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Planning to buy...

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November 27, 2003 3:31:18 AM

Hello everyone. :) 
As of the moment, I'm working very hard at getting a computer that'll fit into my $2500 CDN budget (I'm working from a local store, www.memoryexpress.com). This is what I've got so far.

P4 3.0 Ghz 512k 800FSB w/HT
Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu
MSI 865PE Neo2-LS
2x Kingston 512MB PC3200 DDR CAS 3
Aspire Super-X Alien
Seagate 80GB Barracuda 7200.7 Serial ATA 8MB Cache
LG 16x DVD-ROM 48x24x48 CDRW
Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
Samsung 955DF
SB Audigy 2 ZS
Altec ATP3 2.1 speakers
Win XP Home

That, unfortunately, is adding up to about $2888 CDN. What I'm wondering is:
1. How's this setup look? I don't want really to screw around with overclocking, I know my way around computers very very well, but I've honestly never tried it.
2. Which parts could I downgrade to reduce the cost without a serious performance hit? I was thinking for the moment to possibly scrap the speakers and souncard, and just use onboard sound for the moment, but I'm not so sure. The computer I'm on right now has awful onboard sound, the PC speaker almost sounds better than it. ;)  I was also considering swapping the current mobo with a Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000-L, but I haven't heard anything at all about that board, so I'm not sure.

Thanks very much everyone, you all seem like a very knowledgable bunch, and I'm glad I found this place. :) 

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November 27, 2003 3:52:41 AM

You can probably save around $100 by going with an Abit IS7 motherboard, and a bunch of money by using the onboard sound. You don't need the Zalman cooler either, you can use the Intel boxed cooler and save some more.

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November 27, 2003 4:48:50 AM

IMO, you are paying a premium for your processor and video card too. You can pick up a 9800 non-pro (NOT SE) fairly cheap and overclock it to pro speeds if you *really* want to.

You could downgrade your processor to a 2.6ghz and save about $100 too. It wouldn't cost you THAT much in the way of performance.

I would probably go with onboard sound too... just make sure your MB has decent onboard sound. I have an ASUS nForce2 and I use the SPDIF out with my 5.1 surround sound setup (I've had for a couple of years) and it sounds magnificent!

So many people get tied up in FPS that they completely forget about how much sound can improve gameplay. I think sound is often overlooked... when people see my setup, they almost always comment on the sound.


Keep the fan if you want a quiet machine, but make sure it's going to make a difference. It's worthless if your power supply and/or case fans are noisy.

Those are my opinions... I see nothing bad, but the video card, processor, and perhaps sound are where I might cut corners. Maybe you'll save enough on those three that you might upgrade your speakers. It's worth it!
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November 27, 2003 5:48:22 AM

Well i would stick with an ASUS board... and AMD , why? Well AMD is cheaper and faster for gaming. However P4 are better for cooling ,but AMD is so much cheaper ill go wiht the AMD... i suggest the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe (Ver 2.0)with an AMD XP 2500 barton or 2800 . And for pentium 4
Asus ( P4C800-E Deluxe ). Hope this helped...
November 27, 2003 9:37:14 AM

Since when is P4 cooler then a Barton (lets say 2500+)?
November 27, 2003 9:49:56 AM

When you compare one that performs the same.

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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:
November 27, 2003 9:55:11 AM

There is more than just clockspeed differences between the 9800 (non-pro) and the 9800Pro. It's still a good card though.

Plus no P4 board has an onboard sound solution anywhere near as good as your nforce2 one. He'd need a SB Audigy card or similar to rival it :smile: .. That's why it sounds so good...

Personally I would also downgrade to a 2.6C and overclock it.. but even if you don't oc it you'd notice little difference in games, as it's mostly the gfx card that takes the strain there.

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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:
November 27, 2003 3:32:04 PM

Okay, so thusfar I'm getting quite a good response to downgrade to a 2.6C. Would I actually be able to overclock that with stock cooling? And how far could I reasonably get it without too much risk of the processor burning up? ;)  In terms of onboard sound, this is what the two mobos I was looking at have:

Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000-L has this:
Realtek ALC655 6-Channel Audio CODEC

MIS 865PE Neo2-LS has this:
6 channels software audio CODEC C-Media 9739A

Are either of these very good? And so you know, the reason I went with a P4 was because I've heard that the newest AXP's have rather degraded performance due to a different rating scale they put into place. I used to be Athlon all the way, but now I'm beginning to change my mind.

