Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Creating a powerful, affordable computer

Tags:
Last response: in CPUs
Share
August 31, 2002 9:36:57 PM

Here's the deal:
How can I effectively hook together a system that will be stable (very little crashing) and affordable, yet be able to rip through today's graphic-intensive FPSes?

I understand that apparently the Athlon architecture allows it to process graphics much more efficiently than a similar mHZ Pentium. I also understand that they may have compatibility issues with less graphics but more memory intensive office software that I may end up using, so actually I'd prefer to create this using a Pentium board/CPU if feasible.

The more price-effective the system, the better it is for me. Component-wise here's the gauntlet as I see it:

A GeForce 4 128 MB goes for about $200 now,
A 40GB 7200 IDE for around $50,
A 40/16/10x CDRW and 12x DVD combo drive for $100 (s/h included)
A standard NIC for approx $20
A standard 17' for $50 (or a 19' for $200)
A SB Live! for approx $50
Keyboard and mouse for $20 total
($490 so far, and shipping and handling on the different components could add up to another $100 considering a monitor is heavy)

BUT here are the questionable components:
1) RAM 2) Motherboard 3) CPU
How can I get the most effective, best speed for the lowest cost? It seems that some mid-range CPU's happen to be very overclockeable simply due to their base mHZ in-built multiplier whereas some decently high-end models get virtually no speed increases possible. I want a machine that will really perform and do something like 2.6 or 2.8 gigs with all under a cost of about $500 (for motherboard and chip) and probably under a $100 total for RAM (512mb or 1gig depending; always good). Are there swaps in the other components you'd use or particular board/CPU setups?

Most especially I'd like to know if something like this with an effective mHZ rating of 2.8+GHZ can be built, stably, from components totalling near or under $1000.

I have not yet built any comps from scratch though I've installed drives and cards before without trouble (video, sound, etc) so I'd like to know what you all think and have to say. Ideally I want to build this system soon with components out now because I want to pay a friend back for a big favor with something like this.

Thank you all for your time, I enjoyed the posts and articles I've read here thus far greatly. I look forward to posting more yet.

Ne invoces expellere non possis
August 31, 2002 9:45:39 PM

I just have one point to make: The monitor you're looking at probably won't do justice to your PC. You'll probably need to spend around 250 - 300 bucks on a decent monitor. I'd go with a 19" monitor. That'll be about $260 or so. If you don't get a decent monitor, you'll be really crippled and might as well spend less on the graphics card. Get something that can put out 1024x768 @ 75hz. CTI might be a good brand to look at, Viewsonic would be better. I'm pretty sure you can get a decent Viewsonic 19" for at least 250 - 300. Luck.

My Rig is bigger than yours.

Huzzah for Antec, AMD, and ASUS!!!
August 31, 2002 9:51:10 PM

If you are lookingfor price performance ratio, an amd chip is the way to go, there is no compatability issues and the performance per dollar is amazing, grab a good kt333 motherboard(or nforce 2) and 512 of pc2700 ddr, and a 1600+, all that should come un under 300 total, you would have to spend that much to get the equavalent p4 and mobo alone!

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
Related resources
August 31, 2002 9:57:43 PM

Any cpu, whether its athlon, p4, celeron, C3 or 300mhz amd k6-2 will run office applications reliably and stupidly quickly, the days of waiting for the text to catch up with the cursor are long over.

If you really are sticking to a low budget the athlon will give you more bang for your buck.

Most benchmarks you see of the P4 will be done using rambus memory for the maximum performance, without it is a different story, this is also expensive.
August 31, 2002 9:59:57 PM

What about a case and power supply?

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 10:05:04 PM

He said he wants 2.8ghz performance, no?.....Isnt possible to get that from AMD.

P4 2.4A is about $210 I suggest OC'ing that w/ some DDR mobo to get your target performance.

