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Help me with my upgrade

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July 6, 2005 6:57:44 PM

I recently decided that my computer sucks and i need an upgrade. Here is what i currently have.

P4 2.0ghz
512 mb pc2100
geforce4mx420 64mb agp 4x

im not sure about my motherboard... its an intel board..only supports pc2100 ram and 4x agp.. so it goes for sure

I have been looking at buying the following things..

Chaintech SPT800 VIA Socket 478 ATX Motherboard and Intel Pentium 4 3.0Ghz Processor

Western Digital / Raptor / 36GB / 10K / 8MB / SATA-150 / Hard Drive

Ultra Dual Channel 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory ( 2 x 512MB) - Premium Wood Box

nVidia GeForce 6600 / 256MB DDR / AGP 8x / DVI / TV-OUT / Video Card

my budget is about $700 and if i bought all of this at Tigerdirect with a few other things i need it runs me about $690

I do not have the money at this very moment but i will within two weeks. The budget can also vary by $100 or so depending..

main thing i need upgraded is my mobo, processor, ram, video card, and hard drive (basically a new computer)

More about : upgrade

July 7, 2005 3:06:05 PM

I'm guessing that you want to do gaming on this system. You should ditch the 6600 card and try to scrape up enough for a 6800GT. Second on the list would be a faster CPU, if you have the bucks.

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
July 7, 2005 5:22:45 PM

well i have still been looking around, tiger direct doesnt have what i want in stock.. seems everyone here loves newegg so i went there

i think i might go ahead and buy the SAPPHIRE ATLANTIS Radeon 9600XT 256MB AGP instead

i was also looking there and found a nice board..i think
ASUS P4P800-VM Socket 478 Intel 865G Micro ATX

im still only buying a 3.0Ghz processor.. do you think the processor is still to small? its around 40 bucks more for a 3.2 and almost 90 bucks more for a 3.4.

also what is the difference between prescott and northwood.. i noticed the voltage difference but where does that come into play

i am also thinking about possible going amd

ASUS K8V SE DELUXE Socket 754 VIA K8T800 ATX

AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Newcastle 800MHz FSB Socket 754

only cost 20 bucks more for the AMD

one more question.. is it safer to go with retail over oem or does it matter?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Bob369 on 07/07/05 01:35 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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July 8, 2005 3:54:48 PM

If you plan on making this comp for primarily gaming definatly go with the AMD. If you plan on doing lots of sound/video editing, encoding, or office type stuff go for the P4. The prescott makes a good space heater, thats about it.
Retail and OEM dont really matter in most cases. If you arn't planning on getting a heatsink I'd go for a retail CPU, then you get a heatsink/fan with it. If you are going to need cables I'd get a retail motherboard. Just see what accessories come with the retail versions and decide if you need them or not.

One last thing, I'd try and go for at least a 256bit 9800pro if I were you.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
July 8, 2005 5:20:53 PM

wow.. the final price sure does grow quick.. here is a list of what I am thinking of buying now.

ASUS A8V Socket 939 VIA K8T800 Pro ATX AMD Motherboard

SAPPHIRE 100557-RD Radeon 9800PRO 256MB DDR AGP 4X/8X

CORSAIR XMS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Winchester Integrated into Chip FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3200BIBOX

of course i have cooling products also picked out like ram heatsink, new copper cpu heatsink, hard drive heat sink, and artic silver compound.

total price right now with shipping $784.67

im getting pretty close to the top end of my budget.. i wont go any higher than $800

as of now im getting more to the point where i need help with manufacturers.. whos better and so on

you all have been a great help so far thanks
July 9, 2005 1:01:58 AM

One thing you could do is swap that Corsair XMS for some <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682..." target="_new">Mushkin Value RAM</A>. The only reason to have the Corsair XMS is if you plan on doing some overclocking or other serious system tweaking. I've got 2gb of that mushkin stuff and I can't tell the difference at all between it and the corsair or ocz I've had in the past. Well, except for the fact that it works flawlessly and the others didnt lol. Besides, you just cant beat $77 for 1gb of quality ram :) 

Your other choices look pretty good to me. Do you have optical drives, powersupply, and case already? The only one that will make a big difference is the powersupply, what did you have in your old system? You might need a new one of those as well.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
July 9, 2005 3:07:22 PM

im upgrading from my current computer..

this is my current case http://www.directron.com/superalienblue.html

aspire super alien with a 500W modded power supply so i should be fine there

optical drives. i have a dvd rom and a 48x cd-rw drive.. no dvd-rw drive yet.. i dont use dvds much so i havent got around to it yet.

ill check out that ram. im kinda scared to go with a value ram because im putting so much money into my computer i want everything to be perfect..

i hear the athlon 64 with the winchester core is supposed to be good for overclocking so i might get into that.. ive been locked away with the intel boards too long.. im ready for unlocked multipliers

couple more questions though.. does it matter what manufacturer makes the video card.. there are so many different kinds its hard to tell.

also who is the best person to get cooling products from. im not gonna water cool.. to much money at the moment. here is what i got along the way of cooling

vantec 120mm hard drive cooler
vantec iceberg ramsinks for my vga card
thermaltake silent boost 80 mm cooling fan for my processor (copper of course)
July 9, 2005 4:23:04 PM

That psu should work ok. Definatly dont get the mushkin if you are going to be ocing. If you decided you wont I highly recomend them, dont be frightened off by the "Value". I have my 2gb of mushkin running at 2.5,3,3,7 timings, it might go lower but my comp is stable atm and that is all that matters to me, lol.
I get most of my cooling stuff from <A HREF="http://www.frozencpu.com" target="_new">Frozencpu.com</A>

You wont need ram sinks for your vga card unless you plan on ocing that too :)  Which I dont really recommend unless you like artifact fuzz on your screen. Getting artifacts is not worth a couple more fps.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
July 9, 2005 8:04:14 PM

I have never overclocked anything before but Im looking forward to it. Ill probably be around these forums a lot more.

