View Full Version : Will this Hardware combination work

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:01 PM
I am trying to build a computer for the first time from scratch and I need some help just confirming that the hardware that I select will work together.

The case comes with a 300W PSU and floppy drive as well as two front usb ports

Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro2 400FSB Nvidia nForce2 400MHz AGP 8X ATA133
Athlon XP2800+ c/w AMD fan 3 years warr box Barton CPU
512Mb DDR 400 MHz PC3200
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80Gb Serial ATA150 7200rpm 8MB Cache
CDRW 52x24x52x Samsung OEM 2MB buffer c/w Nero 5.5 software
Leadtek FX 5200 128Mb AGP 8X TV-out + DVI

I am a student so would the best way of getting windows onto it would be to install 98 then get a academic upgrade to xp??

could someone please tell me if this will work together nicely, any pitfalls I should be aware of and any suggestions of hardware that might do a better job. Also is it worth putting in 1024mb ram instead of 512?

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:04 PM
also will mandrake 9.2 work well on it?? along side xp

04-12-2003, 07:08 PM
well the more ram the better but 98 wont like over 512mb also if the system is running a hyperthreaded cpu it wont like that much either.......so you'd have to disable hyperthreading and set the max ram to 512 even if you have more installed.......

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:14 PM
all I plan to do is to install 98se so that I can do a academic upgrade to xp because that is cheaper than buying full version xp

Jen C
04-12-2003, 07:27 PM
You are aware by purchasing key components to a computer (eg mobo, cpu) you are entitled to buy an OEM full version of XP from the supplier? Would be about the same price as getting an Academic upgrade version. Take a look at your suppliers website.

Jen C
04-12-2003, 07:32 PM
Opps - hit post when I hadn't finished ...

> also will mandrake 9.2 work well on it?? along side xp

How will you be connecting to the internet? Dial-up or ADSL? Try and get a Linux friendly modem to start with so save a bit of trouble later. External serial dial-up modems are generallly loved by Linux.

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:36 PM
The computer that I am building will be going into my room. The family computer that I am currently using has adsl using an alcatel speed touch usb but because of multiple computers i am looking at getting a router but because my room is upstairs i would need 30m of cat to get to the router so I am looking at wireless options but it is very expesive.

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:37 PM
> You are aware by purchasing key components to a
> computer (eg mobo, cpu) you are entitled to buy an
> OEM full version of XP from the supplier? Would be
> about the same price as getting an Academic upgrade
> version. Take a look at your suppliers website.

no didn't know that.
I am hopefully getting it from pcsale.co.nz they seem to have the best prices at the moment

Murray P
04-12-2003, 07:38 PM
Hi Brad

Looks fine and dandy to me. A couple of things though. Are you going to be gaming or into video on this machine because the FX 5200 isn't the best thing since sliced bread. A GF 4 Ti will do better. The Samsungs are fine but a 4 or is 8MB buffer will do better, although the burning software is better these days so the buffer is not so critical ASFIK. 512MB of ram will do fine unless you really want the latest games to wiz and intend doing the video thing. you can always slot some more in. Its preferable on those boards (nForce) to put two stcks of ram in to take advantage of the dual channel but if you intend to go to 1Gig later, 2 512's would be fine. BTW what version of the nForce 2 chip is it, I saw somewhere recently that one was superior in some way, may pay to check.

Cheers Murray P

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:41 PM
Im going to be mainly into gaming but need it for some 3d modeling for my 7 form graphics and uni. I will do some video editing on it when I get a camera. Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming because I want this computer to last me for a fair while

Brad H
04-12-2003, 07:45 PM
how about a

128Mb DDR GeForce4 Ti4200 8X CRT + DVI-I + S-Video out

would this do any better? or is better still to look at a Raedon

Greg S
04-12-2003, 07:52 PM
Sounds like a cool system. yeah, I'd go for a Radeon - better anti-aliasing

04-12-2003, 09:24 PM
Most of what you have there looks pretty good.

I would seriously recommend however that you look at getting a 400W or higher PSU. The latest P4s and Athlon XPs are pretty power hungry and you may find that 300W just isn't enough. You will find that your system will be alot more stable with a higher wattage PSU.

Another bit of advice is that you consider upgrading to the Gigabyte GA-7NNXP board. The approximate price difference between the two is $130, now that may seem alot, but bare with me. The GA-7N400 Pro2 has the MCP southbridge chip whilst the GA-7NNXP has the MCP-T chip. Have a look here (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=41990&message=222362#222362) at a previous post of mine outlining the key difference of these chips. As you can see, a board that has the MCP-T chip, a soundcard isn't required. Now I'm sure you can see where I'm heading with this, a decent soundcard costs $100+, which is approximately the difference in price between the 7N400 Pro2 and the 7NNXP.