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 10:07:49 PM

Hstated he was thinking of price/performance primarily, he dosent need 2.8ghz to feed his gpu, a 1600-1800+ will go fine, furthermore he has set a limit of 500 bucks for the cpu/mobo, and he cannot get a 2.8ghz system with that, hes much better off getting a 1800+ and a gf4ti4600 with the saved money
:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
August 31, 2002 10:09:32 PM

Quote:
Most especially I'd like to know if something like this with an effective mHZ rating of 2.8+GHZ can be built, stably, from components totalling near or under $1000.

WTF are you talking about trolling?

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 10:10:20 PM

I edited my post after I posted it, reread his post.
PS: the edit took me 35 seconds jesus your fast
:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Matisaro on 08/31/02 03:11 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 31, 2002 10:11:08 PM

Add another $100 for a decent case and good uninterrupteable power supply.

I'd basically be spending about $700 on parts not including RAM, motherboard or CPU already so getting twice the performance for a total of say $500 extra instead of $300 sounds good, so please carry on the suggestions. This is good reading :) 

Ne invoces expellere non possis
August 31, 2002 10:12:49 PM

twice mentioned....

Quote:
I want a machine that will really perform and do something like 2.6 or 2.8 gigs with all under a cost of about $500 (for motherboard and chip) and probably under a $100 total for RAM (512mb or 1gig depending; always good).

Were you distracted from reading the new AMD white paper?

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 10:13:21 PM

YOu should get a 2000+ for 59 bucks(holy [-peep-]) and a kt333 mobo and pc2700ddr and used the money saved to purchase a ti4600 instead of the ti4400.

That is my final reccomendation.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
August 31, 2002 10:13:50 PM

LOL.....

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 10:15:56 PM

OMG< 2000+'sa are on sale for 59 bucks at pricewatch, thats the best price/performance I have EVER SEEN.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
August 31, 2002 10:19:28 PM

Matisaro knows nothing. I hereby throw a big black glove in his face and say you should by a 4200 instead. That's much cheaper and you'll still get great performance that will be plenty for quite a while. You should be able to run any game that comes out within the next year, maybe the next 2 years. Matisaro... :wink: . J/K.

My Rig is bigger than yours.

Huzzah for Antec, AMD, and ASUS!!!
August 31, 2002 10:33:55 PM

Sure is good price/perf. For me w/ a 1.8A running at 2.4 for months, that would be a downgrade. Price is great though on the 2000.... performance is lacking. Keep in mind we're approaching 3ghz. Good buy if you're willing to sacrifice some performance, and maybe have to upgrade sooner.......either way, you're going to have to spend the money. If I was all hung up about buying an AMD chip, I wouldnt buy one right now, Id be waiting till the Hammer. Maybe that's why their sales and prices are so low....everyones waitin.

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 10:40:08 PM

and so it starts...
mat, that price watch quote has to be a mistake, the site that is listed for that price is not selling them at that price.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
August 31, 2002 11:05:24 PM

yeah, theyre about $85.....but even that's a bargain.

This sig runs too hot.
August 31, 2002 11:32:26 PM

You got two routes for money saving:

AMD:
Quality Motherboards are only 80$ away, an MSI KT333 Ultra is barely expensive. Also the Epox 8K3A has been a primo choice of many enthusiasts and really does not cost a lot.
For CPU, the XP2000 is a damn powerful price/performance bargain, and in benchmark scaling, the thing should give roughly 5% less in gaming since most games use the GPU and rely on it. Only lousy programmed games like Commanche 4 need a 2.8GHZ to run smoothly. And for Office, if you type about 500 letters a second, maybe a high speed P4 is needed, but to me, Office is nothing, it's just type and type, there is merely anything to crunch the CPU and make it run hot.
PC2700DDR is fairly cheap now, and I'd say grab 512MB for the sake of future performance. This is needed in WinXP for the best potential performance, while 256MB is the best you need for Win98. 256MB of PC2700 is no more than 60$ in most places.

XP2000=~90$
8K3A=~100$
RAM=60$
250$ total, you are well within HALF the range and can get satisfying gaming and office performance. I could settle for even less but since you want future gaming, it's fine as it is.

