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Build myself VS Dell ..?

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December 4, 2005 4:47:28 AM

Im gonna be buying or biulding 3 systems (for each of my kids) for (hopefully) Xmas. Im trying to figure out why on earth i should build it myself instead of just going with a Dell and adding what i need. I know the first argument is because i can build what i want and will get the right pieces so i have flexibility to make it exactly what i want. My kids are quite computer literate, and 1 is a fairly serious console gamer (who id like to convert). But i cant find any good reason why i shouldnt just get a Dell E310 or 510 and just add what i need. at anywhere from 459 to 699 only thin id need to upgrade is memory (say nother 100 for a gig) and vid card (one would get a $200 card the other 2 could live with 100 or so each) Plus i wont have to shell out for Windows XP Media which as i consider building my own system is one of the biggest pains in my ass. So can anyone give me real good reasons to go one way or the other. Im on the fence right now, bu im def leaning toward the Dell, what with it comes with the advantage of warranty and less hassle (i have no hesitation at yelling at them for a prob, whereas if i build myself, i just get to yell at myself) Also if anyone wants to chime in on E310 VS 510, my only reason for thinking of 510 is because it has PCI Ex16 vs PCI Ex1, which seems to dramatically reduce vid card option
thanks

More about : build dell

December 4, 2005 6:02:34 AM

First off, let me say for the money you can't beat Dell's cheap machines. Cuz they just order too much stuff from manufacturers.

for kid number 1, his dell E310 or 510 is 549(currwnt lowest price)+100(ram)+200(video)= 850$ to be conservative. now, keep in mind gaming is AMD's turf not Intel. BTW, pci-e x16 has nothing to do with x1. Sure you get easier time getting it with Dell, but with performance and lasting time in mind, go for a custom computer. I have one in mind, and here it is:

AMD athlon 64 3200+ sockket 939 at 2.0 ghz----$160. With it's extremely lower clock speed it is as fast as the P4 650(add $110 for the 699$ option) in gaming.

for motherboard-Abit KN8 for $90, not much difference in performance than intel mobo, but more tweaking option for your kid

Ram- a quality 1gb ram like the Corsair value ram is $80

keep in mind gamer need slower cpu and good video.

so, for video-save some $$ for a GF 7800gt for like $300-350. It will last you for a long time and you can play games at max.

Hard drive- they are cheap so a quality 160gb hdd is like $100, and gamers generally don use that much so you can downgrade to 80gb. you wanna use SATA because older IDE drives are phasing out.

Power supply- go for quality brand like FSP, Antec, Enermax, or thermaltake around 400W at $60-80 should do.

Case not important if you don't case about the look- $50(can can go cheaper) get you a good one. for a cooler looking one, i recommend this guy from crazypc

IF you have an old case by all means use it. A first time custom pc is hurt in price by Case, Power supply, fans, monitor, accessories etc.

I assume you have keyboard and mice, and cd-roms don matter even if you use old ones

then get two case fans for cooling around $25 and your set to game!!

So let's do a cost estimation:

My build:160+105+80+325(average)+90+50+25=$850+50 S&H=$940
oh plus $200 19' Monitor= $1100

the equivalent Dell E510 is $699+$110(CPU)+$100(ram)+$200(video)=
about $1100.

Now obviously your E310 is way cheaper, but it can't game period without upgrade, the same holds true for the E510

Note* I went with a very good video, you can go down to $200-250(radeon x800gto2, for example) and still get excellent graphics

now a cheaper version of the AMD is $950, and it will ROLL the Dell

what i'm saying is Dell will rock anyone at cheap machines but for more $$$ your own build will be much better.

Now, the above is for someone who games moderately and hardcore, so if he doesn't then you don have to do it.

hope this helps
December 4, 2005 7:35:34 AM

Much thanks for the reply, it was a help.

Firstly: Dell just changed the price 3 days ago, last week the E310 was 449 and the 510 was 650. Im not going to assume theyll go back to that, but im hoping, and being im possibly buying 3 im going to bash them over the head about it, plus the prices will change again next Friday.

Second: to me the only significant diff between the 310 and 510 is 310 only has 1 PCIex1 slot, the 510 has 1 PCIex1 & 1 PCIex16 slot. That will make a big diff as both machines graph options suck,and im learning that w/out AGP all reasonably good graph cards are PCIex16, which would make the E310 crapola.

Thirdly: One prob im having is reconciling who is going to use which puter for what. Im sure my son will be huge in gaming, but he may want to do some photoshop and video editing. My daughters will both be huge into photoshop, video editing and music editing. So im trying to figure out what each needs will be. Im begining to think mybe ill only have to build my sons machine, but still unsure.

