Buying new PC

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Hello all,

I need some guidance in choosing components for building a top of the
line PC for personal use. If you have suggestions and/or can suggest
web sites/links, it would help me a lot.
I follow this group frequently - so I' am familiar with the tech terms
but have never put together a system myself
Thanks and HAPPY NEW YEAR,
Vinny
11 answers Last reply
More about buying
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi again,

    Applications: Office, moderate to high amount of gaming, home video
    editing, DVD burning, MP3, movie watching(home theatre)
    (am I describing a typical "Media center"
    appliation here?)
    Links: To sites having information about various system configurations
    based on Intel as well as AMD,
    sites with comparisons, technology, trends, etc
    DIY: Well, yes and no, Yes because what I need is advice on good choice
    and combination of components which make a great, stable system
    No - because, I have never built a system myself, I' am posting from
    India, here we have a fair amount of choice in hardware and trained
    people who custom build the systems on commercial basis but they
    generally do not provide good choices or do not experiment beyond
    standard setups.

    My personal liking is for an AMD Athlon 64 based system but the lack of
    software and Windows support is a worrying factor.
    How does Athlon 64 and/or Athlon 64 FX based system compare with the
    latest Intel systems in the 32 bit environment?

    Thanks again,
    Vinny
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    <vinayvb2@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1104827601.680330.292830@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I need some guidance in choosing components for building a top of the
    > line PC for personal use.

    Personal use for what kind of applications?

    > If you have suggestions and/or can suggest
    > web sites/links,

    You mean links to suppliers? Just type in NewEgg.Com and for most things
    you're done.

    > it would help me a lot.
    > I follow this group frequently - so I' am familiar with the tech terms
    > but have never put together a system myself.

    So what you really need is a DIY guide?
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    since many of you seem very knowledgable about processors, i'm going to
    go a bit off topic with a question of my own. excuse my ignorance if
    the answer to this is common knowledge. i have a p4 2.8A with a 533fsb
    and 1mb cache. which i believe is the one and only intel p4 prescott
    without hyper-threading. does this mean my mobo is the same as those
    prescotts with ht? and if so, how so? also since i believe it's a 478
    socket job, can i throw an ht enabled p4 on it without any fuss? also,
    is this a task i can do myself as a relative novice? usually i google
    it to find these answers, but i can't come up with anything quick and
    i'm a bit pressed for time (aren't we all) these days. so these message
    boards are a great conveniance for me. thanks alot for any replys : )
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

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    In article <1104852439.798080.289100@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
    <vinayvb2@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >My personal liking is for an AMD Athlon 64 based system but the lack of
    >software and Windows support is a worrying factor.

    What lack of software? It runs all the same stuff that any Intel processor
    does, and then some (like 64-bit Linux) that AFAIK no current Intel
    processor (except maybe an Itanic) will run.

    I can't believe this "AMD has compatibility issues" meme is still in
    circulation. It was debunked years ago. (Then again, if I looked hard
    enough, I'd probably find someone still asking for get-well cards for Craig
    Shergold, or David Rhodes' MAKE_MONEY_FAST spam.)

    _/_
    / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
    (IIGS( http://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
    \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?

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  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    jd wrote:
    > since many of you seem very knowledgable about processors, i'm going to
    > go a bit off topic with a question of my own. excuse my ignorance if
    > the answer to this is common knowledge. i have a p4 2.8A with a 533fsb
    > and 1mb cache. which i believe is the one and only intel p4 prescott
    > without hyper-threading. does this mean my mobo is the same as those
    > prescotts with ht? and if so, how so? also since i believe it's a 478
    > socket job, can i throw an ht enabled p4 on it without any fuss? also,
    > is this a task i can do myself as a relative novice? usually i google
    > it to find these answers, but i can't come up with anything quick and
    > i'm a bit pressed for time (aren't we all) these days. so these message
    > boards are a great conveniance for me. thanks alot for any replys : )
    >

    An HT-capable motherboard will work with both
    HT-capable P4's and non-HT P4's - so long as
    the motherboard has the right socket and can
    give the CPU the clocks and voltages it needs.

    A non-HT motherboard will also work with both
    HT and non-HT P4's - you simply won't have the
    option of enabling HT in an HT-capable P4.

    If you don't have a manual for your motherboard
    you can download one - typically as a PDF - from
    the manufacturer's web site. The manual will
    tell you whether the mobo supports HT. Alternatively,
    just look in your BIOS setup for a setting that lets
    you enable/disable HT. The manual and/or the web
    site should also have a processor compatibility list
    for your mobo.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    thanks for the info, rob : )
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    vinayvb2@hotmail.com wrote:
    > My personal liking is for an AMD Athlon 64 based system but the lack of
    > software and Windows support is a worrying factor.
    > How does Athlon 64 and/or Athlon 64 FX based system compare with the
    > latest Intel systems in the 32 bit environment?

