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Dan92

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2002
I’ve been reading the forums for about 3 weeks and also visited the sites affiliates. It’s all very interesting to say the least.
Well this is the problem, my son is very much into this overclocking scene thanks to his uncle (I could really strangle my brother) my son has learned quite a lot from him to the point where he has overclocked two systems successfully (they belong to his uncle). Now as we all know Christmas is around the corner and my son has been asking me if he can have a new computer. Since my brother can’t keep a secret I can’t confine in him for information about the components to purchase for my son. I really need your help guys!!!
This is what I got for him so far:
Lian-li pc71
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 475 ATX (PFC)
2-Seagate 80gb Serial ata 7.2k (will arrive in four days)
The motherboard I’m considering for him is the Asus P4SDX (mid Nov.???)
Also waiting on the 3.06 P4 (mid Nov.???)
Cooling???
Not sure about memory or video card ATI or Nvidia?
I’m sure there are tons of things that I have overlooked. I have never put a computer together so again I ask you for your help. Thanks for helping this old man.
 

RED Hot Machine

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Firstly Welcome to the Forums.

Why build a computer just for your son when you can have fun with it aswell :)


Firstly Nice choice on the case.

There are a couple things you need to decide upon:

Operating System - Alot of people forget to include this, Windows XP Home/Pro, Windows 2K Pro and Linux are the current common choices.

I'm not a great fan of XP but I would suggest Windows XP Pro.

If you go with windows XP or 2K then 512mb of ram is a must in my oppion. You can get Samsung PC2700 512mb sticks cheap now, and they overclock well.

Video card is a tricky one, some people will say ATI and other NVIDIA. I would say go with NVidia as they send to have slightly better drier support.

A GF3/4 TI with at least 64mb of DDR Ram on the card.

"PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 475 ATX (PFC)", I take it this is a PSU not a name i've come across but I take it that it is a 475W. Which is plenty for your needs.

Good choice on Harddrives, I run 40gb Seagates in two of my machines and have had them to over 170fsb.

For a choice of HSF's can I point you towards the article on the front page.

I run a glaciator II and a silver mountain both are good HSF's and are quiet aswell.


Do you have a monitor/keyboard/mouse ?

Good luck and let us know how you get on and what you decide to get. :)



Andy
 

Spec_Ops2087

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Location
NJ
You say your son likes to Overclock eh?...well then I wouldn't go with the p4 @ 3.06Ghz chances are it will only OC about 200Mhz to around 3.2Ghz or so....to make him really happy get him the 2.66Ghz p4....that should let him get up to 3.2Ghz as well but you OC a LOT more and you have a higher FSB which means faster chip than the 3.06Ghz overclocked to 3.2Ghz...

For cooling I would say get a alpha 8492....I ahve used it and I will say it does great cooling with low CFM fans...I put a 28CFM fan on it for my parents friends(wanted a quiet rig) and it cooled it at around 43C with a 28CFM fan...very nice

For Hard Drives I say get a Western Digital Special Edition that has 8MB cache...comes in a couple of flavors to fit everyone....80GB,100GB,120GB...they are the fastest IDE hard drive avaliable to date,almost nearing SCSI speeds...

I also would say nvidia since they got better drivers...worst thing is going around installing and reinstalling drivers becasue they dont work...

Also I say go XP pro or home....best OS I have used so far...if I don't have a driver for somthing XP has it for me :D


Hope this helps




Spec
 

deathstar13

FSB FRIEK
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
as much time and effort you put into his gifts im betting you end up buiding one yourself soon and ocing it also.nice family compition should be fun!
 

BabyEater

Member
Joined
May 23, 2002
Location
Dundalk Ireland
If he plays a lot of games as well as overclocking i would go for ati's 9700 pro as it's quicker than nvidia's 4600 and that is a great power supply for overclocking . I agree with everything else that was said tho.
 

