Spec needed, £1000 budget for basics

Jet

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A friend of mine has around £1000 to spend on a new gaming machine.

Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, DVD-RW etc, are not needed. AMD is preferred.

He has suggested the following spec:

Mobo

Sapphire PURE RD580 CrossFire Advantage (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (PC-A9RD580Adv) (MB-004-SP)

CPU

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4200BVBOX) (CP-126-AM)

RAM

Mushkin 2GB DDR XP4000 Extreme Performance Dual Channel Kit (2x1GB) CAS3 (991483) (MY-000-MK)

hard drive

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300GB ST3300622A ATA-100 16MB Cache - OEM (HD-068-SE)

just to use for the time being i will get a couple of external ones to go with this as well

Case

Thermaltake VB1000BWS Soprano SuperMidi Tower - Black (CA-015-TT)

GFX Card

Gainward BLISS GeForce 7600 GT "Golden Sample" 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (471846200-7777) (GX-036-GW)

2 of these ones, or could spend £250 on a 7900? good idea or bad idea?

Total £916.09



Any comments or other spec suggestions. Paticularly on whether to go SLi or not.

Thanks.
 

kbc

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Firstly, he can't SLI on a Crossfire board.

Get a X2 4400+ or the 3800+ which can be clocked to 4200+ speeds. The 4400+ has the bonus of 1MB cache per core.

I'd keep with a single 7900GT rather than dual 7600GT, if he's getting some high performance RAM perhaps pair it up with a DFI for some real clocking potential.
 
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kbc said:
Firstly, he can't SLI on a Crossfire board.

Get a X2 4400+ or the 3800+ which can be clocked to 4200+ speeds. The 4400+ has the bonus of 1MB cache per core.

I'd keep with a single 7900GT rather than dual 7600GT, if he's getting some high performance RAM perhaps pair it up with a DFI for some real clocking potential.

Or if he doesnt fancy any major overclocks, get rid of the RAM and go for some PC3200 stuff. Save some money and spend it on an X1900 instead :D

SiriusB
 
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Stretched the budget but boy is it worth it.

1MB cache X2 processor and X1900XT graphics - very nice. Rest of the system is quality, stable and in fact exactly what I have :).

CP-127-AM AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4400CDBOX) (CP-127-AM)
£264.95 £264.95
MB-129-AS Asus A8R-MVP Crossfire (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-129-AS)
£59.95 £59.95
MY-046-GL GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS3 (GE2GB3200BDC) (MY-046-GL)
£104.95 £104.95
GX-047-CO Connect3D ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (3056) (GX-047-CO)
£239.95 £239.95
CA-038-LL Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS Silver Aluminium Midi-Tower Case (No PSU) (CA-038-LL)
£47.95 £47.95
CA-007-TG Tagan TG430-U15 430W ATX2.01 Easycon SLi Compliant Modular Silent PSU (CA-007-TG)
£46.95 £46.95
HD-024-SA Samsung SpinPoint P HD160JJ 160GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-024-SA)
£38.95 £38.95
Subtotal £803.65
Shipping (City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri)) £10.95
VAT £142.56
Total £957.16
 
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BigDom said:
Stretched the budget but boy is it worth it.

1MB cache X2 processor and X1900XT graphics - very nice. Rest of the system is quality, stable and in fact exactly what I have :).

CP-127-AM AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4400CDBOX) (CP-127-AM)
£264.95 £264.95
MB-129-AS Asus A8R-MVP Crossfire (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-129-AS)
£59.95 £59.95
MY-046-GL GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS3 (GE2GB3200BDC) (MY-046-GL)
£104.95 £104.95
GX-047-CO Connect3D ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (3056) (GX-047-CO)
£239.95 £239.95
CA-038-LL Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS Silver Aluminium Midi-Tower Case (No PSU) (CA-038-LL)
£47.95 £47.95
CA-007-TG Tagan TG430-U15 430W ATX2.01 Easycon SLi Compliant Modular Silent PSU (CA-007-TG)
£46.95 £46.95
HD-024-SA Samsung SpinPoint P HD160JJ 160GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-024-SA)
£38.95 £38.95
Subtotal £803.65
Shipping (City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri)) £10.95
VAT £142.56
Total £957.16

A good spec, very similar to mine. I would however change the HDD to a Hitachi Deskstar 250GB SATA. It costs only another 20-30 quid more but you get 100GB more and a drive that is one of the best performing 7200rpm drives going. Also, it isnt very loud - at least mine isnt - so I cant see a justifiable reason for the Samsung. [unless sound level is really important]

SiriusB
 
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Well £20-30 in hard drive terms is quite a bit, I could drop a 250 in though but was already over budget. The Spinpoints are very nice drives. Fast and quiet.
 

