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Need a little advice on new rig

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February 3, 2004 6:06:27 PM

Hi all, im new to these boards, posting at least. Been checking these boards planning my new computer for a little while now and Ive come up with 2 different systems im interested in, would like to know which is better for me. For the most part, it will be used for gaming, no professional 3d modeling or anything. Also, probably no compression aside from winRAR and the such. As for overclocking, I will probably overclock a little bit but I don't plan on changing core voltages so ill probably OC near the top of the default voltages. Im leaning towards the A64(both systems are almost the same, only CPU and mobo are different) system since most of the reviews I've seen have it in the lead but ive heard that p4 is better for OCing? Also I have a few questions about my system specifics, ill put them at the end. If you wanna suggest something new for my systems go ahead, but im at my budget price already so don't think I can go any higher. The prices I list are from newegg btw.

System 1(A64 based)
Athlon 64 3200+ - $282.00
MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R - $128.00

System 2(P4 based)
Intel Pentium 4 3.2C - $283.00
Asus P4P800 Deluxe - $128.00

Other components(for both systems)
Antec Sonata w/380W PSU: $97.00 + $15.00 s+h
1 GB(512x2) Kingston Hyperx PC3700 - $226.00
Western Digital SATA HD 160 GB - $127.00
Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB - $224.00
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS - $89.00
Windows XP Home OEM - $91.00

Total for either system is ~$1280

Couple of questions now:
1) Will the RAM I selected work with the AMD system even tho the AMD system doesnt support dual channel(correct?). I noticed it would still be cheaper to go with the dual kits if this is the case.

2) Is there something bad about the video card I selected that is causing it to be so cheap in comparison with the other 9800pro cards?

3) If I should get the system based on the P4, should I get Northwood "C" or Prescott? Ive heard that Prescott scales better so if Id overclock it, would it be better than a similarly OCed northwood?

Thanks, any advice is much appreciated.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by arussell on 02/03/04 03:10 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : advice rig

February 3, 2004 8:33:14 PM

The AMD seems to be faster in most cases for gaming, so it is a good gaming chip, but the P4 wil beat it in most other applications. I like the AMD though.

Dual Channel RAM works just fine with that chip. The chip however will not take advantage of both channels. Only the FX does. I'm no OC'er..so no idea if 3700 RAM will work, since most boards are set to 3200 at the max.

Sapphire makes very good Vid Cards...as I understand it, they are cheaper since the bundled software suite isn't as robust as though found on Hercules and Asus cards.

No idea about the Prescott. I guess I would just read all the flames about it on this board and make a choice from there.


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by carnivore on 02/03/04 05:34 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 3, 2004 8:54:15 PM

single sata drives don't run as well as ide drives on the amd64 boards,may I suggest #2 Seagate 200GB / 7200 / 8MB / 8.5 / ATA-100 EIDE Hard Drive
$99.99*
http://www.tigerdirect.com/email/wem633.asp?SRCCODE=WEM...

This is a very high grade udma100 HD with a three year warranty(if retail anyway) and 8mb cache.It sells for 166 at newegg and goes for around $180-190 elsewhere;bt hurry up the sale ends on the 6th(friday).
Related resources
February 3, 2004 9:00:30 PM

Even the Athlon64 3000+ is faster then a P4 3.2GHz
And its future ready !

Advice : dont read reviews on this site, Tom gets a lot of money from Intel and if you read the review here you will think P4 is faster then A64.


THG : The last 5-6 reviews have allways either had skewed results, or just somehow strangely come to a completly diferant conclusion then all of the other sites around.
February 3, 2004 9:04:01 PM

Thx for the replies so far. Um, about the RAM, I thought that the mobo automatically scales back the RAM if it is clocked above the FSB of the processor? I just wanted faster ram to make sure im still in sync when I OC. Anyone else want to comment because im not sure myself, first time building a new PC, iv'e taken my current one apart and put it back together but never built a new one.