TimDgsr

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Location
Atlanta, GA
Dan92 said:

This is what I got for him so far:
Lian-li pc71
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 475 ATX (PFC)
2-Seagate 80gb Serial ata 7.2k (will arrive in four days)
The motherboard I’m considering for him is the Asus P4SDX (mid Nov.???)
Also waiting on the 3.06 P4 (mid Nov.???)
Cooling???
Not sure about memory or video card ATI or Nvidia?

adopt me? :D


j/k, sounds like your son is going to have one nice computer
 

h20link

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2002
Location
down at fraggle rock
Yeah, I would say save some $ and get a 2.4 or 2.6 p4 because there will be CPU price drops this month.

I would also say get a video card with 128mb of DDR, geforce3's and radeon 8500's with 128mb of RAM are both available for under $100, that is if you don't plan on getting a super high end card like a ti4600 or radeon 9700.

don't forget to pick up some 80mm case fans.

oh yeah, and

WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!!!
 

ed8150

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Location
Baltimore, MD
you may want to hold out on the cooling, and perhaps give him a budget so he can buy some watercooling(if hes adventurous). the idea behind overclocking is that you modify your case and setup to get the greatest possible performance with the least possible money. id get the main componets but also give him some money to get the specifics. if you have a broadband connections i would also consider downloading a linux distro and having him play around with that. i have just started to use linux and there is some GREAT great stuff to do with it. i recommend mandrake 9.0 for beginners. dual booting is a good thing and will expose him to a much different experiance than if he just ran a windows box. it also encourages development and coding, which is a good thing if he wants to get a computer-related job. have you considered setting up a small lan in your house? what kind of connection do you have? you should enroll your son in the cisco academy at his school or community college. a great experiance in my opinion.
 

larva

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
The point to overclocking is taking advantage of the fact that lesser grade of cpu's like the 2.66 or 2.8 are essentially the same chip as those sold (at a premium) as a 3.06. Buying the top dog cpu means taking most of the drama out of the equation at the same time. Go with proven components such as the P5B533 (or P4PE is you buy the hyper-threading hype) that are proven to overclock well. Combining adequate on chip clock rates with higher than stock motherboard and memory speeds is where overclocking pays off. The lower multiplier of the lower end chips are an aid to this goal. Even if you only get the chip running at 2900MHz *gasp*, combining it with a motherboard speed in the 160-170MHz region will provide greater core performance than a 3GHz chip running in conjunction with 140-150fsb, while saving a lot of money that can be used in other areas of the system.

Spend the savings on areas that really limit the application performance, like video card and ram. Single channel DDR solutions compete well with dual channel anything if you get the ram running at a high enough clock rate. Stuff like Corsair XMS PC3200C2 in combination with a top 845 motherboard like the P4B533 or IT7 Abit will produce more than adequate memory bandwidth with 450MHz DDR clock rates.

All of this core perfromance is meaningless withouth the best in video cards. Consider nothing less than a GF4 Ti, and consider ATI 9700's or even NV30's should they hit the stores in time to make the roundup.

Cooling is no problem with modern P4's. Pick up any of the fine and cost effective setups like the AX-478 Thermalright, or a Swiftech P4 solution. Watercooling isn't really necessary to get a good overclock and contributes greatly to the risks at the same time as it drives the complexity to a new level. The only reason to watercool is to allow vastly higher cpu voltages, but raising the voltage on a P4 greatly increases the chance of damaging the chip and likely won't pay huge diviedends in clock speed anyway. Especially on the first rig, keep it simple where possible.
 

Emericana

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2002
Location
Boulder CO
if you buy that for your son he is very lucky as it is a incredibly high end system. the p4 3ghz alone will cost more than my entire system!!!
 
OP
D

Dan92

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2002
Red Hot Machine, thank you for the kind words, the Operating system will be XP Pro.

