View Full Version : New Build

11-16-2007, 04:27 AM
After approx 4 years since i built my last comp using Rob's current spec then, its time to upgrade again, as performance is quite there.

I am going with your current spec which includes the motherboard ASUS M2N32-SLI, but will be using the Sonata III as that is out now.

A few questions:-

I note your point re the motherboard chipset drivers and getting the latest from NVIDIA and to uncheck the IDE and audio driver. However, where do I get the audio driver for the onboard sound. Went to ASUS site, and was not sure which one was correct. Various options re 32 bit and 64 bit.

BIOS – I note you have the BIOS settings for various boards but not for the motherboard you currently have (ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe). Is it possible to have these posted on the site.

My version of XP only has service pack 1 included. What is the best way of loading service pack 2 bearing in mind I won’t have an internet connection at that point. I was thinking of going to the Microsoft site with my old computer and downloading the service pack file burning to a CD and then installing from that. Or would you forget service pack 2 until the machine is up and running with everything loaded. Only ask as I have had problems with Net Framework 1.1 and then service pack 2 trying to layer Net Framework 2.0 over the top.

Finally, I was going to follow your build guide, but not install a modem, as my internet provider is Orange and they supply the DSL hardware which sits out side the PC, but get my internet connection sorted last after everything else is done, then load Zone Alarm. Does this seem reasonable.


Jamie Nixx
11-16-2007, 07:22 AM
Are you building from scratch or upgrading?

And you would be mad to build an AMD based computer at the moment, Intel is the way to go.

Whats your budget?

11-16-2007, 07:47 AM
Well sort of an upgrade. I will keep the Philips 19" flat panel monitor, printer is fine and I have a creative surround sound system which although not new is fine for me. I also have a cordless mouse and keyboard by logitech which is good.

However the base unit is as follows:-

Case - Antec 282
PSU - Enermax EG 365P - VEFCA
CPU - AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Barton (cooled by Zalman flower with a 90mm
Motherboard - ABIT NF7-S Version 2
Windows XP Home Edtion.
Memory - Crucial 256Mb 184 pin Dimm 32MX64 DDR PC2700 x 2
Sound Card - Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! 5.1
DVD drive - Plextor 708A
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 200GB SATA, plus another 80gig drive.
Graphics card - ATI 128Mb 9600 Pro

Other cards installed is a capture card from Pinnacle and a TV tuner card from Hauppage. Also have a fire wire and extra USB card as well.

I am thinking everything in the case bar the following is really scrap and can't be used:-

XP Home Edition - service pack 1
Sound card not installing would use onboard sound
Plextor 708A is OK, it suits my needs, I don't do a lot of DVD editing nor writing CD's.
I can get a better Hard Drive which is much faster with the newrer technology.
Graphics card, well the fan has packed up anyway.
Would still put in the capture card and the TV tuner card, but concerned re lack of PCI cards.

Never used Intel always gone the AMD route. Tended to follow what Rob has built hence my choice for current being:-

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000
Crucial 4096 MB PC2 5300 DDR2
eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB DDR PCI-E
Western Digital 500GB 7200rpm SATA - However would probably drop to 300GB as dont need that size.
Sony DRU-830A to replace my current Plextor, not sure whether I need to do that yet.
Creative Sound Blaster Xfi - Again I think the onboard sound will be fine, as I don't use the PC as a music centre.
Cooler - Zalman CNPS9500AM2
Antec Sonata III

And thats it cost about £650 if i leave oyt the Sony DRU-830A and sound card.

Currently the gaming expereience re online eg Lord of the Rings is OK, but all settings are on low because system is circa 4 years old. Also it crashes out a lot about every half hour or so to blue screen, which is i think a graphics card and sound card problem, especially as they are both on same IRQ and there is no easy way of getting them on seperate IRQ's.

So time to upgrade.

I suppose my question is one of if the system I have chosen gives me a certain level of enjoyment, but the Intel would boost that by 5% is it worth it. Plus how much more stable and reliable would it be.

A bit of a long respponse but I was trying to give you as much info as possible.

I will delay ordering some of the bits from Amazon till I here what you have to say.


Jamie Nixx
11-16-2007, 07:56 AM
Your budget is £650.

I'll spec your computer for you, your in the UK so don't order anything from amazon.

Its time to get off the AMD train and get on the Intel one, like i said you would be mad with a capital M to use AMD.

Here is my spec.

Intel C2D E6750 (your not overclocking so there is no need to buy a third party cooler)
Asus P5K deluxe motherboard.
2GB Geil memory, only go for 4GB if your using 64bit Vista.
Antec sonata III
8800GT Graphics card.

Rob built his super pc when AMD were still big time players in the CPU league lol, Intel have taken over big time, i am an AMD fan myself but theres just no point going with them at this moment in time.

11-16-2007, 08:17 AM
Hindsight is a wonderful thing lol.

