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Final system for sub $700...any opinions?

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January 26, 2003 6:06:53 PM

I posted a topic a couple weeks back on building a system for around $700. I would like to solicit any feedback before I go ahead and place my order with the system I've come up with (listed below). The only thing that I'm not going ahead and purchasing right now is WinXP...I'll use Win98se until I am able to upgrade.

Processor - AMD Athlon XP 2100+/266 FSB Thorougbred Processor CPU 2100+/ 1.73GHz -OEM, AXDA2100DUT3C $95


Motherboard - ASUS A7N8X non-deluxe $120


Case Chieftec Case & 450W Power supply (Model#: DX-01BD) $85

Hard Drive Western Digital 800J, 8MB Cache $116


Floppy Disk Drive SONY 1.44MB 3.5 INCH INTERNAL FDD DRIVE - OEM - Model#: MPF920Z $8


Video Card ATI OEM RADEON 8500 LE 128MB DDR DVI/CRT/TV - RADEON 8500 LE 128M $88


Thermal Paste Arctic Silver's NEW Premium Silver Polysynthetic Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 3. 3-gram( 1 cc. ) tube. Artic Silver more info> - N82E16835100003 $6

Heat Sink Thermalright SK-7 ( Heatsink ONLY ). All Copper heat spread. Dimension: 85 (L) x 65.5 (W) x 42 (H) mm (without fan). Can be used with 60MM, 70MM, or 80MM fans.Retail. Please see the image. more info> - N82E16835109006


RAM (2X) Hot Item! CRUCIAL MICRON 256MB 32x64 PC 2100 DDR RAM - OEM Offer Time Limit Will End Soon. 184-Pin, CL=2.5-Unbuffered 2.5V, 6-Layers CT3264Z265 Requires DDR supported Motherboard - Lifetime Warranty. OEM more info> - N82E16820145001 $100


TOTAL $618
January 26, 2003 6:15:48 PM

Do you need a floppy, and why not get the full 8500 instead of the LE for a few bucks more?

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
January 26, 2003 6:16:32 PM

Scrap the R8500. A GF3 beats it and is also a lot more stable. You can get a Ti200 for $70 and oc it to GF3 speeds w/o a problem.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
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January 26, 2003 6:43:46 PM

First, off a Radeon 8500LE will actually beat a GeForce 3, and a normal 8500 will beat a GF3ti500. You can look at the benches here or go look at the 'Hall of Fame' on futermark.com from 3dMark2001 to see that an 8500 will beat a GF3. The newer, more mature drivers are the cause that they now beat the GF3's. The GF3 used to beat the 8500, but not anymore.

<font color=blue>The All new GeForce FXmx8x- For when you need the lightning speed of AGP 8x on a severely bottlenecked revision of the GeForce2!!</font color=blue>
January 26, 2003 6:58:26 PM

Oh yeah, 3dmark is what only matters. It's just that the 8500 gets beaten in most other games, except I suppose we can trust buying a card to one benchmark alone. Take a look at <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20021218/index.html" target="_new">Tom's VGA Charts</A>.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
January 26, 2003 6:59:32 PM

Quote:
A GF3 beats it and is also a lot more stable.

I doubt it. I have both of them ATI 8500LE and Gainward GF3, and the 8500 definitely performs much better than the other.

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
January 26, 2003 7:22:08 PM

Perhaps u haven't configed the system correctly, or perhaps one pc is different spec than the other. I've had several friends switch over to NV cards b/c their ati cards (r8500's, some others as well) wouldn't work stably/ run the programs/game they wanted. Furthermore, the GF3 can be turned to quadro dcc for added features and optimizations, especially in professional cad/animation/image editing programs.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
January 26, 2003 8:01:56 PM

I own a GF3 (ti500). It's a great card, and serves me well. Heck, it quadrupled the graphics power of my system. But the thing is the 8500 does work faster in benchmarks (not just 3dmark) than the GeForce 3. Most other sites and magazines show it faster in their tests and Tom's shows it on either side of a GeForce3 in all but a few tests (I'm also not sure about some of his benchmarks, they seem a little fishy lately). The quality of graphics is also higher than a GF3,and using Aniso you get much better frame rates. With the new drivers the cards are basically equal in performance. The Radeon actually is the better card, though, because of it's extras and nicities. I've not heard of a Radeon 8500 horror story in a long time, especially since the new drivers came out (unless of course they're stupid enough to run Cat. 3's, then they have no chance). Yes, the GF3 can be turned into a quadro, but most of those features are useless to almost everyone here, while the better IQ of the Radeon will be helpful to everyone. There are, overall, more things going for the 8500 than the GF3, which is why it is the better card.

