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Building a budget OC rig

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Woah Mama!, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Woah Mama! New Member

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    I'm building my first dedicated overclocking rig. I built my first computer about 4 and a bit years ago, an Athlon 2600+ but it was a budget thing and after going through its second motherboard I've finally decided to get a different setup.
    So far I've got an Athlon 3800+ Toledo, DFI LanParty UT NF4 Ultra-D, 1GB of G.Skills ram and a Zalman CNPS9700 NT cooler to go on the OEM chip, I'm using the left over Kingston DDR400 ram (both dual channel) and the ThermalTake TR2-550W PSU (Now RMA'd and replaced with a Revision 2.0 unit) from my old Athlon rig. The TR2 will be used until I get around to a 750W+ Tough Power. For the time being it will be in a Coolermaster Centurion 534 case until I get a Thermaltake Soprano DX. I've got one of my hard drives and one of my DVD burners, with another of each on their way. Soon to be coming my way is some Logitech X-530 speakers and a 150GB WD Raptor also. I'm keeping my old monitor until I can get a Samsung 226BW 22" LCD, which I'm starting to find at really good prices so this will be a very near upgrade as a 17" flatscreen CRT would just be kicking an 8800 in the balls. I'll be later buying 4x1GB sticks of G.Skills ram for Vista once the service pack comes out for it.

    Right now I am thrown between which video cards to get. I'd love to get some 8800GTS 320mb cards and with the release of the 8800 GT, this has now become a viable option.

    So any input on my general plan so far would be appreciated. I live in Australia but can get parts from Newegg shipped to my mum in New Mexico, as I've done with my CPU, ram and my DFI. Right now, with the prospect of a $400 monitor, $220 power supply, $200 worth of ram, $180 case, $170 Raptor hard drive & $170 keyboard/mouse (G15+G5) this is looking to become a bit of a budget breaker... But, at least the power supply, hard drives, DVD burners, case, monitor, speakers & the keyboard/mouse will be usable on my next system.

    Thanks for any and all help/suggestions. I am very new to overclocking and will be asking for a bit of assistance while this system has voltage going through it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  2. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    i'd say a couple of 8600gt's sli'd myself.the 7900gs is a pretty good card,but you'll have dx10 and half decent performance.
     
  3. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    Well if you didn't have the cpu mobo and ram already I'd recommend something based on the Pentium dual core series. In all honesty....a decent psu will run the 8600's in sli. Probably something just slightly beefier than what's needed to run a 8800 gts. What's the psu you have now, and what are the amps on the 12 v line?
     
  4. Woah Mama! New Member

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    These were the 8600s I was thinking of. Or the 256mb XFX version, but I assume the 512mb EVGA will be more long-run worthwhile? I agree it would be nice to have some DX10 capable cards, depending how far I can push them would define their worth though, really.

    My PSU is a Thermaltake TR2 550W. I have the W0102 version accoring to the part number on the side of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  5. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    they look fine to me.and two cards with 512mb will help at higher resolution on sli(i think :p )
     
  6. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    On that psu....two 8600's might be pushing it a little. It'll run, but it may die alot faster than usual.
     
    Woah Mama! says thanks.
  7. Woah Mama! New Member

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    Ok, so if I get those 512mb 8600s then do you think that a ToughPower 750W (4x12v Rails combined maximum is 60A) will do once I've also got 4GB of Mushkin ram on the board? Would it be better to run the on-board audio of the LanParty? From what I can see it's pretty much just a sized down soundcard itself as it is separate from the motherboard and is not hardwired.
    funny how budget rigs always add up quickly. That SLI setup and the PSU to run it will set me back $600-650 AUD. But I trust it would last quite awhile.
     
  8. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    the 750wat toughpower will be ok for sure.possibly for a future 8800/2900 card too.
     
  9. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    Oh yeah, defiantly. That kind of a psu should last you for a good while. On board sound...well if you want the best sound, never go with what's included with the mobo...there's defiantly better dedicated. But in all honesty, I say onboard has come pretty far recently, it's not that bad...but if you really want good sound, well then you know what to do.
     
  10. Woah Mama! New Member

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    I'd like to look at some 8800s after the 9800 and R300 cards come out near Christmas. But if I can get some 8600s SLI'd well then I'd just forget about spending that much more money. To buy two 8800s now would cost as much as getting an ARB air locker on a Range Rover. So here's hoping that the prices drop dramatically once the 9800 gets here.

