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System building question

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July 26, 2004 4:14:13 PM

I have yet another system building question.

I am going to be building a system for my girlfriend.
This is not the first system that I've built, but the first one that won't be built cannabalized (sp?) from old systems.

She will most likely be using it for internet/desktop work, light gaming, some light to medium audio applications, watching DVDs, etc... No heavy gaming, audio/video encoding, compiling, CAD...

I think that I want to go with an AMD system, but am having trouble deciding which route to go. Price is an issue, but by the same token, I don't want to have to upgrade for some time (read: years to come).

Here are the two routes I've come up with so far:
Athlon XP 2500+
Abit NF7-S
1GB RAM (need help here too)
W.D. SATA 120 gig drive (7200 RPM, 8MB cache)
Gigabyte ATA Raedon 9600 Pro

The other system I was thinking about just switched out the CPU and Mobo (and RAM too, i guess)

Athlon 64 2800+
MSI K8N Neo Platinum
1GB RAM (need help here too)
W.D. SATA 120 gig drive (7200 RPM, 8MB cache)
Gigabyte ATA Raedon 9600 Pro

So, given the usage it will recieve, price, and length of time needed until and upgrade will be needed, which way should I go? Or am I missing a better option altogether?

I'd appreciate reccomendations as far as cases, power supplies, and optical drives too.

And what RAM should I use for each system? 1x1Gb? 2x512Mb? Clock speed? Cas timings? Brand?

Ps. There will NOT be any overclocking done on this PC.
July 26, 2004 7:38:07 PM

Quote:
So, given the usage it will recieve, price, and length of time needed until and upgrade will be needed, which way should I go? Or am I missing a better option altogether?

If you overclock the XP2500+ to XP3200+ speed you would get quite an interesting "budget PC". But, the problem is that if you get an Athlon XP based system, you will be limited in CPU upgrade. But you get the best price/performance ratio.

If you wantto keep the machine for a while, the AMD64 is a better choice. This system will cost you more, but you will be able to upgrade it to 3700+ in the future. Which is not a bad at all for Internet, light gaming...

So, if longevity is more important than budget, get the A64 for the extra money. You HDD and GPU is great. You consider the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7+ 120Gig (ST3120026A) if you want a very low noise HDD. I have one, and it runs silently. You need to check the HDD led to hear it scratching/spinning.

for your RAM question, here is simple and clear answer. Since you don't plan to do extreme overclocking, gaming, etc... Get brand name DDR400 modules (no need for super low latency, timing or high-end manufacturer). If you get the A64 system, you can go eith 1x1Gig since it does not support dual-channel, if you get the Athlon XP, get 2x512Megs for DUAL-CHANNEL operation.

--
Asus A7N8X / <font color=green><b>AMD Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> (tbred @ 167x12)
Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
<font color=red>Built by ATI Radeon 8500LE 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290
July 26, 2004 9:05:54 PM

to paraphraze Andy Warhol:" give people little presents, so they will remember many". My vote goes for the AXP :D 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
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July 27, 2004 2:00:32 AM

Quote:
to paraphraze Andy Warhol:" give people little presents, so they will remember many". My vote goes for the AXP

I really like this little phrase. ANd you are right that an Athlon XP will be more than enough for what she will do with the PC. Even a Duron would be good!

--
Asus A7N8X / <font color=green><b>AMD Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> (tbred @ 167x12)
Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
<font color=red>Built by ATI Radeon 8500LE 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290
July 27, 2004 3:48:17 AM

If budget is an issue why would you buy a GB of RAM? what would she be doing that would use more then 512MB? and if you are looking for the future when the demand for 1GB might be there, couldn't you just buy another stick then? It would be about 50% cheeper in the future.
internet, listening to MP3/ACC, watching DVD's should all be fine with 512MB of RAM.
The money you save with getting less RAM would, more or less, cover the cost to upgrade from an XP 2500+ to a A64 2800+
If i am wrong i'm sure there will be people yelling at me.
Just my thoughts.
July 27, 2004 3:56:07 AM

I'm going to take the "sissy approach". Buy a Chaintech VNF3-250 MB and an A64-3000. Buy one stick of ram right now and make sure you can get a second down the road. You won't be sorry! :smile:

Abit IS7 - 2.8C @ 3.4 - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
Sony DRU-510A - THAT'S MORE LIKE IT!
July 27, 2004 4:32:58 AM

HEY NOW! why is that the "sissy approach"?? I have a VNF3-250 and a A64 2800+ and one stick of 512 RAM. I was on a budget and this fit in nicely and i can get the 2nd stick of RAM when i get my next paycheck or two.
i figure a 2800 is alright for now and that i have a mini-upgrade with the 3700+ in a while and then when that isn't cutting it for me i will have to do a major overhaul but expect the major overhual to be about 4-5yrs.
July 28, 2004 2:15:29 PM

Thanks for the advice!

Here is what I think I'll do:

Athlon 64 2800+
MSI K8N Neo Platinum
1x512Mb DDR400 RAM
Gigabyte ATI Raedon 9600 pro GPU
Western Digital 120gig SATA 7200RPM 8Mb Cache Hard-Drive
LiteOn DVD
LiteOn CD/RW
July 28, 2004 10:05:35 PM

Good man. For the RAM just make sure it's a name brand. I think Mushkin and Corsair both have good prices on newegg right now. Other than that, shoul be fine as long as your GF doesn't turn into a Doom ]|[ fanatic.

"It's too late now anyway. That song is stuck in my head and the only way to get rid of it is to blow it out. With a bullet!! - Carl
July 31, 2004 12:24:00 AM

I just read in another thread that the socket 754 is not really a good choice, and that one should wait for the socket 939 to go down in price before investing. Is this true and/or relevant? Time is not a huge issue.
July 31, 2004 2:36:44 AM

Socket 939 is the future of the A64. But they are more exspensive and for what you want, unneeded.
If you get the 754, you will only be able to upgrade to a MAX of 3700+. But thats really no limitation for your girlfriend. By the time somene who primarily surfs the web, listens to music and watches DVD's needs something higher then a 3700+....there will be something out above socket 939. Probably with PCI-E and DDR2. So i would say the setup you had before is great.

And about the RAM, i have that exact setup and i have Kingston RAM. but like mentioned above....def get brand name. It may be a couple bucks extra but it makes all the difference.

just my two cents.
!