Intel:
The motherboards on Intel's side are a bit more expensive when DDR is used, while the RDRAM boards are by far much more expensive.
I'll give you a DDR setup because you want to save money!
The Abit SR7-8X is a future-insured mobo with AGP 8X and ATA133 support. It has the Sis 648 chipset and IMO this is one of the best price/performance chipsets offered on Intel systems.
The 1.8A is a good bargain and can overclock to 2.4GHZ fairly safely with the retail heatsink fan. I'd personally choose a 2.26GHZ but I think it might jack up the price you target.
Again same thing, PC2700DDR. You can opt for PC3200 also which is a bit more expensive but has competitive results to PC1066 RDRAM.

The Intel system summed up:
1.8A=~139$
2.26GHZ=~202$
ABIT SR7-8X=~108$
256MB PC3200=~65$
The Intel system using the 1.8A is 312$, the 2.26GHZ is 375$.
Both are in the range, the 2.26GHZ is about 20-25% better than the XP2000 but the whole is 125$ more. The 2.26GHZ can overclock to 2.8GHZ with Retail HSF pretty safely but I'd ask the forum members here for their experience with it if I were you!

Well it all depends, but in the end it's always the same thing and remains the same as Matisaro puts it: If you overclock, Intel, if not, AMD.

Good luck!

--
When buying an AthlonXP, please make sure the bus is at 133MHZ, or you will get a lower speed!
September 1, 2002 4:09:59 AM

A P4 is a lot more OC'able than the Athlon. For RAM, get DDR. It shouldn't be too much more than standard SDRAM, but there is a big performance gain. Motherboard: NonAbit or Gigabyte boards should be fine. Also stay away from Via chipsets. I would look into SiS 648 based boards.

Knowledge is the key to understanding
September 1, 2002 4:17:29 AM

"Hstated he was thinking of price/performance primarily, he dosent need 2.8ghz to feed his gpu, a 1600-1800+ will go fine, furthermore he has set a limit of 500 bucks for the cpu/mobo, and he cannot get a 2.8ghz system with that, hes much better off getting a 1800+ and a gf4ti4600 with the saved money"

Then get a 2.4a. Intel just cut prices and there is a decent motherboard out there that is well within his budget. Plus it would give him better performance than a 1600-1800+.

Knowledge is the key to understanding
September 1, 2002 4:19:19 AM

Just to be really picky, I'd like to add something. If you OC AND want a very high QUALITY CPU*, go with Intel. If you want price/performance (value), then get an AMD.

*In other words, if you want a CPU that has alot of safety measures, and has been thoroughly tested, get an Intel CPU. Also, get an Intel if you want a cool-running CPU (compared to AMD).

- - -
All good things must come to an end … so they can be replaced by better things!
September 1, 2002 4:19:56 AM

Quote:
and so it starts...
mat, that price watch quote has to be a mistake, the site that is listed for that price is not selling them at that price.


Actually they have to honor the pricewatch price, and theres a coupon code listed in the pricewatch listing, this is a real deal imo.::checks to see if its still there::

still listed after 24 hours+, with a coupon code, rag all you want but bzboyz should honor the price. Anyone wanna buy one to test? DONT FORGET THE COUPON CODE

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
September 1, 2002 4:23:08 AM

Quote:
Just to be really picky, I'd like to add something. If you OC AND want a very high QUALITY CPU*, go with Intel. If you want price/performance (value), then get an AMD.

*In other words, if you want a CPU that has alot of safety measures, and has been thoroughly tested, get an Intel CPU. Also, get an Intel if you want a cool-running CPU (compared to AMD).


LOL, p4s are hotter than equavalent athlons(process wise) as for saftey, sure I will give that to you, but if you buy a processor based on what would happen in the rare event of a heatsink removal while playing quake 3, then you have issues and should stop being such a chickenshit.



:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
September 1, 2002 4:24:08 AM

Quote:
Then get a 2.4a. Intel just cut prices and there is a decent motherboard out there that is well within his budget. Plus it would give him better performance than a 1600-1800+.


Forgot the rdram or ddr as the case were.

also a 2.8ghz p4 with a ti4200 will NOT outperform a 2000+ with a 4600 in gaming!

People need to be more wise in the way they allocate their money!!!!

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
September 1, 2002 4:25:17 AM

Hell, you could get a 2000+ kt33 mobo and ram, and with the additional 250$ upgrade the ti4400 to a radeon 9700!

anyone wanna claim a p4 with a ti4400 will out perform that setup?

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
September 1, 2002 4:39:54 AM

Both of you are forgotting that Pricewatch just lists STREET prices, not RETAIL prices. REATIL prices are more expensive than street prices.

Knowledge is the key to understanding
a b à CPUs
September 1, 2002 5:04:48 AM

d00d, you can get a Viewsonic 19" for around $170, I did. In fact surpluscomputers.com has an SGI 19" monitor for $169.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
September 1, 2002 7:02:01 AM

why not get a pentium 2.53ghz for $250 or a 2.4 for $200!? the 2.53ghz outperforms any other athlons with rdram pc1066 and more if u overclock. not too bad since it was 400+ dollars before.

--------------------------------------------------
My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 2, 2002 1:00:59 AM

That's what Mat was saying though. Getting a XP2000+ and donating that savd money to a better video card would most likely give you better gaming performance than a P4 2.53 w/ a Ti4200.

<i>Past mistakes may make you look stupid, but avoiding future ones will make you look smart!</i>
September 2, 2002 2:26:53 AM

i figured out my total with that coupon code, its for the shipping only, the total is 117. bzboyz is not liable for a mis-"print"

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
September 2, 2002 4:35:03 AM

Here's my opinion (prices based on estimates after tax/shipping):

CPU - Athlon XP 1800+ - $80
Motherboard - Asus A7N266-VM (5.1 audio/LAN included) - $85
Video Card - GeForce 4 Ti4400 128MB - $200
RAM - 1x256 MB Kingston PC2100 - $65
HD - IBM/Seagate/Maxtor/WD 40 GB - $75 or so
40/16/10x CDRW and 12x DVD combo (what you want) - $100
Case w/ good PSU (up to your discretion on stlye/model)- $90
Monitor - KDS VS-190 19" - $190 (I got one, great monitor)

Total - $895

This system will rock with just about anything you throw at it, and is under the $1000 price limit you put on.


"Trying is the first step towards failure."
September 2, 2002 4:39:44 AM

Kingston DDR won't work with Asus boards. It's just a really weird quirk with those boards. There are other brands though like Micron that will work fine.

Knowledge is the key to understanding
September 2, 2002 6:38:58 AM

I have an Asus A7N266-C with Kingston DDR Ram in it. Works perfectly, 100% stable. What issue are you referring to?

"Trying is the first step towards failure."
September 2, 2002 9:27:26 AM

Quote:
Both of you are forgotting that Pricewatch just lists STREET prices, not RETAIL prices. REATIL prices are more expensive than street prices.


If were both using pricewatch to quote, whats the difference?

:wink: Heatsinks, if you dont overclock, use the <b>STOCK!</b> :wink:
September 2, 2002 9:29:31 AM

from bzboyz website main page

"Prices on Bzboyz.com should be the same as advertised. If a price seen advertised is Different than advertised on our website then please mention the price seen advertised & where it was seen in the Special Comment section on the order form."

they should honor their agreement::checks pricewatch again::


Alas they pulled the price, however they should honor it to those who bought while it was up!

:wink: Heatsinks, if you dont overclock, use the <b>STOCK!</b> :wink:
September 2, 2002 9:30:21 AM

Quote:
Kingston DDR won't work with Asus boards. It's just a really weird quirk with those boards. There are other brands though like Micron that will work fine.


I sooo hope you have some linkage to back up that FUD.

