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View Full Version : taking the 64bit plunge on a budget


hydr0
07-02-05, 01:28 PM
this is probably going to be long so here goes:

I've had my current setup for 3 years now, half life 2 runs pretty good, doom3 runs ok, and battlefield2 runs like ****...lol. my geforce4 ti4400 is not supported by it so im using a shadermod [anyone interested let me know it is being worked on] so that tells you that i dont upgrade often, well its getting near that time to upgrade. i am however on a limited budget with little headroom and i wont be doing this for at least 1-3 weeks. right now ive got an athlon xp 2000+ tbred oc'd to 2200+ speeds. i do already have newer memory its Geil ultra PC3200 something. my power supply is an Antec 300W it ran 4 HDDs and 2 DVDRWs on top of everything else i have my cpu still was oc'd. i found that i could get a athlon xp 3000+ 400FSB and a high end socketA board for around $130-150ish. i do plan on upgrading my video card but i decided to do my cpu/board first. i could also get a Socket 754 board and a a64 2800+ for AROUND the ballpark of 170-200 depending on board and features, id like to have PATA RAID though. I'd need AGP still and i plan on getting either a 6600GT or 6800NU in a few months, maybe sooner. id like to do socket939 but is there REALLY that much of a difference between the two besides the dual channel memory support in 939? because this upgrade will probably be my last for AT LEAST 2 more years. I basically wanna upgrade so I can play battlefield2 without hacked shaders.

I just cant figure out if I should get a faster SocketA cpu/board for dirt cheap, or spend the extra $20-50 for a 754 A64 ---is the A64 2800/3000+ THAT much faster for gaming than a SocketA @ 3000+? Also will my power supply even be able to handle it?

Right now I have the following
Abit KG7-RAID
Amd Athlon XP 2000+@2200+
1024MB Geil Ultra PC3200 [512MBx2]
MSI Geforce4 Ti4400 128MB VIVO
Lite On DVDRW 16X Dual Layer
Pacific Digital [24x10x40] CDRW [i know its old but its still going strong]
2x80GB Maxtor FBD 7200RPM PATA
1x60GB Maxtor FBD 7200RPM PATA [used to have another but sold it]
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
2x80mm case exhaust fans
1xpcicard slot fan
Antec 300W PSU [+3.3V@20A][+5V@30A][+12V@15A]

Anyone got any mobos/cpus they wanna sell? lol
Or anyone interested in buying a 60GB hard drive?

Thanks for any input, comments and suggestions.

-hydro

i would like to spend anywhere from $0 [lol] to 180 for mobo/cpu but i could probably manage to fit in a little more maybe up to $225. however i wanna try to keep it as low as possible.

[ps][the next time i upgrade socket939 will either be mainstream or obsolete anyway]

edit: also board recomendations are welcome as well as any other advice

DEaD_IRiS
07-02-05, 02:26 PM
For your particular setup I'd go with the S939 venice 3000 and the cheapest O/C board I could get, raid or not. Raid will help you load games a bit faster but won't help in game performance any. Going to A64 will generally give you about 20% increase in performance over an "equivalent" socket A model. You would benefit from the dual channel memory of the socket 939 and the 90 nm venice cores do overclock like gangbusters. The best advice I could give if you decide on any of the A64 is to get one with at least a 512 L2 cache. Stay away from the Semprons. Just a quick peek over at Newegg shows you could get this combo for @ $210 + shipping. If your on a budget I would throw as much dough on the processor and as little on the board.

My 2 cents

hydr0
07-02-05, 02:31 PM
thanks for the suggestions iris. if i know i can afford it thats what i planned on doing. but what about my psu? is it to small to handle it? btw im just using the raid controller as an extra PATA connection[s] i used to use raid but found out its too unstable and unreliable [at least RAID0], i dont necessarily want RAID but I do need enough to connect all of my drives so an additional PATA would work

-hydro

Rytr
07-02-05, 03:01 PM
I would suggest a quality psu with a +12V rail rated at least 18A. Your present one might do the job but the A64 with 6000 series graphic cards demand a considerable amount from the +12V rail for stability.

