I'm looking for opinions on what will become a second and main computer for the family. My rig now is a P3 1Ghz, 512MB PC133, 9700Pro setup. I know, you laugh - but it works fine for web surfing and the not too taxing 3d games my kids play - zoo simulators, harry potter quiddich and the like.
Problem is I have 4 users and one computer, so a second is in order to do much the same tasks. I don't forsee the most demanding 3d games being played anytime soon, but perhaps flight sim or driving simulators, and maybe some light photo editing, MP3 ripping, etc.
I had sort of settled on a A64 3000+ S939 until I read up on AM2. Considering the upgrade path - I'd probably go to the AM2 setup.
Then I read the Tom's article on overclocking the Pentium D 805. I'm not an OC'er - but would venture into it if its truly worth it. But it seems like a pricey motherboard is required ($225 or so vs. about $80 for a 939) and the power consumption gets quite high.
In any event, I'm looking at a PCI-e card, likely a X800GTO for now, and will go to a DX10 offering next year, and likely 2Gb of RAM, either DDR or DDR2 depending on the socket.
Any opinions on this? Given the intended use of the machine, is it worth the OC effort? I have to admit it is a bit attractive to OC just for the sake of doing it - but stability is more important to me at this point.
HP media center PCs are great and cheap and hassle-free AND come with the kitchen-sink. I got one because I couldn't be bothered to "find and assemble the best / cheapest" components. My high-end dual Opteron was custom-built tho'...
You could build a P-D 805 machine, but OCing is a skill that requires potentially a large amount of time. Are you willing to spend time of research and buying the best components? Do you want your computer to sound like a turbine engine?
Buy aone prebuilt machine with one Pentium D 9xx series. AMD dual core are expensive and single core is only better at gaming.
Pentium D805 are only to extreme overclockers and people who like to test his computer and don't work with it.
"Any opinions on this? Given the intended use of the machine, is it worth the OC effort? I have to admit it is a bit attractive to OC just for the sake of doing it - but stability is more important to me at this point"
Surfing the internet does not require much cpu or gpu power so the amd would do fine.
3d games are more dependent on video card power so any of the cpu's your looking at will be good. its the other stuff you want to do where cpu is more important like rip dvd's video editing stuff like that, that maybe require a dual core like the d805.
i'd also say go for prebuilt like a dell maybe even shop on dell's outlet. If you research around you can get some great deals.
Now as far as the the D805 People seem to be under the impression that you have to overclock it. well you dont Have to i think it will work well in your case even if you didnt, much less Overclock to extreme levels so you dont have to spend $225 on the mobo. ther are a few mobo's less then $100 that can give you a decent overclock granted you wont be setting any speed records but is that important to you?
Is oc'ing worth the effort? Yes and id say that regardless of cpu.
I find OC'ing properly is time consuming but yet utterly satisfying knowing you put higher end cpus to shame.
Just to let you know i have 2 d805's so i am kind of biased
This is a long post for what you asked, but I had a few minutes and got bored
I just upgraded from a 9700pro a few months ago, and it became my second system. Difference is that the system it was in is a tad brawnier than yours. That p3 and the ram is hampering what that 9700 can really do. That card will play every game out right now, and do it well. It hits the wall on oblivion and Black and White 2 (have to turn the settings WAY down) but all others run sweet on it. My old system was an athlonXP 2700 oc'd from 2.1 to 2.4 Ghz w/ a gig of pc2700 ram on an nforce2 board so that card of yours has much life left in it if you do not plan to run top-flight games... but i digress...
ANY processor upgrade will improve where you are at. And even w/o oc'ing the p4's use more power than the a64's... Bag the oc'ing and just get the 3000+. 939 vs AM2 is not a concern unless you plan on re-using the ram for the next upgrade in a few years. The only diff is the ram, as performance is virtually the same. ddr ram is cheaper than ddr2. If you want stability you can still oc, just not very high. It is alot of work though, and there are no guarrantees. The 3000+ also oc's well though, so if you get bit by the bug later on you can still satiate that desire then.
The video card you are talking about is fine.
TBH I would reccomend a proc/ram/mobo upgrade on that old system as well. If you have the extra scratch you can get a dirt cheap sempron or athlonXP setup that would breathe life into that other system, just use the video/hardrive/peripherals from the old system... then your kids would see "new" life in their newer games. I realize that was not what you were asking about, but I wanted to let you know that there is potential there if you wanted to use it.
regardless, it looks like you have done the research. Get what you listed and enjoy the build. rock on.
Yeah - I think you are right about the 9700pro in the P3 rig. Funny how that came about - I had upgraded my original Riva TNT2 to a Ti4200 used off ebay when my daughter brought home a zoo sim game. I think the TNT2 did 1 frame per 10 seconds (no lie) on that game. Anyway, the Ti4200 was just great and I was happy. Then I decided to help out a friend and do an upgrade. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. I built an xp2800 on an MSI K7N Delta 2 (If I recall). To save budget, I bought the 9700pro used on ebay since it seemed the most bang for the buck a year and a half ago or so.
I couldn't get it to work on that system no matter what. No matter what version of Catalyst, in what order drivers were installed. No way. Several windows installs later (and a few stumped friends), I bought the 9700 pro from the friend and gave them the Ti4200. Been working great in my rig, and I'm really impressed by its performance. But my experience makes me gunshy to try to swap the MB for an AMD system.
Thanks again for your advice. Guess I'm back to the S939 A64 system.