Spec_Ops2087, you suggest getting the kid a 2.66ghz p4. Is that the better choice? I must reiterate that I am clueless when it comes to this “hobby” so forgive my ignorance. I can only go by what my son has highlighted in his computer magazine that his uncle has given him. Also is the Western Digital SE better or faster than the 2 SATA drives I’ve already purchased for him? Also the reason I got two hard drives for him is because I remember him mention something about RAID. And when I questioned my brother about it, he explained it to me (I tried to act as though I was interested). Needless to say, I got a really odd look from him when I mentioned it.

Deathstar13 that’s what his uncle is for. I can see it know, those two will be having a great time. Those two can do that overclocking thing all day.

BabyEater I was told by several individuals at another forum to get the ATI 9700 pro, that is if the NV30 doesn’t come out before xmas.

H20link Thank you for the kind words as well. You and Spec_Ops2087 basically have the same idea regarding the P4. Fans???

Ed8150 Watercooling? I leave that up to my son and his Uncle. If they want to experiment after Christmas, that is up to them. I have a dsl connection thanks to my son. He says that if cable wasn’t available in our area we shouldn’t settle for anything less than dsl (sounds like my brother had some influence in his decision making.) Ed8150 my son is only 12 years old. He has been messing around with computers ever since he was 8 years old, thanks to his uncle, he eats and sleeps this stuff.

Larva The Abit GB7 Ultra and the Asus P4SDX isn’t up to par, should I consider the P5B533 or the P4PE instead?
 

Doc_Skurlock

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
Location
Grapevine, Texas
First of all, Welcome to the Forums.

Secondly, can I be adopted too? Just kidding. Sounds like you are really doing your homework and are trying to give your son a great gift.

Currently, I'm using an NVidia card. It's a great card (check out my sig) and I don't have any major issues with it. I used an ATI before that, and I plan on getting the Radeon 9700 Pro for my birthday, which is Wednesday. Ask your son which one he thinks is better, or ask his uncle. Personally, Nvidia has better drivers, but ATI's been keeping up lately, so I've heard.
Nice stuff so far. You only need two fans to start out with, since he's oc'ing it himself. What I mean is, one fan in the front, to pull air in and one fan in the rear to pull air out. Since he's gonna "play" with it, let him decide to watercool or add extra fans.
I also agree with the dual booting concept. Regardless of time spent around computers, dual booting can be fun and entertaining (LOL). Also, RAID is a good idea, but get him a book on it as well. I agree with spec ops, in regards to the 2.66. Its a proven overclock and will do well, since the 3.0's aren't even out yet and no one really knows how much they'll oc. Better to use slightly outdated technology that has a broader base of drivers and information then something that just came out.
For all you guys that are going to remark on that about the 9700, its been out for more than a month, we'll deal with it in another forum. Good luck in building and keep looking around the forum, I know there is a build your own computer topic around here somewhere.
Doc
 
OP
D

Dan92

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2002
Doc, thanks for the kind words and for indulging me. My son will be putting it all together, not me. As far as RAID is concerned, he successfully built two systems with RAID 0 according to his Uncle. Dual booting??? Where do I purchase that? I can’t wait for the day my son and my brother carry all of the components to his house to put it all together, that way I can finally relax.
 

larva

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
Dan,

Over the course of time boards like P4SDX may prove to be the hot setup but it's hard to recommend SiS chipsets based on my experience with them. My 645DX based P4S533 Asus is a solid board, but limited in that FSB in excess of 150MHz is not stable. The board claims 166MHz capability, but does not live up to that promise. The SiS successor, the 648 has proven no more adept at extreme FSB. I really like the 645DX for applications that don't benefit from truly high FSB, but mine doesn't match this description. My 1.6a would likely operate at substantially higher clock rates on one of the many quality 845e boards such at the Abit BD7-II, IT7, or the Asus P4B533. The P4PE is the successor to the P4B533, and being another 845 chipset (PE version) is fundamentally similar. Users report good luck with the P4PE, but it doesn't really bring anything truly revolutionary to the table.

One of the best things about building your own rig it that you decide when it's time for new stuff. Lets look at a couple of setups and what it means in terms of cash outlay (and therefore how much is left in the kitty for the inevitable next mb).

