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AMD vs P4 system

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February 11, 2004 1:18:22 AM

(newbie, 1st system build, so be gentle) I was ready to build a P4 2.8 system using the Abit Is7 Mobo, 1 gig DDR400 (dual 512)RAM, and ATI 9800 Pro graphics card and Hitachi SATA 80 gig HD, but after having read a lot of comments from this forum, I'm now wondering if I shouldn't be considering an AMD system. The new system would be used for photo work (100+ MB files through PhotoShop) and also some video mpeg2, DVD burning. I'm NOT a gamer, but the PS work and video will obviously require a lot of 'muscle'. I need to keep my costs down as much as possible. I do NOT plan to do any over-clocking, and stability is high priority. I have all ther peripherals (keyboard, burners, monitor) already. Any suggestions? Guidance? TIA

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February 11, 2004 2:15:09 AM

2.8C is priced fairly, I doubt you're going to save huge money building an equivalent system. In fact, there is no equivalent system, the XP3200+ is a little slower, the A64 doesn't have a good selection of motherboards yet.

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February 11, 2004 3:15:37 AM

Make sure it's a P4c, the P4e and P4b bothe suck. Do not buy the P4b or the P4e, they suck. The IBM/ hitachi drives are not great imho and the Radeon 9800 pro is way beyond your needs. A 9600XT is even more than you need, so get a 9600 pro.
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February 11, 2004 4:05:15 AM

Can you wait a few months ?
late april AMD will bring the 939 socket out, this will have great upgrade future.
If i was you i would go for Athlon64, its faster then P4 and cheaper, and you can upgrade it with Windows XP 64 bit, so your PhotoShop work will go much faster.
With a P4 you are stuck with 32 bit, and it runs hot as hell...



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 11, 2004 5:45:33 AM

Hi

Your system sounds super. I think the P4 2.8 chip is ok, don't need to switch to AMD. But I heard AMD is switching to a new chip soon - you may want to wait a few months.

Frankly I think your setup is kind of overkill for basic photo and video work. But extra speed and power is always nice :) 


Gary Hendricks
<A HREF="http://www.digital-music-guide.com" target="_new">www.digital-music-guide.com&lt;/A>
February 11, 2004 10:15:51 AM

My OCed P4 (2.8c) is running 29C idle & 31.5C under load. Air-cooled BTW.
BTW my AMD 2400 runs 33C idle & 36.5 under load.
February 11, 2004 10:22:50 AM

Those temperature can be argued, there are to many varibles that will affect them. Such as quality HSF, airflow in your tower. The climate you live in, room temperature. Generally yes P4's run alittle cooler but just giving temp's don't mean much without the other important data.
February 11, 2004 10:57:19 PM

I think a huge limiting factor in this setup would not be your chip and RAM, but your hard drive. 80 gig sounds a tad small and performance may impact you (especially on the mpeg2 rendering). I would do 2 120 gig drives (or 2x80 I guess if you really don't want to bump up cost outlandishly -- i still worry about the space...80 gigs goes fast with video, as I'm sure you're aware) and RAID them with data striping (RAID 0). My buddy's running a 2.6 with two 160's to do Premiere work and using RAID vs non made a huge impact in render time. If you're dealing more with the photoshop files, i guess the RAM is more of the concern. But if you're spending a lot of time in compression or rendering, I would go with RAID'ed drives.

I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
February 12, 2004 12:26:50 AM

I realize there are many things that affect temps. But saying P4s *run hot as hell* is simply wrong. I don't recall the original post comparing the Scottie (which does run hot).
BTW both my AMD & P4 systems use the same case type. Both are cooled w/ high quality HSFs. The AMD has a Thermalright SLK900A. The P4 has a Zalman CNPS7000A Cu. The Thermalright supposedly is the better HSF but the Zalman outperforms it on the P4. I suppose I could switch them & see the differences but it isn't worth the effort.
February 12, 2004 8:03:30 AM

I don't believe any of those temps. Really, I don't, unless you live in a freezer and call playing solitaire "under load".