Fourth: After reading above, trying to decide between AMD and Intel for the diff user requirements. Again same thinking applies, my son may need AMD and daughters may go with Intel. Your suggestion about mobos was real helpful tho because ill prob spend 10 hours trying to figure out which one i should buy, and then 10 hours on each other significant component, so all suggestions grealty appreciated~! Same thing with graph cards, not sure bout diff between best for gaming VS video editing plus have the next issue which is TV out/throughput

Lastly: Ive poisted in a few other areas my other big concern(see graphics card or tv tuner forum). These spoiled rotten little brats may also be getting a westinghouse LVM-37w1 LCD monitor for use as TV and PC(price is awesome and itll function for puter and TV so im trying to be pragmatic as well as spoiling them). We have directtv and im trying to figure out best way to get HDTV signal into PC and then cleanly out to TV again. Id love to record HD content on the PC but not completely necc. Also maybe only one or two of them would need to do that. So far nobody has been able to splain to me best way to achieve that. Maybe ill just have signal go direct to tv from sat recvr and sep connection go to PC for recording and editing. Kind of defeats the purpose tho, i dont see why i cant get throughput from recvr to PC to TV in HD (throughput at minimum, recording ability best case)

Again thanks for help
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December 4, 2005 1:00:42 PM

I have just two questions: 1) Where do you live, and 2) Are you looking to adopt? :) 
December 4, 2005 1:02:36 PM

Stop having man crushes on people....
December 4, 2005 2:27:04 PM

Since you children are doing different task are their PC, I'm gonna make some changes:

Quote:
My build:160+105+80+325(average)+90+50+25=$850+50 S&H=$940
oh plus $200 19' Monitor= $1100

the equivalent Dell E510 is $699+$110(CPU)+$100(ram)+$200(video)=
about $1100.
The Dell equivalent needs to add 100 more to the video to make it equal(gf 7600 gt), = $1200

Now, since your son will be gaming and video editing, it's your call on which cpu to use. AMD wins in gaming and Intel wins in video due to HT. I would go for Intel for more compatibility but if Dell raised prices then don't do it. Mobo suggestion for Intel:Asus P5RD1-V ATI Socket 775--$100, Intel D945GTPLR----$110. With price then mind you should stick with AMD A64 3200+

Another option for your son is a AMD X2 dual core processor(the 3800+ at 322$ on newegg). He can video and game at the same time losing nothing on either task.

You do need a larger hard drive for your kids for video stuff. At least 160GB or more.

Graphicsc card do not use PCI-e x1 so the E310 is junk like you said. They only use PCI-e x16 or AGP 4x/8x. Being Intel loyal Dell put PCI-e x16 slots and it is good for you, cuz pci-e cards are cheaper than agp.

for your daughters, if all they do is video editing, pick some quality Intel cpu, in the 600 lines(base price $200). Without the HT, Intel CPU can't beat AMD. If you wanna save money then go with AMD. The P4 650 owns the 3200+ in video encoding/decoding, but it cost $110 more. The cheapst 600, the 630($200), gets the same results as 3200+($160). Your call.

In a word, build the same machine for everyone if money is a concern. Check out this for cpu comparison in different games/video programs. The chart is a bit outdated(older amd chips) and favors Intel slightly.

Now onto graphic cards. Games depend on graphic card (GPU) and video editing is almost entirely on the CPU. Even with the 7800gt you can't edit fast without a good CPU. So your daughters then you wanna consider chipping away money from GPU for a better CPU. AMD cost more as you need a dual core but Intel can stick with 650 for $110 more.
keep in mind that the P4 are mini ovens and they keep you warm during Xmas. make sure you've got good case with large airflow and good fans.

For HDTVs, you either need a VIVO or DVI port. That depends on the tuner card which I don't know much about. Maybe the VIVO port on the GPU should do...

So, gaming/video are cpu and gpu issue. HDTV is tuner card/gpu issue.
December 4, 2005 4:37:40 PM

I'm also getting one of the TV's except it's a 32" version, so I need to get a wireless keyboard and mouse. Is the son gaming on one of those TV's, then he might want to get a LX700. I have it and it is great, my keyboard batteries took 4 months to run out!! Otherwise get him any wired keyboard and a MX518 (suppose to be the best mouse out there for gaming, i've used the the MX510 vesion and I thought that was the greatest.)

For a computer though, here is what I would suggest:
40 - for a decent nice looking case
166 - AMD Athlon64 3200+ 939
70 - 2x512MB PC3200 RAM
50 - FSP 450W PSU
55 - 80GB Western Digital SATA Hard Drive
68 - Chaintech VNF4/Ultra 939 PCI-Express Motherboard
200 or 300 (200 for either a 6800GS or 230 for a X800GTO2. 300 for a 7800GT. It all depends on what is his favorite game. HL2 or Farcry should be the X800GTO2. Doom3, Quake4, FEAR should be the GS or the 7800GT. But if plans on going with the newer games like Age of Empires 3 or a few of those new games coming out, the 7800GT will impress and be able to handle it.)

Respectively, thats a $650-$750 gaming system. Just make sure you go AMD with gaming, and if you know how to or want to learn how to use the BIOS, get some CAS Latency 2 RAM for about $30 more.

