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Downgrading my future PC

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May 20, 2003 9:10:36 PM

I've recently had a change of mind, and I don't really want to play games on my computer anymore. If I'm mainly going to be using it for music, word processing, internet, and whatever else may come up, how would you downgrade these specs? Now remember, I don't want it to be slow by any means, but I don't really need it to play games anymore.

Case: CHIEFTEC Server Chasis (silver) ($63.00) newegg.com

Power Supply: Enlight ATX 420W ($55.00) newegg.com

Motherboard: ABit NF7-S rev. 2 ($120) excaliberpc.com

Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2800 "Barton" 333 FSB (retail) ($217.50) excaliburpc.com

Ram: (2x)Kingston 512MB PC3200 ($152) newegg.com

Video Card: Sapphire ATI 9700 Atlantis 128 MB ($245) newegg.com

Hard Drive: Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache ($93) newegg.com

DVD: Lite-On 16x (black) ($33) newegg.com

CD-RW: Sony 52x24x52 (black) ($49) newegg.com

Floppy Drive: Panasonic 1.44 MB Density Floppy Disk Drive (black) ($7) newegg.com

Monitor: Viewsonic 19" CRT Perfect-Flat ($236) newegg.com

Speakers: Altec Lansing Enhanced 2100 Retail ($65) excaliberpc.com

Mouse/Keyboard: Logitech BLACK Optical Desktop ($33) newegg.com

OS: Windows XP Pro Full OEM ($143) newegg.com



The main things I figure that should be downgraded are the Ram, processor, and video card. Also, I was thinking of switching to a 15 inch flat screen monitor.

More about : downgrading future

May 20, 2003 9:38:56 PM

If i were u, i wud downgrade the processor... mebbe a good 1700+ and then overclock it...and certainly the monitor. 15" wud be small, so i suggest at least a 17". Rest of the config seems fine, though i might re-consider the Graphics card...if money is tight, how about a R9500?

If sometimes you feel little, useless, offended or depressed or get that loser feeling, always remember that you were once the fastest and most victorious sperm out of hundreds of millions...
May 20, 2003 10:23:49 PM

1. Don't get the OS from newegg. Get the *discount* from Kazaa.

2. If you're not doing games, just get a R9500 pro, or if you really want to save, get an NF2 board with onboard video.

3. Processor for sure. Either a good JIUHB 1700 or 2500 Barton if you want that extra cache. Personally, the 1700 will OC very well to +2.0Ghz.

4. PC3000, and they are much capable of an OC to PC3200 speeds with tight timings.

5. HDD's are much cheaper at like Best buy or CompUSA on the weekends. I just got a 80GB 8mb RETAIL for $70.

6. 420W is OK, but since you're not running so many drives, you can lower it and save money.

If you keep making small minor adjustments, then your price will come down considerably.
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May 20, 2003 10:29:20 PM

If you're sure you won't play games and using it to play music, get an nForce2 board with intergrated graphics and the nVidia APU like Epox 8RGA+. And drop the graphics card.

<A HREF="http://www.hexus.co.uk/review.php?review=530&page=1" target="_new">Epox 8RGA+ Review</A>
May 21, 2003 1:17:31 AM

-no, I'm gonna buy my OS. As lame as it may sound, I don't like to just download stuff like that.

-The processor looks good, that's BIG savings there. Is it easy to overclock? What exactly do you have to do? Is it just changing settings in the BIOS?

-As for buying a different motherboard with integrated video, I'd rather just leave the option to upgrade later if I wanted to.

-If I'm not going to be doing any gaming on my system, do I really need that good of a video card (the 9500 pro)?

-I was also thinking of bringing the Ram down to 512 MB of Corsair XMS 3200. That there saves me about $50, plus it's better Ram and I can later upgrade to 1 GB if I want when it's cheaper.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Gherkin on 05/20/03 09:19 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 21, 2003 1:26:17 AM

Quote:
Is it easy to overclock? What exactly do you have to do? Is it just changing settings in the BIOS?

It's easy. Just making changes in the BIOS. And if you have any questions about overclocking your gear consult the overclocking forums.
Quote:
If I'm not going to be doing any gaming on my system, do I really need that good of a video card (the 9500 pro)?

No, it's not necessary.
Quote:
I was also thinking of bringing the Ram down to 512 MB of Corsair XMS 3200. That there saves me about $50, plus it's better Ram and I can later upgrade to 1 GB if I want when it's cheaper.

