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MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE.. pls help

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February 24, 2003 2:00:58 PM

Hey guys, I have always considered myself a computer expert, but I have to admit, I am going crazy right now. I have no idea which mobo, cpu, and memory to go with. P4 or AMD? I thought that was the question, but now I think it is just the beginning to the question. I was hoping you guys could help with suggestions. I have tried self help, but stuff seems to subjective, or way to technical on the internet.

I am biased toward intel CPU's because in my experience they have been more stable. I am only interested in value, speed, and stability, in gaming. I don't care about OC at all, or how something works in apps. Or what is cutting edge.

After much reading, I believe a P4 with dual DDR memory is probably the way to go, but then I couldn't find a mobo with P4 support and an Intel chipset. Is there a good choice for this? Should I go with something different all together?? If you have suggestions please dumb them down to "P4 with DDR is slower than X and not as good a value."... Thanks.

More about : head explode pls

February 24, 2003 3:32:53 PM

Most of the THGF community, including me has the new n420 chipset on their wishlist. Many mobo manufacturers offer products based on this chipset. It seems somewhat picky about memory but should work fine if you stick to the manufacturer's recommendations. Most issues seems to be caused by the lack of knowledge and expertise from novice or amateur users. It's possible to find very interesting offers with good to above average integrated sound, IDE raid, firewire and NIC, along with numerous USB2 ports.

I am not very familliar with P4 boards and chipset but it seems that the Intel CPU is only really performing when paired to RDRAM memory which give it the bandwith it needs to flex it's muscles. Dual channel DDR is available but I don't know more about these newer chipsets.


Fok Speling Misstake
February 24, 2003 3:47:13 PM

You seem to have done some reading at least :smile: .....the P4 with a dual ddr mobo is a good setup that you could go with right now but it will not be the best as far as performance/price goes (the dual ddr intel mobos are very very expensive up to 250.00) and also you have to remember that the dual ddr mobos out right now will NOT support the new 800fsb processors that intel will be releasing soon so it may be good to wait on a motherboard with the Sprindale PE chipset(which will replace the 845PE chipset)or the Canterwood. And not to mention that the sis655 motherboards are yet to be seen in stores.
If you want great performance on a much cheaper platform go with a single channel ddr mobo that is available NOW (the intel 845PE motherboards)....they cost about half as much and the performance difference is only a few percent. The best PE motherboard out right now in my opinion is the Abit IT7 Max2 rev2, with my second choice being the Asus P4PE. I would match these boards up with one 512mb stick of corsair pc3500 xms memory.
You could also consider a little faster option (only being a few percent in most apps) being the rambus option with pc1066. The gigabyte GA-8IHXP2 motherboard is your best option if you decide to go with rambus. There is no downfall with going to rambus (because rdram isnt that much more expensive than ddr memory). It really is a matter of preference. The PE motherboards are better overclockers but you say you arent going to overclock so if I were you I would go with the Gigabyte board with pc1066

My 2 cents
-Civ

<font color=green>Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza<font color=green>
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February 24, 2003 4:40:10 PM

You even say your biased towards Intel..thats kinda sad that you say this but whatever....

Ok...Have u seen Tom's VGA Charts ?

An AMD Athlon XP 2700+ w/ nForce 2 is faster than Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz w/ it's latest/greatest DDR Chipset/board...

If your going P4 and you want top performance out of the box WITHOUT overclocking you NEED RDRAM and the i850 Chipset but its also more expensive...you said you want Value, Speed and Stability...correct ??

In that case you SHOULD be looking at the AMD Athlon XP Thoroughbred 'B' series of CPU's...i dont see how u say ur experience shows that Intel's r generally more stable than AMD's.....Unless ur talking about old Chipsets like the VIA KT133 and KT133A...but thats not AMD's fault....it's VIA's.....besides if your gonan go AMD these days your most likely going to be getting a motheboard with the nForce 2 chipset which is VERY stable...very scalable....and VERY feature rich.....

In this case I recomend the following to you as you say you WONT be overclocking, you DONT wanna spend to much money....

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ RETAIL CPU
ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
2x 256MB Corsair PC-2700 CL2 DDR RAM
GeForce 4 Ti 4200 128MB Video Card

That right there will do/serve you VERY well.....

