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LoD
13-08-2003, 22:28:53
...and I'm neededing your advice. I haven't upgraded my equipment in something close to 3 years now, so I'm totally out of touch with the current standings in hardware. Basically I don't need a bleeding-edge machine, since I concentrate mostly on web surfing and programing. However, some gaming is also in order, so the configuration should handle that as well.
Thanks in advance to anyone who should help me on this.

No longer Trippin
14-08-2003, 02:10:25
Do you want eyecandy or not?

A basic system that will run (and if you want, overclock well) for cheap would be...

AMD 2500+ Barton = 80-90 dollars
EPoX 8rda+ (onboard LAN 10/100, 2 firewire, 4 USB, and onbaord SoundStorm audio - better than an audigy 1 and takes up less cpu resources than all other cards and codecs from a review done at tomshardware) = 80-90 dollars
WD 120 JB (8 meg cache, 3 year warranty) EIDE: ~120 IIRC
Antec Case with Antec 350 watt PSU (comes with 4 80mm case fans): 70 to 80 IIRC
Graphics:
ATI 9000 if going for cheap (below 100)and still want eyecandy, 4600 ti or preferably if you want to simply OC the card (safe to do) then a 4200 ti from albatron or MSI with 128 megs ram - the 4200 will overclock to 4600 speeds easily from either company.
Midrange card that won't break the bank (150 or so): BBA 9500 PRO or BBA 9600 PRO (BBA- built by ati) - 9500 preferably - 128 megs ram on either.
Lots of pretty graphics along with speed (300-500):
ATI 9700 PRO or 9800 PRO 128 or 256 (though you'll pay for those cards as they are high end) or the nvidia 5900 Ultra - though it takes a bigger hit on eyecandy, not by much though - I'd go with the ATI's and I used to be a hardcore nvidia fan.

LoD
14-08-2003, 21:38:38
The amount of eyecandy I want is a linear function on how much I can convince my parents to spend ;)...
What about the hard drive? DVD/CDROM drive? Monitor? Also, is that SoundStorm decent on recording?

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
14-08-2003, 22:36:23
The ti 4200 is about as low as I'd go if I were upgrading my video card. Though I've found I have more problems getting stuff to work with an nVidia card than an ATI for some reason, so maybe I wouldn't buy a 4200 :)

Trip: are the Barton's unlocked? Cowie got a 2400+ and oc'd it to 3100+ speeds (watercooled), dunno if that was a Barton core or not.

As for the rest, not bad, but I'd be tempted to get something to replace the on-board audio eventually.

I wouldn't get anything other than a name-brand, warrantied power supply ever. It's too important.

Trip spec'd out the HDD - 120 GB Western Digital (if I'm reading that right). Avoid Maxtor. IBM Deskstar I haven't had problems with, but some say avoid them.

These days I wouldn't get less than 512MB RAM.

DVD/CD-ROM - whatever you can afford with left-over funds. Same with speakers etc. These components can always be upgraded later, and cheap stuff will usually get you by until then.

What kind of monitor do you want, LoD? CRTs are cheaper but bulkier, LCDs are nice looking but expensive and picture quality (esp. refresh in fast-paced games) becomes an issue on some.

LoD
14-08-2003, 23:28:31
Originally posted by Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
I wouldn't get anything other than a name-brand, warrantied power supply ever. It's too important.

What brand for example?


Trip spec'd out the HDD - 120 GB Western Digital (if I'm reading that right). Avoid Maxtor. IBM Deskstar I haven't had problems with, but some say avoid them.


OK, I'm obviously blind and stupid :)... So they make 120 GB drives now? Wow...


DVD/CD-ROM - whatever you can afford with left-over funds. Same with speakers etc. These components can always be upgraded later, and cheap stuff will usually get you by until then.


Acknowledged. Is LG okay? A lot of my friends are buying them because of their affordability...


What kind of monitor do you want, LoD? CRTs are cheaper but bulkier, LCDs are nice looking but expensive and picture quality (esp. refresh in fast-paced games) becomes an issue on some.