And has anyone else heard that single SATA drives dont work as well with A64 systems? Anyone know where I could read about that, because if its true I might take Snaggle's advice or maybe get a different IDE WD HD(I like the 3 yr warranties of WD, you need to buy a longer warranty for that seagate)

EDIT: Ya coop, I heard that about THG on these boards hehe but I generally try to check as many different reviews and resources as possible and it was pretty obvious from the other reviews that the A64s are faster, the only reason im considering the P4s are because I am much more comfortable with them since never worked with any other CPUs and a lot of people say they are higher quality.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by arussell on 02/03/04 06:06 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 3, 2004 9:52:47 PM

>and a lot of people say they are higher quality

what is that mean ? how you measure quality ? I use a P4 now, and I am very happy with it, but do not know what "quality" it has except speed, heat and price. My monitor, there I can explain quality, my printers also, even my keyboard.. but cpu ? I would buy AMD for gaming. My next computer is also likely a AMD64 unless intel brings out 64 bit cpu compateble with my mainboard.
February 3, 2004 9:57:48 PM

Ya id like to know too Venom, like I said, thats what I've heard but its prolly fans of intel saying that. I guess what they might mean is better reliability or consistency?
February 3, 2004 10:02:27 PM

Quote:
Ya id like to know too Venom, like I said, thats what I've heard but its prolly fans of intel saying that. I guess what they might mean is better reliability or consistency?


Its fanboy bullshit. Intel cpu's are not more reliable than AMD, Via or any other. Not less "concistant" either. in old days, AMD had no overheat protection, but they have now. price, performance, is what matters, not how nice it looks.
February 3, 2004 10:07:18 PM

What I think they we're adressing is the high failure rate of the old T-bird (think was the name back then...I'm old and teh mind gets fuzzy). Anyhow..back in the 1-1.3 gig era the "High End" AMD chips had an extremely high failure rate..somewhere around 6%. This is teh reason Dell and Gateway dropped them. Dell and Gateay may bnot be the best companies in town, but they do not carry products that exceed 1% failure rate. Well that is what they publich anyhow. BUt that was quite along time ago, aned I haven't heard to many complaints since teh Athlon series of chips came out.

And yes my typing sucks, but I'm to lazy to fix it.
February 4, 2004 12:25:25 AM

Anyone else want to give me advice? Im still looking for an answer to whether someone can confirm/post link to a site/forum that says A64s have problems with single SATA drives.
February 4, 2004 12:49:50 AM

I can tell you that I'm having no problems with my single SATA Drive in my Asus K8V Deluxe. I'm not sure about sheer performance as I do not do many benchmarks but all my games run great.
February 4, 2004 4:09:14 AM

<b>single sata drives don't run as well as ide drives on the amd64 boards</b>

wth you are talking about? where did u find this crappy info?

wish if there was UnDo in the life
February 4, 2004 5:25:55 AM

hi arussell

nice comb of hardware, i recommend you go with AMD64 as it is better in gaming and general use than Intel, in addition to the review done by THG for latest AMD and Intel cpus, <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1956&p=15" target="_new">check this review</A> <A HREF="http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=60000317" target="_new">and this one</A>

Personally i am not into overclocking at all, and therefore i wont suggest you overclock your AMD system (Intel NW overclocks better) as you wont get any noticable increases in your system performance with the current AMD64 cpu without increasing the voltages, and by the way many users are killing their cpus when used with nvidia3 150 bases board when they are increasing the voltages of their dimms.
for the ram, there is no need to buy pc3700, instead buy pc3200 with good timings 2-3-2-6 or 2-3-3-6 (corsair, mushkin, kingston) which will be fair enough to your system. the ram you chose is slow (timings 3-4-4-8) and it is not recommended for overclocking, and the extra bandwidth wont give any benefit.

if you can wait until Feb. 15, then there is a price drop for AMD cpus, <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.html?i=1958&p=2" target="_new">here is the link</A> so u can save some bucks and invest it in another hardware.