I note the processor is only 2.66 GHz but I assume its far superior.
Motherboard, is that the ASUS P5K Deluxe/WiFi-AP, hard to get hold of here, but can try. Plus Rob reccomends a different one re Intel, is he merely just out of date.
Memory, what about Crucial, 2GB DDR2 PC2 5300 only £61, compared to the £100 i was going to fork out under the AMD system although was 4GB. Cant locate Geil memory. Or is Geil far superior to crucial.
Same case and graphics card :-).
What about hard drive, Western digital still, I have always gone with Seagate in the past or Maxtor.
Is on board sound on the P5k any good or will i need a seperate sound card.
And no cooler for the processor, now thats novel, i hate to ask are you sure, it feels like walking a tightrope without a net to me !!
The Sonata III has front ports for USB etc which is a must for me as difficult to get to back of PC where it is kept, I assume the P5k would support this.


Jamie Nixx
11-16-2007, 08:23 AM
The CPU comes with its own cooler lol :rolleyes:

The processor is far superior.

And its not the same graphics card lol :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: . The 8800GT is the replacement for the GTS and its cheaper.

Are you sure you have built your own computer ;) ;)

You said the Asus P5K was hold to get hold where you are, whereabouts are you?

11-16-2007, 08:40 AM
Ah but people normally change the cooler because you can get better ones that are fairly inexpensive. Or is your view that the cooler that comes with Intel is very good, quiet and doesn't need to be changed. I assume the later.

Re the card is it the New ZOTAC GeForce 8800GT and GeForce 8800GT AMP! Edition you are thinking of. Not cheap at over £200. Odd that the replacement which is better, is cheaper, but im not complaining.

Have built and upgraded quite a few over 10 years lol. However it is done on an infrequent basis. Hence I like to get everything sorted in my own mind before I plunge in. Normally take a day off work to sit down and tackle the build.

the bit I hate is trying to get all the updated drivers and loading things in the right order, the physical build is fine lol. Getting BIOS settings right, flashing the BIOS is worrying just in case it does freeze. But the assembly guide given by Rob is brill, alayssome fears .

I'm in the UK. Hits for the board are very few. Is it quite a new board unlike the ASUS M2N32


11-16-2007, 08:47 AM
Is this the board

P5K3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP

ASUS Super Memspeed Technology Enhances Memory Speed up to 90.6%
- Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-core CPU
- Intel LGA775 Platform
- Intel® P35 chipset
- Intel® Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 Processors
- Dual-channel DDR3 1333/1066/800 MHz
- Pure Copper Heat Pipe & Stack Cool 2
- 6*SATA/2*SATA on the Go/ 1394
- Dual Gigabit LAN
- WiFi-AP
- All High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors

Jamie Nixx
11-16-2007, 08:56 AM
You must be looking in the wrong places for your components mate, here are the best websites.


Yeah the core 2 duo coolers are awesome, copper cored, very silent and great cooling.

Thats the motherboard, its not really a new board and its very popular.

Every major company has 8800GT's out at the moment the Zotac is just one brand, most of them retail at around £170 which is cheaper than the GTS 320mb and they actually outperform the 640mb as well.

11-16-2007, 09:07 AM
So what about the hard drive, I only need about 300 GIg. Or is the one suggested by Rob 500GIG Western Digital, good and you wouldn't change it. Or is there nothing to choose from a Seagate and Western Digital.

Whats the onboard sound like in your opninion, i don't want to put another card in if i dont need to.

And memory is Crucial as good as the one you suggested. I have always used Crucial, but open to change :)

One last point where do i get the best BIOS settings for this board from, I know Rob includes the preferred settings for some boards but this one is not included.

Jamie Nixx
11-16-2007, 09:17 AM
For the HD i recommend Maxtor, Seagate or WD.

Onboard sound is very good.

Geil is as good as Crucial and its a lot cheaper.

There isn't really a lot you need to do in the Bios, all of them are pretty much the same.

11-16-2007, 09:23 AM
Having searched on the 8800GT, there are so many different by different manufacturers. Would you go ASUS as the board is ASUS for compatability ?

Asus GeForce EN8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail

600MHz Core, 512MB 1800MHz GDDR3 Memory, 112 Stream Processors, SLi Ready, £187. OR

Asus GeForce EN8800 GT TOP 512MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail

700MHz Core, 512MB 2000MHz GDDR3 Memory, 112 Stream Processors, SLi Ready, £203.

Or would you suggest something completely different


Jamie Nixx
11-16-2007, 09:39 AM
It doesn't matter to be honest, Asus GPU and Asus board won't make a blind bit of diference in terms of performance or compatibility.

I would recommend an EVGA 8800GT because of the fact they offer a 90day step up program, this means that if a better card comes out within 90 days you can trade your old card in and you only pay the difference which is pretty neat.

Oh and over £200 thats a ripoff, at aria you can get the superclocked EVGA 8800gt for £187.

11-16-2007, 09:44 AM

Thanks for all your help, i will let you know how I get on.


