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nForce4 vs ATi Xpress 200 chipset

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April 26, 2005 9:59:26 PM

Greetings!

I'm trying to help my brother build a new computer. We're looking at building a gaming PC using an AMD 64 socket 939 CPU, but we're very price concsious at the moment. Does anyone know which chipset is better, the nForce4 or the ATi Xpress 200, and which manufacturer is best? Like I said, it's for a budget-conscious gaming PC, but we're NOT looking to overclock.

Thanks.


Mad Cat
April 26, 2005 10:20:56 PM

I haven't seen any reviews comparing those two chipsets, yet.

1. What's the total budget?
2. What all components do you need to put the system together? Do you have any spare parts that you can use in his system?
3. Do you have a list of parts that you're thinking about getting?

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 27, 2005 5:42:45 AM

Well, he'll probably use his old 17" monitor for now, so that's not a cost we have to worry about. We're also opting for onboard audio to reduce costs and aiming for a mid-range 6600 GT video card if we can. We're looking to put a system together for under $1000 CAN.


Mad Cat
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by madcat2099 on 04/27/05 01:51 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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April 27, 2005 1:30:38 PM

So that's ~$800USD - that's a decent budget for a mid-high end A64 system. I'm not good with purchases in Canada. I can give you solutions all day long for the states, but not Canada. I have heard that NCIX has some inexpensive pricing. I'll throw out what should be some inexpensive suggestions, but you will need to research the prices where you will be shopping. Anyone out there provide some more good sites to buy goods in Can?

Let me verify the parts you will need:
1. Mobo
2. Case/PSU
3. CPU
4. Vid card
5. RAM
6. DVDRW
7. 3.5" Floppy
8. Keyboard? Mouse?
9. HDD

In the states the PCIe 6600GTs are a little less expensive than the AGP versions - is this true in Can? If yes, then you might want to go for a s754/PCIe solution. I know that Soltek and <A HREF="http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=14&l3=172&mo..." target="_new">Asus</A> have boards using nF4 4X with PCIe on s754. You'll probably get the most price/perf from a s754 solution, but will lose upgradeability because the max A64 s754 is the 3700+ that is out of your price range and will probably become scarce and expensive when s754 is completely transitioned to the budget arena.

Enough of that for now. Here is a good system:
1. <A HREF="http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=19-103-..." target="_new">A64 2800+ (s754 Newcastle)</A>
2. <A HREF="http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=14547&vpn=K8..." target="_new">Gigabyte K8N4-E DELUXE S754</A> for $158.70 CAD.
3. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Mushkin Dual Pack PC3200 2x512MB model #991145 </A>
4. <A HREF="http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E168..." target="_new">Seagate 7200.7 120GB model ST3120827AS</A> You might be able to find a great rebate deal on a HDD at large computer stores in your area. If you do, then it might be IDE instead of SATA. IDE will be just as fast as SATA on todays HDD - so get the best deal you can. I do recommend Seagate for being quiet, fast and having the 5 year warranty.
5. FDD will prob be around $10USD.
6. <A HREF="http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E168..." target="_new">Gigabyte 6600GT PCIe</A>
7. Buy an inexpensive case ($30) and get a decent PSU for around $50. Try to stay away from generic PSUs - they will cause more porblems than the savings is worth.
8. Find the cheapest CDRW/DVDRW solution that works. We can get CDRWs for around $30 in the states.
Total is ~$736USD. I converted the price of the mobo to CAD for this sum. Prices will vary in Can, but this should be a good starting point. You can prob save some money on the HDD. May not need the FDD, but I like to have one just in case. Recommend you don't skimp on the PSU.

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<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rugger on 04/27/05 09:37 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 27, 2005 9:36:13 PM

Unfortunately, besides TigerDirect.ca and NCIX, there really aren't many other Canadian PC parts distributors. Which is a shame because the price of S&H from many state sites borders on the criminal (Computer HQ once told me it would cost ~$200US to ship a $215US 6600GT video card!!! ZipZoomFly routinely charges $75+US for S&H).

My question now is, what's the difference between socket 754 and 939 and which one is better? People have told me to go for the 939 socket, but the THG CPU Buyer's Guide says a Newcastle core AMD, which is socket 754, is highly recommended. I'm very confused!

Mad Cat
April 27, 2005 10:39:59 PM

s939 pros/cons:
1. Dual core capability with BIOS flash
2. Dual channel memory (about a 5% performance advantage over single channel).
3. Less power consumption/heat because it uses 90nm instead of 130nm tech. That means it will OC higher than s754 with less issues.
4. s939 WAS more expensive than it s754 counterparts, but their prices have dropped and are very comparable to s754 prices - see below evaluation of performance differences.

s754 pros/cons:
1. Supports PCIe with some of the newer chipsets (nForce4 4X)
2. Clocked 200Mhz higher than comparably rated s939 CPUs - about 10% performance advantage over similarly rated s939. The s939 has the dual channel memory advantage, but it doesn't make up for the 200Mhz clock advantage of the s754. Soooo...a 3000+ s754 will be as fast or faster than a 3000+ s939.
3. A64 s754s will never go higher than 3700+ rating because AMD has relegated s754 to the budget arena and will not advance the tech in A64. The A64 s754 (especially the 3700+) CPUs will dwindle in number and the prices on them will increase to s939 or higher prices eventually. Future for s754 is Sempron - no 64bit support.

Those are the major pros/cons of each.

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 28, 2005 2:17:38 AM

I'm sorry, but as far as I can see, Anitec is NOT cheaper than Tiger Direct; while they have a larger selection, the cheaper items at Anitec were usually only cheaper by a few dollars.
April 28, 2005 7:40:39 AM

That's strange. I just compared 4 PIBs, 5 to 15% cheaper, Mobo 10% cheaper, hdd 10% cheaper, video card 5% cheaper. I think that's signifigant.
!