DEaD_IRiS
07-02-05, 03:03 PM
Well investing in a good power supply is never a bad idea, but it is a budget concern. If your just adding the CPU and MOBO it will most likely not be a problem. However the newer graphics cards you will be getting will want more power. Your biggest problem won't be running the system it will be starting it up. One way to get around this is to purchase some molex adapters that have a 1-2 sec circuit delay so that your hard drives start up at staggered times. They're pretty cheap around $5 if i'm not mistaken. Another idea would be to purchase a new case with a more powerful (albeit cheap)PS
You can often find cases with a 400-450W PS at Newegg for $40-50. Most around here will (rightfully so) sing the praises of a quality PS, but if your on a budget that's what I'd do.

hydr0
07-02-05, 03:47 PM
I would suggest a quality psu with a +12V rail rated at least 18A. Your present one might do the job but the A64 with 6000 series graphic cards demand a considerable amount from the +12V rail for stability.

yeah i was going to hold out on the power supply into i upgraded my 3d card. probably will be getting a 430 or 480 watt Antec PSU

-hydro

hydr0
07-02-05, 03:51 PM
Well investing in a good power supply is never a bad idea, but it is a budget concern. If your just adding the CPU and MOBO it will most likely not be a problem. However the newer graphics cards you will be getting will want more power. Your biggest problem won't be running the system it will be starting it up. One way to get around this is to purchase some molex adapters that have a 1-2 sec circuit delay so that your hard drives start up at staggered times. They're pretty cheap around $5 if i'm not mistaken. Another idea would be to purchase a new case with a more powerful (albeit cheap)PS
You can often find cases with a 400-450W PS at Newegg for $40-50. Most around here will (rightfully so) sing the praises of a quality PS, but if your on a budget that's what I'd do.

Yeah I think I'll hold out on the PSU until i get a new 3d card, it SHOULD be fine because its ran a lot of **** on it at once. by the way do i need ECC ram for the Socket754 platform? [i remember a long time ago reading that some athlon64 platform needed ECC or something like that] and do the a64 boards require either a 24pin PSU or that 4pin 12V plug? i may not even know what im talking about lol.....

ive been making price comparisons all day, im about halfway done exploring all of my options.

-hydro

hydr0
07-02-05, 04:18 PM
another quick question:

can the nvraid or any other built in raid PATA controllers be used for regular duties? like connecting a DVDRW or a hard drive without using the RAID features?

-hydro

DEaD_IRiS
07-02-05, 04:50 PM
No you don't need ECC ram for the A64.

As far as using the raid connectors I've never tried it and I've heard people report that they could be used and couldn't be used. I suppose it might depend on the manufacturer.
If it's real important I'd check the manufacturers website or send them an email. With the ever decreasing prices on storage you might be better off just springing on a 250 Gig HD somewhere down the road. I've seen em for around $100.

D_I

hydr0
07-02-05, 05:03 PM
No you don't need ECC ram for the A64.

As far as using the raid connectors I've never tried it and I've heard people report that they could be used and couldn't be used. I suppose it might depend on the manufacturer.
If it's real important I'd check the manufacturers website or send them an email. With the ever decreasing prices on storage you might be better off just springing on a 250 Gig HD somewhere down the road. I've seen em for around $100.

D_I

this motherboard i have right now the kg7-raid allows me to use the raid controller as an extra ide controller but only for hard drives, it does fail with optical drives that use ATA33. all i really care about is if i can connect my 60gb drive to the nvraid by itself...its only used as storage so im not worried about any performance

-hydro

edit: also i tried checking abit, asus, and msi's websites looking at their raid enabled boards but it doesnt mention anything about using it as another IDE controller, i also read nvidia's nvraid manual pdf file...doesnt mention it either.

DEaD_IRiS
07-02-05, 05:16 PM
You might get some answers at a motherboard forum site like
http://www.motherboards.org/forums/
Otherwise you might have to email the manufacturer directly

hydr0
07-02-05, 06:12 PM
i think i may have decided on a socket 754 sempron...not sure yet

rflair
07-02-05, 07:33 PM
If your going to get a Sempron get one with 256K cache. It should overclock well if thats your thing, I got an A64 3000+ 754 running at 2.5GHz, 24/7.