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Post your hardware recommendation here please!!!

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 14, 2001 2:26:56 PM

have:
Abit 440LX
PII233 oc'd to 266 (for 4 years, but presently at 233 because I'm not sure why my system is shutting down)
128mb pc100, 128 pc133 (generic)
6.4gb Maxtor
TNT2 32mb
ActionTec call waiting modem
SVEC 10/100 NIC
SB Live value
Sony 17"
~IN-WIN IW-S500P (it's 4 years old)
I need to make my system faster (so I can at least play Civ3!). I'm sort of an enthusiast, but I'm very cheap. Thing is, I'm not going to be doing very heavy stuff and I mostly like games like Civ, not Quake III.

I've considered getting a solid new platform such as:
Epox 8KHA+
Micron 2100 DDR
40gb DiamondMax Plus D740X

so I have good reliability and a decent upgrade path.

What about the:
FIC AZ11EA
for a little less money. Does it use DDR or SDRAM, I'm not sure?

Then a:
Duron 1000 or maybe even 900 to save a few bucks.

I also need a new case because:
1. I never liked the design/quality of mine
2. I'm having problems with my power supply not (I think it's really cheap)
3. It's really loud (seriously)
4. I doubt it's AMD approved for the new faster cpus.

What kind of case would you recommend? I want a mini-medium tower (I want something fairly mobile and I'm not going to shove much crap in). Sharky extreme recommends IN-WIN IW-S508, but I'm hesitant to get another IN-WIN. Is this a decent quality IN-WIN or should I go with something else? It seems compact and the price is reasonable.

However, this setup of components will run me roughly $400 and I didn't want to spend that much. Is it reasonable to go sub $300? Note: I don't really have time to play games when I'm at school. Just need something to type papers (no longer good excuse because I'm taking all hard-science classes next semester) on and my system isn't stable I think cause of the power supply (sometimes the thing shuts down, it's 4 years old so..). In fact, I won't have a land phone line anymore after this semester (went with Sprint) so I can't even play online chess! Will the cell phone give me cancer?

Can you recommend a decent -quiet- cpu fan? I'm not going to oc probably.

I look forward to reading your suggestions on motherboards, cpus and cases. Thanks for your time.

P.S. should I just not buy a computer and skip this rev of Civ? Well I think I also need a computer for an anatomy cd-rom (one of the classes I'm taking next semester) and the Kaplan MCAT review.

More about : post hardware recommendation

December 14, 2001 3:12:37 PM

gigabyte 7DXR+ is a nice board along with abit KG7
Duron 900
256MB DDR2100
Seagate barracuda IV Or IBM 60GXP or a maxtor drive
Antec SX1040b case. The easiest case i've ever put together. Don't like the server look? look into enlight cases those are good too and inexpensive. Half the cost :) 

pioneer DVD 16X
abit geforce2 t400

most of the stuff you have can be reused... but check www.mwave.com they sell bundles pretty cheap and then can test and assemble them for you for 9 bucks.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
December 14, 2001 4:01:48 PM

Go with the Epox, most people here have done well with them.

As for the Duron, I haven't seen a compairison between a 1 GHZ Duron and 1 GHZ Athlon, however, the Athlon runs at 266 (Make sure you get that one if you get an athlon, not the 200), and has a larger cache, so you might see some performance difference, but probably not enough to cause problems running games if you have a decient Vid-card, so the Duron for about $15 cheeper at the same speed isn't too bad.

The memory is good, especialy because it will allow you to either overclock easily, or it will let you upgrade to a faster CPU (266 FSB) later without needing new RAM. With little to no price difference, there is no reason to ever get PC1600 ram.

Most of the 7200 RPM 40 GB HDs are about the same in price and performance, so go with a brand you trust.

As for a video card upgrade, I'd recomend either a Geforce 3 Ti200, or the Radeon 8500 OEM/LE. Both are high end cards, for just under $200. This depends on which side of the ATI vs Geforce arguement you are on. Remember, the OEM/LE radeon 8500 is clocked 10% slower than the Retail 8500, but it only performs less than 5% slower in my experience, and that's still around the Ti200 level.