LCDs do sound tempting, however, my room does have some extra space so no problem with a CRT monitor.

No longer Trippin
15-08-2003, 00:09:54
First off, in the US, order everything from Newegg.com, best service there is... you will get screwed over some way or another with tigerdirect.... newegg does automatic RMA's - so you only have to pay to ship it back, and within 3 to 5 days they have a new one being sent to you - no questions really.

Soundstorm is equal to an audigy 1 platinum... I don't think you want to spend the money on the only card that would be within a sensible price range to beat it, the audigy 2 platinum.

Oh, and make sure you order the barton RETAIL, not just the chip itself, else you'll have only a 1 year warranty instead of 3 - and still have to by a heatsink. If you get a new barton and intend to overclock... you'll need an aftermarket heatsink... Vantec Aeroflow is the best for the price/performance that I'm willing to recommend - 30 bucks there.

the 120 WD JB is the harddrive. It's the fastest for it's size and being IDE, also one of the few with a 3 year warranty, the 8 meg cache will help. The 80 WD JB is cheaper, so if you don't need 120 gigs of space, I'd go with the 80. Maxtor is good, but WD has a slight performance lead over them as ATA 133 is just a marketing gimmick (WD drives are ATA100). So go with WD there IMO. Though if your a Maxtor fan, they aren't that much slower to where you would notice it.

Powersupply: You may want to see with the Antec packaged cases if they offer a 400 for a bit more... since new graphics cards tend to eat juice, that is something you don't want to skimp on - and buying an Antec case along with the PSU from them saves you about 20-30 bucks easily. You would have to order direct from Antec to get them though. www.antec.com IIRC

DVD - get a Pioneer - if you want to record, make sure it's DVD+R not DVD-R as you can format the DVD's as needed. For the CD=RW drive, Plextor is top of the line, but cost more. Toshiba's are a bit slower (but cheaper and just as reliable if not more so generally), but they tend to last (I have two that equal up to 18 years old, and each is used practically daily - though not by me)

Monitor - for price, I'd have to say CRT. Get a good brand name. I would say Sony, but since my trinitron incident which put me in front of this POS Acer, I'm reluctant to say so since it was a top of the line one... Have used Phillips monitors with fairly good results and they have fairly good contrast and color. My sony going up was most likely just a fluke since most professional graphics places use sony monitors - so Sony is still an option, just the philips would be cheaper. As far as LCD, I'd recommend Samsung as that is the only good one within a decent price range for one. Newer samsungs don't have ghosting much if at all really, it's now pretty much a thing of the past - you can get by with lower refresh rates on an LCD due to their nature, but they run at 75hz generally now anyhow, so that doesn't matter. Just price wise, your looking at more than the cost of your comp.

As for memory:
If overclocking:
Id get a matched pair of (512's, thus 1 gig) Corsair 3200 Cas 2 P2 (the LL's are too expensive for the extra bit you get, and the 3200 will allow you to overclock easily, and if you want the LL's spes running at the bartons speed, it can be achieved without even overvolting the chips as the ram is faster to begin with) If that ram cost too much, go with crucial 3200 - though slightly less of a performer, excellent ram for a cheap price.

If you don't ever intend to overclock to get the most out of the computer, then go with Corsair XMS 2700 Cas2 P2 or Crucial Cas 2 2700 which would be the cheaper of the two. Again get a gig, and if corsair, go with matched pairs for a slight performance edge. Crucial doesn't offer matched pairs to my knowledge on either speed rating.

If you don't want either memory, make sure it is at least DDR 2700 (333) - as any slower will slow down your processor as an AMD chip should run in sync with the memory. Check nvidia's website for list of other manufacturers of ram that are approved, as the board is pickier than most about what types of ram chips it will take (yes, they have different types, though you'd never know it by looks unless you know ram and ID numbers).

Check Crucial's website and enter your motherboard/chipset EPoX 8rda+/nforce2 (not SPP) if you go that route with memory.

