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Old 02-06-2006, 06:13 PM   #41
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I like Fortron as well. I've had one of their 350W power supplies for seven or eight years, still running like a champ. It went through several hardware upgrades and handled everything well.

Very interesting on the onboard video solution. Good thinking, it might be something else to consider.
 
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:18 PM   #42
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Fozz
I love your $2k design, I do have a quick question.

If i take advantage of the SLI board putting 4 gigs of ram and 2 ATI Radeon X1900XT do you think the box has enough air movement and cooling abilities, or would I need to look at alternate cooling methods? I really don’t want to drop the change for liquid cool.

Thanks in advance!
-Demmic
 
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:36 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Demmic
If i take advantage of the SLI board ... 2 ATI Radeon X1900XT
The PC would a splode. ATi cards won't work in dual config on an SLI system. You can have 1, but not 2.

On a more serious note, do notice that super big cards like that have dual slot setups, thus they would block off slots and/or be a tight fit in dual card config.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:54 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demmic
Fozz
I love your $2k design, I do have a quick question.

If i take advantage of the SLI board putting 4 gigs of ram and 2 ATI Radeon X1900XT do you think the box has enough air movement and cooling abilities, or would I need to look at alternate cooling methods? I really don’t want to drop the change for liquid cool.

Thanks in advance!
-Demmic
The case does have what I would consider very good cooling...although I think 4Gigs of RAM might be a bit of overkill (especially since you lose a bit of performance since the Athlon X2's memory controller can only handle 4 double-sided DIMMS at a 2T command rate), 4 sticks of RAM and dual video cards should run just fine in that case.

I would take care to make sure if you are going to do dual video cards that the cards you pick out have good cooling themselves. Depending on the manufacturer, some cards run much hotter than others (factory overclocks can also heat things up), and two very hot cards probably wouldn't be to healthy with an air-cooled case.

As Rabb1t mentioned, right now I'm recommending the X1900XT because it's the best-performing GPU on the market. I'm recommending an Nvidia SLI motherboard because it's a great motherboard, and there really haven't been any comparible choices when it comes to ATI crossfire motherboards. This may be changing a bit...but right now the $2k recommended config is not dual-GPU friendly.

If you want dual ATI cards, it has to be an ATI crossfire motherboard. For dual Nvidia cards, an Nvidia SLI motherboard.
 
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:09 PM   #45
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Thanks so much for the info!!! I loved the game rabb1t

So Fozz as far as future upgrade to the 2k system you have spec'd what would you do? The reason I ask is I know that in 2 years I will be jones'n to upgrade my system, so as far as future expandability to that system is there any? Or just accept that in two years technology will be such that I will just need to build a new box?
 
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:00 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demmic
Thanks so much for the info!!! I loved the game rabb1t

So Fozz as far as future upgrade to the 2k system you have spec'd what would you do? The reason I ask is I know that in 2 years I will be jones'n to upgrade my system, so as far as future expandability to that system is there any? Or just accept that in two years technology will be such that I will just need to build a new box?
You'll probably have to replace your motherboard, processor, and RAM. AM2 should be in full swing by then, and 939 all but dead.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:43 AM   #47
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AM2 should be in full swing by then, and 939 all but dead.
Actually in 2 years we will be beyond AM2 and onto the next socket in '08. That socket will have DDR3 and incorporate PCIe generation II.

(Someone mentioned they'd heard this will be closer to a 'socket' type of GPU and share the ram on the motherboard instead of having it's own ram. Don't know about this bit. The above I did see in an article, but can't find that article atm.)

A lot of reviews are saying that the AM2 improvements likely won't be that big compared to 939, so what I'm recommending peeps do is to target a 939 build and have that carry them into '08 and then hop onto that DDR3/PCIeII socket sometime in '08/'09.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:49 AM   #48
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Thanks again, all :-). I think I like Breogan's suggestion the best, since I can upgrade it if I get the itch... (wow, that mobo is small )

You want to know what the sad thing is? All of these cheapo machines you guys have suggested are probably better than anything I or my parents have ever owned

Also, I currently run Windows 2000, and am wanting to upgrading to XP Pro. I was going to throw one of those OEM copies into this purchase; it bumps price up a bit, but I was going to have to do it anyway...

Anyway, should I go with the normal version, or the 64-bit? Other thoughts?

I'm pretty much a novice at this (if you haven't guessed already ) so your guy's help is most appreciated
 
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:52 AM   #49
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Anyway, should I go with the normal version, or the 64-bit? Other thoughts?
Stick with 32bit, till Vista's out, then wait for the first Vista service pack to upgrade to that.
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:53 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAdams
You want to know what the sad thing is? All of these cheapo machines you guys have suggested are probably better than anything I or my parents have ever owned
Not sure what you mean by that - but um, talk to me when you thought you were leet for having the Atari tape drive?
(Well parents got a tape drive, but still. )

Quote:
I currently run Windows 2000, and am wanting to upgrading to XP Pro. ... Anyway, should I go with the normal version, or the 64-bit? Other thoughts?
If you absolutely must purchase an OS right now, go with the 32-bit version. Avoid XP 64-bit at all costs.

If you can wait about 5 months, don't get anything now, and get Vista then. (32-bit or 64-bit according to what kind of CPU you have.)
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:43 AM   #51
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I think Vista might be a little later than that... I'd also say sticking with 32bit is the better idea for the time being.

As far as upgrading the $2k system in two years...there's no way to tell, honestly. Things change much to quickly. Just rest assured (at least I hope) that I will still be around then and my recommendations will reflect what's best at that time.

If I were to make some general predictions, I agree with rabb1t that there will definitely be a new socket to look at, and perhaps some more dramatic differences. AMD's next socket after AM2 may actually include support for the PCIe controller on the processor itself (I've heard rumors). There's also the possibility of video chip sockets, built-in physics processing, and who knows what else. We will most likely be looking at quad-core CPUs, with who knows what built onboard.
 
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:25 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demmic
So Fozz as far as future upgrade to the 2k system you have spec'd what would you do? The reason I ask is I know that in 2 years I will be jones'n to upgrade my system, so as far as future expandability to that system is there any? Or just accept that in two years technology will be such that I will just need to build a new box?
I think Fozzik's recommendations will carry you for 2 years, easily. Certainly you won't be the king of the hill, but you'll survive. Plus you should have room for a mid-life upgrade to various components as the "must buy hardware" itch hits ya.

My own philosophy on building is:
--Assume the system will last me for 2 years.
--Plan to retire it in one year. But always keep "2 years" in mind.
--Be as certain as possible the the mboard will allow me to upgrade the CPU (as prices drop, or cash flow allows, or just my drool factor).
--Initially get the best CPU for the buck, cuz I'll do a mid-life (6-12 months) update to the system (cpu and/or video and/or ram|toys).
--Initially good (very good) video, not necessarily the best though. I hate video prices. Mid-life video upgrade when prices drop (if really needed and the mboard supports a video upgrade that actually results in a decent % improvement.
...anywho you probably get the picture. Again, I think Fozzik's recommendations cover my own building style. Upgradability for my system's 1-2 year lifespan, high quality, near top rung tech, and price range for the initial build.
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