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What Processor to Buy

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August 6, 2002 5:59:48 PM

Hi I was wondering what would be a good upgrade from my P3 450mhz. I use my computer mainly for school work and gaming, I play Tac Ops and Quake 3, and I want to be able to play Doom 3 and UT2k3. I have 150 - 250 US dollars to spend. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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August 6, 2002 7:14:28 PM

I think this upgrade is best for you:

CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1800+ Retail $95
Motherboard: MSI KT3 Ultra $80
RAM: Kingston 256 MB PC2100 CL2.5 DDR RAM $60
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9000 w/ 64 MB VRAM $75

This is a configuration for $300 with shipping. This is $50 more than your budget.

If you want keep the cost down, get a Duron 1.2 GHz (costs about $50) and upgrade to a XP later.

Don't buy a cheap motherboard or buy generic or other bad quality ram. Good motherboard and ram is necessary for running pc without problems. This motherboard and ram is best for your buck. MSI KT3 Ultra is a very stable board, one of the most stable KT333 board available. Kingston Rams are good and PC2100 CL2.5 is enough if you switch to a XP later. I know lot people who are running with this board and ram with zero problem.

For playing Doom3 and Unreal Tournament 2003 properly, you need a card that has complete DX 8.1 support. Radeon 9000 is the cheapest card of this category. If you can cost more get a Radeon 8500 or GeForce4 Ti4200 w/64 MB VRAM. Both, especially GF4 Ti4200 is much better than Radeon 9000.
August 6, 2002 7:21:01 PM

$150-200 isn't gonna but it all if you really wanna play DoomIII and UT2003. You'll probably need something in the order of what Spitfire said to play UT2003 at med settings and more than that to play DoomIII at even medium settings.

IIRC, DoomIII won't be out til late 2003. (someone correct me if I'm wrong) So I wouldn't worry bout that right now if you haven't got the money to pour onto one sweet rig. Get something that you can use to play UT2K3 and then upgrade as DoomIII draws near.

<i>Past mistakes may make you look stupid, but avoiding future ones will make you look smart!</i>
Related resources
August 6, 2002 7:57:15 PM

athlonXP 1800 boxed
ecs sis745
pc2100 512mb of ram
ati radeon9000LE
baraccuda4 80GB

"Is Celeron good?"
"No. Celeron is bad."
LOL
August 6, 2002 8:30:23 PM

MSI KT3 Ultra is lot better than ECS SiS745. It may cost more than ECS SiS 745 but lot lot more stable. For tension free computing getting a stable motherboard is more necessary than spending more money to get extra 256 MB ram.

Barrcuda4 is worse than Maxtor Diamond Max Plus D740X and of course Western Digital 8 MB buffer special edition drives. It is not cost effective, too.
August 6, 2002 8:36:50 PM

i believe you are refering to the ECS K7S5A SiS® 735.

<font color=blue> If it ain't broke, don't fix it...tweak it.</font color=blue>
August 6, 2002 8:38:16 PM

i believe you could get a socket adapter and something like a 1.0a celeron for pretty cheap if you want to stay with that old board.

<font color=blue> If it ain't broke, don't fix it...tweak it.</font color=blue>
August 6, 2002 8:51:25 PM

Ok now is it safe/reliable to buy these parts online? Realize im a minor and convincing my parents is the hardest part. My local comp store is a rip off, 110 bux for an xp1600 and 130 for mobo, and ddr ram is like 100 bux there. but i would buy the parts and have them install (80 bux) because i dont know how to install mobo/proc and dont want to be responsible if something breaks.
August 6, 2002 9:13:12 PM

Where you live in and what's the name of your sore? Its not a comp store but a real robber.

I have never bought anything online.

If you buy from a reliable online store, you won't get sucked.

My advice is, get components from reliable online store and install them from a store or somebody who is good at installing things and don't charge much.
August 7, 2002 8:25:39 AM

Regarding chipsets, I agree.

<font color=orange>ÃÎËßÌ ÇÀËÚÊ ËÀÏÍÈ, ÃÎËßÌÀ ÙÀÍÃÀ ÂÄÈÃÍÈ!</font color=orange>
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August 7, 2002 10:18:25 AM

A PIII 1000EB is usually an easy upgrade. Save the rest for a better video card!