There is just no way you'd only get a 2.5°C difference running some cpu intensive stuff, and there is no way you could dissapate around 80W with a 31.5°C die without watercooling or vaporchange or near artic room temperatures. When i run BurnK7, my 2500+ shoots up almost 5°C within a second (literally), and will increase my temps with 15°C minimum over time. That is with a huge MF Swiftech cooler.

Those temps could only be your motherboard temps, or they are way off.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 12, 2004 11:27:16 AM

Not necessarily.

My older AMD Thunderbird 900 idled at 36, full load (unreal II) at 53. The system sat on a desk with the side panel off.

Since my son started using the PC full time, I added an 80mm fan to the side panel (blowing onto the stock HSF), keep the case closed, and relocated the PC to the floor. It now idles at 32, maxes out at 36. Never goes higher.

Now, this PC is in my basement, which is finished with heat and AC. However, it is always cooler in my basement, and cooler yet as you get closer to the floor (which is carpeted).

My Celeron 450 runs at 36 degrees. Period. Idle or full load. Of course, it is not in the same heat producing league as the Athlon or P4's.

Depending on the environment and airflow, it is possible.

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February 12, 2004 12:31:09 PM

I consider idle 3 apps open (IE, Outlook & a newsreader.) Under load is Command & Concquer Generals: Zero Hour. This "stresses" my system even more than Halo for some reason.
Presently (w/ the 3 apps open) my CPU temp is 26.5-26C. System temp is 28C. Readings are from HardwareDoctor & are consistent w/ the BIOS readings. Digital Doc (when it was installed) showed similar readings. My case is a Lian-Li PC-61 w/ a top blowhole (120mm Delta fan) & side window w/ 2 fans. Rounded cables. PSU is an Antec 550w TruePower. PSU wiring is sheathed. CPU HSF is a Zalman CNPS7000A Cu @ highest setting (presently spinning @ 2445 rpms). The system is set up on a desktop w/ somewhat restricted airflow (monitor 3" from side window & 1" from side of hutch). I live in the Adirondacks in upstate NY (near Lake Placid) so the furnace runs constantly w/ thermostat set at 70F daytime & 60F nighttime. The video card is an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro w/ stock cooling. All methods I've used to measure temps have given results pretty much in the same range. I checked it often because I wanted to know how efficient the Zalman was going to be. If the readings are incorrect then every way I've measured has shown the same error. The 2.8C is OCed slightly . The mobo is a DFI LanParty 875B Pro. The system was assembled just before Christmas & has been the best of 17 I've built.
The AMD 2400 system is exactly the same except for the mobo & HSF. It has better airflow because it's located on my daughter's desk & is in the open.
February 12, 2004 12:43:52 PM

Try running BurnK7 on the athlon system. download it here:
<A HREF="http://users.ev1.net/~redelm/cpuburn4.zip" target="_new">http://users.ev1.net/~redelm/cpuburn4.zip&lt;/A>
Open taskmanager, assign it 'above average' priority; your system will crawl to a halt, but let it run for a few minutes at least. Now tell me what you get. If its <32°c, I'm not getting it.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 12, 2004 1:50:22 PM

I'll run the BurnK7 later. No internet connectivity on the AMD.
Your posts got me thinking about the under load aspect. I tried Neverwinter instead of ZeroHour & the P4 jumped to 38C. Perhaps the C&C wasn't as stressful as I thought. I also enabled mbm5 & the readings were still the same.
February 12, 2004 3:12:00 PM

9800Pro is way too powerful for your current need.
get fx5900 or radeon 9600pro.
P4c 2.8Ghz is good value for the price.
1gig ddr pc3200 suits your need.
get two hdd minimum 120gb each (i prefer WD or Maxtor and 8mb cache versions) run raid (0 for good speed, 1 for added security).

A fine day!
!