:wink: Heatsinks, if you dont overclock, use the <b>STOCK!</b> :wink:
September 2, 2002 4:14:56 PM

you would think so, i saw a frys add once that had an ms optical mouse for 20 bucks. the picture showed a box that said optical explorer. the title was very vague and i couldnt find any part number so i just got the box for the optical explorer, wich was about 45 bucks. sure enough when i got to the counter i was charged the 45, after half an hour of arguing with managers they just wouldnt budge, insisting that it was not for the explorer, just the regular optical wheel mouse. boy was i heated. the moral of the story is, advertised price dont mean jack.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
September 2, 2002 6:57:02 PM

Ahh, let me shed some light on a good deal for a monitor. I have two 19" Monitors hooked up to my ATI Radeon 7500 Video Card. One is a ViewSonic PS790 19" (.24 Pitch), the other a Mag 986FS 19" (.25 Pitch). I can tell no difference between the two, the Mag is very nice.

You can get this from Best Buy after rebate, Most of the time, for $150. Best bang for the buck. Great Monitor for only $150, sometimes even $130 there. Just keep on the look out for their rebates.

<i> Where will we be in 2 years, 6GHZ?</i> :wink:
September 2, 2002 8:12:10 PM

you're saying a 2.2 P4B is <b>hotter</b> on a <b>stock</b> cooler than a XP2600+ (which runs at 2.13 Ghz) on a <b>stock</b> cooler? Man, wake up and smell the roses. Northwoods run COOLER than tbreds, and even XP's at stock speeds using stock coolers.

Mat, you're such a fool. EVEN if you do that "idoitic" test and remove the heatsink from the northwood, it WONT fry. It'll throttle down in time to safe itself. So, even if you were to do such a crazy thing to a P4, it would be safe. The same thing can't be said for an Athlon.

- - -
<font color=green>All good things must come to an end … so they can be replaced by better things! :wink: </font color=green>
September 2, 2002 8:25:01 PM

Quote:
Mat, you're such a fool. EVEN if you do that "idoitic" test and remove the heatsink from the northwood, it WONT fry. It'll throttle down in time to safe itself. So, even if you were to do such a crazy thing to a P4, it would be safe. The same thing can't be said for an Athlon.

Apparently you're not with the times dude!
Ever since June 10th, all new motherboards for AMD CPUs, will have to use Thermal Shutdown procedures, so the Diode from and since the Palomino, is used. So no to the claim that it can't be said for the Athlon.

As for temps, it depends, some people run at over 50ºC Stock with P4s, but it is rare. Previously though, P4s were hotter than any Athlon, ever seen the output by a 2HGZ Wilamette?

--
When buying an AthlonXP, please make sure the bus is at 133MHZ, or you will get a lower speed!
September 2, 2002 10:29:53 PM

Dark_Archonis typed:
"you're saying a 2.2 P4B is hotter on a stock cooler than a XP2600+ (which runs at 2.13 Ghz) on a stock cooler? Man, wake up and smell the roses. Northwoods run COOLER than tbreds, and even XP's at stock speeds using stock coolers.

Mat, you're such a fool. EVEN if you do that "idoitic" test and remove the heatsink from the northwood, it WONT fry. It'll throttle down in time to safe itself. So, even if you were to do such a crazy thing to a P4, it would be safe. The same thing can't be said for an Athlon."

I bet the flame war starts right here.

"Just the facts ma'am"
September 3, 2002 9:35:30 AM

Quote:
you're saying a 2.2 P4B is hotter on a stock cooler than a XP2600+ (which runs at 2.13 Ghz) on a stock cooler? Man, wake up and smell the roses. Northwoods run COOLER than tbreds, and even XP's at stock speeds using stock coolers


So many holes, so little time.