If you want to go a bit lower, the Radeon 7500 or the Geforce 2 Ti might be good for you, but they aren't that much cheeper, and for the extra $50-75, you could get a card that could last you for several years in the Ti200 or 8500.

I've heard that the Volcano 7 is a good HS, I know from personal experience that the Volcano 6Cu (not CU+) is good. Also, you could just buy the retail box processor, and use the retail CPU if you don't plan on overclocking. It's ultimately about as cheep, and you get a 3 year warrenty.

For the case, I like the Antec SX840. Comes with an antec 400W PSU which is pretty good, and the case is easy to work in. It even comes with 2 very quiet case fans, and places to put up to 3 more, and none require screws. There is a generic version of this same case somewhere that doesn't have the PSU if you want to get an enermax PSU, but the Antec has done me just fine. The case ran me about $120 localy, but I live near a Global Computer Outlet store (Global, Tiger Direct, and Dartek). I didn't find it much cheeper on the web after shipping.

As for spending $300, you can probably do about that if you

1) Get the MB (99 lowest before shipping)
2) Get the Duron (55 lowest before shipping)
3) Get the memory (50 lowest before shipping)
4) Get the Case (100 before shipping)

and recycle all the rest of your parts. You can upgrade slowly as you get more money the HD, Vid-card, ect. However, you're already just over 300 (304) with that setup, and that doesn't include the likely 30-40 in shipping.

Chesnuts roasting on an open CPU
Bill Gates nipping at your wallet
December 14, 2001 5:28:48 PM

Try Ace's Hardware for a Duron review. You will see comparison to the Tbird. Here's the link.

<A HREF="http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=45000205" target="_new">http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=45000205&lt;/A>

The morgan core Duron is a lot closer in performance to a similarly clock Tbird than the Spitfire core version was (which only had about 7% less performance on average). The new Duron has a big advantage in applications that support SSE.

On the otherhand, a 1ghz Tbird is considerably more overclockable and overclocking woost boost the performance of all applications.

Duron 1ghz is about $56 and the Athlon is about $70. It's a close judgement call. For overclocking go for the Tbird. If not overclocking the Duron is attractively priced and performs well.

At stock speeds the Evercool ND-8 is really nice but it's medium noisy (nothing like a Delta though). At $8 at <A HREF="http://www.nexfan.com" target="_new">http://www.nexfan.com&lt;/A>. It's only good to about 1.33ghz so no extreme overclocking but some moderate overclocking of a 1ghz processor is possible. I have one on an overclocked Duron 600@1007mhz. I also made it very quiet by replacing the fan with one I had on hand. Didn't lose any performance.

For quiet you can go with a retail processor with stock fan. For very quiet you'll have to go with something like a Zalman CNPS-5000+ or a Noise Control Silverado but those will run you more money. The latter is a lot more money. The Zalman is a bolt-on unit so your motherboard needs have the mounting holes around the socket. I don't know about the Silverado. (I have no experience with either cooler).

Other medium, noisy, good coolers for a 1ghz machine include the old GlobalWin FOP-32, Volcano 6Cu, an Alpha or two (I forget the numbers). Frankly, if you are not overclocking, there a lot of bargain coolers that will work. Some only have a 4200RPM fan which would be pretty quiet but better to get specific recommendations. Some bargain coolers are obsolete quality units. Others are just junk.