    You'll find that the whole idea of the Athlon 64-series is that it runs
    the regular old 32-bit Windows with no changes, and it doesn't need a
    special 64-bit version of Windows at all. That's why it's become so
    popular compared to something like the Intel Itanium which cannot run
    without its own specially-designed version of Windows.

    When the 64-bit version of Windows that's specially designed for Athlon
    64 comes out, it's likely to run much faster, and it can still continue
    to run the old 32-bit programs that run under 32-bit Windows.

    Yousuf Khan
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    vinayvb2@hotmail.com schrieb:

    > I need some guidance in choosing components for building a top of the
    > line PC for personal use. If you have suggestions and/or can suggest
    > web sites/links, it would help me a lot.
    ....

    Go to www.google.com and enter: how to build a pc - and you will
    immediately gain a wide choice of hyperlinks to documents among which
    you may choose according to your preferences and taste.

    The main 'guidance' cannot be but: READ... the mainboard manual, the
    mainboard manufacturer's web site (BIOS and driver updates, RAM
    compatibility...) et cetera.

    HTH - Roy
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 4 Jan 2005 07:27:19 -0800, vinayvb2@hotmail.com wrote:

    >Hi again,
    >
    >Applications: Office, moderate to high amount of gaming, home video
    >editing, DVD burning, MP3, movie watching(home theatre)
    >(am I describing a typical "Media center"
    >appliation here?)

    To a fair degree, yes. Some of these are fairly easy to handle. MP3
    playing, for example, is trivial for any processor out there and any
    halfway decent sound card (even most integrated sound cards on
    motherboards) will do the trick, though you might want to invest in
    speakers. DVD burning is even easier, as again any processor will be
    able to handle it, all you need is a DVD burner, though here you have
    some choice.

    For office applications you should have no trouble once the
    requirements for the others are satisfied. Same goes for movie
    watching, once you've got a setup that can do even simple video
    editing you should have no trouble at all playing back very complex
    movies.

    So, the real trick here will be gaming and video editing.

    >Links: To sites having information about various system configurations
    >based on Intel as well as AMD,
    >sites with comparisons, technology, trends, etc

    You might want to check out some of the comparisons at
    www.anandtech.com They do a reasonably good job at comparing how
    current setups using a variety of hardware compare for some common
    tasks. There are plenty of others as well, though always take
    anything you read on ANY site (and this newsgroup for that matter!)
    with a *LARGE* grain of salt. Some people have their own agenda that
    their trying to push. Some are writing articles for the sole purpose
    of getting page hits and advertising money. But by far the biggest
    problem is that a lot of people out there just plain don't know what
    the hell they are talking about but will scream and yell as if they
    do.

    >DIY: Well, yes and no, Yes because what I need is advice on good choice
    >and combination of components which make a great, stable system
    >No - because, I have never built a system myself, I' am posting from
    >India, here we have a fair amount of choice in hardware and trained
    >people who custom build the systems on commercial basis but they
    >generally do not provide good choices or do not experiment beyond
    >standard setups.

    Fair enough. FWIW choosing the right components is about 99% of
    building a system. Actually assembling the things is fairly trivial
    (only one step beyond your common kids puzzle... if the pieces fit,
    that's almost certainly where they go!).

    >My personal liking is for an AMD Athlon 64 based system but the lack of
    >software and Windows support is a worrying factor.

    By "lack of software and Windows support" are you specifically
    referring to 64-bit support? If so, it's on it's way, though I
    wouldn't hold my breath for Microsoft to deliver anything if I were
    you. There is PLENTY of 64-bit software available for Linux, in fact
    nearly ALL software running under Linux has been successfully ported
    over to AMD64.

    If you're worrying more about software compatibility on the 32-bit
    side of things than it's a total non-issue. AMD's Opteron and
    Athlon64 processors are fully compatible with all existing 32-bit x86
    software.

    >How does Athlon 64 and/or Athlon 64 FX based system compare with the
    >latest Intel systems in the 32 bit environment?

    VERY well. Generally speaking the Athlon64 FX is the fastest 32-bit
    x86 processor you can buy, followed closely by the regular Athlon64.
    Intel's Pentium4 and Pentium4 Extremely Expensive Edition tend to fall
    behind for the most part, though obviously this will vary from one
    application to another. Unless you have a specific application in
    mind which you know runs better on a P4 than an Athlon64, I can't
    think of any reason to put much thought into a Intel-based system.
    They tend to be slower, more expensive and they consume more power.
    Given that the average temp. in most of India is rather high, I would
    guess that added heat Intel's chips is generally not very beneficial
    (I, on the other hand, could probably use it right about now as it's
    currently about -15C where I'm living :> ).


