Best P4 Solution RIGHT now?

Before anyone says it :), I did a search, and I've been reading the boards to get many different opinions on this question.

What I look for now, is an opinion based on current events and current specs available.

Basically it's like this. A friend would like some help building a very nice computer. I have a little experience in the machanical aspect of it, but have sorta dropped out of the scene for a little while, and am not sure what the best products/solutions are as of today.

To HT, or not to HT? The damn things are pricey, and are they really worth the extra % of power they might give for a gamer/graphic artist/animator/video editing/standard business app user like my friend.

Does it seem more intelligent to go with a 2.53, or even a little more spendy 2.8 and stay away from HT until it becomes less expensive, and more mainstream?

He's got a nice chunk of change to spend, but there no reason to break the bank on the processor if there's really no reason to as of right now in the technology. Might as well spend the extra money on a Radeon 9700, or more ram, or a monster HD, or hell, all of the above :)

So there's more to this question. Not just to HT or not to HT, but what's the best current motherboard solution to Pair with whichever CPU, and for that fact, which Ram? Has PC3200 become largely mainstream yet? The last I heard it was 2700.

Is it time to switch to 8x AGP?

Too many questions I know....

So I guess the question is:

For a P4 system:

What's the best Mobo solution right now? with 8x? Ram Type? etc. etc.

HT CPU, or stay below that mark for now, and go with a less expensive CPU?
Any help is appreciated.
OH! Before anyone comes in with the AMD solution, I must say that this person will never buy AMD. There was some sorta grudge against them that goes back to the early days of AMD. I think he's still mad at me for the whole shaving cream incident,'s another story ;)

<b>If it aint broke, then hell, you aint looking at it in the right frame of mind!</b>
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  1. I don't think there's any software out there that can take advantage of HT yet. However, it's nice for multitasking. To me (and I love throwing money away) the 3.06 is way overpriced. If I were your friend I would wait until the 655 chipset comes out. He could get a 2.53, overclock it to at least 2.8GHz with stock cooling, and if he absolutely needs HT he could upgrade when the P4's with HT come down to earth and keep the same mobo. Perhaps by the time the 655 chipset comes out the 3.06 will be a little less pricey. Or he could get a 1.8 and a Gigabyte 8SG667 on the cheap, overclock it to about 2.4GHz and upgrade the whole thing later. But whatever your freind decides just make sure he gets the fastest, good quality RAM he can get. Corsair XMS seems to be the RAM of choice.

    To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
  2. The IT7-MAX2 is the best performing DDR mobo for P4 by far.

    I would avoid the SiS chipset, unless you are on a extreme budget and absolutly need to save that small amount of change.

    Granite bay is the only intel chipset that support AGP 8x, it is pricey but you get dual channel DDR.

    HT is expensive now and performs great, I would only suggest this for a professional who can afford the extra performance. I run a 3.06HT on granite bay now so I can confirm the 3.06 was designed to take advantage of existing programs as well as have applications now optimized for it. An animator or video editor will be able to take advantage of the HT. He may be just as happy with a 2.53 ona IT7 motherboard with RAID.

    PC3500 is the current best available, PC3700 is due out and PC4000 is soon after.

    The IT7-MAX2 has a option to increase the speed of the DDR independantly of the current FSB to get more performance. without overclocking. Having all possible options except AGP 8x. I do not see any performance increase from AGP4x to AGP8x other than a few points in benchamrks and those are minimal. I was expecting a little more performance.

    I speicialize in building performance P4 machines for benchmarks and gaming. I speak from experiance and will bench my stuff against anything on this forum someone thinks may be a better solution, provided they actualy own the machine. Last thing I need is a smartass like Matisaro to link up some LN2 cooled machine =)

    <b>"Granted I dont own a P4. But I read enough stuff and waste enough time on forums newsgroups IRC and computer news sites that I proberly know more then if I DID own a P4." -vk2amv</b>
  3. Right NOW, the i850E is still the fastest chipset, RDRAM is still the fastest memory type. That leaves you with the fastest solution, the Asus P4T533 with special RIMM4200 memory, or the most complete solution, the Gigabyte GA-8IHXP with PC1066.

    There are cheaper ways to do things. The next step down in perfomance is the Granit Bay, with Dual Channel DDR and AGP8x. But it's barely faster than other chipsets available for DDR, and it's expensive. Oh, and AGP8x is a nonfactor with current cards.

    Then there's the SiS 648 chipset. The only board I can recommend for it is the GA-8SG667, a board that actually supports DDR400. It's a super fast budget board. Others claim to but have problems. It also supports AGP8x, which like I said is a nonfactor with current cards.

    Following behind that budget board are some very nice Intel i845PE chipset boards, such as the Asus P4PE. They can't outperform the GA-8SG667 w/DDR400, but can at least match it with DDR333, and have nicer onboard features.

    Finally, it's worth noting that Aopen just released their first SiS 655 chipset board. The 655 is another Dual Channel DDR chipset, one with the potential to blow Granit Bay performance away, but I have yet to see any benchmarks to PROVE it. SiS just revised this chipset to support Hyper Threading, but no word on whether Aopen is using the new chipset revision or if their board is set up to take advantage of it.

    <font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
  4. Quote:
    Others claim to but have problems.

    I have had this board with a stock cooled 2.53 overclocked to 2.8 for a month without a hiccup. For $85 you can't beat the 8SG667.

    Finally, it's worth noting that Aopen just released their first SiS 655 chipset board.

    Happy days are here again!

    To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
  5. Quote:
    The IT7-MAX2 is the best performing DDR mobo for P4 by far.

    The IT7-MAX2 is a sweet board. For $170 it's not that sweet. Add another $630 for a 3.06 and you've got a nice round $800. That's nuts!

    To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
  6. Hrmmm...that sparks one of them moral dilemmas :)

    They are going to be going with my advice.....hrmmm....
    Is it wrong to push for the 3.06 just so I can play with it for a while, and see how it really performs? :)

    Is that karma I hear knocking? 8Þ

    <b>If it aint broke, then hell, you aint looking at it in the right frame of mind!</b>
  7. Oh, and thanks for the replies, everyone. It helps greatly.

    Keep em coming. The more opinions, the better. I'm all ears. (Other parts too, I guess)

    <b>If it aint broke, then hell, you aint looking at it in the right frame of mind!</b>
  8. You are truly not a friend if you're pushing for a $630 processor! :smile: It all comes down to a a price:performance ratio. If your friend has money to burn, then what the hell. Get the 3.06 and IT7-MAX2. But with a good conscience I could not recommend it because I don't think it's worth it. He could get an 8SG667 and a 2.53 for about $320. Not bad. Or he could wait a couple of weeks. Then more boards with the SiS 655 chipset will be out and the 3.06 will undoubtedly come down in price a bit. If your friend can wait then that's what I would recommend.

    To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
  9. Oh My!

    They might actually go for the 3.06.

    I swear I didn't push it :) I really mean it!

    I actually was pushing for a nice mobo/processor package with an asus board and 2.4 P4 that was gonna be about 500 bucks cheaper.

    This should be interesting.

    <b>If it aint broke, then hell, you aint looking at it in the right frame of mind!</b>
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