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  • greendonuts3 - Friday, March 26, 2004 - link

    Thanks for this guide. I used it to build a nf-7 and 2600xp-m system and am pleased as punch with it. I'm at 400 fsb and 100f cpu temp.

    I have some feedback about the stinkin'
    Thermalright SP-97 Copper Heatsink with Heatpipe :

    Incredible cooling, but designed by sadistic sons of female dogs, including:
    --tiny, windborne, nearly invisible clear plastic washers (you only get 1 extra).
    --screw holes that are nearly inaccessible through the maze of heat pipes unless you have 3 hands (or use needlenose pliers to load screw)
    --instructions that read "use needlenose pliers to tighten heatsink nuts to back bracket" which caused me to gouge my mobo cutting 3 traces. This was on the nf7-v2 which has no room for a socket wrench between the zif lever and the heatsink nut.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the good work and keep the guides coming.

  • magratton - Thursday, March 25, 2004 - link

    BTW: I noticed that there is an extra little tab that is sticking out on the SLK-947U. It is sticking out about a millimeter or so. Pulled out my handy-dandy dremel tool and ground it down so that it is flat with the rest of the aluminum mounting plate and voila! no longer touching the capacitors.
  • magratton - Monday, March 22, 2004 - link

    The thing that I am most worried about is heat. After a pass at installing Windows XP (not completed) my CPU is at nearly 40 degrees C. I have the SLK-947U with AS5 paste in between. Any thoughts? Aside from removing CPU/heatsink from mobo and checking that it seated properly... just paranoid too much in and out of cpu/heatsink, I am gonna zap something. Reply
  • magratton - Monday, March 22, 2004 - link

    #29 - I noticed that mine was essentially "pushing" the capacitors as well. I was able to secure it though. VERY tight fit.
  • Furse001 - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Nice article. I decided to try out the system. Problem is the thermalright heatsink will not fit on the abit nf7-s Rev.2 motherboard… Went to the manufacturer’s website and it states the same thing. Anyone want to but a spanking new SLK-947U heatsink? Anyou have any suggestions to an alternative that will fit? Thanks. Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - link

    I have my Muskin PC3500. It doesn't run at the default specs... 216 Mhz at it's rated 2-3-3 timings is unstable. Prime 95 crashes within within 4 minutes. If I let it run at 200 Mhz, adjusting the multiplier to keep the speed of the CPU the same, or slightly higher, it runs indefinately with no errors. Reply
  • matt426malm - Sunday, March 14, 2004 - link

  • noxipoo - Sunday, March 14, 2004 - link

    I don't see the NF7-S mobo for sale anywhere for $82, they are all 100+ Reply
  • Zebo - Saturday, March 13, 2004 - link

    all that's left is to decide on the video card. "to spend or not to spend? that is the question." no time to hurry. ;)
    Come join the community..theres a video forum with plenty of advice.:) Good luck with your mobile.

  • DAPUNISHER - Saturday, March 13, 2004 - link


    How about adding the SoundStorm comment to the article? Lumping it in with the audio on the P4C800-E just ain't right! You should have mentioned how good SS is when hooked via SPDIF and doing the HTPC thing. Certainly we all know that but many who read that guide may not. They could use that $70 to get the 9800pro if they understand that SS will be a very nice solution for integrated. At least it'll give them a choice to weigh instead of the heavy handed feel of "you're missing out if you don't get the Audigy2"

    Other than that I say it's a great guide that will give neophytes the info they need to build and overclock a budget system that will kick some butt.
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, March 13, 2004 - link

    Soundstorm for me!

  • OdieQ - Friday, March 12, 2004 - link

    I see that you always recommend Creative sound cards. I have found that Creative produce cards of consistently lower quality than for example M-Audio or Terratec, at about the same price point. Now, I haven't tested Creative cards for a while, have they significantly increased their quality? What do the SoundBlaster cards offer that the alternatives do not? Reply
  • roostercrows - Friday, March 12, 2004 - link

    zebo... took your advice on the mobile. did it, got it, thank you! all that's left is to decide on the video card. "to spend or not to spend? that is the question." no time to hurry. ;) Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link need to go to click shop by catagory, click processors, click amd moblie... they have both t-bred and barton cores...Better hurry.:) Reply
  • roostercrows - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Nice job Evan, the article was worth waiting for.

    Noob that I am, I can't seem to find anyone selling the "mobile" version of the 2500+. I called all the suppliers listed at the top of the "CPU" page and the buyer for one very well known e-tailer told me that "We didn't think that it would sell so we don't carry it". AMD told me that it was "just for lap-tops and not really sold to the public. Hmmmmmm?
    I are confused!

    Please tell me where I can purchase one online? I promise that I won't tell anyone you told.
  • siamesenick - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Evan, I was talking about the replacement for Black Level II, not actual level II: Reply
  • Hugenstein - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    The ram...
  • araczynski - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    overall a very nice primer for those looking to jump into the hobby.

