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Audio help p4 or XP 2800+

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May 26, 2004 11:26:26 AM

My friend is looking to invest in a new computer for audio purposes. He is looking for something to mix and blend audio files.

I know that p4 is better for audiophiles and maybe if my friend had 1500bucks he could get a 3.2 p4 and a SB Audigy Plat. Pro too.
but alas....he does not.
So the price for a 2.8P4 system is considerably more then a XP 2800+ (+100bucks is considerable for a computer that should end up around 600-650)
Is the price worth it? If the 100bucks it worth it in power for this then i could advise my friend to spend a couple extra bucks. but if its like a 5-10% increase i dont think for a low cost system that would be worth it.

If there is anything you guys can recomend for this i would love the help. I am more of a video encoding/gaming person so i dont know how much RAM to recomend i would assume 512 is standard but i am recomending 1G if the total system cost is low enough so he can upgrade to that.
Thanx a lot

More about : audio 2800

May 26, 2004 1:21:38 PM

If you want to be the smartest guy on earth, :smile: you should buy a Mobile Barton 2500+ or 2600+ and overclock it like a mad cow at 2.4GHz at least! It's cheap and easy to do. You only need to know how to change BIOS settings. A Barton @ 2.4GHz will not have problem with audio stuff! If you don't want to overclock an Athlon XP 2800+ will perform like a P4C 2.4/2.6GHz it will depend on the apps being used.

Of course, 1Gig of RAM can't hurt if your friend is doing work on big audio files.

My recommendation :
CPU : Mobile Athlon XP 2500+/2600+ (Barton)
RAM : 2x512Megs of DDR400
MB : Abit NF7 (or NF7-S for SoundStorm onboard HQ audio)
HDD : Seagate 7200.7+ run silently and perform well, it might be a good choice for an audiophile.

The rest of the hardware is up to you!

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 26, 2004 1:58:30 PM

What online dealers will sell a Mobile 2500+ in a desktop? I will be able to walk my friend through the BIOS stuff because thats not too hard but i am afraid he might screw up if he has to put everything together himself. If i live closer i could do it for him and not worry too much but trying to help someone assemble a computer who is terribly hardware illiterate would be impossible and not worth the stress.
2.4GHz? is that AMD 2.4 meaning it would be like having a p4 3.0ish or would it act like a 2.4 Pentium speed.
Sorry i am not much of an overclocker so i dont know this.
Can you do the same thing with the MObile 64? or does that require more then just a BIOS change?
THANX
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May 26, 2004 2:16:15 PM

Quote:
What online dealers will sell a Mobile 2500+ in a desktop?

No one.

Quote:
i am afraid he might screw up if he has to put everything together himself.

I can't do anything about that, but it might be a good chance for him to learn how to build a PC from scratch. Today it's a lot easier than ever. Virtually no dip switch to set, all connector are different and fit in one place. Most components are now integrated into the chipset (LAN, USB, FireWire, etc...). Not much card to insert...

Quote:
2.4GHz? is that AMD 2.4 meaning it would be like having a p4 3.0ish or would it act like a 2.4 Pentium speed.

At stock speed an Athlon XP 3200+ (Barton at 2.2GHz) is nearly equal to a P4C 2.8GHz in most situation. So a Mobile Atlon XP 2500+/2600+ at 2.4GHz (Barton too) should perform like a 2.8GHz to 3.0GHz P4C.

Quote:
Sorry i am not much of an overclocker so i dont know this. Can you do the same thing with the MObile 64? or does that require more then just a BIOS change?

Theorically the Mobile Athlon 64 have the same characterics than Mobile Barton... AMD select the best CORE and mark/set them as "Mobile" CPU. Mobile CPU are normally working with a lower Vcore (less power dissipation) and they are not multiplier locked (for the Barton). I don't know about multilpier lock for the Mobile Athlon 64, since I haven't seen a Mobile 64 review or overclocking article yet on the NET.

