Which Motherboard is right


I would like to buy a new pc with the following requirements and there is one advertised witch seems to satisfy most of my needs but I am not a computer wiz and could use some help from pros as to if I am getting the correct specs.

I want to buy a pc to use with stock market applications which is computing intensive (I do not do any gaming), so I am opting for

(1) P4 2.6 or higher processor with Hyper-Threading technology to open up a possibility of up-grading.
(2) A compatible mother board with appropriate FSB and upgradeable to a higher processor speed in future.
(3) Appropriate DDR (Speed wise) and compatible with both CPU and Motherboard. I need 512 MB.

Right now Dell is offering the following configuration within "my Price range"

(1) P4 2.6 GHz with Hyper-Threading technology.

(2) Intel 875P chipset (They have not mentioned the name or specs of motherboard) but Intel site mentions that 875P chipset has 800 MHz FSB

(3)256 MB PC3200 DDR-SDRAM at 400 MHz

(4) 512 KB L2 Cache

(5) 64 M nVidia GeForce4 MX 420 w/TVOut

I have the following questions and concerns.

(1) Is it worth paying quite a bit more for P4 3.0 GHz instead of 2.6 GHz and what FSB would I get with 2.6 and 3.0 and would that make that much difference in computing power. My main concern is, I do want Hyper-Threading Technology because that would help me Upgrade with newer processors. They have mentioned Hyper-Threading in the ad. but I wonder if P4 2.6 comes with Hyper-Threading and give as good a performance as they advertise.

(2) Is Intel 875P chipset good enough for future Upgrading?

(3) Since they have not mentioned the Mother Board name, would P4 3.0 be compatible with their chipset and mother board if I decide to upgrade in future?

(4) Would P4 3.0 be a totally new technology than P4 2.6 GHz? They have mentioned the Hyper-Threading in the ad.

(5) Is their RAM speed good enough and would I be able to upgrade to P4 3.0 or Higher in future with same RAM speed or would I need a totally new kind of RAM?

(6) Their memory price for extra 256 MB is twice that of other places. Could I add extra RAM bought at other place and what should I watch for? Does it have to be PC3200 and 400 MHz or higher speed would be OK?

(7) They are offering only 3 months on site warranty, period. This is what really alarmed me because usually most of the reputable companies offer at least 12 months warranty.

I am including their (DELL's) advertisement as follows.

Dell™ Dimension™ 8300


Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor at 2.6GHz- with Hyper-Threading Technology


Intel® 875P Chipset


Mini Tower Chassis


256MB PC3200 DDR-SDRAM at 400MHz


512KB L2 Cache

Hard Drive


Video Card

64M nVidia® GeForce4 MX 420 w/TVOut

Sound Card

Sound Blaster® Live!™ 5.1 Sound Card


17" Colour Monitor (15.9"v.i.s.)







Network Card

Integrated Intel® PRO 10/100 Ethernet

Operating System

Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition


Norton Anti-Virus 2003 - OEM Version


90 days Limited Warranty (Next Business Day On-Site2 Service), varied from Dell's normal terms and conditions


90 days Telephone-based Hardware Support

Would appreciate any feedback.

Thank You,
7 answers Last reply
More about which motherboard right
  1. Wow, they are really putting a bunch of cheap crap in that computer! How much are you paying for it?

    The MX420 is the worst performing card nVidia makes. I know you don't need a lot of 3D performance, but still...you're paying premium price for crap.

    256MB of PC3200? First, you need at least 512MB for what you're doing when running XP. Second, is this one 256MB module? That chipset doesn't even perform right without 2 modules, and I've not seen 128MB PC3200 modules yet!

    You can't build your own, but is there a local shop that can build you one to your specifications?

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  2. Thank You Crashman,

    Somehow I had that kind of feeling so I decided to seek Pro's help.

    They are selling it for Approx US 1200.00 and what you said makes sense and I probably could add another $300 to get a better stuff.

    I am posting their URL and would really appreciate if you can have them put together a better configuration for a US $1500.00.

    Thank You,

    This is for a Third World country and exchange rate is approx.1Us Dollar = 47.00 bucks. So have them give me a reasonably good produvt for a mucho bucks of 70,000.00 which is for many people a life's worth savings if median income is 2000.00 bucks a month.

  3. Well, first thing is, if you have to buy from Dell:
    1.) Get at least 512MB PC3200 RAM
    2.) It looks like the cheapest video card they have is that piece of crap, so stick with it since you're not gaming.
    3.) To the best of my knowledge, 30GB drives aren't even being manufactured any more! I'd suggest at least a 40GB, if it's not too much more money.

    Of course you could always buy from me, I'm a system builder that ships internationally, I could have a far better system for you, for less money. But I can't do onsite tech support overseas...I can make you a system recovery disk.

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  4. They seem to like putting some premium priced items with other very low quality ones. Crashman already mentioned the video card. Concerning (2), the Intel 875P chipset is top of the line, but especially price-wise. Recent 865P motherboards are able to achieve essentially the same performance levels, but without quite so much money spent for it. <A HREF="http://link=http://www6.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20030603/index.html" target="_new">Here</A> is an article explaining why, from THG.

    Recently, pentium 2.4-2.8 processors had a new revision (P2.4c, 2.8c, etc); this enabled HT on these processors, and provided a higher FSB, from 533 to 800Mhz. An 800Mhz FSB will enable your processor to run syncronized with your PC3200 (200Mhz) ram, as intel uses quad data rate technology (200x4=800Mhz FSB). I can't go more in detail than that for you, but I know you can search for an explanation Crashman gave about it if you care to know more. The point of that is, running in sync will net higher performance.
  5. Hi Crashman,

    I would buy it from you in a minute because you guys are pros and I have a lot of respect for Tom's and you guys but you would screem if you knew the shipping cost and duty.

    Just the shipping and duty would cost me over couple grand because of import laws.

    Can you e mail them (DELL)and ask some technical questions just to make sure at least I am getting a P4 2.6 with Hyper-Thread technology because they don't say it is P4 2.6C, only 2.6 and no mention of FSB either. Does 875P chipset automatically mean 800FSB?

    DrNick, you mean 200 MHz for PC3200 OR 400 MHz as they have advertised?

    And why only 90 day warrenty for such a high end chipset?

    Here is the Link for their P4 2.6 GHz Sale till End Of June.


    I can buy upto 80 GB outside of DELL but which one would you recommend? I have a choice of (1) Seagate (2) Samsung (3) Maxtor

    Also for a regular Complete system back up can you recommend any software for not so savy computer user?

    I am considering (1)Drive Image from Power Quest and (2) Norton Ghost 2002. but they just make the image not a second Exact Duplicate drive ready to go in few minutes.(People are complaining about Ghost 2003)

    Have you or somebody else used "Xact Copy" by Duocor?

    I need a second hard drive ready in case if current one fails and Xact copy claims it can do just that. No affiliation of any kind just need feedback.
  6. PC3200 runs at 200MHz, using Double Data Rate, it's also called DDR400. Most companies cheat and call it 400MHz RAM.

    As for it being a 2.6C, it says it has hyperthreading, the 2.6B didn't.

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  7. OH, as for the second hard drive, perhaps Dell offers it at a reasonable price when you purchase your computer? That would make it possible to not open the case.

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
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