Jet

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My friend replies:

"thanks for the responces, i have £1000 to spend so that setup will be fine big dom, maybe even stretch it a bit further? i defenatly want the thermaltake soprano case, it looks very nice!, i can stretch to about £1100-£1200 if i have to and if it is worth it, i want something that will own hl2 on max settings and will be good for upgrades for a couple of years, my current setup is now obsolete and upgradeing it is becoming pointless due to the price of new kit.

can ati cards run on SLI? i am just thinking that as an easy upgrade i could get an 7900 now and in a years time get another to run in sli as a cheap upgrade, can i do that on the ATI? i am a bit of an ATI newb, the last ATI card i had was a banchee, lol been nvidia since then.

i am not interested in overclocking, i have done it on my current setup but only because i was too skint to upgrade at the time, lol and i would rather keep the new setup standard and maybe overclock it in a year or so if i have to, i am not interested in benchmarking or "mine is bigger then yours" etc competitions but just something good and decent "

Thanks.
 
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He won't need to go Crossfire (the ATI SLI equivelent) unless he's going hi res 20+" on really hardcore (graphically) games like EQ2, Oblivion etc.

This spec will eat HL2 alive and ask what's for seconds :)

The Soprano case isn't bad, however the Lanboy and PC7 are both better cases. There's a thread on the Soprano in the case part of the forum.

Crossfire works slightly differently to SLI in that you buy a master card not just a second normal card. In doing so Crossfire generally works slightly better. However unless your going above sort of 1600x1200 your not likely to ever need it as the X1900XT is that powerfull.
 
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Jet said:
My friend replies:

"thanks for the responces, i have £1000 to spend so that setup will be fine big dom, maybe even stretch it a bit further? i defenatly want the thermaltake soprano case, it looks very nice!, i can stretch to about £1100-£1200 if i have to and if it is worth it, i want something that will own hl2 on max settings and will be good for upgrades for a couple of years, my current setup is now obsolete and upgradeing it is becoming pointless due to the price of new kit.

can ati cards run on SLI? i am just thinking that as an easy upgrade i could get an 7900 now and in a years time get another to run in sli as a cheap upgrade, can i do that on the ATI? i am a bit of an ATI newb, the last ATI card i had was a banchee, lol been nvidia since then.

i am not interested in overclocking, i have done it on my current setup but only because i was too skint to upgrade at the time, lol and i would rather keep the new setup standard and maybe overclock it in a year or so if i have to, i am not interested in benchmarking or "mine is bigger then yours" etc competitions but just something good and decent "

Thanks.

If he is willing to spend a bit more then I seriously suggest the Hitachi again. You're getting alot more space and getting a drive that IS better than the Samsung. Other than that everything is good - itll own HL2 no problem.

SiriusB
 
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Here we go.

MB-142-AS Asus M2N32-SLi-DLX nForce 590 SLi (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard (MB-142-AS)
£129.95 £129.95
MY-108-CS Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C4 TwinX (2x1GB) (MY-108-CS)
£179.95 £179.95
CP-167-AM AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000+ 2.00GHz (Socket AM2) - Retail (CP-167-AM)
£199.95 £199.95
CA-009-HP Hiper HPU-4M580 Type R 580W ATX2.2 PSU - Black (CA-009-HP)
£39.95 £39.95
GX-018-BG BFG GeForce 7900 GT OC 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-018-BG)
£179.95 £179.95
HD-002-HI Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 NCQ 250GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (0A31636) (HD-002-HI)
£52.95 £105.90
CA-054-LL Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS Black Aluminium Midi-Tower Case (No PSU) (CA-054-LL)
£48.95 £48.95
HD-001-OK OcUK Value Floppy Drive - Black (HD-001-OK)
£5.95 £5.95
CD-030-NE NEC ND4570 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM (CD-030-NE)
£20.95 £20.95
Subtotal £911.50
Shipping (City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri)) £10.95
VAT £161.43
Total £1,083.88


I'd stay away from the Soprano, its fairly nice to look at but quite cramped once you get everything in there.
 
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REFERENCE DESCRIPTION QUANTITY PRICE COST
CP-168-AM AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 2.20GHz (Socket AM2) - Retail (CP-168-AM) 1
£219.95 £219.95
MB-071-MS MSI K9N Neo-F nForce 550 (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard (MB-071-MS) 1
£54.95 £54.95
MY-095-CS Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-5400 TwinX (2x1GB) (MY-095-CS) 1
£149.95 £149.95
GX-047-CO Connect3D ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (3056) (GX-047-CO) 1
£239.95 £239.95
HD-048-WD Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 200GB 2000JS SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-048-WD) 1
£46.95 £46.95
CD-043-LG LG GSA-H10ABAL 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM (CD-043-LG) 1
£21.95 £21.95
CA-009-HP Hiper HPU-4M580 Type R 580W ATX2.2 PSU - Black (CA-009-HP) 1
£39.95 £39.95
CA-012-TT Thermaltake VA3000BNA Tsunami Dream SuperMidi Aluminium Tower - Black (CA-012-TT) 1
£59.95 £59.95
Subtotal £833.60
Shipping (City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri)) £10.95
VAT £147.80
Total £992.35


heres my recommendation. Id o not think there is any point getting an SLI mobo, if you are playing on a 17" flatscreen like most then this x1900XT will more than cope, it also supports HDR+AA, the case is really nice also and a good quality PSU. always western digital HDD there rock solid. This is a good CPU also that will be able to cope with the latest games and the RAM also gives you some headroom to OC if you want.
have fun
 
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Interesting spec Trojan but really not worth it at all.