Top quality 845e board, proven to OC 160-170MHz FSB:

Abit BD7-II 91 dollars
P4-2.4B cpu 186 dollars
------------------------------
277 + shipping (newegg prices)

A setup like this will achieve 2.9-3.1 GHz easily, and leave lots of money for other components at the same time. It will require a motherboard speed of 170MHz to reach 3.06GHz, something that 845e has proven to do without drama. 845 boards have a 3:4 multilplier that allows you to run the memory at speeds in excess of the motherboard base frequency, roughly 226MHz (452 via the magic of DDR) in the case of a 170FSB. Really good DDR like the Corsair XMS PC3200C2 operates at these kinds of rates more often than not. This provides great memory througput and latency characteristics that are a well matched to the cpu's potential.

Dual channel DDR solutions may or may not benefit such a setup. Given that single channel setups running at 450MHz provide ~3600 MB/s throughput, you aren't giving up much in terms of raw bandwidth compared to a dual channel setup running at 333MHz. And even if you managed to increase raw bandwidth by 50% the edge in application performance will be slight.

The risk here is not so much that a SiS based dual channel DDR machine topped with a 3.06 cpu would not perform, but the value just isn't there. There is also every chance that the overclock potential would be limited, as the chipset is unproven at high clock rates and the cpu is already close to its limits. Personally I think it is likely that Intel chipsets will again prove to be the overclocker's choice in the dual channel era, just as they have with the current generation. Let somebody else prove this point and take advantage of the tremendous value offered by the proven 845e/2.4b combo.

Given that the 2.8GHz P4 still commands $460, one would expect the 3.06GHz chip to debut at $600. Even though SiS boards are typically inexpensive compared to their Intel chipset counterparts, an Asus anything will set you back $150 at the least. This brings the mb/cpu combo to a staggering $750. The potential performance of such a combo may be slightly higher than the proposed 2.4b, but the cost grows at a much more substantial clip. Personally I would go the the BD7-II and the 2.4B, and use the leftover 475 dollars for video card, power supply, a better monitor, UPS, basically anything else. Or just save it for the day when the dual channel setup is proven to offer value and versatility that we all prize in our equipment.

No doubt whatever rig you buy will be all your son could wish for for some time. Let him find out how much fun overclocking is while at the same time showing him how to stick it to Intel. He can create his own 3.06GHz monster with better performance than Intel's version, and the things he learns in doing so will allow him to appreciate both the logic of the proven hardware and foster a sense of accomplishment that will keep him coming back for more. And by the tiime the 2.4b limits him in any way, Intel's core quality will have risen, the prices will have dropped, and the next 190 dollar cpu will bring a new level of capability. Don't get caught up in the trap of spending huge sums for the latest chip or board out, no setup lasts forever. Go with the setup that is proven to offer the best value at the present, and when this changes you won't have a fortune tied up in the current gear. This makes it feasible to adopt new technology when it really starts to serve your purposes, rather than Intel's.
 

Tismedt

Shadow ÒÓ's after me!!!
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Location
Suisun City Ca. I love this Town
Your son is a very lucky boy to have a father that would spend this much time getting him a screamin system like the one you mention. I commend you with the highest praise possible.

I would like to add that you should look into the sound system that will be needed. As your son is 12 I assume he will be playing games and a SoundBlaster Audigy Gamer is a great choice. Speakers are also a must. You can get some great speakers for around $100.

I agree with the others here that you should go with a 2.6ghz proccesor. The 2.6 offers a better challenge and the CPU can always be upgraded (as a b-day present) in the future.

If you are buying a monitor for gaming I think you will find most ppl here will reccomend a CRT monitor over a LCD flat panel.

The power supply you have selected is by far the best that is availible. You could save quit abit by going with a diffrent brand and not hurting the OC ability of this system. I would say a Antec. The money saved could go towards other items Like a quality keyboard and mouse, the sound system mentioned above or other items.