I looked at the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe as well, it looks very nice though I'm not sure if I'd need the RAID capability seeing as I'd only have one HD. It's got ADI AD1985 SoundMAX 6-Channel CODEC on it though, is that any better than either of the other two onboard sound configs?
November 27, 2003 4:01:50 PM

>>but AMD is so much cheaper ill go wiht the AMD<<

question: i thought AMD and Intel prices are starting to become more or less evenly matched? =/
November 27, 2003 4:10:53 PM

>>Okay, so thusfar I'm getting quite a good response to downgrade to a 2.6C.<<

lol, they recommended the same thing to me too when i started with an Intel 3.0

>>Would I actually be able to overclock that with stock cooling? And how far could I reasonably get it without too much risk of the processor burning up? ;) <<

this might save you some time =) http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

someone told me that the HSF that comes with the retail version is good enough to take you to 3.0 if you overclock it... i don't claim to be that someone =)
November 27, 2003 6:06:45 PM

Okay, well, this is kinda crazy. If I buy a 2.4C or 2.6C, and then OCZ PC4000 memory, it ends up being /way/ more expensive than just sticking with the 3.0 and PC3200 memory. So I'm beginning to think that perhaps overclocking isn't the answer....I'm not sure though. Would it be more worth it to go the OC way, or leave it?
November 27, 2003 6:30:47 PM

A 2.6 Oveclocked to ~3Ghz & RAM in synch will outperform a stock P4 3Ghz & 200DDR - higher bandwidth for the ol' processor.

If you still don't like the idea, maybe compromise & get a 2.8C with PC3700 or 3500? How does that stack up price wise?...

[EDIT]As the stuff below shows, you don't need to..[/EDIT]

Hmm. (newegg.com)
2.6C $171
OCZ PC4000 1Gb $266
Total - $437

3.0C $265
OCZ PC3200 1Gb $188
Total - $453

2.8C $216
OCZ PC3700 1Gb $238
OCZ PC3500 1Gb $230
Totals - $454 or $446

So you have - in order of price
2.6/4000
2.8/3500
3.0/3200
2.8/3700 [just]

How come you make the 2.6 w/ PC4000 out to be more expensive? It's the cheapest option, and a good chance of ending up the best performing system of all of them, even with just the stock fan.

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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: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ChipDeath on 11/27/03 08:32 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 27, 2003 6:48:26 PM

I'm working from this site: www.memoryexpress.com - because I'm in Canada, and I'd really like to not have to pay for shipping/customs/duty etc. There, 1024 MB of OCZ PC4000 EL Dual Channel runs at $479.95. 1024 MB Kingston PC3200 DDR CAS 3 is $239.90. The 3.0 800 FSB is is $399.95, and the 2.6C is $259.95. So the price goes up and unfortunately tips over my budget. But knowing that it would outperform a stock P4 3.0 might tilt my opinion in that respect. Hmm. The 2.8C is $309.95, and 1024 MB of OCZ PC3700 $419.95. 1024 MB of OCZ PC3500 is...well darn, they don't carry it. Goes from 3700 all the way down to 3200. If anyone else knows a place, perferably in Calgary AB where I can get all that for cheaper, please do let me know. Or somewhere that can ship it here from Canada for cheap. ;)  If I do overclock, should I get myself a new HSF as well, so I'm not using stock?
November 27, 2003 6:52:06 PM

Stock HSF should be easily adequate to get to 3Ghz. Lots of ppl can get 3.2 out of it.

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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:
November 27, 2003 7:21:04 PM

check out ncix.com. you know what, you're better off doing some window shopping downtown. look around, those small shops offer better prices than big companies and the plus is that they're local. =)

oh yea, try dangeo.com. and if you can find the shop... (ncix may also have an outlet in calgary)

Dangeo Computers
5515 4th Ave
Calgary, Alberta
Canada
T2A 3X9

that should get you started. alternatively, you can always do a search on google. eg) computer shops calgary. i live in BC and i found out that most computer shops worth my time to take a peek at were all located along broadway. so i'll window shop on broadway, get prices and voila, choose the cheapest. =)
November 27, 2003 7:47:07 PM

Question: How will you use your computer? If it's for gaming/personal, why do you worry about ocing and things like that now? A 2.6c will be more than adequate for a long time to come, especially with a 9800. You can always OC it when you the need arises. Chances are, by then you'll have technology much faster than todays, and it would make more sense to just buy a new mid-range system...

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November 27, 2003 9:44:27 PM

the price difference gap has been closed substantially, but Intel still seems to be a touch higher. Check pricewatch.

One thing that they are way higher in is the P4 extreme versus A64FX. about 400 bucks. But the chips mentioned above seem to have much smaller price differences. Also, the XP 3000 is about 80 bucks cheaper than the P4 3.0.

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November 27, 2003 10:17:12 PM

It would be for gaming/personal, definitely. You're right about OCing, yes, I'm mostly concerned about longevity of this system. If possible, I don't want it to go out of date for a long time. Would you suggest, then, buying a 2.6C with say PC3200 memory, then when it starts getting slow, buy some PC4000 and OC it? The only problem I have with that is that I want to be able to buy this, then not have to worry for as long as possible about upgrading any of its parts. Hence why I thought about the 3.0C and PC3200 in the very beginning. I'll take a look at those websites that were mentioned though, and see if I can get anything for cheaper.
November 28, 2003 7:43:25 AM

Just get an Amd system. Get the xp2500 and an Asus A7N8X delux board. You wont need the sound card, and will be under budget. With the video card you are getting, you wont notice any difference. While some people are spreading a rumor that the new bartons have the multiplier locked, the chips I've seen are not.
November 28, 2003 5:33:20 PM

How long are you going to keep this puter? Ram check out HyperX PC3500.
November 28, 2003 5:34:10 PM

Like Crash said Buy Abit IS7 mobo. Best bang for the buck.
!