When it comes to games, companies like DELL and HP can't touch within $700 of a custom built gaming computer.
December 4, 2005 5:59:22 PM

i would spend 40 bucks on a thermaltake 430W and use the $10 toward HDD. Cuz the son is video editing so he needs a large HDD. Can you get $70 ram after shipping? Also, recommend against Chaintech VNf4 ultra due to its layout. see reviews on newegg. A biostar gf6100-m9 is a nice alternative fora $70 mobo.

my advice is save up for 7800gt so you don't lag a year from now. The other cards are aging and can't up w/ new games. But it's just a question of what game you need toplay.
December 4, 2005 6:37:19 PM

$10 towards more HD space is useless, you could upgrade to getting a Seagate with that saved money. He really hasn't set a budget so I would go something like a 250GB Hard Drive SATA Seagate.

It's $71 but were talking about advertised prices, I mean $3 for shipping on RAM isn't expensive.

The Chaintech has better placement than anyother board I've every looked at. The IDE and SATA inputs are where the repsective components are. Same with the 24 pin connector.

And to RamaX: I forgot to ask the most important question, what was your budget, just for the gaming computer? This may shine a much better light on what you actually want. Because if we just take into account what your son wants to do, we would build you a $3000 system. But I'm sure there is an ideal price range or a max price range for this computer, and how much you are will to move away from your ideal price to a max price in hopes for more performance/features.
December 4, 2005 9:35:50 PM

You've made your point, I concur

However, I think his budget is like $1400 because he was willing to spend the $699 for E510+$100 ram+$200 video+$400(i guessed) for HDTV = $1400
December 5, 2005 1:38:12 AM

the TV he is getting is roughly $1600. But everyone has a budget, lets hear from him first.
December 5, 2005 5:40:19 AM

Venice 3200+ - $167.65
KN8 (or equiv) - $86.00
1GB PC 3200 (Patriot, OCZ, Corsair) - $80
Enermax EG565P - $80
Case - $50
DVD Burner (BenQ, Lite-on, NEC)- $40
HD - I recommend WD - $100 will buy 250GB
Video - The more the merrier for a gamer - At least $200
Custom fans and lights - up to you, let your kid do it.
Monitor - up to you

That's a start for a gamer. Get the 7800GT if you want to spoil your kid. Let them use onboard sound and reuse your old mice, keyboards, and speakers. If you want to spoil them for a monitor check out the Dell 2005fpw which is a 20.1" Widescreen LCD that gets down into the $350 range if you find the right deal. Check out Anandtech's hot deals forum on a regular basis and you'll see it. If you're buying 3 you might be able to call up a Dell rep and work a deal with them. Get the coupon codes and everything ready first though so that you have something to work with.

For the girls doing photoshop I'd make it simple. Get a faster CPU but a basic videocard. It's pretty much the opposite. The costs should be the same though. That way you aren't dealing with too much different hardware.

Alternatively you could go the Dell route but I'm not a fan of that anymore. Only do that if you don't want to deal with the computers and don't have the time. If your kids are computer saavy they should be able to do a lot of the troubleshooting and work for you if something goes wrong. Build it with them if you can and let them learn now.
December 5, 2005 6:40:25 AM

Thanks all for the info, it is a great help
Firstly, sorry no adoption space available, im a single dad of 3 teenagers, so its a daily struggle not to slit my wrists as it is (and no offense to those who are, but im not a part time dad, theyre mom passed away,its been just us 4 for many years now, hence the part time spoiling) The last adpotion was the dam dog, and hes pushed me to psychosis (90%wolf 10% malamute)

Budget wise: well its not set in stone, i def wanted to keep it under 1G per kid, and as close to 500 as possible. But ive built a my fair share of puters in the past (but its been over a year which is why im out of date) and to me its more important that i get a puter for as good a price as possible, but will most importantly do the job i want and stay usable for as long as possible. Not just talking part failure, but if you get the right system i find there wont be a great need to update in a year or 3 or even 5 if you get what you really want and need. So id say budget is semi flexible, but i get squirly over 1000.

Im really diggin the idea of going dual AMD, but am unsure if that actually means 2 CPUs or not. Last time i built a puter that was still considered impractical mostly because noone had thought of ways to make good use of it. If your telling me that now if i run a photoshop and a Quale 4 at ame time and system/MB knows how to assign each task correctly (instead of porking me and making both apps use the same procc) then id say what i was hopng for awhile back has come true. First time i saw 2 CPUs was back in like 1999 when an old RPG geek freind of mine soldered together a mobo with 2 cpus hehe. So more info about CPUs would be great help. I checked pricewatch and was a bit beffudled by some of the non dual core, for instance there are 4 different athlon 64 3500 's, and i aint to sure of all the diffs (some i figured out but some im still lost, there seems to be 1 standrd 3500 which i guess is not 939 pin ?, then 1 that is, 1 939 pin with 90nm (nano size i gather) and lastly 512k 90nm rev e. And some are the same price, so im lost there hehe.
So the mobo advice has been a big help since ive been out of the loop, and i always preferred crucial RAM, unless anyone can tell me why not. Not that ive decided yet on a mobo but ive heard enough to know that it seem like in old days this or that manuf issues arent as bad anymore, people have suggested ones i hadnt expected, as a matter of fact noone liked my old freind Asus, and i know their pretty reliable, so thats been great.