If you can come up with a price your parents are willing to pay, that would help, as then I could direct link you to exactly everything I'd get as you do live in the States' right? Qaj can throw in his 2 cents on it as well. So a price range would help us out. I'm pretty much going on the cheap but with quality for most things at the moment. If your doing a lot of recording you may want a WD 200gig JB series instead... as audio can take up tons of space.

---------------

Qaj: The tbreds and bartons are unlocked automatically only on the nforce2 chipset, not on VIA's, they do not ship unlocked. If you want to unlock them you have to pop or connect bridges depending on if a tbred b or barton.

Oh, and qaj, he doesn't have a barton, he has a thoroughbred b. 2500, 2800, 3000, and 3200 are barton designated speeds. Though there are 2800 tbreds, you can tell if it is one by the L2 cache size and total cache size. 512 L2, 640 total cache.

As of the 9000 series and the catalyst drivers, if you get a BBA card (BUILT BY ATI) then you have no problems at all and get cards built to spec speeds. Other manufacturers cards sometimes aren't clocked as high, but they are ati cards of the same designation, they also can have driver conflicts because of this, though ATI is weeding that out well. Saphire is a decent powered by ati company to go through as they do fab some made by ATI boards if you HAVE to go that route.

On a side note, current 2500's reach 3200 speeds at stock vcore rather often, as do 1700 tbreds, though your missing the extra l2 cache of the barton and they run a little bit hotter due to the bartons having a slightly larger die due to the extra cache.

Sean
15-08-2003, 00:15:12
Qaj: why not Maxtor? I have two 20GB ones here, was considering upgrading one to a 120GB one. I’d be interested to hear why I should avoid them.

zmama
15-08-2003, 02:39:45
Trip, LoD is in Poland.

No longer Trippin
15-08-2003, 05:56:54
damn, the prices are much higher, but these will still be the cheapest to get most likely, just the case and psu might not be able to come from antec. No biggie, a chenming midtower with a 400 fortron psu.

Deacon
15-08-2003, 08:13:12
I recommend an optical mouse. I haven't had to open up my own optical mouse for any reason. Since it has no rollers, they can't get dirty.

No longer Trippin
15-08-2003, 22:12:21
crossposted and just noticed lod..

fortron, sparkle, antec, zalman, and thermaltake make some good psu's.

As for monitors, you also have vewsonic and samsung to pick from for good quality and image.

LG is not okay... I'd go with toshiba or TEAC if funds are tight. Other good ones are Plextor, Pioneer, Samsung (8meg cache is nice) and should be a decent price as they aren't as expensive generally) and Lite On... LG's have notoriously high failure rates actually... I don't know how they keep their image, but that is also what puzzles me with Soyo as well. :)

They make 300GB IDE drives now.

Sean
15-08-2003, 22:15:10
Lite-On are pretty cheap as well, and reliable.

Sean
15-08-2003, 22:16:44
No, wait, Trip said them. Never mind…

No longer Trippin
15-08-2003, 22:28:01
It's an additional opinion, it doesn't hurt, Sean. No need to nevermind it.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
16-08-2003, 00:24:02
Sean, we've got around 70-80 systems in use at work, and in the first 6 months we had 5 Maxtors go bad in identical fashions.

I've heard bad reports from others on the Net, and while you can't take anything you hear on the Web without a grain of salt (including here! :) :) ) I think my above experience making me leery is justified.

Maxtor _was_ an okay HDD manufacturer until a year or so ago, but they're starting to fall behind in R&D, and are more a market follower than leader.

Subjective opinion. I avoid Maxtor, prefering to stick with IBM or WD.

And don't they make 320 GB's now? :)

----

Never heard of Sparkle as a PSU manufacturer, but then, what I don't know could fill a library I'm sure :) I do have an Antec and, though it developed a fault, they replaced it painlessly, and it's been way better than the piece of trash I had before.

