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New Computer

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September 13, 2003 6:03:22 PM

I live in Canada and that limits my ability to pick and choose components more easily. I am soon to build a new computer. I can order all the parts and stick em together myself or go to one of those pick the parts and we put em together and ship em to you with a warranty sites in Canada. My question is since I do not need a superfast computer (I've got a PIII 400MHz now.. Slooowwwww!), but I want a quality system.

Would a 2.8 P4 CPU be just as good for me as a 3.0 P4?

Would SATA disk drives be any advantage over PATA disk drives?

I do a bit of video editing, photo manipulation, program development, but NO game playing at all so would I need a high end video card or would a low to mid range card do as well?

What motherboard would you recommend. Do I need the top of the line Gigabyte, Asus or IBIT? IS an 865 chip set as good as an 875?

I don't want to short myself on speed or flexibility but I also don't need the absolute top of the line speed machine.

I tend towards Intel with a GOOD quality case. My monitor will probably be a CRT and either a Viewsonic P95F+, NEC FE991SB or A Samsung 957MB.

Any opinions and considerations would be appreciated.

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September 13, 2003 11:32:52 PM

You might get more opinions posting this in the CPU or Motherboard forums. Anyway here are my 2 cents:

1) People are recommending P2.4C's or P2.6C's good value of the $$$ and overclock well. Compared to your 400Mhz these cpu's are all killers. Look at the "C" models. 2.4C and up are great (depening on ur pocket book).

2) SATA drives don't buy you a lot of performance at the present time. The channels offload some bandwidth. The cables are thiner for better cooling. Performance is a few percentage points.

3) I will reserver judgement on the graphics card (let someone else stick their neck out). A card like a ATI 9600 Pro is pretty kick ass and good value for the $$$. A 9800 nonpro is really great and if u find an OEM package without bells and whistles u might not find it that expensive compared to the "retail" versions of other cards.

4) I wouldn't get an intel board. They are overpriced for what you get, slower performers but then of course very reliable. There was a relatively recent post about this in the mobo section.

Personally I wouldn't buy one (an intel mobo). Gigabyte, Asus, Abit, MSI, Soyo, Tyan, Epox are very good reliable companies. ECS has a reputation (perhaps deserved) as a "value" board maker; not good for you. Some of the 865 chipset mobos have enabled hyperthreading. They are excellent cost effective solutions! (See Mobo forum :smile: ) Dual channel is required to unleash the performance of the Intel Processor.

5) Monitor ... no comment.


The loving are the daring!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Flinx on 09/14/03 06:54 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 14, 2003 6:28:37 AM

The 2.8C would be great, nearly as fast as the 3.0C and a good way to save money. If you want the best of both price and performance, you could buy the 2.6C and overclock it to 3250MHz.

SATA gives you nothing. People say the thinner cables aid cooling, but I just turn my IDE cables sideways.

Most video cards will be fine, you might prefer the features of an All In Wonder card, the AIW8500 cards are fairly inexpensive. But you could go even cheaper.

Best value in boards right now seems to be the Abit IS7 and Asus P4P800. When I say value, I speak of features, performance, and price, rather than price alone. For features the IS7 beats the P4P800, including SATA (not needed now but adds compatability) and 1394 FireWire ports.

Best high quality case/power supply combo I can think of is the Inwin ATX midtower (the old black one) available with a top quality 300W power supply (actually provides more power than rated), and cost around $60 at newegg.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
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September 14, 2003 10:57:40 AM

Oh yep forgot on of the important things because you didn't ask but Crashman comments reminded me.

Get plenty of good power (brand name supply). I would get something around 400W. 300W just doesn't cut it today if you stick in one of the more powerful graphics cards.

You want good clean power and power to spare. (Damm sound like a battery commercial :wink: ).

The loving are the daring!
September 14, 2003 11:09:02 PM

I beg to differ with you guys on the subject of SATA- they do have some significant benefits. For one thing, a Seagate or Maxtor 80 Gb SATA does not cost that much more than the best 80 Gb PATA HDs. Also, it is nice to separate the bandwidth-hungry hard drive from the parallel bus altogether. Sure SATAs do not currently run almost any faster than the best PATAs, but their transfer rates are very consistent, and they are quite fast- I'm always amazed at how fast XP boots and programs load. The small data cable is awfully neat because it does clean up the inside of the case. You also have the benefit of scalability- as prices on SATA HDs slowly fall, in the future you can buy a second one and WA-LA! you have a RAID setup. On top of it all, if your mobo offers SATA, you might as well take advantage of it. I do agree with you guys about the price- I ended up paying way too much for mine, but they've dropped below $100 in the last few months and they are becoming a reasonable option even for the average user. Since you claim you are going to be doing video editing, a fast HD (and a nice P4) will make things more pleasurable. If your mobo supports SATA, I would say get your feet wet and go with the new format.
Anonymous
September 16, 2003 1:15:23 AM

Captain Obvious here to help you out!
Some things to think about:

A. CPU A = 2.8Ghz. CPU B = 3.0Ghz. % difference = 7.143%.

Can you tell the difference in a game? highly doubtful.
Can you tell the difference with price? YES!

B. SATA vs PATA: Same drive, same electronics, transfer rates well below the maximum for either.
Only differences are the easy to use cables and power connectors.

C. Video Editing = CPU & RAM intensive. Photo Manipulation, Ditto. Programming, Ditto. Therefor you dont need a powerful graphical solution.

D. Captain Obvious likes the P95F+. High refresh rates at high resolutions are desirable.

<b><font color=red>Captain Obvious To The Rescue!!!</font color=red></b>
September 16, 2003 10:37:36 AM

Here's my choices or possible choices

Antec 1080 case
P4 2.8 800 FSB CPU
ASUS P4C800E Deluxe
Corsair TWINX1024 PC3200 memory
2 WD 36GB 10K Raptor SATA drives
ASUS V9520 GEFORCE FX200 VIDEO CARD

Monitor is either
Viewsonic P95F+ or
NEC FE991SB

I have another PATA 60GB drive and TDK burner I will transplant from my old PII 400MHz "slug"

Any comments appreciated. Am I overdoing it anywhere or is this about right?
!