    I would question the logic of putting a 9600 level card into a speed demon as it pretty much nullifies the whole point of the overclocking in the first place i would imagine, i mean i can't imagine people overclock so their excel spreadsheets calculate faster....

    i realize the 9600 level (and the alternative from nvidia 5700/5800?) aren't exactly slowpokes, but with prices right now there's no reason for an overclocker to go below 9800/5900.

    my humble opinion anyway :)

    i like the article though. i'm more then happy with my little 2.4 @ 3.3 (zalman 7000cu on the way though ;)
  • Jeff7181 - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Now if only I could find the Muskin Twin pack you mentioned for the price you quoted... Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Very well put together, Evan. I was a bit skeptical about whether it would be a useful article... what I was looking for was RAM recommendations since I just ordered a Mobile XP2500 and my current RAM won't do more than 208 Mhz no matter what the timings or voltage. I was considering the Mushkin you recommended, and it looks like a very attractive deal, especially considering AT users get an extra 10% off directly from Mushkin. I'd prefer PC3700 though cause I've already tested my current mobo and CPU at a 233 Mhz FSB, my RAM just can't get there, I'd definately like to run at that speed with the new Mobile XP2500 that's coming. I considered OCZ, but the timings didn't look that great to me, especially for the price. I wonder if OCZ might offer a 15% discount for AT users??? :) (hint hint) Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link


    2.5-3-3-7 at ddr500 will eat 2-2-3-5 at 433 anyday...3-4-4-7 maybe slower but i wasn't talking about that.

    The 3C's are reported on a few forums.ABX is one yes...

    The DFI with single sided dimms is the NF2 king at the mo..Oskar is working on bios files every 2weeks and the speed just gets better and better.I have run ddr500+ with BH5 and 262fsb with 4200EL at 2.5-3-3-8 timings..its just an awesome board with awesome support..DFI really care about the enthusiast..i can't wait to see their NF3 250 boards.;-)

    Regarding Winbond based modules, Winbond are leaving the DRAM business and CH5 will run out in a month or so..this is going to force everyone to look else where.While i could go on about OCZ i won't but i will say we have already got a replacement that we think is pretty damn good.

    With regard to me dropping can alsoways chat to me on IM..just get my details off Wes if you don't have them or drop me an email to
  • TauRusIL - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Guys, this might be a little off topic, but i need your help: I am one of those dinosaurus that is still using Abit KT7A-Raid board with SDRAM memory. I havent used DDR so far. I plan to upgrade to Socket 939 boards as soon as they come out. My understanding is that A64 CPUs work with single channel DDR sticks: what would be top two three models/brands of DDR sticks for Athlon64/Socket 939 solution? Thanks a lot. Reply
  • Evan Lieb - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link


    Level II isn't widely available, at all. There are lots of Level One modules at major vendors (Ewiz, Newegg, Monarch, etc.).


    Hey, long time no chat. :)

    - What about the DFI is better exactly? I tested only the ABIT but I hear the DFI is one of the best as well.

    - 2.5-3-3-8 definitely isn't low latency, but sure, not high. But 2-3-2-5 or 2-2-2-5 between 400-433MHz performs basically the same as 2.5-3-3-8 at 500MHz, and that's if you can get those timings on the DFI (which I'm not sure you can, I haven't tested with the latest BIOS).

    - Where are these reports of 3.0C wonders that can do 250MHz FSB (ABXZone?)? 3.8GHz on air sounds pretty crazy. Though, 3.0C is on average $40 more OEM, which is stretching the worth of (at best) of the additional 150MHz you'll get with a supposed wonder 3.0C.

    You need to drop by more often bigtoe. ;)
  • deathwalker - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    I just found it at Newegg for $98. Reply
  • deathwalker - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    I haven't been able to find a 2500 mobile on pricewatch....where do you find these little puppies? Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link


    Barton mobile is a good choice..DFI NF2 LP(B) is better than the abit though..much better bios support etc and the goodies you get in the box are swesome.

    3700Gold rev2..most does 2.5(3)-3-3-8 at ddr500..i wouldn't call this high latency.CH5 production is about to stop so we may all be looking to other IC's.BH and CH IC's are going the way of the DoDo..we all need to face up to that.

    The 2.8C and P4C800E are a good combo but it seems a new wonder 3C is out with most hitting 250fsb with ease..i would say it would be better to keep an eye on the forums to see whats the latest favourite.

    Overall though I would say your recomendations are solid..just slightly out of touch with the forums being right on the cutting edge.
  • siamesenick - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    My OEM audigy came with a gameport bracket, FYI.

    I notice they recommended Mushkin Level One instead of the Black Hi Perf "222 Special". The 222 is only 5 dollars more for 512MB. Isn't it worth it? I know the 222 is bh-6, but I don't know what the L1 uses.
  • Nighteye2 - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    While it's mentioned that the motherboard supports SATA RAID, why isn't it recommended in the storage section?

    2 Western Digital 1200JB 120GB 7200RPM (8MB cache) ATA disks on the integrated RAID controller is still cheaper than the alternative that got mentioned, the Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA.
  • Evan Lieb - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link


    Nope, not that I'm aware. I believe it's only the retail version.
  • Pumpkinierre - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Is there a gameport bracket included with the OEM Audigy2?
  • Evan Lieb - Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - link

    Vantec Tornado 92mm MonkeyDriveExpress. I listed it in the summary page and mentioned it under the section for the alternative HSF (SP-97).

    Take care,

  • MonkeyDriveExpress - Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - link

    What fan was used on the heatsink? Reply
  • moretoys - Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - link

    Just noting that the Moble Barton recommended is not on the Real Time Price list provided. Reply

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