Tom's Hardware had a nice article on PSU's recently. Very important to get a good one, as a shite one can fry your other components, and AFAIK a standard warrantly won't cover that type of damage.

----

re: ghosting on LCDs, yeah, they've got 16/20 ms LCDs but they're more expensive, so if budget is a consideration, and space is not, I'd likewise recommend a nice heavy CRT and some extra desk supports :)

Sean
16-08-2003, 00:27:26
Ah, well I bought mine over a year ago :). Leaves me with a bit of a problem, though, as I prefer to have both drives by the same manufacturer.

No longer Trippin
16-08-2003, 03:44:23
Okay, since I spent the last year confined to technical forums I guess I'll fill in some gaps hardware wise - don't ask me about software - I only know how to strip it down to run faster. :)

Qaj, what do you use the drives for? And how have they died? You do have SMART enabled in the BIOS I'm sure, so you catch it before it happens I'd hope.

IDE drives have failure rates of about what maxtor has for the average hard drive. Most likely those were 2 meg cache maxtors which aren't made to the same tolerance as the 3 year warrantied onces with an 8 meg buffer. Same goes for Western Digital, Seagate, IBM, etc. I would avoid any IBM from the GXP series from the 75 on down as the suffered failures from dropped arms... the new ones are now made by hitachi IIRC as IBM sold the division. They also fixed the problem, but that doesn't mean old ones are still on the market with it - and you don't know unless you are buying from an excellent reseller which moves a lot of stock. Thus I'd avoid IBM for LoD, as I don't know of a good polish reseller that wouldnt' be shipping old GXP's.

WD is the speed leader overall, and the qaulity of the JB series (8 meg cache, 3 year warranty compared to the 2 meg 1 year warrantied ones) is about the same in quality as Maxtor's 8 meg. ATA 100 or 133 doesn't matter... IDE isn't able to sustain transfer rates over 85 on any drive I've seen so far - and that's the burst rate from the cache when it pulls that generally. Seagate also makes solid drives, last just as long, though aren't as fast as WD or maxtor. Since the hard drive is the bottleneck in any machine, you want it as fast as possible... the SATA drives actually run only marginally faster, and SATA will be getting a 450 to 600 meg a second transfer rate in 2004 or 5.. and the current controller that all manufacturers are using is awfully picky and buggy at times. Only the WD Raptor (36 gig, 10k rpm) drive would make SATA worthwhile, and your paying almost SCSI prices for the drive. And that would be VERY expensive in europe and just not worth it due to the only marginal gains you get from SATA at the moment. Eventually everything will go SATA, but not anytime soon. So a Western Digital, Maxtor, or Seagate in that order would be my choice. Always get the 8 meg version... WD it has a JB designation behind it... can't recall maxtor's or what seagates IDE offerings are with the 8 megs. Qaj, they jumped from 200 to 300 in about a month with increases in platter density, so a 320 wouldn't be mathematically correct... though we all know that it drops some in real life, but they could have one with a 320 rating, wouldn't surprise me. 4 80 gig platters.

There is arguement on some forums about WD or Maxtor... generally western digital wins - though maxtor wins some as well. So it's pretty much even in reliability IMO.

As for PSU's, I know of the article, and Fortron came out on top. Though the others I mentioned faired well as well, and are also common in the overclocking community (as raising the speed of a chip, especially once you need to add voltage can take a 60 watter and turn it into 100+ depending on the process and the core design - that takes that much more juice flowing stable for it to work). I'd go with Fortron, Sparkle, Enermax, Antec, Zalman, or Thermaltake (their heatsinks suck, but their PSU's (which they don't make) are excellent).

I'd go CRT if you have the desk space, then you can use the rest to improve the guts of the system.

Until LoD can give me a budget and translate it into US currency (then add about 25% to 50% to the cost as stuff cost more in europe generally for some reason) I'm going with a nice setup that isn't going to cost a ton. LoD, when you get a price figure, and you know of some places to buy hardware, online or from shops, give me a quote on some newer things - a cpu would be enough, as generally the rest of the hardware will follow that curve.