The only reason Im getting ram heatsinks for my vga is because one review said that he had problems with my type of card getting hot. Just being safe.

I was also wondering about the FSB my board says it has a 1Ghz FSB. My concern is...my FSB is 1Ghz but my ram is only 400 mhz, and 800 Mhz wiht the dual channel. Is that what you overclock when you do your ram?
July 10, 2005 12:26:20 PM

how much you want for the old system?
July 10, 2005 12:55:03 PM

Sorry its not for sale, my dad is using a pentium celeron at like 400mhz. He has been crying that his doesnt work right half the time. i have to live with him so meh..
July 11, 2005 8:40:22 PM

well just so everyone knows im ordering my parts tommorrow morning (tuesday the 12th). so if you have suggestions for me please post before then. After tommorrow this post can be closed if an admin would like to.

Thanks for everyones help. Toms Hardware rocks!
July 12, 2005 12:17:42 AM

I hate to make large system change suggestions this late in the game but I did some snooping around for more future compatability and I think I found a decent setup.
I was thinking of maybe replacing the motherboard with this:
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681..." target="_new">ABIT AX8 Socket 939 VIA K8T890 ATX AMD Motherboard</A>
And because that has a PCIe x16 slot you can get a:
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681..." target="_new">SAPPHIRE 100596L-Red Radeon X700PRO 256MB</A>

I've had really good luck with Abit boards lately so there is no reason to think this one will be any different. It too supports the 1ghz fsb of that proc. Having PCIe slots will certainly help forward compatability. AGP and PCI will no doubt be around a while but who knows how long the latest and greatest stuff will be made to have backward compatability with it. The X700 is about the same as a 9800pro. It might be a tad faster, even with a 128bit bus.
Even with those changes the price is about the same.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
July 13, 2005 8:51:07 PM

Well some things came up and I didnt get to order my stuff until today. I did however go with the abit board and the x700. I put my faith in you so I hope you dont let me down. I do agree though, x16 PCIe has a lot more room for advancement compared to an 8x agp.

Hopefully my parts will be here by early next week. Ill let you guys know how thing go.

Thanks again for all your help and suggestion.
July 14, 2005 3:22:41 PM

Heres what im planning on getting.

Mobo- Epox EP-9NPA+Ultra
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Case+PSU- Aspire X-Navigator 450W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Memory- OCZ 1gig PC-3200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

CPU- Athlon 64 3000+ Venice
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

thats around $475. just choose a HDD and some optical drives and your good. how much money are you willing to spend for a GPU?
July 14, 2005 5:21:26 PM

i ended up buying the following

ABIT AX8 Socket 939 VIA K8T890 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100596L-Red Radeon X700PRO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Winchester Integrated into Chip FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3200BIBOX - Retail

CORSAIR XMS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model TWINX1024-3200C2PT - Retail

Western Digital Raptor WD360GD 36.7GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM

Thermaltake Silent Boost 80mm Ball Cooling Fan - Retail

VANTEC HDC-502A 120mm Sleeve Cooling Fan - Retail
July 20, 2005 3:48:43 PM

Folken i want to say thank you.

The last minute suggestions were well worth it. I got my system all together and WOW.

The graphics on the x700 are beautiful.. especially for the price. It out performs the 9800 pro for sure.

The abit board is also amazing. The utilities that came with it are very easy to use and are ported through windows. I can monitor my system temperatures, fan speeds, and overclock my system all from one utility without even restarting.

Thanks for everyones help

My PC:
Abit AX8 Socket 939 VIA K8T890
AMD Athlon 64 3200 Winchester
Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro 256 Mb PCIe
WD Raptor 37 Gb SATA
Corsair 2x512 PC3200 DDR Dual-Channel Platnium Edition
July 21, 2005 3:19:11 AM

Good to hear it all went together smoothly. That is every techs dream, lol.

Plays games a tad better than your old system eh? ;) 

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
July 21, 2005 12:29:22 PM

totally unbelieveable... i like watching some of the ati developer demos

my favorite so far is the one on rendering with natural light. http://www.ati.com/developer/demos/r9700.html

its not made for my video card but who cares it will still run on it.. most of those demos look sweet on my comp.. except for the ones for the x800 of course, they lag slightly sometimes

My PC:
Abit AX8 Socket 939 VIA K8T890
AMD Athlon 64 3200 Winchester
Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro 256 Mb PCIe
WD Raptor 37 Gb SATA
Corsair 2x512 PC3200 DDR Dual-Channel Platnium Edition
!