The graph cards...well ive read plenty about the 7800..and seen its prices...yikes~! hehe, im not gonna ask if its necc, as i understand its personal pref and nuance but isnt there something respectable closer to the 200 range..? Plus, nobody can still on any of the forums still tell me which card is best for HDTV throughput and possible record. Only response ive seen at all is someone telling me there is definately nothing with DVI in as well as out, which doesnt make sense to me that you would take in analog signal instead of digital an still want to go out with dig sig with DVI. If someone could figure that part out for me (you can see my posts in TVtuner or graph card forums) then id really be set. Even if my sons puter gets a smokin gaming vid card, at least if not both the girls will have to get one that has good video editing with HDTV abilities and some sort of TV capabilities (no need for tuner, ive got directtv)

Finally, the other big reason we forgot that i used to always forget till the end of deciding to build a system which helped talk me out of it...having to go and actually buy Windows. And yes it has to be Win, i may dual my next system with Linux just for fun, but the kids need consistency with school work stuff. So next prob: i hate having to spend the kind of money i think i need for Windows. Anyone know where is best to buy..? It aint cheap as ive been able to find, although ive found a few places that sell what they say are legal but opened winxp disks, but not too sure how kosher that is. If i wanted to go that route, and i dont want to for the kids, id search warez/torrent. So where should i get Win and which version..? Does anyone know what the heck makes WinXP Media edition so media freindly..? I cant even understand what that could mean. Im seriously considering just putting Win98 on them all hehe.

Thanks again for all the info, youve given me plenty of ideas.
PS: someone had the same idea you started giving me yesterday which is i think me and my son (at least) building together would be cool. Not sure how much the girls will dig it tho. Theyll prob think im just being cheap hehe
December 5, 2005 6:59:52 AM

Been pricing out some mobo/cpu bundles on pricewatch (you all like the bundles or no?) looking first at dual AMD64 3800 price range 395+ and as i look , even if im lookin at single 3200 same few questions hit me:

Should i bother looking for SATA RAID onboard...or at all. Raid 0 used to be something we all wanted, im unsure if thats still considered so helpful with proc and graph card power thesedays

The GIGABYTE K8U-939 / CHAINTECH S1689 and others ive seen dont have PCIex16..should that be an issure ?

Any chipsets or anything else you think i should stay away from..? Thats as much a help as telling me what you do like...someimtes its easier just to find out whats really crap and the rest is more personal pref.

PS when i talked about budget before heres how i look at it boiled down: if im spending say 90 for a HD but another 30 will double the size from 80 to 160, then i try to plan for the future. Thats the prob wioth RAID tho, quite a bit more expense for how much gain..? no increased capacity thats for sure.
December 5, 2005 1:33:41 PM

Budget, if 1000 is the roof, we need to sack a few things

Dual cpu: Yes,it is 2 proc but the size of one. And yes you can run both game and video at same time with no performance loss. Just make it has at least a 1mb cache(4200+)

The different 3500+s are different skt and core.Skt 754 is older and is 130nm
9yes, nano size). skt 939 are 90nm and has cores Venice, Winchester, E#..They hav varying OC ability.

Asus are one of the best but it is too pricey for you.(10$ more with no performance gain)

Windows? Buy one and install on all computers. I'd say get 2k or xp. I mean you can't skim any $$$ off of it unless you go pirating. No, the media center shouldn't matter much because it says more compatibility with multimedia, but who knows what's different. I'd say Xp pro shouldn't do much worse at all. If you do go XP, get one with no SP for cheaper $$$, and call up MS to send you the Sp CD that way all PC can hav it.

The ONLY good video for $200 i know is the CONNECT 3D Radeon X800GTO. It has do be connect 3d and gto, not gto2. it is 180$$ and is hte equal of an X850XT. e-mail me for modding instruction or google it.

No pci-ex16 = no upgradable future = don' BUY

No VIA chipsets and NO ECS board

$100 gets you a 250gb HD like the above guy said.

No you don't need raid 0 cuz they sake $$ for 5s
December 5, 2005 2:50:26 PM

I would handle these as a couple of separate issues.
1. PCs for the girls
2. PC for the gamer

If you need monitor, keyboard, mouse and OS for ALL of the PCs, then get the girls a Dell. It's the best way to get the periphs in a relatively inexpensive manner. For their usage, you can get them a minimalist computer like the 310 and upgrade to dual channel 512MB or 1GB of RAM.