    Spend more money? :roll:

    I'll see how the LanParty sound is like once I get my board. I'm even rather impressed by the onboard sound I used to get with my original socket A motherboard, the Gigabyte VT600RZ.

    So all that is left now hardware wise is how much ram I should get. I'd like to get 4x1GB sticks of the red Mushkin stuff. Or would it be better to get 2x2GB sticks? I think the G.Skills that I got from Newegg will be decent to mildly overclock as from what I've learnt the latency and timing is pretty sweet for out of the box cheap stuff.
     
  11. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    Well are you getting a 64 bit operating system? If you aren't, don't worry about 4gb of memory, you're not going to use it and it'll be a waste of money. 4x1 or 2x2...well each has it's ups and downs, 4x1 won't overclock as far, but 2x2 has worse latencies....depends do you want to really push the overclock?
     
  12. Woah Mama! New Member

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    I'd like to have it all at a stable speed, probably a bit more to the safe side then to the pushing it side, just so that it will last a bit longer. I'd eventually get Vista Ultimate 64bit, but for now am waiting for Microsoft to get their act together to make it a bit more user-friendly. I didn't change to XP until 2004 when I built my 2600+.
    I know it seems a bit stupid to build more of a top level 939 then to change over to a 775 or AM2 but my original plans went awol. When my second motherboard gave out I was originally going to get the 3800 Toledo on an Abit AV8 motherboard (AGP) I found on Oztion.com.au and later get an X800 GTO so that I could keep my 9600 pro for awhile and still use my DDR ram. But even though the seller said he had 3 of those boards in stock for $90 AUD each new he had actually ran out of stock and couldn't get any more. Now that the good DDR costs a lot and the 939 boards are rapidly going OOP and stocks are running short but I'm hoping that getting a board such as the LanParty Ultra will be a rock solid base for a few years until the prices of quad extremes come down to an acceptable level.
    I've never seen the point of buying the latest console or the latest computer parts when you know that 6 months from release they all go down in price quite a bit.
     
  13. suraswami

    suraswami

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    I would say just go with one 8800GTS so you don't to spend extra on the PSU for going SLI. Not much of a difference. Actually 8800 will do better even in single card config. This way you have the option of going SLI with another 8800 later down the road (ofcourse with new PSU).
     
  14. hat

    hat Enthusiast

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    two 8600 gt should be fine on that 550 watt as long as you dont overvolt much... get 512mb versions. I reccomend running your monitor's max resolution with 2xaa 4xaf all optomizations on and slider on quality. Of course, mildly overclock everything. CPU by 500Mhz or so, GPU whatever you see fit. I want longevity out of my card so I set it for 660/420 but it will do 680/440.

    Also ditch the audio plug-in card for something better, at least a Sound Blaster Audigy SE. My Sound Blaster 2 ZS blows that audio plug-in card 500ft. out of the water
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  15. AddSub

    AddSub

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    Unless you really want a Dx10 card, newegg should still have some 7950GT cards on sale (pretty decent value after the rebate). I'm not sure what your budget is, but even a single 7950GT has plenty of pixel pushing power.

    http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=445&card2=
     
  16. Woah Mama! New Member

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    Ok, this isn't thread-necromancy, but this board will be setup soon and I'm just after final thoughts instead of making a new thread.
    So I've got myself an insanely huge and beefy CPU cooler, the Zalman CNPS9700 NT (Picture of someone else's below). I am looking to overclock my CPU almost immediately as I'll most likely be running a cheap and cheerful 8500 GT for awhile and I'd like to make up for the lack of graphical power for some extra CPU hot sauce. I've heard of the 3800 X2 Toledoes getting to 3.0ghz, but most are only stable at 2.7ghz. Would this be easily possible with my motherboard (DFI Lanparty NF4 Ultra-D) without too much voltage modification? I've got 4x512MB sticks of DDR400 to put into this, 2 are Kingstons and 2 are matched G.Skills. Will it be worthwhile for me to get another pair of the G.skills to be able to run all 4 sticks in dual channel mode? I'm getting my TR2 power supply sent to Thermaltake for an RMA as it has a fouled up ATX connection and I just want to be 100% sure it will not be a hazard to my motherboard/CPU/ram.
    I've chip modded my board already to run in SATA-II so that I can fully utilise my newly acquired 320GB Western Digital. Whilst I had my incredibly finicky cooler off I also bridged the SLI nodes ready for when I get a pair of 8*** GTSes. As long as I leave the SLI jumpers on single card mode that shouldn't effect my single card should it? I'm new to the whole 'drawing on your motherboard with a pencil' thing.