You can reuse your old CRT if you want... save some cash there, though if you don't like your current monitor for some reason, then switch.. though if you go 19" your going to need a decent graphics card - 150 or so US currency and ATI in that range as the nvidia only has cards which will run faster without eyecandy, though they cost as much, though the older G4's they have beat the 5200's running for pure speed, and the 5200's take too large of a hit to use with heavy eyecandy at large resolutions.

Sadly newegg doesn't ship outside the continental US... I can try to ask some people on the other side of the pond of some good european resellers if you don't know where to get your stuff from other than a local shop which will most likely charge you retail for everything, or close to it for them to order it - and you can compare prices.

LoD
16-08-2003, 14:19:45
Using my current CRT is not an option, since I'm moving (to Austria) and the old comp is staying here.

Deacon: thanks for the suggestion, but I think I'll stay with my current model. It's an A4 mouse, 2 wheel, 4 buttons, very ergonomical and durable, and most of all, cheap (I bought for an equivalent of 12 bucks).

Anyway, I'm preferably buying the hardware through a company owned by a friend of my parents' - that way I'm not paying any VAT (22%). The said friend is buying his hardware from a company based here. I've run a search through their catalogue (I've got their pricelist in an XLS file) and composed a possible configuration according to your suggestions.
Above the dotted line are exact matches to what you've said, below the line are the next best I could find. The prices are in zlotys (exchange rate is about 4:1). And excuse the Polish :)....
Dyski twarde IDE/ Western Digital Western Digital 120GB 7200-obr (WD1200JB) 8MB Cache 429,00
Procesory/Procesory AMD (Athlon) AMD ATHLON XP 2500+/333 BOX (wer.AMD) 386,00
Nagrywarki/ Pioneer DVD-REC PIONEER DVD-R/RW OEM (DVR-105) 669,00
Monitory/Monitory 17" Philips PHILIPS 17" 107B40 (0.25mm,1600x1200,TO99,OSD) 569,00
--------
Karty graficzne/ Gigacube GIGACUBE ATI 9600PRO 128MB AGPx8 TV DVI 568,00
Obudowy/Obudowy ATX (także do Pentium 4) Codegen CODEGEN (6066-CA) 300W USB,Audio (czarna) 98,00
Pamięci/Pamięci DIMM (DDR) Kingston DDR 512 MB PC333 (KVR333X64C25) 317,00
Płyty główne/Płyty główne (Socket-A) Soltek SOLTEK SL-KT600-R Socket-A (DDR,SOU,S-ATA) 309,00

SUM: 3 345,00
What do you think?
And BTW, as I understand, build by ATI means manufactared entirely by ATI, not just the graphics chip (NAHN :))?
I'm also going to some price searching in Austria, to see if I can buy something cheaper there.

LoD
16-08-2003, 14:26:17
Of course "3 345,00" means 3 thousand, 345 hundred zloty and so on :)....

No longer Trippin
17-08-2003, 04:55:17
Overall price doesn't look bad.

I would avoid the Solteck board, or anything VIA, the reviews I've read of the 600 (actually the 400a with a namechange) haven't warranted much attention. Solteck does make s decent nforce2 board, though. Epox 8rda+ and Abit N7s R2 would be my first two choices as you get the MCP-T southbridge, which means soundstorm sound - which is damned good actually.

I'd see how much the samsung monitors run, or viewsonics as well.

A Codegen 300 will be running to close to it's limit truthfully, I'd go for at least a 400 - as the 12v rail on AMD systems is one that gets awfully taxed. Codegen's are decent PSU's.... I've have one before that I put in someone's comp, it hasn't blown up, but the rail voltages aren't the best looking out there.

Yep, BBA means ATI builds it, or another company will build it for them to there specs and they test them like they test their own... a failed batch means the company doesn't get full paid for them and has to sell them under it's own label as powered by ati.

Are you getting only 512 of ram, or knocking it up... you can wait if your not an avid gamer or anything... though it's a cheap future upgrade that can make a difference.