For the gamer, you should build him an AMD rig. Please let us know any old parts that can be used when building this rig. I will price out/link a good system in your price range - we can add/subtract as necessary. BTW, the Chaintach is a great, inexpensive option for AMD builds. I really like the idea of father/son build. He'll end up with more ownership/buy-in on the rig and it gives you great quality time...
1. Super-Flower SF-201T $73
2. Fortron 450W $50
3. A64 3200+ Venice core $159
4. Chaintach VNF4 Ultra $68
5. NEC 3550a $40
6. Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200S0 200GB $88
7. OCZ Value Series (2X512MB) $71.50
8. eVGA 6800GS $209
9. Windows XP pro $142.95
10. Viewsonic VX724 $230

This takes the total to $1130. It's REALLY hard to put together a good gaming system for less than $1k, when you need OS/monitor. Those 2 items were nearly 40% of the budget for the gaming build. If you want to stay below the $1k threshhold, then you should consider a 6600GT like this Gigabyte GV-NX66T128D for $119. That gets you to $1041 - still doesn't quite get below $1k, but that's a helluva build for the money and a lot better than you'd get at Dell for the same money. Another option is to reuse an older monitor and let the LCD upgrade be a birthday...If that is the case, then you could go for the VX924 (19" version of the monitor I linked above) or the Dell 2005FPW that DH mentioned.

One note IRT PCIe x1 vs x16 - x1 is for peripheral cards and x16 is for video cards. If you end up going with a Dell for the gaming machine - NOT recommended - then you need to make sure it has a PCIe x16 slot or you won't be able to upgrade the vid card. Also be careful that the PSu can support the video card upgrade you want to install...

I'm not an expert on TV in/out of a PC, but I'd start looking at AIW/VIVO cards for that types of features you want. You can get those features in the vid cards, but you might be better off getting a separate TV tuner so you can upgrade the vid card without having to replace the vid card.
December 5, 2005 4:09:41 PM

For the OS they might be able to get the upgrade version which is cheaper. I'm not sure if they still have the student edition but check that out through school.
December 5, 2005 5:50:44 PM

They make an upgrade version for XP Pro?
December 5, 2005 7:05:36 PM

They don't?

I have never had to buy an OS.
December 5, 2005 7:16:00 PM

OK if i keep thanking you all its gonna start looking freaky and redundant, so just assume it from now on :D 

Dont worry about going slightly over the 1k mark, again if its truly worth it, im definately going for value as well as price.

Id read about Vivo cards, but was under the impression they arent available yet, at least i was only able to find articles about them, nothing on sale, and the articles all talked about future releases and beta. (at least the ATI Vivo card wasnt out AFAIK)

Someone suggested SuperFlower case already and i had already checked it out, seemed nice and out of stock with no ETA. But i think ive found alternatives, prob is they all seem to come with PSU, but as you agreed id rather buy a high quality one. This is actually rather pissing me off cause ive found some nice cases but prices all include PSU which would be a waste since they overprice the PSU and id rather get it myself. This place seems to have some nice ones Xoxide In particular this one but not sure if acrylic is smart. This one here seem like a good alt, but ill have to email them to find how many fans it can hold. Quick question, what do you all consider the minimum amount of fans thes days ? I guess with all the OCcing and P4 heat issues, seem to me cooling has gotten a bit nutty (and 5 or 6 fans gets pretty loud doesnt it?)

Lastly, im usin XP SP1 now, but ive never once in all years used a Win upgrade. Is it as easy as i hear, as long as i have an old Win98 disk layin around i can use the Winxp upgrade? Seems to easy to me. And the link Rugger gave me (which were all great much thanks, i guess you all love Newegg hehe) was for XP 64bit, but ive read alot about it having ton of driver issues, like forcing people to buy new printers and the like. Should i bother going with XP64 bit ? Is there any advantage to it? Is what makes XP a Pro version is 64 bit? If it comes 32 then is there an advantage to XP pro over home edition?
December 5, 2005 7:22:16 PM

PS: One of you has me going with dual AMD 64 3800, but someone else said go for 4800 for more cache. How important ? $80 diff worth it? This is where i try to skimp on things if there isnt a sig diff. So quest is, how significant is diff. You all know AMD better than i do
Oh and is the reason you had me goin with XP 64 bit is because its the only OS that can properly use 64 bit procs? I Mean i dont want to get dual 64 bit prc and then not have an OS that can make use of them correctly. But if XP 32 can then thats important
December 5, 2005 7:50:32 PM

LMAO! I do actually buy my OS - and the rest of my software. I know that they make the upgrade versions for XP Home edition. It would be interesting if you could find whether or not they an XP Pro upgrade...
December 5, 2005 8:31:58 PM

I actually got 98 with my system, me, 98se, 2000 pro, and xp pro for free from microsoft.

All legit.
December 5, 2005 8:52:14 PM

Quote:
They make an upgrade version for XP Pro?


You can get a student upgrade version of XP Pro through Journeyed ... ($100) :D 
December 5, 2005 9:03:27 PM

Looking at mobos (id like to get the chaintech you suggested, but bundled with CPU if possible to save money) and i keep finding it as an upgrade from the giga KAU 939...in just pricing these all out one thing i wanted to understand...the same mobo can be used for single and dual core 939 pin AMD cpu`s ..?? Just wanna make sure as i price them im not looking at wrong thing

PS: does this mean i should go with XP pro cause its 64 bit, see above post hehe, im a bit lost on the OS part.
December 5, 2005 11:20:26 PM

OS: You don't need XP64 yet. It has lots of compatibility issue and WON'T let your son play Half-Life , CS, any Valve games. XP pro is 32-bit, but software people are lazy... It'll take them years to get 64 bit apps running, so no sweat.