regarding the hard drive, i suggest you check the database of <A HREF="http://www.storagereview.com" target="_new">storage review</A> and their forum to get a better idea and advice about reliable and good SATA drive for gaming.
if i was you, i will buy raptor wd360 for system and prog files and another sata120gb for storage, and dump the audigy sound card, the onboard sound of the msi board is good one (i am not sure how many users will agree with me about this)

the video card looks very good but have no idea why it is cheaper than other brands, maybe this is bulk and includes no bundled games.

note: if you will buy the msi board for the AMD64, then get <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">mushkin level I</A> ram (some people (even THG) having problems with corsair and msi boards)

wish if there was UnDo in the life
February 4, 2004 11:16:31 AM

Ya I was wondering about the ram, I knew it had slow timings but at least the price was good :) , but I think your right, I think ill just drop it down to pc3200 and get good timings and maybe save some money. As for the price drop, im always looking to save a few bucks(how much do you think it will drop? Probably to intel 3.0 level?) but Feb 15th is so long away it seems lol, I waited till now to see the reviews of Prescott but that seemed to be not so impressive, dunno if I can wait any longer since the PSU fan on this 1(current system is a 800 mhz w/384 RAM, about 3.5 years old) is practically dead(makes loud noise and doesnt work all the time lol) and so the PSU overheats quite a bit. About the harddrive, I really do want a raptor, but I need more space than just 1 provides and I cant afford 2 HDs or the ~70GB version, I was thinking I could simply buy a ~70GB version when I have the money and put it into raid 0 with the one I plan on buying now. As for the sound card, could anyone attest to the quality of the onboard sound in games? Especially the EAX capabilities? Because I really wanted a sound card that was very good at environmental surround and the such.

Well anyhow, great post blue_heart, thanks a lot.
February 4, 2004 5:39:33 PM

i think waiting for another 10 days is not that big time although it is hard loool, but if you could save about $30 out of the cpu and $20 out of the ram and add about $70 on them (even without dumping the audigy) you can get the raptor wd360 (note that the wd740 versions is double the price of the wd360) beside the 120gb drive, thus you will have a very fast drive and good storage capacity out of the other drive.
i do not recommend you go raid, if i am not mistaken in raid you need some capacity drive and same model and raid 0 is very critical solution, however when u have new and very fast system you are not willing to fall into trouble every few weeks.

enjoy your new computer and before it gets old ebay it and buy a new one

wish if there was UnDo in the life
February 4, 2004 6:10:55 PM

Well, the reason I lean more towards the wd740 raptor is because it is much quieter(fluid ball bearings or whatever) and even has better performance but I like ur suggestions. If I do get rid of the audigy, which im not positive I will yet, I posted something on the mobo forum to see what peeps thought of the quality of on-board, ill prolly either do what your suggesting, or go right for the wd740.

Another question if you could blue_heart, would you go for the mushkin pc3200 2-3-2-6($203) or the mushkin pc3500 2-3-3-6($201) in case I do OC?

Thanks for the advice so far, been great.
February 4, 2004 7:25:43 PM

i will choose the pc3500 2-3-3-6
but i prefer you ask people who are overclocker about this info as they could be more halpful than me in this regard

wish if there was UnDo in the life
Anonymous
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February 4, 2004 9:00:51 PM

Just a silly comment on the Audigy thing.. why not get the motherboard first, try out it onboard audio, and if you don't like, you can still uy that audigy afterwards ? Onboard audio has come a long way; though it may not be high end B&O HiFi quality yet, you'll need an *excellent* speaker setup to hear any difference.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 4, 2004 9:48:11 PM

I was looking at that same (A64) rig. Iv done some research on the Sapphire 9800pro. In most reports it stood up quite well agianst the ATI 9800pro, and you cant beat the price.I had been looking at getting a "Barton" 2500 rig but after looking around Im thinking a A64 rig would be better( for a few $$ more ).
February 4, 2004 9:53:12 PM

You might read the the thread below. Dont Buy AMD chips. Its says that AMD will be cutting their prices Feb. 15th, I think Ill wait a week or so.
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