The DVD you picked out isn't + but the - version... means you can't format DVD's - can cause some problems, not many, but depending on the size of what your copying it can. You can salvage the CD-RW out your old comp if you want to save on a TEAC or Toshiba.

Some prices are nearly dead on with here, some are inflated a good bit. I wish ATI would price the 9700 Pro at a reasonable level (same with nvidia and the 5800), but long as people keep buying them up at their current price (I bought an ATI factory refurb (someone flashed a 9800 bios on it I'm guessing, and failed to do it right - thats rather common, thus I paid about 75 less for mine, sticking it in the 9600 PRO's cost range) as everything on the card looks like there has been no resoldering done or anything and it overclocks great. But long as people pay full price for a card that really hasn't dropped much and keep on letting nvidia and ati make mid range cards with only slightly to midrange performance going against a high end card, why should they lower it. Thus why they released the 9600, the 9500 was clocked to high, and on certain cards, a flash could turn it into a 9700 Pro.

Just avoid the via boards in my opinion... nforce2's have some problems, but via has a long track record of horrible chipsets and always has to release a revision, the 600 is really a 400a - and the reviews have even the horrible nforce boards keeping up with the "best" of them out there on the VIA side. VIA's run cooler, but they generally need constant driver updates while nforce 2's can run excellent with the drivers out the box ifyou don't feel like updating. While with VIA, not updating can really hurt your comps performance.

About 800 US going by what is stated... about what I figured it would cost... a bit inflated do to hardware being much cheaper in the US then in the EU. Avoiding VAT fees though is a good thing, that would knock it into the 900+ dollar range.

I'd do the price search as well... cheaper doesn't hurt... you need a 400 watt psu though as a barton, an nforce2 board, 4 case fans, 512 of ddr 2700 and the graphics card would tax a 300 watt, if not cause power failures.. such as your fans stop spinning or hardly spin, or the comp just BSOD's. Hope you have an OS copy of whatever you want, else add 150+ US to the cost.

Sounds like though with them you can pick what you want to order at least for the most part and you know them... so if they screw you over you can always bomb the store. :)

Debaser@work
17-08-2003, 12:50:53
LG are a perfectly good make. They manufacture equipment for Philips and Sony.

No longer Trippin
17-08-2003, 15:01:22
Philips CD drives have notoriously short lives - from their home stereos to their CD-RW's... they don't know how to make them. Never was found of sony drives, never heard a single person recommend them. Sony used to make their own CD drives, those were good drives, not they are outsourcing most stuff and over the years a lot of sony's inventories quality has gone down.

LoD
18-08-2003, 07:24:50
Originally posted by No longer Trippin
I would avoid the Solteck board, or anything VIA, the reviews I've read of the 600 (actually the 400a with a namechange) haven't warranted much attention. Solteck does make s decent nforce2 board, though. Epox 8rda+ and Abit N7s R2 would be my first two choices as you get the MCP-T southbridge, which means soundstorm sound - which is damned good actually.


OK, I just picked the first decent-looking motherboard of the top. They do have Abits.


I'd see how much the samsung monitors run, or viewsonics as well.


So, should I mail/PM you the pricelist?


A Codegen 300 will be running to close to it's limit truthfully, I'd go for at least a 400 - as the 12v rail on AMD systems is one that gets awfully taxed. Codegen's are decent PSU's.... I've have one before that I put in someone's comp, it hasn't blown up, but the rail voltages aren't the best looking out there.


Acknowledged.


Are you getting only 512 of ram, or knocking it up... you can wait if your not an avid gamer or anything... though it's a cheap future upgrade that can make a difference.


Well, it depends on my parents again, I don't want to get the price too high. I can buy the extra chip from my own money later on anyway.


The DVD you picked out isn't + but the - version... means you can't format DVD's[...]

Yeah, I know, they don't carry Pioneer's with DVD+R - I haven't checked the other brands 'though.