CPU: correction*it's the 4200+ X2 not 4800+ X2. The only reason I suggested that is if and only if your son wants to save time gaming and editing. It's kinda good and bad. bad being pricy=2x price of its individual proc, and good being time saving. But if you wait, better ones are gonna come out nest year(65nm).

the only difference is that X2 3800 has 512k cache and 4200+ has 1mb. I believe most mobo with A64 support also works with X2.. correct me everyone.
December 5, 2005 11:30:35 PM

OK im gettin real close to decision on all 3 systems, which it seems i may be building, im def building sons machine tho..nice job convincing me~!

For the 2 girls, being i know they enjoy and will prob get into more video editing, should i reconsider Petnium..? If so which mobo do you suggest.

Im not leaning towards that, since i just got us all Photoshop CS2, and ive learned on one of these forums that is makes good use of dual core AMD (correct me if im wrong there) So for them should i stick with same plan AMD or reconsider Pent ? Even if you dont agree Pent, lemme know which mobo youd pick.

PS: you also made me reconsider my old pal crucial for ram, that corsair you suggested was 30 cheaper and had CL 2.5 vs 3 for cruc. nice pick y'all !
December 5, 2005 11:40:03 PM

PPS: i really need to verify that this chaintech someone suggested will or wont work for dual core, that i have to go with like this one, if i do dual. And should i consider one with SLI compatbl like this

Muchos gracias
December 6, 2005 1:42:16 AM

Yes the chaintech vnf4 will accept X2's. Generally any mobo that accepts A64 will take X2's cuz technically it is A64 X2. One thing to note is the bridge fan might be too close for a big card like the 7800gt, so you need to rotate the fan to its side.

For the girls, I'd say stick with the A64 3200+ cuz it is a lot cheaper (by $110 against the P4 E650, see previous responses). So unless you wanna get more juice out of photoshop then go Pentium. I'm not being AMD biased but with price in mind I gotta stick with AMD. Refer to the CPU chart on earlier response. Oh, for intel mobo. The Intel D945 ($100+) line is their newest w/ the latest chip. So I stick with same brand. I haven't looked into 775 skt mobo that much so can't say for sure. Note*: AMD doesn't have their own mobo. But that one is probably too expensive, so wait for others to weigh in.
December 6, 2005 2:10:09 PM

1. VNF4 Ultra supports X2 CPUs - worst case is that you will have to update BIOS.
2. Price/performance on SLI sucks
3. Sorry for linking the 64 bit version of Win XP Pro - go with the 32bit version. :oops:  :shock:
4. 3200+ or 3500+ would be good for your son. I personally think the 3200+ has the best price/perf in that price range right now and is sufficient for your sons needs.
5. X2 for the girls...if you can trim back the costs in their PCs (vid card is a prime candidate for price reduction) and get the X2 3800+, then you would get a reasonable performance jump with that purchase and their usage.
6. VIVO is available in current cards - has been for a while. ATIs new AVIVO is not available yet.
7. One of the keys to case cooling is good airflow. It can be accomplished with 1-2 good 120mm fans and a case that has a good interior design. Acrylic is a personal preference and I prefer not to have an acrylic case. Another option is an Antec Sonata or Sonata II. It does come with an Antec PSU (TP 380W with Sonata and 450W SP on the SonataII). The SP 450W in the SonataII is ok, but not the best Antec PSU series (the Tp series is their best imo). It should be sufficient for your sons build. Well designed case with good airflow - quiet and around $100-$115 after shipping. Look around for good deals...
December 6, 2005 2:55:15 PM

Quote:
the only difference is that X2 3800 has 512k cache and 4200+ has 1mb. I believe most mobo with A64 support also works with X2.. correct me everyone.


3800, 4200, 4600 have 512k Cache per core. 4400, 4800 have 1mb/core.

Almost ALL 939 mobos work with X2.

Mike.
December 6, 2005 7:38:12 PM

thanx again: Been looking tho and wanted to give you an FYI heads up:

Avivo is out now, i spent some time on the ATI site and saw stuff there i literally didnt see the other day here .

And then i was even able to find a few cards on Newegg that had it here
or here if that search doesnt work ( here for the cheaper version) theres 5 cards total listing Avivo(in specs) X1800 (which is whats on the ATI site). Theres apparently also X1600 and X1300 version which are prob cheaper (i havent looked for/at them yet) But if you all are curious, give them a look, i still havent bought anything yet...tho im gettin real close.

Enjoy !
PS: i dont think im gonna go for these yet, i think for son i may go for 7800 $299 version(although that price is still scarin me) and theres a nice cheap $158 6600 here at newegg that will suffice for girls for now. Then later on i think ill add some sort of video capture card. This one looks VERY intriguing.
December 6, 2005 9:17:09 PM

Good info that the AVIVO is on the streets... I'm not up on that type of stuff, but the little that i've read/heard says that it is good tech.

