AM2 upgrade options.

aingeal

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Aug 3, 2005
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my systems current specs are as follows:

Asus a8n-sli deluxe mobo
amd 64 3200+ venice
1gb ocz platinum
bfg 6800 gt
460w enermax psu
pioneer dvd-rw
seagate 320gb sata hdd

im looking to upgrade for the summer and put together something that seems pretty decent to me that will last me long enough until i decide to upgrade again. the only this i plan on keeping is the case and the hdd. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated or any comments as i am looking to purchase pretty soon and get this rig built.

ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813131022

EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130082

ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817194003

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA5200CSBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819103759

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-2GBHK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820231114

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16827106057

Creative Sound Blaster SB0570 Audigy SE 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16829102002
 

enginurd

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Looks good. Also, theres a huge thread on that board on the AT forums, so check it out and make sure all the kinks have been worked out with it. I remember it had major problems before. It was one of Asus' worst boards. If you're overclocking, go for an intel instead. I'd ditch that soundcard; its not worth any money, imo. Also, if you want to save some cash, the NQ G.skills are like $20 cheaper, and you won't really notice the difference between CL4 and CL5 -- ooh, and it comes with a thumbdrive while supplies last! lol.
 

aingeal

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not really planning on overclocking any with this build but as far as the ram i was told that the set i had picked out would work the best with AMD because of the tighter timings on it as opposed to the other g.skill ram. the only reason i picked that soundcard up was becuase ive been using onboard sound in my current rig and it just plain sucks so i was looking for a cheap alternative that would suffice.

edit: checked out the thread over at AT and it seems like a few ppl were having trouble with the mobo but here recently seemed like people are starting to like it more and its not as bad as it was but i checked over at the egg anyway for some more non-sli AM2 boards but really couldnt find anything that was any better to me but im up for suggestions from anyone.
 
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Go for Core 2 if you can afford it...but you said you're not an overclocker so there might not be much appeal there for you.

Ditch the Enermax PSU for the Corsair HX520, it can be found for about $115 typically or $99 on sale.

I would suggest at least getting a cheap x-fi instead of an Audigy, it seems that future driver support for XP and especially Vista will be very poor at best. Use onboard sound and save your money for something more modern and you will end up happier in the long run.
 

aingeal

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took a look at the corsair psu that u recommended and it looks pretty good with alot of positive reviews so im going to switch it out for the enermax, even though i love enermax and have never had a problem with them! as far as the sound card goes ill more then likely end up doing what you stated in using onboard till i get around to getting an x-fi
 

thrawn86

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not really planning on overclocking any with this build but as far as the ram i was told that the set i had picked out would work the best with AMD because of the tighter timings on it as opposed to the other g.skill ram. the only reason i picked that soundcard up was becuase ive been using onboard sound in my current rig and it just plain sucks so i was looking for a cheap alternative that would suffice.

edit: checked out the thread over at AT and it seems like a few ppl were having trouble with the mobo but here recently seemed like people are starting to like it more and its not as bad as it was but i checked over at the egg anyway for some more non-sli AM2 boards but really couldnt find anything that was any better to me but im up for suggestions from anyone.

I got my m2n-e a year ago and it was *awful*, as in I couldn't post at 210 fsb. The new BIOSs work great, and now my 3800 (horrible stepping from a year ago) is at 2.6. Still, I wish I'd gotten the sli...
 

aingeal

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you think its worth the hassle to just go ahead and upgrade to the sli version even though i wont be using sli?

also on a side not, my monitor is currently a 19" benq lcd running at 1280*1024 so im wondering exactly how much of the videocard will i be "wasting" as i have read that i wont even be scratching the surface of this card with such a small monitor and low resolution.
 

enginurd

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as you start to play newer games that come out, it won't be so much of a waste.
 

aingeal

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alrite sounds good! glad to hear an answer like that lol. im also looking to upgrade to possibly a newer case as right now im using an old chenming 602, but i love the case becuase its so big and so much room inside, but ive heard great thing about the antec p180.
 

enginurd

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p180 is nice, but I prefer the CoolerMaster CM Stacker series instead. The Thermaltake Armor Series is also popular. Then you've got the Lian-Li's and Silverstones... so hard to decide, lol. I have one of each. :D Oh wait, no Tt case for me, lol.
 

aingeal

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out of those that you listed, which one is the biggest, ive gotten so used to having a full tower dont really wanna have to downsize to a mid tower.
 