EDIT:Changed one letter...

<font color=blue>The All new GeForce FXmx8x- For when you need the lightning speed of AGP 8x on a severely bottlenecked revision of the GeForce2!!</font color=blue><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mac404 on 01/26/03 05:13 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 26, 2003 8:54:55 PM

I disagree. It is not a better performer- if you look at the benchmarks, you will notice that except for 3d mark and 1 game, the gf3 comes out the winner. I have seen this first hand too. Also, in terms of graphics quality, the difference is not really there. I use my quadro dcc for graphics (work w/ 3d s max, autocad, photoshop, etc) and must say it's excellent quality and is capable of handling some sick stuff in 3d s max. Also, it performs very well in games. Once again, what r the 2 systems that you are running?

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
January 26, 2003 9:46:03 PM

From a review:
"Well, lets think about that for a minute. Our benchmarks showed that the Radeon 8500 was pretty much equal to the VisionTek GeForce 3 Ti500 board we compared it to. The Radeon 8500 had a slight edge over the Ti500 in most of the tests, but the difference between the boards was usually a negligable 2 or 3 FPS."

The fact is that they are very close performance-wise. Going to image quality, it's much better with the Radeon. That is what makes it better, as the fps difference (both better and worse) would not be noticeable.

<font color=blue>The All new GeForce FXmx8x- For when you need the lightning speed of AGP 8x on a severely bottlenecked revision of the GeForce2!!</font color=blue>
January 26, 2003 10:03:11 PM

Good cpu, good cooler, case and great hard drive. Video card, look around see whats going to run good for you.m I have the 64mb version of the 8500le, and it works great. If you can get a few more bucks get the full 8500. As for the motherboard, I have never dealt with asus, and I have seen a ton of posts on that board, but I will let somone else comment on that. Crucial/micron ram is good stuff, but if that board is Nforce2, you might be better off with some corsair or other high quality CL2 memory. It will also help you get better FSB spead if you plan on overclocking. Over all, not a bad system, but if you dont mind shoppping around, try pricegrabber.com or pricewatch.com to find the price range you want/need. Im guessing all of the choices are from newegg.com, which most here will recommend highly.

<font color=green>::: Sir, I'd like to return this cpu, it is dead.</font color=green> <font color=blue>::: Its not dead, its resting...</font color=blue>
January 26, 2003 10:23:19 PM

Did you say if that was an AIUHB XP2100 processor?

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
January 26, 2003 11:27:05 PM

I've had no enjoyment at all using the 8500, or any Ati cards for that matter. The catalyst drivers are buggy, unstable, and have the 60hz refresh rate problem in a lot of games. So I sold the Radeon, and am happily using a Gf3 ti200. Overclocks far past a ti500, and has better performance than the radeon (save for 4x AA with aniso). But I rarely ever use AA, it almost never gives worthwhile quality gains for the performance loss.

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 27, 2003 1:42:01 AM

So now a source that u don't like the info from is fishy? Also, you have simply stated "from a review". That's a lot of credibility....Also, in terms of image quality, have u considered that A) If there was a big difference, I doubt anyone would notice it as they focus in the game trying to get as many frags per second as possib;e B) The difference is negligble, and to see any small difference you'd need to be using a Trinitron monitor, so most wouldn't
From my experience, Ati's drivers are buggy, nv's I've found to be rock stable, and I've used it on tons of systems I've serviced- stable so that I've also messed around w/ drivers and they have worked stably, and also GF3 performs better.


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
January 27, 2003 1:57:37 AM

You might want to go for the epox nforce 2 motherboard instead. From the posts around here, asus's bios seems kinda buggy.

As for the video card, I don't know about the performance part because it used to be geforce ti500 better than the 8500, then ati released better drivers, now i don't know what is happening. But I do know that the 8500 is superstable. I've had two versions of it worked perfectly(I'm using the most current drivers of course). I wounld't worry about the stability part. There is one bad quality about the radeon le though, the clock speed is usually a mystery. Make sure you get 250/250 or better. There are new radeons that are clocked at 230/250, horrible.
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