• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Need some ideas and opinions on a new system.

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


New Member
Nov 16, 2003
Duluth, Georgia
Hey everyone, After alot of searching for a forum to get good information on (that there is actually people on) I found this one and I must say it is a great forum with lots of useful info. Anyways i'm really just looking for advice and opinions on a new system. It will be my first attempt at building my own system. I've always just had the store bought stuff before. Gateway, Compaq and currently a horrible little HP, which has been nothing but problems. I'm currently doing as much research as possible so I can be sure I get the best stuff available for me at the price range i am at.
I am really basically a newbie at this and I honestly don't know what some specs mean or what i should look for. I was trying to get some more out of this cursed lil HP and I already bought 2 things which I am going to use in the new system. An ATI Radeon AIW 9600 Pro video card and a Creative Soundblaster Audidy 2 ZS sound card. Firstly I am on a budget and trying to get more for less, but i'm also trying to get stuff that is good enough to last awhile. Here is what I came up with after about a week of research....

Aspire X-Dreamer II (Blue) ATX Mid-Tower Case w/ 350W Power Supply
DFI NFII ULTRA INFINITY Motherboard for AMD AthlonAMD Athlon XP 266/333/400MHz
AMD ATHLON XP 2500+ Barton
KINGSTON HyperX 184-pin 512MB DDR400 (PC3200) DDR RAM modules, Model# KHX3200A/512
Seagate 120GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive ST3120026AS-RK

I haven't really decided on the DVD writer or the Floppy Drive. I will be adding another stick of the memory eventually, as funds allow.My main concerns are the Motherboard and the Hard Drive. I don't think anybody has a great deal of experience with that particular motherboard. But if I read it correctly it should be as good as the LanParty except it doesn't support dual channel memory. I don't know how big a deal that is because I really don't know what that does or how important that is. I also don't really understand a RAID array or SATA 1.0.... but if I think correctly you can't set up a RAID array with a SATA HDD right? You have to use a ATA drive? Forgive me but I really don't know anything in this area. Could any of you gurus help me out? What I'm basically wanting is a good system that will last me until the 64 bit change. Cheaper is good but I also want good stuff. With all the features i'll need. I mostly surf the net and play games on it. But I'm also wanting to hook it to a projector and use it as a HTPC eventually. Thank you so much for any help and advice you can give me. Sorry about the long post.

First of all, will you be overclocking this system? that will be quite an important piece of info for our recommendations.

I'll assume you'll overclock, and throw out some ideas:

case: It looks like a very nice case, but the power supply only has 4 molex connectors, which is very restricting. also, if you are going to overclock, you might have to get another power supply, something like a Fortron 350w. here's a review of this case: http://www.overclockercafe.com/Reviews/cases/X-DreamerII/

motherboard: tha's a nice motherboard, but people around here seem to like the Abit NF7-S more, which costs only a little bit more. I think with this motherboard, you might not even need to buy the soundcard.

2500+: great CPU for overclocking, although they are beginning to get locked, so that you won't be able to change multipliers the way you could in the past. you can still easily overclock them using the FSB though: 11x200 instead of 11x166 leaves you with a 3200+ speed.

this might affect your decision. http://forum.oc-forums.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=244237

RAM: That should be very good RAM, but I'm not sure. you'd better ask some RAM people, I'm not so sure..

Hard disk: The fastest 7200rpm hard disk of this moment is the Hitachi/IBM 7K250, up till now Seagate seems to make the most reliable hard disks though.

here's a comparison of the top 7200rpm drives from various manufacturers:

DVD writer: if you were to buy now, then I'd say get the Pioneer A06 (or 106 in its OEM form), but you might want to have a look at this article: http://www.overclockers.com/articles874/

Floppy drive: not such an important part of the system, as long as it works.

I think that motherboard should support dual channel DDR as well. It probably just has less features compared to the Lanboy. Dual DDR for AMD is nice, but it's not a disaster if you don't have it.

in raid 0 (striping), you can use 2 disks or more. You nearly double your transfer rate with 2 disks, and increase it even more with more disks, but the gains diminish the more disks you add. You still keep the total capacity of the drives, so 2x 120GB in striping is 240GB. but, if one drive fails, you loose ALL the data.

here's a more detailed explanation: http://www.acnc.com/04_01_00.html

RAID is just using several disks at once as 1 disk, it does not have anything to do with the interface. You can have SATA RAID as well. Both the DFI motherboard you chose, and the Abit NF7-S have SATA RAID controllers. You need at least 2 disks to have RAID though.
Last edited:

With that out of the way I say most of what you had above it good and if you can stand it you can use your old CD-ROM from the HP you said you had then I would wait till DVD burners are below $100 (very close but not yet :p ) also you can use your old floppy just to save a few bucks. Also for a motherboard If I were to choose a system that I was going to keep a while then I would get the abit NF7-S, DFI is a good company but the NF7-S is held by many to be the best socket A motherboard around. Also if you plan on overclocking then it's got your back. The seagate is a good drive and is wisper quiet but is a tad slower then the maxtor and western digital drives.

edit dang you shiyan :p
Last edited:
Thank you for the warm welsome to the forum :) And thank you for the helpful advice. As for overclocking, LoL I really don't know if I will because I don't know a great deal about it either. I'm guessing it is just running the processor at speeds higher than it says on the box. Is there any danger from this? Does it shorten the life expectancy? I'm pretty sure the stuff I get will have the ability from what i have read but whether I do or not will depend on those conditions. If I did i'd definently need some help setting it up correctly. I will defiently look at that ABIT mobo too. I'm leaning still on the DFI mainly because it seems to have what I need and also it looks a little better.... I know not that important but... it kinda is to me. Thanks again for the replies.