11-17-2007, 05:06 AM

Been getting prices and the memory re the motherboard is very expensive.

Motherboard you reccomended P5K3 Deluxe WiFi AP - which is £146 at Novatech. However I need 2GB kit (1GBx2)DDR3 PC3-12800 (BL2KIT12864BA1608) and at Crucial its £328. But on Novatech its over £300. They are all saying I need DDR3 memory, which is very expensive. In fact ASUS say it needs to be unbuffered, DDR3 SDRAM only, PC3-6400, PC3-8500, PC3-10600.

Am I missing something here ?

Have I got the right board ?

Jamie Nixx
11-17-2007, 07:30 AM
This is the motherboard


As you can see it supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, only go for DDR2 as DDR3 is way too expensive but in the future you wil have good upgradeability.

Get this memory


11-17-2007, 10:51 AM

Are you sure the motherboard is correct. ASUS P5K3 Deluxe WiFi AP.

The reason I ask is that the spec of the motherboard is that the memory must be DDR3 SDRAM. Now at crucial the memory reccomemnded is 2GB kit (1GBx2)DDR3 PC3-12800 (BL2KIT12864BA1608), which costs over £300.

In fact DDR3 on the suggested site you said I visit are very expensive.

I was hoping to spend less than £100 on memory. Or was I sadly disillusioned.

Your thoughts appreciated.


11-17-2007, 10:53 AM

Sorry I posted again, as my comp did not see my message I posted earlier and now it does lol.

Hence an upgrade.

Jamie Nixx
11-17-2007, 10:55 AM
So is it all good now mate or do you need any more pointers/advice or are you all set :rolleyes: :D

11-17-2007, 11:19 AM
Well this is what i have decided on.

Antec Sonata III - £72.85
Intel C2D E6750 - £117.44
GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC2-6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit - £41.11, although might go for Crucial lol.
Asus P5KC Combo Intel P35 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 & DDR3 - £88.11
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB PCI Express card (Crysis) - £192.70
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA II 7200rpm 16Mb Cache 11ms 300Mb/s - 51.84

I think that should give me a fairly quick machine for online gaming etc.

Compatability of the parts, only time will tell lol.

I was going to ask about Artic Silver 5. Would you use that or the stuff that comes supplied with the the cooler.

Will not buy a sound card, and use the onboard sound. I assume that will get round my current issue of the sound card and graphics card sharing the same IRQ.

Can ditch my card that has two extra USB ports and fire wire. Will keep my Pinnacle video capture card and my TV tuner card by Hauppage.

Going to stick with my DVD ROM, Plextor 708A.

All I need to do now is order the stuff, get drivers for motherboard, graphics card, onboard sound, service pack 2 and burn these to a CD so I can use those instead of the drivers that come with the stuff. Get the latest BIOS update ready to flash and away i go.

The reason for putting latest drivers on CD is that I want everything work before I connect to the internet.

Would you load Zone Alarm before or after you load all the drivers for you DSL unit and internet provider.

Jamie Nixx
11-17-2007, 11:28 AM
Don't go for Crucial, theres no point it will not give you any more of a performance advantage and Geil is more reliable.

Your not overclocking so don't bother with Arctic Silver 5, you void your CPU's warranty if you use it anyway.

Install all the drivers for your router/internet ect before you use Zone Alarm.

11-17-2007, 11:44 AM
Thanks for that re Zone Alarm. So get whole system up and running then load zone alarm, makes sense.

Can you explain the expansion slots to me. God things were simplier when i last built a machine.

I have 2 x PCI-E x 16 being a blue at x16 mode and a black at x4 or x1 mode.
I have 1 x PCI-E x1
I have 3 x PCI 2.2

I assume the graphics card will go on the blue and my current cards re TV Tuner (Haupagge) and Video capture card (Pinnacle) will go on PCI 2.2

So why so many different types of slots.

11-17-2007, 12:09 PM
Ah gone to site looked at motherboard manual and answered my own question lol.

Quick look at drivers, not clear, but i will come back to you with links to see what you think. But that might be a few days as need to get equipment first.

11-17-2007, 05:20 PM

Well looking at drivers and not quite sure:-

Graphics Card 8800GT - ForceWare Release 163 Version: 169.02 I think thats the latest one, I assume I load everything and dont exclude anything.

SP2 - from here http://www.softwarepatch.com/security/winxpsp2-security.html god its a big file 266MB.

Onboard sound - now taking Rob's advice, gone to Realtek. However can't find what I want Realtek ALC 883. Any ideas ?

Motherboard little more tricky, went to site, http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us thats the link, now went for Windows XP as dont think I have Windows XP 64 bit. Now BIOS update I assume is 0804 looks like the latest. Audio tempted to go for being the bottom one not the top. Will answer my question to onboard sound above, unless Realtek have a more current driver. Chipset tempted to go for the bottom one a bigger file as well. But what about LAN, RAID and ATK as well should I download these. Raid, well will only have one hard drive.

So what do you think.