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January 6, 2002 5:11:04 PM

I am looking to buy my first "real" computer (as opposed to say some overpriced piece of garbage)
I need application performance... it is not uncommon for me to have every M$ office app open, along with photoshop, one of each (netscape and ie) browser open and other stuff such icq...
I have done quite a bit of research... and have decided on an Athlon Xp, the question is which one? (going to spend ~2200$ CDN)
for this kind of performance would the money spent on an 1800+ or 1900+ be better put say, into more ram and faster disks, say a raid 0 configuration. basically what is the most important thing for this kind of performance?

Also any suggestions on motherboards and heatsinks (there is so many) that would fit (price, quality) into a mid-upper performance comp... for around the above price if that helps...
i am thinking asus a7v266-e (if raid), but i have heard lots of complaints about asus and also the via chipset.

also anything else that might help this kind of "work" system (although it is for at home use...)

More about : important

January 6, 2002 5:47:09 PM

Quote:

Also any suggestions on motherboards and heatsinks (there is so many) that would fit (price, quality) into a mid-upper performance comp... for around the above price if that helps...
i am thinking asus a7v266-e (if raid), but i have heard lots of complaints about asus and also the via chipset.

The IWill XP333 is an amazing motherboard. It's based on the rock solid ALi Magik1 (revision C) chipset and supports future 333MHz and 400MHz FSB! You get excellent stability and performance as well as features!

Anyway, does the $2200 CDN include the monitor and printer and other peripherals (mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc)?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
January 6, 2002 5:47:09 PM

Quote:

Also any suggestions on motherboards and heatsinks (there is so many) that would fit (price, quality) into a mid-upper performance comp... for around the above price if that helps...
i am thinking asus a7v266-e (if raid), but i have heard lots of complaints about asus and also the via chipset.

The IWill XP333 is an amazing motherboard. It's based on the rock solid ALi Magik1 (revision C) chipset and supports future 333MHz and 400MHz FSB! You get excellent stability and performance as well as features!

Anyway, does the $2200 CDN include the monitor and printer and other peripherals (mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc)?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
Related resources
January 6, 2002 5:55:20 PM

i am now looking at a review of the IWill XP333-R impressive...

the 2200 CDN would include only the box (cpu etc) and a monitor... i have speakers, keyboard, mouse, printer... etc
in terms of what i need...
Audio (on board would be fine)
ATI video card with tv out... prob. 7500...
40gb total space..
nic, modem
cdrw, dvd, 256 micron ram pc????
that about covers. it

but i am not sure computer parts proces translate by the exhange rate entirely.. <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by tnadrev on 01/06/02 03:16 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 7, 2002 12:24:08 AM

probably the best bang for your buck is the XP1600+.

as u have said your gonna run with lots of stuff open, i suggest u upgrade to 512mb of ram... just to be safe and happy :) 

having lots of ram with room left over will negate the need for an expensive HDD raid solution. just using a fast 7200rpm IDE drive should suffice quite nicely.

heatsinks... hmmm.
could always use the stock cooling solution for the athlon. quiet and effective
other good suggestions are:
coolermaster
thermaltake sk-6
volcano 6cu or 7
winfop 32-1, 38, cak38
or if u want quality with extra performance, swiftech mcx-462 or mcxc-370.

go to <A HREF="http://www.dansdata.com" target="_new">http://www.dansdata.com&lt;/A> they do HSF reviews by the bucketload.

a couple of other things that are always useful for your athlon system.

1. a decent name brand PSU. enermax by prefrence. some generic PSU's are really bad. others not so. problem is working out if yours is good or not. best to avoid the problem and just go for a name brand.
2. case cooling. 1 low powered active fan at the rear can do alot, sucking out hot air and reducing mobo/cpu temps significantly . small cost. great investment. also reduces operating temp of graphics card and hard drives.

- Know thyself
- Seek
- Love
- Cherish Life
- And do not Yield!
January 7, 2002 1:08:18 AM

thanks, avoiding raid should save me quite a bit..
i think i am going to go with the IWill XP333 (non raid) and go for 512 mb... and a nice cooler, and hopefully do a little overclocking :) 

thanks again for the help...
January 8, 2002 5:16:22 AM

Here is a configed system with price in cdn $$ at my local shop for you to compare:

