one question, i have heard that amd is better for this kind of stuff, is this true?
Im looking to build a media center pc for around 200 bucks, all i need is a mobo cpu(dual core) and 2gb ram, what do you guys suggest, im not going to be doing any gaming FYI, I want to rip my entire music collection, and i want to do it fairly quickly, i have a 52x cddvd drive so that wont be a problem. I want to upgrade to vista but it isnt imparative if if will cause the cost to go over 200. I like newegg and have dealt with them before. Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated, and I would like to order on sunday, so quick replies would be great.
If you have a full ATX system, you may want to look for the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H. I have it and it is wonderful. A 4000 series AM2-based AMD processor, and 2G of G.Skill RAM and you'll be almost exactly at 200 bucks.
If sticking to your budget of $200 is your most important priority then stick with AMD.
If you are willing to spend more for better performance then wait for the Intel Penryns to come out since they will have SSE4 instruction sets which can boost DivX encoding performance phenomenally if you are using at least version 6.6.2 (which includes SSE4 coding). I believe the X264 codec (open source version of H264) also includes SSE4 coding, but I need to research that.
Early Penryn benchmarks (April 2007) using DivX 6.6.2 vs. a similarly clocked Conroe showed a 100% performance increase, or in other words encoding time has been cut in half.
When comparing a similarly clocked Penryn to the Conroe using DivX without any SSE4 optimization (i.e. prior to DivX 6.6.2) the performance increase is a respectable 10%.
Oh, sorry I didn't read your post entirely. I saw media and immediately I thought video.
As for audio, I would just stick with AMD. I don't really know of any audio encoding software that uses SSE4 so spending the extra money for an Intel CPU will not be worth it.
As for Vista, it's out of your budget and not really worth it in my opinion. For the moment, I'm thinking about sticking with Win XP Pro until Microsoft releases Vista's replacement in late 2009 / early 2010.
Initially when I first heard about Vista I though I was definitely going to upgrade, but MS stripped out two major things which made me decide against upgrading to Vista:
1. Better security.
2. New file system.
Both would have more or less made current viruses and trojans less able to infect Vista from what I've read.
if you're gonig to scrap your mobo anyways, you may want to look into figuring out what mobo it is. if it is a socket 775 you could look into flashing the bios with the mobo manufacturers bios then check what cpu's are supported with your new bios
once the bios is flashed you will probably be able to just drop in a dual core p4(not as good as amd's socket am2, but your best upgrade/price)
as long as you have a dual core, it'll probably suit you fine
oh, try to just swap out the proc first and if that doesn't work, then experiment with flashing the bios. If you want overclocking options (which will be slim to none) you'll almost have to flash the bios.
the Pent D 925 for $99 would be your cheapest upgrade and will give you a big boost in performance. although you're still stuck with ddr1 memory.
I think the best option is going to be socket am2 if you already have a copy of windows, but if you don't you're looking at having to buy xp $99, memory $40, mobo $50, and proc $63 (unless you're going to pirate windows hehe)
so, if you have xp, go amd, if you don't I'd recommend just upgrading your processor