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View Full Version : I've got a summer job, building a new PC in august!


Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 12:09:11
Yay! I'll be subediting a newspaper all summer for cash, and then I'll use what I've earned to finally get rid of my rustbucket. Or rather, I'll be salvaging what I can from the old one and building a new one from scratch. Unfortunately, unlike last time, I know basically nothing about the current state of the hardware world so I'll need some advice. I'm sure you can calculate the approximate prices in the summer using Moore's Law or something.

Budget:

No more than 10 000 kr ($1200, 700)

Salvageable bits:

Sound Card, Soundblaster Live! Platinum 5.1 (top quality when I bought it three years ago, not a massively progressing field)

CD writer/DVD player combo drive, 52x/16x (this is less than a year old)

One 50 Gb hard drive, keyboard and mouse (possibly)

TV Tuner card

Will have bought new headphones by the time as my current ones are increasingly broken and unreliable

Need:

Everything else basically- MoBo, Graphics card, processor, memory, monitor (can I buy this second hand? I only need 17"), case (my current one is slowly hacking itself to death), processor fan, another hard drive (not critical, my current one is hardly brimming), whatever obvious thing I'm sure I've forgotten

Suggestions?

King_Ghidra
30-03-2004, 12:27:22
well despite being a bit geeky i'm not great on technial pc bits, but one one thing i will say, is that i wouldn't go for a 2nd hand monitor, i woud always pay good money for a decent new one

speaking as someone who has recently purchased a p4 processor with hyper threading i can only speak highly of them. The new prescott ones are out now i think, but how much better they really are is probably much of a muchness to anyone who isn't an uber geek

zmama
30-03-2004, 15:17:50
I would buy a second hand monitor, if I checked it out first. If all Scabby can fit in his space is a 17inch, there may be some good monitors out there that people have gotten rid of for bigger ones.

Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 15:36:31
Nah, it's not that - I just don't need huge screens, got a 15" now.

Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 15:37:26
Thanks for the conflicting advice though. :D

I can always rely on cg to confuse me. :D

zmama
30-03-2004, 15:42:42
Well K_G has plenty of money and I make do with stretching what we have, so there's your difference.

As to the rest, what games are you going to be playing?

King_Ghidra
30-03-2004, 15:58:03
Originally posted by zmama
Well K_G has plenty of money and I make do with stretching what we have, so there's your difference.


:lol: cheeky, it's not just that...

At work we have maybe a dozen monitors in the test area, and i really really notice the difference between the nice new ones and the nasty old ones (and the old ones aren't really that old). it's as simple as that.

zmama
30-03-2004, 16:06:29
Well yeah, that's why I said to look at the monitor before you buy. I good quality used (like a Sony trinitron) can be better than a cheap new one

Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 18:28:08
Originally posted by zmama
Well K_G has plenty of money and I make do with stretching what we have, so there's your difference.

As to the rest, what games are you going to be playing?

I dunno. Probably not that many. I want a computer that lasts a while though.

No longer Trippin
30-03-2004, 18:38:44
Do not get the Prescott. It is SLOWER than the Northwood core it replaces as they now have it doing less work per clock cycle than before. There is a reason Dell and such aren't touching them, heat. It may not kill the core, but it could take a motherboard out pulling 89 watts. They all still use the faster Northwood. Even the new stepping hasn't saved them. If you get an Intel, get a C core processor, though personally I'd go AMD.

zmama
30-03-2004, 18:39:08
I just asked 'cause my resident lover of old games says that Dosbox won't work with any of the new 64bit cpus

King_Ghidra@home
30-03-2004, 18:52:02
Originally posted by No longer Trippin
Do not get the Prescott. It is SLOWER than the Northwood core it replaces as they now have it doing less work per clock cycle than before. There is a reason Dell and such aren't touching them, heat. It may not kill the core, but it could take a motherboard out pulling 89 watts. They all still use the faster Northwood. Even the new stepping hasn't saved them. If you get an Intel, get a C core processor, though personally I'd go AMD.

yeah this is what my cowie was telling me after i asked him about it. I have a northwood :beer:

Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 19:13:52
Originally posted by zmama
I just asked 'cause my resident lover of old games says that Dosbox won't work with any of the new 64bit cpus

Now that's a bigger consideration.

So 32-bit then. Will they still be around?

zmama
30-03-2004, 19:39:30
Probably...but maybe they can fix dosbox before then. I hope so.

Anyway 32bit...AMD XP 3200cpu, Nforce2 ultra motherboard (asus or epox), lots of ram

64 bit... AMD 64 (as fast as you can afford), Tom's hardware recommends K8T Neo from MSI or Asus K8V for a motherboard

For either I'd get an Antec case with at least a 400w powersupply

And consider a DVD burner, the prices are getting good on them.

Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 20:45:50
Don't need one. I only ever burn music CDs anyway.

Thanks for the rest of the tips. Will check out as time approaches.

Sir Penguin
30-03-2004, 21:44:05
Originally posted by No longer Trippin
Do not get the Prescott. It is SLOWER than the Northwood core it replaces as they now have it doing less work per clock cycle than before. There is a reason Dell and such aren't touching them, heat. It may not kill the core, but it could take a motherboard out pulling 89 watts. They all still use the faster Northwood. Even the new stepping hasn't saved them. If you get an Intel, get a C core processor, though personally I'd go AMD.
The Prescott would give him the new P4 socket architecture though, which will allow him to scale to 5GHz without having to upgrade the motherboard and RAM. It runs hot and slow now, but it could be better by the summer. Dell and such aren't touching the Prescott because if they did, they would have to design systems with room for airflow and with extra fan noise. I bet high-end Dells run just as hot as a well-built Prescott system.

If you don't want to upgrade this computer, the Athlon XP is the perfect CPU. It's cheap, and does its thing well. If you want either upgradeability or power, it's a horrible choice.

You'll be able to build a wicked-fast system with US$1200. I'd suggest cutting your budget down to US$800 or so if you don't use the computer for much high-end work. That will give you a healthy mid-range system that will be fine for games (at least, it would in Canada).

SP

Scabrous Birdseed
30-03-2004, 22:19:50
Well, we'll see. The last one I built was 6500 kr but didn't include the monitor... And that was low-range (a Celeron, ffs) even for the time period.

I tend to keep my PCs beyond the point of upgradability, I'm a poor student and sweating it out with a lousy PC is better than not having one at all.

Sir Penguin
30-03-2004, 22:46:28
Another thing you might consider is getting the mid-range system and spending the extra on a good 17" LCD (about US$400).

SP

Sir Penguin
30-03-2004, 22:48:03
You have to be incompetent or ignorant to get a lousy PC with US$1200. These days, power is pretty much equivalent to upgradability.

SP

Scabrous Birdseed
15-07-2004, 11:18:23
Bump.

Beta1
15-07-2004, 14:00:19
1 Gig ram

I only got 512 when I built my current one and its definately the biggest mistake I made (esp if you play BFV)

I've got to remember what sort of ram I bought so I can go buy another one.

The Mad Monk
15-07-2004, 20:27:51
You may want to check the forum-killing thread MDA started. :)

MDA
15-07-2004, 20:56:38
No sense posting anywhere else. :)

I only started it, you all contributed! Including Nav.

zmama
15-07-2004, 21:03:38
Kill Kill Kill

No longer Trippin
16-07-2004, 04:11:29
Beta: It shouldn't matter, even for dual channel. Long as the motherboard supports that ram it will work.

Sir Penguin
16-07-2004, 04:16:25
It just won't necessarily work well.

SP

No longer Trippin
16-07-2004, 20:09:39
It never did. Dual Channel even in the most ideal situations on an AMD platform, be it XP or A64, the gains are marginal. 5% is considered a good improvement. Intel gets a bit more, but not much. You have two memory controllers, thus now two smaller sets of traces running to the ram, yet your running through one memory bus that hasn't been widened, so all your doing is grabbing the small amount of data that the first controller was unable to retrieve. I'm assuming the onboard controller for the A64 is also choked, at least on socket A systems.

Oh, if you want PCI-Expess for AMD, October is when you'll have to get it.

Sir Penguin
16-07-2004, 21:18:14
I wasn't talking about dual channel.

And I've never heard of a Socket A Athlon64. :)

SP

Deacon
17-07-2004, 03:06:33
I lost track of all the socket names a while ago. I just call them by number.

Deacon
17-07-2004, 03:47:45
$1200 is enough for a good box + a good 19" CRT monitor. If size, weight, and eystrain aren't as much of an issue as price, then CRT is the way to go.

My favorites:

ATI video.
ViewSonic/Optiquest CRT monitors.
Antec Solution Series chassis.
Antec PSUs with fan control.
Logitech or MS input.
NIC on mainboard.
MSI mainboards.
Kingston Value RAM.

As for the OS, an OEM copy of Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Home. Plus a firewall, as well as all security updates and service packs.

Prescott is demanding on PSUs, especially with the power demands of high-end graphics cards that require additional power connectors. Taken with the heat problems, it's hard to recommend Prescott right now. Intel may do things to mitigate the problem, but according to rumors, they're eventually going to replace Netburst with an updated Pentium M.

While nobody knows if 64-bit extensions will ever catch on, the A64 is a good 32-bit processor in its own right.