I'm already planning my late summer PC upgrade and I will probably buy a Mobile Athlon 64 3000+ and overclock it like mad! Since mobile AMD CPU are cost not much more than desktop version, it's not a big deal. And based on Mobile Barton user experience, I expect big overclocking potential for the Mobile Athlon 64.

I plan to do some lobbying at review websites editor to test the Mobile Athlon 64 overclocking potential.

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 26, 2004 2:33:51 PM

So bascially, all Mobile chips fit into regular mobos, or only certin ones?
I would assume you need a HSF upgrade for that as well.
So like you said, a Mobile A64 3000+, with a new HSF, what mobo would be best for that? and i thought if you overclock you have to get faster RAM. Is that true? because the cost of the faster RAM and the new HSF....why not just buy a reg one?
May 26, 2004 2:51:37 PM

Quote:
all Mobile chips fit into regular mobos, or only certin ones?

All AMD Mobile CPU are fully compatible with their Desktop version. For a "motherboard point of view" the only difference it's the name and the core voltage. Mobile CPU have lower default Vcore.

Quote:
a Mobile A64 3000+, with a new HSF, what mobo would be best for that?

Any mobo with AGP/PCI lock is good for overclocking, from what I have read from many web site. The nForce3 250 based boards have the best overclocking potential if the MOBO manufacturer provides good BIOS tweak options and most do.

Quote:
and i thought if you overclock you have to get faster RAM. Is that true?

Not necessarly, if you want to run your FSB in sync with your Memory, you need high-speed ram, but you can still use conventionnal DDR400 ram and config your memory to work in async mode. For example, if your FSB is set at 250MHz and your memory can't work at this speed, you can set the Memory/FSB ratio in your BIOS at 4/5 or 80%. This will impact a bit your overall system performance, but the increase in CPU core speed will make this async issue merely perceptible in most apps.

Quote:
because the cost of the faster RAM and the new HSF....why not just buy a reg one?

You don't necessarly need faster ram and good HSF for Mobile Athlon 64 can be bougth at 30$US. For example, if I buy a 3000+ and run it at 3400+ speed, I would save about 150$US and have the same performance level. This is where overclocking is interesting. And even if I could only run the CPU at 3200+ speed. It would still be good buy. I would not have save money, but I would have a cooler CPU. But it's obvious that a Mobile Athlon 64 at 1.8GHz can at least run at 2.2GHz with moderate overclocking. A 20% increase in core speed is usually an easy target for overclockers.

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 26, 2004 3:03:21 PM

I am looking into a new computer in about a month or so.....this is for me. So bascially once i have a Mobile A64, a Nforce3 250, a HD or two, is it worth it to buy the more exspensive RAM to help my computer? can i overclock the RAM?
So i just slap those all together....at what point do i violate the waranty?
being that i haven't ever assembled a computer from begining to end before (but i have installed a vid card, sound cards, Hard drives, and optical drives) or overclocked anything i dont want to get in over my head and throw away my money.
May 26, 2004 3:42:26 PM

Quote:
I am looking into a new computer in about a month or so.....this is for me.

My upgrade time frame is August/September.

Quote:
So bascially once i have a Mobile A64, a Nforce3 250, a HD or two

To help you, here is my current wishlist :
<b>MB :</b> Chaintech VNF3-250 (because it is available now) I will probably change it to MSI or Abit nForce3 250 when they will be available.
<b>CPU :</b> Mobile Athlon 64 2800+ (by the end of summer with price drop it will probably be changed to 3000+)
<b>HSF :</b> Thermaltake Venus 12 (Thermalright SLK948U is better, but it's so huge and require a separate FAN)
<b>MEMORY :</b> 2x512Megs OCZ 3500EB (This memory overclock really well, but I'm not sure about this choice, I might get 1 stick of 1Gig to help overclocking, it's easier to overclock 1 stick than 2 stick of ram and since mobile athlon are single channel, there is no advantage to run 2x512 over 1x1024)

I will use my current Case/PSU, since I have a good quality 350 Watts power supply.