<b>We are all beta testers!</b>
December 14, 2001 6:23:02 PM

For games these days the importance of the CPU is secondary to the video card. Even Civ3 works the video card pretty hard! For a reasonably cheap, reliable, and speedy platform I would recommend the following:

Geforce3 Ti200
Asus i815
any P3 Coppermine from 933 on up
keep your current PC133 SDRAM and get some more for 256 total

Unfortunately there is no upgrade path here but for so little money it's a pretty good proven platform that will hold you for at least eighteen months.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 15, 2001 12:35:56 AM

I'm going to ask a stupid question. Don't you need two harddrives for RAID? Do you have two lapdog?
a b à CPUs
December 15, 2001 1:37:09 AM

You can get a fairly decent gaming system out of that on the cheap! Simply add a fast Celeron processor and push up the bus speed. The LX6 is one of the few LX motherboards that supports a 100MHz FSB (but the 100MHz setting is not exactly correct). Even at the 83MHz setting, a Celeron 766 will hit ~955MHz. Which is fine for most games, even thought Celerons stink. Heck, you could try a PIII 850 on it, but it won't run at full speed all the time (when you first boot, it might hit 850, but the next time it might hit 800). Still a good choice and 15% better than the Celeron 850 for performance (at 150% the price, go configure).
So all you really need is a faster CPU, a slotket, CPU cooler, and the BIOS update. As for the BIOS update, I can help you track it down (it's on one of Abit's mirror sites). After that, a Video card would be the next step up. Were talking inexpensive stuff here!

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
December 15, 2001 8:31:48 AM

But he has 0 upgradeability afterthat crash, the new mobo is the best way to go because he can pop a faster cpu in it in a year and be golden.

Plus prices are dirt cheap nowadays.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
a b à CPUs
December 15, 2001 5:45:22 PM

Right now his system has almost no value. By upgrading it with a faster CPU he can raise the resale value considerably and perhaps skip the current generation of motherboards/CPU's all together. Such an upgrade should be goood for about a year, at which time the increased value of his system will still outweigh the expense of upgrading.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
December 16, 2001 9:11:00 AM

99% of computers have little resale value, if he spends 130 to upgrade his system in 6 months when it is not enough he will not make that 130 back, however if he sold now, and use those proceded to offset the small additional cost a new mobo and cpu would cost him, he would come out ahead in the fact that his computer will have a cheap upgrade path for at least a year, and be faster now than if he just got a new cpu.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
a b à CPUs
December 16, 2001 1:15:26 PM

If I put a Pentium 233 in a Pentium 100 system it raises it's resale value by $130! A Celeron, slotket, and cooler would only cost him about half that. And in about a year, a Pentium 300 system will go for around $200 used retail, while something close to a GHz will go for around $350 used retail, unless a huge change in the market occurs.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
December 16, 2001 2:27:11 PM

duron cpu have a good ratio price/perf

if your budget is little short
avoid ddr, the gain is about 5% (maybe 10%)
and it's more expensive for ram & mb

you have a little good platform with

A7V133-C 96$
512Mo SDRAM PC133 40$
IBM 60GXP 40Go 110$
DURON 800 54$
---------------------------------
300$

& without cooling fan & case

but under 300$, you have a little pb

else for 200$
keep your dd, your 128 pc133
by mb,cpu,fan & case for roughly 200$


EasyInfo :cool:
I would like to Invest for my PC !!
ok, buy nothing.
December 17, 2001 2:30:59 AM

ok I'm unsure here, but did AMD bring out 266FSB cpus lower than 1.2Ghz.. I thought that was the limit../ maybe 1.1 . . .

also, once you hit 1.0GHz on a Duron you've got a Morgan (pally core).
so this would more than likely give you better performance than a TBird 1.0GHz.
so the lower price is a direct saving.. however, if the TB 1.0 DOES run at 266FSB then I'd go there.

here in Ozland the question is moot cause 1.0GHz tbirds are hard to find.

but the comments about upgradability -> I'm backing up teh AMD guys here.
Socket A is gonna hold up for a little while yet. and It's been around for a eternity in CPU slot/socket life terms.

Socket 370 processors will be out of production I soonish, but they certainly won't be getting any upgrades in the future. ... Ok, maybe a P-III tully 1.5, or Celeron 1.4GHz or whatever.

I spilled coffee all over my wife's nighty... ...serves me right for wearing it?!?
!