I'd do the price search as well... cheaper doesn't hurt... you need a 400 watt psu though as a barton, an nforce2 board, 4 case fans, 512 of ddr 2700 and the graphics card would tax a 300 watt, if not cause power failures.. such as your fans stop spinning or hardly spin, or the comp just BSOD's. Hope you have an OS copy of whatever you want, else add 150+ US to the cost.


Oh, yeah, the OS... what do you recommend - ME, XP or?


Sounds like though with them you can pick what you want to order at least for the most part and you know them... so if they screw you over you can always bomb the store. :)

Well, my father did work a dozen years in disarmament ;)...

No longer Trippin
18-08-2003, 10:12:00
Umm, i have a migraine, so bear with me here... this isn't witty commentary, this is actually thinking.

Get the Pioneer anyway, it will last longer than any of the others unless you get a lemon. I've had a friend take his out to bring to a frinds house and drop the bloody thing, still worked fine. Time to stop giving idiots chenming cases with easy out rails. Have heard nothing but good reviews about them, and have one in my system myself along with an 8mg samsung CD-RW. Not being able to format is only a slight inconvenience.

If you get an Abit, the N7S is the one you'd want, preferably R2... Some good brands are Abit, Asus (though they can be problemsome at the moment sadly), Epox, and a Soltek nforce 2 spp just got a good review on Anandtech - it's a value priced board, but is still quite good... the abit and epox will definantly come with built in lan, so will the asus (though it can be a picky little shit with drives period), the soltek one might. You'd be looking for a board with the nforce 2 chipset, no KT anything as that is a VIA - VIA's are okay, but generally you need to toss them into the garbage can to get the best performance out of them. Can't think of any others. Just check and make sure your ram will work at nvidia's site, as the nforce2 prefers certain types of ram. 2700 speeds is what you need to run at stock, and that sounds like how you'd be going.

I wouldn't offer ME to a sole, that is their worst bloody OS. Go for XP Home, you don't need pro unless you plan on having it as a workstation or something tied into a server network or running it as a server.

512 will work fine for now... doom3 next year will happily eat more, but 512 should do for now, get one 512 stick.

A Codegen would still do fine, they are approved by AMD, just the PSU is the one thing I prefer not to skimp on... I price the PSU then build the rest of the comp around that generally.

You can PM me the pricelist... I can't say which is better as some viewsonics beat samsungs and vice versa - just send the price range models your looking at.

Also when you find a set of motherboards, if you want good sound, then you need the MCP-T southbridge, you can PM that later and I can tell you which have it and which don't. just look for nforce2, ignore kt333(a) kt400 and kt600... Via's always have surprises, and they generally aren't pleasant.

LoD
18-08-2003, 22:56:04
Originally posted by No longer Trippin
Umm, i have a migraine, so bear with me here... this isn't witty commentary, this is actually thinking.


I guess I should thank you for writing that post despite your condition :).


I wouldn't offer ME to a sole, that is their worst bloody OS. Go for XP Home, you don't need pro unless you plan on having it as a workstation or something tied into a server network or running it as a server.


The problem is I don't know whether the comp will become a part of a LAN sometime in the future. Could you tell me what are the differences between Home and Pro?
OTOH, of course, the system will be dual boot (Win/Lin).


512 will work fine for now... doom3 next year will happily eat more, but 512 should do for now, get one 512 stick.


OK...


A Codegen would still do fine, they are approved by AMD, just the PSU is the one thing I prefer not to skimp on... I price the PSU then build the rest of the comp around that generally.


Acknowledged. A nice thing with Codegen's is that most of their cases have front USB and minijack ports, but that's becoming a standard anyway, isn't it?

Sir Penguin
18-08-2003, 23:11:36
Why would you get just one stick of RAM if you've got an nForce2 chipset, Trip? Does the dual channel stuff make that little difference?