$189 <font color=blue>Iwill XP333</font color=blue> (add $10 for raid)
$208 <font color=blue>AMD XP 1600+ 1.4GHz OEM</font color=blue>
_____($235 1700+ 1.47GHz, $299 AMD XP 1800+ 1.53GHz
______$399 AMD XP 1900+ 1.6GHz)
$219 <font color=blue>DDR 512Mb PC2100</font color=blue> (Samsung/Micron CL2.5)
$175 <font color=blue>ATI Radeon 7500</font color=blue> AGP 64Mb DDR dual head OEM with cable
$149 <font color=blue>Maxtor DX740-6L 40G</font color=blue> ata133 7200rpm 2mb buffer
_____(add $46 for 60G)
$ 89 <font color=blue>Liteon 16X DVD</font color=blue> drive
$119 <font color=blue>LG 16x10x40 CDRW</font color=blue> with Burn Proof
$465 <font color=blue>LG 915FT Plus Flatron 19"</font color=blue> .24 1600x1200@85Hz
_____USB Hub TCO99
$ 20 <font color=blue>Tt Volcano V6U</font color=blue> (copper base up to 1.5GHz)
$ 69 <font color=blue>Enermax ATX 350W</font color=blue> EG465P-VE(FM) Dual Fans
_____(add $30 for 450W)
$ 79 <font color=blue>Landmark</font color=blue> Case with 2 fans
$ 17 <font color=blue>D-Link 530TXS10/100</font color=blue>

Total $1798 cnd
+ 14% tax (251.72)
= <font color=blue>$2079.72 cnd</font color=blue>

Have Fun :smile: !


<i>DMA - Doesn't Mean Anything :wink: </i>
January 8, 2002 12:37:20 PM

Thanks, that sounds pretty close to what i am going to get... maybe wait until some price drops (which i think should come relatively soon)
now i just have to find a local computer shop that sells "enthusiast" stuff rather than 2 month old stuff...
I would be surprised at a reply, but if anyone knows a good ottawa (canada) area shop... i suppose this belongs in a different forum...
Thanks again
January 8, 2002 1:44:48 PM

the monitor is the most important part for your system. Make sure you spend good money and get a decent monitor. DON'T skimp on the monitor! It's practicaly a 20 year investment. When you upgrade you never buy a new monitor too. It's very rare.

Don't do "raid 0" which isn't raid at all. It's called stripping and isn't real raid. To protect your data i would do raid 0+1 maybe but you need 4 hard drives. For someone like you that does lots of data raid 1 is the best solution for you. Thats mirroring. Whatever you write on the first drive gets written on the second drive. Whatever you do is copied. So when one drive fails you have the other drive and all your data is safe. Thats the best solution for you. If you do "raid 0" or striping the data is expanding to all drives. That increases drive performance. However the risk for drive failure is exponential with every drive you hook up. If one drive fails your done and you lose all your data and is impossible to recover the data. real raid is raid 5 which does striping and parity. If one drive fails your fine because with the pairity you can recover all your data. Thats real raid. 5+1 is ideal raid. Server redunancy is the best raid.

other than that stay away from raid. Especially if you're a newbie and never set up a computer before. Setting up raid is that much more frustration.

i highly recommend the iWill xp333. it's a non via motherboard! xp 1800 is fine. i don't see why you want to spend the extra 50 bucks for another 100 points in benchmarks.

good luck and have fun! and remember what your getting yourself into! there is frustration involved.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
January 8, 2002 2:27:50 PM

ROFLMAO
RAID 5+1??
Stop throwing around terms when you have no idea what you're talking about.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 8, 2002 2:53:41 PM

I don't know any in Ottawa, but I know one of the best shops in the Greater Toronto Area is <A HREF="http://www.canadacomputers.com" target="_new">Canada Computers</A>

They have excellent prices and everything you are looking for all at one place. However, I recommend you get the retail Radeon 7500 not the OEM because the OEM is slower.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
January 8, 2002 3:19:59 PM

I agree about the monitor... if i had the money i'd buy a 19" LCD (i am love my laptop monitor) i just wish they didn't "lock" in a resolution

I refered to Raid 0... which (as you said,) technically speaking isn't "Raid" but is still a "Raid" designation and requires some sort of raid adapter... (and multiple drives) but you are right, i am not about to go for a raid 5 setup... frankly can't afford 4 hard drives...
But as you mentioned stripping isn't all that safe... but to what extent... if the drives are used extensively what is the likelyhood of failure, on say a pair of the above mentioned drives?
because, (despite being pretty much decided to go non-raid [or non stripping if you prefer]) most of my vital data is stored backed up... (it generally goes elsewhere... web server, distribution file server)... i am just worried about application (or occasional game :])performance, and i supppose that having to "re-setup" everything say, once a month would bug me...
well, i'd imagine that by the time i buy this thing the 1800+ should be better priced

This will be an adventure, the last time i REALLY tinkered with the innards of a computer was with a slew of 286...
January 8, 2002 4:24:19 PM

RAID 5 only requires 3 drives. RAID 0+1 requires 4, which I believe is what you were thinking of.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 8, 2002 4:50:16 PM

i honestly believe that the human species deserves to be extinct. Humans do not deserve to live. ANd you have proven me that once again.

instead of being a DICKHEAD why don't you be intelligent and explain to me WHY raid 5 and(+) 1 is impossible?

and i quote from the "Microsoft WindowsNT Technical Support" book on page 246 first and second paragraph with a picture inbetween.

