Building an AMD based system

MattV

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Hi all,
I have decided it is time to upgrade and for the first time in many years I will not be getting a pentium. AMD just offers too much bang for the buck to pass it up. So here is a list of my perspective components:
MOBO- ASUS A7A266 --$235
RAM- 256mb DDR --$75 (probably 2 sticks)
Chip- AMD Athlon 1.2ghz PC266 --$192
Video- ATI Radeon 32MB DDR LE --$135
So how does this sound as a base for my system? Any problems? It will be going into an ATX case that I will be upgrading to 350w.
PS- the prices are Canadian and mostly OEM not retail.
Thanks in advance,
Matt
 

brentl

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Looks great so far..
One comment ... get a BOXED processor!! AMD warranty is 30 days on oem stuff but 3 years on boxed processors + you get a an that is made for it..
Brent L
 

Joel Mack

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Second on the boxed processor comment.
I just purchased a boxed 1.4Ghz Athlon & an ECS K7S5A mobo for a total of $192 USD from http://www.newegg.com
It all shows up today or tomorrow. Can't wait...
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DonRoeber

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Just a warning. My friend runs an internet gaming center. He purchased all of his systems from AlienWare, a very reputable maker of gaming oriented systems. He bought 5 Althlon 1ghz systems, and 25 Peintum III 1ghz machines. The Athlons are constantly giving him problems, mostly with random lockups. The Pentiums haven't had a single problem in the 6 months that he's owned them. He's been working with Alienware to get the systems fixed or replaced for about 2 months now.
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Joel Mack

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As someone who's built about a dozen Athlon systems, without so much as a hiccup, I'd guess the problem is on Alienware's end...
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Rob Gillespie

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Matt, looks a nice system but consider the following:
[*]Asus have released two DDR based Athlon boards since the A7A - the A7M and the new A7V. The A7V is reputed to be the finest DDR board thus far - from any company. Unless that is, you're into overclocking, in which case the Asus may not be the best choice.
[*]Don't skimp on RAM. Go for Mushkin or Crucial and make sure it's the right speed as DDR comes in at least two (?) versions. Buying no-name stuff may save you a few $$$ but Athlons are very picky with this. Same for the power supply. It has to be an Athlon-approved design.
 

Chris

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Just a note regarding that as well:
We have slightly over 100 AMD based machines on our network for which I am sr. administrator; and around 30 Intel remaining.. Athlons have slowly replaced P3 type machines all over the network.
We have almost no troubles with any of the machines - P3 or Athlon, all of which are required to have a virtual 24/7 uptime due to the nature of our facility (medical)
I'm unsure of what his problem may be, but even in my home machine (a dual AMD 1.2MP on the Tyan 2462UNG board w/Visiontek Geforce3) I have had zero problems.
It may speak more to the knowledge of Alienware in their construction or driver sets then to anything else.
I would say that I generally avoid the Via chipsets and stick with the AMD760; though we have several on the SIS735 now, which has been an incredibly stable - and very fast - platform.
 

MattV

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Thanks for the replies. I will make sure that my processor is boxed and that the PS is athlon approved.
I am going to look into the mobos that Rob mentioned as well. I am glad that most of you have found the AMD reliable, I have had countless problems with my PIII.
Later
 

Carlo Medina

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I built my first Athlon system last year (850 on Abit KT7-R board) and experienced many lockups.
But it was due to the voltage regulators on the ABIT board! Where it said it was letting in 1.75 volts, the actual reading was 1.86, where it was supposed to let in 3.3 V the actual value was 3.40! Backing off the values to achieve 1.75 and 3.3 has made it stable for 9 months now.
Oh, and I have an OEM chip, with no probs, using a decent 3rd party fan, I bought all my parts from www.tcwo.com - note that they do not carry ABIT anymore.
Good luck!
 

Camp

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Dump that A7A266. It's based upon the Ali Magic chipset. Nothing really wrong with Ali Magic...it's just slow. For the same $$ you can get a much faster mobo.
The A7V and A7M are both good (I'm partial to AMD 760 chipsets so I like the A7M better). Abit's KG7 is also a popular board right now.
I think OEM is the way to go for CPU's. You can get the 1.4 Tbird for $107 if you go OEM. Treat it nice and save some money.
Just a warning. My friend runs an internet gaming center. He purchased all of his systems from AlienWare, a very reputable maker of gaming oriented systems. He bought 5 Althlon 1ghz systems, and 25 Peintum III 1ghz machines. The Athlons are constantly giving him problems, mostly with random lockups. The Pentiums haven't had a single problem in the 6 months that he's owned them. He's been working with Alienware to get the systems fixed or replaced for about 2 months now.
Ha! Intel fanboys are everywhere.
 

Gary King

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nForce-based motherboards will be awesome, if you're willing to wait a couple of months to upgrade.
I'd also recommend against skimping on the video card.
 

Joel Mack

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Update: I'm now running the new 1.4 T-Bird and the ECS mobo. Installed without a hitch, and so far running rock solid.

My 3DMark2001 score went from 4290 (with a 1Ghz T-Bird on a 100Mhz FSB and a GeForce 3) to 5435 (1.4Ghz T-Bird on a 266Mhz FSB, GeForce 3, and 512MB DDR RAM)...
Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

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AaronNWilson

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Actually I wouldn't bother going with the boxed processor if you have any intention of overclocking. If you aren't overclocked then you will have no problems with an OEM processor, but if you decide to overclock anyway with the boxed processor your warranty is void and you have just wasted the money on buying the boxed processor.
Aaron
 

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