    You did forget one rather important thing though: what kind of budget
    are you working with? Pretty much any mid-ranged PC (and even a well
    designed low-end PC) out there today should be able to handle the
    tasks you're looking at, throwing a bit of money at the task can help
    in some areas. There are a few general rules I would mention to start
    with though:

    1. IMO, a Socket 939 Athlon64 processor is pretty clearly the choice
    for moment. The performance and price of these chips makes them a
    pretty obvious candidate to base a system around. The only exception
    to this rule is if you have a fairly substantial budget and are
    looking at a dual-processor system, in which case a dual Socket 940
    Opteron 2xx setup is the clear choice.

    2. Get a minimum of 1GB of memory in the form of 2 x 512MB DIMMs.
    Memory is fairly cheap and for video editing having lots of memory is
    your most important step. If you're going to be doing at all heavy
    video editing than 2GB would probably be the minimum I'd recommend and
    here a dual-processor setup would be something to strongly consider
    (again, budget permitting).

    3. Put some money behind a good video card. This is critical for
    gaming, where the video card has a bigger impact on performance than
    the processor.

    4. Be sure to factor into the budget all the external stuff, in
    particular a monitor and speakers. It sounds like one of your main
    goals involves playing music and watching movies on this system, so it
    will probably be a good idea to invest some money in a good monitor
    (or alternatively a TV and a video card with TV-output if you want to
    go that route), some good speakers and a decent amp. Here is one
    place where your budget will play a BIG role, since you can go from
    small time for a couple of hundred US$ to the HIGH tens of thousands
    of dollars for a top-end setup. It's important to remember though
    that speaker and monitor/TV technology are moving forward at a MUCH
    slower rate than computer technology. On my own system, which is
    hardly top-of-the-line, virtually every component inside the computer
    is less than 2 years old (most are less than 1 year old), but my
    monitor is going on 5 years old now and the speakers are older still.
    It might be worthwhile to get a lower-end computer now and put a bit
    more money towards the monitor and speakers with a view to upgrading
    the computer a year or two down the road.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 4 Jan 2005 10:18:47 -0800, "jd" <sickboy2all@aol.com> wrote:

    >since many of you seem very knowledgable about processors, i'm going to
    >go a bit off topic with a question of my own. excuse my ignorance if
    >the answer to this is common knowledge. i have a p4 2.8A with a 533fsb
    >and 1mb cache. which i believe is the one and only intel p4 prescott
    >without hyper-threading.

    Just about. There is also a P4 2.93A processor that is essentially
    identical to the chip you have but with a slightly higher clock speed.

    > does this mean my mobo is the same as those
    >prescotts with ht?

    That's a definite "maybe".

    The big difference is actually NOT Hyperthreading so much as the bus
    speed. All the Prescott chips with Hyperthreading (and I believe all
    the Northwoods with Hyperthreading as well, though I wouldn't swear to
    that) have an 800MT/s bus speed. With your processor you are only
    using a 533MT/s bus speed. Now, that's not to say that your board
    definitely could or could not use a processor with the faster bus
    speed, in fact we don't know at all.

    > and if so, how so? also since i believe it's a 478
    >socket job, can i throw an ht enabled p4 on it without any fuss? also,

    Again, it will really depend on the bus speed of the processor and
    what bus speed your system board supports. There is little to nothing
    required from a system board as far as Hyperthreading is concerned
    (which is good since HT provides little to no benefit).

    >is this a task i can do myself as a relative novice?

    Yes. Just a few simple steps involved:

    1. Run your computer for a bit with the old chip installed.

    2. Turn off the computer and remove the heatsink while it's still warm
    (when it cools the heatsink compound tends to act a bit like a glue
    and the heatsink becomes rather difficult to remove).

    3. Clean off the thermal compound from the base of the heatsink (this
    is the only time-consume step.. a bit of rubbing alcohol does wonders
    here).

    4. Remove the old processor from the socket (really easy, just lift
    the leaver and the chip can be easily removed).

    5. Place new processor in the socket (it will only fit one way... if
    you have to use a hammer to get it in place, you're doing it wrong),
    lower the lever to secure it.

    6. Apply new thermal compound (probably included with the processor).

    7. Replace heatsink (or use new heatsink if one was included with the
    processor). Follow the directions included with the heatsink, they
    should be quite straight-forward.


    The whole process, if you take your time and read the directions,
    should take you about 15 minutes.


    As hinted at above though, I REALLY wouldn't worry about
    hyperthreading unless you have a very specific application that you
    know will benefit from it. Typically HT results in virtually no
    improvement.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    thanks for all the info, tony. very useful : )
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