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
August 7, 2002 12:29:26 PM

Hey, it's the same with me and I finally convinced my parents to let me buy from a store somewhere else. I guess it was a bit easier cause all the comp stores near us sell HDDs for about $100CDN more than what I can get from a store elsewhere...And the other stuff is the same way. :lol: 

<i>Past mistakes may make you look stupid, but avoiding future ones will make you look smart!</i><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Chuck232 on 08/07/02 09:29 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 7, 2002 2:15:10 PM

A P3 1000EB is a bad upgrade. Cause---

1. He has 450 MHz P3. It's a Katmai P3 and uses slot a interface. P3 1000EB requires Socket 370 interface. So he can't go with his current motherboard.

2. Probably he has a 440BX mobo. 440BX doesn't support 133 MHz FSB. His mobo won't work with P3 1000EB

3. He may have PC100 SDRAM. PC100 SDRAM is not good for P3 1000 EB.

If he needs to buy a new mobo and ram with his cpu, he should choose a platform that is future upgradeable. As he don't intend to overclock, Socket-A is ideal platform for him. If he runs short of money now, he can use a Duron 1.2 GHz. With MSI KT3 Ultra and Pc2100 DDR RAM, it's considerably faster than P3 1000EB. And he can always switch to a XP.
August 7, 2002 2:47:12 PM

1-Socket converter, otherwise known as a Slocket, which Crashman already mentioned before

2-The 440bx can run it at 100Mhz FSB, and easily overclocks to 133Mhz FSB

3-doesn't matter a whole lot. Pentium 3's aren't extremely reliant on memory bandwidth anyway. Pc-100 won't hold him back that much.

"When there's a will, there's a way."
August 7, 2002 2:57:37 PM

yeah but a p3 1 gig is about 120 bux. if i go with duron i can get a mobo that will allow me to upgrade to an XP proccy in the future.
August 7, 2002 3:02:34 PM

You'll end up spending more money for a Duron motherboard, as well as the Duron, and DDR if you want that too. Get the Pentium3 1.0Ghz and a socket converter, and you pay less.

"When there's a will, there's a way."
August 7, 2002 3:03:54 PM

Why do I need a socket converter? Won't my mobo allow me to go up to 1 gig?
August 7, 2002 3:07:38 PM

*slaps forehead* I forgot to mention, there are actually two versions of the Pentium3 at 1.0Ghz. One has a multiplier of 10, and runs at a 100Mhz FSB. That's the slot1 model, and you could run that on your 440bx board. The other one has a multiplier of 7.5, and runs at a 133Mhz FSB. That's the socket370 model, and would require a socket converter.

"When there's a will, there's a way."
August 7, 2002 3:12:22 PM

Im looking through my mobo manual right now and it says it supports 370 processors. So i guess that means i dont need the socket converter? The mobo is a p3v4x.
August 7, 2002 3:18:20 PM

i thought that all slot versions ARE NOT compatible. so, the coppermine CPU cannot go on the 440BX, is that so? but vice versa is possible, also is that so?

"Is Celeron good?"
"No. Celeron is bad."
LOL
August 7, 2002 3:19:37 PM

I dunno, you tell me. Does your motherboard have a socket or a slot for the CPU? Just look at the damn thing!

"When there's a will, there's a way."
August 7, 2002 3:34:07 PM

its a slot. so i need the socket adapter?
August 7, 2002 3:42:16 PM

Yes and no

If you want a Slot1 Coppermine, you can run at 100Mhz FSB. That works with now socket adapter

If you want a Socket370 Coppermine, you run into the possible problem of voltage incompatibilites. Still, you can run it at a lower 100Mhz FSB, but unless you overclock, it will only run at 750Mhz.

I need my Hammer now to bash some newbies
August 7, 2002 4:29:17 PM

This is such bullshit, i called my local comp store and the p3 1gig is 175. wtf. then i asked about amd and its 75 for the 1.2 duron, 99 for mobo, and 80 for install. what do you guys think i should do? just get the p3 online?
August 7, 2002 4:30:40 PM

or i can just get a celeron for 80?
August 7, 2002 4:36:43 PM

Celeron seriously sucks.