"Implementing RAID 1 and RAID 5

Mirror sets and stripe sets with parity can coexist on the same computer. Because a stripe set with parity cannot include the system or boot partition, consider mirroring the system and boot partitions, and protecting the remaining data in stripe sets with parity. For example, as shown in the following illustration, the system and boot partition are located on drive C, which is part of a mirror set. The remaining data on drive D is part of a stripe set with parity.

Note that the windows NT server disk administrator has an additional menu named "fault tolerance", from which both mirror sets and stripe sets with parity are managed"

wow don't you feel a little a dumb.

next time don't be such an ass!

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
January 8, 2002 5:37:17 PM

well you can get a really nice 17inch for like 200 bucks.

Let me clear raid up as i think you got a little confused.

raid 0 is striping. The whole point of raid was to protect your data. With it just doing striping it's not doing anything to keep your data safe. It is actually doing the opposite of what raid was intended for.

raid 5 is mostly on SCSI servers and uses SCSI hard drives. They have IDE raid 5 but the card is pretty pricy.

raid 1 is mirroring. that copies your data from one drive to other drive and mimics it.

raid 5+1 according to fathead implied it isn't possible, but according to the microsoft technical support book it is possible.

as for the 4 hard drives thats raid 1+0 (or 0+1 same thing). because you need at least 2 drives for striping. With mirroring you need one drive for each drive you need to mirror. So, 2 drives for striping and you need 2 drives for mirroring, thats 4 drives.

Just stay away from RAID. It's a mess. Me i'd like to experiment with it and learn how to do set it up. Just so i can say, "ya i know how to setup RAID". It's part of my carreer.

as for performance. You really won't notice a different from 1800+ to 1900+. it's only what a 66mhz difference. you won't notice it. get a decent hard drive. need help ask the forums i'm sure a few people can tell you.

good luck!

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
January 8, 2002 6:45:27 PM

<A HREF="http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm?term=rai..." target="_new">Here</A> is my favorite link for RAID, for those interested.

RAID 6 is basically what you're talking about.
Actually, looking it over again, it's more like RAID 3.

You've never setup a RAID array, but you're telling someone else about it? You make it sound like Dell should ship computers with RAID 5 arrays set up.

RAB does not list 5+1 as a RAID option, would you care to find another source for that information?

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 8, 2002 6:53:53 PM

Hey, I live in Hull and I know a pretty nice place that is most special in AMD CPUs and are fully supporting AMD: RBComputing. Their website and info is www.rbcomputing.com if you want prices and system quotes.
Damn prices in Canada are high these days, and DDR RAM is almost more than RDRAM!

--
The other day I heard an explosion from the other side of town.... It was a 486 booting up...
January 8, 2002 7:01:08 PM

you were on the right track when you started off with a nice dialogue but then you got carried away and started to attack me.

If we all died i honestly think we would do the world a favor.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
January 8, 2002 8:41:40 PM

Quote:
i honestly believe that the human species deserves to be extinct. Humans do not deserve to live. ANd you have proven me that once again.

instead of being a DICKHEAD why don't you be intelligent and explain to me WHY raid 5 and(+) 1 is impossible?


To quote Raystonn:
Quote:
pot, kettle. 'nuff said


<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 8, 2002 9:04:11 PM

you just proved my point. :) 

In reply to:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

i honestly believe that the human species deserves to be extinct. Humans do not deserve to live. ANd you have proven me that once again.

instead of being a DICKHEAD why don't you be intelligent and explain to me WHY raid 5 and(+) 1 is impossible?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To quote Raystonn:


In reply to:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

pot, kettle. 'nuff said



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quarter Pounder Inside


<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
January 9, 2002 4:14:03 AM

ok... i am going with non-RAID... but IF i was it would be RAID level 0... for performance... (technically not redundant, but yes it IS RAID, even if the name contradicts it)
anyways i was just wondering (for future reference) is it MORE likely for a drive to fail in RAID 0... rather than standard config? because of the way the data is accessed? (i am of course aware of the increased chance of lost data because the other hard drive(s) could fail... which would increase depending on how many drives you had) i am wondering about an individual drives life... <,> or = in RAID 0, than in standard config?
January 9, 2002 4:36:45 AM

Because you said you do a lot of multitasking, maybe you should consider SCSI? I for one could never justify spending the extra cash, but maybe it would be worth it for you.