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=13597" target="_new">-MeTaL RoCkEr</A>
February 24, 2003 5:03:15 PM

LOL...maybe you have been listening to much metal and headbanged the brains out of your head...(that was just to piss you off for calling my suggestion crap) but anyways....according to toms latest and greatest review....even the barton cant hold a candle to the 3.06HT here it is word for word <b><font color=red><A HREF="http://www17.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030210/barton-23.ht..." target="_new">LINK</A></font color=red></b>

I have only owned one intel machine (the one I have now) <A HREF="http://apark.gotdns.com/~ajfreeman" target="_new">MY SYSTEM</A> in my life....all of my others have been amd based systems (which I do not regret).....I also believe the nforce is a good systems and I have built two for a couple friends of mine. But for top performance/stabiltiy you cant go wrong with intel. I also think intel will pull away from the competition once it releases the springdale/canterwood chipsets.
After this shrewd bellow piece of argument I am happy now until you of course reply :smile:

<font color=green>Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza<font color=green><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by civilized on 02/24/03 02:05 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 24, 2003 5:47:12 PM

lol.....i wasnt calling ur suggestion crap...... =)

as for the headbanging.....its been awhile......haven gone to a concert in a year!! and i dont usually headbang while just listening to MP3's..LoL

ANYWAYS......i was referring to <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20021218/index.html" target="_new">TOMS VGA CHARTS</A> which shows the XP 2700+ being ahead of the Pr 3.06Ghz when paird with DDR Ram.....

i thought the Barton review had the P4's using PC1066 RDRAM...which is why i said the P4 needs RDRAM to be faster....

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=13597" target="_new">-MeTaL RoCkEr</A>
February 24, 2003 6:02:26 PM

I guess the best question would be how much are you willing to spend. Make that your ceiling. I noticed price/performance listed. My suggestion is as such. Look for the latest/best motherboard for each platform. Find ram that your willing to add (size/quantity) DDR or RDRAM. Add any components you need. Then add the fastest processor for each type with the money left over in your budget. Look at past reviews for the processor for a hint of their performance. The motherboard and other components may not add up to the same as the review but you would get the idea. I have had both Intel and AMD machines. If money is no object I would go with a P4. If there is a small budget AMD. I have a very tight budget (I am in the military). This is the way I make my decisions.
February 24, 2003 6:19:35 PM

Hey everyone, thanks for the great suggestions. Keep them coming. Money is an object(when is it not?) But I would pay 10 percent more for 30 percent boost in performance.. I know it doesn't work out that way, but I plan to consider the best components I can get for a good price. I like the Rambus suggestion, but I have never really looked into those very much. Would I use two sticks of ram like the dual DDR machines or just one stick of RAM??

As for my Intel bias.. I have an AMD machine right now. I do have a VIA chipset, although I don't know which one.. But my bias is based on the systems I have built. I have built 11 systems, 2 AMD 9 Intel, and it seems to me like I am always having hangups and waiting for new drivers, and begging for stability on the AMD's and I never had a lick of trouble on the Intels...<shrug> I know it could be any component in those systems causing me problems, but for me they are problems I just didn't have with my intel boxes. I guess it's all opinion, but I'd definitely pay 15 percent more for the same performance, but a lot better stability... I am definitely not ruling out AMD, but right now they look neck and neck on price v. performance, so for me I lean that way, but that is why I came here.. to make sure I am not goign to make a mistake for whatever reason.

Thanks again,
Bahlzaq
February 24, 2003 7:52:43 PM

I see your point :smile: , I was just giving you a hard time. Both systems will serve this guy just as good as the other. One question I do have for the guy is....why wouldnt you overclock??....you can overclock a stock p4 to about 158fsb with no additional cooling or voltage with a stock fan. This pushes performance beyond rdram systems. Yes the amd system can do this just as well(since the B's can even allow the multiplier to be changed as well which boasts even more fsb ocing headroom)....and it is such an elementary thing to do these days....just access the bios and crank up the fsb...you really cant do much harm as long as you dont crank up the voltage and overheat the processor on the stock fan. But anyways I call a truce Rocker :smile:

<font color=green>Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza<font color=green>
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