Get 1.2 GHz Duron. It's not just toaday's good performer, but it's mobo also allows switching to a XP upto 3100+ (going to release in near future)
August 7, 2002 4:39:28 PM

Keep this in mind while buying mobo, MSI KT3 Ultra is today's ultimate Socket-A mobo
August 7, 2002 7:02:33 PM

You better go for epox k3a+, it has the kt333CE chipset, better than msi kt3ultra.So it runs faster and enough stable. go for it.Duron1200 choice is completly correct if you don't want to spend much money

"Don't necessarily listen to tersagun,he's been advocating AMD systems,he thinks Intel sucks ass.."
August 7, 2002 7:14:54 PM

Hey dude, here's my personal opinion on this:

First off, to answer you gaming question, no. 200$ just can't cut it for any new games, especially with the current rig you have.

Also you failed to specify whether or not 200$ includes tax or not. I can't emphasize how much I get irritated when someone comes here for help, specifies budget but never states if that is with tax or not. Without tax, 200$ CAN be a problem indeed.

Now to help you out a bit, I must say I have been there man, I know how it feels. I had a P2 350MMX and wanted to upgrade the whole system. At first I was short on cash and almost wanted a P3 800MHZ as it was the only Intel solution in mid 2001. I then learned more about hardware here. But that's not the case, my point is, that I recommend you heavily save on money, in that time read here, or many hardware websites, learn more about the current technology and products. I guarantee after a while you not only will have more money, but you will have gained a general knowledge allowing you to go get the best bang for the buck stuff.
Keep your system intact, save money man. Don't hold for Doom III or hope, because it is far from being out and WILL require expensive upgrading if you want to enjoy it. I have an AthlonXP 1600+ system with a Geforce 3 Ti200, and 512MB DDR. I have a feeling I need to save up for Doom III. I got this system early January 2002 after studying hard on the current hardware and researching around. So save money man, it will be worth it, especially since soon Intel will drop P4 prices, and you could even get a P4 1.8A, overclock it SAFELY to 2.4GHZ, and get a true gaming system for less $$$!
Also with the new generation of graphics cards coming out, the current ones will drop in price, OR the competition will force the new generation to also drop in price. This way you can get the right GFX card for the future and play Doom III comfortably!

Anyways this is my opinion, and I strongly advise you to consider it, because in the end, it doesn't matter if the upgrade was worth it, it's if you knew what you were getting for it.

--
The sound of determination is the echo of will...
August 7, 2002 7:18:46 PM

I forgot to add a good tip:
If you plan on following my advice, consider trading in your current system. You could get a nice rebate off the new upgrade! Of course it may not be THAT much, but hey, anything to lower the cost!
Of course don't sell it all, if you got a hard drive good enough to stay, and such. I got around 100$ off the new system I got, and kept the two HDDs inside and some PCI cards!

--
The sound of determination is the echo of will...
August 7, 2002 7:19:20 PM

MSI KT3 Ultra is cheaper and the performance difference between Epox K3A+ and MSI KT3 Ultra are not practically worthy.
August 7, 2002 8:34:13 PM

So basically your saying to just wait. I guess thats a good idea, when are the newb p4's and vid cards comming out though, i dont want to wait for like a year. And why get a 1.8 p4 and oc, why not just get an amd?
a b à CPUs
August 7, 2002 11:03:28 PM

1.) Slotket can be used, and there were 1000E slot ones otherwize

2.) Most non-Intel manufactured BX boards will have 133MHz capbility, otherwise, he can use a 1000E Slot1

3.) If he has PC100, I'll trade him for PC133 if he needs it. They are the same price now and I've been using PC133 to upgrade old Pentium sytems, I could use PC100 instead and give him the PC133.

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
August 7, 2002 11:06:03 PM

Upgrading the processor is easier for most people, and the lower performance compared to changing the board is often a good tradoff for reduced hassle.