I don't know though, seems to me that ATA100 (or 133) perform almost as good as SCSI. But what about for heavy-mutlitasking?



Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 4:58:13 AM

Just look for your local monthly Computer Paper and compare the prices and mark down which ones are cheapest with a web site (latest prices). Then get a quotation from all of them.
Then make sure the shop your getting your goods is a reputable shop (not gonna disappear or rip u off).

Raid seems complicated, but i guess if you really want you can read all about it and add it in later. If your data is very valuable, then raid is probably important. Just remember to backup often.

<i>DMA - Doesn't Mean Anything :wink: </i>
January 9, 2002 5:15:49 AM

No, the usage under RAID 0 is no more stressful. Each hard drive is no more likely to fail than a single drive being used as the main drive.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 9, 2002 6:36:43 AM

Your answer is correct. The probability of each individual drive failing remains the same. I will go into more detail on the dangers of RAID 0 being used by itself in an effort to keep someone from making this mistake.

While it is true that hard drives nowadays are extremely reliable compared to about 10 years ago, it is still the case that RAID 0 by itself is dangerous for your data. I do not recommend using that alone except on drives that store temporary files, such as huge swap files. You only need a single drive in your RAID 0 array to die for you to lose all the data on both drives. Recovery is not possible using only the information stored on one drive in RAID 0. This is why it is commonly used along with RAID 1. Just to illustrate a bit more, if there is a probability of 1/100 that drive 1 will fail and a probability of 1/100 that drive 2 will fail, then the probability of either one of them failing at some point is now 2/100, or 1/50. This may not add up to much of a probability considering the quality of today's drives, but it still adds up.

My preference is RAID 5. It provides both performance and data redundancy through the use of striping with parity. With the correct hardware there is no performance penalty for the parity generation. The only issue with RAID 5 is that it is typically only available for SCSI-based systems.

-Raystonn


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
January 9, 2002 11:02:59 AM

The odds of losing your raid data are tiny, there is no reason a home user couldnt use raid 0 for his use.


Just regularly backup your data and have fun.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 9, 2002 3:24:16 PM

Quote:
My preference is RAID 5. It provides both performance and data redundancy through the use of striping with parity. With the correct hardware there is no performance penalty for the parity generation. The only issue with RAID 5 is that it is typically only available for SCSI-based systems.

There is a Promise card that can do IDE RAID 5. I can't remember the cost, I'll have to look it up.

I agree, RAID 5 is the best. However, I don't think RAID 0 is so risky that is should dissaude a normal home user from using it.


EDIT:
PCNation has it for <A HREF="http://www.pcnation.com/asp/additem.asp?item=063499&in=..." target="_new">$228.95</A>.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by FatBurger on 01/09/02 09:53 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 9, 2002 4:42:53 PM

Thanks,
well sounds like RAID 0 is permanent enough for me... maybe a couple months down the road when i shrug off this tuition payment...
thanks for all the help... especially to the person that recommended rbcomputing... i just wish they listed that mobo (the IWill XP333)
January 9, 2002 5:54:15 PM

Just my own $0.02 here. It's an FYI in case ya didn't know.

The reason these raid 5 cards are more expensive is because they are REAL raid cards. The IDE Promise cards that do raid 0,1 and 10 are not REAL raid cards. They actually pass off the processing to your CPU...they are really just souped up ATA controllers.

for Raid 0,1 and 10 the processor usage is slim to none. In this case, skip the whole "raid" card and just use software raid built into the operating system (NT,w2k,XP,Linux).

If you start using the ATA raid cards that support raid 5 suddenly the price jumps and gets comprable to SCSI raid howcome? Because the processor usage to do raid 5 is high enough that it needs to be offloaded to a REAL raid controller which is what the ATA Raid 5 cards are.

tada.

we've been here before methinks.
January 9, 2002 6:07:19 PM

I know that, but lots of people don't I'm sure.

Quote:
they are really just souped up ATA controllers.


That's evidenced by the Promise ATA66 that can be turned into a RAID controller with the soldering on of a resister. Exact same card, really.

Quote:
In this case, skip the whole "raid" card and just use software raid built into the operating system (NT,w2k,XP,Linux).


The problem with that is that you can't put the OS on the RAIDed drive. That pretty much defeats the purpose (at least in my mind).

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
!