Good luck on the builds!
December 11, 2005 3:28:29 AM

Responding to you again cause i use that list you were nice enough to post with all the links as a real base for what im building. One last question tho:

I was diggin the Chaintech for awhile, but was out of stock, there were dual core questions, and theyre support SUCKED hehe. (PS: definitively, the Chaintech vnf4 only recently started supporting dual-core with new BIOS, before that nope). I was also considering Biostar (heard alot of good thins about theyre 2 boards this & that
But as i was looking at which graphics card to go with, im strongly considerin the evga, of course trying to pick which one(s) i found this great bundle, but i dont know anything about evga motherboards, does anyone know anything about this one I also posted at motherboard forum, but i cant find diddly when it comes to reviews about this board, so any info greatly appreciated.
PS: again nice call on the ram and HD you picked, both better than what i normally went with (crucial and WD) and better prices too~!.
December 11, 2005 4:07:18 AM

errr, the mono + gpu deal is great. I don think you're gonna have much problem with the mobo, except you won't use the SLI. so all in all a good deal. now for some reason you don't like the mobo, I suggest the ASRock 939DUal-SATA II. It is seriously underrated. For $69 this is a kick butt board. Don't underestimate the Uli chipsets, it is on par with the nF4 boards like Abit Fati1ity. And the onboard sound powns any NF4 board's audio. The overclocking is also unbeatable. With a modded BIOS from OCW you can go into the 300+ range(hehe). The only problem is the placement of IDE and Floppy connector. Oh it uses 20 pin power.
December 11, 2005 4:26:37 AM

Thanks, hehe yeah after i posted i was thinking about just that and realized how stupid this bundle is in one way...how in the hell can you SLI this if it only has one PCIx16 slot ..????? hehehe woops!
Seems to me PCIx16 and SLI dont go together as there is like 1 board out there as i recall seeing, that has 2 PCIx16 slots hehe
In the end, the bundle doesnt seem that great then, why pay xtra for SLI you cant use, and the mobo may not be worth just going biostar $73 or even that Asrock you suggest for only 69 (right now im diggin the leanin toward biostar) plus 299 for similar 7800gt card
---Heres maybe my last question (ya right) on this thread. I was pricing CPUs, and realized something....why would the 3800 dual core be almost same price as the 4000 ..? I would thikn dual core has huge advantage over single, even tho i realize that it has double the cache (i think its the 4k where the chace size was double, if not then this really doesnt make sense)
Im thinking of dual core in terms of like dual processors...am i not only oversimplifying it, but also over estimatimating the ability of dual core..?
December 11, 2005 5:22:55 AM

For the girls I would highly suggest getting 6600GT's instead of 6600's, the performace gain is quite significant for not a lot more money ($20 or so).

As for the processor, the AMD for the guy should do great for gaming, but for the girls I would highly suggest an Intel for the Video/Music editing.

I've heard the newer AMD processors compare to Intels for the Video/Music editing, but right now my 3.2ghz performs great when rendering in Adobe Premiere and the comparable 3200+ not nearly as much so.
December 11, 2005 8:48:32 AM

I just spent some time reading the new TH article Mother of all CPU charts 2005/6 and it gave me a bit of insight into this CPU debate. Also read up at AMDzone
A few surprising or not so surprising things came out of it.

For son, looks like im going AMD4k SD. It seems to score very nicely on OpenGL, DX8 & 9 gaming, price wise nearly identical to the 3800 x2, with far better gaming results.

For video/pic editing and multi-tasking (aka the girls) they should end up with the 3800x2. Unless i go cheap first with them, like a 64 3k 90nm 939pin for 159 and wait to see about new version/price drops. (ill prob split diff and older daught gets dual core, younger wont care-so gets stiffed hehe)

True neither one of those were ever #1, but in their respective task groups, they were in top 10 or so, sometimes better. I was really surprised to see how well the 4000 SD did in gaming it was smoking everything but the FX`s (although the Doom3 results confused me page 26 i mean why would the 3800 SD beat the 4000 SD?)

Figured id throw that in, plus if anyone has more to throw in id love to hear it. But this is where im at right now.
December 11, 2005 9:39:03 PM

for the girl getting 3k single, why not get the 3200 for 10 bucks more and the extra 200mhz?

x2's are 2 cpu put into the size of one with sharing cache(a total of 1mb or 2mb depending on the 3.8k or 4k). so not exactly double core were it is just two cpu jammed together

note unless your son runs a multi-thread game he's not gonna get much performance gain. but if he say edit video and game at the same time, niether one suffers in speed.

a 4k single will rock the 3800x2 in gamign cuz it is a heck lot faster and has twice the cache. *3.8k x2 is 1mb divided by 2 whereas the 4k single is just 1mb.
December 20, 2005 4:17:20 AM

OK im pretty much all done, but stumbled when it came to power supply, so please...one mo' time wit da questions~!