A: We compare by performance not by clockspeed when determining relative heatoutput, just as when we consider price/performance, you think its fair to compare a 2.2ghz tbrd and a 2.2ghz p4 when the tbred would own the p4 in benchmarks? I dont, and my statement was geared that way.
B: on the same process the p4 does in fact run hotter than the athlon, p4s running@55C+ are not uncommon.
c: did I say anything about stock heatsinks? No I was speaking of thermal output, when you add to my comments that stock heatsinks are involved, you create a strawman, everyone knows p4 stock heatsinks are massive and exceptional, while amd stock heatsinks are adequate. This however is NOT a discussion of whos stock heatsink is better.

Quote:
Mat, you're such a fool. EVEN if you do that "idoitic" test and remove the heatsink from the northwood, it WONT fry. It'll throttle down in time to safe itself. So, even if you were to do such a crazy thing to a P4, it would be safe. The same thing can't be said for an Athlon.


Nice adhom, I love it when people have nothing to debate with so they resort to calling names, as for the test.

Let me reiiterate.

IF THE RARE RARE EVENT OF A TOTAL HEATSINK REMOVAL WEIGHS HEAVILY ON YOUR CPU PURCHASING DECISION, YOU NEED MENTAL HELP, YOU SHOULD BE MUCH MORE CONCERNED WITH PERFORMANCE/PRICE ETC.

TO SUM IT UP FOR YOU DARK, THE FACT A P4 WONT FRY WHEN THE HEATSINK IS REMOVED SHOULD NOT BE A SIGNIFIGANT FACTOR IN DECIDING WHICH CHIP YOU SHOULD BUY.

A factor yes, signifigant, no, a heatsink removal is so rare that it should weigh very lightly on your decision, and I feel reccomending a p4 and listing that as a major point for it is retarded fanboy fud.

we clear now?

:wink: Heatsinks, if you dont overclock, use the <b>STOCK!</b> :wink:
September 3, 2002 9:36:46 AM

Quote:
I bet the flame war starts right here.

Nope, I made one reply and thats it, I dont cater to people who adhom and whos arguments are empty shells devoid of logic or reason.

:wink: Heatsinks, if you dont overclock, use the <b>STOCK!</b> :wink:
September 3, 2002 2:30:12 PM

Crashman, I looked at that monitor and it's only .26 dpi. That's pretty crappy, even if it is 19". I realize you can get cheap monitors, but my point was that this guy should spend some money on a decent, mid-quality monitor. I've looked around and done a little research and I don't think you'll get a decent quality 19" monitor for under 250 bucks. Of course, you can trade quality for savings, but that's not my point.

My Rig is bigger than yours.

Huzzah for Antec, AMD, and ASUS!!!
a b à CPUs
September 3, 2002 4:24:53 PM

Actually .26dpi is not bad at all. Mine's .21DPI, a cheap Hitachi tube Viewsonic. I think those cheap Hitachi tubes are about the best you can get for picture quality, BTW.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
September 3, 2002 4:28:23 PM

I really don't understand people sometimes...

Here I am, typing away on a Pii300 with a measly 66Mhz FSB and a tortoise-like ATA33 HD, whereas some of you are rabbiting on as anything less than 2.5Ghz is somehow outdated.

I'm upgrading soon, but only because my computer really can't render things quickly enough (I have to hide all non-required objects in 3DS MAX and render projects overnight...) I'll be content with an XP2000 and 512MB of DDR333...
a b à CPUs
September 3, 2002 4:29:40 PM

BTW, both my cheap Gateway VX900 and my cheap Viewsonic A90 use the cheap Hitachi .21mm dp tube, and both cost $169, the Gateway as a greymarket unit and the Viewsonic as a factory refurb.

Some "high quality professional" monitors are using .27! In fact, nearly every graphics workstation monitor I've seen has used a .25 or larger pitch.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
September 3, 2002 7:25:20 PM

Quote:
Mat, you're such a fool

There's no need for that sorta thing.

This sig runs too hot.
September 3, 2002 7:33:32 PM

Quote:
I love it when people have nothing to debate with so they resort to calling names, as for the test.

You're no better. Just the other day you called me a troll for no reason......and said it like I troll all the time. In fact it was this thread.

This sig runs too hot.
!