MC FLMJIG

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Ditch the sound card... Chaintech has one that's 30 that sounds better or at worst similar to the X-FI. ENVY chipset is great.

Also There are some 590 boards 100 after rebate. Asus is ok but you can do better.

From cheap to more $. I'd take these over the Asus any day. I have exprience with most of these as well as the Asus:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813136015

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186098

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188016

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813141001


I also say the Corsair PSU
 

Blocatan

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I LIKE XFX .. I have not used on their motherboards, but I have had 2 of their video card and ther are nothing but the best ... EVGA has a good rep as well, And i am using one of theri 680i boards ... AWESOME .... PURE PWNAGE ARE THEY!
 

aingeal

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ive never had a problem and ive owned asus mobos my whole life so i think ima stick with it and just see how it goes lol
 

enginurd

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out of those that you listed, which one is the biggest, ive gotten so used to having a full tower dont really wanna have to downsize to a mid tower.

The Stacker, I think... here, this should help:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...,1375,1333&PropertyCodeValue=548:8289&bop=And

ive never had a problem and ive owned asus mobos my whole life so i think ima stick with it and just see how it goes lol

Thats cool. Stick with what you're comfortable with. Just know that you've been warned. :p Though, the board is old already, so they should have had all the kinks worked out by now, lol.
 

silent-circuit

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Read through the threads about ASUS in the motherboard forum before buying... I think after you hear enough horror stories you'll reconsider. Really.

I went with EVGA because they don't seem to bitch and moan so much if something goes wrong and you have to RMA, they just get things solved. And for $30 when you register the board in the first 30 days they'll cross-ship you a new one if something goes wrong and pay shipping both ways. Worthwhile, I think.

I like my P180 a lot, though if the wires from your PSU are short the whole "mounting it on the bottom" thing can be troublesome. It's plenty big inside, 4 5.25" external bays for CD/DVDRW, and 6 internal HD bays. You do have to pull one of the HD trays to fit a GTX (they're very long) but GTS's are shorter so it wouldn't be an issue.

$50 gives you 2x the VRAM -- I'd go with a GTS 640, definitely, as a sort of future-proofing unless you plan to buy again in around 6 months, and a 680i board as it gives you a much better upgrade path via SLI and quad core Intels in the future. E4300 (1.8Ghz) or E6400/6420 (2.13Ghz) (only difference is cache size) now, a quad core later if you want, or just buy a $40-50 HSF like the Thermalright Ultra 120 or Tuniq Tower and you can OC to around 3.2Ghz easy assuming you don't get the worst of the worst chip. My E6420 does a 50% OC (to 3.2Ghz from 2.13Ghz) at stock voltage with my cooler, which is roughly equivalent to, probably not quite as good as a Thermalright Ultra 120, and it's only about 3 degrees C hotter at full load than at stock clocks.
 

aingeal

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ya for the case i think im going to try with the antec p180, as far as the mobo i really like the asus one but i dont wanna be stuck in a hole so ill go back through and take a look at the recommended ones and see what i can come up with.
 

MC FLMJIG

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829120103

Sounds as good or IMO better than X-Fi. Can't stress this one enough.

It's not that Asus are bad. I just prefer to steer away from them. RMA support is terrible and you can usually find similar quality at much cheaper prices.

I have the EVGA currently and it is tremendous. I would even do the DFI I put earlier over that Asus. I've played with that Asus as well btw. Wasn't bad but would prefer the previous ones mentined over it.
 

thrawn86

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good choice on the p180.

make sure you get the updated p182, there are several nice improvements incluidng holes for routing wires behind the mobo tray.
 

aingeal

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what would be the best upgrade/deal at the time right now:

- ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA5200CSBOX

or

- Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
- EVGA 122-CK-NF66-T1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
 

aingeal

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wasnt really planning on overclocking at all so i was gona go with the AMD but i heard right now C2D is really the way to go now and that AMD is slipping alot. so i was going to see what people said as to how good the C2D's are.
 

enginurd

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wasnt really planning on overclocking at all so i was gona go with the AMD but i heard right now C2D is really the way to go now and that AMD is slipping alot. so i was going to see what people said as to how good the C2D's are.