There are many other advantages that the 7NNXP has over the 7N400. I suggest you look here (http://www.giga-byte.com/MotherBoard/Products/Products_GA-7NNXP.htm) and here (http://www.giga-byte.com/MotherBoard/Products/Products_GA-7N400%20Pro2.htm) to compare the two.

Brad H
05-12-2003, 10:00 AM
Im trying to keep it powerful but still relitively cheap. I was going to get it custom built through a computer store but yesterday I managed to get a dse case on clearance so have decided to build it myself. The case comes with a 300W PSU and while this is fairly easy to replace I would pefer to leave it as it is so what sort of system can I build on it that will still be stable ie motherboard, cpu, ram etc??? Also is it wise to try and get serial ata or does this only really effect the higher end systems or is it better to wait for 64bit proccessors and then get serial ata and upgrade the psu

05-12-2003, 10:59 AM
I believe at the moment serial ata is no faster then the reguler format,This will change over the next few years though.

I wouldn't put much faith in a dse psu.They also tend to become noisy early in there lifespan.

When it comes to 64-bit you will have to upgrade the motherboard,ram,cpu and OS(well,u can use a 32bit os but you wont get the full advantage of the hardware)By the time all this is on the market at a reasonable pric then agp will probally have been replaced by pci-x so a new video card would probally be in order and serial ata will be the norm.

Get where im going with this?.........If your looking at upgrading to 64 bit in the future then you will be buying an entirely new computer to do it.

Brad H
05-12-2003, 03:13 PM
Okay how about this slightly less powerful (and cheaper) combination.

AMD Athlon XP CPU 2600+ core 333FSB Retailor box
Gigabyte GA-7VT600 KT600 400MHz 8XAGP ATA133 6 Channel Sound USB2.0
ACE 512MB DDR400 16C (32Mx8) PC3200 Retail Pack
Eagle E-GeForce FX 5200 128Mb DDR (NV34) 8X AGP 3D VGA Card
Samsung 52x24x52 CD-RW 8MB Buffer Retail Pack(TWO YEARS WARRANTY!!!)
Western Digital Caviar SE 80G HDD, 7200rpm ATA-100, 8MB Buffer, 3 year Warranty

05-12-2003, 03:27 PM
u dunno... try for 1gb of ram. also for graphics go for the best card u can afford.

05-12-2003, 04:32 PM
You wont see much perfornce differece between the 2 cpu's.

512mb of ram is plenty,Im running 2 nearly identiacal machines side by side,one with 512mb of ram and the other with 256mb of ram,You have to push them both pretty damn hard to figure out which one has the more ram.

The video card will bite you if you plan to run games,You wont get the steller performence provided by the better ones and will probally regret buying it within a few months.

Brad H
06-12-2003, 10:09 AM
Okay thanks will look into that its just that the graphics cards vary in price so much but if it is going to help me alot to go for an expensive one I suppose I should. thanks

06-12-2003, 10:14 AM
You can get a g4ti for just on $200,they certainly aint the latest but are excellent performers,I was reading a report the other day they are upto 18% faster then the card that replaces them(fx5600).

Brad H
06-12-2003, 10:19 AM
okay thanks, do you know what stores they are

06-12-2003, 10:23 AM
g4ti4200 64mb


g4ti4200 128mb


06-12-2003, 10:27 AM
try ATI 9600XT

Pete O\'Neil
06-12-2003, 11:48 AM
unless you are planning to overclock then u could always get some slower ram, the PC3200 will be wasted on a 2600+ as it only has an FSB of 333mhz. If you do plan on overclocking you could drop the CPU back to a 2500+ as these have proven to be good overclockers. Dont get that motherboard as its based on the VIA KT600 chipset, which is good but the nForce 2 is a better preformer. If you looking to keep it cheap Soltek make some nice cheap board based on the nForce2. you can get a barebones mobo based on the nForce2 by soltek for $180ish. Those samsung drives are good and all but im sure u could save $10 and get a ASUS or LG drive that last time i checked out preforms the samsungs. Dont touch any video card made by Eagle, and dont touch a FX5200. As ppl have previously said the Ti4200 will clean house againist a FX5200. Good brands include Leadtek and MSI. In my personal opinion ATI make the best GPU at the moment something based on the Radeon 9600pro or 9600XT chipset are well worth a look. Those western digital drives do preform well but not that much faster than a good ole seagate drive and that could also save you some cash.

Brad H
06-12-2003, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the advice and tips now I will have to look again at a good combination. I have no intention of overclocking it as I want to have a stable system.

Brad H
06-12-2003, 07:00 PM
Okay once again how about this combination?

