I used to be an avid FPS/RTS fan but have since quit due to my unwillingness to continually upgrade my machine (P3 1Ghz, 512MB PC133, Ti4200). I have the opportunity to get my hand on a free P4 2.8E CPU. So I am considering spending between $350 and $450 to buy the memory and motherboard to support it and a video card to boot.
Here's the components I'm considering purchasing to mate with the P4 2.8E:
I will utilize these components from my old system:
Western Digital 100 GB SE
400 Watt PS
Promise SCSI card to run a Plexter 40x CD player (for disc to disk duping on the fly)
Lite-on IDE CD burner
Zip100 Internal IDE
My questions are:
-Is this the best use of my $400 to build a modest gaming rig?
-Assuming I won't be overclocking does it make sense to go with slightly better RAM with lower latency? Or, should I save myself $40 and go with a gig of Corsair value ram (2.5 CAS)?
-Should I modify any part of my system to account for the fact that I may want to OC sometime in the future?
-I'm betting my P3 CPU fan will not work with the P4. Any recommendations for a good CPU fan between $20 and $30?
1) Those are OK parts to use but I would save some money on the RAM and not get Corsair RAM. You could buy almost any other brand and save some cash.
2) Value RAM, but not Corsair.
3) With mild OCing the Value RAM and the mobo will be alright, but if you want to go hard then you will need to upgrade both. <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=1865" target="_new">Here</A> is a good review for that mobo, it also gives some other suggestions for alternatives if you want to OC hard.
4) I don't have any suggestions... sure wish Mozzi was still kicking around... he would be able to give you some good P4 cooling advice.
If your getting a boxed bersion of the CPU, it will come with its own fan, otherwise im no expert someone will recommand one but dont use the PII one!!!
If you plan to Oc in the future get some PC3800/PC4000, like that your ram wont be a limiting factor.
Id suggest going with Crucial Ballistix, even the PC3200 will let you overclock by a fair margin!(making my previous comment obsolete heh)
Starfishy - Thanks for such a thorough answer. You're obviously not a fan of Corsair. Newegg has a pair of Corsair value sticks rated at 2.5-3-3-6 for $80. Should I be really concerned with latency timings? And should I stick with value ram? Any brand in particular (patriot, OCZ, PQI, Rosewill)? I'm familiar with Mushkin only. I'm willing to splurge a bit for the gig of ram but probably not more than $130 for both.
Regarding the review from Anandtech, it doesn't look to be the same Mainboard I'm considering. The board I'm considering employs the 865PE chipset. Here's a link:
It's not that I don't like Corsair RAM... in fact I think it is usually very good RAM. I would even say that it is among the best, but it is not as good as its priced (for the most part). If you find a good deal then Corsair is a good brand, but a set of value Patriot sticks are just as good, and will cost less.
Not my first choice in chips'but the price is right.
Make sure it is the s478 version, not the socket T one.
Most prescotts run wat too hot. The 2.8 is the exception, so you can probably pick up a hsf that came stock with the P4c 3.2. They are available a lot of places for $10, and will be great for that chip.
You already have the Ti4200, I'd save some money and use it. I'd go with the Abit IS7 motherboard. Get a good motherboard and skip the video card, heck the full-version IS7 is only around $80-90.
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