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
August 8, 2002 3:27:14 AM

No not a year, but to me, I waited a about 5-6 months, however it was worth it.
The P4s in september will get a price cut. However the reason why I said to wait till then, is because the 1.8A will have the 1.6A's price, and can overclock to 2.4GHZ very easily, where you will benefit from the new P4 models' performance. This saves you a lot of money, PLUS gives you a tremendously nice boost in everything, and it will serve you for the years to come in gaming.
If you really can't wait, even an AMD system would still be costly IMO, with 200$, the choice is very limited.
Again, consider waiting a little bit, look for a shop around who would trade-in your parts, or someone who will buy them. A nice rebate always helps.

The Radeon 9700 comes out in September as of now's recent updated news, so prices for their other cards might go down. Look, I'll be honest, I wouldn't play Doom III with anything below a Geforce 4 Ti4600. It's just not worth it. Some may recommend a Ti4200, others a Radeon 8500, but seriously, Carmack stated that the R300 (Radeon 9700), is perfect for Doom III's incredible graphics. ATi will release a lower clocked version of it, a Rad 9500, which would cost fairly cheaper, affordable, and will definitly play Doom III better than a Ti4600 as it uses DX9 and better textures per pass technology.

Wait a bit man, and look around more, because that shop of yours is a ripoff.

--
The sound of determination is the echo of will...
August 8, 2002 2:13:40 PM

If you overclock, you void your warranty. So, if you want good performance + warranty get AMD. If warranty is not important get P4's after september price cuts and overclock it.

Keep it in mind, when intel cut P4 price, AMD may also cut Athlon price.
August 8, 2002 6:41:54 PM

No warranty, that's ok, because the P4s OC without problems and can't really die out because of overheats. Unless he messes with voltage.
I wouldn't mind one bit if I void my P4 warranty.....if I had one!

As for Athlon price cuts, AMD would die if they lower any more, it's overkill as it is!

--
The sound of determination is the echo of will...
August 8, 2002 10:14:47 PM

I also think uprading to an P3 1GHz is not a good idea. P3 1 GHz stilll cost about $100 and you can get an Athlon XP 1500+ for about $60 and you can get MSI KT3 Ultra for $80. You paid $40 more but you get better proformance and you can upgrade with faster Athlon CPU in future.
a b à CPUs
August 8, 2002 10:49:41 PM

You can get the better MSI 745 Ultra for only $65, the 1500+ for $60, and 256MB of PC2100 for around $65, give or take on those prices you end up only spending twice as much for a system that's 33% faster!

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
August 9, 2002 2:37:32 AM

If the guy is really not looking into a second upgrade later on, and is a Doom III gamer-to be, I can go all bravely here and state out loud, a PIII under 1GHZ, WILL NOT be good for Doom III, and should NOT be used.

--
The sound of determination is the echo of will...
a b à CPUs
August 9, 2002 3:32:39 AM

Er, speculating again? What about the video card? Surely a Radeon 9700 equiped PIII 1000EB would be better for that game than a GeForce 3 on an Athlon XP at 1667MHz.

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
August 9, 2002 3:39:42 AM

Maybe, maybe not, remember that the Radeon 9700 is so powerful that even a P4 2.53GHZ would not exploit it entirely. So the result he'd get from it, would be near the one using a Ti4600 on the 1GHZ. I am not trying to divert the guy from buying from you (I know your situation right now and do hope you get the money for that school!), however I personally am looking at how satisfied is he gonna be later on. Doom III is no daisy, and I am betting that even my AXP 1600+ would not unleash the power. As long as I can play it at 1024*768 at max settings on a new high end card, I'll be happy. But IMO no P3 under 1GHZ will ever be suited to Doom III, it would be making it suffer.

--
The sound of determination is the echo of will...
a b à CPUs
August 9, 2002 4:16:05 AM

Hmm, I played SOFII, Elder Scrolls (yuk), GTA3, and a few other of the "latest games" on my PIII 1000, and that's only with a Radeon card. And not even a Radeon DDR, but the cheaper "LE" version. No problems at 1024x768 in any game so far. If Doom III is all that much more, a better graphics card should make up the difference!

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
!