I'm in the process of trying to decide what type of system my first homebuilt should be. Next year will be bringing out some notable advances (dual channel DDR/533 FSB Xeons from Intel and Sledgehammers from AMD) so until the dust settles and the prices drop I've decided the following two options might work for me:
Get some experience by building a ~$800 system that'll do Office XP, MP3 and scanning chores. When I build the newer smp system in early '04 'A' can become the machine to run old Win 95/98 software.
Get some smp experience by building a ~$1200-$1500 system that in addition to the above will handle speech recognition and analog to digital conversions while working on other things. When I build the newer smp system in early '04 'B' can become the server for a SOHO setup and run old Win 95/98 software.
The Tualatin seems to be the chip for either scenario although I'm not sure there will be much chance to upgrade these setups much beyond their initial state.
Would anyone care to state simply (i.e. $800 Tualatin system) or elaborately (i.e. chip, motherboard, disk set-up, etc) how they might approach this situation given that the higher end capabilities (speech, digital conversion) aren't necessities but niceties and the extra $500 - $700 spent on 'B' is not an over riding factor?
The 1.6A people refer to is mainly the processor of choice because you can OC that mutha big time to 2.4 reliably. Now for your <b>first</b> system, I wouldn't recommend that. You want a computer that works first before you decide to take the high risk of frying or messing up your components. So for your first system, I would advise against OC'ing.
What's SMP? You mean multiprocessing? I worry you may be trying to get expensive components you may ever need. It's easy to become romanticized with what you can do with computers... then via slaps you in the face. 2004 is way off anyway. I would recommend you do your research for that computer right before you build it. Computers change every week, RAM prices change nearly every day, mobo chipsets change every 4 months, and new graphics cards are released every 2 months. (not exact dates but to give you an idea)