No longer Trippin
17-07-2004, 07:44:23
764, my mistake there. What were you talking about then, SP? As for getting an LGA-775 board for the future, should we count how many iterations the current P4 has had. Three as of now. You really think they are gonna keep that around long? Intel has kept a habit that started with those damned slotted processors and can't keep to a design, or make on that has room to expand (though this is probably intentional). From the Palomino core to the Barton, AMD has had only 1 socket (though now they aren't to great in this either). To think Intel will keep any socket for any considerable time is a pipe dream to me, especially with heat problems and the BTX push. SP, stick the Prescott in a Dell though and those 61C temps would rise WAY higher. While it does have a higher temp cieling, it's also going to be generating more heat in that Dell box. If the chip doesn't suffer, other things will - that has been shown. From a shuttle PSU review to quite a few motherboards, not to mention HardOCP having to change from plastic standoffs on it's open testbed, as the secondary cooling from the motherboard thransfered enough heat to melt the standoffs. You really think Dell wants to stick that in any of it's boxes. Maybe on the highest end systems that they completely rape you on, but anything less than that will be using a 3.4C or below. Not a 3.6E chip. The current D0 stepping was supposed to reduce heat problems considerably according to Intel - it didn't and Intel pretty much has admitted it wasn't near what they hoped. It freed up enough to squeeze 200 more MHz out the core, but that's been it.

Sir Penguin
17-07-2004, 09:49:52
I was talking about mixing different types of RAM. It'll work if the sticks fit, but it probably won't work well.

SP

No longer Trippin
18-07-2004, 06:00:09
It will work just fine long as the controller reconizes it. I'm running different IC's on different modules. Granted you'll be limited by the slowest stick, but both still do 2-2-2-11, and that's as good as it gets for nforce2 chipsets (2-2-2-5 is only slightly slower, and only in dual channel oddly). No longer running dual channel, but running with 2 sticks of "old" Winbond BH-6 and a stick of new Samsung IC's. Able to run at the same timings and FSB as with two winbond's as well. Mem benches are a bit better, but that has more to do with the extra ram than anything with IC's.

I've yet to see a bench that shows different IC's hurting performance or causing errors. There were quite a few when the nforce 2 chipset was released (along with most ram it wouldn't take), now it takes the majority of ram on the market and doesn't suffer from a lot of previous problems - mainly encountered in overclocking, but now it's a solid chipset. VIA's solution is essentionally the same with excellent ram support as well. Long as a controller can recognize the IC's on the module, it is only limited by the slowest stick.

Sir Penguin
18-07-2004, 07:19:07
That's what I mean.

SP

Asher
19-07-2004, 04:21:29
I just built an entirely new PC for a friend for $1580CDN (including 15% tax).

Case, PS: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=709400&Sku=H14-1002&CatId=1519: $42.99

CD-RW/DVD-ROM: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=720242&Sku=A451-2130&CatId=477 $85.99

Motherboard: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=590675&Sku=A455-2031&CatId=1126 $85.99

CPU: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=617037 $127.99

RAM: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=235824&Sku=K24-3903&CatId=1353 $156.99

Videocard (Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB): $100

Soundcard: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=879307&Sku=C44-5020%20OEM&CatId=107 $42.99

HD: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=440430&Sku=THD-60M2%20P&CatId=523 $89.99

LCD: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=626902&Sku=B145-1702 $532.99

Speakers: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=457918&sku=L23-6184 $78.99

Wireless: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=242800&Sku=D700-2014&CatId=368 $46.99


Subtotal: $1391.90

Tax = $193.79

Total = $1585.69

Asher
19-07-2004, 04:22:59
If you don't wanna click the links:

Athlon XP 2500+, Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB, 512MB of RAM, 60GB harddrive, SB Live, 17" LCD, etc.

No longer Trippin
19-07-2004, 07:43:50
Sucks you had to use TigerDirect. They are horrible to deal with and don't exactly have a stellar reseller rating. Too bad NewEgg doesn't deliver to Canada.

Asher
19-07-2004, 13:11:55
I go to TigerDirect's physical store. They're alright in person.

Their store in Canada just happens to be ~5 mins from here, it's a huge warehouse type thing. Good stuff.

No longer Trippin
19-07-2004, 17:13:19
That's good (for you). I've known a couple personal and seen PLENTY of people on the internet pissed on by them and their policies. I'm sure you've heard most of the shit they've done already.

Scabrous Birdseed
09-09-2004, 15:01:01
Right, I'm giving this a final *bump* as I shall be going to the store tomorrow (and checking out prices - if they're alright I'll buy, but they seem decent, bought stuff off them before).