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October 23, 2003 3:46:12 PM

A friend of mine asked me to help him buy a new system from scratch. He is a Maths Lecturer and tutor at a
University and said he wants a complete system that can easily handle matlab and other various maths intensive programs as well as his music, office and internet requirements. His preference is for an intel system that is some what future proof (pff dont exist but anyway) and his total cost must come in under ($Aus)2000 budget the lower the better and he said he isnt really interested in graphics cards. When I asked exactly what he meant he said "I do not nor will I ever play computer games" so there is no need for a hard core GPU here. I was thinking integrated graphics and add one later if required. I havent really looked closely at these motherboards with integrated graphics before so some advice in this area would be aprreciated. I am normally and AMD supporter so my intel mobo knowledge is a little limited was looking at 865 as the performance increases I have seen from mobo using the 875 chipset dont seem to be worth the cash but set me straight if Im wrong. Anyhow what do you think of the following...
(oh yeah these are Aussie dollars )

2.6ghz P4c -> $363
(may go to 2.8 after intel price drop)

Socket-478 ASUS P4P800-VM Intel 865G(integrated graphics)-> $200
not really sure about this mb any other suggestions for integrated graphic/mb solutions or non integrated motherboards and a cheap graphics card such as the ASUS P4P800 DELUXE Intel 865PE or MSI NEO Intel865pe with a gforce 4 mx or sumthing.

Corsair matched pair 2 X 256mb PC3200 -> $260
Or
Corsair matched pair 2 X 512mb PC3200 -> $439

Maxtor Sata 7200rpm 120gig (ata133 or sata) hd -> $182

Asus CRW-5224A -> $54

Antec Case - either
Midi-Tower ANTEC SLK2600AMB with 300watt SmartPowerPSU -> $129
or
Midi-Tower ANTEC Sonata with 380Watt TruePower PSU -> $189
(I advised this case but he doesnt seem to want to spend extra money on the case and psu Have heard that the truepower psu is considerably better is it worth the extra $60)

Samsung SyncMaster 17"753DFX Flat Screen -> $197
(is not interested in lcd)

Microsoft optical wireless desktop (kb/mouse) -> $110

Ok I dont think I am forgetting anything.....
Comes to roughly $1550 with cheaper case and 512meg ram or $1750 with the btter case and 1gig of ram


Am not sure if he was looking to buy printer or other accesories so this seems to be about the right sort of price range.

Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics. Even if you win your still retarded!

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October 23, 2003 3:57:42 PM

does he not want a DVD-ROM?

It's definitely worth the extra $ for a 380W PSU. that 300 probably won't cut it at all, and you'll end up with an unstable system.

The problem with IG mobos is they usually 'steal' some system RAM for video RAM, so You'd effectively lose a small amount of main memory. You may as well buy a cheaper Asus P4P800 or Abit IS7 mobo, and buy the cheapest grafix card you can get. it might add up to the same total (ish) but you'll end up with slightly more system ram.

If you're not going to overclock the system, you could save some dough by getting some <b>crucial</b> or similarly lower-priced RAM, rather than the corsair.

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<font color=red>The preceding text is assembled from information stored in an unreliable organic storage medium. As such it may be innacurate, incomplete, or completely wrong</font color=red> :wink:
October 23, 2003 6:42:01 PM

Quote:
The problem with IG mobos is they usually 'steal' some system RAM for video RAM, so You'd effectively lose a small amount of main memory. You may as well buy a cheaper Asus P4P800 or Abit IS7 mobo, and buy the cheapest grafix card you can get. it might add up to the same total (ish) but you'll end up with slightly more system ram.

He'll be getting either 512 or 1GB of RAM which IMO is more than enough for him for what he plans to do with his computer. I wouldn't give up on an AGP slot though, he might need to do some 3d with his computer or someone else might get to use it.

My anger and my wrath will be poured on this place on man and beast on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground it will burn and not be quenched Jeremiah 7:20
I am ALPHA and OMEGA, burn!
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October 23, 2003 11:34:47 PM

for mathlab, I would *really* recommend an AMD64 system. A friend of mine works at the university doing his doctorate on some Mathlab -> C compiler project. He recently send me a bunch of benchmarks results I hope to use in an article soon (once I understand what it is really about :) , but let me tell you the K8 trounces any other cpu on the market for what he does. And I mean more often than not, >>100% faster overall, especially running custom compiled libraries on Linux in 64 bit mode (he ran his code on dual opterons, dual xeons and Sun SPARC systems).

Also, mathlab LOVES huge ammounts of ram, depending what you do, you may well often be running into the 2 GB VM limit of x86. Ask him, he should know. He *really* wants a 64 bit capable cpu for this one, if only for running 32 bit mathematica under a 64 bit OS of his choice (I presume Linux).

I would love to able to point you at some online benchmarks, but i can't find any :(  Assuming mathematica is similar to mathlab, show him these:

<A HREF="http://www20.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030923/athlon_64-49..." target="_new">http://www20.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030923/athlon_64-49...;/A>
<A HREF="http://smc.vnet.net/timings40.html " target="_new">http://smc.vnet.net/timings40.html </A>(no A64, but even the much slower barton 2800+ is king of the hill on that one)

That's the best I can find... :( 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
October 24, 2003 12:15:40 AM

Yeah I had thought about the Athlon 64 but it is still a bit immature as a platform at the moment I would not advise to buy until some new mobo revisions come out also the prices are definatly a large increase on what I had listed for the p4 system. In Australia they are still a bit hard to find at the moment, cheapest I have seen the A64-3200+ is $700 with an msi mobo for another $300 so considering the p4 was about $563 with mobo that is almost double the price. Perhaps if he holds off on the purchase for a couple of months it may become more of an option. Thanks for the benchmarks though was interesting to see those are quite different to some Ive seen like these
http://www.mathworks.com/support/product/XP/productnews...

Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics. Even if you win your still retarded!
October 24, 2003 12:32:14 AM

No he doesnt want the dvdrom he has a home theatre system at home not really needing dvd drive perhaps might go for a cdrw/dvdrom combo drive if anything. Ill go for the better case and as for ram other then corsair could either go kingmax or kingston pc3200 1gig for $350

Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics. Even if you win your still retarded!
!