4000+ is inferior to the 4400+
7900OC is inferior to the X1900XT
Hiper PSU's have a marginal reputation due to issues with getting noisy ( tagan, enermax and couple of others are better buys).
DDR2 being expensive adds to the problems of budget.

Overall a spec that proves that 939 is definatly the way to go at the moment.

Lucifers is an interesting spec but still inferior to the 939 solution.
 
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BigDom said:
Interesting spec Trojan but really not worth it at all.

4000+ is inferior to the 4400+
7900OC is inferior to the X1900XT
Hiper PSU's have a marginal reputation due to issues with getting noisy ( tagan, enermax and couple of others are better buys).
DDR2 being expensive adds to the problems of budget.

Overall a spec that proves that 939 is definatly the way to go at the moment.

Lucifers is an interesting spec but still inferior to the 939 solution.

Yeah it was a token AM2 spec, I'd still recommend 939 although it'll be outdated very quickly.
 
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Jet said:
Sapphire PURE RD580 CrossFire Advantage (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (PC-A9RD580Adv) (MB-004-SP)
I wouldn't....they're bug ridden.


Jet said:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4200BVBOX) (CP-126-AM)
Better off with a 4400+ as it has the 1mb L2 cache per core instead of the 512k on the 4200+


Jet said:
Mushkin 2GB DDR XP4000 Extreme Performance Dual Channel Kit (2x1GB) CAS3 (991483) (MY-000-MK)
The faster ram isn't needed, A good set of PC3200 ram with tight timings is generally better.


Jet said:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300GB ST3300622A ATA-100 16MB Cache - OEM (HD-068-SE)
Hitachi Deskstar IMO


Jet said:
Thermaltake VB1000BWS Soprano SuperMidi Tower - Black (CA-015-TT)
Thermaltake cases aren't very well made.....Look at the PC7+ or the Akasa Eclipse 62


Jet said:
Gainward BLISS GeForce 7600 GT "Golden Sample" 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (471846200-7777) (GX-036-GW)

2 of these ones, or could spend £250 on a 7900? good idea or bad idea?
2 x 7600gt's would be slower than a 7800gt let alone a 7900gt.....But the ATI cards are much better anyway


Try this instead:

FG-000-AR Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro CPU Cooler (Socket 754/939/940) (FG-000-AR)
£11.95 £11.95
CP-127-AM AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4400CDBOX) (CP-127-AM)
£264.95 £264.95
MB-014-DF DFI LanParty UT NF4 Ultra-D (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-014-DF)
£79.95 £79.95
MY-005-MK Mushkin 2GB DDR HP3200 High Performance Dual Channel Kit (2x1GB) CAS2 (991434) (MY-005-MK)
£119.95 £119.95
GX-121-SP Sapphire ATI Radeon X1800 XT 256MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-121-SP)
£159.95 £159.95
HD-001-HI Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 NCQ 160GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (0A31637) (HD-001-HI)
£46.95 £46.95
CA-054-LL Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS Black Aluminium Midi-Tower Case (No PSU) (CA-054-LL)
£48.95 £48.95
CA-025-EN Enermax Liberty 500W ELT500AWT ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant PSU (CA-025-EN)
£59.95 £59.95
Subtotal £792.60
Shipping (City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri)) £10.95
VAT £140.63
Total £944.18
 
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while s939 might be more power for your money it leaves you with no upgrade path as far as the CPU is concerned, if you think you might want to upgrade later then go for AM2, if not then S939 is definatly the way to go for price and speed in the short term. (again if you decided to upgrade in the future DDR1 RAM is already out of date!)
have fun

edit: you need to ask your mate if he wants upgradeability, overclockablitity etc!
 
Last edited:

Jet

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Friend replies:

after looking on that post zen i am thinking about this spec:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4400CDBOX) (CP-127-AM)
£264.95 £264.95

GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS3 (GE2GB3200BDC) (MY-046-GL)
£104.95 £104.95

ATI Radeon X1900 ***Crossfire Edition*** 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-045-CO)
£259.95 £259.95

Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Crossfire (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-131-AS)
£109.95 £109.95

Thermaltake VB1000BWS Soprano SuperMidi Tower - Black (CA-015-TT)
£42.95 £42.95

Q-Tec 650W Triple Fan Gold PSU (CA-003-QT)
£19.95 £19.95

Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 NCQ 250GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (0A31636) (HD-002-HI) X2
£52.95 £105.90

Subtotal £908.60
VAT £159.01
Total £1,067.61

I'm sure you'll have something to say about the PSU ;) but any other improvements? I appreciate there are better cases for cooling but they are largely a visual thing.
 
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crap PSU and um well, you will need a proper gfx the xfire will not work by itself and dont waste all that money on a high end xfire mobo that is probably not going to get used.
BFG RNF4U nForce4 Ultra (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-000-BG) Price: £59.95 (£70.44 Including VAT at 17.5%)
this mobo will be fine for you i think
 
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