Quote:
is it worth it to buy the more exspensive RAM to help my computer? can i overclock the RAM?

You don't need the pricier DDR sticks to overclock, usual DDR400 RAM can often overclock well. And I mentionned earlier that since Mobile Athlon 64 are single channel CPU, it's easier on the ram overclocking (if you use onle 1 stick). And don't forget that can still change your memory/fsb ratio in the BIOS. So, if you reach your RAM limit, you can change this ratio and push your CPU higher without worring about your memory stability. Check <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/memory/index.html" target="_new">www.anandtech.com memory section</A> they have a lot of good memory reviews and overclocking articles.

Quote:
So i just slap those all together....at what point do i violate the waranty?

there is no waranty problem if you don't phisically change or damage parts. If you do not try Volt moding on your MB or messing with CPU bridges al the waranty will be applicable. The Mobile Athlon 64 have probably a 1 year waranty like all OEM CPU's.

Quote:
being that i haven't ever assembled a computer from begining to end before (but i have installed a vid card, sound cards, Hard drives, and optical drives) or overclocked anything

It's not that hard. If you already have changed cards/HDD it will not be too cunfusing for you. Because you already know how a computer looks inside. Once your MB will be fixed in your CASE and they CPU/HSF will be fixed on the socket you will be in a known environnement.

And today's overclocking only involve BIOS setting changes and sometime (if you mess too much) you may have to reset the BIOS, but it's something that can happen to anyone who tries to find his MB/FSB/CPU/RAM limits.

Quote:
i dont want to get in over my head and throw away my money.

If you throw your money, I will too! Since I plan to move on by the end of the summer! :smile:


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What's the <b><font color=green>AMD Mobile Athlon 64</font color=green></b> overclocking potential? <b>It's huge!</b>
May 26, 2004 4:19:56 PM

So what price are you shooting for for the MB, CPU, RAM, HSF?
Newegg?
you have been exceptionally helpful.
THanx
May 26, 2004 5:08:56 PM

Yes, all from Newegg... The total for CPU/MB/HSF/MEMORY I mentionned on my previosu post was 625$US on May 21, 2004.

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What's the <b><font color=green>AMD Mobile Athlon 64</font color=green></b> overclocking potential? <b>It's huge!</b>
May 26, 2004 7:51:14 PM

It could be interesting to know what computer he is using now, and "how slow" it is. I mean, its possible a 1 GHz Celeron would be plenty fast, "mixing audio" doesnt sound like such a terribly cpu intensive application to me (but then, its absolutely not my field of expertise).

I would also not recommend an overclocked setup to someone who has not even experience building one, especially not if you are going to recommend it to him (you know who he will blame when he screws up). Pass the suggestion onto him if you like, but think twice about backing it. There are no guarantees of success, it voids warranty (well, in theory), it can cause permanenent damage to components (cpu, motherboard,..), it can cause instability (actually it will cause instability if you push it too far, and/or don't know how to properly test). I know this sounds like a standard disclaimer, but its true nevertheless :) 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
May 27, 2004 4:43:34 AM

Well i would never recomend the overclocked to my friend, its too much of a hassle to walk him through when i only see him about once a week. He has like a 900MHz P3 i think. but i am not sure on that. 2 Dimms of 128RAM and other pitiful things.

I dont know what exactly he wants to do with it because i am not a muscial engeneer and he was throwing out program names that ment nothing to me. I would assume if he is mixing audio tracks and creating and editing music that a XP 2500+, with 512 RAM, and a nice sound card would do the trick.

The overclocking one is for me. i have done everything but actually put the CPU on the mobo when it comes to assembling a new computer. I am curious about overclocking the Mobile A64, but i may not feel comfortable with it and i would opt for the safer route. Its something i am looking into and considering.
Thnax
!