They're the best right now. FYI, the E6320 is the same price as the E6300 and comes with 2MB more cache.

The Core2Duos OC so easily and are so stable, even at 1Ghz overclocks! They have so much headroom because Intel lowered the voltage to beat the opterons/athlons in power consumption... which prompted the Brisbane and other Energy Efficient AMD parts. They outperform the amd cpus clock for clock, and can OC better. Check out the Intel OC database in the Intel CPU Subforum to see what kinds of overclocks people are getting and with what gear.
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1138241

Read that xbitlabs article I linked you to. Here are others:
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2795
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2802
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2903
 

aingeal

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alrite i went through all the articles you posted and it definatley seems like the C2Ds are the way to go now. the only thing that im concerned about is that ive never been a huge overclocker, but with the potential of these processors i would like to step in to it, but what would yall recommend as a heatsink for this processor as it is most likely the one that i will be getting:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Conroe 2.13GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115016

with this following mobo as long as its a good one, not to sure on intel mobos:

EVGA 122-CK-NF66-T1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813188017

also as well as these 2 items, will everything else from my original post will it all work fine for an intel based system?

edit: since im planning on going to a 6420 from my original plan of a 6300, would it be alrite to downgrade the ram alittle to a cheaper version of the gskill to save some money or would it hinder performence to much:
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098
 

markintosh13

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You'd probably get away with the stock retail HSF for a 2.6 - 3ghz OC.

Arctic Freezer 7 for the cheap cool, Tuniq Tower 120 or Thermaltake Ultra 120 once you're ready for performance and fiddling around with fans, Zalman 9x00 series for middle of the road pedestrianland.
 

enginurd

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Those choices are fine. The only difference between the NQ and HK sticks is better timings; and honestly, you won't notice the difference between CL5 and CL4 in normal, everyday usage. The only time they'll make a difference is when you need more headroom to OC the ram, or when you're running benchmarks. I suggest you save some cash and go for the NQ sticks.

As for cooling... one of the models that hasnt been mentioned is the model I use, the Scythe Ninja Plus Rev.B. It cools better than my Tuniq Tower, and its a lot cheaper, too. None of them are "easy" to install, including the stock intel cooler. They all present some sort of challenge. The easiest to install is probably the Zalman. Any of the models mentioned are good for up to 3.6Ghz, I'd say. The AC F7Pro is only $22 shipped from eWiz.com, btw. With stock Intel cooling, you could reach around 2.8Ghz.
 

aingeal

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alrite sounds like a plan, this is what my new build consists of just wanna double check before i order to make sure it all looks good:

Antec Performance One P180
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16811129017

EVGA 122-CK-NF66-T1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813188017

EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130082

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817139001

Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Conroe 2.13GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819115016

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820231098

LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16827106057

CHAINTECH AV-710 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16829120103

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16835186134

gonna order everything from newegg except for the power supply as zipzoomfly has it cheaper and the heatsink is gonna come from ewiz.
 

aingeal

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already ordered the HSF from ewiz so i could get the memorial day sale, so dont need one anymore.

everything seems like its a go?
 

enginurd

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If you don't mind the rebate, the Crucial ram that MC FLMJIG linked too would be a better deal. Comes out to $85AR. Though, like I said, you really don't need the faster timings.

Also, get the Corsair 520W from buy.com, since it would be a lot cheaper than newegg with the 10% off coupon.
 

aingeal

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ya im not really big into the rebates so if i get around to it ill pick up the crucial but not to sure right now lol. ya ima gona pick up the PSU from another place besides newegg since its the most expensive there.
 

enginurd

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aingeal

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sounds like a plan, ill stick with the evga one then.

edit: the T1 version is the 2 year warrenty correct? this is the one from newegg:
EVGA 122-CK-NF66-T1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

so would it be better to order the:
EVGA 122-CK-NF66-A1 nForce 650i Ultra Socket 775 1333MHz DDR2-800 ATX Motherboard Retail

which is the A1 version which comes from zipzoomfly and if im correct the A1 is the lifetime warrenty?

so zipzoomfly over newegg for the mobo?
 

aingeal

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alrite kool deal, wonder why newegg doesnt carry the A1 version of this mobo?
 
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