ATI Radeon 9600 PRO 128MB DVI + TV-Out
SOLTEK SL-75FRN2-L Nvidia Nforce2 Dual DDR400 8xAGP LAN usb2.0
AMD Athlon XP CPU 2500+ core 333FSB Barton Retailor box
ACE 512MB DDR400 16C (32Mx8) PC3200 Retail Pack
Seagate Barracuda 7200 .7 80.8GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
Asustek 52xW 24xRW 52xR CDRW Internal Drive w/ Nero 5.5 & 2Mb Buffer OEM

06-12-2003, 10:25 PM
i agree, i have a FX5200 in my owm built system, and they are crap!!

07-12-2003, 06:34 AM
if you want to do video work on this PC it might pay to put a dvd burner into it you can get them for under $300 these days the capacity to burn 4.5 gigs is a great asset and they do cdrw's etc as well , I just got a Liteon 411S and it does have great job ,good support online as well the firmware and region patches are easy to find and apply.

07-12-2003, 11:37 AM
Brad - a few comments:

I would suggest you also get extra case fan(s) for cooling, the AMD's like airflow.

300W power supply is too low.

I echo suggestions about a better AGP card. I am happy with my Ti4200. The ATI vs Nvidia debate is similar to the Ford vs Holden one - go with what rocks your world.

I have a Samsung 80 GB HDD - one comment ... QUIET

I am happy with my ASUS CD RW.

You don't need to 'install' win 98 to upgrade to academic XP Pro with upgrade. It just asks you to put the 98 disc in during the XP install process. I found XP Pro upgrade academic somewhat cheaper than XP Home upgrade ($220 ish compared to $299). Even better if you can get discount from the retailer (yay).

Once you have your details set - putting it together is an exciting and scary thing, but it's all worth it when you fire it up :)


07-12-2003, 03:36 PM
since i own a GE Force FX5200 but am not into gaming maybe I havent' noticed but will someone please tell me ..................just what makes these cards 'crap' ???

07-12-2003, 05:39 PM
> since i own a GE Force FX5200 but am not into gaming
> maybe I havent' noticed but will someone please tell
> me ..................just what makes these cards
> 'crap' ???

Because they are slower then the cards they replace(g4mx)

And they are sold as dx9 cards,when all they do is emulate dx9 and aren't powerful enough to run dx9 effects anyway.

But like you say,If your not gaming then it matters not.But if you do chuck a game in the results won't be pretty.

Pete O\'Neil
07-12-2003, 08:46 PM
Brad that system you have listed looks awsome you wont be disapointed, good quality parts. You've picked parts that offer good value for money.

A tip when buying the Radeon make it will pay to check the speed of the GPU and RAM, should 400mhz for the GPU and 600mhz for the RAM. Also make sure the card your buying has a 128bit memory interface. Some manufactuers cut corners and run the GPU and RAM slower aswell as using a 64bit memory interface. The barracuda's are pretty quiet, but it might pay to pick up a decent PSU while your at the shop, perhaps save some money and buy a case without a PSU. A good quality 350w should be fine like Antec, Enermex and the Thermaltake PSU's seem to offer good quality/price. If your wanting to save some money buy from an online retailer many now have free delivery so it works out nice and cheap.
A few personal favs are:
PCTronix - http://www.pctronix.co.nz/
Ascent Tech - http://www.ascent.co.nz/ (their website is a dog really slow to load)
and some people reconmend Styles PC and Starlyte, remember to check pricespy for the cheapest prices.

Brad H
08-12-2003, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the information on the shops I have been online for 5+ years but have always been sceptical of online stores unless they are backed up by retails stores like gpstore.co.nz

Brad H
08-12-2003, 05:54 PM
Would a Powercolor Radeon 9600 Pro video card, 128MB DDR, 8XAGP, TV Out, DVI be any good? it is $324.24 from Ascent and has 400mhx core clock and 600mhz memory clock

Pete O\'Neil
08-12-2003, 06:16 PM
that card should be fine, the majority of the ATI cards are made by Saphire so as long as the clock speeds are fine then quality and preformance wise it should be as good as any other brand.

08-12-2003, 06:25 PM
Hi Brad,

Just looking at the November issue of Atomic it shows the Powercolor 9600 Pro as being one of the best 9600's performance wise. To get better performance you would have to go to a NVidia FX5800 or ATI 9700 Pro or higher. There tests are only based on Unreal Tournament 2003 frame rates and 3DMark2001SE.

A good spot to check out performance is Toms Hardware (http://www6.tomshardware.com) although some PF1ers have said thatsome of the reviews are biased, but I have found it useful :)


08-12-2003, 07:32 PM
well,im probally the person who has stated in the past that toms is biased,many examples are to be found on it are in this discussion


08-12-2003, 07:40 PM
hmm....the old spaces added into the url saga,best i try that one more time.

Here (http://discuss.futuremark.com/forum/showflat.pl?Board=techmobocpu&Number=3115563)