Im going with the Biostar VNF4SLI, and one kid will get a 7800GT the other 2 will get 6600 GT`s. Im not going to get 2 cards for each yet, but i got the SLI for upgradability. Someone suggested, and I was considering the FSP for the 2 680GT machines and a Thermaltake for the 7800GT machine. I had thought that 450 should have been enough power, and at 480 was def good, i was alot more concerned about what im hearing about single VS dual 12 volt (which im not even sure if they are referring to cords/lines or what) but i was doing some reading and am concerned if EITHER of these power supplies will be good ? Should i upgrade to maybe an Antec ? or some other 500W PSU ??
PS: i wasnt real concerned about the LEDs on the Themaltake, but it would be nice as that machine will be in a clear acrylic case (4 fan) so it was a nice little bonus LED, so if you have any recomednations id love to hear them, and LED is i suppose a sweet bonus. Also if your curious, the boy is gettin the AMD 4000 SD and the 2 girls are gettin the 3800 X2
December 20, 2005 3:01:43 PM

Please see my above question as well~!
This really should be last one(s)

In looking for alternative PSUs, i stumbled upon this Rosewill It seems almost too good to be true, in the sense that its only 50 clams for 500w and it even has LED(which for this price seems even odder). True no PFC, but im wondering how important that really is. I had been leaning towards requiring PFC, since A) it saves power when it can B)if im told right, if the PSU does go bad and fry itself, it wont fry anything else with it--both real good reasons to go PFC..if what ive read is true

LASTLY-
I just checked and evga now offers lifetime warranty as well so question is which one do i go for: evga or ive ben hearing great things about BFG
Even tho id heard BFG overclocks theirs before shipping, the stats at newegg show the evga with higher clock AND core speeds.
whatcha think? and again please see above question as i really gotta get the PSU question answered hehe
December 20, 2005 3:08:59 PM

IMO, single or dual 12v lines are unimportant, as long as you have enough amperage on the 12v (total) - probably 20+.

I would expect those PSUs would be fine. You don't have a super powerful system (7800 GT's draw a lot, but less than GTX's.) and A64's pull less power than an Intel. When nVidia specced out PSU requirements they had to assume everyone was using an Intel CPU and a cheap PSU. So their recommendations are based on that. You aren't going to use a cheap PSU, and you use a CPU that draws 50w or so less power.

I'm not certain, but I don't think PFC is an indicator of having the circuit to protect the equipment. PFC lets it slow down the fan on a lower load, but good design is all that's required to protect the equipment when it blows. (of course, with PFC probably means its more likely to protect the equipment, but not having PFC doesn't mean it won't).

Mike.
December 20, 2005 5:52:29 PM

Im allllmost done now. Buying 2 of these type cards (third will be 7800gt or im reconsidering the ATI1800X but probg will go nvid)

Between the 128 and the 256 6600GT models, do you think the extra $50 is worth it ($100 for both)? The 2 girls getting these will play a few games, nothing intense, but prob do a bit of photo and video editing
whatcha think worth it..? Im really on the fence-leaning towards cheap tho hehe
PS: If you wanna chime in on 7800GT VS 1800XT go for it, confuse me more~!
December 20, 2005 6:10:01 PM

With minor gaming and video editing I would go with a single 6600GT. Or a newer ATI card with AVIVO.

The X1800XT will beat the 7800GT, but it does it a price. Balance your gaming needs with the associated costs...Personally I would stick with the 7800GT from a price/perf perspective.
December 20, 2005 6:36:40 PM

Hehe sorry i must not have been clear....theyre each only getting a single 6600gt question is do i go for 128 or 256 version, theres a $50 difference. Right now if i had to choose myself, id prob go 128 save the money, and if i wanna UG in future, i can SLI another (which by that time price will drop). Question wa how much performance do you think ill lose in going 128 VS 256.
December 20, 2005 7:22:41 PM

DEFINITELY go for Dell. Definitely.

Of course, as I am a Dell manager, I may be slightly biased.

8)
December 20, 2005 7:23:07 PM

128MB - save the money.
December 20, 2005 7:38:12 PM

Youve been so great, i hate to do this, but one mo ting-
Being the 2 girls using these cards will both be doing phot/video editing..and theyll be hooked up to 37' LCD monitor/TVs i have also een reading up on Avivo since i heard of it. Im wondering if something with Avivo would work better for them. Especially since i found this Sapphire (a brand which i know nothing about) Yeah the mem is hugely impressive at 512mb (especially at this price, which seems-off) im also curious as to how the Nvidia compares with like video image quality
Thanks yet again,
December 20, 2005 7:49:58 PM

The new ATIs are supposed to have some of the best video quality on the market today and there have been reviews that backed that superiority. Especially with ATIs newest drivers - take a look at some of the recent reviews. For thegirls usage I would go with the AVIVO card if it was in the budget and not too much more than the 6600GT. The GDDR3 in the 6600GT is slightly faster RAM than the GDDR2 in the 1600Pro, but not a big deal for their usage....
*spoiled brats with their 37" monitors*
*VERY jealous*
December 20, 2005 7:51:00 PM

Whoa! Holy Crap that is a fine moniter for these girls!
Two Moniters?

!