Good Luck with your search and have fun. Look around and see if you can find a Dell box to put all the parts in. It will throw him off seeing a box like that wrapped up. He'll think damn Im getting a Dell.
 

WyrmMaster

I'm a little teapot Senior
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Location
Montana, USA
Dan92 said:
Doc, thanks for the kind words and for indulging me. My son will be putting it all together, not me. As far as RAID is concerned, he successfully built two systems with RAID 0 according to his Uncle. Dual booting??? Where do I purchase that? I can’t wait for the day my son and my brother carry all of the components to his house to put it all together, that way I can finally relax.

Nothing to buy for duel booting (except the second OS, unless your using linix or something free). All you have to do is install both operating systems and it will give you an option when you start the computer which you want to boot.
 

WyrmMaster

I'm a little teapot Senior
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Location
Montana, USA
Dan92 said:
Doc, thanks for the kind words and for indulging me. My son will be putting it all together, not me. As far as RAID is concerned, he successfully built two systems with RAID 0 according to his Uncle. Dual booting??? Where do I purchase that? I can’t wait for the day my son and my brother carry all of the components to his house to put it all together, that way I can finally relax.

Nothing to buy for duel booting (except the second OS, unless your using linix or something free). All you have to do is install both operating systems and it will give you an option when you start the computer which you want to boot. There is a little more to it than that, some OS combinations must be installed in a certain order, but theres nothing new to buy.
 

h20link

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2002
Location
down at fraggle rock
yeah i agree w/ tismedt....most around here would recommend dealers w/ a proven track record like www.newegg.com or www.directron.com ... there are others of course, just read our vendor discussion forum to get a basic idea of who's trustworthy.

I just wanted to let you know that Dual booting is a term for installing more than one Operating System (OS) on your hard drive(s). At work my machine has 2 separate installations of win2k...with a RAID array your son can put (for example) winXP pro on one hard drive and Linux on another.

Sorry, I know wyrmmaster mentioned it but it sounded like you didn't really know what it was so I wanted to give you a straight up definition.

also, the separate OS's can be on the same hard drive in different partitions....(a partition is basically like sectioning off a part of the hard drive)

larva also makes a great point here:

Don't get caught up in the trap of spending huge sums for the latest chip or board out, no setup lasts forever. Go with the setup that is proven to offer the best value at the present, and when this changes you won't have a fortune tied up in the current gear.

this doesn't apply solely to CPU's and mobo's. I don't know how much of a concern money is to you....but the video card market seems to be progressing at a velocity even higher than CPU evolution. If money's no concern, by all means a radeon 9700 or ti4600 is great, but there are some excellent cards available in the sub $200 level, while the 9700's are $300+ and the ti4600's are around $240 (i think). I have a radeon 8500 which I paid $165 for about 8 months ago, and it has dropped $100 in price in that time....yet my card is a great card, fast, cheap, and it runs Unreal Tournament 2003(which is graphics intensive, and is being used to benchmark systems) fine. I would recommend going with 128mb of video ram but if money is a concern, you don't have to buy the fastest card out there. Video cards are also overclockable just like CPU's, however if you toast a $300 video card that's gonna hurt a lot more than destroying a $65 video card like I have. (video cards can also be watercooled)

anyways, Video cards seem to be rapidly outpacing the video quality output of most current games (doom 3 being the major exception to this rule) so you can get away without having the current, top of the line card. It was really only about 8-10 weeks ago that the ti4600 was at the top of the heap, and now the ATI card is top dog...but It probably won't be long before the next NVidia card (nv30) comes out in an attempt to dethrone ATI.

Keep in mind that the stuff I just wrote about video cards is solely my opinion, and I really think the video card market is kind of ridiculous, the attrition rate for video card technology seems horrendous, with things like ATI's new card supporting DX9, which barely even exists yet, while DX8 hasn't seen huge implementation yet. Some people put video cards as a super huge priority in their systems, and may disagree, but they just have a different focus than I do.

--h20
 
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