Not a bad decision. Corsair XMS PC3200 is good memory for overclocking.
May 21, 2003 1:31:58 AM

alright, thanks.

and someone from another forum was suggesting for me to get an Nvidia GF4 Ti4200 for the videocard. Would that be a good choice?
May 21, 2003 1:57:06 AM

If you're going to get a graphics card and not going to play any games, I don't recommend spending too much on that graphics card. You could get a ATi 9000 (Non-Pro) for only about $65. I have one and I love it. Very good image quality and it doesn't make any noise because it has no fan.
May 21, 2003 2:18:31 AM

alright, there's a few ATI 9000s at newegg from $63-66. Which should I get:

-Transcend ATI Radeon 9000 64MB CRT+DVI+TV 4X AGP
-FIC AT009LE RADEON 9000LE 64MB 4X AGP
-ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis 64MB DDR W/TV out NO DVI
-ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis 64mb DDR DVI/CRT/TV out

thanks.
May 21, 2003 2:41:59 AM

actually, I think all I'm going to downgrade is the RAM (to Cosair XMS (save ~$50) and the graphics card (save ~$180)). The whole point of this is to save enough to buy an Xbox, so that's enough right there.
May 21, 2003 2:50:41 AM

Quote:
alright, there's a few ATI 9000s at newegg from $63-66. Which should I get:

-Transcend ATI Radeon 9000 64MB CRT+DVI+TV 4X AGP
-FIC AT009LE RADEON 9000LE 64MB 4X AGP
-ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis 64MB DDR W/TV out NO DVI
-ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis 64mb DDR DVI/CRT/TV out

Get this one -> ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis 64mb DDR DVI/CRT/TV out
May 21, 2003 3:09:51 AM

either newegg doesn't carry it, or Corsair XMS 512MB PC3000 Ram doesn't exist. They do have PC2700 though. Will I actually see a decrease in performance by going with the 2700 rather than the 3200?
May 21, 2003 3:19:34 AM

If I'm not going to be playing games, can I just knock off the DVD drive? I never use the one on my current machine and I certainly won't be watching movies on my PC.
May 21, 2003 5:33:33 AM

you probably won't need a gig of RAM so that could save some money.

<b>Just because I like AMD or Intel more at a time because of one product compared to another, does not make me a fan boy, it makes me a person who is able to make a decision for myself.</b>
May 21, 2003 8:54:44 AM

The Corsair XMS PC3200 memory was fine. Just go into the BIOS and set "CPU FSB/DRAM RATIO" to 5/5. That will run your memory in sync with the FSB.
May 21, 2003 11:01:21 AM

You can always downgrade from xp pro to home edition, or if you're a student and already have a previous version of windows you can install the "academic xp pro upgrade" is $82. I was thinking that there's a student discount full home edition out there but I don't see it on newegg and don't have time to look further at the moment.
May 21, 2003 2:43:55 PM

I just wanted to repeat a few things. You have received some good advice.

As for your video card: You can get an nForce2 motherboard with integrated graphics. That will be good enough for you and it still has an AGP slot in case you want to upgrade later.

CPU: I would go with the AXP 1700+. I would forget about overclocking it since you don't need anything faster for music, word processing, internet, etc. (in fact, a slow Duron would be good enough for that) If you later get a program that does use a lot of CPU, overclocking would be a good free upgrade.

RAM: 256MB would probably be enough, but I like 512MB myself. With the AXP 1700+, I'd get PC2700 RAM. PC3200 RAM isn't necessary.

DVD-ROM: ignore it. You can do just fine without one. If you ever want to watch movies on your computer in the future, it would be a small $45.00 upgrade.

OS: Good for you on buying it. If you are a student there is the option to get a student priced upgrade, but I hate upgrades myself - they bring many more problems than fresh installs do.

Power Supply: 420 watts is overkill for this system. A 300 Watt PSU would work just fine... or go for 350 watts to allow for an extra hard drive and a video card upgrade.

You mentioned that you would save enough movey by just downgrading one or two things... well, the more you save, the more games you can buy for the X-box. And you will still have a good computer for the tasks you mentioned.
May 22, 2003 3:15:19 AM

the only thing is, the nForce2 with integrated graphics doesn't have integrated firewire.

My question, on the mobo with the integrated firewire, is it possible to hook this up to the front of my case (it has front firewire inputs)? Or do you need a PCI card to hook up to the front like this?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Gherkin on 05/21/03 11:17 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 22, 2003 3:23:33 AM

also, if I go with the AMD Athlon XP 1700+, newegg only sells the OEM, so it doesn't come with a fan and heatsink. I have no idea which ones I should buy, could someone help me there?
May 22, 2003 11:38:43 AM

The MSI K7N2G-ILSR (or RS for that matter) does include firewire. And it offers like A LOT for the price it sells at ... Take the kick-ass performance with it, and you know what to buy.

Remark on the memory, though: Since that mobo uses the IGP, which uses the system memory for it's graphical core, it might be good to have fast memory, even when it runs out of sync, that could have a positive effect on the IGP performance. But actually, i'm not sure about this. Does anyone have more info on this? 'Cause actually I am putting a system together around a 2.4+ (133 MHz FSB) on that MSI-board, but I have to decide wether to go for PC2100, PC2700 or PC3200-memory. Prices are not far away from eachother (though the PC3200 probably doesn't even run at CL2.5, which is something to consider ...) in the store I will be buying at (it are Apacer modules).

Greetz,
Bikeman

<i>Then again, that's just my opinion</i>
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