I'm going to get a new box soon-ish (no later than mid january), and I'm pondering what hardware to get. It seems like AMD have gotten their act together, and that there's some decent chipsets around. AMD64 seems to pack a good punch for the price. I'm going to dig into reviews soon, but I figure I might as well post some questions here :)

I'll probably be aiming fora 2.2GHz (3500+) Socket 939 Athlon64, as it's in the price range I can afford. What kind of heat does this processor generate (ie, can it be cooled without the sound of a jet engine), and what's the general level of PSU required (would 360W do, or is it in the 400+ range?)

Does anyone have experience wrt. stability? - this should mostly be a motherboard/chipset issue I guess, but nice to hear any kind of feedback. I'll be aiming for a nForce4 chipset, as I want SATA2 with NCQ support - currently there only seems to be a single motherboard available in .dk, a A8N-SLI. But that will probably change before I go out and buy.

As for RAM, 2x512meg CAS2 DDR400/PC3200 corsair modules.

I'm not sure which graphics card to get - if the board had AGP I'd stick with my 9600xt, but it requires PCI-E. I'll probably go for a Radeon x700 or a GeForce 6600, 256meg edition no matter what. Does anybody have experience with either? I'm mostly interested in VESA(2/3) support (OS coding...), since both should be plenty fast.

I considered waiting for the 64bit edition P4s, but it will probably take too long before they arrive, they'll be somewhat overpriced, and I guess the Athlon64 chipsets are more mature - and I don't want to wait forever. I don't really *need* 64bit support as it is now, but it would feel silly to buy a non-64bit machine when spending all this cash. HyperThreading might actually do me more good, but again... Athlon64 seems to be pretty good bang for the buck.
Posted on 2004-12-14 07:18:52 by f0dder
I couldn't pass up Dell's deals and got a 3ghz P4 HT with 512Mb. Just the box with a free color printer and shipping was $509US. I needed one for my trips to the country but I know you are looking for high performance.
Posted on 2004-12-14 08:28:58 by drhowarddrfine
AMD doesn't release any power output numbers for individual chips, although they've stated the max thermal design power for the architecture is 90 watts. Measurements of the chips by reviewers has been significantly below this. The 90nm chips (out now in limited quantities) are supposed to be very cool (50 - 60 watts at current speeds), but again this is all interweb hearsay.

Posted on 2004-12-14 09:52:26 by Mirno
I got the AMD-64 3500+ about 6 weeks ago. Its a great machine. I have Corsair 3200 something PRO XT 1GB. Awesome, I tell ya, awesome. Just a dinky nVidia 6600 256MB card.

Anyway, I started with a Gigabyte MOBO, socket 939, avoid them at all costs (of course, it was using nForce 3 chipset) but I went through 3 motherboards of the same Gigabyte before I gave up and switch to the Asus K8V Deluxe and haven't looked back since. I have 5 fans in my case, I can hear them, but it isn't load, really. I don't know why everyone complains as if *any* sound is bad. I obviously haven't heard a loud fan, but these are really no different than my single fan for my previous PIII.

I don't know about heat, my mobo utility that comes with it says it is 40-48C at all times but I hear that it should never be above 38C. But I don't have any problems, perhaps it is reading incorrectly or this CPU is different. Don't know.

I use SATA hard disk but not in RAID configuration.

Took me 7 minutes to install WinXP Pro SP1 Slipstreamed from start to finish including quick format. Takes about 3.5 seconds to boot into the desktop from cold start. I love this thing.

Anyway, at the time I was in the market, nForce 4 wasn't available and PCI-E wasn't available for socket-939 MOBO's, either. So things might be different now. I can always upgrade to AthlonFX in the future but I'm happy for the moment.

Just avoid Gigabyte if you can. No need to spend an extra $100 to beta test their MOBO.

Posted on 2004-12-14 11:03:38 by _Shawn
I bought a computer just recently; I went with an Athlon 64 3200+ and MSI K8T Neo2 FIR mobo. I have had no problems with the processor whatsoever. The motherboard caused some trouble with recognizing the memory at first, but flashing the latest BIOS solved the problem, and everything is now running smoothly. Well, except that the onboard sound isn't working at all, but I was able to salvage the PCI sound card from my old comp.

Anyways good luck with your system; from my experience I'd say Athlon 64 is a good choice, wouldn't know about the motherboard you described but I have also read about problems with Gigabyte elsewhere, so stay away from them.
Posted on 2004-12-16 01:13:20 by sirchess
My brother recomend a Athlon 64 3200+ socket 939 (9nm)
Mother board MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
RAM Corsair XMS OCZ Platinum Geil, or Kingston HiperX or any other good memory whit low latencyies (for stability)

Athlon 64 3200 because is the most compact is the one that less power compsumption requires. (My brother overclocked one of those at 2.5Ghz with 1.55V)

Only the mother boards with the chipset of ATI have PCI express for athlon 64, if you whant it you must wait until nforce4 be realized.
Posted on 2004-12-16 10:42:09 by rea
nForce4 is already out, but there only seems to be one motherboard available (in .dk anyway) now, an asus thingie. I definitely want nForce4 if I go AMD64, to get PCI express and SATA2 support.
Posted on 2004-12-16 10:50:20 by f0dder
this one should have all the speed you need
Posted on 2004-12-18 00:07:50 by rob.rice