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Help With Decisions on a new Build

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November 6, 2004 8:44:52 PM

Hi,

Im looking into building a new computer. It has been several years since i last did one and i was looking at all the new cpu's and mobo's and was getting rather confused. Im looking for a top of the line pentium build that would perform great in video and photo editing as well as gaming all help would be appreicated.

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a b à CPUs
November 6, 2004 9:34:25 PM

You're best off with 1 year old stuff. Boards haven't gotten better, and the latest CPU's barely outperform last year's best, while costing 2-4x as much.

I'd go with an Abit IS7 (the old version), which comes with Intel's ICH5R SATA/RAID controller, firewire, and a nice layout. The board cost around $90.

I'd add to that a P4 3.0C, with the Northwood core and 512k cache, because it's a bit more efficient and produces less heat than the newer 3.0E/1MB cache processor.

1024MB RAM would be usefull, if you want more, I'd limit myself to 1.5GB or less due to performance issues addressing 2GB or more on 32-bit processors.

You have to balance size with performance looking at storage, I'd choose a Seagate 7200.7 160GB SATA drive, or possibly two, depending on how much storage you need. I'd make the C: partition around 40GB and store large files on a second partition.

Video cards are a matter of budget. A 9800 Pro 256-bit 128MB would cost you between 175 and 200 dollars and give you a lot of power. But the latest cards are twice as powerfull, for twice the money. Do you need twice the power? No, but if you plan to have a system that still seems fast in the latest games 2 years from now, and have the extra money to spend, a 6800GT would do well (as would an X800XT).

You'll want to consider a good case as well. I don't know how much flash you're into, but generally speaking flashy trashy cases cost as much as midrange conservative cases. If you look at Tom's latest case comparison you'll see for example that the Foxconn appears to be a well built case with a cheap trashy face panel. The original version of the Chenbro X-Spider would probably be a good choice if you dislike doors as much as me, or if you like those cumbersome drive doors the classic Chieftec Dragon (also sold as the Antec 1080) is solid too.

For power I'd go with at least the equivalent of Antec's True Power 380W. If you buy an Antec case and get that power supply, fine, otherwise the Fortron Source FSP350 (also sold under Sparkle Power brand, and Aopen models with the FSP model number) is a great choice. The FSP350 is around $40 with fan control knob (which should be turned up around 1/2 way to prevent thermal override noise) and outputs more than the True Power 380.

That leaves you a modem (if you need one), soundcard (which you don't with that board), speakers, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and printer to choose.

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
November 6, 2004 11:04:09 PM

why old stuff when u can have new stuff for about the same price and have an upgrade path at least...

MSI K8N NEO2 Platinum
AMD A64 3500+ @ 10x250
Corsair TwinX 2x512 mb PC4000 v3.3
120 maxtor SATA
Sapphire Radeon 9800pro 128mb
Watercooled by Innovatek
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a b à CPUs
November 6, 2004 11:25:34 PM

The faster processors cost more. Prescotts produce more heat. Socket 775 is prescott-only. Any way you look at it, newer is worse except for clock speed. And clock speed cost more.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
November 7, 2004 12:49:11 AM

Hey Crashman, I wondering about multimedia performance amongst processors. I realize <b>right now</b> Pentium holds a reasonable lead on AMD...but with Window 64 and other 64bit apps just around the corner, do you think the performance advantage might swap.
If so, building a system based on socket 939 would provide a much better upgrade path, especially with dual core just around the corner. And with a quick dual core uprgade in a year or so, this system would certainly have better multimedia performance. As a bonus, this setup would be far superior with games in the time being.
If he goes the route your suggesting, true he would have slightly better multimedia performance now, but he would have <b>no</b> upgrade path to either 64bit <b>or</b> dual core (because of socket 478) without a full mobo/RAM/graphics/CPU uprgade later.
a b à CPUs
November 7, 2004 1:14:29 AM

I can't think of any good reasons NOT to go A64 S939 right now. But of course his request was P4 specific. If he's really stuck on P4, I'd go with the Northwood, which is the better solution for today, and worry about my limitted upgrade path in a couple years. Heck, Intel might be requiring new sockets by then anyway.

Since PCIe chipsets are just now reaching the market for the A64, if I were seriously concerned about my upgrade path, I'd be checking news sites daily for additional information on these new boards.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
November 7, 2004 1:37:55 AM

My mistake Crashman, you win again (you still didn't answer my question on multimedia performance with 64 bit, I'll start a new post)....but Dave, at least consider AMD, Intel's going nowhere in the next year or so.

BTW, do you have a GT40 or do you just <b>want</b> to have one?
November 7, 2004 2:45:56 AM

i wish i had one hehehe

anways looks after a little more investigating im probaly going to switch to amd the 64 sounds good.
!