    Hmmm, anything else I think of I will mention. Oh, a last thing is that for now I'm on a 430W Coolermaster PSU, it seems quite good quality and it does have dual 12V rails, this should be fine to be able to run my full set of ram, an 8500GT or 8600 GTS (If I am lucky on ebay) and still overclock my CPU substantially right? The amps are quite high on the rails so I'm thinking it will be good for now but will definitely become a priority to replace when my 550W TR2 gets back from RMA. The DFI has an extra 3.5" and 5.25" power connection on the motherboard for extra juice, should I connect the 4-pin 5.25" cable for a bit of added stability/confidence when I push this CPU up as far as I stably can achieve? Or should I just wait for my TR2 and connect it then when I might venture to a bit of extra ram voltage?

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the long read, hope the questions aren't too stupid. Cheers for any and all suggestions.
     
  17. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Single card shouldn't be effected.

    I know your loyal to AMD, but come to the darkside my friend, it's fun over here.

    I know I shouldn't speak but mix-match of ram isn't good. Are they all same latency timings?

    That coolermaster should *SHOULD* be fine, just don't try overclocking.

    I wouldn't worry about the chips overclockability, it's going to already meet your expectations at stock, I mean your coming from a Sempron (good chip, just not up to snuff with today's gaming).

    8500GT is actually a really good budget gamer's card when voltmodded and overclocked. Just ask hat!
     
  18. Woah Mama! New Member

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    Oh don't worry. I know my Sempron is miles behind but I will still want the best speed I can get out of my 3800. I'm not loyal to AMD per-say, I've just happened to end up building both my rigs with an AMD chip, I couldn't care less for either chip maker actually as whatever you get from either is outdated only months later. The Ram aren't the same timings no. If I can track down some decent 1gig sticks of DDR400 I won't worry about dual channel etc.

    I've heard the 8500GT gets raped by the 7600....
     
  19. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Get some A DATA PC6400 RAM, 800mhz, decent timings, good quality. Ridiculously inexpensive!

    As for processor, AMD all the way!!!!

    Cooler Master power supplies=win tbh. I like your taste :)
     
  20. Woah Mama! New Member

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    LMAO! Wrong ram dude. This is socket 939, not AM2. The PSU is also a generic Coolermaster (by that I mean is included with most coolermaster mid-range cases) PSU, Like I said, dual 12v rails but that is about it, its only 430W.
     
  21. Woah Mama! New Member

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    I'm getting all the files I will need for when I set this up. I'm stuck at the DFI Bios selection as it's all in half-arsed English translation and not exactly sure which bios I will need. Thoughts? Also would anyone recommend that getting this chipset driver version would be a good idea?


    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
  22. Woah Mama! New Member

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    A general update/amendment to my first post. I'm still stuck for the BIOS, I could just get the latest, which would seem the no-brainer thing to do but I'm not sure if there is a specific version that is best for overclocking yet doesn't have all the useless support for things I don't have enabled or that I even consider to use soon. I've sorted out my nVidia drivers and have already downloaded them all and burnt all of my needed set up files to a DVD. I've even bought a new, legit version of XP Professional with SP2 but it's not a 64-bit version.
    So, right now the only thing stopping this little beasty getting up and running is my lack of video card, which I hope to get sorted as soon as possible. I don't know if anyone has seen the Zalman CNPS9700 NT connected to a Lanparty board, but I took some quick shots just now, albeit my ram is not installed on the board as both G.Skills sticks and a stick of the other junk is in my socket A right now.

    As you can see, I put an emphasis on the term quick photo's. I'll get better ones later but these just give you a general idea on it's immense size. My current problem with this is not being able to connect the 4-pin CPU cooler connection to my motherboard CPU cooler connection as that extra pin (4th) hits right on top of a capacitor, suggestions for this? Should I cut that wire back or modify it some other way, or just try to use the other fan connection that is just below?
     

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007

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