboard.

So can anyone recommend a few exact parts that have worked for them?


I really appreciate any help. My sister will too!

C. Ryan
RyanB is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 10:12 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 724
So what do you mean that they dont play nice together? I have built myself a couple computers and I have never had any problems before.

What I would do is go to newegg.com and just pick out a couple things, read the reviews there on that site and go with it. I dont see why you would have any problems if you did that.

Good luck
Gasspasser is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 10:17 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 509
You could get a nice system together for even less than that $1400 figure you posted.

I would start with a good foundation. I recommend nforce 2 based boards for AMD systems. They are proven, and reliable. Especially those models with the mcp-t southbridge chip, which provides soundstorm audio and Lan connectivity. This solves at least one of your questions regarding compatibility and audio.

A decent board should set you back around $100 or less.
Personally I like the abit nf7-s and the asus a7n8x-e deluxe.

Moving on to the power supply, I recommend not skimping on this component. I heartily recommend fortron, antec or PC power and cooling. All these brands have reasonably priced models under $100 that should provide reliable power. Antec truebue 480watt model is nice.

As far as video card, this is grounds for flame bait NO matter what choice you make, it will be criticised by some. I think for a budget rig, a geforce fx 5700 ultra is a solid choice, as is a radeon 9600 or 9800.... Either ATI or Nvidia can provide good performance for the money.

Hard drive, I would recommend serial ata, preferably a drive that is 7200 rpm with 8mb cache. Western digital has some good models.

Ram is another controversial subject, suffice to say, if you are using an Athlon XP cpu, your ram should be DDR400 and have a decent reputation for reliability. Micron and Viking are common choices there.

CPU- Athlon XP 2400 mobile can overclock to reach 3200+ speeds, saving significantly, but requires quality components around it to achieve that goal, that being said, you could pop the $200 for the real 3200+ and not worry further.

Heatsink, if you go with retail processor, and not overclock, the included standard hsf will suffice nicely. If you are looking to overclock, I recommend the Thermalright SLK948u or SP92 heatsinks with a quality 80mm fan. These are widely considered among the very best heatsinks on the market. Zalman also is known for excellent heatsinks.

As far as cases go, mid towers are the most common and affordable today. Cooling is a consideration. Be sure your choice provides a good layout. Try to avoid the cheapest cases as they are flimsy and come with really borderline power supplies. Chembro gaming bomb is considered among the better inexpensive cases currently on the market.

Sorry this isnt more extensive, but it is my honest assesment of current AMD athlon XP systems to put together on your own. Availability and your place of purchase will largely determine what is available to you. If shopping online, you can't go too wrong with Newegg.com. There are other viable alternatives to them as well, just they are widely regarded as a fair and honest vendor. I recommend visiting www.resellerratings.com to check out any online vendor you are considering doing business with.

I am sure others will have different opinions on what I have stated, that is the beauty of the internet, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and this is mine

Bear in mind, I have outlined a system for most people to be quite effective at gaming/general use. There are faster processors on the market, IE athlon 64 and Intel P4, but I was asssuming you were intent on putting an athlon XP system together.
wmunn is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 11:11 AM
  #4  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,704
I've been using the mobile Athlon 2400+ with very good results.

It is only $77 at Newegg (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...codevalue=4181) and I have it clocked at over 2.3GHz where its normal clock speed is 1.8GHz.

The main thing that keeps me from clocking it faster is the lack of my motherboard's ability to lock the PCI bus's clock speed. The Asus A7N8X boards allow you to do that, maybe all NForce 2 boards do.
X is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 11:36 AM
  #5  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2
Thank you so far for the very informative posts. I guess many of the days of old problems have been sorted out. I mean I remember having all kinds of crap with Via chipsets and soundblaster...UGH!

Anyway, I just did not want to get into that with a computer that is not for me. I want something streamlined for my sister - not overclocked and Stable as Hell.

I am currently using an Nforce board for my HTPC. Works well but is no longer available.

What current Nforce board with audio would gauruntee stability? Any of them?

Is there a decent case at newegg that comes with a decent power supply. I certainly don't expect people to do my research, but sometimes reviews just don't add up. Experience from this board is worth more to me.


Thanks again,

C. Ryan
RyanB is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 01:40 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
fumanstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 55,343
The NF7-S or the DFI Infinity are probably the best Nforce2 motherboards out. The onboard sound on the Nforce would be fine too. If you're not overclocking, i think a Athlon XP 2500+ is the best value and would probably be enough for your sister. For cases... look at Antec.
fumanstan is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 02:51 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 509
another point to consider, if you are considering overclocking, PLEASE build out your rig with quality components from the beginning. Overclocking an Athlon XP rig with second rate parts can be an exercise in frustration. I speak from experience there. Overclocking requires excellent cooling, quality power, excellent memory and cautious assembly. Not to mention some luck

Too many times I see people pronouncing to the world that its easy and that ALL athlon XP will overclock like crazy, don't be mislead. While most 2500 are at least theoretically capable of 2.1 ghz, a lot of that depends on the rest of the components. Good quality heatsink, good to excellent case ventilation and fan strategy, along with a good quality power supply. Memory that is of good to excellent quality and rated for the speed you intend to run it at. Dont expect DDR300 or DDR400 to go to a 225 or 250mhz front side bus. Realistically, you can get 2.1ghz out of a 2500+ but it is not a guarantee. Even if you can only get it to do 175 or 180 mhz fsb, at least that is something.
wmunn is offline  
Old 06-07-04, 01:44 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PA
Posts: 730
What level of computer user is she? What does she plan on doing with it? If she's a surfing, emailing, IMing type of person then most of the recommendations here are overkill.

Does she plan on gaming or video editing? I mean My system differs greatly from the computer I got my little sister, but she's really happy with it and it does everything she needs.

I'd put together a system that suits her needs, even though it's hard when we're all such computer geeks.
breaux124 is offline  
Old 06-08-04, 12:30 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 475
Ackkk.

Newegg now charges tax for TN. I may still use them, but...

Is there another online store comparable to Newegg? Decent prices and exceptional service?


Thanks,

C. Ryan
CRyan is offline  
Old 06-08-04, 01:31 PM
  #10  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,704
Re: Ackkk.

Originally posted by CRyan
Is there another online store comparable to Newegg? Decent prices and exceptional service?
Zipzoomfly.com

Possibly mwave.com.
X is offline  
Old 06-08-04, 01:41 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 475
Oh zipzoomfly looks promising. Similar shipping deals as well. Will have to price out the same system with them. Will report back what the price diff is with tax etc.

thanks...
CRyan is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.