SP

No longer Trippin
19-08-2003, 04:06:14
To adress LoD first: Pro just has MORE networking features mainly, though you can still do a small LAN with Home with no problems really. It has all the core essentials and then some, Pro just adds even more onto that. Yeah, that is becoming standard. Make sure they are USB 2.0 ports though, as a 2.0 board running on 1.1 ports means 1.1 speed or nothing depending the the controllers architecture. Oh, and no problem, the stadol had started to dull the sledgehammer a good bit, though now I'm facing it again from tonight since it was my fiance's anniversary, thus more wine - though I prepared in advance, so it's not bad... hopefully it will stay that way.

SP: An Athlon running with it's FSB in sync with the memory speed gets a 5% performance gain on average (and two sticks is optimal, thus why I told him to get 1 512, as the next one would be 512 as well giving him a gig). Matching pairs help a little, but not much. Dual controllers help the P4C a LOT more than they help the Athlon. Now running the FSB out of sync with the memory you will get up to around a 30% speed gain from the memory, but that is offset by the losses the Athlon will take from not running in sync with the memory due to it's architecture. The P4 doesn't have this problem nearly as much. Though a 1:1 ratio is still the best for an intel system, just not possible until DDR 2 technologies come around. In the next year or so, other than Intel's highly unscalable prescott, 3.2 ghz low end to 4 ghz top speed expected by the end of production - IF they keep the chip, there will be a lot of innovations coming out, 0.9 process, A64, DDR2, PCI-Express, built in mem controllers and such, yet the prices will be so high on these new things that most game makers aren't going to be using that for a top end system, the top end system will be what it is now for games and such until 2005 when the prices should have dropped and all those technologies reach mainstream in decent amounts to actually factor them in. So right now is the time to pretty much get your system up to around 2 - 2.5 ghz and get a gig of ram and a decent vid card (as prices won't be dropping on the good ones), and start saving up for a year or so, then when it's all relatively cheap, buy a whole new system. It's one of the transition periods, just with all the advances, it makes for one LONG period, thus more time to hoard cash which is an upside to the drought.

No longer Trippin
20-08-2003, 05:38:54
LoD, got your email, will have to look through it later though as I'm leaving for Atlanta till sunday tomorrow morning. Was able to open it... some of it is a bit gibberish, but I can make it out generally one thing or another - there is enough stuff on it that I can ignore the gibberish anyhow it seems if it gets too annoying to decipher. :) Sorry about the wait - I may have time while in atlanta due to things my fiance has to due for the mentor program - if so, and her copy of excel will open it, I'll pull it to her comp and look at it from there. Otherwise earliest response is most likely monday to wednesday night of next week. Sorry for the delay there.

LoD
20-08-2003, 15:13:45
HOW DARE YOU CALL MY MOTHERTOUNGE GIBBERISH?
;)
Hmm, if you say things are how they are, I might be able to send you a version with translated categories... should take me about a half-hour....
And you really don't have to apologize for helping me :)...

No longer Trippin
25-08-2003, 07:30:47
Hehehe... didn't get around to looking at it tonight... well I did, then just said screw it, I'll do it tomorrow, but i have class until 7... I can make out most of what I need - no need to translate it, as that's a pretty big spreadsheet

No longer Trippin
29-08-2003, 20:55:06
Check your PM's It's fairly out of any logical order, but I think I covered everything.

LoD
29-08-2003, 21:36:54
Thanks 'Tripp. That helps me plenty. I really apreciete that insight into the ATI brand of graphic cards BTW. Thanks again for your great help. Remind me to buy you a beer, should we meet some time :)...

No longer Trippin
29-08-2003, 23:06:04
No problem. :)

Graphics cards are a pain to describe... especially right now with there being nothing to really bench them (thanks to virtually no D9 dependant games) with other than 3D mark and reading reviews and what developers have said and what not. Seems ATI is garnering all the praise for performance at the moment... nvidia just keeps getting slammed.. A bit over a year ago it was the other way around... things change. :)

Noisy
02-09-2003, 16:59:24
I can recommend this (http://www.viewsoniceurope.com/UK/Products/LCDProf/VP191b.htm) little baby from personal experience.